Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Happy Solstice, folks!

I don't post here as often as I'd like to, because I keep waiting until I have the time or energy or motivation to write something profound or philosophical, and less like a laundry list of what we've been up to, this week.

But, frankly, I don't think I'm looking for this journal to be particularly philosophical. I like being able to look back and see what we were up to, last week, last month, last year...

So, this past month:

We hosted Country Day, the geography group Sarah belongs to. The host chooses the month's theme, and she chose Slovenia (the country my grandfather's parents came from). It was an awesome day. She did her presentation on Slovenian folklore and mythology, and we both learned so much. I made ricet (barley soup) and made a failed attempt at apple potica (a rolled cakey dessert), people brought so many delicious foods and the kids gave so many interesting presentations. That night I went out and got myself some peach schnapps, which I had with the delightfully Slavic leftovers, and relished the sense of connection with so many of my foremothers.

The lego league team finished up their research on thermometers (the focus they chose, within the biomedical engineering theme chosen by the organization), put together their presentation, and presented to the judges at the local Lego League science fair.

We had another Country Day, with the theme of Japan, and I brought cold summer noodles (rice noodles with a really tasty, simple dipping sauce and some quick cucumber pickles) and Sarah gave a presentation on hinamatsuri, the Japanese doll festival. Aside from the usual computer presentation she puts together, she also did a little diorama example of what the traditional doll displays look like at the festival.

On our own, Sarah's working on typing, spelling, math, and drawing, and we're exploring ear training exercises, to pursue her musical goals. And we're continuing to read about NYC, the Hudson River, and Shakespeare (she was very taken by the adaptation of Midsummer Night's Dream we went to see last Spring, and we've been reading children's book versions of a few of his plays), and slowly filling in the Inventions timeline on our wall.

Joe wrote an awesome adventure for us, and is leading Sarah and me through it. She's a math mage, and I get to be a kickass monster hunter. She and Joe are also working their way through many books together -- the Bunnicula series, The Mouse and The Motorcycle, and the three of us are starting _The Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E Frankweiler_.

Last night, during our Solstice celebration, we had the chance to explore how wax candles work, how flames work, how solstices work, and how lunar eclipses work, while staying up all night, singing, reading aloud from Pratchett's Hogfather, watching movies, watching the eclipse, crafting, making pizza together, eating brownies, and weathering the long night together.

I'm looking forward to a relatively quite couple weeks, just getting ready for Christmas in a laidback fashion, visiting with friends, and finishing up reading the books we currently have out of the library.