Wednesday, November 05, 2014

Back in the (Co-op) Saddle Again

Yesterday I taught at Rivendell for the first time since the day before I had Verity.  I was worried about a lot of things, the main one being that my brain would simply not function, but everything went really well.
It helped that for life science, we are starting the unit on genetics, which is probably my favorite one, thanks to great genetics teachers in high school and college (thanks, Mr. Norvell and Dr. Phipps!).  We covered mitosis, modeling the phases with yarn "chromosomes", and then the boys modeling DNA with Twizzlers and gummi bears (since I couldn't find gum drops, even though I looked at 2 different stores!).

Amazingly, Verity was incredibly cooperative.  She woke up at 7:15 to nurse, and then I fed her again while the boys were making their DNA, a little before 11:00, which was about as ideal as I could have imagined.  Maybe she won't be as difficult a child as I was imagining, after the way she started out the first 2 weeks!

Next was anatomy, and since I wasn't finished nursing when class was to start, I had them go around and share about the disease they had written a paper on over the maternity break.  They had to pick a disease that affects either tissues, the integumentary system, or the skeletal system.  It is always interesting to hear about rare diseases that are out there.  I was reminded that I used to follow a blog by a mom whose son had one of these rare diseases, the one Celia researched, a skin disorder called junctional epidermolysis bullosa--"EB"ing a Mommy.  The mom's faith during a tremendous trial was so inspirational.  It is mind-boggling the small things that genetically can go wrong, and wow, the pain and suffering that can ensue.  Heart-breaking.
Next we talked about the skeletal system.  Over the summer I researched small skeletons to buy, but they were really pretty expensive and no one got really great reviews.  But then I found this "bag of bones" on amazon that were rejects from all sizes of skeletons.  I thought that might actually be better, as far as bone identification.  It was actually kind of fun to go through them all and see what we'd gotten!  Plus, it was easier to see the fossa, tubercles, etc. on bones that were not attached to a skeleton.  It was definitely a random assortment though, and we got things like the left femur, but the right side of the pelvis.  Oh well.
Here is a picture of the assortment we got (and note the varied sizes!), but you could never assume to get the same ones.  I think they do include a skull in every bag, and it is pretty nice--the mandible opens with springs, and the top of the skull comes off.  There were several duplicates of bones though.  We got several tibia/fibula sets, for example.

The day went well, anyhow.  In the afternoon was memory work, but Michele, another mom whose oldest child is in life science, has been helping lead that in the afternoon.  That has really been so nice for me.  I stay around and help, but if I have to nurse or whatever, she can lead.  I think once Verity gets onto a more predictable schedule, then we will take turns or something.

Today was Latin class, but we had that last week as well, so I had already gotten back in gear there, sort of.  Fortunately we are just starting the 3rd declension, and I am still pretty confidant about those, so I can kind of coast.  It's moving into the 4th and 5th declensions that I become much less familiar.  Also verb tenses that aren't present, future, or imperfect.  I don't look forward to getting into those again--nothing new sticks well in my brain anymore!  Maybe by the time I'm teaching this class for Verity, I'll really have the pluperfect and all those other weird tenses down.
Before Latin class, Caleb whipped up some frosted banana cookies, his favorite.  And he should have been able to make his favorites, because today was his 13th birthday!  He felt like he should not have had to do any school, but such is the life of a junior-higher, LOL.  At least he got to celebrate with his friends who come over for Latin.  Latin class is just like a party, right?!  We all enjoyed the banana cookies, as well as the chicken packets, brussel sprouts, and cabbage salad that he picked for his birthday dinner tonight.  And ice cream of course for dessert!  We'll celebrate both his and Drew's birthday at Bible study later on this month--no word on what the dessert choices will be yet, however.  Caleb did open his presents before ice cream, and he got a Lego set, a new book, some Swedish fish, and a remote-controlled flying helicopter thing, which is charging right now.  Fun stuff!  And now we have 3 teenage boys in the house, plus one 12 year old.  I can't believe how old everyone is getting!

Caleb has been thinking a lot recently about what he'll be when he grows up, even though I've assured him he has *plenty* of time to figure things out!  He was really shocked to realize a few weeks ago that he most likely will be unable to go to the Air Force Academy, with his asthma and nut allergies.  I had no idea he ever even was thinking he might like to do that, since I had never heard him mention it, but apparently he just sort of assumed that's what he would do.  So now he's sort of recalibrating.  He is really a hands-on person, whose love language is definitely touch, so I suggested considering something like becoming a chiropractor or physical therapist.  I think he'd be great (and how wonderful would it be to have a chiropractor in the family?!  Maybe I can steer one of the kids to be a massage therapist as well--they could go into business together!  I'd be there all the time!)  Yesterday he mentioned that maybe he'd like to go to culinary school.  I can see that too, as he's always been interested in cooking.  He and Jonathan especially love watching the Food Network, and all the cooking shows on there, like Chopped.  So he's got plenty of good options!  I told him that as he goes through high school, hopefully he'll start being able to figure out where his interests lie, and what he feels the Lord is leading him to do.  I can't wait to see how God uses him!

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