Saturday, May 21, 2011

Keepin' It Real

We have been on "almost-summer break"
for two weeks.

Two weeks ago,
this is what my house looked like
The beautiful ceramic casserole my uncle gave us was crammed with pens--for some reason--because we needed a place to store pens?  Sorry, Uncle Tom!
I still had not taken our Christmas cards down--
truth is, I LOVE having them up and seeing all of our friends' kids smiles,
but they need to come down, oh by say, well, MAY!
We had gone shopping, bought things and never put them away!

Our house was trashed.

I was so frantic to cover academics that I didn't make time to do these things.
But seriously, I don't know what I was thinking
because I can't think straight when my house is a mess.
Is anyone else like that?
Please tell me I am not alone in this.

So, the beginning part of the last two weeks looked like this
Every.single.cabinet.& cupboard. and. drawer was emptied, wiped down and re-organized.
Floors were washed or wet-mopped or vacuumed.
Carpets were cleaned.
Slipcovers were washed (and Ollie never budged! ha!)

This         became        This
Our library books used to lay all over our dining room floor.
But now...they took up residence in our entryway :)

I burn photos on to DVD every few months.
These DVDs sat on my coffee table for MONTHS,

ever since Jessica at Teachable Moments posted about portfolios, 
(um, back in FEBRUARY!!!)
I had wanted to create them, but I needed to get the photos from the fall off the DVDs to use in the portfolios.

Finally, I got around to creating portfolios of our Fall, Winter and Spring terms for both girls,
complete with cute covers, their curriculum & what the accomplished,
their outside classes, field trips and books they read independently and books we read together.
I must say that the portfolios are one of my favorite things about homeschooling,
they are like little scrapbooks of everything each girl did this year,
what their interests and hobbies were, where we went, what they learned & read.
I love that each girl will have this record of their life.

Jason and I have three windows in our bedroom,
with trees and bushes outside of each.
There are two birds' nests, one in the back of our house and one on the side, right under the windows.
We've all been keeping a close eye on them.
Unfortunately, the mama birds fly away the second we come near the window,
so we can't look as often as we would like,
or get photos of the mamas.
(I feel a kinship to these mama birds and want to ask them if they need anything.)

We've also been drinking green smoothies
and reading a LOT.
A read Anne of Green Gables
(now she wants to go to Prince Edward Island)!
She liked it OK, but not enough to want to read the rest of the series right now.
She's also read Mother-Daughter Book Club for the THIRD TIME!
She is currently reading Shooting the Moon by Frances O'Roark Dowell.
(Which was on several 6th (ahem! really?) grade reading lists.
A and I have been discussing YA novels, as Shooting the Moon is considered YA.
I have found several websites that review these books and let parents know what issues a book may have.
Ten Miles Past Normal is a book that I am considering allowing her to read.
Peace, Love and Baby Ducks WAS a book I was considering until I read the review at CommonSense.
A is a voracious reader, I can not keep up with her--so I really value the reviews at CommonSense Media and ParentDish.

I've read Sing You Home by Jodi Picoult, which I loved!
I read Open House by Elizabeth Berg, which I adored!
Rescue by Anita Shreve, which was wonderful!
I am currently perusing The Well Trained Mind once again
and reading The Silver Boat by Luanne Rice, which I am enjoying immensely!

P read all of the Kit Kitteridge books by Valerie Tripp (American Girl series)
and has been reading the Goddess Girls books,

The girls have also been playing with their American Girl dolls,
enjoying FaceTime playdates,
and real playdates
and knitting!

We've watched a TON of movies.
The other day, the girls and I watched "Summer Eleven" which was low-budget
but very, very good.  I would highly recommend it to anyone with girls who are 10 or 11.

We've gone shopping and bought more wool
for our knitting projects.
We learned to finger knit.
And the girls have been singing the
Fifty States that Rhyme song non-stop---guess it is safe to say they know all 50 states now!

I am linking this up with