Saturday, August 28, 2010

Books! So exciting!

I've been getting lots and lots of boxes of books in the mail lately.  I love books, especially in the fall, when the crisp scent of decaying leaves and apples and smoke remind you that it's time to wear wool, and snuggle in, and learn some new stuff!  I'm especially excited about the Dauphin's new books this year.  He's starting the Veritas Press Omnibus I curriculum.  I'm excited for several reasons.  First, it's academically rigorous, interesting, and engaging.  Second, it comes with a cd containing lesson plans, reading lists, grading recommendations, and a full text with sample answers inserted.  Third, I'm excited to read and discuss all these great books and ideas with my son and my husband.  Fourth, it's got a solid Biblical worldview, but it doesn't hesitate to deal with real issues.  Fifth, all the books look really impressive on the shelf, like we're super educated, hyper-literate and sophisticated people... fun to pretend, isn't it!?

My husband also ordered a bunch of books for our own benefit, and the one I've been reading, and kind of blown away by is Already Gone, by Ken Ham.  It's largely an ad for his Answers in Genesis curriculum (which by all accounts is pretty awesome), however, it raises some compelling questions about the young people in our churches and why so many leave after high school.

Finally, I ordered some really cool books on Newton, Marco Polo, and Leonardo DaVinci that have really interesting text, and fun, engaging projects for kids as they're reading along.  Great for reading over a Term and letting kids pick projects as they're interested.

School planning is going on swimmingly this year.  I took every spare minute for like two weeks and got the year scheduled by week number for all the kids in school this year, and that is: wait for it..... 5 kids schooling actively this year.  The Dauphin is in 7, Prairie Princess is in 5, Mini Me is in 3, Little Engineer is in 1, and my little Baby Jane (I'm giving her that nickname because she looks so much like my Grandma Jane), is starting to learn to read and write... yay!  I love my planner.... I am not infrequently found holding and petting it and looking through it's tabbed and color coded pages with a vague smile on my face.  I've never pulled off planning an entire year before, I usually just plan the first six weeks and hold onto an insane hope that I'll plan as the year goes on... which I do not do well, and certainly not for all the children!!!  This feat of super home school mom organization didn't come without a cost... the kids were so neglected (benignly, of course!) that they began to turn feral... it was a little like Lord of the Flies around here!  And the house looked, literally, like it had gone through a tornado, and the baby, no, toddler, has taken to becoming a muralist, and decorated every possible surface with crayon, pencil, and occasionally a pen or marker...

It didn't take long for him to trash the new, perfect house.... did it?

Aaaaaand, I only did like 2 loads of laundry in the time I did the planning, so the children were fishing through their dirty laundry hampers for clothing to wear.  Under no circumstances are any of you to think that I have it all together.  I do not!!!  But I do have The Book: a beautiful, organized, color coded, and Microsoft Excelled book to pet and hold and try to live up to.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Yum! Bacteria!

So, guess what!  I made the jalapenos and they're very yummy, approved by my pickled jalapeno loving husband.  Also, my friend Joy gave me some kefir to use so I'll start making that for soaking grains a la Nourishing Traditions.  It incubates at room temperature, so no more accidentally killing my yogurt in the oven while I prep for dinner!

Also, I'm going to try to do the sew along at Gertie's Sewing Blog for the Lady Jane Grey coat, which is on it's way to me as we speak... I have a cotton jaquard in grey and yellow that should be smashing with my grey skirt... but as to lining, a silk charmeuse in ??? turquoise? green? grey?  I'd prefer a surprising lining, of course, but haven't decided yet what color... maybe in orange???  Erg...

I also bought fabric for curtains in the living room, finally!  It's very pretty, but I seem to be unable to find time to sew!!!  Now that school planning is done I may have a few days next week to get them put together.  I bought curtain rods already and I can't wait to see it all done and in my living room!

Speaking of fabric, I have a new favorite online fabric store: Hawthorne Threads
They have beautiful, modern fabrics which you can search by color!  So cool... and there are discounts for volume orders, as well.  Go check them out!