Monday, August 31, 2009

Life, because that is what it is!

I know it is irrational...

So, I have this anxiety issue... I've had it for... um forever. What is it... doing anything in front of people on my own. I deplore speaking, reading, playing, anything... in front of people if I'm the only one doing it.

I was in ballet for several (early) years... totally fine, dancing in a group. Drama, acting with an ensemble in junior high also totally fine. Cheerleader in junior/high school... also fine, I was with my squad. Band... fine as long as I was just one in the section, not so fine during chair tests. Now, I usually did just fine, placing in the top few seats... but my nerves, um NOT GOOD!

Why am I even bringing this up... tonight at rehearsal, our new (and cool) band master is holding sectionals instead of our normal full rehearsal. That means all the woodwinds (flutes, clarinets, and saxes together... brass later in the evening) will be working with the conductor... and that means really getting down to the nitty gritty of the music... which means listening very carefully to each one of us... ALONE, in front of the rest of the section. And as ridiculous (for a 30 year old who's been playing since she was in 7th grade) as it sounds those exact same anxious feelings from high school band have made their way back into my jitty stomach and fingers!

Honey, if you're reading this... do think we can stop and get me a drink (just a dp) on the way to settle my nerves :-)?

Day One...

So far so good. Everyone is finishing up the last of their work for today (I take the first week kind of slow to get everyone back into the groove)... ahhhhhh, feels good to be back in the swing of it.

Oh, and it is 75 degrees out... windows up and life is good!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Bean's first picnic

This was the best weather we've had in months, so we went off to the Garden for a picnic.

Bean loves the fresh air:

Isn't MommaLlama's new haircut cute?:

A couple of Jedi knights showed up:

Friday, August 28, 2009


Okay people, it's time to get serious... we are starting our school year on MONDAY. I'm am super excited to get things moving. The boys need more structure in their day... they spend way to much time arguing with one another, or being frustrated for one reason or another!

Plus, I'm super excited to get moving on all the new stuff. Snooker starts grammar this year. We are adding memory work (poetry and scripture), and Latin! Bubba starts vocabulary, and Bobcat's vocabulary is more involved for him.

This weekend will be spent getting books spiral bound, making year 4 spelling word flash cards, and going over my lesson plans a few more times to make sure I didn't leave any holes where important stuff should be.

I guess I'm getting older?

Over the last year or so I've noticed that my clothing has started to change... well maybe even further back than that... but recently it has become more deliberate on my part. Back in the day I would just throw on a t-shirt and shorts and not really worry too much about my actual appearance. Then we brought the boys home, and I realized that there were times and places people were actually watching my family and I needed to do a better job representing my family and even the vocations of motherhood/homeschooling/adoption.

And now, well, it's sort of strange. I now actually see myself as a mom (that has taken a while), and the way I look and think about myself has changed. Shorts are fine for working around the house, or an errand where I probably won't get out of the car... but I've found myself now not wanting to be seen in public with shorts on (very often). It has nothing to do with my figure or anything like that, it has more to do with a since of modesty that is more pronounced than it was before. Now, don't get me wrong, I've never been one to fall on the immodest side. I don't care for showing skin... but this is different. This is more of, I'm a grown-up with grown-up things to do, and shorts are for kids or for working.

Why am I even posting about this? Um, I guess because I thought it was interesting to me to actually put two and two together on my recent clothes choices. Have any of you ladies noticed a change in how you perceive yourself and changes to wardrobe because of it? Or MAYBE it is the lack of sleep talking :-).

Thursday, August 27, 2009


Or lack there of... A few weeks ago we had one GLORIOUS week of sleep. He would go to sleep around 10pm and not wake up till around 5:30am when our alarm was going off. Then he spent a weekend with my parents, and since then he hasn't slept a single night all the way through. This normally would be that big of a deal if would have gone back to his normal 4 hour interval at night... nope, he is now up every TWO HOURS! I'm not sure why this is the case, I guess I'm blaming it on the fact that he is teething and is pretty congested... but goodness gracious, I'm really starting to run out of steam!

Oh, and another weird thing... he used to be able to sleep in the most chaotic of noises... now just the A/C kicking on will startle him out of slumber! This has lead to naps during the day only last about 30 minutes tops. Really only way to get anything more than that is for him to sleep on me!

Not that I would change anything about the little guy, but I kind of thought that since we are coming up on his 5th month we would have moved a little further down the sleep curve by now!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Snookie turns 7!

Well it's that time of year again here at the ole barnyard... BIRTHDAY SEASON... First up is the SNOOKIE MONSTER. My little guy... uggghhhh... my baby... celebrated his 7th birthday (well, technically it will be on Wednesday, but the family gathering was yesterday). Following custom, I've put together a little timeline (backwards)...
and his first party ever with us... 2!

Ephesians 5

That "controversial" reading came up this Sunday, and it occurred to me once again that I'm so glad I married a woman who isn't offended by Ephesians 5. I assure you, she is not a dominated or submissive woman. She knows that we are equal partners, and that we each have unique roles in our family.

Friday, August 21, 2009

I thought I would leave you this week with two pictures...
Tummy TimeAnd this is the sort of thing that a Snooker will build when he is left alone without any brothers bothering him when he is trying to concentrate!
Next week is Snookie's birthday... my baby will be turning 7! So this weekend is a family party and birthday adventure... There maybe a post somewhere in all the mix... but don't hold your breath. I'll be back next week with pics!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

2 weeks to go!

Phew, for the most part I'm done with the major portion of my lesson plans for the fall semester! I still need to work in feast day information, make my final decision on history/bible study, and enter in my Latin and Math plan. I know it seems like a lot left to do, but honestly it really is a small portion compared to what I was able to work through this weekend.

Hopefully this week I will be able to flesh out the plans for those things that I have already (math, latin, feasts), and make a list for a few things I still need (as far as school supplies go).

I consider this a huge accomplishment considering the fact that a new baby was added to our lives without really any warning or prep time! Speaking of babies... since Bean is sweetly napping... back to planning I must go :-).

Sunday, August 16, 2009

random tidbits

I decided to find several old high school friends on facebook recently. Wow, what a bunch of nerds I hung out with. I mean that as a compliment. They're ridiculously successful. I still refuse to join. That's a whole 'nother rant for another day. But I may lurk through my wife's login more often.

Pomegranite liqueur with 7-up or ginger ale is awesome. Yes, it's a girl drink. Don't judge me.

Bobcat has read all 20 books required to go to Uno's. Remember Book-It from elementary school? We're doing a home made version of that. They all read quite often, but to get a check mark, they have to read it to a parent, so that we can make sure they are actually reading everything correctly. We are not forcing this on them. There is no designated reading time. They have to initiate it on their own. We collectively scored about three points the first couple of weeks. But the goal is in sight, so they are starting to pick up some momentum. Snookie... has read eight so far. I think the peer pressure will help motivate him. Bubba only has three to go (and is begging me to come listen to him right now).

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Blog Makeover

I want to say a huge thank you to Mud Duck Studio! Allison did an amazing job, and was wonderful to work with. If you are looking for a new look, PLEASE head over to her website and give her your business (you might even get a free makeover depending on when you head over there!).

Friday, August 14, 2009


Check out this story from the Cardinal Newman Society:

EEOC Violates Religious Liberty By Forcing Catholic College to Provide Insurance for Contraceptives

The allegation was that, "“By denying prescription contraception drugs, Respondent [Belmont Abbey College] is discriminating based on gender because only females take oral prescription contraceptives. By denying coverage, men are not affected, only women,” wrote Reuben Daniels Jr. in his determination as the EEOC Charlotte District Office Director."

I think that's ridiculous. The real outrage is that there are no oral contraceptives available for men! Joking, of course.

I was once taught that they started to develop such a thing, but early tests showed potential concerns regarding E.D. and other side effects. Development was immediately suspended. Meanwhile, dozens of women died in trials for The Pill, and ads still warn of side effects including nausea, bleeding, and stroke. They don't dare mention breast cancer. And, oh yeah, accidental abortions.

It is ironic that so-called feminists promote these dangerous chemical contraceptives for women. It's the men who are getting off scott-free when a woman chooses to neuter herself so that she can be more promiscuous.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Are they trying to tell me something?

I'm starting to wonder if psychologically my boys are trying to tell me they are ready for school to get started for this term...?

We've taken to a new method of, um, redirection for lack of a better term: sentences! Do something against the rules, and you get to write sentences! Let's just say that there has be a great deal of writing this week... last week... the week before that...

Just from this week each boy had to write 10 pages of:
"I will not play in bed."

Then Bubba had to add an additional 10 pages of (which he is still working on since he's decided that he doesn't really want to do it, so he mostly just stares at the lines that aren't writing themselves):
"I will not spit on my brother's bed and lie."

And then just this morning Bobcat started 2 pages of:
"I will not take food out of the trash."
Of course this comes after he had to write a letter on Monday when he got into more trouble during his last sentence writing event... because he decided to eat a peach that was sitting on the table instead of working on his sentences.

I think they are looking for more desk time, don't you. Maybe we shouldn't wait till the 31st to start our school year!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Teach Bean to Read in 10 Easy Steps!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


Alright, now that we've hit #900 posts here at the barnyard (holy canoli)... let's talk shop!

Homeschooling to be exact... I, um, have this thing, um, for... organization. It is an illness that I fully admit too... and there is probably a 12 step program I should join! But I digress. Every year I go out in search of the perfect planner/organizer thing-a-majig... only to come home with something I only partially like, or completely emptied handed and in need of a strong drink. Last year I decided to just create one on my own, spreadsheet style... but to be honest it was left lacking in a way that I just couldn't put my finger on. Then comes this year. Now life is even more, um, unpredictable with a baby in house (and the situation still so far up in the air, we simply don't know what our life will look like any given week)... and again I went in search of a planner/organizer in which to run my schooling, but this time I took to the internet... Because let's face it, with a baby in tow, it is difficult to hit all the stores in one day that we could before (in a reasonable amount of time).

Anyway... this brings me to what I found... Homeschool Tracker. (Oh, first I should point out that they in no way asked me to do this, or even know that I'm writing about their product.) I downloaded the free version to see if I even liked it. So far I'm totally digging it. It is a little time consuming when entering in certain assignments that don't necessarily follow a pattern (there is a great feature that can automatically set things in a certain incremental arrangement that is super handy and fast), but this really is no different when you having to do everything by hand.

If you are looking into trying something new this year, like having things on the computer (you can make print outs as well), and like keeping detailed records... I would check it out! Heck and it is free. There is a premium version for $49, but since I don't have to submit paperwork to the state and don't need a detailed transcript for college yet... the free one is perfect for my application.

Monday, August 10, 2009


That is the number of this post! How appropriate to say good-bye to his twenties before we roll over to such a large and round number! That's right, my young husband has now joined the ranks of the 30 somethings!

The 4th was spent with our boys, Bean, Daddio's mother and grandmother. While we were celebrating this momentous occasion, we were also remembering 5 years ago on this date when the boys spent the night with us the first time (what a way to spend your 25th birthday... with your new sons in the backyard on the slip and slide... oh, the memories).

So to my dearest husband... here's to 30 more!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Mommy and Snookie, five years

Five more years and I bet he'll be taller without her having to bend down!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Snookie and the "pop freezie"

Saturday, August 1, 2009

5 years

August 1, 2004. Almost-a-Momma-Llama and I woke up in Indiana. We were there to attend the Big Fake Wedding. We got to the airport in Dayton, OH, at 6:30 AM, and sat on the runway for two hours before taking off, due to weather. Then we flew to Chicago O'Hare where we, of course, missed our connection. We got on standby for the next flight, and missed it. The next five were looking pretty unlikely as well. So we took a cab across town to Midway airport, and waited another couple hours to fly home. Pulled into the driveway around midnight, looked around our formerly huge and empty house, and went to bed. Didn't sleep a wink. Pulled out the photos for the millionth time. Tomorrow we would meet our boys for the first time!