a blurb about homeschool

homeschooling has been a good experience this year.  we're not done yet of course, but we do have great incentive to finish asap ... water park!!  we are equally excited for that.

besides the academic development, we're learning a lot about each other.  many days have been tough, but the daily communication, patience, and respect that is required for such a thing has brought our relationship to a whole new level.  if he were in school, he'd be building this with his teacher and with other kids ... which isn't bad, but me loving my kid so much, I'm just glad its with me this year.  next year might be a different story ... not the loving my kid part, but you know ...

we do school work M-F ... that's the plan anyway.  it seems whenever hubby is around, there is a tendency that schoolwork gets pushed to the side because something else comes up - errands to run, a spontaneous special trip, or whatever.  but that's the beauty of homeschool I suppose.  we missed yesterday, so Saturday schoolwork it is.  but even if we didn't miss it, I have no problem doing work on the weekends.  if you only have 2 hours a work a day, then we probably SHOULD do it on the weekends anyway!

I give Sam multiple "warnings" that school time is starting soon.  he needs this constant heads up to mentally prep for it ... half the time this seems to work.  the other half, I get lots of whining "I don't wanna!"  "schoolwork is boring!"  haven't found a cure for that.  I did not go to school to become a teacher, I don't have lots of tricks or special projects to do, I am close to clueless on adding fun to work.  I am very much a by-the-book person, so unfortunately for Sam, this is more like how I teach, using mostly workbooks.

I can easily to get discouraged because there are many blogs and websites dedicated to crafts, projects, experiments, etc to do every single day.  it seems more people are "unschooling" their kids, and it leaves me to wonder if that's better.  sometimes I can see where/when it is, but I always come back to reading, writing, and arithmatic.

I try to limit my reading time to those blogs ... no offense of course.

luckily for everyone I'm not a complete idiot - hahaha - and we do have craft time and take trips to the zoo, but overall, its the workbooks .... but you know what, it works.  this kid is SMART!

I am actually typing this in-between helping Sam with his work ... so apparently I need to vent, just not to him.
it HAS been a good experience, and I mean that.  it's very awesome to be able to watch him grow this way.  and even with the very difficult days, I'd still recommend parents try homeschooling.  its still worth it ... just don't read my blog to tell you how to do it!

a sad side to Hawaii

I live on the "rough-er" side of the island.  this is where you find people in REAL poverty.  the homeless have been kicked out of countless areas on the island, but they seemed to be left alone here.  we live away from tourism, where the streets aren't "so pretty."

we originally came way out here because we'd MUCH rather live among the locals than living where the tourists often visit.  people who come here to visit, have a tendency to use it like an Mtv Spring Break Party type place, or maybe, like Vegas.  why come to Hawaii to get wasted?!  do that at home!
the rental prices out here are less too.  so when we first got here, we had money to live wherever, but we wanted to make it stretch.  good thing we did ... but that's another story for another day.

you drive by the residential areas, and you can plainly see how people have a tendency to hoard here - its an island, things are expensive, so when you come across something of worth (or not so much), and can think of a possibility when you might need it (or not so much), you keep it.

and as the stereotypes go, this is also an area where a lot of "users" live.  meth is popular out here.  I've seen a few deals go down, but with so much "aloha" no one cares, its all very mellow ... if that even makes sense.  aloha is a real thing, more than just a perspective. I'm sure many don't necessarily approve of using (the me now does, not so much the me of 15 years ago) but people here let people do whatever it is they're gonna do.

aren't these pictures awful?  these posters are up in various places in the community.  I realize they are to "scare people straight" but, I feel for my kids, its a tad too far out of the shelter that I'd take them.  they are 6 and 2.  I know some would say, it's never too early, and so, we've been forced to talk about it a little bit.

we rode the bus to the zoo last week, and there was one of these pictures up.  I was sitting with Elliott and he saw it right away, the one with just the teeth.  I told him "that girl is sick" and "she needs to brush her teeth, doesn't she?"  he repeats everything I say, as to assure me that he heard what I said.  its cute.  I'm glad he does that.

what would you have told your kids?
when will you have the drug talk?
something to think about.

we have never had any trouble living over here.  but we also live in a gated community and rarely go out a night.  whenever I take the kids to the beach for a sunset, as soon as it sets, I don't mess around and I pack them up to head home.  that saying "the freaks come out at night" is true!

I also have never heard so many sirens in my life.  we're not too far from the local fire station, but even so, we were hearing sirens every single day for awhile.  like living near train tracks, it takes awhile to get used to it.  but whenever I hear those ambulance sirens, I always wonder what kind of incident those EMT's are about to see.  and with those posters around town, I bet they see a lot of that, and worse.

I suppose my point to this post ... don't do meth.

YOU Capture - Youth

ok so here's a no brainer - my kids are a constant reminder of how young I am not.  I am no longer able to live carefree ... not like a child can ... because I'm always the one saying "no, don't touch that" or "what do you say?" or "did you remember to flush?"  as a mom, you are always [trying] to make sure your little ones get in the habit of dotting the i's and crossing the t's.

but also, without them, I'd forget all about silly time, extra hugs & kisses, funny jokes, and rapsberries on bellies.  good times.

remember doing this as a kid?  this is my Elliott, realizing I was far away taking pictures ... doing something, anything apart from him.  you see, I'm still his absolute favorite person in the world.  he's running to give me a hug, because its been 5 whole minutes.  I love his love.
the 2 in the back are my eldest son Samuel, and his friend Porter.  boys doing what boys do.

after Elliott reached me, he found this guy on the shore ... its dead, but still a great little biology lesson.  he's not afraid in the least, and THAT is what I love about kids the most.  no fear.  so willing to touch and learn.  no hesitation and all faith.
this part of youth needs to continue to be rubbed off on me ... every single day please!

join us, its fun!

fingerprint friday

I love how ferns unroll like this to grow
details such as this, reminds me of what goes into creating something

whether its
the garnish on your dinner plate for better presentation
a painters way of signing their work
the way music is composed
or for me, the way a room is designed

or for our Creator
the specifics that make up each of us, let alone the plants and animals too

its in the details.
be aware of the details surrounding you
they are important to everyday miracles

what reminds you of our Creator in your everyday life?

joy of LUCK: Green

Happy St. Patty's Day!
growing up, I remember my mom making corned beef & cabbage ... I still don't like cabbage.  and of course, you HAVE to wear green or you get pinched ... still don't really understand that one, but ok.  

picture-wise, this is as green as I could get today ...


joy of LUCK: Gift

this is my gift ...

today it is.
to me.  to my kids.
pancakes are the yummiest for breakfast, don'tcha think?!

but really, it is a gift, a privilege, a blessing to have a fridge full of food.  some days its taken for granted, but luckily, I have my sweet Elliott is thankful for full bellies; every night before bed he prays about this.

I am participating in another photo meme/mini class of sorts.   these are fun.  I'm doing my best to do it regularly since its helping me to use my camera more often.  one of my new years resolution was to do just that.  I enjoy it.  if you would too, join me!  click the link below.

its been too long ...

... since all 4 of us were healthy.

Sam got it first.  more than a minor cold, but not the flu.  put him out (aka. he sat in front of the tv) for 4 days.  that means napping on and off all day, movies, and video games.

hubs got it next.  his turned into a major sinus infection that kept him in bed for 4 days straight.

Eli got it next.  he got a fever and a lingering cough.  sleeping at night was rough since his coughing would wake him up, despite the meds we gave him.  which left me a bit sleep-deprived - flashbacks of those newborn days.  Eli has been sick for a week, with that lingering cough.

I really really really thought I was going to get skipped on this one.  I was feeling invincible for these last 2 weeks.  however, it is impossible for me to not love on my kids when they're sick.  that whole nurturing thing takes over like nothing else; it helps them, but it helps me too.

sore throat hit me for a few days.  then comes the congestion.  don't know about you, but I cannot sleep while breathing through my mouth.  if my nose is not working, I'm up all night.  if I fall asleep, I usually wake up gagging from the desert in my mouth.  its awful.  this has been my last 4 days.
I've been coughing for a couple of days, and now I've lost my voice.  my abs - wherever they are in my belly - are sore from doing so much of it ... but its nice to know I have abs at all I suppose.  
and now its been a week.  ugh.

this is me ... only I pour my own coffee. even when mom is sick, she's still mom.
no executive assistant.  no maid.  no days off.

the tv has been on for the majority of our days lately because of all this sickness.  no one has the energy, patience, or even a desire to do anything else.  and now, even though the kids are well, I am not ... and so the tv marathon is not quite over.  what do you do when everyone is sick?  or when mama is sick?

we're watching -
kid movies - our favorites are Finding Nemo and Kung Fu Panda
reality tv - we all love Dirty Jobs, Mythbusters, and Bizzare Foods ... courtesy of Netflix
documentaries - any and all the nature documentaries ... we use our instant streaming Netflix A LOT!

and just to add ... it always amazes me how much snot the human body makes.  not just how much it makes, but how much comes out of you.  right now, I can't seem to have enough kleenex.

and with that lovely thought ... happy tuesday!

cake time!

today my dad is 66.  his dad died at 66, so this is a big year for him.
dad, in case you're reading ...

I love you.
happy birthday.

lost and found

seconds after I put the kids to bed (830ish) I get in my jammies too.  I never ever ever go out or have anyone over, so why be dressed right?  I get into my bed and watch a movie, do some work, and/or maybe write a blog.
last night at about midnight I heard a kid crying outside.  being a mom, I'm sensitive to that sound.  anyone's child, not just mine.  it sounded as if someone had to come home late and the parent(s) had to do the car-to-bed transfer with their kid, and this one wasn't going smoothly.  I hear this from time to time, since there are a lot of families around here.  you could hear how exhausted he was in his cry ... its a mommy gift I tell you.
I was waiting for an adult voice to "shhhh" him, or say something comforting.  but nothing, it was just a cry.  it got me out of bed to check and see what was going on.

I see this kid running down the street, crying, calling for dad.  he was running aimlessly in the parking lot, clearly not knowing where he was.  OMG!
so I run out to find him.  luckily I did; he ran clear across our parking area to another in the complex.  he was cold, confused, practically hyperventilating, and very scared.  I finally caught up to him and calmed him as best I could.  after just a few seconds of holding my hand, he calmed down and I was able to ask him what happened.  I'm so glad he was old enough to talk!
there was a car double parked in the lot, and luckily he knew that was the car he was just inside.  I think what happened is that his dad left him asleep in the car, but the boy woke up scared not knowing where he was or where his dad was.  I started knocking on doors near where he was parked, and thankfully, we found dad.
dad wasn't too upset, and didn't really seemed surprised.  maybe this IS the same cry I here from time to time late at night.  that makes me sad.  I'm relieved we found dad, and if there is a next time, I'll know where to find him.

future pilot?

I found this meme this morning, and coincidentally, I had been looking through some older photos just the other day.
I have many favorites, but this one has to be in my top 5!

this is my second son Elliott.
this picture is from the fall of 2008, he is 6ish months old.
clearly, he is not a fan of flying!

here he is today.  almost 3 years old.
if you took him "flying" again, he'd scream with joy!

Visit Yellow Songbird for more photos!


this is my first year in Hawaii.  before we moved here, we kind of laughed at the thought of a tsunami.  I think for me, it fit into that category of only happening to a friend of a friend, you know?  not me.

with Japan's 8.9 earthquake yesterday, a tsunami warning was issued for Guam, Hawaii, and Thailand right away.  I heard about it right after I put the kids to bed around 9ish, then got online to read the latest.

our local news, they kept showing scenes from Japan and the tsunami waves that have already hit.  scary, to say the least.  they were honest about it, explaining the who/what/where/when/how's of tsunami waves and knowing what was happening in Japan could very well happen in Hawaii.

they showed street cameras of the traffic; it was bumper to bumper, especially downtown Honolulu.  the grocery store lines were loooooooong.  the shelves of water and canned goods were empty.  the locals seemed to be stocking up, preparing for the worst ... while of course everyone was hoping for the best.

some areas did get evacuated, the areas that are closest to sea level.  the goal of course is to get to higher ground, but still, ITS AN ISLAND.  there is only so far you can go.  I couldn't help but get scenes of Deep Impact in my mind.  remember THAT wave?!  the mountains here do go pretty high, its just a matter of getting there.

we live about 2 miles from shore, uphill, in a valley.  we are also on the second floor of a condo building; we were pretty confident we'd be ok here.  in case the power were to go out, we filled everything in our house with water that we could ... and after we heard about some fighting in the street, hubby loaded his gun.  just in case.

it was estimated that IF there were to be tsunami waves in Hawaii, the 1st one would arrive at 3am.  you think I slept?!  I did fall asleep, but then did one of those instant, dramatic jumps out of bed in 1/2 a second things.  it was one of those funny, but not-so-funny moments.  I watched the news from 3-4am ... with reports of basically nothing.  SAY WHAT?!
since last night, there have been reports of some flooding (from 2ft waves) and very minor damage.

so it was a big freak out for nothing.  it doesn't make sense to me, but somehow Hawaii was spared.  I know Kuai'i got much more flooding than Oahu did, still, no lives taken, no lost homes or businesses.  thank God.

so that's my story.  I survived the tsunami ... can I get a t-shirt?

not to make light of the tragedy of course.  my heart breaks for Japan.
have you ever been in an earthquake?  I have, but no more than 20 seconds or so.  its a freaky experience.  in Japan, that 8.9 lasted 5 whole minutes!
I'm sure people will begin (if not already) to organize supplies to send over.  if you'd like to help, I would suggest starting with your local Red Cross.

count your blessings ... and I guess lets all disregard my last post.  can I please wash some dishes now?

Aloha Friday

read the blog An Island Life
and next week, join us!

besides Aloha Friday, what are your other favorite memes?

they are fun, simple, & a great way to meet bloggy friends.
Aloha everyone!!

be thankful ...

 ... if you have a dishwasher.  I loathe doing the dishes.  (loathe is a step up than hate, right?  up meaning worse ... so a step down maybe?) its an every day thing.  sometimes its twice/day.  I have to wear gloves so my hands do not drown from drought later ... because they get so dry & chapped by being soaked in water ... which seems to be an oxymoron, doesn't it?  and its one more thing I can't multi-task at; I can't run the dishwasher and go on to do something else.  anyway, my point, I loathe doing the dishes.

... if have a washer & dryer in your home.  again, I can no longer multi-task this chore; at least not as well.  if I can mange to get ALL the clothes to the wash house (the community laundry room), and if all 6 of the washers are empty (occasionally they are),  then I'm super mom.  but neither of those happen very often ... because its not everyday I drink 5 cups of coffee.

... that your home is sealed more than mine.  this is Hawaii and I have bugs.  when you see one, there are millions, right?  seen Joe's apartment?  I have never seen gazillions, I think I would die on the spot if I did, but I've seen a few here and there when I turn on the light.  similar to cats, they get in the smallest of places ... but just because I'm slightly amazed by that trick does not mean I approve of their stay!  gross.

... if you live without construction right outside your window.  its literally right outside my window.  we do not have a/c here.  usually the ocean breeze is enough ... but not with the door closed.  some most days its so loud you can't think straight.  it raises our stress levels, our homeschool sessions are difficult, and now that's its been 3 weeks, its just not fun anymore.

... if you are healthy.  this cold/flu/nastiness has hit our house.  Sam was first, then hubby, then Elliott, and I've been last.  I didn't get it nearly as bad as everyone else (which is good for more than selfish reasons) because whether mom is sick or not, its her that takes care of everyone else.  wait, who takes care of mom?  oh yeah, mom.

yea, its one of those days.  weeks.  months?
those are my vents for this morning.

now I guess I ought to see the glass 1/2 full ... maybe tomorrow.

what home staging can do

I've recently finished a home staging class here in Hawaii, and I love it!  love love love.  its right up my alley, and I'm very excited to get involved.

long definition short -
home staging merchandises a home for a quick sell, at top dollar.  staging emphasizes all the positive aspects of a home, while down-playing the negative.  a stager designs to sell the home, whereas, an interior designer aims to design for the wants and needs of those living there.  very different.
the concept is great, its creative, its functional, and to top it off, it works!!

I plan to continue my training, and eventually, do this full time ... full time meaning around home school and whatever else the family is doing.  my own business??  maybe one day ... 
I headed to CA in April and I will be attending a 3-day seminar.  I will then be a certified ASP!  I'll even get to put those initials after my name.  awesome.

I just wanted to share something I read in this book, by Barbara Schwarz, the "inventor" and original guru of home staging.
she included a chapter of testimonies; stories from ASP's about how staging really works - on selling a home faster than imaginable, but also, how it affects the lives of those involved.  whether the house is to be sold because a couple are divorcing, or maybe a parent died; lives are usually on hold until something like this (selling the estate) is taken care of.

"Maria lived in a 6,000 sq ft home that she and her husband had built and where they had raised a family of 6 children.  The house was still full: grandchildren, grown children back home, a retired husband, extended family.  The house had been on and off the market for 4 yrs.  The outside landscaping was overgrown and a broken statue sat on a pad at the dirty front door.  There were broken windows, and bordello-red walls and shag carpet in the master bedroom.  Kitchen cupboards, once white, were not gray with fingerprints, grease, and scratches.  Crystal collections, grandchildren's stuffed animals, and a lifetime of things full of memories were everywhere.  When I met Maria she was crippled with arthritis and had to walk backward down the spiral staircase to greet me.
I could tell this job would require work, patience, listening, and compassion, and I was right.  We removed red shag carpet, painted walls, cleaned rooms, packed collections, repaired the broken statue, and painted the front door black.  It took more than a month to stage, but Maria's husband and children got on board, and gradually the home evolved into a product.  The house went on the market and sold after the first open house!  When we went back to pick up our staging accessories, Maria ran down the stairs frontward!  She was free not only of her emotional attachment to the house, but of the crippling arthritis as well.  Can you believe it?  Just another small staging miracle.  We really do change lives!"

Jan Wilson, ASP, IAHSP
Ontario, Canada

when I was in school for interior design, one of the things that turned me off was how shallow it all was.  it was all focused on material possessions, without much concern of a budget ... it was just all selfish.  I couldn't do it.  I couldn't pretend all the arrogance didn't bother me.
many of these home staging jobs are about getting more money for your home (which can be awfully greedy & selfish too), however, its more about getting on with your life.  moving forward to what's next.  that, I love.

Aloha Friday

Aloha Friday is a real thing here in Hawaii.
its a day spent relaxing, looking forward to, and planning the weekend ahead
... I'm not making this up!!

ps. if its a Furlough Friday, that makes it a 3 day weekend, in which case, it becomes Aloha Thursday
... but that's just my guess!

anyway -

with the theme of keeping it mellow, what do you like to do to relax?

leave me an answer in the comments ... then

visit Kailani over at An Island Life to read more.


wordless wednesday

Avon Review: Silicone Glove

time for another Avon product review!!
since it is still winter for almost everyone but me (I went swimming yesterday, at the beach!) I know dry skin is still at the top of your list of beauty issues.

today I want to talk about Avon's Silicon Glove.  this is not a lotion so much as it is a cream, so calling it a glove is actually a very good description.

it is thick and it will take you a minute or two to massage it into your skin, so this isn't a quick get-it-and-go type.  I would recommend for *most* people use it when sitting down to watch tv or a movie; another good time is to massage in a coat right before bed; or any other opportunity you may have where you don't have to touch too many things.  I wouldn't call it greasy - I know some lotions are just that - but since its thick, your skin cannot absorb it all right away.

it does have a scent to it ... and I can't even begin to explain what it smells like ... but I say that to mean, its a nice smell.  not too strong, but strong enough.  it doesn't trigger any association with anything gross smelling.

my skin is always dry, even out here in Hawaii.  my skin has also always been very sponge-like.  it soaks it up fast, so even though this one is thick and creamy, for me, in 10 min its not so glove-like anymore but still moisturized ... if that makes sense.

the Silicon Glove is intended for your hands (they're calling it a glove after all) but it works well on your feet too.  if you wear socks to bed, try lathering this on and then put on your socks.  get those feet ready for spring and all those open-toed shoes!

Avon does carry a whole line just for your feet - Footworks - love this line.  so many scents available!  be sure to check it out.  it is always going on sale (like NOW!) ... again, just in time for spring!!

the Silicone Glove is a part of the Avon Basics line; Avon's generic brand, if you will.  just like Target's brand is the generic of their store.  more often than not, its THE EXACT SAME as the name brand stuff.  occasionally, you will find generic to be better than, right??   so with your next purchase, try Avon Basics for your moisturizing needs.

if you are looking for a travel size to carry with you (perfect for your purse!) often in the brochure you can find Silicon Glove in the decorative bottles.  see picture below.  these go on sale often; 99cents and sometimes under!

knowing that this is NOT a lotion, but a cream, I give it a thumbs up.
I have 2 requirements in for a good moisturizer -
1. I prefer unscented everything, but if there is a scent, I have to like it of course, and it cannot be overpowering at all, which this is not.
2. it has to work!

was this review helpful?
if you've tried it, leave me a comment and tell me why you love it or hate it.

I'd love to be YOUR Avon lady!
just register HERE and start shopping HERE.  enjoy!
current online coupon code for FREE shipping: FSC06 for orders $30+

tuesday ramblings

its Tuesday morning coffee time ... but all that really means is that this post is totally random things on my mind while having my almost perfect coffee.
its only almost perfect because I'm out of my vanilla creamer, which is my fav!!  on the plus side, it IS 100% Kona made in my french press ... 2 out of 3 is not bad.

the latest news around here - the (little) boys and I are heading to Cali.  SoCal first to stay with my parents for awhile, probably through April, then off to NorCal to stay with my in-laws for another month or so.  its make it our break it time here in Hawaii.  there has been no paycheck for 8 months and it may be time to get out.  I have mixed feelings about the whole thing ... of course there is more drama to this, but I'll leave it at this. 
*any Cali friends reading this, we'll be in touch *

some good news - when in Cali, I'll be taking an ASP training seminar.  I will be an Accredited Staging Professional.  This fits me.  finally, I think I really found something that fits me.  to that I say HALLELUJAH!!  if you're curious about home staging, just ask.  I'm sure I'll post more on this in the future.

possible good news ... for me - we've met someone here to re-do my tattoo, but we've been missing each other for months.  now that I have plane tickets outta here, we're meeting on Friday to see if it can be done before we leave.  the tattoo I have, I think I got it the day I turned 18 ... or close to that.  I like it, but I've outgrown it somehow.  
years ago I looked into laser to get it removed.  I was told that green is THE MOST DIFFICULT color to remove.  well, that figures.  my tattoo is a green vine with flowers ... all the way around my thigh.  so its on the big side and the very noticeable side.
I want another type of green vine, with flowers, but with just 1 or 2 colors along with the green.  I have a larger flower on the outside of my leg - think about how you cross your legs when sitting - I want the larger flower to be out there still, but with a butterfly or something that will have my kids' initials &/or birthdays hidden in there.
I'm REALLY hoping I can get it done before April 6th!!

happy no matter what
as I type, my boys are watching The Sandlot.  love it.  very similar to Stand By Me; love that one too.  at the ending I always get choked up as the narartor tells you where all the boys ended up in life.  some make it big, others don't.  but then there is that last scene where they rewind time again to the boys as kids, reminding you what they went through to get to where they're going. 
I WISH I had a picture of all my girls from back in the day.  we spent EVERY SINGLE DAY together during the summer.  it was a blast!  we even all signed up for tennis lessons together one year ... and then we all had a crush on our tall, dark, & handsome instructor.  hahaha!  I love those girls, and I would definitely not be who I am today without them .... just like these movies.  I wish we could all hang out together again, if for just one night.

enough randomness for this morning ... have a great day!