Saturday, December 12, 2015

Weekly Wrap-Up {The Final Stretch}

 photo 2015 Nutcracker Tour Week Three 1.jpg

 photo 2015 Nutcracker Tour Week Three 3.jpg

 photo 2015 Nutcracker Tour Week Three 6.jpg

The final week of Nutcracker Tour! Grace is, of course, very sad to be done with the tour, since it's one of her favorite times of the year. But the end of Nutcracker does mean that it's almost time for Christmas break, so she'll adjust just fine. : )

On the homeschool front, there is not too much to report. Ryne is enjoying the relaxed pace and is knocking out his hefty reading list to complete before school resumes in January. I'm, as usual, quite behind in my reading.

Anna had a pretty big week. She had a very helpful doctor visit on Monday -- we're hopeful she might start getting relief from symptoms we always attributed to her low iron levels, but could be something else entirely. She spent most of the week finishing up a computer class she's been taking at the community college. Due to her health issues and some software issues, she got behind in the class (although it sounds like everyone else was behind too) and had to work almost nonstop for several days to get it all done before the final on Thursday. She did get it done and aced the class, but she was very glad to cross that off the to-do list! She received a much-needed boost on Wednesday evening when she checked her email and found out she was accepted to one of her most competitive college choices!

On Thursday, I baked a turkey for the school potluck lunch being held Friday. It's only been the last few years that I've started hosting Thanksgiving, so my turkey baking experience is limited and I usually overcook it. Naturally, the turkey I baked for the potluck was my best ever -- completely moist and tender. Grrr. Not that I don't want a yummy turkey for the school, but it would be nice to have those results for my family. I think my success was due to not having a million other things to be doing at the same time -- putting ten million side dishes in the two ovens at different temperatures and different times, getting the table set, making sure the kitchen doesn't look like a war zone, and taking a shower are all distractions to successful turkey baking. ; )

Thursday night I dropped Grace off at ballet, rushed home to check on the turkey, made a 45-minute appearance at Marc's office Christmas party (which was, thankfully, on our side of town), and then picked Grace up from ballet. When I got home, I carved the turkey (something I usually leave for Marc, but he was still at the party, so I received instruction via youtube!). By then, I was exhausted, but we still had a batch of sugar cookies to make for the potluck. Anna was awesome and mixed the dough, and I decided to just cut and bake them in the morning.

Friday's schedule was a work of art: The morning half of the Nutcracker tour was cancelled, so Anna and Grace left for school at 7:30. Grace was going to attend her first class, and then she needed to leave for Nutcracker warm-ups. I finished the cookies around 8:15, quick showered, and then headed to school with all the food. Marc came with me, because at the party the previous night he lost his keys, so he was going to borrow Anna's car while she was at school. On the way to school, he got a call from a woman he works with -- his keys had somehow fallen into her purse! We dropped off the food, grabbed Grace, borrowed Anna's car, and headed our separate directions.

Grace and I enjoyed another wonderful day of Nutcracker Tour and I got all teary-eyed for the mom of the one ballerina who is graduating this spring. I may be taking my role as a mom to a senior a little too far. How I'm ever going to survive this year, I have no idea!

We finished with Nutcracker around 4:00, Marc picked Anna up from school, they went to pick his car up from the house where the office party had been, but that was actually just a rental he's had for a month since getting in a wreck, but the dealer called to say the repairs were done and he could pick up his car that afternoon, so that's just what he did after Anna dropped him off (catch all of that?). He picked up frozen pizzas on the way home, and we all just collapsed. It was one of those blessed nights with nothing on the schedule, so we just relaxed. It was wonderful!!!

Saturday was pretty low key too. Grace is probably waltzing this very moment, as I type -- her last Nutcracker performance of the year, at a local police academy. This is Marc's first time to see her dance in Nutcracker, so I'm excited that he gets to not only see her dance but how neat it is to take Nutcracker on the road.

I know I'm not alone in this crazy schedule stuff. It really is amazing how much we can squeeze in a day or week, right? It can be overwhelming at times, but we really do treasure so many of these memories. Nevertheless, I'm ready for some more lazy nights like last night! We have one more week of school -- finals week for Anna. The final stretch!

Enjoy your weekend and happy homeschooling!

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Weekly Wrap-Up {Nutcracker}

 photo 2015 Nutcracker Tour 1b.jpg

It's December! How did that happen?!

It's also Nutcracker season, so we've been very busy with rehearsals and performances. Grace's ballet studio does a Nutcracker school tour, in which they pack up the set, costumes, lights, and everything else needed for a ballet performance and perform selections from Act Two for various schools. It is such a neat experience -- with the bonus of getting to miss school three Fridays in a row. ; ) They also have two Saturdays with performances. This year, Grace is in the Waltz of the Flowers.

 photo 2015 Nutcracker Tour 2.jpg

 photo 2015 Nutcracker Tour 4.jpg

 photo 2015 Nutcracker Tour 7.jpg

 photo 2015 Nutcracker Tour 12.jpg

 photo 2015 Nutcracker Tour 11.jpg

 photo 2015 Nutcracker Tour 10.jpg

Since my last weekly wrap-up (I missed a couple of weeks), Ryne had his Classical Conversation finals, we hosted Thanksgiving for part of my husband's family, Anna and I attended a career night for one of her top college choices, and I tried (but didn't do a good job) to help her stay calm as she finished up an application to another top choice. We've decided The Common Application is just plain evil. It loves to eat essays and mess with formatting until you give up all patience and just hit submit. I think everyone at the Blue House will be happier when the whole college application process is done!

Although CC is done for the semester, Ryne will continue school for a couple more weeks. The break is when we try to make some progress on his non-CC subjects and when I supplement the CC material.

This semester, I was a little disappointed in his government studies. It was really more of a short survey of American history, although they did spend a fair amount of time learning about the Constitution. I love that they used original documents as their reading, but I felt there were a lot of critical gaps compared to a typical American government class. Plus, Ryne already earned his American history credit last year, so I really needed this course to be different. I had already planned to supplement a little over the break by reading Showdown at Gucci Gulch as a legislative case study, but now I've also added in a traditional high school government textbook that I bought used on Amazon for him to read over the break. I might have to have Anna read it at some point too, because I'm noticing some of the same gaps in her education. She has an amazing background in political theory, but doesn't know some of the basics of how our government works. Thankfully, Ryne doesn't seem to mind the heavy reading load; in fact, he seems to be taking after his mom in that he loves anything to do with history and political science.

Slowly, slowly I continue to plug away at getting caught up after a hectic first semester. I've never been so ready for a Christmas break! My reading list for the break is about a mile long, but I've hardly started. I also haven't started my Christmas shopping and I've barely started decorating. I still have pumpkins and mums on my front porch! Granted, the weather has felt more like pumpkins and mums than Christmas trees and snowflakes, but hopefully we can at least get the lights on the tree tomorrow.

Have a wonderful week! Happy homeschooling!