Thursday, May 30, 2013

Homeschool: The good, the bad and the ugly

As we come to a close for the school year there are lots of things I learned from doing homeschool.

THE GOOD: I loved the time I got with Trevor. We learned a lot of things together. I was able to use my skills as an English teacher to really help him improve in his writing. I loved how we were able to do a lot in a little amount of time. He wrote 17 essays in 3 months. We passed off scout requirements that went along with what we did in school. There were TONS of things I got online to enrich his schooling. We did art, music, US history, health, science, etc. If there was something he struggled with we kept working on it until he got it. He mastered things before we moved on to something new. He gained a lot of confidence in himself and his abilities and finally felt smart.

THE BAD: It was sometimes hard to keep a schedule. Lots of things would interrupt the school day (phone calls, Logan, days I babysat, an online job I did for a month). Lots of times Trevor finished his work so quickly for the day (what I planned to take 3 hours only took 2) and had lots of down time. The lesson planning took a lot of time so sometimes I felt overwhelmed with everything I needed to do and not enough time to do it. He missed his friends. I felt like I neglected Logan too much. I felt bad that we were all home and Colin was not.

THE UGLY: My house is ALWAYS messy. I tried to keep up with cleaning but it was hard. With school, lesson planning, grading, doing stuff with the kids, babysitting on occasion, etc. it was hard to have a good cleaning schedule.

All in all it was a great experience and I am so glad I chose to homeschool Trevor for a few months. Would I do it again? Absolutely, if I felt like my child needed to be home. Am I looking forward to all of my kids going to school next year? You bet. Logan will be in kindergarten and I'll get 2 and a half hours to myself every morning. Now I'll be able to have a clean house again.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Adding Branches

Our church is big on families and doing family history work. We believe that families can be sealed together forever, which means that after death husbands and wives will still be married and they will be with their children in the next life. One thing our church does is temple work for people who have passed on. Those of us who are living can step in for those who have passed on and we can do their temple work for them. We can seal their families together. Yesterday in church in the adult women's class, we talked about how important it is to go to the temple and do the work there that needs to be done. One of the tools we have is a website called New Family Search. Last night I went onto the website to look at my family tree. My dad had completed some family history charts a few years ago, so I just wanted to see if everything matched up. As I searched, I found a mistake. When I looked up the name of Charles William Ashley I noticed that someone had entered the wrong name for his wife. What I had on the records my dad wrote did not match the family tree on the website. His daughter's name was there instead of his wife's. It took me a while, but today I figured out how to correct the mistake. As I worked, I was able to put Charles with his wife Elizabeth on my family tree and I was also able to add their children to their branches. As I worked to get this family all back together in the right place I felt the spirit of this sweet mother close to me. I knew that she was happy. I knew that she was excited that someone had found the mistake and was making the corrections. And now, Dave and I can go to the temple and stand in for Charles and Elizabeth and they can be sealed. Then we, along with others attending the temple, will be able to have their children sealed to them. It was so fun to look at my family tree and to click on names and to see how far back our family goes, to see the different directions the branches go, and to realize that no matter how big it gets, we're all connected.

If you want to look up your family tree go HERE. The website is free and you can search and see if information for your family has been entered. If there isn't anything there you can start making your own family tree, do research, look for records and find family members. Try it out and see what you can find.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Bedroom make over

When Dave and I decided to finally paint our bedroom and get new bedding I had visions in my mind about what I wanted. I wanted something like this:

I wanted something light and airy. I wanted pale walls and maybe some splashes of color. Lots of pillows on the bed, fun accents, wispy curtains. But what I wanted and what Dave wanted was very, very different. He wanted something bold and dramatic. When we went shopping for paint colors, the ones I wanted (pale blue. grey, butter yellow) were quickly vetoed. I decided that since I had painted the guest bathroom, boys' bathroom and Trevor's room the way I wanted, I would let Dave have his way. And I have to say that I really do love it. When I put the first stroke of paint on the wall I was a little concerned, but I love the way it turned out. Our room is big so the dark color is not overwhelming. I think it's calming and at night it looks pretty with the lights. We're not totally done. We still want to get a few more things, we still need to figure out what to put on the walls to decorate a little, but so far I am very pleased. I didn't think I would like a dark color in my room but I really do love it. Here are the before and after pictures:
 This is our old bedding from when we got married and the color of the room when we first moved it. A sage green and a pale yellow. I thought I liked pale colors, but not this.

Here is the new color. Super dark green and I love how it turned out. A dark color really added drama to the room, but does not make the room feel small or closed it. Simple bedding and a punch of color from the pillow. I realized I don't like a ton of stuff in my room, on my bed, on my dresser. I like things simple, neat, clean. 
AFTER. LOVE the dark color. I love that we did not go the safe route and do a neutral color with an accent wall. 

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

You are my sunshine

David got an e-mail this past Friday from a close friend telling us that their 9 month old baby had passed away. Today we attended his memorial service. These past few days I have reflected on the family I have. I have thought about this sweet friend of mine and the amazing mother she is. I remember when I had Trevor, how whenever we saw them she would be so anxious to hold him. I remember when she found out her first baby was a boy and how excited we were for our kids to be friends. I think about talking to her on the phone or going out to dinner, to a movie, or having a game night and how most of our conversations revolve around our kids. When you are a mother, your kids are your life. They are your full time job, your biggest worry, sometimes they are a pain. They make you laugh, cry, scream. Sometimes they make you frustrated and angry and you wonder if you're really the right person to be raising them. But my friend said something today when she spoke about her sweet baby and her kids that made me stop and ponder. She said her kids are her sunshine and that she loves being a mom. Ever since we heard about Connor's passing I feel like we have had more peace in our home. As we have prayed for this family we have felt a greater love for our own family. I have felt a greater understanding and appreciation for the blessings the temple brings to our family and I am so thankful that we are sealed together forever. I have looked at my kids and wondered how I would feel if they were taken from me. The little things that used to get to me don't seem as important. And the time I used to spend doing things for ME seem almost wasted. I have played with my kids more this week, I have given them more hugs and kisses, I have listened to them more and have tried to be more patient with them and more loving. I have tried to be a better mom, the mom they deserve. I love my kids. I love being a mom. My kids are my sunshine, too.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Home grown

I have planted 3 gardens since we have lived in this house. I tried a spring/summer garden last year, then a fall garden and I just planted some more things again this spring. The first garden I planted we got nothing. Maybe a few pea pods, but that was it. The second time around my plants grew great but they didn't produce any food. But the one I've been working on this year is growing great. What is the difference? I learned a little something. My friend told me about a FREE online BYU course in gardening. I did it. Then I learned from the free course that I needed to call the extension office where I lived to get information for gardening in my area. I called. I asked questions, got answers and read lots of stuff. I made charts of what I wanted to plant and when it needed to be planted. I drew out plans of where I was going to plant stuff. I got good dirt, I got fertilizer, I got some new seeds, a few plants and got to work. So far we have been able to eat lettuce (romaine - grows so great!) and spinach. The other day I picked all of our carrots to make room for pumpkins. The kids thought they were pretty good. So did I. My peas did not do so well so I took them out, but my green beans are looking lovely. My broccoli plants are HUGE but I have no broccoli....yet. I don't know much, but I know a little and it's been fun experimenting and learning something new. And the best part is being able to go out back and pick some of that home grown food to eat.
My spinach and Romaine lettuce. Plant in Feb for a harvest all spring (I just pick what I need and it keeps on growing) and in September for a fall garden. The Romaine grew so well I will plant more next time. 

These are the carrots I harvested last week. They didn't get very big but they were crunchy and pretty sweet. Trevor's friend was very impressed we had food growing. 

My green beans are blooming! I never had green bean plants this good before. Plan t mid-March, April, late June and early August. I'm hoping to get enough so I can freeze them. My kids love green beans.

Corn. I tired it last summer and the ears never produced any kernels. I am hoping for more success this year. I learned to plant corn where peas were the season before. We'll see if it works!