Monday, February 27, 2012

Happy Birthday!!

Today is the baby's birthday. I don't know how she got to be 8, but there you go. Time is going way too fast for this mama.

Heaven help me, I love her.

Have a great day.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Up, Up, and Away...

A few weeks ago we took a field trip with the baby's girls' club that she belongs to. My friend, MS, has been facilitating and the baby loves it! The girls were studying Amelia Earhart. That meant a field trip to a local airport. The best part for me was that we got to go and siblings were welcome. That made it an official field trip. It was really very cool.

We got to go into the control tower. That was a pretty cool experience. There were security gates and doors and cameras and the boys in our group thought it was like being a spy. Really? Ok. This is the view from one window. The lake in the background actually wraps around most of the back side of the airport. We drive by this place almost every day and I had no idea how big it was. When you see it from the road, it's not that impressive. When you see it from the tower, it's another thing entirely. It's like a small town.

While we were there, we got to see a plane land. The air traffic controllers were very good at relaying information to us. Two of the three are pilots themselves. One used to fly, but hasn't in many years. It was neat to see and hear them guide the plane to the taxiways and watch it drive by. We waved. We didn't think they saw us. Then they waved back. Cool!

This is a light gun. It had white, green and red lights. If for some reason a pilot doesn't have radio, they can guide him with the light. The boy was making me nervous while he was holding it. He doesn't get nearly enough allowance to replace it. It was fun to find out that they turn the lights off at 7. If a pilot comes in after that, they have a "clicker" they use to turn them on. I want one. Of course, I would be more like the guy in Airplane! I can hear me now. " Just kidding!"

We also got to go in several planes that were in a private hangar. It pays to have connections. This one sat 8 and I'm ok with that. It was bigger inside than it looks. The only way I've ever flown was commercial. I'm not sure how well I'd do in such a small plane. That doesn't mean I wouldn't. It just means I might have to be medicated.

This is the cockpit to that plane. All of the knobs and buttons and levers were intimidating. Not to the pilot, good thing, but to the rest of us.

This is the outside of the plane. It was so shiny. Look how clean the floors are. I don't think my floors at home have ever been that pretty. The planes just gleam and sparkle. Someone needs to come to my house...

This was a smaller plane. I can say without hesitation that there is no way I could fly in this plane. It was like sitting in a Coke can. Not for me, but thank you for asking.

The gentleman that showed us around is a pilot. He's the head pilot, actually. This is his plane. It's a little puddle jumper. He can land this on water or land with the flip of a switch. It's a good thing he didn't tell the boy how to start that bad boy up, because he would have. And then would have taken off. Crazy boy. Doesn't he know it's the landing that's tricky?

This is the cockpit of that plane. The boy wanted to take a picture, so I had to include it. You could see him plotting and planning. He scares me when he does that.

We had a great time. The air traffic controllers and all the staff were accomodating and friendly. They were very patient with the kids (and the parents). The kids got to see some of the daily operations of a place that they see all the time, but had never been to. It was just plain fun. And plane fun.

Have a great day.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Seperation Anxiety

The beginning of the year always brings changes. In our home, that means I start researching curriculum for our next school year. I try to think about what we like about our current curriculum, what we don't, what needs to be changed or tweaked. This year, the big girl has changed math twice. That is rare for us. But, if it doesn't work, it doesn't work. I was given a ton of curriculum. I kept quite a bit and gave the rest away. Some of it, I'm missing a couple of pieces. Some of it is usable as it is. Love that. When taxes come in, I order what we need. This year, it really wasn't much. But as I was planning, I realized something. And I wasn't happy about it.

We have three subjects that we learn together: bible, history, and science. Next school year, it will only be bible. The big girl will be a freshman in high school. How that happened, I have no idea. It feels like we just started homeschooling and now she's in high school. Crazy!! Because she is, though, she'll have to do high school level history and science. That's a little over the boy's head and way over the baby's. Oh, but it gets better.

Now, my kids are pretty good at doing math and language arts on their own. I review with them and make sure they understand what they're learning. The boy will have a different math than he's ever had. The baby's will take more time than before as well. And the big girl will be starting Algebra. Great.

The boy and the baby will be sharing history. We are going back to Story of the World for them. The big girl will have a history course that heavily incorporates geography. That will be new for her. It will also be new for me. Science will be different, too. Once again, the younger two will share science. The big girl will have her own high school level science. I'm not nervous about upper level math or science. I did very well in both subjects and like them both, as well. But science twice in one day. I'm not sure I'm down for that no matter how much I like it.

The boy will be using literature guides this year. That is way out of his comfort zone. He'll get over it. I did try to get studies for books I think he'll like. He'll be reading Mr. Popper's Penguins and The Whipping Boy. I'm pretty sure he'll like the stories, but the work load is something different. Lots of stuff at one time for him. The baby will be doing spelling and poetry with some grammar workbooks thrown in. That's a big work load for her, too. We'll see how they do. We'll see how I do! The big girl will be starting literature. I have two textbooks. One for her, and one for me. That way I can read what she's reading and neither one of us has to wait for the other. Talk about a big workload.

I could go on and on, but I think I'm getting hives. On top of all that we still have all of our extras. So how is that going to play out? I don't know!!!! We have one subject together, the rest apart, and lots of other stuff, too. The craziest part: I'm looking forward to it. Good grief, I'm insane. And I kinda like it.

Have a great day.

Friday, February 3, 2012

The Baby, In Pics

Big Sis pointed out that in my last picture post, there were none of the baby. There were lots of my babies, but none of THE baby. Well, ok, let me fix that...

Sometimes if the big girl does something, the baby will follow. This time it was bangs. The baby had to get bangs, too. She ahd bangs for thelongest time, but decide to let them grow out. She liked when they got chin length and were still shorter than the rest of her hair. The fell perfectly around her beautiful face. This child rarely has a bad hair day. Of course, 2 minutes after we get in the van, it looks like she was raised with possums living in her hair, but a quick run through with a brush and she has perfect hair. NOT fair!!

This is one of my favorite pics of her. She is starting to develop this crazy sense of humor. I am so proud. This was at Halloween. She was a lady bug. The big girl helped her make the dots on her shirt. The boy was some kind of robot thing. If you look close, she's recoiling in terror. She is so funny!

Yeah, that's pretty much where she stays. At the top of the heap. Isaid it once, and I'll say it again. NOT fair!

The kids were playing dress up one day. This was the big girl's first dance recital costume. She was a little lamb. We've lost all the other pieces to teh costume, but this lives on. Look how tan she is! Drives the big girl nuts. Well, the big girl doesn't have possum hair, so she should be thankful for that.

For two weeks at swim lessons, did I get one pic? Yup, but just this one. This was two summers ago. She is about to dive off into the 12 foot section of the pool. She was so proud of herself and so were we. Should have heard us hooting and hollering. That's how we roll.

So there you go. Pics of the baby. Whoo hoo!!

Have a great day.

Goings On

I know it's been a little while, so it's time to get caught up. I've got my list ready and the tunes playing. I think today will be a daybook style day.

  • From the schoolroom...we are doing a study on Native American Indians. We looked at the Iroquois and next week we start the Seminoles. We are working our way west. We are sort of following the progression west as we look at different cultures. That plays in perfectly with a field trip we have planned for next month. I know I've loosened the reins on the schoolwork since this was nowhere in our plans. That feels pretty good. We stopped at a really good spot to go back and check out the people that were here before the settlers. We didn't realize until we started that the Iroquois are like the Seminole in that they are a group of tribes, not just one tribe. Pretty cool stuff. And once again, you know my request list at the library is full. Still looking for a movie to watch that has Seminoles in it but is kid friendly. Suggestions? Anyone?
  • Outside my kind of gray. I'm hoping it'll clear up. I don't do gray days well. The weather has been spectacular and that's why we live where we do. It's been high 70s or low 80s. I will do that every day. There should be some sun as the day goes on.
  • From the kitchen...there has not been much going on. Our oven is on the fritz. That means I can only cook stovetop. That will be remedied shortly. When we get our taxes back, I get a new one. I'm getting a convection oven. So excited about that!! Hubby and I took a date morning and went to look at appliances. I am not a bells and whistle kind of gal. That's just more that will eventually break down. I did tell hubby we were going to drop serious coin on an oven, though. He is ok because he knows great food will come from it. We also picked up some grass fed ground beef we had ordered back in November. It was ok. I've had better. So the search goes on for affordable, tasty beef. That's why we only ordered a little.
  • We are reading...The Bronze Bow is our after dinner book. We have really enjoyed it, but the chapters are rather lengthy. I read about 15-20 pages a night. Sometimes that finishes a chapter, but sometimes not. Slow and steady wins the race. We just finished The Penderwicks as a book on CD. I have been trying to get the big girl to read it, and she has all but refused. Even she liked it. I ordered the next book already and hopefully it will be here soon. So funny. I like the books on CD because I have a captive audience. They can't go anywhere. There are so many great books out there and that's just another way to get the kids interested and engaged. I can only read out loud so much and that takes a burden off of me. It's a way to expose my kids to great books that they probably wouldn't read any other way. The boy and I are a chapter and a half from finishing our book that we read when the girls are at piano. It's called Dragon's Egg and it has been right up our alley. It has adventure and suspense and great characters. The boy and I have agreed that we will take turns picking the books. He picked this one, so I get to pick the next one. I might see if there's a book the girls want to read and we can read that while the boy is in guitar lessons. There's an idea. I just got done reading The Hunger Games for book club. It wasn't what I thought it was going to be. And it was pretty good. It's not my norm, but that's a good thing, too. That's why I'm in book club. 
  • I am listening to...Britt Nicole's Set the World on Fire. Great song. I requested a Johnny Cash CD from the library for the boy. He is learning the opening lick to Folsom Prison Blues. I also requested the CD from The Wreckers. It's Michelle Branch and Jessica Harp. I really like Leave the Pieces, so they must have a couple of other songs I'll like. And I requested a Group 1Crew CD. See why my request list is always full? I highly suggest you look to your local library for movies, books, and music. You would be amazed at what they have. And the more you use the library, the longer they will keep it open, the more money they will add to the budget, and the more money stays in your budget. If I had to pay for all the books, CDs, and movies we borrow, I'd be broker than broke. 
  • From the tower...I'm hoping soon to change this to "from the garden". The square foots have been marked off and are waiting for the beds. So looking forward to that. We are checking out the planting schedule and deciding what to plant where. Tall stuff in the north side, lower stuff to the west. Cool. We did add some seedlings to the tower. I know we planted broccoli and snap peas, but other than that I can't remember. We have given up squash for now in the tower, but next go round, hopefully it'll make the cut. Or in the garden, one or the other. We've had good luck with crooked neck, but not the best. We already have sweet potatoes planted, but hubby thinks he may have done it wrong. Somedays...that man worries me. Gosh I love him, though. Our brussel sprouts are looking lovely. We have them all over. I even used some of the leaves when I made veggie stock last week. I am so excited for that harvest. Hubby brought home a gallon baggie of them from his parents' house. He stopped to visit and his dad gave them to him. My FIL doesn't like them. Hubby said we'd eat the stuffing out of them. His dad looked like he didn't believe him, but it's true. Anything I cook is amazing. Duh. 
I guess that's it for now. That is as caught up as I'm going to get. I'll blog about our airport field trip soon. Oh, to have a plane.

Have a great day.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Just Some Pics

I was scrolling through my phone looking at some of the pics. I needed to get them off my phone and onto a blog. So this is what you get:

The kids got haircuts. Thank goodness for that. I had been trying since Thanksgiving and we finally got it done in January. The big girl debated about getting bangs. She finally went with a yes. I think they look really good. Makes her look grown up. The effect in person is much more pronounced. My park mamas said she isn't allowed to have bangs ever again. I agree.

The boy, on the other hand wanted a mohawk. You should know I am not one of those moms that is super conservative when it comes to hair. OK, I'm not super conservative about a lot of things. I told him I didn't care, but the weather was about to be cold and he probably didn't want a mostly bald head for that. He agreed and we compromised. So this summer, the boy may actually sport a mohawk. We'll see.

This is part of Caution, our youth praise band. OMG, they are so good! I'm not just saying that because I'm their mama. All of these kids have such a passion for God. They are super talented and it shows. And look, there's the big girl!

This was a Christmas puzzle I got off the clearance rack. Gosh, I love an after holiday sale. This one was fun, too. The house almost got us, but we won. Looks pretty good.

Why on earth would I include this blurry pic? Because this is my boy, HL, being baptised. He texted me that afternoon to tell me he was being baptised at the church that meets at our church. That small church has embraced our kids and made them welcome. They meet on our campus and the kids really enjoy it. When HL called, I knew we had to be there. So very proud of his decision to reaffirm his faith and choose to recommit himself to Jesus. I could cry all over again. Love that boy!! He is not a boy anymore, but a young man. There I go again, sniff.

This was a fortune I got. All I have to say is, well, duh.

 The kids did a tea party at book club. Frommer's is running a contest and the librarian tied the England guide with the Harry Potter series and a tea party was born. We missed the meeting before, when they made the sign. I forgot to put it on our calendar. But we made the tea party! The tea was also Harry Potter tea. There were four flavors and they were all named after the houses at Hogwarts. Too cool.

Some days, I could smack him. Hubby had a day off, so he came to the park with us. He fished most of the time, but he needed an activity break. On the ripstick he went. Whatever. So jealous, and I'm not afraid to admit it.

We usually go to the same pumpkin patch every year. We found this one a couple of years ago and just love it. They have cool pumpkins. You have to love the butt pumpkins. I mean, really. They look like butts. And this year, the brain pumpkins were way too cool. They look like they have a dreaded skin disease and you shouldn't touch them. But you can't help but touch them. And take pictures for the blog.

My poor sleepy boy! I just had to. You would think he would use his neck pillow. Yeah, no.

Not sure why this pic isn't with the other one, but this is HL when he came up from being dunked. Oh, there I go...

The kids and I went to a local park at Christmas to look at the lights. We had some time between dance classes. We normally go after we open presents with the rest of the family on Christmas Eve. Since we weren't doin that this year, I made some time to take them. We like running around under the lights. The tree lights are synchronized with music. They have bleachers set up for you to sit and watch, so we did.

This is the group of kids that met for the tea party. Not sure why the big girl is standing so far away or why she looks so miserable, but I have an idea. It got better and she even laughed.

That's it for now. I do have an update blog working and I need to post the pics of our airport field trip with the baby's girls club. That was cool. We even got to see the tower. What a view!!

Have a great day.