Monday, October 25, 2010

Catching Up

So.  I'm one round from being done with the gusset decreases on sock #1 of a pair of "Sunday Swing" socks, knit on US0 needles with 72 stitches.  I tried the sock on and the heel flap on these socks is very tall, which means that if you have a high instep towards your ankle these socks will fit very well.  I do, so that's a good thing!

We've begun having a math test every Friday.

Last Friday was the Homecoming parade for the university here.  I ended up with the Republican party contingent near the front of the parade, the boys were with the pro-life entry towards the middle, and a little further back was Velvet with the riding stables.  After I finished the route I walked back up the street twice and walked back down with the kids.  I have been to every single parade here in the past 4 years, and have only sat and watched once - the rest of the time I have been walking with one entry or another.

We had our second "Culture Club" meeting last week too.  Our country was Canada; the other mom whose idea it was to have this neato group is from Alberta, and she had all kinds of books to look at and even some Canadian money for the kids to see.  We had salmon, crepes with broccoli filling and cheese sauce, fresh rhubarb and blueberries, and cheese beer bread for our covered-dish lunch.  Lightning McQueen did a short presentation on sports played in Canada (complete with a drawing of a hockey rink) and Velvet told us about Candian wildlife.  Next month our country is Kenya; we wrote the names of countries the kids would like to study on slips of paper and drew from a bowl.

Oh, I did mention I'd post about Cantor School in a previous post.  Our Church has a course for prospective Cantors (or anyone who wants to learn to sing our services well) that began in September at our Archeparchial seminary in Pittsburgh.  It meets five Saturdays per academic year for four years, and there is an additional component of Reader Instruction that meets six weeknights per semester at a parish in the Pittsburgh area.  I'm taking the Reader course this fall also and we're halfway through - I'm not so terribly fond of the late nights but I really am learning a lot.  It's definitely worth the time and gas money!

So that's my last couple of weeks......fall is here and we've had some chilly nights (and days, too), the leaves are colorful, and I'll be getting the kids' portraits taken in a couple of weeks.  Also need to get a new furnace filter and make sure all the windows are shut completely (when your house is 100 years old sometimes the windows take a bit of convincing).

Saturday, October 23, 2010

I feel old and I don't even care.

I took Velvet and Lightning McQueen to see "Secretariat" this afternoon.  I remember seeing him win the Triple Crown, ergo the title of this post.  Seems hard to believe that was 37 years ago!
I have no idea whether the entire backstory to Secretariat's success is exactly as presented in the film, but I'd have to say it's more likely true than not, because if you were writing a story about a horse who won the Triple Crown and wanted him to have an interesting history, you'd be hard pressed to come up with anything even close to that of this horse.  The future of the Tweety family, and of the stables where he was foaled, literally rode on Secretariat's back.......and all nearly came to naught at the Wood Memorial, his last outing prior to the Kentucky Derby of 1973, where he only showed (and that poorly).
I think the film is well cast, the characters are believable.  And Disney didn't seem to make any great attempt to "p.c." the characters; a few of them are almost caricatures, they are so typical.  And the acting is good too; I admit to fighting back tears when Penny sits at her daddy's bedside after he's had a stroke, holding his hand as she tells him about her horse and he passes on.
Even though I knew exactly how events in the second half of the movie would transpire, I was not for a minute bored.  I give this movie an enthusiastic thumbs-up, and when it's available on DVD I plan to purchase it for our home video library.

Monday, October 18, 2010


Now I have a little bit of insight about what, exactly, to pray when I come across people who trumpet "I used to be Catholic, but then I became a Christian."

Friday, October 15, 2010

Time Flies.....

whether you're having fun or not.  The past couple of weeks have been crazy busy for us, what with getting into the "new" routine of having the kids' Religion classes on a weekday evening, 4H starting back up, having to buy Lightning McQueen yet another pair of Sunday pants, my going to Cantor School (about which more in a bit) and trying to decide how regimented and scheduled we're going to be with schoolwork.

Rifle Club for Birdman has moved back indoors, so I have a slightly shorter trip to drop him off at the indoor range.  He now brings "his" rifle and equipment home with him after practice, so with all that lying around the house tends to occasionally look as if we're preparing for a raid by the ATF or something.  Add that to the couple of weeks when he had his fake rifle for CAP Color Guard here, and, well.......
I ordered and received his new Algebra I curriculum, which he'll be starting in a week or so.  I may have mentioned earlier that I decided this year to let the kids finish their old math books before jumping into the new books, so I am ordering curriculum as I actually need it, instead of having to remember to have all the funds available for a whole year's worth of curriculum for 3 kids all at once.  So far this is turning out to be quite workable.
I'm waiting on him to make up his mind as to whether he (Birdman) wants to take the Golden Horseshoe test in April.  I would really be thrilled if he did take it, and even more thrilled if he won, but I have made a conscious decision to try very hard NOT to live my life vicariously through my kids. (I was on the GH team for my junior high school back in the day, but my school ended up not sending us to take the test.  Long story.)
He's now into "The Fellowship of the Ring", having finished "The Hobbit" late last week. I think he's actually going to read the whole series this year.

Velvet is volunteering at a horse show on Sunday.  I had to get a green shirt for her, as the stable owner was fresh out of official shirts.  Fortunately I found a nice t-shirt at Michaels that I'm pretty sure is very nearly the proper shade of green, and this way she doesn't have to endure the ignominy of borrowing a polo shirt from one of her brothers.
She continues to plug along at math, although I still have yet to figure out what her real difficulty is.  I know she can do math in her head, because I sneak it in at the grocery store and other places when we are shopping or traveling.  It's just getting tangled up between her brain and her fingers somehow.
She's going to continue doing a horse project for 4H, and also do a cat project (using her grandmother's cats, as Lightning McQueen and I are allergic and we can't have them in the house).  Last year's horse project got a purple ribbon for high Division score, so I'm confident she'll do well this year.

Lightning is still on KP duty.  He did agree to re-do his chicken project on which he fizzled out last year, and also said he'd like to do a dog project - that will be relatively easy, since we of course have chickens and a dog. He's selling eggs pretty regularly, and he and I would both like to add to our flock (is two hens a flock?) in the spring, eventually having six hens.
He's doing fantastic in math, though.  He was pretty well finished with his 4th grade Math book back in the middle of the summer, so when we picked up again after Labor Day, I dug out the Saxon 6/5 book and had him start in that.  He's doing very well, so we'll stick with that for him.
He's reading through some Hardy Boys books right now; I'm not sure if he really enjoys them or he just can't find anything else he'd rather read.

I'm hoping to have a field trip next week, and of course there will be pictures.  They are also going to be in the college Homecoming parade that's coming up.

I've finished the scarf I was knitting for a swap, and have only to dye and block it and it will be ready to send off to my swap partner.  I'm also nearly done with the socks for Baby Juliet, which I need to get cracking on because I need the needles for another pair of socks for me!