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Fall Break

October 20, 2014

Normally we don’t follow the public school calendar in regard to breaks.  It’s so much more fun to travel when everyone else is in school!  But my extended family planned a family reunion in Moab this weekend, right during fall break, so I made an exception and made some travel plans.  In my head anyway.  DH didn’t know for sure if he could go with us until about a week or two ago so I didn’t make any concrete plans because I just wasn’t sure if I was up to traveling to Moab with five children by myself.

But the planets aligned and DH got someone to work his Friday night shift so we could get serious about a vacation.  I think this was the longest we’ve been able to get away since we went to Boston three years ago.  And it was a well needed break.

First we drove to Cedar City on Wednesday to catch one of the last performances of Sherlock Holmes: The Final Adventure at the Shakespeare Festival.  D didn’t want to go, so originally we were going to send him and the younger two to the festival childcare. But Little A had been kind of clingy and fussy during the last little week so we decided she’d be much happier staying with Daddy.  So I ended up taking just A and C to Sherlock Holmes (which was wonderful.)  One day DH and I will actually be able to go to the theater together instead of trading off children.

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Before the play though, we were able to hit the swimming pool.  C and D are showing off the “school photo pose” they just learned from Studio C as they wait to go down to the pool.

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Little A got a big closet to sleep in.

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She also discovered toilet paper.

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In fact she discovered a lot on this trip.  She finally figured out how to get herself from lying on the floor to sitting up, and she was also fascinated by the bottom dresser drawers that could be pulled out.  She tried to get up on her knees and climb over them.  I think this girl’s a mover; she wants to get up and go.

Thursday morning we drove over to Bryce Canyon.  Normally on vacations, I seem to be blessed with a double dose of patience for dealing with all the stresses of travel with children and being in close quarters for hours on end and the disruptions to our comfort zones.  But I just about lost it on this journey.  We were trying to listen to our book on cd and E would not stop asking questions.  I wished he could read so I could have typed out an itinerary and told him to just read it.  It was nonstop–

Where are we going?  When will we get there? Where will we eat lunch?  Where will we sleep?  Will we eat breakfast there?   When are we going home?  What day is it tomorrow?  Where will we go then?  What’s the day after that?  Where will I sleep that day?  Where will we eat?  Then what?  And then what?  

Over and over and over again.  And he never asks Daddy.  It’s always, “Mom?”  After turning off the book on cd one too many times to answer a question I’d already answered at least twice before, I’d had enough.  Luckily we were just about to Bryce and E finally understood that Mommy needed some peace and quiet for a bit.

It was so good to get out of that car.

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A couple from Vermont pulled up in their camper right after we took this picture.  We asked the boys to come back to the car so others could take photos, but this couple said it was alright–they’d love to have our boys in their photo.  They were missing their four grandsons who live in Virginia and it was the wife’s birthday and she said her best birthday present so far was to see our four energetic boys and have a nice conversation with us.  It was nice.  They’d been at Bryce for ten days and were headed down to the Grand Canyon next.

We got into the park just in time to have a picnic lunch.  Then the boys wanted to hike.  But E looked over the edge and didn’t want to hike down at all, so DH told me to take the older three and he’d stay with E and Little A.  I think he could tell I still needed some time away from a certain 4-year-old.  We hiked down from Sunset Point on the Navajo Loop into an area called Wall Street which was a very narrow canyon with lots of switchbacks on the trail taking us down to the bottom of the canyon.  For some reason I was thinking it was rated an easier trail, but it definitely wasn’t!

Here’s a photo from another trip, looking down into Wall Street:

Looking down into Wall Street

We hiked clear to the bottom!

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And found this amazing tree.

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I’ve never hiked down that far into Bryce Canyon before and it was different to experience the hoodoos and the rock formations from the bottom of the canyon.  Of course once you’re down, you have to hike back up to the top.

As we were coming up by Thor’s Hammer, some guys wanted to know if we were from around here.  They were impressed at how fast we were hiking.  I said we were from Salt Lake City, which I didn’t think was that high (I googled it to find out we’re at about 4230 ft.) but they said they were coming from sea level so I had to admit we were probably a little more acclimated.  A and C really were going quickly.  We finished the loop in about an hour.  Personally I thought I might die before I reached the top.  That’s the most strenuous thing I’ve done since before I got pregnant with Little A.

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D and I had to stop and rest in the shade before the last two (very steep) switchbacks.
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The view from the top:

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E and Little A kept each other (and I understand, several tour groups) entertained while we were gone.

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Then we drove out to Bryce Point, where we tried to get all five children to look at the camera:

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It kind of worked.

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And then to Fairyland Canyon:

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At this point, we were all ready for more food and Little A was in need of a nap, so we headed into Tropic for pizza.  Then the boys wanted to swim some more, so Little and A and I had some girl time alone.  We ended the night with driving back to Bryce Point to look at the stars.  Bryce Canyon is one of the darkest and therefore best places in North America for star gazing.  We found the Big and Little Dippers, but not much else.  We should have brushed up on our constellations beforehand.  I have a cool night sky app, but left my phone in the car and didn’t want to disturb the other people there by opening the car door again. It took us long enough to get everyone out in the first place.  DH’s star app wasn’t nearly as helpful.  It was really cold besides, and both E and D were ready to be done in a hurry, so we headed back for some well-earned rest.

Part 2 coming up!

 

September School

October 12, 2014

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And some October school.  See, I knew I couldn’t keep up with a weekly report.  But we have a pretty good routine going, although the mornings are never as smooth as I want and I always wish we could start an hour or so earlier.  DH is now finished with his early morning and late night trainings at work so hopefully he’ll start getting the boys up to exercise early in the morning again which will jumpstart our days.

Here’s what we’ve been up to:

Five in a Row:  I haven’t found a good way to fit this in, but we’ve managed to row one and a half books.  For The Story of Ping, we studied China and colored a map and a flag, and learned about ducks and their waterproof feathers, and buoyancy.  For Madeline, we talked about France and found the Eiffel Tower on Google Earth. There’s still so much more I want to do with this book. Visiting the ducks at Liberty Park:

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We also did a “science spearmint” to see what things would float.  He didn’t predict very accurately but thought it was great fun to see things sink to the bottom.

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Math: A finished up Life of Fred Pre-Algebra with Economics this week and is slowly working through Dolciani Algebra.  So far, so good.  C is moving right along in Singapore 5A, although we had one meltdown over long division.  (Long division always causes meltdowns around here for some reason!)  D has started working with decimals and so far, so good.

Spelling: Spelling is going well for C and D.  (Yay!  First time ever I’ve been able to say that.) It’s still on the easy side so I let them get out of quite a bit of the repetitious writing and spell aloud instead, but I can see that as the words get harder, they’ll need the written practice.  And the dictation sentences at the end of each level are hilarious. I’ll have to go back and see what some of my favorites have been.  We laugh quite a bit over them.  I like spelling books with a sense of humor.  A doesn’t do spelling; he’s a natural speller.  Every once in a while I’ll find a misspelled word and point it out to him, but that’s rare.

Grammar: A says he’s bored reading through his grammar book which is, in good part, a repeat of last year’s.  But review is always good.  C and D have been reading through Grammar Town, but we took this week off because of their writing program–

Writing: I started Treasured Conversations, a new writing program, with both C and D.  So far it’s just a grammar review so we’ve been speeding through the first few weeks on nouns and action verbs.  A is slowly getting back into the habit of writing with Writing With Skill 2.  Though it’s written to the student, I’m starting to realize it’s not meant to be as independent as we’ve been treating it, and I feel like I need to sit down and read ahead of where he is so I’ll know what he’s supposed to be doing.  Although I feel like I hardly have a spare moment these days to stay caught up with life, let alone get ahead!

Literature: I wish I had an extra hour in the day just to read aloud.  We’re trying multiple read alouds at the moment, but somedays we just don’t have time for them all.  Currently we’re working on The Narrative of Frederick Douglass and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn for our literature list, Elijah of Buxton for book club, and we’re listening to Little Women in the car now after finishing up A Little Princess.  I’m not quite sure what they’re reading individually; they’re keeping their own book lists this year which I will then use to periodically update our school reading list on the blog.

Latin: C did quite terribly on his first quiz covering some of what he worked on this summer, so we did a lot more studying and when he repeated that quiz, he got everything right.  Same thing for A, although I didn’t have him repeat the quiz.  (I probably should have.)  His main problem is the vocabulary.  He’s got all the different endings and cases down for his translations if he could just come up with the correct Latin word in the first place.  His excuse is that the flashcards are all messed up (which is true) so he hasn’t been reviewing them.  I have flashcards for three different programs in four (?) piles and they all look the same.  I thought they were all sorted out last year so I’m not sure what went wrong.  One of my projects soon is to sort them all out and label them Latina Christiana, First Form, or Second Form, before we even think of adding Third Form to the mix!  D is doing great with Latina Christiana. He’s up to lesson 5.  He loves the games in Ludere Latine and has figured out how to conjugate verbs quite easily.  I like that it requires a lot more writing from him.  His work this year (in all things) has required him to step up a bit and he’s meeting the challenge and doing well.

Memory: We’re usually halfway through the day when I remember memory work, or rather remember that we forgot to do it, but we’re on our third memory verse and working on the Gettysburg Address as well.

Science: This keeps us busy.  A is working on Physical Science by himself and is doing quite well, although it takes him about three weeks to do each module rather than the recommended two.  I’m hoping he’ll go a little faster the more he gets into it.  Meanwhile I read Chemistry/Physics with C and D.  And do experiments almost every other paragraph it seems like.  There are a lot of experiments in this book! The boys love them though.  Here are pictures of just a few:

Making tin foil boats and seeing how many pennies they could hold before sinking:

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Yeast producing gas to blow up a balloon:

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Trapping air inside a glass inside a pitcher of water so the wadded up paper in the glass didn’t get wet (learning about states of matter)OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I think this was yeast dissolved in hydrogen peroxide, or science in our socks:

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Also science in our pajamas (at noon) and only one kid wearing protective eyegear.  There are a few improvements we could make here . . .

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We also learned about non-Newtonian fluids with cornstarch/water goo.  The boys were fascinated by how it was a solid when pressure was applied to it, then turned into liquid when pressure was removed.  And anything that makes this big of a mess is always a hit!

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They’ve also made several flapbooks and other assorted items for their notebooks and even wrote a play about Archimedes figuring out the volume of the king’s crown.  Science is definitely a hit this year.

History: We’ve read the first five or six chapters of Story of the World so far and had two history club meetings.  Our first one focused on Queen Victoria and her Great Exhibition.  We had a homeschool great exhibition and everybody brought all kinds of things to “show and tell.”  C made a Crystal Palace replica on Minecraft as one of his projects.  I feel like we’re rushing through world history.  We read something about England, Crimean War, Japan, China, Africa, India, and Italy before coming back to the U.S. for the Civil War, which is where we’re camping out for a while.  Our history club this week was all about the Civil War.  The kids all talked about something they’ve studied, we did a read-aloud play about Mary Chestnut and the attack on Fort Sumter, and had sweet potato pie, cornbread, gingerbread, stewed apples, and hardtack.  Which wasn’t all that hard.  C made it while I was at orchestra Tuesday night and it turned out a lot softer and more edible than I remember it from last time we were in the 1860s.

One of the other moms made out the schedule for history club which calls for reading about five chapters of Story of the World a month so we’ll be sure to finish it by May.  I can see that we’re already behind and we’re not ready to leave the Civil War yet.  We may take a few weeks and just read a lot of world history so we can camp out in American history where we feel like it and still have something ready for history club with the others.  We’re still figuring out just how to do history this year anyway.  All the boys have timelines and mapwork and I’m trying to give them more time just to read.  Apparently it’s working.  D just brought me a stack of about 15 Civil War books he’s already read on his own and A just finished reading The Killer Angels this week so we could watch the movie Gettysburg this weekend.  Between that and Frederick Douglass, we’ve had some good discussions together lately.  I’m liking the maturing minds I get to work with around here.

And then there’s the baby (in the kepi) who always keeps life interesting.

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FHE surprise

October 2, 2014

It’s no secret that we love Studio C around here.  C was overjoyed to get to see the cast and get a pair of “Jeremy” glasses from the BYUtv booth at Rootstech last winter.  His dream is to go to a live taping eventually.

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Because I’ve been sucked into facebook a little too much lately, I just happened to see that the cast of Studio C was hosting a premiere party in Provo this week where they would show the first episode of Season 5 on a big screen outdoors.   I convinced DH that we should go for a fun evening.  Even though he hates crowds, he agreed to go and ended up having a really great time.  There were probably several thousand people there, but he said he felt much safer than he would have in a similar size crowd in downtown Salt Lake City.  There’s that clean-cut BYU atmosphere for you!

We didn’t tell the boys where we were going for Family not-Home Evening, and they about went crazy trying to guess, especially as I told them to bundle up warmly.  It turned relatively cold over the weekend and I didn’t want anyone to freeze.  We just pulled all the fall/winter clothes out of storage and realized Little A needs a winter coat.  Luckily she does have a jacket and plenty of blankets, and it wasn’t that freezing cold quite yet, even after the sun went down.

As we got to Provo and drove past the BYU broadcasting building, C was sighing about how he wished he could see Studio C in person.  They had no clue where we were going until we got to the park and finally saw a sign for Studio C.  I don’t really like surprises myself (and apparently D takes after me), but I love to be the one pulling the surprise on everybody else.  It was fun to see their faces.  We walked down and found a pretty good space where we could see the screen.  The cast came out and answered some fan questions that had been asked online and gave away some free stuff, then sat down to join us all in watching the first episode, which was of course hilarious.  I can’t wait to watch it again next Monday night!  We love their good clean brand of humor.

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(bad iphone photo)

But as much as we love Studio C, we really need some help in the dinner conversation department because as I noticed tonight, the majority of the dinner table talk at our house consists of quoting Studio C, Calvin and Hobbes and other assorted comics, or movies.  I’ve already banned Star Wars talk at the table because I was sick of it.  I’ve never been a great conversationalist and besides I’m too busy trying to feed myself plus a baby.  I need some new ideas for stimulating mealtime conversation.  Any ideas?

I also need a massage or something.  Since I didn’t have orchestra rehearsal last night, C cashed in one of his birthday coupons, and he and I went roller skating ($2 on Tuesdays!) for an hour.  Where I used muscles I haven’t used in ages.  My whole body hurts today!  But that’s probably also because I got tripped up by my own skates once on a turn and fell.  Hard.  Harder than I’ve fallen in years.  So now I’m in pain and waiting for skin to grow back on a few body parts.

Sigh . . . welcome to October!

D S C H

September 28, 2014

24 hours later and the Shostakovich will not leave my head!

D E-flat C B-natural.  D E-flat C B. D E-flat C B.

E-flat is ‘Es’ and B-natural is ‘H’ in German; thus spelling out DSCH for Dmitri Schostakowitsch.  (In German, B-flat is called ‘B’ which makes no sense to me, but then Bach can also spell his name in notes: B-flat A C B-natural)

DSCH.  DSCH.  DSCH. 

It was his personal musical motif and it’s quite prevalent in his Symphony #10 which we played last night in celebration of our conductor’s tenth season with us.  (So technically, DSCH has been running through my head for the last five weeks since we began rehearsals. Go play it on the piano and it will be stuck in your head too; it’s catchy!)

This was one of the most difficult pieces we’ve performed, and one reason I love my orchestra is that we can even attempt works like this.  Many community orchestras can’t even dream of playing Shostakovich.  While it wasn’t a perfect performance, I feel like we did it justice and it was tremendous fun!  Dissonant, crazy fast, insane in spots, but always fun! And surprisingly tonal in places, even when the key signature was five flats and every other note had a natural or a sharp next to it!  I felt really good about my own part in it, despite not practicing all summer and trying to build up my endurance again for the 55+ minute feat.

I was practicing yesterday morning and E asked when I would be done “prac-sti-sting.”  I told him I’d be done in a few minutes and he then said, “It’s sounding really good!”  He’s getting so much more articulate these days, although I think he really just wanted me to be done so he could watch a promised movie.  It was pouring rain outside.  I had the windows open and my cello was just soaking up the humidity.  It loves wet weather and always sounds so much better when it rains.  I almost didn’t want to quit practicing, although I also didn’t want to overdo it and not have any energy left for the concert.

I will actually miss practicing this piece, although DH and the boys will probably enjoy a break from the sounds of Soviet oppression.  The second movement in particular is a quite terrifying musical portrait of the Stalin years.   Our next concert is Dvorak and Beethoven, which will be a little easier on the ears.

We’re playing quite a few amazing pieces this season: Dvorak Symphony #8, Mendelssohn’s Italian Symphony, Haydn’s Creation oratorio, Finlandia, and the Beethoven Violin Concerto.  I’m still figuring out just how to balance practicing with homeschooling with baby with general upkeep of hearth and home.  I don’t expect to ever get it figured out; it’s just one more challenge, but it’s good to get back to playing.

Now to get something a little less crazy stuck in my head.  It could take a while; A and C are also singing Shostakovich today.  I’ve corrupted them.

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Baby A is mesmerized by the cello, no matter what I play.  She had a fit the other night because DH was trying to put her to bed and I was out practicing and she knew it!  She was not happy and he finally had to bring her back out until I was finished.

Little A at 8 months

September 22, 2014

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She goes by Little A, Baby A, Sweetheart, Sweetie, Sweetness, Blue Eyes, Little Missy, Missy (most often), and now Messy.

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She certainly loves her food!  Some of it anyway.  Vegetables aren’t that exciting although squash with butter and parmesan cheese in it tonight was a hit. Banana was pretty much the best thing ever, at least until we introduced her to yogurt.  Still no teeth though.  She drooled for months and I thought for sure they’d come in early, but no.  At least she’s quit drooling now.

Her latest nickname is Screech Owl.  If you aren’t putting food in that little mouth fast enough, oh boy, will she let you know about it!  There’s a set of lungs on this kid!  Unfortunately she’s now trying out her voice at church as well.  She has things to say; someday we’ll figure out just what.

She’s quite adept at getting up on her hands and knees and rocking back and forth, but there’s no real crawling yet.  She has the low army crawl down pat though and she gets around!  At home we really ought to put her in a microfiber apron.  Then her clothes wouldn’t get nearly so dirty and I wouldn’t have to sweep as often.  Win-win!

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I’ve been trying all day to get a good picture of her that shows off all of her spunky personality, but this child never holds still!  I take that back, she will sit on the grass.  I think she’s afraid to crawl on it.

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Here are the many faces of Little A, just from today:

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She is one of the happiest babies I have ever seen and she is so sweet.  Not much gets her down, and she is so loved and adored!

Coming up for air

September 18, 2014

Wow, September’s halfway over already.  We’re in our third week of school, and I already feel swamped by just about everything.  There’s the concert I have next weekend and the attendant practicing which I just can’t do whenever I feel like it. Three other budding musicians juggle their time in the music room during waking hours and although some of my best practice time comes around 11 p.m., the fact that the boys are currently sleeping in the living room (long story) is hampering that somewhat.

Then there’s Little A, who for the first time in weeks, slept in past 5:20 a.m. today.  She did actually wake up at 5:20, but believed DH for once when he told her it was too early to be getting up.  I’ve heard it said that parenthood is just one giant experiment to see what prolonged sleep deprivation will do to a person.  It’s doing a number on me; I can tell you that!

The boys have not been exercising for the past 6 weeks and they really need to!  I think our days would run a little smoother if they could burn off some energy first thing, but DH is still teaching these training classes at obscene hours.  Either he’s back at work from 10 to midnight like right now, or he’s up at 4 a.m. and teaching a 5 a.m. class.  Somedays he’s there until midnight and in at 5:00 the next morning.  Don’t do the math; take my word for it that he’s not getting enough sleep.  Supposedly he’ll be done with this assignment in two weeks.  I can’t wait!  And mornings on my end (see baby above) haven’t facilitated getting the boys up to exercise.

Weekends have gotten better though.  DH and another guy have been working 6 hours each on Saturday and 6 hours each on Sunday.  They finally put their heads together and asked why couldn’t they work 12 hours in one day and take the other day off?  Their supervisor said ok, so now they switch which day they work every weekend and get either Saturday or Sunday completely off.  It’s amazing.  DH has a day off.  We don’t quite know what to do with ourselves!  But I am sure looking forward to Saturday this week!  And regardless of his day off, DH’s also not covering for the Sunday morning guy any more, so he can come to church with us every Sunday, at least for the first two hours.  It was so weird to hand off the baby to him and only have to worry about my calling in Primary without her last Sunday.

Especially because she has got that low-army-crawl down!  And she is fast!  She doesn’t hold still for a second these days.  We’ve lost her several times.  And she eats paper whenever she can find it.  We lost half a page of Challenging Word Problems, and today she was doing her best to digest some red post-it notes.  The boys are slowly learning not to leave their school work out on the living room floor.

We really love morning naptime!

And with that, school is actually going pretty well.  I’d always love to start earlier, but for now that’s life.  We’re still walking our friend’s dog after lunch, so that’s a nice outside break in the middle of the day, although it makes our afternoons go a little later than I would like.  There’s a very short space to time to run errands, fix dinner, and do any kind of school prep for the next day, because it won’t happen after dinner because oh yeah, Little Missy was getting a little too adept at peeking over the side of her bassinet so we finally had to take it out and let her sleep in the bottom of her pack-n-play instead.  And it messed with her world!  So for the past I don’t know how many days, in addition to the 5:20 a.m. wakeup calls, we’ve also been up with her until 11 p.m or so helping her finally settle down enough to sleep.

And by then my brain is dead.  Anything that needed to be done is forgotten.  And it’s time to go to bed so I can do it all over again the next day.  Or because I can never go to bed by myself, wait until DH comes home at midnight, which he just did, so I’m signing off now.

But not without a cute picture of Missy, which is almost a month old, because although I’ve taken pictures lately, I haven’t found time to download them.

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Weekly Report #1

September 8, 2014

Although I think I’ll strive for monthly reports from here on out.  But then DH works every Friday night so you’d think I could crank out a weekly blog post while he’s gone along with my usual paying the bills, updating the budget, and laundry.  Such a glamorous life . . .

I’m not even sure we could call this a week of school.  Two days’ worth, maybe.  So we started back into our school routine on Tuesday and promptly remembered why I don’t like starting the day after Labor Day.  We’re always out of town on Labor Day, so I came home and tried to get my brain back into school mode to remember everything I still needed to get ready for the next day.  (DH gave us each a blessing though to begin the year with before we went to bed Monday night which was a nice beginning.)  After a long first day of school, I had to go to orchestra rehearsal Tuesday night and get my mushy brain to concentrate on music for 2 1/2 hours.  After not practicing much over the summer, I might add.

Wednesday was a full day again with school, taking dinner to a neighbor who had surgery, and having the missionaries over to get to know us.  Then we were back at Grandma’s house for cello lessons on Thursday.  The boys managed an hour or so of bookwork before we left, but other than that Thursdays mostly consist of piano lessons with Poppa and listening to our book on cd in the car.  This week we also went swimming with Grandma and Poppa at an end of summer pool party.  The weather was cooler which actually made the water feel a lot warmer and everybody had a great time.  Little A especially loved sitting in the water and kicked and splashed nonstop.  I wish I’d taken pictures.

Swimming must have worn us out because we sure had a hard time getting going Friday morning.  We had time for breakfast before needing to leave for our homeschool park day, during which I had to leave to drive E to his first Kindermusik class.  Then back to the park, then back to pick him up, then back to the park . . . we planned this particular park with that in mind since it was only a few blocks away, but still.  After lunch and dog walking, I must have been looking particularly worn out because DH suggested I take a nap and I actually did.  For two and a half hours!  I think fall allergies are upon me.  I think A did math while I was down, but C had scouts at 2:30 and didn’t do any more work, and thus I can see that Fridays are going to be a challenge.  Luckily park days are every other week and will only go through October, if that.

Yesterday we went to a cousin’s baptism and her little sister’s baby blessing before having a Stake Conference meeting at the church where Little A discovered her screaming voice and I spent a good portion of the meeting in the “quiet” room.  We left her with her brothers after that and DH and I went on a rare date for dinner.

Today we had Regional Conference in the Conference Center with Elder Hales and Elder Oaks.  DH had to leave to go to work half way through it so I was on squirmy baby duty and thus didn’t hear as much as I would have liked.  I think it’s important to go anyway, even when I know I will miss some of what is said.  E also had a hard time sitting still, but we survived, and we got to see Arnold Friberg’s Book of Mormon paintings on the way out.  I realized E does not know nearly enough Book of Mormon stories so maybe we’ll start adding those in to our Family Home Evenings.

And school–I was talking about school, wasn’t I?

There’s not much to report yet.  The boys are getting used to their new science books and the workload involved.  I think I will like Apples and Pears spelling, but I’m not so sure about the boys!  More writing is involved, but then that’s .  A and C continued on in their Latin books.  A is doing fine but C needs some serious review on the tenses and which ones use which helping verbs.  I need to help him study and teach him how to study better for the quizzes. Even though D didn’t finish Prima Latina, he opted to begin Latina Christiana instead as it covers all the same vocabulary words.  I think a step up will be good for him.  He needs a little more challenge in his life, and he likes being able to do the dvd lessons all on his own.

Math went well for everybody.  C and D began their new books.  A is juggling the end of Life of Fred Pre-Algebra with his new Dolciani Algebra book and I still need to check up on what he did Friday.  He also began Writing with Skill 2.  C did an outline from Story of the World for writing and I’m still (yes, still) debating on a writing program for D.

We read the first section of Story of the World about Queen Victoria and the Great Exhibition in the Crystal Palace for history.  We have an exhibition planned for history club next week so we’ll be busy pulling things together for that.  We need to add grammar into our week this week and figure out the best time to do Five in a Row with E.  It was a little hit and miss, but then the entire week was hit and miss.  I’m looking forward to a more normal week ahead!

Here are a few pictures from our week:

E gluing his China flag to a notebook page:

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A science experiment that didn’t quite work out.  Anyone know where I can buy clear *non-bendy* straws?

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After conference today, downtown:

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A missionary couple offered to take the same picture with me in it this time, cut E did not want his picture taken again.  He’s hiding quite effectively in this next shot:

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Again, no E!

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And that’s all!  Hopefully this week will be a little calmer, but somehow I know it won’t be!

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