Friday, February 3, 2017

January in Review

1. Laurel went back to college: second semester of her sophomore year. It was hard for me to leave her there, but we had a lovely, long Christmas break. This semester will be an exercise in adjusting to life-after-studying-abroad. She's decided to add a second major (psychology) to her family relations major. It's a natural fit. She's taking 3 psychology/family classes this semester (lifespan, family, and social) plus a couple of her gen ed requirements. She also works 12 hours/week at an elementary school.

2. Dad turned 92. I am so blessed to be able to celebrate yet another birthday with my Dad. I love him so much. Here is is blowing out the candles with great-grandsons Rory and Soren, who shared his birthday cake. And the picture below is of our family's newest ping pong tournament champs: my Randy and my oldest nephew, Owen.

3. Duncan began his Eagle Scout project. His project involves mapping out all the veterans' graves at a large local cemetery. Over the course of two work days, he directed his fellow Scouts (several of them are in the second picture) to find, record, and mark on a map about 500 sites. The next step will be for him to put all of this into a database—and then to write up his project. So, step 1 is done!

4. Speaking of Eagle Scouts, this one submitted his application to graduate school today. He's been working for American Airlines for close to three years now, and he's ready to move on and back into academia for awhile. Don't ask about the large piece of equipment that he brought home. As one of my friends said, "They can graduate the boy out of homeschooling, but they can't take the homeschooler out of a man!" AKA: why let a perfectly good belt loader to to the junkyard when you can have it for free?

5. Bullet journal. Wow. The bullet journal is changing my life! Mine isn't as complex or as detailed as most of the ones I see on Pinterest, but it is working wonderfully for me. I got this blank calendar/journal in my Fair Trade Friday box several months ago, and it is perfect for the bullet journal concept. I have areas for exercises, notes, projects, movies to see, quotes, things I've learned, and, of course, to-do lists and calendar items. I love it.

 6. The Book Thief. Wow, I love teaching The Book Thief in literature class. I'm so excited that my class will get to do my Repurposed Pages project in just a couple of weeks. This is one of my favorite class projects ever, and I can't wait to see what this new crop of students creates!

7. Gatlinburg Fire Recovery Center. Our Appalachian Studies class volunteered at this huge warehouse in January. The place is overflowing with donations for families who lost their homes and businesses in the Gatlinburg wildfire. We had a group of about 30 and did everything from sorting clothes to helping shoppers. It was an amazing set-up, and seeing our community come together in this way is truly inspiring and affirming.

8. Winter campout. Duncan's Scout troop had its annual "winter" campout. Some years it really is cold; this year, not so much. Duncan's wearing shorts and a sleeveless shirt in the photo below. Yep.

9. Book Club. We had our annual Book Club Getaway weekend and chose the books for 2017. Lots of good food and laughter with these wonderful friends of mine. Here's our book list!
February: Where the Heart Is by Billie Letts
March: Shakespeare’s Landlord by Charlaine Harris
April: Songs of Willow Frost by Jamie Ford
May: Same Kind of Different as Me by Ron Hall, Denver Moore, Lynn Vincent
June: My Family and Other Animals by Gerald Durrell
July: The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper by Phaedra Patrick
August:  Hillbilly Elegy by JD Vance
September: Mink River by Brian Doyle
October: Snow Falling on Cedars by David Guterson
November: The War that Saved My Life by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley
December:  Ordinary Grace by William Krueger 
I had read the first one and the last three previously, but that's OK! I don't mind re-reading books if they are worth re-reading!

And... that's January all wrapped up. How was your month?

Linked up with the Weekly Wrap-Up at Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers