09 10

27 October 2012

Weekly Wrap-up: the miscellaneous one

One thing that doing these wrap-up posts does is it makes me aware that we don't have all that many "regular" weeks. Still, there is learning in every week, and good overall progress, so what we're doing seems to be working, even if it is a bit crazy from time to time. And that pretty much describes this week too. A little crazy, but some good things happened.

One of the awesome things going on is that Hero is getting so much better are reading, and it's so exciting to me! Just this afternoon, he got out his box of easy books, sat down, and started to read. He still likes the security of having someone next to him to help with hard words, so it didn't take him long to ask me to join him, but I was so excited that he was taking that initiative to start the process in the first place! Seems like every book he reads, he starts out uncertain because it looks "hard" but by the end he's got it handled and it's no problem. We're well into All About Spelling 1 now, and finally getting to the point of having words to learn, and it's so fun to see him laughing because "You can't even fool me, Mom! These are easy!" That works for me. We'll buzz through the easy stuff and slow down a bit when we get to something that's more challenging. And in the mean time, it's offering a nice review of the CVC words. After all the work on vowel pairs we've been doing, revisiting CVC words is a both a needed break and a valuable review.

The boys are getting along so well. This picture is actually from last week, when I was feeling sick and the Daddy was out of town going to our new nephew's baby blessing. I really wanted to have the house tidy not wrecked when he got home, but just the bare bones was all I could really do. So I offered Hero a couple dollars to clean the living room, and he not only did it, he did it well, and he let his little brother "help" with the vacuuming. What an awesome kid!

Another thing that we did since my last "wrap-up" was we made bread again. A friend of mine was complaining that the hard cider he made in his home-brewery tasted like bubble gum, and was trying to figure out what happened. He mentioned that he'd gotten the "pitching rate" wrong, and me being incurably curious, I asked what is a pitching rate. He told me it's the amount of yeast you use. He also mentioned in passing that when you use cold yeast it doesn't rehydrate properly, and you get deformed yeast cells that can't do their job. So I tried warming up my yeast before I bake to see if it makes much difference in bread. Wow. Does it ever. I got 2 loaves instead of one, and the crust was perfect, and the bread was soft and light, and my kids raved over it. All I did was measure my yeast onto a saucer and then ate half a bagel with Nutella before I put it in the warm water. Definitely going to add that little bit of delay to the routine. And, yes, that's bread dough around Dragon's mouth. For whatever crazy reason he thinks it's tasty to eat raw bread dough. Ick. But it doesn't seem worth it to fight him on it. He calls it "cookie dough" and it can't be any worse than eating that stuff!

Let's see. Other fun stuff we did. We watched some YouTube videos about the space station. I didn't keep track of which ones this time, so I can't share them. Seems like we never get history and science to work in the same week, so there's not much going on in history right now. But we learned about the shuttle and the space station and even bumped into the Hubble telescope. Always fun. We're supposed to do some moon stuff next week. And we're supposed to finish off Rome in history. We'll see what I actually make happen.

I had another ultrasound this week, and this time I actually got some pictures digitized so I can post them! She's getting bigger, and looking more and more babyish all the time, and it's so exciting! Both my sisters have had their babies now, and I'm getting close to the beginning of the third trimester. For whatever reason, this time I'm just ready to be done and have the BABY already. But she's got to finish baking and it's sort of driving me crazy. Such is life. I don't really want her to come early (she threatened to do that; it was stressful). I read Ina May's Guide to Childbirth, and it starts with all these lovely stories about people coming to see Ina May and then going on walks in the woods while they labor, and I was thinking, "That sounds great! I wonder if I can convince the Daddy to take me to the park to wander around when I'm in labor, before we go to the hospital?" And then I remembered: this baby's due in February. And we live in the North. And suddenly laboring in the woods didn't sound so lovely anymore. I guess I'll just stay at home where it's actually cozy until it's time to go. Maybe next time the baby will be due in a season that is Not Winter. Cuz I still think that the woods would be an awesome place to do the first parts of birthing.

Let's see. Other interesting stuff with school. We didn't do much history, but we did a bunch of science. I have the worst time getting those two things to coexist in the same week! But this week we learned about the space shuttles and the space station, and we even bumped into the Hubble telescope. Next week we're supposed to do some fun stuff with the moon. I've got a fun art project in mind; hopefully I can be organized (and the family can be healthy!) enough to get it done. And also finishing up Rome. We're starting the Middle Ages in history, but it's turning out to be a pretty slow start. However! My books are getting organized, bit by bit. I'm hoping to give them their own post here shortly.

My friend CH came back from her trip to Europe a few days ago (it was a sort of study abroad thing, and she had a great time), and her family and ours got together for pumpkin carving. Of course, there has to be a photo like this one. So she kindly posed for me. And then we got down to the serious business of carving cool pumpkins. I spend too much time on Pinterest, so I knew just what I wanted to do: those big pumpkins eating little ones are hilarious. So I did one. And Hero had to do one like mine, so he and the Daddy did his. And the Daddy did one. And poor little Dragon wasn't allowed to touch the knives, which he thought was meanness. But we did let him pull out pumpkin guts, and he liked that. Did you know that pie pumpkin guts are considerably ickier than carving pumpkin guts? I didn't ether, but they are. Ick.


 The other big thing we did was go hiking. (When I'm planning school it's called "nature study".) And that was awesome. We were traveling with the Daddy while he did some work in a neighboring state, and when we do that we like to visit their state parks. This was a particularly successful outing. The Daddy took Hero and they went on a long hike. Sadly, I don't have the pictures they took, so I don't have any of Hero for this event. But I took a couple of Dragon on the little hike we went on, after he was done playing on the swings we found. We had a great time! We listened to chickadees and nuthatches, and then we hiked down to the little waterfall -Dragon's first- and on the way back he discovered moss. He wasn't so sure about touching it at first, but after he'd tried it once we had to make several more stops to investigate moss. Along with rocks. And sand. And logs. It's so fun to see the little things that are fascinating to little kids. Reminds me to be amazed.

 That's pretty much our week. If you'd like to see what other folks are talking about, you can find more wrap-ups over at Kris's place!


James and Doralie said...

I always enjoy reading your blog. Seeing the way you teach your boys gives me ideas on how to teach my daughter. PS I also didn't know until my mom told me last week that you are expecting! Congrats!

Ritsumei said...

Thanks! I'm glad you like it. And we are SO looking forward to the baby coming! And I'm glad that you find my blog useful. That's so nice to hear. I know that looking at other blogs has been extremely helpful for me many times; I love hearing that mine is useful for others. Thanks!

Phyllis said...

Lots of boy fun!

Jenny said...

I'm a week late in commenting!

Birthing in the woods DOES sound right in an interesting way. It's exciting that you are expecting. My baby is 9 months old, and I'm already feeling pangs when I see a newborn or hear a newborn's teeny cries. :)

My middle son is getting better at reading, and it's making everything so much easier around here.

I love eating raw bread dough! :)


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