Lots of things happening this week but it has felt fairly relaxed anyway.
Miss 14 and I went birding hoping to find the rare wader seen the previous weekend during the count at the lake. We had no luck but did see a good variety of other waders and enjoyed exploring a new section of the lake.
Miss 19, Mr 17, Miss 14 and dh went to see Mockingjay Part 1 at the movies. I enjoyed several hours at home all by myself which was wonderful. I'm an introvert and truly appreciate those rare occasions when I get time alone. The general consensus was that the movie was well done and fairly true to the book, although both Miss 19 and Miss 14 felt that in the visual medium the wars and violence dominated more than they did in the written format. Interestingly their seats shook due to the volume of the bombs being dropped on-screen (on those rare occasions I go to the movies I always find the volume too loud) and it brought back earthquake memories for them both. I guess large earthquakes are an experience you never forget! Apparently post battle Panem looks a lot like our city post-earthquake, especially the cracks in the bunkers in District 13. As I write this Mr 17 and dh have left to go back to the movies to see Fury - not my sort of film but I'm sure they'll appreciate it.
Earlier in the week Miss 19 went to the premiere of a short film made by some film students. Her best friend played the part of the villain. She's pretty happy at the moment since final grades have been released. Her marks were high, she topped half her classes and has won a departmental award. This isn't meant to sound like bragging (although I am proud of her - she's worked hard for her grades) but to reassure nervous Mums that homeschooling through high school will not ruin their kids and mean they won't succeed at university if that is where they choose to go. Sometimes finding the correct balance in blogging is difficult. Homeschooling blogs where parents continually discuss their childrens' massive overachievements in all areas can be off-putting, but so many parents still worry that homeschooling through high school will hold their kids back. I feel it is important to at least mention the successes - if only to reassure myself that a less than perfect homeschool did not hold my older kids back academically so I shouldn't be ruining the chances of the younger two either.
The girls and I finally got around to deep-cleaning part of the house this week. Normally I do the whole house in spring but uncertainty about when we will have to move out for repairs led to me putting it off. But I finally caved in to the inevitable (and the fact that the repairs probably won't happen until later next year, which suits me anyway) and we did the two largest rooms. The bedrooms were all done in March after Mr 22 moved out and everyone switched rooms so I felt justified skipping them. I may or may not work on some of the smaller rooms this week. Never one of my favourite jobs but I do feel better when it is done.
The girls also ramped up the Christmas preparations by making our Christmas cards and doing some decorating. Not sure that we'll be able to get a real tree this year though. With Basil's bed in the living room there isn't a lot of space and when he has a seizure he's very clumsy, meaning he will probably bump into the tree and knock it over!
Miss 14 and I finally finished reading Antony and Cleopatra this week and also completed the lessons on The Tempest. Only one more week to go, which might be just as well since I've signed up for a MOOC on Dickens' A Christmas Carol. It doesn't look too challenging or too much work which is good - I'm not sure I can spend a lot of time on it. But I normally reread A Christmas Carol at this time of the year anyway so signing up for the MOOC seemed like a good addition.
In amongst this I've managed to spend some time in the garden. Our "Basil-proofing" seems to have finally succeeded so it's now worth planting some more vegetables. All the potatoes are up and some of the tomato plants have flowers. I should be able to start sparingly picking basil and coriander next week.