WTM meetup, yet again.

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So here we all are again!

Top row from left to right:

Garga, Luckymama, Happypamama, hjffkj , Creekland, Momsinthegarden

Bottom row from left to right:

School17777, RegGuheert, Nicholas_Mom, Quill

 

 

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The School Room

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Ok–so this is the room taken from a corner.  I’m standing on the treadmill with the camera over my head.  See the closet in the far left corner?

You can see our desks all smooshed together and a bunch of bookcases.

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And now I’m taking the picture on the other side of the room and you can see where I was standing on the treadmill.

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And here’s a closeup of one of the closets.

 

 

Nerd Conversations and Mustachioed Drinking Glasses

Some things never change including Darling Husband and my stinginess thriftiness. Friends asked us if we wanted to go to Carrabbas for our birthdays. (Darling Husband’s was yesterday, mine is today.)

Well, duh, yes!

But we don’t want to pay for it. I’m sure they’d have offered to treat us, but nah. No extra spending in December is allowed.  Not for us, not for you.

We made an exception to our no-spending rule for lunch today.  Darling Husband, the boys and I went to a local diner for a birthday lunch. Diners are cheap at lunchtime.  We had a glorious nerd conversation about the direction Doctor Who is headed, the plots for the first two Terminator movies (the only ones that count), and The Hobbit book vs. movie. I think there was talk about Harry Potter and the new Jurassic Park movie thrown in there, too.  It was a nerd conversation bonanza.

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My Birthday Gifts:

Drinking glasses with mustaches on them so it looks like you have a mustache while you drink.  Darling Husband is as pleased with getting me that gift as Flick was when he got his dad the flower that squirts water.

All 6 of the old King’s Quest games. The first one is from 1988 and you have to type in what you want your little character to do on the screen. I’m drawing a little map on paper (on paper!) to keep track of where my character is in the game.

My Lunch:

Birthday Lunch

Turkey Salad Melt, Utz Chips, Onion Rings

First Bleary Day of the New Year

After a wild and crazy New Year’s Eve party last night (picture us sitting somewhat droopily playing a never-ending Domino game until 3:00 in the morning) it’s time to wake up and face the day.

Boy11 got 4 hours of sleep last night and is priming himself for a bracing day of Being Crabby.

Boy8 got 10 hours of sleep and is Peopled Out and is bracing himself for a lovely Whine Session because we have dinner plans with friends.  “Why don’t we ever stay hooooome?” This is the kid I have to hide when people ask questions about unsocialized homeschoolers.  Left to his own devices Boy8 would quite happily never leave home again unless the destination involved the words “Pizza Hut.”  A few friends who’ve known him since birth have been shocked to hear his voice for the first time this year.  Honestly.  He’s slowly coming out of his shell but not without the aforementioned whining.

Darling Husband, well, I don’t know what Darling Husband will do today.  He’s one of the most even tempered people I know so he’ll just putter around being his usual pleasant self. 

I got 8 hours of sleep and am about to go on a hunting expedition to find breakfast.  From what I can tell, it’ll be leftover Halloween Frankenberry and chips and salsa for me.  

Happy New Year!

I am Iron Man…er…I mean Igor.

Ah, Walmart.  My parents used to work at Walmart.  They hated it.  The managers would lock them into the building late at night and refuse to allow the workers to leave until all of the items that customers had misplaced had been put back where they belonged.  They’d be locked in there for hours past closing time.  The employees considered calling the police and saying they had been kidnapped but never did.

My parents told me that immigrants from Eastern European countries would work there for a while, but then would quit.  The immigrants said, “We left Chelstezistahn to get away from oppressive regimes.  You Americans who keep working here are crazy!”  No, I’m absolutely not making that up.

I found myself in Walmart the other day, oppressive regime or no. Sometimes I dash in and dash out.  Not this time.  This was a meander up and down the aisles misplacing items willy nilly kind of trip.

As many of you know, I get cold easily.  And I’m cheap.  Bad combination in winter.  This means that I freeze indoors because I’m too cheap to turn up the heater.  I rely on hats and long johns.

I don’t like wearing winter knitted hats inside because the dry winter air makes my baby-fine hair staticy in a knitted cap.  I was wearing my Steelers hat a couple of days ago.  When I pulled it off my hair stood on end and static sparks flew around the room almost igniting Boy8.

I prefer to wear hats that are acceptable to be worn indoors, like my  newsboy hat. (Google it.)  The only problem with my newsboy hat is that it doesn’t cover my cold little ears.

So I meandered to the hat section in Walmart to see what hats they might have that would cover my ears and would be acceptable to wear indoors.  I found this one, put it on, and looked in the mirror:

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Oh my!  If that doesn’t make me look absolutely adorable!  Now I know why people think I’m sweet, I mean, look at me!  Don’t I look like a sweetie pie?   Gosh, am I cute or what? I admired myself in the hat for some time and snapped a few pictures.

But that felt more like an outdoor hat so I didn’t buy it.

My eye happened to fall on a wall of winter hats.  They were in all colors and had those little knitted strings at the bottoms of them.  I’m not sure what those strings are for.  I decided to put on the hat and tie the strings together so the hat would stay on my head.  I looked in the mirror…

…eeep!  Oh my!  I look like Igor from Young Frankenstein.   Or maybe a babushka from Chelstezistahn,  No, really.  I do:

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Of course, it was slightly better without me making the face, but only just.  I mean, I took one look at myself in the mirror wearing the Igor hat and burst into cackles.  I had to get a picture of it, it was just so wonderfully absurd.  Unfortunately there were a few children nearby and I had to turn aside so they wouldn’t see me taking my pictures.  Didn’t want to scare them.  “And then we saw a witch in the hat section!  I swear mom, she was a real live witch! We heard her cackling!”

I didn’t buy that hat, either.

I meandered to the long john section and considered whether I wanted a white undershirt or a black undershirt.

And that’s when I saw it.  Oh, the angels sang and the sunrays burst through the roof of Walmart.

It was a long john-type undershirt, but it wasn’t the regular long john material.  No, it was fuzzy and thick and soft on the outside and the inside. And, get this, the sleeves were long and had thumb holes. (!!!) I’d never heard of such a thing, but it makes sense.  You can’t wear a long john shirt alone; you have to cover it with another shirt.  But thick fuzzy material like that would bunch up in the arms if you tried to put on another shirt. With the thumb hole, however, you can slide your arms into another shirt without bunching.  Oh, brilliant!

And cheap as I am, I bought it on the spot.  I considered telling Darling Husband that he just bought me a Christmas present and then waiting until December 25th to wear it but, nah.  I put it on right away.

Here’s a picture of the thumb hole.

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No wait!  No, no…I’m er…not Iron man.  Not Iron Man.  Nope.  Just ignore that last picture.

Here is a picture of the thumb hole:

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You can see how fuzzy and thick and cozy that shirt is from the picture can’t you?  The only problem is that I love it too much to take it off.  I’ll be pretty rank by December.  Maybe Darling Husband will get me a couple more for Christmas so I can take this one off and wash it.

Homeschoolers can solve all your problems.

A few days ago I posted about my 17 hour school day.  It’s such a long day (but really more like 7 hours) because of the non-stop rabbit trails we take.

A few people responded to my post with compliments saying they thought my homeschool sounded like fun.  And while that’s very gratifying I have to say that I run into people like me all the time, so I’m not really all that special.

See, when I finally stop watching youtube videos with the boys and hand them a worksheet to fill in, I need to stay in the room with them or they get wild.  Sort of like in my 6th grade social studies class with Miss Davenport.  She left us alone in the classroom while she went to make copies on the ditto machine.  While she was gone all of us, the entire 6th grade class, turned into feral beasts.  When she came back she could hear our snarls and calls at the other end of the hallway.  She stood in shocked horror at the window to the classroom unable to believe her eyes: we were out of our seats, we were throwing paper, we were dropping books on the floor.  She stormed in and made us write, “We will not be wild animals when our teacher is away,” 200 times for homework.

What was my point?  Oh yeah.  You can’t really leave kids alone when they’re supposed to be doing schoolwork.  So I sit there, babysitting, while they work.  And I get Bored.  Capital B Bored.

So I do what all the other bored homeschooling parents do while their kids are working on independent work. I head to an online homeschooling forum and read what the other homeschoolers are up to.

And there I find people who are much more advanced in this whole “use whatever you can find to stuff knowledge into their heads” game we play. For example, the other day a woman wrote about her children’s love affair with all things bathroom.  Here’s what she wrote:

“Ok. I give up. I am surrounded by boys and girls who just adore poop and farts! I am so sick of it I am pulling out the big guns….. Ready to kill their love of the subject by requiring it as a unit study.
So, are there any unit studies on poop and farts? Any ideas you wish to share?
My first assignment was a cluster diagram on poop. 3 different kinds…. 3 details. Tomorrow they write the paragraphs! You should see their faces! Wait until they get their spelling list!”

I read it and figured that no one would really respond with anything helpful, but to my surprise post after post after post came in with all sorts of suggestions.  There were links to poop cartoons, to an education video about the “poop cycle” (oh my), and countless book recommendations.  When all was said and done there were 52 responses.  She updated the post a few days later to write:

“UPDATE: It worked!! My youngest has not written poop on one of his books in 4 days!!”

I mean, how can I stay away from this, people?  This is homeschool gold!  No matter what your problem is, these people can solve it for you.  If you want to read the whole post and all 52 responses, here’s the link.   The website is free.

But beyond solving any and all possible educational challenges, it’s also entertaining. A woman posted the other day about her son who has social issues.  This was posted in the “Learning Challenges” board, so that means he probably as Aspergers, so the issues are real and the woman is honestly seeking help.  She wanted advice on how to teach her son not to make himself a target for teasing.  Turns out that he likes to chew on things, so he took horse chew to his high school baseball practice the other day to chew on.  No, I don’t know what horse chew is either, but she wrote that the boy’s grandparents have horses and the boy figured he could just snack on the chew.  I’m guessing it’s like a chew toy for horses?  Or some sort of treat for a horse that is chewy?  Don’t know.

And here’s where I’m torn.  On the one hand, you feel sorry for the kid who doesn’t understand social situations.  But on the other hand, oh my goodness, imagine the looks on the other kids’ faces when they see their teammate chomping on horse chew?  That’s a little funny…

Sorta like the story my mother told me the other day about my aunt.  I have a branch of the family that I’ve only met once when I was a child.  Apparently my Aunt Barbara is in her 50s and has been into drugs on and off all her life–marijuana all the way to heroin–and her brain is a bit like “swiss cheese” as my mother says.  The other day, she decided to go on a little road trip with just herself and her chihuahua.  She started from her home in Colorado and drove to Moab, Utah.  Somewhere along the way, she turned on to a lonely dirt road in the middle of a lonely town in the middle of a lonely state.  She stopped the car, and attempted to leave it.  But somehow or other, she fell half in/half out of the car. A rancher found her two days later (alive), but stuck face down in the dirt.  When they lifted her up, they found her little Chihuahua, squashed under her (dead).

Part of me is completely horrified and part of me finds that hilarious.  Maybe if it had been anything other than a chihuahua.  And it didn’t help that my mother was laughing so hard when she told me the story that she could barely get it out.

Back to the bored homeschooling parents:  A post I just read today was about a woman who went to the doctor with a painful zit.  By the time all was said and done, she was hospitalized for her zit and contracted MRSA.  Again, I’m torn.  Poor woman with MRSA.  She said she’s feeling miserable.  And yet…a zit?  Hospitalized for a zit?  Kinda makes me giggle.

Anyway just had to share.  I’m not all that different from lots of other homeschooling families out there.  I surely didn’t know you could find so much educational material about poop, but if there’s a topic to be studied, you know that some family is out there studying it and making models of scat out of playdoh  No, really.  Here’s the link to the Playdoh Scat Animal Poop Lab.  The woman’s high school aged kids did an entire study on it.  Maybe they’ll be hunters when they grow up.  Oh, look!  She even gives advice on field work and how you ought to use the macro setting on your camera to get better pictures of the scat you find.

Homeschoolers are weird.  🙂