Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thanksgiving 2012

We had a really nice time at Mom's for Thanksgiving.  There were around 20 of us including my younger brother, sister's family, and Grandma.  Lots of good food and games!
The Table

Mom & Grandma

Our Two Nephews
My Sister and Her Family

Kylen, Greg, and Dad

Happy Thanksgiving!!

I wish I could think of something truly profound, poetic, or inspirational to write.  I'll just say that I am incredibly thankful for many things today, not the least of which is my Lord, family, and good health.  I am grateful that my husband has a job in this tough economy and that for the most part we still enjoy many of the benefits of freedom.  I am thankful that we are able to homeschool.  I am thankful for a holiday that helps us to pause for a moment during this busy season and reflect on all that we are thankful for.

Now please excuse me, as I prepare to enjoy the blessings of a traditional Thanksgiving feast.  :-)

Monday, November 19, 2012

My Life: October and November Editions

Obviously, I haven't had much time to stop and stare!  I would have liked to blog steadily 12 months solid, but these two have been exhausting (as always), and I barely took any pictures!  Here's some of what we've been up to:

We've been making progress on our basement slowly but surely.  The electrical was finally finished and inspected.  The bathroom has been insulated.  Our friend is working on framing and cabinets.  The inspector is due back later this week, a sheetrock team should be coming in the next two weeks, and we have a painter lined up.  Then our friend will  finish up doors, trim, and such.  We still need to pick carpeting and paint, but we are for sure going with light blue on the walls.  Our goal is to have the main room done by mid-January.  The guest room, office, and bath will be completed later.

When I haven't been preparing for our co-op's Christmas party, it's often on my mind.  The theme "An Old-Fashioned Christmas" kept popping up in my head, so that's what I went with!  I'm planning a costume contest in the hopes that some will come dressed from the past.  There will be a scripture recitation, potluck, slideshow, classic games, vintage-style crafts, and a yo-yo competition.  130 people are signed up.  I'm looking forward to it, but I probably won't plan something this elaborate annually - too stressful!

Last Month
Greg and I attended a meeting about homeschooling high school.  Our co-op leader generously welcomed those interested into her home and gave us a large dose of encouragement along with lots of info.  I now feel better about preparing Kylen for college!

We set aside some of our subjects the last week of October to learn about voting, most of which centered on the special "Election Collection" through God's World News.  I have really been impressed with their magazine.  They cover a wide variety of topics from a Biblical perspective and do a good job of keeping the articles engaging.  It's been neat seeing their presentation of stories I saw in the news.  Reading a couple pages each day has definitely been one of the highlights of our school.

The last day of co-op was the 29th.  I thought I would get some down time, but instead I've been working on my to-do list almost nonstop.

For Halloween, we dressed up and answered our door like usual.  Kylen and I were ninjas, and Greg was a samurai.  He got really into it and made his own wooden shoes.  He could buy a costume, but he LOVES to make one.  Kylen and I had the sense to go store bought.  In fact, Kylen just used one of his past costumes even though we were willing to purchase a new one!

Two Weeks Ago
We actually managed a couple evening field trips as a family.  One was to a planetarium.  They start out showing a digital reproduction of that night's sky and follow with a video.  It was pretty cool, and we decided to go again since there are four different videos.  We also saw the CYT Idaho performance of Beauty and the Beast.  I'm always amazed at the quality of those shows when they only spend two months preparing.  Kylen would love to join a group like that, but it would be impossible with the huge time commitment and my inability to drive.  We are hoping something else eventually opens up that will allow him to pursue his interests in drama/acting.

Piano recital #4!  Despite more mistakes than usual, we were very proud of our son!

Kylen and His Piano Teacher

Last Week
Kylen started formal guitar lessons.  Co-op is on a two month break, and he wanted to keep learning.  Plus, we're not sure if the class will continue when it starts back up in January.  His instructor has a super personality, laughs all the time, and is very expressive.  I think she's going to work out great!

I spent several days cleaning our art room which had been neglected for eight months.  We stored some stuff in there "temporarily" while working on the basement.  Well, the basement barely progressed for about 6 months while that room steadily declined into chaos.  I could barely walk through it, couldn't access critical areas for putting things away, and couldn't even open or close the closet doors without grief.  It was a huge job, and I am SO glad it's almost done!

Day Before Yesterday
My brother has been visiting regularly, happily increasing our board game time.  We often pick long epics such as Risk or Settlers of Catan, but Saturday we went with lighter fare: Pit, Labyrinth, and Clue.

An item on my to-do list was to find new sheepskin insoles for my boots.  Because of my arthritis, I have to wear the same kind of boots year round, and they must have sheepskin insoles that do not have a rigid base (such as plastic).  I can't wear anything else: no sandals, dress-shoes, or sneakers.  It's annoying.  I bought three pairs at the Custer Christmas Arts and Crafts show and now know where to get them: Leather Works in nearby Coeur d'Alene.

A month or two ago, the Lord blessed us with winning a cash prize raffle that was for a good cause.  We decided to donate most of it back, but we kept some to purchase a fun family gift - a Wii U.  Sunday morning, the day the Wii U came out, Greg drove over to Toys R Us before we were up and waited until he realized they were already open and had already sold all the deluxe versions.  He then drove to Best Buy, which hadn't opened, sat in the car a half hour, and waited at the door another half hour with a few others.  One lady even handed out doughnuts!  It was kinda like Black Friday, only on a much smaller scale.

We scrambled to put away the fall theme, set up the Wii U, and spent a lovely evening at our friend's house.  We did manage to get in a half hour playing New Super Mario Bro U before hitting the bed.
Kylen's latest thing is sitting on the kitchen counter.  Not sure why.

We put up the Christmas theme, which is always exciting.  I realized last year that getting our decorating done before Thanksgiving is the way to go.

My brother stopped by for a couple hours of video games with Kylen.

I worked on this blog post.  :-)

Does that bring us up to date?

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Political Insanity

Yes, I AM worried about the possibility of massive tax increases.  Why do you ask?  Oh, elections are about to take place?  Wow, I couldn't tell from the bazillion calls I've gotten over the last year which have exponentially increased over the past few days.  Sorry, I will never be a member of any party again.  Ever since that fateful day I ignorantly signed up with a party, I've been regretting it.  I had absolutely no idea that I was condemning myself to mass mailings and phone spam for the rest of my life.  No, I don't do surveys.  Sorry, we don't accept any political calls.  Could you please remove us from your calling list?  Hello?  Hello?  Hello?

Election day can't come soon enough . . .

Nevertheless, we will do our duty as responsible citizens and vote our values.  We're hoping for change.

More blogging coming as soon as I have time.  :-)