Sunday, July 25, 2010

Our Quiet Growth

 This has been a real summer.

Do you remember those summers with no huge obligations? Summers that weren't super busy? Summers where you played flashlight tag, smelled like bug spray/sun screen and just hung out with friends?

We have been having that kind-of summer. Mostly. Lucky us.

La familia has gardened, cooked, swam, worked on the garage, watched entirely too much t.v., conversed, dined and just wandered off to be alone for long periods of time. It has been a summer of quiet growth..and in our growth (both individually in our relationships with each other) our desires for this next year are becoming clearer and clearer.

Now..there has been some craziness. It wouldn't be life without some craziness and panic. Just last week we had Levi in full motion while I was  trying to memorize 20 songs for next weeks Kairos International Conference (not doing this well), preparing for the SAHERO conference (thank you Jo Ann for pinch hitting on the programs!) and some Call Committee meetings for our church. Call Committee meetings..for those who don't know..can be trying at times. Lots of personalities. Lots of opinions. Lots of big hearts. I can't tell you anything else because, like Odyssey projects, they are TOP SECRET. (For a little while, anyway)

But..all in all? A relatively cool summer. This sneaky clarity of ours, all came to light during and after the homeschooling conference. I watched the homeschool graduate panel (of which Brian was one of the members..that was listen to his perspective). As I watched them, it finally hit me, that this part of our lives really is coming to a close. I try not to get too weepy.

Austen is still a sophomore..I still have 3 years with him..sort-of. Because he is planning to spread his wings..soon...with travel (Canada? Australia? Jamaica? Costa Rica?) and community college classes. And after 15 years of homeschooling..3 years is not long AT ALL!

Cody is a senior..Both boys will be starting college classes next year.(as in not this year because -ahem-Mom is not ready - Fall 2011) Austen will begin dual-crediting courses in the culinary arts program at St. Phillips.  Cody will be studying business in Houston, or Austin..or (gasp) New Haven? Brian will continue with graduate studies somewhere. Austin? Boston?

This endless series of ? after various cities and countries reminds us that yes..we have much more growing to go.

We are all sensing that this is our last year together. In the physical proximity sense. The boys are spending more time together. Doing brotherly type things. This is nice to see.

And as our individual and family needs become more and more into focus, we make some strange, unforeseen, decisions.

Number one in strange is No more co-op. Co-ops have been such a huge part of our lives. But we started our homeschooling journey what we called the year of our monastic experience...and we are ending the same way. (only not so monastic..they are teens after-all)

The other decisions..not as drastic. No more Odyssey of the Mind. Each of the boys has had a chance to go to World Finals at least once. They are ready to move on to other things.

Cody will continue to play soccer and fix cars. Nothing more..just study and hang.

Austen will continue as Junior Staff at the Boys and Girls Club and refurbishing ipods. Nothing more. Just study and hang.

So the boys tell me what they want/need to study. What they need to meet college requirements..and I begin planning for my last year in the Parish Ministry Training Program.  And we realize that we will be studying, together, a lot.

Both boys will be studying Economics and Survey of British Lit.and Literary Analysis/Comp together. It has been a LONG time since they studied the same things together. The rest is more individualized:

Cody has decided to study Organic Chemistry. Austen says no science.

Austen will continue with Algebra and start Geometry. Cody? Calculus

Austen wants to study French and Spanish. Spanish is required for culinary studies here in SA..He feels French will be more handy if he moves to Louisiana. He wants to learn both.  Cody says he is done with foreign language.

As for me? I am studying Ethics (again), Worship, and Church the Fall. Will worry about the rest at Christmas.

We have determined these things for logistical reasons..we need to start buying our books..and registration for co-ops is now..we will not be registering. More importantly.letting other families know what we are doing here so they don't plan to co-op important now.

It appears, we will be more structured in our learning than we have in years.


But  now that all decisions have been made, we can return to enjoying the summer for another month.
Next week? We head to the beach!

Yay for summer!

Weekly Menu:
Sunday: Cheesy-corn casserole, twisted garlic bread sticks, marinara sauce
Monday: lasagna, green beans with tomatoes, spinach salad, french bread
Tuesday: dinner at Kairos Conference or veggie tacos
Wednesday: steamed clams, bruschetta on bagel crisps, ginger fruit salad
Thursday: dinner at Kairos Conference or bean and cheese quesadillas with sliced avacado
Friday: Portabella mushroom burgers, summer salad with balsamic vinaigrette
Saturday: Joe's Crab Shack for our anniversary!! (Boys are on their own..leftovers?)

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