We had a really good visit with my parents, the other week. We drove to look at the wind turbines being put up nearby, Sarah got to enjoy her new treehouse, there was singing and baking together, and a funny little Family Olympics my dad put together -- a course around their front yard, combining acrobatics, basketball, archery, soccer, the little trampoline, and followed up by a badminton game and a soccer match. My mom and I went to see a local open mic night, but we wound up being the only ones there. I'm almost disappointed I didn't bring my banjo with me (I'd brought it to the North Country with me, but not to the coffee shop) -- it might have been nice to just experience playing on a little stage, in front of a microphone. But a little too weird to play in front of just my mom and the coffee shop owner (and her two kids). But I'll be prepared for next time we're there over a Monday night, now that I've seen the place.
My mom lent us pictures from her recent trip to Slovenia, as well as a flag, some Slovenian art, and the recipes my great aunt used to make Struklji and Potica. (it was Sarah's turn to choose the theme for the geography group she belongs to, this month, and she chose Slovenia)
Sarah and I are starting to shift into our Winter homeschooling -- homeschool soccer finished up already, lego league's finishing up in a few weeks, and we've opted out of a few social possibilities and are starting to focus more on quiet afternoons at home or at small gatherings with friends or family. A little more of an academic focus, after a fairly unschooly Fall (we'd meant to be a little more focused all along, but it just doesn't work that well when we're out of the house every day doing one homeschool activity or another). I'm looking for a philosophy or Great Books discussion to work our way through together or maybe with a few friends -- either a book or a curriculum, or even just an article with suggestions. I have a few to check out, when I have my next Homeschooling Prep afternoon.
I'm continuing to work with the Simple Living Guide and the Getting Things Done book -- paring life down to the essentials and dealing with the necessary nonsense as efficiently as possible -- and they're working really well for me. I've opted out of a few tempting but unnecessarily complicated activities/social commitments, recently, and every time I pare my life down a little more I can feel the wave of relief that passes through me. We're challenging ourselves to see how much we can declutter in the next 4 weeks.