Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Hiking with family

It is remarkably warm here at the ranch in contrast to the sub zero temps we had almost two weeks ago.  Typical of this area, we go from ten to 80 degrees in a very short time.  But I'm not complaining because we had a very mild winter compared to most people in the U.S.

Now the water problems are slowly being repaired, my house is returning to normal and the sunshine beckons us outdoors.  I've spent so much time trying to dig out of the piles of laundry and dishes left over from going without water in the house that I was really getting cabin fever.  So when we had our first warm day that wasn't windy (those days are few and far between February - May) our family decided to go arrowhead hunting for the first time in almost a year. 

We have to take the ranch dune buggy to the area we like to hike.  And when I say 'hike' let me clarify my version of hiking.  It really means walking on big rocks.  We live in terrain that is hard to really go hiking in because we're surrounded by things that will poke, cut or bite you. 

This will be the first time to take the Punkin since she has really started walking and it will be good to get her out in the rocks and get her used to it.  I have always carried her in a backpack,  but now that she is two she will be able to get around with her brother and sister, who navigate the rocks like little Auodads. 
Punkin is not as excited about walking around by herself as I thought she would be.  The grass is really high.

Thankfully her big sister likes to hold her hand and walk with her.  She loves to be a little mommy.  She babies Punkin more than any of us.

My son is little too adventurous and so most of my time was spent making sure he didn't fall and break his arm.  Our dog Diego never leaves his side.

We're only out and hour or two before someone starts crying for a diaper change, a snack or because one of them finally falls in to a cactus.  Daddy has taken all the whining he can stand and waits patiently in the dune buggy.

Now that Mommy has been outside to get her much needed Vitamin D, I feel much better.  Sometimes it just takes a little sunshine and exercise.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Bad Mommy Days

Sometimes I have a bad Mommy day.  There's nothing else I can do that sufficiently explains why everything just goes wrong inside this house.  I can blame it on all different kinds of factors, but sometimes...its just me. 

As anyone that knows me can tell you, I have the patience of Job.  I seldom lose my temper. However, I feel like I am at maximum capacity today.  The deep freeze of the millennium has left us without water for almost two weeks.  Apparently the freeze burnt a pump out and although we had water, it was nary a trickle and I couldn't wash dishes, do laundry or take a bath for over a week.  You can imagine the pile up that has occurred in a house with three small children and a working man.

This is unusual for this part of Texas and even more frustrating, it was unaccompanied by any type of moisture, which we desperately need.  Apparently, according to the older folks in town, this has not happened since 1962, a tale that has now local folklore because all of the women who told me about this also remember their husbands being out for days busting up frozen water troughs while they stayed home giving spit baths to their own children.  Of course, dishwashers and washing machines were still a bit of a luxury and they weren't smack down crazy trying to figure out what to do with themselves without these appliances.  I thumb through my mother in law's grandmothers journal trying to find some reference to how she handled something like this but....she had people!  I don't.  I AM the people.

I haven't mopped the floors, the towels lie molding in the corner, no one has clean sheets, dishes pile up in the sink still swimming in their pre super bowl glory, and laundry is stacked up in piles waiting to be put away as I've loaded and, then unloaded them after two hour round trips to town to wash. 

Anyway.... back to the reason I'm so grouchy.  I'm frustrated and overwhelmed and I'm projecting this on to my children.  The chaos is everywhere and I think chaos is breeding chaos like jackrabbits around here.  Not to mention all three of the children are sick which makes them whiny and temperamental.  It's a trifecta of craziness!  So apparently all of the habit training Charlotte Mason talked about is out the window!  No one is cleaning up after themselves, there's UFC fight championships being  held over stuffed animals, the littlest scrape sends them over into full throttle breakdowns, the baby keeps getting into markers and using them for makeup, school doesn't get started until 9 a.m. and even when it starts it just stalls.....and I find myself whirling through the house yelling like a character out of some Edward Albee play.

When children sense frustration, instability and chaos, it makes them nervous and when they're nervous they take it out on each other, you and the living room furniture.  Slowly but surely, you have to redirect their energies to something productive and then get back on a schedule.  I have to calm down.    I've resorted to using my Mary Poppins voice.  I don't really mean anything I say with my Mary Poppins voice, but it's like being a greeter at the Gap, eventually you'll start believing yourself and the mood is changed.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Ten Days of Charlotte Mason with www.ourjourneywestward.com

I sometimes have a hard time explaining our homeschooling method, the Charlotte Mason philosophy, to people who are interested in how we teach our children.  I say it's a philosophy because it's not a curriculum but a way of life. 

Cindy, at www.ourjourneywestward.com is hosting Ten Days of Charlotte Mason, sponsored by Heart of the Matter's blog hop.  She is doing a wonderful job of explaining the intricacies of the Charlotte Mason method and explaining key points of the method such as narration, living books, copy work, artists and composers and nature study.  So if you can, join us for a great discussion!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Five goals for February

For February I'm following the lead of Jess at  http://www.makinghome.blogspot.com/ and posting five goals I've made for myself.  As I told her, I tend to make lofty, unattainable goals that leave me feeling like a big loser, so this month I'm going to keep it simple.

1. eat healthier.  This doesn't mean I'm going on another crazy diet with my friend Rachel.  I did the Cinch diet last month and actually gained two pounds.  How anyone can gain weight from eating spinach and raspberries for five days is beyond me. 

No, this time I'm concentrating on eating more whole grains, fruits and vegetables and staying away from fried foods and sugar.  I'm also going to stick to the Deceptively Delicious and Sneaky Chef cookbooks and trick my kids in to eating healthier as well.

2.  Posting more regularly on my blog.

3.  Keeping my school room more organized.

4.  Start my mornings off by reading scripture.

5.  Pay more attention to my toddler during school hours instead of parking her in front of Dora.