Saturday, December 27, 2008

Christmas with Dan's Family

This year we celebrated Christmas with Dan's family before Christmas instead of after. We also changed it up a little and went to a cabin in Hocking Hills. Our "deluxe" cabin was set on top of a hill. It was beautiful. There were 6 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms to accommodate us all. The kids enjoyed seeing their cousins. Aly and Elena, who are only 4 months apart, were inseparable as usual. There was an upstairs and downstairs, so while the kids were crazy downstairs playing pool and watching movies on the projection screen tv, the adults could be upstairs chatting. A couple of us went out to enjoy the stars, but I didn't stay out long. It was too cold for me. After presents, the kids got into the hot tub for a while. The girls had a good time. It is amazing how fast all these kids have grown up.
Skyeler and her cousin Zac. I remember when they were just little squirts playing together.

One of the highlights of the cabin...the hot tub. Aly loved this! She and Elena made plans to get up early and get in the next morning just by themselves.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Garage Science

Dan helps us out at our homeschool co-op once a month by teaching science lab. He really enjoys doing this and the kids love him. I love that I don't have to take a turn teaching science! This particular experiment came from the NASA website. It was making the nucleus of a comet with dry ice. Dan wasn't sure how this was going to work, so he did a trial run in the garage. Skyeler and Aly were eager to help him out. I hadn't planned on going out in the cold to participate, but pictures were needed (as always). I had never used or seen dry ice and was amazed at all the cool things that could be done with it. The kids at co-op loved it. Not only did they make the nucleus of a comet, they also did some other fun stuff with the dry ice, dish soap, and warm water. Dan also showed them, from a distance, an exploding water bottle. He borrowed a 10 gallon bucket from church, put the bucket over the water bottle, and ran. The bucket went about 10 feet in the air and had about a 9 inch crack in it afterwards, oops. The whole experiment was a huge hit.
Dan and Aly compressing the dry ice, dirt, water, and ammonia to form the nucleus of a comet.
The nucleus of a comet.
What it looks like when you pour warm water and dish soap in with the dry ice. It looks like something from a mad scientist's laboratory.
The bubble made with the dry ice, warm water, dish soap, and a paper towel. You had to be careful about pulling the paper towel slowly over the rim of the cup to get the bubble started. Then it just grew on its own. Below is what it looked like when it finally popped.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Good Intentions

Yes, I have had good intentions toward my blog. Good intentions that have been interrupted by Thanksgiving Break, Christmas shopping, choir practice & performance, and numerous Christmas parties. Oh, and the school we have been able to fit in throughout all this mess. If I wasn't so tired, I would be at the other computer uploading pictures to post. However, I'm exhausted. Aly came down with a fever last night. I think I got about 3-4 hours of sleep. So here I sit ... on the laptop ... posting without pictures ... barely awake ... watching HGTV because college football is over until the bowl games. Bummer! I am excited to post pictures of our science experiment, our Thanksgiving trip with Cheryl & Glen to my parents, and putting up the Christmas tree. Hopefully, I will get to that soon. So if you're checking in, say a little prayer for Aly to feel better and a little prayer for me to keep up.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Odds & Ends

It has been busy around here. The girls left for Granny & Papa's house yesterday. We had co-op this week, grocery shopping, packing and the last bit of school before Thanksgiving Break. It also was the end of our 2nd 6 week period of school. I need to grade Skyeler's Algebra test and print out report cards for my record book. I spent some time shopping yesterday for Christmas. I love shopping for Christmas! Monday I hope to finish most of the shopping. It would be nice to get the house straightened up before we leave for Mom and Dad's on Wednesday. Right now it's in disarray because we were out of the house most of the week. I always have a hard time keeping up with it when we are not in it. You would think that a house would not get messed up if you're not home, but that's not the way it is around here. When we get back, it will be time to begin decorating for Christmas. We are planning to get a real Christmas tree this year. Hopefully, the cat will not want to eat it. He eats the weirdest things. I have some new pictures to post. Dan was trying out his science experiment for co-op and had the girls helping out. I'll tell more about that when I post the pictures. Now it's time to enjoy some hot cider and watch some football. Ah, I love Saturday's in the fall!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Friday, November 7, 2008

The Monkey

Aly has been wanting me to share her newfound ability to do the monkey bars. These pictures are actually from last month. Dan took her and Skyeler to the park and she finally got the hang of crossing the monkey bars. She badgered me to take her again because I just HAD to see it. She's so proud of herself.

Weekly Report

I can't believe it's been a week since I've updated! It's been a busy week. I am hoping to try a "Weekly Report" at the end of each week. Just getting down on paper (or blog) what we have accomplished during the week.

We began our week with co-op. We have co-op every other Monday. The girls love it but it's a long day. Skyeler has Geography, Science Lab, and History/Government in the morning. Aly has Geography, Science Lab, and Art. This week in Art class we worked with the watercolor crayons again. We are using the Artistic Pursuits K-3 Book 1 for co-op class and the kids are enjoying it. The watercolor crayons were a big surprise. They have very bright colors when painted with water. I hope to scan in a couple of Aly's art pieces soon. After lunch we have Keepers at Home classes and Little Keepers classes, gym class, and clubs. Well, the boys are called Contenders but, poor guys, most of us call it Keepers anyway. Keepers and Contenders are kind of like a Christian Girl Scout or Boy Scout club. For the past three weeks in Keepers class the girls have been learning ceramics from Miss Toni. They have poured the molds, with help, cleaned their pieces, and have now begun to paint. They were supposed to finish painting this week but no one was near to being done so they'll work on it next week. The Little Keepers (Aly, Alan, little Skyler, and Lauren) didn't do any pouring but they did clean a little last time and this week they began painting. Here are Skyeler and Elizabeth painting their pieces.

Aly painting her piece. Both girls are very crafty.

And that was just Monday...whew! Tuesday we voted and took the girls with us. We had to vote with a paper ballot so I was able to share with the girls what it looked like and how I filled it out. We won't talk about who won...we'll just pray. Wednesday we needed a day off. The house had become dirty, the laundry was overflowing, and groceries had to be bought. We decided to make up the day next week, but we've already made up all but math and science for Skyeler.

So here's what we DID accomplish this week...


Phonics - Explode the Code pages 47-54

Math - Saxon 2 lessons 35-37 - plus 10 numbers, pairs, & inches

Reading - This week Aly read her first "big" chapter book, "The Sisters Grimm: The Fairy Tale Detectives." She has read other chapter books but this one was a biggie, over 200 pages AND small print. She was so proud of herself and so were we. I haven't read it yet, so it is hard to check for comprehension, but I did hear her talking about it with Skyeler and she seems to know what it was about. Brag Alert: I checked it online at Scholastic and it was a level R reader. Aunt Cheryl tests Aly periodically to let me know how she's doing in reading. Aunt Cheryl tested her at level M/N for independent reading in September so level R is a big accomplishment!

Five in a Row - This is our unit study. We read a book for 5 days in a row and pick out things about the book to learn about during the week. This week we finished up "A Pair of Red Clogs." This book was set in Japan and we created a lapbook with some Japanese numbers, a flag of Japan, a map locating Japan, weather words, and and origami piece that Aly made. In fact, she did origami for hours one day. I meant to take a picture of her lapbook and post it but forgot. Maybe next week.

English - Scott Foresman English online pages 45-46 - asking sentences


Science - Apologia Physical Science working through module 5

VideoText Algebra - completed lesson D1, D2 and a quiz

English - Rod & Staff lessons 34-37 and Wordly Wise lesson 6

Literature - reading "Stowaway" which is definitely NOT a favorite. She's plugging along but insists on telling me that she's given it a fair try and she just doesn't like it. I guess she's not into a boy stowing away on a ship in the 1700's. I haven't finished reading this one (the first since we started Sonlight). What I've read is certainly not spectacular.

Latin - Skyeler finished week 3 in the Memoria Press study guide for Henle Latin I. We got our books late for this course,they were on backorder, so we are a little behind. So far, so good. I have no background in Latin so I hope that she continues to understand it. My plan was to study ahead of her, but that didn't last long.

Piano - She seems to be going along at a good pace with piano. She plays by ear so lessons have been a little trying for her. It's good for her though.

Geography - She worked on finishing the labeling for Canada and the U.S., their states, provinces, territories, and capitals. This is for her co-op class that is doing Mapping the World by Heart. By the end of December she will have to map North America and certain of it's features by heart.

Aly & Skyeler

History - we did pages 73-110 in "George Washington's World" this week. Both did a written narration on George III of England. We like the stories in GWW however, we do not like how it hops around just when we are getting into a particular person or event. It's a little hard to follow. It is better than "Augustus Caesar's World" which we read last year for our study of Rome.

Wow! It looks like we did accomplish something this week. Some weeks it is so hard to tell. This was one of those weeks. After reading some other blogs with Weekly Reports, I need to remember to take pictures of the everyday kind of things we do in school. I also want to include some of their narrations eventually. Hopefully, I'll get better at describing what were doing.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Trick or Treat

Thursday was our Trick or Treat night. Aly was pretty excited. Her friend, Skyler, came up to go trick or treating with us. Our Skyeler chose not to dress up this year, though she did don her tiara from the Ren. Fest. She walked around with us carrying a book...she's nothing like me *grin* Last year we went around our block, had plenty of candy, and came home. This year there were not many houses with lights on in our block. We had to walk a little farther to do some serious trick or treating. Aly's face got cold and she started getting slower to go to the houses, so we turned around and headed home. We were out a little over an hour. The girls had fun, though, and that's what it's all about.

Aly as Lucy from Prince Caspian (also her Ren. Fest. dress)Skyler and Aly. Skyler wanted to be a vampire, this was her and her mom's compromise. Check out those teeth. They lasted for about the first street.
The stash! Aly doesn't like anything with nuts so the rest of us get all the Snickers, Peanut M&M's, and Butterfingers. I'm good with that!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

My Bargain

Ok, this is really just for Cheryl. I found a duvet cover at Target a week or so ago. For $5.00!! The shams were $5 & $7 (had to go to a different Target to find the match). So for $17 I have a new look in the bedroom. I wasn't sure I was going to like it, but I needed something other than 80's green and mauve flowers on my bed. Now that it's there, I like it. I need to find some accent pillows ... hopefully, for as good a deal as the duvet. Now to find something to decorate over the bed...

Raking the Leaves

This past Saturday, Skyeler and her friend Ashley wanted to go to Hobby Lobby. They asked Dan if he would take them if they raked the leaves in the front yard. He agreed. I head upstairs to check on them and find Ashely with the big rake and Skyeler with ... what is that orange thing ... a SNOW SHOVEL! I take a picture (of course) and then go tell Dan of their silliness. I'm all settled back downstairs when I hear Aly and her friend Skyler (yes, that gets confusing) head outside. They want to help rake leaves too. Little Skyler goes out back to get the kid-size rake. The next time I check up on them I see Ashley with her rake, Skyeler with her snow shovel, little Skyler with the little rake and ... what can that be ... Aly with the broom and dustpan from the garage! Oh, my, what a spectacle for the neighbors. Of course I have to take more pictures. Amazingly, they got all the leaves in a nice big pile. I didn't think we HAD that many leaves in our front yard. Ashley and Skyeler permitted the little ones to jump a few times and even jumped in themselves before raking the leaves out to the curb. They did a great job and we went to Hobby Lobby after lunch.
Starting out.
The snow shovel.

The broom and dustpan.

Jumping in!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Harvest Party

With Skyeler's birthday last week and me feeling under the weather this week, I'm a little behind on posting some of our October fun. Saturday, the 18th, we had our church's annual Harvest Party. It was bright and sunny, but a little cool. The girls are always looking forward to this event. There's games, food, and a hay ride. Aly was excited to "dodge" for apples again this year. Dan and I explained that this might not be a good idea. It was cool outside, unlike last year, and I didn't pack any extra clothes. And there is the tiny fact that Aly doesn't have any front teeth. We thought it was all settled...until they brought out that tote full of water and apples just waiting to be "dodged." Aly couldn't resist. Luckily, I caught her before she began and made her take off her long sleeved undershirt. Little did I know that she would try to drown herself trying to "dodge" those apples. It was impossible for her to get one, she has no teeth to bite down on an apple. After she was thoroughly soaked and freezing, we told her to just reach in a grab one. She was so upset. She told me she had "waited all year to dodge for apples!" Priceless! Here is Aly in all her toothless glory.

"Dodging" for apples!

Maybe it'll work better from this side. Um, nope! Unfortunately, Doug has the picture on his camera of her whole head and shoulders down in the water.

Soaked! All the way down her pant legs. Thankfully, Beverly had just ran to Target and was able to pick her up some dry leggings.

Miss Sharon trying to explain to Aly that it's ok that she didn't get the apple, that she can't even hold it in her mouth when it's still and not bobbing in water.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Celebrating a Birthday!

Shopping is a great way to celebrate a birthday, at least, according to Skyeler. Instead of a party and gifts, she chose a shopping trip with friends last Friday. We shop, shop, shopped...ALL DAY! It was fun, tiring, but fun. A trip to the mall, a couple bookstores, JoAnn Etc., and Starbucks filled our day. Ok, only Ji Eun actually likes coffee but the rest of us enjoyed Carmel Apple Ciders and hot chocolate. After shopping all day we celebrated with ice cream cake from Dairy Queen, Skyeler's favorite. Of course there was some silliness...trying on all kinds of hats throughout the day, storytime with Tori at Barnes & Noble, and a gas station that had no bathroom (we only found this out AFTER 5 of us were out of the car!). I'm so glad she had fun. Before the shopping trip, the girls looking ready to shop, shop, shop!
After the shopping, they were dropping and fighting over the couch

Singing "Happy Birthday" in the traditional "Emperor's New Groove" style. She got the candles with one blow!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Happy Birthday, Skyeler!

My little girl is 14 today. I am amazed at how the time has flown by. Where there was a little, pixie of a girl who loved Alex Trebek and Batman, there is now a beautiful, young lady emerging. Unreal. I am thankful that God has seen fit to put her into our lives. I had great plans of scanning in a baby picture of her, but those were waylaid by her desire to take a trip to Kohl's (a gift card was burning a hole in her pocket). Maybe on Saturday I'll throw one or two together to post. We will be celebrating tomorrow with a shopping trip with three of her friends, and then pizza and ice cream cake with family friends. I'm the mom of a 14 year old. Amazing.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Camp Jabez

A couple weeks ago, our youth group attended an open house at Camp Jabez. The camp is run by the mission we volunteer at downtown. A few of the girls, Skyeler included, are interested in their Jr. Wrangler program. This program would allow them to work with the horses at the camp and train them how to minister with the horses to those inner city kids who attend the camp in the summer months. It was a beautiful day to be out at the camp. All the kids were interested in the Zip Line. A line running from the base tower, out over the lake, and then back to the stopping point. Aly was beside herself with excitement. She couldn't wait to get on it. Skyeler, a little less excited, ended up being the first to get geared up and have a go at it. It was fun to watch but way too high for this mom to get up and give it a try. The older I get, the bigger chicken I become. **Note: the pictures are a little blurry. The camera was in action mode, but that zip line was moving fast and I was moving, too, trying to get the best position. Plus, I zoomed up so you could see their faces.

Skyeler headed down the lineSkyeler coming back across the lake
Aly waiting to get the green light
Aly screaming ALL the way down, across the lake, and back. Screams of joy, of course!

Friday, October 17, 2008

New Toy

Dh returned home (safely) with a new toy. Well, it's not a toy for him, it's a work tool. Yes, I am now typing from his new laptop. It's a perk of his new job description as part-time auditor. Yipee! I can now surf the net while watching ESPN (or HGTV). Don't worry Mom, I'm caught up on my laundry and the house is clean, AND I exercised. Now I can veg with the laptop and the same time!

Unfortunately, dh is still feeling yuck, but he's glad to be home. Now, to make my first blog post from the laptop. How exciting!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

The Pumpkin Patch

On our way to the Renaissance Festival, we passed a small pumpkin patch with Cinderella's pumpkin carriage sitting out front. The girls thought it was so cute. I told them we'd stop on the way back and take a picture if they wanted. Was I crazy? Of course they wanted to. So tired though we were from walking at the festival, we stopped for the photo op. Yahoo #2 had tired of her costume by then. We walked around the pumpkin patch and decided to get some mini pumpkins to take home. I also picked up some pumpkin butter and apple cider. I think it was the best cider I have ever had. Earlier I had bought mulling spices at the festival...perfect for the cider. It was a great little "extra" field trip.

The Pumpkin CarriageYahoo #2 walking through the pumpkin patchHow about this one, Mom?! No dear, I'm not paying over $40 for a pumpkin!


We began "The Ghost in the Tokaido Inn" this week for our Sonlight history read aloud. It was supposed to be yahoo #1's reader but after previewing it, I really thought yahoo #2 would enjoy it as well. I was correct. It is set in 1700's Japan, the time of the shogun and samurai. Interestingly, one of the main characters is a "Kirishitan." The name the Japanese gave those who converted to the Christian faith. The main character, a young boy, would like to be a samurai and write poetry. The poetry the samurai wrote was Haiku.

Our creative writing exercise was to have the girls write their own Haiku. I had bought magnetic Haiku poetry words in our Rainbow Resource order this summer and we all sat down and made our Haiku. The rules were to use the words from the Haiku set. It was more challenging that way than thinking one up on my own (at least "I" thought so). Here are our poems...

yahoo #1

Early wind whispers,
Knowest blossom, friend of stream,
Song beneath the sun.

yahoo #2 (needed a little help in making it poetry, not sentences)

I dream spring is cold
Dandelions shivering
Blossoms are freezing.


Purple clouds above
Thundering throughout the night
Wet rain falls about.

Monday, October 13, 2008

"Donkey Tales"

Last night the children's choir at church had a performance. Both girls love being involved in the choir. Neither had a main role, but each had two solos. Yahoo #1 is constantly amazing me with the strength of her voice. I seem to be doing a double take lately when she sings wondering where that voice is coming from. She had one part in the play where she had to pretend to fall. Now yahoo #1 is not the most graceful of creatures so she has had plenty of practice and did her role well. She got a kick out of that. Yahoo #2 is just a ham. Yep. That's right. If someone is watching, she is ready to perform. After a disasterous dress rehearsal, the play went off pretty well. Two of the little girls (yahoo #2 included) didn't know one of the solos. Luckily, the third did, however said third little girl was on a mission to sing it and get it over with. She was nowhere near on time with the music. Now keep in mind that my yahoo and the other little girl couldn't come up with their own parts to the solo, BUT they had plenty to say about the other little girl being off. Yahoo #2 was making motions and whispering during the solo about what the other little girl was doing wrong. Priceless. Yahoo #2's other solo went wonderful. At the end of the play, all the kids were supposed to hold hands and take a bow. Yahoo #2 decided that wasn't enough. She, with the other two little girls in two, took center stage and had the three of them bow. After that, the older kids took turns bowing so it looked planned. I heard from the choir leader later that it was not. She was so amused! What a hoot!

Pictures from "Donkey Tales"

honestly, it never matters what the littlest yahoo's do because they're so darn cute
yahoo #2 singing one of her solo', she didn't know this one too well
yahoo #1 doing some choreography

yahoo #1 singing her solo

Friday, October 10, 2008

A "blah" day

Well, dh has come down with the crud. I'm not feeling so great myself but am determined to hold off those germies. We did bare-bones schooling this morning. We have a 5 day school week next week (no co-op). I've already warned the girls that we will be working hard. We are through with the first 6 weeks of school. Wow! I can't believe that time has gone by so quickly. Best of all, we are practically on schedule! Amazing.

Dh is watching "Star Trek: The Next Generation" and the yahoo #2 has discovered yahoo #1's old Barbie video camera. They were watching video of when they were 2 and 8 that yahoo #1 had recorded. What a hoot! Yahoo #2 is now set up with a new video tape all her own and the video recorder, which miraculously still works. We are all in grave peril of being caught unawares.

I had planned to figure out some more about this blog of mine and make a trip to Hobby Lobby. I found some cool crafty ideas for Christmas. However, I think I'll do neither. Now what book do I want to begin next....

Thursday, October 9, 2008

More Pictures

Yahoo #1 in her borrowed outfit. Absolutely stunning!
Yahoo #1 was peer-pressured into trying on this corset...while everyone watched! She said it felt very comfortable and was considering saving up for one until she heard the price. $250!
Here is the back of the corset. Look at all those laces! It took a while for the vendor to lace her up. The gentleman who makes these does all the stitching by hand. They certainly were beautiful.

Ok. I've now realized that I have the story AFTER the pictures. Oops! I'm really going to have to play around with this a little more.

Renaissance Festival

Last week we attended the Renaissance Festival. This was our second year and it was so much fun! Some of the other moms in our homeschool group were not able to go, so I was in charge of five girls all with one thing on their mind...SHOPPING! Part of the fun is dressing up. Yahoo #1 was able to borrow a dress from my cousin. Yahoo #2 was going to wear an old costume, however, on further inspection said outfit had two large holes in it. Not good. Especially since I have no idea how to sew more than a button! Target came through for us though. Yahoo #2 found this "Lucy" costume from "Prince Caspian." Once she was all done up (picture above), she looked amazingly like the real Lucy. Yahoo #2 found the quill pen she was dying to have and because she was so cute, they gave her a $5 discount. Yahoo #1 found some scents and a unicorn necklace. She also had a charm added to the tiara she received last year for her birthday. We had a great day, minus the standing in line forever for food. We even made a small, secondary field trip to a pumpkin patch on the way home. Fun, fun, fun!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

First Attempt

My emergence into the blogging world is necessitated by my parents inability to view photographs through their computer email. Those are a lot of big words. What I'm really saying is that Granny & Papa need some way to check out the happenings of their grandchildren. Since email is failing, I have been forced to finally enter the blogging world. Honestly, I have been considering this for almost a year. Living miles away from family has made me realize how much we miss of those little everyday kind of things. I'm hoping to record some of the daily happenings to share with those who cannot be here. Hopefully on a regular basis! Let's see if this works!