That I have dropped off the face of the Earth, not so! Summer 2012 has come and gone and as usual, much has transpired around here. Here are some of the highlights, the last one of course, being a BIGGIE:
1. We successfully raised our Great Dane puppy, Cobus, to his almost 12th month without any major human injuries, although there were a few close calls. I'm still sporting knee scars from the time he dragged me across the garage floor when I was wearing shorts. He's a big goof and we love him dearly. Most of the time. He's the 'cow-like' creature in the photo below. Here he was about 6 months old over the summer. He sure does like his walks and hikes! Great Danes are HUGE sweeties.
2. We pulled the trigger at the end of May on a major kitchen overhaul to the tune of knocking out walls, pulling down the ceiling and bumping up into the attic, installing brick floors and basically starting from scratch. I'm not certain yet as to whether all the stress is worth it, but I am certain that it's going to be a good working space from which much good food will flow.
And yes, that's Chewie, one of our goats, in the kitchen. He decided to wander in and inspect the work, to make sure it was up to his standards. He also had a nibble of the paper on the sheet rock before Max could corral him and convince him to go back to the barn. The pint-sized Chihuahua also had a thing or two to say about having a goat on the scene.
It's mid-September and we still have a ways to go, but the cabinets are now installed, so it's mostly detail work that lies ahead.
3. Max's dad and aunt did an almost 500 mile bike ride through the Rocky Mountains this summer and Max and I served as volunteers for the tour. It was a week-long adventure of which the coolest moment was seeing a mountain lion!! Wish I had a picture of him for you, but I don't. He jumped out in front of our van as we were traveling between aid stations near Bayfield, Colorado. I was stunned at the fact that we actually saw a mountain lion! He was big, beautiful and I wish him well out there doing what mountain lions do. Hopefully he's not eating any people; we did see lots of deer nearby, so maybe he's doing just fine. Max had a great time schmoozing with the riders at the aid stations and handing out food. He was really in his element!
4. Max turned 13. Enough said!
5. Finally, the biggest announcement...........we enrolled Max in seventh grade in a small charter school. Gulp. Gulp again.
That was pretty much his reaction for the first week of realizing he was going back to school, but over a month in now he is rating his days as an 8 out of 10. A spot opened up in the 11th hour at the school and we decided to try it. In the end, even though I still LOVE and believe in what homeschooling offers a child, I felt Max needed a little gentle exposure into the real world and what the school was offering seemed to be what I was looking for. I do not feel like he has been thrown to the wolves - more like he is co-mingling with a group of kittens at this point. The gentle peer pressure has served Max well - he's doing his homework without being nagged, he's taking willing showers (!), and he's generally being cooperative when it comes to doing what the teacher asks him to do. He likes his classmates, is very good friends with one, in fact, so this all has made for a very positive experience to date.
I feel a little weird posting this news to my ever-passionate homeschooling blog, but even after all the angst I felt about sending him, my intuition is telling me we made a good choice for this year. Homeschooling his 4th, 5th and 6th grade years was a tremendously successful undertaking. I am most happy that he got so much open-ended time to be creative and to follow his interests during those years. I treasured having him home and watching him make connections, watching him mature. I have had a blast researching all the neat things available to aid in learning; hence my blog!
Even my mom said homeschooling him during that time was a good choice. He has so many interests and has had time to pursue them. He is considerate, easy to hang out with and he loves animals. He had some breathing room to just be.
I am still going to continue to post about interesting schooling items, thoughts, and reflections, if you'll still have me.