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.

Friday, August 26, 2022

Our Second Week of School

Whew!  I survived our first full week!  Somehow, I missed getting pictures of student dino art that I had on display at last night's Back To School Night.  I'm kicking myself now, because they were very cute.  

Grumman and Fiona are still not "friends" by a long shot, but they were sharing space on my bed recently.  

So... I'm not a Dollar Tree shopper.  But I heard in a librarian group on Facebook that they had Berenstain Bears plush characters, and I've been thinking about taking a water aerobics class through parks and rec, so we gave it a try one day.  

We did find the bears, which made me happy.  And a couple plush dinos.  And Grumman's brand of treats.  And the pool noodle (I got purple).  And some books.  But... I was reminded how judgey I can be.  It felt like a Walmart/DMV/emergency room kind of vibe.  I live a sheltered, almost isolated, privileged life.  I'm thinking I might need to make an effort to be around real people more often.  

This week's book run reflects my current dream for next summer:  a road trip.  I'm thinking if I can get the girls into an adoptee summer camp in So Cal, we'll drive down, hitting a few points of interest on the way there.  They'll go to camp for 5 days while I wander around museums, zoos, etc.  Then on the drive back, we'll stop at some different landmarks.  It would be a massive field trip.  We're researching at this point.  I think it's a fabulous plan.  Paul is not as enthusiastic.  Hopefully, he'll come around if I keep talking about it.  

The library's current setup.  I'm sure it will change over the course of the year, just as it did last year.  

My example artwork (the red dino up on the white board) can just barely be seen here.  It's a project based on the book, If The Dinosaurs Came Back, which I read to the younger grades this week.  We drew a cityscape and then glued a colored dino on top.  

The metallic dino drawings on the right side of the white board were done by Hannah and Katie as examples, but we haven't done those in class yet.  

I added book bins this week.  So far I've got 2 in use, but I'm sure all 4 will be pressed into service soon enough.  This small bookcase will eventually house a shelf of early chapter books, but for the time being, it's displaying dinosaur books.  

Working on a test run of a future project:  

 Dinosaur Pasta Skeletons.  Once the glue is dry, I'll shake the excess brown craft sand off.  

Grumman and Jack are making the same face!  

Jack has been working hard all summer.  I'm proud of him.  He's thrashing his clothes, coming home filthy and tired, and for the most part, keeping a good attitude.  His boss changed his start time to align with our start of school, which is a huge blessing.  Much as I enjoy my job, I don't want to be there an hour before I have to, you know?  

And that's our week.  Feels a little sparse after all the amazing vacation pictures of the summer, but it is what it is.  I just need to get in the habit of photographing the ordinary again.  

Friday, August 19, 2022

Our Back to School Week

School has started!  I'm looking forward to us getting into our new routine.  Summer was such a whirlwind this year, I'm ready for some calm.  

This is Grumman's blankie.  I should wash it, actually.  He's like a toddler.  He snuggles it and bites and bunny kicks it and hides under it and sleeps on it.  It's adorable.  

Fiona, impersonating a water bottle.  I don't think Grumman is buying it.  

First week of school was HOT.  

There's a junk shop we pass regularly.  They had a display of ordnance out front one day, so we stopped to take a peek.  

I stopped mostly for Jack, but the girls were interested, too.  

Jack bought himself an ammo can from the Vietnam era.

Library books.  

As I quipped on Facebook, I just don't understand why no one has asked me to teach nutrition.  That's my breakfast.  

Nasty ottoman before and after.  I was able to pick the seams and use a smaller seam allowance and remake the not-quite-large-enough cover into one that fits.  

I dropped 6 boxes of clothes off at Goodwill this week!  I'm constantly pulling things from the girls' wardrobe (too short/too small/stained/ripped/tired of seeing it) but I rarely cull from my own closet.  This was good progress.  It's not my imagination when I say nothing fits, though.  

6:30 a.m. first day of school picture, courtesy of Jack.  We have to drop him off by 7.  

Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Our After Summer Camp Before School Starts Week

Whew!  After our Michigan trip, the girls had one more adventure.  Camp Winning Hands, a camp for kids with upper limb difference.

I forgot to take a picture before I dropped Hannah off on Monday, so I took this on the way out.  

Katie and I waiting for her rapid covid test results at her Tuesday drop off.  

The library is a summertime disaster, but I added 3 new (to us) bookcases, which is a Very Good Thing.  I spent the summer processing books, and ran out of shelf space.  

One of the bookcases has 2 more shelves, but I need to find some shelf pins for it.

Hoping to get those totes of books processed before school starts, as I had to move them to put in a bookcase, and I'm out of corners to hide piles.  

This is going to continue to change, as I just heard I'm loosing two tables and gaining a conference room table instead.  

A small new to us bookcase.

Another small new to us bookcase.

Guess what my theme this year is?  I'll give you a hint...


Lego flowers that Brianna sent to Hannah.

I placed a Kohl's order when an underwire stabbed me in the armpit.  I like to pick up a few of the Kohl's Cares books & plush whenever I order, so when my order split, I ended up with one box that was bras with a side of angry dinosaur.  That about sums it up, doesn't it?  

The other box was much cuter.  

The napkins I sewed recently seem to have reawakened the sewing urge within me.  I made this autumn leaves peasant top for Hannah.  

A library run

Fiona claimed a Goodwill box

This was supposed to be the "before" shot.  Only, the "after" failed.  I made a cover for this icky ottoman, but it was too small.  I have since unsewn it (one of my least favorite activities) and resewn it, and will try to fit it again.  If this one does not fit, there may be tears or stomping.  

I shared a small bit of this passage from Sherlock Holmes with my kids at dinner and introduced them to the "science" of phrenology.  

Look!  There's been progress on the dining room ceiling!  (The hole opened up shortly before Thanksgiving, for anyone who's curious on the timeline.)  

Katie helped me with an experiment.  I'm trying to figure out how to "fossilize" some dino skeletons for my students to "excavate" with orange manicure sticks and craft brushes.  

Our current recipe is 2 splorts of glue, hot water, and sand.  We're waiting for it to dry well.  

Grumman, of course, had to check and see what we were up to.  

This should look vaguely familiar to some.  I made a taggie similar to this for Kasen months ago.  I even mailed it.  Only, it never got there.  :sadface:  Since I didn't make it to Texas for a visit this summer like I had hoped, I decided to mail Zach's family their souvenirs from my Europe trip, as well as a replacement taggie for Kasen.  

Tuesday, August 9, 2022

Detroit Institute of the Arts

We had just a smidgen of time between when Lucky Fin Project Weekend was over, and when Bessy had to be back at the rental lot.  I managed to stuff one more educational/cultural activity in:  Detroit Institute of the Arts.  

Obligatory museum sign picture

I loved these rainbow glasses in the gift shop.  They'd make a great Christmas present for someone I know, but I didn't think I could get them home with us.  Seeing that they're online, I may end up buying them later.  

Naked statues

New vocabulary word of the day:  Triptych.  They probably don't remember it, but I try to toss out a fun one every now and then.  It is a bit obscure, I suppose.  

Hannah was a little disappointed we didn't have time to check out more arms & armor.  

This tapestry was massive.  It takes up the whole wall.

Having been personally learning more about the split between England and Rome, it was neat to see statues of some of the popes.  

As an aside, it literally just dawned on me this week that England's complicated religious history influenced how they destroyed India on the way out.  See, India was home to Muslims and Hindus.  But when England pulled out, they decided that they couldn't live peacefully with each other as they had for many, many years.  All the Muslims had to move to two areas, and all the Hindus in those areas had to move out to the Hindu area.  This is how we ended up with India and West Pakistan and East Pakistan.  Only, West and East Pakistan were too far away from each other to be really unified, so East Pakistan eventually became Bangladesh.  This forced migration killed over a million people.  

I suppose after Henry, "I don't want to listen to the pope," and Edward, "Catholics are bad; we're properly Protestant now," and Bloody Mary, "Let's kill the Protestants," and Elizabeth, "We're Protestant again," the British couldn't understand how people of different faiths could peacefully coexist in harmony.  

We weren't quite running through the halls, but we did go at a speedy clip, hitting the highlights only.  

I could absolutely go back and spend a couple of days soaking it all in.

This was another massive, wall sized painting.  We had a good conversation here about "white Jesus."  

Hands down the biggest candle I've ever seen.

This was a belt!

Apparently, Texas size belt buckles were a thing even in the Assyrian empire, long before Texas was a thing.  

DIA has an Egypt section.  A respectful, reasonable Egypt section.  A set of canopic jars (a favorite of mine),

One (count them, one) mummy

And a few sarcophagus samples.  

This is much more comfortable, and no less fascinating.  

The Egyptian cats always make me smile.

Hey, look!  It's Horus!  I don't remember seeing him in London.  

Sigh.  Oh, the weird times we're living through.  

All too soon, it was time to dash out, cross the street to the parking lot, and point Bessy the rental car back to the airport.  

We had a noon car return and a 5 pm flight, so that was poor planning on my part.  I learned a lot on this trip!  1) no red eye flights, 2) the girls are at a fabulous age to travel, 3) Plan, then run through the whole thing over again and make sure every bit of it makes sense and fits well, 4) I will always want more time in any museum...