Thursday, December 22, 2016

SIP Unloading Day

We have been talking about these SIP panels for an eternity.  Although we don't need them until next year, probably not until late spring, we needed to go ahead and order the panels so that we could keep the quoted price.  And so, a massive truck found its way to our street.  We rounded up five adults and one strong teen to try to move the panels off of the truck in one hour.  We went over by a little, but I was still impressed that we were able to move them as quickly as we did.  They will be stored out in the back, covered with tarps, and will be ready for action once the timber frame is erected.  This is the biggest purchase made towards the new house... and it felt really bizarre to see them show up.  For me, it marks a shift from all of the tree cutting, beam milling, notching, and jointing.  These are new... and they are helping me get a better grasp of how this is going to go down.

Monday, December 19, 2016

Rogue One

You know what's fun?  New Star Wars movies and little girls who love to dress up!  I'm not posting any spoilers... but I will say that the movie was excellent.  I'm personally digging all of the awesome female leads Star Wars is throwing our way.  I'm really hoping one of my girls wants to be Jyn Erso for Halloween... maybe we could have a Jyn and a Rey! 

As expected, Olive conked out halfway through.  Ivey handled all of the Star Wars action just fine, but lost it during the sad scenes.  That girl feels every emotion as if it's off the chart.  This is the girl who cannot make it 10 seconds through an Adele song or handle a morose classical piece.  She even broke down in sobs at church today because the mood and tone of the music changed for the alter call.  Poor girl!  All in all, it was a fantastic bridge movie, and I'm glad we could all go together as a family!

Sunday, December 18, 2016

The Little Angel

 Olive started ballet at 4, and since then, she has been begging to be included in their presentation of the Nutcracker.  She was told that she had to be 6 years old before she could audition... and even though she was too young, she marched right up to the teacher at 5 years and 7 months old to ask if they could make an exception.  Alas, she was held off for another year.  In September, she headed for audition.  My little girl was pretty nervous, but it turned out that all the 6-7 year olds were cast.  (Her whispered words to me were, "Don't tell Ivey that everyone made it.  I want her to be proud of me."  I assured her that Ivey was proud of her for being brave and doing her best!)

After months of Friday afternoon practices to add to our already busy schedule, the big day finally arrived.  Olive was cast in the Saturday night show, and it was sold out.  She didn't miss and beat, and kept smiling the entire time!  I'm very proud of my little angel!

A couple weeks ago, Ivey had spotted a little ballerina Christmas ornament in the boutique at the ballet center.  She told me how much she wanted to get it for Olive, but when she dragged me though the shop the next week, it was nowhere to be found.  Ivey, who is usually shy with people she doesn't know, walked right up to the counter and asked the woman if the Nutcracker ornaments had been moved.  She described the exact ornament... and bingo!  The woman had moved it to another part of the shop.  Ivey lit up!  We bought the gift, wrapped it up, and Ivey is so very excited to give it to her sister for Christmas.  Precious.

Just Some Pictures

Friday, December 16, 2016

Wrapping Up Semester 1

Our first semester of the school year has come to an end!  All four of these kids are doing a great job, and it is so cool to see each of their individual strengths and weaknesses when it comes to education.  Olive thoroughly enjoys "school".  She is up before I am in the mornings, and often has already begun her at-home assignments before I even have a cup of coffee.  She and Ivey beg to head to our little classroom early on our in-class days, which is just awesome.  I knew I needed to replicate the experience that the boys had at Inman Hybrid, and I believe the girls are getting just that.  This is the sweetest little class, and they are learning so very much together!  Ivey would much rather be in a completely unstructured at-home environment... routine school work does not come naturally.  With that said, the work itself is a great fit for her, and she shows so much pride when she truly understands the material!  Addison is trucking through the 10th grade like a mack truck.  Although this year's major writing assignment is not his favorite (writing a 12+ chapter novel), he is embracing the challenge.  The other classes seem to just flow with him... and he is just loving it.  He has been going to a study group once per week, which I am using more as a social-skill training session than an academic one.  Each week we are talking about things he can do to improve the interaction with peers, and I believe this has been an excellent experience for him!  Asa has a more typical outlook toward school; he loves the social aspect, and the learning is just something he has to get done.  He's been working hard to get his grade back to up all A's, and he's getting close.  I'm so very pleased that he gets to grow and work through all of the social ups and downs of middle school within this little group at Konos!  There are around 20 students in his class, and there are 2 other classes around the same size that meet on different days.  Because he was in the Tuesday class last year, he knows a wider pot of students than before.  Since they all get together for the play, it was a super fun experience for him! 

Semester 2, here we come!

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Recital Time

Dog Fail.

Wow.  I had a total fail this morning.  I had made an appointment to take our two amazing (and huge) Karakachan to get neutered.  I had to leave the house at 7am in order to get them there on time... which meant I had to start attempting to get them into the truck by about 6:20.  These sweet dogs are working dogs.  They take their job very seriously.  These are not your typical pet dog... they have an independent nature.  The breed is a breed of problem-solvers.  Karakachan are guardians, and they think on their feet.  Following commands is not typical for them.  Sure, mine will "come", or "sit"... but only if it makes sense for them.  If they feel it is not the right time, or that their charges are not in the right place, or if they sense any sort of danger, they will not sit.  They will not come.  They are simply amazing creatures, and I am thankful for these characteristics that the good Lord gave them.

These things that make them great also make them impossible on days such as today... when I need to crate them and get them into the truck.  I woke up all four kids at 6:15, and by 6:25 we were standing in a pasture.  The dogs come and eat every single morning in the same place.  They come into a little chain-link area so that they can eat without other animals trying to steal their food.  (I have watched them on many occasion allow guineas or chickens to steal their food... and the dogs just walk away!)  On this morning, however, they must have FELT that something was different.  We were out there hours earlier than normal, and it was dark.  There were more of us out there than typical.  The dogs simply would not come anywhere near.  They actually stared at us and marched to the very back of the pasture... and sat.  They would not budge.  They would not trust.  We were stuck.

After 30 minutes of trying, I realized this was not going to work.  I had to call and reschedule our appointment.  I called around to ask if there were any vets that were used to livestock guardians and might have suggestions.  I was left with some silly suggestions from receptionists that were obviously unfamiliar with working dogs.  So, I am still stuck. 

I moved the crates into the area where to dogs eat... and hopefully they will get the hang of them being around.  I plan to try my best to stay "normal" the morning of the next appointment... and see if we can get them crated.  They are 11 months old, and this should have been done months ago... but here I am!  The next attempt is in early January.  Wish me luck!

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Peter Pan Jr.

Asa survived another Konos Juniors play!  This year, he was an Indian in Peter Pan Jr.  This kid acts all shy and refuses to try out for an actual part, but we all agree that he would be great at it!  Shy or not, he always ends up admitting that he really enjoys the play.  Although the logistics of getting him to practice are crazy, I'm glad he has to participate each year; it gets him out of his comfort zone!