The summer is coming to an end, and we are back in the full swing of homeschooling. We took a nice long summer break. I had great intentions of schooling through the summer, but somehow as it warmed up outside we all just lost steam. And so I changed my mind, and I’m glad I did. Our summer filled up with so many fun things and people that to have tried to do homeschooling through all that would have been very stressful.
We had a bunch of overnight guests, we had many, many playdates with old friends and new friends, we spent lots of time at the playground and the sprinklers and we even did an Art in the Park lesson and had a trip to the zoo.
The kids did a “Piano Camp” for a week where they spent the morning learning about composers, did ear training and other such fun music-y stuff and each got a piano lesson too. There was a little recital at the end of the week and all the kids did so well. I’m always amazed at what Shannon (their teacher) gets out of them! Though, I must say I was glad that Piano Camp was only for a week, because it meant driving an hour to Brooklyn and an hour home.
On hot days, the kids had free access to the craft box, and they created lots of fun things. They also really got into drawing, and especially Esther spent hours upon hours just drawing the most inventive things. Many puzzles also got built, and I got a puzzle bug too and did a 1000 piece puzzle, which got started with a bit of help from Aunt Sharon when she and Uncle Sherwood (and Esther and Jonathan!) were visiting a few weekends ago.
The library also got frequent visits as Marica continues to motor through books at an alarming rate. She joined the library’s summer reading club and got some little prizes and a certificate for the thousands (literally!) of pages she read over the summer.
We also went fruit picking and camping, but I’ll share those photos in seperate posts. It’s nice to now have started the new school year and the activities they’ll take part in: piano lessons, homeschool co-op, and Girl Scouts. Routine is good!
With such a sensationalist title, you’d think this is something really special, right? Well, not quite! TripAdvisor (where Ben works) had this internal competition over the summer where you could send in a photo with a TripAdvisor fridge magnet on your vehicle, and every week they picked a winner.
One night, we organised a date night and went and took some photos. After that we had a fantastic Mexican dinner and got to witness a spectacular lightning storm from our cozy seats inside the restaurant.
Here is our prize-winning entry. Ta-daaa!
Oh, you’re probably wondering what we won. No, not a holiday… I wish! A big bag full of useful (and less useful) goodies with TripAdvisor emblazoned on them all. :-)
My computer desk is just next to the couch, and one day while I was doing things on the computer and the girls were watching a show, I looked over and just had to quickly snap a picture of the girls enjoying it!
you have a sweet face,
I love your squishy fatness
to cuddle and to kiss,
But what makes me fondly stare
is your light, unruly hair!
I was folding washing this morning listening to Marica and Esther talk, and just had to share this funny:
E: “Mawica, dose are nithe octoputheth.”
M: “They aren’t octopuses, they’re decorations!
E: “Dey look like octoputheth…”
M: “They’re decorations, NOT octopi!”
On the first weekend of July we took the kids to the Meadowlands State Fair which is pretty close to where we live. The kids were giddy with excitement!
We got there as soon as it opened in the afternoon so it wouldn’t be too busy, and that was a good idea because there weren’t many lines to wait in, but everything got progressively busier during the late afternoon.
We split up for most of the time so Ben could take Marica on the ‘scary rides’ which I was glad not to have to go on and even happier not to see her risk her life on! :-)
Esther, Laurelin and I stayed in the ‘Kiddie Zone’ and Esther made very good use of her unlimited rides pass!
Laurelin was mostly content to look around at the spectacle around her, and thankfully even had a nap.
This sign cracked me up!
Ben took Laurelin on the (very tame) Ferris Wheel. I’m not sure she realised what was going on!
We had Funnel Cake! So greasy and sweet and yummy.
Just before going home we watched a Big Cat show with a beautiful male lion, a white tiger and a liger.
What a fun day! I have so many happy memories of when the carnival would come to town every September when I was growing up. The church would always have a pannekoek (pancake) stall and my mum usually helped bake pannekoek, which meant I got pretty much free reign to explore the fair. Night time at the fair was the most magical time, spinning on the rides till you’re almost sick, eating candy floss, pannekoek and kerrie-en-rys… when the kids get a bit older, we’ll have to take them at night!
As everyone knows — well, at least everyone who’s a fan of Tolkien — a hobbit comes of age at 33. I turned this ripe old age the other day, and had a fabulous party, mostly organized by Franci, my lovely hobbit-wife.
We had some great, down-to-earth hobbit food cooked by Franci with some help from Lillian: loads of mushrooms (fried in butter), homemade bread rolls with “Beorn’s” creamed honey and butter, Mum’s meatloaf (“dwarvish meatloaf”), punch (“Miruvor”), ale from The Green Dragon, “Sauron’s eyeballs” deviled eggs, and lots of other yummy things I’m forgetting.
I wrote a little speech that kind of paralleled Bilbo’s speech at his “eleventy-first” birthday party (and Frodo’s 33rd). There were a couple of Lord of the Rings-based games and riddles.
There was a small crowd of maybe 15 mostly from church and a couple from work. A few people even dressed up.
In true Hobbit-fashion, Franci and I organized and wrapped gifts for each of the guests (though there were no silver spoons).
All in all, a fun time! I highly recommend a Hobbit coming-of-age party for your next trend-setting event. :-)