Posts Tagged ‘Reading’


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!


Hallelujah!

Can you hear those birdies tweeting? Can you smell the laundry on the line? Can you feel the warmth of the sun?

That’s right, spring has finally returned to the Valley. I have never — NOT EVER — liked winter, but this one seems to have been the worst in a looooong time. Not that it was cold, mind you; I’d guess this was a far warmer-than-average winter. And not because of all the precipitation, though god knows we had a LOT of snow and a LOT of rain.

No, I’m singing at the top of lungs because the sun has come out! In winter, I celebrate each and every sunny day, which infuses my soul with energy in an otherwise lethargic season. But come spring, when the sun also brings warmth with it, I’m downright ecstatic.

{sigh} If only we still had our hammock. What a perfect day to lay about, like a cat, in the sun. Bliss.

I’ve got Aengus here, though, so there wasn’t much laying about today. That’s okay: we played outside for quite a while. We played a little one-on-one basketball, followed by a quick soccer match and a hunt for birds’ nests. Then we sat on the deck with our snacks and played several lively hands of “Go Fish.” Then, while I pushed him on the swing, I gave him a few words to spell. He’s still doing mostly three letter words, but he’s is definitely getting better at them. His comfort with words has risen considerably since fall.

He also asked me a lot about our end-of-year assessment, required of homeschoolers here in VA. I’m trying to convince him to go with the CAT test, since it’s the cheapest and quickest option. But remember how competitive he is? Well, that extends to personal expectations, i.e. perfection. I’ve told him repeatedly that he’d have to score abysmally low to have any problems with the school, and even if he did (which he won’t), we’d have a year of “probation” before the superintendent would even consider making him go to school.

But of course, he’s aiming for 100% and is stressing that he won’t achieve it.

{sigh}

Stay tuned.