The ceiling is finished...and the roof is repaired!
Yes, it's true! The job that started on September 8 - in response to a roof leak that had ruined a corner of our living room ceiling - officially wrapped up yesterday, on October 29, when our roofer nailed down the last shingle.
On Wednesday, the painter came to finish the ceiling work. That was a blessing not only because it meant the internal work was completed before Baby H.'s arrival, but also because the painter was very friendly and, as it turns out, had homeschooled a couple of his children during their elementary years! I'm usually a little on-edge when workmen come during typical school hours because I never know what they're thinking about the fact that my girls "aren't in school." But, as soon as the painter shared his experience, I breathed a sigh of relief and then thoroughly enjoyed our learning activities while he texturized and painted...and listened along. And now I have my living room back the way I like it!
And then on Friday, our roofer - who is also a friend from church - both started and finished replacing the shingles on the damaged portion of the roof. True, we still need to replace the rest of the roof next spring because it's all very old. But I am so thankful we do not now need to worry about leaks through the rest of this fall, all winter, and during spring thaw. And the fact that we could employ a friend whom we also know we can thoroughly trust is icing on the cake.
The girls and I "headed to Norway" this week, leaving Brazil early Monday morning and making a brief stop-over in Romania (to read about that country in our Window on the World book) before "landing in Oslo" to the tune of a Norwegian folk song called Ro, Ro Til Fiskeskjær.
Our big tasks that day were to color the Norway flag sheet and then label and color a map of Europe. We did this in the afternoon during Anna's nap so we enjoyed having N. join in by coloring "the pretty girl," too. And I was most impressed with the diligence and positive attitude Rachel and Abigail exhibited with their mapwork, a time-consuming task that consisted of finding, labeling, and coloring 22 countries and five bodies of water. We'll now spend significant time over the next several weeks - as we explore a handful of European countries - learning/memorizing the locations they labeled.
In addition to several well-written, informative picture books, we also started reading a chapter book called Snow Treasure by Marie McSwigan. This adventure tale is based on the true story of some Norwegian children's attempt to keep Norway's gold stores out of Nazi hands. The girls are so taken with it that they've cried out in dismay at the end of each day's three-chapter portion.
Also of note: We finished our All About Spelling Level 2 book! And it was a big week for extracurriculars, with the girls each starting a new level in swimming (Rachel is now a Porpoise, and Abigail is a Flying Fish), Rachel having her first practice with Pre-Team for gymnastics, and Abigail finally able to start the dance class at the Y to which she has been looking forward since the summer.
And the girls and Jeff went on another field trip today, to The Building for Kids, a children's museum about 30 miles from here. They brought along Sarah, one of the girls' best friends, with whom they've literally been friends their whole lives (the first picture here was taken when all three were toddlers), and had a great afternoon of fun and learning.
Sarah has stayed for a sleepover tonight. The three of them are "camping out" in the upstairs playroom...though, of course, it remains to be seen when they will actually fall asleep!
N. and Anna had a short week with us due to the state teachers' convention on Thursday and Friday, during which their moms can officially take days off. But we started their next unit - U for "Us," with our key truth being the idea that "God made us wonderful!" - and will spread that out over next week as well.
Our thematic focus was on the human body, especially the senses. We did an overview on Monday and then talked about touch on Tuesday and hearing on Wednesday. And, since we added another vowel sound with short-u, the girls continued to practice blending sounds together to decode syllables and a few three-letter words. In fact, each also made an attempt to read a Bob Book called Mat and - while it was pretty tricky for them and will take some practice - it was nonetheless very exciting to see them reading an actual book.
As I alluded to above, this coming week is significant around here because Baby H. officially starts with us on Monday - the same day he marks his eight-week "birthday." Thus, Rachel and Abigail will continue with de facto fall break on Monday and Tuesday - we'll just do a bit about Norway each day and have their piano lessons on Monday and practice on Tuesday - and I'll spread the remaining three days of Anna and N.'s "Us" unit over the whole week so I can have time to get to know H.
We are all looking forward to having him here, and I have no doubt God will provide a way for me to "juggle" everything - lots of home-educating families have multiple children spread out over several years, after all, and I have the advantage of getting to sleep through the night! But I also know we'll have to make some adjustments and find a "new normal" so we'll use next week to figure that out.