Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Life Does Go On

Along with all the hullabaloo (to put it mildly) of last week, other things have actually been happening.

~Grace is cantering on her own at riding lessons. In four short private lessons she has calmed her hands, found her seat, can post and adjust when necessary, and has told "Kid" her life story. She also scored two goals in last Saturday's soccer game, including one on the first drive of the game (that I missed, as I was deep into conversation with another mother about... dinner--sigh).
And she is nearing the end of her "training" for the kids' marathon happening on October 30th. She will have run 25 miles over the past two months and will run the last 1.2 miles with gobs of other kids on marathon day.

~Samuel is receiving plenty of accolades about his blocking in football. He has even been able to carry the ball in a couple games, a huge step for him since he is so good on the line, his coaches resist doing anything else with him. And most importantly (from a homeschooling perspective), he is taking charge of his learning. Going to HomeLink twice a week is forcing him to budget his time so that he can get all the homework done. We've had Sunday night meltdowns, of course, but those have helped him understand that his parents do know what they're talking about when it comes to making time for school work. He is reading anything he can get his hands on, at least when he isn't playing with the iPod Touch he bought with his own money.

~Both kids started back to Latin. There has been a great deal of grumbling about this (silently from Grace, quite vocally from Samuel) but I am pleased that they are starting to remember their grammar and vocabulary. Why take Latin? I think it's a great place to learn grammar (in English as well as Latin) and the kids are always happy when they discover a connection between an English word and it's Latin root. And hopefully it'll make language learning a little easier down the road.

~Dave is giving a lecture tonight at the Benton County Museum on "People and Salmon in the Northwest." It is a good lead-up to his whirlwind tour of Sitka, Alaska, coming up in November. There, he'll give a talk, be interviewed on the local public radio station, sign books at the local bookstore, and generally be an integral part of "Wild Week." Four days in Sitka and the best part is that thanks to a lot of willing hands, I will get to go, too.

~I've been baking up a storm of sandwich bread and pot bread, biscuits and muffins. It's that time of year, when soup calls for something crunchy like a good slice of pot bread or a cold morning needs a nice rocket muffin. I have a new 6 quart dutch oven that has been working overtime making huge batches of soup--last night's fare was Lentil Soup with Garlicky Greens. I also have a new crockpot thanks to a crockpot meltdown a few weeks ago. Beef and Barley Soup in it tomorrow night. I bought way too many vegetables at last Friday's market (only one left to go before the end of the season), then received more vegetables from Dave's biking friend, and then got yet more in the form of sweet meat squash from another friend. Vegetables (oh, and a full box of Jonagold apples) coming out my ears. Beautiful vegetables: collard greens, spinach, kale, chard, broccoli, beets, squash, carrots, tomatoes, onions, potatoes of many sizes and hues, cabbage. I will really really miss the market.

~And finally, after the epic sweater adventure, I knitted up a felted wool bag for Grace (who really wants to carry a purse like Mama but is feeling a little self-conscious about the fact that no one else her age is carrying one). With the left-over yarn I made a hat from a Soule Mama pattern.

I want to keep knitting but have run out of ideas for the time. And money for yarn. Of course, Dave has requested a sweater and socks. I'm terrified to tackle either. On the other hand, I got this nifty book in the mail from Powell's (we have gobs of credit) and so I'm thinking of doing a little embroidery for a while, instead. Too many possibilities.

~Finally, the three new chickens arrived last night. Just yesterday Henrietta and Gabby came down to eat. This morning the Rhode Island Red, Henrietta, and Gabby came down, the other two cowered upstairs. Now all are back upstairs. Once everyone comes down, I'll take pictures of them. The fence people are coming next week to put up good, solid fences where we have flimsy ones. Then I'll start letting them out for good chunks of time.

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