Looking Forward, Catching Up

Math on the back of scrap paper

Gak! I think I’ve found a moment to write something. Friday was Home School Friday at Shoal Creek. It was also the book fair, and I had volunteered to run the register after school. How I ended up with a small stack of books, I don’t know. Books are dangerous like that.

Ian and I spent our usual morning time with Lego Mindstorms. He was trying to craft a working piston. We got distracted talking about wheel size and distance traveled, since that may be valuable when programming a rover some day. We marked a wheel and measured the distance of one revolution on a piece of paper. Then we used tape to measure the circumference of the wheel and compare the lengths.

He wasn’t clear about the smaller markings on the ruler, so I tried explaining it a few ways to him. What made sense was drawing a stack of rectangles that represent an inch and cutting each one in progressively smaller halves, until we had representations of sixteenths. His wheel went 5 and 1/8 inches. We noticed it was 2 sixteenths, so I had him color in 2 sixteenths and notice that it was the same as one eighth. Then showed him, with fraction addition, how 2 sixteenths was the same as 1 eighth. Some days I wish we were brought up on the metric system.

Back to the piston situation, Ian was trying to figure out how to convert the rotational force of the motor to a lifting force to push his piston up. After fiddling with some parts, he settled on trying to use a screw drive and some gears. Unfortunately, he spent so much time trying to hunt for and build his piston using only grey bricks, so he ran out of time for the week to test his idea.

After school, I zoomed the boys home, spent a couple hours hanging out with my guys and then went to the first mission & vision team meeting at church with the consultant they brought in. There was fantastic agreement among all the attendees regarding the self-discovery topics we discussed.
We went to church Saturday morning in time to practice with Let Your Light Shine, the church band. We played a few songs during the service, then enjoyed a fairly leisurely potluck meal. At two, my second meeting started. Again, much unanimity. That was very rewarding to experience and I feel very energized about our process to discover our common goals. The meeting was done in time for LYLS practice for the evening sing-along. We played 9 good songs to the few brave souls who weren’t tired from the long day, then we had a great haystack dinner.

Sunday morning was the last meeting, starting with breakfast at 8:30. A friend kindly shared her gluten free granola with me as I gazed longingly at the biscuits, gravy and eggs provided. As usual, our collective agreement got us out a little earlier than expected, just before noon. I dashed home and helped Brian prepare the house and a meal to serve our neighbors who were frantically on their last day of packing for a move to the D.C. area. We’re really going to miss them. It was lonely today looking across the street and knowing our friends were no longer there. We’ll still keep in touch, but it’s nice to be just a hug away.

I spent an entire day today making last year’s yearbooks for the boys. Ugh. I pulled a Brian, thinking it would take just a couple hours. I thought I’d scored a great deal, too – buy 1, get 2 free, not anticipating Snapfish would pad the sale with shipping and handling. Sixteen dollars is ridiculous for three small books. I feel baited and switched, but now I know. Still, I think they will make great gifts for the boys. I was surprised at how many hard choices I had to make regarding content. So many cool projects, trips and shots got left out. I’ll have to keep up with it better this year – maybe uploading monthly to an album. My home schooling friend and mentor, Heidi gave me the idea of writing each boy a letter in the back of his book and I love it!

It drives me quite crazy knowing so many days have passed and I’ve not recorded the silly boy antics. I’ve held back from posting on Facebook because of my goal to blog, but, rats, now it’s all slipped my mind. Right now, the guys are taking apart an old laptop. They are having a great time divvying up the pieces, “Who wants the Central Processor?” “I would like the motherboard!” “Ooh! Memory! Memory!” In light of my digital scrap booking day, I’m glad they’re getting a quality lesson in something.

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