Friday, November 6, 2015

Wrapping Up October, Beginning November

I always love living in East Tennessee, but October is simply breathtaking here. This has been one of the prettiest falls I can remember. Then again, I think I say that every year. There may be lots of leaf pictures randomly thrown into this post.

{Like this one.}

October brings a semi-annual Court of Honor for our Boy Scout troop. Duncan received several merit badges and two special awards. One is the 50-miler patch, which he received for hiking 50 miles in one trip (Philmont) plus ten hours of service. He also received an Honor Guard patch for volunteering with HonorAir Knoxville, which takes veterans to Washington D.C.

Fall break happened in mid-October, and that just really throws us off. It's so very hard to get back into the swing of things after luxuriating in days without regular activities. I sat on my beautiful sunporch a lot and looked at the leaves.

We have finished reading and discussing The Crucible in American lit. The kids really liked it, and they had fun acting out various scenes. I finally got all the essays graded for my two lit classes and exams graded for my history class. I have to admit: I'm looking forward to the day when I no longer have lesson plans to do! I wholeheartedly adore teaching. But grading? Blech. Like all teachers, I wish I didn't have to.

{On that note, here are some more leaves. Leaves are so much more pleasant than grading.}

The end of October always brings our Soup and Pumpkin Party. We've been doing this for 11 years now, and it's always the highlight of our fall. This year was especially lovely because Laurel and Daniel came home from college for it!

We had a lovely weekend, highlighted by a last-day-of-October hike in the Smokies. The weather was perfect, the leaves were at peak, and I don't think I've ever seen Spruce Flat Falls quite so magical.

Photo cred: Tamyra Parks

Photo cred: Tamyra Parks

It was so lovely to have our girl home for the weekend. I really like this college-only-three-hours-away thing. I was 14 hours away from home when I was in college and only went home at major breaks. I'm happy to get to see my girl a lot more than 3 times a year!

And now we're back to normal this week—whatever that means. I think we're fairly caught up on school work, although I have, as always, a lot of grading to do. Duncan is taking all his classes except for algebra 2 at our co-op. The first few weeks were grueling as we adjusted to a heavy workload, but I think we've figured out a good schedule for the most part. The biggest adjustment has been doing about 6 solid hours of school at least a couple of days each week— but doing it that way allows us a couple of easier days with lighter work to do.

Tomorrow evening my history class is coming over to watch the movie Lincoln, and next week my lit class is coming over to watch The Crucible. The following week our history class is taking a field trip to Stones River National Battlefield in Murfreesboro, and then we'll be on Thanksgiving break with only two co-op classes left until Christmas break!

And that's what's happening as we head into the last weeks of this semester. I'm ready for cooler temperatures, warm blankets, and another long break!

Linked up with the Hip Homeschool Hop, the Weekly Wrap Up, and Collage Friday