Friday, February 22, 2013

Weekly Happenings: Cathedrals, Cupcakes, and Other New Things

This was my fire on Sunday night. Himself laid it for me before he left for his hockey game -- with the girls! -- and I lit it when I was ready to settle down with Downton Abbey. Perfection.

I began working in earnest this week. NEW! It's part-time but still required a schedule revamp. My best bet is to work before the girls rise in the early morning, so that's what I did. The house was quiet, no one called my name, and there were no other distractions (e.g., the telephone). When we began our lessons, I was able to focus entirely on those since I'd already worked that morning.

In our lessons this week:

Augustus Caesar's World: Antony and Octavian triumph over Brutus and Cassius
The Story of the Greeks: the Greco-Persian wars and Pericles banishes Cimon
Explore the Holy Land: Saudi Arabia
The Riddle of the Rosetta Stone: Key to Ancient Egypt: finished up
Archimedes and the Door of Science: his love of mathematics
Animal Farm: "Four legs good, two legs better!"
Plutarch's Lives: Pericles, part five

 In composition this week, the girls added descriptions of places in their historical narratives. They wrote about Ivan IV (AKA, "the Terrible") and St. Basil's Cathedral. This led to research on the cathedral, which is absolutely astounding. I'd love to go to Moscow someday and see it with my own eyes.

On Monday, Tiny Girl entered our bird counts on the GBBC website. We finished up our study of adjectives in grammar; and Tiny Girl learned about estimating with percentages in math. In science, we learned about the four states of matter and how they can change. We added information into our NEW physical science notebooks. We also made notations in our NEW books of centuries. Piano practice continued, with recital pieces in the mix.

For pleasure reading, Tiny Girl read A Good Horse by Jane Smiley; Through the Looking-Glass, by Lewis Carroll; and The White Giraffe, by Lauren St. John. Miss Priss read  Rainbow Valley, by L. M. Montgomery. I am reading Beyond the Spring, a biography of Maine naturalist Cordelia Stanwood, by Chandler S. W. Richmond.

We did other stuff, too.

Miss Priss worked on her LEGO White House.

I tried my hand at papercutting. NEW!

Tiny Girl and I spent a lot of time at the barn. Here she is doing groundwork with the ponies. Tuli is on the left, and Patrick is on the right. They are both flea-bitten greys!

I made cupcakes to take to the barn for Tiny Girl's twelfth birthday tomorrow. I ate so much of that fabulous chocolate buttercream that I feel slightly sick. It was worth it, though.

Here's one Carl Sandburg poem the girls and I enjoyed this week:

Good Night
Many ways to say good night.

Fireworks at a pier on the Fourth of July
      spell it with red wheels and yellow spokes.
They fizz in the air, touch the water and quit.
Rockets make a trajectory of gold-and-blue
      and then go out.

Railroad trains at night spell with a smokestack mushrooming a white pillar.

Steamboats turn a curve in the Mississippi crying a baritone that crosses lowland cottonfields to razorback hill.

It is easy to spell good night.
            Many ways to spell good night.

How was your week?

I'm linking up with some wonderful hostesses. Pop over for a blog-reading bonanza this weekend!

Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers
Collage Friday
No Ordinary Blog Hop
The Homeschool Mother's Journal


  1. So much goodness in your week, Ellen!

    I love Carl Sandburg - we went to his home last year and it was a great trip. We also loved Archimedes and The Door of Science.

    I'm thinking I may have to start watching Downtown Abbey!!!

  2. Hi Ellen, I know you are a Downton Abbey fan so you might like to read this about the house used for the Dowager Countess:

  3. Mary, my girls do not love Carl Sandburg, but they are learning to appreciate him! Robert Frost is more their cup of tea.

    Helen, thanks for the link! I can't wait to check it out.

  4. Every one is talking about Downtown Abby, but I am resisting. So far.

  5. I love your paper cutting project, sp pretty. I nominated you for a blog award

  6. What a very American poem. I do miss the trains' whistles, and summer fireworks.

    We're fans of Downton Abbey as well. I saw Elizabeth McGovern on a talk show here - she's lived in the UK for about 20 years, which I hadn't realised. And she's a singer in a band!

  7. Your home looks like ours. Fires in the fireplaces. Horses everywhere (ours are the neighbors). Country life, Cathedral studies, and home school. Wouldn't trade my faith and family for anything. Beautiful post and a very good week that you shared! Come see me at I am joining the author team at TCC

  8. What a lovely post. Cupcakes, fire, downton abbey, and great pictures...does it get any better. I am featuring you on HammockTracks. Thanks for linking up last week.


I love reading comments! And I appreciate the time you take to leave them. Thanks!