Happy that it's Friday!
The story of this photo: It's been a fairly boring week for this flat coat retriever - no walks (it is still pretty hot for walks - but when it cools off a little more she'll get 1 or 2 daily walks around our island), no boat rides (so far). She has been pretty successful at begging for chewy bones and at sleeping in Allison's room and sitting on counters and dining room tables. She is happy that it is almost the weekend since she usually gets a kayak or boat ride over to the little island to explore without a leash and chase minnows and find stinky things to roll around in. But meantime she's happy to take naps all over the house.
I got out the "good" camera for some of the photos today - my Canon Rebel that is 10 years old now - please leave a comment if you have an opinion about whether I should upgrade to a more current DLSR? I'd love to know whether I should keep using the current old one or to ask for a new one for Christmas.
The story of this photo: Another day, another day of home school. If I ask him how homeschool is going he'll say "terrible" but if you ask if he wants to go back to regular school he might say "no" or "maybe next year" - if someone else asks him how home school is going he tells them he loves it. Here, we have just watched the second hour of the History Channel program "America: The Story of Us - Westward" and I have written down key terms like "Daniel Boone" and the "Erie Canal" and "Lewis and Clark" and he has to describe the terms in a few lines - either from his memory or by using 2 US History texts that we have for home school - one text is the same one that my daughter used in her 5th grade US History class and the other text is geared more for the high school level. We use both of the books. He is getting better at looking up things on his own - I am working with him on study skills and note taking this year in home school. There is progress. I feel good about that.
The story of this photo: Using the teacher planner has been a God send for me - I really enjoy having everything in one place and visually being able to track our progress - and not having to make up what we are going to be doing on the day that we do it - I need to sit down with the planner over this weekend and flush out next week's plans. All that said, I think we only stuck with the hourly schedule on Monday - by Tuesday we were making up our own schedule - and that was just fine with both of us.
The story of this photo: It rained just about everyday for the last month of summer vacation. Since school started, it hasn't rained, until today. Mac stopped for a moment and looked outside and told me to stop too and just look at the rain - "It is so peaceful Mom - I love it when it rains - I wish it would rain harder - just stop (running around cleaning the house in between homeschooling) and look at it for a minute." And so I did thanks to Mac - my little Budda / Zen Master.
The story of this photo: I got a typewritten note from Charlie this morning - which reminds me of my Dad who used to write me typewritten notes. Both of their notes are to the point and slightly abrasive to the untrained eye - but I've learned not to take them personally. And in a weird way I find them comforting. Plus, Charlie has a flair for exaggerating that is both annoying and endearing.
The story of this photo: 5 days of the new school and 5 days of me in the car circle line after school - I think this is funny since Charlie made sort of a big deal about him picking up Allison after school - that he likes to do it and that he wanted to do it this year. And I said ok sure, and so far, it hasn't worked out for him to pick her up after school once. He does, however, get up super early and drives her to school - which I am more than happy to let him do. I am not a morning person, he is.
The story of this photo: She's had another great day at her new school. She tells me stories about her teachers and new friends and what happens at lunch and recess. I tell her that her descriptions of her teachers were really accurate - I met them last night at open house. We talk about why she isn't trying out for volleyball today and will be doing it on Monday instead.
The story of this photo: I stop at Tuesday Morning to check out the scrapbooking aisle - sometimes I find a million bargains - today is just meh. Allison hates Tuesday Morning or any kind of discount store (like TJ Maxx or Marshalls) (I tell her she'll start liking them when she starts paying) - she takes a seat and has a snack and patiently waits for me to check out all the bargains. I leave with nothing.
The story of this photo: She doesn't mind when I take a selfie in the car - I think she knows that the light is especially good - I think she is completely adorable. She likes wearing the plaid skorts and is finally happy with them after all of the #skortdrama this week.
The story of this photo: An unexpected benefit of homeschooling Mac is that Mac and Allison get along better than ever since we started. They watch tv together, play video games together and tell each other funny stories. Today they'll draw manga together. I love seeing them being friends. A few years ago they hit a rough spot and fought all the time for a year or two - I was afraid that would be the way they would be - I am so happy that is over and they are friends again like when they were little.
The story of this photo: Daddy is home for about 2 hours to eat and then he's off again to "band camp" - he's been playing drums with his cousins for several years now - most every Friday night - he brings a snack pack and his drum sticks. He is getting tired of the same old songs they play and has been talking about starting a new band.
The story of this photo: After saying goodbye to Charlie, Allison and I walk over next door to Grammy's house in our bare feet. We have to ring the bell and then wait for several minutes while Grammy figures out how to open the door - since Grandfather Charlie's heat stroke about a month ago she's been keeping the doors locked so he can't get out without her knowing. She lets us in and is delighted to have a visit from Allison.
The story of these photos: We visit with Grammy and Cousin Sally and Allison tells them all about her new school. Grandfather, with his caretaker, Denise, have walked next door through the backyard to our house - he thinks that his dead brother TA might live at our house and he comes over to see if he is there. The water birds are here this time of day for their baloney dinner - they come right up to the backdoor and practically knock.
The story of this photo: I picked up this book at the new school open house. Allison doesn't tell Sally, who is a very vocal born again Christian, that she's thinking about becoming Jewish - but Allison tells me all about how she'd like to become a Jew. I tell her we can go to synagogue tomorrow and we watch some videos about how to convert - she says, maybe she'll just go next week and this week she'll be a Lutheran because she misses her old friends - but maybe, also next year she'll get "crucified" (she means confirmed) and become a Catholic. I tell her she can make her own choices about her religion and God and that if she becomes a Jew I'll have to be even more s-mothery - she likes this idea. I like the idea that she is learning about many religions and that she thinks about God and her own spirituality.
The story of this photo: Grammy is 91 years old and she goes for a bike ride every single day - most days Charlie goes, some days I go, and Allison almost never goes so this was a special treat. Allison sang songs during the ride and Grammy was thrilled to have Allison along for the ride. We only did 2 miles tonight because Grammy's asthma was acting up.
The story of this photo: Grammy is an artist and so is Allison - and Allison shares her new drawings with Grammy who is delighted to see them. She mentions that Billy and Benjamin are into this type of drawing too - and I mention that so is my nephew, River. I think about how strange it is that Grandfather/Charlie fought against the Japanese in WWII and now his grandchildren are fascinated with that culture. I also think about all the other artists in our family including my Nana Ruby, Grandpa Allen, and me.
The story of this photo: Grandfather sits in the backyard swing (the most recent one was made by my husband Charlie) every night to watch the sunset - we notice how many birds are over on the mangroves on the island and see a few dolphin. We talk about how homeschooling with Mac is going and Sally mentions the concept of "management by walking around" and I tell her that Andy Hines, the former CEO of Florida Power, told me all about that when I used to have dinner with him once a month while I was at Eckerd College and I speak louder to Charlie and say "remember old Andy Hines" and he perks up and says he does remember him - after he got back from WWII, Charlie worked his entire career at Florida Power. Alzheimer's has made the current stuff hard for Charlie to remember but the olden days stuff is still as clear as a bell in his head so we often talk about the good old days and it is obvious he loves the interaction and feeling like he knows what's going on.
The story of this photo: Grammy and Grandfather play backgammon every night for the last 30 years - they've been married for over 70 years - I think maybe 73 years. Allison performs yoga tricks for Grandfather. Grammy says goodnight to Denise. We ask if she wants us to stay for a bit to watch Charlie while she takes a shower - she tells us she's got it under control and he should be going to bed soon.
The story of this photo: Allison said she wanted to try sushi - which is my favorite dinner - for the first time so we found a sushi restaurant on St. Pete Beach and he loved it - she didn't like the sushi but did like the udon noodles and tempura shrimp and learning how to use chop sticks. He loved that his can of Coke said "sis". I loved the wasabi and getting out of the house with my kids.
The story of this photo: Whenever anyone comes home, Jessie is the first to welcome them. This is one reason I love having a dog.
The story of this photo: Mac is a really great artist too - he's enjoying drawing again since we started homeschooling - when he was in regular school he almost never drew or he'd just draw stick figure cartoons - now he draws dimensional figures and he really loves it. He's also memorized Twinkle Twinkle. / We all finish the day watching the movie Zombieland and it is funny.