It’s been an interesting week, and it’s not even over yet. Tomorrow is Friday, and I’m definitely ready for the weekend.
We started our homeschool year this week. Overall, it has been a great start. The kids both do better when we have a clear routine set in place. Summer break kills the routine and this year, because of all the moving we did, we had an extra long break. I started noticing a few weeks ago that the kids were getting more fussy than usual, so I’m happy that our days are back to our version of normal.
I added in a few new things to our school day, but not enough to cause any major chaos. The first new thing I added is a daily creative writing assignment. Every morning, after Bible lessons, I give the kids a writing prompt and time them for fifteen minutes. They can choose whatever method they want to write (story form, free writing, etc..) and when the timer dings they are done. I then have them share their writing out loud. Both kids really seem to enjoy this and it’s a fun way to start the day.
The second new thing I added is what I am calling the Library Reading Challenge. Each school day ends with twenty minutes of reading. What makes this a challenge is that the reading is of a book that I have chosen. It is not in the normal genre that each kid tends to pick. I decided to do this because I want the kids to expand their reading and open their minds to some different things. This has been a pretty good thing so far, although my son does moan and groan a bit. He’s not one for change once he’s settled on what he likes. Reading has always been a passion for him so to have to read something he did not choose… well, it’s a struggle. But it is a struggle that I think is worth it so I am not caving in. Another part of this challenge is that they have to read the entire book, no matter how long it takes. I like to think of this as college prep work. My kids may or may not choose to go to college. That’s up to them. But if they do, then they need to be prepared to have to read a lot. And based on my college experience, that reading may not always be something they like.
We are also having art appreciation on Friday afternoons. My son is over the moon about this. He loves art and I told him that we could do a comic book course in the spring semester of our year as long as he completed an art appreciation course in the fall. He agreed.
The rest of the homeschool days are filled with the usual stuff… math, language arts, history, and science. Some of it’s interesting and some of it is, well… it’s school. I have seen that my kids really enjoy AOP LifePacs for history, though. The short lessons lead to better comprehension and seem to be easier to digest for both of them. They have each told me that they hope we can continue with it in the future. I’m really happy to have found what they like. For science, Benny is using ABeka and Yeva is using Apologia. Benny prefers more bookwork, while Yeva prefers a more hands-on science approach. Math and language arts are ABeka. I’ve always liked the ABeka program and the kids do well with it.
So, that’s school That takes up a lot of the day. After school, the kids have been heading outside to join up with their friends. Our neighborhood has some really nice kids living in it. Kids who have been very accepting of the differences my kids have. It’s been a blessing to us all.
But that’s not all that has been going on…
Earlier this week, I turned on a pendant light in the kitchen. Those are the lights that hang down above the bar area (some people have them over kitchen islands). Well, I turned it on, and walked into the bathroom to help my son with his toothbrush. It was not even two minutes when suddenly I heard a really loud crashing/breaking sound. I came out and asked my daughter what fell only to notice smoke in the air! I looked around and there was glass EVERYWHERE. My daughter was sitting on the couch looking horrified and she said, “I don’t know!”
That’s when I noticed that it was the lightbulb in the pendant light!
I quickly turned off the lights (one switch controls three lights) and started cleaning up while thanking God that no one had been in the kitchen. Serious, out loud, God praise going on. The lightbulb had exploded into a gazillion tiny pieces and those pieces flew all across the kitchen and dining area. It took me two hours – literally – to get it all cleaned up.
The next day my husband called our home builder because we didn’t know if it was a wiring thing or a bad bulb. He immediately sent out an electrician who tested the wiring and determined that it was in fact just a very bad bulb. We didn’t know this could happen, but the electrician said that, while rare, it does. He explained the science behind it and told us that he’s had them explode day of installation before. Who knew?!
So…. All of those lights were replaced with new LED bulbs and now they are working fine. Interesting to note, those were the only non-LED bulbs in our house. I’m officially sold on the whole LED thing now.
And then came yesterday… because it’s just never a dull moment for us…
I started to get a little warm and noticed it was 78 degrees in the house. So I went to turn on the air conditioner. I closed up all the windows and got ready to cool down and enjoy my evening.
But… it kept getting warmer.
About two hours passed and I got hot. I checked the temperature and noticed it had gone up to 80 rather than coming down. So I went to the air vents and noticed that the air coming out of them wasn’t cold and wasn’t that strong. Forced air is supposed to be, well, forced!
So I went and looked at the air conditioner unit. It was running fine. I went to the breaker box. Nothing was wrong there. I turned it off, waited a bit, then turned it back on… no change. It was hot and getting hotter in the house.
I opened up all the windows, turned on the ceiling fans, and told the kids to drink a lot of water.
I texted my hubby and told him what was going on and he contacted our builder. You know, that truly makes it sound bad, but our builder is a great guy who stressed to us that houses are built by humans and sometimes mistakes occur.
Our builder had the HVAC guy out first thing this morning. Within five minutes the guy had determined that there was a tiny leak in the welding on a pipe that had cause the freon to slowly leak out. I guess it just finally had emptied itself and no one ever saw the leak because there is some sort of cover on the pipe.
So the HVAC guy redid the welding, filled up the freon, tested the system, and made it all fabulous and cool again. He said that a leak test should have been done and it appeared the installer may have missed a step. I chose to not be annoyed and focus on being thankful that we have a great builder who is holding up to his end of the warranty agreement and that the HVAC guy was so friendly and prompt.
I guess things happen in home ownership… They just seem to happen to us a lot. And I am starting to wonder if the Lord uses this stuff to teach me patience. I know I tend to overreact and get emotional, but I am learning to take deep breaths and just get things fixed because life does go on.
And I love my house. Like seriously, love. It’s the forever home that I wanted. It’s not big. It’s not fancy. But it’s perfect even in its imperfection.
Oh, and to top it all off… there is a serious yellow jacket infestation in my neighborhood and they seem to really like my house. We have looked everywhere and can’t find any sort of nest so who knows where they are coming from. We put up traps and caught tons of them. They are annoying little creatures, but I’m thankful for traps… there’s always something to be thankful for.
I have to figure out dinner now… I somehow failed to go shopping in the midst of all of this. Grilled cheese is sounding good.