Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Hanging in There

It's been a while since I've posted, I know. We haven't been terribly busy, but at the same time we've been slogging through a lot of troubles. It's amazing how trials and tribulations can bog one down so that days pass by unmarked as one tries to simply get by.

Have no fear. Life may be tramping right over my head right now, but if I stay right in this moment, I find that it is exactly what I can handle.

And this moment brings knitted victory. Well, maybe not victory, but at least satisfaction. So I will dwell on that.

This is a baby/toddler vest (because Henry is now toddling). I used a free pattern from Crystal Palace. I like the style, though check my project notes on Ravelry if you are considering making it yourself. I used ONE SKEIN of Encore Colorspun yarn (just over $6--I am thrifty). I modified the ribbing around the arms to a rolled edge to make this work out. It fits him well. I'm not usually a fan of acrylic (it usually feels like plastic and I don't care for the static electricity it generates), but I really like Encore for kids' clothes. It washes up well and it seems to like the dryer, too. It feels soft and fluffy.

I used random brown buttons from my mom's button bin. They don't match, but it doesn't matter to me since this is a casual, every day vest. One could even say the buttons add a funky, eclectic feel to the vest, but I won't since I'm really not that hip. Neither is Henry. Adorable, but not hip.

I love those green eyes!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

A Mind Unfocused

I left the house today. It was the first time since Sunday that I walked out my own door. It was such an occasion I put on my fancy pants (jeans) and a clean shirt. I even wore shoes, remembering to change out of my slippers.

I just bought Cathy Duffy's book 100 Top Picks for Homeschool Curriculum. I spend the last four days marching through this book, making notes of books and programs that sound promising, struggling against interruption after disruption. Today I finished the book and arranged to leave the house so that I could review my notes and re-read sections that were plowed through so quickly that I'm pretty sure I missed something important.

I came to the coffee shop tonight, sat down with Peter's laptop, my coffee, and books. I got all prepared to dig in. Then I realized that over the past four days I have lost my ability to focus. The hazing from small children gets my martial gaze fixed on the topic at hand. I wonder if I handed out gift cards if people would start screaming and throw cups of milk off of the table or need an apple cut up? Maybe then I could focus again.


Here's a question for all of you homeschooling moms. Where do you go to find curriculum choices? We have a homeschooling conference in Minnesota every April. It seems to be ok, though a lot of the vendors are more focused on selling character development tools than on academics. Personally, I have a Bible and The Andy Griffith Show--that's all the character development help I need for my kids.

I need something to teach Anna how to read. They need to know where Iraq and Saudi Arabia are on a map. I need something that uses real books and worktexts and I need something that can teach them both, to some degree, at once. I need to know where the Homeschool Curriculum Mall of America is. I need to know where to look, where to shop, and where the good stuff is. I need help knowing how to even PLAN a curriculum for a year. This year we used Sonlight and there were things I liked a lot (like not having to plan the lessons) and some things that seemed weak to me (though this could be due to using the Kindergarten level curriculum).

Can you help? I'll take any (positive) advice you would like to give! Believe me, this won't be the last time I ask.