Monday, August 31, 2015

Just another family conversation

Excerpt from conversation during dessert tonight:

Rayna:  Mmmm… this Monkey Bread is great!

(Boys all chime in to agree enthusiastically)

Pete:  Why is it called Monkey Bread?  Is it as good as going to Monkey Joe’s?

(Kids all say how great both things are)

Me:  So maybe anything that starts with “monkey” is good?

Miles:  No, Mom, because - - umm – monkey butt!?

Colsen:  Dad, what’s a food you don’t like?

Pete: ummmm….

Miles:  Macaroni and dirt?

Pete: Well, yeah…

Sunday, August 30, 2015


While my head has been spinning with all of the home renovations, school plans, and general day-to-day whack-a-moling, the kids continue to say and do funny, clever, interesting, sweet, fascinating, frustrating, foolish, messy, and ridiculous things.  I have neither time nor brain space to reflect or document all of these events and words, so here is just a quick sample.

Lately I've noticed that Colsen may have inherited a family trait -- that of mixing up words and phrases, sincerely believing the newly coined terms are correct.  (I will not name any names... but certain family members have a reputation for going to places like Walmart's, for example.)

This week I kept a running list of some of the things Colsen said -- always with great passion -- as he was going about his days.

Some Colsen-isms from the week:

"This is how I write the word in cursive lower-casely."

"Our coach says our jerseys are going to be Ebay Green.  You know --  like glow-in-the-dark.  What?  Oh yeah, you’re right – it’s Neon Green."

"We did an experiment and I got to see statical electricity with my own eyes!"

(Tasting a hot pepper) "It’s not that spicy.  Oh wait, yes it is!  It just takes a few seconds for the spicy oils to evolve in your mouth!"

(Annoyed, trying to get the vacuum to work properly) "My nerves are just getting on this vacuum!"

(Telling a story about a tornado) "The trees were getting outrooted!"

I love how this boy thinks and expresses himself.  Someday I hope he'll read this list and we'll laugh and laugh together.

(But I'll keep my eyes open next time.)

p.s. Colsen isn't the only one who has amused me with his phraseology this week.  Miles, apparently having heard some second-hand stories about what happened the day he was born, asked me yesterday, "Mom, what was it like when your belly watered?"

* Photo credits:  Kharis Photography

Thursday, August 27, 2015

First Day of Classical Conversations

All afternoon and evening the kids have been walking around singing, "Kingdom, phylum, class, order, family, genus, species," or "Nominative, Subject, Genitive, Possessive, Dative..." or "2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 14..." or "Timeline, this is my timeline..." ---  which is a pretty big clue to where we were this morning!

It's been a few years since we were in a CC community, and it was good to be back today.  This is a new group for us and our introduction was lovely!  We all met together outside for the first part of the day, singing "This is My Father's World" and the Doxology, saying the pledge, and learning the first timeline cards and song.

 Then everyone divided up for their various classes.
This is me trying to surreptitiously take a picture in Milo's class.... blurry, of course.

Rayna was super-excited to be a part of this.  She has vague recollections from her 2 years in the program several years ago, but now she's one of the big kids!

Looking forward to a good year!

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Poplar Streams Academy, back in session

Last night was not the most restful of nights.  Between the smoke alarm screeching for a few seconds every 5 minutes or so (which is just a long enough interval that no one wants to stand out in the hallway for that long to determine which alarm it is) and waking most of us up, and 4 out of the 6 of us coughing all the live-long night, we didn't sleep all that peacefully.

So it was not a bright and early, bushy-tailed morning around here.  But we found ourselves once again thankful for the flexibility of homeschooling (and for the fact that Strider's school orientation didn't begin until 2:30 pm), and gradually got ourselves into gear.

After the oh-so-exciting apple pie breakfast, we assembled for the annual taking of the photo on the steps.

 Then we did the pledge...

and sang the national anthem.

And then we got straight to work...

My favorite line of the day was from Colsen.  When he was having trouble with one of his assignments he blurted out, "I'm just a no-brainer!  I can't spell this word!"

This evening Strider had his convocation ceremony at school.  I made him let us take this picture:
(I JUST bought him this jacket a few months ago and it's already too small.  Definitely Growth Spurt Season.)

Looks like it's going to be a great year!

Back to School Tradition Time

Gearing up for the new school year, we had our annual Treasure Hunt tonight.  Some of the kids thought it was AWESOME!

(Pardon the cord running through the living room.... renovations are still underway)

And the eldest, who has done many Treasure Hunts over the years, was less enthused.  He was actually at football practice when the rest of the kids did it, so when he came home, I told him there were a couple of things hiding for him.  He told me in no uncertain terms that he did NOT want to go looking for them.  "It's probably a backpack," he said, "Just tell me where it is."  So I did.

I'm happy to report, though, that even he is still excited about our other big tradition -- apple pie for breakfast on the first day of school.  :)
Baking, baking, baking!

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Rayna is a teenager!!

 Rayna woke up yesterday as a thirteen-year-old.... and promptly got mad at me for trying to take a picture of her while she was eating breakfast.  Taking pictures has never bothered her before.... some sort of teenage switch has been flipped!

But the rest of the day she was very cheerful and loved being celebrated.  Nonna took her out to do some shopping (which she LOVED), and for lunch.  Then some friends came over to play for the afternoon -- all GIRLS which was an unusual treat for Rayna!

After a steak dinner last night, we had the cupcakes she picked out -- Banana spice with chocolate frosting:

And then she and I attended a "Ladies Night Out" -- Rayna's first such occasion.  We went to Farmhouse Chic to make this frame for a photo from our Austrian vacation.  It was a lot of fun and Rayna was a good helper.

I love that we'll have this on our dining room wall to remind us of the day she turned 13!

Feels like we're moving.... Moving to stand still that is

Our house is in complete chaos this week.  Pete and I have been furiously working for days with all the renovations, and it's been wearying but good.  Yesterday I looked around and realized just how crazy it all is....  Here are a few of the rooms of our house right now:

(Including streamers for Rayna's birthday)

We're very slowly seeing some progress, though.... Our mudroom is getting close!

Only 5 more rooms to finish!

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Beach trip

We went back to Litchfield again this year -- love it there -- and it was a great long weekend.

Besides running into some friends from church (small world!), we also ran into a bunch of folks related to us:

This year Dad (Mom stayed home) and his 3 daughters and their families assembled.  We didn't invite the brothers.  (just kidding)

As always, the cousins had a lot of fun together!

VERY loud games of Clue!
VERY loud dance party!
"Push faster, kids!"
Uh oh, girls, watch out for that frisbee!
Oh wait -- actually, watch out for that jumping photobombing teenager!

I think we have hit the "sweet spot" for family vacations.  We all had a great time riding in the waves!

 And this momentous milestone happened....

.... for the first time, Strider is now faster than Pete.

Great family memories made at Litchfield-By-The-Sea!