Sunday, October 23, 2011

Busy, busy...

Well it's been quite a busy week here at the Simpson house! We haven't really been out of the house much, but there has been lots to keep me busy. Let me share a few tidbits on what's been keeping me occupied (and sometimes frazzled if I wanted to be honest)...

One major thing that has been going on since my hubby came home from the field is the extra occupant in our bedroom. See, Joey was sleeping with me while hubby was away (a bad habit I know but I hate sleeping alone) and even though we put him in his room at bedtime, we would wake up in the morning to see he had brought his pillow and blanket to the foot of our bed to sleep. Apparently he was waking sometime in the night and coming into our room. So it started with him sleeping on his mattress on the floor and ended several weeks ago with his bed in our room. I know, call me a lazy parent if you want, but after a long day the last thing I wanted to be doing was spending my down time dragging him back to his own room repetitively. So, we caved. That said, we really didn't have space for his bed in our room. Sooo I decided one day last week to move my office area into the dining room to free up some space. It made sense to do even without his bed in our room just because my desk rarely gets used because I can never seem to sneak away. Now ALL of our homeschool stuff is in ONE AREA and I can sit at my desk and work (with headphones in listening to classical to block out noise) on my school work, grading or whatever! Naturally, I had to do all the moving, rearranging and organizing myself since hubby couldn't help. I got it all done and both rooms squared away in about 6-7 hours one afternoon. I even took apart, moved, and reassembled furniture. Here is the desk/bookcase I moved out of the bedroom:
My IKEA desk
And here is where it is now (sorry I don't have a photo of the desk actually in the space yet). It's now in the left corner, with the shelf against the back wall and the desktop running parallel to the sliding glass door:

It really does look pretty good, even though now the living area doesn't seem quite as roomy as it once did. Also, I spent all last week writing and tweaking a paper for my class. The class is the required intro class all new students are required to take and is called Personal Dimensions in Education. I have actually learned several things that I think are going to help me tremendously in my core classes. We have covered study skills, learning styles, several theories about learning and development, researching and finding credible sources, and the writing process among other things. Anyhow, my first paper that I wrote for the second week in the class didn't get as good a grade as I had hoped it would, so I worked super hard on this one. I communicated back and forth with my TA for the class and she has helped tremendously. I think this paper might just get an A! Of course, the week isn't officially over til Monday evening and I'm sure the TA will take a few days to grade the papers, so I will be on pins and needles waiting to see how I did. My paper was about Howard Gardner's theory of Multiple Intelligences and how it applies to my own learning experiences. It was a very interesting research process and I learned a lot about myself in writing it. Anyhow, as of right now, after 3 weeks of classwork has been graded, I have a 94 A average, so I'm happy. My next class is PSY 202: Adult Growth and Development. Should be interesting! I start November 1st.

Also, speaking of school, my financial aid was disbursed this week (sigh of relief)! I had been seeing a lot of comments on the AU facebook page from students who weren't getting their funds in their accounts on time, so I was slightly worried. No, I am not attending school just for the loan money, but I am not going to lie, we need the extra and we have a huge amount of things that have gone by the wayside since our pay has been short since we arrived here in April. So I called the financial aid department in Thursday (my disbursement was scheduled for Tuesday) to check on it. I found out that yes, they were behind on processing disbursements because of some glitch in their system, so they were processing each account manually. The woman I spoke to told me to keep checking my account and that they would get it processed as soon as possible. I also double checked to make sure all my paperwork was in order and that there was nothing on my end that might cause a delay. Lo and behold, Friday afternoon I got an email saying my funds had posted to mt student account. They have 14 days now to send my excess funds to Sallie Mae to be direct deposited, but it is usually done by the following week. So this time next week, I should have my money! It's a good thing too because 2 kids need coats, 2 need shoes, all the boys need winter clothes, we all need to go to the dentist and I need to go see the optometrist, among other things.

Homeschooling is moving right along, although we didn't do much formal learning last week. Two mornings I woke up to find Drew and Isaiah curled up with Wimpy Kid books on the couch, so I left them be. It's a rare thing, especially for Isaiah so I was tickled to see them doing it on their own! That's what homeschooling is all about. Next week, we do need to get back to the books, however. That's what I will be doing all day tomorrow - prepping their assignment binders for the coming week.

Well this turned into quite a LONG post, sorry about that! Hoping everyone has a great week :)



Thursday, October 13, 2011

My poor brain!!

Just dropping in to say I haven't posted much this week and I'm sorry, but my brain is FRIED. I am working on a paper for one of my classes and it is really giving me a hard time. I just can't seem to keep my train of thought or focus on anything long enough to make progress. I am determined to get this paper finished tomorrow so I will be back by Friday to write a proper post.

Til then, pray for my poor, tired brain ;)


Saturday, October 8, 2011

My first ever Fill-in-the-blanks Friday post :)

1.   Something popular that I can't stand/just don't "get" is      why 80's styles are making a comeback .

2.   Something unpopular that I secretly love is    lima beans      .

3.  When I've had a bad day I   am really cranky and snippy and should probably just stay in bed all day   .

4. I'd prefer    homemade iced coffee    to    a frappucino      any day.

5.  Something that makes me nervous is    the thought of my husband deploying next fall .

6.  Something worth fighting for is     harmony and peace in my home  .

7.  When people think of me, I hope they think    I am a caring and genuine person with strong faith  .

Friday, October 7, 2011

The best laid plans...

I have finally accepted something I have been fighting for It happens. And rarely does it ever happen the way we think it should or will. I have spent years trying to figure out the best way to prepare for our school years, weeks, and days. No matter what I try one thing is always painfully obvious - even the best laid plans don't always work out. Typically, when there is an unexpected change in our schedule, I spend quite a bit of time rescheduling lessons and figuring out how to be flexible without falling painfully behind.

I've decided to stop using my homeschool planning software (I use HST Plus and have for years) in spite of the fact that I absolutely LOVE it and there are so many awesome things I can do with it. I am going to start using a different system that I am pulling together from several different sources.

Last year I purchased Donna Young's Young Minds CD-rom. I purchased it about the time that she was finalizing her Homeschool Planner V2 that is essentially a very intuitive, well organized excel worksheet. The thing that has kept me from using it thus far is that it just doesn't have all the bells and whistles HST Plus does. But do you know what? THAT'S OK! It does the basics of what I NEED, without being overly complicated. That's where I'm at right now. I need thing's to be as uncomplicated as possible.

I recently started taking online college courses again. I am pursuing my BA in English, which I will eventually turn over into a Masters and possible even a PhD in order to teach at the college level. I won't get too deep into it in this post, but I will share more about coming to this decision in a later post. Obviously, I don't have as much time to spend organizing, prepping, and keeping records for homeschool. I am not trying to do it all by any means, but I thought for a long time about how I was going to fit college into our already hectic lifestyle and I am making it work, but I have accepted that some things just have to change.

So that's where I am at and I just wanted to share. There are lots of changes going on around here and I promise, these posts are coming as well.


Monday, October 3, 2011

What happens when I get brave

I have always wanted to do something crazy with my hair but I've always been worried about drawing attention to myself. Well, no more! I now have bright pink hair! It was kinda a mistake (it was supposed to be bright red) but its definitely growing on me. I was even inspired to try some new hairstyles and make-up.

What do you think?

Friday, September 30, 2011

A Scary Day

Today I had to endure something I have always dreaded - watching someone I love go into surgery.

A week ago, my husband was participating in a joint training exercise a few hours from home. He had been gone for almost a month and it was the day before they were to return home. He was helping to tighten down a load when he lost his grip and fell off the truck. His feet were stuck under a pallet and he hung by his ankles - backwards - for several minutes before someone was able to help him get unhooked. He ended up with two injured ankles. Later that afternoon he sent me this:

 Needless to say, I was appalled. After almost a year in the Army and many opportunities for injury, he gets hurt falling off a truck! He worked on it all day and was sure it was just a sprain. I however was sure there was no way he could have gotten off that easy.

The next morning he returned home and we took him to the ER on post to have it looked at. After several x-rays and a few hours of waiting, the ER doctor confirmed it was broken and put it in a splint and told us to meet with the orthopedic doctor the following Tuesday. When we saw the doctor he told us hubby had already been scheduled for surgery on Thursday. He showed us the x-rays and explained to procedure to us. Hubby would have two pins inserted to realign the broken bone in the ankle joint and to help it stay in place.

Today was D-Day. His surgery was scheduled for 11 am, but as surgeries usually go, they didn't take him back to prep until 1:30pm. The nurse told us the surgery would take about two hours total and that we were free to go home and eat and relax for a little while. Since we only live a few minutes from the hospital, we went and grabbed some lunch and had a little picnic by the pond. Byt the time we returned to the waiting room, it was 3pm and I was then informed he wouldn't be done until around 4:30. by this time our oldest was home from school, so I took the boys back home to play and came back to the hospital a third time to wait.

They finally called me back to recovery around 4:45. the first thing the nurse asked me was if my husband had sleep apnea. I told him not that I was aware of. Come to find out, he had stopped breathing for a short time when he was under anesthesia. That was more than a little unsettling. When I got to him, they had an oxygen mask on him and were harassing him to keep him from falling asleep. After my arrival, that job became mine. After a while, he was able to remove the mask and stay awake with no problems. Before we left, they administered a pain reliever in his IV as well as gave him a block to block out some of the pain.

I finally brought him home around 6:30. He struggled with nausea for several hours and the poor guy hadn't had a thing to eat or drink besides water since midnight the night before. Other than that and some pain, which is to be expected, he is doing well.

I am praising God that there were no major complications and that the surgery went well. Now it is time to focus on healing and rehabilitation. He should recover full, normal use of his ankle within six months.

I told him he had better not plan on putting me through something like this again. :P

Thursday, August 11, 2011

We are still here...

Yup, we are definitely in Washington! ;)

So my blog has been sitting here, lonely and neglected, for MONTHS waiting for me to plaster it's pages with my words. The problem is, I just haven't felt much like writing. I have plenty to write about, don't get me wrong, I am just not motivated to get it done. However, I worked really hard on designing this new blog and I had such high hopes for it so now is as good a time as any to get cracking and start sharing!

We have been here in Washington for over 4 months now but it seems like it's been so much longer. We have been busy, busy, BUSY! We absolutely love it here and our wish-list of things to do here is ever growing. We have had a few adventures and I plan on sharing each of them in the coming weeks (I hate playing catch up).

But as for NOW, I am short on time so I must go until I have the time once again to write!



Sunday, March 27, 2011

New Beginnings

Welcome friends! For my first post for this new blog, I thought it might be helpful to explain why I decided to start a new blog in the first place and give you a little bit of background about where our family is headed and how we got here.
The most pertinent thing I think I should share is that we are a new Army family. My husband enlisted and left for basic training November of last year. He finished in January and then spent 5 weeks in AIT (advanced individual training) for his job as an 88M (motor transport operator). Before enlisting he was a truck driver for 4 years, so it just made sense for him to go into the same field and use his on-the-job experience to earn an advanced rank through the Army Civilian Acquired Skills Program.
Our family spent 4 months apart through his training process and it was a huge learning and growth experience for all of us! There were some very real struggles on my part to keep things together in his absence, but all in all I think we did pretty good. Had it not been for my faith and my family, I don’t think I could have made it through as well as I did.
A week ago, after the movers came and packed up all of our belongings into a tractor-trailer headed to WA, we hit the road to make our 37 hour drive to Ft. Lewis – our first duty station.
The trip was absolutely amazing! For someone who has never been close to a mountain or has never seen very much of the country, I was very much in awe of the beauty of God’s creation. We experienced and saw so much on our trip – rolling hills, mountains, lakes, gorges, rivers. We even made a detour to stop and see Mt. Rushmore in all it’s beauty! Traveling here is an experience none of us will ever forget.
After 5 days of traveling in a minivan we were more than ecstatic to finally arrive. Ft. Lewis is absolutely beautiful and I can’t believe this is where we are going to love for the next 1-3 years! Within a few days of arriving, we were offered a beautiful three-bedroom house (it’s actually a duplex attached by the garages) in a nice neighborhood on post. the housing is in a newer neighborhood and is surrounded by nice large yeards and lots of trees and is very close to the PX and commissary. We can’t wait to get our keys on April 6th and start getting settled.
Floor Broadmoor
(These pictures are not of our specific home, but taken from the housing website.)
So as our new life here begins, we are very busy taking care of paperwork and getting to know our surroundings. We have found a few churches we would like to visit and we know that God will lead us to the right one, the same way He did with our previous church. And so the process of putting down new roots begins!!



Saturday, January 8, 2011

Hey There… Remember Me?

Things have been crazy, crazy around here since my wonderful husband left to start his BCT at Ft. Sill, OK. I am busy getting a lengthy update written, but in the meantime I wanted to share something from our wonderful holiday with you. Bobby was able to come home for two weeks over Christmas and it was such a blessing to be able to spend that time with him, smack dab in the middle of his training. As you can imagine, we had missed him like crazy!! Here is a video of the entire family going to pick him up from the airport… get the kleenex ready and ENJOY!



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