My kids FIT! Halloween Homeschool Party

Homeschooling

Today was one of those days I never saw coming.  It was a day, however, that helped me tremendously.  The kids and I went to a Halloween party hosted by a local homeschooling family in conjunction with a homeschool co-op of which the kids and I have become a part.  On the drive home, I felt as if I received a divine intervention, if you will.  An “ah-ha” while driving and listening to my kids talking about the pet turkeys that they played with at the party (side note – my kids loved these turkeys and begged no less than 10 times before bed that we get some).
This was the first “school related activity” (before this all I had had experience with was public school activities) where my kids FIT! And I mean, truly fit.  Not once did I feel my face flush because Jackson was being…well….Jackson.  Once, as a reflex, I started to grab Jackson’s arm when he zoomed past me on a razor scooter inside the house/shelter area and then noticed the homeowner’s son and another child on their own scooters and everyone was fine and no one was upset about it.  The kids were being kids.  They weren’t being destructive or disruptive so no one batted an eye.  Alex was off in la-la land talking to the rooster and catching willy worms and had another girl along side of her doing the same thing.  I could tell she was immensely happy and content.  Jackson was equally happy and I could see he was loving playing with the boys pretending to be spies, knights or some other such daring people.

halloween party
I stood there watching the scene around me.  Kids were EVERYWHERE.  Inside, outside, in trees, in the woods, on the trampoline, on the jungle gym, roasting marshmellows, in groups of two’s or threes.  All of them in Halloween costumes (even scary ones like Jackson – Jason Vorhees) and the parents were calm, aware at all times where their kids were, and and laughing.  This is what real kids and real Moms look like.  There were some organized games but for the most part the kids chose what they wanted to do.  A pumpkin painting station.  A tub of water outside full of apples for bobbing.  A picnic table by the fire full of all the fixings for “gourmet” s’mores.  A kettle over the fire with water for making hot chocolate (parents helped).  It was the first time I sat down at a school function without fear my kids (OK – Jackson) was doing something outside the box and getting in trouble or making some other parent or teacher mad.
I want to reiterate – this was not a case of kids allowed to just run amok with no rules or discipline.  This was simply a group of kids allowed to be who they were.  I feel I’m not able to properly put in words what I mean but if you’ve ever gone to a public school party and felt it was one planned activity after another where the kids stood in a constant line to wait for the next activity to be spoon fed to them and had your child grow bored of this, lose their mind, and just want OUT of the line then maybe you’ll know what I mean.

The “ah ha” was that my kids would never have fit in to public school.  Could they have made it through, gotten good enough grades and graduated?  Of course. But to really fit somewhere there is an awareness of self, of finding acceptance.  Could they have done that?  Possibly.  If they were lucky. Alex, being the sensitive person she is, would probably found herself crying a lot for feeling left out, not listened to, and misunderstood.  Although she is much like me, a social butterfly, she is much more shy and self-conscious than I ever was at her age.  Already in kindergarten she was asking me to not tell her teacher she knew how to read.  Dumbing herself down had already began because she wanted desperately to fit in.    Jackson would have become a pissed off teenager who thought school was stupid and rebelled at some point (I still see rebellion in his future but hopefully at a healthier more manageable level – GOD WILLING)  But now….now that they are able to be who they are and not only that accepted and liked for who they are…who knows how much fuller their childhood and therefore their adulthood will be.

Thank you God for giving me the courage and patience to do this.  For allowing me to live in a country and state in which this is legal and allowed.  For putting me with this group of great people who accept me and my children for who we are.  We are blessed.  I am motivated now to keep on keeping on.

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Dita Von Teese. Strip Strip Hooray Tour

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As a surprise, my wonderfully awesome husband told me a few weeks ago we were going to Charolette, NC to see the queen of burlesque, Dita Von Teese.  If you don’t know who is she is, do yourself a favor and google her.  She is THE QUEEN of burlesque, a professional, a star!

Dita and her famous martini glass.  Now we understand each other right?

I have a terrible memory and because of that I want to put down, in writing, my experience at this show.  It was a bucket list thing for me so not something I want to ever forget.  So….

nightofshowwithjim

Before we head out to the show!

Jim purchased the most affordable tickets he could (cheap seats).  He apologized when we were on our way that we would have to “stand in the pits” all night.  We wouldn’t have a table.  I didn’t care.  I had been sitting in a car for almost 12 hours. mereadyfordita I welcomed the opportunity to stand.  But, I was curious/concerned as to what “the pit” meant.   We rolled into Charlotte with exactly an hour to check in to our hotel, unload our stuff, get freshened up, dressed and to the event.  Which meant I had about 30 mins to get ready.  This is me after a 12 hour drive so excited!

 

meandstage

One of the only pics from inside the venue. Look how close I am to the stage!

We get to the venue, The Fillmore Charlotte, which is located in the North Carolina Music Factory complex, at 7:15pm local time.   Doors didn’t open until 7:45PM.  We were confused as our tickets said the show was at 7:30pm, but we were happy we weren’t late.  We were told over and over by security and all kinds of signs that no photography or videography would be allowed.  This is why you will see no pics taken by me of the actual performances or Dita from this night.  I wasn’t about to risk getting thrown out.  After the security scanned our tickets, we ask where “the pit” was.  She points to the floor directly in front of the stage and says, “Anywhere on that floor.”  Jim and I stare at each other and Jim asks again, “That floor RIGHT by the stage?”  YES!  I run to grab a spot 3 FREAKING FEET FROM THE FRONT OF THE STAGE, squeal and do a little happy dance.  I was in disbelief.  “Right here?  I’m going to stand right here and see Dita Von Teese?  Shut the hell up!”  I think I left bruises on Jim’s arm from pushing and hitting him (a reaction I have when I’m excited).  Jim asked me if I would like a drink. I told him, “I’m not moving a muscle from this spot but if you want to go get us a drink that’d be awesome.”

While he was getting our drinks I met the couple next to me.  Peaches Divine and her man StageSlave Gavin.  Turns out they are members of a burlesque troupe about 30 mins from Charlotte.  We exchanged niceties, business cards and facebook info.  “Nicky Noir” took a pic with Gavin and he posted and tagged Nicky:

stageslavegavin

StageSlave Gavin told me about how he does a routine with his troupe where he wears assles and twirls them while doing and hand stand!!!  Seriously?!  This dude was awesome.  He also showed me how his pants were made in such a way (by his lovely girlfriend) so that they split up the side.  He explained that he came prepared to get on that stage and perform.  Wore some sort of special outfit, and underwear and everything.  I laughed and said, “On THIS stage?”  He said, “Yea man, you have to always be ready for an opportunity!”

murray hill

Murray Hill and Dita

At 8:30pm a short, stocky man(?) named Murray Hill bursts on stage and I was instantly a fan of his.  His off the cuff banter with the audience, his energy and self-effacing personality made him so fun to watch and listen to.  He said, “I know what you are thinking: ‘Is it a man or a woman.’  The answer is, ‘No.'”  He jabbed at a couple of homosexual men who had “1 Direction” hair,  woman, named Shirley, who was in her 60’s with a cane who brought her daughter and the “Burning Man” beside me (Gavin!!). He made fun of the people sitting 30-40 feet away from us who “Paid $100 more then these people right here.”  Woah, I would have been mad if I was them!  Then, he announces, “Dita Von  Teese is behind this curtain right now guys.”

And the magic began!!!

She started with her world renowned Martini Glass routine. Her costume to start was a complete tuxedo with tails and a top hat.

One thing I noticed about her performance was how slow and deliberate every thing was.  Many times she just walked or stood, in complete command of the stage.  She made eye contact with many of the audience members and once, for a split second, with ME!  And Jim had a moment as well.   She put you in a trance with her slow movements.  She lip synced a song about wanting a man to take his time.  And she did! I couldn’t have turned away if I wanted to.  By the time she actually stripped down to her pasties and g-string, I was a goner and head-over-heels in love with her, the show, and my night.  When she grabbed the olive that was floating in the martini glass and rung it out over her flawless curves I could do nothing.  No screaming.  No jumping.  Just mouth-agape gawking.

The blue, velvet curtains closed, I picked up my jaw up off the ground, exhaled and a Latina senorita, La Cholita, took the stage.  A much rounder woman with a booty, curves and ta-ta’s more on the order I’m used to seeing and she was fabulous!
La Cholita

And I don’t recall exactly who performed in what order but there was Mr. Gorgeous who evidently won the “Best Comedy Burlesque Act” at the New York Burlesque Festival.  He was at least 9 foot tall and wore heels.  A very awesome routine!  He came out as a quirky nerd with glasses, complete with tape in the center, and did a acrobatic comedy burlesque routine with a tiny chair.
Mr Gorgeous

Then there was a Russian femme fatale, Lada Nikolska of the Crazy Horse Paris who performed the iconic Parisian cabaret’s act “leçon d’érotisme.”  The red, velvet lip-shaped couch was just the perfect piece of furniture for this sensual and limber performer.   Yes, it was as hot as it sounds.
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After that Dita did her “Rhinestone Cowgirl” routine.  The number of Swarovski crystals used on her costume had to be in the hundreds of thousands.  If Ms. Von Teese could ever be called cheeky, she was the most cheeky during the start of this number as she walked around with her pink, crystal encrusted cowboy hat, chaps, holster and yes, even her revolvers.  cowgirlThe way the light reflected off of her was stunning.  Behind her, a (of course) pink upholstered mechanical bull sat.  It looked like an interesting back drop but we all knew what was going to happen.  We didn’t know how awesome it would be though.  Piece by glittery piece, her cowgirl get-up came off in flawless manner until she was left with her hat, a g-string and pasties.
When she finally climbed on top of her bull (which by the way, also had pink, crystal encrusted horns on the front) she tipped her hat and the thing started moving!!!!  Even though I knew to expect it I couldn’t hold in my shouts and whoops.  I can’t even begin to tell you how erotic it was.  If gyrating on a bull could ever be done artistically, with class this was it.  At the very end she laid across the back of the bull and it slowly spun around.  And then….and then…..GLITTER RAINED DOWN ON HER!  It was the mot perfect moment of the show for me.  I mean a photo can’t really capture it but it is as close as I can come to showing you how awesome it was.
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Intermission – crap did I need it at that point!  My senses were overloaded and I hadn’t moved from my spot for going on 2 hour and had heels on.  I was so enamored with the show I didn’t even notice my feet hurt.  As soon as intermission hit I became aware of myself again.  Peaches, Gavin, Jim and I both had an exchanges of, “Holy shit! Did you just see that?!”  None of us had words.  Who would?  I walked in a daze to the bathroom which I want to mention now the toilets were black.  FANCY 😉  I also noticed in the women’s restroom how large of a concentration of classy, sexy, and very attractive women were at this event.  Men, if you want to see a lot of hot, classy women and see a professional burlesque performance, keep a Dita show in mind.  Seriously.  Beautiful women everywhere!

Act II included some guy name Romeo.  Imagine a French guy (I guess he was hot) in a suit and tie doing a strip.  That was about the extend of it.  I’m not even going to find a pic.

poppycock

Prince Poppycock

Next, Prince Poppycock!  If you saw America’s Got Talent a few years ago, you might recognize him.  He sung an opera “Figaro” type song while burlesquing.  A very enjoyable number indeed.

After this was Murray’s Dance off.  He pulled three people up on stage:  One of the “1 Direction” gay guys, Shirley ( the 60 yr old grandma nurse with a cane) and some guy who looked like a pissed off member of ZZ Top.  1 Direction went first.  Everyone cheered.  They tried to get ZZ Top to dance but he made it abundantly clear that it wasn’t going to happen and he sat back down.  So, Murray, thinking fast, points to “Burning Man” and tells him to get up there.  STAGESLAVE GAVIN WAS DOING WHAT HE HOPED AND PREPARED TO DO ALL ALONG.  He gets up there and I see now that his pants are very, very loose.  He turns around with his back to the crowd, unties some thing on his pants and the back of his pants come off, showing that he is wearing a g-string.  He turns back around and slowly unbuttons his leather vest to reveal silver pasties on his nips.  THEN, reaches behind him to untie the remainder of his pants which fall of the front to show that he is wearing a rainbow “coin purse” over his junk.  Oh my gawk! I lost it.  I laughed so hard and was laughing with Peaches and saying, “I can’t believe he was prepared for THIS!”  Turns out the next day was his 41st and he was getting a big wish granted.  I can’t explain how hilarious this was.  Murray was shocked at what was happening too and said, “I know ALLLLL of you out there think that this is rehearsed but let me promise you…..THIS SHIT JUST HAPPENED!” LOL.  I knew that to be a fact.  After Gavin finished, Shirley went and she was obviously the crowd favorite.   A retired nurse with a cane gyrating to Sexy and I Know It ? No one could beat that!  After the dance off was over, Murray said that Dita had wanted to know who was being chanted by name (she had heard it in the dressing room).  Murray explained Dita asked that she and her daughter come back stage for a meet and greet!  How cool is that?!
Then the magic began AGAIN!

dita-von-teese-pinup-bird-paradise1Dita did her gilded birdcage routine next.  I absolutely loved this routine.  I can’t explain why.  I just loved it so much.  The cage, the costuming (which in all her numbers is amazing), her twin stage maids, the lights, the peacock sculptures that flanked both sides of her cage – all of it was perfect.  At one point, her stage maids went over to two peacock sculptures and “plucked” the tail off of them and handed them to her.  She then, proceeded to OPEN them dance with them.  They were so gorgeous.  The way they moved.  The way she moved with them and placed them on her body.  So beautiful.  I said many curse words throughout this number due to the fact that I couldn’t find any other words.  I want.those.feather.fans!  And the tail feather bussell?  Yea, that too!  Gah!

Finally, it was her Asian inspired Opium Den routine.  It was destined to leave the viewer wondering if they, themselves, had smoke opium.  It started with Dita laying in her fabulous den, puffing on an Asian pipe while fog machines added to the scene.  It was obvious during this routine, probably more than any other, of her training as a dancer.  Her movements….wow.  At the very end, four hands covered in red satin gloves reached through the curtain at the back of the den and rubbed her body slowly and sensually.  Slowly, the music builds.  The hands move faster.  Her movements become more frantic and then finally……BAM, flowers shoot out everywhere to the audience.  It was an obvious simulation of an orgasm and it.was.awesome.  opiumdencollageJim and I caught as many of the flowers as we could and giggled that we caught “Dita’s orgasm.”   I will keep them forever for safe keeping.  Because, although I, personally, didn’t have one for myself, I can say with all honesty I was COMPLETELY SATISFIED when I left the event that night.  Wow.  Bucket list is one item shorter. The 11+ hours in the car to get to her was worth it.

After the show we were very hungry so we walked across the street to a classic diner called “Mattie’s Diner.”  Isn’t she pretty?
mattie's diner
We were surprised and excited to be served by what had to have been Dave Grohl……
davegrohl

As I type this we are stuck in bumper to bumper traffic in Nahsville, TN.  We have been in the car for almost 9 hours thanks to 3 different wrecks and traffic jams and have another 3+ to go.  So ready to be home but we STILL think it’s worth it.  That, ladies and gentlemen, is how good this show was.

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6 weeks in

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For those of you wondering how I’m holding up homeschooling (especially those of you I’ve talked to because you are thinking about it) I won’t lie to you and tell you it’s easy and just the most wonderful experience ALL the time.  Nothing that’s worth doing is easy right? I’ve had days when I have wanted to throw in the towel.  And I’ve threatened to send them back to public a couple of times (OK – every day) but after 6 weeks I can tell you the positives outweigh the negatives.  Alex, my “first grader” is doing algebra like a pro.  They are doing science experiments and having “ah ha” moments on a regular basis.  Jackson is exploring his LOVE for history and technology.  I have watched them flourish with friends.  The co-op’s we are part of fill in any gaps in socialization I was worried about.  Do I miss my alone time sometimes?  Um, it’s Nut Fest Week – you take a wild guess – I would have love to have gone down there and had a deep friend something-something without having to worry about wrangling the kids or listening to them cry when they wanted to ride ride.  I also had a doctor’s appointment this week and had to take the kids.  The kids knowing my exact weight IS.NOT.COOL.

But, all that aside, I love it.  I know this is a season.  I think about when I had a newborn and a very active 1 yr old boy and I seriously felt that my life was over.  I felt as if I would never NOT be getting up 3-4 times a night to either nurse my newborn or settle my toddler back in bed.  I would never NOT be chasing one while the other was screaming.  I would never NOT be in a grocery story and have to leave a cart FULL of groceries because he or she was throwing a fit.  But, on the other side of that “season” I have learned so much.  Time goes by so quickly.  This time, this age of their lives, will not last long.  I feel I can give them an edge in life by homeschooling them and not having them go through the hoops/hassle of going through public school (especially in the state that it’s in now).  If I have to sacrifice a bit of my “me” time to allow that, so be it.  I have my social life.  I have my free time at other times.  And in only about 10-12 years they will be gone, off to college and starting their lives.  I will have a whole other “season” of my life to do exactly what I want when I want choose.   It is this idea that gives me peace.

So yea, this homeschooling thing is worth it.  Period.

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This doesn’t suck nearly as bad as I thought it would!

Homeschooling

I know that isn’t a rave review but seriously, going in to this whole home schooling thing I was convinced my kids would fight me, I’d lose my temper on a daily basis and they wouldn’t learn anything.  I would miss my quiet time at home alone.  I would be pulling my hair out.  I had terrible visions of my kids refusing to do something and me screaming and everyone crying.   The scene was something out of a horror movie where in the end one child is in prison, the other is still at home with no skill, no job and no future and I am laying in my bed, fetal position,  bald, with a bottle of whiskey next to me.

I am comparing this whole process to getting on a big roller coaster as a child.  The anxiety you have in the line is gut wrenching.  You see other people going on the ride, smiling, wailing and screaming.  You can tell it’s taxing on their bodies but they seem to be surviving it.  Then you see the people just exiting the ride.  They are laughing and beaming with adrenaline and saying things like, “that was awesome.” Yet, you stand in line, doubting the truth of their words.  I know many people who currently home school or did home school their kids, and did so successfully, and loved it.

Then there’s the strapping in.  You pray you have prepared yourself for this, spending countless hours at conventions, listening to seminars, researching curriculum, teaching styles and making what you hope are the best decisions for your family and children.  As you sit in the queue waiting to take off, you hope that the attendant really did tighten that belt enough so you aren’t the first person to die on this ride.  I lost sleep the day before our first day running through everything in my mind over and over again that I needed to do, say and not say.

As the car makes it’s way to the first hill climb you start panicking.  This was a bad idea but no way to get out!!    Then that climb…oh that long, painstaking, jaw-dropping climb.  This is much like what I felt like as I waited for classes to actually start.  Other kids have been sent to school.  My kids are still home.  It’s too late to turn back now.  The waiting is torture.  Then that first drop comes at break-neck speed.  Your stomach is in your throat.

Then, a strange thing happens.  By the second and third drop and turn you start to realize why all those people were laughing and staggering with adrenaline when they exited.  It really isn’t that bad and even more to the point, this is fun!  I am now to the point where I’m having fun.  I’m not ready to raise my hands.  I am still white knuckling the bar in front of me but my face no longer painted with a look of sheer terror.  I look forward to the time when I can really let go and just let the car take me.  But, this really doesn’t suck nearly as bad as I thought it would.

If you are someone about to start home schooling, or someone who wants to but have the same fears I have had, please take heart!  It really doesn’t suck as bad as you think it will.  And you can do it!!!  From one scared, unsure Mom to another.  It can actually be fun!

Here are some pictures of today’s hands-on art activity we did.  Learning the color wheel, about primary and secondary colors and how they are made never tasted so good!  This was after learning about the birth of Jesus and why He was named “Jesus”, Christopher Columbus, practicing our spelling list, and practicing writing “C” and “D.”

colorwheel4

We learned about primary and secondary colors, the color wheel and how secondary colors are made.

colorwheel3

We used white icing. The kids and I used food coloring to dye tree of the bowls the primary colors. Then we mixed the two colors to make the secondary colors. They loved it!

colorwheel

Then they smeared their “colors” on gram crackers and we had a yummy snack!

colorwheel2

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Puppet Show

Crafty, Homeschooling, My kids

Although we don’t technically begin our curriculum until after Labor Day, we have been working more and more on getting our days structured and peppered with “homeschool-esque” type of activities.  Today I decided to just do completely child lead learning.  Some may call this unschooling.  I think it’s just called being a mother.  We all do this with our kids from birth practically.  Your baby points to a balloon in a book and you go on about how it’s a circle, it’s blue, it goes “pop”, etc.

I told the kids after breakfast that the TV and all screens are going off until after the school bus goes by.  So, on their own they went in their room and found some crafts to do.  First they found the sock puppet making kit (as a side note, it’s helpful to have quality books and activities laying around for them to “find on their own.”)

puppetmakingcollageThey then wrote one act of their puppet show.  Well, I physically wrote it because I was wanting to focus on creativity and learning about reading the script.  They had the script “back stage” to reference.  It was proud of myself for not laughing the whole time because it was just too dang cute.  To see the complete first act of their play (this is for Daddy basically) click the picture of my two yay-who’s below.  It’s been a good day to be a home school Mom.

puppet1

 

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Homeschooling Tryout Day

Homeschooling
IMG_20130809_113458_044

finished reports

Just to get me and the kids in the “mind” of how homeschooling will go we did a “practice homeschool” day. We did a few work sheets. About 20 mins worth. Then I had them each pick a famous person they admire. Alex picked Michael Jackson. Jackson picked James Gandolfini……yes, Tony Soprano himself.  (Side note: Did you know he was robbed of his Rolex shortly after his death?)

They had to print a picture of them, create their own version of printed picture using markers and crayons, then research and find 10 interesting facts about that person using 2 different source methods and no more then 3 facts from Wikipedia. Jackson ran into the bathroom and pulled out an “Entertainment Weekly” and flipped right to an article about him. Alex said she didn’t have anything other then internet sources BUT “I did see him in a movie. “The Wiz.” He was the scarecrow.” I told her that is a source!  Alex learned how to use the internet in this exercise because I had each kiddo on their own computer.  Usually Jackson is at the “helm” and she tells him where to go, so he can navigate the web as well as I can.  But, this FORCED her to take control of the mouse and do it herself.

They have been very receptive to this and I’m starting to think I might be able to do this. While they were researching, I told them to keep their facts secret because once they are done we are going to do a book report “in front of the class.” I decided this when every time they would find a fact they would shout it out. LOL. So, for 30 mins they were on their own computers researching while I was able to get dishes going, a load of towels washing, and their room and living room picked up felling like a freaking BOSS!

Once they started getting antsy I told them it was recess and set a timer for 15 mins and said to go play. They are in their room playing on their “car town” rug and will for 15 mins.  Then they will get back to their research.


All told they kids did around 2 hours of actual “school” with three breaks when I saw their attention waning.  Not bad!
I understand this is all new and exciting and every day won’t be like today but at least my first impression isn’t terrible.  That gives me hope that maybe this can work.

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Alex’s Micheal Jackson research paper. She numbered her facts.
Notice the little “ABC” below “123” followed by a little smiley face?
She thinks she’s cute……and she preety much IS!

So, in conclusion, today was a great day.  Off to try again on Monday!

*update: Jackson had a meltdown and said that 10 facts was too much.  After having a conversation with him, I agreed that for our first research paper that 5 is enough.  This is a BIG deal for me because I am one of those people who holds on to an idea to a fault.  But I was able to choose my battle on this one and allow the kids to do only 5 facts and they did so and loved it.  I’m more proud of myself on this then the kids.  They are totally ready to BE homeschooled.  It’s myself who I worry about actually TEACHING.

 

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Rule of 3 – observations of female relationships

Just my opinion, My life, Uncategorized

All my life I have always had many friends.  But like most people, there are few people I would consider my “best friends.”  I have three best friends whom I’ve known since before puberty.  They are the ones that were there during all the pain and wonder of middle and high school.  They were the ones who helped me through first loves, break ups and learning what it meant to be a “woman.”  And I helped them through the same processes.  These are the women whom I asked to stand up with me at my wedding and they asked me.   Together we make 4.  Throughout our adolescence and into adulthood it was a constant rotating of who was sort of “out” of the circle.  It seemed if really we were a rotating circle of 3 with the players changing out of 4 people.  Many times I was the one on the outside of the circle.  As a young woman this would confuse and hurt me but as I’ve grown older, gotten married, had kids and lived a full life I’ve found that this is OK with me now. My role, so-to-speak, is different than that of the other girls in the group.  I know they love me and I love them but I’m just not in the intense circle of life with them.  And that’s OK.  I have absolutely no hurt feelings.  I know if at any time I needed someone in the middle of the night I could call any of them and they would be here in a drop of a hat.  And I think they know that is true for me as well.  One phone call and I will move heaven and Earth to be there for them.  That’s friendship.

As I have moved about the state, I have found myself trying to find new circles of friends.  Once again I found that the “rule of three” in a group of women holds true.  One short stop in Washington proved this true again.  Two women can be wonderful, best friends with absolutely no problems.  Three is OK and with little conflict and a good harmony.  But, throw that 4th woman in and for some reason shit starts flying.  Three team up against one or three stick together and leave one out.  And what’s weird is that “odd woman out” role changes depending on the situation.  Maybe when it comes to how you raise your children woman A,B,C are the circle and D is just out of her mind and doesn’t spank her kids. Or maybe it’s housekeeping.  B,C,D see eye to eye but that woman A?!  She lives in a sty (I mean have you SEEN her kitchen?).  Then maybe on marriage or husbands is A,B,D with C having an asshole of a husband.  How can she put up with him?!  It’s the strangest thing I have ever seen and I KEEP seeing it.

I am now seeing this in my own daughter’s life!  She’s old enough now to have sleepovers.  I will watch them almost as a case study.  4 girls is a recipe for disaster and tears almost every time.  Someone is left out of the game.  Someone doesn’t have a crown to wear.  And it’s always ONE that is out.  Never two against two.  Always three against one.  As a child this is terrible.  As an adult, until you realize what it is, it can still hurt.

If you find yourself as the odd woman out in a group of 4 friends, take heart.  Next week it will be Susie who’s out.  Just know your role and wait for your turn on the roller coaster.

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Brian, Lisa and Cierra lose their home to house fire.

Uncategorized

Today was a long, hard day for my brother’s family. First off let me say I am tired and it’s been a long day so please excuse my typos, my overall lack of creativity in writing style, and any missed info you are wanting. I’m just wanting to get this down so I can go to bed.

Long story short. My sis-in-law, Lisa, was taking her two weiner dogs out to potty this morning around 9 and after being out with them for around 5 mins she turned around to come back in and saw a flame shooting out the back door, near the washer/dryer area. She ran screaming through the field to my mother’s home and told them to call 911. By the time the fire fighters arrived the windows had blown out and the entire house was engulfed in flames. It was a total loss. My 15 yr old niece, Cierra, was at school and my brother was at work so thankfully everyone was safe.

I know the first two things out of everyone’s mouths are, “Is everyone ok?” and “How can I help.”  Yes, everyone got out safe.  Only material things were lost.  They did have insurance but until the details are worked out Warrick County Awareness and Evansville Watch are helping in collecting clothing so check them out on Facebook for that.  If you want to make monetary donations, you can donate via paypal.   Every bit of that money goes directly to my brother’s paypal account.  You can do that here.

I and my family have been so impressed with Boonville and the surrounding areas and the people within it. Our local family, friends and even strangers have been coming out to help in any way they can. It’s amazing how the community really rallies around a family in need. And this after Evansville just made the top 10 for most miserable cities to live in. Whatever. It’s a town full of great people with big hearts.

Here are a few pics I snapped while I was up there today.

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Finishing Touches on the “Learning Center”

Crafty, Homeschooling

First off let me say, I have finally come to realization (again) that homeschooling is the best option for my kiddos.  So, I have started preparing to begin our home education next fall.  The kids will finish out their school year this year.  As I am preparing for this awesome (and terrifying) adventure I have began creating a “learning center” in our living room.  We have a pretty small house as we will be building our dream home in hopefully around 5 years.  Until then, we need to make this work.

After scouring the internet, papers, goodwill, and consignment stores I found the PERFECT item on craigslist.com.   Here it is:

learning center

Well, that big wall area really seemed like a waste to me so I had to come up with something to utilize that space.  Like I said, we don’t have a big house so every space needs to work!  So, I got a  7′ X 30″ piece of sheet metal, decoupaged the pages from an old book to it, created some magnets from glass rocks and ceramic magnets:

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I love how it turned out!

My next project is to get my index card box organized for memorizing Bible verses as suggested by the Charlotte Mason method found here.  What a neat way to memorize Bible verses.

Wish me luck and say a lot of prayers for us.  I will need help in the patience and wisdom area!

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Some things change….

Funny crap, Mr. Tolerable, My life, Parenting, Politics

As I am rapidly approaching my 34th bday I am aware of several changes that have happened in and to me as I age:
1.) In the past year I have begun to not only eat but love potato salad, deviled eggs and turnip kraut. All things that as a youngster I thought were the most disgusting things known to the human pallet.

2.) I like Rod Stewart’s voice.  There I said it.  This happened today.  My entire life I have always said the likes of Michael Bolton, Rod Stewart and Bruce Springstein are tantamount to a sick cat with laryngitis   Today?  Something happened.  No idea…..Maybe it’s that whole when-you-get-old-you-go-deaf thing.  Gotta be it.

3.)  I now believe the party is NOT worth the hangover.  Man, that took a while to learn but sometimes, like giving birth, I think nature blocks out the bad parts and you only remember the glorious moments.  Like when you simultaneously solved all the Earth’s problem, smoked the wrong side of a cigarette, and became a bartender at Coyote Ugly (in your friend’s basement).

4.)  Midnight is late.  For the past 3 years the “Twilight” movies have all come out on my birthday or within days of it.  Also for the past 3 years, I have gone to the midnight showing.  This year?  Going to the 7pm showing and hoping to be home and in bed before midnight.  Life’s just too damn short to miss out on a good night’s sleep under my electric blanket.

5.) I like cats….suddenly.  I have a black Tom cat that I worked for WEEKS to tame (living out in the country there are ferrel cats under every shed).  He is now my baby and I actually buy cat food for the thing.  And I cleaned out a litter box for the neighborhood cat who I kept in my garage while she was pregnant and with nursing kittens so I could take care of them and hopefully tame and adopt said kittens out.  Next I’ll be getting “Momma Mia” fixed (although it appears as if the whore is pregnant again but I digress).  If asked, I would still say I’m a dog person but, cats are pretty stinking cool.

6.) This one is something that’s just come full circle.  As a teenager and person in my early 20’s I could give a rat’s petunia about politics.  Then, as I entered into my late 20’s I became very interested and vested in belief’s and parties.  I took life so serious and had it all figured out.  Now?  Meh.  I have no clue and am very aware that neither do “they.”

7.) I really don’t give a shit what people think of me. OK, maybe a little bit.  I mean, no one wants to leave the legacy of being a bitch.  But I’ve come a long way from the girl/woman who’s every single word, act and belief was tinged with “What will people think?”  I try my best to be a good Christian; to be a good friend; to be a good daughter, wife, mother, niece, cousin, aunt.  Try as I may, there will still be those who judge, belittle or talk.  But, I am very happy with the number of people in my life who do love and accept me.  If I can add to that number, great!  But if not one single other person joins in that crowd…I’m hunky dorey.

Now, it’s not as if all things about me have changed and I tend to think these things will remain constant well into my golden years.

1.) An attractive, fit and confident man with a warm smile and nice ass is a sight to behold and a vision of which I will NEVER, EVER grow tired.  Blanche knew what was up….

2.)   My husband is #1

3.) The most important job I have in this whole world is to instill love, acceptance, independence, the belief of Christ and confidence in my two children. Period.  Everything else is subscript.

4.)  “Lumberjack” by Jackyl and “Black Betty” by Ram Jam still kick some serious ass.  Definitely a constant.

5.)  No one can make me honk like Brittany Freeman and Elizabeth Howard.  Those two together?  Faggetaboutit.

6.) On that note – I still hate my laugh.  But, it does seem to bring joy to those around me so it’s not all so bad 😉

On to the future.  May the next 34 years be full laughter, love and sexy men in Levi’s.

 

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  • Why I Write this Stuff

    My children called me Bobby when they were toddlers due to not being able to prounounce "Mommy." They are now 7 and 8 years old and I am Mommy. But my real name is Mandy. I just do this so I can keep in touch with the REAL me. Being a Bobby is a dream I thought I may never realize and I do not take it for granted. I homeschool (more specifically unschool) my two children and it's easy to lose yourself in the tasts of the day. I just want to make sure that after 19 or so years have passed,and my kids have moved out, I'm not stuck looking in the mirror and squinting in hopes of seeing Mandy again.