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Sunday, August 20, 2017

SL Core H Week 24 "A" Aug.13-19, 2017

SL Core H Week 24 "A" 
Aug.13-19, 2017
Art Week!  Lots of drawing and painting

Pictures Coming Soon:

Hello Friends!
Our first week without Sophie was very hard; and quiet.  I'm sure you can relate to the daily reminders that pop up throughout the day that triggers your thoughts to your pet---the sound that you think is your dog scratching at the door to go in our out, the movement that catches your eye outside that you think might be your pet, the nightly 'last potty' before going to many countless things that we associate with our pets!  It was a hard week, I say it again because I felt it throughout each day.  How much love, affection, and smiles were absent from this week because Sophie wasn't with us.  I sure do miss her and appreciate how much love she added to our lives the past 8-9 years.  The most vocal mourner among us is Agnes, Dd cat, who is very lonely without Sophie.  She is walking around meowing (loudly) day and night.  She has woken me up in the middle of the night with her sad calls for Sophie.

Friday Dd and I moved our lessons stuff from the dining room down to the recently completed Rec Room in the basement.  Our piles of books, papers, art projects, and binders are all happily out of our main space! We worked hard and made a lot of progress into turning that space into a livable area.  We *finally* put up the drafting table that Dd has been wanting to use for making "her" art!  I won't tell her that I bought that for me, to make "my" art!!  I still don't have any time for me, so I'm happy she is wanting to make her own work!  Once the drafting table was up she was stuck to it like glue!  She spent hours and hours on Friday and Saturday making new paintings!  I hoped she would have worked with us outside, enjoying the lovely fall weather, but I'm sure making art is helping her deal with all her feelings.

Truthfully, I was not fully engaged in doing lessons this week.  Not only was I not fully interested, I didn't have the heart to push Dd when I know how much she is suffering too.  I decided to write up our goals for the week but not push Dd academically, but give her time and space to deal with her feelings.  We did end up making a few steps of progress and she did most of the work I scheduled without me. 

All of our fowl lived through another week, though Zeus, our rooster, came mighty close to being expelled.  Tuesday when I went out in the morning to throw down chicken feed, Zeus attacked my leg and bit me...drew blood and everything.  Wed and Thur he tried the same thing, but I was prepared and blocked him from hurting me.  Friends, if he doesn't stop attacking me he will have to go.  He already attacks Dh and Dd and I was the only person he held in high regard--which meant I was the one to do all the chicken wrangling!  I just don't have it in my heart to be attacked in my own home.  I'm trying to work with him and get him back to being respectful, but from what I've heard about roosters they usually get more aggressive as each year goes by.  We will have to wait and see what happens next.

Our garden is doing very well.  We had another massive attack from those tomato 'hook' caterpillars that just consume tomato plants in a few short days.  I probably found 10 huge caterpillars, or more, this week and fed them to my chickens.  BTW, chickens LOVE to eat them!  Good thing!  I'd been working hard to keep the Japanese Beetle numbers down, and this week was great, hardly any beetles around!  We also *finally* got some rain, which was so needed!

Clothes Poles and Line:
Dh and I finally got the new clothes poles and line up!  We only have one line up, as our local hardware store only had one 50 foot section available.  I'm SO happy to have another line to use as my primary one was placed where we built raised beds and it is hard-to-impossible to put clothes up due to our super tall tomato plants.  It will be even better when I have the other two lines installed!  Dh has been working on this project all summer, but other things kept getting in front of it.  

I'm not sure if I mentioned Dh's car died--back when we were going to the little cabin near Traverse City about a month ago---well, it hasn't made it to the top of the 'to-do' list yet, so it is in the garage to be fixed.  Then this week Dh's truck made a seriously bad sound and it will need to be checked over again.  It had been out of commission most of the summer until Grampy came up and helped Dh fix something.  Well, that truck has been nothing but trouble ever since we bought it.  It has been broken more time than it has been running!  Truly.  I just hope it can get fixed before I run out of straw!

Les Miserables:
Since Dd has been on a summer fixation of Les Miserable and asked me to turn the book into our next Read Aloud, I decided to go with it.  We started it this week.  I always knew it was a movie that people told me not to watch because I cry at movies and this movie was so touching that I would be bawling!  But, I went ahead and watched it and did bawl, but was so touched at the Christian points interwoven in the storyline!  I'm glad that we are reading and discussing it together and that I can share in her interests.  It is fun how she always tries to do the music to the movies (scores) that she likes.  This summer she has been into the soundtrack of Les Miserables and La La Land and I can hear her playing that music.

Marching band is done for the year and we have another two weeks before band and orchestra classes start.  

Our lessons this week:

We are using my new "Integrated Study Bible" to read the New Testament.  I'm doing the actual reading out of my normal bible and adding in some of Max Lucado's, "Life Lessons" with the reading.

The Return to Nazareth (Mary, Joseph, and baby Jesus) last week we read Matt 2:19-23, this week we read:  Luke 2:39-40

The Boy Jesus at the Temple:
Luke 2:41-45 & Luke 2:46-52

John the Baptist Prepares the Way:
Matt 3:1-10 & Mark 1: 1-6 & Luke 3: 1-9 

John the Baptist Denies Being the Messiah and Baptism of Jesus:
 John 1:19-23 & Matt 3:11-17 & Mark 1: 7-11

The Baptism and Testing of Jesus:
Luke 3: 10-18, 21-23

The Baptism and Genealogy of Jesus and John Testifies About Jesus: 
John 1:24-34

Jesus Is Tested in the Wilderness:
Matt 4:1-11 & Mark 1:12-13

Jesus Disciples Follow Jesus, Jesus Calls Philip and Nathanael, and Jesus Changes Water into Wine:
John 1:35-2:12

It is very interesting to compare specific gospel events portrayed in each book, each author has a unique way of sharing each story.

Apologia Physical Science: Module 9: An Into to the Physics of Motion
In Process, week 1 of 2 completed

Khan Academy SAT Prep program:
3x this week: 1:20 hours

Foreign Language:
DuoLingo: German
2x this week: 40 min

Math: MUS: Geometry: 
Lesson 16--really difficult lesson, questions were on the homework pages that hadn't been explained on our old version of the DVD.  Not sure how we are going to figure it out--trying Khan Academy and YouTube for help.
Dd also did KA for math practices as we try to figure out the lesson.

Sonlight Reader:
Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O'Dell: COMPLETED
This book has since been removed from the current SL Core H line-up, but I've seen it on so many lists for students to read I went ahead and included it in "our" Core H.  She liked it and said it was a very easy and quick read.  She easily completed it in one week.

Non-SL Read Aloud: I'm just fitting it in!
Les Miserables by Victor Hugo: Ch's 1-6 completed
Dd read this a few months ago, then asked for us to read it together.

SL History:
Abraham Lincoln's World by G. Foster:
pg'a 252-278
This book (and George Washington's World) use to be in the older Core H lineup, they replaced these two books with Kingfisher Encyclopedia.  Dd is very tired of Kingfisher and prefers the written history to the picture history format.

Lois Bergy Poetry Book
(a poet from our church)

Word Roots (Latin):
pg's 82-84

Easy Grammar Plus:

Physical Education:
Dd did a 2 mile DVD workout with me this week

viola and piano...maybe an hour this week

Fun Reading:
Where Things Come Back by John Corey Whaley: Completed

Painting and Drawing: BIG WEEK: 16 hours

I'm pretty happy with what she was able to complete during this hard week, hard emotionally that is.  I think we are all trying to adapt to life without our Sophie.


Wednesday, August 16, 2017

SL Core H Week 23 "C" Sophie, Vacation to Indiana, with "L" family, IN State Fair Aug. 6-12, 2017

SL Core H Week 23 "C" 
Vacation to Indiana, with "L" family, 
IN State Fair 
Aug. 6-12, 2017

Hello, Friends.
As Dickens said, "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times...." in A Tale of Two Cities, the same could be said for our week.  The "L" family invited Dd and me back to visit Indiana and go to the Indiana State Fair with them this year.  We arrived on Monday around 4:30 pm and left Friday around noon.  Our time in Indiana was terrific and we had a lovely visit with our friends, our friends who feel more like family than our actual family if that is possible! The worst of times is because little did I know at the start of the week that this was going to be Sophie's last week, which she spent with Giz & Grampy, not me.  We went from being so happy to feel crushed by Sophie's rapid decline, her cancer taking her way too soon.  Our week was the best and the worst.  I'll start with the worst of it---Sophie.

Sophie to G&G's:
 Since Dh works until late every day and wouldn't be able to let Sophie out during the day,  his parents who live an hour south of Indy, offered to babysit Sophie for us during our visit with the "L" family.  We just had to drive an hour south of our destination to drop Sophie off with Grampy, and then the hour back north to arrive in Indy. Grampy drove an hour north and we drove an hour south, so it made my driving an hour less than if I had to drive all the way to Mitchell, IN.The night before our trip,  on Sunday, we had had a thunderstorm and had given Sophie one of her anti-anxiety pills (1/2 pill).  Then on Monday morning she still seemed very loopy, but we hoped for the best and prepared Grampy for her needing a little extra help.  

Sophie's decline:
After giving Sophie to Grampy we drove north and arrived at the "L" home around 4:30 pm on Monday.  At the end of our week's adventures we left around 12:00 noon on Friday to head south to G & G's house, 2 hours south of Indy to pick up Sophie.  Well, long story short--Sophie seems to have had a stroke or something.  She didn't recognize me at all, never wagged her tail, her back legs were giving out, she couldn't see out of one or both eyes, and when I tried to walk her she just kept walking in a circle, forever turning right.  She was a mess. It was apparent that she needed to be put down.  I'd asked Dh to call his parents each day to get reports on how she was doing, and the reports were all positive, which made her actual condition quite surprising.  I was in tears and felt so awful to see that Sophie had been suffering while Dd and I had been having such a good time.  I had Grampy call our vet in Mitchell to see if they could get her in, but they couldn't.  Then Grampy thought to call the vet in the next town over, but no one answered their phone.  I called Dh and he called our vet in Grand Rapids and they could see her in the morning, Sat. at 11 am.  We had no choice but to get back in the car and head home, even though we had already just driven 2 hours.  So, we got Sophie in the van, which was difficult, and started for Michigan.  We left around 2 pm and arrived home around 11:30 pm--about 12 hours driving on Saturday.  The hardest part is that Sophie would not just lie down, she kept trying to pace or walk around and kept bumping her head and stumbling.  We had to take turns, one of us would drive while the other sat on the floorboard holding Sophie.  Dd had a harder time holding Sophie so she did most of the driving, I just did the driving during rush hour in the city, which took about 2 hours to get through.

Once home I got an air mattress and slept on the floor with Sophie, trying to keep her down and resting.  We kept finding her standing in the bathroom with her head in the shower curtain.  For some reason she wanted to keep her head in corners, standing in the oddest places.  It was a very long night and I didn't get much sleep; maybe 2-3 hours total.  B/c Sophie weighs 95 pounds I didn't think we could carry her out of the vet, so thought ahead to ask if the vet could come out to our minivan and they agreed.  The Lord really took care of the details.  Dh went into the vet's office while I kept petting Sophie while we waited and she fell asleep.  She was happily snoring while I had my last moments with her.  The vet and her assistant came out and were very kind and caring.  They administered the shots and Sophie went onward to heaven.  We took her home and buried her in a grove of evergreens--the most beautiful spot.  Now, I'm struck dumb at being without my dear Sophie.  In the fall the vet had removed that big tumor in her mouth and told us she had a very aggressive and fast growing cancer and that we would have about a year, and I knew our time was limited, but I don't think I would have ever been "ready."  For the first time in our marriage, Dh and I are without a dog, or cat for that matter.  Dd's kitty, Agnes, has been very sweet and let me have extra pets, but my heartache is huge.  

Seeing our old house:
So that is the 'worst of times,' now for the 'best of times,' our visit with the "L" family!  Before we showed up at the L's house we drove past our old house to see how it was doing.  We arrived just after the school bus had dropped off some kids, we recognized the first two as neighbors two houses down, but there was a new little girl, with a Hello Kitty backpack...and she walked right to our house! We got to the little girl who now plays in the play house we built!  How fun is that?!  

Best of times: Monday:
Dd woke up at 5:40 am, she was that excited to go she our friends!  
Our arrival at the L house went well; even the littlest L was happy to see us!  I was afraid she might be shy or not remember us since their visit to Michigan last fall, but that was not the case! She acted like we had been there just recently!

Heather made a great dinner--she used the green beans Grampy brought us that Giz had picked from her garden and snapped already too!  Plus we had corn on the cob, Jasmine Rice (love), and she also made a Basil Butter---Butter with smashed fresh garlic and salt--to put on the veg or rice..or on everything!  Yum!

Heather made GF buckwheat pancakes for breakfast that were awesome.  

Dd scheduled a visit with her good friend, G, at a bakery in town.  We didn't know it at the time, but it was G's birthday! It was so great to see our friends!

Then we went for a nice long hike around Eagle Creek.  We saw lots of birds and butterflies.  It was a really beautiful day and just perfect for a hike.  Lime's disease, the one that is transmitted through ticks, is really active in this area so we put on lots of bug spray!  

After the hike, we went back to her house to make our lunch sandwiches.  

Brown lunch bag in hand, we piled into the car and headed to the Indiana State Fair, eating our sandwiches on the way.  We really learned a lot from the Global Food exhibit that was so well done.  

We watched the lady carving the huge blocks of cheese again this year, went to the AG building for all their exhibits, the can sculptures, the tallest corn and sunflowers, the honey ice cream that Dd loves to eat, and the gourds. 

 Heather's family always goes to the Dairy Barn for soft serve ice creams, which is always a major hit with the crowds!  So many people!  

We saw so many things before we got in line to buy ride tickets. 

Dd and J went on the "White Water" ride.  This was Dd's first non-Ferris Wheel ride---

Yup, they got wet!

 The kids rode one ride before we all got together for our Ferris Wheel ride. 

 It was after 9 pm, so it was dark, the moon was full and shining (until we got to the top of the circle and then the clouds covered up our moon and our opportunity for a great photo of the moon!) and all the neon lights were shining!  

After that ride we called it a good day and went home.

Heather made cantaloupe with blueberries, GF zucchini muffins, and sausage for breakfast! YUM!  Then we went to the Pike Library before heading back to the Indiana State Fair for our full day seeing the sights.  

Highlights: the kids fished the pool for fish--and they all got one (or two!), DNR building with the always fun 'flood exhibit,' rug-hook displays, quilting displays, bowl carving/wood working, penny candy store, and bees wax display/store.  

We were fortunate to get there just as the workers, in their old-timey outfits were sitting down for an old fashioned meal!  They bowed their heads and said a prayer before digging into the meal---the apple-salad looked excellent!

Little L went through the "Little Hands of the Farm" and got her prize.  We watched big machinery do farm chores using coal to run their tractors.  Lots of animals here and there--giant oxen among the group.

This year the Indiana State Fair had put up a "Sky Ride," which is like those chairs skiers use to get a ride up to the top of the mountain so they can ski down.  The chairs don't ever stop but slow down enough for you to quickly sit or pop out of the way at the end of the ride.  We all got a ride on the new Sky Ride, sitting 2 per bench, and enjoyed looking down at all the action at the fair!

One of our favorite things is the 4 H building with the chicken/turkey eggs hatching in the incubator while the crowds watch.  The building was full of fowl--all sorts of birds: ducks, turkey, geese, and chickens.  Plus, they had a lot of adorable bunnies too!

When we got home the kids wanted to go to the pool to swim and cool off after a dusty hot day.  After swimming, Heather and I had a nice cup of peppermint tea before heading to bed!

Eggs, cantaloupe, toast and homemade strawberry jam were our breakfast.  I had brought eggs to share and so it was nice to have a little taste of home!   For years I've heard Heather talk about Goodwill's 'Pay by the Pound' store, though I had no idea where it was and never found it.  This trip Heather took me there to see it for myself!  We spent hours there!!!  I can't even begin to tell you everything we bought!  The one extra special thing I found was a book---Webster's Encyclopedia of Dictionaries--which my dad had given me for Christmas back in 1978 or 1979 or somewhere around that time.  I used to love this book and remember using it for research on school papers I had to write.  Well, dad died, divorce, move to state after state after state after state and somehow I hadn't seen this book in like 35 years, but, there it was on Thursday--at this Goodwill!  As soon as I saw it my heart lept!  Boy, what a treasure!  You know I have gone to so many used book sales and never, in all these years, have seen that book!  What a great find!  I'm so happy to once again hold that wonderful book again!!!!  It is like having a gift from my father all over again! I'm thrilled!

After Goodwill, we had Taco Salad and a rest-hour (nap for me!).  An hour later the kids were getting their bathers on and we headed to the pool.  It was so much fun watching the kids playing together.  Heather went off to the grocery store to get a few things she would need to make her special Asian dinner.  H and her husband had spent around 2 weeks in Asia---Thailand and some place that is escaping my memory right now!  They took a four-hour cooking class and learned how to make quite a few dishes.  While the kids watched the Lego Batman movie I watched Heather make this elaborate three-course dinner! 

Up first was the Spring Rolls, then Green Papaya Salad, then Pad Thai--rice noodles, chicken, garlic, carrot, shallots, chives...and finally for dessert:
Mango Sticky Rice!!!!  Oh my!  SO delicious!

Then the kids took a box full of sparklers and we went outside for their fun!  They lit sparkler after sparkler and had a blast before they held their "traditional Disco Night" party in the living room!

GF WAFFLES for b-fast and boy were they good!!!!  After eating we headed back to Eagle Creek Park for another (shorter) hike.  Heather spotted some milkweed plants and happened to spot a Monarch Butterfly caterpillar!!!  A few weeks ago I thought I had some, but they turned out to be only brown moth caterpillars, though I am still caring for and feeding them in my jars.  We were so excited we looked over each milkweed and ended up finding THREE caterpillars.  

She kindly let me take two of the caterpillars and she kept one for her family.  She felt awful taking them from nature, but at least with us those caterpillars will definitely reach the butterfly stage.  After the hike, Dd and I packed our car and headed south two hours to Mitchell -- to see Sophie, Giz, and Grampy.  Giz was babysitting her great grandchildren on Monday so we didn't see her and again on Friday so we missed her both times.  Once we arrived at G & G's house, and saw Sophie I went into panic mode--trying to find a vet who could put Sophie out of her misery...which lead to us getting back in the car and driving 8 hours to Grand Rapids for her appointment at the vets on Saturday at 11 am.

So our week had such wonderful times with Heather and her family---2 girls and 3 boys.  And then we had the devastating situation with Sophie.  We miss her so much.

Academically, the Indiana State Fair is full of learning.  Dd went to church and Sunday School on Sunday.  She went for a hike at Eagle Creek Park.  For Physical Education she swam in the pool twice.  So, she did get a little "academic" points for the week.


Sunday, August 13, 2017

Northern Lights Homeschool Marching Band: Grand Haven Coast Guard Parade Aug. 5, 2017

Northern Lights Homeschool Marching Band: 
Grand Haven Coast Guard Parade Aug. 5, 2017
Last Parade of the Season!

Look at all those bag-pipers!!  They sounded great!

Spring Lake High School--this parade had a lot of bands.  My camera ran out of battery before Dd's band even got to us!

Grand Haven is on Lake Michigan, so lots of boats and water vessels.

The population of western Michigan has a LOT of Dutch immigrants--- I have no idea why, but that's the fact!


Sunday, August 6, 2017

SL Core H Week 23 "B" vacation July 31st-Aug 6, 2017 audition results in

SL Core H Week 23 "B"
July 31-Aug 6, 2017
Lessons Break 
Audition Results for Band In

Not great news on the band front...but, Poirot is still happy!!

Hello Friends,
It has been a hard week, but a few bright spots too.  I wasn't feeling great last weekend and decided I needed to lower the bar.  I ended up having a headache or a migraine every day this week so I called into my doctor's office to be seen; though they didn't have any help to offer.  I don't know why I'm having such a painful summer this year, no clue.  Between the chickens/ducks, garden, laundry, cleaning, cooking and my pitiful body I need more time in the week, so on Sunday night, I decided to take the week off doing our lessons.  I do hope that people don't think we do anything other than 'get through' each week!  Every week I plan our lessons and activities and every week many things fall through the cracks.    This week I only gave Dd ONE assignment--to continue to keep up her DuoLingo (German) lessons, but she never got around to it.  Yup, we are normal homeschoolers with LOTS of flaws! I know that when I look at the homeschool families around me most seem like they are so much more organized and better run than how our family appears.  I want to make sure I don't cover up our inadequacies but share our struggles and failures.  This week was ripe with failure, and our house has gotten so full of clutter with me not feeling well.

Last Sunday we were visiting Traverse City, MI and missed our usual church service; it was nice getting back to church last Sunday.  On Monday I finally took Dd to get her official "Drivers Permit--Level One Permit" so she can drive when Dh or I are in the car (or any approved adult).  We picked up Dd's friend, H., and they had fun chatting while we waited the hour in line for the permit.  Afterward, the girls had fun swimming in the pool, playing their stringed instruments together, and playing the board game, "Life."  I was glad she had company as my headache resurfaced.  I didn't know it, but my Monday headache started and is still going as I am typing this, six days later.

Church/Strings Group:
After a few weeks off, Thursday night we returned to our String's Group at church.  It was so nice to be back and singing hymn's together.

Crochet/Camo Poncho:
I figured since I wasn't feeling good I might as well start on the camouflaged poncho (crochet) that Dh asked me to make for in to use during the upcoming hunting season.  It was nice to have some "work" while I wasn't up for doing much else.  It is difficult to just sit when there is so much that needs to be done and crocheting helps me feel like I am getting a little something done while I am not feeling well.

Wednesday was Dd's last marching band practice for this summer.

Last Parade: Grand Haven Coast Guard Parade
Saturday morning we had to set our alarms to get up early enough to make it to Grand Haven.  GH is on Lake Michigan and it takes just over an hour to get there.  We went there last year as our last parade too.  The new uniforms never did arrive this year.  We were told last spring, months before marching band, that the kids would have new uniforms this year.  At the GH parade, like others, some of the schools performed in matching t-shirts and shorts and Dd thinks that would be great to do at some of the smaller parades to keep cool.  People always compliment how great the band sounds, not much comment on the look of their uniforms.  The parade was really big.  The news said there were over 200,000 people there!

Results of Band Audition:
This is a difficult topic.  All during last year, Dd's band teacher told me how Dd was going to be in Advanced Band---definite, no hem-hawing about it...she was definitely going to get in-period.  She even said they might look at her for the class above that, Concert Band if they need more alto sax's.   You can imagine how utterly surprised we were when we finally saw the results on Thursday, that Dd did not make it into Advanced Band.  The girl in the chair behind Dd did make it in.  They took Chair One (Dd was Chair Two) and Chair Three.  So, I've spent the past three days trying to sort through these discrepancies, from how I planned next year to how it is now.  First, it is hard for me to understand how someone could tell me that Dd was going to advance over and over and then that not happen.  I had already signed up to be the "Teacher's Helper" for Advanced Band next year, that is how "certain" I was that Dd would get in!!!  Dealing with the news I have to let go of the fact that the leadership shouldn't have told me she would get in when the actual teacher of Ad Band would be the judge, not them.  I *should* have realized that, but it didn't.  If someone tells me something, I generally just believe them and it is hard when their words don't turn out as they said them.  So, now I am trying to move on and deal with the disappointment in leadership and people keeping their word.  And trying to figure out why they would tell me over and over that Dd would be passing when it wasn't up to them and wasn't going to happen.  

Some good things that can come of Dd not being moved up in Band:
*The Intermediate Band won't be too difficult for Dd and won't have to work so hard in that class.
*The bar will be kept low for her and she could possibly have a chance to move up to the first chair?
*She can spend more of her mental energy on learning how to improve her violin and viola skills.
*I've wondered if God will guide Dd towards just one musical choice--either the "Band" or "Orchestra" and maybe this is the first step to the Band door being closed?  (After the poor audition results Dd thought about opting out of Band for the school year, but we encouraged her to not give up on band so soon.  At least now she will also be in the Orchestra and will have another avenue for musical growth and possible success if she doesn't continue to advance.)
*Dd has hopefully learned just exactly how important these auditions are, and how she should have practiced more.  
*Now she knows the audition-er will ask all sorts of unexpected questions; she was thoroughly not prepared for the teacher asking her to do a Chromatic Scale and the Lower C Scale.  She had no idea that she was supposed to know those things, and no one told her.  They had told her what was going to be asked of her - specific scales and her audition song, but then he surprised her with the extra year she will *hopefully* be more prepared for the unexpected.
*Next year *I* will go into the program with my eyes fully open.  I'd had a few issues our first year which really started me to see some things but now I really think I will be more prepared to not take things literally or for what they say.  I think I will *try* to take everything with a grain of salt and skepticism--which doesn't come easy for me!!!  I'm so literal and gullible.  Luckily, Dd is not literal or gullible!  She was really, really surprised and shocked by the results; as she had also been told she would get into Advanced Band, but she was able to process the surprise faster than I did.  
*God: I always end up with God and how He knew she wouldn't get into AB and perhaps has a specific reason for this that we don't know.  We just never know why he lines us up in some places and for what reasons.  Though surprised, I know the Lord will make this a good thing, we have faith in His love and care of us.

A highlight of the Week: Monarch Butterfly larvae/caterpillars:
In the spring I dug up some baby milkweed plants and transplanted them around my house.  This week Dd yelled at me to come look---she saw one plant covered with little hairy black caterpillars!!  I left them on the plant for about 24 hours before putting them in a big (clean & empty) pickle jar with LOTS of milkweed leaves.  I have hatched various other butterflies over the years, but never Monarch's!!!!  I am super excited!!  I'm going to ensure each of these caterpillars have a good chance of surviving, whereas if I had left them out in the garden they might have been eaten.  Also, they had already eaten 98% of the milkweed they hatched on, with me they will be feed to their heart's content!

Herb garden doing really well!

Our garden is doing great, especially now that we had a whole day of a slow rain on Thursday.  We hadn't had rain in over two weeks and the garden was starting to show some strain even though I was watering it.  This week we got a lot of zucchini's and some red 'grape' tomatoes.  The greens are still doing very well and I am benefiting from eating them each morning in my morning green smoothie.  I pulled up all the turnips this week, and hope to grow some more greens in that space soon.

On Saturday the chickens laid 25 eggs!  That is a record so far.  They are all doing well and I think we only had one chicken get out of their run.  Since we have such a big run and are surrounded by woods, I have been keeping our chickens inside the outside runs where they are safe.  I'm still foraging greens for them a few times per day and/or using my garden greens to help too.

I found this "egg" on the ground in the coop...what a weird shape it was in!
  Thursday I spent a few hours digging up dirt, sand, and rocks and built up the fence walls on the perimeter of the fence to make their walls even more secure.  The chickens had also dug out big holes all around the top coops and I wanted to fill those in while the weather is good.  I cleaned out the inside coop and spent the whole afternoon fixing up things for the chickens.  The ducks love their kiddy pool, but I have to dump out the water and put fresh water in every few days, but they still manage to get lots of dirt in it in a short amount of time.  Our ducks are filthy critters!  Still no duck eggs.

Grapes are spreading like crazy!

Our lessons for the Week:

Church and Sunday School

Driver's Education:
Dd got her Level 1 Driving Permit and drove for our errands
1-hour driving

The green beans are doing really well and growing high.

Sonlight Reader:
Anna and the King by Margaret Landon: In Process

Fun Reader:
I'll Give You The Sun by Jandy Nelson: Completed

Physical Education:
Swimming 2 x this week: 4 hours
marching in band class: 1:30 hours
marching in the parade: 1:30 hours

I planted the Sweet Potato here, and in the carbord cylinders I put squash.

Drawing: 1:00
Computer's Sketch Pad program: 4:00 hours
Crochet: 1:30 hours

Home Economics:
gardening, chicken care, dishes, laundry

We put toothpicks in some sweet potatoes and let them grow some roots.

For some reasons some of the potatoes didn't grow roots, though most did.

I cut up the potatoes into sections with as much roots as I could and planted each one as a solo plant.

Music classes:
Marching Band class on Wed. 1:30 hours on alto sax
Strings Group: 1:45 hours on ukulele
Parade: 1:30 hours

Music Practice:
violin: 35 min
viola: 1:00 hour
piano: 20 min