JMJ103 *When I first moved out here, and my mom and sister came to visit, I was not ready for them. It was so frustrating to try and entertain as well as do the regular routine at the same time. And this was before I even had children. I promised myself that this would never happen again, as I wanted to treat my company special, as well as enjoy myself too!
Ring the School Bell 103/180 Days
Good news alert: Sabrina has received a $16,000 merit scholarship at Mount St. Mary’s College, which might make this university an option. Hurray!
At home, I worked on the girls’ planners for a bit. “Grandpa Days” are coming up soon. These will be reduced academic workload days so the kids and I can enjoy their sweet and fun Grandpa Claude. We haven’t seen him in a while because of my mother’s own health concerns. Mom will visit at another time. It is such a blessing that they come to visit. When they arrive, the first day is all “show and tell”, as the girls are so excited to share and show everything new in their lives. I know I will hardly get a word in, on the first day, and that’s okay. I love to watch them interact with their grandparents who live so far away. Okay, maybe Indiana isn’t that far when you consider the entire world, but still, you need a plane or a train to get here, or else a lot of gas money!
When I first moved out here, and my mom and sister came to visit, I was not ready for them. It was so frustrating to try and entertain as well as do the regular routine at the same time. And this was before I even had children. I promised myself that this would never happen again, as I wanted to treat my company special, as well as enjoy myself too! It is not always the most convenient time when my folks come to visit, but I understand why they come when they do. Fares are less expensive in winter, and who doesn’t want to get away from the cold? It does force us to take a break and we always thoroughly enjoy our visit together, but we do need to plan ahead for a successful vacation for all.
How to make room for “grandpa days” or long distance visitors
Grandpa days, for us, stands for anytime you are forced to a couple of weeks off, when long distance visitors come to say hello.
Of course, these ideas only work if you have a little warning.
- There are four major things, besides cleaning the car out, that I do every time my folks come to visit.Lesson planners- Although it is very tempting to call it a vacation and not assign any work, I don’t want to skip academics entirely. There are two reasons I do this. Most importantly, the kids may not appreciate extending school into summer later on. I have done school into July, and believe me, it is difficult to get motivated to do algebra 1 in the summer. Secondly, by assigning work to do while the company is here, it gives me the chance to visit more with my folks, with less distractions. I do modify their schedules to include only independent work, that doesn’t require assistance from me. That way I can focus on the needs of the guests, as well as enjoy myself.
- The second thing I do is freeze meals for the same amount of days that my company will be here. If they will be here for two weeks, then the two weeks before they arrive, I double up on meals and put a portion in the freezer for later. I don’t want to be in the kichen any more than I have to when they are here.
- I cancel outside enrichment classes as much as possible, so that we can choose different activities, such as go to beach with our guests.
- Finally, between home and my husband’s office, there is always so much paperwork. I try to work a few long evenings to get ahead of the paper shuffle, in order to clear up even more time.
Back to day 103…
After a morning of studies and lesson planning, the girls and I headed off to the Woodland Hills outdoor ice skating rink. My god-daughter Megan joined us. As I was driving down Topanga Canyon Blvd, I noticed kids playing inside their chain-linked fenced-in school and questioned the often-heard claim that homeschoolers are too sheltered. It led me to ponder a few things. Who is really sheltered here? Who is gated in for six hours a day, five days a week, for years on end, sometimes with the same thirty or so characters who shape their lives. While I know there are many wonderful traditional schools out there, I know some people have the wrong idea about the rest of us.
In the middle of a California drought, we picked a drizzly rainy day to ice skate. Funny. Within minutes of getting out on the ice, it began to lightly rain. To our surprise, it was still fun. As soon as the drops of water landed on the ice, they would freeze. The weather was pleasant enough, a warm 60 degrees. Yes, it is mechanically produced ice, as that is the best we can do here in the San Fernando Valley. After a great time, we packed back up into the van to head home, and that’s when the downpour came. We thankfully just missed it!
The day just kept getting better. Our friends Mary and Katie joined us in the evening to make home-made Valentine cards. Mary made one for her husband, whom she calls “Cute Boy”. I created some teapot-shaped Valentines which read “You’re my cup of Tea” for my mom buddies, and inserted an herbal tea bag into each one. Dear Katie had recently split up with her boyfriend and we laughed our hearts out, as we all came up with new conversational candy heart ideas, you know, those little candy hearts each labeled with a sweet saying, that come in a box. We came up with super silly ones such as “loserboy” instead of loverboy, “take a hike”, “get lost”, “unfriend me”, and “creepy”. It was good plain fun, and started by Katie herself, so just a barrel of laughs.
We closed the day by watching the Sochi Olympics. (I guess I just gave away what year we are talking about!)
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** Note to the Reader- Today’s narrative is an excerpt of our family’s school journey from a few years ago, during my eldest daughter’s senior year in high school, a rather emotional year, with its many ups and downs.
May God shower blessings on your family as he has on mine. Annette