Monday, August 17, 2015

First Day of School

For the last few weeks we've been "prepping" for this school year. That is, I've been planning classes and lessons, and trying to help Katie get ready for this year's Latin (new teacher, new program), and the kids have been industriously goofing off. Travis goofs off (meaning "creates digital music and art") with such intensity that it sure looks like work, but it's what he loves. Katie goofs off in a more casual way, and her transition back to school lessons is less wrenching. But, anyway...

My planning. As you can see, Emma's contribution is to keep me from getting too comfortable. Even after several hours of planning and typing in lesson plans for the year, I'm on the edge of my seat. 



(But she knows that at some point in the day I will want to Leave the House, so she also spends time strategically lying on my shoes.)

And sometimes I imagine that I am going to read. Maybe, to estimate how long someone would need to read a chapter of his science book. Fortunately, my calculations now take into account how long it takes to read a chapter while peering around a big fat cat head! Since this will probably also be my student's situation, it actually is good to know.


And sometimes she just lies on top of the books and notebooks. Because she doesn't want me to strain my eyes.

Anyway, about today.
We are doing a "slow" start. Meaning, just a couple things. Travis is taking a class in Digital Media Technology at the community college this semester, and classes started today. We also started history, composition, and literature. Latin starts next week. And we'll start math the first of September. So, somewhere in there we'll start All the Stuff.

This morning we started with a nice history video. And tasty breakfasts. That was good. And then "orientation," in which I went over the beautiful schedules, mapping out when each class & reading period will be during the week, which I created with much effort. I had one who was willing to oooh and aaaah, and one who felt that this was a tremendous waste of his time. We also discussed the first writing assignments, which were similarly received. Thus the morning.

At 1:30 Ed dropped Travis off at the community college (and arranged for us to be allowed to park on campus -- he's such a good fellow!). At 3:20, as indicated on the schedule, I picked him up. He was not cheerful. The professor had gone over the syllabus. Nothing else. And she let them out early, instead of giving the mid-class break indicated on the schedule. And Travis sat down to wait for me on a bench. And got a massive splinter in his thigh.

We were zooming off to piano class, but I stopped at the house and tried to dig out the splinter. No luck. And I could see it was big. And deep. So after piano we went to the walk-in clinic. Katie and I waited long enough that we began to suspect an amputation had been necessary (we got there a few minutes after 5, and place closes at 6, but they stayed a good half hour late for us, which I thought was awfully decent of them). When the doctor finally brought Travis out, she explained that she had had to do a "dissection," because the splinter was really quite a few really Big splinters, along with some small splinters, and they'd been really deep. She said there was no way I could have gotten them, and that she'd nearly sent him over to the emergency room, but that she was confident she'd gotten it all. And that we'd need to come back next week to have the stitches removed. Aack! My poor boy.

So, that was our first day of school this year. I think we've left ourselves with a fair lot of room for things to improve!

Saturday, August 01, 2015

She's Back!

Picked Katie up from camp today. She had a wonderful time! Most of the way home (three hours) she told us stories of the fun stuff she did (boating, zombie games, hide and seek, etc.), the dance, the campfire gatherings, the meals, and so on. We also heard about her counselor getting bitten by a rattlesnake during one of the games of hide and seek (Apparently she chose the same hiding place the snake had already selected for itself. Poor girl. But medical help arrived in time and she'll be okay.) And lots of fun silly stuff. Another great camp week. But we're awfully glad to have her back!




We made a lunchtime stop at Sweet Frog for frozen yogurt sundaes. I knew Katie would appreciate it! This time I had chocolate mixed with caramel and peanut butter. Modestly topped with crumbled up Butterfingers, Heathbars, walnuts, and a bit of hot fudge sauce. So far so good, and it was delicious!

And here are a couple pictures from our quiet, Katie-less week...

(Emma, sitting on paper. Because that is what she does.)

And Thursday night's moon. By the time I remembered to look at the moon on Friday it was too "far away" and the sky was too dark for a decent picture, but it really didn't look "blue" anyway. Not here, at any rate.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

A Quiet House

Katie is at camp this week, and without her the house is so quiet. I miss her. 

We dropped her off on Sunday. She got a bottom bunk, which was what she wanted. I hope she is having a fabulous time.




Today we went on an outing and ended up at a "build your own yogurt sundae" place called Sweet Frog.
Travis and I are all about documenting our food.

A wall of yogurt machines! (I had chocolate and coconut. Travis had Everything except Cotton Candy. I think Ed had caramel. And probably vanilla.)



It tasted even better than it looked!


Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Widow Falls

As we were headed out the door for an afternoon at Widow Falls today, our friendly new neighbor, Mark, stopped by to see if Travis wanted to play video games. We told him where we were off to, and he thought he'd like to come along. So he did. And it was fun! He slid down the rocks with Travis, which saved Katie the trouble of being encouraged (repeatedly) to do so. 




And I got to read.

This butterfly settled on my backpack and kept me company.

And then, ice cream. I got Moose Tracks, which was just the thing.

Friday, July 17, 2015

A Day at the Lake

We spent the day at Hungry Mother State Park, up in Marion, Virginia. An absolutely beautiful day for it, and we had a great time! 



Poor Ed is still burned from our "pool day," so I mostly kept him in the shade. Fortunately there are big oaks shading part of the beach, so we soon moved the blanket under them.



We rented a paddle boat again. I started off comfortably in the back, like Cleopatra in her green fiberglass barge, but they did make me so a bit of paddling! We went down a meandering little area of the lake which was lined with rhododendrons in bloom. Really lovely.





Mr. Krabs. (From Sponge Bob, you know!)


The diving platform. Katie found the high board rather... high. But eventually she Did jump!



Here she is, still dithering.

And here is her splash!

And afterwards we went to our favorite ice cream place in Virginia! They still don't have Cappuccino Crunch back, but I made do.

And Ed and Travis had fun with the crane machines! Ed got Minions for me and for Katie, and a green monkey.


Travis needed this dinosaur. He doesn't take after Ed in many obvious respects, but he does share Ed's deft touch with the crane machine!


Of course, having all these Minions inspires Ed to his best Evil Genius laugh! Mwah ha ha!