Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Can it be saved?

This was our last sight of our minivan as it was towed away this afternoon, hopefully; to be fixed. My in-laws gifted this van to us in January hoping it might last us a little while. Well, we've gotten 8+ months out of it and are hoping that the fix will be reasonable so that we can get a little more. The car already has 230,000 miles on it, wouldn't it be great if we could hit 300,000? LOL!Isn't AAA an awesome thing, the only downside, other than the car being broken was that my cell phone was not charged. Luckily, as I was standing there looking defeated a very kind gentleman pulled over and let me use his cell phone to call both AAA and my daddy. Dad was forced to come rescue us, because wouldn't you know, a tow truck is not built to ferry four kids around. We made it home safe and sound, we'll call the mechanic in the morning and beg for mercy. I know it's not "green" to drive a car like this one, but it sure doesn't make sense to fill a junkyard with a car that really just wants someone to love it!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Weekly Wrap-up!

Kris at Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers; hosts a Weekly wrap-up, this will be the first time I've participated. It was an odd and sometimes difficult week. I guess, the first week is sometimes the hardest. We started new curriculum with the guys and of course this was the first week of school for Rylan, my kindergartner.

Hunter and Dakota both started Tapestry of Grace this year, we started a little slow but I think we'll all enjoy it. It is such an awesome curriculum, but a little overwhelming for the newbie. We had our conversations this evening about what they had done during the week. They were both ready and able to answer the questions and to discuss their readings, I was one proud mama.

Both boys also began Math-u-see Algebra, seems a bit easy and more review in these first couple of lessons than I expected. The boys had done Saxon previously, so maybe it was just a little more advanced, I'm not sure. If need be we'll just double-time and move on two Algebra II and Geometry.

Hunter began the Latin Road to English Grammar, I have to say while I like it, he's not in love. I started going through the flashcards with him, the ones that have the Latin roots, and he was able to see why I chose to have him do this. He put together some of the roots with common, everyday words and was able to visualize the origins of English, it helped him to understand, if not love, Latin.

Rylan, was the hard one. I planned a week worth of math, reading, puzzles, games, etc. He did it all the first and second day, then started begging for more. I know this will change, but it was so exciting to work with a kid that couldn't get enough of learning. I have a busy weekend ahead of me trying to get alot more stuff ready for the kid, that's for sure.

We were able to spend one afternoon at the zoo, which was really fun because CJ(dad) was able to go with us. It was a gorgeous day and we got some great pictures.

All in all, I would say that the word for the week was "planning". The boys made their weekly plan themselves but forgot to put on everything, so they were scrambling to find everything and get going. I really want them to be responsible for planning their day/week, so that they own their education in a very personal way. I, as I've already admitted, did not sufficiently plan for Ry and Tan, I'll have to do better as well.
Finally, I just had to include this picture. Have y'all ever seen anything so adorable.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Monday, August 17, 2009

And so it begins!

Darcy over at Life with my 3 Boybarians is a Not Back to School Hop: Student Photo week. This was the first day of school, on the last year of public school that my kids attended. The tiny one is Rylan at a couple weeks old. I just couldn't see starting homeschool with a newborn and working full-time nights. I regret it still. Koty is starting first here and Hunter is starting 3rd grade, we started homeschooling when they were starting 2nd and 4th.
The next on is all the kids 5 years later, as you can see, we added another small person to the mix; this isn't actually a school pic or even taken at home but I like it!! Hunter will be starting 9th this year, Dakota will be a 7th grader this year, Rylan will be a Kindergartner and Tanyn will be a preschooler. The two littles couldn't wait to start this morning, Hunter and Koty could probably have put it off indefinitely.
We started a whole new program this year, one I hope will carry us through the next 14 years of homeschooling. Here is the layout of our curriculum this year.

Hunter, 9th grade, is a calm, quiet young man who loves computers, Taekwondo, and his family. He is an awesome big brother who actually enjoys playing with his siblings from time to time. He also has a passion for cooking and messing around in the kitchen.
Dakota, 7th grade, is a sensitive sweetie, who loves animals, Legos and computers. He already has his life planned and is organizing his schedule accordingly. Zoology and being the head Zookeeper is his plan, I am doing everything in my power to help him reach his goal.

Rylan, Kindergarten, is the most excited about school this year. He's been wanting to "do" school for awhile now, so I'm glad to get started with him. He is fearless, goofy, funny and a bit spoiled. He loves computers, animals and Legos.
Tanyn, PK4, will be working along side Ry this year, hoping she'll learn through osmosis. LOL. Tan is a Princess tomboy who loves doing everything her brothers do. She is left handed, which may explain her personality; stubborn!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Photohunt- Theme Low

This photohunt was difficult, I didn't want to go take an odd, random picture. I really wanted to find pics in my archives that fit the theme. I think I did okay.
Both of these were taken off the jetty at the Children's cove at La Jolla. I was trying to explain to the kids what tide pools are and the creatures that live in them, but we weren't going to be able to go tide pooling; then I saw these. I zoomed my camera as far as it would go just to see what I could get. I think that they are great, you can see several different anemones? in both photos.

This one was taken off of the Amtrak that we rode to California on, I'm pretty sure it was one of the lowest points before we got to the mountains of Colorado. It kind of looked like a salt marsh to me, but it was probably just frost.

This one was taken on the Submarine ride at Disneyland, I didn't get to ride this one, because on the day they rode it I was incapacitated.

Here! We went to Disneyland to celebrate our 15th anniversary, which is January 8th. The evening of the 7th I started feeling bad and just assumed I had eaten to much junk food, I woke up on the 8th feeling tired and bruised all through my stomach area. By the night of the 8th, we were sure something was wrong. Chris insisted I go to the ER, even though I was sure it was just gas or something equally unimportant.

The following is me on the 9th, following an emergency Gallbladder removal. Can I party or what?!? We were all pretty down and depressed. But we all believed it could have been worse, it could have hit at the beginning of the trip or on a 36hr Amtrak ride, it waited till the last possible day that I could still catch my flight home and enjoy the majority of my vacation. God is good.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Butterfly Garden

Another day at the zoo before the heat wave hits tomorrow. They are forecasting 100+ temps the rest of the week and into the weekend. We are planning a birthday party for Ry and Tan on Sunday, it's a swim party so the temps will be welcome. Ry is turning 6 and my baby girl will be 4, unbelievable!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Photohunt-Theme Entertainment

Entertainment for some reason was very difficult for me to wrap my mind around. I chose our families version of entertainment. The picture above was a couple of winters ago when I got home from work one night to a ton of snow. We of course had to go play in it, it didn't really matter that it was midnight. We don't really get snow like this very often in KC, our snows are usually accompanied by freezing rain or something equally unpleasant.
These two were taken at our zoo. There is a stage that used to be used for animal shows and such but lately it just stands unused. The kids have decided that a stage needs a show, so everytime we walk by they'll get on the stage and perform impromptu acts. I love the one of Hunter and Tanyn, he'll be 15 this year and she'll be 4, quite the spread.
Our very entertaining vacation, a raft trip through Bennett Springs State Park. We learned our lesson with this trip, our most recent trip we got 4 paddles instead of just two, the little people drove us nuts asking to paddle.

Last, but not least, this is what counts for entertainment in Southern Missouri, jumping around on stumps. It at least kept them busy for awhile.