Sunday, September 16, 2012

September 16, 2012

I have started to update this blog several times and ended up not knowing what to say.  It is hard for me to believe that my mom has been gone for over a month already.  It still does not seem real to me most of the time.  At times I still have to remind myself that she is gone.  The hardest times for me is in the afternoon/evenings and on weekends because that is when I normally talked to her the most.  It is especially hard on weekends when the husband is working and my sister is also working.  I am so very blessed to have such a wonderful sister for a best friend though.  She and I have always been close and we talk more often now than we ever have and that helps us both a lot. My best friend Gail has also been a gift from God during this time.  I would have been lost without her too.

It definitely helps to stay busy and the boys and I are definitely busy with school these days.  Our homeschool co-op has also started and we are all enjoying it a lot.  We go there on most Fridays and the boys take P.E., Spanish, and Art and then we all eat lunch together, which is very nice.  It is one of the things I like best about this co-op, as it gives us more time to spend with others.  After lunch the boys have one free period and then they have a drama class.  We are finished at 2:30 and we head home to relax for a while.  We have already met some very nice people at the co-op and the boys have made a new friend and had him over to play once already.  They love co-op and they count down the days of the week until we go again.

At home, we normally start our day around 9:00ish with either history or science, as those are definitely the favorites at our house.  Sometimes we can be finished by noon but most of the time we still have one or two things to finish up after lunch, so it more like 1:30 when we finish.  So far everything seems to be going very well, although I am still not quite satisfied with how we do science.  I have found another science curriculum that I would like to try and am hopeful that this one might be 'the one' that we will love and can stick with for a few years.

Nick is still taking his piano lessons and doing very well with it.  He decided he wanted to continue with swim lessons so he can learn all of the different strokes and join a swim team.  Ben decided he would like to take gymnastics again so he is doing that now, although he recently said he wanted to switch back to swimming so he can eventually be on a swim team.  Ben is also still taking violin lessons.  He has been taking lessons now for about a year and a half and he is really doing very well.  He is also going to continue to play with the local youth orchestra, which he really enjoys.  Nick is taking piano lessons and doing very well with it.  His teacher is perfect for him.

Last week the boys started Cub Scouts.  They went on an overnight camping trip with the Cub Scouts and the dad went with them.  They were able to catch a bunch of fish and try their hand at archery, BB gun shooting and roping a wooden cow-like structure.  This was the first time they had ever been camping and they really enjoyed it a lot.  The weather was cool but very humid but we are still under a burn ban so they were not able to have a campfire.  They had to take food with them that did not have to be cooked.  They left on Saturday morning and came back late this morning.  I think this is going to be one of the most favorite things they do and it will allow them to make some really good friendships.  Tuesday evening they get to go to the local National Guard and check out the F16s.  I think they will get to do a lot of fun things with this group.....and, when they go camping, I enjoy a bit of time to myself.  Yesterday I went shopping with my sister.  It was the first time we have been out shopping together, just the two of us, for many long years.  After that I went for a hair cut and highlights and then I went to a movie:).  I wanted to see two movies but the other one was not playing at the right time for it to work out. 

This past week the boys also started AWANAS at a local church.  Our church didn't offer it but we heard another church was offering it so we decided to take them.  It is a program that emphasizes scripture memory.  We had been doing a lot of that at home but I think they will have fun and make new friends by doing it with this group.  Their new friend from co-op goes to it also so they already knew one or two people there.

So they are staying very busy these days and so are we.  Actually, the dad took them over to the small lake to fish again this afternoon.  They enjoyed it so much they wanted to go again.

I am working on our plan for 2nd grade, since the boys should be finishing up 1st towards the end of this year.  We get very busy from the end of September on out, since we have birthdays at the end of September, October and November and then the holidays.  So I am trying to get a jump on school planning for January.  I think I am close to finalizing it.  We may be starting Latin in 2nd grade so that may be our biggest curriculum change coming up.  We will also start some formal literature studies.  Up to now we have just been doing lots of reading of wonderful literature but we had not been doing any analysis of it so we will start that in 2nd grade.

I am almost finished creating a history timeline on the wall in our long hallway.  It came out pretty good, although I wish I had made the time increments for ancients further apart.  Live and learn.  I will take a picture of it when I have caught it up to date with where we are in our history studies.  At this point, it is probably  more for me than it is for the boys, as they are still a little young to get it.  Studying the ancients has really helped me to understand the context of the Old Testament a lot better.  I really enjoy learning along with the boys.

I need to download some pictures of the boys.  It has been a while since I have done that and they sure have changed a lot.  It's hard to believe they will soon be seven years old.  They are really getting tall and Nick looks very different with his new glasses.  They wanted to go to McDonald's for breakfast one day this week (this one has video games and they like to play them).  I made a deal with them that we could go and they could play games for 20 minutes IF we ate first and finished our math and writing.  So we went and they did awesome. When we were heading home, they noted that we had the hard work already done and everything we had left to do was more fun work.  I told them I would really like to start doing that every day.  They made the right noises but I don't think they really bought into my idea.  Maybe by the time we start second grade....I can hope:).

They just came back from fishing so I had better sign off and get busy around here.