Once again we didn't do any traditional schoolwork. We had a lot we wanted to do today and the boys were eager to get started. They made breakfast and watched an episode of Dirty Jobs. Mike Rowe was learning how to harvest cranberries and make cranberry jam. We learned that cranberries float. That they grow I bogs and that it can be a dirty job. We learned about the differences between jams and jellies and watched the process of turning fresh cranberries into a jarred product. Once the show was over the boys all headed upstairs and got ready for karate.
They picked up their Kindles and headed for the car. It was pretty early for us to leave but I was hoping to cross a few things off our "to do" list. We dropped 4 or 5 bags of clothing and bedding off at a local aid box and headed on to the store. We picked up a new Christmas tree that we had reserved last night (we have a very dry heat system, tons of sunny windows and a fire place so a real tree just doesn't last long enough for us). We've had our old tree for 10 years now and while we still love it many of the lights have stopped working and we haven't been able to fix it. Target had a half- price sale so we took advantage. We still had time before karate class and so we ran quickly to Michael's craft store. Alec and Evan had brought some money with them to buy some stuffed animals that they had found there last week and we also picked up a few more materials for some Christmas craft projects. We had one last stop on the way to class. We went to the post office to get a roll of stamps for our Christmas cards.
We FINALLY arrived at karate and the kids had lots of fun. The boys were extra excited to see that their names were on the list for this coming graduation. They're all anxious to get their new belts and start sparring. They worked hard on their forms that they'll be tested on and practiced over and over and over again. They also got to punch and kick the punching bag and it was cute to see them perk up at that.
After karate we headed to my sister's house to drop off her birthday gift and to just visit for a bit. The boys had fun playing with their baby cousin. My sister babysits another little boy and Ian had fun carrying him around and sitting together watching TV. It was so cute to see them together. I'm always struck by how well Ian relates to little kids. He's quite good with them.
After my sister's house we went to the bank so Ian could deposit his money that he had spent the morning adding up yesterday. He had over $6 in loose change to put into the coin machine. Some coins weren't taken by the machine so he had to re-write his deposit slip. Since I had just walked him through filling out his slip this morning I was glad to see he remembered how to do it on his own. He had no problem counting up his bills and adding the total from the coin slip to it. His original deposit slip was only off by 6 cents so he had done a great job adding up all his money. Once his slip was filled out, I had him stand in line by himself and handle his own transaction while I sat with the younger boys in the waiting chairs. On the way out Ian studied his bank book and scrutinized all of his interest transactions that had been printed up since his last deposit.
We had one last stop at the library before heading home. Both of the older boys had quite a few books come in and they were anxious to get them. We sat in the car for a bit trying to finish up our book on CD. We know we're very close to finishing since we put the last disk in the player early in the morning but we were getting hungry and decided we'd just return the book on CD next time. We traipsed into the library and picked up the books that were on hold and then headed home.
Once home the boys changed out of their uniforms, cleaned their stuff out of the car and made their own lunches. During lunch I read a bit more of our Harry Potter book. We're at chapter 30 and while we still have a good 200 pages left to go we can see that we're a good 3/4 of the way through the book. The boys have been busy comparing the book to the movie and the Lego Harry Potter video game that they've played.
As soon as lunch was over, Ian headed outside to work in the yard and dig up some dirt. He soon came in and asked if he could head out with his grandfather to help him get some work done. He helped clean out the gutters and then went to work with his grandfather.
The younger boys spent the afternoon playing with their Kindles and Minecraft games. They have been telling me all about smelting and showing me what they can make out of all their materials. Alec decided to try playing the survival mode without turning off the monsters. He thinks he has the hang of the game and wants to see if he can survive. He really enjoys challenging himself like that.