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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

Thursday, September 30, 2010

A Day in the Life

Someone on my favorite message boards asked if anyone had one of these posts up so I thought it high time to write one.  We are in our third week of school and have a good rhythm going by now, so here it is, a day in the life.  

I am awake at 5am but linger awhile hoping for a few more moments of sleep.  I get up, get dressed in the dark and head downstairs with my 3 fuzzy companions at my heels about 5:45.  I feed the cats, the dog, the fish, the birds and the guinea pigs, reheat the last cup of yesterdays coffee, make a fresh pot and pack Mike a lunch.  I let the dog and the old cat out, regret it and and run outside to get her back as she barks at nothing in the dark back yard.  On to the computer to check emails and Facebook, comment on blog posts, join in a Wednesday meme, write letters and read the news.  Then, an I realize it probably should be first, I do my Bible study, put hot water on for the kids tea and remember to take my pill.  I have company every morning as I sit at my desk.
At 8:00 on the dot, Percy Jackson and I went upstairs to wake up the girls.  We wake up Rowan on our way by to Jenna's room where the aforementioned cat gets up on the bed and sucks on his Jenna's fingers and talks to her to wake her up.  He then descends the ladder of her loft bed and repeats the routine with Rowan.
On rising the girls get dressed, mostly remember to make their beds and come down to do their chores.  They sweep, empty the cat box, put away the clean dishes, fill the pets water bowls, and put on a load of laundry and then get tea and banana bread this morning.  We sit together in the living room and I read aloud a chapter from C.S. Lewis' The Silver Chair and the matching devotion from A Family Guide to Narnia

Off goes Rowan to her desk in the library downstairs to start her day while I grab the read aloud pile to begin with Jenna.  Rowie begins with Algebra, always a good move while Mike is still here while Jenna reads to me from Joshua chapter 2 and narrates it for me.  Then I read from A Picturesque Tale of Progress for Ancient history and Joy Hakim's History of US with Truthquest commentary for both.

Rowan is on to Material Logic and a snack of grapes and cheese while Jenna watches, Nova's, Building Pharaohs Ship on our Netflix on the Wii with her snack while I do a few more chores of my own.

With supervision as needful, Jenna does her BJU Math 4, BJU Grammar 4, where she is getting ready to write a compare and contrast essay, Building Spelling Skills, and Chapter 3 in Latin for Children A.  Independent reading was next, she just began Bambi for this week. 
It seems she is not the voracious reader Rowan was at the same age, Rowan had no trouble reading at least 2 books and additional reading assignments every week.    While Jenna struggles some, though I am not sure yet how much is attitude.  Once she invests in a story, the protests die down completely but the first few chapters are rough. 
Rowan works independently in all of her subjects, surfaces for lunch and a quick break during which she also practices piano.  She had Algebra, Logic, Latin, Omnibus, Beginning Danish, World History and Art today and finished around 4. 

We have been trying to go for a walk each day but it isn't always possible.  Today when Jenna was done we headed out to return a pair of shoes that inexplicably fit at the store but not at our house, say hi to our friends at GameStop, and hit the bank and library.  I picked up some of the books I ordered for the next Dewey 24 Hour Read a Thon on the 9th and Jenna picked up the first 4 Diary of a Wimpy Kid books.  These she started in the car and read through the afternoon finishing both the first and second.  It is a whole different story when she picks the books isn't it now? 

Rowan was having trouble with The Epic of Gilgamesh so I spent some time with her. 
Typically, it wasn't the content or difficulty, it was the notes and the missing parts that were driving her bonkers.  It didn't surprise me.  Told her to pretend she was Daniel Jackson deciphering an Ancients tablet.  Off she went. 
Sidebar: Stargate SG1 is a homeschooler's friend.  It is educational (mythology), motivational, (role playing for Omnibus texts) great for modeling good character traits (friendship, loyalty, patriotism) and often just funny. 

Rowan and I spent a quiet evening reading and Jenna and Mike went to Wednesday Night Live at the church and a lovely day was had by all.


Wednesday, September 29, 2010

September in Photos; A Not Quite Wordless Wednesday

Jenna Turned 10
Rowan Watched
We played in hurricane driven waves from a dud named Earl.
We went on a walkabout with our nature journals.
 We participated in the annual Civil War Day.
 We Began 9th and 4th Grades.

Went Camping


Saturday, September 25, 2010

A Wonderful Family Trip

We had not been on a family field trip in forever.  It felt wonderful to hop in the car together and head out on the open road.  We ventured out to go on a whale watch with my sister and her husband.  An hour and a half to Macmillan Wharf on scenic Rte. 6 with Rowan asking riddles most of the way there.  
We boarded in the morning fog which partially burned off as we steamed out to the back side of Provincetown.  It was an absolutely perfect day, not too hot, partial sun, lots of waves and wind which the whales seem to enjoy.  Not rough, just swells.

The whale watching was incredible, one juvenile humpback breached playfully for the majority of the trip.  

We saw about 9 whales in total, some logging, some lovely fluke shows and lots of spouting but this young one was the best.  We also saw a sunfish frolicking on the way back to the harbor, Rowan's sharp eyes spotted it before anyone else on the boat!  

I tried to get a photo of the way the ocean spray curled in a mist off the hanging edge of the waves behind us, but I never did capture it.  

It is a little difficult to actually type at the moment because I am still swaying with the waves.  The keyboard won't hold still.  Hope it stays til bedtime, I love going to sleep like that.  

Michael indulged us and bought the video of our trip which will come in about 2-5 weeks.  I can't wait to relive this glorious day.  It's always good to spend time with my sister and Dave too.  I honestly believe I could watch whales breech every day for the rest of my life and I would gasp in wonder every single time.  There are few things more spectacular in this world.

Swung into the National Seashore on the way home to show the kids where Mike stayed the two summers he worked there.  Sad to say, the old Cable Hut is now gone.  The ranger had no idea what he was talking about so we stopped in at the Visitor Center on the way home.  They said it had just gotten old and "infested".  Mike didn't ask with what.  Goodbye Cable Hut, we had some grand times together.

A stop at Ben and Jerry's and we were fortified for the trip home.


Thursday, September 23, 2010

The Things Kids Say

Yelling over from the computer Jenna says the following.....

"Mom, I'm going to play Age of Mythology.  I felt powerless today so I thought I would go and rule my own empire for a while, you know, to make myself feel better."

Make of it what you will, this kid cracks me up.


Wednesday, September 22, 2010

A New Fall Reading Challenge

I love a good reading challenge and Katrina over at Callapidder Days has come up with a nice easy going one.  Just what I need!  So without further ado...

My List
Naomi Novik's Temeraire series, coincidentally on Katrina's list.  I got the first one as a Friday Freebie on my Nook and have yet to read it.  There has been a lack of good dragon books of late, my favorites were always Ann McCaffrey's Dragonriders of Pern series.  If this is good, I will read the whole series.
UPDATE: Read them, they were ok, readable but not good enough to revisit.

              Review/Update September 27th 2010 
His Majesty's Dragon, Naomi Novik
Think, Horatio Hornblower meets Dragonriders of Pern, but not as good as either.  I am half way through the 2nd in the series and I am enjoying the historical thread, especially the ease in which she incorporated the dragons into known military history. 
I am going to finish the series but I won't be likely to reread them.
UPDATE: Read them, they were ok, readable but not good enough to revisit.

Death's Head looks interesting.  Thought I would give it a try.  Most reviewers use the words, "smart" and "funny".  Since my world hasn't been the same since Fox canceled Firefly, it might fill at least the humor part of my space cowboy void.

Review/Update October 20, 2010
They forgot to mention lewd and crude.  NOT my type of reading thanks.  Barely made it through the first chapter hoping it would pick up somehow.  Yeah, so not.  Too bad. 

As this is supposed to be fun I have decided to give the Artemis Fowl series a go.
Described by it's author as "Die Hard with fairies", these sounded right up my alley and it was.  Thoroughly enjoyable and a take on the criminal mind and world of fairie that is, to say the least, unusual.  I don't find myself liking Artemis much, just yet, but he inspires the kind of loyalty from his people that suggests a deeper quality of character than I've yet to find.  That in mind, I am moving on in the series to book two.

I will also be reading and doing The Frazzled Female Bible study.  Check.  Done.
Alex Rider, Stormbreaker  Found this when I found the Artemis Fowl ones.  I read this, the first one and enjoyed it enough to want to read the rest.  Think a 14 year old James Bond but without the patriotism.  M16 treats this kid pretty shabby from the get go, makes him a more sympathetic character.  This was well written YA material and I enjoyed it.  There are a slew of these too and a movie spin-off to see as well.  I wouldn't mind reading more of young Alex's adventures. 

The Hunger Games, Suzanne Collins
Hunger Game 2, Catching Fire, Suzanne Collins
Hunger Games 3, Mockingjay , Suzanne Collins
These were absolutely riveting.  I couldn't put them down and I am still not quite sure as to the why of that.  These had elements of Robin Hood as well as the Roman Colosseum.  There were political maneuverings, behind the scene machinations and Lord of the Flies type behavior.  I found myself not even liking the main character throughout most of the books.  Yet I couldn't wait to find out what she did next.  These are hard to describe and a genre all their own. A YA don't miss.

Wren to the Rescue, Sherwood Smith
Wren, Journeymage, Sherwood Smith
Wren's War, Sherwood Smith
Loved these, wish I had found them when I was my daughter's age.  I can't wait to turn her on to these.  This was the finest kind of Young Adult fantasy, before everyone and their mother thought they were JK Rowling or Stephanie Meyer.

I recently discovered Bill Bryson when I read, A Walk in the Woods.   One of my favorite "new" finds this year Bill Bryson had me howling during his adventures walking the Appalachian Trail and left wanting more.  One of my favorite quotes from the book,  "Black bears rarely attack. But here's the thing. Sometimes they do. All bears are agile, cunning and immensely strong, and they are always hungry. If they want to kill you and eat you, they can, and pretty much whenever they want. That doesn't happen often, but - and here is the absolutely salient point - once would be enough." 

Then there is my homeschool read aloud list for this semester.
The Silver Chair, C.S. Lewis
Tales of Ancient Egypt, Roger Lancelyn Green
d'Aulaire's Norse Myths , Ingri D'Aulaire
As You Like It, William Shakespeare
A Book of Golden Deeds, Charlotte Yonge
Minn of the Mississippi, Holling C. Holling
Xerxes, Jacob Abbott
Three Greek Children, Alfred Church
History of US, Book 7 A Reconstructing America, Joy Hakim
History of US, Book 8, An Age of Extremes, Joy Hakim 

Back to my own reading.......
86. Whatever You Do, Don't Run, True Tales of a Botswana Safari Guide, Peter Allison
Really fun, a quick read.  

87. Sister Wendy's American Collection, Sister Wendy Beckett
Love Sister Wendy.
88. The Heroin Diaries, Nikki Sixx
Not my first choice, a friend said I should read it.  They were wrong.

89. The Two Towers, JRR Tolkien
Because I missed it.

90. Decision Points, George Busch
91. The Legend of the Silver Wolf, Alice Borchardt
The first in a trilogy, it was interesting.  Werewolf trilogy in Roman times.  Have yet to read the other two, most likely will at some point, just to see how they play out.  Readable.

92.  Our annual reading of Jotham's Journey, by Arnold Ytreeide for Advent begins the 28th of November  and the last page is read on Christmas Day.  One of our more delightful traditions this book/devotional is one we look forward to year after year.

The girls and I have listened to the Harry Potter series on audio all year.  Jim Dale is an amazing reader and they are an utter delight, an experience I wouldn't miss no matter how many times I read them myself.  Preparatory to the new movie we wrapped up the last on November 10th.  I am already listening to them again at bedtime.
  Harry Potter and the Sorcerors Stone
  Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
  Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkhaban
  Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire 
  Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

  Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince
  Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

  The 39 Clues Book 1, The Maze of Bones, Rick Riordan
  The 39 Clues Book 2, One False Note, Gordon Korman
  The 39 Clues Book 3, The Sword Thief, Peter Lerangis
  The 39 Clues Book 4,  Beyond the Grave, Jude Watson
  The 39 Clues Book 5, The Black Circle, Patrick Carmen
  The 39 Clues Book 6,   In Too Deep, Jude Watson
  The 39 Clues Book 7, The Viper's Nest, Peter Lerangis
  The 39 Clues Book 8, The Emperor's Code
  The 39 Clues Book 9, Storm Warning, Linda Sue Park
  The 39 Clues Book 10, Into the Gauntlet, Margaret Peterson
There were really fun, targeted to the 9-12 age range I enjoyed them immensely.  Amy and Dan and their mysterious au pair are in a world of confusion, thrown into a hunt they don't understand exactly when they lose the one person closest to them.  A world wide adventure ensues and draws the kids, the au pair and a cat into a deep family secret.  Bonus, the first one was written by Rick Riordan. 

  The Vampire Diaries, The Awakening, L.J. Smith
On the fence.  It's no Twilight.  (she writes, tongue in cheek)

If you would like to join in the fun, write your post and link up here over at Callipidder Days Fall into Reading 2010


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