Friday, October 20, 2006

Wow, who's out there?

Have you noticed the nice little map on the sidebar? It counts up how many hits this blog gets and where they are from. I just noticed three new dots, one in Europe (ok, I am STILL awful at geography and won't know exactly where that one is until I pull out the globe), one in So. America and one in Washington state. Pretty sure I know who the US one us, but who are the rest of you? And the dot in India.

Please leave comments! (Even you local folks!) I am always dumbstruck that anyone is reading this thing.

My schedule has been packed and I'm hoping to stay home today and spend time with just us. May even pass on our Friday group today. We are all wound up and I feel like we've hardly seen each other.

I'm working and either have had a phone to my ear, or my butt in front of the computer all week unless we're at an activity. Pete has been working or running around. Nights that he's been home, I've been out and vice versa. Katie and Zack have been mostly doing their own thing, when I'm not running them off to something.

We will all be going to Florida while I'm working my event. Pete will also work from there but we should get some time together, especially on the last day when I'm done and I think Pete plans to take the day off. The second day we're there, the kids will go to the resort's camp. I haven't decided if they need to go all day, but probably. Not entirely happy with that but I'll be working and Pete will get cranky with them while he's trying to get work done in the room.

I did survive my first Brownie Meeting as leader. It was insane. We had 10 Brownies, a parent with each and several siblings. There is a ton of paperwork for parents to fill out the first night. Next Monday's meeting should be a bit calmer. I'll have one parent and two older GScouts to help and only Brownies to deal with. I'm actually not sure what all my helpers will be doing but it's nice to have the help.

Pete is off to Chicago with the band Sunday-Tuesday. He'll be off to Paris the day after we get back from Florida.

Never a dull moment.

And the miracle of homeschooling is still going on around here. Katie continues reading chapter books on her own. Their addition has markedly improved. They are building things and making up stories. The only complaint is that they are not getting much time with me. I'm also seeing a lot more bickering amongst all of us and I think it's a sign of stress.

So--much as I hate to miss it, we will skip Friday group today. I will also skip the Smithsonian Teacher night tonight and we already missed the members preview of the Zoo's new Asia trail early this morning. And we'll have a very nice day and take care of ourselves and our house.

It really is fine to do this. It's just my social anxiety about not showing up that everyone will forget who I am. I really am a million times better with the group dynamics thing than I used to be, but it does creep up on me, especially when I'm stressed. So, time for another dose of deep breathing and getting out of my head. :-)

Also, time to get off the computer.

May you have a serene day too.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

New Pictures

At last the camera software is working on my computer again! Here are some recent pictures:

Zack's picture and poem from our trip to Port Discovery

Katie's poem and picture from Port Discovery

Some recent artwork of Katie's

Dolls made from Iris leaves (we didn't have any corn husks handy)

A nice picture I took at the Wash. Mon.

Saturday, October 07, 2006


Well, after a MAJOR system crash, I have almost everything on my computer working again and can spare some time to get this blog back on track.

I can tell I'm more relaxed about HSing this year. Don't feel the need to update this with details on how well we are learning all the time. I do like to fill in anyone listening on our doings but don't feel so defensive about it anymore. Nice!

Tons going on and more coming up. I just signed a 30-day contract to put together a couple of events. It will entail two trips to Florida and possibly a trip to Boston and crunching what I'd normally take 90 days to get done into a month.

I officially started yesterday and I've already had to bail out on our Friday group, much to the disappointment of Kate and Zack (and me too). Sat the kids down after my conf call and explained that it is going to be a very hectic month and we may miss quite a few of our regular activities. I asked them to tell me when they're feeling angry or disappointed or whatever. I hope they will.

My work will be to remember I didn't sign on to be available for work 24/7 and to balance our regular activities with my job. That's hard for me but will be a learning experience for us all--as always! I also need to remember to reach out to other HS families. I can be so shy about asking for help and this is an opportunity to get over myself.

So, what have we been up to in the past month....
  • We went to Williamsburg and Great Wolf Lodge. We all loved it. I wish I had been more organized about the Colonial Williamsburg piece, but we had a good time roaming around on our own. It was HS week and the tickets were cheapo, so we splurged on period costume rentals for the kids and they enjoyed that a lot, particularly my performer Katie. Children in costumes get a lot of special attention from the costumed guides in the town and Katie ate this up. They also had letters from a "resident" and errands to run for her. One was to help the gardener water the plants.

Here are some snaps from the day--taken with my new do-everything cell phone:

  • Boy Scouts started for Zack with a trip to the zoo.
  • I am officially the new Brownie Leader and we'll start next week
  • Made two trips to the African Art Museum and I can't believe we didn't get to that sooner. Interesting about that trip was how well the kids did in an art museum.
  • Afterwards we went to the Hirschorn and they enjoyed that too. This is a big change from previous years when they mostly wanted to hear their voices echo off the walls. We can go to art museums now! I am very thrilled with this.
  • Port Discovery, the children's museum in Baltimore had a free HS day so we went to that. I'm never that thrilled with children's museums but I didn't mind it for free and the kids enjoyed it.
  • Tae Kwon Do takes up a big chunk of our Tues and Thurs and I am not quite so sore after each class.
  • We are delving into "The Story of the World" and I'm hoping to jump off that to some practical activities. So far Katie and Zack have been interested in the stories but not looking more in-depth. We are barely into the book and I think once we're into the Egyptians they'll want to start trying out some of the things (maybe making a mummy...)

There are tons of activities we've had to pass on--an art class, drama class, pottery class, assorted field trips and plays. It's hard to say no to all of these wonderful things but we are overloaded already and work will make this all the more difficult. It's a constant winnowing of the best from all of the good.

Hope you are enjoying the fall. All the rain can get me down but the crisp cool days make up for it.