Saturday, September 25, 2010

What did we do all week?

A little math. Roman numerals, carrying and borrowing. A little Latin -- declined our first nouns. The Roman monarchy and the Senate. King Solomon, Jeroboam and Rehoboam.  The Last Battle. The Hobbit.

Middlest learned its more fun to listen to Mom read while riding one's scooter around the house.

Eldest memorized the Dwarves' dishwashing song to Bilbo Baggins (you can ask him to sing it to you), constructed a catapult out of whatever he could find, and peeled, cooked and squashed apples for applesauce.

Littlest got new playdough...

 On Tuesday we visited the Planetarium, and learned about the history of the telescope and Autumn constellations. Then we headed to our largest, oldest park, just outside of town and near the planetarium. None of our friends could join us, but we enjoyed ourselves anyway.

I forgot my camera, but not my knitting. The boys followed around the local peafowl, and searched the creek for fish. Middlest rode his scooter, and then they played on the playground until the sprinklers came on and washed over the park bench.

One day they built pillow fortresses all over the house and used Webkinz as weapons. An-ammo-ls?

Since they were in that kind of mood... we watched Building an Empire: Carthage and learned how Rome overcame the triple-walled city of Carthage in the Third Punic War.

On Friday, after music lessons, we took friends with us to the library. When we came home, they started a Book Club.

And practiced their instruments...

And looked up the world's fastest violinist and cellist on YouTube. There was lots of Hide-and-Seek, too.

They also hijacked my phone (and my bed) to play Angry Birds every chance they got...

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Please don't catapult rocks in the house!

What happens when you leave a history activity book open to a page about ancient Roman weapons in a house full of boys?

A fully functional miniature catapult made of whatever they could find around the house -- in this case, K'nex pieces, part of a drum set, bark, a plastic spoon and duct tape. Unlike the example in the book, this one can be rolled down imaginary Roman roads on the way to the next battle.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The first field trip of Fall


Apples!! Every September for the last seven years I have taken the boys up the hill to apple country to meet friends and pick our own first fruits of fall. Last week we visited on the very first day the farm was open.

We almost didn't make it this year... as that flu I mentioned the boys having finally hit me, and I probably should have stayed in bed. Poor Eldest was distraught -- what could I do? The unthinkable. I drugged myself. My kind neighbor had just the thing. And then I prayed the whole way there... and back.

The boys and their friends picked apples... Jonagolds and Empires... and helped Mr. Pulford sort them by size... and ate as many as their tummies could handle.

And had a sweet, crunchy, good time.

To Autumn, by John Keats

Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness,
   Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
   With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eves run;
To bend with apples the moss'd cottage-trees,
   And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;
       To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells
   With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,
And still more, later flowers for the bees,
Until they think warm days will never cease,
       For Summer has o'er-brimm'd their clammy cells...

 P.S. Gratefully, I took a good long nap when we got home, and have been fine ever since!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Edible earth science

We've been reading about the layers of the atmosphere in "A Child's Geography," and did one of the suggested activities last week -- making the layers in a jar with flour, sugar, and cornmeal.

When we were finished, the boys asked, "Now do we get to use the ingredients to make cookies?"

That wasn't in the book -- but how could I refuse? ;)

I didn't know exactly how much flour or sugar was in the two filled jars, but I added two sticks of butter, two eggs, a teaspoon each of vanilla and baking soda, a pinch of salt, and half a bag of chocolate chips, and that seemed to work just fine. The cornmeal gave the cookies a nice crispy bite.

We called them atmospheric cookies with meteor chips!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Catching up

Can it really have been two full weeks since I last posted? Yes, it can. What have I been doing while ignoring my poor blog?
  • Reading "The Red Queen" by Phillipa Gregory. I read "The White Queen" while on vacation, and liked it enough to buy the sequel when it came out in August. I wouldn't call it soul-nourishing, but it's a fun way to learn a little 15th Century British history.
  • Obsessively chasing every "hint" in my family tree on I took the two-week trial bait after watching most of the episodes of "Who Do You Think You Are?" It is fascinating to find lines of my family that I didn't even know about -- I have an ancestor named "Sir Lancelot"! 
  • Cooking. Last week the weather cooled down enough that I felt like actually turning on the oven. I made lasagna for the first time in a year. I made bruscetta on whole wheat baguette. I baked muffins with honey and almond flour. (I'll have to make those again so I can share the recipe.) It had been a sad, boring menu for a while.

  • Washing a lot of bedding. I'm not sure if the boys are suffering as the result of a couple of Saturday barbecues, or if it was a virus Scott brought home the first week school -- possibly both. They'll be fine for a few days, and then we're woken up at 4 a.m. again with another boy in misery. Miraculously it has skipped over me so far.
  • Enjoying our homeschooling, and trying to stay organized!

What I haven't been doing...
  • Going to church. We've missed the first four weeks of Sunday school now because of "the Sunday morning flu."  Choir started up again this week, and I was sad not to be there.
  • Sleeping as much. Not just because of being woken up by sick kiddos. On the mornings the boys have been fine, I've actually been waking up around 7 a.m.! This may not seem like much, but I was recently diagnosed with adrenal fatigue. For the last few years, I've been dragging myself out of bed at 8 a.m. after going to bed by 10. So, it feels amazing to have some energy again.
  • Gardening. I keep thinking I'll start seeds indoors and get a fall garden going in September, but it's apparently fallen off my priority list. My tomato and eggplant bushes are still producing, but I'm not doing much besides watering and harvesting. We're going to dive into Exploring Creation through Botany starting in January, so we'll start the spring garden then. As fortunate as we are to live where one can garden yearround, sometimes it's nice to have a break, too. Especially when it's 105 outside for weeks at a time.
 Okay, well, it's not very exciting, but sometimes I just have to post ANYTHING to get started again. 

What have you been up to?

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