Friday, December 28, 2012

Mixtures, Exponents and Real Numbers, OH MY!

Maybe you haven't dealt with those topics since you were in high school or college. 

I haven't either.  Most of my math these days has been consumer math (well and elementary arithmetic.)  But you see... I need three more math credits (among other things) to complete my bachelor's degree.

So during almost every "free" (keep laughing) moment possible you can find me with a calculator, pencil and looooots of scrap paper working on another Algebra class.

It's real fun, y'all. 

Said no one ever.

Brandon rolls his eyes at me when I fuss at the computer because it tells me I am WRONG! *cough, cough* math nerd *cough, cough* while he is buried in a business book.

Yup.. we are officially nuts. 

Add it to the list of reasons why. 


Thursday, December 20, 2012


Knowing I have five children, maybe that title scared you.  LOL! 

Anyway, I could write a long whiny post on any number of things going on right now (the house hunt from hell, being jerked around by the school system, how half of our belongings are still boxed because I am as stupid optimist and we thought we'd be a house but I won't.  Oh oops.. a little bitter spilled out there.

Anyway... I thought I would blog about my favorites.

My favorite moment in the last week:

Xander had a speech evaluation by the school system.. (blah blah blah..refraining from rehashing more nonsense here...)  ANYWAY.  They tested his articulation (poor but we knew that from our private testing too.  He drops letters in all positions of his words.) Then they tested his vocabulary. 

Brandon observed while texting me.  (I was home with the other four.)  He said that the test seemed very, very long. 

He asked the speech pathologist how the vocabulary test went once it was over.  She looked up from her papers and said, "I stopped testing him at the 2nd grade level but he truly didn't miss enough for me to stop.  I figured that would tell us enough."

Brandon sent me a text saying they stopped at 2nd grade.  Confused, I reminded him our oldest son is three.  I asked him if he meant the TWO YEAR old level.

No.. 2nd grade.  So his vocabulary level is at least 2nd grade.

I beamed for the rest of the day.  And not because of some crazy score.  When I had time to dig deeper I realized that it was a sense of feeling justified. 

You see, I go to these meetings where I hear the most ludicrous reasons why we are struggling with Xander and our parenting and school choices have come under fire on more than one occasion. 

"You homeschool your older children?  Well.. then you MUST lack structure.  By the way, Mrs. B, do you have a degree in elementary education?"  (NOTE: A degree is NOT required to homeschool in the state of Virginia.) 

The childish part of me wants to stick out my tongue and tell them that surely I must be doing something right.  The mature part of me tells me that what they think doesn't really matter in the long run.  Audience of One, Steph.. audience of One. 


Xander has once again proven that God can do anything in our lives.  I was once "warned" that he may not ever talk. 


2nd grade...

My favorite picture from this week:

Checking each other out? 

Or a mischief plotting session?

My favorite thing a kiddo said: 

Julianne TOTALLY butchered the word "triscuits."  It sounded like "Bwi-sticks."  Finally I asked her to describe them.  Once I figured out what she was asking for, I marked her down as completing a "descriptive project" in Language Arts. 

What?  You never had an assignment to describe something while your partner had to guess the objects? 


Friday, December 14, 2012

A Groundhog Day Life

I've had a lot of "headtime" around here.  "Headtime" is time lost in my thoughts in deep introspection.  I'm not sure I can explain it in a way that makes sense to all of my readers.  But I'm going to try! 

I'm stuck.  I'm in a rut.  My everyday is currently like that movie, Groundhog Day.  Everyday is the exact same with just a few minor changes.  Part of that is just the season I'm in with young children.  Part of it is because we have chosen to homeschool our children. 

And part of it is coping with Xander, who cannot handle lots of changes, right now.  The tiniest change in our day creates absolute CHAOS. 

I've lost me, somewhere along the way.  Maybe that sounds like an exaggeration.  Or maybe it sounds selfish.  Trust me, I've battled those same thoughts on my own. 

But there are many days that I do nothing for myself other than a simple shower. 

I'm sure some of my readers are all, "Suck it up, Cupcake!  You chose this."  And my answer to this is: Yes.  I chose to be a mother to five beautiful amazing people.  I chose to become a wife.  I chose to become a stay at home mom and a homeschooler.  Absolutely.  But I think that there can be a balance in there somewhere. 

It's the balance that I'm seeking. 

So I've started to think about things that I can do for myself to differentiate each day.

I've realized that part of my struggle is because I feel like things don't "stay done."  What I mean by that is that most of my tasks each day are never ending. 

Fed everyone breakfast?  Great.  Now do it again for lunch.. And dinner... and tomorrow start all over again. 

Laundry?  Never ending.

Cleaning?  Never ending.

Homeschooling is a little different.  The completion is so minute some days.  I do feel a sense of accomplishment at the end of the year but in the very same moment, my mind switches to the thought that I have X number of years left to homeschool this one child.. and then I go to the thought that I haven't even begun to start homeschooling the boys.  The big picture seems daunting.  I have approximately 18 more years of homeschooling ahead of me if we continue to homeschool through high school for all of our children, and that is if Isaiah is our last child.  *gulp*  See how easy it is to lose sight of the small accomplishments? 

I'm trying to figure out what I'd like to accomplish.  What would be helpful and not add additional stress to my family and myself?  I don't know.  But I know something has to change. 


PS:  We are going to look at FOUR more houses tomorrow.  We did three last Saturday (one was absolutely ick-tastic!!!!) and one on Wednesday, bringing us to a total of EIGHT in 7 days.  Please pray we find THE house soon!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Annual Christmas Breakfast

This past Saturday was AMAZING. 

It was our regularly scheduled respite weekend but this time they had their annual Christmas Breakfast.

We arrived around 9:30 and enjoyed french toast sticks, egg and sausage bake, sausage, fruit salad and applesauce. 

Around 10am (when the program normally starts) Santa came!  But y'all!  This wasn't just "a" Santa.  This was a very special one.

First, because we were all among families that have children with special needs, no one batted an eye when my Xander had a mini meltdown when we were trying to wait our turn!  We didn't have to stand confined in a line because they would call just a couple families at a time. 

When we got to see Santa, he had a present for each of the children. Yup, all five.  I may or may not have forwarded some lists. 

DeLainey was gifted a Boxcar Children Book that she hadn't read and a Barnes and Noble giftcard.
Julianne got a Baby Alive that comes with hairstyling clips and pretend scissors (that do not cut.) 
Xander received two wooden puzzles (dinosaurs and safari.) 
Solomon received stacking/nesting cups that also had a shape sorter. 
Isaiah received some teething toys/rattles. 

And each of the children had time to open their present in front of Santa and thank him.  And they did that as a photographer snapped pictures. 

This was very, very different than say, taking your kiddos to the mall to see Santa and spending 2 seconds, them snapping *a* picture and herding you along while charging you $40 for your one picture.

After the Santa visit, Brandon and I took Solomon and Isaiah to do some Christmas shopping.  They are safe to shop in front of still. 

It was a great day.  But can I tell you my very favorite part?  When we were eating breakfast, we were joined by Xander's "buddy."  Because he does not do well with his routines being changed and has difficulty transitioning, they try to keep him paired with the same buddy each month.  Christa is a young, married adult but has no children.  And she is fabulous with my boy!  He really responds well to her and she is patient, gentle and kind!  I really treasured her taking an interest in not only serving our family every month this way, but she really wanted to get to know us better too. 

This whole program has really blessed us.  We come back after our few hours away refreshed, renewed and re-connected. 

Lord, bless this program.  Bless each of the volunteers that sacrifice part of their Saturday to help families like mine.  Thank you for giving us such an amazing opportunity in this.  And bless the three buddies that are paired with Xander, Julianne and DeLainey.  I am humbled by each buddy pouring out into each of the children in the program and their attempting to understand each circumstance along with personalities and likes and dislikes. 


Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Wacky Wednesday: A Mish Mash Mini Update

Today the children and I enjoyed a very mismatched lunch trying to finish up the last of some leftovers. 

So I'll continue the theme. 

Here are some mini-updates so I can tie up some loose ends. 

1.  Our bid was countered with a completely ludicrous price.  I mean, we offered full listing.  What was lost in communication was that the bank doing the short sale hadn't approved the list price.  Would have been nice to know that ohh.. 30 days ago.

Our buyer's agent agreement expired and we changed realtors.  We've gotten quite aggressive with our hunting and scheduling house showing.  Two more this Saturday but from the outside I have a favorite!

2.  Xander is sleeping again.  Most of his sleep is in our bed.. but whatever.  I'll share my king sized bed and let him snuggle.  I'm happy to be catching up on my sleep. 

3.  We are not putting up our huge tree with breakable ornaments this year.  Three, three and under and one that can scale a gate in ohhh 2 seconds flat?  Uh uh.  I have a trick up my sleeve. 

4.  I went shopping for myself ALONE for the first time in years.  I mean, I was on the couch but I shopped without input and not buy just looking at clearance and sorting the price to show lowest first.  I read a fashion book and made a little list and have been slowly choosing things for my wardrobe.  Why has it been so long?  I've been unhappy with my weight then pregnant/nursing. Being unhappy with my weight has created a ridiculous cycle of not wanting to dress better... back to not being happy with my weight. 

It's time.

5.  I am looking forward to the respite program this Saturday and the next.  I've already marked my calendar with all the Saturdays that are respite Saturdays.  I'll try my best not to cry as we pull away this time.  *halfsmile*

6.  A sweet friend of mine has officially announced that they are adopting!

7.   I am a HUGE Carly Rose Sonenclar fan.  She gave me chills in last night's performance!