We started out the month celebrating Flo’s 9th birthday! On the first, we had a little party for her at home. She invited all her friends over to watch the movie “Spiderwick.” We made movie tickets, had popcorn and drinks, and I made her flower shaped cake. We asked that if anyone wanted to bring a gift that it be something homemade, repurposed or recycled, and her friends brought her a bunch of fun and creative gifts that she really enjoyed. She had a great day, and I found it to be the easiest party I ever planned; nothing complicated or expensive, just friends and a little food. The next day, on her actual birthday, we had a quiet day at home. We bought Flo a fancy laptop bag, and gave her our five year old laptop computer for her to play around with, along with a little bag of goodies consisting of some gum, books, and such. Then we made her requested birthday dinner of spaghetti. Grandma came down in the afternoon to enjoy some leftover birthday cake and deliver her gift of an American Girl doll, which Flo was hoping for. So, all in all, a festive couple days.
On the 5th, we had a planning meeting at the park for the Fall semester of the Smithsburg Area Learning Time Co-op (SALT). The moms discussed ideas for classes while the kids played. We brainstormed some good ideas and I think it will be a positive experience again, especially for Flo, who really enjoys the social time. It will be a little more challenging for me this year, toting Zofia, who is into everything. I refrained from volunteering for too much because I know I’ll have my hands full with her.
That same day, while at the park, Jodi, our Earth Scouts organizer, put together a solar bead project for the kids in the group. Earth Scouts has been a little slow during the summer, but we’re looking forward to the upcoming “school year” and some fun activities. I really like the philosophy of the group.
Later that week, we stopped over to our friends, Eric and Jessica’s, house to pick veggies and socialize a bit. They undertook a huge gardening venture this year and grew some great veggies. They’ve been generous to share their surplus upon occasion, and we’ve enjoyed seeing the “fruits” of their labor.
On the 15th, we headed down towards DC, to Alexandria, VA, to check out the exhibits at the Animal Rights Conference. It was at the Hilton Hotel down there, and we just walked around the exhibit area for an hour or so, checking out all the great vegan products and trying some yummy food samples. After that, we headed over to Whole Foods Market, which is one of our favorite places. On the way out of town, we stopped at Iwo Jima Memorial Park and walked around for awhile. The kids enjoyed stretching their legs after being in the car for a couple hours, and facing another hour and a half or so trip home.
The following day, Saturday the 16th, Darren and Flo participated in a monthly gathering with the Queen of Heaven Circle earth-centered spirituality group at our church. Flo and Darren tend to go a lot by themselves, as Joe and Zofia tend to be too disruptive to the calm atmosphere. However, we try to keep up to date on their activities and participate as a family when we can. They’re a really nice bunch of people.
This month’s “Geo Lunch” was at Jessica’s house on the 18th. The country of focus was the Dominican Republic. We made “arroz con leche” using coconut milk, and brought along “lentejas,” which is Spanish for “lentils.” Flo wrote up a little blurb of information she found and shared it with the group, and then the kids enjoyed just playing for an hour or so after lunch.
Of course, another highlight of the month was Zofia turning one! It’s hard to believe she’s been with us a year already! It’s the old cliché, but it really seems like she’s always been here. It’s so fun watching her grow and watching Florence and Joseph be older siblings. Darren and I are loving the experience, despite the intermittent parental stress involved! We enjoyed a relaxing day, and then in the evening, Darren and Joe went to their first major league baseball game in Baltimore. They watched the Baltimore Oriels play the Boston Red Sox. They both had a great time, and I’m glad I didn’t go, because they got really cheap seats (free tickets the kids got from finishing the reading program at the library), and I would have been a nervous wreck up there, as I’m not a big fan of heights, and Joe is a bit of a daredevil at times. So, next time, if we decide to tag along when Zofia’s a bit older, we’ll splurge for the good seats!
Towards the end of the month, on the 26th, I hosted a PHLiC Organizational Meeting at our house. We had a great turnout and a lot of great ideas were generated. I’m so impressed with the growth of the group and really love being a part of such a great homeschooling community. I feel lucky to have been a catalyst in the formation of the group, and inspired by how it has grown into such a diverse community with so many great activities available to all our kids (and parents).
We rounded out the month by decorating some simple Mead composition books for journals for a journaling club I decided to start in September. Journaling is something that has always inspired me, but that I’ve never been consistent with. I thought by stepping out of my box a bit and starting a group, it might generate some creativity and fun for the kids, as well as, some inspiration for myself!
That’s basically our month in a nutshell. Flo continued guitar lessons, but her piano teacher left and a replacement hasn’t come in yet, so she’s had a couple weeks without piano lessons before they fill the slot. But, we plan to continue her with both music lessons, whether she’s driven to do so or not. I always wish someone had pushed me a little more with music, and I don’t want her to miss that window of opportunity in youth to learn, so we’ll continue to prioritize that in the budget!
So, we had a well-rounded summer, and are looking forward to the upcoming “school year,” which will be filled with quite an array of activities and social opportunities.