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Wherein you will find posts with humor, photos, reviews, occasional rants and journalistic entries of interest to me alone but that I hope will touch you, the reader, in some way. I remain sincerely yours,
A Work in Progress

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Bye for a Few days, I Am Going to My Island

This is where we are going.

This is what I will be doing.

See you when I get back!!


Monday, August 23, 2010

I Am Tickled Pink

I have been blogging for a long time.  I began over at Homeschool Blogger and moved over here to Blogger about 3 years ago.  I write for me, for my friends and for my family. 
I write to help other homeschoolers.  I write also because, deep down, I am a writer. 

I have made a conscious effort this year to get out there a little more in the blogosphere and I have made some good friends out here.  But it is a dear, IRL, friend, fellow homeschooler, blogger and writer who passed on to me not one but TWO awards today.  I am grateful and I am thrilled.  Thank you Lori, you are awesome.

Lori had 2 great blogs, Hearthside Homeschool Reviews as well as her personal blog, Not So Superwoman. 

I was so happy to see her post that she had received some awards today and then to come to the end of her post to see that she, in turn, had awarded them to me just about made my day.

As part of the Sunshine Award, I am to share 7 things with you all and then pass it on to 7 bloggers. For the Beautiful Blogger Award, I am to share 7 more things and then pass it on to no more than 15 bloggers. Seven alone will have to do since I really need to work on making supper.  Besides, no one really wants to read 14 things about me.

So here goes, things about me....
1. I have a thing about the perfect coffee mug for every morning.  My current favorites are my Tinkerbell mug   and the one that says "Somewhere between Raising Hell and Amazing Grace".  

2. I am a cat person though I have had dogs I loved.

3. I would open a used bookstore/coffeeshop and live in it faster than Grant took Richmond given the chance.

4. I entertain dreams of a little house on the Maine shore, near a lighthouse where I can write.

5. I still think my husband is the greatest guy in the world after 18 years.

6. I am unutterably grateful to have homeschooled my girls this far and I look forward to the last few years.

7. I long to take an RV coast to coast with my family and explore this great nation.

I am passing on the Sunshine Award to some bloggers I have known, learned from and enjoyed for years. 
1. Susan Wise Bauer at The History of the (Whole) World
2. Lori Seaborg@ Freely Educate
5. Jessica@ Everyday Rebel
6. Gina@ Fantasy Casting (because it is one of my favorite games)
7. Laurie @ Honduras Gumbo

The Beautiful Blogger Awards are going to a few other blogs that really are, to me expressions of the beautiful people who write them.
3. Angelina@ Permanent Things
5. Glowing Girl@Sugar Tails


22 Days Left of Our Summer Break

Considering that we didn't start our break until July, we've really packed it all in so far and now we've wrapped up our VBS.
Rowan put in about 50 hours being in the drama skits.  I sent her to my sister's for the weekend for some serious downtime.  She will be back this morning.  Mike played Jesus every night and I did some registration, some photo work and the slideshow.  Jenna had a grand time at VBS, a sleepover and a number of playdates all week long so we hung out with a Stargate marathon on Netflix this weekend.

This week is pretty quiet, we are spending today with Mom and we have a graduation party on Thursday to go to.  Other than that, we are getting ready for some time, yet to be determined how long, on our beloved island.

Mike surprised me the other day by coming home with a brand new tent!!!!!  I was so thrilled.  Our last one gave up the ghost the last night of our trip last year.  I was going to borrow this year and be grateful that I could but truly I wanted a new one so badly!  

I have no words for the feeling I get when I go inside my nylon home and sit and just feel the peace of the island.  No stress, no computer, no worries, all of my mind on "island time".  The food, the fellowship, the freedom for the girls and the fun we have out there is unparalleled.  There is no place on earth like our island and no experience that says summer more than ending it out there with our dear friends. 

Hard on the heels of our island jaunt is Civil War Day 2010.  Another of our few annual events this one is a day long reenactment and one of my husbands all time favorite things to do.  The girls are battle field nurses and either "treat" the wounded in the field or carry them to the field surgeon.  Mike gets to hide in the woods with his unit and play with cap-guns all day. 

That is going to be a big weekend.  Civil War Day is Saturday and Sunday we will be celebrating Jenna's tenth birthday!  I can't wrap my head around that one.  Can she really be turning ten?  I'm not ready.

And then our new school year will begin.  It is going to be an interesting year.  We are doing Omnibus with Rowan and Ambleside with Jenna.   Our complete plans are up here if you like for 4th and 9th grades.  We are all set with Jenna, got her approval letter straight away.  The high school is being insistent on our using their "official forms", however, so I am waiting to hear back from them.
We don't and will not use their form, it isn't mandatory and we have already given them everything they require and months early at that.  Our homeschool legal group is aware of the situation and if they persist will contact them on our behalf.  Bureaucratic nonsense it is and I won't be bullied.

So, here we go, the end of summer.

When summer gathers up her robes of glory,
And, like a dream, glides away.
~ Sarah Helen Whitman


Friday, August 13, 2010

Not Quite Ready for Back to School


Where did the summer go?  At this very moment, our little one is off on a field trip to Old Sturbridge Village where she will see her grandmother working in the Salem Towne House today.  The older one is still abed (though I would bet she is reading) and Mike is off to work.  So far this morning I have had coffee and a brownie (thanks Laurie Brown!), done dishes, fed the cats, the dog, the guinea pigs and the fish, checked email, the prayer chain and Facebook, and have commenced getting lost in a sea of information about how to write a transcript.  I just wrote a post for our homeschool groups blog about high school transcripts.  It is over here.  I get a great deal of good advice and help from Lee Binz.  

Our VBS decorations are up after 3 months of work and if I do say so myself, the church looks pretty awesome as the Australian Outback.  Here are some photos if anyone wants to see them.  My volunteers rock and an extra special thank you to my Rowan, my right hand, with whom I probably would forget any number of things on any given day.

Falmouth's Annual Road Race is this Sunday which means we take our worship outside and the girls help man the watering station.  They also pass out free iced tea, lemonade, water and balloons with info about FBC, it makes for a long day but it is always awesome.   
The Road Race is the kickoff for our week-long, nightly VBS.  Rowan is doing drama this year which means last minute craziness and insanity but nobody pulls it off better than our own FBC players.  Mike is playing Jesus all week with minimal lines so he doesn't miss work. 

As far as getting ready for school the only thing left to order is Rowan's high school biology from BJU.  She is going to be doing the online version because it is $100 less than the DVD version.  We already have everything else and except for scheduling Danish and the biology, we are good to go for Term 1 of the 2010-2011 school year. 

Our annual Washburn Island camping was tragically truncated to 3 days this year.  
As sad as I am, we will take full advantage of whatever glorious moments we can have. 
Our tent has given up the ghost and was retired after last year.  We pretty much knew it was a goner when we had to duct tape ourselves in the last night, the zipper was utterly gone.  
This year we are borrowing from a friend but I hope to get another one of our very own for next year.  I loved our tent.  We are heading our for those 3 days after which we will begin our school year.  There is no one photo that captures the entirety of our Washburn trips, here is a typical one of me and the camp dog, our Arwen. 

Jenna has wrapped up her first year of swim lessons and did really well.  She hated it most days but as far as I am concerned touch cookies.  Childhood rituals and all that.  They had a party yesterday, pizza on the beach.  I can't think of anything I would enjoy less personally, sandy pizza, blech.  Still, I am sorry I missed it.  She went with her swim lesson buddies, I was putting up the decorations. 

One last summer event following Washburn, our annual Civil War Day with Historical Happenings.  We love the Matson's and will miss our time with them as this is their last year doing these reenactments. 
And that will pretty much be the end of summer and we will be embarking on our new school year. 

But not quite yet.....


Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Getting Geared Up

These last two months have been all about swim lessons for Jenna and getting ready for VBS at our church.  
I volunteered to both co-direct and to be in charge of decorations.  Momentary insanty or early dementia, you choose.  Either way, it has meant that 2 and then 3 days a week for the last two months, the girls and I and some amazingly steadfast volunteers have been tracing, painting and cutting clip art to apply to pieced together and painted murals.  
We are doing Outback Express so our entire Sanctuary, foyer and lower fellowship hall have custom made panels for every single wall to turn it into the Australian Outback.  
I've recently taken to tracing clip art in my sleep and dreaming of Hugh Jackman.
I will tell you right off that without Rowan, I couldn't do this gig.  She is both indispensable and invaluable.
At this point we are in pretty decent shape, somewhere I didn't see us being even as late as last week.

While incredibly disappointed wouldn't begin to describe how I feel about not getting our usual 2+ weeks on Washburn this year, I had resigned myself to the best 3 day mini-camping trip possible.  Mike was even going to take those days off and spend them as a family on our beloved island.  I then discovered that the "Night of Worship" special music night is the first night of our 3 days.  Something impossible for him to get out of, even if he wanted to.  Crap.

In between all the other activities we have gone to Thursday Park Days with our homeschool gang for fun and fellowship.  Rowan spent weeks preparing for a Sunday School skit that finally went on last week, and we've had some great times around the pool with friends.  Mike has been doing a Thursday night paying gig playing campfire music at a local motel and the girls have been going with him and having a grand time and s'mores.  
We've had visits from friends, evenings with family, morning visits from a rafter of turkeys and evening visits from a gaze of racoons.  Jenna had strep throat and was down for a full week with a fever and Rowan had something going one that involved a high fever but responded quickly, thank God, to antibiotics.  

We've spent some time on the beach, almost had to since we paid for the beach sticker to get to swim lessons, and it was almost enjoyable.  Even with my hatred of both sand and sunscreen.  

We spent a week volunteering at the 4H kitchen during the Barnstable County Fair, cooking, serving and selling.   It was often over 100 degrees in that kitchen, whew!

School is on the horizon and we need to order Rowan's BJU Biology.  I have to finish scheduling out the first semester and putting all of it in her binder.  It took me 7 hours to make Rowan's weekly schedule for Omnibus and history alone!  Jenny's is pretty much done.  Both girls have ambitious and rigorous years ahead.   Their ID cards for the year have been made and laminated, I found the greatest free program to do both those and Mike's business cards. 

I am looking forward to this year but I am really not ready quite yet.  
Still gearing up both mentally and spiritually, and there are a few lazy, hazy days of summer left to enjoy.


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