Monday, November 20, 2006

Here I am again

Did you think I abandoned the blog?

Well, pretty much for the last month. I was working on an event--90 days worth of work in 30 days--and it ate my life. We are now radical unschoolers, I guess, since I haven't done any "formal" lessons since October. Not that we're particularly formal as it is, so it wasn't this grand step off the cliff, but still, there wasn't much of a plan for giving up structure all together. But--that's life and here we are.

I need a list of what the heck we've been up to. It makes me feel better to keep track. Wait a sec while I pull out the calendar.....

OK, the last update here was Oct 20--wow, it really has been a whole month.

That weekend we planted trees at a park in Arlington as part of our church Working Together Weekend. This was the first time we've been able to participate and it was nice to get out there and get muddy. The ground was VERY hard. Our family was able to plant about 4 trees.

Katie and Zack took out and read every fall/Halloween book we owned. Then they had to clean up the big pile of books.

Some time that weekend or early the week of 10/22, I noticed a terrible smell coming from Zack's room. I realized that it smelled like animal marking. Spats (our old cat) did a lot of this when I first got him, so I know the smell really well. The only attic access is in Zack's room and that meant something was probably living up there--YIKES! Wednesday, the exterminator came and it's only mice. He threw a bunch of baits around the attic and it should be all handled in a couple of months. I still had this great enzyme spray that we used to clean the rug when Spats was so sick before we put him to sleep. While the guy was up there, I used his ladder to spray all around and the smell was gone by that evening. That spray is great!

Friday, 10/27 was Boo at the Zoo. In the rain. Kate, Zack and Pete had a great time. I had a wet time but that was fine.

We didn't do a lot of the things we normally do for Halloween--my favorite holiday. No time to go to the Corn Maize, pumpkin patch or Cox farms. This year I barely got all our decorations up. We did add a nice witch to our collection and we got pumpkins at a school fundraiser. Carving happened the day before Halloween and I had candy and pretzels already bought for the event.

We made 2 Halloween pies and Zack and Katie made decorations for our Friday homeschool group's Halloween party. We also made a mystery box of eyeballs!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The party was terrific and a nice break from the work-grind for our family.

Here's what our Halloween decorations and costumes looked like:
A disappointing turn-out for Trick-or-Treating. Have to wonder if going house to house is a dying tradition. Too bad. I love to see all the costumes.

I had to work wall to wall the following week but we did get to Tae Kwon Do and Piano lessons. We skipped HS groups and one planned field trip :-(

11/6, off to Florida for my event! The flights were cheap enough for all of us to go. Katie and Zack were excited to fly again. I got my usual drugs, so I was ok with the flight too.

K&Z went to camp our only full day at the resort. They had a great time and the bad weather didn't spoil their vacation at all. My event went well and Pete was able to work from the room reasonably well.

We got back on Wednesday and the next day Pete headed out to Paris for his company's annual meeting. We were all going to go, but it didn't work out. Just as well since Pete was tied up most of the time anyway.

Other things I remember but don't know when exactly we did them--
We took out the Dr. Dreadful and Easy bake oven and the kids made some goodies; we had a play date with a family and the mom also cuts our hair--which was desperately needed; we ate too much McDonalds; the Boy Scouts went to the Navy Yard and also did their Scouting for Food drive. We tried the mentos in coke experiment to reasonably impressive results; played LOTs of board games; did one chapter in the math books; started reading the Story of the World (or just read more of it, I don't remember when we started; Zack almost finished one of the computer games that covers the whole 3rd grade curriculum; Katie took up sewing. Katie decided we should make kites one day. Lots of designs were tried but we had a hard time getting past a spinning problem. There was a Girl Scout dance last Friday.

All in all, we kept pretty busy.

I hope to be more regular in updating this but never can tell what the coming priorities will be.