Monday, August 29, 2011

First Day and An Embarrassing Discovery

I am happy to report we made it through our first day of school unscathed.  It's probably too early to tell for sure, but I'm really happy with all of our selections for our curriculum. 

We moved our schoolroom for this year.  I was torn about whether or not it would look junky to set up in our "formal family room".  But, the kids really wanted to be where there's sunlight and that seemed like the best option.  I have a whole set up on my wishlist from Ikea- but for now this will have to do:

I took this picture during Hurricane Irene, so it looks a little dark. Normally it's much brighter.  This morning we were greeted by the beautiful morning sun.

So, here's how our first day unfolded:

6:15-7:45-- Mommy alone time

7:45-- Child #1 awakens with a terrible sore throat

7:50-- Child #2 awakens, perky and needing to brush his teeth

8:00-- Child #2 gets dressed and eats breakfast while Child # 1 returns to bed

8:45-- Child #2 starts school

10:45-- Just as Child #2 finishes up school for the day we rush out the door to the doctor's office

11:00-- Child #1 begins school work in the car

11:30-- Meet with Dr.  Discover that Child #1 has tonsillitis and the doctor is shocked that the strep test is negative by the looks of her swollen and angry throat.  We end up bringing home an Rx for some antibiotics, but first, I discover something really embarrassing:

     Child #1 had her last well check-up in 2006, which was also the last time she had immunizations.

Sometimes I wonder about myself.

1:30-2:15-- Return home, Child #1 finishes up her schoolwork

Despite the interruption of having to go the the doctor's I think we had a great first day.  Both kids seemed eager to get to work.

Here's what we ended up selecting for our curriculum:

Grammar/Spelling: Easy Grammar, Sequential Spelling

History/Reading: Sonlight Core D+E/One Year Condensed American History

Bible: An Honorable Boy, A Virtuous Girl (Queen Publishing)

Math: Teaching Textbooks, Saxon

Science: God's Design for Heaven and Earth

Foreign Language: Power Glide Spanish

Art: How to Draw by Jon Gnagy

Music:  Meet the Great Composers

I'm really looking forward to having daddy teach them God's Design for Heaven and Earth- and they are too.  Tomorrow we get to try out art and start our bible studies.

Hope everyone is having a great start to the new school year!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

The Family of the Long Good-bye's

My family often refers to ourselves as the "family of long good-byes".  Whether it's Christmas or a drop by visit during the week at my Grandma's we can't seem to just say "good-bye" and walk out the door.  It goes against our nature.  Maybe it's because we don't really want to go.  Maybe it's because we're procrastinating. Or, maybe we're just plain weird.  Whatever the reason- it's just what we do.

My kids never believe me when I say, "Ok, kids.  It's time to go."  They give me a nod but I know they're thinking "Suuuuuure."  Winter, Spring, Summer or Fall- it doesn't matter. Coats can be on, keys can be in hand. We may move another couple of feet closer to the door.  Then a conversation about something else will start up.  I'll call the kids again and tell them it's really time to go.  They find another place to sit closer to the door.  Eventually we lose them again. Finally, cars begin warming up outside- for 10 more minutes.  It just never ends!  We'll finally inch our way out the door, shrug our shoulders and say- we're the "family of the long good-byes!" 

I went for a visit this week to my grandparents.  My grandad, 94, is getting ready to move into a nursing home.  My mom, her two brothers and my Grandma have been taking diligent care of him around the clock for the past several months. With dementia progressively worsening (he doesn't really recognize any of us now) and the need for constant care it was decided that this is what's best for him and the family. 

So, this was my chance to see him for the last time in his home that I have had 34 years of wonderful memories with him there:  sleepovers with root beer floats and pancakes and bacon in the mornings,  riding lawn mower lessons, golfing, bike rides, fishing trips, hours and hours of video taping of my "fashion shows" and me and my brothers "levitation acts", and much more. 

After lunch my Grandad got comfy in his bed and we gathered around his room to watch some family videos of the good old days:  my little brother's 2nd birthday, one of my fashion shows, Christmas '87, the family famous stroller crash video that we still debate on sending to Funniest Home Videos (**will explain later) all taken by my Grandad.  He was always the one behind the camera capturing every moment of our family get togethers.

In the midst of our laughter, hoops and hollers Grandad soon drifted off to sleep.  My Grandma glanced over at him sleeping peacefully, slowly looked at his frail body, then tuned back to me and said, "This is the "long good-bye", you know.  We're always the family of long good-byes." 

With moist eyes we squeezed hands, cherishing the moment as we reflected on the years of good memories.