7:30 a.m. My husband and I woke up. He went out to walk the dogs and I turned on FoxNews to see what was going on in New Hampshire. I always wait to take my shower until he's taken his because I have a lot of long, thick hair to wash (twice) and rinse and condition, and it takes up a lot of hot water. So I always get to wake up in a gradual way that doesn't set my teeth on edge, especially if I haven't slept well the night before.
8:30 a.m. I woke the girls up. They got dressed, went downstairs and got whatever they wanted to eat for breakfast. They often have a peanut butter or turkey sandwich and a glass of milk, but I also keep a cute basket filled with individual packets of instant oatmeal for Aisling. Aisling says she can only eat oatmeal if we have extra raisins to put in it, but I forgot to buy some at the store, so it's looking like a turkey sort of day to me.
9:00 a.m. By nine o'clock, both girls are upstairs with their math books, clamoring for help with problems. I think they do this on purpose. We spent mucho dollars to buy them the Saxon D.I.V.E. CD-ROMs, but for some reason, I am always their first source for math help. Never mind the fact that I still count on my fingers and never can remember what 8+6 is. Today, Meelyn is involved in a minor pre-algebra skirmish and Aisling is wrestling with a review of fractions, both dividing them and figuring their prime factors. I help her, but end up raising my voice when she tells me with complete conviction that 2x4 is 12. Even I know that 2x4 is 16. Or something.
10:00 a.m. Aisling is still struggling with math problems and I'm really irritated with her. She is making this prime factorization SO MUCH HARDER than it has to be. Meelyn has finished her math and has gone on to do her English assignment, which deals with pronouns. She also whizzes through Exercises A, B and C in her Wordly Wise vocabulary book, catching herself up from Monday. While they work, I catch up on some emails and write the blog post below about the Mini Marathon training.
11:00 a.m. Aisling is still doing math. Yes, I know. Meelyn elects to cook our lunch and she decides to fix pizza bites, one of our favorites.
11:30 a.m. Aisling finally finishes her math. FI. NAH. LEE. They eat off tray tables in the living room, watching an episode of Hannah Montana. I shut myself in the kitchen for a moment of solitude with my pizza bites and a talk radio program, still interested in hearing the results of the New Hampshire primary.
12:00 p.m. Meelyn makes copies of the latest social studies/geography assignment and gets started on today's state. The second page of the assignment is a puzzle, the kind the girls always complain about, but still seem to enjoy doing. To our surprise, the puzzle, which is supposed to spell out something like "Rhode Island Red" contains a mistake. Nice. Very nice.
12:15 p.m. Aisling finally kicks it in gear and plows through her vocabulary, English and social studies/geography assignments. The girls study their HISTO for awhile; Round 3 is coming up on February 7.
12:15-1:00 p.m. We take down all the Christmas decorations except for the Nativity scenes (the shepherds and wise men are all loitering about the premises.) The house looks just horrible. Horrible. Many red Rubbermaid tote boxes are stacked in the dining room and living room, awaiting their trip down to the basement. The tree looks forlorn and slightly embarrassed. There are pine needles sprinkled about like confetti.
1:00 p.m. We all sit down to do some reading: The girls have to finish The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and this counts as their reading assignment for today. With only five subjects accomplished today has been very "lite" in terms of school work. Tomorrow we'll be back to the usual stuff, adding in reading comprehension and thinking skills, health, science and other subjects. I try never to have them do more than eight subjects per day -- I find that we tend to get a little hit-or-miss when too much is assigned, because in their haste to get finished, they tend not to work as carefully. Eight subjects is enough for middle schoolers, I believe.
Tomorrow, we're also starting a new course on the ways and workings of the United States government, including how we elect a president.
2:00-3:00 p.m. The girls relax and have fun, doing whatever they want to do, checking their email and playing with their Webkinz on the computer.
3:00 p.m. We all sit down together to play Pounce, which is a really fun and fast moving card game. I win, although it is a very close game. We all disperse to attend our separate activities.
My husband is due home at around 5:30. We're having chili for supper, which is a good thing because it is fast and easy to fix. I have a Monday-ish sort of feeling (probably because Monday and Tuesday were so full of friends and fun and this is our first day back of actual grinding schoolwork, hence the easy schedule) and have no energy to peel a potato, let alone mix a meatloaf.
I collapse on the sofa with my book and wonder feebly how vacation went by so quickly. Wimzie jumps up next to me and settles down, her warm, furry body pressed against my leg. I cover both of us up with a cozy throw. We sleep just a teeny bit, but don't tell anyone.
Tuesdays with Dorie: Baking Chez Moi - Cranberry Crackle Tart - The second recipe for Tuesdays with Dorie is Cranberry Crackle Tart, found on pages 135-137 of Dorie Greenspan's Baking Chez Moi book. Dorie has also publish...
13 hours ago