Wednesday, December 4, 2013
I am an adjunct professor!
I received my contract yesterday to teach an online Business Law course (the course I developed and wrote) at a Christian university. I am so excited! This has been my dream since I started law school 20 years ago.
I always said that I thought I might practice law for a few years and then teach. Little did I know that you don't just decide to teach. It's difficult to get into that field, and quite a process! And, the pay stinks. But, with technological advances, I am able to teach this course from home and still educate my children without interruption. So, there aren't any overhead expenses for me in gas, clothing, etc. Heck, I can teach in my pjs (and plan to)! I get the best of both worlds.
To say that God orchestrated this whole thing would be a huge understatement! The way this all came about is nothing short of divine intervention, and I am so grateful for the opportunity.
I am hoping this is only the beginning … that slowly I will be able to add other classes, maybe even from other universities, so that I can make this a full-time career someday. This would be a great way to spend my later years.
Now I just have to get to working on a viable schedule for our family. Fitting this in will require work and diligence. But I am up for the challenge.
Tuesday, December 3, 2013
While at my mom's one evening babysitting my niece, I was flipping through her Midwest Living magazine and came upon a recipe for stuffed mushrooms. Rick loves stuffed mushrooms so I confiscated the magazine and planned to make them for our Thanksgiving meal. I knew it called for mushrooms and sausage, and that was all I could remember.
The day before Thanksgiving I went to the grocery store to pick up the final fixins' for dinner and couldn't find that magazine anywhere! And I wanted to make that recipe so bad! So, I went where us women always go when we want a good recipe … I went to the Pioneer Woman. And, she did not disappoint!
I made her amazing stuffed mushrooms and my gang gobbled them up! (no pun intended)
The only changes I made to the recipe were using chicken broth instead of white wine and using Kraft grated parmesan cheese (straight from the plastic container) instead of fresh grated (because I didn't have any). I also used Italian Sausage. They still turned out fabulous!!
Monday, December 2, 2013
|Started our day with donuts from The Donut Palace.|
|Came home from church to find all of my leaves raked! I went out and helped him bag them.|
|Eight bags of leaves.|
|Chloe went with Collin and I to drop off the bags of leaves to my dad.|
|She loves to go 'bye-bye'.|
|After two weekends, Rick was able to come home to us! It was a fun weekend!|
|Chili, chili dogs, frito chili pie … it was a yummy lunch!|
|The nuts Collin and I collected at my mom and dad's to feed to our squirrels.|
|Clifford was happy for a nice day on the back porch.|
|Working on the tree!|
|Eli having some quiet time in my unmade bed. Watching Disney Infinity Youtube videos. He can't wait to get his for his birthday!|
|Adding the angel ….|
|And the tree is done!!|
|How we all felt while watching the Chiefs game. We were better off sleeping.|
What did you do on your first day of December? I am linking up with Nicole at Journey to Josie.
Do you participate in a Countdown-to-Christmas? Each year we prepare a countdown chain (including a link for Eli's birthday which is on the 22nd). On the chain I provide activities for us to do as a family each day, doing things such as baking, watching Christmas movies, seeing Christmas lights, etc. The kids look so forward to tearing off a link of the chain each day and doing the fun activity!
This year I wanted to make sure I included some specific Advent activities, as well. So in place of our normal morning Bible lessons, we will be using Thriving Family's "Adventures in Odyssey Advent Activity Calendar". There are simple and meaningful activities to do each day with your children to help them focus on the real meaning of Christmas. Each day starts with a Bible reading and continues with the object lesson.
You can go HERE to download your FREE calendar!
Sunday, December 1, 2013
Saturday, November 30, 2013
Today I sat and watched my baby girl play "hair salon".
No, wait, that was real.
Today my baby girl stood at her station in her salon at school and highlighted my hair, then cut her little sister's hair, and then cut her stepdad's hair. It was so surreal to see her being a big girl, a grown woman, pursuing her dream of being a hair stylist. And she did GOOD! My hair was done perfectly and professionally. We all walked out of the salon happy with what she had done for us. Kyndal is going to be so successful in her chosen career. And I am VERY proud of her!
And on a couple of completely unrelated notes, I am so saddened by the death of Paul Walker. The Fast and Furious movies are some of my absolute favorites and it just won't be the same without him. RIP Paul.
And, way to go Mizzou! Our Missouri Tigers are going to the SEC championship game against Auburn! And what a turn of events in the Alabama vs. Auburn game. Wow! What a crazy day of football!
Friday, November 29, 2013
I hope that you had a great Thanksgiving day with your families! We had a perfect day! The kids popped up at 7:50 a.m. because Thanksgiving is one of their favorite holidays. I, however, needed some more sleep. So they played in their room until I got up at 9:00 a.m.
While Rick and the kids watched the DVR'd Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, I made some biscuits and gravy for breakfast. Then I got to cooking our Thanksgiving dinner. I have to say, each year I improve on our meal. This year's meal was delish!
Of course we had turkey. I use Uncle Bill's recipe for roasted turkey and it turns out perfectly! (My dad's name is Bill, but it's not his recipe, and Uncle Bill is not my uncle.)
My dad had the honor of cutting the turkey this year. Usually it's just Rick, myself, and the little two kids on Thanksgiving. But this year the older kids came and my parents.
Along with turkey we had crockpot stuffing (thank you, Lora, it is the best stuffing EVER!), mashed potatoes with homemade giblet gravy, green bean casserole, homemade noodles by my dad, corn, rolls, and our new favorite …. stuffed mushrooms! (Those mushrooms were to die for!) For dessert we had pumpkin pie and pumpkin cheesecake.
After posing for some pics, Rick and the kids settled in to watch A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving and The Nightmare Before Christmas. My mom and I cleaned up the kitchen and then went to Walmart for Black Friday shopping. Yes, I am one that enjoys snagging a good deal. We didn't have any big ticket items to get, in fact my mom didn't even have anything to buy. But, I happen to think it's fun. I got some great deals on things I had on my list, saving $60 in just two items that I was going to buy anyway, and now, going into December, I only have a couple of items left to buy.
I got home at about 1:00 a.m., ate some cheesecake, and hit the sack. Today we are taking it very easy and are going to get out and decorate the outside of our house for Christmas in a bit.
|We had a photo bomber .. do you see her?|
Wednesday, November 27, 2013
Homeschooling has become boring. It's not because the actual act of teaching my children bores me, it's because we have slipped into a schedule of feeling rushed so we only do the absolute basics. Then I unleash them to spend the rest of their time on their Minecraft class (which I love) because it frees me up to get other things done. This is not how I want our homeschool environment to be. If I am not excited about homeschooling then the kids are certainly not going to be. We need to make some changes and I have been thinking of a plan to implement.
A LITERATURE STUDY
I have said on many occasions how much we love doing literature studies! I love planning them, reading the books, doing related and fun activities. We have not done one literature study this entire year.
I have had the book Paddle to the Sea by Holling C. Holling on my bookshelf for over a year with plans to do it as a study, but something always seems to push it away. Ohio University through the Ohio Sea Grant has a great companion guide (very lengthy) to go along with the book so I don't really even have to do any of the hard planning except to put together supplies. We need to do this study. It's time. And we are starting on Monday.
BACK TO THE STATES
The Minecraft classes have seemed to take over our time for our Road Trip USA studies. And we really enjoy learning about the United States! So although Minecraft will still be an important part of our day, we will get back to learning about two states per week. Since Paddle to the Sea happens around the Great Lakes, we will be skipping ahead a couple of units to cover the Midwest. I would like to keep us in the same region for some scaffolding learning.
Science is one area where we are lacking, and always have. Why? Because it's not in my wheelhouse. But the kids love science! I am going to actively look for a good science program that will provide fun activities for us to do once a week, probably on Mondays. (Mondays will be the day that I need to get grading done for my class I will be teaching, and we eat lunch at my mom's, so our Monday schedule will be changing to be a day of the 3Rs and our extras.) I am thinking of relying heavily on Science notebooking . Again, scaffolding learning. And I am leaning toward using Moving Beyond the Page unit studies. We did Life Cycles this past summer and they have great studies!! I am thinking of doing The Water Cycle to start.
CHANGING OUR SCHEDULE
It's not so much changing our schedule as getting back to one that we know works! Ever since I injured my knee this summer, I have not gotten up to exercise in the morning. That leaves me vulnerable to sleeping in just a little later which then gets us behind for the day before we even start.
We have seemed to start school later and later and later every day and then are just rushed to get everything done. So we don't spend time soaking in what we are learning. Instead we are just doing work to get it checked off our list.
We are off this week for Thanksgiving break, and desperately need the break. So starting next Monday, we will be getting back to a better schedule.
What the Schedule will look like
Starting my morning with my devotional and accountability with my friend Jodi is so important to me! I will start getting up at 5:30 a.m. to make sure this gets done first thing.
From 6:00 a.m. to 7:30 a.m., I will be devoting my time to "office hours" for my class I will be teaching. I have to do this before the kids wake up or I won't be able to find uninterrupted time.
At 7:30 a.m., I am off to exercise. It may just be at home, in the living room, back to doing my Gilad workouts. On nicer mornings I will get out and walk or run or ride my bike. Kyndal has an exercise dvd she wants for Christmas, so maybe I will be able to convince her to get up and exercise with me!
Once this is done, I will grab a cup of coffee and get in some computer time. Gotta check those e-mails and blog posts!
At 8:30 a.m. I will get the little kids up, get Kyndal's breakfast and lunch made, and then jump in the shower and get ready for the day.
We will start school promptly at 9:30 a.m., not 9:45 or 10:15 or even, gads, 11:00 a.m.! No, we will start at 9:30 a.m. I will put my computer away in another room while we are working. We will do schoolwork until noon, going back to drawing our sticks to determine which subject is next.
We will break for lunch at noon each day for one hour.
We will resume schoolwork at 1:00 p.m. on the dot and work until 3:30 p.m. (or after, depending on how much work we have left to do).
We know this schedule works for us, so we just need to get back to doing it!
With these changes I think we can get our mojo back. We have always loved homeschooling! I don't want to get in a rut and see that end. I am already feeling more inspired just putting it all down on "paper".
Tuesday, November 26, 2013
I was in the worst mood today! You wanna know why? My house has been disorderly for far too long. With my class, and homeschooling the kiddos all day, and then Kyndal being sick, my house has been desperately neglected. There were just those little piles everywhere, you know? I spent the better part of today taking care of some of those piles. Just cleaning out the clutter in the basket on my microwave provided me with a sense of peace! I know I don't like disorder. But I sometimes don't realize how much. I feel much more calm this evening as I go to bed. I still have some things I want to accomplish tomorrow, but I am over the hump and very thankful for it!
Monday, November 25, 2013
As of midnight, my faculty orientation course will be completed. I submitted my final project yesterday, which was a big Group project worth lots of points. Now all I have to do is wait for my final grade. Going into this week I had a 97%, only missing points on the very first assignment because of some APA formatting issues. The class has been a challenge, both physically and spiritually, and things got sticky when Kyndal got sick. But, I persevered and finished strong. I am so thankful it is over, however, so I can concentrate on getting my neglected house back in order and enjoying the Thanksgiving break.
Sunday, November 24, 2013
Boy, Dawson was such a turkey as a young boy. I never dreamed he would become the young man he is today. There are so many things I love about him … his devotion to his job as a dietary aide at our local nursing home, how responsible he is about school and his job, how great he is with his younger brother and sister. With Rick working in Oklahoma during the week, I can always count on Dawson to step up and help me out.
With Kyndal being sick this week, all I had to do was say the word and Dawson was right there to help take care of Eli and Brynne, making sure they were fed, taking Brynne to and from basketball practice, making sure they got to bed at night. They rely on him so much, and so do I.
I think it really shook him up to see Kyndal so sick. And then he just wanted to do anything for her that he could. He went out in the freezing cold to get her some Gatorade. Then he came home and helped Eli and Brynne with something on their computer game. He offered to help me unload the dishwasher.
Dawson is a great young man and a great friend, always there to bring humor to a situation, and I am so thankful that he is my son. I am one lucky mom.
Saturday, November 23, 2013
The medical saga with Kyndal continued through today. She woke up in the night with throbbing pain in her left arm. I gave her some ibuprofen and sent her back to bed. She got up this morning, hoping to go to school because she had a full day of clients in the salon. But, she was in severe pain in her left arm. She decided to stay home. Within a few hours she was running a 101 degree fever. I was pretty sure she was having a reaction to some flu and pneumonia vaccines she received before we left the hospital, but was fearful of some kind of infection because her fever was higher than low-grade. So, we called our doctor and he advised that we go back to the hospital. After a couple of hours and a new chest x-ray, they determined that it was, in fact, a reaction to the vaccines. So they sent her home. We were certainly happy to be able to come home and that she wasn't having any continued lung issues. We snuggled up in the living room to watch some Mizzou football and treat her fever. Wow, it's been a long few days. But, I am thankful that she appears to be on the mend.
Friday, November 22, 2013
In our regular life this week…
On Wednesday night, Kyndal's lung broke. Well, excess air was surrounding her lung and built up between her chest wall and lung which caused 40% of her lung to collapse. As there was no apparent reason why this happened, it was called a Spontaneous Pneumothorax. She was admitted into the hospital last night where they inserted a catheter between her ribs, removed the excess air, and gave her oxygen to get her lung to re-inflate. We spent the night in the hospital for observation and she received an all-clear after her x-ray this morning.
In our homeschool this week…
This week we were wrapping things up in anticipation of our Thanksgiving week OFF! It's BREAK TIME! (Again, the benefits of doing summer school!) We mostly stuck to the basics.
Spelling - We did our first week of homophones in both Spelling and Grammar.
Reading - We didn't get any reading aloud done this week. But the kids continued to read their books.Handwriting - The kids completed five more lessons in Handwriting Without Tears Cursive Success.
Writing - Or writing.
Math - We completed Lesson 16 in Math U See.
Writing - Or writing.
Math - We completed Lesson 16 in Math U See.
Extra - This was the last week of the kids' Castles and Cannons Minecraft class. So, they spent the majority of their time finishing up their work, building with their new friends. Brynne is very sad that the class is almost over and that many of her friends are not joining the Holiday class. She will lose access to multiplay with them.
Homeschool Tricks and Tips ...
Spend your last week before a break just wrapping things up so that you can start fresh and new after your break, and so you won't feel behind before you even get started.
Places we’re going and people we’re seeing…
A favorite thing this week was…
Snagging the Disney Infinity game for the Xbox 360, for Eli's birthday, for $37 at Walmart's Pre-Black Friday price matching sale. That was the only benefit of Kyndal being in the hospital … I was in the same town as a Walmart when the sale started! It was a savings of $40, which is much-needed with Kyndal's upcoming medical bills.
What's in the kitchen this week ...
I made some soothing homemade vegetable soup and some pumpkin bread.
What we're reading ...
Mom: I, Saul by Jerry B. Jenkins. It's a good one, so far.
Eli: Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days by Jeff Kinney.
Brynne: Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Last Straw by Jeff Kinney.
Read-aloud: A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens.
Read-aloud: A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens.
Things we're working on…
Enjoying a nice Thanksgiving break! We need a break and are really looking forward to this one. I am also one group assignment away from completing my class, and I am relieved it is almost over! Now it's turkey time!
I’m grateful for …
Kyndal's quick recovery and that we get to leave the hospital today.
What's coming up this week ...
Thanksgiving! And, we may be switching our bedroom with Eli's bedroom now that Brynne has moved downstairs with Kyndal. He doesn't need the bigger bedroom anymore. This will require some painting, however, so hopefully we will be able to get it done. Then again, I may want to just sit and do absolutely nothing for a full week!
Thursday, November 21, 2013
Kyndal is resting well in her hospital room. Her right lung was 40% collapsed and surrounded with excess air. The surgeon was able to expel the excess air through a catheter inserted between her ribs. Then her lung recovered. The procedure was done in the ER and she was moved to a room for observation overnight. She will be on oxygen and taking pain meds. If her x-ray is good in the morning, they will remove the catheter and she will be released. Very thankful that a chest tube was not necessary and that she is breathing more easily tonight.