Saturday, June 11, 2011

Yesterday II

Yesterday was a pretty typical day at our house.

I spent a bit of time in the garden (in between updating the blog) and found our first squash of the season...

I just love the shape and arrangement of these squash plants...very orderly and pleasing to the eye...

I emptied out one of the rainbarrels to water some planters in the garden (this is the corn/squash)...

The air conditioning unit serving the main floor of the house has reached the end of its time, and it's been pretty hot here. David brought in a floor fan for the kitchen (cooking makes it pretty toasty in there), which the kids immediately pounced on to experiment with parachutes and aerodynamics.

There were eventually four kids crammed into the small hall between the kitchen and dining room, each with a plastic grocery bag with some sort of weight attached to it, trying to figure out the perfect weight to make the bag float over the upturned fan. (I had to run an errand, so don't know the outcome of the experiment). A local AC company came to look at the unit, and gave us the bad news...$5,200 to replace it. Ugh.

The other day David brought home some scrap lumber from Home Depot, which he gave to the kids to make projects with. This is Michael's finished product, a picture frame with a self-portrait on wood panelling.

Other projects are still in the works.

In addition to catching up on the blog (all of the lake trip has been posted now, including some fabulous photos by S), I also managed to catch up on laundry from the trip. All of the sleeping bags, blankets and sheets for Popper, as well as clothing.

Thomas and William were back to "study time" this week after our break, which means back to Time4Learning and lots of reading. I'm also looking into the Khan Academy website to see if that will be a useful tool for us. I think, definitely, it will be great when we get into "higher" mathematics and science, and it looks like they've got some fabulous teacher/parent tools for tracking progress. Correction, the tools are focused on tracking actual learning, which is what it's supposed to be all about, right? It's really a great story, how this guy got started (on YouTube) and how it developed into what it is now, a free library of videos explaining just about everything that makes most of us go "huuuuuh?". Salman Khan is a genius in my book, completely re-envisioning education in a way that actually serves each student individually, and maximizes the teacher/mentor's one-on-one time and classroom time. They've got a pilot program going in some PS classrooms with wonderful results. You should check out his TED Talk. (Thanks, S, for turning me on to Salman!).

I know there was a bunch of other stuff going on all day long, but I can't think of them all right now. For the next few days (at least) I'd like to "focus" on capturing more of our daily moments with photos and video.


  1. Surely you can find a better price for the AC unit! WOW! That seems high.

    Enjoy the weekend-

  2. @Grace, Courtney is coming over later today to take a look at it for us, and we've got another AC company coming. In the meantime, the rain has been keeping it cooler in the kitchen :)

  3. Glad the A/C got fixed for a better price than $5000!! I was about in tears when my dad gave me an estimate for our breaker box, and was glad when it didn't have to be 100% replaced and the cost dropped down to 1/3 of what I originally thought. Unexpected house issues are really adding up for many of us these days!! At least the gardens help out with the grocery bills :)