Monday, September 17, 2012

Meet the Symphony! (Sept. 2-8, 2012 Weekly Wrap-up)

Note: To read this post, please pretend that I actually posted this on Saturday night (9/15), when I wanted to and did write most of it, but didn't finish it.  Just a little imagination, and my "last week/this week" references can still make sense w/out me delaying it further to fix it.  Thanks! :)

Last week a very full week, as was the week previous.  I had really wanted to get our new schedule going at least in a preliminary trial form this week, to get used to it before we really started into the work this week.  And we sort of did that, though we did far less than I would have liked.  I also wanted to do lots of planning and preparing and get the house in great order, and all that idealistic stuff.  I got to do some of what I wanted, but I always overestimate the amount I'll be able to do, even when I really cut it back.  So the vast majority is still nagging me big time.  Typical.

On Labor Day, and we had a special surprise for the children.  We went to see the Kansas City Symphony and Youth Symphony perform at an outdoor performance they did for free!  It was really neat!  The weather was great, the children were impressed, and we even got to sit rather close.  It was a good experience.

The Youth Symphony played first.  It was the first concert of the season and they'd just been working together a couple weeks, if I remember correctly.  They did a great job.

In between the symphony performances there were tables set up where children could handle some instruments and even try playing them. 

Zion and Peter both tried the French horn, which was the instrument John and my mom both played in school.  The other girls were feeling a bit shy, but the little ones eventually gave a little attention to some percussion items, mostly chimes.

Abraham chilling out on the lawn with one of the fans they provided on account of the heat (but it wasn't too terribly hot, especially compared to what it had been this summer, and as the evening went on it cooled down).

We began eating our picnic supper during this intermission as well.   That's probably a bit of sandwich on Liberty's face.

 The man who conducted the Kansas City Symphony is in his first season as Assistant Conductor.

 Left side of group.
 Right side.
 Zoomed out.
And back in.

The symphony also inspired more interest in music among at least some of the children, which was just a bonus.  Bethany's interest in the violin has revived some (she played just a bit when she was very small), but she really doesn't have strong interest in music, though she does have ability--all of the children do.  I wondered if Math Man would lay his math aside in favor of music for a while, which is one of his other great interests, but no.  He is still dedicated to his Algebra.  He now has increased interest in the trumpet, I think (we got them one for New Year's), and his interest in piano continues, but he hasn't spent much time playing lately.  Zion was really interested in playing the trumpet when we got home.  She is so cute with it.  And even Tirzah tried it some.   Some of them worked on playing the trumpet with John this week, with the aid of lessons in this series from YouTube.

We did some shopping for school-related items in the first part of the week.  Sunday was church, shop, church, and then on Tuesday we finished up what we weren't able to get in Sunday afternoon. 

I forgot to mention on the post for the week before that we'd watched portions of the Republican National Convention.  That's kind of a tradition around here.  Believe it or not, I'm not that into this election, but John wanted to see some of it and the children are interested, so we watched.  Last week we watched some of the Democratic National Convention as well.  So now are we better informed?  Ha.  I guess we at least know they're all groveling over the women's votes.  Well, impress me, fellas.  I'm waiting.  Seriously, I find the whole thing more and more disgusting.  So glad I'm just passing through this world.

"Lotta water under the bridge.  Lotta other stuff too.
Don't get up, gentlemen, I'm only passing through.

People are crazy and times are strange.
I'm locked in tight, I'm out of range.
I used to care, but things have changed."

The one and only Bob Dylan, ladies and gentlemen.  Right again.  Bob Dylan for President might not be so bad, eh? ;)

In the last part of the week we finally got to try some of the new schedule, which started off (yes, predictably) nothing like I planned.  Bob has at least one line for that, too.  But maybe I shouldn't blog when I'm in a Bob-quoting mood.  Ahem, moving on.

So, yes, I planned to get some exercise on the treadmill while reading my Bible or memory cards in peace and some semblance of quiet.  Instead I spent that time exercising by following a socially avoidant dog around a garage and trying to coax him into his kennel.  Loads of fun.  I'm not sure it wasn't a better exercise for my character from the practical application standpoint, but I can tell you it wasn't the one I wanted to do, nor was it accompanied by peace -- probably due to my own grumbling.  Have I told you I'm not a dog person?  The things we do for our children! 
Since I've been mentioning him, and likely will again as he causes so much excitement around here, this is a picture of Amadeus the Pomeranian from when we first got him toward the beginning of the year.  Don't let the innocent face fool you.  He's ornery and stubborn, though I will grant that he's also cute and sweet-natured.  Like I mentioned in passing in my last post, we "rescued" him.  Don't make heroes out of us--we just wanted a pet and really had no idea what we were getting into.  He's doing far better than he was when he came here, but he still has a ways to go, poor thing.  We were told that he'd been neglected by a breeder, apparently because he's bigger than breed standard, and so he wasn't used to interacting with people.  Pitiful. 

We did get some of the things on the schedule in, but they took waaaay longer than I thought they would, so yeah, I'm glad we weren't really needing to accomplish a lot yet. 

Peter finished up his Honors lessons from Pre-Algebra and began Algebra 1.  He was very excited.  He told me this week that sometimes when he thinks about math he feels sick to his stomach because he's so excited about it. 

We're trying Spelling Power this year.  More free curriculum.  Yes, I have awesome friends. :)  I did buy booklets that go with it for them to do their work in.  It took a little while for me to read through how to use the program, and I'm still having a thing or two now and then where I'm unsure what I'm doing.  It also took a bit to get them (the three older ones are doing this) assessed as to where they should be in the program, as it places each person on an individualized basis.  But I think it's going well so far.  It took longer than expected to get started and as we've continued, but I think we're getting more into the routine of it so theoretically it should be moving right along soon, right? :)

By Friday we were all kind of worn out, from accumulated lack of sleep in part perhaps (convention speeches go late and we let the children stay up for some).  Friday night, though, the two youngest had a fever, and in the night I think at least one more was having trouble sleeping, perhaps due to coming down with something.  So Saturday was sort of a sick day.  Abraham was a super crank.  He is definitely not our happiest baby.  He's had what appears to be extreme separation anxiety ever since his bout with whooping cough.  Which is understandable.  Or at least was, but it's gotten old and we aren't exactly sure where and when to draw the lines as we've never had one quite this needy this way.  You'd think we'd never parented before, and we may be spoiling him rotten.  But I do feel for him.  For weeks he'd wake up with this body-wracking cough and we'd come running to him in a panic, right when he was at that age where many babies go through a little insecurity about their parents disappearing anyway.  Yet, his behavior is really quite difficult at times.  He doesn't like it when either John or I abruptly leaves his presence.  And he seems to be a Daddy's boy.  Not that he doesn't love me as well, especially when he's hungry, ha.  But he absolutely hates it when John leaves to go anywhere out of the house without him, and when John gets home he has a meltdown if he doesn't immediately pick him up, or as he says, "UHH!"  That's basically his only word so far, and he uses it frequently, experimenting with its usefulness for other things.  I tell him the words for things and he seems to appreciate it, but mostly continues to use his favorite.
 He sure is a cutie, though, isn't he?  Pretty happy in this photo (taken in late August).  Just wants to make sure Dad or Mom is right with him.  :) 

Check out what others are doing at the Weekly Wrap-up at Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers.

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  1. I absolutely agree: the thought of math has, for years, made my stomach hurt. But not for the same reason. I cannot claim to understand his enthusiasm, but I'm glad there are people in the world who love math and get excited about it. It sounds like he's doing great!

    The dog is very cute. :) We have two ultra social dogs, which can be another problem. Once they get past barking at visitors, they're ready to climb all over them. And we have three super friendly cats, but they express their devotion much more appropriately. But even two of them like to jump on people.

    I love reading these little snippets of daily life.

  2. Love your wrap-up posts! Glad the kiddos enjoyed the symphony day--Destry's symphony is preparing to host a similar-sounding event.

    --This presidential race: I'm not into it either. I'm quite frustrated and find it's best if I just don't even think about it. :) I just mutter my mantra under my breath (this world is not my home, this world is not my home, this world. . .). Sounds like I need to become a Bob Dylan fan so I can have his lyrics in my head as well. chuckle

    --schedule: Yeah, I'm needing to do an overhaul already. sigh

    --Dog: make me miss Maggie. I think early intervention is just as important with dogs as it is with children! :) The kids are wanting to get another dog and all I can think is "I have enough training going on with children, how would I have time to train a dog???"

    --speaking of child training: I always spoil my kids when they are sick too and then spend the next couple weeks trying to undo what I did and kicking myself for doing this AGAIN! As Tyrell has strep right now, you can just imagine what my next week will look like! Poor kids!

    --Pre-Algebra--that still amazes me, what a gifted young man Peter is! We took two years (and blood, sweat, and tears--two of those literally!) to get through Algebra with Destry. He was 13 and 14!