Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Another Rainy Day

I don't know how many Pacific Northwesterners are out there reading (hi, neighbors!), but I - for one - find February about the worst month of the year.  It's cold, dark, and wet.  And it's been cold, dark, and wet since October. 

Back in October we didn't mind so much.  We lit our pumpkin spice candles and enjoyed the warm, cozy glow.  We decorated our Christmas trees and celebrated.  But now, with the holidays behind us, six months into the cold-dark-wet with more to come, there's just a whole lot of blah. 

If I had the money, this is when I'd fly the family off to Hawaii every year.  Anywhere warm, friendly, and bright.  But since that's not in the cards, we find other ways to lift our spirits.  Like our annual LOTR marathon.  Tate built himself a pillow palace for comfortable viewing.

Wyatt and Tate have CAP each Tuesday and they're loving it.  In fact, Tate is on another computer right now doing another level of online testing, in hopes of promoting again next month.  (He passed!)  They have PT and inspections tonight, which means they've both been busy.  And if the sight of teenage boys voluntarily doing their own ironing isn't a happy one, I don't know what is ;D

And Gunnar has cause to celebrate too.  He just finished his fourth grade math!  (He IS a fourth grader, btw.)

He's my only one who has been exclusively homeschooled, since we began as he hit Kindergarten. 

I wish I could remember what we actually did each day, back in the beginning, but I only have a handle on some things.  I know we started Story of the World, and went through the whole four-year cycle with all the boys together.  I know we studied Biology together.  And I know I launched the boys into Saxon math. 

Wyatt and Tate were easy, in that I just started them at their grade level.  (Which doesn't exactly translate, btw, as Saxon was WAY ahead of the public school, but it worked out for us and they got caught up.)  But Gunnar... I think we just played around a lot.  Saxon Kindergarten and first grade math both looked way too easy to invest in.  I think I ended up buying the first grade worksheets.  We started cherry-picking through them midway through his Kindergarten year, and he's been 'off-cycle' ever since.  Which is why he's already finishing his math for this year, with another fifteen weeks of school yet to go.

He had a brief moment of delirious joy, imagining that he didn't have to do math for the rest of the year, which is kind of ironic, since he's so good at it.  But his unreasonable teacher (aka Mom) is cruelly forcing him to start his fifth grade math tomorrow.  Which, actually, he's pretty glad to do.  There are a couple nice things about being off-cycle like this.  One, it's like having extra time in the bank if we need to slow down and take more time to master a difficult concept.  Also, we can whiz through the first five or ten (or twenty) lessons, which are intended to bring kids back up to speed after a summer break and are mostly review. 

Sweet :D

Hey, you've gotta find things to celebrate in the blah days of winter.


Felicity said...

Well done, Gunnar!!

It always seems funny to hear you talk about it being cold and dark, and I'm longing for rain and cool weather because it's just SO hot here. (And sunny and bright...) ;-)

Maybe we should trade places for a while??

Rebecca D said...

We do not get the rain here that you do (actually I don't think anyone get the rain you do...) but this year we have had very little (translation: almost none) so our world is all brown and grey... Yuck... If we are not going to get more snow, I am ready for spring!

Q said...

Just had to laugh. Here we burn candles that smell like rain since we can't enjoy it any other way. The grass is always greener, isn't it? Congrats to Gunnar, LOVE Wyatt ironing, and the pillow palace? Fabulous!

melanie said...

Love, love, Love your laundry room color!!! {I'm the fearless off-white walls sort ` Can I blame my Norwegian heritage? No, it's just their food that's all white. ahem. SOOO boring.}

Yay! for Gunnar :D {Saxon Kdg is super fun... for a 3 or 4yo}

And, could I pretty please with cherries on top borrow Wyatt and his ironing skills??

Herding Grasshoppers said...

Oh Felicity, I was just looking at pics of Australia - remembering the year I spent there and wishing I could take the kids now! The palms, the jacaranda, the sunny brightness...

Rebecca - sorry about the brown. We have a lot of that too, but more green :D

Q - what does a rain-scented candle smell like???

Melanie - I like the laundry room too! It's a deep aqua color. Funny thing is, when we remodeled that's the color the boys wanted to paint the outside of the house. Umm.... no. But inside? Okay :D

dlefler said...

February is the longest shortest month of the entire year - I am always relieved when March comes around! Of course, real spring doesn't start until May around here, but at least March means longer days and the hope of warmer days to come! Congratulations to Gunnar on finishing 4th grade math!

I'm off to light some candles to help bring a little sparkle to a very, very gray day!

The dB family said...

Ooooooh! I love celebrations like this!! The blue! The blue in the room where Wyatt is ironing. That's our girls' bathroom blue! It's so refreshing!