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Week 9, 2017 – Calm Before The (Soccer) Storm

This was a nice, calm week. Pretty soon soccer season starts up and everything gets crazy.


Their grandma is helping them with their handwriting — getting numbers the correct direction, understanding the way fractions and things are supposed to look, forming letters in cursive, and things like that.

We played Balderdash. It’s a game where you get a date, an initialism, a movie title, or a strange word and the players try to write a description of what the word means (or the initialism stands for, or the significant thing that happened on that date, or what the word means). And the player whose turn it is just copies the correct answer. Then everyone votes on which they think is the real answer and points are awarded. It’s a fun way to get kids to unintentionally do some copy work and practice writing things in a more proper-sounding voice. (If you don’t sound like a game card in your answer, no one will be fooled by it.)

We played another game called Happy Birthday Robot. It’s a fun game where you collectively write a story (it doesn’t have to be about a robot) and you are limited in the number of words you can use. This is helpful for teaching kids how to be efficient with their language. They quickly learn there aren’t enough words to use filler words like “very” or to start each sentence with “and”.

And, of course, we finished the second Harry Potter
and started on the third.

We also watched the first movie of the Lord of the Rings trilogy.

Kid #1 spent some time planning his inn in Druidawn, based on an inn from a book he read a few months ago. Not sure if the airship ever got made, but it’s nice to know he buys virtual property.


The weather turned warm, so we spent time watching the birds in the feeders in the backyard. Different birds are showing up and some are even changing into their summer colors.

We talked about the weather and the changing of the seasons, particularly about the difference between meteorological seasons and astronomical seasons. (It’s now meteorological spring, but it isn’t astronomical spring until the spring equinox.

And we posed interesting questions we tried to answer… such as the physics of bird flight, and could a penguin fly if it swam really fast and jumped out of the water.


We played one math game this week, a game called Tsuro. The idea is you are a dragon flying around and you’re just trying to not fly off the edge of the board or run into another player. There’s no reading required, so it’s a great game for groups of people that include young kids. It’s also good for mental math skills, particularly the ability to rotate shapes in your head and figure out which way to play a piece.

In addition to that, Kid 1 did some work in Khan Academy, and the littler kids did a placement test for Teaching Textbooks. Sadly, they scored really high on the tests (surprise!) so I need to make them take another test to see if they place in a higher level. I’ll probably promise them ice cream again because it’s a pretty long test.

Social Studies

I don’t have anything written down, but I remember talking about some civics during the week, as current events came up.


There was a lot of foursquare, plus the kids went to open gym at the gym nearby. We’ve been here close to two years and there’s a gym seven minutes down the road… and that was nice. I’m sure they miss their old gym.


Mostly just “growing up” stuff with individual kids.


There was nothing special planned, just the regular drawing and stuff.


The kids practiced their instruments several times this week, and I can definitely hear improvement!

Changing Themes…

So the wind woke me up at 3:45 am this morning. I got some work done and then took a break by… updating my WordPress theme?

I was playing around with a few other ones, but the features weren’t what I wanted and I sort of hated how huge all the text was. I like this one better.

Also, I got rid of a bunch of plugins I used to use and aren’t functioning well, and switched over to Jetpack. Much nicer.

This post is mostly to test that the scheduling and Publicize features are working — maybe it will even pull the featured image correctly!

Love Me Do

Official school is still on hiatus while I do fall cleaning and Halloween costume sewing… but we seem to just be accidental unschoolers. I just can’t get them to stop being interested in things and learning stuff. Geesh, kids. 😉

For those of you watching me on Facebook, you may (or may not, knowing Facebook) know that we have a colony of mealworms. (Or is it Kingworms? I can never figure out which is which). The first one that turned into an adult was eaten by the worms, so the next time one pupated, we moved him into his own tank. Then another one pupated and we didn’t know what the adult would do with him, so we put him into another tank. But then we ran out of tanks.

Today we had a new pupa (and 3 about to pupate) so we decided this was a good day for the adults to move in together. The kids are hoping for baby mealworms. But we didn’t know if they would go cannibal, so they are taking turns babysitting the beetles.

The Boy decided they needed romantic music — I jokingly suggested “Love Me Do”, but he couldn’t find it on iTunes (I think it’s only on the upstairs computer). Instead, he went to the kid’s playlist and just searched for everything with the word love in the title. Pretty good problem solving!

So far they have feelered each other. One pushed the other off of the communal carrot, so we added a second carrot. One ate a little and now they are both sitting in opposite corners, looking surprisingly pouty. I have no idea how to tell a beetle’s gender, but since there doesn’t appear to be any difference between them, I’m guessing they’re the same gender. Oh well — we have four more adults on the way!

2012 Resolutions… one month later

At the beginning of January, I declared that I was resolving to change all sorts of things about myself. I do this a lot. Usually a couple stick and several don’t. You just have to keep trying until the opportunity presents itself. It was surely too many things to try to start at once, but I did keep in mind that this was a to do list for the entire year, not just one week or one month. Many of the things, such as going on more trips, might have to wait until the more immediate things were complete or at least on their way.

Other people have different ideas, such as this writer at GeekMom who posts Don’t Make Hulk Wanna Smash the Internet all about how she hates new year resolutions and especially hates blog posts about them.

Every month, I’m going to review how well I’m doing on my resolutions. Other wise how will I know? Plus it’s a good way to gather yourself and make sure you’re sticking to the plan you set. Little deadlines are better than big ones.

Resolution 1: Lose Weight
Here is a chart of my weight so far this year:

So…. clearly I have not lost weight.

Resolution 2: Get in Better Shape
I exercised a few times. In general, this has not really managed to happen much. I need to find a way to make time for it, but time is in very short supply. The really hard part is just not having a real daily schedule. I can’t plan for much of anything. If I try to get up early to exercise, the baby might be up. Or maybe she’ll stay up late and then I’ll be too tired.

Resolution 3: Wean the baby 
We have tried and tried, but things keep coming up. A cold. She’s probably allergic to milk — so without a substitute, it’s hard to get her to stop. It would help if she actually liked food. Then the husband had interviews, so I didn’t want the baby screaming and keeping him up. So after that I tried again… and the baby started throwing up. So more waiting. Then the husband had a class he needed to get up for at 5:30 am, so I couldn’t have screaming babies at night again. It’s really hard to time this. Maybe February will be our lucky month! It will be easier when we’re out of the house and she isn’t bored. It will be easier when she stops teething, too.

Resolution 4: Keep the house cleaner
This is going pretty well! We’re catching up with the cleaning form when my leg was nonfunctional. We managed to decorate for Christmas and clean it up on time! I’m keeping up with the dishes and laundry mostly (except the week that the husband was mostly never home). We’re unpacking the craft room and straightening up the dining room to make it more functional. YAY!

We have new contracts with the kids, but we’re having some problems finding time to clean every single day. Maybe once the dishes and stuff are more automatic.

Resolution 5: Streamline Bed Time 
The attempt at reading the baby to sleep failed. She just doesn’t fall asleep with books.She did enjoy all the reading, though! We have a timer to remind the kids to get ready for bed and go to bed, which is helping us get them there. But it’s always up in the air who is putting whom to sleep and how. You never know if the baby will let me go put The Girl to sleep, or what. Or when anyone will even be tired. But I’m trying to get the older ones used to the idea that at 8-8:30 the get dressed, at 8:30 The Girl goes up to bed and reads until 9:30, The Boy gets off the computer at 8:30 and goes up to bed at 9:30, and at 9:30 The Girl has her lights off. After that it’s all out of my hands, and I don’t care. I’d love to let them go to bed alone then, and just check on them every 10 minutes or so, but there’s always a spider or wind or something equally horrifying to keep them awake.

Resolution 6: Write More! 
While I haven’t worked on the book at all, I have kept up on my blog here. Go me! I think this has been pretty successful.

Resolution 7: Volunteer
Yeah… get back to me when it isn’t freezing and I get sleep.

Resolution 8: More Trips
Yay! We went to Game Day in Savage, which is a pretty big drive. We also went to DC and saw a sculpture garden or two, the Air and Space Museum, and The American History Museum.Not bad for cold, cold January!

It’s interesting that I’m not doing well at the ones I thought I would and doing much better at the things I thought would be harder. I guess that’s how life is. And another good reason to have eight instead of one!

Weight loss chart test

The Timeline is a new chart type in Google Docs, and here is an example of one with my weight loss data. Pretty cool, huh?

UPDATE: When I update the chart in Google documents, it does in fact update here. It’s a pointer. 🙂

things i liked at the bech: liked the boradwalk

i liked candy kichin

i liked the bech

i liked the hotel

i liked the game cube

i didint like the bath room at the sushi restrant

i liked the pool

i liked the ocean

i liked the waves

i didint like the car ride

i liked the boradwalk

i liked candy kichin

i liked the bech

i liked the hotel

i liked the game cube

i didint like the bath room at the sushi restrant

i liked the pool

i liked the ocean

i liked the waves

i didint like the car ride