Monday, December 31, 2012

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Invasion of the Stink Bugs!

I don't know where you live but where I live stink bugs are taking over the word, seriously, they think they own the place!

I don't know about you but I am NOT a bug (of any kind) person, I hate them! I know hate is a strong word and if there was a stronger word I would use it. I understand that the world needs bugs for whatever and whatever but they need to respect humans personal space and stay OUTSIDE where they belong!

On to the traumatic experience that was today...

We recently started using 2 window air conditioner units in our house (because our main central ac unit stopped working this summer and needs to be replaced), one in the living room and one in our bed room.

The other day I was in the living room and noticed a few stink bugs on and around the window the ac unit was in. I told Alex and told him that I thought they were getting in around the ac unit through little spaces or whatever. He said that it was probably time to take them (the ac units) out for fall/winter anyway.

I got rid of that batch of bugs and a few days went by and the living room remained bug free.

Well today I walked into our bed room and noticed a few (3 or 4) up around the where the wall and ceiling come together. I thought that was strange since I hadn't seen any in there at all, they were only ever in the living room and only that one time the other day. I went back out to get the vacuum (easiest way I've found to get them out without having to get too close to them). I went back in and began sucking them into the vacuum with the long handle attachment thing. As I was getting the few I first saw I noticed a few more on top of the curtain rod. Then a few more on the front of the curtain and a few more on the back side of the curtain and all. over. the window! On the ac unit, IN the ac unit! ICK ICK ICK ICK ICK!!!!!!!

Due to the traumatizing nature of being sucked into the vacuum and swirled around and around like a violent tornado they began to stink up the room. The smell was so bad it was gagging me! I had to stop and leave the room for some fresh air. I went out and told Alex how bad it was and that it was gaggingly disgusting so he asked if I wanted him to go finish getting them up. I said yes and I usually never, never, never let him clean anything (it's just not a guys job in my mind). He went back in and continued finding more inside the curtain once he took it down and even more inside the air conditioner. I came back in armed with a bottle of febreze and I sprayed while he vacuumed.

Once that window was clear of all creepy, crawly pests he moved around the room finding only a few on the other window and a few others here and there that I guess tried to escape their certain death by running and hiding.

Needless to say the ac unit was removed the curtains, shades, bed sheets and blankets were all taken down and washed and the rest of the room was thoroughly scrubbed but I just can't shake the image of them invading that window. ick ick ick ick ick!!!

Normally I would insert a picture here because I'm all about capturing the good, the bad and the ugly in life but I was so incredibly traumatized by the event that I didn't want any reminders of it ever happening!

Even though everything was cleaned up and smelling fresh again I still felt like the house was dirty. After showering and not seeing another stink bug for a few hours I was starting to feel better/cleaner. I am just so thankful that Alex wasn't working a 24, 36 or 40 hour shift as he's been known to do lately. We surly would have been going to a hotel until he came home!

AND As if that weren't bad enough...later, while I was sitting at the computer doing some work I turned around and saw this beast stalking me from the back of the couch!

Seriously nature! Seriously, leave. me. alone!!!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Really Retail, Really!?!

Dear, Over Priced Retailer,

Your products are only necessary during a small period of time in a women’s life. Why do you feel it necessary to charge copious amounts of money for your items? $45 bucks for a single, solid color, no frills, cotton shirt. Really?!?!? Said shirt was purple so I know it wasn't spun using 24 karat gold threads. I also know it didn't cost your company THAT much to stitch it together in your Tribecastanian (< totally made up) sweatshop and ship it to America. So why? Just why? 
Please, come on back to reality and don’t ever try that again. You’re not worth it.

Sincerely, The Realistic Consumer 

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Homeschooling a 6th Grader

Tim's in 6th grade now. His school calls that intermediate not middle school. I have no clue why, or what the difference is. When you google "intermediate school" the first result that comes up is for the Wikipedia definition of middle school. Whatev, I think it's weird and we just say middle school.

Oh and by "Tim's school" I mean last year we switched from traditional homeschooling to a virtual school.

Real quick explanation of the differences in case people don't know.
Traditional homeschooling: we picked & purchased our own curriculum & school books, choose what lessons we wanted to do and did them when we wanted to. If we didn't like something within the curriculum we didn't use it, we found alternatives online or we created our own. We put together a portfolio, had it evaluated by a state certified evaluator and reported the results to our local school district. We had to account for EITHER 180 days of school OR 900 hours (of course it was easier to track the days vs. the hours). The only downsides to this option were: it isn't free (like public school) and our school district doesn't give high school diplomas for this route of education.

Virtual homeschooling: a virtual charter school is basically like any other public school EXCEPT you don't get up and go to an actual school building each day, the work is done at home. Because it is a public school we are given a standardized curriculum chosen by the school (which means we are pretty much stuck following all of the lessons as they are written). There are teachers to report to. Assignments to be turned in. Attendance is captured by logging into the school's website (that's considered "showing up for school"). There are classes to attend through an online meeting program (there is a teacher (usually more than one) in the "classroom" teaching the day's lesson using a virtual whiteboard, the teachers and students can all interact with each other through the use of the whiteboard, microphones and webcams). There are progress tests throughout the year as well as a week long standardized state mandated test we Tim has to take at the end of the year. We have to account for BOTH 180 days of school AND 900 hours. The instructional hours as well as all of the lessons and assessments we have to complete are tracked through another school related website. The downside to this: we basically have to follow what the school wants done when they want it done, with deadlines and such.

This year is a little different than the previous year though. Last year (5th grade) the parents were responsible for teaching every single subject the school enrolled the student in [Math, Literature, Grammar, Composition, Vocabulary, Spelling, Science, History, Art, Music, Strategies for Success, we also had to come up with our own P.E., Technology and Health activities/lessons]. That was WAY more than we had to do homeschooling the previous way (some of the subjects were a total waste of time and nonsensical but that's our personal opinion on that).

Let me just say that I HATED last year!! I was ready to send Tim back to regular public school and be done with it all. Somewhere between the end of last year and the beginning of this year I lost my mind changed my mind about sending him back though (and he really doesn't want to go back either). Also, for the record, it wasn't just the school/curriculum's fault I hated it so much, a big part of it was Tim, he had this "I don't want to know this stuff so I'm not going to learn it" and "this is dumb, I don't need to know this so I'm taking the easy way out" attitude all. year. long. So each and every day was a struggle just to get through the required subjects. He would take his bad attitude and hatred of school out on us and carry it over to the rest of the day. I kept telling him that if he just learned what he needed to know to pass the assessments and show me he knew how to do it we wouldn't have to do all the book work and we could just move on. For some reason he just couldn't grasp that concept though.

I was very reluctant to continue school that way and I really don't know why we didn't just send him back to regular public school (there are a few reasons but honestly after the year we had last year I didn't think any of those reasons were strong enough to change my mind about this year).

This year things are different. Because he is now in middle/intermediate school the structure of the school is different. He has a teacher for Literature & Composition and another teacher for Math (he has to report to his Lit/Comp class Monday-Thursday at 9am and his Math class Monday-Thursday at 10:30am). He also has homework to complete before the next day's class.

Those 3 subjects alone took up a good portion of our day last year and were a source of 50% of his bad attitude. The other 50% of the bad attitude came from History and Science. This year (before we knew we wouldn't be responsible for Lit/Comp & Math) Alex suggested we split the subjects, he would teach some and I would teach some. He took History & Science. So far this setup has worked out great (and not just because I hardly have any subjects this year, lol)! Tim has only gotten a bad attitude ONCE so far (I realize it's still just the beginning of the year and things could change at any moment, actually, I'm expecting them to change at any moment. lol). I also told Tim that I wasn't putting up with any hint of a bad attitude this year and at the first sign of a bad attitude -grunt, groan, huff, anything- we would be closing our school books, getting in the car, driving down to the school district office and enrolling him in regular public school. Lucky for him he got his bad attitude during Science, a subject I'm not involved in this year. He also seems to have grasped the "if I just show I know this, pass the assessment we get to move on" concept that we tried to stress last year.

So, for now, this year is going 10x's better than last year and I don't regret keeping home again this year. Like I said, I do realize that can change at any moment but for now things are good.

On a lighter note, we do have a bit of a twist to homeschooling this year. It comes in the form of a very rambunctious, into everything, comedic monkey also known as -the younger brother-. Of course he was around during school last year but this year he wants to be a part of EVERYTHING or into everything or climbing on top of everything.

1. Tim studiously working.
2. But I need to do 'cool too mom! Those crayons, he eats them.
3. I'll just borrow Tim's mic & headphones. That mic puff, yep, tries to eat that too.
4. Human helicopter on the table top!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Our Baby Is 2!!

Isaiah actually turned 2 years old last Wednesday but we celebrated him this past weekend, on the 22nd which happened to be my sister's birthday. lol

I can't even believe he is 2 already!! Crazy how time flies! Come join the party!

The party was monster truck themed so we had trucks everywhere, on the table cloth, on the cake, "driving" up the cookies, into the chips, on the temporary tattoos scattered around the table.

The FOOD!! Everyone loves food! We had all kinds of goodies, a huge monster truck cake, chips, chips, cookies, cookies (yes, 2 kinds of each), brownies, chocolate chip stuffed raspberries, fruit salad, baby carrots.

The party people. Hanging out. Playing. Yes, we have a swing set slide in our living don't? You don't know what you're missing.

The CAKE! I was originally going to make the cake but at the last minute we decided to just buy one. The one we found at our local grocery store was PERFECT! Isaiah loved it, he wouldn't leave it alone on the table. He kept trying to take the truck off before it was time. lol Last year he didn't like everyone singing, this year he was ok with it up until everyone said his name in the happy birthday song then he started crying. I don't know if it scared him or what but he wasn't a fan. lol Also, we never practiced blowing out candles so we let big brother handle that part.

The GIFTS! Isaiah ended up with the perfect gifts for his taste at the moment. He got a trash truck that lifts the trash can and dumps the "yuck" (as Isaiah calls it) into the truck. He got a playmobil bus because he is into them right now. He also got a monster truck that drives and does wheelies. He got a fire truck he can push himself around on. I also created a shutterfly photo book with pictures from the monster truck show we recently took him to. He loved everything!

Since Picnik closed I've been using PicMonkey to create my photo collages and I have to say, I love it, maybe even more than Picnik!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Summer of '12

Because I haven't blogged all summer long, here's a recap in pictures...(To the tune of Summer of '69 ha ha).

Thursday, September 20, 2012


I’m dead tired all day.
Evening rolls around.
I shower.
Get ready for bed.
and BAM!!
I’m not tired anymore. Well actually I am tired I just can’t sleep.
Can’t get to sleep.
Can’t stay a sleep.
Can’t get back to sleep.
It’s a conspiracy, I’m sure.
Also, I’m trying this on again. We’ll see.
I’m only kidding myself here, I know no one actually reads this, except me.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Monday, February 6, 2012

The Bouncy Place

Faith wanted to take Isaiah to The Bouncy Place. 
Once he warmed up to the place he really had fun!

He even made a new little friend. She was obsessed with him. lol


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