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Month: September 2011

quick trip north: a visit to harlow lake and sugarloaf mountain

This past weekend, we drove like crazy people eight hours north to take care of some details as we edge ever closer to realizing our dreams of a northwoods retreat. We’re almost there now. After more than a year of searching for land, and over a hundred days of trying to secure ingress/egress easements before we can close on the 40 acre parcel we’ve fallen in love with, everything is finally in place. We should be closing by the middle of this week.

After a meeting with surveyor, excavator, and realator, we managed to save ourselves a few hours to hike and just enjoy being outdoors. We spent time hiking around Harlow Lake, which is just 20 minutes from the 40-acre parcel. Despite our many visits, we never took the opportunity to really look closely at this beautiful lake. So, we spent some time there. We also took the opportunity to hike the much talked about Sugarloaf Mountain. I can’t believe we haven’t done this sooner. The hike wasn’t too difficult, but the views were wonderful. We spent a lot of time just hanging out at the summit, lounging on the rocks, talking, sitting quietly, and gazing over the treetops at the big water that lies beyond.

I feel like this fast weekend trip was the first in which we really relaxed–without the pressure of a packed agenda, looking for that perfect piece of land, rushing against the time and the seasons. This trip, everything seemed more at peace, more present, aligned with the dream and filled with the promise of what’s to come.

hello, my name is chris and i have become a soccer mom

This past month seems to have gone by in a blur for me. Part of this blur in due to Aidan’s decision to try a bunch of new activities this fall. So, right now almost every day is booked with something–from gymnastics to robotics and everything in between!

In addition to the variety of classes and clubs, we have also managed to go on a few recent tours. One was at the Romeoville National Weather Station. We all got a look at some of the tools of the trade, along with the computers that they use to track storms. We also learned about what the job of a meteorologist is all about and what it takes to become one.

The other was a tour with an engineering scientist at Fermi Lab where we got to learn about and see the Tevatron accelerator, which has been in use for 26 years. While some of the material was presented in a overly scientific manner, it still was an interesting tour/talk. It’s also pretty cool because we got to see this accelerator before it shuts down (shut down is scheduled at the end of this month).

“not-so-great expectations” — a comedy of error

This came across the desk today, and I had to laugh. We get this quite a bit. So many people just don’t know what to do or what to say to us on matters of learning and education–close friends, family members, and even some homeschoolers we know. It’s tough when you don’t fit the mold. I think some people find you oddly threatening. Needless to say, after the first awkward encounter like the one below, we get very few questions about our approach to learning. I guess the typical questions and comments don’t fit, and people are left with nothing else to say. Funny.

Click the image below to enlarge it and squint your eyes to read the speech balloons. :-)

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