Wednesday, April 13, 2016

This Year, 2016

This is the year of changes! One son is marrying his beautiful sweetheart and the youngest is graduating high school, completing his AA and going away to university. I'm so happy and excited that our boys are doing what they want to do with their lives. I am so honored to be Mom to these five amazing young men. I miss them living here and am lonely for them, but we get together as often as we can.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Just Breathe

School's out! That means freedom from our routine; we were all ready for a change! Jacob's staying up late, getting up late, and playing computer games more. I love not having to watch the clock or get homeschool done before piano students arrive. The pressure's OFF! Jacob's doing a few things, but I haven't signed him up for much. We are all so relaxed for a change, and able to just breathe. I ended the school year by obsessing about planning the next school year (I know I'm not the only one that does that!). It's easy-peasy with just one partly grown homeschooled child, and with a retired husband to help run him around. I shoved all my piano lessons onto 2 days a week so I'm not tied down every day. I'm so happy I did that, although some days are long and busy. Our church music is on hiatus also. I'm thoroughly enjoying my vacation from all the time and practice for that too. I've spent way too much time going to annual doctory-type appointments. It's amazing how much time one very healthy person can spend going to those things! Teeth? Check. Eyes? Check. My eye prescription hasn't changed since 6th grade, but I did get a new pair of very cute prescription sunglasses. I still have a couple of appointments coming up. Going to these things is like a part time job. I got my first pair of orthotics for my foot drop and now I can run or shop all day! I went to my doctor who gave me a referral to a specialist (physiologist) who gave me a prescription for orthotics and a referral to a place that our insurance wouldn't cover. Our insurance told us who to go to, but that place didn't carry orthotics. On 2nd try, our insurance found us a place that actually does orthotics. This has been going on 3 or 4 months now, and I have one orthotic. The other was supposed to be shipped to me 2 weeks ago, but I'm still waiting. Anyway, one orthotic is better than no orthotic. It's called The Noodle, by the way, and it's awesome. We haven't vacationed at all yet! Just doing what we're doing--sorta "nothing"--feels like a vacation. But we're starting to feel rested and anxious to get out of town, so I'm sure we'll be doing something soon. We're debating going to Conrad's aunt's family reunion in Massachusetts, we love visiting Conrad's brother & sister-in-law in Atlanta, and we have talked for 16 years about "going out west". And of course we love the Keys and want to go diving. I can't imagine doing it all, but we'll see.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

The Thankful Month

I am so THANKFUL for my family! My husband, first and foremost, whom after all these years I'm still having an amazing love affair with. Also, I am thankful for such handsome, healthy and interesting boys, and to live near and still have my parents. I am thankful that my parents raised me to know God, for I talk to Him and depend on him daily. I am thankful my parents took me to piano lessons for years (made me continue when I wanted to stop, made me practice!), since music is such an important part of my life today and I've been able to pass it on to my children and others. I am thankful to have the necessities of life, such as a home, clothes and a car that works. I am thankful for my health; without health, life would not be so much fun. I am grateful to my country that I can CHOOSE everything in my life: I am FREE to choose my religion (Seventh-day Adventist), to eat vegan foods, homeschool my child however I want, choose whatever activities interest us, hang around people I like--and avoid those that I don't enjoy being around. We choose to live here, surrounded by our precious family, in a beautiful climate, near the water that soothes my soul to look at and to listen to, and play on and swim in. I enjoy animal-watching, and I never get tired of spotting a dolphin or a manatee, or an alligator or big gopher tortoise, or even the numerous birds, such as the interesting-looking sandhill crane with the red head, or the little kingfisher with the beak as big as its body. Every time I go to the beach, drive on the bridge over the water, or see my parents or sister or sons, I thank God that I live here to appreciate all of this. I am so blessed!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Our Relaxing School Year

I plan our school year over the summer and am really pumped to get started with new classes, books and activities...except this year. This year looked like a continuation of last year, only even more relaxing. I was really looking forward to the freedom! Our relaxed little co-op from last year was discontinued. I taught six kids piano there. I wasn't totally crushed; I thought, "Oh, well, I guess I can sleep in on Thursdays." I looked into a couple of other awesome co-ops-- Merritt Island that I drove my older boys to for years, and in Mims, that Jacob loved before it moved so far away. My husband and I decided not to pursue classes at either co-op this year. I was relieved. It is so easy, relaxing and enjoyable to teach classes at home. Jacob is in 8th grade now and will be involved in high school and dual enrolled in college classes soon enough! The only book I bought was the next Saxon math, Algebra 1, so he could join a group at a nearby home twice a week. He tried one class and strongly disliked it, and since I only sent him because I thought he would enjoy it, I was glad to drop it and teach him at home. He and I both felt happy and relieved to do math together at our own pace once again. So that was it. School at home. Well...of course my musical child wanted to do the Homeschool Band again! He wants to be a professional trumpet player and has an awesome trumpet teacher, Jason Moylan. This will be Jacob's 4th year in the Homeschool Band with the talented, patient and soft spoken director, Liz Hyers. He started with bass clarinet and moved onto trumpet. This year he has taken up oboe as well. He learned right away that the oboe is a special instrument---especially hard, that is! He begged and begged me to find him a teacher. I asked all my facebook friends and my Brevard Homeschool Yahoo group, but no one answered, so I picked up the phone and started calling music shops. The 3rd shop, The Horn Section (which is where we found our incredible trumpet teacher) gave me a recommendation. Yay!? Ah, our quiet and simple and relaxed homeschool year...what a beautiful dream. I am so grateful my husband is retired and a kid at heart, a very interested, involved and hands-on daddy. He enthusiastically joined in the Homeschool Band last year, and took up a second instrument this year! Brave man! So for Monday band, he and Jacob are gone from 11:30-3:30. Before they leave, Jacob practices the piano (he is one of my virtuoso piano students!) and we do math together. If there is time, he may read a little more Story of the World or do a little LLATL English. When the guys get back, I'm busy with piano lessons, so they have a couple of hours and then they leave for karate at the Y, and get home at 7:30. Tuesday is currently quite a relaxing day, so we spend quite a bit of time homeschooling without looking at the clock or the rush to go somewhere. Our trumpet teacher lives nearby (currently--we are so blessed!) and comes here, and Jacob's friend also comes over for a trumpet lesson while I teach to his little sister. It is such pleasure to hang out with our friends, and often have supper together. Wednesday is another quiet day of homeschool with just one piano lesson with Jacob's friend who stays and plays for awhile, and then the guys run off to karate again for a super physical workout. Thursday is quite a busy piano-teaching day for me. I get Jacob started with his algebra and teach a couple of lessons, then we work on English and he works independently on his other subjects and practices his three instruments (guitar is dropped for now, it seems, although I thought he was incredible, he had no confidence in himself and did not enjoy it). I continue to teach all afternoon as the boys (yes, all homeschooled boys) stay and play together and sometimes fight. My husband leaves at 2:30 to take Jacob to his oboe lesson, a long drive and expensive. They kill a little time eating dinner; after the last lesson they visited the Horn Section and Jacob tried some professional trumpets ($$$$!). Then they go to Coach Mike Rochelle's Swim Team at Rockledge High School. They get home at 8:30. Jacob has wanted to take tennis for years, so I finally signed him up for 8:30 Friday morning group lessons on Merritt Island at KARS Park. So far he loves it! I think he knows everyone there, a bunch of boys about his age, most, if not all, from our Homeschool Exchange group! Every other Friday our homeschool group meets at a park, so after tennis, we go onto our park meeting. One of these days my youngest son will outgrow this group, but for now he is passionate about "exploring" and loves to talk endlessly with his friends. That is our calm homeschool week. Not as unscheduled as I expected, but I must admit, we enjoy everything we do. I am so grateful we have the choice. Last Tuesday was Brevard Zoo's $2 day, so we hung out with friends at the zoo (we are dying to try the zip line! Waiting for a sale...). I bought Jacob a late lunch there and was so pleased with the vegetarian choices, prices and quality of the food. I bought a fruit smoothie and it was delish! Then we went to the Avenue and shopped for Daddy's birthday and visited our friends the Kann's Farmer's Market. We really enjoyed selecting fresh, locally-grown vegetables and fruit! Jacob told me he had never had such a fun Tuesday. The next day, Jacob had an orthodontist appointment and we got some lunch at a smoothie place before my haircut appointment. Jacob said, "I've had so much fun, I've missed spending time with you." I was kind of stunned that I felt exactly the same way! We spend most of our time together, but this was different, so I knew what he meant. Now that Dad drives him everywhere, he and I don't have that alone-in-the-car time, or hanging outside of the house alone
time, that we had before Dad retired, so I hope to dedicate time in the future to just us.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

My New Primitive


Our new kitchen is beautiful, but I had a place for everything in the old kitchen, and trying to figure out where everything goes has been a surprising challenge. I used to have an empty wall with a huge bulletin board for all our phone numbers and calendar. Now it's all cabinets. It was tough finding a place for the calendar, but it's working out on the end of the pantry cabinet near the phone, where it needs to be. Our grocery list and a variety of other papers have ended up on the counter and looked really messy and disorganized. I was so thrilled when I found an antique primitive library card holder on craigslist! The owner was nearby, so my husband and I ran right over and I fell in love with it. It is on my counter and each of the four drawers holds important papers. More than neat and tidy--cuuuute!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Vacations Have To End Sometime

December flew by in a blur. I hung on for the ride and loved it, but it ended too quickly. It is Monday and we will homeschool, have band and piano lessons as usual.

Our last vacation weekend was an exhilarating way to celebrate New Year's. 1/1/11 (I just love writing that!) was Sabbath, so we went to church and enjoyed my little friend's baptism, lovely music and delicious vegetarian potluck. Our son went to a sleepover, so Conrad and I appreciated some uninterrupted time alone. It was a beautiful day, sunny and warm with a cool breeze, mid-70's, perfect for a long motorcycle ride. Soaking up the sun and clinging to Conrad filled me with joy, and I fell more deeply in love with my husband.

Sunday, I really wanted to visit my older boys who moved into an apartment across from college. I'm their mother and felt like a visit was long overdue. We loaded up a dresser, chairs, microwave and crockpot, picked up our younger son, and made the long drive south. I can see why they got tired of driving it every day! I was surprised their place looks so new and clean. I felt so much better after seeing what a nice place it is, and convenient for them. A church is nearby, so I hope they go and love it. Brandon made homemade noodles for dinner and we had a nice time eating and talking, sitting in the chairs we brought down. Now my living room is empty and we have a guest bedroom.

Friday, December 31, 2010

Choices

I'm going to bring up the kitchen again. I'm very tired of talking about it, but it is still a work in progress. I have had to make so many choices that my brain hurts! Lowe's is coming Jan. 6 to rip out Diamond-damaged cabinets and install replacements, and to finish all the little details that were left undone. This is supposed to be the last time. After this, it's all on Conrad. We still have to choose flooring (we've moved on from lovely cork to durable tile), backsplash (I am seriously leaning toward white subway tile--simple) and we need some sort of light for over the kitchen island. Also, when we planned this kitchen, we did not plan for a spot for our trash can! So it is in the way, against my John Boos kitchen work island that I must sell, because it's too big and in the middle of the kitchen. I love it and we constantly use it, so felt very ambivalent about putting it on Craigslist, and was partly relieved when the people that contacted me never showed up (typical Craislist!).