Tuesday, April 1, 2008

September Beginnings - 2007

So, it’s Friday, Sept 7, at 2:15, and my kids are all out in the yard trying to knock a caterpillar nest out of a tree. They are shooting rubber-suction-tip arrows at it. I don’t think they will succeed, but they are outside, playing, getting along with each other, and unlikely to damage anything. Our next-door neighbors are having a new roof put on their house (an endless source of fascination), and I’m just thrilled that the boys are staying out from underfoot!

We have begun our journey into homeschooling, but are starting slowly. I decided to make it easier on them AND myself by introducing a new subject each week. Of course, they don’t always notice the ‘overlap’… Is the chicken mummy they’re making history or science? Are the bug posters they made this morning art or biology? Was our trip to Mt St Helens a vacation or a geology lesson? Hmmm. Seems to be working out so far, and the boys get a lot more time outside.

Yesterday they collected: 11 beetles (5 common black ground beetles and 6 rove beetles), an unidentified green “bug”, a yellow fuzzy caterpillar (possibly a future “hovering moth”), and a small green tree frog. All are now (temporarily) living in little bug houses (separately, or the rove beetles will eat the others). The frog is in the special frog habitat – formerly the home of “Lucky”, who is not so lucky anymore. (Some person in this family, who wants to remain unnamed so all I’ll say is he’s married to me, left Lucky’s cage open after feeding, allowing Lucky to hop out. We found his dried-out body just this morning.) If the little green tree frog will eat crickets - which we have experience with - he can stay, otherwise he’ll have to be released to fend for himself.

All three boys have started their fall soccer season practices. We’ll be a little busy from now until November, as – between them – we have six practices a week and games every Saturday. Let me just say that I am glad it is only an 8-week season!

Of course the boys think I’m a real slave driver (!) and did not want to come in and actually do any more writing for this letter, so I let them off easy and did a little survey. Bear in mind that their interests can change daily, but this is what they had to say about their current favorites:


Color: Purple
Book: Hooway for Wodney Wat
Game: Battleship or Chess
Movie: Ice Age
Summer Activity: Waterslides
Sport: Soccer
Interested in: Homeschool
Toy: Superheroes
Food: Breakfast Bars
Drink: Clear Pop
Restaurant: McDonald’s
Dessert: Pockolate Chocolate (tiny chocolate candy bars)
Vacation: Disneyland!!!
Free time: Get his brothers to play a game with him


Color: Turquoise
Book: Rifles for Watie (Civil War novel)
Game: Monopoly
Movie: The Monitor and the Merrimac
Summer Activity: Play outside (not just outside!)
Sport: Soccer
Interested in: Civil War
Toy: Civil War toy soldiers and artillery
Food: Cheesy Pleasy (toasted cheese sandwich)
Drink: Water
Restaurant: Chuck-E-Cheese (he’s been ONCE!)
Dessert: That vanilla ice-cream with cookie dough in it
Vacation: Disneyland!!!
Free Time: Play with civil war toys


Color: Blue
Book: The Bone Series
Game: Chess
Movie: Star Wars, Episode 1
Summer Activity: Skateboard
Sport: Soccer
Interested in: Motocross Racing (a friend gave us free tickets)
Toy: Skateboard
Food: Chicken Noodle soup and a PBJ
Drink: Milk/Pop
Restaurant: McDonalds
Dessert: Chocolate Chip Cookies
Vacation: Disneyland!!!
Free Time: Draw

So there you have it. Actually, I would answer differently (for them), but that’s what THEY say.

Kerry just dashed off to somewhere, so I can’t ask him to contribute, but he is still working on a big project down in Anacortes as well as several smaller projects here in town. After a day at the waterslides he had some soreness in one leg and just found out he has a stress fracture. No jogging for awhile, so he has been on his bike a lot. He enjoys his Friday morning ‘breakfast club’ – with a bunch of guys from church.

I am trying to balance how to homeschool and how to keep all my other plates spinning. Right now I am successfully avoiding balancing the checkbook and paying the bills, which I need to do TODAY! (And wash the kitchen floor and fold the laundry and wrap a shower gift and figure out how to get everyone dinner between Tate’s 4:30 to 5:30 practice and Wyatt’s 6:30 to dark practice!) Actually, what I really need to do is figure out how much of that I can delegate to the boys. They are pretty good about pitching in with chores, but I have not come up with a regular enough schedule that they know what to do without being asked. Put that on my to-do list too!

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