Friday, September 21, 2012

Start of Choir and Band

I think everyone was ready to start choir and band, except me.  Callie was thrilled to get to join the Melody Makes this year.  She is in the same choir as Brianna, who is so excited to have Callie join her, too! 

Ashley graduated from that class, into the Happy Harmony choir, which also teaches recorder and basic music reading.

The twins are in their 2nd year of band.  They graduated from beginning band with their flute (Bailey) and sax (Anna).  They were both a little nervous about moving up to the intermediate band, but after class, were both thrilled they got to do so, because of the music selections as well as everyone already knowing what was going on!

They also had fun in beginning band with new instruments!  Anna is adding the trumpet to her repritiore, and Bailey is taking up the drums.

The twins also really enjoyed their choir class.  Oh, and the twins are now student helpers in both Melody Makers and Happy Harmony!  They have a very busy day, lol!

The North Snohomish County Music Program (I think that is what it is called, lol!) has restructured this years past, the Melody Makers were at the same time as Joyful Sounds (twins' choir), then beginning band, was at the same time as Happy Harmony (now Ashley's class).  After 2 hours (or rather 1 hour, 40 minutes) we were DONE in Granite Falls (which is an hour drive away for us), they each have their own time slot.  So Melody Makes starts at 11, followed by Happy Harmony at 11:50.  Then The twins start their beginning band at 1:00. then go right into their choir at 1:40.  After that, they get a break from 2:40 - 3:30, when intermediate band starts.  We are then done for the day at 4:20.  It is a very long day for the little ones!

Serenity misses her morning nap in order for us to be headed to choir/band on time.  I actually thought we did pretty well all things considered this time around...

For the first hour, we watched to make sure Callie and Brianna were ok.  other than Callie being a bit shy, and Brianna thinking she was supposed to be in charge of Callie, they did great.  Callie is able to hold onto a chair and stand when she needs to stand and is able to sit when everyone else is sitting.  This is a real praise!  She would not have been able to do that even 8-12 months ago!

After Callie and Brianna got done, we went to the other room that is set up with tables and did some therapy stuff.  When Ashley joined us, we got some school stuff done, too.  After about 30 minutes of school stuff (they were very distracted, and I decided we wouldn't get through everything!), we walked to the park.  Callie walked 3 1/2 blocks down to the park, and 2 blocks back (out of 4 blocks!).  She did great!

We came back from the park at the time to pick up the twins from their class.  Then we had an hour we read our Bible reading for the day and visited.  Anna sat with Serenity, and got her to fall asleep in the stroller, while Bailey was sitting with J rubbing his back, he fell asleep, too.  I was nursing Judah and rubbing Callie's back, and was able to get all 4 of them sleeping at once!  that last hour was really easy for us with 4 nappers and Ashley and Brianna visiting with their friends!  It was truly a blessing right from God, since the previous 2 hours were really hard on the littles...they were just too tired to function!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

All that fun at the Science Center and...

We go to the Science Center and spend time looking, experiencing, and playing with all they have available...then we go home, and my littles have just as much fun watching a caterpillar move on the ground.
It just goes to show how little it takes for children to take advantage of an opportunity to learn!

Pacific Science Center - King Tut

We were going to do a big study of American History this year, but since we were unable to go on vacation, I decided to start over with the ancient history curriculum that I have, just so I could really make the most out of this field trip opportunity to go see King Tut!

I has been a bit of a stretch to get up to King Tut in History before the tour, but after having everyone be 'up to speed' on ancient Egyptian civilization, it was worth it!

Then we got to see other things at the Science Center...

The over sized table
Outside Water Play:

Grandpa Pence said he really enjoyed watching the children play
with the water stuff, and then hear their reasoning on what was
going on or happening...which made me smile, since his
profession was a hydro physicist.


Inside games, demonstrations and experiments:
While both of the twins are putting out a lot of electricity,
Bailey is putting out more because she is on the adult bike,
which is set to require double the energy output as Anna's bike!

J really enjoyed watching the Ferris Wheel and the roller coaster!

This new exhibit certainly entertained my older girls for quite
a while - they had a lot of fun distorting their images!

J liked to see the different things set up in the microscope.

Callie liked trying to match the tones.

Everyone enjoyed playing with the balls on the big funnel!

The tide pool was also a big hit!

The butterflies are always a favorite at the Science Center!

My littles playing on a giant caterpillar!

Callie was really impressed with the decor...
Big butterfly kites near the ceiling

Anna was really getting into identifying the butterflies!

And a fun time was had by all!
 What a fun day!  And what a blessing that Chris was able to get the day off, his dad was able to come, and bring his grandpa!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

So thankful for kindness and mercy shown to me today!

What a blessing to have found such wonderfully kind and helpful road workers!
Since I was running a 'real quick' errand to drop off our declaration of intent (DOI), and everyone was working well on what needed to be done, I decided to leave the children at home...I got the DOI turned in no problem, and was on my way home, when they detoured me around on Old Owen Rd...about a 15 minute detour, but I could still come home the other way.

When I got to the other side, I found that all of hwy 2 was closed due to a fatality.  I spoke with the man who was making sure no traffic got through.  He said it was an accident right at fern bluff, and he couldn't let me through.  He did let me use his phone (I left mine home for the children), to let them know I would not be home for a bit.  I was only able to tell Bailey that because there was an accident, I wasn't able to get home as soon, and to just keep on task before he had a call come in.  But it was enough.  I felt better knowing they were aware that I would be longer.  I waited for him to be done with his call, to ask if I could go back around and walk home from there (only about a mile, where as from that side, it was 5 miles away).  He said that I could try it.

On the other side, I decided I would park and try to walk w/o talking to the road workers...better to ask for forgiveness case, I figured.But the worker came running up to me to see what I was doing.  I explained that I left for just a few minutes to run an errand, leaving my children, including my newborn home, and really needed to get back.  I told him that I understood that the road is closed due to an accident, but I would like to try to walk down to Fern bluff.

He told me to go get back into my car, and he would let me go around on the south fern bluff and that I could then go across the street to my side of Fern Bluff!

What a blessing to have found such wonderfully kind, compassionate workers who understood my need to get home and were willing to do all they could to help.  I pray that God would bless them in a special way today for their kindness.

In total, I should have been gone for about 20 minutes.  It turned into more than an hour by the time I made it back home.  When I got there, Judah was still sleeping, I was able to share the praise and blessing that these road workers were with everyone and Anna said, "You weren't gone very long, actually it was very short!"

And to make it even better - while I was gone, everyone stayed on task and got lots of school done.  What a blessing to see God's hand at work and His blessings on our day!  God is so merciful to work things together the way that He does!

And the verdict is...

Our chickens are now laying well.  We are getting 7-10 eggs/day right now, which is enough for us at the moment, though if they gave us more, we would probably eat them!

We had 3 Costco eggs left, so we decided to start our day with a science experiment - a taste test!

Our eggs are on the right, the Costco eggs are on the left.

Thanks to Bailey's chicken project, we learned that the first egg a chicken lays is the smallest it will lay in its life.  The older the chicken gets, the bigger the eggs, but after 1 year old, they start to lay less frequently.  Here is the size difference between a first egg, and an egg laid a few weeks later.
Aren't our eggs pretty?

I had never seen a double yolked egg before today - and today, we had 2 of them!

Costco eggs

Our eggs...the pictures do not do the color difference justice at all!

Costco eggs on top and ours on the bottom...again, the color difference was much more in real life than this picture shows!
Cooking the eggs in the pans...this is much better as far as the color difference.

I started out giving everyone a small piece of each to taste.  The older 5 thought ours eggs were much better.  2 of them even said they don't even like the other eggs.  Bailey and I thought the other eggs were very tasteless, almost like eating nothing at all.

Here is what breakfast looked like today...the small piece of egg at the bottom of the plate was from the Costco eggs.  They were largely uneaten this morning!

Monday, September 10, 2012

First day of school pics

While we are still enjoying a great deal of harvest from our garden, things are beginning to die, the sunflowers are drooping...
That and the increasing wind, leaves beginning to change colors, and cooler temps are a big reminder that fall is on its way.  And with it has come a lot of "first day of school" pics.  It occurred to me this year that I have never taken any such pictures of my girls - unless you count the first time volunteering pic I took last month of the twins.
So here you go...a first day of school pick from a homeschooling family - hair messy, dressed in pj's, hanging around reading books and working on home ec projects (ie, next year's fair projects...) really just enjoying our time together!
Had I thought about it, I would have posted a pick of everyone looking out the window at the passing school buses...The picture would have included Brianna's tear stained face, as she is really upset that so many children are not able to stay with their families during the day and are not taught about God in all of their school studies.  So blessed by their tender hearts!
We did start out the first day of public school with some time in prayer for all of the children who are being educated away from their families. 
This really isn't a first day of school picture for us, as we kind of school year round - it just looks different in the summer, and focuses more on the fair, home-ec, gardening, and learning about animals.  But it is a common time for the back to school pics, so we decided to do it, too!
Now to get my declaration of intent to provide home based education (a form) turned in, to make us LEGAL homeschoolers...I have until Friday, and this is the very latest I have ever turned it in.

Therapy update

We are should be at right about 75% of therapy this time around...that is if we can pull off a full week this week!  We had a bit of trouble getting back into our full schedules after Judah was born - we took several weeks almost completely off...and I am still struggling to get everything done now, even though he is 2 months old and an easy going, laid back baby - not sure what is wrong with me these days!  (We are also in a full school schedule right now, too, so it is more than just getting therapy done for the moment...)

Callie and Brianna have neurodevelopmental therapy appointments on Saturday.  It will be a long day of driving up to Anacortes, having their evals, addressing our concerns, getting our new programs and coming home.  I am exhausted just thinking about it, lol!

I am excited to have them re-evaluated.  I have seen some real progress for both of the girls in several areas!  Most notably, in their academics!  Callie told me today that her very favorite therapy thing is reading.  She said, 'Oh, I just love reading!' when I pulled out her reading book today.  It was so sweet!  Brianna really wants to work at finishing the reading book she is currently in before her evals on Saturday...which would mean double lessons every day, so I am not sure she is going to make it, but I do love her enthusiasm!  If she finishes this book, it will mean she has gone through 1 year of reading curriculum in 4 months.  She has really taken off with her reading lately.

This is Brianna's chart - can't get Callie's to upload,
but it looks pretty much the same.

The World Through Brianna's Eyes

Brianna asked to take some pictures on my camera.  I really enjoyed going through them, so I thought I would share some!  Over the course of 10 minutes, she took more than 60 are some of the more in focus ones that I thought were interesting and show her vantage point and what she notices.  :)  Great job, Brianna!