Just as the full force of summer’s activities started, we lost internet for two weeks and then my laptop screen displayed a shimmering mass of pixels whenever I tried to use it. I took these as my excuse to spend the last few months making memories with the kids and focusing on areas of the home that desperately needed attention. It’s been a lovely break. Without a laptop I didn’t completely abandon all my goals, but they did change character over the summer.
All three of the older kids have begged us to get a piano for months (or years!) Will told us that *all* he wanted for his birthday was “a piano and toads.” Their birthdays are all sandwiched in the summer months and just before the first birthday of the season, my younger brother moved back home… and had a piano to sell. Talk about perfect timing!
Rose and Will couldn’t wait to start lessons, but as all moms of budding musicians know, the first few weeks feel painfully slow while they learn proper posture, fingering, and position. The gorgeous sonatas they’re itching to play seem infinitely far off. I know that laying a good foundation will be totally worth it in the long run. I’m just really glad that we started lessons before school began again, so we could really focus on mastering these (sometimes not so fun) essentials.
He didn’t get toads, but was thrilled when he caught two adorable little skinks.
Another goal for the summer was to get the three oldest swimming. Will and Meg have practically no fear around water. Since they can’t swim, their lack of fear is terrifying to me. We enrolled the kids in a month of swim lessons the past two years, so they had a good start, but still needed lots of practice before they could pass a swim test… or at least not drown the moment they plunged into the deep end without their life jackets on. So, we spent many hours at the pool practicing blowing bubbles, floating, gliding, and swimming with family or my friend Peggy. It feels kind of lame saying that one of my goals for the summer was spending many of hours at the pool, but it was.
I had hoped to get Ned comfortable floating too, but changed my goal to getting him to not scream when I lay him on his back in the water. After many failed attempts, he actually had a hint of a smile the other day when he was practicing floating. Even though he’s a long way off from floating without support, I am counting that smile as a win. 🙂
Last, but not least, after the long-sleeping desire to learn Mandarin was re-awakened this spring, I’ve been plodding my way though Pimsleur’s Mandarin course and making use of this awesome free app. Though I’ve barely scratched the surface of this beautiful language, I have found Mandarin grammar patterns slipping into my everyday English. 🙂
The highlight of the summer was getting to spend a couple days in California with Josh. He had to travel to L.A. for work. Every time he has to travel, we think how fun it would be if I could join him, but the timing never worked. Until this time. It was my first time to see the Pacific Ocean and, using Air BnB’s awesome services, we got to stay right by the ocean.
That’s my summer in a very brief nutshell. We started our fourth year of homeschooling a few weeks ago, but had to spend a couple weeks before that easing into
early earlier mornings. Let’s just say that finishing breakfast by eight is an improvement! 🙂
On Thursdays I get to teach history and English arts at the kids’ weekly academy. We’ll be studying medieval to early modern history, so castles and swords fights have dominated my lesson planning. Plus, after a three year break from tutoring high-school students, I’m so excited to get to teach a writing and literature class to two of my not-so-little sisters and a few of their friends.
It’s going to be a very full and fun school season, but now that I have a working laptop (and have survived the hectic first few weeks of school) I’m excited to get back into blogging.