Thursday, May 26, 2011

Summer List

Summer is finally here.  We are finishing up the last of our school work and very soon I will have more free time.  We will continue to work on a few things, especially reading, throughout the summer but it won't be as stringent a schedule as during our usual school months.

So what have I got planned for all this free time?  A lot of painting.

On the to be painted list is:

The living room~it needs a facelift.

Our son's room~he has completely outgrown the look of his room.  I am going with some PB inspiration on a thrift store budget.

The exterior doors~front and back~At this time they are both boring white.  Of course, the ideal would be to also paint all the shutters, too.  The house has shutters on all the windows, front, sides, back and we have a lot of windows.  Last but not least, the second floor shutters are up high and I don't know if I'm up for the ladder climbing and getting them down. We will see.

Here are some of the paint chips and booklets I picked up at Home Depot.
Not sure what we will finally settle on.  Our son has chosen his color already.  It took him no time.  It's taking me forever to make my color choices.
 After we paint the living room, my dear brother will be changing out all of the trim.  What we have is very outdated and has seen better days.

We will be adding the same trim we did in the kitchen.
(notice the old sink, this was before the granite counters, new sink and faucet)

I'm looking forward to getting started on these projects.  I can't wait to share the new look with you all.

What are your summer plans?

Monday, May 23, 2011

In Shape

A couple of years ago I realized that I was completely out of shape.  I am at an ok weight but could stand to lose a few pounds, but what I realized is that I need exercise.  Toning and getting lean became a priority.  I had heard of Jillian Michaels and knew she was tough.  I knew that I needed strength training but also cardio. It is what I struggle with most.  With that being said, I knew I had to make exercise a priority in my day.

I have recently added this to my daily exercise.  Although they are short sessions, she keeps you moving and you will break a sweat.  If you don't please don't tell me, it would make me really feel bad.  There are four separate sessions and you should move through them in as many weeks.  I have not because I do not work on this dvd only.  She also recommends working out 6 days I week.  I am currently doing four.
 Another tough but excellent workout.  One thing that I love about her dvds is that you really feel the workout and that it's working.  Sometimes, that doesn't feel so good at first.

 This is one of my favorites.  I have been doing this twice a week for over a year.  I then mix it up with the above strength training and cardio workouts.  
Running is something that I would love to be able to do but physically it's a challenge.  I have had a bad knee since I was young.  I also have other issues with my legs.  Maybe they just need a little more exerices and toning.  I am working towards leaner, stronger legs.

My Ipod is also an excellent tool for working out.  I have downloaded quite a few apps.  All free.  This makes it so easy to get a little workout anytime.  I have short and quick workouts right through a Nike training camp app filled with longer and more difficult sessions.

I am not an exercise lover though I wish I was.  I am often coming up with a million excuses for not working out but I force myself to do.  I am usually much happier afterwards because I feel so much better.  Hopefully, posting it here will keep me accountable and motivated.

We have finally been blessed with some sunshine. I had the best workout ever yesterday in the garden.  Last year we let the garden rest and filled it with leaves and compost to improve the soil.  Well with all our hard work the surrounding bushes enjoyed the benefit and sent their roots throughout the garden.  Yesterday I  hacked away at all the roots and was able to cultivate the soil.  Once it was ready I planted our plants that are ready.  I was able to accomplish this with only hand tools.  It is certainly rewarding. I hope to have pictures of the garden soon.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

In The Rain

In the past two and a half weeks this is all we see-dreariness.  It has rained on and off and we have only been blessed with one sunny day since Mother's Day.  
 It downpours and stops but the sun does not come to visit.  I am in need of sunshine.  I am feeling very deprived.  I may be suffering from vitamin D deficiency from all the lack of sunshine.
With all the rain these girls have been spending long days in the house.  They are not very pretty smelling and are in desperate need of a bath.  If only the sun would come out and play. Not only is it consistently cloudy and raining, the temps have been in the 40's and 50's.

Longing for fresh air.  I want to open the windows and let the freshness fill our house and drive the stinky doggy smell away.  You can live with it in the winter but when spring time arrives you want/need sunshine and fresh spring air. 
For now I must resort to lighting these through out the house in hopes of driving away the wet, stinky dog smell.  

In the second photo you can see, to the left, the dog shed with a fenced kennel and covered roof.  This was intended for the dogs to live.  When Skylar and Petie came to live with us, they would stay out there together but since Petie has passed away Skylar does not want to be there by herself and we don't want her by herself either.  We tried to put our beagle in the house with her and it did not work out well.  Our beagle does not like other dogs very much.  She wants people.  So now we have this large area we are not sure what to do with yet.  When we go out Skylar (black and white) husky has to stay in the dog shed because if not, she tears up our house.  It is hard to train her because she is 7 and things haven't been consistent in her life.  Besides she is stubborn.  I think we need a dog whisperer.

What I would really like to be doing is gardening.  I worked on preparing our garden right before Mother's Day.  I had every intention to get the plants in the ground shortly after that but the weather has not cooperating.  Last Friday, our only sunny day, I headed to our local farm to purchase our plants.  The dear farmer said I needed to babysit the plants this week because of the rain and cool temps.  

I am itching to get out there and dig in the dirt.  For now I am enjoying these books:

I want to plant a large herb garden with our veggies this year.  Our front flower beds are in need of cleaning out and a lot of work.  They were sadly neglected last year with the kitchen remodel.  I am hoping to have them all pretty as soon as this bother some rain stops.

I have also finished this:

It is incredibly soft.  I love the pattern but it is wider than I usually like.  If I use this pattern again I will probably cut it down to only one strawberry pattern per row.  The pattern did say gauge was not important but I would prefer a narrower scarf.  For this one I left it this way because it is different from any of the others I have.  I will be warm and comfy and look amazing with a bright, large flower pin.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Mother's Day Fun

We are enjoying our first day of sunshine this week.  It is absolutely perfect outside.  The sun is shining, there is a cool breeze and I have the windows open to let in all the sunshiny goodness.  Have to enjoy these blissful days while they last.  Sunday will begin another round of clouds and rain.  Lasting through midweek.  So for now I am letting the sunshine and breeze in and spending lots of time soaking it in.  New England springs are unpredictable.  They can be as varied as the colors of the leaves in fall.

Mother's Day was spent doing a lot of relaxing.  I was blessed and spoiled.  Hubby and the kids were wonderful.  There were great gifts and fun times together.  One of my favorite things was no cooking.  We went out to lunch and dinner.  Dinner was at IHOP because we always love breakfast suppers.  The kids ate some very sweet filled french toast and crepes.  They seemed more like dessert.  I hope that you all had a wonderful day with your families.

On Saturday we went to visit my mom.  She is one of the few people that I know that truly likes anything I make.  I saw these cute bags on Susie Harris's blog.  I knew my mom would love them and decided to make one for her.  
I love the ruffles.
Flower power-a little blurry
Isn't it sweet?
Very Shabby Chic

Thanks to Susie for always sharing her beautiful ideas with us.  

Linking to:

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Mother's Day

Wishing all the moms a very happy and blessed Mother's Day!!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Convention Time

This past weekend my daughter and I were here.  The convention is always a great time of encouragement and inspiration.  It helps to give me the needed energy to finish the school year strong.  This year I am so thrilled with all that we have accomplished.  One of our weakest areas is geography.  This year we have completed a couple of different geography books and it has gone well.  This is something that I do with both of the kids at the same time.  Geography is the same all around.  We have had fun with it.

There were some amazing speakers at the convention this year.  I attended many of the sessions and purchased cd's for the ones that I couldn't attend.  One of my favorite speakers was Diane Craft.  She was spectacular.  As I sat there listening to her speak, it seemed like she was describing  my son.  He was diagnosed with amblyopia, lazy eye, when he was in third grade.  It was too late to correct it.  His brain had completely shut that eye off.  We did not know he had lazy eye because his eye looked normal and he had depth perception.  Usually, the pupil will fall to the inside of the eye.  The eye doctor thinks it is amazing that he has depth perception because most kids with amblyopia do not.  This has affected his learning.  Listening to Diane Craft speak was so encouraging.  She shared many techniques and tips to help him to improve his writing, math and reading.  I now have some reading to do to equip me with a better understanding of what is happening while he struggles to learn.  I am excited to have these tools and knowledge to help him.  I would not have known about it without attending the convention.  I am so thankful that I was able to.

Jim Stobaugh was another amazing speaker.  He is very knowledgeable and I wish I could write faster as I was trying to take in everything he had to say.  Our daughter used his British Literature curriculum last year.  It was challenging but the vast amount of classics that he covers was well worth it.  

I usually attend the convention with my daughter.  We have a good time together.  We drive up together of Friday morning, fill up on some Starbucks and then head to the convention.  We are fortunate to have everything we need close to the convention center.  Once we arrive I park in the parking garage and do not have to drive again until we head home.  We enjoy staying together overnight.  She is a great help as I choose the best curriculum.  Last year, she was able to choose most of her own curriculum.  This is her senior year and I will miss her next year.  It won't be the same.

As our daughter heads off to college I feel a bit of sadness.  We have enjoyed homeschooling.  Watching her grow and her accomplishments over the last few years has been exciting.  I am thrilled that she is focused and looking forward to college but will miss her here with us each day.  It will give me more time to focus on our son and his needs.  I am looking forward to it.  Homeschooling is a blessing.  We have our difficult moments but we work through them.  It is such a gift to have the opportunity to do this.