Wow! I feel like we have been super busy lately. Here are the (more or less) highlights of what has been going on around the Owl Nest. Warning... it's long.
Owl Poppa has been a bit under the weather, and his work schedule has been a bit weird (he works three days a week, 12 hour days, which is weird all by itself, but the schedule has been weirder lately). His work schedule always throws a monkey wrench into our homeschool schedule. It's been hard getting lessons completed in a reasonable amount of time on days when he is home, especially when he is home and sick. But, his schedule is also one of the reasons we homeschool, so it is what it is.
(Completely and totally as an aside, I just LOVE that expression... it is what it is. It seems appropos to everything lately. It truly sums up the new level of acceptance I am feeling about things in my life. Okay, random thought over... carry on)
The kids have all taken turns feeling run down as well. I tried complaining to Owl Poppa about the lack of "routine" around here with all these sick days. His response... the same thing is happening in the public schools, too. He's always so rational! :)
We've been doing lots more hands on projects and celebrating lots of interesting things lately as well. I posted about Katie's birthday, the first day of fall, and Johnny Appleseed Day. We also celebrated Michaelmas (albeit a few days late). I don't know too much about Michaelmas, really, but remember reading that it is sometime celebrated as a harvest festival and with the story of St. George and the dragon, and that you shouldn't eat blackberries after Michaelmas (because when Michael threw the Devil out of Heaven, he landed in a blackberry bush... the kids think this part of the story is hysterical). So, we mostly did what we did last year. We read the Reluctant Dragon (we all love this one), as well as the story of St. George and the Dragon. We also read Custard the Dragon and Custard the Dragon and the Wicked Knight. The kids put on a mini performance of a dragon slaying. J and W took turns being the dragon and slaying each other. K was the damsel in distress. I wanted to make a blackberry crumble again, but the kids voted on blackberry kefir smoothies :)
We braved a rainstorm Thursday to meet friends at the park. It actually only rained for a few minutes, and then cleared up, though the sky stayed really grey. But the great company made up for the crummy weather.
We spent Friday night sitting for a friend's little girl. This was really fun. We had an indoor picnic in the living room. We set up the picnic mat on the floor, and then all four kids pretended to chase away birds and ants that were after the picnic. I had to be the bird swooping in to steal the pizza. We played tag, and board games, and Barbies, and then watched cartoons. It was awesome.
Owl Poppa celebrated his birthday over the weekend. J made him a card (spelling all the words himself... I was really proud). The kids worked hard the day before to clean up their playroom and library and bedrooms before he got home from work as a birthday surprise for him. And they picked out new tools and a new tool box as his present. They wrapped the present in playsilks and gave it to him in the morning. We took him out for Tex Mex in the afternoon, and then had cake and ice cream. W is now officially obsessed with birthday cake.
This morning, we went to a science lesson on desert adaptations at one of the local parks. The lesson included a walk along the trails with a guide who pointed out lots of the local flora and fauna (man, I have always wanted to be able to use that expression, lol). Because of all the (much needed) rain we've been getting, there were lots and lots of wildflowers out on the trails. The kids got to touch a coyote pelt and skull, a jack rabbit pelt and skull, look at roadrunner and owl feet and skulls, and see rattlesnake skins. We learned about cactus (and the bugs that live on them), about different types of leaves and how plants adapt to the dry weather, about native people cooked the roots of certain plants, and which ones along the trail were used for making sandals. We even got to take a cactus (our "spiky friend") home with us. The kids are so pleased, and it has a place of honor in our library room (up high, because that sucker is really poky). I wish I has pictures but I forgot my camera.
But we barely made it at all because we all over slept and made it out of the house in under 30 minutes (hence the forgetting of the camera). The kids ate the snacks we packed for breakfast, and then we ended up going out to lunch. Everyone loved the field trip, but we've all seemed a bit out of sorts all day.
So, it's back to our schedule as usual tomorrow. And back to meals at home. And finishing up some of the projects we're working on (expect cool pictures in the next few days). We're also preparing for the Owl Family Birthday Bash this weekend... one big party for all of us. So there is lots more craziness ahead. But I guess we wouldn't really have it any other way.
PS It's late. I will come back and add appropriate links in the morning. Maybe.