Sunday, February 18, 2018

Midwinter Break

Wednesday right after we got back from Utah was Valentine's day.  We were so pooped from the trip that we didn't really do anything to celebrate, but we got packages with treats and cards from Grandma and Grandpa Knight and the Campbell cousins.  Thanks guys!
 Jared's school had midwinter break this week, so Jared went to one day of school after a week of travel, and then he was on break.  We still do school at home, but the morning schedule is a little less rigid.  Sometimes school happens on the bathroom floor because Mom needs a shower, and five year old's proximity sensors were sounding, so he has to be close to Mom. 
On Thursday afternoon our car battery had a catastrophic failure.  I left the kids listening to an audiobook for a few minutes while I dropped something off for Rebecca.  When I got back in the car, the audiobook had turned off, and the car wouldn't start.  It was pretty obvious that it was the battery.  Fortunately, the Christensens live one block away from Google, so Todd came over to help me charge the battery while the kids went inside to play.  Poor Rebecca has hardly been out of bed in three days because she has been so sick with a cold and being seven months pregnant.  I felt bad that we were crashing in on them.  The battery wouldn't charge.  We tried charging for half an hour and managed to get enough juice to turn the radio back on, but the battery needed to be replaced.  Funnily enough, my first thought was to be grateful that we broke down in such an ideal place.  Todd could walk over to help out, the kids were occupied with their friends, the Christensens had a car we could borrow to get to the store for another battery, and Rebecca even had dinner in the crock pot to share.  I made biscuits.  Battery replacement was going slowly, so Todd drove us home and I put the kids in bed, and, when the battery strap had to be replaced, but it was too late to get a new one,  Cambell drove Todd home.  Todd went to work on Friday, and walked over to finish the repairs during lunch.  
 We learned about the invention of the steam engine and interchangeable parts for history this week.  We read a book, "The Ox Cart Man" by Donald Hall, about life in America before industrialization, and then we painted wood scraps to imitate early nineteenth century wood painting.  I finally found a solution to the problem of fitting all eight of my students around the table.  I had them paint in shifts.  The five and two year olds painted first while the older kids did a writing activity, and then they traded, or filled in empty spaces at the table as they completed their other assignments. 
 We hadn't gotten groceries since we got home from our trip.  We came home with half a gallon of milk, and then I wanted to get the refrigerator cleaned out before I filled it with food, and then the car stopped running when the grocery store was our next errand, so Friday afternoon we had a grocery adventure.  The kids put on their backpacks and we hiked through the rain to the grocery store for milk, eggs, and a few other things to get us through the weekend.  We all thought it was a jolly adventure.  The rain lightened up for us, and the kids even helped carry groceries without complaining, since our grocery bags were in the car, and carrying home paper grocery bags in the rain seemed foolish. 
 On Saturday Woodland Park Zoo had a birthday bash for Chinta, one of their orangutans which is turning 50, so, after chores, we went to the zoo.  The warthogs were more sociable than usual. 
 We got cake pops and orangutan trading cards at the orangutan exhibit, and saw a lot of other animals.  B and Eloise took turns riding around like lambs on a shepherd. 
 The day was warmer than I expected it to be.  Jared was pretending that this boat was being tossed back and forth by waves. 
 My little spiders. 
 Sammy used the tractor gear shift as a microphone. 
We got home in time to go to an open house for a house on our block that is for sale.  Does anyone want to be our neighbor?  Decide soon.  This house is going to be sold within a week. 

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