We’re knee-deep into fall over here: the weather has cooled significantly, homeschooling is going strong, and our various autumn activities are now in full swing. Fall has historically been my favorite season, and while nearly everything about this year is different, I’m happy for the arrival of something new, and I’m feeling (or *trying* to feel) hopeful about the final quarter of the year. But first, a look back at the month of September.
// READING LATELY //
I had fairly good success with my reading this month, with only one book less than 3.5 stars. This novel about the course of a marriage was easily my favorite read of September. As a new homeschooling parent, I found this book very helpful. This collection of essays was clever and laugh-out-loud funny, and I loved the creative structure of this novel and the unique premise of this one. I’ll be sharing full reviews of all of these books over the next couple of weeks.
// WATCHING LATELY //
Luke and I have mostly given up on television for this season in our lives, but we did manage to finish up the fifth and final season of Fuller House (eighteen episodes watched over the course of four months). This was my least favorite season, mostly because several of the core characters seemed drastically different from previous seasons and also because the stories just weren’t as interesting after the DJ’s final choice of a partner was revealed. There were a couple of cute episodes, though (I LOVED the proposal scene of episode 9), and Candace Cameron Bure continued to win the show for me. I’m glad we saw the series through to the end, but am also glad that the show ended when it did.
My Rating: 3.5 Stars.
// LISTENING LATELY //
I’m sure I’ll eventually do a full update and review on all of the homeschool curriculum I chose for the year. While not all of it has been a good fit, we are LOVING Handwriting Without Tears, particularly the Rock, Rap, Tap and Learn CD that is part of the Kinder curriculum. The songs put music and lyrics to important handwriting concepts, such as starting letters at the top, how to hold a pencil, and formation of specific letters. I’ve been keeping this CD in the car, and Charleston always asks for me to turn it on as soon as we get on the road. The tunes are fun and memorable and have been surprisingly helpful for him as he is learning correct penmanship.
// LOVING LATELY //
I’ve been on a major candle kick lately, and was delighted to stumble across a huge display of Candle-Lite candles at HEB. The large jar candles were on sale for just $3 each so I grabbed a few, and I have been impressed with the quality for the price. Our family’s favorite is Apple Cinnamon Crisp, which has our house feeling like fall even while the temperatures would have us believe otherwise.
// MONTHLY CHARLIE-ISMS //
This month Charleston began his two weekly homeschool programs: an all-day enrichment academy (where he has classes in art, Spanish, Bible, PE, music, and science) on Tuesdays and a half-day sports program for homeschoolers on Wednesdays. I have to admit I was nervous about enrolling him in these programs, as he has never participated in any sort of formal schooling (or any consistent childcare situation where I was not on campus), but he was excited about both classes and has been absolutely LOVING both programs. Although it’s strange to have him gone during the day, I enjoy getting updates from him when I pick him up. We don’t do official homeschool work on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, and it has been nice to have these extracurricular activities to break up our week; and with those mid-week days off, our days learning together at home feel much more special.
I didn’t document my usual number of Charlie-isms this month, but still managed to capture some good ones:
+ When I read him a sign about something being free: “I just love free. I mean, free is one of my favorite things. Free means you don’t have to pay money!”
+ Luke: “I want to go off-roading.” Charleston: “Well I want to go on-roading.”
+ “Mom, you look very old today. When you get to Heaven before me, call me or text me with answers to a bunch of my questions. Like how God can be alive without someone to make him be born.”
+ “I can’t wait to see my friend at school tomorrow. Like they say, it’s not good for man to be alone.”
+ “Mom, you’re not really old. Because when you grow up your voice changes, and your voice is barely changing.”
+ When I explained that the HEB Center near us is not a grocery store but a place to go see live shows: “So you go and watch shows of people shopping?”
// HAPPENINGS AND HIGHLIGHTS //
Our big event of the month was the twins’ FIRST BIRTHDAY! It is impossible for me to believe that they have been part of our family for a full year now, and we had a blast celebrating them this past week. My sister-in-law, Amanda, planned a fun first-year photo shoot and I am just over the moon with how the photos turned out. Even Kali’s refusal to smile couldn’t put a damper on their Disney cuteness!
Because of COVID, we didn’t have a big birthday party for the twins, just a small gathering with family on the day before their actual birthday. Unfortunately, my parents were unable to fly out from California as originally planned due to some health issues, but we were thankful that my in-laws were all able to come over for our little get-together. I had a little *too* much fun decorating for the party (with much help from Charleston, whose sweet enthusiasm for their birthday was positively heart-melting).
Of course, no first-year birthday party is complete without birthday cake! Kali and Sully were a little hesitant to try their cakes at first, but soon caught on to the deliciousness that is SUGAR! Kali enjoyed using her #1 candle (and then also stealing Sully’s candle) as a spoon, while Sully had better luck using the baby spoon to dig in to his cake. I’m positive that more frosting ended up on their bodies than in their mouths, and it was hilarious to watch them play with their desserts. Afterwards Luke hosed them down in the bathtub: it was their first time in a real tub (we still bathe them in their baby tub in the sink) and they were pretty traumatized by the experience; best case scenario is that they associate sugar with bathtime and will indulge moderately in the future, haha!
On their actual birthday, we watched church online, opened presents, FaceTimed with my parents, and got the twins their very first frozen yogurt—per our family tradition of birthday froyo. Sully loved it and Kali wanted to like it, but I think it was too cold for her, so she kept spitting it out. Even though it wasn’t a hit, I’m glad they were initiated into this birthday tradition of ours and I look forward to many (more successful) froyo birthdays with them to come!
September was a FULL month, and as our schedule continues to ramp up this fall, I’m realizing that I need to make some adjustments to my blogging routine in order to make time for other priorities. To that end, beginning next week, I will be dropping my Wednesday and Friday posts, and posting on Mondays and Thursdays instead (I’ll still be sharing a favorite quote each Saturday). My hope is that this lightened blogging schedule will allow me to keep up with this space without feeling overwhelmed by it. Thank you so much to all of my faithful readers for sticking with me through the many seasons of my life and this blog—your readership means the world to me!