Saturday, May 25, 2019

A Fish, a Field Trip, the Notre Dame Cathedral and Cancer

The Mystery of the Seahorse is going wonderfully. Anne has performed in five shows so far with three left to go. She has really enjoyed the role of Pearl, a fish. Since it is a main character role that is on stage most of the show, she doesn't have to change her costume at all this year. This role has also required a combination of acting and dancing. Anne is feeling so much more confident about all that she is working toward this month and the first week of June. It is a delight to see her bloom
Bert and Pearl are a couple in the show.
Image may contain: one or more people

Image may contain: 1 person, standing
We went to a small museum in the next town over this week. It was a very interesting museum that covered lots of local history. The opening speech from the tour guide was fascinating and enlightening. She grew up in the area and kept referring to our small city as "the evil empire." She was referring to battles over water rights and the making of a reservoir. I travel to this town every single week and admit that I thought of this town as almost an extension of the city. Now I have more awareness of how many hurt feelings still surface in our area over water rights and land disputes that are 50 to a 100 years old. The kids really enjoyed some of the hands-on activities. They especially enjoyed all of the old-fashioned technology. They spent about 20 minutes messing around with an old typewriter and couldn't get over how long it took to dial a number with a rotary phone!

We also learned all about the Beacon Manufacturing fire that destroyed the factory in 2003. At one time, Beacon was the largest producer of blankets in the world. The fire was so big that it required 24 regional fire departments to battle the blaze. 

Dean has been doing lots of archery this week. He is using his older brother's old compound bow, which is for left-handed people. Since Dean is right handed he is using it a bit differently, but his aim is true and solid. We drew a target on an old fitted sheet and put it on an old mattress.

We spent a morning learning about the Notre Dame de Paris this week. We learned all about Gothic architecture. We then put together a 3D model of the Notre Dame cathedral. It was much harder than we anticipated, but I think it came out pretty good. 

We officially completed all of our state required days of school for the year. Dean has about two or three more days of school work to complete and end-of-year testing, so he should be done next week. Anne has weeks to go in two subjects. However, I have told her that I am fine with her finding a good stopping place and finishing at the end of the first week in June. She can pick up those last few weeks at the beginning of next year. Right now, she says she wants to finish, but we will see how she feels after the next couple weeks of intense life opportunities. Either way, she has had a fantastic year.

One sad note of the week was finding out that our sweet dog has cancer. We had a lump removed from his side and they found lots of infected tissue under the surface. They removed all that they could and sent it away to pathology. It will be two full weeks before we know what kind of cancer and treatment he needs. We are praying it is a simple cancer to fight. He is almost 9 years old and totally healthy otherwise.

Blessings, Dawn

Friday, May 17, 2019

Poutine, Nature and Rehearsals Galore

I just needed a little blogging break last week. There was nothing bad going on. I just had no inspiration to write. It is almost time for the Spring show, The Mystery of the Seahorse. Anne is working hard and putting in lots of hours at rehearsals. She had a tiny emotional breakdown one morning this week worrying about her Cecchetti exam. I reminded her that there was lots on her plate right now which can feel overwhelming and that no matter what happened we were proud of her for working so hard on her dreams. My girl has 10 shows (in two different productions) and a Cecchetti exam all in the next three weeks. It is a ton of pressure and she handles it all so well the majority of the time.
Image may contain: one or more people and people standing
Anne as Pearl on the left (The Mystery of the Seahorse)
School is wrapping up day by day. Three math workbooks were completed this week between the two of them. Dean only has review worksheets to complete before end-of-year testing. He will also complete his World Geography course next week. It is nice to have a bit more free time to get other things done -- such as yard work. Anne is plowing through the three courses she was behind in. At the rate she is going, she may finish by mid-June instead of the end of that month.
I picked up a brand new Tinker Crate at a consignment shop this week. Dean put it together in no time at all. This particular crate was all about chaos theory.

Dean got new Lacrosse gloves for his live action role playing games. His thumbs were getting jammed without protection. He loves his two classes each week and would gladly do more if he could. He will be helping out with two weeks of live action role playing camp this year and three weeks of acting camp this summer as a counselor.

I took this crew to Starbucks this week. They are such a silly and sweet group of teens. Gotta love teenagers! They did have one difficulty at the mall this time. They were playing a game of their own in the mall and unwittingly marched through the middle of a group of about 12 to 15 hooligans (keeping about a eight foot distance from anyone). (I am calling that group this because I had seen them climbing on vending machines and catcalling and being very loud. However, my group hadn't noticed them.) Before they knew it, a teen girl was shouting in Dean's face, accusing him of trying to hit someone and he was being surrounded and trash talked by a group of boys. His sweet girlfriend stood next to him while he tried to talk calmly and sensibly to the group, but they weren't having it. I was sitting about 20 feet away and marched into the middle of the circle to intervene. I was raised in an inner city high school, and I know all too well how this level of posturing and trash talk can quickly escalate. Fortunately, they didn't want to tangle with a middle aged mama suggesting calmly that we call the mall and city police to come and help us settle this issue. While they were digesting my suggestion, I moved my group quickly out of the area. It took us about two hours to process the whats and whys of the incident. My homeschool crew is totally not familiar with not being able to resolve things with a simple "sorry, it was a misunderstanding" statement. The two in our teen group who are public schooled were very familiar with the escalation but still had plenty of trouble figuring out what went wrong. Basically, what went wrong is that the hooligan group was looking for trouble and my group wasn't paying attention to their surroundings and giving the hooligans a wide enough berth. I imagine my group's misstep is why some say kids need to go to public school to be "socialized". However, positive and negative socialization comes in many forms all the time and in many places.

Anne continues to LOVE her job. She can't wait to get there each day. Here she is tagging clothes for sale.

The guys and I had a lovely walk at the bird sanctuary one day. As usual, we saw lots of wild life and very few birds. We saw one woodpecker and heard lots of birds. We also saw many turtles, squirrels, butterflies, and dragonflies. We found a very muddy part of the path. Dean didn't want to get his shoes muddy, so Tim ferried him across the mud piggyback style. They crack me up.
Dean loves this tree and has been climbing it since he was about three years old.

We finally made it to a cafe that specializes in poutine. This was a fun, ethnic dish to try out. It is a dish from Quebec, Canada. We had the traditional dish and the local dish with pulled pork and mac and cheese. We liked the local dish better but completed eating both dishes. It is fun to try new things.

What a blessing it is to homeschool!

Blessings, Dawn

Friday, May 3, 2019

Goodbye, April ... Hello May ~ Photo Dump

It was a pretty good April.  We are blessed abundantly and are feeling strong and encouraged by our routine. Life is returning to normal after our rough winter.

We had a lovely birthday month. Tim, Grandma and Dean grew another year older. Dean is 17 now! Dean does not like cake and picked donuts and ice cream for his celebration.

My iris are putting on a spectacular show this year! Boy, a little bit of iris fertilizer and they go crazy.

We had lots of yummy food and great times with friends and family. Our trip to Pigeon Forge was just the mini-break we needed.
Tim at Wonderworks

Easter Brunch with just the Gals (Grandma, Mom and Anne)


Best friends make everything better.

These three are always a riot!
We had a wonderful time at a Medieval fair. Tim and Dean had so much fun doing some live action role playing while there.

School is going well. Anne and Dean have three credits each to complete for the year. When those three credits are done, they will have seven credits each completed for this year. Anne finished her out-of-the-home classes for Sign Language II this week. She got an 86% on her final, which she said was very hard. She is the only one who passed the exam.

Dean made a pair of working headphones from his latest Eureka kit. They really work and Dear Husband uses them daily.

Lastly, our indoor cat has been exploring the front yard on a leash with Dean. She really doesn't know what to do with grass.

We are looking forward to a very busy May. Anne is one of the main characters in the upcoming performance of The Mystery of the Seahorse. She is Pearl the trout and is on stage during all but one scene. She is going to be very tired after eight shows! Tech week is only about a week away. In between all of that busy, busy schedule, we will be finishing up school for Dean (Anne will need to finish up in June). We are so blessed to homeschool.

Blessings, Dawn

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Anne's Transcript ~ English II

The following is a list of all that Anne did for her English II credit. She worked hard and did an excellent job with comprehension. She still struggles with grammar and spelling. She received a B for this course.

Books and Short Stories
  • The Great Stone Face by Nathaniel Hawthorne
  • Al Capone Throws Me a Curve by Gennifer Choldenko
  • Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling
  • Christy by Catherine Marshal
  • The Fall of The House of Usher by Edgar Allen Poe
  • The Cask of Amontillado by Edgar Allen Poe
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J. K. Rowling
  • A Season of Gifts by Richard Peck
  • The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind by William Kamkwamba
  • A Gathering of Days by Joan Blos
  • The Midwife's Apprentice by Karen Cushman
  • Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
Movies and Plays
  • 20 Thousand Leagues Under the Sea
  • Hamlet (play)
  • The Grapes of Wrath
  • Fantastic Beasts II The Crime of  Grindelwald
  • The Christmas Story
  • The House with a Clock in Its Walls
  • Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon
  • Guess Who's Coming to Dinner
  • Pride and Prejudice  (BBC 6 episodes)
  • A Series of Unfortunate Events (entire series on Netflix)
  • Christopher Robin
  • Mary Poppins Returns
  • Agatha Christy and The Truth of Murder
  • "The Charge of the Light Brigade" by Lord Alfred Tennyson
  • "I Never Saw A Moor" by Emily Dickinson
  • "Because I Could Not Stop for Death" by Emily Dickinson
  • "A Bird Came Down the Walk" by Emily Dickinson
  • "The Raven" by Edgar Allen Poe
  • "Alone" by Maya Angelou
  • "Woman Work" by Maya Angelou
  • "Caged Bird" by Maya Angelou
  • "Still I Rise" by Maya Angelou
Anne wrote 14 short essays and one research paper (about Woodstock) this year.

Blessings, Dawn