The first of a two week break for Miss 13 and I this week. We both clearly needed one since neither of us has done a lot all week. It seems like Miss 13 spent the entire week in her pyjamas reading, watching the Commonwealth Games on television, or playing Monopoly with Mr 16. He was still working but is going through a night owl stage. I think he slept all morning, played Monopoly all afternoon and then did his required work in the evening! I've done a lot of reading as well - I'm currently finishing Saree , which is the best of the books I've read recently although the ethnic prejudice and violence of Sri Lanka in the 1980s means its not always a pleasant read. I've also spent plenty of time on the net, gathering ideas and resources to perk up our homeschooling this year, and mulling over ideas and possibilities for next year.
Some other highlights:
* Attending the monthly meeting of our local birding group . It was an interesting talk on the use of DNA analysis and what it has taught us about the Kiwi and the Moa, both iconic New Zealand birds, although the Moa is sadly extinct.
* Ordering Miss 13's regional leotard for the national competition in October. This was a real drama since it is an entirely new team leotard meaning there are no samples to try. And she is obviously not of a standard proportion since different measurements (waist, torso etc) had her in four different size ranges. Hoping that we made the right choice since a badly fitted leotard looks (and apparently feels) terrible.
* Wonderful warm weather. We're still officially in the middle of winter but we had four days of summer temperatures. Nothing like plenty of sunshine to lift the spirit! The yard even dried out enough for me to do a little gardening. Mostly I was weeding - it is amazing how they grow and take over when nothing else is growing. I also discovered the delights of gardening with a doggy "helper". If he wasn't trying to run away with the hoe (that long handle looks just like a stick) then he was standing right in front of the hoe as I was trying to remove weeds! I was delighted to discover the daphne bush starting to bloom since I absolutely adore its fragrance. And the Livingstone daisies were putting on a real show, which was a surprise since they didn't do anything all summer and mine usually die off over winter due to the cold.
* Miss 13 and I enjoyed a great afternoon's birding. We didn't manage to track down the elusive Golden Pheasant but there were plenty of other highlights, including large numbers of Royal Spoonbills and Crested Grebes.
* Lots of walks and games of chase the stick with Basil, although lots of exercise on a hot day was obviously tiring.