As our year goes on, we are settling more and more into the "relaxed" mode which seems to fit our family pretty well. A case in point is the last two weeks. We had many committments, Andy had to be out of town, and then we wanted to make a Labor Day visit to see Grandma and Grandpa. While I could have seen this as a "break" and gotten frustrated at not being able to accomplish what I had planned, instead I viewed it as a less academic period and we got everything packed, social occasions were attended to, and Katydid taught a few of our friends how to take care of the chickens while we were gone. When we came home, we had time to gear back up, go grocery shopping, and help another homeschooling family move back into area (from Alaska!)
So this was not really "a break". It was a time simply less bookwork-focused. And we managed, as a family, to listen to The Magician's Nephew, part of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, and part of the Focus on the Family dramatization of The Screwtape Letters as well. (Gareth also managed some personal study of the Teaching Company's Story of Language course, and listened with his father to a CD from The Story of Philosophy, which is what Andy is listening to on his commute these days.)
Other activities from the past week or so:
- Mass, Confession, and a class on the Latin Mass with our homeschool group, followed by lunch and play afterwards
- Voice lessons for Katydid. She started these in August and loves them. We're both very happy with her teacher.
- Volunteering at an animal shelter for an afternoon with Katydid, Farmerboy, and a large group of kids. We walked and bathed dogs. Some of the parents cleaned kennels. On the way home, we had an interesting discussion about animals and theology, and whether we could put an animal shelter in our barn. (Ummm... probably not. Although we are currently a halfway house for our neighbor's escaped bunnies, of which they have many. Their escapees hang out with our chickens. One of them, a big black rabbit, has been christened "Midnight Ninja". I'm sure the way he lounges around eating chicken feed and halfheartedly hopping out of your way is just a clever disguise.)
A little serendipity, too... When we were visiting the grandparents, we went to Mass at the little church where I grew up. The regular priest did not say Mass; instead, a Benedictine monk from St. Bernard Abbey in Cullman, Alabama said Mass. Everyone was very impressed with his homily (although I did not hear it myself, since I was walking around outside with a baby). Later that week, after we were home again, Andy was watching Life on the Rock on EWTN with Gareth when we all suddenly realized that they were featuring the same monks on their show! And one of the brothers who appeared as a guest was the very priest who had said Mass in our little church on Sunday. It turns out that he is the vocations director for the abbey.
So... hmmm... what are the odds?