What we’ve been doing for the past month or so:

We started school August 19th, and so far, so good. I upped the level of planning and structure this year, and it seems to be helping immensely with keeping us on track.

Aria* and the Bun are taking dance again, from our same fabulous teacher we’ve been lucky to get the last two years. (If you live near us and are looking for really good teaching at a low homeschool-discount price, let me know.) Please don’t ask me why my very young children are taking dance lessons. Okay I’ll tell you: they enjoy it, it is very inexpensive (did I mention the homeschool discount?), and we have a carpool. Most weeks I actually get the three big kids out of the house for two hours (Mr. Boy goes to play with the older brother of one of the dancers), with no driving on my part. Means I have to race through school with Mr. Boy to get him done by 10 am, but we can do that.

Two big kids have been doing lots of hiking and camping**, now that the lovely fall camping season is upon us. Which is of course good for them (and the SuperHusband who takes them), and lightens my load by subbing out formal lessons for field trips.

I had not intended to keep blogging about the mystery ailment, but then I hadn’t intended to keeping having one to blog about. For those who have a need to know, it’s still here and still mysterious, though much less of either than it was a year ago.  And while I have certainly developed that special old-person’s skill and passion for describing health complaints at length, I won’t do so here. Today. Count your blessings.

Better news, I suppose: We got a cat. Or rather, he got us. ‘Sunflower’, so named by Aria, who continues to refer to him as ‘her’, despite the vet’s insistence that he is indeed a male of the species. Lovely guy, very affectionate, good with kids (except at the vet’s office), knows his way around living with people. Has already gone and taken off his collar, and I cannot for the life of me find it.

Just go ahead and add that to the very long list of things I cannot find. Housekeeping has been suffering a bit lately. I did clean off my desk this week. It is just gorgeous – a big cherry credenza salvaged from a corporate downsizing giveaway. Now what to do with the even dozen containers (some larger, some smaller) of things that were heretofore serving as desk camouflage. I guess that leads us into what is . . .

Up for the coming month or so:

In addition, of course, to my constant promise to finally clean the house and keep it that way . . .

More hiking and camping. ‘Tis the season. SuperHusband is planning a light backpacking trip for two big kids, and a longer, harder trip for just Mr. Boy. We’ll try to get in at least one whole-family camping trip as well. The preschoolers love going camping, though certain parents find taking them to be a tad taxing. We’ll see.

Continuing to try out the SCA. Have a local event coming up in November, and maybe one a little farther afield this weekend. So far so good, and there is another family with kids our age also joining the local group. (I give it 98% odds they’re catholic even, between the medals on mom’s necklace and her spontaneously tossing out Latin prayers when the topic of medieval religion came up.  The SCA, fyi, is a fervently secular group. Just as well.) We’re having fun for the moment, and we’ll see for the future.

Speaking of Latin, that is the one course we are just getting started with right now. I put it off for the first month of school, for the twofold reason that I wanted to start with a light course load while we got the hang of the rhythm of the school day, and because I hadn’t yet gone to the library to fetch our book. We’re using the Oxford Latin Course, which gets some good reviews and some very poor ones, if you search around the internet. I have a suspicion as to why, but I’ll wait until we’ve used the book long enough before I post my own review. No notion as to when that will be – I hadn’t intended to do Latin this year, but Mr. Boy voted for it. Now he’s balking, on account of his mother insisting he still study French too. (He has a boring French book. He was hoping to get out of it.  For the $0.50 I paid for it, I am *very happy* with the boring book. Which is, I should observe, boring in an entirely age-appropriate, peppy, kid-friendly manner.)

–> We aren’t committed, curriculum-wise, to doing anything beyond a 3rd-grade-type ‘intro to Latin’. So depending on how things go, we might sail through the book this year (there are those monster stories to motivate), or maybe it’ll be sometime in middle school before we actually become serious Latin scholars.

That’s all the news I can think of for now. If anything else blog-worthy comes to mind over the next week, I’ll post it.

*Remember ‘Aria’ is the new name for the eldest daughter, known at the old location as ‘LP’. She put in a for name change, I went with it. She has a real talent for making up names. My favorite so far is Sally Cabbage. Nobody steal it, one of these days I’m going to write a story featuring that character.

**We use the term ‘camping’ loosely here. No backpacking trips yet this season, so all camping is being done by our ’68 Airstream. Called a ‘camper’ because it camps so we don’t have to.

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Hey and by the way, FYI: It appears that my setting in wordpress is for a different time zone than my own.  Such that sometimes when I write a post later in the evening, it gets dated for the next morning.  It’s like a special way of making sure no one loses track of my amazing procrastinating powers, even when I don’t personally choose to exercise them.

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