Monday, October 5, 2015

A new skill

Miss A has spent the summer mastering potty training.  Since she's getting so good at that one I guess she decided it was time to try something new.  This past week she learned that she can open up the refrigerator.  It's a very handy skill when Mommy keeps saying things like "no, your snack is on the table" or "wait, it's almost time for dinner."

I'm thankful that she still can't access most things in there.  About all she can do is look and let us know for sure what she wants since she CAN see it.  Poor girl, the cheese drawer is RIGHT THERE, she just can't get it open.  Well, she can also practice the skill of self control and wait; just like mama said. ;)

Thursday, October 1, 2015

And so it begins....

...a new season of Science Olympiad.  Since I didn't learn my lesson last year; I now have 4 kids competing (and 12 events between them).  I'm also helping to lead an elementary level non-competitive team.  Yikes!  What was I thinking?  Well, anyways, here goes.

At this meeting the very youngest (that really are not involved) played with pasta and marshmallows to build towers, or anything else they came up with.

The youngest participants were practicing their observation skills by trying to copy a gumdrop tower that had been built earlier.  They had to pay attention to colors and direction the gum drops were pointing in order to make an exact copy.  After that they just had fun building.

The middle level guys gave directions orally to their partner in order to help their partner perfectly replicate the structure they had built.

The upper level had to write out the instructions for another team to replicate the structure they had.  This is harder than it sounds, but they did a great job and their structures came close to matching the originals.

While building gum drop towers may not sound very scientific this exercise was building the very earliest understanding of computer programing.  It also showed them the importance of paying attention to details and accurate communication.

During this time Miss E was meeting with her Anatomy partner for a study session and Mr. R was helping with this activity since he'd done this event last year.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015


When we canceled our first (and only) planned camping trip this summer in exchange for "morning" sickness everyone took it well.  We were excited that a long week-end presented itself as a possibility for a quick trip before the weather turned too cold here.  The extra blessing?  Friends of ours were also in the area; the Dad's put their heads together to make this happen for us!

We stopped for a lunch picnic along the way.

We don't have many leaves changing colors around here, so it was such a blessing to get to see all of the golden aspen leaves on our drive over the pass AND where we were camping.  The river by our camp site provided some great fun the first morning.
Ah, throwing rocks in the water!  An activity that kids young and old enjoy.

We followed our friends up to a lake and spent most of the day there.  Everyone stayed in a fairly small area exploring, fishing,  throwing more rocks,  and eating.  Mr. M's persistence paid off.  He caught a fish.

The next day Rob had plans to take most of the kids to look for a geocash or two.  My back had had enough driving so he dropped me off in town with Miss E and Miss A.  Miss E wisely discerned that mom's life currently revolves around food and realized that coming with me would lead to treats.  Strangely most of the breakfast (and even coffee) places were not yet open at 8am.  At the end of the main street we finally found a bakery/coffee shop.  Then Miss E found an open book store where she promptly disappeared while Miss A and I enjoyed the couch in the children's area.

After lunch at the trailer Rob took off with most of the older kids.  The littles and I needed naps.  Miss E decided to stay behind to read.  When the littles got up we headed into town for ice cream; I was so happy that the local shop had quite a few dairy free options for Mr K to choose from.

We all met up again at the trailer planning to make dinner.  The meat for dinner was placed in the coldest part of our refrigerator and was a frozen block.  This lead to the decision to head back to town for dinner at the local pizza place.  After dinner we explored town a bit and got more ice cream (some of the kids had missed out, you know).
This place offered dairy free cheese on pizzas!  That was a first for Mr K and he was so excited!  He had the whole pizza to himself and managed to eat it ALL.

It was so nice to be able to get out at least once this summer.  The temperatures are starting to dip a bit and we're enjoying the feeling of the changing season as we start digging deep into our school year.  Perfect timing!

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

A permit and a license

Miss E and Mr. M were busy this past month or so.  Both were studying/preparing to get a license or permit.

Mr. M went to some evening classes with Daddy for his Hunter's Safety course.  Now that he's 12 he has the option of getting a hunting license.  If he didn't take the course and pass the test he'd once again just be tagging along on the hunt.  Watching, but not shooting.  The boy passed with flying colors.  He missed only 1 question on the test.  He earned the highest score (at least for any minor taking the course) and earned a reward from the teacher.

Miss E spent a few weeks doing an on-line driver's ed course needed before she could get her driver's permit.  She worked hard to make it happen as quickly as possible.  After finishing and getting all of the paperwork together Daddy took her into the DMV to take the test.  The DMV gave her a proper welcome to "adult" life and dealing with government agencies....they were there for nearly 4 hours.  Waiting.  Waiting.  Waiting.   Miss E also did great on her test, missing only one question.  Then more waiting...The permit finally came.  It's official, she's a driver!

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Orientation day!

Well, I guess we officially had our first day of school this week.  We had Orientation Day at 12 Stones Classical Homeschool Program.  Basically its a co-op that we will be going to once a week for various classes.  God in His goodness sent this option along at a time that we needed it.  He knew we would be moving.  He knew I'd have "morning" sickness.  He knew that there was no way I'd have time for the intense school planning that I usually spend a month or more doing every summer.  We're excited not just for the classes, but for the fellowship.  We just love the emphasis on Christian Community.  We're excited about getting to spend more time with dear friends we already know and love, and getting to know more sweet families.

After orientation I treated the kids to lunch out to celebrate.  I love that 12 Stones is located fairly close to where we live (only 20 minutes away which is CLOSE!).  That limited the kids options though since in our little town the options were Sonic or KFC/A&W (ok, we have a McD's and Culver's too, but I didn't offer those).  They were all in agreement on KFC though a couple asked why Chick-fil-a wasn't an option.....too far sweeties, too far.

Miss A slept through the whole thing.  I'd anticipated this situation, so she had been well fed before we got in the van to head out.

Mr. R and Mr. M wanted take home mugs.

This was a great way to get us all thinking about getting back into a routine and getting back on track.  We're re-establishing our skeleton schedule and looking forward to adding to it in the next few weeks as we jump into another year of homeschooling!

Monday, August 17, 2015

Summer plans....

Ah, our summer has not gone as planned.  After finding out I was pregnant our camping trip got canceled.  As did the trips to the living history museum, zoo, mining museum and well....anything else involving action on my part.  I was feeling bad for the poor kids and then I realized what they DID spend the summer doing.

They explored our new (5 acre) property.
Hiked/biked the horse trails behind our house.
Caught tadpoles, frogs and salamanders in a little pond they discovered close by alongside said trail.
They observed the growth and development of above mentioned critters through repeated visits.
Miss J taught herself how to ride a bike.
Boys mowed a fair bit of our property (repeatedly).

Mr. M moved a few trees that needed to be moved to provide more parking space.
Miss C got over her fear of chickens and even started caring for them; all on her own!

Kids explored interests and hobbies that they had not had time for during the school year.
Squirt gun fights.
Hours spent on the play set.

I saw books picked up that I wouldn't have expected to be read.
Some "camped" outside.
They worked in our garden and watched it grow.  They've started reaping the rewards as well!

Yea, I'm not feeling so bad about those canceled plans any more.  We've had plenty of busy, fun and exciting summers in the past.  What a blessing to see all of the fun and learning that can happen just by letting kids explore a bit.  They don't need to be scheduled and directed all the time (especially the older ones).  Now that our days are getting a bit cooler and I'm feeling a bit better its time to get back to a routine.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Happy Birthday to the birthday buddies!

Having two kids share a birthday is so much more fun than I thought it would be.  I love seeing the special bond Miss E and Mr K share through their birthday.  I love seeing her maturity and selflessness as she helps him figure out what to plan for their big day.  Despite the 11 year gap they have plenty in common and had no problem making their plans.

They had fun taking turns opening their gifts.

He wanted pancakes for breakfast and she wanted a chance to work on her pancake art.  Win!  Win!

As usual we took the birthday kids out on a date.  It's fun making this one a double date.  They both wanted Sushi.  Yep, it's a favorite for both of them.  I think Mr. K devoured more than any of us.  He was THRILLED to find that nearly everything on the table was dairy free.  He liked the rolls with shrimp in them best.