How we got banned from the library and my plan

I love to study. Sometimes it baffles me when children in this house do not share my desire to pour over books and take notes. I love it. This is what I do. It’s what I have done my whole life.

When JD, at 2 years old, would wake up in the morning, pull up a kitchen bar stool, and say, “Let’s study shapes, Mom!!” my heart would swell with pride. This is my boy.

When Joshua memorized all the species of whales at 3 years old, and checked out every single library book on badgers at 5, I knew that this apple was not falling far from the tree. (These days he memorizes sports statistics instead.)

By the end of my own kindergarten year, the library was my favorite place. It’s sad that all these years later we are banned from the library.

I know what you’re thinking. You are thinking it’s my kids’ fault, or my fault for not controlling my boys. But that wasn’t it at all. My boys love to go to the library, and while they are sometimes a little rambunctious, they have never actually caused any problems there.

It was me. I’m the reason.

In 2015, I paid $250 in library late fees, which included some fees left over from 2014.

In 2016, I paid ~$80 in library late fees, because I was trying harder and being more careful.

In Monterey, I could keep it under the radar. The librarians there were cool with us. Who doesn’t want the lady who donates $250 to the library?

But here in the South, I made the mistake, hefty mistake, of signing up for text alerts for when my books were due. I think the texts also went to the email account that I share with Alan, the same Alan who is very sensible with his money, maybe a little more sensible and organized than his wife…

Alan soon realized that I don’t bat an eye at returning a book a week overdue and continuing to use my library account.

I figure if the library lets me, I’ll just put it off until later, and they do always let me carry a balance. The library here is kind of far away, and I have trouble remembering where it is exactly and how to get there….

Poor Alan. The stress was too much. He was all calling the library to make sure we’d returned them all, going by there and paying all the late fees, and then he said it. He did.

“Can you please stop checking books out from the library?”

At least I think he said it. If he didn’t say it out loud, he was surely thinking it.

So I said it: “Okay. I know. I was wrong. I’m sorry. We will never check books out from the library again.”

I can be dramatic like that.

Alan was all, “Phew!!! Yes, I mean yes, obviously, you should not.”

Sigh.

And that was how we got banned from the library, and how I started shopping more at Book Fairs, Scholastic store online, and Amazon, so I’m not altogether sure we’re saving any money, but we do get to keep the books now…..which is actually sort of a storage problem.

And that is why the library is part of my New Year’s Resolution for 2017.

Yes, I’m aware that I didn’t actually make any New Year’s resolutions back in January, but I’m making one now. Right here, in the month of April, or as you might say MY MONTH.

I am getting my organizational act together!

I have actually been writing in and checking that planner that I bought. This is a BIG DEAL for me.

Every 2 to 3 years, we get completely uprooted, and I have to basically start life all over again, so maybe that helps you understand why I do not have the deeply engrained schedules that you may have. For a military wife, life changes drastically constantly. In 1 more year, we will probably move yet again.

Sometimes I’m guilty of feeling like why bother.

But you know what? I’ve got a lot of kids’ schedules to figure out now, and the older they get the more activities they have, and I’m going to have to get used to writing all this stuff down.

To be fair, it’s a lot of people to keep up with. 😉

So here’s my plan to lift the library ban.

  1. Look at my planner every single day.  I’m going to do that as soon as I finish this article.
  2. Take my planner with me, and write down each upcoming responsibility down on the calendar so I won’t forget.
  3. Check out 1 library book, write down the due date in the planner, and see if I can get it back to the library on time.
  4. If that works, I’m going to check out 2 books the next time!!!

 

So what about you guys? Have any of you ever paid $200 in library fees? I mean, don’t get me wrong, I’ve also lost books and had to buy the library new ones. I didn’t feel like this made me a bad customer. I felt like it just made me a frequent flyer, and these things were inevitable. Right? I say yes.

Have a FUN weekend, y’all. Life’s too short to not.

“Much dreaming and many words are meaningless. Therefore stand in awe of God. ” Ecclesiastes 5:7

 

“May he give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed. We will shout for joy when you are victorious and will lift up our banners in the name of our God. May the Lord grant all your requests.   Psalm 20: 4-5

 

The 4 Month Moving Update: Peanut Festival, Trampoline Time, and Turnips

the morning after Black Friday funnies

John David is a multi-talented child. He can unroll a TP roll, pee, and weigh himself all at once.

The Morning After…..Black Friday

I have a Black Friday hangover today. Not the kind you get from alcohol. The kind you get from spending one day driving and eating and the next day shopping too much and driving.

I slept until 8am this morning because I literally could not wake up before that. Beat. I am so beat.

We went shopping on Friday and spent like crazy. I actually told my mom–as in I actually SAID, “It’s okay, though. This is Black Friday, so the money we spend today is like not real money.”

I was sort of kidding, but not really. Presents have to be purchased, right?

But it is real money. Oh, but it is.

We had a beautiful Thanksgiving, y’all. Beautiful. We forced all of our children to wear shirts with collars, and then we forgot to even take pictures. (It’s like we’re just being mean on purpose. *evil laugh*)

Collared shirts aside, everyone had a wonderful time. The food was top-notch too. We got to spend Thanksgiving with my family. That was extra important to me this year because it’s been a tough year for them. We all went over to my parents’ new house and looked around. The flooring is in. The walls are almost completely painted. The landscaping is even done. All they are lacking is a few appliances and pantry shelves. So exciting!!!!

We have no idea what day they will get to move in. That depends on insurance and inspections and such, so we wait. I’m leaving my suitcase packed, on alert to go help move!!!

The Moving Update: 4 Month Mark

We’re adjusting. I tried to take on too many blog projects but couldn’t juggle them all. As it turns out, being a stay at home mom is still a full-time job. Therefore, I’m keeping my blog expectations low for a little longer. However, I am enjoying writing for Monterey Premier on the side. I’m lucky to get one article turned in per week, but every little bit helps. That’s been a blessing.

Alan took over laundry duty, which may be the most exciting this that has ever happened to me. He has always helped with laundry. Don’t get me wrong there, but now he is in charge of laundry. Fully!

Let’s pause to throw a party and whoop and holler with delight!!!!!

The boys are doing well. They still like their new school. Basketball season has begun for Joshua, but it’s a middle school team, so I’m not feeling too hot about that. I’d rather have him on a 5th grade team, but we’ll see how it goes.

Daniel is taking wrestling lessons, believe it or not.

We’ve all been up to a little bit of adventuring mischief. Here are a few photos of the fun, for those of you who do not follow us on Instagram:

The Morning After......Black Friday

Providence Canyon State Park, Georgia

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Fall in Georgia

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Daniel lost a tooth. This was a BIG DEAL, but he insisted on keeping it in his pocket, so then he literally lost the tooth. We had to write the tooth fairy a note. Daniel said he doesn’t believe in the tooth fairy because his brother told him that she’s not real, but it was still important to Dan to leave a note……So I guess he really does still sort of believe.

Don’t worry. He did indeed get a dollar, a quarter, and a penny.

On a completely unrelated note, look what I found under my desk:

 

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John David and his black marker strike again.

 

The Morning After......Black Friday

Fun times with Mom

JD and I spent HOURS of November on our trampoline. And no, it did not result in any weight loss. Once your hips swell up with arthritis, I actually have no idea how to shrink that. Thoughts, suggestions, anyone???

I’ve had to squash my vanity and just exercise for the fun of it.

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This face of pure joy. I need to hang this picture everywhere.

 

The Morning After......Black Friday

These were such a life saver for us. Thank you notes that you just fill in the blanks. Best parenting hack ever.

Want some? My friend has an Etsy shop where you can score your own. See more here: lilmissgratitude.com.

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This Snoopy that I bought Daniel for Christmas last year is still making us smile this year, especially JD.

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I got these awesome turnips WITH roots from my brother. I thought I could substitute bacon for pork chops and it would still be as good. Wrong. Pork chop required for prime yummy-ness.

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Turnip greens with roots: a delightful Southern treat

 

The Morning After......Black Friday

Yard sale-ing!!! I have literally saved about $1,000 by yard sale shopping this fall, and I have had so much fun in the process. These sunglasses were $1.00! Say what you want. I super-like them.

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Why I love Big Lots

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I literally spent one day rolling in fall leaves on the trampoline with J.D. It was glorious…..until the hay fever result came rolling in that night. Ha! Still worth it!

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Reveling in the fall leaves (and the pollen—achoo!)

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We went to the Peanut Festival, just the two of us!

We ate funnel cake, we rode 4 rides, and then we got so nauseous we gave the rest of our tickets away to some kids and left. Haha! So much fun though!

The Morning After......Black Friday

My favorite ride as a kid. It was fun, but this is the ride that did us in.

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My other favorite ride: The Swings!

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I was so pumped to share my childhood stompin’ grounds with Alan. We’ve been married 14 years, and this was the FIRST time he’d ever gotten to go to the Peanut Festival.

The Morning After......Black Friday

Cotton and mums

4 month moving update

John David got tired of the 6 pumpkins on our porch, so he tossed ALL of them into this bush.

4 month moving update

I love Caleb’s drawing so much I can’t stop sharing them.

4 month moving update

Another new Lula Roe top!

4 month moving update

Alan’s seriously creepy Halloween costume

4 month moving update

And last but not least, I found 20 DOLLARS in my jeans from last year. Wahoo!!! What should I buy first!!???

 

“Even to your old age and gray hairs, I am he, I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you.”   –Isaiah 46:4

 

Come back on Cyber Monday!!!!!!! I have a giveaway planned!!!!!!!

 

A Happy Season for Me: Wrapping Up Homeschool Year 2

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Joshua had several different speaking parts in this year’s school program. I was so excited and nervous for him. You would’ve thought I was the one with lines.

Well, if you’re new here you might not realize that I’m sort of a reluctant teacher. It’s not that I don’t possess the joy of teaching. Sometimes it is fun. The thing is that I cannot enjoy having so many things to do. There’s a fourth grader to teach, a third grader to teach, and a toddler running around. I finally threw in the hat and sent Daniel to pre-school, but it’s only three days per week, so sometimes he’s home too.

Then there’s the blog, the meals, I should at least talk to my husband occasionally (sarcasm. It’s just sarcasm), and the laundry, and heaven forbid, social outings or extracurricular activities.

It is not my cup of tea. I was not built to run around like a chicken with my head cut off and try to do so many things at one time. In the words of my adorable 2-year-old nephew in the swimming pool last year, “Don’t like it. Don’t like it. Don’t like it.”

I feel like I have so many things to do that I can’t do any of them well, because that’s exactly how it is.

So yes, this is the HAPPIEST season of all. Why? Because the school year is ending!!! I calculated very carefully. We will reach exactly 180 days on May the 24th.

We are all so ready for summer.

So we have a few pictures of the end-of-year-Classical Conversations program for ya and a little synopsis of what we covered at our humble little school. It was an intense year.

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For Joshua, this year was all about learning the parts of speech and how to write essays. Each 4th-6th grade student diagrammed a sentence for the program.

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Nonna and Alan. I was thankful we got to have a grandparent with us for the program. Living so far away from everyone, this is a rarity for us.

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Caleb did a great job too. His class all recited their science facts together. They recited the parts of the atmosphere, types of leaves and leaf parts, and types of volcanoes.

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These two were happy to be audience members. JD loves Daniel with the sort of undying devotion that only a sweet little sibling can give.

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Not the best photo of Dan, but look at how HAPPY JD is! He’s ready for Mom to be done teaching and become his personal servant again.

What We Learned About This Year:

161 events and people in a chronological timeline (We love our time line song. Check it out here.)


44 U.S. Presidents– This is Caleb’s favorite memory work. He says them at lightning speed.
24 history sentences to add depth to our timeline
144 locations and geographic features in Africa, Europe, and the Old World

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Caleb’s freehand watercolor world painting

24 biology and earth science facts including the classifications of living things and each continent’s highest mountain) Joshua totally rocked the highest mountains on each continent. I still can’t tell you them, but Joshua can.

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5 Latin noun cases and noun endings and their singular and plural declensions
English Grammar Facts (including 53 prepositions, 23 helping verbs, and 12 linking verbs)
Multiplication tables up to 15×15, common squares and cubes, as well as basic geometry formulas and unit conversions

Oh! And we read the most interesting history text-book I’ve ever read. I’m pleased as punch to tell you that we finished the entire book. Alan even enjoyed getting in on this one. He would read it to them before bed at night. Home school is flexible like that!:

 

You may remember how I ran off all the corresponding activity sheets to go with Story of the World last summer. I thought we’d do so many of them. We did like 5, but that’s okay. We were perfectly happy to listen, learn, and memorize.

Joshua even wrote essays on the Trojan War and Greek mythology.

So now we’ve started on volume II. Caleb enjoys listening to the stories in the car, and Joshua enjoys reading them during silent reading time.

Joshua is 80% of the way through Teaching Textbooks Math 4, which was a much better fit for him than the A Beka curriculum, mostly because it took ME out of the equation. Ha!

Caleb is still doing well with his A Beka math. He’s our math stud. Joshua’s our master speller.

It was a hard year. I brought on board a reading tutor, a part-time nanny (just on Fridays), several doctors (for me), and a cleaning lady just to make it sort of work. But it’s almost done! CC is done! AWANA will be done as of next Wednesday (Thank goodness!), and school will totally be finished May 24th. I’m counting the hours.

Meanwhile, I have not had a fever today, so whoo-hoo!!! Now I’m off to feed the children and head to Joshua’s baseball game!

 

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