Friday, March 30, 2018

Week 29 ~ Our Week in Numbers

Sometimes I just see our week in numbers. This is one of those weeks where we were so busy and yet it feels like less got done than usual. So welcome to our week in numbers...the 29th week of our 19th year of homeschooling.
  • 356 ~ The amount of miles I drove this week between Saturday morning and Thursday night.
  • 62 ~  Anne learned her solo for the Cecchetti exam this spring. It is 62 seconds long and is just one part of about an hour exam that we will travel out of state for her to take at the end of May. 
  • 18 ~ My lovely daughter took 18 hours of dance or rehearsal classes this week. She started aerial arts this week in preparation for her role in Alice in Wonderland.
  • 2 ~ We saw two movies this week for English class. We saw A Wrinkle in Time and Driving Miss Daisy. I really enjoyed seeing Driving Miss Daisy again, but the kids preferred going to the movies with their friends and seeing A Wrinkle in Time. 
  • 7 ~ My dear husband got a new job as a GS7 at our local Veterans Hospital. He has worked  there for 10+ years and is so happy with his new job and promotion. It looks like we are  staying in this area after all.
  • 16 ~ The amount of recorded lessons beyond art and dance for the week, which included math, English, earth science, history and home economics.
  • 5 ~ Dean had five hours of art classes this week between Miss Laura's portrait class and with Grandma. Grandma taught us all about Wassily Kandinsky, the father of abstract. The kids did a project called Concentric Circles to learn how emotions can be expressed through the use of color.

Dean's is on the left and Anne's is on the right.
  • 57 ~ I cleaned out the game shelves and got us down to 56 games. Then my friend sold me 10  Days in Africa, which I have been trying to find for a reasonable price all school year. So now we have a grand total of 57 board games!

  • 4 ~ It was four years ago on Wednesday that our daughter with mental illness ran away. When she was found, it was determined that she was not safe to return to the home. For the other children's safety, she was placed in a mental health facility. She has moved through several  "mental health homes" over the years and is doing fairly well, all things considered. On the surface, things look like they are going okay, but so much of that is dependent on the support services that she receives every single minute of the day.  She has received a few more diagnoses this year which hopefully will help her maintain services when she turns 18 this Christmas. She will never be able to heal from some of her conditions. We (her parents) see her several times a month, but she hasn't seen or spoken to her siblings since that fateful night that she ran away. Everyone involved thinks that is for the best for now. The emotional trauma caused by her abuse was extreme enough to the rest of our children that they are still working through it to this day. Honestly, it was a shocking time in our lives; and we, of course, are sad that we were not able to help her have a normal life in a normal family. But we are ever so grateful that she has been in safe placements for the last four years and that the rest of us have been able to live in peace and to heal.

Blessings, Dawn

Friday, March 23, 2018

Week 28 ~ Where Are You, Spring!?

Last weekend was filled to the brim with three wonderful shows. Anne did great! I wish I could show the dance videos here, but they are too long to load. Well, they all did great and Anne had several leaps that were like a gazelle, according to one of the mothers. I can really see the extra Cecchetti ballet classes paying off.
Anne in the middle of a leap
Anne at far right

Anne at far right

Anne at far right
Anne had a solo within this dance piece.
Between exhaustion, some hard emotions to process and just teen stuff, we had a little bit rougher week than last week. My kids are great, but, oh, those hormones!Anyone that says parenting gets easier when they start growing up is just plain pulling your leg. It changes and usually becomes less physically demanding, but the training goes on and on. This is a hard world to grow up in and there is so much to learn.

Dean's Learning This Week ~ We kept hands-on learning in full swing for Dean. He made a rain cloud while learning about tropical rain forests and how clouds hold and release moisture.
It may not look like it, but this is the rain cloud he made.
We played many educational board games. He read his book, went to art, played music and attended our family field trip. He also did math, grammar, earth science and history work sheets. In addition, Dean received his first international snack box from Universal Yums. He is sharing it with all of us, but it is his to explain the contents and to share with the rest of us. It comes complete with a booklet with facts about the country, a rating scale for each snack and 7 snacks which he cut up so each of us could get a bite.  You can get larger boxes, but I am not willing to pay more. This month we got to try snacks from Poland.

Anne's Learning This Week ~ There is no rest for a dancer. The showcase ended on Saturday, and rehearsals/classes for the spring show of Alice in Wonderland started on Monday. Anne is officially going to Cecchetti lessons every Monday and Wednesday morning now in one dance studio, so that she can be in additional rehearsals every Saturday at another dance studio for the spring show. I will have to be the gate keeper for the rest of the year to make sure she doesn't end up with too much on her plate so she will get enough rest. Besides dance, dance, dance, she read her book, did three math lessons, attended the family field trip, did several language arts lessons, completed lots of science and did a bit of history. She killed another pair of pointe shoes, got new ones and sewed them in under an hour. She was very busy in home economics this week. She learned how to stretch a five pound bag of potatoes by making Crock Pot potato soup, bacon cream cheese mashed potatoes and oven fries for our family of five. She also learned ways to use up plain yogurt when you are tired of smoothies. She made yogurt coffee cake and spinach veggie dip.

The Biltmore Titanic Costume Exhibit ~ I took four teens to the Titanic Exhibit at the Biltmore this week. The costumes from the movie were on display all around the house. We enjoyed seeing them and talking about how history may have been different for Asheville if the Vanderbilt family (who built Biltmore and a lot of this town) had kept their tickets and sailed on the Titanic. They cancelled their trip on the Titanic just a week before setting sail.

We wrapped up our field trip with a tour of the walled garden and green houses. We loved seeing bananas growing in the green house.

Blessings, Dawn