Let's see what I can recall.
Much of 16-year-old Ramona's fall semester was consumed by community theater. (Did I just say she's 16? I did. People, I started blogging when she was three. Yikes. May I stop time, please?)
She auditioned for Peter and the Starcatcher and (dramatic drumroll....) got the lead. She adored playing the Starcatcher, Molly, and her British accent was, if I do say so myself, spot on. (Not that I can actually judge, not being British, but trust me. It was perfect. This is not a mother talking. Well, it is. But. Whatever.) There were six performances over two weekends (would have been seven, but one was canceled due to snow), plenty of family made it into town to see her, and overall, the entire experience delighted all involved.
As homeschoolers in a small town, theater opportunities can be a little hard to come by, so I'd been hoping something would work out soon for Ramona. Community theater to the rescue, and long live Molly -- the Starcatcher and the rising star. So happy for her.
Have I mentioned how much I love having a daughter who's a librarian? It's not only that Anne-with-an-e will pick up or return books for me (and I admit that I exploit that benefit far too often), but she absolutely loves her job, and knowing that I played a part in matchmaking the Anne-with-an-e/Library relationship brings me extensive happiness.
I spent much of the fall semester learning how to shop for and cook meals that are AIP (Autoimmune Protocol) compliant. Betsy's Crohn's disease, as I mentioned last September, was not responding to the drug she was on. She switched to a new one that she has to inject at home (and I learned that I can actually give someone a shot. Who knew? Nurse Karen, here). Then she tackled the daunting challenge of the AIP elimination diet. When people asked what she had to give up and I named all the foods -- grains, nuts, corn, legumes, beans, eggs, spices, dairy -- that aren't allowed during the elimination phase, they asked, "What's left?" Well, mainly vegetables (but no potatoes -- who knew they were a nighshade?), fruit, and meat.
Sourcing can be a challenge, but we've been getting it figured out. I've learned so much in the last few months about how to cook this way. There are loads of gluten-free flours that I'd never used or even heard of (tigernut, cassava.) I learned that you can actually make a pretty tasty orange-cranberry scone without flour, eggs, or sugar, and that you can create a "chili" without tomatoes (which are also a nightshade and therefore off-limits) by creating a stew base with pumpkin. I've been introduced to roughly a gajillion coconut products that I didn't know existed and I learned that everyone actually likes beef liver when it's hidden in a stew created by McAngie at Autoimmune Wellness.
It's still a challenge to balance all the AIP stuff with my vegan-ish leanings and some restrictions that Atticus adheres to, but I'm no longer pulling my hair out. I've been making peace with the kitchen, something I thought I'd never do, and that's been a lovely surprise.
I just finished How to Stop Time, by Matt Haig, and I absolutely loved it. It was so much more than I expected, and now I want to read everything Matt Haig has ever written.