Tuesday, September 7, 2010

I'm Still Here

The Many Faces of Luke

Not Saturday (or Sunday), more than a week, and more than seven...

I've been slacking on the blogging, lately, but you will all forgive me, right? Let's play catch-up with more details about my life than you wanted to know.

1:: VBS, oh, how I love you; let me count the ways. The boys attended THREE weeks of VBS this summer, the last at a charming little church less than a mile down the road. Which means we were up and ready for our day by 8:45. The boys got three hours of physical group games, upbeat songs with hand motions, messy crafts, fun themed snacks, and social interaction every morning. Which meant I got three hours of silence and then felt no remorse expecting quiet time, chores, or independent play for the afternoon. The only draw-back: a counter COVERED in crafts with which the boys are loath to part. Oh, and the germs they brought home. I've had to fight off several colds the past month or two. Seriously, though, I think VBS single-handedly saved my sanity this summer.

2:: My sister, Shannon, and her husband, Ben, came and cleaned out the upstairs 'playroom' for me a few weeks ago. You have NO IDEA how bad this room was. I won't tell you, either, because it is plain embarrasssing. Good grief. What a HUGE job, and what a huge blessing that was to me!!

Since they got the ball rolling, I've been able to muster up some enthusiasm for turning the room into a baby nursery. It is in the process of transformation (Russ has been working his tail off, and THANK YOU, Ron, for helping out this past weekend!!), and I am soooo looking forward to getting the painting done this week and then putting up the finishing touches. You can be sure I'll share pictures when it's ready!

3:: Getting going on the nursery has (finally) inspired me to get a few other things on the pre-baby check list accomplished. Trying to finish as many of those as possible this week. My get-up-and-go has been sadly lacking for a while (like the past eight months....), so I'm praying this will be a sustained burst of productivity.

4:: One of the things on my to-do list this week: meet with a wonderful girl who will be helping around the house for the next couple months. I'll share more about her later, but I'm wildly ecstatic about the possibility of my house being clean and staying that way before, during, and after the birth of this baby.

5:: I'm trying to get as much of the to-do list checked off this week, because Classical Conversations begins this coming Monday. Tuesday will mark the start of our simplified fall school schedule at home. I was an utter failure at summer school, so we'll see how this goes.

6:: I never posted pictures of Boys' Camp or Shannon's house. (Or several other things this year.) I wonder if I'll ever get around to that?

7:: Baby is due in four weeks. I've been chatting with her, and have asked her to please humor me and show up somewhere between September 19th and October 1st. Not before. Not after. We'll see how obedient she is...

8:: Speaking of (un)productivity, I read only one book last month (which was more than the month before). I read Mockingjay, the third and final book in The Hunger Games trilogy. I would review it, but I can't without spoilers. (So, go read it, and we'll chat!) Fascinating stuff and lots to thinks about and discuss. I liked the second book, Catching Fire, the best, though.

Oh, and look. Something not about me:

9:: I've said it before, and I'll say it again: The internet is an amazing thing for free homeschooling resources. My latest discovery? Core Knowledge (of E. D. Hirsch, Jr./Cultural Literacy fame) has made their entire (very detailed) Core Knowledge Sequence: Skills and Content Guildlines from preschool through eighth grade available online for FREE download! And they have a large number of detailed lesson plans (search by grade or subject) available for free download, as well. Fantastic stuff.

I reviewed the book Cultural Literacy: What Every American Needs to Know some time ago. It is an excellent read. And I think that A First Dictionary of Cultural Literacy is a fabulous reference for homeschoolers.

10:: On vocabulary:

We cannot Name or be Named without language. If our vocabulary dwindles to a few shopworn words, we are setting ourselves up for takeover by a dictator. When language becomes exhausted, our freedom dwindles--we cannot think; we do not recognize danger; injustice strikes us as no more than "the way things are."

~ Madeleine L'Engle, Walking on Water

How are YOU? Have you embraced your autumn routine?


~beautyandjoy~ said...

Well, you had me with that closing quote. :)

I cannot even fathom how you are doing everything right now so mostly all I am saying here is how I am cheering YOU on. our routine is slowly but steadily becoming less exhaustion on my part and more early bedtimes to make it. :)

Thinking of you a lot!

Rebecca said...

I had *mine* (finally). It's a BOY. Since we didn't know, I now have lots of girlie photo props that I can't use. (I went on a headband craze for a while there!) Now it is YOUR turn! Can't wait to hear and especially,see, your good news!

Starting school "officially" once hubby goes back to work on Monday. I feel totally unprepared. Thanks so much for the link at the bottom of the post. I have been looking for something along those lines, but without success. I appreciate it!

(ps. I had grand plans for "summer school" too. HA.

Lisa said...

Welcome back! It's good to see you back on the blog and I wish you the best!

trinward said...

Heidi, Our autumn routine began a couple weeks ago, and school so far is going well, minus day one, when I wanted to call the local public school and beg them to take my kids, but that was day one . . . we are on day 17 now, so things are going ...! We HAD to start early this year. I just wasn't willing to school into or through the summer like this past year! Most challenging part of this year, is remembering I have four to do school with! We are only on day 8 of kindergarten! Yikes. On a side note, I can't wait to see the nursery as I am sure it will be great, but when you fill it up with a beautiful baby, it will surely be spectacular!

Timi said...

I like the photos of Luke, he is sooo funny and lovely :o)!

Andrea said...

How is the name game going? Are you going to run a contest where your readers get to name your baby?! If you're in any way hinting or still needing suggestions, tell us all. All the best to you in these final weeks. Your are preparing well.

Hannah said...

I finished Mockingjay yesterday (in tears, and somewhat shell-shocked). I've been thinking about it a lot but it's hard to talk about it online or elsewhere because most people haven't read/finished it yet. The way I explained it to a friend, it was both difficult to put down and difficult to read. Ms. Collins pulls no punches. In fact, I think this might be the most violent one yet; what do you think? I was satisfied with the ending, though, although I think calling it a "happy ending" would be a gross oversimplification.

There's my two cents. (There ARE my two cents?)

Anonymous said...

Heidi, Hi! Would love to see before and afters of your upstairs room :) My heart is a-flutter just knowing that your new baby is coming! So, excited for you and your family! Much grace to you and your wee-one in this time~let Him love you and care for you! I am doing well, as we begin (slowly) our homeschooling :) this year. Thinking of you! ~Connie in Tualatin

Anonymous said...

hi heidi.....i recently found your blog and LOVE it.

how's our routine? coming along pretty well. i actually feel prepared and organized for once. of course it only took 5 years of homeschooling experience to finally get there!!

and i was so inspired by your back to school photos that we had a little photo shoot of our own in our back yard a couple weeks back on our first day. it was so fun, i even made a list of props and ideas for future school years!

Gina said...

Thank you so much for posting this lesson plan link-it will help us in our routine...we're settling into the fall routine nicely around here. Grace to you as you wait for your little gal to arrive!