Tag Archives: schooling

Twists and turns on the path of life

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Yeah... what that says!This is the road sign of my life at the moment. Because things have gotten a little upside down recently. It’s okay; just not the way I want it to be.

Two months ago I had to get a full-time job. I don’t want a full-time job; I mean, I had one – wife, mom… I was busy in this job, and I loved it. But, Kiki was tired of school-at-home so we decided to put her in a private Christian school… so she could “experience” “real” school. My full-time job was to pay tuition and gas to get her the 30 minutes each way to school and back. I was grieving, in a way, as this meant I wouldn’t get to participate in her school the way I’d want to – no room-momming, no volunteering, no field trips… because I would be unavailable. Stuck at work.

I’ve never been a “career minded” gal. It’s not that I mind working – I mind doing stuff that I don’t give a crap about. But this was so Kiki could do school, so I put my mind to the task. Then just before school started, the lovely government decided my husband no longer deserved the unemployment he’d been getting – even though he was supposed to have 9 months left. We did two weeks of school before we realized my paycheck had to go to paying bills and there was no possible way we could keep Kiki in the school. I cried for two days – for the loss of the school, the loss of her chance to experience that, for the loss of my freedom, for the fact I would have to work full-time even though the entire reason for doing so was now lost.

One week after we pulled her out of school, we got the letter that the government had been mistaken, and we got several weeks back-pay and his weekly unemployment started back up.

What the crap???

Kiki took it all better than I did. Even in those two weeks, she realized everything I had told her was true – high school is not really something to get excited about. It was not all she had thought it would be. She is also an amazing young lady – she believes beyond a doubt that God has other plans for her – if He made it impossible for her to be at that school then obviously she needs to be somewhere else. Her faith is an inspiration to me, to be honest. I wish I had as much as she.

Of course, I am still stuck in the job. After all, I made a commitment and I don’t feel like I should just up and quit. Besides, before we were just barely scraping by, so this job is a blessing, in a way. My last paycheck (yeah, the entire thing) bought shocks and struts for my car. Most of this last paycheck bought my daughter contacts and a visit to the doctor for a much-belated check up. My next paycheck will buy new tires for my car, since the old ones are pretty much bald. All things we couldn’t have done without my job.

So I try to be thankful. Even thought it’s a stupid and really annoying job. I have remembered what it’s like to live for weekends. I miss my family, as the hours I work make me miss dinner, and my husband is off school-bus-driving before I wake up in the morning, and he goes to bed right after I get home. It’s also weird because although I like most of the people I work with, I have realized I am old enough to be most of their mothers. (No exaggeration – I am actually older than some of their moms. I don’t feel that old.)

My husband hates the fact that I have to work, mostly because he knows how much I love being a stay-at-home-mom. And he wants that for me. He also wants very much to work, but no one will hire him. I know why – his job is to grow our business, and God isn’t going to let him have a job to get in the way of that. I’m convinced of this.

That knowledge doesn’t make him feel better. He feels like a giant loser who no one wants to hire and who can’t provide for his family.

I am praying that this is just a season. Hopefully, a short season. And in the meantime, I try to remember to be thankful for the good things that I have.

And for the occasional mocha.

I need a hobby

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I am seriously bored. Bored, bored, bored.

Not like I don’t have things I could do. Things I should do. I’ve even been cleaning like crazy, and that is so not like me.

I just miss my daughter so dang bad! I am realizing that she is my “go to” person for most of what I do. Shopping, movie watching, etc. Which some would say is bad or co-dependent or something… I just say she is one of my favorite friends and we have a lot in common and a lot of fun together. I don’t necessarily think that’s a bad thing.  However…

Maybe I need to branch out a bit more. Strengthen some of my other friendships. Join a book club or a crafting group. I don’t know. I’d have more to  do if I had my own home… I mean, first because there is always something needing doing if you have a house, and second because I had all my supplies to do projects in, and that was always the first thing I’d pile into when I had a spare moment. Still – I find that although I am enjoying the quiet of my daughter being away, I don’t know what to do with myself. And since she will eventually move away for good – and in fact, in this coming school year she will probably find more friends of her own to hang out with rather than just mom – I better find something to occupy my time!

When “easy” projects go bad ~ re-covering a chair

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My daughter has been suffering thru the entire school year with a semi-broken desk chair; until fairly recently I had the brilliant idea of pulling one of our old chairs out of storage for her to use. Yeah, okay, that’s not like a flash of brilliance, is it, to use something you already own but forgot about? Our stuff has been in storage for far too long! Two trips across county and five years in storage… urrrrrr. Anyhoo…

What a great plan! So I took her to the fabric store to pick out some material she’d like the seat covered in because that’s easy to do. I mean, I’d done it before and it was easy.

I don’t know what went wrong. Well, first of all, the seat frame was broken (the thing is over a hundred years old, I don’t blame it) so I asked my dad if he could fix it. Well, would fix it… of course he could. And as expected, he did a better-than-necessary job. But. Whereas before I would have just tacked the new fabric over the old (which I had done once, and apparently, as dad discovered while pulling it apart, had been done 4 times previously!) well, he stripped it down to the hundred year old cotton stuffing, so I had to start from scratch.
Here you can see all the holes in the frame from the multiple tacks used over time to hold all that fabric –IMG_1578

Mom helped me sew some muslin around the inner wire frame, then dad put all the parts back together… I just needed to recover it. Just.

I got it started so nicely, all smooth front and back. When I turned it over to check it out, I realized the pad had slipped back so you could feel the wood frame in front – because that’d be comfy. Plus, there was a weird lump. I didn’t remember there being any lumps. So I had to pull out the tacks and start over! I hate that. Turns out it was a blessing in disguise though because that weird lump turned out to be an old rusty upholstery tack that somehow had gotten stuck up in the pad – someday some poor sitter would’ve gotten stuck in the bum! I decided, since I was back at step 1, that a hundred years of sitting had made it kinda wimpy, anyway, so I asked mom for some batting and put another layer of soft on the seat. Much better.

At one point my husband came out and tried to help me. Why? WHY?? He’d love to think of himself as “handy”, but he’s just not. I mean, he does a lot of good stuff, but he is no craftsman. So, after he messed things up, and lost a couple tacks on the shop floor (a shop I quite often go barefoot in) I kindly (sort of) told him I was done with his help…

By then I was cranky, and quite possibly having a hot flash, so I got in a big hurry and managed to pinch my finger with the hammer. I don’t think I’ve done that in… decades.

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Of course for the life of me I couldn’t get the stupid corner to tuck correctly. I re-did it three times then used the old family cry of “good enuf fur who it’s fur”.

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The back corners worked beautifully, of course.

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I have this curse of perfectionism that causes me to quite often not do things at all, because I know I can’t do them perfectly. It’s why it took me weeks to get around to doing this chair once I had the idea. I hate little imperfections in what I make. I am working on overcoming that… which is why I will call this chair fine, even if the corners annoy me, and I wish the seat were firmer, or more stuffed. It’s fine. Dad will screw the seat back down for me tomorrow, and it will be just fine.

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And Kiki will have a desk chair to sit at her school computer. Now that she has 3 whole days of school left in this year.

…sigh…

That’s okay. She’ll still have a desk in her room, and she can still use a chair to sit in.  If not I’ll recover it and put it in my room! Ha.

 

I think my brain is going to blow up

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Do you ever have a problem that turns into a series of problems? That you see no resolution to? I am having one of those, and my head is becoming tired and dizzy by spinning in circles around the not-to-be-seen solution to my situation.
You see, it’s one of those issues where I need to fix ‘A’ but to do that I need to do ‘B’ but in order to do that I need to do ‘C’ which brings me back to how in the world then can I do ‘A’?!?!

See, Kiki hates online school, but has no desire to go the large public high school. And I hated my large public high school and have no intention of subjecting her to that. Not to mention the whole worldly indoctrination that goes on in our public schools these days. The only  reason we did online this year was so she could have the “proper accreditation” so she could go to a “real school”. (We did a homeschool co-op for 1st – 8th grades). So.

We found  a private, Christian school that we intend on sending her to for – hopefully – the rest of her high school years. They gave us a scholarship of 50% off which is the highest they go, so with that we think we can cover it. Then, we got an unexpected check in the mail that exactly covers the registration fees, so that was cool!

Here’s the problem…  the school is in a tiny town in Outer Slobovia. If we move closer to school, we will be a ridiculously far distance from church (and we don’t just go to church on Sunday – we have small groups and youth group and various other things we like to go to).  Also, in order for us to move out at all, it’s been determined that I need a full time job. Which, A. I hate the thought of. and B. Where? When? How? Do I get a job during school hours, or after school, and how then do I get her to school, and participate in things, and do I work close to home (which will be Where??) or do I work close to her school (right! Middle of nowhere, remember)… It’s like everything has to come together and I don’t know where to start! Okay, we started with the school… but now what?

I know God knows. He can see the big picture where I can’t. But I wish He’d let me in on it, because the stress is sending me over the edge.

Not to mention the stress I am feeling from Kiki’s upcoming birthday… but that’s a post for another day.

I should’ve stayed in bed today (Algebra must die)

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I have decided. Officially. Algebra must die.

I never liked algebra. We never got along well. Then, I thought I  had left it behind; conquered it as well as I could.

Now I have a teenager. Who hates algebra. Who does not understand algebra. And whatever it was that I learned about it to get me through with a decent grade all those decades ago has been lost in the blur of “I really no longer give a crap”.  So, I can’t help her. She asks me to help; I look at at the problem, and my brain freezes solid. If there is any math knowledge left in my brain, it’s never getting past that block of ice.

We had a major blowout today. Well, it was bad for us. We don’t argue all that often. But today it was so bad I left the house and went for a drive.

It really depressed me. I am having a hard time getting past it. I don’t think it’s all the math. Or the argument. There is so, so much more about my life that is so incredibly stressful right now…. I think it’s just too much. Or maybe it’s the math.

Kiki and I had a nice long talk later on, and what we determined was this: Most of our arguments start over math.

I hate math.

Avengers, Shawarma, life. It’s Sunday.

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Just so no one thinks I’ve died, I am going to post a quick note on here before I crawl back to bed. (Don’t judge my laziness; I have the flu.) I am all alone, which is absolutely lovely in my opinion. It doesn’t happen nearly often enough for me, a gal who desperately needs her “alone” time but lives with an unemployed husband, schooled-at-home teenager (I can’t really call her “homeschooled” now as she’s doing online public school… but she is here, at home, 24-7…) as well as two retired parents.

So you can understand my insanity.

Anyway, our current obsession (ok, it’s my daughter’s obsession but we’ve bought in) is the “Avengers”.  I like to call it the Virile Hunk of Masculine Fury movie (anyone remember where that line came from? I don’t, but I like it!)  I have a raging mad crush on… just about all those hot guys…. oooooh.  Well, if you’ve seen it, you know about the shawarma. And of course, we had to go have some. Since we don’t live in a highly metropolitan area, (understatement!) I wasn’t even sure we’d be able to find it here, so I set Kiki on the task of finding a place that served it. And she did. And it’s awesome. It’s kind of  like a gyro sort of deal, that’s the best way I can describe it. I adore most middle eastern/mediterranean style food (mine came with hummus and warm pita bread; Alan and Kiki went with a side of fries… weirdies.) The folks working there found it pretty funny that we came in because of the Avengers movie… and we haven’t been the first! We told them it’s great advertising for them, because we hadn’t been aware of their little restaurant before but now will definately be back!

We also got a sampler of their baklava – ohmyfreakingosh these folks know how to make it! I could’ve died happy, right then.

I am really glad this flu doesn’t have me hurking, tho…. because it really started to hit right during the meal, and I’d have been totally bummed to have thrown up the shawarma then never have been able to enjoy middle eastern dining again (you know how your brain does that when you get sick right after a particular food, even if it’s totally unrelated to that food, and not, I dunno, food poisoning or such).

But it’s all fine. Even tho my head is throbbing and my body aches and I really really ought to be in bed sleeping it off, I’d actually be quite happy to be downing some shawarma right this minute. Or hummus. Or baklava…… oooh, I really hope Alan and Kiki don’t go out to eat after church and leave me here all sick and hungry….

I’m about ready to throw in the homeschooling towel

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I am so not kidding.  Kiki and I have been traveling this road since 1st grade, and for the most part it’s been a good experience. 3rd grade was hard; there was more than one day that books sailed thru the air (that was Kiki – I didn’t throw books!!) I did think of throwing her out the window a time or twenty… then I found ‘bribery’ and school days took a big turn for the better!  Yep – I remembered her PreK and Kindergarten teachers had “prize boxes” for good behavior, and I thought “Hey!  Why can’t I make that work for me?!”  hehehe 

Well, now she’s in 8th grade.  Every day is a fight, and I am running out of steam.  She is totally non-self-starting, even though all the other moms and teachers tell me it’s time to make her do it mostly on her own… yeah.  Right.  She’d be getting straight F’s in that case.  I think I’ve written here that we don’t do a “normal” homeschool… we do a co-op where there are teachers who provide the curriculum and lesson plans, who teach it on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and we do school at home M-W-F.  That’s part of the problem, really.  When we started this group, it was more loosely organized, and we had most of the flexibility of regular homeschooling, plus the benefits of our kids spending some time in a school with other teachers and other kids.  Over the years, however, the school has morphed many times (we are on our 5th principal in the 8 years time we’ve been there) and now it’s really become “private-school-that-we-have-to-do-3-days-a-week-at-home.”  There is no real flexibility in what we as parents want to do or not do with the curriculum, we have to have pre-planned abscences and are only allowed a certain amount, on and on… you know, regular school stuff, but not really regular homeschool stuff. 

Kiki is also quite unhappy in school this year.  Sure, most of it is bad attitude because her best friends didn’t come back to the school this year and she doesn’t want to be there without them – even tho there are other kids she can hang with, and it’s only 2 days a week –  but on the other hand, she has one girl in particular who picks on her almost every day for how she’s dressed or how her hair is done or whatever pops into her head, I guess.  That isn’t cool.

The outcome is that each and every day we do school here at home, it’s a big fight.  She hates it, she doesn’t get it, she doesn’t want to go to school there…   And on classroom days, she cries and doesn’t want to go…. uhg.  I am so, so done with it all!

The problem is, I don’t really know where to go from here.  Public school?  Not in this lifetime.  Private school?  No way I can afford it. Regular homeschooling?  Yeah, we tried that in Virginia.  We basically didn’t do school for a year, so that won’t work.

 What I really need is a vacation.  All alone.  Somewhere warm and ocean-y.  With alchoholic beverages. For a long, long time.