We've had a busy start to our school year and so I haven't had much time for blogging and such, but here goes...
1. It's multiplication tables deadline day and tension is building. The two middle girls were promised chocolate shakes if they memorized multiplication tables (up to various points) by today. Kate voluntarily learned a few sets herself and has already earned a shake. It was nice that we found some Math Wheel Flash Cards (multiplication on the front and division on the back) at a rummage sale last week. (UPDATE: I didn't manage to get this posted until they all were tested - and they all passed with flying colors!)
2. Frank's had an interesting week. He's had a couple of asthma-like episodes at gym class last week and this week, so we took him into the doctor's and found (as suspected) that he has a seasonal allergy-based, exercise-induced asthma. He's on some allergy medicine now and should be back to normal in a few days. Yesterday I had some extra time to do a little school with him (on the fly and voluntarily on his part) because of his downtime. He just loves math right now. I put him in a first grade math workbook (which he brought with him to the doctor's office since we knew he'd have a big wait) and, although he needs someone to read all the words for him, he's a whiz with the math. He also loves going to the doctor. Because of a comment from his aunt when we were leaving, I explained that some people don't like going to the doctor. He answered quite smartly, "Maybe that's because they think it's the kind of doctor that opens up your stomach." LOL
3. Speaking of allergies, I just discovered that I'm a much happier camper when I avoid wheat. Corn tortilla quesadillas are my friend!
4. Latin study group is up and going again and we've met twice so far. I like the rhythm we're getting into. We spend about 1/2 an hour singing in Latin (silly songs, rounds, church songs and, at the moment, Christmas and Advent songs) and spend most of the rest of the time playing games. I'm giving them a study sheet or two each week (which we go over in class) to start building a repertoire of vocabulary, historical events, and some basic verb endings. The motivation comes largely from playing certamen (a Latin game show), which everyone seems to love. Now that we've discovered the Certamen Questions Database, we should be in good shape for awhile!
5. Last weekend, John and I went to a Catholic marriage conference. It's the first time we've ever been to a marriage thing together, as we lived 2000 miles apart while we were engaged - so we did our prep in parallel. It was a great conference and we especially enjoyed the talk by Deacon Harold Burke-Sivers.
6. My 9 and 11 year old daughters have got quite interested in haircutting and gave both of their brothers buzz cuts this week. This could be a good thing!
7. Barbara reminded me last night that tomorrow is the 20th anniversary of the Loma Prieta earthquake in the San Francisco Bay Area.
I was in college (at TAC - in Southern California) worrying about my family at home (in Los Altos) - especially since there were some wild rumors going around about the severity of the earthquake (I heard at one point that the Bay Bridge had completely collapsed) and we couldn't get through via telephone. Much to the chagrin of my tutor, I skipped seminar that night (I was far too distracted to concentrate).
Our home was far enough and stable enough that the only significant activity was a wave of water that crashed out of the swimming pool and flooded the side yard. Also, a large statue of our Lady fell off of her rather high perch in the living room - and landed safely in a basket of clean laundry that was sitting on the couch.
The earthquake toppled the tower at the nearby seminary (where we used to have our parish picnics, retreats and lots of other things when I was a kid) which never recovered and was torn down in the early 1990s. It was fun to visit their alumni website (especially the photo gallery) this morning for a walk down memory lane.