Has Anyone Seen My Rose Coloured Glasses??

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

I was all set to call this blog post 'Back to the Grind' but that would imply some grinding being done in the recent past.

The 'official' end of our Winter holiday happened a week and a half ago. To appease the minions, I schedule our school year according to the local school calendar. I suppose it works out well as the school days are measurable in case I was ever asked to speak to the amount of school work we do. However, by following the local schedule, I'm also constantly reminded that although it seems that society is brainwashed into believing that school is a consistent variable in a child's life, school attendance is actually very inconsistent. There are very few 5-day school weeks in the 36-week schedule. But I digress. My point is that we should be back to a full complement of school work by now.

Every day I've been dreading the work that hasn't, and isn't, being done. Throughout the fall, I gave up on one thing after another. My planner pages are blank for more of weeks 1 through 14 than not. World history stalled at week 3. Miss K's math was a disaster that still hasn't been solved. And The Boy Child's science - other than self-directed experiments in gravity, density and trajectory, the engineering of forts (indoor and out) and some theoretical dabble in time travel and astrophysics - has been nonexistent....never mind.

I suppose my point is this: I've failed miserably on the measurable outcomes in Scheduled Paper Work Land. But if I do some careful observation, I know that learning and other valuable work is being done. I just have to figure out why I'm being so hard on myself about the whole situation.

But I've resigned myself to a steely attitude of stick-with-it-ness no matter the cost. And the cost today very nearly had me swerving into the high-school parking lot I was driving past to be front and center at the 'Open House For 8th Graders' they were hosting in the gym. Crossing against three lanes at lunch hour was the only thing that stopped me. Later, I was thinking that I probably won't break Miss K in just one dismal-ish year of homeschooling. It was the thought I had when she was 6 (minus the dismal) and we were just embarking on this homeschooling journey. I just thought I'd have things down pat by year 8.

Sometimes stick-with-it-ness is depressing. But I think it is better than the alternative - throwing in the towel. So, I will look forward to another homeschooling day tomorrow. Even though I'm not having a good academic time right now, I still appreciate each and every day I have my kids at home with me.

Mrs. A.

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Off and On My Needles

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

All year (2010) I had a plan. In the fall, I would make a kabajillion little knitted Christmas ornaments. I had my supplies collected and stashed in a bag ready to go. Fall came. I began knitting fiddly little hat and sweaters for corks. Trust me, the finished product is Waldorf-y and cute.

I was so proud of myself for being so organized and prepared. It was very unlike myself.

Then the beginning of December dawned. I came across the cutest knitted snowman ever. I didn't even pause to try to talk myself into saving this new-found cuteness for the next Christmas season, reasoning that I had a perfectly adequate project on the go. No, I dropped everything and set my sights on knitting an army of snowmen.

I created a pattern as I went and was happy with the results. I happened to be at my knitting club when I finished the first snow-manny. I sent it home with the mom of a four-year-old. Feedback was positive. Said four-year-old moved Snow-Manny to the primary cuddly sleep spot in his bed. Two weeks later, Snow-Manny had created a number of angst induced 'incidents' when he went rolling off on his own, becoming very difficult to find. While Mom of Four-Year-Old attended the last knitting club meeting of 2010, Dad of Four-Year-Old was building a little house for Snow-Manny to live in when he was not in hand, thus preventing any lost Snow-Manny angst ridden Christmas holiday nights.

Throughout the Christmas season, I managed to make a small army of Snow-Mannies. I was reminded of Calvin's snowmen when I lined them all up. Something about the arms, I think. The army was split up and sent their various ways as gift toppers and tree ornaments for family and friends.

Snowmen are officially off my needles, although I will be knitting another soon so as to write down the pattern as I go.


On Christmas Eve, I opened a package and found two balls of variegated Riot sock yarn. As soon as gift opening obligations were over, I cast on a Noro Striped Scarf (Ravelry link). It's a simple, mindless pattern, but I am so looking forward to the colour shifting effect in the finished product. This is a perfect project to take along to knitting club as it's a mindless knit - more brain power to devote to chatting!

So that is the extent of my latest knitting. Instead of actually knitting, I have been spending much of my knitting energy in careful contemplation of my Knitting Year Resolutions. I'm getting quite a list: I will be making a monthly knitting newsletter for my previously mentioned knitting club. I want to read two knitting related books to include in the monthly newsletter (see how I inserted some accountability there?!) I will be leading a monthly knitted dishcloth for the group as well. Personally, I am going to participate in a year-long Christmas ornament knit-a-long. And just for me, perhaps a self imposed sock club. I just need to decide if I will attempt a pair of socks a month, or just one sock per month. I'm looking forward to all of this, I just hope I can follow through!

Off to finish January's first kniterary selection,

~Mrs. A

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I'm Glad To See Twenty-Eleven

Saturday, January 1, 2011

The holidays arrived - even though I was wishing someone would dump the last half of December off the calendar - and departed with much ado in our household.

Being predictably myself, though, I have managed to pull a few positive things out of a pretty miserable month.

The Most Surprising Thing literally showed up on my door step smack in the middle of our annual Christmas Eve celebration. It was my brother, fresh from a whirlwind 17-hr flight and 24-hrs of travel from Korea. And as fast and unexpectedly as he arrived, he's on with his tomorrow after flying all day today back to his temporary home abroad. His unexpected visit made for a very fun and memorable Christmas and New Years...and hectic. Definitely hectic.

The Most Enjoyable Scheduled Event happened mid-December at my knitting club meeting. I've been trying to pull off a local knitting club with some success. For our last meeting of the year, I planned a small Christmas celebration with decorations and snacks and music. There are such a nice bunch of people that attend and they were all able to make it for the party. A motley crew, but it's so nice to spend time with others who make the time and effort to be somewhere.

And finally, the Most Awesome Thing was the arrival of the household's first teenager :-) She is lovely...even first thing in the morning just before opening her birthday gift. I simply cannot call her The Girl Child anymore, especially since she is taller than I am. She will need to be Miss K from now on.

Other excitement included a New Year's Eve family challenge of skill, smarts and silliness in which yours truly emerged victorious...with a trophy. It was a team trophy, but a trophy that I can claim and my brothers can't. I'm not sure that something like that has ever occurred before. Pictures forthcoming....after the engraving of the trophy. Told you it was real.

So onward into 2011. Today was gloomy and grey outside. We had some gloomy on the inside as well. I think just post-holiday greyishness. It was a welcome quiet day after such a busy couple of weeks. Although I feel the pressure to make a resolution, I've decided against it. I have a list of things to focus on instead.

Happy New Year. I hope the spring-ish feelings of renewal and refreshment take hold here in the A house as well as with the one or two of you who happen to pop by here.

~Mrs. A.

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