Tuesday Link Love

Moment of honesty here. I’m sooooooo not in bloggy blog world right now. My husband and I are going on vacation soon, and my world and brain are filled with packing, money, organizing, finishing our current homeschool unit, cleaning out the fridge, trip planning, and did I mention packing!! So things will be quiet here on the blog for a couple of weeks til we get back from paradise. Eeeeeek! But don’t worry, my kids aren’t going so we have to come back. And thanks to the good ol’ snip-snip-burn-burn we won’t be coming home with any more ;) I leave you with some link love from around the web. Take care peoples!! xoxo

You do have the time!! Perfect motivation for those feeling overwhelmed.

I love the “embarrassing stories monday” from Kate. Kids say the darndest things!!

Pumpkin spice french toast?! Say what!!

How to master self-motivation. Who doesn’t need this advice?!

I love this homeschool wrap up from Carisa. Perfect for anyone curious about how families multiple school ages.

I wanna gobble up these parmesan tortellini bites :)

May be a bit morbid, but it needs to be discussed. What will happen to my blog when I die?

Make ahead chocolate chip cookie mix. An awesome shortcut for any mom.

10 best shows to watch as a family. PW for the win!!

28 things people obsessed with cookie butter will understand. Um. Yes. Yes we do.

5 Awesome Ted Talks

TedTalks

Ted Talks are a great way to learn something new, have a few laughs, and get caught in a cycle of watching for a few hours. Ahem. That doesn’t happen to me ;) I hope you have a great weekend and have time to listen to a couple of these great Ted Talks. Enjoy!!

1. The Power of Introverts. As an introvert, this talk really spoke to me. It also made me more proud and confident in the abilities of introverts. Her story about her Grandfather is especially touching.

2. Why Math instruction is unnecessary. Specifically higher level math. The name alone is enough to intrigue you to listen :) A former high school math teacher and homeschooler blew my mind. This was life changing. Truly something to think about.

3. Heart disease Heart disease is the leading cause of death for woman. Heart attacks present themselves different in woman than in men. Heart disease hopes to raise awareness much like breast cancer awareness has done for women’s health.

4. 10 Things you didn’t Know About Orgasm. I fell in love with Mary Roach from the first sentence of her book “Stiff.” This talk did not leave me disappointed :)

5. Parenting Taboos I love the website Babble, so I had to check out this Ted Talks featuring the husband and wife team who founded the website.

What are some of your favorite Ted Talks?

Linking up with oh hey, Friday! And Five on Friday

When Homeschooling DOESN’T suck

Homeschool

Homeschooling is hard. Like, drinking-in-the-middle-of-the-day-hard. Pounding-your-head-against-the-wall hard. Shouting “Why did I ever think this was a good idea??!!” Uffda. It’s tough. Somedays just suck! BUT there are times when homeschooling isn’t so tough. The rare days when you can balance it all: wife, mother, teacher, caretaker. Days when

Homeschooling DOESN’T suck . . .

1. When you see back to school prices. 15 bucks a piece for backpacks?! No thanks. Actually, I take that back. The $1 Frozen folder could be just what I need for spelling motivation later in the year.

2. When the most stressful part of your morning is the kids fighting over the toaster to make breakfast. They literally yell and scream at each other. But at least I am not yelling and screaming at them to get them out the door on time.

3. When you can help out your sister with her newborn baby twins. I had the joy of helping out with my nephews in their first few months of life. It was such an amazing thing to experience. BTW, sooo glad I don’t have twins. Parents of multiples, I don’t know how the hell you do it!

4. When you hear about school violence. I believe the first words out of my mouth when I hear of another shooting is “Thank god we homeschool.”

5. When the kids are back in school and you have all the playgrounds, museums, and parks to yourself. Nothing beats an uncrowded museum or seeing a whole gaggle of homeschool kids taking over a playground.

6. When you go on vacation or couples weekend during the middle of the school year. Not to mention scheduling dentist visits and doctor appointments and weekday visits to meet Grandma.

7. When your kids get to spend their days being kids. My kids don’t have a lot of the pressure school kids have. Before the start of school, a friend and I were talking about her son. He is going into second grade, but it feels like he is going into fifth with all the pressure. A fellow homeschooling mom says she can notice the difference in her son when he is around his old school friends. He acts much more grown up and shows off. Instead of acting like the 12 year old he is.

8. When your kids play with kids of all ages during get togethers. Friends aren’t made because you were born in the same year. My kids are usually the youngest at the homeschool dates, but when was the last time you worked with or hung out with people who were the exact same age as you? It’s important to be able to relate to your peers, but I like how my kids are learning to get along with kids of all ages.

9. When you see your child can’t sit still, needs lots of attention, lives to make others laugh, pretends to know the answers to questions AKA “She would SO not succeed in regular school.” This is my mantra with Fofo. I don’t want to spend all my time answering phone calls from the school or sitting in the principals office because she taught the whole class a song about butts. Because she would do that.

10. When your child has trouble starting to read. What kind of pressure would she face at school? She understands the concept of phonics and sight words. Something just isn’t clicking yet. She will get there. I am glad she is in an environment that will cater to her needs so she grows up loving to read rather than resenting it.

Surly’s Podcast Picks – WTF with Marc Maron

PodcastPicks

Podcasts are a great way to stay informed, educate yourself, and have a few laughs. They are great on the go, at work, and during your downtime at home. Just about anyone can start a podcast nowadays, but not all of them are worth your time. I am gonna share with you some of my recommendations for some great podcasts. I hope you check ‘em out! My previous podcast pics include The Opie and Anthony Show podcast, Bill Burr’s Monday Morning PodcastWeird Medicine, and The Joe Rogan Experience (JRE).

I’ve got another comedy podcast coming at ya! Well, sort of. It’s a comedian who has a podcast. One of the original podcasters himself, Marc Maron and the WTF podcast. My husband and I first started listening to Marc when he had his show on liberal radio channel “Air American.” When my husband first got into podcasts about 6 years ago, WTF was one of the first one’s he listened to. The best part of this is we don’t have to pay for any WTF podcasts!! Let me back up a sec. WTF is a free podcast, but older, bonus episodes are available for purchase and download. Check out the podcast section of his website to find out more! But because we have listened and downloaded the podcasts from the origin of WTF, we have some of the classics, like Carlos Mencia and Dane Cook.

WTF

WTF started with Marc interviewing fellow stand-up comedians about how they got into comedy. Since then he has branched out to actors, musicians, chefs, and live events. The list is so diverse: Chris Cornell, Judd Apatow, Henry Rollins, Kevin Hart, Ron White, Clare Danes, Maynard James Keenan, Kathy Griffin, Artie Lange, Louis CK, Scott Conant, Bob Saget, Iggy Pop, Robin Williams, Kathleen Madigan, Wanda Sykes, Bob Newhart. The list goes on and on and on. But the purpose of the podcast remains the same: your craft and your start in. Whether you are a musician, director, chef, or stand-up comedian, WTF gets to the root of what the person does for a living. It’s a method that has been used in other podcasts, but Marc’s is the first. He does ramble for the first 10 minutes (not gonna lie, I don’t listen to first ten minutes). But the interviews are spot on. Remember, this is his podcast, not his comedy routine. There are certainly funny moments, but the podcast is more interview based.

The number of current podcasts available through iTunes or other streaming mediums is around 50. The older episodes are available for a monthly ($2), bi-yearly ($5), or yearly ($9) fee to stream the back catalog. Individual episodes are available for purchase also.

I love the vibe and attitude of WTF as Marc delves into what makes all his guests the artists they are. You should check it out!!

What are some of your favorite podcasts? Has anyone checked out my recommendations?

Top 5 – Fofo’s Birthday Memories

topfive

Top 5 Moments from Fofo’s birthday extravaganza!

We aren’t big on birthday parties in our family. My husband and I aim to give our kids experiences and family memories on their birthday. Fofo turned 6 at the end of August, when she got her big presents and lunch with Grandma and Grandpa. Due to family schedules, we had her “party” weekend the middle of September. Overall, this kid had an awesome time for her birthday.

1. Bike Her big gift from Grandma and Grandpa was a new bike! Complete with training wheels. She LOVES this bike and is constantly ask to go on bike rides.

MofoBike

2. Camelbak Her big gift from Mama and Papa was a camelbak! She LOVES to go hiking and was constantly asking for water from my husband’s pack, so we got Fofo her own!!

camelback

3. Trixie In the words of Fofo, “Who doesn’t like My Little Pony’s!!” She certainly loves them, and Grandma spoiled her on her actual birthday by getting her a Trixie Lulamoon Build-a-Bear pony.

Trixie

4. Cousin Time Family time at the children’s museum. Fofo want to go to the Madison Children’s Museum for her birthday, with all her cousins. I snapped this photo of all of the painting. Well, not the 9 month old twins, they were being passed around by all the adults. We know this sitting and wanting to be held phase is almost over :)

cousins

5. Family hike! It was a great way to cap of Fofo’s birthday weekend. Beautiful day and my beautiful family spending time together.

Family Hike

Happy (belated) birthday to one of my two favorite kids!! Love ya Fofo :)

Linking up with oh hey, Friday!

Blog Love

bloglove

“I’ve fallen, and I can’t get up!” Yeah. I’m officially and old person. I was out in the garden picking some tomatoes and as I walked over the chicken wire fence I fell and messed up leg. It hurts to stand. Sit. Lay with my leg bent or with my leg straight. And because I am chubby, out of shape dumbbell, after sitting awhile, something else on my body hurts!! What’s my point. Since I spent most of my time on the couch Tuesday, I got a lot of blog reading done. Here are some of my favs!

1. Jamie from Simple Homeschool wrote an article on her three kids’ journeys to reading. This was so helpful to me as Fofo and I are really struggling in getting her to read. Something just isn’t clicking. This post was just what I needed to read :)

2. Going out in public with your kids stinks. Thanks to Kristen from Rage Against the Minivan, I know it does get better.

3. As a homeschooler, I am with my kids all.day.long. So I can totally relate to the post “I Hate Putting My Kids to Bed” from Scary Mommy.

4. For a great life, this article for The Onion was fantastic. The last line sums it up perfectly!!

5. Pumpkin Spice White Russian?! Tito’s Vahka for the win!!! And yes that is the correct spelling of vah-ka!

6. I alway knew Tyrion Lannister was a genius :)

7. 18 homeschool blogs you would be following. Besides mine of course ;)

8. DIY window paint sounds like a fun sunny day activity. My kids could have spent hours at the children’s museum doing a similar activity.

9. Loving the “And I quote” series from Shutterbean.

10. Is it sad I relate to so many of these? Like 7, 11, and 15?

40 Books by 40 – Seven Wonders by Ben Mezrich

40Books

I have become a lazy reader in recent years. In order to get back into a reading routine and make myself more accountable, I challenged myself to read 40 books by the time I am 40. I am, ahem, 33 years old which only means about 5 books a year so it will probably be more, but 40 by 40 has a nice ring to it so I’m leaving it :)

“Seven Wonders” the latest novel from Ben Mezrich was book number 14 in my reading goal. Mezrich is known for his non-fiction novels that inspired the movies “The Social Network” and “21.” “Seven Wonders” is Mezrich’s first work of fiction in about 15 years.

Mezrich first came to be known with his non-fiction novel “Bringing Down the House,” which inspired the movie “21” about a group of MIT students who ran a successful card counting operation in Las Vegas. Mezrich knows how to write a fantastic non-fiction novel. “Sex on the Moon” is another fantastic book. An aspiring NASA scientist plots (and successfully) breaks into NASA’s labs to steal moon rocks. All in the name of love. It’s a fantastic and fascinating read!

Can Mezrich break into the field of fiction with “Seven Wonders?” A novel and Hollywood partnership between Mezrich and Hollywood producer Brett Rattner. (“Seven Wonders” is being developed for a motion picture) I would say yes! “Seven Wonders” is Indian Jones meets the Da Vinci Code meets Mission Impossible. Picture this: There is a connection between the seven ancient wonders of the world and the seven modern wonders of the world and it is up to anthropologist Jack Grady to find it. All the while being chased by the group responsible for the connection. It is a book that reads like a movie script and keeps you captivated for a light and fast paced read.

Is it the Da Vinci Code? Of course not. This is more Da Vinci Code-esque. “Seven Wonders” kept me turning the pages and revealed interesting facts and myths surrounding the seven modern wonders of the world. Like, for example, did you know they held a worldwide vote to name the modern wonders of the world? I didn’t. No clue. This is what you miss when you don’t have cable. I would highly recommend you read this book, along with any of Mezrich’s other works :)

What’s on your reading list lately?

Book Total
Book One – Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn
Book 2 – Blindsighted by Karin Slaughter
Book 3 – God, If You’re Up There, I’m F*cked by Darrell Hammond
Book 4 – Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
Book 5 – Life After Death By Damian Echols
Book 6 – Catering to Nobody by Diane Mott Davidson
Book 7 – Game of Thrones (A Song of Fire and Ice Book 1) by George R. R. Martin
Book 8 – Burglars Can’t be Choosers
Book 9 – The Last Jew of Treblenka by Chil Rajchman
Book 10 – Theodore Boone: The Abduction by John Grisham
Book 11- Kisscut by Karin Slaughter
Book 12 – A Clash of Kings (A Song of Fire and Ice Book 2) by George R.R. Martin
Book 13 – A Storm of Swords (A Song of Fire and Ice Book 3) by George R.R. Martin

This Moment

I have been inspired by SouleMama to take a moment …

{this moment}

“A Friday (or Monday) ritual. A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

If you’re inspired to do the same, leave a link to your ‘moment’ in the comments for all to find and see.”

10 Reasons I Need a Beer at the End of the Day

Beer

1. The number one reason, I need a beer is because it is delicious and it’s only in Wisconson. New Glarus baby!

2. I am living with a PMS’ing six-year-old. “PAPA ATE THE CRACKERS!! NO FAIR!! HE TAKES EVERYTHING FOR HIS LUNCH.”

3. Bear wore a striped shirt and plaid shorts today. Not a horrible offense, but it means she inherited my husband’s fashion sense, which is never good.

4. We still have like 3 fleas hanging around the house. Literal fleas. Not my kids. Or animals. Although they are the reason we have fleas.

5. I see this face. About 700 times a day from a demanding six year old.

scowling cat Source: Flickr Erica Schoonmaker

6. Bear: I’m hungry.
Me: I will cut you up some carrots.
Bear: NOOOOOOO, I’m not hungry.
Me: Ok.
Bear: NOOOOO, I’m hungry.
Lather, rinse, repeat.

7. I have a blog post to write. Let’s face it, working is a lot easier with a couple of beers.

8. After making hard-boiled eggs, granola, stir-fry, and spicy bread (go me!), Fofo informs me she would like burgers for supper. I say no, we need to finish the leftover soup. Scowl, “No. Burgers!” See number 5.

9. Sons of Anarchy is on tonight. I know a lot of people love it. I am so incredibly frustrated by this show that it makes me insane. “I already lost the woman I love.” NO MAN TALKS LIKE THAT!!!! And I’m sorry ladies, but men don’t do push-ups naked. Sorry Juice. Ya have a nice ass, if that makes you feel better. I want more Tig and Chibs and less Peg Bundy making out with Bobby Simone. In fact, no Peg Bundy at all would be dandy!! I am only watching because I have watched the whole series and want to see how the damn thing ends. Hopefully with the Hell’s Angels taking over Charming. Is my longest paragraph really on SOA?!

10. Did I mention I have a scowling, PMS’ing 6-year-old right now?!

Me: Is anything gonna make you happy right now?
Fofo: Um. No. Nothing will make me happy right now.
scowling cat

Me: Why don’t you grab a book to read?
Fofo: I use my phonics to read, not actual books!
scowling cat 

Fofo: IT’S GONNA BE LOCKED WHEN WE GET BACK IN!!
ME: Fofo, your bike.
Fofo: I FORGOT.

She forgot her bike for her bike ride. Need I say more.

NewGlarus

Cheers everyone!

Reflections

relfections

Happy Monday everyone!! I hope you had a fun weekend. Ours was spent around the house cleaning the garage. We are the life of the party I know. We did spend Friday and Saturday night by our backyard campfire. Again, I know, life of the party. I love to read by the fire, but as it got dark out I began catching up on some of my favorite blogs on the iPad. I read Jennifer’s post on avoiding blogger burnout, which caused me to stop and think. I am not burning out on this blogging thing, but I am in a transition period. I have been really examining where I want this blog to go.

As I looked into the fire I wondered, what is it I want? In truth, I don’t know. I know this much. I want writing to be my career. I know I want to increase my blog readership. I know I want to continue to build relationships with other bloggers. I know I want to make income off my blog. I know I love to write. I love to blog. But I am bit stuck on what to blog about. Do I focus solely on homeschooling? Do I write just about myself? Do I try more of humor blog angle? I’m not sure what the long-term goal of this blog is. Maybe I will write a homeschooling advocacy book. Maybe I will write children’s books. Maybe my blog will be the source of income. But what do I write about? I want to write about ALL THE THINGS!!

I love writing. I love blogging. I love reading other blogs. I love my family. I love sharing our homeschool journey. I guess all I can do is keep writing. Keep posting. And somewhere along the way, I will find my answer.

Thanks for listening to me babble ;) Have a great week!!