Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Jefferson National Expansion Memorial

We had so much fun in St. Louis. It was all of the kids first time to the top of the arch, mine and Chris's first time since we were children. I never realized how much is going on at the base of the arch; museums, movies, gift shops. We spent so much time there we didn't end up making it to Science City, oh well. The arch was awesome, the swaying at the top was a little disconcerting, but didn't detract from the experience for any of us. We all learned so much at the museum and during the Lewis and Clark movie that we attended. One of the main things that I learned was the name of the park, Jefferson National Expansion Memorial. I honestly never knew it had some official name, silly of me I guess.

After leaving the museum and Arch, we decided to walk around Laclede's Landing and find some lunch before we started the drive home. We found this cool statue of Lewis and Clark that is either sinking or the river is above flood level, not sure which. The boys loved the dog in the movie and thought it was cool that the dog was depicted in the statue.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

St. Louis via Quincy, IL

The boys had their taekwondo tournament today. Both Hunter and Dakota rocked, but I have to admit I would probably say that no matter what. Hunter took 3rd in sparring and 4th in weapons. Dakota took 2nd in sparring and 3rd in weapons. Ry and Sissy both had a great time playing with the other competitors from our school that traveled from Kansas City. All of the older students in the school they attend learn to interact with the younger students, by assisting in their classes and helping them practice.

All of the kids really seem to enjoy interacting with one another. From the little 2-3yr olds up to the teenagers. A 21 yr old black belt teaches Sissy and Rys' class and has the patience of a saint. A 17 year old homeschooled black belt teaches Hunter and Dakota's class, she does such a great job and they learn so much. Mr. Davidson, the owner of the school, really makes that his goal; becoming a black belt at his school means that you pass on what you're learning to the students below you.

We left the tournament this afternoon and headed south to St. Louie. We're going to spend all day tomorrow at the Arch and the Science City. I'll report back with more photos.

Thursday, April 23, 2009


I try not to discuss politics, ever; it upsets me and irritates me. I find no good in the Obama administration, in fact; I find them very frightening. To give an overview of me, I would have called myself a Democrat up until about 12 years ago. I can't really point to anything that really changed for me, I think that I just changed. I began reading my bible, attending church, began having kids, saving money, buying a house, basically living the American dream. I have something to lose now, more than money, I have 'rights' to lose and so do you.

The right to raise and educate my kids, the right for my family to run our restaurants as small businesses in this country, the right to make money and keep it. These are just some of the things I think about, and some of the reasons I vote Republican. I believe strongly that Obama and his administrations goals are to curtail all of these rights. What I don't choose to believe or to buy into is that we as a country need government to do our thinking for us. They would have us believe that we are in a recession, that things are bad all over, that all the money that they are printing and handing out is going to save the day; I don't buy it. Snake oil salesman have been around forever and have been convincing people that what their selling is exactly what you need. Obama is the epitome of a snake oil salesman, his brand of Hope and Change, is his commodity. No thank you!!!!

My husband, myself and my children will be tuning into Fox Business this evening to watch Dave Ramseys', "Town Hall for Hope". Like hundreds of thousands of people nationwide, I am looking for someone who will give it to me straight. I don't want to hear that printing money is the answer, that taxing the rich into submission is the answer, that stealing from the rich to give to the poor is the answer. Honestly, I could go on and on and on. That's why I really don't go there, it seems so hopeless; I truly 'hope' that Dave Ramsey can change how I look at the world right now. I want to listen to someone who puts God not just into his speech, but also consulted Him about what to say. I want to listen to someone who believes that good or bad, rich or poor, Democrat or Republican, God should be sovereign in our lives; not just at church, but in everything we do.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Feeding the Lorikeets

We went to the zoo today, I have to admit that we probably go to the zoo 20x-30x each year, so really this is nothing new for us. How can we go to the zoo and keep it fun that many times, well, let me tell you. The animals are rarely doing the same thing on any given day, if you love animals like my kids do, everything that they do is exciting. We catch different shows, different paths, go the opposite direction on loops, really; anything can change up our trip. Today, we caught the lorikeet feeding.
The kids were in heaven. Sissy wasn't convinced that it was a good plan for anything to land on her, so; big brother to the rescue. Hunter is such a cool and responsible young man, he'll make a great father someday, his patience sometimes seems limitless.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Well, it was an eventful weekend. I work everyday on the weekends, so my
husband is in charge of the house and the kids. Not babysitting, because I don't believe that you can babysit your own children. In Charge! So......where was he when my daughter was cutting of her long, beautiful hair......taking a nap. I came home Saturday night to this. Well not technically this, both sides cut shoulder length and the back still long, at least she didn't hack at her bangs. So Sunday everyone went in for haircuts, including Tan this time. Mom says it will probably help her hair be thicker and healthier, I bought into that theory after I stopped crying.

Then to finish off the weekend and start the week right, my Mom called to tell me that for the third time in as many months the restaurant that I run with my parents was broken into. The third time following shifts I work and close up shop, so responsible or not, I feel guilty. It stinks, to say the least.

Well, I'm continuing to plan for next school year. I've decided to start both Hunter and Dakota on Algebra in the fall. It's two "grade levels" above where Dakota should be, but that's one of the reasons I homeschool, so my kids don't have to be held back by someone else's standards. The kids are not compared to a bunch of other kids, and either found lacking or gifted, they are held to a standard that we set together and that they agreed to. Anywho, for what it's worth, Math is decided. Only about 100 other things to decide before fall and that's just for the big boys. Ry starts schooling in the fall, if you call Kindergarten school. I always remembered it as being fun and low key. Not anymore, kids are expected to know so much before they even start Kindergarten. Once again, glad I'm a homeschooler, I can gently transition Ry into reading and writing, and if I'm right Tan will learn right along with him. I'm pretty sure she'll be reading before she's potty trained. LOL.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Photo Hunter: Theme-Purple

I tried to find a bunch of different takes on the theme. Purple is my favorite color. Sissy in her favorite purple sweater and then again in her princess crown. The castle at Disneyland during Christmas fireworks.

Bees took over the zoo last summer, so I got more than my share of great bee pictures.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Promotion Week

All 4 kids had promotion this week. Have y'all ever seen more focused faces on two little people. It's so funny, because neither of them can hold this face for more than 10 seconds at a time.

The boys promoted to low or first Blue. Each time we have to set a goal for them to work on during the next promotion cycle. Hunter and Dakota set theirs' to complete their chores in a timely manner and without being asked. We'll see!
Tanyn's is to be potty trained. She is so stubborn, I doubt it will happen, but I can always be hopeful. I'd really like her to be diaper free by swim season and her 4th birthday. Everyone always told me girls are easier, they obviously hadn't met Tan.
Rylan set his goal is to be more enthusiastic about his practicing Taekwondo at home. He really enjoys class, but practicing is like pulling teeth.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

What part of Spring are you?

You Are Chirping Birds

You are a very caring person. You especially feel for innocent beings, like animals and children.

You are keyed in to the world and very peaceful. You believe that everyone is connected.

You remain focused and in the moment. You are not easily distracted.

You have a good memory, especially for things that you hear. You listen carefully.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Warm weather, finally!!

Not much going on here, just trying to push through this year, and plan for next. I never really considered that I would still be homeschooling when high school rolled around, but it looks like I will be. I am not prepared to send any of my children back to public school, not now, maybe not ever. So, high school here we come. To say I am terrified would be a massive understatement, but I am finding so much encouragement on the web, that I don't believe that it is beyond my capabilities. God led me to homeschooling, I believe that He will lead me to the best way to implement his plan.

On a totally different note, Easter was a bit of a wash here. My family owns two, soon to be three, restaurants in our area. Everyone works, we do a fabulous Sunday brunch, did I mention that EVERYONE works. By the time we were finished for the day, it was cloudy, cold and rainy. All was not lost, though, my family went to mom and dad's and had a great meal. We all really enjoyed being together, somewhere other than work .
The kids got to have a quick egg hunt in the house, we didn't feel like it was sporting to just hand them the candy, everyone works in this family.
Warm weather has finally made it to our area. The little people and I went to the park, while the big guys were at Taekwondo. We had such a great time, the kids playing and me playing with my camera. I am trying to work on my photography skills, I know, not much skill yet. I'll get there, eventually.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

He Lives!!!!!

This is not a cross, but from a moving train at dawn it certainly looked like one. I am new in Christ, he died and rose again on the third day so that I may have eternal life. Thank you, Lord. Hope you have a very blessed Easter and remember each and every day what was done for you at Calvary.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Photo Hunter: Theme-Triangle

The kids and I are doing nature studies on different animals, I took this picture for them to recreate in their nature journals .

I really like the shape of his head and beak.

Koty and Ry are King's of the mountain.

White-sided Dolphins we saw on our vacation to California.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Junior Keeper Class

The boys had their 1st of 2 classes today at the Lakeside Nature Center. They are learning how to volunteer, sounds kind of weird, but they are learning all the ins and outs of feeding the animals. The only animals they're not allowed to interact with are the raptors and venomous snakes, can I just say "Thanks" to whoever made that decision. This is a great opportunity for the boys, especially Koty, as he wishes to pursue Zoology as a career. Our nature center is pretty cool, unfortunately; with the recent financial issues they have had to cut back on staffing. So there are fewer people to interact with the kids, but those that survived the cuts are very engaging and educated.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

The boys tried their hand at using watercolor pencils for the first time. Koty really enjoyed these but Hunter struggled. I think given more exposure to them he'll fall in love. Once again, they both were to choose a poem by Alfred, Lord Tennyson that they liked and illustrate it.

Hunter chose "Charge of the Light Brigade."

Koty chose "The Owl." I think they both did a great job.
Off to another topic. I got this fabric out of a remnant bin and am going to try my hand at sewing. To be perfectly honest, I haven't sewed since my older two boys were tiny and those projects didn't turn out that great. So I packed the sewing machine and didn't look back. I'm ready to try again and I found a great tutorial on the blog Polka Dot Cottage, how to make a simple skirt. So I'll post my final project, maybe.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Fighting the never ending cold!

I'm posting a couple of photos I took last summer at the zoo to remind me that winter never lasts forever. I am truly a winter person, I love snow. But I have veen endlessly sick this winter, a cold that just won't stop. Every time I think I'm better, the outdoor temperature shifts again and downhill I go. Last weekend we had our best snow of the year, in Spring, this weekend we had sleet and freezing rain. We have had windchills in the teens all day and flurries, I have to admit that I have had enough. I'm worn out and exhausted from coughing, sniffling and constant body aches. Enough of the pity party. Sorry.

I bought the boys a bunch of new art supplies to try, I'll post pictures when we get some results. I bought chalk pastels, oil pastels, and watercolor pencils. I'm hoping we'll get some good results and that will try harder with better tools. We'll see.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Fantabulous Sunday!!

Worship today could not have been more moving. I really wasn't wanting to go today, I have been off and on sick for 2-3 weeks, and I just can not shake it. I was blessed for my attendance. I know that neither the lesson in Bible Study or Worship were deliberately directed at me, but they should have been. The message couldn't have been more apropos, I didn't even know what I needed to hear, but I heard it. Thank you, Lord!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Photo Hunter: Theme-Stripes

The first one is my two "Taekwondo Gods," or so they call themselves. They both rock, and give it their 100% best effort.

The second one is self-explained. Who doesn't like Mickey and Minnie snow people.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Dental Woes!

Going to the dentist just wears me out. I wish we were one of those poster families, where everyone has a sparkling smile, beautiful white teeth, A++ dental report card. We aren't!!! The boys all had a good report, basically, no cavities. But....beginnings of gum disease are obvious on Hunter and Dakota. I just don't know how to inspire these guys to take better care, to put forth the effort. They were both overjoyed that they didn't have any cavities, and both claimed luck as the reason; not meticulous tooth care. Sad!

Rylan had a great report, which is a relief because last time he had 6 cavities and mulitple visits to repair.

Tanyn is our sad story this time, 4 cavities and 3 visits scheduled to fix. Ughhh! She is so uncooperative when we brush, I really can't imagine how she'll do on consecutive dental appts. Hopefully, a different set of hands in her mouth will calm her down. She usually behaves better for other people than she does me. Anywho, frustrating day.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

The boy's reproduced some of N.C. Wyeths' work for their art this week. They both claimed insufficient tools. I have to agree that colored pencils might not have been enough to reproduce colors.

Hunter chose "Still Life with Onions" because he thought it would be easy. It wasn't, but I think he did a fairly good job.

Dakota chose an illustration that Wyeth did for Robinson Crusoe, which he just finished reading. It was actually a really hard picture to reproduce especially with colored pencils. He did pretty good.