The end

We have a tradition of walking down to the water at almost dusk, playing on the beach, cooking hot dogs over a fire, and then walking the mile and a half back through the woods with flashlights.  This tradition was born out of our inability to get ourselves together and get out the door in a timely fashion.  Even after we are all loaded in the van, people start running back to the house for this or that.  We sigh and groan and roll our eyes at ourselves.  Sometimes we get really frustrated, and start passing the blame around.  “You’re always the last one out the door!”  (This is said to me.)  I reply, “Yeah, but as soon as I got in the van, you realized you had forgotten something!”

I guess this particular tradition has come to an end though, as we were visited on the beach by a ranger on this night who informed us that the park closes at sunset (in the past we were told 10 p.m. and the signs say the same).  He drove his truck back up to the entrance and returned with a fifteen passenger van to drive us back to the parking area.  Because it was dark, I don’t think he really realized what he was getting himself into.  Loading all of our stuff and our family into that van and then unloading it again a few minutes later was a little ridiculous.  He was friendly though, and didn’t seem to mind too much.  I asked him to send my apologies home to his wife, since we kept him at work late.

(My favorite, close to us, park.  Caledon State Park.)

p.s.  Job’s new trick is the fake pout face as seen in the series of three photos of him crawling then sitting there being silly.  Silas had a fake pout face too, which eventually turned into a real pout face which he now sports on a regular basis.  I’ve suggested to the older kids that maybe we don’t actually want to teach Job to pout.  My words most likely fell on deaf ears.  Oh, and the shoes–several asked to see my new magenta shoes.  I asked for gray shoes.  The importance of fit over fashion was gently explained to me.  Last week, A friend commented with what I suspect was a touch of sarcasm, “They’re so you, Ginny!”

Living Dangerously

**

(But it’s just a little brown snake, it isn’t a super close-up shot, and it’s actually a sweet photo…)

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Another possible title might have been, “Homeschooling is my life.”  I don’t mean that in a “hardcore homeschooling” sort of way, more of a “this is my current reality,” way.

It has taken me seven years to figure out that homeschooling is actually a full time job.  I think that maybe I have been in denial these past few years.  Admittedly, adding a once per week homeschooling co op to the schedule has definitely upped the time commitment factor.  My kids are really enjoying it, well, most of them are.  After our second week, Seth told me that he doesn’t totally hate it, and that is actually a big compliment and a huge improvement over the first week.  There have been many complaints from my three older boys over the past month, all centered on this co-op that we joined last minute.  The consensus amongst them was that they would be wasting a “whole entire day.”  I didn’t waste much time trying to convince them that they would actually probably really enjoy learning from some adults other than Jonny and me and getting to hang out with other kids all day.  I figured that they would realize that themselves after the first week or two, and yeah, I think I was right.  My girls are completely thrilled with the whole scene, and Silas seems to be having a good time.  Job is a bit of a handful to manage, but the co op is well organized and I have lots of help with him. I’m hoping that with time Job will become more accepting of other people holding him while I am with the preschool.  Anyway, I’m just so glad that I did this.  It’s good for me, it’s good for my kids.  Thank you, Sarah. 

Jonny and the boys are working to tame our crazy overgrown property.  I haven’t been spending much time outdoors at all, but I know I should at least try to.  I think it will help to have it cleared out a bit.  The baby bunny incident in June, combined with our lawnmower breaking, resulted in our yard becoming a very wild place over the past couple of months.  I’m not quite ready for the wild again yet.  I want mowed paths so I can see what’s ahead, and see where I’m stepping.  I was on my own for awhile this evening, so I took a little walk, just to see what’s blooming, what’s changing out there.  Our cat, Grace, punctuated my entire walk with her complaining cries for attention.  I was grateful for the noise.

I’m almost finished reading Running for My Life, and I needed something to read on my Kindle this evening while Job was nursing.  I typically don’t search for something to read this way, but scrolled through the popular recommendations and landed on Take Me With You.  It was free to borrow it on my Kindle, so no risk, and it has lots of five star reviews.  I made it through the first few chapters, and I’m interested in the story so far.  I feel very up and coming reading something published just a few months ago, so not typical for me.  I also bought crazy bright magenta trail-walking shoes yesterday, not me at all.  Watch out!  I’m finding ways to live dangerously.

p.s.  If you missed the post about the Small Things snake photo warning system, and want to make sense of those first two asterisks, that post is here.  If you are afraid of snakes, but went ahead and looked at the second photo today despite the warning, consider yourself living dangerously too.