Monday, July 28, 2008

Year 3 Schedule

8:15-9:00 circle, oral reading, math puzzler
10:00-10:15 snack
10:15-10:30 latin
12:00-1:00 lunch
1/2 hour guitar practicebedtime story chapter
1/2 hr or so neighborhood walk or hike nearby
9:00-10:00 Math Story & Lab
10:30-10:45 Oral Math
10:45-11:00 cursive
11:00-12:00 spanish (la clase divertida 2)
1:00-1:30 nature story
1:30-3:30 nature walk w/nature journal & snack
3:30-4:30 nature/seasonal craft
9:00-10:00 main lesson
10:30-11:00 oral math, cursive
11:00-12:00 science lab
1:00-2:00 gymnastics
3:00-3:30 handwork
9:00-10:00 Main lesson
10:30-11:00 copywork
11:00-11:30 math practice
11:30-12:00 spanish
1:00-2:00 local history (stories)
2:00-3:00 art technique
3:30-4:00 guitar lesson
9:00-10:00 main lesson
10:30-11:00 oral math, cursive
11:00-12:00 leonardo da vinci
1:00-3:00 homeschool gym and swim
3:00-4:00 library
9:00-10:00 Old Testament (story, lesson book drawing, etc.)
10:30-11:00 Grammar
11:00-11:30 Math Practice
11:30-12:00 Spanish
1:00-1:30 Form Drawing
1:30-2:00 handwork

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Crazy Hat Day

Today was crazy hat day at tennis, which of course the kids didn't tell me about until an hour before we had to leave. Foal wore the Medusa hat we made last summer for the Greek Tales play they put on, and Mymy wore the winning hat from last summer's contest "Fourth of July". ABCD and I took his the hat from his old Mt St Helens costume, wrapped one of the dress-up bin red felt crowns around it, hot glued evergreen branches around, and then glued on the Smokey the Bear magnet from the fridge. Voila! A Forest Fire Prevention hat. Perfect for this hot, dry summer. And the tennis club Crazy Hat officials thought so too. He won first place! He has won every year, not that I want to brag or anything. Most kids wear store bought Halloween costumes or Cat in the Hat hats, so a little bit of homemade creativity stands out. Anyway, he won a visor this year, a cool red Nike one, and Foal won a Venus Williams poster and Sunny won new grips for his racket. Mymy wanted a prize, too, even though, of course, he's not in the class with the big kids, but they gave him a popsicle with all the big kids so he was ultimately satisfied. A fun day, even if it started out with a bit of a rush!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Summer Garden Supper

Yesterday I finished a weekend long garden weeding frenzy too late, too hot, and too tired to think about cooking anything complicated for supper. I had thinned a whole bunch of broccoli plants, and didn't know exactly what to do with them. It seemed a waste just to dump them all in the compost, so I tore the leaves off, chopped them up, then sauteed them with an onion, olive oil, chopped tomatoes, salt and pepper. The broccoli leaves were so tender and sweet, I might just plant extra on purpose next year. That was served over brown rice, with poached eggs on top. I also had the first decent sized zucchini and yellow summer squash, which I sliced and placed on a baking sheet with a little olive oil, salt and pepper, minced onion, garlic, and Parmesan cheese, and broiled til the cheese was brown and crispy looking.
Yum. I love eating from the garden!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Food Plan July 14-20

breakfast- scone, scrambled egg, blueberries
snack- yogurt, cantaloupe
lunch- egg salad sandwiches, apricots, cucumber sticks
snack- scone, peanut butter, carrots
supper- potatoes, spinach, chicken, corn on the cob

breakfast- granola, milk, yogurt, blueberries
snack- scone, apricot
lunch- leftover supper
snack- carrots, banana bread, cottage cheese
supper- injera, chicken berebere, lentils, greens, squash
snack- ice cream

breakfast- banana bread, cream cheese, cantaloupe
snack- yogurt, blueberries
lunch- veggie hummus sandwiches
snack- smoothie popsicle
supper- frittata with bell peppers and sun dried tomatoes, garlic bread
snack- popcorn

breakfast- granola, milk, blueberries
snack- bread and butter, fruit leather
lunch- leftovers
supper- "taco" salad with ground turkey, potato
snack- ice cream with cinnamon oranges

breakfast- egg in a basket, fruit
snack- blueberry turnovers
lunch- cheese toast, veggies
snack- popsicle
supper- pizza, salad

breakfast- blueberry turnovers, yogurt
snack- fruit
lunch- leftover pizza
snack- nachos
supper- hamburgers with organic pastured beef, home fries, coleslaw, milkshakes

breakfast- puff cake, strawberry preserves
snack- fruit leather
lunch- leftover hamburger sandwiches
snack- popcorn
supper- roast chicken, wild rice, veggies, salad
snack- blueberry galette

Our grocery bill was $113.42, including 7th generation diapers and several other non-food purchases, plus $32 at the produce stand and the farmer's market. $145.42 total. Budget busted!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Hummer H3

The other day the kids heard someone talking about a contest to name the new Hummer H3 or something equally ridiculous. These are their versions, in case anyone at the Hummer company is inspired to use them, go ahead, I guess I just lost the contest submit form:
H3 Strikeout
H3 Disaster
H3 Bummer3 (because whenever we see a Hummer we shout out "Hummer Bummer")
H3 Putzatron (because Sunny's family shouts out "George Bush is a Putz" whenever they see a Hummer)
And some advertising slogans, in case you want to offer us a contract:
H3- Three times the gas of a normal SUV
H3- Say hi, hi, hi to the gas pump every day
H3- For people who don't care about the planet
H3- For people who don't care about anyone else
H3- For people who don't care about anything
H3- Smaller, but just as obnoxious
H3- 15 miles per gallon... $4 a gallon... you buy it, you deserve it!
H3- Fly, its cheaper
That's all they came up with before I distracted them with lemonade and the offer of a board game, but I thought the riff they had going was pretty funny, if not the most kind-spirited.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Doppler Effect

So the kids have been making up cool swing tricks all summer. There's "The Gravitron" where one kid swings high, and another grabs hold with both hands to one of the ropes so they swing around in a crazy wild circle. There's "The Death Drop" where they jump out and roll then flop down dead, but somehow laughing hysterically. "The Yellow Diaper of Doom" where they straddle the yellow plastic swing and have someone else twist the swing then push it. There are many tricks involving two or three kids straddling, hanging, shrieking and laughing. Who knew a $29 plastic swing and a great big old maple would be so entertaining?
But my favorite of their swing tricks is the newest one. "The Doppler Effect". One kid in the swing, twists it just enough so that he is facing the maple, on tiptoes, then releases and swings straight into the tree. Feet stop the child from slamming face first into the trunk, but as they come up to the tree they yell something, usually the name of a city or country (the epicenter of the storm) usually "Singapore" for some reason- I think it just sounds cool and exotic- never our town, since we don't have storms here, ever. It's called the doppler effect because they can hear and they swear they can feel the sound waves bouncing off the tree and back into their faces! I am continually astounded by the cleverness I am surrounded by. They're fabulous!
And they keep talking about how this is their best summer ever, and we haven't DONE anything, really. Swing. Slip and slide. Ride bikes around the dead end. Cover the driveway in chalk. Turn the guest room into a massive fort of mattresses and pillows and blankets draped everywhere. Eat ice cream cones. Find interesting things- smooshed snake in the road, the first ever brave potato bug, the one who didn't curl up when we held him. Poke the floating mass over the drain of the irrigation canal- see how its made up of tiny little leaves and things, yet moves as one solid piece? Listen to chapters. Read to each other. Tell our dreams, which leads to telling made up versions of dreams, which leads to making up stories. Play the same secret adventure game they've been playing since last summer.
It does sound pretty good, I guess!

Monday, July 7, 2008

The Car Accident

Last night. My mother was driving the boys in her new little RAV-4 (she calls him Toby) and I was driving ahead. A car screamed around from a side street onto the road we were on right in front of me, over compensated the turn and slammed into the driver's side of my Mom's car. I think it took me about three seconds to pull the car over, run through the intersection, down the road, and grab my boys. Thankfully everyone was okay, physically. O! Thankfully!
Thank you for seatbelts that keep your family in place, and car seats that protect 2 year olds from the crushed in smashed in metal of a car door that has just been plowed in.
The man who hit them came to me, apologizing, reeling, reeking like a bar at 2am. This was 7:40 in the evening. Who is drunk at 7:40 pm? Who?
The first thing I asked was "Are you DRUNK?" Incredulous. I mean really, who the heck drives drunk anymore? Doesn't anybody watch public service announcements on TV? "Yes," he says. "I am. I'm stupid. I'm drunk. I hit your kids. I've never done this before. I'm so sorry."
I lost it. My husband, thank goodness for his calm attorney self, got his driver's license and address and info from all the people in his car and the car full of his friends behind him before they could make a plan or step out of shock. He got to them while they were still talking, still there. My mother wrote down license plates and my father in law called 911. I held my boys and this man's wrist and spoke obscenities to him and tried not to cry.
Thank you to the witness and his son in the truck behind, with the "coexist" sticker, trying to get their horse home from the fair, who stayed and stood witness and helped us make sense of what had happened.
Before the police got there he left. He got in his friend's hummer "to move the car" and drove away. No blood alcohol test, no DUI. Hit and Run isn't nearly as bad as a DUI, criminally, so I guess that was smart of him. Though it sort of negates his girlfriend and sister and their repeated testimony as to what a wonderful guy, what a nice guy he is. He left his 9 year old daughter sobbing in the car he'd just smashed into other people, and drove off in a hummer so he wouldn't get in trouble for DUI. Nice guy? Really?
What kind of a person even drives drunk with their child in the car? Nice guys do, I guess.
My 8 year old said today that he thought the feeling of being in the car accident would never leave him. Thanks a lot, nice guy. Thanks for the memories.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Dried Applesauce

As part of our Oregon Trail experience the kids made applesauce from dried apples for lunch (with cold biscuits and sausage). It was declared a delicious lunch and the best applesauce ever. Here's how we did it:
3 c dried apples simmered with 3 c water, 1/4 c cane sugar, 1 t. cinnamon. After 20 minutes or so. when the apples are soft, mash them (or puree).
Pretty simple, but a dish they want again, so I'm pleased.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Solar Air Tube

So today was "Craft Wednesday" but I've been wanting to try this: for a long time and thought it would be a fun experiment. So it turned into "Slip-and-Slide-Seed-Spitting-Science Wednesday" instead. Because I'm the director of this here day camp. I get to decide. It was over 100 today, though the sun wasn't very direct this afternoon.
The hardest part of the whole experiment was finding cheap enough trash bags- seems every one's concerned about quality or something, and having trash bags that are strong and durable and its almost impossible to find thin (<.5mm) black plastic bags. We went to three stores and finally bought the last box of thin bags at the dollar store. Really, I can't imagine what you'd use these bags for other than experiments like this- you can barely hold them without tearing them! The kids thought it was lying that the company was called "TUF" but finally decided it wasn't really lying, since they spelled it wrong on purpose, but it still wasn't fair, because some people might not notice or even know how "tough" is supposed to be spelled. Because true and not true isn't about spelling things right or wrong!
Our tube wasn't quite this long- we had six bags instead of eight. We didn't get a lot of height, but there were times this afternoon the tube was on end, floating around. Thank you kind neighbor with a big sunny patch in the front who didn't mind a whole pack of wet swimsuited kids running and hollering and chasing a garbage bag tube around all afternoon! The highlight was when they tackled it and jumped on it and popped the poor thing.
Then asked when we could make another one!