Monday, February 14, 2011

Weekly Accomplishments

Last week was a hard week.  It was hard to live in my house and hard to get things done in it.  I was not going to share an accomplishments post because I felt in my heart that  failed my kids in terms of their education for a week.  But then I was talking to a new friend.  Someone I just met and I was telling her that even on the hard weeks, I write my accomplishments and there is always more to list than I imagine there would be.
Last week we:
  • Painted the youth room at church.  This project has been weighing heavily on me.  I struggled with possibly removing myself from the project because it was the only thing in my life right now that I could cut out.  But Greg disagreed.  He said it is part of me, who I am, what I do.  He was so right.  I love my church.  Being in what is now our Parish Center, what was once a catholic school, brings me peace and joy like few other places do.  The project that I created became more than I could handle.  I cannot possibly paint murals right now.  But together the four of us could paint a wall.  The room has 20’ ceilings so Greg took the top, Lilah and I took the bottom and when Grace returned from alter server practice, she filled in the gaps.  We bonded over a simple thing like painting a wall.  That is when I know for some reason, God wants me to help in that room.
Outside classes:  
  • Lilah took a polymer bead class at a local bead shop.  I stayed and listened to my daughter talk to a teacher and other children she just met.  My heart soared to her her open up, share stories, and feel confident doing something she loves.  Her necklace is gorgeous and she wants to take the next class offered.  
  • Grace had two piano lessons because of a makeup class for a snow day.  She was proud to show her teacher a song she taught herself and mastered perfectly.  We are thinking about rolling the piano into our back room, which has a door, so she can practice to her hearts content in her own “music room”.  I also want to get to the piano look for a new piano bench.....but to also show her the baby grands and maybe, just maybe be allowed to play a song on one!
  • Lilah began a pottery class this week after three weeks of waiting.  Every Tuesday for three weeks it stormed.  Finally she was able to go.  The class is being taught by a homeschooling mother who has a studio (with kiln) in her home.  Unlike her art school in New Haven, the children are allowed to use the wheel.  It is totally free form.  The children can create whatever inspires them.  This week she made a bowl embossed with the pattern from a doily.  It reminds me of a bowl I made when I was about her age and gave to my Grandmother.  The bowl sits still in my Aunt’s house.  I can’t wait to see her finished product.
  • Grace had basketball practice Thursday night, a game on Friday and a game on Saturday. She was exhausted Saturday night!
Lilah's necklace

This week we took a trip to visit with my Aunt.  One of my goals had been to visit often.  However, January’s weather put a halt on out of state travel!  It was such a great day.  My Aunt’s house is filled with educational wonder.  She gave the girls monoculars to add to our knapsack that now contains our magiscope, binoculars and journals.  They spent an hour or more playing with a magnetic marble “game” where one must construct a path for the marble to travel using wheels, levers, and tracks.  They discussed the merits of the Kindle vs. the Nook.  I have missed getting out with the girls.  We did not listen to an audiobook like we normally do.  For two solid hours, I listened to my ipod. I did not realize how I have missed my favorite songs.  My music sooths and inspires me.  With the house a wreck, I have not hooked up my ipod.  I need to do this.  
We spent a great day at the library.  I was hoping to actually finish our CT study but we only did one day.  I thought we would be at the library every day last week.  But it was a case of hurry up and wait.  We hurried to get the kitchen emptied to have the wall torn down, but then we waited.  Our electrician has a day-job that keeps him hopping from state to state, project to project.  There is no one else we wanted for this job.  He spent two months in this house rewiring it from top to bottom.  So we waited.  Over the weekend his part of the job was done.  Hopefully today I will see from visible progress in the kitchen and hopefully (fingers and toes crossed) I will get my stove back this week!
We did a lot of reading.  Lilah recommended a book to Grace (My Last Best Friend).  Grace is loving it.  I finished three books: the new Portia de Rossi biography, a book about making skin care products and McBroom's Wonderful One Acre Farm.  We continued with another chapter and a half of Percy.  We watched the youtube video for Strega Nona and immediately Lilah knew it why they were watching it - to compare it to The Sorcerer’s Apprentice.   The girls got caught up on their friend’s blogs and discovered the new one I left for them.
There was planning.  Lots and lots of planning.  Today we are having our second Valentine’s Day Party.  Last year I wanted to give Lilah a chance to exchange cards since she was not in school.  It was a great time with our new friends.  This year the party will be a bit different.  Since our house is not safe for many people,  we are having it at the library.  Lilah is a planner - a fantastic party planner.  

She made invitations, 
made homemade valentine’s cards,
 developed a menu, 
researched crafts,
 picked flowers,
 counted candy hearts for the guessing game,
 made beautiful gift bags, 
picked the book to be read
 and the game to be played.  
She worked hard to make this party happen.
Valentine's morning.  

Lastly, we met a new friend this week.  We have a new girl joining our Brownie Troop and immediately I felt connected to her family because like us, her daughter was withdrawn from school in second grade.  Like us, she found her way to our Troop and to our group of amazing friends.  The girls met on Friday when we had a craft day to make Valentines.  They got along fantastically and there were slight tears when it was time to leave.  I so clearly recognized those tears.  They were not of sadness but of joy or finding other girls to play with and whose life is just like your new life.  Our new friends are coming to the party today.  I hope they have fun!
So last week was not focused on academics.  I can’t write about what projects they finished, poems they copied, essays they wrote or experiments they performed.  But we did have some important life lessons.  We appreciated family and friends, we learned about patience and understanding, we pitched in and helped with the house chores, we began new adventures, we appreciated what we have, we gave our time to others. 

All in all, it was a good week.


Theresa said...

Yay! You got to visit your aunt!

It sounds like a great week!

I always feel at odds when my house is a's like there is clutter in my brain too...and with homeschooling that would be especially difficult.

If Lilah ever wants to plan another party like that at the library--send her my way!!! I could use her help for storytime!!

Karen said...

Jess, that sounds like an amazing week. I love the necklace Lilah made. She reminds me a lot of Kei.

I can't wait to see you V'day Party pics. Sounds like a blast.

Happy Valentine's Day <3 <3

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a great week to me! ....and they say that "homeschoolers aren't socialized"......How is the house soming along? You are doing such a great job in adapting!

Jen @ Forever, For Always... said...

I think this sounds like a great week!! Home education is so much more than just hitting the books. You taught much about serving others, find and exploring passions, and connecting with others. Way to go!

Jessica said...

Thank you all for the is easy to get caught up in we didn't do writing, or we never finished botany! But when you step back and reflect, there was a great deal of learning taking place!

musicalmary said...

I love reading your posts. It shines through that your #1 priority is your girls' emotional and spiritual health. Everything else just falls into place, doesn't it? Love the necklace, too!!

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