Monday, June 30, 2008

Sunday, June 29, 2008

~ SP12 Q#3 ~

The question of the week is,

What would you consider the perfect amount of stash?

the perfect amount of stash for me would be containable and accessible. At present, my stash is neither containable nor accessible. Hmm....sounds like I need to get myself some organization going. I would love to have my stash full of yarns I absolutely love but at the moment there are some there I purchased on sale, was given or traded for that I don't love nor like. I need to set some standards for myself and stick with them. My friend Robin has done that and I may need to destash like she did too keep my focus. I know "less is more" but for some reason that doesn't seem to apply to my stash. What a joke?! ~ I want to live more simply having less but I also love my sock yarn stash, which is growing all the time, and don't want to give it up. It will be alright, I'll just keep knitting and one day........

Saturday, June 28, 2008


well I had to start it with somethin', right?! Its been very busy around here. I've not been motivated since I'm too tired to truly think. Though I have been reading and enjoying my family. I'm reading plenty ~ CMs writings Vol 1 , 5 & 6, Yarn Harlot book and will probably start a book on cd this weekend.

I've managed to eliminate a large portion of the newspapers that have accumulated around the house and I've also clipped coupons. I plan to do more clipping tomorrow and getting them organized into my container. I'm looking forward to shopping again and have decided that it would be really in our family's best interest to save as much as I can since the electric bill has hit the $200s. Whew ~ way too high for me and will have the a/c guy coming out to take a look since its not cooling the house at all. I guess I should be grateful that we can breathe since it does seem to keep the air from being stagnate.

On the knitting front ~ I was so unmotivated it isn't funny. However, I stop by my LYS on tues ~ sock nite ~ and took the plunge to make a pr of "Not Peds." These are a secret pair and I'm hoping to have them done by the middle of July, though I've had to rip them out yesterday and start again today. Yes, I ripped out 3days worth of knitting b/c they were too tight for me therefore they'd be too tight for the intended ~ which I'm not telling you who that is since its a secret. The colorway is gorgeous and I won't be sharing that info w/you either, I'll post a pic in blacknwhite and thats all you'll get for now. I've purchased another set of #6s for my CPH but can't find the pattern ~ I'll give a gallant effort in my search this weekend. I don't really have anything else going though those UFOs are calling my name.

In other news ~ I've restarted my school blog and will be posting all major school related info there. You can read about our school journey here and I will be posting on my personal learning blog again too ~ hopefully will post tomorrow.

Not much else going on so I'll call it a nite ~ have a great one!

Friday, June 20, 2008

~ SP12 Q#2 ~

As a kid, what did you look forward to most about summer vacation/break/holiday?

Most summers I would be shipped to VA to spend time with my relatives but it was more fun to stay home, without the relatives that would be shipped to my house, and do whatever I wanted. Growing up in NYC had a lot of advantages ~ walking cross bridges eating ice cream; window shopping at Macy’s, Gimbles and various other stores in and near 42nd St; roller skating everywhere; eating pizza and playing video games; making up games and playing pieces with candle wax in container tops; and the list goes on and on. Though I could and did do all of these, I loved going to the library the most. The only time I could go and really enjoy being there was in the summer. I guess this is why I go very often now especially in the summer. ;D

Thursday, June 19, 2008

~ '08 CM Conference ~ pt 2

During one of our evening chats, we discussed the Art of Knowing ~ Narration. In this group, a few of us discovered that we were allowing our children to summarize instead of narrate. The children were giving several key points but not actually asking themselves mental questions to produce a true retelling of what was read or heard. We also learned that we were not allowing true narration when we do alot of prompting or asking questions or interjecting with our experience before the narration had been completed. The child's brain wasn't being engaged and allowed to develop through the use of narration. In essence, we are to allow the child to narrate fully and once the narrator is satisfied, we can begin the great discussion. The great discussion is when all minds involved share their love and experience for a particular topic. It is highly used by great thinkers and considered a very enjoyable past time over great books.

I realize that I have been guilt of starting the “great discussion” before the narration or having them do something else which has resulted in either a poor narration or an overly emphasized one ~ one that has embellishments from others. This discussion has spark anew the desire to fully use CMs methods and I have embarked on a study to find out how to narrate so that I can effectively model this to my children. I don’t want summaries ~ they water down the retelling and I don’t want embellishments from me ~ they destroy the originality of the narrator.

So what is narration? We know its not summarizing or having a great discussion. Is it simply retelling what you’ve read or heard? Or is there more to this relatively simple method. I will be studying Volume 1 and 6 along with several Parents Review Articles. As I process this reading, I’ll share my thoughts.

I will leave you with a statement that I’m pondering found in PR Article Some Notes on Narration ~ “The less the teacher talks the more the class will have to think.” Now thats a very important point us homeschool moms need to grasp.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

~ '08 CM Conference ~

This year’s theme was “From Rewards to Relationships”. All sessions were around developing the relational aspect of a Charlotte Mason education ~ not just the subject relations (Science of Relations) but personal relationships within the family structure. It was amazing to see the hearts of the parents and teachers being turned towards their children. This conference was truly divine providence. I was humbled by the thought that I had not been developing relationship with my own children but spending my time meeting our material needs and demanding excellence in academics. It really was a wakeup call for me but its not too late to change, thank God for that.

There is a lot to talk about so I think I’ll take it in parts ~ this will be part I. Using the questions provided for our processing times, I’ll share some of my thoughts.

*what has been presented at the conference that is challenging you?
There have been several things presented that I would say challenges me but the 2 that stand out the most is Education is an atmosphere and developing my relationship with God. When I began homeschooling, God being the center of it was all I talked about and envisioned would be the core of it. However, the truth be told the relationship part has disappeared and I’ve inadvertently made it another subject ~ very impersonal. I’ve allowed my home and school life to become impersonal, sterile and devoid of life. There is no atmosphere for learning nor developing a relationship with the Lord. The conference helped me to renew my thoughts and to see where I need to make the changes. I’ve been inspired to go deeper in the Word of God and CMs writings. I must find balance in order to do this right for my family and it all begins with me.

*what ideas or practices of Mason do you better understand?
Education is a life, a discipline and an atmosphere. I’ve come to the conclusion that my understanding of these was not as complete as I’d like. I didn’t really comprehend the following:
Education is a life ~ subjective (spiritually)
Education is a discipline ~ objective (physically)
Education is an atmosphere ~ relative (relationally)
~ taken from notes provided in breakout session “Education is an Atmosphere"
It all makes more sense now and how all four pillars (includes Education is a Science of Relations) must be present, working together to have a true CM education.

*how will the concept of relationship change the way you teach/parent from now on?
This conference has challenged me to return to the ways in which I know work and to rekindle the relationships I’ve begun with my children. One of the reasons I began homeschooling was to get to know them and to help them develop a relationship with the Lord. I’ve been sidetracked for quite some time but I’ve made a decision to follow my heart from now on and I will be doing things that create relationships. Some of things I must do are:
1) having tea time
2) read alouds
3) spending time with them individually
4) model for them what I expect rather than telling them what it looks like; and lastly
5) stand in the gap for them, fervently praying for them along with providing an atmosphere that will allow them to grow in favor with God and man (school scripture in action Luke 2:52b).
I see a lot of growth in my children and I know its from building relationships with them in the past 5 yrs but I also know it can be greater and that I need to ensure that I pursue this higher level.

*what ideas or practices of Mason do you want to investigate more?
Narration ~ to fully develop the art of knowing in each student
Education is an atmosphere ~ to nurture, admonish and equip them for their purpose
Education is a science of relations ~ to fully understand how that fits into the entire education and life

CMs writings were far beyond her time and I’m grateful that I have access to the resource at such time as this. I’m excited to be apart of a movement for the betterment of our children and to be apart of a growing community of loving, caring and awesome parents and teachers. I can do this ~ one step at a time.

~ June 16th ~

Goodies in the mail. . . while I was away, I received my Yarn Junkies-Black package from Kathleen in MI. Its fabulous, there is sock yarn ~ Araucania in charcoal 107, one that I was planning to buy myself and 2 skeins of Hempathy in cool blue 09, another wish list item. I’m loving my yarn ~ lovin’, squeezin’, huggin’ and calling them my very own. Whoops ~ thats looney tunes. LOL Here is a picture of them which also includes a little note and lovely crocheted bookmark ~ there‘s a hope angel charm on it:
~ Araucania Ranco in 107 Charcoal ~ sock yarn ~

~ Hempathy in 09 Cool Blue ~

I’ve been gone for almost a week and it was a good time though I was very tired. I didn’t realize how tired until the drive home yesterday. I couldn’t actually drive all the way as I’ve done in the past. I wasn’t physically able to do ~ my body is sore, swollen and simply worn out. Its my own fault since I took that new job which I really thought would be great. I love the work, the store and helping people, but I stand alot and it’s just too much for me. I will get a good pair of shoes this week to the tune of $60 but if I ever leave this job, what will I do with the shoes? I know, I should just think about my body for now since the shoes will greatly help in feeling better. My schedule for this week is much lightly than past weeks and I’m very grateful. I was thinking of working more for the summer to make a little extra $$ but now I will just rest. You know, I’m not getting any younger ~ I’ll be 41 this year and I really want to live and feel better about myself but first I have to learn to say "no". LOL

When I was away, I was visiting friends and enjoying the scenic beauty of the East Coast. Oh how I love that side of the world ~ beautiful mountains, tall trees and lots of water. Ok back to earth, I do miss living on there and visiting was great. I attend the CM Conference in NC where I visited with lots of online friends, friends I made last year and a lot of new friends. My girls and I left on Wed at 1am headed for TN to picked up my dear friend Leslie and her son. This leg of the drive started out great, we drove thru OK and AK w/o a hitch and good time, I might add, but when I got to TN life as we knew it changed. I love the countryside I mean mountainside of TN but its a very long drive that turned into a nightmare for 2 reasons ~ construction detour and storms. I used mapquest to get me to my friend’s home but it gave me incorrect directions for the detour, so guess what happen? You’re right ~ I got lost. The directions actually took me into the main construction area not the detour which was I640 and into downtown Knoxville which was under a serious storm warning. There were actually 3 parts to the storm and I ended up in all 3 ~ lots of rain, hail, thunder and lightening. I was over 5hrs later than planned which means we arrived in NC at 10p instead of 5p.

The good is ~ we had a blast. Leslie, as always, is a great roommate, her son and my daughters had a good time getting to know each other and I got to sleep. ;O In another post, I’ll share some of the things I learned at the conference to keep my daily report separate. Due to major fog and the generous hospitality of Leslie and her family, the girls and I stay with them before we headed home. I’m glad we did because we got to enjoy her a little longer and Riley made a new friend, Miss M. She is adorable and loves the same things that Riley does though there is a 11 yr difference in their ages.

We made it safely home though we ended driving into a storm that was over OK ~ wow 2 storms in the same cross-state trip, who knew?! I’ll do again to have as much fun as we had. I returned home to my hubby who had been home alone, Da Boy was with a friend off at the lake and now at their family home in Ada. He is having a blast, so I’m not too mad at him that I’ve not talked to him since he left a week ago. Hubby was glad to see us and had done some cleaning which was very nice of him. ;) The house was very inviting and he even had a pot of coffee waiting though I didn’t get to enjoy it until 2hrs later ~ I past out, I told you I was exhausted. ;)

I did some knitting ~ I finish my friend’s peds.

Yeah me! I worked a little on a scarf but I know I need to rest so knitting has not been a priority. I’m getting excited about knitting again but it will be slowly and more for gifts. I really think I can make things to give away for Christmas if I start in the next month.

Thats all for now. Have a great week!

Monday, June 09, 2008

Long awaited post

I promised you and the lovely bunch at ISE6 details about the package I received this round. So without further ado, here it is:

My pal, Chelle, decided to use her heritage for this rounds theme ~ chinese luck. Wonder how she knew I love LOL

My scarf is a shade of red ~ which means happiness, success and fortune, its also my favorite color. Its made from Crazy 4 Dyeing yarn. There is also a very lovely card and a bear dressed in a sheep costume ornament. ;) The scarf is a beautiful, intricate pattern that I will enjoy wearing, once the weather cools. LOL (wow ~ I've 2 lovely scarves from this exchange)

She sent a lovely embroidered bag with a dragon design ~ the dragon represents blessings and power. *here it is w/a lovely skein of Crazy 4 Dyeing in Cool Moss ~ 100% merino wool superwash.

On special occasions, guest would receive a red envelope, called a "hong bao", with money inside which represents good luck and wards off evil spirits to be opened after Chinese New Year ~ my envelope contained a 2008 Canadian quarter (now did she know I collect coins). Its beautiful and its after Chinese New Year so I'll have good luck. ;)

Bar of soap w/the Eiffel Tower ~ smells yummy, a Lush ball ~ can't wait to try this, and a bar of milk chocolate ~ my favorite thing.

This rounds we were to send good karma to our pal along with something they will remember us by ~ I will definitely remember the thoughtfulness of Chelle and cherish the heritage she has shared with me. Thank you. ;)

Sunday, June 08, 2008

~ SP12 Questionaire ~

Disclaimer ~ no one is allowed to say anything, either in comment or otherwise. I joined and thats the end of it. ;D For the record ~ its the only swap I'm in. Woohoo!
Now we return to the post (I own ya'll a post too, don't I?! ~ I'll get on later and write it up)

Welcome Secret Pal and thank you,

1. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with? What fibers do you absolutely *not* like? My favs are LB's cotton, Debbie Bliss Cashmerino and Merino DK, Sock yarn and soft acrylics ~ lovely baby yarn.

2. What do you use to store your needles/hooks in? Currently all needles/hooks are in their original packaging in my tote bag.

3. How long have you been knitting & how did you learn? Would you consider your skill level to be beginner, intermediate or advanced? I am a beginner. I learned to knit when I was 12yos from a friend of the family and started again 6mos ago.

4. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list? Yes, I have an amazon (link in sidebar) and cbd wish list.

5. What's your favorite scent? Sunflowers and a newbie ~ Sensual Amber (personal); for home ~ fresh linen or vanillas.

6. Do you have a sweet tooth? Favorite candy? Yes, anything chocolate ~ Cadbury Dairy Milk is a fav.

7. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do? Do you spin? I crochet, cross-stitch, sew, make wreathes and I'm learning to draw. I don't spin but maybe one day.

8. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD) Mostly classical along with christian rock and contemporary. My computer/stereo is MP3 equipped.

9. What's your favorite color(s)? Any colors you just can't stand? Red, red, did I mention red. I don't really have a color I can't stand ~ I love color especially bright ones.

10. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets? I am a wife and mother of 3, whom I homeschool. We have a 3yo german shepherd mix named "poochie."

11. Do you wear scarves, hats, mittens or ponchos? Yes, especially scarves and hats.

12. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit? Baby things and footie socks.

13. What are you knitting right now? A pr of footie socks.

14. Do you like to receive handmade gifts? Yes, these are special gifts.

15. Do you prefer straight or circular needles? Bamboo, aluminum, plastic? I love circs but use all types. Do prefer aluminum but have fallen for Brittany Birch's thx to SP10 pal and bamboo is nice.

16. Do you own a yarn winder and/or swift? Yes, I now own both though I still occassionally use my kids hands. LOL

17. How old is your oldest UFO? Not counting items in storage ~ hmm, almost 2 yrs old.

18. What is your favorite holiday? Christmas

19. Is there anything that you collect? Lighthouses, books, band shirts/buttons.

20. Any books, yarns, needles or patterns out there you are dying to get your hands on? What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have? I'd like more Brittany needles. I have e-magazine subscriptions, borrow anything else from the library and just stop my subscription to Interweave Knits since its more economical for me to get it w/a coupon. I also get Lion Brand/Tahki/SWTC and more updates which I enjoy. You can look at my wishlist for books I'd like to own.

21. Are there any new techniques you'd like to learn? Not at the moment.

22. Are you a sock knitter? What are your foot measurements? Yes, I love knitting in the round and short heel rows. Heel to toe - 9.5"; Toe to ankle - 7.5"; shoe size 7.5/8

23. When is your birthday? Nov 12th

24. Are you on Ravelry? If so, what's your ID? RockstarMom ;D

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

~ June 3rd ~

I'm sitting here wondering what happened to the last 2 months. They have flown by and I am shock to find myself in June already experiencing major heat waves. Today's high was 91 w/a heat index of 95 and winds that blew you down the street. ;)

Da boy and I took a walk today ~ to the PO, I needed to send off my ISE6 package and to pick up a parcel. I'm so excited ~ I've sent off every package I was committed to send and I've knitted all the things I had intended to knit by now, well almost ~ still have one ped to make for my friend (I did co today LOL). Despite the heat, I did manage to take pics of my ISE6 package and knit on the ped. It was way to hot to really do much but sleep, so I took advantage of the situation and took several naps. ;)

I thought I was going to write more but I'm not focusing very well so I'll leave you with pics of my package and completed scarf. Have a great night.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

I'm very tired.

That about says it all. I've been working a lot and my body is starting to tell me how much it doesn't appreciate it. I love my new job but today I crashed and burned. It started out well, so I thought. I didn't get any coffee or breakfast but that is pretty normal for most days. However, today it was an issue. Dh brought me a cup of Sbux though I didn't get to drank much ~ that was so sweet of him especially since he had to get thru the flash flood that occurred after he dropped me off at work. After my sip of coffee, my head began to hurt, my eyes became unfocused and I couldn't think clearly. I finally had to stop working and take some claritin and pain reliever. The pain subsided but the throbbing in my right eye lasted all day. I'm glad it wasn't pounding all day but the throb still was too much while standing on your feet for 4hr increments. I did manage to make it to the end of the day and clock out on time. I'm hoping to feel better tomorrow and probably should be in bed now resting. LOL But I had to update on whats going on w/me. ;)
After finishing off these lovely socks and mailing them to my target ~ I received this in the mail. So folks ~ its official, I've been assassinated. ;) My assassin sent some very lovely socks that are soft and pretty. I hope my target likes her socks though now I'm thinking I should have used a different yarn. ;0 Well, can't change that now. I wish the remaining warriors luck they will need it.
Well, off to bed now. I'm falling asleep typing and thats not good. Have a great sunday!