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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

Monday, September 8, 2014

Monday, Monday...

And a busy one at that! I got up early this morning (yes, even earlier than normal on a work day) to prep chili ingredients for the crockpot. I put the beans in to cook, browned the meat and onions and put them in the fridge for later...then realized today is the day PG&E is slated to turn the power off from 9 am until 2:30 this afternoon for line repairs.

Sigh.

I left the beans in the crockpot on high, and am just hoping for the best.

Outside My Window...
We're still having cool, gray mornings, and warm, sunny afternoons. I am actually thankful for the cooler weather so I can start cooking more things like chili, soup, etc. on our busy Mondays. Our yard truthfully looks terrible at this point (thank you, drought), so I am planning on redoing the front yard. I have mostly bushes like rosemary and lavender out there now, in the borders, with a smaller area of what was supposed to be lawn, but is now some brown, dry, crackling ghost of grass. I want to rearrange some of the plants during the winter, add in some great grasses, and put in some gravel (think this, not this) where the lawn once resided. Low maintenance is what I am going for, kind of like this.

In the Kitchen...
The kids have a new favorite -- peanut butter chocolate chip muffins. I actually followed the recipe, except I added a 1/4 cup crunchy peanut butter to the half cup smooth, and threw in a quarter cup of ground flaxseed. And I really want to try this salmon recipe this week, though I am tempted to use coconut milk in place of cream. Hmmmm....

In Our Homeschooling...
Today will be a very minimalistic day. Math, writing/reading, maybe some history, definitely another chapter from our current read-aloud, maybe poetry. During the rest of the week, I hope to add in the few things we didn't get in last week--hands on science, our geography read aloud, grammar, and our nature read aloud. The Boy may add Forces & Motion to Conceptual Physics this week, for the hands-on part.

I decided, since The Girl doesn't quite know all her times tables yet, and The Boy still stumbles over the sevens table, that I would take advantage of the large, blank wall in their bathroom, right across from the toilet. I printed out each table on a full sheet of paper, and taped them all to the bathroom wall. I have to admit this was inspired by the methods used by Frank Gilbreth in Cheaper By The Dozen, when he painted the Morse Code on that bathroom walls!

Our Reading and Watching...
The Girl will probably continue with Blue Planet this week, and The Boy with Into the Unknown. We watched a couple of very brief documentaries on ancient Crete yesterday. We'll finish The Twenty-One Balloons in the next few days, and then our school-time read aloud will be Black Ships Before Troy, which we've started maybe half a dozen times and never finished, but of course that was before the all devouring interest in ancient Greece sprung up! We're continuing The Marvelous Land of the Snergs at bedtime.

On the Agenda...
M is working nearly full-time this week, two days of which were the weekend, so we are learning to juggle multiple schedules, with my classes, fencing, derby, and so on, and on, and on. Nothing special on this week's agenda though! We're considering homeschooling both days of the weekend, if he keeps working them, and dropping Mondays, but this remains to be decided.

And Our Art of the Week...
We tackled monochromatic watercolor landscapes this week, from Art School: A Complete Painter's Course. The step-by-step instructions in this book are very clear, though our "clouds" didn't spread the same way as the demonstrated ones... perhaps our paper wasn't wet enough, or I didn't make the wash thin enough... Anyhow, here they are!

This is The Boy's painting. I love the rainy clouds and the sense of distance he created with the hills and trees.

And this is The Girl's. Her trees to me are fantastic, with a lot of dimension. She thought she could have done much better, but I think it is a great painting!
And mine. I am moderately happy with it!
Hope you all have a good week, and that ours goes more smoothly than I anticipate!

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What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.
Emerson

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