Thursday, December 27, 2007

Some Christmas Photos And After-Christmas Musings . . . Enjoy!

I hope everyone had a Very Merry Christmas. We had a wonderful time.

We went to Mom #2's parents' house for breakfast (delicious bacon, homemade waffles, and homemade biscuits and gravy) and then to my sister's house for dinner. Dinner was potluck style since my sister doesn't really cook. We brought the turkey. (I simply must laugh every time I say that we brought the turkey to Christmas dinner - LOL)

This is the first super-big holiday since my mom and dad have separated, and Dad in true difficult man fashion, showed up very late and then refused to eat, but we had a good time anyway.

Here's a photo of us all sans Dad at my sister's house. Mom #2's family doesn't really take the time to do photos, but I hope to change that in the upcoming new year. They are very nice people, just more private, I guess.

My sister, Me (Mom #1), My Niece, Baby Boy, My Mom and Mom #2

Baby Boy got everything he wanted for Christmas. *Santa* heard his many powerful prayers and came through like a champ on the Nintendo Wii.

Actually it's for the entire family. We have been having so much fun playing it. My whole body is sore! I haven't moved around this much in months. It may actually have been the smartest gift we could have given/received this Christmas.

Baby Boy also received a new formal white tae kwon do uniform. He wears the casual black uniforms for every day classes/training, but the formal uniform for belt and phase testing each quarter. Last quarter his uniform was looking a little dingy and small, so a new one was definitely in order. He seemed pleased with it.

I received gift certificates for professional massages, manicures, and pedicures. I am so happy and excited! These are the things I have given up in light of our recent financial troubles. Now I can go without feeling guilty because they are pre-paid. Hallelujah! There is a God!

Mom #2 is back to work today, well not really, but she did go in to check on some jobs she was finishing up before Christmas and getting an ETA on some work to come after the holidays. Just keep us all in your hearts and minds this coming New Year. It seems like we're always on the brink of financial disaster, but have managed this far and won't be giving up anytime soon.

Baby Boy and I are taking two weeks off from school so I have none of those details and no curriculum reviews for you today. In fact he's finally sleeping in today. He's been getting up at the crack of dawn everyday, I guess just typical Christmas excitement.

I'm going to use this vacation to take a little time to reflect on what my New Year's resolutions will be, deep clean the house (or not), get some advanced lesson planning done for our home school, and take a good hard look at our family budget (YUCK!). I'm also going to try to free up a little extra change to get fireworks for New Years Eve - Yes we're one of THOSE families.

Anyway, I hope every one's holiday was wonderful and peaceful, full of family togetherness and love.

I'll try to get back on board before the New Year, but no promises. New Year's Day is also Mom #2's and my anniversary, so I'm trying to put together a little something for that.

So much to do... is two weeks vacation enough? I guess I'll find out.

Until next time . . .


Friday, December 21, 2007

Last Day Lo-Down, My Niece's Piano Recital, and Remember That Romantic Weekend. . . IT'S BACK!

Well today is our very last day of school before the Christmas Holiday. We've been sort of doing *school light* this week. We ditched geometry all together. Last week we finished up a chapter and just didn't see the point of starting another one without being able to finish it before Christmas. We certainly didn't feel like rushing!

Baby Boy wrote a fabulous letter to Jeff and Lisa, of Rear Window fame, explaining to them in detail why they should get married. (That was his writing assignment for this week)

Of course, we have brand new art projects to report on. This week we learned about warm and cool colors and how they complement each other on the color wheel. This week's project is. . .

Warm Leaves on a Cool Background

By Baby Boy


By Mom #1

On a non-homeschool note, last night Baby Boy and I went to my niece's very first piano recital. She's only been taking lessons since August, so it was a labor of love, but that's what family is for. Right? As I've mentioned in other posts, my niece is my kindred spirit. I love her with everything I have inside me. She's an incredibly special little girl. My sister is a single mother and not able to homeschool (actually she's not the homeschooling type, so she probably wouldn't homeschool even if she could, but that's a whole different post. LOL) My niece received a full scholarship for a private all girls school because she is so wonderful and well-rounded and smart. Music lessons are part of the curriculum.

Here are a couple of photos from our visit to the recital.

Baby Boy and My Niece

My Mom, My Niece and Me (Mom #1)

And finally . . . THE PERFORMANCE!

Well, I'm off.

Baby Boy is finally getting to go on his vacation weekend to his grandma's house, so Mom #2 and I have the house to ourselves for the entire weekend. This time it is actually happening and the only way I know for sure is that he is already gone. This is a very rare treat and hasn't happened in at least two years if not a lot longer. We are a very together family. Mom #2 and I are relatively broke and probably won't do much at all this weekend. We'll probably finally get around to wrapping gifts and shuffle around in our pajamas all day. Maybe we'll watch some rated R dvds. We usually keep it PG-13 and below for Baby Boy's sake. No matter what we do, we'll be doing it together. ;-)

If I don't get back before Christmas,

Happy Holidays to all


thanks so much for stopping by!


Monday, December 17, 2007

The Christmas Tour!

I thought I'd give you a little tour of some of our inside Christmas decorations. There are lots more lights and stuff outside, but it's too cold to go out. It's about 40 degrees today, and while that may not be cold for some, it's freezing to me and I am not interested in getting all bundled up and going out into the elements.

It's supposed to get back into the 70s later this week, so I'll try to get the outside shots then.

So, without further ado. . .

Our Christmas Tree and Dining Area
(Notice the garland and ribbon around the window frame and the snow globe on the buffet.)

Our Mantle

Our Breakfast Bar
(The top is covered with snowflakes which we use for decoration and as coasters for drinks.)

Our Coffee Table
(More snowflake Coasters and do you think I like giant snow globes or what?)

And now we head into the guest bathroom. . .

The Toilet Seat

The Mat You Stand On To Wash Your Hands

The Hand Towel

And finally, the pièce de résistance, The Soap Dispenser
(When you press the top to get soap, it lights up in red and sings a little Christmas carol.)

I know it's not quite as fancy as the White House Christmas Special that I just watched on TLC, but it's the best we can do on our country-time budget. When it warms up outside, I'll post some shots of the lights.

Until then. . .


Relaxing Weekend In The Company Of Good Friends.

We had such a nice relaxing weekend. It was wonderful.

The chores got completed on time and everyone was content to play a few hands of Gin Rummy and watch DVDs. It was too cold to go outside, and we all despise pretty much any public places on weekends due to crowds - especially this time of year. So we just relaxed and had a few mugs of Mom #2's special Mexican hot chocolate. Delicious!

Baby Boy's good friend from Phoenix came and spent the entire day with us on Saturday. They ate lunch and snacked and played video games and terrorized Baby Doggy a little bit. They had a lot of fun, and I hope it won't be the last visit between them. I know it may be logistically impossible to get them together often, but I hope they do at least stay in touch. They are very close in age and have similar interests as well. When it comes to teenage boys, it seems good friends are always in short supply.

Here's a couple of photos of their happenings on Saturday.

Having a little lunch.


Teen boys' favorite pastime. . .

Playing Video Games

I wish his family a safe and happy trip home.


Friday, December 14, 2007

Winding Down, Preparing For Guests, and Big Beautiful Roses.

Well it looks as though another week has come and gone.

We finished up the discussion questions from the movie we watched this week, Rear Window. Like I mentioned earlier, it really turned out to be a much better movie than I had anticipated and we enjoyed discussing the literary elements of the movie as well. Next week we will move on to the writing assignment. This is Baby Boy's least favorite part of the whole process, as you can imagine. He doesn't really enjoy writing. I don't know where he got that from, I could write about anything or nothing all day long. I tend to be a little on the wordy side. LOL.

We also took a test today in Geometry over parallel lines. Baby Boy made a 90%. I'm pretty proud of him considering his intense disdain for all things mathematical - except for counting money, which he LOVES.

He's actually very good at all of his subjects. He's just at that age where he doesn't want to be bothered with his dear old mom for much of anything. Right now he's too excited to be bothered with school work, because one of his dear friends from out of town is coming in tomorrow and he has to get his chores done today if he wants to spend time with him. This is a dear friend who moved out of state a few months ago, and will be in town for the weekend, so they're going to get together and "play." Do teenage boys still play? Well, I don't know what exactly they are going to do, but whatever it is, Baby Boy is excited about it.

Next week will be our final week of school before the Christmas Break. I'm planning a few fun things, and kind of winding things down and finding a stopping point for everything. Since we ended a chapter in Geometry today, I'm not going to start a new one until after the Christmas break. Baby Boy doesn't know this yet, but will be very excited to find out.

Anyway, that just about does it for the week-end wrap-up.

Oh, before I forget, here are a couple of photos of the art project we worked on over the past few weeks. We are learning about complementary colors and monochromatic color schemes. Baby Boy and I both struggled a little with these lessons, but luckily, beauty can be determined differently in the eye of the creator and the beholder. So look at these beautiful roses with your heart's eyes and not your physical eyes. *SIGH*

So Without Further Ado . . . Big Beautiful Rose

By Baby Boy


By Mom #1

Have a great weekend!


Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Speaking Of Getting Well. . . Time To Heal Baby Doggy.

Well, as I reported last week, Baby Doggy has an ear infection.

I was so busy nursing Baby Boy back to health, that poor Baby Doggy's ears got put on the back burner. What's so funny is that he hasn't been scratching his ear at all lately and I can't seem to remember which ear is supposed to be infected. Shoot! To be safe, I'm cleaning and putting antibiotic drops into both ears.

Here's how it's going. . .

Baby Doggy chillin' before I assaulted him with the ear drops. . .

And after . . . VERY unhappy with Mommy!

Oh, well. One day down, nine more to go. Wish me luck!

At least Baby Boy is back to his regular old self.


Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Got Well Soon and Back To School . . . Hitchcock Anyone?

Just wanted to report that we are all well. Baby Boy is still on the mend, but taking it slowly. We're getting back into our routine. I'm one of those anal schedule type people, so, you know how it is.

We usually watch our homeschool movies every other Sunday afternoon, but since Baby Boy was under the weather this weekend, we watched it last night. The movie was Rear Window, a 1954 thriller by Alfred Hitchcock. It was actually very good. I'll be the first to admit that a lot of the movies in the Movies as Literature curriculum are not exactly my cup of tea. I guess I'm not very appreciative of the classics. I like things that are bright, shiny, and new. Sorry, I know that hurts a lot of homeschooling moms to hear, but it's me - open and honest. On more than one occasion I've threatened to throw the whole curriculum out the window, but quitters never win, right? Anyway, back to my movie review: Rear Window has Jimmy Stewart and Grace Kelley, what a cast. It's all about the interesting things an invalid sees out of his rear window, hence the title.

Baby Boy found it interesting and entertaining as well. Alfred Hitchcock always did have a way of telling a scary story without actually making it scary. Am I making any sense? Probably not, but I'll just leave you with this final thought . . . rent it, it's good.

Now on to parallel lines. Geometry anyone?

Oh, just in case you are's warm today. We reached 80 degrees. Yesterday we only reached 43 degrees. Tomorrow it's supposed to be a high of 40 again. Perfect pneumonia weather.


Saturday, December 8, 2007

No Mini-Weekend Vacation, No Christmas Ballet, But YES Chicken Soup and Tacos - Delicious!

I know you are surprised to be hearing from me again so soon. It must be an emergency, right. Well, I don't know about emergency, but I definitely need to get something out right now. This is the only place I have to do it, so here goes...

You know that mini-weekend vacation I was so excited about? Didn't happen. When I woke up this morning bright and early to iron Baby Boy's clothes and send him down the yellow brick road to grandma's house, guess what I heard coming from his room? The loudest, yuckiest, ugliest chest cough EVER! I went to check on him and he is definitely sick. He isn't running a fever, but his cough sounds like it's deep in his chest and his throat and chest are both hurting. I've got him taking Mucinex, ibuprofen, and keeping the humidifier on him with Vicks Vaposteam in the water. If he isn't feeling much better by Monday, off to the doctor's office we go. Needless to say, he's staying home this weekend, not going to my mom's house. That means no freaky deaky love-fest for The Moms. That bites.

And while we are on the subject of things biting, my sister called me today and told me that she cannot get us tickets to The Nutcracker after all. She cannot get three seats together for herself, our mom, and me. I was so looking forward to going too. Darn it!

Well, thanks for letting me vent. I know it's not pretty. The only thing keeping me warm tonight is the thought of being almost done with my Christmas shopping. Big Smile!

Well, that's all kiddos. I'm off to finish making my homemade chicken soup for Baby Boy. The chicken has been simmering on the stove all day, and I'm just about ready to add the delicious vegetables. I'm making some chicken tacos on the side for Mom #2 and me. Oh yes, I am FRYING the corn tortillas, heck, after the day I've had - I deserve it.


Friday, December 7, 2007

Bowling Fun, Ear Ache Doggy, and a Weekend Mini-Vacation For All!

We survived another week! ;-)

School went very well. We got all of our assignments done. We had homeschool bowling this week and that is always fun. It's nice to break out of our regular routine and see some new faces. A couple of boys who haven't come to bowling in a while made re-appearances. The boys were so busy talking about video games, Legos, and whatever else teenage boys talk about, that they couldn't hardly get any bowling done. It took them almost two hours to bowl 2 games. I also enjoyed visiting with the other moms. I don't get too many opportunities to have real live adult conversations in the daytime. Needless to say, a great time was had by all!

Baby Doggy has been sort of scratching at his ear a little the past couple of days. A visit to the vet confirmed that he has an ear infection. We're not exactly sure how he got it, but I imagine that I must have gotten some water in his ear during his last bath. I always try to be so careful, but I am human. I feel bad for him. He cried a little when the doctor put her lookie-thing in his ear. Poor Baby Doggy. :-( As my punishment, I get to put the ear drops into his ears twice daily for then next ten days. Believe me, this will hurt me more than it hurts him. I hate to see either of the boys in any sort of pain. Keep me in your thoughts on this one.

Mom #2 was off work this week. The portion of the job she is working on, for some reason, got postponed. So she's been underfoot all week. Oh, I have to be honest, I am glad for one thing. The Christmas lights finally got put up outside. Wonderful! She's going back to work on Monday, so I'll just leave it at this - we all survived.

I am proud to say that I am 95% done with my Christmas shopping. I am even prouder to say, that I have NOT STEPPED FOOT in any mall. YEAH! I love online shopping. As Martha Stewart would say, "It's a good thing."

Oh, and speaking of Christmas, I may as well just go on record now. Yes, I am a full fledged Christmas loving nutcase! My house has decorations inside and out; including Christmas shower curtains, bath mats, and toilet seat covers. Lights, lights, and more lights is my Christmas motto. We do the whole kit and caboodle. I love everything about Christmas, except the malls. I just cannot do crowded parking lots and malls at this stage of my life. It must be old age catching up with me. Yes, we still indulge in the Santa Clause tradition, although I think Baby Boy just plays along so as not to hurt my feelings. I am hanging on for dear life... He will not grow up, he will not grow up, he will not grow up.

My sister has informed me that her Christmas gift to my mom and me this year is that she will take us to see The Nutcracker. I am very excited. I have not seen it since I was a very little girl. I can't wait to get dressed up and actually leave the house at night with other grown ups. This is the life! We're not sure exactly what night we're going, but you know I 'll keep you posted.

Oh, I have news. Baby boy is spending the weekend with my mom in her brand new apartment. Mom #2 and I are going to have a much needed "grown-up weekend." I don't think we've had one in about two years. We are both giddy with anticipation. I think this might be one of the best weekends together we've had in a while. We probably won't do too much, as you know money is tight around here, but we will be together and alone. That's good enough for me.

Of course, I'll keep you posted ;-)


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