Friday, May 25, 2012

School's Out!

Today is Girl of the House's last day of the schoolyear.  Yippee!  At her request, though, we will be continuing/picking up a few things through the summer.  She likes learning and sees no reason not to do what she likes over the summer.  How can I argue with that?

Here's a quick run-down of what she accomplished this year~

Math~ Not Girl 2's favorite subject, but she does like being tutored by her brother-in-law, That Boy. :-)  It's helped her tremendously to have someone who's enthusiastic about the subject and highly knowledgeable.  Math-U-See is the only curriculum we have found of the several we tried that she likes . . . well, okay, doesn't dislike.  She thinks Mr. Demme is hilarious!  She finished Zeta this year and has moved on to pre-algebra.  We are doubling up on math this summer so that she can begin Algebra I this fall.  She fell behind during that dreadful eighth grade year when she was so constantly sick, but we keep plugging away and making progress little by little, which is usually best anyway.

(This is how I feel, but I haven't been able to execute this particular maneuver for decades . . .)

Logic~ We got through chapter 6 of Martin Cothran's Traditional Logic Bk. 1It kinda sorta fell by the wayside along about December, despite many proddings by Girl 2 to get me back on track, but . . . well, we take another stab it at, picking up where we left off, this summer.  Another subject to plod through little by little.

Christian Philosophy~ This was offered online by some homeschool moms I know virtually.  This was Girl 2's favorite this year!  Girl Out of the House took this class when she was about Girl 2's age and has kept her book and wouldn't give it up, so I knew it was something I wanted Girl 2 to have.  It's important for people to understand the roots of their culture and the ideas that have shaped it.  This class went a long way to achieving that for Girl 2. 

Essay Writing~ About halfway through the philosophy class mentioned above, which required a weekly essay, I realized Girl 2 needed more work on basic essay writing.  We have gotten through the first few chapters of Lucile Vaughan Payne's The Lively Art of Writing and will continue plugging away at it until we finish.  She's also worked through pattern 12 in The Art of Styling Sentences by K.D. Sullivan and Ann Longknife. 

German I~ Girl 2 took this class on-line.  The teacher was good, the book was good, and Girl 2 now has a solid foundation in the language.  It's on to German II next year but with a different teacher since the current one is retiring. :-(

English Words from Latin and Greek Elements~ This is an on-line class taught by Girl 2's dad. :-)  It's an excellent class; I know because I taught it one year.  It teaches students how to break English words into their constituent Latin and/or Greek parts.  I know Girl 2 liked it and learned a lot because nary a day goes by that she's not telling me about the etymology or some word or another.  I think the English language is fascinating, and I'm glad Girl 2 knows that too!

Music History~ This is a class I teach on-line.  It takes students through the history of Western classical music from Gregorian chant to the modern-day minimalists.  There is no textbook; I provide materials through the school's moodle, including approximately 200 audio files.  Girl 2 really seemed to enjoy this class, if I may say so myself.  She was certainly engaged in the material, and now she is equipped for a lifetime of listening to and understanding classical music. 

In addition, we read and watched Shakespeare's King Lear.  I like to use the Oxford School editions along with an audio CD.  We read along as we listen, and then we watch at least one production.  On her own initiative, Girl 2 has been working through the first chapters of Spielvogel's Western Civilization and study guides(The link isn't for the same edition we use, but I couldn't find one for that.) She reads all the ancient lit. she can lay her hands on (Plutarch, Thucydides, Plato, Aristotle, Aeschylus, Vergil, etc., etc., etc.), so between her work in Spielvogel, listening to Teaching Co. lectures, and her own reading plus her father's background in ancient lit. and languages, which leaks out all over our conversations and daily interactions, she should be well grounded in the classical world. 

So, like every year, some things stalled a bit and others were very successful.  On the docket for the summer is math (eternal math! *sigh*), logic, and essay writing.  So there will still be plenty of time for quilting, visits to the library, some travel, baby holding, etc.  Happy summer, everyone!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

{Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real} ~ May 19, 2012

We had a rough time at our house this week.  I had (and still have) the mother of all colds, and as we all know, if Mom is down for the count, things just don't go as smoothly.  I'm feeling much better today, but I'm looking forward to having my voice back at full volume!  Man of the House made many extra trips to the hospital to visit a critically ill parishioner whose time on earth was coming to a close, or so we thought.  He has improved over the past day and is being transferred to a bigger hospital.  On top of everything, Girl of the House's dance recital is tomorrow with the dress rehearsal this morning~too early on a Saturday morning when we all just wanted to sleep!  But there have been blessings as well, such as . . .

{Pretty}

Look at all that lovely beef!  We bought a freezer last month in anticipation of buying a quarter of beef.  We picked the meat up yesterday, and look how pretty it is!  Now don't tell me that isn't a pretty sight; it is!  And the price was excellent too.  (There is also some marked-down pork that I bought at the store.  The beef is nicely wrapped in white paper.)  We have cuts of beef, such as T-bone steaks, that we have never, ever bought before, so we'll have to figure out the best way to cook them.  In the bottom basket is the humbler ground beef and hamburger patties that are regular fare for us.  Next, we'll buy a large quantity of pork.  Yum!











{Happy}

A few weeks ago, Girl of the House expressed an interest in learning the viola. Since Man of the House is an accomplished cellist, violist, and violinist, he can teach her, so the only expense was the viola itself and a book. The viola arrived this week. Girl 2 is already making nice, full sounds ~ not screechy at all. ;-)







Here's my second attempt at growing lettuce indoors.  I'd really like to master the knack so we can have fresh lettuce year around.  My first attempt didn't go so well. :-(  But this time we have a grow light mounted under a kitchen cabinet.  Hopefully the lettuce will do better.  It's also a great place to start cucumbers, winter squash, mini-pumpkins and gourds!

Under the grow light . . .







One housekeeping job I really enjoy is changing the sheets each fall and spring. I mean, changing from flannel to percale in the spring and from percale to flannel in the fall; I wash our sheets each week. I don't mean that kind of changing! lol When the flannel sheets go on, so do extra blankets. I love cozying up the bed for cold nights. Then when the percale set goes on, off come the extra blankets. It feels so light and fresh for the warm months!


{Real}


We planted three dwarf apple trees this spring, but alas, one has died.  At least it was guaranteed and should be replaced by the nursery.






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Sunday, May 13, 2012

{Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real} ~ May 13, 2012

Joining Like Mother, Like Daughter . . .

{Pretty}

I love May because of the prevalence of "Wedgwood Days," which have thankfully been abundant this week!





{Happy}

Girl of the House finished this quilt last week.  She machine pieces but binds and quilts by hand.  She doesn't have a specific baby in mind for this one, so she thinks she'd like to donate it to our local crisis pregnancy center. 



The fabric has a fairy tale theme.  Isn't it adorable?  For the backing and binding, Girl 2 used a pale blue fabric with gold stars.  Very cute!



I'm always happy to see Girl 2 quilting!  I think it's important that young people learn how to do as well as how to think.  Using hands-on skills they have learned gives them self-confidence and a can-do attitude as well as allows them to bless others in tangible ways.  Well done, Girl of the House!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Wedgwood Day




It was a Wedgwood day, with white coulds delicately modelled in relief against a sky of pale pure blue.  The best of England, thought Mrs. Miniver, as opposed to countries with reasonable climates, is that it is not only once a year that you can say, 'This is the first day of spring.'  She had already said it twice since Christmas~ once in Janurary, when they had driven across the Marsh to the sea and it had been warm enough to lie on the sand without a coat; and once in February, when she had taken the children for a lunch picnic in Kensington Gardens.  The grass had been scattered with twigs from the previous night's gale, and by the next afternoon it was snowing: but while it lasted that day had been part of the authentic currency of spring~ a stray coin tossed down carelessly on account.~~Mrs. Miniver by Jan Struther


Sunday, May 6, 2012

{Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real} ~ May 6, 2012

Lots to share today!

{Pretty} I made this skirt for Girl of the House this week following the same instructions I mentioned here. It's Girl 2's favorite design and since I've made at least a dozen of these, I can practically do it in my sleep. I hesitantly chose the fabric myself, and Girl 2 miraculously approved! Isn't it {pretty}?


{Happy}

We bought this patio set last weekend and Man of the House and his trusty sidekick put it together on Wednesday.  We've had dinner outside everyday since then.  In our previous house, the one with the postage stamp-sized lawn, there was no patio or deck or anyplace to put something like this.  We are {happy} to have it!

Here they are putting it together~



And here is Girl 2 with her vintage typewriter, Remy (short for Remington), getting set up for a writing session~



And here is the colorful brolly we got to go with it~




{Funny}

My father-in-law gave me reusable plastic bowl covers for Christmas last year, which I love because they really cut down on the amount of plastic wrap we use. (We call them "old lady hats" because they remind us of the plastic rain bonnets that elderly ladies use to protect their hair-do's from rainstorms.) They have to be washed and hung to dry, and we usually hang them over rinsed-out beer bottles that collect on the counter. (Man of the House is a brewer, remember?) However, last week I ran short of ready bottles, so I hung one on the teensy-weensy lemon tree that lives next to the dish drainer. Girl of the House thought it was {funny}, but I thought it made perfect sense!



{Real}

Remember that tree or bush or whatever it is that I showed you last week and that I hoped was dead so we could cut it down?  Alas, it started budding this week . . . like the tree in Minas Tirith, as Girl 2 put it. 




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(P.S. Thanks to Girl Out of the House and Quotidian Life for advice on my formatting problems!  Your suggestions worked! :-)  )

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