This was a long weekend, the kind where you can hardly remember morning by nightfall.

We saw various friends at the downtown Toledo farmer’s market Saturday morning, Unitarians and homeschoolers and potters. We only bought local stuff. I bought yams and red fingerling potatoes. Tyler bought green bell peppers, his favorite. Connor bought a cantelope, and a peck of small cukes with a big bouquet of fresh dill, announcig that he was going to make dill pickles. Jeff bought some little summer squash that looked like dirigibles, and Molly coasted from free sample to free sample.

Jeff made a monster batch of fresh garden salsa again this weekend, and a big batch of pork and venison meatballs to freeze. We went to Kapnick orchard on Saturday and picked blueberries for $1.85 a pound (twenty pounds of them!). We were close enough to the lake to go visit my dad at the cottage, and brought chicken and sweet corn to make supper for him since Mom was with her Mom in Midland for the night.

At one point Connor (12) pushed his grandfather (70-something) on the big rope swing with the plank seat that hangs from a tree branch. My oldest son begged to spend the night at the lake with his grandpa, so we drove off without him… leaving the two of them with no mom/wife around to remind or instruct or scold. I have no idea when (or if) my kid went to bed last night, and I get the feeling he lived on potato chips, but he helped my dad haul some wood this morning and they ran some errands and had a nice time. I drove up today to get him — an hour there, an hour back — and was able to listen to more of my Kingsolver book on the ipod… (also stopped for 3 dozen eggs from a roadside farm, and a bag of black sweet cherries.)

Last night before dark, Jeff and the kids helped me build the metal frame of an 8X8 hoop greenhouse I found at an end-of-season bargain. I am going to plant it with cold weather greens, the mache/rapunzel we love, spinach, kale and wild Italian arugula. The plastic needn’t go on until frost threatens.

Tomorrow morning we have our homeschool assessments by a certified teacher, which means my kids will “graduate” to the next grade (4th, 6th and 8th.) We’ll probably go out to lunch as usual.

Tonight they gathered all the workbooks and texts they have finished this year, but more importantly, made little “resume” lists of music lessons and recitals, sport, martial arts and gymnastics accomplishments, scout merit badges and camp adventures from archery to citizenship to horseback riding and astronomy. Ty listed his spelling bee, they packed up the robotics team trophy, and listed our trips to Chicago’s field museum as well as art and science classes at the Museum and the Lake Erie Center. They listed community service projects, hobbies (cooking, fishing, camping, pottery) , church and homeschool group activities and more, skimming their daily journals from last year and finding more and more adventures thay had forgotten. Molly’s box holds her badge-crusted brownie vest. Connor’s has the glass ornament he blew himself.

We’ll be going to Washington, D.C in August, but that will be in their journals for next year’s assessments. Ty may be headed for high school after this year, so he might do a standardized test next year. (I was surprised to find that all three of my kids were disappointed to be doing assessments this year instead of testing, which they apparently loved.)

We’re pretty much in full summer vacation mode, now… though we’ll be reading aloud from an American history book in the weeks leading up to our DC trip. Soon we’ll ease back into Rosetta Stone Spanish on the computer, then daily Singapore math… but winter is long and confining, and this is the time to swim and ride bikes, help pick and can tomatoes, play on the trampoline and lie in the hammock reading. (The last Harry Potter has long ago been finished and shelved.)

I can remain in full denial about the coming of fall, ignore the school supply sales and let the weather decide when our school year begins. That, and we can plan our vacations for the time when most kids are back in school and we have the good touristy spot all to ourselves. One of the fringe bennies of homeschooling… and one I try to focus on, as moms around me gloat about having the whole day to themselves again when the big yellow bus pulls up.

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