Friday, March 25, 2011

Field Trips

This week was so packed with activities that I called any formal school off for the week. On Monday, Matthew went with Rachel to Veritas to take the ITBS tests,since Georgia state law requires standardized testing at the end of 3rd, 6th, 9th and 12th grade. On Tuesday we went to another concert at Spivey Hall; this one was an Irish music and dance duo. We have seen them before, a couple of years ago, and really looked forward to seeing them again. I love Irish, Scottish and Celtic music, and Matthew...well...have I ever mentioned Matthew's folk dancing obsession? It is pretty well over with now, but starting from the time he was about 3, Matthew loved to do his own hilariously crazy version of Irish folk dancing / clogging. It was so funny, and I really wish I had some video of it. This lasted until around the age of 10...we were treated daily to a wild display of flying feet and flailing limbs. He definitely knew his reels and jigs! When we went to the Spivey Hall concert, the girl half of the duo was both a fiddle player and a ceili dancer. She was great, and I could see in Matt's eyes that it had rekindled his old flame...when she asked for volunteers his hands flew up faster than a leprechaun disappears with a pot of gold. He was sad not to get chosen to go on stage, just as he had not been chosen the last time we had come to their concert. I felt bad for him, but more than that, it warmed my heart a little and made me smile inside that he is still enough of my little boy (inside a teenager body) to not be ashamed to give in to something the little kid in him wanted to do. The Riverdancer lives on.
Wednesday brought a return to more manly activities for him, as he went to a "Wilderness Class". His teacher revisited some basics he has already learned in Boy Scouts, but that a boy can never really get too much of. He learned about making tinder for fires, using a flint, finding your way out of a forest when you're lost and other survival necessities. Because, as we all know, Henry county can be a savage and desolate wilderness.

A Trip to Greenville, and Gifts #33-35

I seem to be getting in a habit of letting the week get away from me and then making a mad-dash flurry of scribbling down what I can remember of it on my blog. Unfortunately I will end up skipping the important things this way, but at least I will get some of it down! Hoping to keep up with it better next week, but if not....well, life goes on. SO here is last week in speed-reading format:

Abbie got sick, went to the doctor early Monday morning so that we could still go on the trip to Aunt Karen's. It turned out that she had a double ear infection. Went home, finished packing, went to Publix where I had to buy a giant styrofoam Crimson Tide cooler and huge bag of ice just to hold a teeny bottle of amoxicillin. Got on the road, made it to Aunt Krinny's (Krinny is the nickname everyone calls my sister Karen) safely (that's Gift #33). Goofed around in Aunt Krinny's yard.

There is just something about hanging around Aunt Krinny that brings out the very silly side of all of us!

Abbie was still sick:

Once Abbie felt better (gift # 34: antibiotics), we went to the mall. Aunt Krinny was amazed (and dare I say, disturbed?) that my kids have not been to the mall since the last time we visited her. We just don't do the mall. How sad for them.
They were so thrilled that they decided to pose as mannequins in the Coldwater Creek window:

We went to McDonald's for lunch, and then to the park to play on the playground:

We played lots (and LOTS ) cow racing on the Wii. I was very resistant to branch out from the cow game, but the kids did eventually convince me to try fishing and ping-pong. Believe it or not, this is the first time I have really used a Wii, even though we have had ours for a year and a half!
This is when I make my exit to go to the homeschool conference (which could be gifts # 35-50, but we will just say it is # 35). The kids continued to party down in ways that I will probably never know the full extent of, because that Aunt Krinny is a real wild card! (Aunt Krinny: loving my kids,ordering a 31 bag from my online party,sharing her Cokes with me: gift #36) I have heard, though, that they had a Just Dance dance-off,

went and bought a kiddie-pool to play in, and stayed up late to make s'mores.

Matthew had fun playing with my camera around the fire, maybe he has found a new creative outlet?

This has turned out to be much longer than a blog post should be. I have got to start keeping up!

Friday, March 11, 2011

A Recap

How to recap this week? Well, technically, this week and a half? I don't honestly know where to begin. Life is so action-packed these days. You know I always love to quote Ferris Bueller..."You blink, and you just might miss it." Rachel and I were talking about the same thing on the way to our Veritas graduation meeting. We were listening to that song by Revive, whose lyrics say something like"It happens in a blink, it happens in a flash, it happens in the time it takes to look back. We try to hold on tight but there's no stopping time, what is it I've done with my life?" Anyhoo, I digress. This week was slam full of happenings. Things to pray for. Bad news, sad news, the most joyful of news. Things to be thankful for.

I will start with March 3, Rachel's birthday:

We had just a small celebration at home. I am holding back on too much gushing about Rachel, because as I mentioned before, graduation is coming... 'nuff said.

March 5, 2011:
Beautiful baby Madison Renee was born!

My wonderful daughter-in-law Abby came through in tough, strong military-wife fashion and gave birth to my very first grandchild this week. To say this is a happy, sweet, exciting time for our family is such an understatement; we are so thankful that it wasn't too hard on Abby, that Maddie was born perfectly healthy, and that she has such loving and capable parents to take care of her and love her! (Maddie deserves a post all her own so that will be forthcoming!)

Children are starting to wake and to stir so I will sum up more quickly than planned: This week was full of heartache for friends with very sick children, news of cancer, frustration over not being able to visit Washington, spraying pipes, a round two for the Literary Tea at Veritas,

(only got one picture this year, it was a little crazy that day!)

and so many other things, that it has all become a blur. Getting back to the first part of this all flies by. In a blink. But day by day, God is making me more thankful, for the good but also for the bad. In ALL things we will worship Him, for there is no end to what He does to care for us, to nurture us, to teach us. With this in mind, I have some more gifts to thank Him for...

#25 that He answers prayers. That He bows down to hear even the prayers that we can only whisper.

#26 for beautiful, sweet, baby girls wrapped up in love.

#27 there are still people around who are compassionate, and are willing to cut you a great deal on a plumbing job!

#28 for a great school like Veritas, whose leaders and teachers are whole-heartedly, sold-out committed firstly to education centered on Christ, and secondly education that values some of those old paths that are "out of fashion".

#29 that the Lord is a comfort to those who are hurting, and that He knows how to take our hurt and worry from us even when we don't know how to give it up to Him.

#30 for amazing healthcare that allows us to know the nature of a problem within days, not weeks or months as it is in some parts of the world.

#31 Walks with my kids

#32 Flowers on the windowsill, freshly picked (from the neighbor's tree, haha!) by Irene.

Monday, March 7, 2011

So far this year...

I am beginning to wish that I did blog more about our homeschooling...I am always trying to find a way to keep a good record of what we are doing and have done. I find that keeping the lists and the paperwork about who completed what curriculum is easy, but it is the memories that are difficult to preserve. We tend to so quickly forget, and even when I stop, close my eyes, and tell myself that I am pressing this moment into my memory to hang onto, it doesn't stay! So I thought I would stop in to give a super-fast, very cursory glance over what we have done this year. We are using My Father's World curriculum, their Exploring Countries and Cultures program. I say that loosely. Every week that they have scheduled ends up to be 3 weeks for us. If it isn't that we fail to get to it, it's that we get so interested that we aren't ready to move on yet. A brief (although a bit boring, I'm sure!) recap: First, we toured the U.S.,where we learned about, well that stuff we already pie, baseball and the Stars and Stripes. We made a quick tour through Mexico where we learned about deserts and then got on to the good stuff...a visit to San Diego's Mexican Restaurant for some chicken flautas and quesadillas. We then moved into Canada where we read about two dogs and a cat that make their way across Canada in search of home (The Inredible Journey), watched Anne of Green Gables (thanks to my dear friend Jessica ) and read Paddle to the Sea. After that, it was time to pull out the passports and head down to South America, first stop, Brazil. We learned about Pele, the rainforests, el Carnival, and read a biography on Nate Saint. We are now camped out in Norway. We can't seem to move on, I think that I must have a mental block and want to stay there since my ancestry is mostly Scandinavian. I am enjoying it, and the girls especially are too, since we got these nifty paper dolls...

who are affectionately called Karen and Eric-Lars around here. In this particular scene, it was harvest time. Says Irene. If you have made it this far, let me just say you must be a loyal friend! I just wanted to get these things down, so that I don't forget. Before I go, I would feel guilty if I didn't post Abbie's picture, too...they spent a lot of time staging these photos, which they took all by themselves!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Spivey Hall

Last week we went on a field trip to Spivey Hall, to see the Atlanta Opera perform "The Pirates of Penzance". Now, before you start to think we are getting high falutin' (is that even really a word?) over here, bear in mind that this is an extremely cheap field trip (they regularly have kids' concerts of all types for $1 per person), and is also an attempt to make up for the lack of culture that sadly exists in our household the other 29 days a month. The kids LOVE them, and although Matthew is getting a bit too "cool" on the outside, he still enjoys going. As a bonus, it's always fun to feed the ducks and have a picnic afterwards!

We went down by the lake to a bench to eat our picnic lunch, which the geese, swans and ducks quickly caught wind of:

News travels fast in the bird world, and Irene looked across the lake and saw a flock of about 100 ducks swimming fast toward us,

so most of the kids high-tailed it on out of there! Abbie wasn't skeered...she waited for them to get there. It is only because her mother has previously been scarred from an angry quacking duck mob scene that she gave in and left before most of the the ducks got there.
We walked around the ponds a little bit more, acted goofy, and then packed it in for the day.

If you are interested, they have a couple left this school year, the next one we are signed up for is a Celtic music duo..

Blogger friends, help me...I tried to use the "insert link" function but the link never showed up in the actual post unless I just pated it in directly, thus with no "click-ability". What did I do wrong?