A large family, homeschooling, adoption, special needs, whatever strikes my fancy, sort of blog.

A large family, homeschooling, adoption, special needs, whatever strikes my fancy, sort of blog.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Our Mother's Day Week

I'm finding that I'm not getting Our Week posted every week any more.  I'm not sure if this is the beginning of the end for my blog, or if I will find new things to talk about.  Transitions abound, that's for sure.

For now, we're just trying to get through the last couple weeks of school.  Everyone is looking forward to summer!

Remember our History Unboxed boxes?  Hannah got to do the terra cotta warrior project included in our China box because Jack had already made one when we studied about China 2 years ago.

I really like the Art In History ceramic projects.  We still have some of the completed ones floating around here.

When we did the Egyptian Tomb Walls, I realized that the kids would have had more control with a permanent marker than with a paintbrush, so I had Hannah do some of the black detail work with Sharpie.

I finished another PJ top for Katie, to match the previously shown pajama shorts.  2 down, one to go.

I've been thinking a lot about how I will use my time once I'm no longer homeschooling.  Sure, there are projects around the house that I've been putting off that I will get to, and I'll have this entire room to sort through, but I am very drawn to spending my time making a difference.

I've been watching the Feed My Starving Children website for about a year now, waiting for a mobile pack event to happen near us.  A couple of times, there's been a local one, but the sign ups filled before I saw it.  So I was very excited to get the opportunity to participate this time!

What's even better is that I took Jack and Hannah with me.  Here we are, hairnets on, getting scrubbed up to pack meals for kids in need.

Jack Jack was on the funnel.  He held the bags in place while the scoopers at the end of the table poured the 4 ingredients (veggies, soy, vitamin powder, and rice) into the funnel.

Then he passed the bag to the weigher, in the purple shirt.  Her job was to make sure it was between X and Y # grams.  She could add or subtract a little rice to make it just right.

Hannah and I were on the sealing machine.  I took the bags from the weigher and held them in place, while Hannah brought the bar down and held it until the light went off.

This was our boxer.  His job was to take the bags and stack them in piles of 2 until we had 36 bags, then put them into a box.  The warehouse runners would then whisk the box away.  Our team (which included another funnel on the other table) packed about 5 boxes every 10 minutes.  Each bag contains 6 meals.

These particular meals are headed to Nicaragua.  We had a great time packing, and I hope to participate again the next time there's an event near us.  During our volunteer session, enough meals were packed to feed 78 children for a year!

Brianna has had lopsided hair for a while, since she shaved part of her head last year.  It was growing out, and she decided it was time for a cut that would even things out.

My Mother's Day present from Josiah.

Mother's Day snuggles with Katie.

These guys took me out to a yummy lunch at Panda Express.

Then we went to the park.

We walked along the creek, where we saw ducks, turtles, and tons of dragonflies.

The girls climbed several trees.

We even found a snail bush!

And a tree with a hole in it.  It's neat to see all the interesting things we can discover if we take the time to explore.  We walked about a mile, just hanging out together.

I had wanted to get pictures of everybody again this year like I did last year, but that just didn't happen.

We finished the Dinosaur Book that we created from the Dinosaurs on the Move book we won from Figures In Motion.  I'll be a little sad to see all our historical figures come down when we finish up our homeschool year, so I'll probably turn those into a book, too.

Wheelie the cat, checking out my new patio tables and chairs, a Mother's Day gift from Paul.

We went to the library this week, and it was nice enough to play at the park for a while.  I would have taken more (better) pictures, but I was chatting with a friend.

Can you guess what we're learning about right now?  As we finish up our school year, we're finishing off a lot of our books.  I decided to pull out My Body and get one last use out of it.  I bought this book ages ago, when we lived in Santa Rosa, and I used it with Zach, Annaliese, Josiah and Samuel there.  Then a few years ago, I used it when I taught at homeschool co op.  Now I'm using it one last time with Jack, Hannah, and Katie.

I've started a pile of the homeschool materials we're done with, and I'll be adding My Body to it soon.  I hope some other family gets as much use out of it as we have.

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Saturday, May 6, 2017

Our Beginning of May Week

Our week started with a trip to the dentist for me.  Bleh.  But it got better from there.  

I was in the mood for black cherry soda when Josiah and I went to the grocery store, so we had a taste test one day to see whether we liked New York Seltzer, Zevia, or Bai Bubbles the best.  NY Seltzer won.  I think if the kids had been told that BB was "juice" instead of soda, they would have liked it more.  It's good, it's just not as sweet as they were expecting.  

So, a few months ago, I backed a Kickstarter project for Color Vowel.  The game finally came, and it sat on my desk for a good while.  This week, we played it!  

It's played a bit like Uno, but using vowel sounds instead of numbers.  The idea is that the players will learn the variety of ways to spell the same sounds our silly English vowels make.  

We played a couple rounds, and it was fun enough that we'll play it again.  

We made it to the library!  The weather has been gorgeous this week, and Jack requested a couple books that had come in.

As we were leaving, we had a huge bird walk in front of the van.  I'm guessing it's a turkey?  

A while back, I made Katie some PJ shorts for the warmer weather.  This week, I finally got around to making a top for one pair.  

I'll probably do tops for the other two pairs at some point, since the fabric is still sitting on my cutting table.  

We use colored pencils more than crayons or markers most of the time.  This week, I gave Katie options for what she wanted to use on this coloring page, and she picked markers.  

Paul built Jack a Lego table.  The blue end pieces used to be boxes under Sam's bed (which has since been disassembled).  

It's weird to me how many of the kids have their own bedrooms now.  For many years, it's been 2 kids to a room.  In Santa Rosa, Zach, Sam, and Josiah all shared one room.  Now, Katie and Hannah are the only ones sharing.  

Since we've finished our California history, I started pulling out our history boxes from History Unboxed (affiliate link).  We started with the Pompeii box.  Hannah made a mosaic.  

We learned about the beautiful mosaics found perfectly preserved under the ash and pumice from Mount Vesuvius.  The kids had read about Pompeii before, so this was a fun review for them.  

Jack got to make the wax tablet.  He glued the pieces together to make the frame one day, and we melted wax flakes the next day to pour into the frame.  (There's more wax in the microwave during this picture.)  

After Pompeii and Vesuvius, we moved on to Ancient China.  Which happens to be a favorite of ours, of course.  Jack and Hannah decided to leave the owl kite mostly white, and just paint some brown areas.  I'm looking forward to taking it to the park and trying it out.   

Miss Katie did made a kite, too.  This is from A Beka Art Projects 1, which we've had in the house for *several* first graders.  I'm suddenly realizing I need to use this book up!  I added the background page and Katie used a white Kwik Stix to make the clouds.  She had a hard time with the stapler for the string and bows, so we'll have to incorporate some more using the stapler in to her work so she can get more proficient at it.  

Jack "celebrated" May the Fourth (Star Wars day) with an old Star Wars movie.  

If you missed it, I shared pictures I took of Brianna and Boy before prom.  This shot was taken at the dance.  

Only 4 more weeks of school!  We have an exciting field trip coming up this week.  We're going to pack food with Feed My Starving Children.  I've been keeping an eye on the website for about a year now, and there's finally an event near us with open spaces!  I'm hoping we have a great experience and can participate again in the future.  I want my kids to have compassion for the less fortunate.  

Coming up next month, we're going to be walking for Shriners!  If you could sponsor us, that would be awesome!  Hannah and Katie walk as honored guests, since they are patients of Shriners, but Jack and I are expected to fundraise.  I walk because I'm grateful to Shriners that Hannah and Katie are able to walk, thanks to the surgeries and prosthetics they have received there.  

Friday, May 5, 2017

Prom Pictures

Brianna's junior prom was last weekend.  I know I sound old when I say this, but I just can't help myself:  It goes by so fast.  The days are long, but the years zoom by.  Anyway, on to the fun pictures!

I caught a picture of Boy's face when she came down the stairs all dressed up.

Because nothing says awkward like having Dad in the middle of a prom picture, I snapped this shot before we left.

We went to a local park to do pictures.

I call this "Do you trust me?"

The answer should be no.  We watched her struggle for a while before someone stepped in and helped her out.  (Boy's parents came to the park to watch pictures.)

It's a good thing they're so photogenic, because obviously I can't center a photo to save my life.

This one looks like it belongs on a DVD cover.

Okay, so not every shot was great.  Sometimes somebody blinked, or laughed.  But we had fun.

And we saw squirrels, which is always a perk.

Of the shots I shared on Facebook, this one was overwhelmingly the favorite.

I had envisioned a "chins on elbows" sort of pose, but it was one of those ideas that was better in my head than how it actually played out.  I got a lot of giggling and awkward squats.

I'm kicking myself for not adjusting her dress around his hand, but it's still a cute shot.

I told them to gaze at each other.  Which seems simple enough, right?  You wouldn't believe how many out takes I had with this one.

Apparently just looking at each other is hilarious.

They had fun.  It's nice to see her happy, and Boy seems like a really nice kid.

I didn't take this one, but it showed up on my computer, so I'll throw it in here, too.  (I'm guessing it was taken with Boy's phone?)  The "real" prom pictures turned out cute, too, but I don't have those yet.

I'm having a hard time getting my phone and my computer to play nicely, so this week's Our Week post may be a bit late.

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