We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand. ~Isaiah 64:8

Friday, August 31, 2012

Our summer in photos...

 As promised... some photos starting with a late April wedding...

My "baby" brother and his new wife!  Married in a lovely, quick outdoor ceremony at the Virginia Beach Oceanfront (our hometown).  

And then one of us turned a year older...

Athos turned SIXTEEN!  We had a low-key campfire party with smores, watermelon, sodas and LOTS of glow in the dark sticks.

Athos and his favorite girl.  We embarrassed him by having a little family celebration before the party with cake and an out-of-tune rendition of "Happy Birthday".

Then in mid-June our dear friends from Arkansas came to visit...we'll just call them the Arkan-sass 5.  They aren't originally from Arkansas, just ended up there recently.  The kids are more like cousins, in fact the adults all go by "Aunt" and "Uncle"....and really we are a lot like family, only no baggage.  LOL!  Erik and I met Arkan-sass Uncle through college friends...and then we all spent lots of time together in our early married days in the Wash., DC area.  We try to see them once a year or so.   

Artemisia at the Shakespeare on The Green  show (The Tempest - Athos was working crew for this show).

The two youngest from our families.  Quite a few years apart (he's 10, she's 3), but they sure do enjoy each other's company!

And then, FINALLY, it was time for the beach!  We rented a house on Topsail Island, NC. 

Our walkway to the beach.  

Lots of silliness and giggles on the porch under a beautiful beach sunset.

Arkan-sass Auntie with her eldest and youngest.

Arkan-sass Auntie and I goofing around in the kitchen.  

Most of the gang goofing around while our tie-dye shirts dried.  Yes, we tie dyed!  It was a blast!

And we feasted!  This must have been fajita (beef and shrimp) night.  Oh, my the BEST fajita dry rub ever!  Arkan-sass Auntie and Uncle put cinnamon in theirs along with the typical hispanic spices.

And more feasting!  Among these two families, the dads love to cook, too!  That makes the moms quite happy.

Awww...aren't they cute? 

Athos and Arkan-sass eldest.  These two are barely a year apart and good friends.

Artemisia showing us her surfing moves.

Kalliope and Arkan-sass middle enjoyed a lot of playtime this year.

We've shared early marriage, early parenthood, and now we share teen woes and wonders.  We are both so glad our husbands met!

A proud daddy and his best girl.  These two are thick as thieves.  

Faramir looking a little lobstery.  He's almost as pink as the sunset behind him.

There was a LOT of testosterone this year.  

The younger kids collected these beautiful grey-blue, ocean-washed stones.  I've got buckets full looking for a good craft project.

 One of us got to celebrate his beginning the journey to adulthood with a men-only beach evening culminating in a very impressive sword gift.

The last day we took some photos of our crazy group...

The girls being "pirate-y"

The boys being "Captain Morgan-y"

The whole Pirate Crew

And the original pirates

The older boys designed the iron-on that we put on everyone's tie-dye shirts.  ('92 is when all the adults started  hanging out.)
 It was so sad to see them go!  We had a wonderful two weeks, which felt longer in a REALLY GOOD way.

Before we knew it, we were celebrating Independence Day.  We kept it low-key this year.  The boys and I made a run to South Carolina for some fireworks and put on our own mini-show in the cul-de-sac with our next-door neighbors.

Artemisia was brave with the sparklers!

Not bad for back-yard fireworks, huh?

Kalliope and her "twin" next door - they are just weeks apart in age and awfully cute together.

School has begun and Morning Session

Oh, I've promised summer photos and I still haven't gotten them uploaded.  I'll try, I'll try!  These days I'm bouncing around on computers: the dinosaur, hubby's, the Mac, and my phone.  I'm finding it hard to get enough time to just check email , much less blog, or load photos.  But photos are so fun!!

I'll try, I'll try!

But school has started and I am miraculously keeping up with that!  August 13 was our first day.  We all began some school that day, some more than others.  Each week one more student moved from "part time" to "full time" school.

Faramir started first.  He and I returned to our CC program on the 15th.  (He's in Chal B; I'm tutoring Chal 3.)  The next week Athos began, Aug 22nd.  He's in Chal 3, but at a different campus.  (Long story...)  And finally, after forlornly watching her brothers head off to CC for two weeks without her, Artemisia began her CC program this past Wednesday, Aug 29th.

And now we are in full-swing.

And I'm exhausted.

But it's ok.

I only have 14 more years of this.

I'll be ... let's see, some quick math... .  Yes, I'll be 56.  FIFTY-SIX!   Moving on...

Over the summer I was blessed with a trip to the CiRCE Conference, which was wonderful not only because it is heaven to be immersed in that atmosphere for three days, but I also got to meet IN PERSON many ladies with whom I've emailed and chatted about Classical Education over the past several years.  One of those ladies is Cindy Rollins who blogs at Ordo Amoris.  If you are not regularly reading this blog, you absolutely should be.  In fact, stop reading here and follow that link.  Add her to your bookmarks, google reader, etc.  Just make sure you are getting her posts - she has great wisdom and humility....and a wealth of experience homeschooling.  (Diane - this is the blog I mentioned when we chatted last week!)

Cindy spoke to an eager group of ladies (and some gentlemen, I believe) about her use of Morning Time in her homeschool.  Having known her for a few years and read her blog for even longer, I was already familiar with Morning Time.  I'd even implemented a version of it here and there over the years - always with great success.  But somehow with the boys getting older and more independent in their work, and two little ones coming along behind who needed lots of hands on attention, my use of Morning Time was abandoned.

Cindy's talk encouraged me to re-institute it.  We call it Morning Session at our home...and we aren't operating at full steam, yet, but slowly working up to it.  Go read some at Cindy's blog about Morning Time.  Then come back here and I'll share with you how we are implementing it in our home...especially with two balky, crusty teenager boys.  Probably tomorrow, maybe later today.

It will depend on how much those teenagers exhaust me.  

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Summer Blogging Sabbatical

Hey, look at that.  Without trying to, I took a little sabbatical.  Not at all intended, but somehow summer gets busier and busier every year.  Maybe it has something to do with having teenagers (and almost teenagers).  They are always wanting to go somewhere...and they stay up so late!

Our summer started with Athos taking an internship at the Charlotte Shakespeare Festival's production of The Tempest.  We were trekking back and forth from our home in "the boonies" to Uptown 5 times a week for 3 weeks - tiring.  But what a great experience for him!

Despite the "busyness", we did have some great relaxation this summer.  It started with a fantastic visit with our friends, the Tontis, which included a week at the beach.  Is there anyhing so relaxing as a vacation with like-minded family, especially when they are old friends?  We always seem to pick right back up where we left off from the year before.  I love that!

Two weeks later, we spread out over 3 states.  Hubby stayed at home in NC.  Kids went to VA to spend time with family.  And I attended the CiRCE Conference in Louisville, KY.  It was phenomenal!    Even when the roof flew off the hotel! (No injuries, but many cars damaged and guests displaced.)  So many highlights: meeting online friends, John Hodges' initial talk, a lively Hamlet discussion, the graciousness of the Elders, David Hicks' perfectly selected words, Angelina Stanford's guffaw-inducing stories, Wendell Berry's readings (and getting our photo with him), Cindy's gentle exhortation to give Morning Time a try, Gil and Emily's angelic singing, and so many other lovely moments.

Bright and early the Monday after we all were back in NC together, the kids had VBS - even Kalliope got to attend this year!   Boys served as volunteers and thought that was pretty cool.

The very next week Artemisia was asked to join a friend's family at the beach, so she's as brown as a nut.  She was missed at home, though.

And now we are a week out from school starting.  Boys have one last hurrah with their Uncle this weekend and then we are back to the books.  Athos seems a bit excited to begin studying poetry and Shakespeare.  Faramir - not so excited about school.  Not surprising.