Sunday, January 29, 2012

50 Hours Later...

50 hours at the tax office this week. 12 hours of drive time. Clients who have waaay too many questions to AX (heh). All of that equals one mucho tired Katie. Looking forward to a movie marathon with my boys today to unwind.

Anyway, even with the craziness of the tax thing, the week went okay. I was able to talk about homeschooling and provide some homeschool resources to a fellow scout mom who had just pulled her daughter out of public school. It's weird...for me to give advice. I always feel like such a slacker. I hope that she's doing well, and gets off to a good start though.

I honestly have NO idea what my own kiddos did this week, lol. The hubs said they did well, and gave no argument when he laid out plans. Bailey found some popular word lists on SpellingCity for both of them to work on (I'm sure by "work on" he meant "played games with"). That's good. At least it was something. I will eventually have to check their reports and see how they did, but not right now. Right now, I'm going to start a load of laundry (blech) and plop down on the couch.

Hope everyone had a great week, and the upcoming week is just as fabulous! Can you believe we are entering February already?! :)

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Doesn't feel like January... least not weather wise. It's rainy. And while it's not necessarily warm, it's warmer than it should be this time of year. We have had a little bit of cooler winter weather, but not much. Going from warmish to coldish and back, makes for some stuffy wee ones (and a stuffy mommy!).

This week was full on "blarg." It was the first week of filing with the IRS, so there are always kinks to work out. I ended up working more than I hoped. I mostly whined all week, lol, but now that it's Sunday, I can step back and say that I'm looking forward to a paycheck with overtime. :D

This weekend Bailey participated in a Klondike Derby with his Scout troop. I'm guessing since this event is scheduled in January, involves a sled and is called "Klondike," that it would be best if we had snow. Since that rarely happens in these parts, we were lucky enough to have rain. Which means we had mud. Lots of mud. But the boys had a great time. They were cold and wet all day, but they did a great job. There are competitions throughout the day, all wrapped up with a "Great Sled Race."

Look! Pictures! Thanks to the hubs...

Soaking wet ALL day, lol.
The boys, pulling their sled like little dog sled doggies. :D
Tracy's dad helped the boys make their sled and it was AWESOME! I know Tracy sent me a photo of just the sled, but I can't find it. I will get her to send it to me again and I will add it. It really was an incredible sled.

** is the photo from Tracy:
It eventually was varnished (I think that's the right word, lol), had wheels and lots of other extras. But you can see the wonderful workmanship of the sled.

In all of the competitions, their troop received 1st place in Nitro Carry (I have NO idea what this is, but all the boys came home in one piece, so it's all good, lol) and 2nd place in First Aid. They were doing really well in the race too, but at one point in the race, a boy from one of the other troops fell and got ran over by his sled. It was apparently pretty bad, with EMTs needed. But our troop stopped to offer help. For this, they received a Presidential Award of Merit! Everyone is SO SO proud of them. Even without the award, knowing that stopping would blow any chance they had to place in the race, they still stopped and did what needed to be done. Definitely worth bragging about! ;)

I didn't get to go the Derby because I had to work, but I guess if I try to find the silver lining in missing it, I'm glad I wasn't out in the chilly muck all day. We didn't want Braeden out in that either, so he spent the day at the office with me. He did well, but even with his gadgets he brought, nine hours is a looooong time for me, much less a 7 yo, to be stuck in an office. He had a few moments of "Please, PLEASE find me something to do!" Tracy and I let him shred a lot paperwork...cause shredders are cool. He would look over the papers and find the words he could read before loading them into the shredder. Fortunately, we are still working on his reading comprehension, lol, so even though there were several words he could sound out, there wasn't an understanding there. Not that he would have seen anything bad, I'm just glad I didn't have to spend the whole day explaining tax stuff to him.

**Another one point Braeden also got to Facetime with Tracy's niece in CT. We all love her, and it was a special treat for him to be able to do this. :)

Big fans of iGadgets... :D

Today is our family day. It's still chilly and icky out, so we are about to go grab a few groceries then head home to have a movie marathon, all cuddled up on the couch. This week will probably be the same as last week, as far as the working and whining and working goes. :D The boys will continue on with school. Braeden is spending a lot of time on one of our online games sites, which is fine with me because that means that the hubs isn't struggling with him. Bailey is finally going to start one of the homeschool writing courses we have been wanting him to take. I have to sign him up tomorrow. Walter went through and decided this morning which course he thought would be the best for him to start with, and we are all excited (even Bailey!) to see how this addition to his school day works out.

Alrighty, that's all for now. I hope everyone has a great week!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Every Day I'm Shufflin'...

That silly song is stuck in my head right now. It's not in my preferred genre of music, but I hear and it sticks around forever, lol...

This week was good. Busy, but good. Adjusting to different schedules is going alright. The cooler temps are moving in, for the moment anyway. I like the cooler temps. I actually like experiencing a little bit of ALL seasons. Here in the south though, we don't get much winter. It's like an extended, slightly more harsh, fall. Oh well, I'll take what I can get.

Next week we will continue on. Things will get a little crazier at work, as Tuesday is the IRS's first day to file. At home, there's nothing major to interrupt the boys' schedules. No Scouts. No sports. Just Masters on Thursday. It'll be nice for them to have a laid back week. They are going to focus a little more than normal on their vocabulary this week. Bailey will play some antonym games. Braeden will play some parts of speech games. Yes, "focus more" in this house usually means more game play. It works. They learn. I'm happy. I'm long past concerning myself with HOW they grasp a concept, I just want them to get it. :)

Today, Bailey is working on some Scout stuff and after I drop him off, I'm going to swing by the office for a little while. Tomorrow, Tracy and I are heading to the ATL for our first Dragon*Con Directors meeting of 2012. YAY!

Hope errbody has a mucho fabulous weekend, and a great week!

Friday, January 6, 2012

What a week!

This was a big week for my family. My mom and her mother (my grandmother, Nanny) haven't seen one another in almost seven years. Families have problems all the time, I know. But this was difficult for me. I am close to my mom, but I am also close to, and live next door to, Nanny. I have always felt torn (even though neither of them pulled me or asked to be on their side of the issue) between them and to be honest, it has weighed on me much more than I realized. They recently spoke on the phone for the first time, and this week my mom came up to visit! It was awesome. There is a lot of sadness and pain, and that's not going to automatically go away, but relationships are re-building and that's a wonderful thing!

Here is my mom, nanny and the boys (As a side note, Braeden was only 8 months old when they became estranged, so he has NO memory of ever seeing the two of them together...makes this photo a little more awesome):

We spent a lot of time together, just talking over coffee and shopping...girl stuff. :) I think we all really enjoyed ourselves.

Thankfully, in the midst of this, my tax schedule didn't actually start this week so I was able to spend that extra time with them. I will however, start next week. You know what that means...

Weekly whining. Heh.

I will make a conscious effort to NOT whine. Just remember, I'm trying. It's not success I'm looking for, but effort. Keep that in mind.

This weekend we are going to spend a quick overnight with my in-laws. They live out of the country and were not in town for Christmas, so we are going down this weekend to have our holiday with them. The boys love being able to see everyone and spend time with their cousins, so even though it's going to be a short trip, we are all excited about it.

Next week, we are going to try again with the work thing. I have all of my laundry done. Yes, this is a note-worthy accomplishment. The house is clean and organized. Cleaned out the Cobalt (which I should be driving anyway, as it's better on gas). In year's past, we have never been this ready. Go us.

As far as grocery shopping and everything, that task falls to the hubs while I'm working (yaaaaaay! I know I should feel ashamed for putting that burden on him, but I HATE grocery shopping!). He and the boys enjoy planning our meals though, so I don't think any of them mind.

The boys were supposed to officially start back to school - as official as we ever get at any rate - this week, but with the unexpected visit, that was squashed. Oh well. Fortunately, we have got that "go with the flow" thing down. And since we aren't planning any mid-year changes to any part of our homeschool curriculum, I'm not worried too much about finding our groove again. Like I said before, we tend to take an unschooling approach during tax time anyway. I am behind on printing their progress reports, but that doesn't take too much time to fix. I don't keep these for myself...not for grading purposes or anything (remember, I don't like putting pressure on them...I want them to learn for the sake of learning). But, I do need them for their homeschool portfolios. Which is a fancy-schmancy way of saying "homeschool records," lol. I should get on that before the end of the school year actually rolls around...

One last thing. I said in a previous post that we watched two of the three Millennium movies last weekend. Well we watched the third and final movie this week. That trilogy, and the story it told, has got to be one the best things we have watched in a long time. I have had the books (for those unfamiliar with the Millennium series, it's the Stieg Larsson books: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Played with Fire and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets' Nest) for quite a while, but knew I wanted to watch the Swedish films first. I am so excited to start reading these now, and then seeing how David Fincher did with the American remake. What I am trying to say with all of that is, everyone should watch the films and read the books. It's so worth the time! It's dark and, at times, very graphically violent. But if you can find time, I don't think anyone would regret it.

Okay, that's all for now. Hope everyone has a fabulous week!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year!

Holy clap. It's 2012.

We closed out 2011 and rang in 2012 with a great group of friends! Many thanks to the hubs and my boys, Tracy, Scott, Quentin, Zachary, Leigh, Lisa, Hank, Tyler, Pamela, Isobel, Mark, Maggie and Kevin for a fabulous weekend of laughs, games (Pass the Popcorn is really cool!), movies (two of the three Stieg Larsson movies, which are just phenomenal) and fun! We had a ton of pizza for dinner last night and this morning woke up with thick, yummy Belgian waffles and five pounds of bacon. No, you didn't read that wrong. Scott cooked five pounds of bacon. Nomnomnom.

The last of our peeps just left and honestly we are ready for bed, but we are so thankful for the wonderful time! Tomorrow finds us starting our Tax Time schedule. I begin at the office on Tuesday. The boys start back to Master's this Thursday. I will be working six days a week. The hubs will be growling. The boys will be having to take care of themselves, which means we switch to a more unschooling mode here at Casa de la Learnin, lol.

While there will be an insane amount of whining (mostly by me), everyone knows that it's temporary so we try to get through it the best we can and not be too miserable. I know, I know...why do I do it every year? Cause I'm greedy. And I want to make that extra money for vacation and DragonCon. But it's alright. Before we know it, the end of February/beginning of March will be here and I will be back home, trying to remember how to home school, and attempting to conquer Mount Saint Laundry. :)

I hope everyone had a safe but fabulous weekend and your 2012 got off to a fantastic start!