Saturday, November 17, 2012

Pinewood Derby

Well, here is our adieu to the Pinewood Derby. At least, for the next four years. Raef and Zach competed in their last one a couple of weeks ago. It was rough getting there, as we were frantically putting the contraptions together a few hours before the race started. Mama was not too happy.

But somehow it all worked out and the wheels stayed on for all of their races. And amazingly enough, they even won a few.

The boys had a lot of fun.

Thoughts on Pink

Some days, you just HAVE to be pink!

Eagle Co-op Is Done

We wrapped up homeschool co-op on Thursday. It is really nice to be done. I was running out of clever ideas for my class.  Eli took a couple of classes this semester. He has graduated out of the preschool scene.  His first one was a manners class. They did a few skits for their finale and Eli played a rude boy who bumps into a girl and says, "Move it!"  I think this kid has a future on the stage. It was riveting!

I taught a class on Tudor England.  I made up an interactive game I think I will call The Spanish Armada.  It was a lot like Candyland, except a little more violent. Every time they landed on Spanish Armada they would all run around the room and then back to their seats. Many a time someone almost got trampled or did in fact, get trampled.  I was still working out the kinks, okay? Some squares awarded them with candy, a few involved push-ups, jumping jacks, diving under the table. It was VERY educational!

I snuck out the last few minutes of my class to see Eli once again performing with his music class. He was right there in the middle singing a song about Thanksgiving and Jesus. I loved it!

Raef and Zach were in non-performance type classes. Zach learned cooking, textile arts, and earth science. Raef had self-defense, study hall, and then my totally awesome history class. Julia and Harry graduated out of the kiddie room to the preschool room.  It was a great year.  We are looking forward to starting again in February. 

I asked the boys from my class what kind stuff we should do next year. Yes, my class is exclusively for boys about 10 years old.  They want to learn about modern warfare. Oh boy. I am really going to be tapping my dad's prodigious brain cells for good ideas in that arena. It should be interesting.

Oh, Eli!

And...some days, you just don't want to eat black bean soup.

This was THAT day.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Six Flags Homeschool Day

We did something wacky on Monday. I took the boys and went to Six Flags in Vallejo, California.  We left early in the morning and caravaned with another homeschool family; Christine, Dan, and their kids Nate and Camryn.  They also brought a few of their public school friends who were off on Monday because of Veteran's Day.

It was a blast. We stopped and ate a big meal before we went to the park at Denny's and then went to have some fun. There were absolutely no lines and the weather was beautiful.  

The boys rode a lot of roller coaster and we did take a look at many of the animals there, like the tigers and walruses and a beautiful butterfly garden.

It was a long day.  I had a hard time keeping my eyes open driving home, but we managed to get back safely. I hope we can go again next year.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

What's For Dinner?

A whole lot of elk. Way to go, honey!

An Ill-Timed Yawn

It has been a long week.  Rinar has been elk hunting since Monday. When we were in Europe he found out that he had drawn a bull elk tag. Apparently, this kind of tag is a once in a lifetime opportunity.  He has been so excited to go hunting. Lyf and Nordel went with him and he hired a guide to help track down an elk.

But things did not go as he had planned. Day after day he would call in and tell me the news: NO ELK.  It got a bit harry, so we really started praying that he would be able to fill his tag.  Saturday was pretty much the last day, and what do you know?  He did it.  Rinar killed a really big elk.  It is probably one of the hardest things he has ever done. It has been cold with lots of snow.  There was a whole lot of walking and not a lot of sleep.  I haven't seen him yet, but I am sure the guy is looking pretty haggard.

Rinar did not expect to be gone this long, so we had to make some adjustments at home.  The main one had to do with Stake Conference. Rinar was supposed to accompany Zach and Raef on a vioin/viola duet for the adult meeting last night.  That meant that I had to accompany them.  {deep exhale}  I could play the song, but I knew I was going to mess up.  I just know me.  Luckily my friend Larae offered to play it for me.  And that is a good thing because then I was able to watch and enjoy instead.

And here is the best part.  They played "I Know My Father Lives", "I Am a Child of God", and "O My Father".  In the middle of the second song, Zach (who was looking a little bored), did a huge yawn.  It was about the funniest thing ever.  In his defense, it was pretty late, right?

When it was done, President Farr had a couple of funny things to say. He didn't see the yawn but he did mention that the boys thought they were playing at the beginning of the program, instead of an hour into it.  He said that they had to sit through a talk about parenting and then get to hear the temple president swear (he had said hell a couple of times, in reference to the scriptures). It was pretty darn hilarious.

But the boys played an absolutely beautiful duet. There is so much more maturity and musical understanding in their performances these days. I think they are starting to get it.  It was just pretty darn cool.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Puzzle Obsessed

Harry is the kind of kid who is fueled by obsessions.  And this is his latest one: puzzles. He wants to do them all the time. All the time. The first thing he does in the morning is sneak downstairs and get out the puzzles.
And these are difficult for a kid who just barely turned three. But he has gotten pretty darn good at them. I don't even need to help him very much anymore. What a cool kid.


It was so pretty, we just had to get a few pictures this morning.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Girls Night Out With Miss J

It was a sad, but happy day today. The boys got pummeled in their football game, which is sad. But the football season is over!  Momma is happy about that!

After the game, I took Julia out for some girl time.  First, it was to the salon to get her hair cut.  It has been too tangly and annoying to take care of properly at her age. So we chopped it off to a more reasonable length.  Let me tell you, this girl loves to be pampered. She sat perfectly still as the hairdresser cut her hair.  I waited in the lobby.  Julia thoroughly enjoyed her time in the chair.

I told her to smile, and look at the face she gave me. This girl is unstoppable.

But what she really wanted was a manicure.  I am not the manicure type, but I figured...hey, why not?  But the nail salon was super busy.  There was no way I was going to wait an hour.  We did a little grocery shopping and I bought some manicure stuff for when we got home.  Julia was so excited.  

But before we went home, I took her out to eat. I have had so many  boys for so long, I have to learn how to do the girl thing.  I am so glad I have been blessed with a girly girl. As soon as dinner was done, she reminded me that she wanted her nails done.

Julia did really well being patient while I applied each one.

 This is one happy girl with her crazy nails.

Architecture Field Trip at UNR

I am so blessed to know amazing people from church. Just a couple of weeks ago I sat next to Lyle, a wonderful teacher in Primary. I happened to ask him what he does for a living and he told me that he is at architect at the University of Nevada Reno.  It got the wheels turning in my brain and I asked if I could set up a field trip to visit a building project on campus.  And oh boy, did he pull through.

Lyle arranged for us to visit the earthquake lab and also see the new lab that they are building, the biggest one in North America.  The lab has these huge shake tables and they build actual structures and then try to destroy them with a horrific "earthquake".  When we toured the facility, they had a two story steel structure they were building for a test that is coming up.  Way cool.

Several homeschool families joined us as well as the lead professor in the engineering department.  He gave us lots of great information.  I sure learned a lot.  I hope everyone else did.

I now need to think of more field trips we can do like this and then make it happen.  All you can do is ask, right? You never know where that will take you.
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