Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Back to School

Well, it's that time of the year again. I am starting to investigate what it looks like to get my Masters degree.

I knew when I completed my Bachelors degree that I wasn't really finished with school and I am really excited about working towards a career.

I really want to be mindful of what my primary focus is right now and that is the education of my kids, but I also want to continue to look forward to the future.

Let's face it, at the most in 10 years my job gets outsourced. My kids will all be in college or working in their profession of choice, and my job as a home school mom will be...gone.

It is really exciting to think that in just a few years I could be doing a totally different job with all new adventures!

So, my hearts desire, right now, is to get a masters degree in counseling- marriage and family therapy. I don't know if that focus will change when I start the program, but I really feel like that is the direction God has been leading me in for quite some time.

There are a couple of problems with that degree.

First, the degree I get must be primarily on-line. I understand there will be a point where I will have to intern or do something like that to get practical experience, but for the most part I need the classes to be online.

Also, I need to make sure that the school isn't just accredited but it will also lead me into getting a license to practice in whatever state we may be in at that time. I have heard horror stories of people spending the time and money to get on-line degrees from some of these accredited on-line schools just to find out when they finish that they can not be licensed in the state they are in. For this reason, I am leaning towards a CA school that offers on-line degrees, but running into a road block when it comes to the degree I am looking into.

I am excited and a little fearful, but know that I can take this challenge on, and know that God will lead me to the right place and the right degree.


Thursday, February 17, 2011

2010-2011 School Year

We are finishing our 17th week of our school year this week, and I thought I would give an update as to how our year is progressing.

Our curriculum started us out in the late 1800's, and we are now just finishing up with WWII.

Kylee finished reading "Lord of the Flies" yesterday, and only cried twice :) She is also working on finishing a WWII poster on some of the highlights of the war. She has been writing mini-reports each week on different aspects of the war.

Faith is reading "The Chosen" by Chaim Potok. In one week she will have her 9-week comprehensive final. This year I started giving Faith weekly tests as well as these 9-week comprehensive tests in history and literature. She has always taken math tests and science tests but these history and literature tests are her first experience with timed short answer/essay type tests. She has done really well on them, and is learning some valuable test taking skills. On the writing front, she is in the final stages of writing a 10 page research paper on Women's roles during WWII.

Seth is currently reading "Pipi Longstocking". He wasn't so sure about it when he first saw it, but he is great about not judging a book by it's cover and has enjoyed reading it. He has also been working on writing a 6 page biography of Stalin. And this week is working on campaign posters for Truman and Dewey.

Joshi is reading "Mercedes and the Chocolate Pilot" a book about the pilots who dropped supplies from the skies during the year after WWII, when Stalin set up blockades of all roads, railroads, and canal routes going in and out of West Berlin. This is a true story of a pilot who would drop candy for the children. He has been working on an "inventions of the 20th century" project for the last eight weeks, and is almost done. His writing assignments have been focusing on writing compare and contrast papers.

We have also just started going through a bible study about the mind of Christ. Ideally, we are going to learn to think more like Christ. The author of the study states that there are 6 attributes that characterize the mind of Christ, and help you to develop these traits. There are weekly memory verses, this week's is Roman 12:2, and a unit memory verse which is Philippians 2:5-11. The kids are great at memorizing these verses, I am the one who struggles with memorization. It is actually an adult bible study, but the kids are doing great! It is covering some great stuff, like purity and humbleness.

The boys are doing Apologia astronomy, Kylee is doing a general science course from Apologia and Faith is doing Apologia Biology.

Faith has also had U.S. Government and Philosophy as electives this year. It has been an interesting experience studying some of these philosophers from a christian perspective.

We have tried to introduce Spanish this year, but I haven't been very successful with that, may be time for a Spanish teacher :)

Overall it has been a great year so far!


Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Rosemary Focaccia Bread

So after stressing out for a week over this meeting with the principal, it got canceled!

Got a note last night from the principal and he said that he had a meeting and would not be at the tour today, so I rescheduled for next week.

Don't know if I am relieved that I don't have to do it this week, or upset because I am just continuing the stress for another week.

On a less stressful note, I made some delicious focaccia bread yesterday, and thought I would share it.

I made the bread just as the recipe states, but gave it about an hour to rise as dough and also an hour to rise once it was rolled out to its bread form. I know a tablespoon of salt sounds like a lot, but it is kosher salt, so it works perfect!

As for the top I didn't measure the salt, oil, rosemary, or cheese, I just sprinkled it on.

It was super easy, and so yummy!!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Thinking Outside of the Box

What have I gotten myself into?

We have been feeling it has been time for a change on the school front, for Faith, for a couple of years, and before moving we had even looked into some of our options.

We had opened communication with the principal of our local school in Illinois about Faith attending some elective type classes and participating in after school activities for her freshman year of school.

Up to this point, Faith has not shown an interest in going to a traditional school, but when she expressed an interest to attend part time, I looked into it.

As we approached the start of her freshman year we were also approaching a pretty major move across the country. Well, the move seemed to be enough change for one year, and we decided to wait on any other big changes.

But now we are settled and are looking ahead to the fall semester. We are investigating what our options are for Faith's Sophomore year at high school.

Yikes, she is going to be a Sophomore!!

Anyways, I wrote to the principal of Simi Valley High School last week, and got back a great response. They are running tours of the school every Wednesday of February and he invited Faith and I to come and check it out.

When I expressed to him that I wasn't sure how this was all going to look, since we only want her to attend part time, he said we could "think outside of the box".

Those are beautiful words to me!! I love that God put us in a school district where the principal is willing to "think outside of the box" when it comes to the education of my child! I do not want to depend on this school for anything that I think we do well at home, i.e. math, writing, literature, history, bible, and science. But for things like art, foreign language, p.e., and drivers ed. it would be GREAT to have assistance in these subjects.

With all that said, we are moving forward and going to the tour and a meeting with the principal this Wednesday, and I am STRESSING OUT!!!

Pray for us! Pray that we will be able to think clearly and hear clearly. Pray that if this is the right move for our family, for our Faith, that Mike and I will know it after this meeting. And if this isn't the right choice He will open up the right door and we will recognize it!

This is a very hard decision for me. We have a great time at home, and I really don't want to rock the boat. But, I do want what is best for my kids, and I think this is worth looking into, so here we go!


Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Fifi the Five Foot Vampire Goose

We have a lovely walking route, and if we do the whole thing, it is about three miles in length. It goes up hill, down hill, and past a beautiful park/golf course.

We often wait until the evening and walk it as a family after dinner, but on Mondays I go to a small group in the evening, so the kids and I have been trying to walk it in the afternoon.

Yesterday, we started down the street, it was a beautiful day, 75 degrees and sunny. The boys had brought their bikes and Kylee was running up ahead with them, while Faith and I were walking at a quick pace right behind them.

About five minutes into our walk, as we were walking by the beautiful golf course, I looked up ahead and saw three giant geese sitting by the sidewalk. As the three kids up ahead got closer to the three geese, one of the geese got up and looked quite upset.

The next thing I know she (the kids have dubbed her Fifi) began squawking and with her head low down to the ground she charged the kids!

Kylee, Seth and Joshi turned themselves around and took off back towards Faith and me. This crazy Fifi chased them down the sidewalk and even bit Joshi's tire!

By the time the three kids reached us, Joshi was in tears and they all suggested we just turn around and go down the other side of the street.

Well, I was not about to let a goose tell me I couldn't walk down the street!!

So, I told the kids we were just going to walk straight down that sidewalk, right past Fifi and we would be just FINE!

Meanwhile, Fifi had not taken her eyes off of us. We very determinedly walked back towards the three geese, and when we got about halfway there, she began screaming and charging us again!!

Okay, I admit it, I ran.

This Fifi meant business.

I decided we were going to have to just go out into the bike lane of the very busy street, and walk very quickly by this very scary avian menace.

We waited for traffic to clear and I grabbed Joshi's bike. He and I ran as fast as we could down the bike lane and got past Fifi to the other side.


I turned around to cheer with the other three and realized they were not behind me, they had gotten scared and were cowering on the sidewalk, being yelled at by a very angry Fifi!

I told the kids to just do what I had done, wait for the traffic to clear and run!

The girls made it.

Now, Seth was trapped on the other side of gooseland and Fifi looked like she really meant business.

She was on to our game, and at this point there was no guarantee that she was not going to follow him right out into traffic this time!

I decided to try and distract her by coming towards her from the other side, the safe side, which seemed to work. She quit giving Seth the bird-eye and came after me, which in turn made all the kids on the safe side scream.

Seth got out into the bike lane and made it to safety, and Fifi turned her goose tail and walked off towards the golf course.

We ended up stopping at a friend's house instead of continuing on our walk. By the time we got to our destination, the boys had morphed Fifi the goose into a five-foot vampire beast with huge fangs and a troll like voice.

Do you think they are going to need therapy?


Monday, February 7, 2011


It's 9:24 Monday morning, and I have already been super productive.

It was a great weekend. We had dinner with some new friends on Friday night. It was a fabulous evening of connection, time both Mike and I needed!

Saturday night was the big surprise party for my friend JoAnna. Another great opportunity for Mike and I to connect with others. We even stayed to listen to Dick Dale, surf guitarist, for a bit before heading home.

We pulled into our house that night, tired and ready to fall into bed, when I opened the back door and heard this strange beeping noise.


I walked down the hallway and soon realized it was the washer. I had never heard this odd insistent beeping noise it was emitting.

I opened the laundry closet door, or tried to open it, when I realized the door to our front loader was ajar, and being held partially closed by the closet door. I reached in and tried to shut it but there were clothes spilling out and I really had to push.

I finally got the washer door closed enough to open the closet door, and that is when I realized there was water EVERYWHERE!

Apparently, the locking mechanism on our washer door decided that in the middle of a wash cycle was a good time to stop, well, locking.

So instead of going to bed we were cleaning up water. The funny thing is that the washer is still acting like it is locking, and doesn't seem to think it has a problem, so I have no idea how long this has been going on.

That was my first order of business this morning. I called those Whirlpool guys and made an appointment for Thursday afternoon. This family of 6 will have to take our chances on the locking door, because a week without laundry isn't going to work here :)

Also, this morning I sent an email to the local Magnet Arts and Tech. high school, to see if they are willing to accept a part time student. Faith is very interested in attending part time in the fall, and I would love some help with some of these subjects that aren't in my skill subset.

While all of that was happening, I was making sure all the kids were started on their assignments for the day, figuring out dinner for tonight, and answering neglected email from the weekend!

If only I can be this productive the rest of the day :)


Friday, February 4, 2011

A Story About a Grill

I am laughing right now.

There is a lady on our little 12 house cul-de-sac who has a garage sale business.

She has garage sales EVERY single Thursday, Friday, and Saturday!

It is a tad bit irritating. There isn't a lot of parking room, on our street, and with the extra people on the street, perusing the goods, it gets really crowded.

But, this week we decided to take advantage of our crazy garage sale-ing neighbor.

We had some things in the move that were damaged beyond usability. One of those things was our grill.

When we moved, we chose a mover that said they would cover 100% of the cost of anything damaged. That wasn't totally true (but that's a different story), but in the case of the grill, they did give us what we claimed.

So, here is our dilemma, now we have a broken grill that needs to go, before Mike's wife :) will let him purchase a new one.

What to do, what to do...

That is when I came up with the brilliant plan! We would use the advantage of all the garage sale traffic, and put our grill out in the driveway with a free sign on it! After all, we just really need to get rid of it, right?

So that is exactly what we did this morning.

Several people got out of their trucks and looked at the grill then, drove away.

I was quickly realizing, we couldn't even give it away.

Then, I heard the clatter of the grill being drug away! I excitedly looked out the window, to see the garage sale neighbor, dragging the grill across the street to her garage sale!!!

She promptly removed the sign, and placed it prominently out in front.

After about 15 minutes and several people looking at it, she sold it!!

Don't know for how much, but she sold my broken grill to some poor consumer.

The good news is, now Mike can get a new grill :)