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27 August 2015

Day in the Life

A pretty typical day in our life. We have a 4th grader, a kindergartener, and a toddler. 

9:00AM - Alarm goes off. I snuggle Tigress(2) as she asks me repeatedly, "Are awake, Mama?" and chat with the Daddy for a couple minutes.

9:15 - Getting up and out of bed. Dragon(5) pops in to say good morning, and the Daddy wakes up Hero(8). We're meeting some friends for Nature Study at "our" preserve this morning, plus I need to stop at the church to let someone in to do some cleaning. I head to the shower, and the Daddy chases people into day clothes and starts getting breakfasts.

9:55 - My person calls me to let me know he's at the church and ready. I thought we were meeting at 10:10...

10:12 - We pull into the parking lot at the chapel. I start to think that I've timed this too tight and underestimated the chatty nature of the person I'm letting in. Oops.

10:30 - Still at the church. My friend is at the preserve, and texts to find out if we're almost there. I call her and explain. We take off.

10:45 - Arrive at the nature preserve. I love it here. I've been reading Biology in a Day, and I'm excited to look at the plants. I've read about a couple of families so far: mints and parsley families, and I know a bit about the Asteraceae family from work in my Herb First Aid class that I'm still slowly working through. We've been doing swim lessons all summer, and lots of travel, and this will be my first chance in a long time to do nature study with the kids. I'm excited.

We find this gorgeous thistle. The kids don't care today - they're running and shouting and having a great time. I can tell it's been a while since we've done this. But they'll settle down after a few minutes. My friend and I admire the thistle anyway.

I'm extra interested in the Queen Anne's Lace, since it's one of the umbral flowers in the parsley family. I can tell it's not the Yarrow I'm hoping to see, because the leaves aren't Yarrow leaves, so I post to the Plant ID group I found on Facebook, checking to make sure it actually is Queen Anne's and not something else.   

There's a lot of it, and I wonder if it spreads underground like Yarrow and Pando, and if it does, does that mean that all the Queen Anne's Lace in a given clump actually counts as a single plant? I don't know, and I'm not sure where to find out, but there's still plenty of botany to study. I shelve the question for later. Meanwhile, one of the toddlers pulls up a plant. I had been wanting to, because I want to draw it, so we tell him not to do that (it's a preserve, after all), and I quietly tuck the plant in my Nature Journal. 

At the pond, we watch turtles, speculate on why the water is so low, and try to identify a new bird the kids find. Virginia Rail, maybe? I'm really wishing for my big camera with the telephoto, but all I have with me is the phone. It can't see that far. Some of the kids adopt a caterpillar and carry it around. When they loose the first, they find another, bigger one. We catch minnows in our net, inspect them, and turn them loose real quick. The littlest kids are pretty interested in the minnows. Even more fun, after we catch and show, they learn to see them in the water, and the toddlers are both pretty excited about that. 

On the way to the "Stick Shack" we find this and wonder if it's a spent Milkweed pod. The Facebook plant people say it could also be a butterfly weed, and to look at the sap's color... but we've moved away into another section of the park. Maybe next week. Either way, it's pretty.

While the kids play in the dirt under the odd little roof/shed thingy they call the "Stick Shack" I hear bits from various of play building on some of the stories we've been reading (which I love), and I spend the next few minutes chatting with my friend while we stay out of the way of their game. We lament the absence of a bench, and I decide to sit down on the ground and start drawing the underside of the piece of Queen Anne's Lace. It's a delightful realization to think the kids are big enough now that I don't need to hover to keep them safe, so I can draw in my book! I get about 1/2 done while they play, before they want to go to the Tower and play hide-and-seek. We move, and while they play their game, I finish off my drawing. I'm surprised at how fast the flower is wilting, and have to kind of fudge the end of the drawing, because the flower has changed enough that it doesn't look like it did. It's starting to curl up and get limp. The pen in my pocket can't do justice to this work - I can't really do all the fine details on the little bitty flowers. But I'm happy with how it turned out, just the same. Dots suggest the little tiny flowers, even if they're not super detailed. I'm not sure that my drawing skills are up to any better than this, especially not in the time that I have: I don't want to take the plant off the preserve's property.

12:00 - Realize that we have my husband's car, and he needs it to go to work. Drat. I have to put an end to the good things going on in the park. We stop by the nature center for drinks and I ask the guy some questions about why the pond is so low (it hasn't rained much) and if they get very many Virginia Rails. They don't (he's never seen one at the preserve) so that's likely not the bird we saw, but he suggests that it might have been a Green Heron, which they get all the time. We look it up, and it looks like a probable match for what we saw at the pond.

12:30 - We're home again, and everyone seems to be famished. Frozen blueberries in yogurt I made yesterday, plus leftover pancakes, egg salad for the Daddy, and some apples. I guess this is lunch. We have our Japanese songs playlist going, and the kids are singing along part of the time.

1:40 - The Daddy leaves for work. The kids are playing with legos, and I am messing with my blog and reading some stuff on Ambeleside's Facebook page.

2:00 - We do our hymn (I Believe in Christ) followed by our folk song (Barbara Allen). I think that we can change folk songs as planned next week, but we're probably going to need another week to do justice to all the verses of our hymn. It's extremely pleasant: I love being gathered around the piano with the kids.

2:30 - Hero is reading a comic book, and I do some work with a number line with Dragon, counting backwards. I'm surprised by how hard it is for him. Guess we'll practice that some more. Then, more legos. And some play with our hiragana (Japanese alphabet) toy. Best talking toy, ever: it's helping build exposure to their second alphabet, which will (eventually) help build literacy in the second language. 

3:30 - The kids want to finish off their lists on the markerboard, so that school will be finished. Hero vacuums the living room and the stairs. I set up to do calendar time. Dragon does his vacuuming - and with no tantrums today. Progress. Yay. I try to load the dishwasher, but get distracted.

4:00 - We're finally just about ready for calendar time. While they wait, Hero and Tigress play with Legos. It's just that kind of day. Then we do our calendar. It's a lovely section of the day that we do almost entirely in Japanese. We counted out the days of the month, added another straw to the pouch and practice counting and adding, and then sing the "Go-shu-shu Song." Loudly.

4:30 - We can't find Hero's memory work binder, so we substitute our Book of Centuries. He adds the Reign of Terror from yesterday's history work, and also Lexington and Concord from a little while ago. We're just picking back up with doing the timeline work, now that he's a bit bigger and can take care of it. We also get sidetracked with watching some of the videos in our Japanese playlist. Dragon brings me a cool Lego robot he built, then asks if he can play with our disassemblable body. 

5:00 - I'm thinking that if we'd done less legos we'd be done. But we're not. Hero asks me to practice violins with him. I'm using the 1/4 size one, which looks comical, and at least today, sounds hideous. Not sure why I can't make a decent sound. But Hero sounds pretty ok. I get out the littlest one for Tigress. 

5:30 - I ask Dragon about his lego creation and he tells me "Ka-BOOF!!" Tigress comes through with the body, "Bobby!" And starts riding it like a horse. I tell Dragon that it'll be his turn for violin momentarily. He grumbles. 

After a few minutes, the grumbles turn into a full-out tantrum. He looses his legos, and I switch to story time with Tigress. Pretty soon, stories are more interesting than tantrums. By the end, Dragon is still grumpy, but he's snuggling and listening, not throwing a fit. I call it a win, check Hero's grammar work, and go work on the half-done dishes -- and dinner. Hero plays Minecraft for a while. 

6:15 - The dishwasher is running and dinner's on the table. I read a few pages of Fellowship of the Ring while we eat; the Company of the Ring is about to be attacked by Wargs and flee to Moria. Very exciting! After dinner, Dragon takes a do-over, and practices beautifully. He asks me to play, too, so no pictures. He even asks me to help him practice every single day so that "when I am an old man  I can play better than Lindsey Sterling!" Sure. Daily practice I can help with. 

7:30 - Last thing on Dragon's list: phonics practice. He chooses to do it on the spelling tiles, and he does great. Hero's time on the computer is done, and he's looking for his book (The Empire Strikes Back). Dragon wants some Minecraft. Tigress wants a turn too, so I introduce her to the joys of Starfall. She's a happy camper. She loves the tiger

8:15 - Tigress is dismayed to discover that it's her turn for the bath. She was pretty sad, until she noticed that I'd tossed in some Duplos (because there's not a enough legos in this day, yet). Then a bath was acceptable.

8:45 - Tigress is clean, Hero's headed in for his shower. I'm not sure what I've done with my Botany in a Day book (really, the "in a day" part is a misnomer, but I like the book anyway), so I decide to attempt to draw a Queen Anne's Lace seed pod in my nature book - they look really cool. Tigress is getting grumpy and clingy, though, so who knows how well this idea will work right now. I also spend a couple minutes trying to figure out if "seed pod" is actually the correct term for the thing I am drawing. So. Much. Vocabulary. I'm glad there's not a strict timetable or test for this stuff. That would not be very enjoyable, and I'm liking learning this stuff in my slow way. I read about seeds, but still don't know if I should be calling my thing a pod. I search some more, find little, and decide to try drawing instead.

9:00 - Dragon got off the computer and into the bath -- without throwing a fit. Give that boy a star; those are tough spots in his day. I haven't drawing anything in my book, yet, but I did learn that Queen Anne's Lace looks a lot like some poisonous cousins. That's useful to know. Maybe I'll look at them next. But, if you can tell them all apart, apparently you can make jelly. I'm pretty curious about that. But not so much so that I'd try it. Yet.

9:06 - The Daddy walks in the door. Yay!

9:20 - I've started drawing, but I think I should have done it in pencil. The pen I'm using today just isn't doing it for me. My seeds look painfully similar to ticks in a clump. But Dragon is just about ready to get out of the shower, and Tigress is melting down about ... I'm not sure what. It's definitely getting close to bedtime. 

9:45 - Drinks for the kids, family scripture reading (we're in Mormon 2, and the story is getting so sad), and family prayers. Tigress passes out on my lap, and I snuggle her while the boys brush their teeth. At that point, she's far enough gone that I can park her on her bed. 

10:10 - Upstairs for the rest of bedtime. Hugs, kisses, and prayers. Then, I read the boys' personal scriptures to them. Hero is in Numbers 32, reading about the entry into Caanan. Dragon is in Luke, and we discuss a couple of the parables of the Lord, and some of the tricky vocabulary. Both boys want extra tonight, and I happily comply until my voice is tired. Then they quickly fall asleep. Now I have to decide what I'm going to do with the rest of my evening. Study? Minecraft? Hmmm...

10:40 - Downstairs with the Daddy again. I like that. I grab a big glass of water and a little piece of toast, and work on my blog for a few minutes. Then, I look up Asclepias incarnata and
Asclepias tuberosa and see what I can learn about that seed pod we saw this morning. Then, some Minecraft while I listen to some of my herb class, I'm thinking. Allergies and a big Creeper fountain.

12:00 - I'm so done. (Except for re-checking Facebook and posting the link I said I'd find before that conversation is irreversibly lost.) But then, sleep.


Angelic Scalliwags said...

I'm exhausted just reading about this! What a busy productive day!

Ritsumei said...

Lol. It does sound like a lot, when I re-read it. It didn't feel like it was so bad when I was living it, though. All those legos!! They're very popular right now, and every time I turned around the kids were back in them. They make some cool stuff. And it gives me time to fill my brain with lots of plants n things. Win!

Anne Chovies said...

I like your drawing! Sounds like it was a fun day at the preserve. Sounds like it was an interesting day all around!

Nelleke Plouffe said...

I love the Queen Anne's Lace drawing! I've always been stumped when drawing white flowers on a white page. I might steal your idea sometime in my own nature journal. Our lawn has so much yarrow right now. The Queen Anne's Lace is closing up and going to seed.

Kristyn B said...

Thanks for sharing a piece of your day! I always am encouraged to know that other people's days can be very similar to mine :-)

Ritsumei said...

Anne Chovies - It was interesting at the preserve. I find that in homeschooling, as with every other type of teaching I've done, the teacher seems to learn more than anybody. Which works for me; I'm having a blast.

Nelleke Plouffe - Thank you! I was really quite pleased with how it turned out, especially considering that the pen was driving me crazy. It was a gel pen, which are nice to write with, but you can't do any shading with them, I discovered.

Kristyn B - I'm so glad that you find it encouraging! I get so much out of reading other blogs, and it's nice to hear that mine is helpful too. Thank you!


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