Saturday, May 30, 2009

Not that I'm trying to loose weight, but I am trying to maintain a healthier lifestyle... as I get closer to 30, I have noticed that it's rather easy for me to gain a pound or two quickly by indulging myself with too many sweets and other unhealthy foods! I came across this article (click on the link below), which shows how much calories, sugar and fat are in some of the unhealthiest drinks... makes me want to switch to drinking water, tea and skim milk only!... and not get Nesquik chocolate milk powder for the kids!

The 20 unhealthiest drinks in America

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Here are some pictures of the Art Museum in Memphis (i don't remember the name of the museum...). Michael and Josephine went a few days ago...

And some pictures of the zoo...
If you look on the other side of the gate, you can see part of a "mini" cow! I can't remember if that's what they called them, but they were bred to be half the size of a normal cow!

We're going to the zoo at least once more before we move... preferably 2 more times, if possible.
This may be my last post for a while. We've really got to get busy packing. We've got a lot of boxes packed already, we just have a LOT more to do and we need to speed up the process so we're not scrambling close to our move date (June 9th).

Many of you already know our newest idea... IF Michael doesn't get a FT job for this fall, I may go back to school to get my Doctorate degree in Music. I'm looking at the University of Southern Mississippi, for a few reasons: it's further south (warmer weather, closer to family!), and my old piano teacher's wife works as a professor of music (piano) there. Ideally, I would spend 6-12 months preparing for an audition...which was my initial idea (to start preparing now, and apply for the fall of 2010). After e-mailing my old piano teacher (of 7 years) he seemed to think I might be able to apply for THIS fall. SO, needless to say, I've been practicing a lot since that e-mail....

there are so many IF's, though, it's driving me crazy... I would only apply for this fall, IF michael doesn't get a FT job by the end of July/early august. Michael said there was a professor at the Memphis College of Art that was hired ONE WEEK before classes started! There may not be any openings for doctoral students this fall (I'm waiting to hear from my old teacher's wife to find out that answer...) which would mean I'll have to wait until next fall. IF michael doesn't get a job AND I don't start school this fall, then what?! Well, we'd have to stick it out in LA, with both of us finding some kind of work for income... I guess we'll just have to be patient, and we won't really know what we're doing until the end of July/early august.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Josephine took the following video of the beginning of Michael's graduation. I wasn't planning on putting any of her videos up, but I wanted to put something up! Watch out, it may make you dizzy :) I thought the entrance song was nice - a little taste of LA music, played in Memphis... although they don't play it as well as the New Orleans bands do :) Look for three rows of seats, on the far side of where Josephine was taping; Michael is in the front row, closest to the camera. He was the first one to receive his diploma, thanks to his last name!

We're going to the zoo today - I'm sure I'll have some pictures to post later. Last night's low was 49 degrees! Today's high will be 74, perfect weather for being outside for a couple hours.

Friday, May 15, 2009

We had a great time with Michael's family this past weekend! (fri.-Mon.) Michael's graduation was last saturday (the 9th). It was a nice ceremony, although the almost-constant drizzly rain was a bit of a nuisance! There were four "cameramen(and women)" in the family, taping Michael's graduation (Julius, Jarod, Madeline and Josephine). Unfortunately, i don't have any videos and/or pictures to post on the blog! I just went through Josephine's camera today, and she really didn't get any good pictures or videos. That's OK, I'll get some later, from somebody!

We're all very proud of Michael finishing graduate school. It was a tough 2 years, but you made it!
On behalf of Michael, thank you for all the cards and money... it is very much appreciated!

Yesterday was my last day of teaching my piano students here in MS :( I had a small, but terrific group of students. The recital was today - it went well, except for more sticking keys!
They all still did good, despite having to deal with the uncooperative piano. From various students I received a beautiful bouquet of flowers, a pretty porcelain magnolia flower, cards and money. It was a nice treat! Josephine performed today, too. She did well, although the sticking key tripped her up a bit (as it did most of the students, unfortunately). I thought about recording her playing the piano at home and posting a video. However, many of you have already heard her recital pieces via telephone, when she sucks you in to a conversation and then starts playing piano using the speaker phone.

SO... Michaels' done with school, Josephine's done with school (for the most part... we'll finish social studies and science over the summer), and I'm done teaching. If we didn't have to move, I don't know what I'd do with all the extra time! I've felt so stress-free this past week, it's amazing. Now we can focus on packing up and cleaning the house... and going to the zoo in Memphis a couple more times, too, before we move.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Catholic Heritage Curriculum did a survey of homeschooling Moms and posted some answers on their site... I put a link on the left if you wanted to check it out. So many of them are exactly what we experience and how I feel at times, the good and bad! I'd say the good far outweighs the bad, though.

Friday, May 1, 2009

I thought this was a cute picture of Maureen, even though her hair is a bit messy!

I wanted to talk about Maureen's progress in reading... As with Josephine, I've made my way slowly through "teach your child to read in a 100 easy lessons"... we're on lesson 27 now. It'll probably take another year and a half to finish the book at this rate, but she'll be reading really well by that point. I've supplemented with other reading/phonics materials more with Maureen to try and make it more fun... using puzzles (from trend enterprises) and games (from Hooked on Phonics). She really looks forward to her schoolwork and enjoys doing it...Most recently, I bought "BOB" books, which are like short, mini easy readers, for very beginning readers. I found that even traditional "level 1" easy readers were too hard for early beginners (even for Josephine at the same age... it wasn't until we were around lesson 40+ that she was able to start reading level 1 easy readers, and even then, they felt long for her, and me!). When they came in the mail (ordered from - they're $6.00 cheaper than the local bookstore and we had free S&H!) I let Maureen pick one of the books, and she read it THREE times in one day, AND wanted to read it more! Yesterday and today, she picked two different books, and made it through most of the way (before getting distracted). In any case, I was VERY impressed and happy that she did so well and was so enthusiastic about reading her new books. I posted a link at the left if you want to see images of "BOB" books.

Speaking of school... Michael will be done after 5:00PM on Monday - Hooray!!!!
Also, next week is Josephine's last week of learning new material...the following week she'll have a few tests, but that's it. Exciting times!

Thank goodness we have a cat who is very tolerable of children (up to a certain point, though). I caught them "decorating" Inky with their pretend jewelry. As you can see, they were having a lot of fun doing it. I just had to take a picture... I rescued the poor cat, of course, afterwards.