Posts Tagged ‘P.E.’

March!

Posted: March 13, 2012 in Aengus, Noah
Tags: , ,

What the hell happened to winter??? It’s March already, and we had only two snowfalls this year — one was before Halloween, which is just crazy. It seems like it’s been spring for ages already.

At any rate, my mom visited us last weekend, which was wonderful. She let me play with her new toy, and I now have a serious case of iPad 2 envy.

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  • Aengus, left, on my iPad; and my mom, right, on her fancy-shmancy iPad 2.
  • We all played mini golf together, which was an absolute blast, and we went out to eat at the Wood Grill Buffet.

    Let me tell you: if you ever need to feel better about yourself, head to a buffet. Holy shit.

    We also tried shopping in downtown Harrisonburg, where “Restaurant Week” was just beginning. Turns out that the only places open in downtown Harrisonburg on a Sunday are the restaurants.

      And they wonder why our economy is flopping like a fish on a river bank.

    But wait! One other place was open: the art gallery/store. It was really quite nice to look at locally-created sculptures, jewelry, paintings, and wood carvings. I love that Noah enjoys such things (and wish there were more galleries around here), and it was nice to have an opportunity to explain art to Aengus.

    I miss having art in my life. I miss a lot of things that I put away in exchange for parenthood. I’m not entirely sure why I would do such a thing. My children may not share my passion for, say, architecture, but that’s no reason to live a life devoid of these pleasures. And as it turns out, the boys actually enjoy art and architecture quite a lot.

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    This week: Friday night was family night at the shooting range. ::sigh:: We are coming dangerously close to belonging here in Asscrack. Let the record show, though: my target had the tightest grouping in the family — and it was my first time!

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    (No pictures of my awesomeness, of course. No one ever takes my picture. I hope they regret it one day, motherfuckers. That’s okay, I don’t mind.)

    I didn’t see much of the family on Saturday, as I was working in the morning and enjoyed some time with friends in the afternoon. But we did eat blackberry pie and watch Hugo together that night, which was . . . not as good as I was expecting. On both counts.

    AND THEN.
    I found a this on the clearance rack at the store yesterday.

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    Why would I buy a broken bunny, you ask? Well for starters, it was only two dollars. That chocolate’s worth at least that much, in any form. But the real reason is because I have plans. Easter plans. Plans that require a few supplies from the craft store and a mangled chocolate bunny. 🙂

    When I told Aengus my idea, he showed the kind of excitement for creativity I haven’t seen from him in . . . Well, ever.

    Stay tuned.


    I can’t believe summer is almost over already. And what have we done with our time?

    Aengus and his cousin, protecting the campsite.


    Aengus experimented with Mentos and Diet Coke; played Portal 2, Geometry Wars, Minecraft, GMod, and the new Nazi Zombies map; and got into watching Dr. Who, My Wife and Kids, George Lopez, Top Shot, and the BBC’s Sherlock. He got a few swimming lessons from his dad, had many sleepovers, jumped on our new (to us) trampoline, and put some time in on the treadmill. He went camping with his dad, his uncle, and his cousin. He helped Jason fix our lawnmower and build the playing field for his Lego team’s robot. Oh yeah, and he joined a FIRST Lego League team.

    Mark (sound engineer), Garrett, Grant, and Noah intently listening to their recording.

    Noah spent some time with his friends on the XBox with Portal 2, Catherine, and several other games. He also got in on the lawnmower lesson, which morphed into a car maintenance lesson. He and I continued working on learning Japanese, plus he started reviewing pre-algebra concepts and US history in the run-up to this fall’s studies. But much of his summer was spent at his friends’ house, practicing for several gigs . . . including the local Battle of the Bands, which they won! The hands-down highlight of his summer was their prize: six solid hours in a REALLY nice recording studio with a professional sound engineer. He was positively beaming the whole time. ❤

    Shelby and Noah gettin’ their Amish on at Roots.

    Together, we visited my family in Pennsylvania, which we always love. Shelby came with us again, and we always love that, too. We went to Roots, a big-ass farmers market, went swimming at their enormous community center, walked their gigantic mall, and checked out That Fish Place, a huge pet store.

    Why is everything in PA so big?!?

    The highlight of the week (for Noah and Shelby, and I think for Aengus, but definitely for me) was seeing the final Harry Potter movie. We were able to see it in the theater where Noah and I watched the very first movie on opening night. This time, though, they sold butterbeer slushies. With alcohol.

    Shelby, Noah, Aengus, and myself at the Ephrata Main Theater for Harry Potter.
    Jason and Aengus at the handgun range.

    We recently went shooting in West Virginia, which was beautiful but WAY the fuck out there. I would die of isolation in West Virginia, but it might be nice to stay for a few days in a cabin in the woods.

    Noah being goofy, as usual.

    Going forward, I’m making a concerted effort to blog with real regularity. I HAVE to, for my own sake (I forget everything!) as much as for the boys (who might need such records one day) and their grandparents (who miss the closeness they had with the boys when we lived nearby).

    We’ve spent the last few weeks establishing the new routine we need to accomplish all of our goals. Noah’s goals include finishing my requirements for graduation, furthering his Japanese studies, taking some web design classes, getting a job, getting a drivers license, and becoming truly capable of independence.

    Aengus is working diligently toward reading independence, of course, because he desperately wants a laptop all his own. We are not above bribery. He will also continue working on his math skills, learn some world history, do lots of science experiments, and participate in his FIRST Lego League team. Oh, and he wants to learn to cook, as well.

    None of which is all that ambitious for most families these days, of course. But we have been savoring the quiet life for a long time now; I’m not sure I’ll be able to sustain the energy required to do it all for nine months. Wish us luck!


    This weekend was our homeschooling group’s Educational Freedom Party — what other groups refer to as their Not-Back-To-School picnics, parties, etc.  I hate that this lifestyle gets defined in relation to school, when school is so very far from what we do. So I flat-out refuse to call it a “Not-Back-To-School” anything. It’s the celebration of what we have — freedom to educate our own children however we choose to — not of what we are giving up, avoiding, or rejecting.

    Anyway, our party was this weekend. We kind of got rained out; there were many families who bailed because the weather was iffy. But we forged ahead, partly because I’d already cleaned the house (dammit) and partly because any time the schedule gets changed all hell breaks loose. We had a good time even with the smaller crowd, and I really enjoyed chatting with new people and people I don’t get to see very often.

    The teens seemed to have a good time playing their instruments (music) together (socialization). When it wound down to just Noah and one other teen, they played Call of Duty (dynamic thinking, cooperative problem solving) together for a while. Young men bond so easily over shooting and stabbing, don’t they?

    Note to self: we need to encourage more teen girls to join Natural learners!

    Aengus stayed inside for a long time playing video games (dynamic thinking, cooperative problem solving) with Tori and Ash (socialization). When he came out later in the evening, though, he really hit it off with yet another girl, a ten-year-old named Madison. Together, they chatted and played for several hours — and got a good workout when they discovered the treadmill.

    The rain came full-force just when we were about to light the bonfire, which is always my favorite part of our parties. I guess that means we’ll just have to have another party this fall! Hot dogs and hot chocolate and teens with guitars. Doesn’t that sound like the perfect autumn party? ❤

    Noah was in a talkative mood this weekend, too, which is rare. We talked a lot about religion, society, politics, and particularly other cultures. He and I went to the Harrisonburg International Festival for a bit, too, where he got to play in a drum circle. He was slow to join in but thoroughly enjoyed it when he did.

    Both boys have asked for me to push them to work on some academics, so we’re starting with math and foreign languages today (and for Aengus, reading). I’m not happy about this; I don’t like telling people what to do any more than I like being told what to do. But they want me to be the bitch, so here goes. If it affects our relationships, though, we’ll have to change course. I have always —always– said that I don’t keep the kids home so that we can fight. If our days become constant battles, they can either go to school or take on the responsibility of pushing themselves. Learning information is easy; repairing relationships is not.

    And now it’s time to wake Noah. Getting him up before 3pm is step one of the new whip-cracking policy around here. Wish me luck.


    Aengus slept over last night at his good buddy’s house. He took his new iPod (he’s already had the talk about responsibility and that we won’t replace it if he loses or breaks it, blahblahblah) and TWENTY-SEVEN motherfucking Bionicle creations.

    I know it was TWENTY-SEVEN motherfucking guys because he set them all up in our living room, organized them into teams, tallied them, and counted his tallies. That’s computation, number sense, and the beginnings of multiplication, people. Add in all the building of those guys and you’ve got physical science and engineering.

    The only traditional sleepover item he packed was his toothbrush — although I had to remind him, and I was under no delusions that he’d use it. He crashed around six this evening after staying up most of the night. 😀 I’ll nag him about his teeth in the morning.

    Me? Yesterday, I peeled peaches. And peeled peaches. Then, when my ADD couldn’t take it anymore, I facebooked for a bit . . . then peeled more fucking peaches.

    Almost done with one bowlful (and the compost bucket is already overflowing)

    I only got about halfway through the ones I’d picked that morning, so I put those in the freezer to later be turned into wine (when my bff’s daughter gets out of the hospital, I’ma have mah girls over to maykah da wahn). I’ll be peeling the other half for jelly tomorrow. Focus, Adesa. Focus.

    After Shelby left last night, Noah spent some time with his other girl, a little Fender acoustic number (music), then played some Call of Duty (strategic, cooperative, and dynamic thinking; history) with his friend Nick. No idea how late he was up, but he didn’t get up today until after four. I’ve only spotted him occasionally tonight; he’s spending today in his room, I guess.

    I hate when he has days like this. He’s already cutting those apron strings (not that I’ve ever worn one), and it breaks my heart. But to go an entire day without spending any time with me . . . it feels like I’m in mourning.

    Aengus’s friend’s family brought him home this afternoon, and while the boys played outside (P.E., imaginative thinking, leadership skills), his friend’s sister and mother watched Across the Universe with me. I’ve seen it before, and I like it very much. Beatles music, with a plot — what’s not to like? I got a bit weepy, though, when they sang “Let It Be.” My dad loves the Beatles (and, I think, fancied himself as one of them in another life). I grew up listening to them and know most of their songs by heart.

    My dad was just like most dads in the 70s: worked all day, came home in time to discipline the kids after they’d gotten in trouble with mom during the day, fixed stuff around the house, and put the kids to bed. When we did get to see him relax and hang out with us, though, he was always singing. He’s the reason people’s conversations always remind me of song lyrics and why I always break into song myself — apologies to the world for that.

    Hearing them sing “Let It Be” in the movie got me to thinking first about my fantastic dad . . . and then about Noah, and what kind of father he’ll be. Although I sing A LOT to myself and there’s always music around here, I really never sang to him the way my dad did to me.

    My one piece of advice to Noah when he enters fatherhood will be: sing to your kids. And don’t ever stop, even when they get bigger. Especially when they get bigger.