Homeschooling Math: It Shouldn’t Be This Hard in Kindergarten

Homeschooling Math Current Programs and Ideas for LaterIn last month’s update I avoided discussing math, instead promising that it would get its own post.

I’m not completely happy/content/certain/what have you when it comes to math for G. On one hand, he’s 5, and I know there are studies that show some benefits to delaying formal math instruction. On the other hand, we don’t live in an area where that is commonly done, and if he were to need to go into public school, I don’t want him to be too far off track of what is being done there. So I’m not completely comfortable delaying, despite those studies.

However, making math a BIG DEAL with lots of drill and repetition seems to be going too far in the other direction and risks making him hate math and school. And possibly me. ;)

Mathematical Reasoning Level AI don’t want to bounce around between programs; I’d prefer to find something and stick with it, on the assumption that that will minimize gaps. My early math education ran into that when we moved to different states a couple of times during my elementary school years. I’d be ahead on some things, behind on others, and wound up never covering certain topics at all.

Despite this desire to pick something and stay with it, I’ve somehow managed to accumulate and (partially) use a variety of programs and items. And yet I’m still not sure what I want to use next year and in the more distant future!

What We’ve Tried

Singapore Earlybird AWe started with Critical Thinking Mathematical Reasoning books. These are super colorful and fun, and the early ones especially aren’t workbook-like at all. Even though they are workbooks – they were fun enough for G, and easy enough, that he’d quickly blast through 10 to 20 pages at a time, and ask for more.

Interspersed with those books were Singapore Early Bird. We both preferred the Critical Thinking books, which seemed to cover just as much, without being as repetitive or boring.

RightStart Math Level BAfter much online reading and forum-stalking I became very intersted in the approach of RightStart. Turns out a friend had level B and wasn’t using it, so she’s loaned it to me to try it. I want to love it – I love the background behind it’s creation, I love the idea of it, and I love the strong math foundation I think it’d give G. We had a glorious honeymoon with it for about 2 weeks, and then he hit one concept that didn’t come instantaneously, and has avoided it ever since. Teaching it is also much more of a hassle than pulling out the CT books, so I haven’t really encouraged another try at it.

I also don’t like how the books are structured, and find it hard to teach from them. The way the math is done is different enough that I do need to use the books; it’s not like I can just wing it even though it’s elementary-level math. I’ve done some reading online and apparently the second edition is better for that, so maybe I’d be better off getting the newer version? Or maybe I should accept that this isn’t going to be the best solution for us?

Miquon OrangeIn the “I keep forgetting I even have this corner” I’ve also got the Miquon books and Cuisenaire Rods.Learning Resources Cuisenaire Rods Introductory Set: Connecting Why did I get them? They’re so cheap! But they’re so confusing for me to teach – the books seem so random, and what exactly am I supposed to be doing with the rods? We’ve done almost nothing with these, so I guess I’m extra glad that they were inexpensive. I probably should just sell them, but I hold on to them thinking maybe I’ll figure them out to use with one of the younger kids. The rods at least are a hit with my 5 and 3 year olds, although they don’t really use them for anything math-like beyond lining them up in rows.

Looking Ahead

Teaching Textbooks 3Long term, I don’t know what we’ll do. The CT books claim to be a complete curriculum. Do they give enough practice though? Does it matter at this age? At what point does practice become an issue? I read great reviews about Teaching Textbooks, but I also read that they’re way behind grade level, and don’t go into enough depth to provide for a strong math background looking ahead to college and some careers. I’ve also read the same about Math-U-See, and the way it’s structured feels like I’d really be locking us into continuing with it so it’s not one I considered for long.

What I want is a program that teaches what he needs to know, in order to not close off any options that he may want later. I want him to be able to go into any career he wants, and not be limited based on what I did or didn’t do for him educationally. I want to set him up for success. His dad is really good at math, and uses it every day in his work. He definitely wants all the kids to have a great math education. (I’ve been saying “him” only because I’m not yet doing anything for my girls, not because I think math only matters for boys. Not at all!)

Math Mammoth 1ATwo other ones I’ve been eyeing are Math Mammoth, which he could begin immediately, and Beast Academy, which starts with third grade. Math Mammoth is inexpensive, so I might end up giving it a try if I need something beyond RightStart. Beast Academy might be what I work toward for him; it’s colorful and looks like it’d be fun, and yet it’s put out by the Art of Problem Solving people, so I’ve got no worries about its rigor. That would also set him up to move into AoPS books when he’s in middle school and high school. Assuming his talents point in that direction. :)

Beast AcademyOne thing I have decided, after writing all this out, is to get back to RightStart and give it another try. As I write this we’ve got 11 weeks of Sonlight left, and if I stick with RS during all of that, it should be a good enough trial run to determine if it’s a program that will work for us at least short term, or if I should return it to my friend and move on to something else (like Math Mammoth) for 1st and 2nd grade. And maybe I’ll try and find some tips on using Miquon as well, before completely writing that off as a possibility.

I never expected math to be such an issue, especially at this young age!

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What the Kids are Reading (in December 2014)

No surprise, we’ve been reading lots of Christmas books. We have managed to read a few other titles as well though, besides the holiday-themed ones. I already mentioned some of the books in our literary advent, but two of the ones that have been the biggest hits I didn’t mention. So I’ll do that here. :)

Mortimer's Christmas MangerMortimer’s Christmas MangerMortimer's Christmas Manger by Karma Wilson, illustrated by Jane Chapman by Karma Wilson, illustrated by Jane Chapman

I showed this one on Instagram, because I was so pleasantly surprised by it – my kids loved it, and it had a lot more depth than I thought it was going to have based on the cover. I got it from the library, but I think I need to add it to our collection.

Bear Stays up for ChristmasBear Stays Up for ChristmasBear Stays Up for Christmas (The Bear Books) by Karma Wilson, illustrated by Jane Chapman by Karma Wilson, illustrated by Jane Chapman

Another library book, another one I think we need to get for ourselves. Super cute, and both kids loved it.

PinkaliciousPinkalicious: The Pinkamazing Storybook CollectionPinkalicious: The Pinkamazing Storybook Collection by Victoria Kann by Victoria Kann

My daughter picked this one out, entirely based on the cover. Kudos to the artist – you know how to appeal to my girl! While I got a little tired of the made-up “pink” words in the text, overall it didn’t bother me anywhere near as much as I feared it might. Most of the books my kids select based on the covers don’t live up to even my low expectations, so yay for one that does. That’s not really saying much though, and it’s not one I recommend, or will miss when it goes back to the library. :)

0-439-45948-610 Fat Turkeys10 Fat Turkeys by Tony Johnston, illustrated by Rich Deas by Tony Johnston, illustrated by Rich Deas

My son’s pick. A couple of the rhymes were clunky, but both kids liked counting down along with the story, and read it happily multiple times before I got tired of it and stashed it back into the library bag for our next trip. Yes, I do that.

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A Scholar of Magic

A Scholar of MagicsA Scholar of MagicsA Scholar of Magics (A College of Magics) by Caroline Stevermer by Caroline Stevermer

I had a lot of complaints about Stevermer’s book College of Magics, and yet still wanted to see where the story went so I had to read the follow-up title.

That ended up being not the best reason to read this one though – there is actually very little plot connection between the two books. Jane, a supporting character in the first book (and one of my favorites) plays a very prominent role in this one, and I loved that. The main character from the previous book appears only briefly, and I found I didn’t miss her at all, thanks to Jane and Lambert.

I enjoyed this one more, maybe because I liked the characters more, but maybe because my expectations for what the book would be were more in line with what it actually was. It’s a crazy tale in an alternate England, where magic plays a role but somehow still isn’t the predominant element in the story. [Read more...]

Bookish Gifts for the Late Shopper

Bookish Gifts 2014 with bannerStill have some gifts to buy, but worry that you’re running out of time to get them before the big day?

This is why I love online shopping – no battling the crowds in the stores, no dragging overstimulated kids in and out (and dealing with car seats and straps for the two who aren’t able to do for themselves), no extra sensory overload on me. It’s a winner all around. And even if you’ve missed the shopping deadline for Christmas delivery from many stores (like the ones I featured in last year’s bookish gifts roundup), you’ve still got plenty of time if you order from Amazon.

In case you’re also trying to take advantage of the benefits of online shopping, here are some of the bookish gifts that I’ve either already purchased, or am seriously considering:

Read-Aloud HandbookA book about books. I love supporting reading, and the benefits of reading aloud, and The Read-Aloud HandbookThe Read-Aloud Handbook: Seventh Edition by Jim Trelease does just that. Lots of information on why you should read aloud to your children, and then tons of book suggestions. If you want still more book suggestions, try Honey for a Child’s HeartHoney for a Child's Heart by Gladys Hunt or Honey for a Teen’s HeartHoney for a Teen's Heart by Gladys Hunt and Barbara Hampton. All are packed with great title ideas. I’m only a little bit embarrassed to admit that I own all three of them. :)

JackeryExtra boost for your electronic devices. My Jackery backup battery chargerJackery portable charger power bank has been one of my useful purchases over the last year. It’s small enough to easily fit in my bag, and it will charge my phone a couple of times before it needs to be recharged itself. No worries about running out of power during the day. You wouldn’t think it’d matter that much, since I’m a stay-at-home mom, but there are plenty of times when that doesn’t involve as much staying-at-home as you might think. With this backup, I can read all the books I want to on my phone with no worries about having enough power, even if I’ve been using my phone frequently.

Great First Lines of Literature MugA fun mug. I drink multiple cups of tea every day, so my mugs get tons of use. This Great First Lines of Literature MugGreat First Lines of Literature Mug looks perfect for a book lover! If you’re extra ambitious, include some of your favorite tea inside the mug.

Q&A a Day for KidsQ&A a Day Journal - either the Q&A a Day: 5-Year JournalQ&A a Day: 5-Year Journal, or the Q&A a Day for Kids: A Three-Year JournalQ&A a Day for Kids: A Three-Year Journal. This is another one that I keep debating about getting for my kids – I think it could be so fun to do this and see how they change over the three years the journal lasts.

Spot ItGames! We’re working on establishing a family game night tradition, and it helps to have lots of variety in the games we can play. I’m not quite sure my kids are ready for Story CubesRory's Story Cubes this year, but next year I think these are going to be under the tree, and they sound like they’ll be lots of fun. For this year it’s Spot ItSpot It and UnoUno Card Game going in the kids’ stockings.

The Night Before Christmas Pop Up EditionA beautiful holiday book. On the list of definitely NOT getting this year, but maybe once my children are old enough to trust with something so delicate, a gorgeous cut paperThe Night Before Christmas: A Magical Cut-Paper Edition or pop-up bookThe Night Before Christmas Pop-up to read on Christmas Eve. Either of these are lovely, but we’re a few years out from them being safe in my house.

Sticky Note DividersNote pads! If your bookish gift recipient likes taking notes from their books, these tabbed sticky notesRedi-Tag Divider Sticky Notes 60 Ruled Notes, 4 x 6 Inches, Assorted Neon Colors (29500) tabbed sticky notes look like they would be fantastic. I’m really tempted by these, and am trying to decide how much I’d use them. Considering my heavy usage of regular sticky notes, I’m thinking probably a lot.

And if you’re really stuck for a purchase, gift cards are perhaps the ultimate last-minute idea. :)

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Books I’m Looking Forward to Reading in 2015

I love daydreaming about future books I want to read. My to-be-read list is crazy long, but there are still certain books that I *know* I’ll get to. Some of those can’t-wait-to-get-them books that are releasing in 2015 (or late enough in 2014 that I haven’t gotten to them) include:

Nonfiction

SavorSavor: Living Abundantly Where You Are, As You AreSavor: Living Abundantly Where You Are, As You Are by Shauna Niequist by Shauna Niequist

I don’t really like devotionals generally, but I love her books Bread & Wine and Bittersweet so much that I think I’m going to have to give this one a try.

Pioneer GirlPioneer Girl: The Annotated Autobiography by Laura Ingalls Wilder, edited by Pamela Smith Hill

I love the Little House series, and am looking forward to this look at Wilder’s life beyond the sculpted-into-a-story aspects of her novels.

As You WishAs You Wish: Inconceivable Tales from the Making of The Princess BrideAs You Wish: Inconceivable Tales from the Making of The Princess Bride by Cary Elwes by Cary Elwes

I love the book, and the movie, so a book about the movie? Plus book club is reading The Princess BrideThe Princess Bride: An Illustrated Edition of S. Morgenstern's Classic Tale of True Love and High Adventure by William Goldman this year, and this will be a fun supplement as I reread the novel. And perhaps watch the movie too. Again. For the umpteenth time.

Searching for SundaySearching for Sunday: Loving, Leaving, and Finding the ChurchSearching for Sunday: Loving, Leaving, and Finding the Church by Rachel Held Evans by Rachel Held Evans

I’ve enjoyed her previous books quite a bit, so I expect that I’ll like this one as much. She’s always thought-provoking, in a very good way, and this topic hits close to home for me.

The Story of ScienceThe Story of Science: From the Writings of Aristotle to the Big Bang TheoryThe Story of Science: From the Writings of Aristotle to the Big Bang Theory by Susan Wise Bauer by Susan Wise Bauer

Put this in the “tentatively planning on reading” category. If it’s too dry or technical I’ll pass, but I’m going on the assumption it’ll be like her history books in which case I expect to enjoy it.

Fiction

historical fiction

The War that Saved My LifeThe War that Saved My LifeThe War that Saved My Life by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley

I’ve enjoyed some of her books in the past, and this sounds like a fascinating take on the evacuation of children from London during WWII. My only hesitation with it is it may be a bit too tear-jerking for me right now, but I’ll give it a try.

Blue BirdsBlue BirdsBlue Birds by Caroline Starr Rose by Caroline Starr Rose

I loved her book May B, so I’m excited to read this one, set on Roanoke Island in the 16th century. (She also has a picture book coming out that I’ll look for: Over in the Wetlands: A Hurricane-on-the-Bayou Story)

Fun Fantasy

FairestFairest: Levana’s StoryFairest: The Lunar Chronicles: Levana's Story by Marissa Meyer (#3.5 in the Lunar Chronicles series) & Winter (#4 in the series) by Marissa Meyer

I have loved this series so much. Start with the first, Cinder, and then read Scarlet and Cress – this isn’t a series to jump into mid-stream.

Another one not to start mid-series is Manners & Mutiny (Finishing School #4) by Gail Carriger. Begin with the first, Etiquette & Espionage, and see if you like Steampunk. There’s no cover yet to share on it, but it’s supposed to release late in the year. I do hope it’s not delayed…

Mysteries

As Chimeny Sweepers Come to DustThe Flavia de Luce / Buckshaw series by Alan Bradley

I’m behind on the series, so in addition to the new title releasing in 2014 I have earlier books too to finish – I’ve got #4, I Am Half-Sick of ShadowsI Am Half-Sick of Shadows (Flavia de Luce Mystery, Book 4) by Alan Bradley, #5, Speaking from Among the BonesSpeaking from Among the Bones: A Flavia de Luce Novel (Flavia de Luce Mystery, Book 5) by Alan Bradley, #6, The Dead in Their Vaulted ArchesThe Dead in Their Vaulted Arches: A Flavia de Luce Novel (Flavia de Luce Mystery, Book 6) by Alan Bradley, and the upcoming #7 As Chimney Sweepers Come to DustAs Chimney Sweepers Come to Dust: A Flavia de Luce Novel (Flavia de Luce Mystery, Book 7) by Alan Bradley. There’s also The Curious Case of the Copper CorpseThe Curious Case of the Copper Corpse: A Flavia de Luce Story by Alan Bradley, a short story that just released. I may grab it if I end up needing still more Flavia.

The Witch Hunter’s TaleThe Witch Hunter’s Tale: A Midwife MysteryThe Witch Hunter's Tale: A Midwife Mystery (The Midwife's Tale) by Sam Thomas by Sam Thomas

I’ve liked his books The Midwife’s Tale and The Harlot’s Tale, and I love the setting for this series.

A new Kate Morton!

No cover to reveal, or plot to share, but the as-yet-untitled novelUntitled #5 by Kate Morton to be published in September. At least I assume it’s on track to be published then even if it is untitled – it’s already listed for pre-order, so I guess they’re confident it’ll be releasing on time! Something tells me it might turn into a book club pick for 2016, so I may hold off on reading it until we make our picks for then.

For more peeks at what people are reading, head over to Modern Mrs. Darcy’s Quick Lit link-up!

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for supporting The Deliberate Reader!

Essential Oils Update

November 2014 Essential Rewards Young Living Oil OrderA small order this month –

Motivation oil – Because I can use some, especially heading into winter, when all I want to do is hibernate.

Carrot Seed oil – Because you can mix your own sun protection with it, but if you wait to order it until closer to summer, it might be out of stock. As I discovered last year. So now I debate ordering a second bottle now, or going on the hope/assumption that one will be enough.

ComforTone capsules. It came up for me on a recent scan, so I’m giving it a try.

As always, I’m not a doctor and this is not medical advice. I’m just talking about what I’m ordering and using for myself and my family.

The Edge on the Sword

The Edge on the SwordThe Edge on the SwordThe Edge on the Sword by Rebecca Tingle by Rebecca Tingle

I think my favorite type of historical fiction is that based on a true individual or story, and then brought to life by filling in details lost to time. I still know it’s fiction, but it becomes so much easier to connect with the actual events and people. (Bonus points to authors who include a note at the end of their books explaining what was real, and what was invented. Major bonus points to authors who don’t contradict any known historical facts, and instead weave a tale that adds color and interest to what is known.)

Tingle is a historian, and in shows in the text – there are lots of detail included, but never so many that it feels like it bogs down the story. A disclaimer though that I love that sort of detail and want a lot of it, so if you’re not as into it as I am, you might disagree with me about how much she includes. :)

A heads-up for homeschooling parents looking for historical fiction set in ninth-century Britain: you might want to consider this title. There are seemingly endless options covering the Tudor era, but options for this time period are much sparser, and that’s a shame.

Don’t think this one is only worth reading because there are no other options however – I really enjoyed it! So much so that I went looking to see what else was out there dealing with this time period, which is when I realized just how rare the books are.

It was fascinating learning about Aethelflaed, and the book inspired me to want to know more about her and her time period. I’m looking forward to reading the sequel!

Publisher’s Description:
In ninth-century Britain, fifteen-year-old Aethelflaed, daughter of King Alfred of West Saxony, finds she must assume new responsibilities much sooner than expected when she is betrothed to Ethelred of Mercia in order to strengthen a strategic alliance against the Danes.

Book Details

Title: The Edge on the SwordThe Edge on the Sword by Rebecca Tingle
Author: Rebecca Tingle
Category: Juvenile Fiction / Historical
My Rating: 4 Stars

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The Night Circus

The Night CircusThe Night CircusThe Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern by Erin Morgenstern

Book club’s pick for November, and it’s been awhile since I had to force myself to read a book as much as I had to force myself to read this one.

At least initially, and then once I was into the story (which took a bit) I enjoyed it tremendously and was so glad I’d been “forced” to give it a try.

The writing is rich and the story is so layered. I’m a die-hard genre fiction fan, and literary fiction usually bores me: all descriptions and no action. This isn’t literary fiction (it’s magical realism), but it’s a lot closer to that than I tend to stray. And it’s a good example of why I should stray outside of my genre box – it was wonderful! It is *very* descriptive however, and the plot is slow, so I am a little bit surprised at how much I liked it.

The audio book is narrated by Jim Dale, one of my absolute favorite narrators ever. I kind of wish I’d realized that and listened to it instead, but I also think that it might have been a tough one for me to listen to. You’d need to focus on it in a way that I find challenging right now (thanks to little kids), but if I’d still been commuting and listening to lots of audio books during my drive this would have been a great choice.

Not at all my usual sort of read, but it’s a perfect example of why I’m glad I push to read outside of my comfort zone at times – this was well worth it!

Publisher’s Description:
The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called “Le Cirque des Reves,” and it is only open at night.

But behind the scenes, a fierce competition is underway–a duel between two young magicians, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood expressly for this purpose by their mercurial instructors. Unbeknownst to them, this is a game in which only one can be left standing, and the circus is but the stage for a remarkable battle of imagination and will. Despite themselves, however, Celia and Marco tumble headfirst into love – a deep, magical love that makes the lights flicker and the room grow warm whenever they so much as brush hands.

True love or not, the game must play out, and the fates of everyone involved, from the cast of extraordinary circus per-formers to the patrons, hang in the balance, suspended as precariously as the daring acrobats overhead.

Book Details

Title: The Night CircusThe Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
Author: Erin Morgenstern
Category: Fiction / Magical Realism
My Rating: 4 Stars

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for supporting The Deliberate Reader!

Bodies We’ve Buried

Bodies We've BuriedBodies We’ve Buried: Inside the National Forensic Academy, the World’s Top CSI TrainingSchoolBodies We've Buried: Inside the National Forensic Academy, the World's Top CSI Training School by Jarrett Hallcox and Amy Welch by Jarrett Hallcox and Amy Welch

If you’re fascinated by crime scene investigations, this one might be of interest. It’s a look at the curriculum offered by the National Forensic Academy, with lots of details on the 10-week program. What they teach, how they set up the scenes, and more.

It’s not one I can recommend whole-heartedly. The writing is uneven, and the tone seems off at times. It’s almost like they’re trying to carry over some inside jokes from the program, but it doesn’t work when the reader only knows they’re missing something.

I also wouldn’t suggest it unless you’ve got a strong stomach. There are some gruesome details, such as when they describe what happens during an autopsy. I’m not generally bothered by reading such things, but this one was getting to me a bit.

Interesting, and for anyone highly interested in the topic this might appeal. Otherwise, for related reading I’d suggest either of the memoirs Teasing Secrets from the Dead, or Death’s Acre.

Publisher’s Description:
In Bodies We’ve Buried, the very first book to reveal the inside workings of the National Forensic Academy, two NFA administrators offer readers and CSI fans exclusive access to a world normally off-limits to all but law enforcement officials, doctors, and scientists: inside the only hands-on crime-scene investigation school of its kind, where students are trained in burial recovery with actual human remains. This is the shocking, uncensored, and sometimes darkly humorous reality of forensic investigation. It features firsthand stories of the students themselves and shows how the remarkable science of CSI has solved some of the most famous cases in recent history.

From the world-wide authority on crime scene investigation, Bodies We’ve Buried is the never-before-told story of CSI investigation as it really is.

Book Details

Title: Bodies We’ve Buried: Inside the National Forensic Academy, the World’s Top CSI TrainingSchoolBodies We've Buried: Inside the National Forensic Academy, the World's Top CSI Training School by Jarrett Hallcox and Amy Welch
Authors: Jarrett Hallcox and Amy Welch
Category: Nonfiction
My Rating: 3 Stars

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for supporting The Deliberate Reader!

November 2014 Recap

November 2014 RecapLast month I said I was sure I’d read more books than the four titles I managed then.

And I did – all the way up to 8 books! :) It’s definitely an adjustment, figuring out how to get in reading time along with everything else. Plus having brain power to use reading – that’s been an issue as well!

October 2014 in Stats

Books Read Last Month: 8
Books Read For The Year: 179

Things That Happened
  • Thanksgiving. We ended up hosting, fairly unexpectedly. My house was not that clean, but it was available. And the mess was mostly upstairs, and in the back room so no one needed to go into those spaces anyway. I think we had 28 people here, including 6 kids under 6.
  • My mother-in-law was back in town for two days so the kids got a small grandma fix. Plus they said they wanted to come out for Christmas, which YES PLEASE, ANYTIME. Maybe we’ll get to have an anniversary dinner sans kids on our anniversary? Well, probably not without any kids, but the baby doesn’t really count. She’s easy. ;)
  • We had our first snowstorm, and first real cold temperatures of the season. I’m not looking forward to another brutal winter, so I’m hoping the forecasters are wrong about it being a repeat of last year.
  • My son lost his first tooth. Or maybe that happened in October and I’m forgetting when exactly. But I know he lost teeth 2 & 3 in November. They came out together, because they were actually fused together. The one tooth was really crooked and always had been – now I’m wondering what the adult tooth will be like – will it be crooked as well? We may soon find out, as the new tooth is starting to appear.
Best Things I Did or Saw
  • Seeing the baby roll over finally. Not as in, “she’s finally rolling over”, but as in “I finally saw it.” She’d been doing it for a few weeks before I actually saw it happen, instead of just seeing the results.
  • Early Christmas shopping. Yup, I did it. And I’m done, with just a couple of exceptions possibly to fill out stockings. Need to check and see how they’re looking. Still up is wrapping presents, which I’m thinking may happen once the inlaws arrive to distract the big kids.
What’s Cooking
  • Pot roast, and roasted potatoes and carrots. The pot roast was in the crock pot, and we ended up not eating it that night. Reheated the next day it was so delicious. Lots of leftovers too, which led to…
  • Beef pot pie. Made from leftovers and then fingers crossed it’d be tasty. Don’t know yet, but I’ll probably pull it out in December and give it a try. Turkey pot pie too, from Thanksgiving leftovers, but I already know that it turned out well. Yum!
  • Turkey and ham for Thanksgiving. We don’t host for the holidays that often, so it’s still kind of a big deal for me to fix them. Yes, we had both turkey and ham. It’s a big family and I’d rather not have to try and wrestle a gargantuan turkey. This way I can just use a big bird, not a ridiculously big one.
What I’m Anticipating Next Month
  • Christmas! As mentioned above, the inlaws will be here, and G and H will be even more excited than usual. Plus I think 3 and 5 year olds will make for an awesome Christmas season.
  • Our anniversary – 12 years!
  • Book club’s Christmas party. I’m actually really glad about the timing of it – it’s on the second anniversary of my brother’s death, so yay for something fun to be happening on that day that I can anticipate. Plus the whole seeing friends aspect – keep me thinking about some happier things instead of obsessing about what was happening two years ago.

[Read more...]