teaching

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So This Is What We Are Going To Do Today?

Published November 11, 2013 by Angela

Day 8 of work is out of the way for me, only 11 more straight to go until I get a day off. So Yes, I am a little tired due to a lack of sleep yesterday with Church and other things.

But what am I listening to? My 9 year old, crying (ok, sobbing uncontrollably) because I threw out her Spring jacket the other day.

Why did I throw out her Spring Jacket? Because I tried to hand it to her, and once again, she said “No, it’s too small and I don’t like it.” So I threw it away.

This jacket has literally been hanging on my coat rack for over 3 years, and every single time I have tried to get her to wear it, she refused. I have honestly NEVER seen her wear this jacket. Not once. So for the life of me I cannot figure out why she has blown an emotional gasket over a jacket she hated. I’m tired; she’s crying; and only one of us can win this argument.

Which means she is getting dressed, and putting on her winter coat since it will be snowing when she leaves school, and she is going to school. And I am going to bed.

And how is your Monday? 🙂

If You Can’t Beat ‘Em, Join ‘Em

Published November 9, 2013 by Angela

After tossing the idea around in my head for a while, and figuring now is as good a time as any, I sent in my application to begin working on my MBA. I had promised a few people I would NOT take any classes in 2013, and I kept that promise. If accepted, my classes begin January 2nd, 2014 🙂

This thought excites and terrifies me at the same time. Is it too much? Can I maintain the GPA I need for my company to pick up the tab? Can I keep up with Erin homeschooling when she gets behind so quickly?

My own doubts have always been my biggest enemy, and have kept me from too many opportunities and experiences than I care to count. So I am going to do what seems to have become a habit for me lately, and just go with my gut instinct.

I am hoping that me studying at the table with Erin will help motivate her to try harder, and not have the opposite effect and make things more difficult for both of us.

How fun would that have been? Perfect for me!

How fun would that have been? Perfect for me!

P.S.-To my oldest who is likely reading this, don’t panic, it will be OK! 🙂  (the last 2 degrees were a bit of a challenge)

I Owe You An Apology!!!

Published November 7, 2013 by Angela

I owe some of you an apology for my previous post! I feel like I said some things without explaining my point enough which as I thought about it throughout the day I realized I likely offended others.

I believe that being a stay-at-home Mom is the toughest job in the world. I have done it for short periods of time, and it is the one job that a woman can never, ever leave and go “home” from. My 50-60 hours I work a week is nothing compared to how much I would be working if I never left my home.

I have nothing but the utmost respect and admiration for women (and stay-at-home Dads!) who have this career. I have never had the opportunity to be a stay-at-home Mom due to circumstances beyond my control, so I am just accustomed to finding sitters and leaving my home for work.

So if I offended any of you, PLEASE accept my sincerest apologies.

Now I am just going to go sit over here in the corner and chew on my foot that I put in my mouth for awhile!

Did I Really Just Think That?

Published November 6, 2013 by Angela

OK, I can’t even believe I am going to fess up to this, but I will. I told myself that when I started my blog (2 actually) that I would be straight-forward, honest, and not hold back.

So, as I continue to work through this homeschooling with my 12 year old, and after several hours of going over homework last night, the following is what I thought to myself:

“Well, maybe I can teach her how to cook and she will meet a nice Doctor and make an excellent housewife.”

Yes, I thought that to myself. Yes, I felt bad after I thought it. I know I was thinking it to myself half in jest, but just half.

Now, before anyone decides to get all righteous on me and tell me how many steps down the ladder I just threw women all over the world, let me explain what goes on in MY house.

Single parent, 4 daughters aged 21 down to 9 years old. The majority of their lives have been spent with me raising them alone, with the exception of my oldest who has an active, loving relationship with her father. Heck, I still go to his family’s birthday and holiday parties, summer cook-outs, and drop in for a visit when I’m nearby J Now, I certainly did not ever start out planning on raising 4 daughters alone. But stuff happens, mistakes get made, and lives change.

As a single parent, I do NOT get child support for my 3 youngest children whom are still at home. I do not get ANY assistance from my city or state in the way of paying for my home, food, or utilities. I am very blessed to have an amazing job with one of the largest companies in the world for over 17 years. I love my job; I love to work. I would have settled for a househusband as well, but that never panned out either 🙂

I have worked my way through college getting 2 degrees while working full time and raising my girls. However, it was never my intention to be a teacher. If I wanted to be a teacher, I would have went to college to be a teacher.

Now, with that being said, I also knew from 3 previous years’ experience that my 12 year old was not going to get up on a daily basis and go to school.

You’re saying– “Just make her go, you’re the adult!!”

Mmm-hmmm.

It doesn’t work that way. I have threatened, punished, physically put her in my car and drove her to school (she got out of the car and ran home). Called the school principal, teachers, counselors, superintendent of school, asking for ideas and help. I’ve called the police and had a state police officer stand in my house for 45 minutes and he could not get her to go to school (He told me she needs her behind whipped). She is on medication, she goes to therapy, I cry and get stressed out because I do not know what to do with her.

So I homeschool. I don’t get threatened with fines and jail time anymore, and she is learning.

It works for her, so I am making it work for me. I would do anything for any one of my girls, which I have shown time and again, usually without them even knowing it. But I am also smart enough to realize school and college are just not motivating to everyone in the world. She has a purpose and destiny in life, and it is my job and responsibility to help her find out what that is so she can nurture that and grow in it. Who knows, maybe she is meant to be a stay-at-home Mom and take care of her husband, raise children, and homeschool. Or maybe she is the next CEO of a major corporation who just hasn’t found her motivation yet.

What I do know is that she is important. She matters, she has a purpose, and she will make a difference. In her own, special, unique way. And I also know that I will be proud of her no matter what path she decides to take in life.

 

What I do when Everyone is asleep but me!

Published November 4, 2013 by Angela

I really enjoy my quiet time when my girls are all sleeping and I have the house to myself for several hours. Yesterday it was laundry and cleaning. This morning, 6 loaves of homemade banana bread. My house smells amazing!

Ingredients

Ingredients

Normally I use pre-mixes when making anything, but I have been getting back into the habit of taking my time cooking things, whether it be dinner, snacks, or desserts. This bread was a hit with my girls; it was super-moist and delicious. I did not have walnuts, and since I did not feel like going to the store at 6am, I used the sliced almonds I had on hand instead. The girls said it was a nice change that made it better!

The finished bread, soft, warm, and the butter melts right in!

The finished bread, soft, warm, and the butter melts right in!

This is definitely a recipe I will use again, it was super easy, I had everything on hand (yeah, yeah, yeah, except for the walnuts) it was quick and the clean-up was easy. Continue reading here for the recipe Read the rest of this entry →

That wasn’t so bad :-)

Published November 1, 2013 by Angela

For me at least! I was in a toasty warm car, while my girls were in the torrential downpour (that is only a wee bit of an exaggeration). The wind was blowing so hard that their umbrellas turned inside out!

Halloween 2013, done and in the bag!

Half of my girls!

Half of my girls!

How was your Halloween weather?

 

Hoping everyone got lots of treats and no tricks!

 

This should keep them awake for a few days!

This should keep them awake for a few days!

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!