Monday, January 12, 2015

January 12, 2015

J woke me up at 6:30 this morning- Cocoa had peed the bed.  "Sorry" he whispered as he left for work.  "My fault" I muttered- I'm the one who gave the three-year-old a glass of milk right before bed.  He was up so much the night before, I had hoped a full belly would let me sleep longer- win some, lose some.  

After his shower I got back in bed and he followed me- he kicked most of the time, but we slept till 10.  Here's hoping some sleep will make both of us more human!

I made toast for C and grabbed myself a cold piece of pizza.  I made a quick salad for the turtle, Master Oogway, and tried serving it on a tile I found in the garage, instead of the dish he came with- he never can reach all his food.  He's been here a little over a week, and I am still voraciously reading forums and books trying to learn best practices for turtle care.  He's an eastern box turtle, we think.  A neighbor is suddenly moving to Europe, and needed a home for this seven-year class pet veteran.  He enjoyed his diced apples, lettuce, and herbs on mashed pumpkin.  I topped it with a sprinkle of calcium supplement and some worms I dug out of the Vermicompost bin.

By the time I finished feeding the turtle, C had finished his breakfast, gone outside to ride his scooter, come inside to use the bathroom, missed, and yelled for me that he peed on the carpet.  Second shower of the day for him- this is NOT normal.  I got him cleaned up, cleaned the carpet, and started a load of laundry. I took my shower while he got dressed.  

By 11:30 the kids were settled into math.  They worked hard until I served lunch at 12:30.  Mimi finished up science after lunch and was free for the day.  The sun was shining so I sent the two littles outside to burn off some steam.  Santa brought everyone scooters and it's been the BEST.  They love them.

  E still owed me two hours of work- that's our deal.  I get three hours of GOOD school work from her every day, and she has a promise of a solid end time.  I reserve the right to not count time she wastes.  School normally starts right at 9, but... I slept in.  Good thing too- I was over tired this weekend and in a deep funk.  

E Finshed her work at 3:00, and had the rest of the afternoon to herself.  I threw some drumsticks and Yoshi sauce in the cooker for dinner, and a pot of rice and huge salad made a nice meal.  The kids loved the chicken, I will have to remember that.  Because my ninja cooker can do oven duty, the sauce got thick and sticky, instead of thin and watery.  A few stirs at the end meant everything was gloriously coated, with no basting.  

We watched the Ohio vs. Oregon college football playoff game for family night- the "ducklings" were thrashed soundly.  (Cocoa coined that name.  Hee.)

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

October 14, 2014

Today the girls had their piano lessons and spent the morning coloring and playing mother may I.  Since I had a bit of work to do, that sounded just fine!  We got our school work done and did our mid-section review.  

Ernie covers more and more in each section, especially in math and science, and it's getting harder to keep everything straight in her head.  The last science section covered the five kingdoms of the natural world, and got into each.  This section we are looking at vertebrates, invertebrates, ecosystems, food and energy webs, and biomes.  So far.  Math we are covering the properties of multiplication and mental multiplication of double-digit and single-digit factors.  Reading, we are still working through Robinson Crusoe, and in history we've gotten through the Spartans.  Composition we have covered I think seven types of planning webs.  She also has poetry and art, plus spelling, grammar, and phonics workbooks as well as occasional technology lessons and social studies.  

Mimi is still in the delightful "I have 3 apples and get 2 more" stage of math that just begs for games and fun things.  She is doing awesome in her reading, tearing through chapter books, and loves all her school lessons.

J with his running partner- jogging strollers are awesome!

Monday, October 13, 2014

How Mimi Sees Herself

Mimi, are you clever?


Are you strong?

"Umm, not really!" she laughed.

Mimi, what is your favorite part of your body?

"My heart- because loving friends is the best thing we can do."

Well, when you look in the mirror, what is your favorite thing you see?

"My eyes" she said softly.  

- written October 2014

Friday, October 10, 2014

October 10, 2014

The girls spent the afternoon at their gym class and Cocoa and I stopped at the nearest trailhead to hike while we waited.  I have been putting off hiking since last Fall when I tried hiking there with three kids and for whatever reason got totally spooked being out alone in the woods.  We chose meadow, open, trails today and saw lots of friendly hikers.  If my GPS was right, we covered a mile in about 45 minutes.  By the end Cocoa was so fed up with my attempt at "speed" I would hear a "PSSSHHHHHH" from behind me as he hit me with a freeze spell- I would freeze in place while he inspected whatever rock or stick caught his attention, and then would shoot another beam to un-freeze me and we could move forward.  

After class I dropped the girls and their cousins off at my parents' for a sleepover, J picked up Cocoa for a big Dude Night of high school football, burgers, and donuts, and I had dinner with my sister and her in-laws.  I had never been to their home, it's beautiful, and she made such a yummy meal.  From top right, it's thousand year egg, chicken with onions, eggplant with black bean, and Chinese-style sausge.  She served a beautiful bowl of garlic broccoli as well.  

I had to scoot off to my piano lesson in town- I can see the progress I have made in the last year, but I still have so far to go it's ridiculous.  I had no idea how much technique there was... How much was possible.  Sounds ridiculous, but it's true- it didn't occur to me that playing harder music would require a new level of technique instead of just being able to read the notes faster.  My main skill up to this point has been sight reading- it's invaluable as an accompanist, and I am very good at it.  It's allowed me to help a lot of soloists and choirs out of tricky spots, because being thrown a binder of music a week or two before the performance is depressingly common.  It's amazing how learning a new way of bending your elbow or turning your thumb under can make an impossible song possible.

I met my sister and niece for dessert nada wander through the craft store after my lesson, and got home about the same time as the guys.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

October 9, 2014

A local homeschool gal set up a "self-guided tour" at Remlinger Farm this week- we got to participate just by paying the reduced admission and saying which group we were with.  This is the second time we have gone, and it's so fun!  There are rides, a steam train, puppet show, animals, a hay jump and hay maze.... And you get to pick out a pumpkin on your way out of the farm.  For $9 per person, it's a screaming deal.  The kids had so much fun, and we ran into our friends soon after arriving at the park.  

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

October 7, 2014

I went to bed with a head cold and woke up at 2:00 with a boy kicking my head.  It was not a perky morning around here for anyone!

My sister is a darling and answered my Facebook whining for a yuja cha delivery- yuzu is sliced and preserved in honey, a lot like a marmalade.  She introduced it to me after her Korean mission companion introduced it to her in Hong Kong.  My new induction stove is so fast I can have a small pot of boiling water in the time it takes to get a mug and spoon and scoop some of the jammy citrus into my cup.  Delightful!

The kids spent the morning playing board games- Monopoly is math, right?  They were pretty pleased to find the packing box full of board games Sunday night.  

We got Mimi's school work done quickly, and Ernie finished her math in record time.  

I made a nice lunch today, just to do something nice for the kids.  Rice balls (onigiri), meatballs, waxed cheeses, and heart-cut carrots simmered in fish stock (dashi.). I made myself a rice ball with pickled plum paste (umeboshi) in the center just to try a traditional combination- it's very good!

Ernie finished up her work and after the kids cleaned the playroom they had the rest of the afternoon to themselves. I taught one piano lesson and made a pot of miso soup for dinner, with carrots, spinach, and udon noodles.

J found out about a monthly open mic night in town- he went tonight and had a blast.  He was a good twenty years younger than the rest of the tight-knit group, but they were supportive and delightful and he hopes to go back in November!