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

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

This and That...

...Job News...
Ugh. So I posted last time about my job at the junior college being frozen due to decreased revenue. No summer work, and as it turns out, no fall work either. So I had to scramble to find something to keep ends meeting. I started working at Whole Foods a couple of weeks ago. At first, I wasn't sure if it would work out, even for the summer, as I was getting very minimal hours, as in about 10 each week. I applied, and interviewed, for a couple of other jobs, with no real success. Thankfully, today I had my first evaluation, which went very well, and I picked up a lot more hours for next week. By the time I got home from work today, they had called to see if I wanted more hours this week too, since they "really like" me. Of course I said YES! Phew!

I also have a job interview next Tuesday for an instructional assistant position in a middle school. If I can get that, and work as a tutor at the local university in the fall, I may be able to quit grocery again. We shall see!

...Job Training News...
I also mentioned that The Boy will be doing some job training soon. He'll be working in the café at the teen club, and will be learning interviewing skills, resumé building, etc. This program is free to club members, and comes with a $200 stipend at the end. He's got plans for that money already... buying an engine for his 1972 Chevy pickup... or perhaps rebuilding the engine it has, though option A seems more likely. He might also use a little of the money for barista training, so he can work on getting a job.

...In Our Homeschooling...
I've asked the kids to take on more responsibility for their schoolwork. I'm making a weekly assignment sheet, and they have from Saturday mornings to the following Friday at noon to get it all done. Of course, I am available for assistance, and we still read our book of the moment and watch documentaries together, but they will be doing their math, other reading, and writing largely on their own. We've also added audiobooks back into our circulation! We're going to finally finish the Percy Jackson series, then listen to The Lord of the Rings. I'm in the process of updating our Afternoon Basket page at last!

...Around the House, Kitchen, and Garden...
Since I'm working shifts that are all over the place, and M puts in 10-12 hour days, I'm working again on actually meal planning. We have a few vegetarian/plant-based dinners a week now, both for health and to save money, and then some meat a few times a week. I need to put my crockpot to good use!

We have a list of things to be done before mid-fall too, like tarring the family room roof to help with leaks, rototilling a big chunk of the backyard and amending the soil, etc. The Boy and The Girl will have to be my primary helpers. Decluttering continues, especially after we've started watching the documentary Minimalism.

We planted several tomatoes this year, along with plenty of peppers and onions, some squash, and some lemon cucumbers. All are thriving! The above-mentioned rototilling is part of our plan to put in a real garden next spring at long last.

...Random Pictures...
Just some recent and random pictures to wrap up this post!

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Waiting for fireworks

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A recent leaf drawing by The Girl

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A trip to the beach on the fourth

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Meet Ted, our new caterpillar!

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Summer Stuff...

A run-down of what we've been up to, and a few pictures...

The kids won a month's free skating, so they've been skating once or twice a week.

We fixed all the bicycles, so there's been a lot of that too.

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My bicycle

I've been working out 3-4 days a week, plus doing steep hill walks with my sister, and regular walks with The Girl and her dog.

We spent a lovely afternoon out at the coast...

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The "creek" that runs out into the ocean

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Dunes, beach grass, cypress, and waves

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A giant dune that we scrambled up a dozen times, and rolled and jumped and slid and ran back down

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Sandcastle in progress

You can see how pretty and sunny it was, and then we drove 45 minutes home into a thunder-and-hail storm. Just crazy!

We've been reading The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, and really, really enjoying it. We watched part one of Peter Jackson's movie version, and we all agreed... while we do love the LoTR movies, we just don't feel the same love for The Hobbit films. There was just far too much extra stuff added. ONE movie, that followed the book, would have been so much better.

Documentary watching has been half hit, half miss. We're enjoying our history selections, but haven't started science ones yet. That's okay. We will get there, and we've basically come to accept that we are year-round homeschoolers anyway.

Math is going pretty well. The Boy likes his Great Courses algebra lectures quite a lot. The Girl is making great progress through the Prodigy math game, where I set up problems several times a week to match her textbook.

The kids have taken to biking to the teen club, which saves me time... and gas. They visit it once or twice a week, and spend almost all their time in the art room. The Boy might be doing a job training program there soon, and they both want to take barista training.

I'm taking a very intensive Spanish course at the moment.... online. One semester of Spanish covered in only six weeks. So far, I've kept up. The Boy is teaching himself computer coding (I think javascript at the moment), and The Girl is working on her butterfly identification skills.

I'm also on the hunt for a job, as my position at the junior college has been frozen due to decreased revenue. I was supposed to start back next week, but that is not to be so at this time. I don't know about fall yet, though I am still hopeful. I may fall back on my grocery experience for the summer. Thankfully M is working a gazillion hours, so we're scraping by.

We're hoping to get out to the coast, and the river, soon. We have FOUR boogie boards now, so that will be fun! I plan on teaching the kids to grill -- they've been taking turns once a week to cook a dinner start to finish, and grilling in this weather would be nice.

And there's housework, decluttering, a recent return to fencing (The Boy), and gardening. I have tomatoes, squash, lemon cucumbers, peppers, and loads of herbs going now!

Hope anyone who reads this is having a lovely summer so far! Here are a couple of random pictures to wrap things up, then I'm off to make breakfast.

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The local lake during my early morning trail run last week
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A two hat kind of day