Thursday, October 28, 2010

5 Question Friday

1. If you be a fly on the wall, which wall would you choose?

Hmmm, I would say any wall that would allow me to watch my kids when I'm not around. I love when I sneak up on them at school or somewhere and get to see what they are like without me around.

2. Do you budget your Christmas shopping, or just get it done without budgeting?

Well, I would love to say that I am all organized about it, and have it all budgeted out, but I would be lying. We have a vague idea...and we generally have presents in mind, and then I just try my best to get it all as cheap as possible. So far, it's been pretty successful! I certainly don't recommend it to everyone though!

3. What is the craziest fad diet you've ever tried?

I would have to say that it was Metabolife. It was the craziest, because it was so dangerous! I mean, they had to take it off the market because it was killing people! I agree with my sister-in-law Tracy who says that the HcG diet is dangerous! It really is - 500 calories is not a safe amount to keep our systems functioning properly!

4. Is there a TV show that you have seen every episode/season of?

Oh yeah! Let's see, there's Roseanne - seen every episode many many times. ER - I've watched every episode as it aired from the pilot! Also, Punky Brewster - we own all 4 seasons on dvd. Also Jon and Kate plus 8...all the seasons are on Netflix Wii. There are others, I'm sure...

5. What one song always pulls at your heart?

Well, there are so many! The first one that popped in my head is "Praise You in this storm" by Casting Crowns. EVERY time I hear that song, I tear up, and stop whatever I'm doing to praise God. But I have to mention some others: "The Little Girl" by John Michael Montgomery, especially the line about seeing the picture of Jesus and "I don't know His name, but I know He got off. Cause He was there in my old house, and He held me close to His side, as I hid there behind our couch the night that my parents died." Oh, makes me bawl every time! Also, "My Little Girl" reminds me so much of my daughters, and Celine Dion's "A New Day" reminds me of my journey from miscarriage to the birth of my beautiful son.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

My hats off to homeschool moms - and all teachers!

I am sitting here flanked on one side by Natalie who needs help with Pre AP math, and on the other by Stephen who has to write 20 sentences for 20 spelling words. It is at these moments when I think "how do homeschooling moms and dads do what they do without losing their minds?" I know, they have the patience of Job. Well, I was not blessed with an abundance of this particular virtue. I could never in a million years do this all day, every day without needing to be sent away to a padded cell in a nifty little straightjacket!

My little Stephen is very capable of doing his work without a problem. But, he HATES it! If I leave him on his own to do his own work, he will take 3 hours. He gets up and down, up and down, and finds a million excuses to do other things. So, I have to sit next to him while he does it, to keep him on task. So, instead of taking 3 hours, it might take 1 1/2, lol.

I may not win Mother of the Year by saying this (not that I was a contender, anyway...), but helping my kids with their homework is mind numbing to me. I am trying my best to be very patient and as helpful as I can, I just occasionally have to leave the room to stifle a small scream, lol. Just kidding, kind of.

Seriously though, I am totally in awe of all my homeschool mommy friends, and all teachers. You have my utmost respect! Now, back to spelling sentences. Here are my sentences for Stephen's spelling words...

1. light - I've seen the light - I am not cut out to be a teacher!

2. high - My husband would think I was high if I suggested homeschooling.

3. sight - The sight of a finished homework sheet makes my heart flutter!

4. wild - You guessed it, I'm not too wild about elementary school homework.

5. mind - Second grade homework makes me lose my mind.

6. dry - During homework time, there is not a dry eye in the house.

7. cry - Seventh grade algebra makes me want to cry.

8. try - I will try my best not to run screaming from the house right now.

9. tie - If Stephen keeps getting up from the table, I might have to tie him to his chair.

10. lie - I will not lie - I hate homework (in case you haven't already figured it out.)

11. stay - Alright, I will stay at the table until all homework is done.

12. wait - Wait, what do you mean you have math homework too?

13. group - What group of teachers thinks it's fun to write spelling words 10 times each?

14. only - Only a saint could actually stay home and teach their kids while doing everything else they do.

15. wind - Breaking wind at the table is not funny after the 10th time, alright?

16. hid - It is moments like these that I remember why I hid that chocolate stash.

17. trick - Don't let them trick you when they say they finished their homework at school.

18. fluttered - My heart fluttered when the teacher said, "No homework on the weekends!"

19. vanished - Yes, there have been times that I have "vanished" into the bathroom with the door locked for 15 minutes or so.

20. recognized - And yes, I have recognized that I love my children with all my heart, homework and all. :o)

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Life = School (at least for now)

School has taken over the Wideman household completely. Everyone in our household is a full time student. So, it is kind of a major part of our lives right now. Billy is taking 15 hours this semester and I am taking 12. It is our first semester going full time (because we are READY to knock out those classes to get our degrees!) And it is hard. I mean HARD. It is a constant juggling act: my homework, the kids' homework, housework, work-work, trying to have quality family time, etc. But, I am blessed to have the opportunity to go to school, and I don't take it for granted.

It's not just Billy and I with a ton of homework this semester. The kids are all in much more intense classes this year as well.

Natalie is in 7th grade, and in ALL Pre-Advanced Placement classes. She actually started out in a regular math class, simply because she does not like math (although she does well, and received an A in AP math last year) and she was very stressed out about it. So we decided to let her choose, and she chose to go to a regular math class. That lasted a few days. She was actually called to the counselor's office and told that she was too smart to be in that class, and they were moving her to Pre AP. We talked it over with her, and she is ok with it now. And she's doing great in it of course! Every week she brings home a "family math" assignment....UGH. Luckily, Billy is pretty decent at Algebra, because...well, it is not mama's strong suit, lol. Anyway, she is doing excellent so far in 7th grade.

Emily was chosen to take part in a brand new "experimental" class at her school. It is the first ever combined grade class - 4th and 5th. (She is in 4th.) The principal emphasized that each child was carefully chosen based on their academic achievements. So, we were very honored! I have to admit, I was a little bit skeptical about how it would all work. But, it is fabulous! Even though it's 2 grades together, it is the smallest class in the school at 15 students compared to 30. Therefore, lots of one on one. They are doing all kinds of cool stuff. Last week they started mummifying a chicken since they are doing a unit on Egypt. They are also doing a family novel study (RIGHT up my alley, lol!) she and I are reading A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L'Engle and each week we discuss it and answer questions the teacher sends home. In addition to all this, she is also in a gifted/talented program where she goes once a week by bus to a different campus. She LOVES it! They do all kinds of research projects there.

Even Stephen, in 2nd grade, has been having lots of homework this year. He is not used to this! Every night he has either math or spelling homework. He is a very smart boy, and always gets high marks, but he does not enjoy it like the girls do. Getting him to do his homework takes one very vigilant mama to stay right there with him to get it done. But, he really seems to like his teacher, and his reading skills (which were always above average anyway) have just exploded!

One of my hopes is that by Billy's and my committment to not just taking classes, but excelling at them, our kids are learning the importance of education. We hope to make them proud when we graduate!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

5 Question Friday

I'm doing this early, because I know I won't have time tomorrow. I will be in a class from 2 - 9 pm - blech!

1. Who is the better cook, you or your spouse?

Well, at the moment I would say me. But, when we first got married until Natalie was about 1 year old, Billy actually did all the cooking! He was pretty good at it. But I do ALL the cooking now, and Billy claims to have forgotten how...But, he is the baker in the house. For some reason, I hate baking, but he likes it. He makes a pretty delicious cream puff!

2. How often do you talk to your mom?

I love my mama!!! I talk to her several times a week.

3. Are you adventurous in the kitchen, or do you stick to the recipe?

The first time I try a recipe, I stick to it to the letter. Then, I might try tweaking it. Other than that, no, I am not adventurous in the kitchen. I do not have the time!

4. Is your 2nd toe longer than your big toe?

Nope. Slightly shorter.

5. Do you dress up for Halloween?

Sometimes I do, sometimes I don't. I don't go all out for it - I prefer to put the money towards the kids. If I do, it's stuff I have around the house - one year I was a frazzled housewife (not hard to dress the part, lol!), one year I was a baby, and one year I was a nurse (wore my work uniform with a stethoscope around my neck.) I'm thinking of being a pirate this year - white button up shirt, jeans, vest, Stephen's pirate hat and eye patch, etc...Or else I might tape smarties all over my pants, and go as a smarty pants - LOL.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

5 Question Friday

1. What is your favorite Halloween candy?

Hmmm, I think that would be Twix. I'm really not big on candy - for real! But, I do like Twix!

2. Do you fold your socks?

Yes, doesn't everyone? I fold everything! I do fold Billy's differently than mine and the kids. I fold mine and the kids with just the tops folded down, and Billy's goes completely inside out - per his request.

3. What is something that you wish you had been warned about?

Right now, I would have to say that I wish I had been warned about how hard it would be to go to college after having kids.

4. What is the most significant difference between you and your significant other?

Well, a lot of people say that we are opposites in a lot of ways! He is very outgoing, and I am shy. He loves to get up in front of people and talk, I am petrified of it. I guess those are the most significant differences.

5. What are 3 words you would use to describe yourself? And for fun, if your significant other is around, ask them what 3 words they would use to describe you?

Christian - and proud of it!

Mama - I always say that once my kids leave home, I am not going to know who I am anymore!

Perfectionist - I stress over everything, because I want everything done RIGHT. In school, if I don't get an A, I beat myself up over it. Unfortunately, when it comes to housework, I'm the type of perfectionist where if I can't do something from start to finish perfectly, I just don't do it at all. Not good when you don't have time for anything!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

15 Things about me that you might not know

I'm totally stealing this idea from my friend, Elizabeth - :) But I think it's a fun way to really get to know people. Post 15 little known facts about yourself.

1.) I am very OCD about the way I eat. When I eat a meal, I will only eat one thing at a time (no "mixing bites") and in order of what I like least to best. I feel distressed if I try to break this rule. It drives Billy bonkers, because if we're at a restaurant or something and he asks me how something is, I am still eating the side dishes. He'll say "just take a quick bite and see!" And I can' bothers me too much. Yes, I know this is weird...

2.) I love to read cookbooks and recipes, but I don't really like to cook. Maybe if I had more time, I would like it.

3.) I am totally emetophobic (phobia of vomiting). If I hear that someone in the kids class got sick at school, I totally freak out, and make them wash like crazy. And then I wash like crazy. I am fully aware that if they were exposed to the germs in the morning, my making them wash their hands after school might be too late. But, it makes me feel better. If someone even posts on facebook that they puked or their kids puked, it makes me feel panicky. If I get sick - I will do EVERYTHING in my power to not vomit. Even if I know it will make me feel better. I keep a bottle of Phenergan anti emetic in my purse in case I feel nauseous.

4.) I hate math, and truly stink at algebra. But I can add/subtract/multiply/divide, figure percentages, and fractions in my head really fast. I think it's from being a big sale shopper, lol!

5.) I am very shy and find it very hard to approach people in person, but online I'm very social. I belong to a few discussion boards and of course, facebook a lot. I have made lots of friends online - which leads me to #6...

6.) A few years ago, I did something I said I'd NEVER do - I met someone from one of my online forums in person. I was scared to do this - I mean, you never know about people online. (we met in a very public place, lol) And guess what? She is one of my bestest friends now!! And since then, I've met several more from my online group, and they've also become some of my dearest friends!

7.) I love doing laundry. I don't know why. I love the smell of clean clothes. I love folding clothes; I find it relaxing. Now putting them away on the other hand...not so much, lol.

8.) I can't sleep without a fan or some kind of white noise.

9.) I like even numbers. Like if I'm at the gas pump, I have to top off the tank to an even dollar amount. I absolutely hate it when it goes slightly over. Also, when leaving a tip in a restaurant with my debit card, I always make it an even total amount.

10.) I can't sleep without socks on my feet. Even in the summer time. My feet always get cold and it makes the rest of me cold.

11.) I can tell you the price of just about everything i've bought and a lot of items in the grocery store. Again, it's because I'm a coupon shopper.

12.) I'm addicted to just about any pumpkin foods - pumpkin pie, pumpkin pudding, pumpkin bread, pumpkin cookies, and of COURSE, pumpkin spice latte! And I've been on a serious hunt for pumpkin pie pop tarts!

13.) I haven't had a vision screening since I was in 5th grade. Yes, I know, I know. We don't have vision insurance, so it's just something that gets pushed to the bottom of the list...

14.) I love to make lists. It makes me feel like I've accomplished something if I can mark it off a list!

15.) Last, but not least, my family is my life. But, I'm sure you already knew that! ;o)

Saturday, October 9, 2010

5 Question Friday - on a Saturday, lol!

1. What do you listen to while driving?

I am a station hopper. I just flip stations and when I find a song I like, I leave it! My preset dials are set to 2 Christian music stations, a pop station, an 80's and 90's station, a country station, and talk radio (although that is Billy's choice, not mine...) but when I don't have the kids in the car with me, sometimes I just listen to the blessed silence! I often talk to God while I am driving too.

2. What is your least favorite thing about Fall?

That's hard, because Fall is my favorite season! I would have to agree with my sister-in-law and say that I don't like not knowing how to dress my kids for the day. It's chilly in the mornings and hot in the afternoons. I also hate having my kids closets in an upheaval, because I still have summer clothes hanging up, but dragging out the cooler weather stuff too - there are just clothes EVERYWHERE!!

3. What does your dream house look like inside and out?

Well, I definitely want 4 bedrooms, so that each child can have their very own space. I would also require more than one bathroom like I have now! I dream of having an updated kitchen with new cabinets, granite countertops and wood floor. My living room would be full of comfy furniture to encourage lots of family hanging out time. I would love a BIG, deep bathtub to relax in, and a library room full of books and comfy chairs to escape to when I need to destress. I have always wanted a big wraparound porch with a porch swing and would love a big, beautifully landscaped yard with a pool and a hammock, definitely a hammock!

4. Would you ever own a minivan?

I would and I do! I'm a weirdie and have actually always wanted one! I always knew I wanted lots of kids, and to me a minivan just went along with it. I love my van!

5. Do you wash your new clothes before wearing them?

Once upon a time I didn't. But my then 2 year old Natalie broke out in hives, and the doctor thought it was because she was wearing a brand new shirt that hadn't been washed and that it might be from chemicals used in production. Ever since, I wash the kids clothes before use. I don't with my own though.