Thursday, September 1, 2011

The Thangs We Do

Summer proved busy and satisfying with our three oldest boys putting on the full armor of God and of self defense.  All three olders are now black belts and baptized.  

Looking forward to our fall, I begin to understand why I am often up nights.  I am sure your schedules look similar.  How do you all keep it all together?  Our round-up, minus any mention of any actual homeschooling:

J will continue to take math classes at the local four year college and he will also be a preceptor (that's like a TA, I don't know why they call it that) for a precalc/calc class there.  He'll have his own office hours every week, which I find cute.  He's got feelers out to be a paid tutor and sounds like one neighbor may take him up on it.  He and his brother will be fall soccer refs  and he'll continue to be at the church at 6am sharp every Sunday to help his dad and brother do set-up.  Every other week he works tech during the worship service--he really likes the headset microphones the tech people get to wear.  He'll continue, along with his brother, to volunteer at AWANA every week.  His extras, again shared by his next oldest brother, include Science Olympiad  (and me as the club coach--eek!), math club, a gym class, an advanced art class, a lit group (Ender's Game, Ender's Shadow, A Tale of Two Cities, Jane Eyre, & Alas, Babylon are the fall readings) and youth group. 

N has all that jazz with J and he also takes a wood carving class and teaches an art class.  After sporadic classes this summer, always maxxed out because he only charged $5 each, a mom approached him about doing semi-private classes once a month or once every three weeks for her two sons for $20.  So, I think he'll do that provided he can squeeze it in.  

B has the karate and AWANA already mentioned.  I've also signed him up for piano lessons, the soccer, and a homeschool weekly swim and gym at our local Y.  He probably needs more, but I don't feel like I can swing it right now.  He is a bold guy.  As usual, even at the first soccer practice, I heard him calling out to other boys on the field, directing them.  Never mind the fact that he is the youngest kid on the two-year combined team.  

C will continue AWANA and I've formed a Fancy Nancy club that will meet at my house every other week.  After a decade and a half of Legos and guns, I am super excited about this.  Today, we are doing Fancy Nancy and the Fabulous Fashion Boutique.  We will play dress up, have a store to "sell" baubles, walk with bananas on our heads (as the girls do to achieve proper posture in the book), make a paper chain held up by fancy helium balloons.  YAY! for girl stuff.  I've capped that group at five girls total.  C will also take swim lessons, followed by gymnastics and ballet--in succession, not concurrently.

Baby M creates chaos out of order and danger out of safety.  He gives us delight and an almost equal amount of exhaustion.  

I'm continuing to moderate the local homeschool group.  We're up over 300 members and folks seem to like it as an information source, so that's gratifying.  I'm also continuing to make calls for the church, scheduling appts. for people who want to find a volunteer role.  It's easy for me to do from home because I have access to the church data base from my computer.  I'm heading up AWANA registration again.  I'm slowly learning a bit more computer stuff in that regard so I can run my own registration reports.  Thankfully, we have paid data people to do the hard stuff.  If I can scare up a middle school math club coach, I will continue to be the administrator for that club and now I am adding in the Science Olympiad coach duties.  Which is laughable, but I plan to put everything back on the parents and lure my friends who are engineers to come to one meeting each to help out.   

Mr. Wonderful is enduring through a very difficult job situation.  He has a new boss, the old one having been fired.  This comes after the boss above that boss got fired.  Another manager at Jack's level was fired on Monday.  New boss seems to be restoring resources that have been deprived to the state for years.  This should make it easier for Mr. Wonderful to do his job well.  He volunteers with the middle school/high school group at our campus of our church and seems well-suited for it.  Interestingly, Mr. Wonderful struck up a friendship with a homeless guy in Chicago (James, pray for him); an outgrowth of the work God has been doing in his heart toward the homeless as a result of the past two summer's weeklong missions trips.  Anyway, James asked Mr. Wonderful to be his legal guardian.  We're not going to do that, but I do think Jack will take on health care power of attorney for the man.  James is 62, has AIDS and his greatest fear is dying alone in a flea bag motel.  He's a former gang member, now just an old frail guy with no one in the world.  Very sad, but I'm glad Jack takes the time to talk with him on the days he works in Chicago.

That's my newsy update.  You all should consider it your Christmas card since I probably won't get around to issuing another one anytime soon.  

I'd love to hear what you all are gearing up to for the new school year though!


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