Sunday, September 30, 2007


We decided one very nice day to head out to Annapolis. It was fun. Pete and I are lucky that the kids enjoy historic sites/cities as much as we do. I know some adults who have to drag their kids to places like Williamsburg. My kids ate it up. The historical building markers are color-coded and they got into trying to see at least one building in each color.

At one historic house's garden

A cicada just out of its shell

On a canon in front of the MD state house

Again at the garden

Katie wants to be a children's book illustrator/author because she loves to draw and she loves kids. She also still wants to be a veterinarian.

Zack still wants to be a scientist and loves all things Egypt.

These are great things. I'm finding it much easier to work in the science and Egypt than the art. There's a good art class Katie could take--several in fact--but it's another place to get her to and what do Zack and I do in the meantime?

I don't want them to do everything together anymore, now they are getting more sure of their likes and dislikes. The scheduling is tough though and it's a hard call on what to say yes and no to.

I'm sure parents with kids of different ages must go through this from the start and I've never envied it. But because I've never really had to deal with it, I'm clueless!

Monday, September 24, 2007


I have a cold in my nose and I'm cranky. Why I've chosen this moment to update the blog, I have no idea. I may re-think it before I hit the "publish" button.

The end of August was CRAZY!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Not here at home, but all around us stuff was going on with friends and family. Lots of phone calls, lots of listening, lots of thinking, praying, feelings too-- gratitude, worry, anger, sadness, shock, awe. The whole deal, you name it.

So, the curious among you are undoubtedly saying--what stuff? I understand. If nothing else, I am the ultimate in nosiness. However, these are other people's issues, circumstances and business and not mine (or maybe yours either) so I'll stick to my own reactions instead.

Some things I've noticed when issues come up

--many people seem surprised I discuss things that are upsetting me with Katie and Zack. Seems to me it would be much scarier for them to notice me on the phone all the time, having feelings about it and then having to imagine what's going on. They have very active imaginations, so I think they would really get going with no facts.

--how nonplussed they seem once I do fill them in

--they ask terrific questions that I know adults wonder but don't dare ask

It's September and that time of year I get asked a million times how "school" is going. I never know how to answer this question without begging more questions, or worse, opinions about what we're doing. The best I can come up with for folks I like is that we don't really do school and try to change the subject. The worst I come up with is "fine." Blech. Sounds too apathetic for words!

The answer is we are doing less school every year and learning more about learning every year too. It's trial and error around here folks. I now have two years of homeschooling to look back on and it's a mixed bag. Some things worked--not that I realized it while it was going on--some things didn't. No schedule and unschooling all the way didn't work for me. Going crazy about everything didn't work either. Having fun while working through a curriculum worked. Being on a loose schedule worked, field trips worked. Some park days, classes and projects worked some of the time. Some didn't. We remain a half-year "behind" in math, which makes sense since we started the curriculum halfway into the year. And yes, we're homeschooling this year. And yes, we might do it right up through highschool. We might not. We might be living in who-knows-where by then so it's a pretty silly question anyway.

In other news, there's this:

Katie showing off the rocket she made for Boy Scouts (honorary member)
Did you think she's wearing a Red Cross T shirt in this picture? Me too. But ofcourse you can plainly see it's a white cross. A T shirt Pete brought back from Switzerland.

The vehicle Zack made from many defunct vehicle Lego sets.
Wearing PJs in the middle of the day?! Yup. That's how it goes around here every now and again. More crazy, lazy homeschooler stuff.

Crossing the "lava" pit in a team-building activity.

Life is grand.