Wednesday, May 27, 2015

good eats

Sorry, no original posts yet.  Man, the weather is nice here, and I just wanna garden!!  That and recover after a busy couple of weeks. 

Here are some foodie pics to keep you entertained:

Portuguese Greens Soup, recipe from Joy of Cooking
(link is to a similar recipe)
--I had to find something to use up our swiss chard that was
going crazy in our garden this spring!  This soup was simple
and very very yummy.  The interesting part was that you boil
thinly slices potatoes in the soup, then mash it a little.
We've made this a few times already; it was that good!

Boston Cream Pie, one of Marcus' favorites!
I made this from scratch so it had a more
delicate flavor than if I used a box mix and
box pudding.  But that might be yummy too!
As it was--this was a real winner in our house.

Tea time with homemade scones (recipe from
Joy of Cooking again), fresh whipped cream,
and "wild grandpa" jam.  My dad made this jam
last fall from a mix of leftover berries I had
frozen from the summer.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Bunco Babes

The school auction this year had a buy-in party: Bunco Babes!!

I knew this would be a blast, and I was right!

Meghan (with Celeste) and Lisa
My family was there…my good friends were there…many acquaintances were there…it was so much fun!

The food was awesome: an Italian feast.  My friends Maureen and Shirley (and other parishioners I don't know as well) did a fantastic job.  Look at this dessert spread!

I had to leave early (cranky baby likes her bedtime) but I'm so glad I was there at least for a few hours.  Many thanks to Tess for taking my place at the Bunco tables!

sketch of St. Matthew church

School is done and our summer vacation started with a bang! with a visit from grandma, an Altar Society potluck (which I ran), Mariposa's First Holy Communion and subsequent party for 50 at our house, and various outdoor tasks associated with May.  Whew!

As I work to catch up (and catch my breath), here is a photo of an amazing boy:

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

a "normal" school day

A "normal" school day…?  There is no such thing!  But now that summer break is upon us, I will look back and chronicle what we've been doing for school.

The ideal is this:

School all morning on MWF with Mrs. N here to watch the littles.
School a little on MWF afternoons while the littles are napping.
School a little on Tues morning…but really, not that much since the littles need me.
NO SCHOOL on Thursday--my day off to do projects/errands/appointments.

The three oldest kids have independent work all 5 days of the week.

I like to hand-write my week's schedule in my
teacher's planner.  It is laborious but it is my
preferred method.
James and Mariposa get a typed weekly list
Our school is divided into 8-week quarters.  Before each quarter I fill in all the assignments, and then on the Sunday before each week I only have to switch out worksheets and checklists.

Mariposa was having a bad day.
Mariposa's independent work consisted of Math worksheets, Cursive, Memory Work, and Piano.  I went over the Math and taught Grammar, Science, Religion, and History.

On the particular day of this photo journal, Mariposa was having a bad day.  I don't remember why.  But she did not want to do school!!  That is unusual for her, but oh well.  Since it is a one-off (as Marcus would say), I didn't get mad at her.  So I just did all her work out loud and pretended like she was giving me the answers.  The other kids loved it, especially poetry recitation!!  We tried not to tease her, and by the end of the morning she was in a good mood.  We all have grump days sometimes.  :o)

Looking at a friend's blog
Gemma likes hanging out with us.  She does coloring pages or quarter-worksheets (where she earns a quarter for each sheet completed).  When I have time I lead her "Pirate Dog" workbook which is very special because she can only complete it with me.

Science lesson 3x a week
James did almost all his work independently this year   I led Grammar, and worked through Latin with him.  We discussed his History reading assignments.  I corrected Math and Science and through that process, I was teaching it as well.

We all make time for recess!

Bunny said she didn't want to be left out of this blog post.  ;o)  She did mostly independent work but I did read her Math lessons to her (most of the time), and I also sometimes sat with her while she did her Math.  Her Spelling tests were administered by me, as were Latin and Science.  We discussed Religion and History, although next year she is starting an online History discussion on her own.

Back to work: reading History with Mariposa

James' Latin quiz
spelling test
Homeschooling allows the kids to spend lots of time with their best friends (their siblings!) and with Marcus and me.  By mixing schoolwork with everyday life we are showing them that learning is a fun, organic process that shouldn't be confined by age and location.  We wouldn't have it any other way!

Monday, May 11, 2015

SunDin--gumbo and chocolate cake

A recent Sunday Dinner had us eating two of our favorite dishes: gumbo and chocolate cake!

Marcus makes THE BEST gumbo!  I like it with noodles but
he also made some rice.
Gemma was particularly pleased since she has been asking for gumbo for SO long.  It's one of her favorite foods.  This time, though, she saw Marcus making it and wasn't so sure she would like it…"Does it really have all those vegetables in it???"  Yes Gemma, I'm the same way.  I don't like peppers and Marcus uses two kinds in this dish--and I love it!

We have a simple almost-flourless chocolate cake recipe…
very rich, very dense, very yummy.

Friday, May 1, 2015

zoo outing

On a recent Thursday (which is our official no-school day*) we drove out to the Oregon Zoo.

The best time to go to the zoo is first thing in the morning, for sure.  We got a fabulous parking spot just after 9am, and there were no lines.  Sure, it was a little chilly on an April morning, but we were fine, even Celeste.  And of course…this was a school day for all the group schools, so we really got to take our time at the exhibits and see the animals close-up.
I hope Bunny does a blog post showing her zoo pictures.
She took some fantastic ones of the animals!
 I decided that this would be a  simple, quick trip.  We stayed in the "Pacific Northwest" exhibit and didn't venture to Africa like normal.  We had to go at Sedric's pace, which was sometimes quick and sometimes very slow.  But the older kids were patient and we all had fun.

Next time we go, I think I'll pack lunches.  We can sit on the lawn and eat, then maybe I'll send my older kids out to explore while the younger ones and I rest and play.  It's so great to finally have "older" kids!!!

The zoo is under construction (new elephant habitat) but the zoo train was still running. We caught the first run -- 11am.

Right after the zoo train, we headed home.  It was a great, manageable visit.  On our way out, the lines were really long.  Note to self: don't try to go to the zoo at 11am!!

On an unrelated note, Bunny and I were released from our duties for the evening and we got to go shopping at Nordstrom Rack!

Great winter clothes on sale--especially
cashmere sweaters, yay!

* Thursday is our no-school day.  I do schooling 4 days a week although the kids do have independent work on that 5th day.  This leaves me free to do tasks, errands, and appointments, and also lets us squeeze in field trips.  My day off used to be Friday, but it turned out that we would need to finish the week's schoolwork, so it never was really "off!"  Thursdays work MUCH better because I know I still have Friday to finish teaching.