Books

Spring is Here, After a Long Winter.

Well, blogging has certainly been on the back burner for me this year. I think the last time I posted anything was when Beatrix was born. Since then, we have done nothing. Sitting around mostly, looking at blank walls.  Ha! Just kidding. We have been super busy, so busy in fact, that writing a ‘catch up’ post seems totally overwhelming. So I won’t bother. I will just tell you what is currently happening, and little bits and pieces will fill in on their own.

{A brief recap of September-March: We have totally loved Beatrix, School has been up and down, Orchestra endeavours for Vegas have been exciting, he is going to State next weekend after taking first place in the regional solo competition, We have loved our schoolbooks this year, and are finished with a couple already! We moved. Yes, we moved again. The yard here is huge and fantastic, so a garden is on its way…there is more, but this was supposed to be brief!}

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I just bought Exploring Nature with Children, even though another curriculum tool may not be what I actually need! It looks simple, easy to use, and sort of revolving, so that at any point we can jump in and use it. There are weekly nature walks, and everything corresponds with Handbook of Nature Study by Anna Botsford Comstock, which I have been wanting to get for a couple of years now. I found that there is a free archived version online, which we will use for now.

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Having a new nature book is perfect timing for the spring nature exchange! We signed up for this one, the first one we have done in quite a while. Our ‘pal’ family is in Ohio, so we are looking forward to meeting them through this process. If you have never heard of the nature pal exchange, I highly recommend it! It is super fun, and changes the way you interact with the out-of-doors permanently. We are always scanning the ground for treasures, and still call things we sent in the first exchange by their Latin names! {I still REALLY want a Tamarix ramosissima for my garden!}

As far as academics go, this year has been a challenge. I am reading Teaching from Rest, which is hard for me, because I want to be able to say we ‘finished’ or achieved a certain level of work. I tend towards the vice of being a servant to my books, rather than using the books to serve us.  My goal is to finish reading that book, before I freak out about the fact that it is almost May and *some* of our students have a hefty amount of book service left before next year starts.

Right now, I just need to start a load of laundry.

Scouting out a good planting spot for my Vine Maple, Shelley

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While the Boys are Away…

The first few days of this week were a little different around here, mostly because all the ‘men’ were away on the annual ‘men’s camping trip’. Meri and I had movie night, ate too much popcorn, and worked on a giant baby to-do list. Although we didn’t really make a dent in the list, we did get many things done, and had fun doing them. I finally repainted our bedroom, and hung up some art. We built the co-sleeper and put a headboard on the bed. bedroomAmerica was a huge help in organizing all the baby clothes by type, which is wonderful because up until now they have all just been jumbled into the wardrobe with no rhyme or reason. We packed the baby’s hospital bag, as well as mine! wardrobeThe big news is that we are scheduled for an induction on September 8th, one week from today. I am truly hoping that she just decides she is done ‘cooking’ before that, since the idea of being induced is something that I do not relish. At least I know that it won’t take longer than one more week, which is a comfort because all of a sudden, everything hurts and is exhausting. mantisWe caught a praying mantis for the boys to examine after camping. He is gigantic, and seems fairly angry, but at the same time, he is fascinating. Our first Art & Science lesson is on insect anatomy, and the ‘scientist as illustrator’, so the timing is perfect!meri ice creamMeri and I also exercised some of our most important skills in the kitchen, and made ice cream.

Our book orders have been rolling in, and I have been typing syllabuses like a madwoman. I think there are only one or two left to complete, and then I can just sit back and fill in my teacher’s plan book with a cup of coffee!

Today was the first day that the end of summer seemed like it was getting closer, although I still haven’t smelled an autumn morning yet. I’ll believe it when it gets here. Until then, it’s shorts, and swimming, ice cream and sprinklers…after our studies of course!

Hanging up our pull down map, Shelley

On the Move

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{on the move is one of our favorite records to listen to while working….}

Things are beginning to take shape around here, due largely to the generous support of the go fund me page we set up. In addition, my wonderful family in Seattle brought us grocery bags filled with things like notebook paper, and legos…teaching tools, pencils, and sketchbooks. We took our yearly summer ‘sort of stay-cation’ to Seattle last weekend, and it was fantastic.

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Vegas was the only one to ever have ridden a ferry across Puget Sound before, {still, it was several years ago!} so right off the bat, we picked up my mom and headed west on the Tillamook towards Southworth. I managed a quick Craigslist stop in Port Orchard, and we drove north to Kingston and took the Walla Walla back to Edmonds.

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{BTW~ that lady in the background was cracking us up! I was afraid she would get blown away!}

The weather was beautiful, the wind didn’t bite at our ears too much, and the vending machines were grossly overpriced! Yikes! $2.50 for a little bag of Sour Patch Kids, I felt like I might as well be going to the movies!

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Later that night, some of us actually did go to the movies, and I am still processing what I think of the new Mad Max. Mostly, I feel like there were not nearly enough leather jackets, or awesome outfits.

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Back on track.

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Our trip also included a visit to the Burke Museum, Dick’s fries, Pagliacci Pizza, the most amazing gyro/gyro plate EVER from Mr. Gyro’s {if you haven’t been, go! It is amazing. Greenwood & 85th},Pike Place Market, The University Book Store, Byrnie Utz Hats,  Carkeek Park, thrift stores, hair appointments, the Fremont Troll, and an epic rainstorm.

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We packed our car full of art supplies, books, binders, ideas, and memories. I came home with a much more specific book list, and began ordering curriculum today. In the mail {for Vegas} already, is Harold Jacobs Elementary Algebra, which is an exciting step off the beaten path for us, we’ve been sticking to the tried and true Saxon math for the last few years, but I am excited for this text. Also, {for Vegas} Windows to the World, which is a literary analysis course…right up his alley. In the next order I will have the math and language arts books for Elvis and Axel, as well as magna doodles for Axel and America to practice Handwriting.

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Soon after that order, will come the order with all the knives, ropes, knot tying books, field guides and nature handbooks.  {that will be the hardest to keep simple!}

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Vegas starts Orchestra at the local middle school this Friday, which is completely crazy to me, but I think it will be fun!

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School will start for us on the 15th, even though I am sure some of the books won’t be here yet. It will be a soft start, so to speak, getting the routine down, figuring out how to get Vegas to orchestra and back, etc.

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On the back burner, I am considering joining the Wild Explorer’s club, {or starting my own club, just for the merit badges}. Anyone know where to get patches made?

Trying to eek every inch out of my tiny office area, Shelley