Friday, September 24, 2010

Three weeks done already!

It's hard to believe that I started to write this post two weeks ago. I was going to say that school started off really well, and it really did start off that way. I'm learning that when things look too good to be true, they usually are!

Unfortunately, all four kids struggle with school in one way or another. After being out of touch for most of 7th grade, Samantha is trying very hard to reconnect with her old friends and make new ones. Socially, 8th grade is tough enough without having to deal with low self esteem caused by depression and anxiety. She hates feeling "different" and assumes that she somehow stands out. If only she realized that every girl her age is mostly concerned with themselves and are paying far less attention to her issues that she thinks! I'm just glad to see her riding the bus and socializing a lot more this year. I know that academics aren't a problem for her. We just need to keep her mood up!

Cameron is finding the transition to 6th grade a little difficult, but we anticipated that. For a kid that doesn't do well with change, middle school is a nightmare. There's more teachers, more homework and the middle schools here use a system where they don't even have the same classes every day. It's a lot to keep track of and Cameron is finding it all a bit overwhelming. All the same, the school has been very understanding and flexible, so I'm hoping that he'll adjust quickly. At least the school work is more challenging in 6th grade. There's nothing like boredom to stir up trouble.

I hate to talk about them together, but Addison and Sebastian seem to both be handling 4th grade pretty well, so far. They have new case managers, who still need to get to know them better, but it looks as though they are working well with the classroom teachers to challenge them appropriately, without pushing them too much. Other than the fact that the bus comes way too early this year, I haven't heard too much complaining from them yet.

Chris is still working from home, most of the time, so I have another pair of hands and eyes when I need them. With all the doctors appointments, homework and various daily "stuff" that comes up from day to day, it's nice to have backup. There really aren't enough hours in the day to get everything done, although I suppose if I could figure out how to go without sleep... I guess I'd be rich if I could really figure that out, wouldn't I?

As for me, I peek out from under my rock occasionally to go to my Mugai Ryu sword club and Samantha talked me into taking the beginner kendo class. Taking time out for myself helps me keep sane and i might even get in shape. At some point I need to get some face to face friend time, but I keep in touch as best I can.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Getting in touch with friends

I've been a horrible friend to most everyone for a good long time. I haven't been mean, or hurtful, or anything like that, but I have been living under my little rock a little too much. I'm trying to reach out to everyone more. I am still very busy, but I miss talking on the phone, chatting online, emailing and even *gasp* going out with my friends. If you're reading this, don't be afraid to call, or text, or email. I might be busy, but it's always nice to have an excuse to take a break now and then. :)

Friday, August 6, 2010


Time flies when you're having fun, or so they say. They might be on to something there. Since it's been over a month since I last posted, I'd like to tell you about some of the fun things we've been doing. I'll start with Samantha.

Samantha is enjoying kendo. She has just finished her beginner class is now allowed to wear a practice uniform that consists of a keiko-gi (top) and hakama (pants). Her kendo uniform hasn't arrived yet, but here she is holding her shinai (bamboo sword) wearing my iaido uniform.

 Her uniform is similar, except that it will be navy blue and she won't wear socks. After several months of practice, she'll be able to wear bogu or kendo protective armor. This allows for practice and sparring where they actually strike each other with the shinai. It's pretty intense and quite loud. I've included a couple pictures of the advanced students' practice, so you can see how they look in full bogu.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Back on Facebook... kinda

Okay, so here's the deal. I opened a brand new Facebook account. I am limiting my friend list to family and a SMALL number of friends (at least for now). Please don't be offended if I don't accept your friend request right away!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010


I guess we DON'T have the USA to cheer for anymore, but we're Becks so we can still cheer for the German team, right? I actually can't help but cheer for Japan. I mean, who thought they'd even get out of the group stage? It's nice when not all the surprises are bad.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

There are no words...

It's been two days since Italy was eliminated from the World Cup. I can't say I'm surprised, but I can't help but feel disappointed. I mean, they could have at least gotten out of the group stage for goodness sake! At least we still have the USA to cheer for.

And in other bad news, it looks like we won't be making that trip up to Jersey until August. Let's hope that's the end of the bad luck for a while. I have faith that the rest of the summer will be MUCH better.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Quick update

June is a crazy busy month. The last day of school was the 18th and we are settling in for the summer. My mom, dad and brother cam down on Father's Day and then Chris' mom and her boyfriend came down Monday and left this morning. Both visits were very enjoyable for everyone. It was great to spend some time with family, especially since we don't get to see them nearly enough. Now it's our turn to drive up to Jersey, and we're hoping to do that next week. We could all do with the change of scenery.

After our trip to Jersey, we're probably going to stick close to home for the rest of the summer. I'll be continuing with my iaido group, Addison and Sebastian will attend camp later in the summer, and we're planning to go on several family outings right here in Virginia. Of course, we'll be spending most of our time lounging around the community pool and generally relaxing. After all, isn't that what summer is all about?

Apparently, Samantha doesn't think do. She is starting Kendo the second week in July. If you aren't familiar with it, Kendo (literally, the way of the sword) is a Japanese sport akin to fencing. They wear protective gear and use bamboo swords to try to strike each other on specific parts of the body in order to score points. Samantha is VERY excited about this, and I think the intense training and discipline involved will do her good. You can learn more about Kendo at the following sites:

Yeah, we've both been bitten by the Japanese martial arts bug. In fact, we're both so fascinated with Japanese culture that we're starting to learn the language. It sure makes for understanding all the martial arts terminology easier!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Happy Monday!

Okay, okay, I know that Mondays aren't generally happy, but I've decided to change my attitude.

Here's how it works. For a long time, I used to treat Sunday as the first day of the week, but I've realized that the week begins on Monday. If you think about it, Saturday and Sunday (Friday, too, for some) are considered the weekEND. Singular. If Sunday was meant to be considered the beginning of the week, it would make more sense to call them the weekendS, because they'd be like bookends. But we don't do that. Therefore, I've decided that, logically, all the weekend days belong at the END of the week. By the way, this also makes the Christian tradition of using Sunday as the day of worship and rest make more sense. God rested on the seventh day, right?

Anyway, that brings me to my happy Monday. If you don't already, you should think of Monday as the beginning of a new week. However, I suggest that everyone look at Monday, not as the beginning of another week of the same old, same old, but as a new opportunity to have a better week. In fact, every day should be greeted with joy and optimism. Every day of life is a gift. Let's not spend our time dreading the week ahead. Instead, we should spend our time doing our best to appreciate today and be happy today. Today is all we have. There's no sense dreading the coming week when we there's no guarantee that we'll even get a tomorrow. Live life... be happy NOW!

It's easier said than done, but give it a try. Make yourself smile, even when you don't feel like it. Trust me, it won't take long before smiling will be a habit. You'll automatically feel better and you'll make everyone around you feel better, too!

*This Moment of Zen has been brought to you by Lack of Sleep*

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Dressed up for iai practice

Okay, here is a picture of me after practice last night. It was taken with my iPhone in terrible lighting, but maybe that's a good thing. After all, it was taken AFTER sweating for two hours, so maybe it's better that you can't see me too clearly. :)

It's a shame that you can't see the the sword too well. It isn't mine, but it's pretty nice looking up close.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Midlife crisis? Who me?

I'm not afraid or ashamed of my age and anyone who knows me knows that I'll be 40 in November. With the average life expectancy for women to be around 80 years old, I figure I'm entering the second half of my life. I'm not one to dwell on the past or have regrets. I'm over all that now. In fact, I can look back fondly and feel that I've had a good life, so far. So far... which begs the question, "What now?"

After a great deal of soul searching, I came up with a few options. The following are samples provided for your amusement:

-Run away and start a new life. Okay, that's a little far fetched, but who doesn't sometimes think about this? Admit it, YOU think about it. We all do from time to time, but I hope I don't need to say that this isn't going to happen. I love my family and my life. Is it is an easy life? Not a chance. Would I leave? Not a chance!

-Buy a fancy sports car. I had to rule this one out. I just got a new car in December and it's about as sporty as I could manage and still get my WHOLE family in it. It's an Acura MDX and we affectionately call it the Tardis. If you've ever seen one, you would probably never believe that my family of 6 actually fits in it. I swear it really is bigger on the inside than the outside! Anyway, it's obviously not a fancy sports car and I can't afford another car, so let's move on.

-Go back to school. This one got serious consideration for a while. I have always had the intention of going to graduate school "later" in my life. This option, although not completely discarded, is not logistically feasible at this time. Caring for four children with special needs is a full time job and then some. It would be hard to find enough time to merely ATTEND a couple classes, let alone have time for homework and research. This idea is still firmly in the realm of things I will do "later".

-Take up a new hobby. Well, most people don't need a midlife crisis to do this and I suppose some would think this too lame to be the result of soul searching, and I've tried so many hobbies in nearly 40 years that I didn't think there was much left to try. I was wrong. I've always been interested in martial arts, but I'd never really been drawn to any in particular. Truth be told, I don't like the idea of actually fighting. A few months ago I discovered that I could learn the tradition Samurai art of drawing the sword, called iai (pronounced ee-eye). This I like! There is no fighting, just deep concentration and focus. So the "crisis" is over. :)

I won't get into the details about iai, because I don't think I could adequately explain it without going into it at length and I don't have nearly enough time right now. There are many schools of iai and I am learning Mugai Ryu Iaihyodo. The following are a couple links if you are interested in learning more about it:


Maybe I'll add a picture of me in my uniform "soon", since I have practice tonight and will actually have a sword to wear for the picture. MY sword is being made in Japan, even as I type this and I hope to have it by the end of the month. It's just a practice sword (iaito), so it's not a real katana with a sharp blade, but it's meant to look and feel like the real thing. I will DEFINITELY post pictures of my iaito when I get it. It's sure to become one of my most prized possessions.

Later today? Um... err...

Wow, did I really say that I was going to post something "later today" nearly THREE MONTHS AGO? So sorry! I'm still here and now I actually have some nice things to say. I think maybe I should start to say "soon" and definitely avoid the use of the word "today" in the future. So... I will post an update soon. ;)

Thursday, March 11, 2010

If you don't having anything nice to say...

You know the old saying, right. Well, that's why I haven't been posting. Things have been up and down and I really hate for people to think of me as a complainer. Now that spring looks like it may finally be on its way, things are looking more up than down and there is a good chance of seeing more of me.

So, I been seeing robins on my lawn more and more. Most people say that it's a sign of spring. Around here it's more of a sign of IEP season. First one (for Cameron) is today and then I've got 3 more coming. You know, because every busy parent needs to have a zillion meetings added to their busy schedule.

Cameron is going into the 6th grade, which puts him in middle school here. I honestly liked having 6th grade in elementary school because there is a HUGE maturity gap between 6th and 8th grade! Anyway, it makes this IEP all the more important. We'll have to carefully address how to have Samantha and Cameron in the same program. I can't imagine ANY 8th grade girl would be happy to have to share a resource room with their pesky 6th grade brother. Wish me luck!

Oh, and I baked bread for the very first time yesterday. I think that deserves its own post later today. :D

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

I changed some things

Can you tell what's different?

You probably noticed the new picture, but I also changed some colors and I removed the link to my "pretty" site. It's not so pretty now that it's getting old and is never updated. I might put the link back when I get around to fixing it up again. For now, you're stuck here with me. That's not so bad, is it?

I guess the other big change is that I'm here *gasps* posting! Yes, the new year has brought new motivation, so you just may see more of me, whether you like it or not! :)

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Creating new blogs is easy...

...keeping them updated? Not so much.

Anyway, I have created two new blogs, but I'm still working out the details of what I'm going to use them for. One of them is going to be a place to share my Sims 3 people and the other is still up in the air. I really like THIS blog because it's my baby. I mean, it has its own domain and everything!

I guess I just really need to let my hair down and agonize a little less about what I post here. I guess it needs to start living up to its name. There has been very little mayhem here and that really needs to change!

Well, I look forward to sharing more interesting things with you. You may be bored, you may be amused, you may even be shocked, but the one thing I can guarantee is that you will get to know me better. Hmmm, I wonder if that's a GOOD thing. I suppose you will have to decide for yourself. LOL

Friday, January 8, 2010

Last celebration of our holiday season

We have a lot to celebrate during the holidays. We get a head start in October with Addison & Sebastian's birthday, then we get Mom's birthday, my birthday, Thanksgiving, Dad's birthday, Chris' birthday,
Christmas, Samantha's birthday, New Year's and we end it up with Cameron's birthday today. That's a whole lot of celebrating! No wonder we all gain too much weight over the winter every year. Think about all the cakes and feasts and cakes and desserts and more cakes that we consume in these few months!

I know I keep saying this over and over, but I really hope things slow down enough for me to post more often. I like sharing the random moments of my life with you!