This weeks Backyard photo, taken by Nathan in April, is of one of our apple trees in bloom.
It's been a busy week at our house. In spite of the rain and chilly temps that quickly followed the extreme high temperatures of the week before, we managed to get a bit of work done in the garden. The potatoes seemed to enjoy the fluctuating temperatures, and I was relieved when the sun finally came out again yesterday, long enough to dry the soil out to the point I could cover them without fear of crushing them.
In the meantime, the kittens had discovered my homemade potato grow bags, and seemed to think they had been specially created as their personal playground. Pa cut some wire fencing down to size and I carefully placed the pieces around the individual bags. The kittens, as well as their Ma seem to think the new set up is just fine for lazing beside and viewing. Who would've thought watching potatoes grow could be so entertaining?
The sun wasn't out long enough, or hot enough to dry my clothes out on the line, but it gave them a start and resulted in that wonderful fresh scent I love so much! It also gave Pa an opportunity to play with his weedwhacker, which the young uns' enjoy, as it provides them with a fresh alternative to play time. Ah the joys of flinging freshly cut grass at your sibling!
Saturday Night at The Movies
Last night's kiddie feature was Spy Kids 2. Personally, I didn't enjoy it as much as last weeks movie, but the kids thought it was great. There is some very mild language, but, honestly, my children have heard much worse coming from the mouths of other children during our shopping excursions. It is a fun little romp with an interesting cast, and plenty of adventure.
After the kiddos headed to bed, it was time for Ma and Pa's movie event. Our choice, Stranger Than Fiction, was a pleasant diversion. It was not exactly a side splitter, but I honestly can't think of a classification other than comedy that it would fit in. While I wouldn't give it the highest rating, we did enjoy it, and are glad we watched it.
We are at the point in our homeschooling adventure that the kids' grade levels are variable. Between the 2 of them, depending on the subject, we are spanning 4 different grade levels. I have discovered a new math program which I am quite impressed with. I only wish I had discovered it years ago, as we are finding it necessary to back- track a bit, to pick up those areas we missed, or didn't adequately cover the first time around. However, as we progress through those spots, we're finding the next levels to come much easier for all of us. It may have slowed us down initially, but in the long run I think the pay off is going to be more than worth it. If you're interested, you can download sample pages (go to "FAQ", then scroll down to "Math Teaching Emails" for the sample pages) at Math Mammoth .
We've also changed the way we do spelling. In the past they had their weekly list, which they recieved on Mondays, and studied throughout the week, cuminating in a Friday quiz. Sometimes they did well, other times, not so great, which they found incredibly frustrating. We decided to slow things down a bit. They are now getting a new list every 2 weeks. We have a pretest on the first Monday, which gives them a good idea right off the get-go which words they might have problems with. It also provides them an opportunity to use spelling rules to try to work them out on their own. During the 2 week period, they quiz each other twice. In the meantime, they study their words, and we try to come up with at least one spelling game, such as "Hangman" to break things up. Their scores have dramatically improved, and they're having a lot more fun with this subject. It just doesn't get much better than that!
I finally finished the second sleeve on my top. I'm getting a bit nervous about the amount of yarn left to finish this project. I purchased plenty, but wasn't counting on the flaws in the yarn, so now I'm running low fast. Just in case, I think I'm going to try sewing just the sleeves in, then knit the collar before sewing the side seams. Keep your fingers crossed for me that the everything comes together smoothly!
It's a 3 day weekend! Chances are, if you are reading this you are not among those who chose to spend the extra to gas up and travel to distant parts. No matter how you've chosen to spend your time, be safe, and try to take at least a moment to remember those who have gone before us, who have in some way touched our lives, including those who sacrificed for our nation.
Until next time!