World Traveller picked up a groupon deal to Orcas Island. We, of course, waited until school started to go. I'm not sure I'll have time to post about the trip but I wanted to get some pictures up at least.
We started "back to school" last Wednesday. I admit that I was dreading starting up this year. Last year was a really hard year for us. I have always been a hands-on teacher and with a new baby, I didn't do much hands-on. Attitudes were not good-for mom and the kids. It was just a hard year.
I also lean towards a relaxed approach to homeschooling-especially elementary years. Now, I have a junior high (or middle school) student with my oldest starting 7th grade this year. I feel the need to be a bit more traditional. So this year, I forked out more money than previous years for curriculum. And this year, I am keeping grades for my oldest. The grades are more for practice. I do not want to hit high school and try to figure out how to keep grades and organize transcripts, so we are practicing that all now.
The kids were not too excited to start school. We had several comversations about attitudes and how we are all(mom included) going to have good listening, teachable hearts and good attitudes. I really worked on going with the flow and patience and we had a great first day! Really, the whole first forst two weeks have made this mom happy. We have some tweaking to do, (I do not like the math curriculum I ended up choosing for Creative Princess, despite much research) but overall things are going in the right direction. I am under no illusion that every day will be great. We have even had a tear or two but the goal is to have the right attitude, respond appropriately to the kids and just keep moving forward.
Precise Prince's suspension bridge
We took out the rice bucket for Little One to play with.
We have been dealing with a fair amount of sickness around here. Creative Princess started it off on our last days of vacation. Then World Traveller came home from a business trip, sick! Then it was my turn. Hopefully the other two stay healthy and miss it.
In August we took a family vacation with some of my extended family-two of my sisters, three of my nieces and their families-about 20 of us in all (including about 9 kids). We went to the beach and hung out. Our first day was an adventure. We rented a pontoon boat and went to find an island to hang out on. It took a bit to find a place and we had some issues but once we were there, we had a blast. All the kids loved the water and sand. We had also rented jet skis so everyone took turns with them. Heading back to the motel was interesting. The guys dropped the gals at a park. The plan was they would return the boat and jet skis (after filling with gas) and then get the cars and pick us up. It ended up taking 2 hours-longer than expected. Sadly, those of us in the park got eaten up by mosquitoes, except the two babies. Not a bite on them. We ended up not even eating dinner until 9:00. The next day was more relaxed with no boats or jet skis-just time at the beach.
August also brought Little One's first birthday. We had a "small" family party (small is in quotes because just my extended family brings about 25 people). We BBQ'ed and just kept it low key. Little One enjoyed it.