February went out in a slushy, icy storm and with sick stomachs all around. Thankfully it turned out everyone but Adam was only sympathetically sick. Poor Adam met disaster in a funky slice of pizza, or maybe it was the fries? Who knows, the boy ate downtown (which can frequently be a case of food roulette)on one of his adventures with his friend, Noah. The two spent the entire afternoon outside last Thursday, walked a good five miles going between houses, the beach and two ends of town. By four am Friday morning, he was sick, which meant the entire weekend we were on bucket brigade.
By Sunday, we all felt much better and with sighs of relief, we returned to regular sleep and our own beds. I think there was even some Guitar Hero playing that afternoon.
On Tuesday, craving some time out and about, we met with some friends in the Old Port, where we did a little shopping and enjoyed the bright sunshine, but less so the ice and slush covered cobblestones.
For lunch, we met at Local Sprouts. Though we've known about this great space for some time, we had never made it over. We were really glad we went. Luckily, we found a table for all six of us. The kids chatted with woman behind the counter, who was someone they knew, having performed at Merrill with her last December. Our friends saw someone they knew from The New School, so instantly the space felt like a well-loved community gathering spot. Our order came quickly and we were all very happy with our lunch. The kids were a bit put off by the potato wedges, (none of us seem able to like blue potatoes), but the wedges tasted perfectly good, especially when dunked in the rich, garlicky aioli. Younger kids jumped around and danced on the tiny stage, people sat with mugs of coffee in the sun-filled windows chatting with friends, and there was nothing too fussy or formal, just relaxed fun, with the bonus of good food. We'll definitely go back.
Feeling good about our day out, I decided to make calzones for dinner. Usually I just use what we have in the pantry or fridge (when do I not cook like this?), so this time I stuffed the homemade dough with marinated red peppers, local feta and mozzarella cheese, tomato sauce, Kalamata olives and mushrooms. I made four huge calzones, each the size of two dinner plates. It's taken us days to finish them, and in fact, Adam just had the last of his for lunch today. Delicious.
On Thursday, yesterday, we were back in Portland for the kids' homeschool pottery class at Portland Pottery. They've taken a number of classes at the studio before, but it's been a few years since their last class there. They both said it was good to be back. After I dealt with the sudden flat tire we had just as we arrived in town, I got to sit with the other parents and chat. We all observed that the group of kids in class, largely the same ones who have always been in pottery, and who are essentially the Homeschool Class 2015 and 2017, are growing up together and changing every time we see them.
Olivia continues with her guitar lessons. We all enjoy hearing her practice, and practice she does. It seems the guitar is a good fit for her. For Adam, however, the drums have turned out to be not such a great fit and he has decided that he'd maybe be more interested in guitar. He's thinking about it and Olivia is teaching him what she has learned.
Meanwhile, Adam's latest passion is Minecraft. It is a fascinating game, though one that makes me feel rather sea sick to watch, but I have no doubt it's challenging on many levels. As much a spatial thinker as Adam has always been, it's no surprise he's drawn to the complexity of this game.
Both of the kids are devouring books, per usual and they both always have a stack being read by their beds. Adam has recently read the wonderful Underland Chronicles (series of five), by Suzanne Collins (Hunger Games). He's since moved onto The Books of Ember, (Jeanne DuPrau). While Olivia (as well as Alex and I) eagerly await Carrie Ryan's third installment, she's read a number of books, one of which was Salem's Lot. As long-time fans of King's, Alex and I really enjoy being able to share the horrors and spine tingles with Olivia. And if you're looking for horrors and spine tingles in new fiction, the Ryan series I mentioned contains just that. While not perfect books, she does do some things very well and you'll never forget some of the scenes and the sheer relentlessness she describes.
The in between times, the hours together at home, around the breakfast or dinner table, we discuss the current political climate (we're with the pro-union folks in WI), books, history (we're a couple of episodes into The Civil War), play games, talk and talk and talk some more. These are fun and full, fascinating days, unschooling with these two amazing people. With the added spark of the impending spring in the air, March is most welcome.