Saturday, June 08, 2013

Random chatter from this week :)

Last week I finally made it to the dump for the first time in months.  Yes, I realize that normal people take their trash to the dump every week or two, or maybe once a month . . . we tend to be procrastinators, so we had a good bit of trash and recycling piled up in the garage! :)  It felt good to get it all out of the house.

Anyway, coming from a long line of dump treasure-seekers, naturally the kids wanted to see what was new at the "swap shop."  We came home with a pair of ice skates for Julia, a Carmen Sandiego geography game, and a picture frame that just needs some cleaning up and maybe a new coat of paint.  I love freebies, especially when they are useful freebies! :)

We are now officially done with school for the year, which feels SO GOOD.  After all my stressing about the achievement tests (why do I do that??!), the kids did just fine and came out above grade level in almost everything (supposedly--I still don't put much stock in test results :)).  When the results said Sam's language usage and structure score was equivalent to a 10th grade level, I had to laugh.  Either today's 10th graders are pathetic at language usage, or the test is wacky!  Sam does have a good grasp on language usage, but I saw how many things he was getting wrong (even some things that he knew) on that section, and I sincerely doubt he is anywhere close to a 10th grade level!  Oh well, at least it looks good on his score . .  :)

Our last read-aloud book for the year was The Little Riders.  I love, love, loved this book!!!  I had never heard of it before, and it is definitely a read-again.  Such a beautiful story and written in such a touching way.  It's short (only 6 chapters), but I was choked up for most of the last three!  It's the story of a little Dutch-American girl, Johanna, living with her grandparents in Holland during the Nazi occupation, near the end of WW2.  The town is famous for its "little riders"--soldiers and horses made of lead, which come out of the church tower every time the clock strikes.  Knowing the Nazis will try to take the little riders and melt them down for ammunition, Johanna's grandfather (their caretaker) decides to hide them.  Johanna ends up having to hide them herself, and makes an unexpected friend and ally in the process.  I won't give away more than that, just . . . read the book.  It's so good!

Jim has been busy busy busy lately, and I feel like we haven't seen each other much!  Tomorrow night after church we are having a date for the first time since April.  I'm so excited!!  We also need to plant the garden, hopefully tomorrow morning before church.  We are getting a late start on it this year, but between finishing school and having some rainy weather, it hasn't happened.  We need to get it done before we leave for Ohio on Friday or Saturday!  Lots and lots to do this week, but at least now we have school out of the way and we can focus on trip prep. :)

To wrap up this chatty post, I have to share the biggest news from the week--we have a new nephew, Nathan Elihu, born on Wednesday!!! :)  Isn't he a cutie pie? :)  Big congrats to Jo, Clay, and their other 4 kiddos!!

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