Monday, May 17, 2010

Long Past Due

I've been long absent from my blog and I know it.

It started out as a somewhat planned break as my attentions turned to other things, namely my dear father-in-law's struggle with cancer and posting health updates to a website for friends and relatives. My father in law is finally home for a short respite in his treatment. We are praying that he will be well again soon. But, then the planned month slid into two and now I find myself sliding into a third. I'm ready to come back now. I'm putting on my big girl pants and getting back to it.

I spent a month wading through homeschooling curriculum. I spent hours reading through blogs, articles, books, and websites on different products and methods each promising in turn to make my life easy and my child a genius. Awesome. I love it when money can buy easy solutions. At least when there's money to be had.

In any case, I bought books (lots and lots and LOTS of books) and now I'm settling in to go over my list and I'm making plans to get an outline ready for next year. I'll need to browse through our history/geography books and get an idea of the areas we'll be covering.

I have also been planning how we'll be spending our summer. We frequently go for walks through a local park. There are paved paths which wind around a shallow pond and there are many things to see. Last week Anna spotted a baby turtle swimming through the water. Its shell was slightly larger than a quarter so it must have been newly hatched. I have guide books on trees and animal tracks and wildflowers. Thomas and Anna will enjoy looking through them, even if they don't become expert naturalists. I think that this book will be fun for the kids, too.

It might seem like a lot of books, but honestly, Thomas really loves books. He gets most of his ideas and plans and information from books. Most of the time, if I just have the books available he will find them and read them in an afternoon. It makes my job very easy. Except when he gets this Really Great Idea about how he can build a real train and give Henry, Anna, and me rides and how he will be able to use his train to move packages! And he doesn't understand that this is just not something we can help him to do. The time he got into Calvin and Hobbes wasn't so great, either. Hm, or those Peanuts/Charlie Brown comics. Hearing him call Anna a 'Blockhead' was funny the first time, but it got old quickly.

Peter is taking a vacation from the Madhouse this week. We are staying close to home and putting a heavy emphasis on relaxation. Wish us luck. Today we went on a trip to the Arboretum. We had a wonderful time. I packed a lunch and the kids spent most of the day running down the paths shouting, "Really, I'm quite overwhelmed!" and "Mommy, isn't it a GLORIOUS day outside?" and "We could explore and explore every day for a YEAR and never see it all!" I need to stop letting them watch British BBC movies. And I'm definitely nixing the Masterpiece Theatre productions as well. And lest you think that I'm raising Little Lord Fauntleroy and PollyAnna Whittier, you might enjoy knowing they fought with vigor and passion over an empty Almond Extract bottle this afternoon. Ah well. It wasn't as bad as Henry's persistent screams in the van on the drive home.

I'll see if I can find some nice pictures to post of our outing today.

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