November No More

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This month began with a farewell to Nanny & Poppy (Darren's parents), who left on the 1st. Their visit sort of slowed us down for a few days, getting us out of our regular hectic schedule. But, of course, as soon as they were gone, we were back to the craziness of our life.

Flo is plugging along with her reading. She's taken more of an interest in reading independently, but tends to compare her reading abilities to her friends', and will put herself down. We continually remind her that often what we say a lot, we start to believe, so it's important to fill our heads with positive messages, rather than negative ones. I would say she's on track with reading. I haven't compared her progress to the public school's guidelines, but as long as she's progressing and enjoying reading, I'm happy. She's also enjoying the ShillerMath program we started last month. We're still doing some review, as the first part of the first book is targeted towards a little younger child, but it's a good chance to get comfortable with the format and build some math confidence, as we get into a little more challenging work.

On the 11th, I hosted a "Mom's All-Night-Out," which was a sleepover for all the moms in our homeschool playgroup. I sent Darren and the kids off to my mom's for the night, and had a little female bonding time. It was great. We played games, had riveting conversations and got to know each other even better. We all brought food to share, and ended up chatting into the wee hours of the morning. A great time!

On the 15th, our picture appeared in the Herald-Mail, which is the local newspaper. One of their staff contacted us earlier about interviewing me for an article about being vegetarian during the holidays. So, a photographer came to take a picture of me preparing breakfast (oatmeal… gourmet) for my kids. Of course, Joe flipped-out and wouldn't let the guy take his picture. He hid under the table, so the picture is me dishing out a bowl of oatmeal for Flo, and the caption mentioned Joe. Oh well.

Flo took a workshop on the 16th at Fountain Rock Nature Center. The program was called "Animal Interactions with Their Environment, including Fountain Rock's attempts to re-introduce the Baltimore Checkerspot Butterfly to our area. Flo quite enjoyed the class.

On the 18th, we went to the Poplar Springs Animal Sanctuary for their annual Thanksgiving with the Turkeys. It's a huge vegetarian potluck, with a couple hundred people. There was so much amazing food, we all overdid it a bit because it's not often that we have that much of a selection all in one place. We met up with one of the members from our local vegetarian potluck group, too. The kids had a great time visiting with the turkeys and indulging in all the fabulous food.

For Thanksgiving we just made a nice brunch at home (tofu scramble, grilled asparagus, toast and jam & fruit). The next day, Friday, we went to our friends, Jessica & Eric's, house for a potluck and visit. Unfortunately, during the whole evening my stomach was really upset and I was not feeling very chipper. Nonetheless, we had fun playing a few games and the kids had a great time visiting with their friends.

The kids continue to take Little Gym classes, and Flo just finished up her last yoga class at the end of this month. We're debating which classes and activities to pursue in the New Year, as we'd like to simplify our schedule a little, and give more time to actually be home. But, we'll see.

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