Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Asya is ELEVEN!

Asya's birthday comes exactly two weeks after Jaan's. She also skipped a good bit of school on her birthday, while the rest of us worked. Then her friend Sonya came over to start the real celebrations. We played outside some, rode bikes, ate ice cream, and played games.



Next we went out to dinner. (Raia was at art class, but she joined us later.)



After dinner came the main event: ice skating. Asya wanted our whole family--and Sonya--to go ice skating. There's a big rink near us, but it's mostly used for hockey and lessons. They had one free skate hour yesterday evening. It turned out that we were the only people there during that time! We had so much fun. Other times that I've gone skating at other places, there have been huge crowds and everyone moving around in the same direction. Here we could just do whatever we wanted.






When our hour was up, Bogdan was really excited to see the ice get cleaned. And then a hockey team came! Our whole little group loved watching that for a few minutes. After all our bumbling around on the ice, they were in awe of how these guys could move.



Afterwards we walked Sonya home in the rain. The weather definitely feels like fall. And our very tired family fell into our beds, feeling like we had celebrated Asya's birthday very well.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Jaan is FIFTEEN!

Jaan's fifteenth birthday was yesterday. In the morning he opened presents and skipped most of school. Last month he got to help a little with a visiting team, and then he went go-carting with them. He wanted to do that again for his birthday, but was a little concerned about asking, because it was so expensive. However, I knew that the go-carts in the park would be much cheaper, so that's where we went when everyone else was done with school. First we had a nice lunch at a restaurant. Both Jaan and Bogdan enjoyed huge hamburgers. Then we walked to the park for the main event of this birthday. The go-carts were really fast and really loud, so Bogdan decided he didn't want to try them, but we found something more his speed. Everyone got to ride, while I took lots of pictures. Afterwards we had ice cream and came home to watch a movie.








It was a really fun day! We're so glad that Jaan was born in our family.

Monday, September 03, 2018

First day

The first day of school went really well. I feel brain dead, but everyone got everything done, except for music practice for Raia. There was a reason for that, though. Her schedule changed, and she had to run out unexpectedly for her first art lesson of the year. See how happy she looks there? (That photo is from the art school; I don't know who took it.)

First piano lesson

I don't have a photo of Asya from today, so I'll add one that Bernie took during their visit. This is what Asya did again today anyway. She finished her school, and then went to play with our neighbours' baby. The baby loves her and often fusses if they can't be together.


Saturday, September 01, 2018

School is starting

School always starts September 1 here, with the Day of Knowledge holiday. Since it's a Saturday this year, I get a little reprieve as a teacher. We had our "opening ceremonies" and photos and Morning School (the time that we have all together each school morning), and then free time, no individual lessons. We are planning to go to a concert this evening. Monday will be the start of real school.

(Hmm. A year ago our electricity was out at this time of year, too. It was the whole street, though. Not just our house. I'm glad it's back on now.)


Actually, almost everything is the same as last year. Jaan's done with music school and officially in 9th grade; those are the only big changes. I spent some time this summer registering him with an American umbrella school and making a real high school plan, so he'll have that if he needs it. People always ask about his plans, but he doesn't know what they are yet, so we're keeping all doors open. He's keeping on with everything from last year, adding a physics course, and teaching Bogdan beginning music, while continuing to learn and practice piano on his own. I finally got Karen's Know and Tell book, so I'll be studying that, and I am scheduling a meeting with Jaan every week to work on his writing. For extras he still has theater and robots.

Raia is also keeping on keeping on. Unfortunately, when she went in for her meeting at music school yesterday, she found out that her beloved balalaika teacher is taking an early retirement and was just introducing her to her new teacher. She's in 7-8 class at art school.

Asya, too.... This has been the summer where she has really taken off with reading for fun, and that will probably make the school year ahead even better. She's in 5th class at art school and her third year at music school (flute).

Bogdan has AO Year 1, continued focus on really learning to read, art school, and music with Jaan to get ready for music school next year.

I'm reading AO Year 6. Actually, I started with Jaan, but got way behind, so now it's pre-reading for Raia. I love it. This is what I fill in any free moments during school time with.


While we start homeschool full-out right from the beginning of the month, most of September is usually back and forth about the rest of our classes. We'll see how that goes this year. So far we have art school schedules, but even those have already been modified.


Friday, August 31, 2018

Camp photos

I was going to have Raia go back through all the photos from the camp photographer and choose the best to share here, but we're having electricity problems in this house, and she couldn't.* So, I'm doing what I can from my iPad and portable internet. These are the photos she already put on Facebook. Sorry if you've seen them before.

Bogdan and his counselor
Raia and her Karina












































*Electricity is back now. The main breaker for our house burned out, and we had to wait for someone to come change it out.

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More explanation of some of the photos, added later: Raia got to be Asya's counselor. At first they were actually upset about it, and didn't want to be in a group together, but it turned out to be really sweet. That's why there are so many photos of Raia with that whole group of girls.

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Camp #5

For the first day of the Hunsuckers' visit, our kids were still at church camp. Raia was a camp helper, so she slept at the church all week and got to be part of the extra teen fun activities in the evenings. (One night they went to Jump Park, played like crazy until it closed, and then walked all the way back to the church!) Asya and Bogdan were at camp every day, almost from dawn to dusk, but they slept at home.

Bogdan's very favourite part was the ropes course set up in the trees by the church. Raia said that of all the little boys, he was the only one who would do everything right away without fear.

These were some of the photos that Raia posted from that part:


I'll ask Asya what her favourite part was and get some more photos from Raia tomorrow....