I've been thinking this whole week that I really haven't had much of a chance to update the blog recently. I follow several blogs and am amazed at the wonderful posts these other busy moms manage to create. Maybe I've been slacking because of our frequent trips to visit Other House. Thankfully, fall is here and we won't have to keep the grass cut as often...and wouldn't it be nice if there was a contract waiting for us on our next trip down there? Well, I can hope, right?
Another reason is that I managed to score almost an entire bushel of free apples from a small local orchard. When the owner told me I could have anything on the ground for free, he obviously didn't know who he was talking to! So...let the gleaning begin! To be fair, I searched the almost barren trees for apples I could actually buy, but there were so many wonderful Enterprise apples on the ground that were barely damaged that I couldn't resist rescuing them from the plethora of yellow jackets feasting on their fermenting brothers. I also bought half a bushel of lovely, dark, Arkansas Black apples. With the Enterprise (sweet and Fugi-like, but much easier to grow because of their disease resistance), I made applesauce and mixed them with some Staymen for some apple butter. Arkansas Black are rather tart, however, so I made an apple crisp with those. They're not my favorite eating apple, but they store well and are one of Byron's favorites. These trees are also quite disease resistant.
And then the other reason the blog's been suffering...homeschooling. Obviously, this is one of my priorities, and I really haven't blogged about it yet because I'm not sure of how much wisdom I have to offer on the topic. I will, however, have to start blogging about some of my trouble areas so that I can glean some wisdom from those of you who have more expertise than I in this area!
Along those lines, I will throw out there that I'm a tutor for our local chapter of Classical Conversations, which is a national organization that takes a Christian, classical approach to education. I absolutely love this program! Charlie isn't in a class yet, but Akea is in my class, a group of seven 5-6 year old girls (we nerd moms call this the Abecedarian/Apprentice class). CC encourages the local chapters to divide the classes by gender (dividing by age is sort of a given) because girls and boys learn so differently. And I can attest to this...I tutored the Abecedarian (4-5 year old) boys last year. With the boys, we did a lot of marching, jumping, throwing (sometimes this got a little out of control, I admit) in order to learn the memory work for the week. The girls, however, are content to clap, color, and chant their history sentences, science facts, and so forth. It's a nice breather for me.
So preparing for CC takes up some time during the week. This week, however, I have my work cut out for me because we're starting tin whistle, which is the scourge of almost every CC tutor who does not have a degree in music. Not because it's impossible to teach, but because it's intimidating to those of us who can barely play "Chopsticks" on the piano. And to boot, I can't sing. Seriously...unlike many homeschoolers out there, we're not a VonTrapp family! I dread it in church when someone is standing directly in front of me during worship. Yeah, yeah, I know...make a joyful noise unto the Lord...I've heard that before, okay? Anyway, CC meets tomorrow and though I have a lesson prepared, I need to actually make sure I can play more than one note on that darn instrument. And the whole time, I'll be looking forward to the spring semester of CC, when we'll alternate back to visual arts and I can let my tin whistle collect dust for another year!
Well, that was longer than I anticipated, and I need to begin my day. Here are some topics I anticipate blogging about in the coming weeks:
1. One of the coolest things I've ever seen...a gift from Aunt Dottie and Uncle Hank!
2. More on canning applesauce and apple butter
3. More on baking bread
4. The Wanna-be Farmers (that's us) must be crazy...a post on foraging hay
5. And maybe I'll let you know how tin whistle is going...