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Let’s try Plan C

Published October 30, 2013 by Angela

The homeschooling Plan A didn’t work out too well for Erin and I. Plan B was an utter failure. So today I am implementing Plan C. I think I have figured out all of her tricks, excuses, and games, and I got two steps ahead of her.

I have to say, she is an extremely smart 7th grader, who spent the last 3 years of public school being bullied and fighting with me daily about going to school. I have talked to more teachers, counselors, mediators, police officers, and truancy officers, only to be threatened with jail, fines, and paying $50.00 every day my daughter didn’t go to school.

Hence, she said this summer “Mom, if I go to school I am going to be harassed, and bored.” So here we are. Homeschooling. She is also doing very, very well considering she is getting going everyday on her own (my work schedule currently offers me no other options). At night we do her math and science together, and anything she didn’t understand.

The problem became she was not doing simple assignments that I knew she was more than capable of doing, telling me she didn’t understand it, but also didn’t remember what it was she didn’t understand. Clever, huh?

So her new rules are if she has any questions, she has to write them down for me so I can read and understand what she is asking. For every assignment she completes, she will get 15 minutes of supervised computer time. For every assignment she doesn’t complete when I know she could, she will lose 15 minutes, even if she is currently at zero. (This girl loves to play plants vs. zombies).

I told her I will help her 6 hours a night if necessary, as long as I know she tried her best.

I also told her I love her, that she is smart, funny, clever, beautiful, talented, and important and she and I together can do this.

So here’s to crossing my fingers and hoping this is the motivation she needed.

Too Funny! (and no one would get hurt!)

Too Funny! (and no one would get hurt!)

The Joys of 4th Grade Parenting

Published October 29, 2013 by Angela

I do not know how I forget about this with each child passing through 4th grade.

I forgot again this year, until I heard it.

That squeaky-high-pitched-dog-bark-inducing sound of “Hot Cross Buns” on the recorder. Yep, it’s that time of year where the kids have to practice. Every. Single. Day. With this being my last of 4 girls to be in 4th grade, it is a relief to know I will not have to buy anymore recorders. I couldn’t even begin to count the number of lost and broken recorders that required a new purchase.

With that being said, I do enjoy my girls learning how to read music and being interested in playing an instrument. Soon enough, this too will be another memory of things my girls did but won’t do anymore.

Kind of sad, really.

Yummy Marshmallow Pillows

Published October 28, 2013 by Angela

This cold weather has put me in a mood for baking, which is normally so unlike me, this early into the “holiday” season. With the oh-so-many varieties of Jet-Puffed Marshmallows out this time of year, I couldn’t resist buying up a few bags 🙂 Fruit-flavored (and shaped), stackable plain or chocolate brownie flavor, the classic toasted coconut, and even gingerbread and pumpkin spice! These also make a great healthy, low-fat snack right out of the bag (always use caution with young children and marshmallows of any shape or size, a very dangerous and very real choking hazard!)

Yummy low-fat snacking

Yummy low-fat snacking


 

I bought some canned biscuit dough, rolled it out, tucked in a couple chocolate brownie marshmallows, and sealed them shut. After they were baked, according to package directions on the biscuits, I put a touch of butter and sprinkled some sugar on them. This is not necessary though as these are a yummy, pillow-filled sweetness all by themselves.

 

Seal them up good!

Seal them up good!

You know what marshmallows do in the microwave, right? Well, they do that in the oven as well. So make sure your edges are sealed, sealed, sealed. I probably should have taken pictures of my first batch that expanded and leaked all over the place 🙂 Put down a piece of parchment paper on your baking sheet for easy clean-up if they leak. My kids loved the leakers as much as the ones that held their pillow shape.

Hollowed, marshmallow sweetness!

Hollowed, marshmallow sweetness!

It’s Beginning to Feel A Lot Like Winter

Published October 24, 2013 by Angela

In Michigan. It snowed yesterday. It snowed today. It is going to snow tonight. And tomorrow. I had to look at my calendar to make sure it really truly is still October. I am going to head into this winter season with the best attitude possible, and enjoy it instead of fighting it 🙂

On another note; Halloween. One costume is bought. Another will settle for a $20.00 costume versus a $50.00 costume. She thinks she had a choice but (shhhhhhh), she really didn’t. The other just needs some colored hairspray and is making her costume. So I really could not buy my way out of Halloween this year, but it certainly isn’t due to effort, because I really, really tried!

I can 98.9% guarantee you what I will be hearing next Thursday though, when it is cold, wet, raining/snowing. “Can we take that 3 bags of candy and $30.00 deal now?”

Nope. That ship has sailed. That boat has sunk. That sled went down the hill. You get my point, right? 🙂

I will make this an awesome, amazing, fun Halloween. Now I just have to figure out how to get out of the hallowing and carving of 3 pumpkins 🙂

I know, I know. I am such a Halloween Scrooge!

The only carved pumpkin I care to deal with this year!

The only carved pumpkin I care to deal with this year!

Cabin Fever, In October :-(

Published October 22, 2013 by Angela

My girls seem to be bickering in their “it’s-cold-and-winter-and-we’re-stuck-in-the-house” attitudes, and it isn’t even November. Which means it’s time for me to get creative.

My girls get bored. Quickly and easily. I can take them to the craft store and get them anything they want, and after a couple hours, they are done with it. So my new strategy is taking them places that have been around their whole lives but they have not experienced yet. Unfortunately I get bored even faster than they do, so I may have to travel some distances to get them out of their element.

I have a feeling I need to get settled into what could likely be a long, cold, winter season with a smile on my face and bells on my shoes.

No, literally. It would likely take that much to get my girls to smile with their attitudes right now 🙂

 

This about sums it up! :-)

This about sums it up! 🙂

Was I wrong? Probably. Do I care? Probably Not.

Published October 19, 2013 by Angela

OK. I have to fess up to the fact that I tried (OK, I’m still trying) to buy my way out of trick-or-treating this year. Before you think I am a horrible Mother who is denying her girls memories that they will have for the rest of their lives etc. etc. let me explain a few things about Halloween for us.

In Michigan, there are 3 things that always happen on Halloween, some years in various combinations. 

1) It is hand-numbing cold (literally)

2) It is raining cats-and-dogs (almost literally)

3) It is snowing (snow-on-the-ground-your-lawn-is-now-white-snowing)

Now, I do not like being cold, ever. And neither do my girls. Or wet from rain. Again, that applies to all of us. I won’t even begin telling you how I feel about snow. They are also all under the impression that they have to have costumes that are about $50.00 each. Times 3 girls, and the make-up and accessories they need, we are looking at a couple hundred dollars. There are also not many neighborhoods anywhere near us where a lot of houses are giving out candy. Most houses are dark, with families out trick-or-treating themselves.

So my clever idea? I told them each they could get three bags of any kind of candy they wanted. 3 bags! EACH! I would also give them each $30.00 cash that they could spend on anything they wanted. Books, crafts, toys, anything they want. How could anyone turn down that deal. 3 bags of candy!! They would never get that much trick-or-treating.

Well, they did. I am still working on it, but they are bugging me to go get Halloween costumes tomorrow. And they are already predicting snow for next week.

Maybe I should just suck it up and go trick-or-treating, but I can already hear them complaining because they are cold, wet, they’re tired, their legs hurt, and they aren’t getting candy that they like.

Do you go trick-or-treating every year? Or do you have another tradition? Or do you just ignore Halloween all together? This is my favorite time of year, believe it or not, as long as I am inside looking at it through a window in a toasty warm home 🙂

 

 

Halloween Candy

Bob the Chicken has been Destroyed!

Published October 16, 2013 by Angela

Image How we managed to wreck a chicken that we had to let “rot” for 6 weeks is beyond me, but we did. I have to say I had no part in it (maybe that was the problem :-)) I have not been getting close as she has been in the kitchen scraping off the old salt mix and putting in the new. So I didn’t notice until yesterday when I dared to get close enough to get some pictures what she was doing. I noticed after the fact and I was looking at the pictures that she has Bob under the faucet, running water on him.

NOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!

He has to dry out, not get bathed!

No wonder he looks the same. Well, he’s kinda gray and nasty but he still looks like something you could buy from your local-shady-grocery-store. Ugghhh. And I cannot even begin to describe the smell that is radiating from him. 14 hours later, and I am pretty sure it has been burned into my sinus cavity.

And with that being said, curiosity has gotten the better of me. I think Bob is going to the trash, I am going to go get his brother Bill, and he is going to get a six week long salt bath.

You’re mad at me? Really???

Published October 15, 2013 by Angela

one-other-children-did-family-ecard-someecards

Because I won’t let you play a game on the laptop? Did you ever think that maybe I am mad at you for not doing any of your homework yesterday?

“But she got to have her turn on the computer yesterday!!!”

Me: “She went to school!!!”

And maybe I really didn’t feel like spending 3 hours reading a World History book to you when you could have had it done. Easily. But I did.

And why did I do it?

Yep! Because I love you 🙂 

(Yes, she had no response to that. Sometimes I enjoy making a point a bit too much, but I think it got across to her). If homework gets done today, she gets the laptop tonight.

I have a sneaking suspicion this is going to be a non-issue for me today 🙂 I may get the hang of this homeschooling yet!