Saturday, August 27, 2016

Boundary Waters & Back to School!!

1.  Two of our family members just got back from a week long canoe trek in the Boundary Waters (Minnesota / Canada).  Confession:  they actually returned August 6th but it has taken this long to download/edit pictures.  Plus I may have been a wee bit busy getting the younger kids ready to head back to school (see Take #7), so there's that.  Continuing on...they paddled 57.45 miles in 6 days and even made a brief trip into Canada.  Pictures!!
On their way out

Blessed 4 way medals I gave them
(because I'm Catholic)



Finally Home!!
(ignore child eating Krispy Kreme donut)

2.  While they were gone I held down the fort at home.  No major house renovations, unless you count painting and hanging a re-purposed coat rack for the entryway.  Technically, I did not actually hang it myself (thank you Dad).  I do hang lots of stuff but this one required hitting studs so I decided to call in the expert.  But it turned out great and makes me so happy, this will make getting the kids out the door in the morning so.much.easier and will also give them a place to hang all their stuff when they walk in the door.  I was going to put a nice smelling candle on the shelf but then decided the odds of a heavy candle falling on someone's head if the front door is slammed is just too risky for our household.

3.  Although they were only off the radar for 6 days the total time they were gone for the trip was almost two weeks.  So to say we missed them is a bit of an understatement.  I did take the other kids on a few day trips while they were gone...

No we did not see Ghostbusters, he's just fascinated with the sign!  We were actually there to see the new Ice Age movie.  We also rented quite a few movies from the video store because it was too hot for them to play outside much and I needed to get some decluttering done and curriculum put together for the upcoming year.

4.  Speaking of that...we now have two high schoolers in the homeschool!  I won't lie, I'm not particularly looking forward to getting the school year started.  Mostly because I remember it is just a lot of work to get everyone (including myself) going.  We start slow and don't throw in all the subjects for the first couple of weeks.  The goal is trying to get everyone into the new routine.  It probably takes about a month before things start running smoothly.  A month of ordered chaos where the house sort of falls apart and the meals are bare bones as all my energy is diverted to getting the homeschooling up and running.  I'm a bit exhausted just thinking about it.  Received an e-mail from Firstborn's Chemistry teacher who mentioned classwork would start up soon.  I think I heard an expletive cross through my mind when I saw it.  So here we go...

5.  Am I the only one who sees pinterest projects come across my screen and think "that is a whole heck of a lot of work...who has time for that".  For example, a cute back to school cardboard picture frame you can make after you spend what looks like 30 minutes cutting it out to look like a school bus, then painting it yellow, then painting their name, then adding chalkboard paint so you can write their grade on it (I'm assuming because it looks cute and not because you're planning on reusing it next year because cardboard projects do not survive 365 days in our casa...that's if I remember where I put it...a big IF).  Add lots of tape and shazam!  You have them hold it up so you can take their picture.

Right.  I'll get right on that.  Honestly I'm lucky I get a picture uploaded to Facebook.  #notasocialmediaexpert

6.  Had to call the pediatrician today and ask for a favor so our kindergartner wouldn't miss his first day of school.  I hate when stuff slips through the cracks like that on my watch.  I swear the amount of forms our doctor has to fill out for the kids annual check-ups is mind blowing.  Seriously, I come in with a file folder full of stuff I pre-filled out for camps, scouts, sports, you name it someone has a form that needs signing.  I thought I had gotten his check-up back in March because that was when kindergarten pre-registration is for our school.  But no, as I was looking at my calendar today I realized I did not because it was a few weeks too early and the insurance would not have paid for it.  At the summer registration (yes, I went through 2 registration processes for the same school) I asked the nurse if she had everything for him and she thought she did but was going to check her files and call if she was missing anything.  I didn't get a call but last week I had this nagging feeling that I was missing something so I checked my calendar and called the doctor and sure enough...
This is before he had to get 3 shots...

7.  The two younger ones headed off to school this week...

All smiles for first day of school

The house has seemed eerily quite with them gone.  There are still 4 people in the house all day but anytime more than one person is gone you can really tell the difference.  Except for a slight bus mishap on the return home yesterday (he fell asleep and missed his stop) everything went well.  My older ones warned Princess that 2nd grade is when school becomes "hard" I'm guessing everything before that is just "fun"?  Hard to say, but it is funny what kids remember.  The rest of the gang is still homeschooling and school officially began last week.

8.  Bonus Take!!  Because I just ran across this video on Facebook (from 2012) and thought it was excellent, especially for those of us parents in the trenches with struggling readers and/or writers.  I wish I could have watched this years ago when my older ones were slogging through it.  So I thought I would link this up for anyone else who'd like to watch it.  I know it's a bit lengthy but I think it really does a good job summarizing many of the different issues kids can get tripped up on when learning to read and some of the ways to help them get through it.  Lots of good suggestions.

Soaring not Stumbling, Teaching Struggling Readers and Spellers:

That's it for now.  It actually took me three weeks to put together one Quick Take, but I'm blaming the photo uploading and life in general.  Probably why I don't blog for a living!  Of course much thanks to Kelly @ This Ain't the Lyceum for hosting, head over and click away...

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