A large family, homeschooling, adoption, special needs, whatever strikes my fancy, sort of blog.

A large family, homeschooling, adoption, special needs, whatever strikes my fancy, sort of blog.

Monday, August 30, 2021

Goodbyes and More Goodbyes

I'm finding it difficult to make time to blog these days, but I do have things to share, so here goes.  

Remember last time I showed a splotchy watercolor page?  That turned into this:  

Super easy, yet beautiful, bookmarks.  

Liquid watercolor, pipettes, Crikey, and laminator.   I thought to myself, "Self, you could do this project with the second graders, it's so easy!"  Self should have laughed at me, knowing that I have them for only 30 minutes, and also planned to go over rules, book care, introductions, etc, *and* do checkout.  In 30 minutes.  So that was kind of a disaster.  But now I know.  Honestly, one of my favorite parts of teaching is how much I learn.  

I split the kids into two groups, thinking one group painting, one group selecting books and checking out, and then they'd switch.  Erm.  I underestimated how long things would take.  

(side note:  the paper towels under the pages were pretty when they dried and I couldn't bear to just toss them, so I'm using them when I clean Tuzi's cage, and they make me smile.)

But most of the students got to paint, and everyone eventually got a book, and all's well that ends well, right?  Their bookmarks turned out beautiful, and I was able to Crikey cut 2 bookmarks from most pages, so everyone will be getting a finished bookmark.  I'm going to try this project again this week with another class, and more realistic expectations for what else we can accomplish.  

Mid road trip potty stop.  

We went to Nevada for a funeral.  

It was nice having most of the family together, even though it was for a sucky reason.  Bri tried to make it, but their flight was cancelled.  Zach's got a new baby, so they elected not to travel.  But 7 out of 9 is really impressive for my crew, so I enjoyed that.  

Even just seeing them interact with each other warms my heart.  

Later, at the hotel, swimming happened.

And lounging.

And socializing.  

My Dad and step mom, beautiful examples of what I'd like to be more of.  

Katie got pretty brave in the pool with Jack and Eli.  Hannah wasn't having it, so she got out.  

Relatively new on the scene is Josiah's lady friend, Miss M.  I'm glad she was there to comfort him, as he was the closest to the deceased from our nuclear family.  

We drove through horrible smoke both ways.  This is daytime.  

As we started getting further from the fires and closer to home, you can see it got much brighter out.  

Sam was home with us for a few days before heading off on his next adventure, so he and the girls started watching Lord of the Rings together.  

Eli's visit came to an end.  Miss Adorable's family loves him, and they all went to Tahoe together and had other fun adventures.  I'm glad they had a nice time.  It's good to see him happy.  

Eli left on a Tuesday, 

and Sam left on Sunday, so my heart is a bit achy, and the house seems quiet and empty without my boys.  (Yes, even with 4 kids still at home.)

Warning light, eh, tire looks fine.  Next day, still on.  Paul put some air in it for me.  Next day, light was back on.  Meh, looks okay.  Next day...

Reading a book at Honda for over an hour, waiting for Matilda to get a new tire.  

Box of new books for the library.

Speaking of which, here it is again.  This arrangement seems to be working for the moment.  It's still very much a work in progress, of course, but we made it through week one okay.  I'm going to need more bookcases eventually.  

My classes have different numbers of students, but between table chairs, ottomans (ottomen? lol), the rug, and chairs requisitioned from the class next door, we make it work.  I do some rearranging between classes to accommodate various group sizes.  

I'm rocking my new Hello Kitty lunch bag.  Because I can.  The older kids would have rolled their eyes at me.  These last few stragglers seem to accept Mom's just a lil weird.  

I was having a rest when I heard a noise and opened my eyes to this.  Yikes!  Oh Grumman.  

Heading back to Shriners this week.  I wish the girls didn't have to miss school already, but Hannah needs to get that new leg going, and it's quite a process.  Katie's looking forward to a less conspicuous ankle.  

Sorry the formatting is a bit off this week.  Blogger put my photos in reverse order, which was a pain to semi-straighten out.  I figured posted but imperfect was better than not posting at all.  

Sunday, August 22, 2021

Our First Day of School Week

I know I skipped a week, but it's been busy around here!  Here are the highlights:  

We had a visit from Grammy & Carl.  They made the drive up to see Eli while he is here.  We went out to lunch and then...

...Hannah played a song for them on the piano.

And we played Apples to Apples.  

Josiah won, again.  

Poor Fi.  She's a decent cat, but Grumman is just not having it.  She wants to be where he is, and he wants nothing to do with her.  I often walk into my room to find him up on his perch, and her in the rocking chair, as that's about as close as he'll allow.  Eli's not a fan of her either; she peed in his duffle bag.  

Speaking of Eli, this was taken while we were on a wild goose chase for his favorite Japanese canned coffees.  We went to 5 Asian markets before a google search confirmed that it's not sold in the US any more.  So he had to go with another brand.  He says he's going to use his household goods weight allowance to ship a pallet of the stuff to his next duty station.  

Donations are starting to trickle in from the library wish list!  

This makes me so happy!  Other people believe in my project!

Before the pandemic, I was volunteering at Book Den.  They graciously allowed me to come pick out a box of books for the library.  I packed that box, lol.  They donated 85 books!  

We had a 5+ hour visit to Shriners.  Katie had x-rays.  Looks like we'll be facing surgery soon, but I have yet to hear from the scheduler.  

Hannah will be getting a new leg.  Katie's leg got lengthened a whopping 1.75"!!!  I made this appointment in April.  They hadn't been seen since February of 2020, and this was the soonest they could fit the girls in.  

First we did x-rays, then we did "clinic," which was seeing the doctor and prosthetist downstairs.  Then we went upstairs and saw a prothetic tech, to lengthen Katie's leg and do some repairs on Hannah's.  Then we went to the cafeteria to pick up lunch while we waited for our regular prosthetist to be done with clinic.  The cafeteria is reasonably priced.  We got a plate with 2 pieces of fish, 2 hush puppies, and spicy rice, plus a soda and 2 juices for $8 something.  I had brought snack bars with us, just in case, so everybody got a drink and a bar, and we split the fish & rice.  Then the girls played in the sunshine on the rooftop playground.  

Hannah said, "Mom, don't you have a picture of me sitting in this?  Take another one!"  Last time, she actually fit in the half bubble.  

It felt good to be out in the sunshine.  The a/c is too cold in the exam rooms.  

I finally got around to pouring paint on the smaller letters.  You can totally tell I did one row at a time.  The top is much more blue and the bottom is much more red.  

But it looks okay now that it's all up on the wall.  

Books from the city library.  Jack is currently reading Art of War.  He's been sharing insights with us.  

The picture book section has filled in quite a bit, and the rug has changed since you last saw this corner.  

The abyss has disappeared.  I finally switched from trying to process all the books, to trying to hide the unprocessed books before school started.  And I brought in the 3 bookcases that are where the tables covered in books used to be.  The white ones have our early chapter books, and the pink one currently has a display of August Notable Events and books relating to those.  

I decided to get in the Back to School picture this year.  Paul took these for me.  

6th grade, 9th grade, 12th grade, and library.  I am a little concerned with how the transition will go for the girls.  Socially, they lost an important year.  When they were in school before, Katie was a 4th grader--now she's a Middle Schooler.  That's a big leap.  When they were in school before, Hannah was a 7th grader, now she's in High School.  That's also a big leap.  They've been At Home for over a year, whereas their classmates mostly continued attending school.  I feel funny even saying this, as a homeschooler at heart, but there's a certain amount of social peer pressure that helps them understand what normal behavior looks like.  They've missed 15 months of developing those cues.  Hopefully, they'll do just fine, and I worry for nothing.  

I was *delighted* to have someone offer to put these up for me.  I'm very happy with how it looks.  

This is Grumman supervising me Crikey-ing up 30 black dogs (art project) and some bulletin board pieces.

Sneak peek at my October/November board.  I bought an autumn garland from Hobby Lobby to go with it.  

This is step one of an art project I'm going to do with the students this week.  I really love how the finished creation turned out.  I'll share those with you next time.  

Very excited to get students IN the library this coming week.  I've been working with the books and the catalog and the decor for so long, it's time to shift my focus to the library's patrons!  I'm very excited to see kids start checking out books!