Friday, January 30, 2009

Weekly Report...Week 16

Get y'all's twang on and sing along with me..."I'm back in the saddle again"!

Tapestry of Grace (Both)
We finished Unit 1 of Year 2 this week. No, slacker mom didn't plan a "end of the unit" party. BUT, I have talked with another PACT/Natomas (our charter school) mom and we are hoping to have some sort of Middle Ages party at the end of the school year. Complete with costumes, drama, and tournaments!

***Here is what Barb said about my "slacker mom" comment:


I just wanted to say something about the "slacker mam" comment. You are in no way a slacker mom, not from where I sit. Everyone just has different styles. You may not have end of the unit celebrations every time but if you are planning a tournament at the end of are far ahead of most. I would never take on such an undertaking and that is why we do little mini end of unit things. What we do sounds more like what you did with your pirate lunch where the boys dressed up, you had some food, and it was fun...a pirate celebration and it was what the boys wanted to do. Most of the time, simple is better.

No slacking in your house from what I read. :)

Barb-Harmony Art Mom

She is right. I am not a "slacker mom" and I need to not be so hard on myself. Thanks, Barb!

History...Learned about the Gutenberg press and the impact it made.

Literature...Magnus and I discussed A Door in the Wall using the student activity pages from TOG. He really enjoyed the story and told me, in complete detail, his favorite parts.

We will be starting Unit 2, the Renaissance and the Reformation, next week. I have been planning every detail of the next 9 weeks the past few days. Making library lists, reserving books, making copies of maps and SAP's, figuring out projects and activities (I am not following the ones TOG has listed), and gathering supplies. It has been a lot of work, but it'll make the weeks ahead less stressful.

Language Arts (Magnus)
Grammar...WE DID IT!!!! We finally finished Level 1 of Growing With Grammar! Yippee! He'll be starting Level 2 next week.

Spelling...this week I dictated 5 sentences to him from the ends of the previous lessons. I wanted to have him work on his word and letter spacing as well as spelling the words correctly. He did pretty good. Still trying to find time to figure out how to review the rules with him.

Collin and I got Magnus a copy of Treasure Island for his birthday. Collin has been reading it aloud to them before bed. This whole week has been nothing but Pirates! Here they are having lunch but what you can't see is they are/were dressed like pirates and had brought out all of their pirate stuff. It was cute. We have been enjoying fantastic weather.

Phonics (Thane)
You can scroll down to the post below this one, or click here, to see wha
t is going on in this area. We will be starting The Ordinary Parent's Guide to Teaching Reading next week.


Magnus...we did more mental math and worked with even and odd numbers. Even+Even=Even, Odd+Odd=Even, and Odd+Even=Odd. He also got a kick out of this trick...the word "odd" has three letters in it and three is an odd number. The word "even"has four letters in it and four is an even number. Yep...he is a "word" kid. Oh, and worked more with skip counting forwards and backwards.

Thane...worked on partitioning out "10" and played Go to the Dump...i
t's like Go Fish, but instead of pairs, you make multiples of ten. I never won.

Science (Both)
This continues to be my favorite subject and the boys really get into it too. We started reading another Donald Silver book, One Small Square: Woods. We read about trees, their leaves and bark, and the purpose of both. *I* found it interesting and learned some new things. The boys then drew a diagram of the inside of a leaf and we took off on a nature hike.
We rode our bikes to the Arboretum to do some bark and leaf rubbings for our notebooks.

Collin and Thane

Magnus doing some bike repairs.

The boys sportin' their cool nature study backpacks.



Latin (Magnus)
We finished the activities in Chapter 7 and I got my flashcards made. Now we just need to put them to use!

The boys have gotten settled into all of their classes at PACT. They both have said their favorite class is P.E....go figure!
Magnus' classes are: Science (studying plants), Kidspiration (a computer class that aids in the creative writing process), drawing, Music Appreciation (using Themes to Remember), and P.E.

Thane's classes are: Mrs. P's Kindergarten Class, Music Appreciation, and P.E.

I have gotten to spend some time chatting with other moms. It is amazing what a little bit of adult conversation can do to a person! Even if all we talk about is kids and curricula! :o)

Thanks for coming by! I'll see you next week!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Reading Revisited

Thane is the second kid I have started homeschooling, but the first one I have had to teach to read. I started going through The Ordinary Parent's Guide to Teaching Reading with Magnus when he was in Kindergarten, but I think we got through only the first few lessons. He taught himself and was reading The Chronicles Of Narnia and the Hobbit in first grade. Thane's and Magnus' strengths are in different areas and you would recognize that within the first 1/2 an hour of meeting them.

I started Sing, Spell, Read, and Write at the beginning of this year. I like the program. I like the multi-sensoryness (Yep, I just made that up!) of it. The songs are great, but I don't think Thane is an auditory learner. In fact, I think he may have some issues with that, but that is for another post. There are some things about the program that I don't understand. Why do they introduce blends (st, gl, pr, ect.) within the beginning readers without having taught them in the program first? Anyhow, I noticed Thane looking at the pictures to try to guess what the words are. For example...the sentences were, "Bill has a red pen. Sam has a red pen. Sally has a tan pen." There was a picture of them all sitting at a table holding their colored pens. Well, he read it, "Bill has a red pen. Sam has a red pen. Sally has a yellow pen." Her pen looked more yellow than tan in the picture. I'm scratching my head because "tan" is a lot easier to read than "yellow" is.

So, I have decided to blow the dust off of The Ordinary Parent's Guide to Teaching Reading. One of the things I did not like about the program was it's lack of bling. However, I think the plainness of it all is exactly what Thane needs. I think I am going to try it by itself for awhile and then maybe bring some of SSRW back in for funsy. Or, maybe I will finally break out the Happy Phonics and actually get something out of the 9 hours I spent cutting it all out!

Sunday, January 25, 2009


HaPpY 8th BiRthDaY!!!

(big jump in ages since Mom and Dad are storing our photos at their house)

Please join me in wishing our boy a very HAPPY 8th BIRTHDAY!

(If you would like to read about the day he was born, you can do that here. It's kind of funny!)

Friday, January 23, 2009

Weekly Report...Week 15

I have finally made it over the hump. This week was better than the previous two. It might have something to do with classes starting with the boys, we found an AWANA Club finally, and I got to connect with some other homeschool moms including the great ladies I met at the park last Friday. Call me crazy, but human interaction is necessary.

Tapestry of Grace (Both)
I still feel like I am not using the program up to its potential. I know the boys are learning what they need, at least that is the impression I am getting, and that these are the years for introducing events and people, but I am still having to fight the urge to do more. We are not doing more, but it is a struggle. I will probably look back on these posts when Magnus is in the Rhetoric stage and think, "What I wouldn't give to be back in the simplicity of it all".

History...We are in Week 9 of Year 2 Unit One. I am regretting my decision, at the beginning of the year, to complete each "week" in two. We are behind now. No worries...learning is still taking place no matter what the pace, right!?! We learned about the 100 Years War...which Magnus pointed out actually lasted 120...Joan of Arc, the War of the Roses, and what all the interest the Towers of London hold. Magnus asked me, "Mom, which side was God on? The French or the English?". Wowzer! "Well honey, it's complicated. Want a cookie?". Here is a picture of a battle Magnus recreated with his Playmobil guys and blocks. The person on the horse is Joan.

He drew a picture of a Joan of Arc battle as well...

Literature...Magnus read A Door in the Wall by Marguerite De Angeli. He claimed he read it all, but I have a feeling he skipped a bit. Note to self: Get on the ball with the narrations! He did say he really liked it too. I think I will have him reread it next week and after a couple of chapters, have him narrate it back to me. There are also some Student Activity Pages in TOG I may have him complete.

Language Arts (Magnus)

Grammar...worked on homonyms and rhyming words. Easy peasy...hey, that rhymes!

Spelling...worked on Step 7 of Level 2 and played around on Didn't have a chance to look at what to do about reviewing. Maybe I'll have a chance next week.

Phonics (Thane)
Working on the short "i". He is still doing well. I need to go through our Happy Phonics to see what games are appropriate for what we are learning and break those out. I really need to considering it took me 9 hours to cut all the game pieces out! We checked out some of the starfall puzzles from our charter school and he also got to mess around on starfall .com for awhile.

Magnus...We worked a lot on mental math this week. The lessons said to introduce the concepts we were working on with the abacus, but since he is really catching on, I skipped that part and just had him to it in his head. He is really proud of himself and it is great to see his confidence grow.

Thane...Moving right along. His lessons are easy for him, but I don't want to miss something that might bite me in the you-know-what later if I skip it. He enjoys doing the worksheets and since Right Start doesn't really use worksheets, especially in Level A, I am going to find some online for him to do. Can't hurt to practice!

Science (Both)
So, we finished reading our One Small Square...Desert Cactus book last week and we did not get to our lapbooking over the weekend (I told you not to hold me to it!) so we finished it up this week. I plan to write a separate post about it soon.

Latin (Magnus)
We did part of a chapter and need to finish the rest next week. I am in the process of creating flashcards for him to study with and might create a bingo game soon. Been thinking about what to do after we are done with Song School Latin, and I am leaning towards doing Minimus. I already own it and the boys enjoy the comic book format. Is it considered "twaddle" if it is written in Latin?

Thane playing around on the GeoSafari we are borrowing from the school.

Tuesday the boys went to there first night at AWANA since moving here. Thane is now a Spark instead of a Cubbie. I won't hear, "And we hop because we're happy and we hop and shout for joy!" anymore. There are several boys from our charter school who attend so that is good. Collin and I were able to enjoy a quiet dinner together with no distractions.

Thanks for stopping by this week! See you next! Oh, if you think about it, would you mind coming by on Sunday? There is going to be a very special post and would love for you to comment! See you then! :o)

***If you read the post about my neighborhood, you should check out the comment my brother left. He added some more memories and thoughts. It really was a great neighborhood!***

Monday, January 19, 2009

Sunday Family Hike

The temperatures have been amazingly warm. Since this is our first January here, I don't know if it is just a fluke or if this is normal. No matter. We are taking every opportunity to enjoy them!

We took a hike (a relatively short one) around the Yolo County Wildlife Area. There are a massive amount of birds in the area as it is a resting point during their migration. Being the (amateur) bird watcher I am, it is a lovely place for me to be.

My dear, sweet husband got me those binoculars for Christmas. He did good!

We saw...

Great Egrets
(Image borrowed from the net)

American Coots
(Image borrowed from the net)

(Image borrowed from the net)

And this guy...

Great Horned Owl
(I took this picture! Which is why you can't really see him. However, I hope to change that as I am saving up my money to buy a new camera with a really good lens!)
I checked him out with my binoculars and he had the most amazing yellow eyes! I was very excited as I have never seen one of these beautiful birds! Oh, and it was the middle of the day...weird for an animal that is nocturnal. Guess he was suffering from insomnia!

Here are some other pics from our day...

Saturday, January 17, 2009

A Trip Down Memory Lane...My Neighborhood

My parents have lived in the same house for 31 years. We moved in when I was 5. It is a good house full of memories. The block we lived on ( I am writing in past tense because I have not lived there for 18 years) was great. 30 or so houses on our block. We were third from the top. It was the kind of block you would see on Leave It To Beaver. The houses were kept in good condition, the yards stayed mowed, and kids were always out. We knew all of our neighbors. Most of them were good neighbors. Many of them are no longer there.

This is what our house looked like when we first moved in. It has made some transformations through the years. The small tree in the front is now very large. The landscaping is completely different as is the color of it. Oh and it's amazing what new windows can do. I wish I had a photo of it now to show you. It is beautiful.

To the left of us was Helen and Rudy. They were older and their kids were all grown and had kids of their own. I loved Helen and Rudy. They were always milling about their yard. Rudy would tease me and tell me to not bother with the boys, but rather keep my nose in books. Now that I am paying off school loans, I wish I had listened to him! They have since passed and Duke and Deb live there now. They watch t.v. from their recliners in the detached garage. Very strange, but nice people.

To the left of them and at the top of the block is Adele and her husband (I can't remember his name). They have been there longer than us. Their dog had three legs. For some reason, the relationship with them is strained now and the friendliness is gone.

To our right is Mrs. Kilby. She, too, has lived there longer than us. In fact, she has been renting that house all of these years. Her husband died from a car he was working on falling on him. One of her son's died of AIDS. He liked puppets. She was seen outside working in her yard everyday. Now some girl does it and meals on wheels visits her daily.

A couple doors down from her is "the red house". That was mine and Corey's (my brother) boundary for a long time. Now it has become Magnus and Thane's. That makes me smile. The man who lived there, Terry, would stop and give us gum whenever he drove by. Big Red.

Next to him was an older lady who would have a 5-day club at her house in the summer. It was similar to vacation Bible school, but it would meet in neighborhoods. I looked forward to attending that every year. I have, for many years, wanted to thank her and let her know that that may have played a pivotal part in me serving Christ. Unfortunately I can't. She is with our Savior now.

Way down, almost to the other end, was the Bonds. Their daughter, Mary, was a good friend of mine. I loved the Bonds. I loved spending time with them. Mrs. Bond, Elaine, but I always called her Mrs. Bond, made lefsa for us a lot. They would also blow a whistle to signal to Mary that it was time to come in. They were Baptist and Mary was the first person to tell me about God. I remember laying in her trundle bed one night when I was in third grade crying because I wanted to know more about Jesus. They moved shortly after high school when Mr. Bond passed away.

Across the street from us at the top of the block was the Nissens. They have been there for about 25 years. They had twins, Mark and Andrew. I spent many summers baby sitting them. We spent most days at the city pool. They would tease me any time a boy would pick me up for a date...which was almost never! The boys are all grown up now. They have both served our country in Iraq and Afghanistan and one has since had a child and gotten married. Kim has lived there for quite some time by herself. I like her and enjoy catching up when we visit my folks.

The next house down was McCool's. My mom and Trina were great friends and they spend a lot of time together. Joe (Trina's son) and Corey were also good friends. They fought a lot, but they always played together...GI Joe and Heman. Mandy (the daughter...and quite younger) was always seen wearing her swimsuit in the summer. Never took it off! They moved sometime in high school and the people who moved in had lived there for 14 years until this year. Weird...we never got to know them in that whole time. There is a young couple with a baby there now.

Directly across the street was Alice. She was a sweet lady. She moved out a couple of years ago into a retirement home. The people who live there now are immigrants from Bosnia (our town is a refuge for many Bosnians) and they keep to themselves for the most part.

Next to them was the Henry's. There was a love/hate relationship between them and most of the other neighbors. Their boys were obnoxious. The lady who lives there now has been there awhile but we do not know her. She keeps her Christmas lights up year round.

The Burnes are next. Growing up, we feared them. He was a crotchety old man who did not like kids. Later we found out that it was just the Henry's he didn't like. Must have been hard living next to them. Mr. Burnes is rarely seen these days.

To his left was where our friend BJ lived. He was three years older than me and always drank my mom's Pepsi. He was always seen carrying his inhaler and could never figure out why he started smoking as he got older. I wonder if he is still alive.

Next to him was "the witch". She was a very strange, old lady. It was rumored that she would stand in her garbage can, naked, and howl at the moon. The weirdest thing I ever saw her do is yard work in her bra.

A few doors down was the Wiedners. They had four kids who were all older than us. I had a crush on Jeff for many years. Bill and Rose still live there but the kids all have families of there own now...even Jeff.

Wow...I am surprised at how many tears I have shed and how many times I have broke out in laughter as I have written this. I hope my parents never move. Too many memories.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Weekly Report...Week 14

Holy smokes! Another week...that almost wasn' check off. I have officially hit burn out. Even so, we got stuff done.
Tapestry of Grace (Both)

I am so happy to hear that Y3 pre-orders are going to print! Yea!! Now if only Y2 would get enough orders...(See...I am not myself. Something good happens and I only wish for more. Ugh!)

History...We read about the Mongols and Marco Polo. I didn't know much about either one and all I can say is that Marco Polo's mom was _____________ (feel free to insert "nuts", "crazy", "strong", "honorable", "secure", "timid"). Her husband was gone, as in not around and in a different country, for most of Marco's younger years (he left when she was pregnant with Marco). And then he comes home and takes young Marco to China and they are there for 20 years!?! (Some sources have said that Marco's mom had died before Marco went to China so does that mean that her husband wasn't around for that too!?) Still trying to wrap my mind around that. Anyhow, not the sort of thing you can discuss with you 5 & 7 year olds.

Maps...completed a map showing the Mongolian Empire and Marco Polo's journey.

Language Arts (Magnus)
Grammar...working on antonyms.

Spelling...I love All About Spelling and the way it teaches spelling. I think it is a great program for Magnus. However, I have been giving some thought on how I can review more with him. I need to figure out a way to make the spelling rules "stick".

Phonics...see last week.

Phonics (Thane)
Reading is going well with him. We continued working on "short e".

Magnus...We worked more on mental addition. The more we practice it, the better he understands (what a concept, I know.) We also introduced separating the "whole" into three "parts" instead of just two. We also learned a new game today but all I got was, "This is boring." Whatever.

Thane...This boy is amazing me! He was able to figure out one of his brother's his head before Magnus got the answer! He did it using the technique Right Start uses and that I have been teaching Magnus! So, think I am going to do a couple lessons with Thane a day and finish out Level A soon. He just "gets it"! Today's lesson was adding number like 3+3 but using tally marks instead of the numbers. Great approach for someone who needs the remedial, but that is not Thane.

Science (Both)
Finished reading One Small Square Desert Cactus by Donald Silver. I have said it before and I will say it again..."We love the books in this series!" Magnus has also read Around One Cactus by Anthony Fredericks and The 100-Year-Old Cactus by Anita Holmes during his free reading time. We have some catching up to do on our lapbook so we may do some of that this weekend. Don't hold me to that though. The temperature has been in the mid to upper 60's so the boys have been outside most of the day. I guess CA isn't all bad!

Latin (Magnus)
Didn't get to it this week

Today...Friday...we met some other moms from our charter school at the park. I wasn't sure I wanted to go because I didn't know anyone and frankly, I am tired of having to put myself "out there" to either be accepted or rejected by people. It has been extremely difficult and lonely here so far. But, I sucked it up and went AND I AM SO GLAD I DID!!! I met some great moms...Christian moms even...who have boys around the same age as my boys. So, now I "know" some people! Oh, and I found out about an AWANA Club that a lot of the kids attend so now Collin and I have a standing date night on Tuesdays! Yipee!

Oh, I forgot something. I spent the entire day of Tuesday and Wednesday unpacking and organizing the Resource Room in our charter school's new building. (So, yes, I still got that much school work done and even with my bad attitude.) Let me just say, our new space is fantastic and I was in heaven looking at all of the books, manipulatives, games, lapbooks, videos, ect that are available to me!!!!! I can't wait to go on Tuesday and come out with an arm load of stuff! And I am excited for the boys to be able to finally start their classes!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Sketch Tuesday

Remember how last week all I wanted to do was crawl into bed and not do school, but I was able to push through and get our studies accomplished? Well, we were also able to do our sketches for Harmony Art Mom Barb's Sketch Tuesday, but get this...we did them on Friday! They aren't even due 'til Monday but we got them done on Friday! Woo hoo! (It's the cheerleader in me.)

This week's assignment was to sketch something you wear on your hands. So, without further delay, here are our sketches...

This is the one Thane drew. They are snowflake gloves. He was smart and traced around his hand to give him the shape. No matter he traced his left hand twice! Totally cute!

Here is Magnus' creation. He drew both gloves and mittens. I love the way he has them overlapping. I guess both my kids have two left hands!

You can't tell from this image, but this is a sketch of my wedding ring, given to me by my beloved husband, almost 11 years ago. Oh, and it's on my left hand!

Be sure to use the link above to check out the sketches others did.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Our Bike Ride at Sunset

We rode our bikes through various orchards

and down a lane lined with olive trees.

To my left, the sun was casting orange and pink hues

as it silhouetted the distant mountains.

To my right, the full moon was rising through the purple sky.

It was enormous.

It was a lovely ride.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Weekly Report...Week 13

Yowza! What a week! I am giving myself a pat on the back for persevering when all I wanted to do was crawl back in bed! Did anyone else feel this way?

Tapestry of Grace (Both)
I am having to fight the urge to do more. I need to get out of that mindset. More does is not always better and in the sense that I was "doing more" it wasn't. There will be time for that later. I do need to work narration into this area and need to remember that for next week. Maybe we will do one of these great ideas.

History...This week we learned about the Crusades. Magnus was very interested in this as he has an admiration for King Richard the Lionheart. Personally, I think he was pretty arrogant but my opinion does not matter to a seven year old!

Literature...I kind of dropped the ball on this. He was suppose to read Barbara Cohen's adaption of Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer. Maybe I'll let him read it this weekend or save it for next week.

Timeline...We got behind on this, but are caught up now. It is filling up nicely and we enjoy making connections of things going on in different areas during the same time period.

Lapbooks...Worked a bit on this. It's hard to work on a project over a long span of time and have faith that it will, one day, be completed.

Project...Collin and the boys put together a castle gatehouse and a catapult. They had fun trying to knock the guards off the wall with the rocks from the catapult.

Language Arts (Magnus)
Grammar...finished working on alphabetizing and then learned about synonyms. Magnus, at one point proclaimed, "I love synonyms!". Being the "word" guy he is, he really likes having different words to say basically the same thing, but being able to choose just the right word for the occasion. He is a lot like his daddy that way.

Spelling...worked on how to separate compound words into syllables by applying different rules to them. He also missed only one word out of ten on his test this week.

Phonics...didn't work in ETC this week. Trying to figure out what do to in this area. He is almost finished with book four and I am trying to decide if we should move onto book 5 or do some extra practice in book 4 1/2. Plus, I don't think this is a subject I can trust him to work independently on and I really don't want to have to walk him through another subject. BUT...I will if I must.

Phonics (Thane)
He is doing so good! We are working through the "short e " sound right now. He gets so excited when he sounds the words out correctly. He completed a few worksheets and readers in SSRW and worked on a bit.

Magnus...I love Right Start math!!! The way they introduce the concepts is so easy. Magnus, after one lesson, is adding 2 and 3 digit numbers with multiples of 10. If I asked him, I bet he could figure out 4 and 5 digit numbers too. He also did something with cubes too.

Thane...this week he learned the value of coins and was able to show me the simplest way to make 85 cents using pennies, nickels, and dimes. We also worked on the concept of "half" and introduced "dozen". He was able to figure out and tell me how much is in 6 dozen...all in his head!

Science (Both)
We are still working our way through Donald Silver's, One Small Square-Cactus Desert. We learned about the poisonous creatures that can be found there and which animals are nocturnal. We also completed a few booklets for our lapbook I found on for FREE!

Latin(Magnus...Thane tags along!)
We worked on chapter 6 this week and learned how to say "boy, girl, man, and women". As Magnus was looking through his book he noticed Classical Academic Press is going to offer Song School Greek soon, so he wants to learn that too. That may have to wait a few years. I am planning to start French with them this summer.

I really hope my desire will return next week. I am just glad that we were able to get so much done even with my lack of want. I hope you all have a great weekend and start the week feeling refreshed!

Monday, January 5, 2009

School Starts...again!

School started back up for our household. It's always difficult to get back into the swing of things. Collin is on break when we are so we get to enjoy his company more without the distractions of his classes. This quarter, he is taking three seminars that each require a 20 page paper due in 10 weeks. That is going to be a lot of work for him. The boys and I dove right into our studies today but not without a little attitude being displayed...and not from me! No biggie though. The behavior changed and we had a fulfilling day!

We decided to take advantage of the great resource we have and sign the boys up for more classes that our charter school is offering this semester. Magnus will be taking a science class discussing plants (which means I can skip that part in our NOEO curriculum and concentrate more on animals!), a computer class that is suppose to enhance creativity, and a drawing class. We are very excited about the drawing class. This is an area we see potential and I am glad he will be receiving instruction from someone who knows what they are doing. Thane will continue working through the alphabet in his kindergarten class. Both boys will also be taking a music appreciation class using the Themes to Remember curriculum and a PE class. Each class is only one day a week for an hour with the exception of Thanes' Kindergarten class that is 2 1/2 hours. However, our school's new building isn't quite finished yet so their classes will not start for a couple more weeks...bummer.

I had grand plans to evaluate our progress and curriculum choices over the break, but none of it happened. I had hoped to work through the DVD series and workbook of Teaching the Classics...didn't happen. I wanted to plan out the rest of our science for the year...didn't happen. I wanted to look at how I am implementing TOG and do a little bit more planning...didn't happen. I wanted to create a reading list for Magnus and make sure that "twaddle" has no place in our home...didn't happen. I wanted to plan out and implement our Picture Study...didn't happen. But, it's alright. I'll find time to do that soon...I think. In the mean time, we are just going to continue doing what we are doing...learning, loving, and living.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Christmas 2008

We had a great time in Washington last week. Our days were filled with lots of snow, delicious food, loving family, and new friends.

Our trip up was not without incident though. The mountain passes were not too bad, but once we hit Salem, the roads were awful! Apparently, that part of OR is not use to having that much snow hit all at once. We were told the Portland area received over 2 ft. in 36 hours! Not a good time to be traveling. Anyhow, just outside of Portland, we ended up sliding across 3 lanes of traffic, high-centered in the median. No one was hurt and the Jeep was okay. We tried for awhile to get out...Collin is very good at this sort of thing with all of his "muddin'" experience, but we weren't moving. Wanna know something? We have 4 cars...8 people...stop and try to get us out. Keep in mind that it was cold and they were knee deep in snow trying to push us out. Restored my faith in humanity! After about 30 minutes, an off duty officer was able to pull us out using a tow rope. Wanna know something else? He came by just as Magnus finished praying for help to arrive. We decided to stay the night in Vancouver and see how the roads would be in the morning. They were good.

Washington got hit with a bunch of snow too and it was enjoyed by everyone...

And more pictures...
These fantastic kids...ahem...and young adults, are the reason I ever considered homeschooling. They are bright, caring, hilarious, joyful, God loving, fun...I could go on, but I won't. I love them and feel blessed to be a part of their family!

And more kids I am honored to be "Aunt Brittney" to. My nieces, who are also homeschooled (are you seeing a pattern here?) are also very bright, energetic, caring, giggly, fun, ect.

And let's not leave out my in-laws! Our relationship grows deeper and stronger every time we get together and I am grateful for them! (And I'm not just sucking up!)

Some highlights from the visit:

Tuesday...played in the snow, made snow forts, and had a snowball fight. Well, I took pictures.
Christmas Eve...went to Church and worshiped. Definitely a highlight! Enjoyed the hospitality of Collin's sister's family.
Christmas...Celebrated the birth of our Savior and my mother in law! She cooked the most fantastic meal! My mouth is watering just thinking about it. Visited with the beloved Allen family (Collin's Aunt, Uncle, and Cousins) but I had a gigantic migraine and had to go home.
Friday...Doug and Janie (Collin's parents) planned an evening of incredible music, yummy food, and much needed fellowship at their house. They invited friends from their church to come over and share their talents. I had the privilege of meeting a blog reader and now I know her too! Hi Sara...and David...can I call you that?
Saturday...had some time out with my Love. Visited with more family and had a great time doing it!
Sunday...had a safe trip back to Cali.

That about covers it. Hope you had a joyous Christmas! Now onto homeschool planning...