________ October 23, 2016 ________

Patchwork Blog

G’d Evening.  I’m really not up to writing, to be honest with you.  It’s been kind of a crazy weekend… and we didn’t even go on any adventures.  We were supposed to – we were meant to go to Indiana Dunes, today.  Due to sheer overwhelmation from Saturday’s unfinished projects, we didn’t get to go.  I’m a little sorry, but not much.

Costume Construction.  We kind of forgot about Halloween.  Or rather, we knew it was coming up, but hadn’t given it much thought and suddenly found ourselves about a week away with nothing done, this week.  Oh, I’d already talked over with the kids what I had in mind, and they were pretty excited about it (considering it’s kind of a ‘cheat’ year).  But Thursday we went and bought the material, and Friday got the shoes needed… and then Saturday, I started cutting and sewing.  No worries – it’ll be a surprise, as always.  But with seven costumes to construct, I found myself just a *little* overwhelmed!

National Parks Centennial.  It’s kind of a long story, but I read through another person’s entire travel blog, a week or two ago.  (It wasn’t much, really.  They’ve quit already.)  But in doing so, I learned that there are Jr. Ranger activities at hundreds of National Parks all across the United States… and that they can earn badges through them, while learning.  ← A homeschool mom’s dream… except we missed three in Indiana, this past spring visit, because I hadn’t known about it.  That was the point of going to Indiana Dunes.  (That and we’ve never been.)  Oh, I still plan to go, just not the week before Halloween, with seven costumes waiting to be made.  Anyhow, the interesting bit is that it’s the 100th year of this nation’s National Parks system, and so it’s kind of a special thing.  Which is why I wanted to go.

Excel at Excel.  Actually, Word is the nicer program for most everything… unless you want to be able to sort tables.  Then it’s MS Excel that’s my little friend.  Anyhow, there’s a list of National Parks on-line, but they’re in alphabetical order by name, and not searchable by state.  So I took the list to Excel, pasted it in, and set to work making it a little more user-friendly (You know, it wouldn’t kill the gov’t to do this for people.  But then, tech has been on the decline since 2000, as far as it’s user-friendly formatting and choices go.  Consider something as simple as Facebook allowing users to combine page and home feeds, for example.  Or maps allowing people to mark places on their screen.  NOT.  Available.  No options for users.  And there’s no reason for it.  Anyhow, I do it all for myself in Excel or Word, and then I got to thinking… it’s the perfect beginner project for my kids, to get an idea of how to input, adjust, and sort a spreadsheet.  Yay!

Projects.  I’m getting off tangent, aren’t I?  Sorry.  Anyhow, I got three and a half costumes done, so far.  Lydia’s was most important – her dance class costume party is Monday, and so I needed to get hers finished, first.  I’m still debating dressing up with her… last year, nobody dressed up in more than a recital costume (as she feared), so having me there in costume with her made her feel a LOT better.  I’ll have to work on mine, tomorrow – the kids were having so much fun with trying pieces on, I couldn’t do myself after her.

Getting a ROUND to it.  In addition, we made STONE BEADS this weekend.  It was a lot of fun, actually… it was a kind of papier mache thing, except that it worked!!!  (← papier mache never works for me.)  I was utterly ink-ified from the newspaper, but the wet ink turned the paper just the right color for stones, so it was *perfect*.

Jito!  I’ve got a post pending, but we also made our SotW project for the Japanese chapter, and was THAT ever fun!  Homigoodness, the kids loved it, and we’ll see about when they dry, but so far they look awesome.  Don’t worry, I’ll post pictures, soon enough.

New Dance Class.  Speaking of, Lydia is very happy with the new class… considering all we’ve been thru.  So that’s a relief!  And I get to talk to my BFF, so that’s excellent, too.  She’s (so far) slated to dance to a very mod version of ‘Carol of the Bells’ and it’s actually a really good version of it.  We both like it.  And of course we get to go out to dinner with our friends, so that’s awesome, too.

The Girl Who… I’ve been on a HUGE reading kick, this week, as well.  I’ve blitzed my way thru Stieg Larsson’s Millenial trilogy, and am just now wrapping it up.  I. Love. Lisbeth. Salander.  Just saying.  And then I found out there’s a fourth book!  Which is crazy, because Stieg Larsson was a controversial Swedish journalist who delivered three novels to his publisher, and then was murdered before they made it to print.  Well, it turns out another Swedish journalist (this time a criminology journalist) took up the stories where Stieg left off.  Holy. WOW!!  And the nearest library has a copy, so… I’m pretty excited!!

Once…  While at the library this week, and would you believe it… ‘Once Upon a Time’ season five was in!  The kids were beside themselves.  So we’ve been letting them stay up a little later, so as to get in a few episodes a night, this weekend.  We’ll never be able to make it through the whole season in a week (as it is, the show’s gotten SO CONVOLUTED that it’s dizzying to try to follow!), but we can watch some, anyhow.  Very fun.

Death in the Family.  My grandma died this week.  We don’t see her – haven’t in a year and a half.  She was suspicious of us, mostly because of family (people in my family haven’t the best track record at being kind no matter what).  And she was a difficult woman to be kind to.  But we did try.  Anyhow, I was… upset.  Partly because it’s the end of a generation – my last living grandparent (step or no).  But mostly I was upset because she never let us say goodbye, or be a part of the latter portion of her life.  Anyhow.

Happens in Threes.  You know that deaths happen in threes, right?  Well, last week Brian came home and said that the old man who owned the company we both had worked for when we met/dated had passed away.  I hadn’t thought about it much… I never cared for the old man, to be honest.  But first him, and the my step-grandmother… so now I’m on the look-out for #3.  Unless it’s my SIL’s dad… he went into cardiac arrest for the fourth… fifth…?… time, this week.  I’m amazed at how many times a person can flat-line and be brought back.  The first time it was with kidney damage, this time it included a collapsed lung.  The thing’s mankind can do, anymore…!

School Spectacular.  If there’s one thing that’s going REALLY well, this year, it’s our school.  We’re having SO much fun with it, again.  I don’t know – I think I had some burnout, the last two years.  We muddled through, but it didn’t glide along, like this year.  I’m loving that things are coming together so well.

The Sticky, Sucky Web.  The on-line thing just hasn’t been good, this week.  I’m so sick of FB, I started unfollowing friends who post nothing but politics or even just STUPID memes.  I deleted a few who never bothered with me (and that I don’t have dealings with, on-line or off), and got rid of a bunch of excess pages.  The net is just a lot of time-sucking crap, anymore… you know that?  I wish it weren’t so, but until I weed the nonsense out… and even THAT’S time-consuming…!!

Anyhow.  I probably should go.  I was hoping to have time to do at least part of a Bible journaling, tonight, but it got late.  Isaac wants to start doing it with me (well, his own at the same time as me), so I’ll probably just let him stay up one night and do that, as something special, with me.  This whole character study thing is really working some amazing changes in their behaviors and consideration of things of any depth.  LOVING it, btw…

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