Keep On Keepin’ On

I think it’s very true that the older we get the faster time passes. This week, however, someone turned on a warp drive for me. It was Sunday morning and now suddenly it’s Friday. Oh, but a lot of good things have gone on — would you like to see some of them?

First, I announced the winners of the Socks with Sarah May Challenge. What this boiled down to for me is a fair bit of directing email traffic. I had this image of myself like a police officer with white gloves & a whistle, waving this message forward and sending it on to its final destination with a shop, compiling that message into a draft for a shop with multiple winners. All the while, I carefully marked my master list in my own special hieroglyphics to be certain I knew exactly where each winner was in the process.

20140606-071646-26206801.jpgIt looks like a mess, but it totally worked wonders for my sanity. I am happy to report that as of this morning every winner is accounted for and the process of distributing prizes is fully underway. Hooray!  Thanks for all the kind words & notes I’ve received and to the wonderful sponsors who’ve been so on-the-ball getting prizes in the post. This giveaway could not have gone any better and for that I’m very, very thankful!

While this was happening, I managed to accompany my son’s class on a field trip to a local cave. I’m not going to lie to you, caves really kind of freak me out. But my son wanted me to go, so I sucked it up and went. Of course, the science of caves is fascinating and amazing and so so cool that suspending that irrational fear of being weirdly underground doesn’t take too much effort.

20140606-072018-26418682.jpgI only snapped a couple of photos as I was busy counting to five all day. When I chaperone field trips, I spend most of the day just counting the kids in my group to be sure I don’t lose one. Does everyone do this, or is it just me? I realize with 8 and 9-year-olds it’s pretty unlikely one will just wonder off, but it’s like my greatest fear that I’ll lose one.

caveWhile I’ve been in caves before, I’d never been to the Cave of the Mounds. It’s a relatively small cave tour compared with those I’ve been on before, but it is still very neat & perfect for a group of third graders.

Other random things I learned on this trip:

1) School buses should be classed as ‘water-resistant’, not waterproof.

2) Some kids get really worked up if their shoes get wet from wet grass.

3) There are children who apparently have never been on a nature trail before (I was seriously asked, “Why is this trail made of dirt?” [as opposed to concrete]).

4) 55 third graders, even little angel children, in a gift shop is a nightmare of mine.

5) Teachers are amazing people who deserve hefty bonuses when they take kids of field trips.

All in all, it was a great day. Somehow, despite torrential rains on the trip down, the weather could not have been more beautiful for our picnic lunch & the drive back.  I give so much credit to my son’s teacher — all 3 of the third grade teachers there actually — for the fact that those 50+ kids were so well behaved and it was such a fun day.

At home, my husband’s back was out, so instead of our usual galavanting on his day off, there was more of this…

20140606-070533-25533692.jpgAnd some of this…

20140606-070535-25535206.jpgOh, and a fair bit of this…

20140606-070530-25530925.jpgMore on those last two photos soon, I promise.

I also received this amazing little treat in the mail — a skein of Blue Sky Alpacas Extra in the Black Swan colorway.

20140606-070532-25532474.jpgI cannot yet put into words how to describe it accurately.  Squishy to the max. Softer than the softest… anything. Trust me though when I say if you can get your hands on this yarn you should. It’s one of those yarns that I don’t even need to get it on my needles to know it’s going to be completely fabulous.

With all the emailing, spinning, knitting, and attempting to describe how amazing the Blue Sky Alpacas Extra is, somehow I managed to carve out just a few hours to disappear. School ends Tuesday here and since we will be homeschooling both children next year, this was kind of the last time for a while that getting away would be easy for me. My amazing friend and I managed to find a time we were both free (this in itself is pretty much a miracle) and made a plan to go kayaking on the Horicon Marsh while the kids were in school yesterday.

20140606-070529-25529548.jpgSince I recently put my iPod through the washing machine (I know — don’t say it! I’m absolutely sick about it!), I was wary to take my phone out while on the water so this is my lone photo from the day — our delicious picnic lunch. While you can see it could not have been a more perfect day, this photo is a total fail in that it doesn’t include the whole scene, the most important part of the day — the second boat & the lady who was in it!  We paddled on water that was so calm it was like glass, glided right past a bald eagle, watched cormorants feast on fish, and even spotted a peregrine way high up in the sky. With this perfect breath of fresh air — both literally and figuratively — I’m all set to keep on keepin’ on, no matter at what speed life is moving.

12 responses to “Keep On Keepin’ On

  1. How wonderful you are going to homeschool your children next year. I homeschooled our son from Grade 7 through high school and graduation. I loved every moment of it as it allowed me to learn too and forged a bond between us that will never break. I found John Holt’s work on unschooling to be the best lessons in living. Ben learned to explore what he wanted to know deep down and in depth. A wonderful experience!

    • Thanks for your kind words! We’ve talked about homeschooling for years and this just happened to be the ‘right’ time for both our kids for completely different reasons. These last couple weeks of school have been tough with a lot of good-byes and a lot of tears as we’re very close with the teachers at the kids’ school, but at the same time it has been so heart-warming to see just how loved the kids are by their teachers and friends. We have our outline for our curriculum all set to go for next year — I’m excited to see where this adventure takes us!

      • So many places! We visited the Detroit Art Museum, the Detroit Public Library where Ben volunteered, any and all cultural places we could go. We took him to Paris at the age of 17 and he studied graphic design in Canada ……… and graduated with flying colors. It is such an adventure and it is so rewarding.

      • That does sound amazing!

        We have a whole day each week of our schedule devoted to hands-on field days — there will be no shortage of adventure here, I’m sure!

  2. You will LOVE homeschooling! Maybe not every day. LOL There will be days where you want to jab your knitting needles into your eyes, as well as theirs, but those days are rare. My son graduated last year with only spending one year in public school & my daughter, who’s never gone to school, graduates this year. Homeschooling them has been a fun & rewarding experience for each of us. Just remember to breathe & when all else fails, bake. Or knit. 🙂

    • As I just said in another comment, these last couple weeks have been very emotional as we are very close with our school’s teachers, but we feel very good and VERY excited to be taking this step. It just feels right for our kids at this point.

      And yes, I fully intend to have my knitting within arm’s reach at all times, just in case. 😉

  3. Loved this post. A great reminder that even when moving at warp speed, it is still important to stay connected to family, friends and mother nature.

  4. Thanks so much for recognizing that teachers work hard! That is rare here in our state!
    You will love homeschooling. I homeschooled my daughter for a semester of 8th grade, and it was one of the best experiences of my life. Wish I could have have done, but being a single mom is limiting!

    • Oh, my gosh — teachers are AMAZING. I literally don’t know how they do it!

      I am the first to admit that we are lucky to even have the option to homeschool. I know many would love to be able to, but need to work or how other commitments. We are lucky that it’s worked out for us!

  5. Your field trip to Cave of the Mounds sounds a lot like ours to Luray, especially the kids’ reactions. The only difference is that mine were middle schoolers!

    • Awesome! I’ve been on a number of field trips over the last 5years and this was by far one of the best just in structure of the program & awe-factor. 🙂

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