Kyra and I are home. She's been pretty sick the last week. She started up on antibiotics 2 days ago and now this morning is seeming to feel better. It scares me when she's sick like this, Abbi had something similar a month or so ago and it's awful.
I have to take the dog for her walks alone since Tim, Alec and Abbi are here.
But.. it could be worse-- walk down to the lake, enjoy the woods beside me and check out all the wild flowers along the way.
This is one of my favorites.
Partly because they are new to me, and partly because I have a beautiful bowl with the bloom impression on it. It's a Queen Anne's Lace, and actually a carrot plant. I had never seen them in Minnesota. I think it probably does grow in parts of the state but I wasn't aware of them. The bowl was a gift from a friend and when she gave it to me I thought, "how pretty! A bowl with a snowflake!" :) Yes, I lived in Minnesota, and snowflakes were around quite a bit of the time.
Here's the bowl, I love it.
I do miss snowflakes, but Queen Anne's lace is a nice substitute.
I wanted to share this picture. It's one of my favorites right now, and my desktop background on my computer :)
It's taken at the historic Oakland cemetery inAtlanta. We visited there last month. As a golfer, Tim wanted to see Bobby Jones' grave. I was quite interested in showing the girls Margaret Mitchell's. The trees and flowers were so beautiful through-out the cemetery.
A girl gets a new camera. What does she do with it? Of course she takes lots of pictures, but also she would do a photoshoot with her sister as a model.
That's how Kyra rolls. She decided to do a photo shoot of Abbi as a anime loving/anime character. Or in Kyra's words: "A photoshoot about a girl who wants to be in a manga/anime, but in reality... actually is."
They had so much fun.
Here's a few pics and the link to the entire shoot.
Yesterday, Abbi completed her Ancient Literature class. She really enjoyed it. She really liked having a group of people to discuss readings.
For her final, she was assigned a partner and they asked to compare and contrast 3 books that they read. They had 8 different questions to write answers for: Acheological Prototype (comparing the book's accuracy with real information), Dates, the Role of Merlin, Geneology, Guinevere, Lancelot, Religion, and Arthur's Title. For the last portion of their class they focused on Arthurian Literature.
As a presentation, she and her partner made a poster with the information. She also included some Ogham writings which she's been having a lot of fun playing around with.
Here are some close ups of the Ogham writings:
The first one is read as "Arthur maqi Uther" or in modern English "Arthur son of Uther"
The second one is "Pendragon", Arthur's last name.
As we were leaving and Abbi was saying her good-byes, her teacher told her she had been a joy to have in class and that she hoped Abbi would consider her American Literature class that she's offering next year. We'll see.... :)
I have to preface this post by saying that I'm not depressed at all. After writing it I was surprised at how somber it sounded. I think when I look at the kids and see how old they are, a wave of disbelief rushes through me. A thought of, "this can't be!" fills my head.
Anyway, we're having a grand time, no worries.
As I watch my three teens playing Magic together, I can't believe how the years have passed by so quickly. Alec is 18. 18 years since I had my first child. 18 years ago I never would have thought that my kids would be staying home with me. Staying home with me instead of going to school. I'm so glad they did.
Abbi is 16. 16 years ago, after I had Abbi I said to Alec who was 19 months old, "you're such a big boy!" Really? Really. Wow, how crazy was I in pushing my baby boy to be a big boy. Did I know at the time that he would grow up so quickly? That he would change our lives when he wasn't enjoying school. Abbi was enjoying school at the time, she was in 1st grade and she thought it was pretty fun. She'd finish out the year but then ended up staying home the following years. I'm so glad she did.
Kyra is 13, turning 14 next month. Yes, 14! 14 years since I had my last child. I remember bringing her home and being overwhelmed with 2 toddlers and a baby. I had a bout of depression which wasn't great and I'm sure that colored some of my experiences a shade of gray. I now wish I knew how quickly those years would go by.
Hold onto each day, know how quickly they pass. Kiss those tiny heads of toddlers and babies; smell their heads, as my friend Sandra says. Before you know it, they'll be playing a game together and you won't even need to explain the rules to them. In fact you'll have a hard time comprehending the game.
We went to the Lady Gaga concert this week. It was pretty amazing. Quite the show.
A few months ago, when we got the tickets, I really wasn't the biggest fan. Kyra was though, so that's what mattered. :) We choked on the price of the tickets a bit, but knew that Kyra really really really wanted to see her. As we got closer to the time of the concert, I was slowly being converted. Lady Gaga would be at rallies promoting acceptance of gay youth, speaking out on stopping bullying and always sending out the message of how you need to love yourself.
How could I not embrace that?
I have a few shots from the concert but only from my phone. We had a great night. Abbi, Samuel, Tracy, Morgan and Melissa joined Kyra and me.
Our bunch at Gaga
The photo below is of the stage from where we were sitting. Don't know if you can see it, but there's a big fish type of monster on the stage. Right in the middle you might be able to see a lit up mouth and eyes. We were supposed to flash our cameras and anything else to help fight it.
Here's Alec's new cover, The Sound of Truth by As I Lay Dying
The other day I asked him if he writes down the music to play, or if he looks up music for the songs. He answered me that he just listens and figures it out in his head. So, he plays these by ear. Pretty cool.
I don't, but I know the muffin makin' girl! It's Abbi! She's now on a baking spree of muffin baking. So far she's made... let me see...
she's made the Blueberry ones, Lemon Poppyseed ones, and right now there's a yummy banana chocolate smell wafting through the room.
Here's the baking goddess now!
She really loves baking. The other day we were grocery shopping at Publix, looking at all the yummy breads in the bakery section, we asked if there were any openings. We thought it might be a good place to learn about commercial baking . The lady working there said you had to be 18 years old to run the machinery, so Abbi was a little down about that. But then as we were turning to walk away she added that a younger person could probably help with the packaging and other work. Abbi is considering going back in and applying.
Owning her own bakery/shop is a dream of hers, isn't that cool?
Here's today's muffin.. see the chocolatey goodness??
Abbi is taking an ancient literature class at a local homeschool resource center. This is her first class since she left the school system after 1st grade. So when Monday morning came and she had her first assignments due she had some new feelings sweeping over her--pressure, stress, worry, doubt. She had finished her assignments the night before but didn't print them out. That should be easy, just print them in the morning. Yeah, trying to print things out before 8:00 a.m. can sometimes be harder than you think. She now knows that she'll probably make sure everything is done the night before :)
All went well and I thought she wrote out very thoughtful responses to her teachers questions. But the morning was stressful and you could tell she was worried about things. We felt so bad for her that morning, wanting to help, but we knew we couldn't fix how she was feeling. She got her assignments done in time but was grumpy and not wanting to talk about it.
I drove her to class and she went in with a feeling of burden. I was beginning to wonder if it was going to be a good fit for her. Knowing that she loves reading, writing and critical thought, I thought it sounded like a perfect fit but maybe not. After class she came out and said that class went great and that she had worried for nothing. She told me that she felt so much better because she realized that she was taking this class and doing the work for herself. She wasn't doing it for us/her parents, or for her teacher. She wanted to be there and was working for herself. She was so happy and a burden had been lifted.
Now this morning, she was talking with someone about all of it. Telling them that she liked the class but had experienced some stress the first time she had to get assignments done and all that. She said she was so happy to realize that she was taking this class for herself and that if she didn't like it she could quit. The person she was talking with responded with a sarcastic "wow, great work ethic you have". She was kind-of surprised at the response. She replied that she thought she had great work ethic and that this was different from a job. She was paying them to bring something to her, to share it with her; be it knowledge, reading assignments, or a place to gather with others to discuss things. She had in effect hired this learning center. In a work place she would be paid to work so she would have a different viewpoint towards her work.
I guess I shouldn't be surprised when people say this, we hear it all the time. It's a big worry for parents especially.. will kids ever finish anything if they can quit?? I have no doubt that they will and if they don't it's not worth finishing. She's already shown in many different ways that she's not going to just quit things when the going gets tough. But if the tough going isn't worth it to her she'll be OK with changing her path. I'm glad she feels like she can quit if she wants. I think this freedom has allowed her to learn more about herself. There's no muddied water, just clear desire and lots of hard work.