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Monday, July 13, 2015

Menu Plan: July 12 - 18

We are back from our busy trip for the funeral. We were able to take a little trip back "home" for Yasmina's birthday to make up for traveling to a funeral over her birthday. We had a great party at one of our favorite restaurants, where they gave her free ice cream and sang to her and had a perfect time for a newly minted seven year old. The funeral was in my hometown, so we stayed with the kids' godfather, and ran into some people I went to school with, some by happy accident, and some on purpose. It was great to reconnect with some people, and my favorite part was when a woman was completely unfazed by how many children we have. She neither exclaimed about us being crazy nor saints. We did also get to see both of our mothers and had tremendous meals everywhere we went. On our return, we were able to go to church at a parish in our communion, had lunch there after liturgy, then headed back home. It was kind of a whirlwind trip. There was not a single day that we could sleep later than 6:30 a.m. And we were in two states, five cities/towns in five days, not counting the many we drove through as well. We only spent two nights in Eugene, so some of those towns we hit in a single day.

So, now we're back, and I'm trying to wait to get our produce shopping done until the Farmers' Market on Saturday, so I'm using a limited amount of fruit and vegetables that we had at home as well as some frozen, so I don't have to shop in the interim. I will have to do a little shopping, and I'm sending a few of the kids to pick blueberries at our neighbors' who have a u-pick farm tomorrow. We were slammed into real life here, as Rich had to head straight to work and Jerome started his second baseball camp today. We did come home to some excellent news. We knew that Alexander had placed where we thought he would for math immediately after his exams last week, they told him right away, but they said he'd get an e-mail to tell him where he placed (or if he didn't) for English. We checked today and saw that he placed in college level English on his first try, even though the essay was something that he was nervous about and was hard for him to complete in time when he was practicing. We are so proud of him, and I feel vindicated in how I've been teaching them. Since he's the trailblazer for his siblings, this means they all are probably going to have an easier time than he did, since they saw what he needed to do and heard how we went over things for the exam preparation. He knows what he wants to study, and he will be able to finish his high school education at home, receive a diploma from our little academy, and also receive an FAA certification and his Associate's Degree. Since this course of study is his career goal as well, it means that at age 19 or 20, he can be ready for a good paying job in a field he wishes to be in, and any further education he pursues will be strictly for his own edification. I know he wants to be ready to offer a home and support for a family one day not too far in the future and this is an excellent way to do it. Honestly, the choice he's made means that with his Associate's, he'll be able to start in a well paying job - better paying than many university graduates can get - with no loans to pay off, and in the field he loves. We are so thrilled for him, and happy that he has set these goals for himself.

Anyway, after this week, we have a bit of a break until August when Amira will have more ballet intensives. She and Elijah may be taking a couple weeks at godparent camp this summer, too. We have to work out the schedule for that. I'm looking forward to having more time at home to get some things organized, do some preserving, and have some fun studying and learning with the kids. In the meantime, we will be taking advantage of our town's opportunities for free children's and family movies, using our family pass to the pool that the kids' godparents gave us for Christmas to cool off and have fun, and doing some of the free summer bowling at the local bowling alley. There is a lot of garden work to be done as well, and some projects around the house and property that we need to complete. Also, Rich and I have two dances to look forward to in the next two weeks, one that we host with a lesson at the beginning, and one at a Latin Jazz concert which is, conveniently, on my birthday. This Wednesday will be the 21st anniversary of our first meeting at a dance, so it is appropriate that we should have those opportunities coming up now.

Remember that the Psalms are according to eastern numbering in our daily Bible reading, also I Kings is the original designation, it is I Samuel in western Bibles (II Kings is II Samuel in the west, III Kings is I Kings, and IV Kings is II Kings, I Ezra is also called I Esdras in other translations, II Ezra is often translated as Ezra or II Esdras).

What is on your menu this week? If you want a recipe, ask and I will provide it as soon as I can. If there are any starred recipes, I will follow up separately with a weekly recipe round up.

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