Tuesday, May 17, 2016


My current view isn't too terrible. The cat is cute and cuddly. I like the photo on the wall. The shelves are piled with some books I'll be reading shortly.
 And best of all, I don't have to see this:

This was actually the "cutest" of a few pics, according to my darling (and honest) hubby. So. I'm looking and feeling pretty fantastic right now.

Thank you, oral surgery.

I don't remember the recovery process being so miserable after the 1st two wisdom teeth came out 20+ years ago. But then, it was 20+ years ago. I was still 20-. And I didn't have 3 munchkins who don't seem to understand when mommy needs a sick day.

I am incredibly thankful, though.

The surgery had no complications, despite all the forms they made me sign.

My dad drove 7 1/2 hours each direction in order to be the "responsible adult" who sat in the waiting room for 2 hours during the procedure and then hang out with the kids while I attempted to sleep off more of the anesthesia. And he went to the grocery store for me. Twice.

The hubs took an entire afternoon as an admin day and worked from home so that the Wild Things wouldn't also have to sit in a waiting room for two hours. He cooked dinner and even brought me breakfast in bed. And he is bringing me a doughnut after work today.

Maybe I've been pampered. Let's look at that picture again.
Do I look very pampered? Despite all that's been done for me, I don't really feel pampered. I've felt drunk and slightly nauseous for the past 24 hours, actually. I guess the drugs are working?

I'm thankful, too, that we were actually able to get in a half day of school. I just put out a stack of the stuff that didn't require much talking on my part and told them to get it done in whatever order tickled their fancy.

I may have bribed them with video games when they were finished.


Don't judge.

Or judge.

I'm just thankful they are playing nicely together and are not fighting over the title of King of the Wild Things.

What are you thankful for today?

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Another Wednesday...already

Time flies when you're having fun.

Or when you're just so freaking busy you can't see straight.

But it's all the same thing, right? I mean, this whole being an adult thing...it's mostly about being busy and hoping we can at least enjoy what it is we are busy with. 

I don't think I've had time to be bored in the past 10 years. And it just keeps getting busier. 

And so I woke up this morning and it was already Wednesday again. I actually had to stop and think about how it is we got here:
  • Thursday was school and swim and soccer. 
  • Friday was school again and frantic cleaning before the hubby got back from a business trip (and pretending that we had kept the house tidy all week without him)
  • Saturday was soccer games stretched out across the whole stinking day with errands tossed in between.
  • Sunday was Mother's Day.
  • Monday was so much laundry and school and grouchiness/naughtiness/wild rumpus-ing all around. Mama said there'd be days like these.
  • Tuesday was more school and a trip to Urgent Care and (thankfully) no stitches.
I guess we did manage to get back to Wednesday again. Like I said, time flies when you are being an adult.

So, What are we Dooooing?

Wednesday. Our day of life learning. Our adventure day. Our field trips. Our unschooling. Somehow it was feeling overwhelming this morning. Probably because I hadn't exactly planned anything and was in a scramble to figure something out.

Something that ideally still pertained to the Middle Ages, as we are just transitioning out of that time period and I hadn't looked ahead to see what is coming up next week.

Something nearby, as the minutes were ticking away already.

Something that didn't have to be an all-day commitment if I started feeling overwhelmed, as I have been known to do. Especially this week. I wanted to be able to bail out and come home to a glass of red wine at any moment.

Something that was relatively calm, as I really didn't want to have to re-glue/tape the split forehead that sent us to urgent care yesterday. He found the Skittles in the waiting room to be a comfort. I was longing for that above-mentioned glass of red.

So we headed downtown to Exploration Place. It's a lovely little science museum (hint, hint, all you out-of-town friends who - unbelievably - still haven't visited us in the Sunflower State), and we hadn't been in a long time. We watched the balls drop in the gravitron. We could probably watch this thing all day. It's like a miniature version of the one at the St. Louis Science Center. We could watch that one all day, too.
We built and built and built with Keva blocks. It's fun to be both an architect and a construction worker. We built a village complete with a monster, an apartment complex, and a skyscraper. Mr. W in the background there built the Lincoln Memorial.
How I pretended our visit "tied in" with our core curriculum is the castle play area. King Peter and King Edmund sat on their thrones at Cair Paravel.
The three Wild Things Brave Knights built a cantilevered bridge to cross the moat and enter the castle, where they played a rousing game of tag.
Sir Shorty was outwitted by his older brothers and was captured and thrown into the stocks to be mocked publicly.
Then we rounded off our day with some burgers from Braum's and some play time at the playground next to the museum.
Most of today didn't line up with our curriculum, but it doesn't really matter. Learning is learning. Fun is fun. And a sunny day in May is made for Wild Things and knights.

Now I'm going to pour myself that glass of wine.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

What are We Doing Wednesday?

It's Wednesday, so...

What are We Doing?

Back when we were in preschool and kindergarten/1st grade, we used to schedule Field Trip Fridays. You see, by the end of the week, my schedules and plans and dining room had become quite a mess. I needed a scheduled day each week to be unscheduled. To take the burden off and to just cut loose and have fun.

I am a fan of the idea of unschooling, you see. However, I can't really get my control-freak self to completely give in to it. So one day of field trips, of fun, of adventure...it was prefect. It was controlled unschooling once a week.

Then this past year, the twins moved up into second grade. Our core curriculum is Introduction to World History in One Year. 


Why does that seem so serious to me? It's like the rubber suddenly hit the road in our little homeschooling adventure.

And while it has been a great journey so far this year, we have had to make some adjustments. We aren't just doing topical studies each week based on children's story books and then some phonics on top. Every day we cover just about everything: history, geography, Bible, science, reading, language arts, handwriting, Spanish, art, and music.

Shorty has had the hardest time. And rightly so. After all, he's only in kindergarten. He can keep up just fine with the concepts, but he just can't make it to the end of a week with his sanity in tact. And if he has hit a brick wall of learning and turned into a tiny zombie, he manages to feast on his brothers' brains. Mine, too, if I'm honest. We were all exhausted and crazy by the end of our four days.

So our Field Trip Fridays weren't working out so well for us. By Friday we had work to catch up on. By Friday we were grumpy and burned out. By Friday all we wanted to do was sit in front of the television.

PBSkids was pretty much our sole adventure into unschooling. There was no more time or energy for exploration or for interest-led learning. No creative juices for experiments. As much as I love the zoo, how many times could I claim that it was a valid field trip during the year just because we had membership?

Something had to give.

And so, about midway through our year, I figured it out. (Yeah, I'm a quick study, I know.)

We needed to break up the days we were "on" and "off." We couldn't handle four days of sitting (mostly) still to learn.

We needed to move our Field Trip Fridays to mid week.

We needed a What are We Doing Wednesday?!


So, here we are, on a Wednesday, doing stuff. We are in the Middle Ages right now. Knights. Castles. The Black Plague. So...when you are in the middle of Kansas, what do you do on a Wednesday for a field trip related to your medieval curriculum?

You dress up in costumes and go to a castle, of course!

You keep a lookout from the highest tower, just in case there are any enemies (or ridiculously large groups of high schoolers apparently on their lunch hour) from whom you must protect the castle!

You practice shooting through the arrow slits at unseen enemies in the prairie grass

You eat your lunch in the cool of the great hall, well protected from the harsh Kansas winds.

You play a rousing game of "Rescue Princess Mommy" knight vs. woodsmen!

You learn that the castle itself dates only to 1936, but the location was probably visited by a Spanish conquistador looking for legendary cities of gold.

I've got to say, this excursion was a definite winner. I'm ready to dive back into book work tomorrow, and I think we will all sleep well tonight.

Now, the question is...What are We Doing (next) Wednesday?
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