MIA: LIFE ON SUMMER VACATION

I have been obviously missing in action of late. Ever since the kids got out of school for summer vacation, I have been otherwise occupied. My time has been spent doing everything from puppy training, to yard work, to various excursions and regular chores. The kids and I made a plan to tackle a different topic to study every week this summer. I wanted to make sure they continued to study somewhat so that they didn’t get too rusty and had to start from scratch when school started again in the fall. We also hit the used book store and got everyone a handful of books to get us through the duration. I love reading and hope that my kids turn out to be avid readers. So far, I have to push them to get it done. It is hard to find books they really love. I just wish every book was as popular as Harry Potter.

We started off with Oceanography/Marine Biology. We didn’t have the greatest weather the day we went out. Shocking! It is Seattle, after all, and the weather still hasn’t been over 85 all summer. We got up bright and early and trekked across town to a beach known for great exploration at low tide. After some of us bothered to don our boots, we hit the tide pools. Each of the kids had a bag in which to collect their treasures. This is especially important, since my youngest if famous for collecting EVERYTHING. Her oldest brother says she is a hoarder, since she collects literal trash. My oldest managed to collect a handful of little creatures that we turned into a small home aquarium. I was rather impressed, I must admit. It was fun to watch what he had put together. After a couple of days though, it did start to smell, so it had to be returned to the wild. That was a fun week though.

Then we hit the 4th of July week and we decided that History was a logical choice. This ended up being a lesson for my oldest mostly. I had a book on the revolution and his assignment was to give his dad the salient points by the end of the week. He managed to do it, but didn’t like it. His brother didn’t even pretend to participate. He is only 7 though. If I can find a way for him to do art, then I have him hooked. Otherwise, it is a lost cause. Fortunately, I also had a book or 2 on fireworks, so that got him at least somewhat involved.

Last week was supposed to be Astronomy. All the books I reserved at the library didn’t show up in time. The request I put out for a loaner on a telescope, also bombed out. I had big plans to end the week with our first family camping trip with a trip to the beach at night to look at the stars. What we got was soaking wet and stuck in a leaky tent. We were supposed to be there now, but came home SUPER early this morning after everyone discovered their sleeping bags were wet. We did have some good times though. This was probably the first time since school got out that the kids didn’t bicker constantly. Also, s’mores were incredibly popular. My youngest wanted to stay, only for the s’mores, as Dad told her they were for camping only. I said it was the law that you had to eat them on a camping trip. Lastly, after a rousing round of shadow puppets with our flashlights, my youngest told us all a very scary camp tale called “The Murderler’s Sleeping Bag.” This is a harrowing tale in which various badguys, including a money taker and a cheetah, stole all of our things and put them into her brother’s red sleeping bag. It was a real nailbiter! I am still holding out hope that this lesson will come together, just maybe later this summer. Assuming Seattle ever sees the sun for more than a day or two.

Next week, we begin to tackle Geometry. At least that is the header I am using for it. The plan is for us to build our new dog a dog house. We adopted a lab-mix puppy from a shelter about 6 weeks ago. He is now about 4.5 months old. He gets bigger before your eyes – I kid you not! When he first came home he was about 19 pounds and the kids carried him up and down the stairs because he didn’t know how to take the stairs. He is now 30+ pounds and practically takes the kids out while rushing past them on the same stairs. He has been a very easy puppy though. Anyway, we are going to get online, look at some plans, download a free program or 2 to help us get our dimensions correct and start building. We are allocating 2 weeks for this. I have some salvage wood that I want to see if we can put to good use. I am also going to keep an eye on Seattle Free Cycle for random things that may help us in our construction. I hope this turns out to be as much fun as I think it will be. Cross your fingers!

We then have a week off of studies for a trip to Colorado. We have a lot of family on both sides so we have loads of people to visit. We have lots of plans with my sister, her spouse and her 3 kids. We are spending the first 3 days with them at their house, before heading off to a rental house of our own. Her kids are about the same age as our 3, which is a lot of fun. My sister has made reservations for all of us, plus another family of 5 (that’s 15 people total!), to all go out for family karaoke at a Mexican restaurant while we are there. I can hardly wait! This is going to be nuts!! I should start practicing my best “These Boots are Made for Walkin'” now – LOL!

Lastly, we have 2 weeks allocated for Robotics. I helped my husband and son buy all the parts they needed to build a robot they found in Make Magazine. They had planned to do this over Christmas break, but alas, it never happened. I have promised my son that we would get it done. He loves this kind of stuff. My luck, that will be the 2 weeks that we 100 degree temps here and nothing but sun, but such is life. You gotta roll with it!

I have been cooking but because we keep eating so late, I keep forgetting to get photos taken before serving the food. Again, maybe in the fall.

I hope that despite my lack of focus, you will continue to check me out occasionally. It could be worth a laugh at least 🙂

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