What a cozy weekend! Longtime friends Rosa and Dan brought two-month-old Nolan on his first visit to Temecula. I love spending time with all three of them.

For lunch, the kiddos and I made lemon roasted chicken with homemade croutons to sop up the juice, sweet potatoes with sauteed sweet apples on top, roasted broccoli with cherry tomatoes, and for dessert a gingerbread served with peppermint ice cream. By the way, Dryer’s peppermint ice cream is our new favorite thing. I am not usually a minty ice cream person, or indeed, an avid eater of mint generally (although at times I do enjoy it, such as in iced tea). This peppermint ice cream, however, is delicious. It tastes exactly like a candy cane (and I do like candy canes). Katie suggested we try it with chocolate sauce, and she was right: that is a winning combination, too.










Rosa cuddles her baby

The one-handed mom lunch! Amazing how we adapt…

Dan… being watched by Harry?

I really appreciated my time with my friends. I wish we lived closer, or that we could beam down into each others’ houses. What a blessing it has been to get to see them so much recently.

In other extremely happy friend news… Another of my best friends from high school, Steve, welcomed his new baby daughter last night at 11:00. Little Abigail Rose is absolutely beautiful.

Today Katie and Eric and I started working on our lantern project, a craft born out of some Victorian traditions I was reading about in regard to the celebration of Martinmas (which would be this coming Friday). The lantern project takes three days to complete, because two of the stages require drying time. We’ll see how this turns out—my mom and I were laughing on the phone tonight because I have to find a way to light the lanterns, which get several coats of oil, without turning them into blazing fire hazards. I need to locate some battery operated tea lights for our lanterns really to work. This may or may not turn out to be one of our better crafting ideas…

We all had fun painting on our watercolor paper with our paints, though. Mr. Eric certainly liked using the paintbrush! He always wants to be involved in whatever his sister is doing, and that is not always easy to accommodate. Hurrah for projects that both of them can do!

We also spent time with our mineral rock kit when Eric was asleep. Katie was so excited for this! She used her magnifying glass, streak plate, and nail to make observations about the rocks. We talked about color, luster, and hardness, and we made notes in our field notebook and then tried to use the provided key to determine which rocks were which. When we have the chance, we want to collect some rocks from our yard and see what we can observe about them.

I still remember vividly the days we spent in 3rd grade with a guest teacher guiding us through our rock kits. I loved it, too. Katie and I are hoping that Santa brings us the igneous rock kit next. There is so much beauty in just a single rock. We loved the quartz, of course, yet the magnetite and the gypsum varieties were gorgeous, too.

Finally, I introduced Katie to analogies today. We have a book of spatial/pictorial and number analogies we are going to be working through. Before we started the book, however, I explained what analogies are, and I gave her a few orally to see if she understood:

Mommy : Uncle David :: Katie : _____ (Eric)

Harry Potter : Gryffindor :: Draco Malfoy : ______ (Slytherin)

Eric : August :: Katie : __________ (October)

She answered all three of these immediately, without hesitating. I thought the third one might stump her, as it features a slightly more abstract relationship. She really, really liked this game. We took a pause from it to work through the first mind puzzle in her math analogy workbook. It featured shapes, and she needed to draw the answer. She thought it was fun.

Over dinner, she asked, “Can we do more of those comparisons?” So I gave her a few more analogies, among which:

Human : home :: spider : __________ (web)

Cat : the letter “c” :: dog : ____________ (the letter “d)

She figured both of these out right away, too. In the case of the latter one, I was thrilled she could visualize the words in her head.

And then during bath time, she asked for more:

Eric : “The  hills are alive/with the sound of music” (I sang it) :: Katie : _________ (She sang, “Raindrops on roses/and whiskers on kittens”—she knew the relationship here was “our special songs”)

Gingerbread latte : Starbucks :: apricot lamb chalow : ________ (Pamir)

She thought the last one was amusing, as she is beginning to see that anything can be constructed into an analogy. She did try making up some of her own, but that proves much more difficult for the time being. 😉

“Analogies” is now our favorite new game. Again, I am finding that turning some of our lessons into verbal games helps so, so, so much when my hands need to be occupied with my fifteen-month-old. Homeschooling moms that manage lessons for three kiddos or more, you are full of superpowers. I am still working through the challenge of meeting the needs of a younger sibling. Any advice and tips are welcome, especially for those of you who have years of experience!