Thursday, April 25, 2013

The school year is rapidly coming to an end. I think I'm more excited than the kids. Helping five kids with homework every night is wearing on me. I'm tired of following rules. Even though I expect it from my children, I'm not good at it. I tend to blow off things that aren't important to me. Every summer I invest a great deal of time in educating my kids. We aren't doing that this year. The kids will be expected to read, and we will do some math, but mostly we are going to swim and hang out and be lazy!! I can't wait.

The kids are growing like crazy. In the fall, Angie will go to jr high, and Emi to Kindergarten. I may actually get my laundry done for the first time in 11 years. Well, not likely, since I'm taking classes.

I will post end of the year stuff next month.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Happy 2013

If I would have managed to get Christmas cards out this year, this would have been the picture I used. Photographing Five kids can be challenging and the kids were totally uncooperative that day. Brian didn't feel that it was good enough quality, and we just never got around to taking another one. I have great intentions. Maybe in 2013 I will work on my follow through. Hey maybe this year I will remember that Christmas is on the same day every single year. Haha.

School is back in full swing. It's hard to believe that the school year is half over. We say it all the time, but time sure does fly. I have always read to my kids at night, and last semester we just didn't seem to get around to it. We got back into it over the Christmas break, probably because we didn't have any activities to go to, but I am trying to keep it up. I can read Aiden and Emi the same books, but they are in separate rooms. So far Aiden has been content to come in Emi's room for a story, but its only a matter of time before I hear that it's not fair. Their current favorite is a book called Press Here. It is an adorably fun book for their ages. 

Zac has been reading age appropriate graphic novels. I know, some would argue that this is not real literature and a waste of time, but he's enjoying reading and that is all  I really care about. The Lunch Lady series was actually very cute. Tony and I have been trying to get through The Mysterious Benedict Society. It's been a slow process. This book is actually on the Duke Tip Reading Club, and Tony seems to be enjoying it. I'm not saying that it's not good, just that it wasn't the best choice for Reading aloud. Somehow, I got conned into reading Angie The Host. Ok, I was reading it because I really want to see the movie, and I think that there should be more girl sic-fi. So far so good, but this puppy is 1000 pages long, and I find myself wanting read ahead after I send her to bed. Generally I like read aloud books to be a bit shorter. Ok A LOT shorter. 

Tuesday, October 30, 2012


  Next post will have pics, well probably. I'm fighting a bug that all my kids have had. Right now the score is Bug 2, Me 0. This is the second day, so I am hoping to feel better by tomorrow. I'm teaching a grossology unit at the kids school, and I'm not all that into it because I feel bad. Tomorrow we are touring the hospital lab which all the kids are excited about.

Last week was a week of accomplishments. My struggling reader has made tremendous strides. I'm super proud. It was just crazy, and his teacher and I have met several times to figure out how to help him. He had zero fluency. They are supposed to have a fluency score of 80% and he had 14%. You'd listen to him read and think that there is no way he is grasping any of this, and then he'd get every single question right. So, it became a question of bumping him back to easier books, or letting him struggle with the harder books? At first we did one of each, but eventually we decided to scale back to easier books. I want my kids to enjoy reading. Not for it to be a daily torture session.

Angie got her bridge up kick over in gymnastics. It was so exciting. She is in a group of kids much much younger than her. One of her coaches praised her leadership skills, but I could tell that she was getting discouraged. Her other coach told me that gymnastics is really hard at her age, and even girls who are much more advanced lose skills because they lose power for a little while because their bodies are changing so rapidly. Anyway, it was a huge confidence booster for her and for me a parent. I got to say, see if you work hard, eventually it pays off. I'm curious to see what she does next

Zac and Aiden's flag football team won the championship on Saturday. I was more excited that the other team lost than that we won. I'm not a sports fiend, so let me explain. These are boys K-2, and I felt that the other team was unsportsman like. Zac was punched in the chest, Aiden was pushed down for no reason. This is flags and the rules say no contact. I can understand boys getting a little excited and tripping each other up etc, when they go for a flag, but my friends son was hit in between plays just because he pulled the kids flag. It happened right in front of the ref and nothing happened. We made a touchdown and the coach had the ref call a penalty flag for illegal blocking. It was behind the scrimmage, the ref didn't see it, but he overturned the touchdown. Then the other team worked the clock for EIGHT minutes. They had time for one last play, and then they fumbled! Karma. So, we won 16-14. I tell my kids that you can't always make people do right, but you still have to set a positive example and not let it get to you. Again, not a sports expert, but I think that flag should be about playing as much as possible and that every kid should play. One of their kids sat on the sidelines the entire game.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Nothing this brag about

     Well, I'm 8 weeks into my class. I have to say that I am enjoying this second half of the class which is focusing on legal and ethical issues much more than I thought I would. I was doing really well in the class, and then this week I had a quiz that I made a 72 on and it really dropped my average. I never have done well on quizzes where all the answers are right, and you have to pick the most right, or where they ask you which you will do first. In nursing, the "most right" answer is situational, and we often work as a team and in reality there is no 1st, 2nd, 3rd, but rather each person takes a task and carries it out all at the same time.

     Going back to college in your late 30's is so much different than going to college in your late teens. I am a much better reader now, I have better time management skills, and my life experiences add interest to my written papers. While I am better able to accomplish the work, it is so much much harder. Online classes give you the flexibility to do the work at your own pace, in your own time, but I have more assignments than I ever had in a traditional class. We also have discussion boards to interact with each other. If you know anything about my antisocialness, then you know that this is the hardest part for me. And let's not even mention how hard it is to balance home, work and family without adding in school.

     I'd like to say that I have lots of help and support from my family, but that only comes every few weeks after a meltdown, and it doesn't last long. Just the way it is when you have worked so hard to make yourself irreplaceable I guess. Totally kidding. The reality is that there are some things that just don't get done unless I do them. I'd like to be able to "brag" about the kids in this blog, but we have had a rough few weeks, and are experiencing some important growth trials right now. I have a GT kid in tutorials for math and other struggling to read. I have a kid with severe anxiety and can't cope. Another who wants to only do activities in which they can come in first. Another prone to fits if they don't get their way and one that is extremely sarcastic and disrespectful. The last several weeks have been kind of rough for me and not exactly what I'd call joyful parenting. Sometimes I wish my kiddos were more cookie cutter. It's interesting that they are all different, but it means that each time they face the same trials, I have to come up with a new way to help them so its like failing over and over.

Hopefully, I can write in a couple weeks with some proud moments, but right now I got nothing.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

My New School Year

In my last brief blog, I talked about the kids starting back to school, but I didn't talk about me going back to school. Yikes, I know. Since Emi is doing a half day pre-k, I decided that I would start working on my BSN. I went to LVN school after I graduated from A&M, and then I earned my ADN from Angelo State over 11 yrs ago. I was always pre-something, and nursing was a job to do in the meantime. There are rumors that my hospital will elimate associate degree level nurses in the next 8 years. This has not been confirmed by higher ups, but I believe it is possible. So, I decided its now or never. In 8 years I will have TWO college age kids.

I am attending UTA and all my classes are online. It's a love/hate relationship. I love the instant feedback from professors/coaches, and I love the library access. I was able to instant message a librarian and she was a great help to me. She then emailed the transcript of our conversation to me, and I was able to refer to it while writing. But, it is much much more work than going to class, about 20 hours of work a week for ONE class. APA format is so complicated to me. I have to check and recheck my references and even then I'm still not sure I'm doing it right. I have done very well in my first 5 weeks, but I'm already trying to decide how much I can slack off and still make a decent grade. Sad, but true. I am very flawed this way. But, I think about my kids and the example that I want to set, and I trudge on. Don't be like mom!

It has been good for me, because I am starting to think of nursing as a profession rather than a job, and that is a good thing.

Friday, August 31, 2012

New School Year

Well, school has started up again for us. I am the mom of a 6th, 5th, 2nd, K and Pre-k child. I am also taking college classes again. Shew!

The kids are adjusting, with Aiden being the most tired. As a kindergartener, its his first day of all day school. Angie started band this year, and is playing the clarinet. She says this is her favorite class.

Here's a rundown of activities, hopefully I will get pics up soon. Aiden and Zac are playing flag football. Aiden, Emi, and Angie are taking gymnastics. Zac is doing boxing and taking drum lessons. Tony is taking piano lessons, fencing, and doing cardioboxing with Brian. Angie is taking voice lessons and has signed up for the 4H food challenge. Each kid is only in one or two things, but when you multiply x5 its craziness.

My three oldest kids will be in GT this year. That means lots of projects. I have agreed to teach a unit called grossology. Ewww. Wish me luck. Somehow I also got roped into being on the parent involvement commitee.

I just booked a cruise for February. That's going to keep me going until then.

Saturday, June 30, 2012


NGU. Never Give Up. That's the phrase of our high school girls softball team. I guess you see phrases like this a lot in sports.  I've been thinking about this ideal quite a bit. Parenting is tough. We want so many things for our kids. My kids are reluctant to try new things, and if there is something they aren't good at, they won't do it at all. I wonder where I would be today, if just once, someone told me, not to give up. Example,

I have short little legs, asthma and am super slow. I never could run a mile in school. What if someone told me, you don't start at a mile? Just alternate walking and running and eventually if you don't give up, you will be able to do it? Or, it doesn't matter if your slow, just keep going and eventually you will be able to add speed. Or yeah, your brain is telling you to stop. Its normal, you aren't dying, tell it to shut up.

The point is, if we only do the things we are good at, we will never know what we can accomplish. Do the things you love, even if you aren't the best. Or, in a small town, even if the judging is unfair.

I'm not pointing the finger, or blaming anyone. It's something that I honestly didn't know growing. I didn't realize it until I began to try to inspire my own kids. I think they teach me more than I teach them.

This is a great quote from Krissy over at the venspired learning blogs:


Even when its hard. Even when you think you might fail. Even when you feel like you're not going to reach your goal. Because trying? Taking a risk? Reaching a goal? That's learning.

And, its never too late.