Archive for the ‘good day’ Tag

Just Faking It   2 comments

So yesterday was a homeschool day for our family.

Yesterday, that meant that I wrote the day’s work for each student up on the wipe-off board.  I read with both kids, which is a highlight and a fun time of day for me.  I often help with questions or math or whatever gets done in the morning.

Yesterday, we had an art teacher come to the house for an intro session with my high school senior so they could get to know each other and make a plan for what the weekly lessons will look like.

While they were talking my 8th grader and I went upstairs to get some work done.

That afternoon, he and I did a baking experiment together and rapidly found out why leavening is such a tasty thing.  Baking soda by itself is not appetizing, but the cupcakes that didn’t have it weren’t anything I would want to eat.

The senior helped me make fish tacos for dinner, as I’ve decided these two aren’t leaving the house without a modicum of kitchen experience.

The 8th grader learned how to do goulash the night before.

I think that covers it.

So, that sounds like a pretty good solid homeschool day, right?

I did pat myself on the back for it and wanted to brag about it on Facebook.  However, the rest of the story is that yesterday was probably the single most awesome day in my homeschooling career.  I’m coming up on eighteen years of experience, and I can assure you that most days have looked nothing like this.

I have been intending to teach the kids to cook by having them sous chef with me for literally years.

Usually I don’t do experiments.  I assign pages to read in a science book.

Usually we don’t have an art teacher coming to the house!  That is an exciting new development that just worked out this year.

I do read to them every day.  But I’m here to tell you it doesn’t usually look this wonderful.  It’s not pretty.  It’s just doing the next thing each day.

Ask me about the day the then preschooler threw something at me and knocked over the celery stalk/red food coloring experiment which then got all over people’s papers.  Ask me about how I never used to even get up on time so school started whenever I got my crap together.  Ask me about all the mornings I lit a candle in the den to just lighten the place up in January and February because I was so depressed I did not want to do anything.

Or better yet, ask them.  Yes.

Somehow they survived.  They are people rapidly approaching functional adulthood, in spite of me, not because of me.




Posted February 11, 2018 by swanatbagend in homeschooling, humor, motherhood, parenting

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Father’s Day   Leave a comment

Greg grilled bratwurst for dinner last night, and I made potato salad and asparagus. We had baked beans as a side.  Mom and Dad came to celebrate with us.

We inaugurated a new era in ice cream making here because last summer Dad gave me the hand crank ice cream maker we had when I was a kid and provided a new bucket to go with it.  So we broke it in last night making vanilla ice cream, all taking turns cranking it.  It really does taste better when you have to work to make the ice cream happen.  I also have to say that if you substitute heavy cream for the portion of the recipe that calls for half and half, so that you then have almost all cream, and just a tiny bit of milk that you warmed in order to dissolve the salt and sugar, it really is an improvement.  I don’t think I’ll even bother with half and half in the future.  It was the best homemade ice cream I’ve ever eaten.

And then Mom made Grandma’s hot chocolate sauce recipe and we had that over the ice cream, and more whipped cream on top.

Games ensued afterwards including chicken foot dominoes, which, OK, I have to admit, is fun, if stupid.  I never even got to play on my train the whole time we played the first round.  Everyone else kept playing on it but every time it got back to me it was always a number I didn’t have.  Then I attempted to continue what used to be my winning streak in regular dominoes but I was sitting to the left of my oldest son with few to no copiers and was wildly outscored by said son.  Alas, for my glory days have passed me by.

After half of us were in bed and Mom and Dad had gone home, I went outside, and witnessed the party tree by the pond decorated in winking firefly lights.  It’s a large tree and it was flickering all over magically.

Amongst all the rest, it’s worth noting evenings like this — and that’s why I wrote all this down.

Posted June 16, 2014 by swanatbagend in gratitude

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It’s a Wonderful Life — December 6, 2013   Leave a comment

It really is. Even with the challenges of each day, and the ongoing struggles that have stymied me at times, for years at times, it has been a wonderful life.

Even though I’ve dealt with anxiety and depression off and on, mainly at life transitions, but always there at some level since I was 12 or so.

Even though I’ve been given kids who are special and unique and need more attention and love and nurturing than the average bear, and I haven’t really felt like I was qualified.

Even though I had a cesarean forced on me, that I didn’t need, with a general anesthesia because I kept telling them what I wanted.  Even though that led to a really horrible time for months and bonding problems for a couple of years.

Even though I walked through the bitter, nasty valley of infertility.

Even though friends betrayed me several times along the road.

Even though I have an autoimmune disease which affects me a little, or a lot, depending on the day.

Even though I have an infection that started with a simple cold on November 13th, and I’m still fighting it off, and the side effects from the antibiotic we tried include muscle and joint pain and nightmares.

Even though my back hurts right now, Oh well!

Into every life some rain must fall, and really, I don’t comprehend why I’ve had relatively so little rain.

There have been so many gifts along the way, for 46 years, that even if nothing particularly spectacular ever happened to me again, the good things I’ve already experienced would be enough to provide a lot of fuel for the future.

I’ve always had really good friends; no, make that some really great friends.  Once in a lifetime friends, I’ve been blessed to have several.

I’ve had the opportunity to better myself with a college education I didn’t have to fight for.

I’ve lived in some of the most interesting and unique places in the country, moved around a lot as a child.

So I know now people from all over the country.  I sure enjoy Christmas cards!

I had a truly wonderful childhood with two of the most devoted, thoughtful parents a girl could have.  They just loved on me and were so patient with all my weaknesses.  They made holidays and camping trips so fun and every day a good day, because of their love.

I married the sweetest man I know, who although we had almost nothing in common to start out with, now we have about 28 years of experience in common, and people give us anniversary cards that claim we were made for each other…..which, it seems, we were.  How fortunate can you get?  Not saying it was fun and easy.  Just that it has been a gift.

I have been blessed with not one, not two, but three priceless people who I’m blessed to be able to call my children, when at one point I didn’t know if I would be able to have any.  They have completely changed my life and I would not be who I am today without them.

And I got to have a fantastically perfect home birth with the last one, surrounded by women who loved me.  (That seems like just a bit of a bonus, frosting on the cake!)

I have always enjoyed reading and art and music and been blessed to benefit from all these arts, in home and away.

And maybe I’m not much like George Bailey, yet, not that selfless, and don’t want to be nor claim to be that important to my little world, but I’d like to look back and be able to see that at some points I played a part that nobody else could have played, that helped someone else along.

It is a wonderful life.

Posted December 8, 2013 by swanatbagend in Uncategorized

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A Truly Good Day   Leave a comment

This morning I got up when I was ready and made chocolate peanut butter muffins for the crew.

These were met with acclaim even by my oldest who prefers foods with actual sugar in them, accept no substitutes, so he will be going back to college with some muffins.

Greg and I cuddled on the couch looking out the living room window to our pond.  It was good to just take the time to be together; we weren’t really talking about anything.

Some friends came over around lunch time and hung out for about an hour.

The kids and I affixed return address labels to our Christmas card envelopes.  I started working on them, and then Helena said, “Oh can I help?” and Beren was like “Me too!” so we all had a stack of envelopes and a sheet of stickers.

I took Zach to get a haircut and there was maybe a gallon Ziploc bag worth of hair on the floor.  We joked that it looked big enough to gain sentience and begin moving around the floor as a small mammal.

Helena, Zach and I walked down to the creek behind our house to admire the icicles that have formed on the cliffs and are dripping downward.  The ice on the surface and near the creek is always fascinating to look at.

Back at the house, I  made lentil stew and scones for dinner.  Now people are sitting around reading, drawing, studying for finals, and watching M.A.S.H as their preferences dictate.

And I’m getting ready to do some drafts of the Christmas letter.

I was lying on the floor resting my back, thinking “I am so blessed.  What a great day.”

So I thought I’d write that thought down….

Posted November 30, 2013 by swanatbagend in Uncategorized

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