June looked like this

You’ll never believe this, but I signed up for the WordPress Writing 101 Daily Blogging Challenge for June.

Yep.  I set two goals.  First, to write shorter posts, and second, to write more frequently.   And then  posted absolutely nothing all month.  The first assignment ruined me for the challenge:  stream-of-conscious write (type) for 20 minutes and then post it.  Snort. As if.

June was an interesting month.

We started the month with another recital, followed by the stressful – but successful – Guild Audition.  The Daughter prepared and memorized 15 pieces to play representing the Baroque, Classical, Romantic and Contemporary periods of music.  A judge from the American College of Musicians evaluated her performance and provided tips and suggestions.

Guild Results
Guild Results

Live performance is tricky.  Every judge is different.  Every performance is different.  Musicians strive for consistency, but decades of personal performance and attending piano recitals have taught me that anything can happen.  Nerves can cause finger slips, and tempi to alter.  The judge might be tired or have indigestion. I caution #1 Son and The Daughter to approach Guild Auditions as a learning experience and not an assessment of their value as a human being, or their professional future as a musician. Still, we were very pleased with the remarks and the assessment, and then we went out for Sushi!  YUM!

Our downstairs HVAC unit was replaced in April, and the enormous box was saved for The Daughter by the bemused installers.  For several weeks it served as a Gothic-inspired castle/reading nook.  Eventually, dust bunnies fruitfully multiplied and filled the room, requiring that I ask her to discard the castle, or devise a way to fold it up and put it away occasionally so she could vacuum her floor. She ended up doing a little architectural surgery, digging out her paints and making a “Changing Screen” for her room.

June is filled with celebration – Mr. Garner’s birthday, Papa Gene’s birthday, and Father’s Day!  Papa Gene took us to Surf Rider’s at the marina for seafood, with at-home brownies (Mr. Garner does not like cake) and ice cream for dessert.  We returned the favor a week later with a dinner at our house featuring a grass-fed beef roast we had saved for the occasion, Ilene beans, and homemade Allspice Pound Cake and ice cream.

We enjoyed seeing the inspiring movie Alone Yet Not Alone with friends when it first came out mid-month. We’ve been to the beach.  (see the Flickr feed) We’ve been bike riding – although not so much at the Botanical Gardens because bike nights have either been in the upper 90’s or rainy.  We’ve been watching the Appalachia Service Project – Scott County Facebook Page for updates on the houses, the families and the volunteers!

Mr. Garner has flowers on his heirloom tomato plants!

Scooping action!
Scooping action!

This is our 15th summer in this house, but the first that we’ve noticed Black Skimmers in our water.  Most every morning and evening we see at least one, and sometimes as many as three, skimming across the surface of the water, scooping with their brightly colored red bills.  Their backs are black, and their underside is white.  As they approach the bulkhead and road at the end of the creek they bank and turn in perfectly synchronized formation, flashing white, then black, then white as they spread out, reform and skim back toward the river, scooping as they go.

While I normally schedule our testing for May, I was delayed in placing the order for the test packet so we pushed back our testing to Mid-June.  Since Charlotte Mason method could not be further from the workbook-based, shallow short-term schooling that the standardized multiple-guess-testing is intended to measure, I always approach test week with a small amount of trepidation.  That said, since I doubt the ability of standardized testing to truly measure a student’s progress or knowledge, I suppose it follows that I should not be so inordinately delighted when we receive the test scores back.  🙂

The Daughter is finished with co-op and American Heritage Girls until September so the schedule has eased, though we are still “in school,” and will be until the third week of July.  We are trying to make sense of the War of the Roses while finishing up Decimals and Percents, memorizing Ablative and Accusative Prepositions and the differences between third and fourth conjugation verbs. We take a generous amount of time off in December and take one week off for every six weeks of school.  So our second term starts in January through the first week of April, and the third term picks up in April and runs through July.  That third term is a little longer due to Easter, a week in May with #1 Son, and a week off for testing.

During June I started watching War and Remembrance (Herman Wouk’s sequel to Winds of War) but I had to stop after the 8th episode because Netflix doesn’t have the next disk, and it’s not available for streaming.  What a shame!  I’m only to 1943, so there is still a lot of war left and Natalie and Dr. Jastrow appear to be headed to Auschwitz despite my shouted warnings at the TV.

The Daughter and Mr. Garner replaced her Backyard Swing! 

June brings out all of the Summer Reading Lists.  We were considering participating in a Summer Reading program put together at RedeemedReader.  But, there were some last-minute changes to the lists, and we also realized that the pace of their reading program would not work for us because The Daughter still had school books to read.  We did build a list from their titles.  The Daughter read Rush Revere and the First Pilgrims and Rush Revere and the Brave Patriots (both written for late elementary so very quick, but fun, reads since we are Rush fans), as well as N.D. Wilson’s Ashton Burial series.  We also both read David C. Downing’s Looking For the King which was a great introduction to the Inklings crowd.  I also read C.S. Lewis The Great Divorce and the Trumpet of the Swan by E. B. White.

Thanks for reading all the way to the bottom!

A few photos:

 

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