Sunday, April 13, 2014

A Week of Rest? Not So Much...

The blog has been quiet because we have been busy, though we were supposed to be taking a break!  This was Dominick's first week after ski season, and we decided we were going to take a late Spring Break and enjoy some time together without the pressures of work and school.  A "Staycation" was in order, however, it just didn't end up happening the way we had envisioned.

There was still volunteering at the Food Bank.
There were still TaeKwonDo classes.
There was still Angela's graphic arts class.
There was still church choir practice.
There was still a church Outreach Meeting.
There was still Sweet Adeline's/DelRose Chorus practice.
There was still Civil Air Patrol.

Worst of all, there was still our little rental house sitting and waiting for us to tackle after our renters vacated it...and it was a bit of a nightmare.  Holes in the wall, a broken window, a punched in door, a huge amount of trash and belongings left behind to haul away, and filth to clean that indicated that perhaps no one had ever mopped the floor or cleaned the kitchen the entire time they lived there.  They had broken our no pet and no smoking rule, as can often happen, and the house reeked of smoke and wet dog, causing us to have to wash every ceiling and wall in an attempt to rid the home of at least some of the stench.  We decided we are not cut out to be landlords, and will be putting the home on the market quickly after getting the mess cleaned up.
Needless to say, it was not much of a Staycation, and we have a lot of cleaning still to do at the rental.

We did take one day "off" and fulfilled our intent to do absolutely nothing for one entire day.  It was heavenly.  We also had a shopping trip to Grand Junction, about an hour away, where we filled in everyone's wardrobe a little with spring offerings of much needed short sleeve shirts and short.  It won't be long before we are entirely out of the kid's departments, as Josh and Kenny are quickly headed towards the men's sections to join Matt.  Kenny is so thin, at probably around 5'4"and 110 lbs, that it is proving harder and harder to find him clothing that comes close to fitting, and once he grows out of size 16's, I fear we are in real trouble and everything will look like a tent on him!  Pants are already almost impossible with only one type of jean that fits him nicely...a slim in a cowboy cut of Wrangler.  He doesn't have any dress pants right now because everything looks so baggy and I have no clue where to get dress slacks for Emaciated Style Frames on boys!  I keep looking, to no avail.

Josh, on the other hand, has gone from what was once a slight frame, to an almost barrel chested one, surprising us all.  He is now in size 14, with long legs and a short torso that has Jack LaLaine potential once he finishes growing.  Of all our children, Josh has always been the one who has gone through the most physical changes.  He looks very little like his early childhood photos as his face changed shape, as well as his body.  Matthew looks exactly like his toddler self, something I predicted even then. Kenny still looks much like his younger self, too, though surgery has ultimately changed him some...as has nutrition, to some degree.  The girls?  Absolutely the same, just taller versions of themselves!  But Josh has transformed in so many ways, and most not at all physical. He has gained confidence and an early maturity that has him taking on a more masculine role as of late.  "No Mom, let me do that." he'll often say as I am carrying something heavier, or he'll just dig in and start cleaning some mess up or taking care of business around the house without prompting.  The other day he took out all the bikes from the shed, lined them up, and cleaned them all as he readied them for spring use.  I seldom think of him as being a little boy these days, and more a teenager though we are still two years away from that.  He will still always remain "Joshie" to us all, I think, but the last of our little ones is definitely well on his way to becoming a wonderful, responsible, amazing man.  All is not lost though, he still carries his blankie around a lot!  He is our original Linus! Haha!

The girls and I went off on our own a bit shopping, while they helped me find a few things for myself.  I was surprised they wanted to go with me, as the other option was to go with the menfolk to Best Buy to look at electronics and give mom a little time along to shop, but they both hopped out of the car saying they'd rather help me...haha!  Much to my surprise, they DID help me, and quickly found items for me to try on which were very much my style...or in truth "non-style", as I have none.  They were so cute, running back and forth, insisting that I come out and show them each item as I tried it on.  Angela is more like me, a Power Shopper who hates the dawdling and just wants to get it done, while Olesya could shop for hours as she looks at every item on the rack, holds it up, declares it cute or plain ol' ugly.  They are such opposites and it is funny to watch them together.  They kept urging me to buy "just a couple more" tops because "you never get yourself anything and are always getting the cheapest stuff for yourself", which was totally sweet.  I don't know if any mother was attended to with such kindness and care, and it was an unexpected joy to clothes shop with them, something I normally despise doing.

Another little joy came when, at the last minute, Matthew agreed to some bright colored polo shirts...in hues of pink, purple and yellow...something we women had been trying to get on him and his beautiful darker skin for a long time.  For almost two years he has often worn black TShirts, not because they were his favorite, but because it is what we had leftover that had been required uniforms from his fire shortened Civil Air Patrol camp, and it seemed frivolous to purchase a lot of new shirts when he had perfectly good, if boring looking, Tshirts.  Hurray!  It was time to replace them, and we scored some nice ones very inexpensively AND he quickly agreed, much to our astonishment, to some real color!

KMart is our friend these days, as it is about the least expensive place to shop for decent clothing at a far lower price.  I'll admit, sometimes I wish we could just go to the major department stores and purchase more stylish, better made clothing.  The prices don't justify it, though, and the girls in particular do NOT like the teen styles of today, so Junior Departments are not our friend.  Neither are the "Old Lady" styles, and neither likes to layer things much, just like their mom, so it is difficult to find things for them.  I won't say I am at all upset that we don't have Clothing Wars as many parents do with their daughters, but it makes it difficult to find nice things on a budget if you don't want Daisy Duke shorts on your daughter or crop tops.  Neither one will even look at those kinds of items, finding them "disgusting" which is actually pretty surprising considering where they are from and the kind of provocative styles that are often worn there.  So, we spend a lot of time searching and searching for clothing that is in between, and were extremely grateful to have clothes donated to them this past couple of weeks by two of our hipper looking 60 year old friends.  Yes, believe it or not, our 60 somethings offered bags of used clothing that the girls LOVED! Hahaha!  Miss Francie and Miss Mary really helped us out with their gifts of gently used, quality clothes...and they both hesitated wondering if there was anything at all the girls would wear.  I laughed and told them each that they might be surprised at how much would be worn.  The very next day Angela and Olesya both were wearing slacks from their special friend's gift bags! Haha!  I must have the only teen girls around who consider 60 year old's clothing to be "so cool"!

And once again, Angela is right, our entire family is "uniquely developed".

This week will be back to the usual, or at least in part.  We still have some work to complete over at the house, and all will be glad when that is done.  School is winding down, though we will still be working a lot over the summer, but our curriculum and "final exams" are being completed for the year.  Now that we are fully independent we are not tied to a traditional year and are just moving ahead.  Angela, Josh and Olesya are already on our next year's math, and I guess I can now move away from even looking at it that way, which is nice. Science is completed with just one more dissection required (Oh, thank you Lord!), and history is drawing close to the Civil War, which I want to cover before we declare the academic year finished.  We are going to ditch the textbook, other than a cursory glance to make sure we cover all the high points, and use Ken Burn's excellent series on the Civil War to cover it, along with his materials for teachers.  All the kids learn so much more from his video series' than any textbook, that I decided to go alternative with that era and create projects around it.  Literature is done for the year, though we are moving on to book studies for fun and Matt and I are doing a unit based upon Great Speeches with a book I found at Barnes and Noble, and a Rhetoric Web Site where we can hear audio versions. We have accomplished a lot this year, and summer will be some fun projects and less academic subjects ahead.

Time to get ready for church, and the last day of our Staycation.  Laundry overfloweth, so I know it is time to get back to our routine.  I think I need a Vacation from our Staycation!

2 comments:

Kirsten Glasbergen said...

I have skinny boys too. Look for pants, like skinny jeans. They are trendy, but they might fit him better.
Hope that helps!

scootercat said...

Have a skinny son, 17 and tall.
I just looked on amazon and they have pants you can get and amazon has a good return policy,
also hot topic and American eagle have pants for skinny men
Hope that helps.

Olesya, The Sculptor

Today was not a stellar day for me in the homeschooling arena, as I finally gave in to the realization that for a couple of subjects the re...