Sunday, August 27, 2017

Basketball Begins

I'm not ready for the school year to start, but no one told all of our sport and classes that!  For this one, college basketball athlete/scholars are the coaches, a mentoring model that I like!

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Fun hair

Her grandma sent her money for her birthday and she saved half, then wanted to spend the other half on... wigs.  She spent a lot of time looking for just the right ones.  Fun!

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

An Eclipse Postscript

A couple of days after the eclipse, we were working on our history reading and came across the fact that Nat Turner was inspired by a total eclipse.  Thinking it a sign from God, he decided that the time was right to rebel and did so not long after in 1831.   As we read about the sad outcome (a crushed rebellion and worse conditions for those enslaved), I hoped that Bishop Thomas Gumbleton was right when he said (more recently) that "whatever is done for the truth will make a difference." Perhaps Nat Turner sowed the seeds for a more effective abolitionist movement and ultimately emancipation a generation later.

Monday, August 21, 2017


So interesting!  I was in a meeting, but everyone took a break to go outside.  It got a bit colder and the light changed.  I called the girls, who were also excited, using their glasses to watch.  Later, K got to discuss it with her new astronomy class; awesome timing!

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Honoring a Best Friend

Today I spoke at a childhood friend's "celebration of life," which was heartbreaking.  Lizzy passed away from a rare and aggressive form of ovarian cancer in May.  She was my best friend for most of my childhood.  We met when we were both seven, swam competitively together for many years, and then went to the same high school.  As adults, our lives rarely intersected geographically, though she was at our wedding and I was at her first baby shower, so we did share important milestones.  Still, our friendship has always felt like a part of me, perhaps because we were both pretty good about keeping in touch through long letters throughout the year and, more recently, newsy birthday and Christmas cards.

I spoke to her about a week before she died, which I am so grateful for.  She spoke with peace and certainty that we would see each other again and that she would soon be in the embrace of her parents, who each died just a few years ago.  She also spoke about her wonderful kids and I got to see their courage, humor, and strength in action when they spoke at her celebration.  Boy, was I impressed.

It was a lovely afternoon and a privilege to honor her friendship by revisiting our childhoods together.  As I told those gathered, she set a standard for best friends that has been hard to beat.  I loved hearing more about her from others, especially her kids, and it was a blessing to reconnect with her sisters.

Love you, Lizzy.

We had both just turned eight in this photo

Synchronized swimming duet partners, age 11-ish.  By age ten, we were doing swim-a-thons in which we'd swim up to six miles at a time!

One of my supportive and wonderful daughters wrote this on a napkin and handed it to me when I returned to my seat, a word-hug that meant a lot.  I later found encouragement written by them all over my notes.  "We love you, Mom."  "You are doing great!"  etc.  This was nice because in person they just teased me for weeping so easily and so much....

Thursday, August 17, 2017

An Evening With the Giants

Great evening.  Thanks Tim and Susie for the tickets!  I bought a standing-room one for me and stood behind the girls section, watching them watch the game.  That was my favorite part of the evening, getting to see them in the moment, really enjoying each other's company.  (Though it is worth noting, for the baseball-superstitious, that they've won every time we've been there this year. Hmmmmm....)

Monday, August 14, 2017

Constructing a Telescope

A really cool event at a local library - free! - the kids got to create a Galileoscope in preparation for the eclipse!  Looks foggy today, but the claim is that we should be able to see Saturn's rings with it.  Cool!

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Friday, August 11, 2017

Birthday Celebrations

This would NOT be my reaction if someone gave me a sewing machine.  But glad it was hers!

Then we went to the zoo, where all of the animals seemed to be out in force to celebrate G's big day.  The tiger was pacing, the ostrich pooped, the otter was jumping, the hippo pooped, the lions were alert and the snow leopard was pacing, the prairie dogs pooped... well, there was a lot of energy around pooping.  We also saw a lot of activity from the cutie black bear cubs, the grizzlies, the red panda and well, pretty much everything there except the polar bears (hiding in back) and the kangaroos (lying down and not moving).  It might have been the time of day (afternoon), the weather (cool), or the lack of crowds, but we had a great time...

Mexican wolves, the reason we went

Almost posing
Definitely posing

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

When You Can't Wait for the Laundry to Finish

Puck's "baby" (stuffed animal) was smelly and gross and so I threw it in the washing machine while he wasn't looking (he was in the other room eating). Somehow, he knew where it was; this is him looking for it while I was folding the dry clothes.  Cute!  He's a smart, sweet puppy....

Tuesday, August 8, 2017


I absolutely had to get work done, uninterrupted, thinking through syllabi, a web site redesign, and a major assessment project.  (Plus minor projects - syllabi posted, proposal submitted, book edited, and more).  G committed to come along and work herself, without interrupting.  In fairness, she didn't... I just let myself get distracted by her studiousness as she spend hours reading about marine biology.  Cool kid, good company.  Reminds me of coming with my mom to the library when she spend hours there studying, though I was older...

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Art Show

A beautiful show by our friend, Gabriana's teacher, and homeschooling mama Melissa Mohammadi!  We were so honored to know the artist, to get to see her family, and to experience her beautiful art displayed at a studio in downtown San Francisco.

Friday, August 4, 2017

Testing The Power of Literature

They wanted to know what would happen if they went to a coffee shop, ordered, then listed the name to be called as "Lord Voldemort."  Would she know how to spell it, look at the kids funny?  Would the one who brought the food pronounce that final "t" or would she even 'have the nerve' to use the name?

The first cashier got it and said, "oh, he who shall not be named" but the one who actually called out when the food was ready was a bit anticlimactic and just said, "LV."  Worth a try and I think that the girls were at least impressed that first one had been willing to write it down!  :-)

Incidentally, we have concluded that while the movies are great, the books are far greater and - surprising for me - totally worth a closer, second read.