Sunday, October 04, 2015

Getting There

It's funny how things come right back.  Day two found me at work before teacher reporting time by 30 minutes and leaving an hour after teachers are technically allowed to leave.  Just like always. 

We're slowing finding a routine, but Sunday evenings haven't changed.  I'm still the same girl who left her weekend homework to Sunday and the same woman who left lesson planning and grading to Sunday.  Doh. 

Some things never change.

And yet, there are new routines we need to figure out.  I said there was "no way I can work full time while Brien is still in school!" and here I am.  I said, "There is no way I can take classes while B is taking classes!" and, I'm about to.  I find I'm in a rush to go ahead and get my license renewed.  I told Nana this and she said, "Oh god! I hope you two don't kill each other!"  Pretty much.

The teacher I'm subbing for was there Friday, which was SO helpful!  I could observe her and the way in which she interacts with her class.  She was feeling quite wretched, and standing for any period of time left her reeling, so she worked with small groups (it was guided reading time, so that was what she would have been doing anyhow) and I walked the room assisting where necessary.  I walked the kiddos to the cafeteria and left her to sit and rest.  I taught science that afternoon. By the end of the day she was feeling more the thing and said being able to stay seated for so much of the day was so very helpful.  I'm glad. 

We worked together after school--she answered every question I had (I had been keeping a list as they came to me) and we decided that I'll go ahead and teach science every day, that way she can rest up at the end of the day.  And, when she's out, the class will already be used to me teaching, so no big deal. 

I'm helping with the grading and will be working to put grades in and keep up with whatever she needs.  I'm sort of her right hand woman as it were. I'm there for her and for the class. 

I've spoken with a couple of parents, and they seem pleased.  In fact, one is an acquaintance/friend (you know the kind? You're friendly, and friends of a sort, but not "true" friends because you just don't know each other that well?) I've known through swim team, her son and Bean were at Co-op together last year, and they were in WAC swim lessons together in the spring.  Her daughter is in the class, and at centers time, she was in the office with a hot cup of coffee and a pumpkin cookie from Starbucks.  She gave me the most enormous hug, and handed me the coffee and cookie and said, "Oh! I'm SO happy you're in there!"

It was such a warm and welcoming gesture and it made me a bit teary.  It's nice to be wanted, what can I say?

I'm hoping to roll this sub job into a more permanent position down the road.  For now, I'm where I'm most needed and I'm happy to be there.  :o)


1. Yesterday was GG's birthday!  We had dinner at their place since the weather was wretched (more on that in a moment).  Mom and Dad made brisket, mac and cheese pie, succotash, and rolls.  I made a banana cake.  It was a wonderful meal and we all got to talk to Kelsey, then Jen and Miles and Joss (and Derek in the background) on FaceTime and then Josh and Ever on Skype. :o)

2.  The weather.  Hurricane Joaquin was making a beeline for us for awhile there at the beginning of the week.  I'm SO relieved he headed off to sea instead!  It's still been a blustery, wet, icky weekend, with lots of tidal flooding across the area, but not like it could have been.

3.  Ellie had a dive clinic down in NN at the midtown pool.  She needs to be dive certified by USA Swimming in order to compete in any meets.  She did three starts, was declared certified and we were off.  She has a beautiful dive. :o) 

4.  To add on to number three, she's registered for her first meet Oct. 17!  She'll be swimming 25 free and 25 back in the CGBD (Coast Guard Blue Dolphins) Top Banana 8&under meet!  She's SO excited!

5.  Brien made me new checklists.  I haven't needed them for five years.  It's so strange to need them once more. 

6.  Starting to settle into this new routine.

No milestones.

Thursday, October 01, 2015

Day One

I grieved this morning.  I've loved being as SAHM so much, and I sincerely wish I could do it always and forever.  But, I can't.  At this point, with Ellie in school, it would truly be financially irresponsible of me to not work and contribute to our family. 

I had planned on easing back into the classroom (I knew I needed to teach because I needed a schedule that matched the girls') with subbing.  This would give me flexibility to be home if the girls were sick or if there were doctor or dental appointments, etc. 

I remembered how time consuming teaching is with the paperwork and planning and grading and all the other assorted time-taking things. 

I had only just visited HR on Tuesday and been told I'd need to report the following Thursday for orientation when I got the call early yesterday evening.  I didn't have time to think, I just had to accept it.

It's a wonderful position and at the girls' school--now OUR school!--which is what I had been praying for. 

I obviously couldn't sleep last night and awoke at 5:00 and couldn't go back to sleep.  My brain wouldn't stop running. 

I'm not sure where to begin, so bear with me.  The class is WONDERFUL. The room is filled with a really sweet bunch of kiddos who have been through the wringer.  They're worried about their teacher, there's been very little consistency what with the different subs in and out and Mrs. S not knowing from one moment to the next how she feels. 

I introduced myself to the kiddos at the classroom door, with a smile and a handshake.  I asked them to tell me about their class and how it's run, looking for some buy-in.

They filled me in and really settled right in.  They're old pros at the sub-thing, I guess. ;o)

At this point in the evening, I'm exhausted.  Everyone seemed so very happy to have me in the building and some were happy for me.  It's been lovely to be greeted so warmly and to know I'm appreciated. 

There's more to tell, but I'm dead on my feet.  I came home and raced right out to swimming and this is really the first opportunity I've had to sit down and I find I'm nodding off as I try to type. :oS

So, if this is disjointed and makes no sense, bear with me.  This was the first time I'd been in a classroom all day in five years.  Whew.

I'm off to bed.  :o)

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

I'm Gainfully Employed!!

I begin working tomorrow.  The principal at the girls' school called and asked if I'd be interested in doing a long term sub.  Of course I accepted!

There are so many details to share and sift through and think about.  I want to write it all out so I have a record of it here.

For now, the basics:
*the teacher is fairly ill and will be in and out quite a bit
*I'm to be there every day, whether she is there or not
*It appears I will ostensibly be a part of the fifth grade team
*yes, I'll be teaching fifth grade
*yes, I'm scared because I've not done this in five years--yes, I've taught, but I've not been in a classroom proper
*yes, I'm insanely excited!
*the girls will come to school with me and go home with me, meaning no before/after care
*I'm so grateful for this opportunity

Tomorrow's my first day and I can't stop my brain from spinning.  I've picked out my clothes, the coffee's ready to go and lunches will be packed in the morning--tuna casserole all around. 

Oh my goodness!  Back in a school!!  I never thought I'd be ready to go back, and yet, here I am.  School is home. :o)

Monday, September 28, 2015

Thoughts on Schooling

She's thoroughly enjoying swimming twice a week.  Hooray!
So the yo begins to swing up once more. 

It's not there yet.  I expect it'll be a little longer, but, it's headed that way.  It was stunning how quickly it dropped and it forced me to step back and assess the situation and how I need to take care of me.

It was a hectic week--as all weeks are beginning to feel--and I really just didn't feel like writing as I tried to pull everything together.

Thursday was Back to School night and Friday was a walk through CW with C and family game night and by Saturday I was feeling more like me and less frazzled and down.

There's still a LOT going on and so many things I now feel like writing and sharing and working through.  There's the mundane and cute like the puppies and how they're no longer tiny and are moose and huge but still cute.  There are the photos from Friday night's game night I want to post.  There are so many photos I just want to get on here for the girls later in life.

And, there's school. 

It's funny how school is such a different experience for everyone.  For Bitty it's always been her own special brand of torture, a real love/hate relationship.  For Bean?  It's heaven on earth.  She bounds off the bus daily and tells me how "fabbylous" it was.

I mean, this greeted me last Thursday.

 Complete with tail.

She truly adores school as I did.  I may not have been the biggest fan of projects and homework and the drudgery of school, but I loved being in class and learning new things and being with friends and, quite honestly, the routine of the school day (and even year) was always soothing to me.  I've always been a creature of habit, routine and tradition.  I am very uncomfortable with change and loved the sense of predictability school gave me.  I have a strong suspicion my Beanie is the same way.

She sees Owen on the playground and the two of them play everyday.  He's her bestie from preschool and while she was saddened they weren't in class together, she is so happy to find him outside during recess.  She told me that, "I just fell in love with him and he fell in love with me and we just love each other.  We've always been like that."

Owen is a sweet and precious boy and has a wonderful family, and Lily and his brother Austin were in class together last year and they became friends as well.  It's all delightful.

But, more than seeing Owen and her other friends, she just loves school.

I can totally understand that.  I just love school too.  :o)

I was in the building--volunteering for the Book Fair--Thursday and it felt like home.  Everything about it.  The smell, sounds, children, camaraderie among adults were all so familiar and I realized how much I do miss being in schools. 

I was working with a group of children trying to write out wish lists and one of the other volunteers looked over at me and said, "You're a teacher, aren't you?"  Ha!

Yesterday during Religious Ed, I had a child who was not at all comfortable separating from mom, so mom stayed for the entire lesson.  Oh goodness.  I always feel like I'm in the spotlight when that happens, and, it was the first RE of the year.  Eek!

As we were wrapping up, mom told me she thought I was incredible and that I truly had a gift because she was entertained the entire time.  I replied I hoped the children were entertained because they were the ones I was trying to get the message across to. ;o)  She chuckled and we chatted for a bit and she said, "This is obviously your gift and calling." 

As much as I would have disagreed with you five years ago--I was so burnt out--she's right.  School is where I'm meant to be. 

And, it's where Bean is meant to be as well.

 But then, there's my sweet Lily.


She loves to learn.  She loves to dig in-depth and thoroughly explore an idea.  She is so sweet and always so eager to please her teachers.  She has a couple close friends and loves to play with them, or be like Ferdinand and just sit quietly under the trees at recess, reading her book.

School is utterly exhausting for my little introvert.  She's learned a number of coping strategies along the way and she tries so hard, but being around so many people wrings her out.

To complicate things, my baby is a pack rat of epic proportions and has absolutely no organizational skills.  Every year I try to set her up for success and every year I'm thwarted.  She simply struggles.  She's one of those students that absolutely frustrates every teacher alive--she's cracker jack smart, funny, sweet, engaging, a good citizen, and an absolute disaster when it comes to knowing where anything is in her desk and turning in assignments.  ARGH!!!!!  She's pig pen.

I love her so very much and my heart breaks because I know she's going to continue to have this struggle throughout her school career.

This year is fourth grade. 

There's no messing around in fourth grade.

I can't pinpoint what it is about the jump to third to fourth that's so significant, but it's HUGE.  Sure, the jump from second to third is pretty big--from primary to elementary, receiving letter grades, much more responsibility--but the jump from third to fourth is truly epic.

Some kiddos have no trouble with this jump.  They roll with it and adapt and keep going.  For some it's such a challenge. 

Miss Bit can do the work.  Sure, I'm frustrated with her spelling, punctuation and inappropriate capital letters, but she's writing and has the correct answers.  She can do the math (although she lost some of her rapidity of recall of multiplication facts this summer because I didn't push it and we didn't do them...mommy fail) and there are no struggles with reading. 

Lil's struggles are with attention and focus and organization.  That, and this little kernel of "Why can't I do things my way? Why do I have to do them your way?" (She gets this from her Daddy...) She's utterly frustrated by the lack of autonomy and she's quite deliberate in the way she completes tasks to the point of it taking forever.  So, when the teacher says it's time to move on to another task and she has yet to complete the first (if she sees no sense in doing the task she becomes unfocused and dawdles), she becomes flustered and frustrated. 

Homework is the bane of my existence and hers.  (I could go off on a diatribe here, but won't. Suffice it to say, even as an educator, I see little to no value in homework for the sake of having homework, let alone having it nightly. ARGH!) I have to sit at the table with her and continually redirect her to the task at hand so we can just get it DONE.  UGH. 

Miss Bean comes in with her Kindergarten homework ("Draw three circles and color them in") sits down, does it and bounds out the door to play.  It's so unfair and frustrating for Lil. 

It's not that Lil's homework is hard or particularly onerous.  It's just tedious. :o( And, there's so damn much of it.

So, I have a child who wants to fully delve into content that interests her, has no practical organizational skills (she has her own way of doing things, and while effective in her bedroom--but oh lordy the piles and mess--it's of no help in the classroom), and a bit of a quiet rebellious streak who is worn out by crowds and can't attend to more than one task at a time without being completely overwhelmed. 

My heart breaks.  I love this child so much.  Every quirky, creative, loving, sweet, scattered inch of her. 

I want her teacher to love her too. 

I want her to love school the way Ellie and I love school.

I think I'm going to be lucky to have one of those things happen.

We're only on the fourth week of school and already there's so much struggle.  :*( She's going to hate me.  How can she not when I'm sitting with her every day redirecting and telling her what she's doing isn't acceptable?

While school is so perfect for Beanie and me, it's simply not for Lil.  But, homeschool would be even less perfect.  I would kill her.  Plain and simple.  And she would kill me.  It would seriously destroy any relationship we have.  I know this about my child...and me.

Therefore, as her mother, it's my job to try to help her navigate those frustrating waters as best I can. 

I know she's frustrated--and will grow more so as the years progress.  I saw her Daddy in high school and college (so very much college...), I've heard stories of elementary school.  I know she is him through and through and I can see the road we have before us.

I want to cry.

She so desperately wants her teacher to love her and to please, and at the same time she's being pulled by her other side that wants to do things her way and becomes so very upset when she perceives something's unfair or that she's being treated unfairly.  

She's already run into trouble with a missing math assignment.  She's not sure where it is, but suspects it's somewhere in her desk. 


She's a paper-shover-inner.  Oy.

She and B and I came up with a plan of action--she's to have a folder for each subject, and put whatever she is working on in the corresponding folder when it's time to move on.  No more loose papers in her desk.

She told me she thinks this will work because this way she can still have piles.


Sweet girl.

I'm trying to remember in the midst of my frustration and grumpiness with her, that she's just a little kid and that she needs me to help her figure things out.

I worried this day would come from the time she was in kindergarten.  As her mama and a teacher, I was afraid I could see what was going to happen and I prayed I wasn't right. 


So, we just keep plugging away.  I keep helping and redirecting and motivating.  I pray her teacher loves her and doesn't become so frustrated with her she's ready to toss her out a window.  I'm in a rather unenviable position in that I've been in her teacher's shoes and I know.  :oS  It's so unfair that school should be so joyful for one and so awful for another.

I pray for my sweet baby.  It's going to be a loooooong year.



Number three is out! She was playing with it, wiggling it, and it simply popped out!

Back in CW.  Ahhhhh. :o)


These two!  They're such puppies and so impulsive!  And yet, they're so darn precious. :o)

These two.  Holly will be 13 next month.  Good grief!

This happened the other day.  You may recall we decided we had better get another dog for when something happened to Holly, so that poor broken Finn-dog wouldn't be left and lost.  I took Finn and Holly to see Dr. B two weeks ago and she couldn't believe Finn was the same neurotic dog she had seen before.  She was truly surprised he was so "normal".  Okay, he's NOT normal.  We in our house recognize this fact, but bless him, he's come a LONG way and these two are playing a huge part in that.

6.  We had a guy stop his car at the bus stop corner the other morning, lean out smiling and ask, "Are y'all really just that friendly in this neighborhood?" Yes!  We are!  We smile and laugh and wave to people as they go by!  He just couldn't seem to believe it!  He brings his baby girl to my friends Jasper and Judy to care for during the day and this morning I saw him driving by and had him stop so I could see the baby.  Oh! Oh she's SO very precious!  His name is Travis and he's just lovely as well.  It's always so heartening to realize there ARE good and kind people in the world. :o)

No milestones.

Prayer and Positive Thoughts Request

My friend Angela's little girl, Adrianna, is in the hospital with an unknown condition.  She's 12 or 13 years old and has been having miserable abdominal cramping and trouble with her bowels.  They've done a CT scan and are still uncertain.  There is suspicion of an intestinal blockage and/or Crone's Disease.

Whatever it may be, Angela is of course, a wreck--as would any of us be were it our child in pain in the hospital with few answers available to us. Please pray for and send positive thoughts up for Angela and Adrianna if you can. 

Thank you so much!

******************EDITED 9/28/15 11:01 TO ADD**************
I worry this comes off that I love Ellie more, that she's not a trial to me in any way and that Lily is nothing but a pain in my neck, when this couldn't be further from the truth, on either side.  Ellie can totally make terrible choices and be a pain, and Lily, sweet Lily, I just want so much for her and I want her to be happy.  This parenting gig is not for wimps...

Tuesday, September 22, 2015


I'm going to preface this post by saying I have no idea where it's going to go.  It's going to be a ramble for sure, a place to dump all the thoughts and feelings I've had the past few days and it's most likely going to make no sense. 

The month has gotten away from all of us.  Brien took leave the first week.  The girls started school the second week and B was sick sick sick.  Last week we had company and were busy trying to adjust to yet another change in our weekly schedule as Ellie started swim team. 

Saturday I announced it was "Talk Like a Pirate Day" and B said, "Crap!  I forgot to take Monday off.  I lost track of time."

We all did.

Yesterday was Septembager 21st and Miss Monkey's birthday. 

And it sucked.  Hard. 

It was, without a doubt, the hardest birthday I've had in a long time. 

Saturday was spent with Nana and the girls as we left our boys working on a deck and a paper for school. 

Sunday was church, followed by religious ed (I had to teach and had no idea and had to come up with a plan on the fly and it worked, but I HATE doing that), followed by a catechist meeting, meaning I didn't get home until after 2:00.  Neither did my two very patient little girls who were ravenous.  Then, it was off to neighbor Katie's house for a Thirty-one party (it's hard to host parties and invite folks and then have no one show up, so I showed up) at 3:00.  I thought it would go for an hour.  Three hours later I was home.

I was peopled out.  And, lingering in the back of my mind was the knowledge it was Hannah's birthday the next day. 

That evening after I tucked the girls in, I kept thinking about what I was doing 14 years ago.  How I was in the most excruciating pain of my life. How the pitocin was the most godawful drug in the world and I was just trying to get through transition with back labor and no epidural.  How the waves kept crashing and taking me under and I never could find the surface. 

Brien thought I was going to die.  Seriously.  I didn't talk for hours.  Those who know me know that was a bad sign as apparently I have a lot to say and can't shut up...

Midnight rolled around and I was still awake, remembering how I finally just had to push. 

Two o'clock and I still couldn't sleep.  And then, it happened, I started sobbing.  Uncontrollably.  Great, wrenching sobs.  Oh god.  It was awful.  I've not sobbed like that in so long.  I cried for an hour. 

My poor husband.  He awoke and simply held me as I sobbed and felt my heart break all over again. 

It broke with the knowledge his daddy's girl was gone.  Bitty and Bean adore him, but their relationship with him is not the same.  I want for him what I witnessed in the row behind us in church on Sunday with that daddy and that little girl.  Once again I felt guilt over my role in the destruction of that relationship.

I felt guilty.  I haven't felt that guilt over Hannah's death in so long. 

I've mostly forgiven myself and accepted the fact it was a tragic accident.  But Sunday night, I just didn't feel that.  It was once more my fault for taking her that day. 

I don't guess I've ever fully accepted it was just an accident. 

I thanked Brien once more for not divorcing me, for repeating again and again it was an accident, that he loved me and it wasn't my fault. 

I kept flashing back to those early, awful, confusing days of new parenthood and what a struggle it was.  How I screwed up so many things with that poor little baby, how I wished I had known then what I know now. 

And then, the dreaded "what ifs" popped in my head.  I LOATHE the what ifs, and avoid them at all costs because they're not helpful, productive or useful in any way shape or form.  But, I was exhausted, peopled out and emotionally spent.  I had no defenses and there they were. 

I slammed the door on them before too many got through, but enough eked by that I was once more wracked with grief and guilt. 


It's been so long since I've been here. So long since I have felt this wretched and awful. 

I got roughly four hours sleep Sunday night, so yesterday I was dragging.  My eyes were gritty and awful.  I still felt wretched and miserable.  I was barely functioning.  As I laid in bed the night before, I kept having this since of deja vu.  I knew that feeling. It was the same one I'd had in the days after we lost Hannah, the feeling of not wanting to get out of bed and do anything, of not wanting to face the world. 

I feel like such a fraud on days like yesterday (and even today).  I put on this smiling happy face and I don't feel that.  My Pollyanna self says that I'm faking it 'til I make it.  My grief riddled side says I'm a big fat fake and I'm depressed and should just accept it. 

But, I don't think I'm depressed.  And, really, I'm not.  It's a big fat MASSIVE down yo.  I've not experienced a down yo like this in so very long.  I've forgotten how utterly miserable it is and how much it sucks. 

It sucks the life out of me and the energy and the joy.  I'm trying to get by, to function and get through my day, and really, that's about all I've got. 

And, yet, it's not.  I have the most incredible network of friends and family.  I had folks texting me throughout the day to check on me.  Nana and Pop came over for dinner (sketty and garlic bread and chocolate lava cakes), and Brien left work as early as he possibly could.  I had offers of a walk, a visit, whatever I needed.  C stopped by with A and a brownie from the Blue Talon and a gerbera daisy.  Crystal had a bunch of sunny daisies at the bus stop yesterday afternoon. 

Jess called and checked in. 

I chatted with Lissie. 

My dogs and pups snuggled with me (well, Finn snuggled the best he could manage at any rate).  My husband and friends all doled out the BEST hugs. 

I'm so grateful to everyone.  I don't know what I've done to deserve such amazing people in my life, but they're there.  Courtney says you have good friends when you ARE a good friend. 

Through it all, I kept thinking about how my girl is perpetually five.  Forever and always.  Stuck there in our memories.  And, while on so many levels this is fine, I find I'm now pissed and jealous that I don't get to see her at 14, as a high school freshman.  I ache to know what she would look like.  I try to imagine and can't.  I get stymied by those fat cheeks that I'm certain no high school girl has.  I can't imagine how tall she would be.  Would she be pancake flat or have the Barnett/Noony boobs?  Would she be curvy or slender?  Would she be moody and overly dramatic (okay, this is a stupid one, of COURSE she would be!) or would she have found her groove?  Makeup or no time for it?  What about that sense of style? 

Then, I get a pang in my heart because I take it further.  And I can't stop myself.  Would we have Ellie if Hannah were still with us?  I'd love to believe I'd have been able to talk B into a third child, but oh god, what if I hadn't?  Holy crap all we'd miss by not having her in our lives.  I can't even imagine.  And yet, I can't stop my brain from going there.  WHY??

There was a universal consensus that yesterday was the worst birthday all of us have experienced.  We were trying to pinpoint why.  The weather was overcast and gloomy?  Ellie has started K and is more evidence of life moving on?  Han would be in high school?  All of the above?  Most likely. 

I swear.  I think I've got a handle on this grief thing and then it comes and smacks me upside the head as hard as it can and brings me to my knees. 

As I was trying to recover myself from my sobfest, I laid looking out into the dark and thought of all those lessons I learned in the wake of our loss--don't put off doing things with your kids, be patient, be understanding, your children are your most precious gift, time with your kids is time you'll never regret. 

And then, I thought about how I seem to have forgotten all of that.  I'm snappish and short--especially when it comes to homework and clean rooms and chores.  I promised Bean we'd read her library book and we still haven't gotten around to it.  ARGH!  It's those damn chocolate chip cookies I promised Hannah we'd bake all over again. 

I have once more slipped into that idea that I have all the time in the world.  The days are so very damn long.  Ugh.  Parenting in the trenches is long and arduous and trying.  I'm exhausted more often than not.  There are funny and joyful moments, but there's the tedium of the dailiness of it all. 

And yet, the years are simply flying by.  For goodness's sake, Hannah would be 14.  FOURTEEN.  Seriously?????  And, Lil's in the fourth grade and my baby is no longer a baby in any capacity, having started Kindergarten. 

It's time for me to take a step back and revisit those brilliant revelations I had and see if I can implement them once more.  I want to be joyful in my interactions with my girls, not always so grumpy.  I've turned into the unfun grump monster.  When did that happen?  Ugh. 

I want to claw my way back up out of this down yo and start fresh and new once more.  But, as I remember from what seems so long ago now, the yo goes down and then it comes back up in its own time.  I need to remember to not fight the yo, but to embrace it and feel and learn from it and be ready for when it swings back up once again. 

This just feels like it came out of left field, it's been so long since I've been here.  I feel like I've simply bottomed out. And, maybe I have.  Maybe it's time I started writing again and exercising again and doing all those things I need to do for me, so I can be there for my family. 





1.  Butterflies all over the Mexican sunflowers yesterday.
2.  Memories. Thank god for memories.
3.  Friends and family who love me.
4.  Ellie insisted on setting a place for Hannah at the table last night. 
5.  Time to sit and veg and collect myself. 
6.  A good night's sleep.  I got one last night--slept like the dead.  It was beautiful. 


I'm not sure.  I know there's one there, but what is it?  Fourteenth birthday?  Growing up?  Not growing up?  No clue.  It's there, though. 

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Jamestown With Jessie

 I had no idea such a thing as "Homeschool Days" existed at Jamestown, Yorktown and CW, but then again, I'm not a homeschooling parent. ;o)  But, exist it does, and Jessie was here with the kiddos (and her friends and their four) Sunday night through this afternoon.

I was invited to tag along all three days, and Monday was Jamestown.  I love Jamestown Settlement--not to be confused with Jamestowne Island.  The Island is the site of the original fort, the settlement is the recreation. 

There are three main parts/sections at Jamestown--the Powhatan Village (my favorite!), the English settlement fort, and the three ships.  They are representing 1610-1613, so the settlement would be fairly established at that point, having been settled in 1607. 

And yet, as "settled" as it is, it's still so raw compared to what you'll find down the road in CW, set 160 years or so later.  Time is such an interesting concept. 

When you learn history in books, it all seems to happen so rapidly, it makes no allowances for the actual passage of time.  Sure, they give you timelines, but that's still no help as everything seems compressed and condensed.  I always tried to help my fifth graders understand by asking them to think about how long 10 years is--to them, it's a lifetime!--and then to realize just what the time difference there was in the periods we were learning.  Sure, there was cause and effect (I'm thinking of the Stamp Act, Tea Act and the Boston Tea Party here), but it wasn't instantaneous!

I think when we as Virginians (I'm not sure how US history with regards to Virginia and the original colonies and settlements is taught elsewhere) smoosh together the settlement of Jamestown at 1607 with life in Colonial Times--because that's how it's taught! We have to jump from one thing to the next so rapidly and I find I still do that on my own.  When I visit Jamestown, I really make an effort to remember 100+ years exist between it and Colonial Williamsburg.  Once I do that, I can see how much things changed in those years.  And, to be fair, most of us wouldn't have lived like the folks in CW--far too rich for our family's blood, at least. :oP

I always wonder what in the WORLD those British folks were thinking when they settled in Jamestown.  Y'all, it's NOT like English weather.  At all.  It's hot, humid, muggy, sticky and mosquito infested!  Oy!

And yet, here they settled.  And tried hard to make it work.  It's a pretty remarkable feat if you think about it.  (We're not going to even go there with regards to the native peoples...too complicated and awful to contemplate for this post.)

We began our day with a stop in the Indian Village. 

 Target practice--lobbing corncobs with turkey feathers attached to the end through the hoops.

From there we headed up to the fort.

The kiddos all enjoyed trying on the armor!

Priest's seat in the church.

In the row house.

And, from the settlement it was on to the ships.

Such dinky little things. I still can't imagine traipsing across the ocean aboard one of these.  No thanks!!

We had lunch together than I skeedaddled on home to do some chores and get the girlies off the bus. 

Speaking of girlies and buses, it's time for me to jet. :o)


 Ellie LOVED her first night of swim with CGBD last night!  She wanted to know when we were going back to do it again!  (Shes the one in streamline on her tippy toes.)

A pile o' pooches! I love that they're all getting along so well! :o)

3.  Time with my sister and the kiddos (and Lissie too!).

4.  Time to poke around CW.  I've missed it!  I didn't realize how much I had until I was back over there yesterday and today.  I spotted so many dear friends I'd not seen in months.  It was wonderful!

5.  Butterflies everywhere!  :o)

No milestones.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Working on Me

I've still not had a day where I'm not busy and had a chance to think about the fact I'm home alone. 

Thursday, Brien was still home sick, and we were working on financials (always SUCH a pleasant activity).  Friday I spent the day cleaning the house and getting it back to a level of cleanliness I can stand--lots of deep cleaning, reorganizing and ditching. :o)

Today, Jess and her crew are in town for Homeschool Days at CW and Jamestown/Yorktown.  I spent the morning at Jamestown with them and then came home to pay bills and work on more financials. Yay.  (We're working on a refi before the rates go back up.)

It's now a half hour before I have to leave for the bus and I'm not feeling anything other then, "Gee, I wish I had had time to work on something a little crafty this afternoon." 

That's it.  I've had zero time for me these past two weeks.  And, I've applied for another assistant position (fingers crossed!) and if I get it, I'll have no crafty time for me.  If I sub, I'll have no crafty time for me.  This crafty time thing is sorely limited right now.  :o(  I NEED to get my crafting groove on, I can feel it.  Just like I'm back to blogging and turning off blue lights at 9:30 and in bed by 10:00, this is another piece of the Rachael mental health puzzle. 
I had been working on this--an embroidery sampler--teaching myself the stitches as I go along.

I've been having much fun with it (LOVE chain stitch and the lazy daisy stitch!), but haven't had a chance to sit and do it during the day lately.  I need to do it during the day when I can see with natural light.  It's much harder for me to embroider during the evenings with only the lamp for light. 

Maybe I can work on it while the girls do their homework...:o)

Or, I could do dinner. 



:sigh:  Eating IS a good thing. 

It's obvious my next goal is finding time for me


1.  Jamestown with the kids and Jess and Liss was so fun this morning!
2.  Windows open!!!!!!
3.  A clean house.  Oh that's such a joyful thing!
4.  Ellie is all ready to start swimming tomorrow!
5.  Visiting with Lissie.

No milestones.