Sunday, February 28, 2010

Life in the past week...

Has been, how can I put this best? Busy. Thats it I think.
February has been full of all kinds of excitement, but this last week has gone by so slowly, I can not even believe that March isn't half over yet!
I would have to say that it is probably mostly due to the fact that I am now homeschooling my older two (out of four) kids.
I still don't know if I like it yet. I love it at some times and yet, I have developed an eye twitch...
That's not a good thing, in my book.
Its a wonderful free feeling that I decide what to teach my son and when. Although I am constantly concerned that I am not teaching him what he needs to pass 2nd grade in California.
Most of the second grade curriculum he already knows, although we are still working on states and capitals. He is a very advanced reader, advanced in math, science is above average. the only things he really needs help with are penmanship and behavior (following directions, being respectful to peers and adults, etc.).
Following directions is the hardest thing to do, for anyone!! Most adults I know don't even do that. Nephis first grade teacher told me that he needed to show respect to her, I told her that respect is earned. Kids aren't going to respect you if you don't show them respect, and frankly I understand that. I have to be respectfully strict with Nephi if I want him to behave. Not every teacher is going to bother doing that with him, they are going to do their own thing. That's fine, just don't come complaining to me when he doesn't respect you and follow your directions, because its your fault, not mine.
Okay, enough venting!
Basically I have been evaluating Nephis progress and figuring out what he needs to work on. I am also doing this with EmmaLily.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Homeschool

It is official.
As of February 18th 2010 we are homeschooling Nephi.
I went to Turtle Rock Elementary early Thursday morning, walked right into the office, looked the secretary in the eye, and said (stumbling over my own words, of course) "I'm here to dis-enroll Nephi from this school."
She looked at me with a slightly surprised look and said, "Okay."
She wouldn't miss us a bit. And frankly, I feel the same.

Nephi si absolutely stoked about being homeschooled. Its really nice! I think I miss 2nd grade more than he does! But at the truancy meeting I had to go to the other week, they said something to me that made me know this was the best decision. They said that if we dont get him to school on time and everyday, then his educational responsibilities will be taken away from me. It hit me that I never really took on the responsibility of truly educating my son because I have been leaving it mostly up to the school. How stupid of me. Since then, I have been so excited to teach my children everything I know. And the fact that I can teach them in the kind of environment they need is just a wonderful feeling! Nephi is such a "hands-on" kid. He needs a job to do every minute of the day. And not to mention the teacher to student ratio is amazing, the best you can ask for!! And this leaves a lot of freedom for us to go on vacations and other cool family outings and field trips! I'm going to try and really enjoy this because I'm not sure how long I'm going to want to do it for. This semester is a test run. I will definitely let you all know if it works out.
The good thing about college is that I can take some online classes while im homeschooling the kids. And since Shane has been better about spending more time with us I'm not going out of my mind so much! He will be there to stay with the kids if I need to go study or take a test or something. I am only going to do part time though. Two classes at a time MAX. At least until I have things organized enough to where I can go back full time to finish sooner.
I really love education. Not school, but learning. I want my kids to fully enjoy the learning aspect of life in general. Figure out how to do things, put the pieces together with a positive outlook on life. I want them to be what they want to be and not what society thinks they should be.

There are a lot of reasons why I think homeschooling is the best for Nephi. A few of them are the school he was in, the people there. They had labeled him the bad kid, the bully, the spaz. Which might be true, but the kids there were using it to their advantage. The egged him on, teased him and told on him for every little thing. His feelings got hurt and he pushed back, and he got in trouble. However, it was mostly the school districts laws. If he was late or absent one more time, they threatened to fine us, put us in jail, take our kids away.
I'm sorry, but is it really worth it to destroy a family just for some funding? I'm not actually that sorry, because money shouldn't mean that much to anyone, you greedy jerks.
That is the main reason we took him out.
Despite that, if Nephi didn't want to be taken out we would have let him finish up the year at least.

So I am figuring out a good curriculum for him, catering to his needs and pushing him along the paths he is best at (and has most fun in as well) trying to make the experience of learning something that is positive and natural, not forced or prison-like.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Self Sustainable Living

What does it really mean?
I'm getting closer to accomplishing this. Last weekend we, the Ryersons, have finally received a garden plot from the Verano housing garden association (or whatever its called)
So, I started some internet research on how to grow certain fruits and veggies that I want. Well, it turns out that I could have just been growing them on my balcony the whole time! Boy, did I feel like such a bum for not having thought of this!! I mean, I had herbs and Aloe Vera and lavender and daffodils, but it never even occurred to me that I could have been growing strawberries from a tower on my porch!?!?!
I suppose I never really thought of it because, here in California, even people who live in apartments have some sort of land they could use. But now I know that there are people out there who don't even have an inch of dirt to plant anything in. There is just concrete for miles! so what do they do for cheap produce? They have planters on their roofs and balconies!! Its pure genius!!
Now I know that some of you east coasters might be laughing at me, but you have to understand; I have never lived away from the southern California coast. I have never even traveled past the Mississippi river!! And searching the internet has broadened my horizons! It has opened up my mind!! The possibilities of the internet are endless, people of the world!!!
sorry, i got carried away...
Anyway, now that I have this wonderful newfound perspective on gardening (and life as we know it), I will use it to my advantage and double the produce intake. I will grow berries and herbs from my balcony, and veggies in my garden!
This is gonna be FUN!
I'll keep you posted...

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

High School Casualty

so some of my friends are posting embarrassing pics of themselves as teens. heres mine!! what was i thinking you might ask? well i was thinking, "i do what i want!" and i did.



Happy New Year!

Ok, ok, its been a month. But I'm not too late for Chinese new year!

A lot has happened in our lives these past two years...

So pretty much, we moved to Irvine. had another kid. got sealed in the LA temple. and that was the jist of 2008.
2009 goes like this. at the beginning of last year i told everyone we were pregnant with number four. i had volunteered to be the den leader for the tiger cubs. which was awesome, until some of the parents got on my nerves and started taking over. First grade was great for Nephi, he had bunch of adventures. i took a parenting class through the school, which was awesome. What was not awesome was Nephis first grade teacher, Mrs. Glassen. She called me in a couple of times to have a parent/ teacher "conference" which actually turned out to be a verbal attack on me as a parent.
(in a high pitched bubble-your-throat tone) "you're a bad parent. take more parenting classes. you are neglecting Nephis talents. hes doing poorly in school because you dont enforce the ridiculous rules i have set for him and make him do the absurd amount of homework i dump on all the five year olds. he doesn't do his schoolwork well because of you, even though hes doing the homework perfectly. blah, blah, blah, im a judgmental, old cynic. and lets not forget how hypocritical i am!"
ok, so i was paraphrasing, but thats pretty much what she did. and being pregnant at the time all i could do to keep myself from screaming in her face was to cry.

enough of that.

and then came the sweet release of summer break. i never wanted Nephi home from school more than i did from her class.
June, the last month of only three kids! and a fun one it was too. i think we had enough summer fun to last us the whole summer. we needed to because the baby was due july 8 and i would be out of commission for at least the rest of the summer! But i thank the good Lord every day that i had Deanna there to help me. Not to mention two mothers and two fathers less than an hour away, for when i needed them.

and thus on her due date Willow was born!! seven eight oh nine. my longest labor, eight hours, i know, you can hate me. when i saw the red hair i knew i had to name her Willow. it fit so much better than River or Zelda. of course Rose would have been nice. Faye was perfect for her middle name. I wish my Grandma Teddy could see her. thats silly to say because i know she can. i just wish i could see her see Willow. Faye was Grandmas baby sister who had red hair. She talked about her all the time.

Earlier i had mentioned Deanna.
Deanna moved out on October 6th. it was sad to come back from our famous free trip to Hawaii and there was no Deanna to be seen (not to mention Elsie >
I didn't cry when she left. i wanted to, but i couldn't really believe she was leaving, or that she was gone! she was with us for two years plus one month, approximately. I never thought about how much she meant to me until my mom mentioned that she was like part of our family. i mean we were always joking that Deanna was my sister or my daughter, hahaha. but it really hit me that she was like my family about a month after she left. i haven't had a best (girl ) friend since Alise, we were about 18 when we stopped hanging out, mostly because i moved to Santa Barbara. ive been talking to Alise more recently and, even though it had been a few years, its almost as though we were never apart. like we are really sisters. that kind of sisterhood bond is forever. Alas, that is a story for another post. it has been five years since i had a bestie, another girl who i can go shopping with, work out with, eat guilty ice cream with and watch stupid movies and talk about stupid things with. i appreciated all of those times that were spent huddled in blankets on my comfy couch, watching ghost hunters and Seinfield and "i didn't know i was pregnant", those times will be missed, but they will never be forgotten. there will be a time when we can do that again. i know that in my heart. i love all my sisters and my besties still, and i always will.
there will always be a place in my heart and my home for any of my friends and family who need me.

We decided that four is our magic number, so i got an IUD. look it up.
Now i can sit back and watch my beautiful children grow. and wait for my siblings and friends to have kids!!


Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Elijahs 2nd Birthday








video

You can see more at my Facebook page,
http://www.facebook.com/?sk=media#!/photo.php?pid=32419194&id=201303044