Posts Tagged ‘summer’

May 21st! The END…. sort of…

May 21, 2016

School is kind of “out for the summer” but in a different way than with my usual end-of-May homeschool mama joy and celebration. There was no counting down the days this year.

We have learned that some of the Colombian Princess’s challenges with memory are due to vast breaks in education… you know, like summer. So in a much diminished fashion, we are schooling a few days a week while home this summer, just to keep the pump primed. She was not real thrilled about this news, and I couldn’t let her know that I was not real thrilled about it either. Someone has to be excited about education… and it SHOULD be the teacher in most cases.

So now the home front needs some love and attention. In case anyone wonders what the Crosbys are doing for the next three months, get out your notepads and pencils… here you go:

  1. We bought a stand up deep freeze to put in the garage.
  2. Cleaning out the garage so we can fit in the stand up deep freeze.
  3. Buying a shed to put the stuff that doesn’t need to be in the garage somewhere else. (Does the cost of the shed and deep freeze justify the savings on large quantities of meat? I’m not sure.)
  4. Hauling junk from the side yard to the dump so we can put a shed in the side yard. (Is anyone besides me thinking of “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie?”)
  5. Switching Austin’s and Nora’s bedrooms. (Austin gets the yellow room with the flowers and butterflies around the top of the walls! Oh goody!) This is happening because my niece from Maui is coming to live with us on the mainland for a bit… sharing the BIG room with Nora.
  6. Picking up a room divider from a generous friend for the BIG room.
  7. Gathering and selling an enormous amount of American Girl doll paraphernalia that is no longer played with. (She will be 13 years old in two months…. I feel there are a few more years to play with dolls…. because she is my baby girl after all.)
  8. Selling the cute white dresser from the yellow room. (Wide is no longer cool when you share a room. Tall is where it’s at.)
  9. Selling all the cutesy little girl purple and lime green room decor. (Awwwww.)
  10. Borrowing a single bed from my brother’s house. The BIG room is only so BIG.
  11. Cleaning out the master closet. (I am going to start this today as soon as this blog is finished.  Blogcrastination is what that is called.) I mean TOTALLY cleaning it out. It’s been 12 years since we’ve seen the walls and back carpet in there. Don’t judge. If there is dust lining the shoulders on top of the hanger marks, Rickey, it’s leaving.
  12. Buying #2 new door handle and bolt lock for the front door. My first attempt was feeble even though the lame wrong size handle is on the door right now. It looks like Billy-Bob came by and changed it for us. Wrong size… with a screw hole two inches below the handle. Dumb.

I’m hoping to have this all done by next week. I know that will not happen, but I am a positive thinker! Where are my minions?

Enjoy your summer, peeps!  Let me know what projects you have going on! I need some company.

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G R A D U A T I O N ! ! !

June 4, 2012

We did it!  We successfully got one whole child through homeschooling.  This is a monumental achievement for a homeschool mom.  We wonder all along if this day will ever come.  We hope and pray that we aren’t wrecking the kids by doing this ourselves.  And that right there is the key…. I never felt like I was doing this by myself.  It was me, and my terribly supportive husband, my co-op mamas, our support group, the state organization (Arizona Families for Home Education) and mostly God, who called us to this way of life and education 12 long years ago.

I have no regrets for choosing homeschooling.  All the sacrifices and tears have been worth it…. every little bit.  I do have a few regrets involving course choices and follow through, which we all encounter our first time.  I have learned from my mistakes and have already made corrections for guinea pig #2 who just finished his first year of high school.

I liken the homeschool journey similarly to childbirth.  The painful memories diminish as the joys grow each day.  Truly my happy homeschool experiences outweigh the horrible ones 100 to 1, for which I am stupendously thankful.  Our family is close and we love each other.  We love being together.  We love playing games together and they don’t end in yelling matches or wrestling fights.  We even love vacationing together.  Secretly, the kids even love learning together, but they try to keep this under raps.

The great news is that I am still looking forward to planning next year!  I still love homeschooling.  I love being with my kids.  I love learning and teaching.  However, it is with great relief in my ever-loving-heart that I have exactly 81 days of NOT homeschooling ahead of me.  They will be busy days of summer movies, packing and planning for college for our graduate, swim parties, a 9-year-old birthday celebration, a marriage retreat, a relaxing vacation to the beach and then Tahoe, the homeschool convention and a visit to friends in Kansas and Colorado.  I have waited for THIS DAY…. June 4, 2012 for a Loooooooong time.  It arrived.  I am beyond elated.  :o)

American History Ends!

May 14, 2012

Yes, the Mayans were right!  2012!!  THE END!  American History was the topic this past year for my homeschool class of high schoolers… and it ends day after tomorrow.  We started in 1440 (Go ahead and guess why we started there!) and ended in the 1970s.  I told the kids if they want to find out what has happened in the last 42 years, they are on their own!  The Vietnam War ended and we were done.  Kaput.  Finis. 

We did add a bit of culture and art to the study to keep it interesting (for me!) and we debunked several idols from these youngsters’ minds.  “Like what?”  you ask.  Well, it seems of few of them were drawn to the hippies…. the Jesus people… the Kennedy’s… the Beatles… all for glamorous reasons.  Then we studied some of their lifestyles, choices, outcomes and habits.  Not too glamorous after all.  Perfect!  That is why we homeschool!  To look at REAL history.

Another homeschool mom (who might just be crazier than me!) and I sat together today and did some planning for next school year… which we decided will start two weeks after all the public schools here in Arizona.  Because we can!  Yet another reason to homeschool!  We were at an Abeka display/sale in a nearby hotel.  If you don’t know anything about Abeka, it is a Christian based curriculum that is EXTREMELY thorough… so thorough that it actually contains TOO much school work for the average kid to endure.  It is great, in my humble opinion, as a “pick one topic each year” curriculum.  So we used it for American History and I loved it.  Next year we are using it for spelling and vocabulary.

Anyway, back to the two of us rockin’ cool moms sitting at the table amongst sold-out Abeka moms. We had another curriculum opened that teaches Godly character… and we were talking through a list of national parks that we hope to visit this coming school year.  We were discussing weather and what time of year would be best for us to go to each one.  She was explaining, and I was listening, all the science teaching that can be coordinated with the findings at each park.  We were planning our weeks of study at home… and our week at each park.  Eventually we noticed that the workbook moms sitting around us were all staring lustfully at our plans.  One finally blurted out, “I want to school with you two!”  hahahaha…. why do you think we do this?  We don’t want to be bored!  We don’t want to use ONLY books!  We don’t want to wear out the kitchen table!  We want to live learning!  I wanted to scream “Abeka is boring!  Look out the window at what God made for you to enjoy!”  But I didn’t.  The salesman was quite an impressive figure and I wasn’t sure I could take him, if need be.  The looks in their eyes solidified WHY we do what we do!  My friend whispered to me, “I think they just do school at home,” implying that they aren’t truly “homeschooling.”

We want our kids to love learning, to see creation as an organized and amazingly ordered system that WORKS, to appreciate great men and women who have endured and suffered and succeeded and lost and lived out their beliefs. But most importantly, we want them to know God.  To love God.  To serve others.  To use their individual talents for the kingdom.  THAT is why we do what we do!

A Classic Linda Day

October 10, 2011

It started out as an ordinary day in the life of me, but no day is ordinary in my life, as I have come to realize.  It was a “don’t-have-to-go-anywhere-or-look-nice” kind of day, so I was sporting my summer uniform of denim shorts and a Walmart USA t-shirt.  Breakfast was under way, but the blown-up chili and eggs on the inside of the microwave grossed me out beyond my comfort level.  As I always do, I filled a small bowl with water and set it in the microwave to be heated to boiling… and thus moistening all the hard-as-cement bits glaring at me.  This has been my “clean the microwave” practice for over 20 years.  It has never failed me until today.  I set the timer for four minutes and stood by spreading cream cheese on a bagel.  I was a little too close to the microwave for comfort.  The bowl boiled down to vapors and the pressure inside the little white oven blasted the door open. Yes, the water hit the side of my head and soaked my Wally World t-shirt.  I also screamed…. quite loudly.  And scared the dog.  Thankfully it was not boiling hot water… it was luke warm water that didn’t burn the skin off the side of my face.

As if that wasn’t enough excitement for one day….. I decided it was time for the bi-annual shower cleaning in the master bathroom.  Don’t judge me.  We do not have a water softener and the hard water clings to the shower door and walls like Saran wrap to itself.  Happily (ok, not really) I was spraying and scrubbing the shower… fully clothed, still in my summer uniform.  I was utilizing a large 7-11 cup to rinse the walls as I went along.  Then the phone rang and I abruptly stood up, my shoulder hitting the shower tap and turning on the cold water from the shower nozzle….. blasting the same side of my head that WAS recently dry after the microwave blasting only an hour earlier.  This was WAY more water, however.  Sufficiently drenched.

When my husband finally arrived home and we were sitting like the Cleavers having dinner around the table, he asked the ominous question, “How did your day go?”  “Before or after I got blasted in the head twice?”  Another classic Linda day.

A Windfall of Thoughts

August 2, 2010

The email last week announcing our forthcoming adoption referral has sent me into a tizzy of excitement. It is a rare night when I’m not asleep within nano-seconds of my head resting on the pillow…. but now I lie there in the dark with questions running amuck in my mind. I got out of bed last night at midnight and sent an email full of questions to our case worker. It’s nice, because they are two hours ahead of us, so I awake to answers!

In two weeks, one of my college roommates (and bridesmaid) is coming for a five-day visit with her hubby and three kids all the way from Manitoba. We have not seen them since their wedding day…. it must be about 21 years ago now. We are bosom friends and a fabulous time will be had by all. But I looked around my very lived-in and loved house and thought to myself, “These walls were white just five years ago!” So, with that bit of inspiration, and company coming, decorating and redecorating has commenced.

Our family room is not large and we have had a very large oak computer desk in there for the same five years when my white walls changed colors. A friend came up with the brilliant idea to cut the back off. Duh! Why didn’t we think of that five years ago? So, with skill saw in hand, my husband cut 15 inches off the back of the desk and added over a foot to our living space. YAY! (Really, I know it sounds ghetto, but even Larisa thought it turned out great!)

Then I noticed these dated lamps and too many end tables, and too many chairs…. and a garage sale was born, organized, conducted and finished in two days. $280 raised for paint and valance fabric! Yes! I’ve decided to break out of the white all mode and ….. brace yourself…. pale lime green will go up on these walls on Wednesday. I hope I don’t regret the bold move.  Of course, pictures will follow.

And Keeve, …. Keeve, Keeve, Keeve.  My 11-year-old son has been living in Zaza’s yellow room with a purple bed and lime green accents for over two years.  There are bunk beds in the boy’s room, but he gravitates to solitude.  So, today is the day!  He is moving out for good!  I have little wooden butterflies, dragonflies, flowers, bird houses and the smiling sunshine to hang up around the border of the room.  There are shelves to hang and the hand painted tea-table and chairs to move in there.  The antique gold trim on the dresser needs to be painted purple.  The legos and foam swords need to BE GONE!  I have two weeks until company comes, and then school starts the next week.  Then our referral comes… then we travel to Colombia.  So today is the day!  Wish me luck!

Faithful Readers

July 12, 2010

I am in awe of your faithfulness to come to My Sister’s Jar day after day after day.  Really.  I am.  You amaze me.  I’m hoping it’s because I amuse you.  Haha.   I have been MIA for several days for good reason.  We got back late last night from a four-day camping trip up to cool high country here in the great boiling hot state of Arizona.  Up on the Mogollon Rim in northeastern AZ it rains every afternoon in July and I found it splendid.  Really.  I did.  So did my boys.

Today we set up tents in the backyard in stifling hot Phoenix and hosed off all the mud.  The tents were dry in less than 10 minutes.  It seriously is a dry heat today.  110 last time I checked.  Toasty, but perfect for drying wet camping gear.  I’m also engaged in laundry.  There was no white pile today.  It was renamed “Used to be White” pile.  Camping does that to socks and shirts. 

My to-do list today included, but was not limited to:  Post Office, Chiropractor & Massage, Library, Grocery Store, Tire Shop and Bank.  Buuuuuuuuuut, one of my darling offspring found my keys and unhooked the house key/mail key half of the collection in order to retrieve the mail.  The more important half of the keys is still MIA.  The half that is missing includes the van key.  So, I did borrow my sister-in-law’s van to get to the chiropractor, but it is my locked van with no key that needs tires. Also I did not stop at the library because the cd that is overdue is in the locked van sitting in the driveway.  A tad frustrating.

Last month when we were somewhere between San Bernadino, California and Lake Tahoe, Rick’s keys went missing.  They have not re-appeared.  He’s been getting keys cut for two weeks, but still has not accomplished getting his house key cut.  Rick had to get new keys to the airplane, hangar, his office, etc.  It was a bummer, too, because our friends in Mississippi got him an Elvis key for his house key.  So cool.  So, between the two of us, we do have all the keys needed for living, but I’m going to really miss the remote door opener on my missing half of the key ring if it stays hidden.  Please, oh please, God, show me where they are!!!!

The last time we were irresponsible and lost keys was in 1989.  Rick’s keys AND his Trinity Western University hockey jacket both went missing, never to be found.  Then in 1991, Rick and I watched in slow motion as his keys slowly slid off the dashboard of our ski boat just out of our reach on the Peace River in Northern Alberta.  But that was not so much losing them as it was not wanting to dive and find them.  We knew where they were.  So we’ve been pretty responsible for over 20 years.  I’m not sure what happened this summer?!?

I’m impatiently waiting for my dear, hard-working husband to get home from work to unlock the van…. so I can get a few more boxes checked off my to-do list.   We leave tomorrow for ten days in a cabin up north in AZ… where it is between 80 and 85 all day! (Yes, we will have been gone five of the first seven weeks of summer…. believe me when I say that is GOOD!)  I’m not sure if I will have internet service or not.  Please stay tuned.  Thank you.  That’s all.

The 2nd Gerber Daisy has Raised its Sleep Head

April 15, 2010

Gerber daisies take FOREVER to bloom.  Seriously, it’s only about 4 to 5 weeks, but the anticipation of a burst of beauty makes it seem longer.  WAY longer.  Back in March, my first Gerber daisy bloomed and was taken down by a wet towel thrown by a child that I gave birth to.  Unbelievable.  Then a bud appeared…. the promise of life anew….weeks later she opened her drowsy eyes and lifted her hot pink head.  FINALLY!  (Yes, I dragged my son out there to witness the beauty and miracle of nature to increase his appreciation of God’s hand in our backyard. He didn’t actually thank me, but I felt the thankfulness emanating from his little heart.)

The exceedingly good news is that there is already another bud forming….. so in May, I’ll have continual hot pink yummy eye candy to behold.

April is so wonderfully warm and inviting in Phoenix…. leads to the illusion that summer might linger off in the distance a while longer!  Makes me want to sit in the backyard swing and forget the laundry, the homeshooled youngin’s, cooking, cleaning, carpooling, etc., etc., etc.

The name of the following flower is still a mystery.  Please share your wisdom in the comment section concerning the name of said purple flower.

That is all.  Hasta luego.

Another Day in the Acapulco Dress

May 29, 2009

Seriously, it is my summer-I’m-not-leaving-the-house uniform.  It’s a black cotton tank dress that is the epitome of comfort… not style, at all.  We all have one… but not all say Acapulco on the front.  My kids don’t need to ask if we’re going anywhere when they see me sporting the Acapulco dress.  It’s the sign.  We’re staying put.  My dad used to put on a red t-shirt and white shorts and all of us kids knew to get in the station wagon for a trip to Canada.  Traditions die hard!

OK, not a smart move on my part, but the day after a minor out-patient surgery I decided to move furniture.  Dumb, I now know.  Seems lipomas (benign fatty tumors) run in our family and so I joined the fun and had a few removed from my neck.  It really was minor… until I moved the living room and dining room furniture, which, by the way, includes all 25 of my stuffed-to-the-gills 12×12 scrapbooks.  Good grief, they are heavy.  The new room arrangement looks decent.  It’s hard to “decorate” a long narrow room and make it inviting and cozy, but I gave it a valiant effort… with stitches in my neck.  Like I said, I now know how dumb that was. 

This morning, three days post-op, I dropped off son #1 for a day at the lake of water skiing, boogie-boarding, jet skiing and tubing and then stopped by Wally World for milk, eggs and fruit.  (OK, and I bought some flowers to plant… BUT I’m not planting them for a few more days.)  Anyway, my strength was zapped by the car ride home at 8:45 a.m. where I discovered son #2 and daughter #1 still sleeping and it about did me in to carry in the groceries. 

So, I’ve finished reading a book today, took two naps, watched two movies and wrote a blog.  It’s 8:31 p.m. and I’m ready for bed.  I’m hoping for renewed strength tomorrow and planting-flower energy.  But they can wait if I need to nap again.

My advice to the world from my vast post-op experience, sit on the couch and do nothing the day after surgery.  Have your children wait on you.  Get drive-through food.  Forget the laundry.  Forget the dishes.  And most importantly, don’t move furniture!

100

April 21, 2009

 

heatwave

Yes, April 21st, 2009… it hit 100 degrees today.   {{{sigh}}}  No more buying Skinny Cow mint ice cream sandwiches in the middle of the day without a cooler of ice in the back of the van.  No more barefoot runs across the street to my brother’s house.  No more lobelia.  No more jeans, unless of course we’re going to a hockey game, but that won’t happen because the Coyotes didn’t make the playoffs.  No more comfortable car to get into.  No more windows open at night.  Bye bye long sleeves and closed toed shoes. 

Bring on the sunscreen and the water bottles.  I just washed all the beach towels, so we’re READY should a water opportunity present itself.  I bet the Popsicle man is happy.

Larisa asked me today why we live in Phoenix.  I wonder that myself every SPRING when the thermometer hits 100 before Mother’s day.  I dream of someday living in a cooler place where plants actually grow in the summer.  Where the a/c doesn’t run 24/7 for six months of the year.  And where there are four seasons instead of just two:  nice or HOT.

I need to go find my fake tanning lotion.  It’s time.

Weather Report from AZ

March 23, 2009

We were getting a bit concerned here in Phoenix last week when the Spring Break temperatures passed 90*F.  Yikes.  Those are not March numbers!  I tried not to think ahead to the summer of sweltering days and stuffy nights.  All five of us got sunburned in one area or another while fishing at the river.  We all put on sunscreen… but obviously not very effectively. I have distinct red triangles on the tops of my feet.  Larisa was wearing water shoes, so she is only burnt in little circles around her ankles.  Keeve put on sunscreen and then changed shirts to one with a larger neck hole… so he has a crimson necklace.  Austin’s shoulders and neck got kissed by the sun.  And I’m not sure Rick ever used sunscreen, but his skin tans so quickly, he never turned red… before the lovely bronze color emerged.

sunburned-feet-002

Good news appeared outside this morning on our thermometer… 55*F… oh, thank you, Jesus.  It’s actually chilly in our house.  While I read to the boys, one curled up in a blanket and the other went and changed from shorts to pants.  Yes, it’s sunny, and yes, summer is still going to burn our bare feet, but for today… it’s a lovely March crisp day outside.  It’s 1:00 now and we’ve only made it to 65*F.  Perfect outside activity weather.  LOVE THIS!