Tuesday, October 07, 2008

A Little of What's Up With Us

Last weekend was busy! After a major seasonal clothing change/organization (which really isn't *quite* done), I was more prepared than I've ever been for the huge annual rummage sale we depend upon for winter clothes, books, bedding and lots of other goodies. I attribute this degree of readiness to all of the purging I did earlier this year. Even though the task was overwhelming, it was not impossible!

Unsurprisingly, we had an enormous clean-up task to get ready for music lessons this afternoon (which we host at our house). The mess was worse than anticipated because this weekend also was the time at which we needed to pick many of the apples and pears from our trees (which also, naturally, involved lots of messes in the kitchen already - like the delicious fresh apple juice pictured here - and lots more to come!) and to move our potted plants indoors.

I'm starting to make plans to do my first ever canning!

A few more highlights from the last month or so:

My brother Mike came for a short visit a few weekends ago. Family visits from my side of the family are rare and much appreciated!

The arrival of two gorgeous costumes from Our Coats of Many Colors. Terri absolutely loves her St. Therese costume and Bernie is a wonderfully cute St. Brigid of Ireland. A separate post about these costumes will be coming soon!

Ria is enjoying her first job - she's working in a local bookstore - but it sure makes a significant change in family dynamics! We're very proud of her hard work.

My three oldest are involved in preparations for a performance of Jane Austen's Emma next month. We've had loads of fun piecing together costume items (including lots of goodies from last weekend's rummage sale!) and I'm delighted that I won't need to do any sewing beyond a nightcap for Gus's Mr. Wodehouse.

School is going pretty well for the most part, particularly since I've actually managed to prepare myself to accept the necessity of adjustments and figuring things out along the way rather than putting too much energy into planning everything out ahead of time, only to find that it's not necessarily a good fit. We had an unexpected burst of learning energy from some games I picked up at the rummage sale (for $4 each).

The Phonics Game and Get a Clue: the Math Game aren't the sort of programs that generally attract me (partly because they're outrageously expensive new), but for the price I thought I'd try them out and possibly pass them along to someone else if they didn't work out. Each game includes a bunch of VHS and audio tapes that explain how to play about 10 or 12 different games (mostly card games). The younger four were immediately enchanted - perhaps the like the variety. I've gotten drawn into several of the games and I've found them to be well put-together and rather useful for working on basic skills. I played the addition game with Kate and Frank who got some practice in addition (up to ten), concepts of even and odd (though they needed a bit of help on this) and finding the variable in problems such as the following - 4 + 4 = n + 3
Works for me!

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