Monday, August 3, 2020

Weekend Twenty: A Girls' Weekend

John and Daniel left early Friday morning to go hunting, leaving all of my daughters home with me for the weekend.  Not Girls' Night, but Girls' Weekend!

We had a great time staying home, playing games, and not doing many chores.  We played some 7 Wonders but mostly The Lost Cities.  That one doesn't require as much thinking and planning, so I think my younger daughters appreciate it more.  Since Hannah can't play any of these games, I made sure to read her lots of books and play a couple of games with her.  We don't always play by the rules; sometimes we modify them a little bit to make a game more play-able for a four year old.

When we got home from church Sunday, John and Daniel had just arrived home from their hunt.  They did not get anything, and actually only saw one deer.  :(  They had a good time even though it was disappointing.

How was your weekend?  Did you do anything fun or just enjoy being home with your family?

Friday, July 31, 2020

Week Twenty: Home Again, Home Again....

Swimming at a friend's pool in Georgia.

Since we returned from our trip to Georgia on Tuesday, we spent a good part of the week resting up and getting back into our routine.  And doing laundry.  Oh, the laundry!  Seven people can generate a bunch of laundry.  :)  

Thursday my mother called and asked how many games we had played since our return.  Sheepishly, I told her just one:  The Lost Cities which we checked out of our library.  I didn't realize that our library had games to check out!  How neat is that!  I'm not sure that I like The Lost Cities as much as some of the other games we have, but we still have fun playing it.  

That was our week:  resting, getting back to normal, and playing a few games.  Today I plan to get things together so we can start school next week.  I must admit that I don't want to, and I don't feel ready.  (I probably feel this way every year!)  But Daniel's Challenge class starts the week after next, so he needs to start next week.  And if he is doing school, the rest of my children need to as well.  We don't always make things fair, but sometimes we do.  :)

I talked with someone this week, and after thinking about homeschooling, she decided to put her children back into public school.  Since she works, she wasn't sure what she would do with her children during the day if they weren't at school.  But she really doesn't want them wearing masks all day.  I feel for her; I feel for everyone in that situation.  And I feel for the people whose children can't go back to school because the schools are not opening yet; what are they supposed to do with their children while they work?  It's a difficult thing!

How was your week?  Are you ready for school to start?

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Week Nineteen: A Trip to Georgia

Sarah Beth and some of her friends.

Last week, we drove to Georgia to visit my family and see some friends.  While we had a great time, unfortunately I forgot to take many pictures.  :(  But I did get a few.  

On the way, we stopped at Stone Mountain near Atlanta because I really wanted to see the carving there.  Disappointingly, visitors have to buy a pass to the whole Stone Mountain Park in order to see the carving, and we did not have the inclination for that.  We had already hiked up to the top of Stone Mountain, and we were hot and tired and ready for some lunch.  Maybe another time.

Honestly, if I had known how difficult the hike climb was, I would not have gone.  It was hard!  You can see from this picture that I took at the bottom of one of the steepest parts.  Am I glad I did it?  I guess so.  But I plan never to do it again!

While visiting my parents, we got to meet my sister's new husband.  They were married about a month ago, and sadly I was unable to attend.  We saw both of my brothers and several of my nieces and nephews.  Wonderfully, I was able to meet with a couple of my good, long-time friends.  We also spent a lot of time playing games with my mother.  She's such a good sport!  We also attended a couple of parties:  one for my sister's birthday and one for my nephew's graduation/birthday/going off to college.  We kept busy and were tuckered out, but we had a great time.

In the meantime, Hurricane Hanna hit south Texas, nowhere near our home, but we all enjoyed making jokes about "Hurricane Hannah" which my daughter didn't really appreciate.  :)

Monday, July 20, 2020

Weekend Eighteen: Parties and a Movie

Friday morning, we went to a birthday party for one of my children's friends.  It was supposed to be a swimming party, but unfortunately, a thunderstorm came through.  Regardless, my children had a great time playing with their friends, and I enjoyed chatting with some of mine.

When we got home, we had our normal Friday chores to do:  vacuuming, mopping, and laundry.  Having finished those chores, we were able to do some relaxing.  :)  I finished King Solomon's Mines and started Emma.  King Solomon's Mines was an exciting book about a journey across Africa to find some mines Solomon supposedly got diamonds from.  Written in the same vein as Tarzan, H.G. Wells' books, and Jules Verne's books, it is actually easier to read as it's not so technical.  Daniel couldn't wait for me to finish it so he could read it.

Surprisingly, we did not play a single game on Friday.  After supper, we watched The Call of the Wild.  Having read one reviewer describe it as "delightful," I knew it would not be like the book at all, at least, in the animal ferocity.  As I watched Buck release a rabbit he caught and give one of his fish to another dog, I knew that Jack London would be appalled.  But my children enjoyed the movie, and I guess that's what matters.

Most of Saturday went as usual, but that evening I had a get together for the mothers at our new CC campus.  While I was a little nervous about it because I didn't know anyone, I was also excited to meet some of the women there.  I had a good time chatting with other like-minded mothers, and now I look forward even more to starting at our new campus.  On the other hand, it was a little overwhelming because I discovered that there are about fifty families in our new campus.  Our old campus only had ten to fifteen, so there are going to be a lot more people around now!

As normal, we went to church Sunday morning, but we did not have fellowship lunch afterwards.  Oops!  No one brought anything except dessert.  Cookies and pie do not make a good lunch.  :)  After that, we had a quiet afternoon at home.  I didn't even have Bible study.

I did finish Gift from the Sea by Anne Morrow Lindbergh for the second time, and here is a rather long, but so good, excerpt from it.  Do you ever feel overwhelmed by all of the hurting people in the world, wanting to help them, but knowing that it's impossible to help every single one?  I have, and Lindbergh's book helps put that into perspective.
Today a planetal point of view has burst upon mankind.  The world is rumbling and erupting in ever-widening circles around us. 
But just how far can we implement this planetal awareness?  We are asked today to feel compassionately for everyone in the world; to digest intellectually all the information spread out in public print; and to implement in action every ethical impulse aroused by our hearts and minds.  The interrelatedness of the world links us constantly with more people than our hearts can hold.  Or rather--for I believe the heart is infinite--modern communication loads us with more problems than the human frame can carry....  My life cannot implement in action the demands of all the people to whom my heart responds....  Our grandmothers, and even--with some scrambling--our mothers, lived in a circle small enough to let them implement in action most of the impulses of their hearts and minds.  We were brought up in a tradition that has now become impossible, for we have extended our circle through space and time.   
Faced with this dilemma, what can we do?....  We are forced to make some compromise.
Perhaps we never appreciate the here and now until it is challenged, as it is beginning to be today even in America....  We are now ready for a true appreciation of the value of the here and the now and the individual.   
The here, the now and the individual have always been the special concern of the...woman.  In the small circle of the home she has never quite forgotten the particular uniqueness of each member of the family; the spontaneity of now; the vividness of here.  This is the basic substance of life....  It may be our special function to emphasize again these neglected realities, not as a retreat from greater responsibilities but as a first real step toward a deeper understanding and solution of them.  (excerpted from pages 115-120)
Instead of worrying about all of the people in the world whom I cannot help, I will concentrate on those whom I can:  my family, my friends, and others that God places in my life.  Yes, we can and should give money and aid to those on the other side of the world, but we have to trust that God will use those resources to help the people there as we concentrate on the ones He has placed in front of us here.

How was your weekend?  Have you read anything by Jack London?  Have you seen the new Call of the Wild movie?  Is your heart pricked by the suffering of those whose lives you can't actually affect?

Friday, July 17, 2020

Week Eighteen: Movies and Games

Getting ready to play 7 Wonders

Monday was a typical beginning to our week with a trip to the library and grocery store, and catching up on chores from the weekend.  We did play lots of games of 7 Wonders, prompting John to say, "Y'all really like that game, don't you?!"  We even got him to play a game with us after supper.  Another thing that we like about the game is that up to seven people can play, so no one has to sit out.

Tuesday Daniel and I had orientation for his Challenge A class, starting soon.  Since he is continuing with our old campus, we both enjoyed seeing our friends for a little while.  I will miss seeing them every week once CC starts back.  :(  But at our new campus I look forward to having mothers with more homeschooling experience (specifically high school) to ask questions of.

Having been gone both Monday and Tuesday for a portion of the day, I enjoyed staying home all day long on Wednesday.  John remarked that he hasn't left our home (other than to jog) since Sunday and how strange that is, especially since I've been leaving the house a good bit.  And I'm the one who likes to stay home!

Wednesday I also started tackling a job I had been putting off for quite a while.  Our shower walls had some mold on them, so I researched how to get rid of it.  First I sprayed them with bleach.  On Thursday I scrubbed them with vinegar and a scrub brush.  They look so much better.  But no, there aren't any pictures because it was gross before I cleaned the walls.  And I'm embarrassed that I let them get so bad.

Thursday morning, Sarah Beth and I ran a few errands, the big one to pick up her artwork from the art museum where the Teen Art Show had been.  It was nice spending that time with her.

During the week, there were times I neglected or put off my chores in favor of playing 7 Wonders with my children.  Did I make the right choice?  I think so.  I still got my duties done, but I also made good memories with my children.  I feel like I have taken advantage of our being stuck at home to spend time with my children, making fun memories of the COVID-19 crisis.

Throughout the week, I watched the BBC version of Emma.  After reading that I had watched the new movie, Tracey from Girls to Grow wrote that she really enjoyed the version from BBC, so I checked it out from the library to watch.  And I really liked it.  Emma is my favorite Jane Austen novel, and now I'm inspired to read the book.  :)

It took three nights, but we watched The Man from Snowy River.  I loved that movie as a child, and I still think it's pretty good.  I'm not sure that my children or John appreciate it as much as I do, but they don't have the nostalgia for it that I do, either.  :)

Do you have a favorite Jane Austen novel?  Has a movie ever inspired you to read the book it was based off?

Monday, July 13, 2020

Weekend Seventeen: A Workshop and a New Game

Having been gone a lot last week, I enjoyed staying home all day on Friday.  It was a quiet day at home, catching up on chores that had been neglected while I attended Practicum.

I was busy Saturday morning with getting my normal Saturday chores done because I taught a Latin Workshop in the afternoon.  Since I'm relatively familiar with Latin, I invited the upcoming Challenge A parents in Daniel's class to this workshop to help them understand the structure of this language a little better.  I hope that I was successful and that I did not confuse them anymore than they already were.

Typically, we had church Sunday morning, followed by fellowship lunch.  One of the ladies could not attend Bible study in the evening, so we didn't meet.

The same friend who recommended Splendor also likes the game 7 Wonders.  I just realized that I never told you about Splendor.  Oops!  We like it because you don't have to hurt the other players in order to win.  You just gather your gems, working on getting points, regardless of what the other players are doing (which is the same thing).  It's not like Monopoly where you have to bankrupt the other player to win.

Our new game 7 Wonders is similar in that you don't have to hurt other players to win.  What we really like about this game is that you have no idea who will win until the very end when you add up points.  There is no way to know until then, so you have hope.  It's discouraging in Monopoly or Ticket to Ride to realize that there is no way that you can win the game, but you have to keep playing until it's over.  Daniel doesn't enjoy all of the games that we own, but he really likes this one.  And I like that.

Have you tried a new game lately?  Is your family a game-playing family?

Friday, July 10, 2020

Week Seventeen: Practicum and Taking Time for Myself

This week was different, a little more exciting since I had Practicum on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday.  Practicum is training for Classical Conversations.  Because of the coronavirus, all of the usual, big Practicums were cancelled, but some campuses opted to have their own, smaller ones.  Even though it was small, it was really nice for several reasons.  Since it was closer to home, I didn't have to struggle to get myself and all of my children up and dressed and out the door early in the morning.  I was able to leave my children at home as John was there to keep an eye on things, and they are old enough to keep themselves entertained and out of trouble -- for the most part.  :)  Also, I appreciated the small size and having my friends there.  I really enjoyed this part of my week.

I even stayed for lunch to get extra time with my friends before I left to come home.  (The other women had tutor training in the afternoons.)  When I got home, I decided that my children needed some of my time since they had been left largely to themselves all morning.  So we played lots of games and read lots of books.  Thankfully, other than Practicum, I had an empty schedule so I was not burdened by a lot of duties and chores.

Especially, I'm trying to spend time with Mary because she tends to get overlooked and is not very vocal about spending time with me.  She loves to play Monopoly, but I almost always win when we play which gets depressing for her.  Because of that, I came up with a new strategy when we play.  If you promise not to tell her, I will let you in on my secret.  :)  I decided only to buy every other property that I land on.  Usually, I buy almost all of them, but Mary is very selective and will only buy from three or four sets.  Since I end up with more properties, I can't help but win.  With this strategy, she was able to buy a complete set before I could which let to her winning the game.  Success!  You should have seen the excited grin on her face when she bankrupted me.

I have had a little time to read this week, and here are some quotes from Gift from the Sea by Anne Morrow Lindbergh.  Yes, I have read it before and recently, but it's so good that it needed another reading.  And I needed my own copy.  :)  These passages spoke to my soul about why I'm so tired, mentally not just physically, and why I can't just accept it.  Along with that, I was encouraged to make sure that I take time for myself because I need that to replenish my energy so that I can give myself to my family.
Traditionally we [women] are taught,  and instinctively we long, to give where it is needed -- and immediately. Eternally, woman spills herself away in driblets to the thirsty, seldom being allowed the time, the quiet, the peace, to let the pitcher fill up to the brim....   
I believe that what woman resents is not so  much giving herself in pieces as giving herself purposelessly.  What we fear is not so much that our energy may be leaking away through small outlets as that it may be going "down the drain."  We do  not see the results of our giving as concretely as a man does in his work.  In the job of home-keeping there is no raise from the boss, and seldom praise from others to show us we have hit the mark.  Except for the child, woman's creation is so often invisible, especially today.... 
 Purposeful giving is not as apt to deplete one's resources; it belongs to that natural order of giving that seems to renew itself even in the act of depletion....   
If it is woman's function to give, she must be replenished, too.  But how?  Solitude....  Herein lies one key to the problem.  If women were convinced that a day off or an hour of solitude was a reasonable ambition they would find a way of attaining it.  As it is, they feel so unjustified in their demand that they rarely make the attempt.  (quotes from pages 39-43)

As I typed these quotes, I realized that attending Practicum replenished my energy, as I took time for myself.  And I was pleased that I had made it happen, that I hadn't given up because it was too difficult.

What do you think about being drained?  And replenished?  While Lindbergh spoke to my soul, maybe you feel differently about it.  Have you ever come up with a strategy to help one of your children beat you at a game?