Wordless Wednesday 12

New braces & the strawberry harvest. Rowan rocks it all.


Wordless Wednesday, community garden clean-up edition

The soil is dreadful, and the area's infested with quack-grass, but it has some sun.

The same plot, a couple of hours later. That’s work.

Cleaning up the strawberry bed at the "Little House"

Happy chicken works on the compost.

The math I most need is the ability to count my blessings

I went to bed last night around 1am, which, sadly, is not unusual.

I was disposed to feel sorry for myself, because I was a ‘single parent’ for a week, my husband being off on a business trip, and because I was in a fair amount of pain with a TMJ problem,  which my dentist cheerfully assured me was “chronic” and “due to stress” despite the fact that I’d never previously had it.

I mean, come on. You should have to have something go wrong at least TWICE to consider it chronic. That’s my “rage, rage against the dying of the light” POV.

He prescribed me a muscle relaxant (because nothing says taking care of 5 children orthodontia week like ‘new meds that you can’t take while operating heavy machinery’) and I’d obediently attempted to get them filled, because ALL I really wanted was to be prone in my own house, in less pain. Took the 15 minute guarantee Rite-Aid over an hour to come up with a third of the prescription, but I won’t get into that.

After dinner, etc., had massive trouble converting all the MAC files to PC files for Tegan’s school project, and, what with one thing and another, no one got to bed until 1 am.

Woke up to schedule a visit from the geo-thermal drilling guy for 20 minutes later, to get everyone up to be ready for that, to be followed by orthodonist visit, school, etc. etc.

And when I walked into the bathroom, there was a surprise. 2 surprises.

The countertop had been wiped clean, and there was a full, untouched, roll of toilet paper.

This is Countertop Wiper:

He's actually being a Greek mask of Comedy, here.









Here is Toilet Paper Replacer:

Teens get all the sleep they missed as babies.









I’m not a single parent, ever. I’m part of a team. A Family.

A Day in the Life (sponsored by Mountain Dew Throwback)


Got this idea from Jamie’s blog-hop at   http://www.forloveofcupcakes.com

from a post by Lacey, at http://www.thesouthernmommychronicles.com

who says she got it from Sarah at http://www.nurselovesfarmer.com

who was inspired (I understand) by Jill, at http://www.babyrabies.com/

Which means several things, including that I will add to my list of things I don’t do enough (which now prominently includes exercise, clean, and have dinner with Mario Lopez) reading blogs. Because reading ANYTHING runs second to laundry and homeschooling.

But I thought I’d try it, explaining a few things first.


Our homeschool curriculum emphasizes sustainability, as a primary focus. Among the things we did for that was go 12 months without heating or cooling (except for fans, and such.) It’s been interesting. And we’re now in the stage where we’re installing really ecological systems, but we’ve been working on passive solar this summer. AND one of the things we’re doing is building solar heaters, for the chicken coop and porch, to see how four season we can get them.

So, the win for the kids was (because I may be crunchy granola, but I also know marketing) that I BOUGHT SODA-POP.

And they may DRINK soda-pop (about 5 cans a week, per kid) because I’m building the solar heaters out of soda cans. We need LOTS. We’ve been doing this since June, and have really no place to store soda cans, because, well, I have no place to store anything. 😀

So. Bonus points for spotting all the soda cans. I decided I wanted to share this, even with the mess. Please leave links to your day in the life post in the comments. 😉

Steve took this just before he woke me. 7:10

Girls sleeping. Trundle beds. 8:10

sleeping boys. Bunk beds 8:10

Good morning, Chichester 9:10

He's training this chicken. 9:10

Solar heater. Scavenged window frame & insulation 10:10

The school day begins. 11:10

Or continues, as the case may be. 11:10

part-time college girl at drop-off 12:10

Computer work. 1:10

Saw a cardinal. 2:10

measuring for the insulation 3:10

college boy drops by for change of clothes before ballet 4:10

Daddy's home! 5:10

Taco Bell before YMCA youth group 6:10

No day is complete without a trip to the craft store 7:10

A Star Wars model! 8:10

Even big kids do homework 9:10

cookies & milk during read-aloud 10:10

All Pooh-ed Out. 11:10

Foot rub! 12:10










In this light, this man looks JUST like Mario Lopez. 😉

It’s not the destination

Here is a story about big ideas.

Have to tell you, I’m a fan of big ideas. I’m that gal. It’s one of the reasons I like young people, and actors, most of whom have big ideas.

Homeschooling, was, for me, a perfect place for big ideas… and they tended to get bigger as my number of students increased. However, there are a few tricks to surviving the cross connection of big ideas and homeschool, and a great place to start there is in your approach to field trips.

If you’re a homeschooler,particularly of an infant or some toddlers,  you probably know what I’m talking about. YOU are going to go on field trips. Your whole family will cross the Americas in a campervan, updating your podcast at least weekly, and compiling the material for your book. The children, all fluent in Latin already, will easily pick up other languages as you travel.

But if you’re lucky, you’re married to a man ( or woman) kinda sorta like mine, who has a rooted stick-in-the-mud attitude about steady incomes and health insurance,

My husband Steve, prior to 1st aid & haircut. Broke his head open wrestling shelves in the basement.

and you turn your attention (temporarily) to shorter field trips. It’s easy. You start a field trip co-op (unless someone beat you to it) and every Friday you meet up with the group to visit museums, historical sites, and cultural activities. On the other days you’re geocaching.

If you have given birth exclusively to extraverts, have no regular work responsibilities, and just a few children, I look forward to hearing about this. 😉 I will live vicariously through your awesomeness. However, at a certain point I had to ratchet back on the extra field-trippage, mostly because we could never find enough matching shoes to get out the door. We committed to a FEW things and occasionally made an appearance at area activities, but we live in a neighborhood where the kids have friends and activities of their own, so we did more school-type stuff during school-type hours.

We take vacations. Did I mention Disney? 😉

And last Friday we took a field-trip to the opening public day of the Department of Energy’s Solar Decathlon 2011, because we have a big focus on sustainability in our curriculum and household. http://www.solardecathlon.gov/

Here we are. What do you notice? Take your time.

some days are more solar than others

I drove through torrents of rain to get there, 2 1/2 hours, most of the kids slept the whole way. My husband and I had the longest uninterrupted conversation we’ve had in 6 months, easy.  We saw a few of the houses that were open (weekdays are short, and they all close at intervals.) We got soaked through, they had to rope off areas of the walkways because they FOUNTAINED foul-smelling water when you walked on them. It took me 6 hours to drive home, in unholy conditions of traffic stopped and blinding rain.

We loved it. The building from Calgary was particularly super awesome.

on we go, Canadian turtle straight ahead

We have to go back and see all of them. Forecast is rain.

Ugly approach, I thought, but valuable idea

That’s the thing about field-trips, and much of parenting. It’s not the destination that matters.