Wednesday, July 8, 2009


Today is 7/8/9, which is also the ages of my children – 7, 8, and 9. I love it when things like that happen. So, on the 789th minute of this day, which will be 1:15pm, I’ll be on the lookout for something interesting to happen. It’s a rainy day, so it appears I’ll have to create my own “interesting happening” here. That’s okay, though, because the kids will still think it’s neat and that’s all that matters.

Speaking of rain, my fiancé and I are planning to get married on July 18th and we’re hoping to throw an outdoor barbeque as part of the festivities. If it rains, we can still grill out, but the kids won’t be able to run around like wild animals without bumping into walls or people. If you haven’t guessed, between now and then we’ll be praying (doing no rain dances, etc.) for no rain that day. Considering all the rain that has been continuously falling, that may be a far-fetched wish.

My desk is piled high with deadlines, so I’m actually glad we’re stuck in the house today. The kids and I have been all over the place since Monday, and I really need to get my butt in chair and write. It’s difficult when I have three little ones coming up with such great ideas to spend our time together, though. I’m easily distracted when it comes to that, particularly since we carried such a busy schedule throughout the school year.

Are you easily distracted from your deadlines?

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

It’s Week 7 Already?

This summer semester is going by so quickly. It feels like I just started, and here it is already week seven. I’m doing well in all of my courses except Math, which is typical for this scholar. I do my best, though, and am receiving a passing grade as a result . . . though, it’s not quite the grade point average I would like to see. I’m thankful I’m nearly finished all the required Math courses I have to get through in order to earn my degree!!

There’s a lot going on around here again today. We’re headed up to Barnes & Noble in Augusta because the kids have earned their free book through their summer reading program. Here’s the website for those of you who haven’t had a chance to check it out yet: 2009 Barnes & Noble Summer Reading with Percy Jackson & the Olympians. This is our second year participating in this program and the kids really love earning a free book as in incentive. Ironically, that was this week’s prize for reading at the library we visit, too. So, they’re able to receive two free books this week!

It looks like I’ll be burning the midnight oil tonight putting the finishing touches on the deadline that’s due for my book tomorrow. I had a hard time sleeping last night for some odd reason, so maybe I should be putting the time to better use than just staring at the ceiling. I have all the research necessary to complete the project, so it should just roll from here. I’m nearly finished those interview questions I’ve been talking about over the past couple of weeks, so stay tuned!

Do you participate in summer reading programs with your children?

Monday, July 6, 2009

It’s Been a FULL Day Already

The kids and I just returned from our weekly journey to the library in Lewiston. I love that library and wish the one here in our town was as good. There are plans to enlarge our town’s library . . . as it sits now, it looks like a small Victorian home in need of major renovations and remodeling. I love the history, charm, and architecture of older buildings; so don’t get me wrong. I just would rather see a larger assortment of titles. In such a small library, that just isn’t possible. Anyway, I’ve gotten off subject. The younger kids each picked out 8 titles, and my nephew picked out one (it’s a start).

I also picked up several flyers for free or low-cost passes:

In addition to these activities, we’re also going to be visiting the following:

So, even if the weather isn’t going to cooperate with us this summer, there are a LOT of things to keep us entertained and busy. The kids are managing a hectic visitation schedule some weeks, too, (parents and grandparents) so they’re not going to have any boring moments! Right now, they’re playing baseball with the kids across the street. That gives me time to work on my book and my homework! Always something to do in the Hollowell/Greenleaf household!!

Where do you like to take your children during the summer?

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Happy 4th of July!

My hopes for sleeping in after a late night study session and mid-term exam work were dashed quickly this morning by the ringing of the phone. I’m not going to complain (too much), though, because I did manage to get in 8 hours of GOOD sleep. Which, in comparison to what I went through last week, is great.

I’m happy about finishing my mid-term for Ethics class, and am equally as happy about the fact it was open book. It was 100 questions long and, even though I had all the material in front of me, this test was very challenging. I found all the answers except one and, given the constant effort to be “complete” in everything else I do in my classes, not finding this answer is driving me nuts. I’m sure it has to do with the OCD tendencies I carry, but that’s a different story.

Work on my book ensues throughout the rest of the day, as well as the better part of tomorrow. I have materials due to my publisher next week, so I’m doing my best to keep myself on track in the midst of everything else going on around here . . . including the fact that my “muse” keeps egging me on to work on that fairy book I mentioned a LONG time ago and have been gathering research materials for ever since . . . I have to be practical, though, and complete what is pressing, deadline driven, and right in front of me! Right? RIGHT. (right??)

All the homeschooling lessons we’re doing here next week have already been set up, so I’m ahead of the game there. We have plans to hit the library Monday, and then if the weather cooperates, plans to hit the playground and bird sanctuary are also in the mix. (Side note: the sun is shining today!! I can see the sun!!!!) We are also going to start our nature journals and shadow boxes this week.

My three youngest are taking part in two summer reading programs, so they’ve been very active with books the past three weeks. My boys have started writing a comic, and a short story (stapled into a 40 page illustrated book) on their own. My stepdaughter is working on a collaged book (consisting of cut-out dresses and paper dolls) that will later have text depicting what each of her characters are doing. (I love it when they reach beyond what I have planned scholastically to reach their own enrichment desires.).

What is your “muse” egging you on to do that you can’t get to right now?

Friday, July 3, 2009

Crazy, Loud Weather!

Last night, around 9:30pm, we experienced a very loud and very bright storm. It rained so hard we thought it was going to come right through the roof! It made for a perfect backdrop to watching scary movies, though, so off the lights went as we popped them into the DVD player. (that, and the fact that the storm knocked out our satellite signal) The heavy rains lasted about two hours, and then it tapered off into a quiet drizzle. The storm was directly over us during most of that period of time, making it seem like Mother Nature was giving us an early fireworks show.

We’ve heard rumors that the sun will come out today and I’ve heard from friends that it’s shining in the Portland area. We’ll remain optimistic unless MORE rain falls (24 out of the past 26 days . . . too much rain). We’re right along the pipeline and its alarms were sounding last night after the storm moved out, so it must’ve gotten struck . . . which makes me nervous, of course . . .

There’s a lot on my plate today, mostly in the way of playing catch-up. I’ve been having difficulty finding the right balance between caring for my children while working and taking college courses. So, things have been slipping through the cracks while they’re home. They’re all off with their other parents until the beginning of next week, so I’ll have ample time to get my ducks in a row and try to find some semblance of order. Millions of women the world over work in this capacity every single day, so there’s no reason why I can’t (without pulling my hair out and wishing for some help). ::smiles:: I’m being dramatic.

What do you do when you have a difficult time finding the right balance?

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Hunting For High School Curriculum

Why is it that it’s EXTREMELY simple to find homeschool curriculum, lesson plans, and unit studies for lower grades . . . but if you’re looking for these materials for students beyond grade 8, it becomes increasingly more difficult? It’s a frustrating part of the process! I feel like I’m on a treasure hunt for decent curriculum!!

I’m not one to give up, so I’ve been searching for the better part of the afternoon. Originally, I was only going to search during my lunch hour . . . but now it’s become a personal vendetta. I shall not be defeated (exclaims Queen Mommy)!! Here are some resources I’ve been able to round up, though I’m still looking for something a bit more solid:

I found an assortment of ‘net based high schools, as well, that offer a wonderful selection of courses. However, their tuitions are quite high in comparison to finding books and other materials to purchase. While it would be a lot less work for me during the school year, that really isn’t the point. The point is getting the best education for our nephew (that we can afford), not how much work and effort it’s going to be on my part.

I have to say, though, that the courses I’m taking this summer and the classes he’s taking to catch up to the rest of his classmates have created a very positive educational learning environment in our household. In previous years, our kids have had a good attitude toward their summer learning programs. Now, it seems they’re EVER MORE interested because nearly everyone under our roof is taking part in the learning process in order to meet their own goals and objectives. The three little ones can’t wait to see what I have planned for them to work on from day to day, and that’s great in my book!

Here, There, and Everywhere

The kids are all going off with their other parents sometime today, so they’re all sitting here watching cartoons and waiting ever-so patiently for their other parents to let us know when they’re going to be showing up. They hate not knowing, but there’s little I can do to comfort that part of their lives. I’ll just keep changing the subject as subtly as I can.

The rain is falling yet AGAIN today. Some of my container gardens absolutely love all of this rain and are flourishing like crazy. Some of my others, though, are yellowing and wishing the rain would stop. It’s interesting how plants (like people) have such different reactions to weather conditions. I could do without all the green gross stuff growing on my decking . . . .

Once the kids are off here, there, and everywhere I’m going to buckle down on my book’s summary and table of contents. My fiancé has been working late most nights, so I plan to burry myself in this work, as well as some other work that slipped through the cracks (sorry, Bryce!!) last month. Here’s what I’m reading to help me in that area:

I’m sure I’ll come across more links to tips and advice as I’m surfing around; this will certainly help me (and you?) get started. I’m happy that my desk is organized (and by organized, I mean that each “thing” I do – writer, student, office manager – now have their own piles, rather than being dumped all together in one big pile), so I can focus on tasks separately as needed without as much stress.

It’s going to be a working (and schooling) weekend here over the holiday – what are your plans?