Monday, July 24, 2006

My goodness, I've fallen behind, haven't I? We've been such social butterflies, lately, I hardly recognize us. Parties and gatherings and get-togethers.... Well, really the big thing is Mo and I have been spending more time than ever up at the Pumpkin Hollow community. Its been sooooooo hot, and they have the pool - so we have gone up every day and some days twice! to play in the water and cool off. They have more shade over their house, too, which means even hanging out on the porch is better than being in our own house. Phew!

We've all (Mo, George and I) gotten a lot closer to two of the residents there: Shiloh and Mirror. George has been enjoying playing music with them (mostly Shiloh, pictured above - dangitall I forgot to rotate it, but you get the idea) and we've been cooking dinner for each other. Its nice to have regular company at our house - I actually have some motivation to clean, and even managed to get rid of the huge pile of junk that had taken over our dining table. "So this must be the dining room...."

The pix above are both inside the new shop extension - its really coming along nicely. Now we're fantasizing about a house extension. Morgan has started sleeping downstairs by herself off and on. She really wants to keep one of the kittens, and I think George is sweet on the idea, too. He's pretty cuddley - the kitten, I mean, although George is pretty dang cuddley himself. That means only the two black kittens to get rid of - Morgan has finally agreed that that's a good idea. We'd better get on the ball while they're still little and cute. I should also get on the ball about cleaning out Morgan's room upstairs. It kind of got to the "disaster" point in terms of cleanliness (or rather, lack thereof) and I just haven't had the Oomph to deal with it. It has a lot of wasps and spiders - those fat juicy spiders that the wasps just love. Yes, its that time of year, again, when you don't want to startle the wasps - not for fear of a sting, but b/c they drop the icky anaesthetized spider on the floor, bed, pizza, whatever they happen to be flying over. Yummy.

Morgan's galpal, Savannah, turned six a couple weeks ago so her mom and I have been chatting alot about legal stuff in regards to homeschooling. Six is when you have to start reporting to the state, in TN. There's a law that kids attending public school can't go straight into first grade - kindergarden is now mandetory. Considering that only K teachers need any more than a bare-bones teaching certificate, that's probably the best year of education a lot of kids will get in this state. Anyway, we have both been wondering if that meant we had to sign up our six year olds (I'm not reporting until next year) as gradeK the first year. Lots of homeschoolers do this anyway as a way of dealing with the mandatory testing issue - kids basically get an extra year to get ready. Then, if you really want to buck the system, you can also have your kids "skip" a grade - say, 5th grade, when the testing is done. Very popular. Don't know if we'll go there or not. Mo's reading at approximately a first grade level already, so I'm not exacty worried. If I get so PO'd at the state of TN that I don't want Mo tested at all (at this point I'm not sure what the harm would be, at least she'd get experience with standardized testing) I'll do what Luann is doing and use an "Umbrella School". No testing at all if you go that route. Just fill out their attendence forms instead of the state's. Incidentally, we discovered the law only applies to public school, not private or home. Its only an issue if you try to enroll a kid in public school for first grade - if you try to enroll directly into second they'll test the kid, but not for first. Dontcha love bureaucracy?

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Mo Artwork

I couldn't resist putting up some of Mo's latest - she seems to be having an explosion of artistry. This house is one of my favorites - she's drawn an entire "village" worth - all very colorful and fun. I'm tempted to use them as patterns for quilt blocks. We'll see how that goes. The other is a Shopping list, carefully detailing the colors of gumballs she would like to buy. You can see where she has written the words: red, purple, blue, pink, orange. She needed help spelling purple and orange, but the rest was all on her own.