Friday, November 25, 2011

Thanksgiving Dinner

It is time to admit's taken 37 years, but I have to just say it.......I do NOT like Thanksgiving food!! I know, I is un-american of me to say, but it is what it is!!

Every year I have a turkey, convinced that this is the year it will taste good....and every year I end up throwing most of it away. I do not like the way it tastes. I was discussing this dilemma with Matt yesterday (on Thanksgiving day) and he had a brilliant idea.

From Thanksgiving 2012 on, we will be doing an international Thanksgiving meal. The idea: We put different nationalities on pieces of paper, put the names in a bag, and pull out a name and that will be our dinner. In fact, we will plan out the next several Thanksgivings this way....put them in my phone calendar.

So, here it is:

Thanksgiving 2012: Greek
Thanksgiving 2013: Mexican
Thanksgiving 2014: English (not American)
Thanksgiving 2015: Italian
Thanksgiving 2016: Chinese
Thanksgiving 2017: Irish
Thanksgiving 2018: German
Thanksgiving 2019: French
Thanksgiving 2020: Russian

I am REALLY excited and a bit bummed. I wish we had thought of this a couple weeks ago!! How fun it would have been to start now!! Oh well, it's something to look forward to.

No changes will be done for Christmas dinner. We do a southern style meal that I LOVE (as does Matt): honey glazed ham, homemade southern style green beans, homemade macaroni and cheese, rolls and a homemade cheesecake!! YUM-O!!

So, no more turkey for me, thank you very much (well, I must admit, I love the turkey legs at Disney World....and the yummy turkey sold at bbq restaurants.....).

Friday, November 4, 2011

It's been a YEAR!!

Well, to be honest, it's been a bit over a year. What can I say, life gets nuts and the next thing you know, you realize that the year mark passed and you missed it. Recently, I realized that it had been a year and a half since we got our dog, Rocky. A couple days ago, I realized it had been a little over a year since Sierra decided that she wanted to be homeschooled. I will not rehash the whole story behind her desire to be can read about it here.

So, here we are now, a year later. Sierra is now in Jr. In this year, there has not even been one moment of thought with either of us that this was a wrong decision. Matt would, at times, ask if we should put her back in school...we had some ups and downs in our adjustment period. But, even in the lowest lows, I never questioned whether or not this was the best choice for her.

I would not, in any way, call her 6th grade year a successful year. It was rather crazy as we learned the ins and outs of curriculum that works and curriculum that doesn't. Much of the curriculum I bought did not suit her...which I understand is an advantage to homeschooling, you can tailor make their education to one that suits their needs. It was a hard lesson because as great as that sounds, the wallet may argue with it.

Time management was another hurdle to be jumped. She had gone to school for so many years and was used to an order that was given to her without her input...and now she was able to tailor her schedule to fit her needs and it threw her off. She would take advantage of the freedom and make poor choices in her schooling. She learned, though, that this was NOT going to go over well with her new principal. :-D

The other big issue we had to deal with was socialization. It wasn't too long after she left school that she decided she wanted to have a clean break from her friends from public school...I had nothing to do with that decision. She felt that they were dragging her down and she wanted to be with like-minded friends...finding such friends would prove difficult.

First off, we could not join any support groups until a couple months later because of the holidays and such. Once we joined, we found the resoures limiting. We signed up for a couple field trips, but never was there one that provided a possible friend for her. One of the groups we joined had a tween group, but the meetings were at an impossible time. AND, Sierra did not like the way her age group at church was handled and stopped going to it...opting, instead, to go with us. That #2 on our list of homeschooling rules was quickly not being fulfilled. I felt strongly that something must change.

Lucky for us, something did change. We went to one of our support group's ice skating party and a girl came forward and started talking to Sierra...a girl Sierra's exact age and this girl was a lot like Sierra. Sierra was feeling so awkward that day as she had just gotten her braces as well as an expander in her mouth and could not talk well...but this girl didn't mind (why would she). In that last hour of the party, I saw my daughter come to life and I LITERALLY had tears of JOY and was silently praising Jesus for this girl...though I had NO idea if anything would happen beyond that day. Well, here we are at the beginning of November, and Sierra and that girl are the best of friends...they are currently having a double sleepover (tonight her house, tomorrow night ours) and Sierra is H-A-P-P-Y!!

Added to that, Sierra moved on to the bigger age group at church (Student Ministries) where she has found a place she LOVES and belongs. She has also gained a couple other girlfriends.

This school year marked her 7th grade year. It is a much more organized and regimented year than her previous year. She is doing Bible, Social Studies, Texas History, Language Arts, Science and French with Switched On Schoolhouse which is a computer based curriculum that keeps all her records as well as schedules out her work for her. She LOVES it. She completed 6th grade math with Teaching Textbooks halfway through 6th grade and began 7th grade math after that. She is on track to finish 7th grade Math in Teaching Textbooks and start Pre-Algebra at the beginning of 2012.

In public school, she pulled in a couple As and some good, strong Bs. This year, 7th Grade, she is pulling in straight As. It is not a weak is quite advanced from what I can tell. She has had to write about 7 reports and has several projects to do. She has an upcoming astronomy project involving charting constellations. To say I am proud of my daughter would be a severe understatement. I am an UBERproud mama. She is more confident in herself and her abilities. She went from shaking in terror at the thought of a test, to easily sitting and taking tests without fear.....and making high As every time. She is excelling in every way and tells me ALL the time how HAPPY she is being homeschooled.

And at the end of that original blog highlighted above, "A Cry for Help", I mentioned Daniel's love of school and his excelling at school.....and how, for now, he would stay in school. Well, he finished Kindergarten and started 1st grade....but I am pleased beyond pleased that he is now being homeschooled and LOVING it. He asked for it because school was just too slow for him. He was not interested in coloring. He was interested in learning. He loves to write and he loves geography...and he loves to now be home.

I lost my "me time", but I gained multiple hugs from my kids...and the sound of laughter all day long....the shouts of joy when a quiz is complete with a score of 98 or above....the thumping of excitement as my son runs into his sister's room to share what he just learned. It has been a bit over a year and the only, ONLY regret I have about any of this homeschooling stuff is........I wish I had started earlier with Sierra. But, it is not the past, but the present and future that we look to, and the present and future are goooooooooooooooooood!!