If we value the pursuit of knowledge, we must be free to follow wherever that search may lead ~ Adlai Stevenson

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Tomorrow, Tomorrow...

You're only a day away.

Tomorrow we start our new academic year! Sundays will be our lighter days, with geography, art, music, Shakespeare, and the like. So today's plan is to get as ready as possible... library (forgot they are closed for Labor Day weekend), crafts/art supplies store, and getting our baskets organized, writing up Cyrus's first weekly planner (and one for Cassia, and one for their studies together), find my Kindle, etc. I even have a special breakfast planned, though I am swapping out these amazing strawberries (minus the agave) for jam.

While many of our books have arrived, I totally forgot to order The Giggly Guide to Grammar until this morning, and Cyrus's prealgebra books have gone awry. Unfortunately, the seller transposed 2 digits in my zip code, so the books went to another city entirely, arriving and being rejected yesterday. Apparently they are back in transit now--I am hoping to my home, and not back to Illinois--though the seller did tell me that if they are returned to her, she will ship them back out via priority mail, at no cost to me. I'm going to have him work in Zacarro's Challenge Math until the new books arrive.  UPDATE: The math books arrived today!! Thanks to the Post Office for rerouting them rather than returning them! I still might have him play around with The Book of Perfectly Perilous Math, perhaps on Sundays (?)

And while I love Drawing: A Complete Course, it seems a little advanced for what I want at the moment, so one of today's library books to be picked up is Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain, though I think my mom might have a copy I'm researching other art lessons focused specifically on drawing. Speaking of my mom and books, Cassia saw a copy of Dr. Dolittle's Puddleby Adventures on a bookshelf there yesterday, and decided that should be her first book of the year (for me to read to her), while Cyrus chose The Phantom Tollbooth and Lord of the Flies as his first assigned book. I have a few chapters left in The Twenty-One Balloons to read aloud, and then we'll start The Princess and the Goblin, or The Marvelous Land of the Snergs... or maybe Black Ships Before Troy.... And I still haven't quite decided if I want to accompany The Human Odyssey with the Famous Men books, OR we might go ahead with The Ancient Greek World.

I do have an artist picked out for our first month of "picture study" -- I simply put printouts (full color) of the artist's work on the fridge, a new one each week, and the kids study it as desired. And for music study, we listen to a composer each month while working on our art projects. We'll be listening to Mozart tomorrow, since it is the last day of the month, and they haven't revealed September's Composer of the Month yet. I might have the kids start watching Leonard Bernstein's Young People's Concerts again too.

I think we're almost ready!

Monday, August 25, 2014

Monday Musings...

First, I'll share a picture of my girl at halftime...

Isn't her new jersey awesome? All the girls on the team really loved them--a big move up from logo'd t-shirts! I think she looks tough too.

She only got in once in her first game, which turned out to be okay because the visiting team was brutal. We actually thought one broke someone's nose with a shoulder to the face, but thankfully the girl was okay. They were sending girls flying every which way by the second half. Cassia was a bit disappointed not to be on the track more, but she understood that it was her first game, and that's pretty common for that, and she appreciated that her coaches had concerns for her safety. Afterwards, she did get an awesome "Hey, that was your first game, right?" from another (really good) player, who then added "I'm glad to have you on the team." Really sweet, and it made Cassia feel really good.

She will be skating a lot more in an upcoming game in October. They couldn't find another junior team to play, so they are calling in all the juniors around here and splitting them into two teams for the night, which means the teams will be smaller. She's really looking forward to it already!

The Earthquake...
So at about 3:20 in the morning yesterday, we were rudely awakened by the earth heaving and rolling under us. Not a pleasant sensation. it woke everyone up, and Cyrus told us afterwards that he literally leapt from his loft bed since the shaking freaked him out. There was a blinding flash in the sky (blown transformer? Earthquake lights?), and the power went out for a few seconds. It was the biggest earthquake we've had since 1989's Loma Prieta--which I remember all too clearly and which was much worse--and the first major quake my kids have felt. Thankfully there was no real damage around here, though the town of Napa sustained a fair amount of damage and will be cleaning up for a while.

Outside My Window...
Mornings have been cool and foggy/overcast for a few weeks now, though it clears off to warm and sunny afternoons, usually in the 80s. Everything is crisp, dried out, and golden brown, thanks to the continuing drought. We've had a spot or two of rain here and there, but it never is enough.

Around the House...
We're adjusting to having both M and I working outside the home again. He worked all weekend, and is off today through tomorrow. We'll get his new schedule tomorrow. I need to get my cleaning routine down a bit better, and I need to get rid of more books.

In the Kitchen...
I really need to try out freezer to slow cooker recipes in preparation for Mondays, generally our most tightly scheduled day, as I work until noon, have a class from 4-6:30, and Cyrus has fencing at 7. Today I took the day off from work to take my dad in for a kidney scan, so I can cook ahead for tonight. I did make a shrimp & corn chowder recently that was awesome!

Plotting & Planning...
We'll be starting our new academic year in less than a week... if all goes as planned. The kids and I have been hard at work choosing resources, etc. to use for the year, and now I am just hoping all my books will come in on time (or maybe we'll have a later start)! I did get these yesterday, which look fantastic for our Sunday art lessons...







Watching & Reading...
We haven't been watching much besides Xena and Top Gear, but are more than halfway through our second trip through The Twenty One Balloons. I'm still working on my list of read-alouds for the upcoming year, trying to (when possible) alternate good historical fiction with other good fiction.

This Week's Happenings...
I have a class this afternoon. Cyrus has fencing, Cassia has derby practice. there are two more doctor's appointments to take my dad to, and M's work schedule to work into all of this. Should be fun!

Have a good week!