Sunday, August 09, 2015

A couple of home/school/life Entry

Here is my July entry from Home/School/Life magazine. The image is a little off. Hopefully they can fix that. I share it here in it's entirety.

Lately, I keep thinking back to a dance class my oldest daughter took when she was four. It stands out in my mind as one of my early parental blunders. She didn’t want me there, you see. It was an “all by myself” moment which I failed to honor.

From my lap, she had turned and whispered, “I don’t want you to watch.” read the rest at Home/School/Life Magazine...

And because I failed to share June's contribution, here is, The Dreaded Summer Break Question.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

May Entry at home / school / life

I've been intending to post a link!

This month I wrote about rhythms and routine, and I shared a photo from my daughter's lovely collection from her China trip!

photo by Maddie Simmons
I am looking forward to things getting settled again. I yearn for a routine that includes all the things I have come to expect in my day-to-day life. Most urgently, I am looking forward to planned time with my kids again.
Nearing the end of May, we are not quite back into a grove yet, but we are getting there!

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Time Passing, Passing Time

The project on the kitchen counter right now is root beer. Munchkin boy has been talking about Ginger Bugs and fermentation and he filled the house, this past weekend, with a smell that carried me back to Boothill Museum in Dodge City where you could take a seat at the bar and order a sarsaparilla.

The project on the kitchen table involves black spray paint, old photo frames that now look shiny and new, and covers of classic books. Munchkin #1 has been redecorating her room again, inspired by the recent library book sale.

My projects include putting together a proof of Meadowlark's second book, and beginning the edits for Meadowlark's third book. If all goes as planned, we will have five books published by the end of the year (4 of them 2015). That's a good year, I think, for a start.

This past weekend we three at-home-bodies had a Harry Potter movie marathon party, but we only made it through the first two movies. That's a lot of movie watching, even for a rainy Sunday. We've had a lot of rain this past week. The nights have been cool enough we've had to kick the heater back on to get up and about in the mornings.

We've heard from the travelers a few times. When they call at night (our morning) they sound exhausted -- good exhausted. When they call in the morning (our night) they sound raring to go. They've moved, via bullet train, from Beijing to Xi'an. Those two locations are now permanently etched in my mental map of the world.

Tonight we will attend a play at the university, As You Like It. We are eagerly anticipating our trip to the airport to pick up the travelers. It will be good to have us all crowded into one location again!

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Two Family Members Short

I'm feeling very much like our German Shepherd, counting family members, worried that some of us are missing. This has been her routine since the beginning of time with us. If anyone is missing, she paces the house, nudging each of us with her nose as if trying to ascertain whether or not she is losing it, or if there really is someone missing.

Nancy (the German Shepherd) seems a bit sad that her boy is gone (that would be my hubby = her boy). She is spending lots of time sleeping on the floor by his side of the bed. It's only been three days and she's stopped counting. She's simply depressed. There is no doubt. They aren't anywhere. She's checked the whole house.

Middle Munchkin and the Hubby, off on their Grand Adventure.

I, however, have turned toward my daughter's bedroom door at least once each day. Sometimes it's a question I want to ask her. Sometimes I just want to see her smiling face. "Come out of your room," I almost say, before I remember that she's off on her Grand Adventure. I am not depressed in the least. I can look at the calendar. I understand that they are coming back. My job is to simply come to terms with my moment. I am not adventuring this round, just eagerly awaiting their return and their stories!

The Grand Adventure is a 16th year event in our house. Our oldest planned her trip to England and Scotland in 2012 (and I got to go with her!). Middle Munchkin is now in China with her dad! I love to travel, and I've spent most of my life wishing I could travel outside of the US, as well. My kids kind of prompted me to stop wishing. It's about planning. It's about deciding what is important and making it happen.

This trip to China will mean that our kitchen doesn't get the new flooring it needs this year. Our second bathroom may never happen. Our "new" car is a 1999, one year newer than the "old" one. I still dream about those things from time to time, but when I think of the stories she is going to tell when she gets back from this trip, I don't mind the old car, or sharing a bathroom with 4 other people, or having a crappy looking kitchen floor covered with a "temporary" linoleum we put down several years ago to hide what needed replaced.

Life is about experiences. Dreaming is only fun when dreams come true. We have the power to make our dreams come true. I hope my children grow up believing that above all else.

Friday, April 10, 2015

April Entry at home/school/life

Sorting through Subjects in an Everything-is-Connected Manner of Homeschooling is the title of my April entry at home/school/life. Here's a bit:

Our family takes an “everything is connected” approach to life, but some people prefer to break the world into subjects, perhaps for the sake of being thorough (or because the setting of school requires it of them). It gives you more of a checklist approach to life. Have we done our math today? Have we practiced reading? Have we learned to spell a few words today? Have we spent some time with nature, making sure we are learning about the way of the world? Have we contemplated cultures, people, or methods of governing?
These are all things we encounter daily, and the flow of life naturally takes us there.
Coming from a subject-oriented education myself, I found it surprisingly hard to turn it into words my nine-year-old, unschooled kid could relate to.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Family Project: Let's Make a Movie!

So there was a contest held locally for short movies/films. The hubby was intrigued, and next thing I now, he's talking to the kids about joining him for a project. We were unable to participate in the actual contest, but we did spend a weekend putting together our own movie, trying to follow the same guidelines just to see if it was something we could do. Who knew that you could spent 6 or 7 hours to get 35 minutes of recorded video that results in 3 minutes of completed film?

Without further ado, I bring you our family's first foray into video making and editing. We have a lot to learn, but we did have fun.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

St. James Day -- A Day in the Life

I've been reading day-in-the-life farm pieces and was inspired. I used to journal our days frequently when the kids were little. It feels a lot harder to do these days! Since I selected, St. James Day, however, it is an unusual day to document. It is something of a ritual, a family holiday, bowing to the basketball enthused portion of our family (and extended family)...

6:00am: The hubby and I rolled out of bed for our morning walk. Munchkin Boy joined us. We are currently walking a 2-mile route to the university and back.

Conversation on the walk:
  • The state of Kansas government (depressing), school funding, and the status of homeschooling laws in our state
  • Virulent expansion, Japanese history, and China constructing islands
  • Munchkin Boy told us about his Groundhog Day moment while playing Fallout 3
7:00am: Munchkin Boy and I tag-teamed the dishes/dish drainer. Everyone made breakfast individually. Munchkin Boy looked up Dagen H on wikipedia (the day traffic in Sweden switched from driving on the left to the right).

7:40am: Hubby and Munchkin Boy discuss umlauts. Quote of the day: "Let me make up some German words for you." This leads to a lengthy discussion about the German language, hubby's background in language study. Munckin #1 joins us.

8:00am: MB watches The Co-Optional Lounge where they were playing a table top game simulator.

8:30am: I leave MB with the task of preparing 7-layer dip for our gathering with friends this afternoon. I leave instructions for Middle Munchkin to collect and clean out our cooler (to carry food to the gathering).

Munchkin #1, Hubby and I leave the house in three different vehicles. We are headed for the same location, but have plans to leave separately.

8:40am: M1 sends a thank you note for a scholarship she will receive next school year. I then help her find some documents she needs for an application. (This requires a trip home. I had put them in a safe place! I hate when I do that...)

9:15am: I get a call from hubby that there are people at the market office who are waiting to meet with me. I have just place hands on the above-mentioned documents, so I rush back to the office. After the market meeting, I work on billing for hubby's office until it's time to go.

10:45am: Hubby and I lock up the office and head home. We are gathering at a friend's house for St. James Day and must leave by 10am to get there on time.

10:50am: Arrive home to find the kids ready to go (not Munchkin #1, she has decided to attend her classes and enjoy the rest of her day at home alone.

11:25am: We are on the road. I can't explain it. Even though everyone was ready, it seems to take a while to get into the car and on the road.

Conversation for the car ride:

  • Who am I kidding, it is St. James Day and there is a game during the drive. The car ride is spent listening to basketball.
12:55am: Arrive at our destination, perfectly on time for the 1ish start time of our St. James Day party. We are joined by four of our "community dinner" families... kind of an intentional set of gatherings that grew from our once full and active homeschool playdate group.

What follows is several hours of good conversation, a taco bar meal, and folks watching basketball games on television. The kids play board games, some actual basketball in the driveway, and alternate hanging out with the talkers and the television watchers. They are older and there certainly aren't as many kids joining us this St. James Day as there have been in the past, but in many ways this afternoon is just like old times.

6pm(?) or something after: We say our goodbyes and make the long drive home again.

Once home, hubby and I enjoy listening as the kids catch up. I think Munchkin #1 may have missed us a bit.