I have consumed too much coffee this week. I’ve been driving my husband to 6:30 am doctor appointments almost every day…after I’ve completed a 5:00 am class at my gym. The drive-thru Starbucks on my way home is simply too tempting. Today I arranged for a special treat. Rather than returning home to drink my coffee and driving back to pick him up, big brothers are home with the littles while I spend two hours inside the coffee shop. Venti coffee…check. Laptop…check. 7 Quick Takes Friday for easing back into blogging…check (in progress). Lesson plan to do list….check. Menu planning template open….check. Grocery list template open….check. Anybody else think two hours might not be enough?
That awesome husband of mine returns to work next week after a glorious summer at home. Not surprisingly, our summer home together was not near as productive as we dreamed it would be. I’ve been trying to remedy that situation all week. Well, trying might be stretching it a bit. My vision of summer included decluttering every. single. area. of my house. Rob planned to install baseboards and trim in our house. I was going write detailed lesson plans and start the school year with my kids fully prepared. And, since Rob was home for the summer…lots of social time for mama. So far this week, I’ve managed to increase my time with other grown ups, which has left precious little time with my man. Ahh…forever working on the balance of life, eh?
So yes, a trifecta of fun for me this week. On Monday I met my friend Megan at a coffee shop. Our regular meeting place closed so we tried something new. This new place closes at midnight…every single night of the week. Who stays out drinking coffee until midnight?! Apparently moms of young children who appreciate a good cup of coffee and good conversation. Our conversations are never lacking. Seriously. We chatted four hours on Monday…and I bet we could have kept going. Interestingly enough, parts of our conversation included the need for adults to stop talking at times and the tools available to help young children with special needs learn to talk. Oh, and we conversed about the oddity that is tanning beds. And the people who use them in the summertime. Tuesday night I met Amanda for Vietnamese food, my birthday treat from her and an experience to check off the list before she moves to a faraway land. (Still pretending that’s not happening…we’ll talk about that another day.) I had a seafood spring roll, which I picked up with my hands but couldn’t help but wonder if I should have picked it up with my chopsticks. I’m pretty sure that’s what the Chinese would do…but I’m not real sure about the table habits of the Vietnamese. I also enjoyed pho (delicious and traditional soup) and bahn mi (tasty Vietnamese equivalent of a Philly cheesesteak)…topped off by some ridiculously strong Vietnamese coffee. Ridiculously strong, I tell you. After dinner we went to play trivia at a (almost literal) hole in the wall bar where trivia is hosted weekly. For free. That’s some good nerd time, am I right?! Except I am no expert at Stephen King novels, random rock bands and their side projects, and/or famous actors who provide voices for cartoons. Our second time to play. We finished ahead of last place both times. That’s some kind of success, I’m sure. And finally, on Thursday I got to have lunch with my good friend Amy. It included a lovely drive through the countryside (and only one wrong turn on my way back home). Amy and I taught the Orange Class together at LLH for several years. Which meant we got to have lots of snippets of conversations during the week and an occasional catch up conversation on Fridays. We haven’t worked in the same classroom for two years now…and it was great to have some time with her. Especially as she gets ready to be a mama to a tiny baby girl! Now I know how to get to her house and could total see a homeschool field trip in our future. My kids can run crazy in her big yard and visit the goats. I will cuddle a tiny baby.
Sooo…lesson planning. I’m really looking forward to starting the school year with my kids. Some area schools started this week, a few next week and all will be rolling along by the third week of August. We’ll be starting September 3, thankyouverymuch. Homeschooling laws & regulations (or lack thereof) in Oklahoma are a serious blessing. We get to do what’s right for our family. I’ll have a few more weeks of prep time and we’ll have a few more weeks of unstructured fun before we start school. I should probably write a post about our school experience last year, for the sake of documenting it and possibly for the sake of processing it. Any homeschool-y folks out there might understand when I say I “de-schoooled” myself and I “un-schooled” my children. It was not the original plan, but I do think it’s what we needed. And this year, we need to have more structure. We’ll look a little more like school a little more often. I am using Easy Peasy All in One Homeschool as my main curriculum, supplementing with Saxon phonics & math, Handwriting Without Tears and tons of fun stuff that I get excited about doing with my kids. (See: Pinterest.) Can’t wait.
I love my family. My husband, my kids, my stepsons, my parents, my siblings, my in-laws, my grandpa, my nieces and nephews. It’d be pretty great if I could see everyone whenever I want to. However, we all lead busy lives and some lives are farther away than others. Thankfully, my farthest-away brother moved his family back to our hometown a couple of weeks ago. Creating a new farthest-away brother and family. That one, however, is a drivable distance and if I could figure out how to justify meeting them in St. Louis a couple of times a month for coffee…all would be well. Until then, I will survive on hour-long weekend phone conversations and texts with too much time in between.
I’m just going to to ahead and admit that I don’t read aloud to my children enough. It’s sort of difficult to keep all five of them attending to a book. And I may forever be trying to figure out how to spend enough individual time with each one. However, last night I picked up Where The Sidewalk Ends and read to all five of them for quite a while. Short, funny poems with crazy illustrations might be the way to go. I seriously LOVED it. They listened, we laughed and I felt a little like the popular librarian at storytime. Score.
I still owe a blog update on my healthy living journey. I promised a picture update on July 4, but after battling a stomach virus the week prior, I bumped it to a birthday pictorial update. I shared it on facebook. Got lots of love from friends and family and fellow gym peeps. And then perhaps I’ve been celebrating my birthday and my husband’s birthday ever since. I gotta beef up my willpower…because it turns out I cannot say no to: donuts that are handed to me, donuts in my kitchen calling my name louder than the kid throwing a tantrum in his room, birthday cake, leftover birthday cake that has been deliciously chilled in the refrigerator, day after birthday cake sitting on the counter at my sister-in-law’s house, ice cream in my freezer and/or chips. Yes, these things have been calling to me all week long. Anybody ever try a coffee only fast? Because that might be splendid.
and…that’s a wrap! Head on over to Conversion Diary to ready her 7 quick takes, several of which remarkably parallel my own life. Catholic mom’s of many unite!