Sunday, June 28, 2015

A Week, Briefly (#26)

This week we did 5 days of math and 5 days of reading aloud from To Kill a Mockingbird.  It is a hard book to read aloud.  I censor the majority of the foul language and all of the taking of the Lord's name in vain, but I force myself to read the derogatory language of the time period in order to help the girls feel the hurt and horror of bigotry.

"Read more!  Don't stop there!" they call whenever I place the bookmark and move to put the book down.

"I have to stop.  My throat is hurting," I answer.

"Get a drink of water.  You'll feel better," they reply.

Sometimes I humor them; sometimes I stop.  Always I ask questions, searching their minds for what they understand.  Often they miss the nuances, the specific subtleties that are the most powerful moments of this classic book.  But they get the feeling overall.

They are experiencing it the best they can at ages 11, 12, 13, and 15.

I hope they read it again when they are older, and then again and again.

I think they will.

I keep catching them reading ahead during "non-school hours."

I act dismayed, but really I am delighted. 

We took a hike this week.  No pictures.  I forgot the camera.  It was a trail new to us, and it was something of a struggle to get there and enjoy ourselves--ticks, poison ivy, biting insects, feeling lost--but we began to learn a new place.  I think we will go back.  I'm sure we will.

We planted some flower seeds.  They're late summer and fall-flowering plants.  I hope they survived the storm this week (they might have all washed away).  Time will tell.

We played outside with water balloons.  I watched, holding Baby L while the kids ran around.  Eventually the temptation to get Mom was too strong to ignore.

"I've got the baby!  You can't get me!" I called in vain.

"We won't get him wet.  Just you," they said with smiles as they popped water balloons on my back and bottom and down my legs while I stood with baby in arms, unable to run away or fight back .  I couldn't help laughing . . . neither could they.

We ate popsicles.

The hammock had plenty of use.

The cat got a bath.

We spent the hottest of the day's hours indoors.

H5 and A8 spent hours one day using toys and Barbies to recreate each scene of The Nutcracker.  They numbered the stations, proudly taking me on a tour of each scene.

This is Clara asleep under the Christmas tree.  She's holding her nutcracker doll in her arms.

It's not so bad having school in the summer time.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

A Week, Briefly (Another Girls' Camp)

We had school on Monday and Friday.  Tuesday through Thursday the 4 big girls were away at a camp for girls sponsored by our state conservation department. 

The night before camp three of them stayed up late taking selfies:

There were more of them but these are the highlights. :)

M13 says they were noisy and that Dad wasn't any too happy when he came down to check on them, so they took his picture.

At camp they completed their hunter certification requirements.  Their licenses will arrive sometime later this summer. 

I think it's hilarious because we are so NOT hunters!  We're not opposed to hunting, we just aren't a hunting family.  The girls got to shoot pellet guns, practice some archery, go fishing, go canoeing, and participate in a mock deer hunt.  They had a grand time.

Here's J11 with her pellet gun targets:

She was pretty good.  And she won the prize for best archery score, too! 

Dad and I purchased the very first new dressers our family has ever owned!  We found them on sale at IKEA, so we had to put them together.  The little ones got in on the action:


Our littlest buddy is making his presence known at the dinner table:

But he's not eating actual table food . . . just the table settings. :)

And M13 took some photos:

(I think he looks a little like he's wondering what on earth she's doing and why won't she pick him up.)
Everyone's home now.  We just have to finish some math and language arts to call our school year complete.

Monday, June 15, 2015

A Week, Briefly (Girls' Camp)

We had school on Monday, and then the oldest 3 girls went to camp for the rest of the week.

The rest of us went to a park and a local nature center.   We saw lots of birds of prey, snakes, nocturnal animals, and turtles.

We visited the pond we love.

We made limeade popsicles.

We blew bubbles.

We missed our biggest sisters.

We're glad they're home.

But they leave again next week for another camp, and this time they're taking J11 along with them.  It will just be Mom and the 4 little ones.

Touching the cool floating plants that grow their own air bubbles.

Photo credit:  J11

We came around the corner and were practically face to face with this deer.  It was not bothered by our presence at all, continuing eating until it was ready to move on.
The littles love the Draw, Write, Now books we borrowed from the library.

A8 reads the Bible to I3.

Testing the limeade for flavor before making the popsicles.

Found these bubble blowers here:

One afternoon I found I3 here--under his bed, asleep!

We also made marshmallow shooters:

These are cicadas in the morning.  It must be a special year for them.  I've NEVER seen so many!

A8 had me cracking up because she'd collect handfuls of cicadas and then throw them in the air singing, "Let them go!  Let them go!"

H5 took this amazing shot of a cicada on her skirt.

Boy beard.

Girl beard.

A8's Lego man.

The big girls came home and lost no time reacquainting themselves with their baby brother.  E15 shares her book with him

M13 shares her crafting with him.
We've bought more bug repellent, and the girls have recovered from the exhaustion of their first week of being away.  They're excited for the second week of adventures, and the littles are looking forward to doing stuff the older kids don't like very much.