Monday, February 23, 2009

Cub Scouts Blue & Yellow Banquet

Saturday night was JSS's Cub Scout Blue & Yellow Banquet...meaning a celebration for the yearly b'day of Scouting in America (I think.).  We are so proud of all that JSS is accomplishing in Cub Scouts this year and he is enjoying the experience with his Dad immensely!

Lifetime Eagle Scout (Is that right?)
Congressman Pete Sessions served as
the banquet's special speaker. 
He is a VERY nice man, too!

JSS receiving awards he's earned!
More awards!  This time, parents were asked
to get on stage with their kids.  I think it was
a "rank award," but I confess I am not well-schooled
in the vernacular of the Boy Scouts of America, nor
in their customs...yet.  :)  I was just super-proud of my manling!
Showing off his newly awarded patch!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Truly, A Night to Remember


all six of us,




(see for more information)

Yes, seriously!  There is a group of home schooling families that get together about twice a month, rent a space at a church north of us (took us an hour's drive in traffic to get there) and for three hours enjoy the instruction and implementation of said instruction in English Country Dancing (think of the screen version of Pride & Prejudice).  IT WAS SO MUCH FUN!!!  And in keeping with our frugality this year, only $10 for the whole family for 3 hours!

Rules:  Change partners each dance, guys asking girls.  Girls must accept unless completely creeped out by the guy's vibe.  

How it works:  The instructor guides us through the moves of a dance, step by step, offering individual guidance, when needed.  Then, plays the most lovely instrumental music while we dance!  At the end, everyone claps, the guys offer their arms to the girls and everyone clears the floor, selecting their partners for the next dance.  We learned about 8-10 dances throughout the evening.

(Below:  While obviously not the most flattering
of pics of ME, I chose to include this because
Jesse was suffering heinously from allergy problems,
yet I love the look of enjoyment on his face while he's dancing!
When not dancing, the poor thing was propped against
the wall, all red eyed and pitiful looking.)

Soccer least for a day!

The soccer coaches having a new baby at the beginning of the year, we've been soccer-less...up til this point!  We have a fill-in coach for the littles to play and a volunteer for this one day only for the big kids.  We pray he is willing to continue until the regular coaches can return because we had a BLAST out in the sun enjoying the exercise and company of some great home schooling families.

COS does not like soccer, so she
plays at the park next to the soccer field.
Swinging is her absolute favorite!
I could not get a shot of AMS without
her being in a throng of guys!  She was one
of the few girls who were not afraid to get into the game.
I was super proud of her initiative in the athleticism dept. today!
(Look at those long limbs!  She almost looks to be modeling!)
Our favorite shot of JDS playing.  
It was really rough out there today!
JSS in the middle of his (and many others) pursuit!
(He is roughly in the middle with a white shirt, head
just behind the kid with the white ball cap.)

Seasons/Calendar (Orderliness Unit)

Accomplishment of the week: 
COS tied her shoes (successfully!) 
for the first time all by herself!!!!!

The rest of the learning really paled 
by comparison, but we'll share anyway.

COS figures out the complexities
of the DOING it.
Here, JSS is giving me a look like, "Seriously?"
when I shared with him how to spell FebRUary.
On our Winter day, we made pine cone bird
feeders to hang outside to feed the birds.

We also made snowflakes, which now
decorate the kids' bedroom walls.
Our longest project...
making a sundial, which took ALL DAY LONG.
It works, too!  We used it the next day to tell time!

We had a special tea time on Thursday afternoon.
Simon took JDS and two of his friends to a college
day a few hours from here, so we had tea, read
some in our read-aloud book and had
a great time (AMS and me) introducing
tea time to JSS and COS, who've not really
grown up having it like JDS and AMS did.
Here, COS is definitely NOT enjoying the flavor 
of the tea BEFORE adding honey.  :)
AMS read aloud to us from
Pippi Longstocking.  That girl
is a hoot!  She had tea in what we'd
read the night before, which is what
gave us the idea to follow suit this afternoon.
An experiment we did in the 1/2 bath 
(no window in there) while learning about the seasons.

Interesting fact, your shadow is LONGER
in the winter than in the summer.  Can you guess
why?  A clue is given in this photo, where JSS
is the sun and COS is providing the spin for our Earth.

V'Day Celebrating

Valentine's Day brunch was a truly lovely affair...and made entirely by Simon.  :)  Ericka made a dinner of heart-shaped Italian paninis, but forgot to get a picture of one before they were eaten. 

Each kid got a musical card and a small gift.
Here, JDS just opened the Napolean Dynomite
card and heard the sentiment in that actor's voice.
(If you'll remember, JDS went as ND for Halloween.)
Here is JSS the moment he opened his eyes
to discover his gift was a monkey head bank filled
with nickles.  The nickles were a clue as to what
we were going to do with him tonight while JDS and
AMS were at the youth group's V'Day party.
(Chloe got a Hello, Kitty bank filled with nickles, too.)
AMS when she opened her eyes to see the 
V'Day themed "socks" or slippers (could go either way)
that we gave her.  She LOVES footwear of ANY kind!
In that regard, she's an apple that didn't fall far from her 
mother's tree!
The most hilarious moment of the morning--
when COS opened her card to an unfamiliar tune
and didn't quite "get" what was being sung 
(My Girl).  She *did* spend the rest of the day
opening and closing the card, though, loving
the music after we'd shared the words with her.
V'Day picnic COS made for herself and her beloved Daddy.
The reason for the banks/nickles...
We took JSS and COS to a nickle arcade to 
have fun for a couple of hours on V'Day night.
These next three photos are of the moment
when JSS realized he "beat" Simon in air hockey.

COS just living in the moment, loving all
this fun and sharing the love of it with everyone.
They got tickets for all the games they played 
and at the end got to trade them for some 
trinkets.  She got two rings, four bracelets and a
wee bit o' candy for her 200-something tickets.

V'Day Scavenger Hunts!

The big kids went on a Scavenger Hunt with their AWANA group at a not-so-local outdoor mall.  It is the kind that is built around a "town square" with businesses up and down a lot of side streets, though it is not old.  It's a new mall, just modeled around the old small-town theme.  

Since they were going to be occupied dinner through after dark, Simon and I decided to take JSS and COS to dinner and let them have their OWN Scavenger Hunt.  They had a BLAST!  (Side note, my sister had sent us a coupon for a buy one-get one free dinner at TGI Fridays earlier in the week.  We used that coupon, shared a meal with our "date" and the four of us at for $8--pre-tipping!!  This being a year we've decided to live as frugally as possible, I was elated!)  

After dinner, we began the Scavenger Hunt with them, looking for things such as cupid, a sign with red on it, a stuffed bear, hearts, a couple in love, etc.  It was made especially fun because we had no idea how competitive the two of them were!  And they were on the same team!  With no opposing team!  (?)  It was hilarious!  We spotted JDS and AMS at various points in the evening and they looked to be having ALMOST as much fun as we were.  :)

JDS ran across the street to get
all of our signatures on his arms.
His scavenger hunt was about 1/2 through
at the point, but ours was just beginning.

AMS with one of her AWANA peeps in front of 
the pizza joint at which their group met for dinner.

We LOVE COS's enthusiasm in spotting something
from the scavenger hunt list Simon is holding.

JSS sporting the red sunglasses that were on the list.

Having found all but three items, we treated
JSS and COS to dessert at an ice cream parlor.
JSS and AMS were finished with their hunt,
JSS's team winning by a narrow margin.
Winners were bought dessert at the Toll House
store, but the adult chaperone for AMS's group
took pity on her team and bought all of them dessert, too!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Cub Scout Pinewood Derby Day 2009!

We began race day with 
Sausage Kolaches for b'fast,
compliments of Shipley's.
Here COS & JSS watch them
being prepared while Dad pays.
JSS's car was designed out of Tinker Toys!
Dad helped him drill all those holes and
he fashioned this Hot Rod for his entry.

He wanted to win for design...
...and DID!  He won "Most Creative"
for his Cub Scout troop!

Congratulations, little man cub!!!

Friday, February 6, 2009

The Greatest Generation

Life lessons are some of the hardest.  We went through this particular class again this past week when Simon's beloved grandfather ("G'pa Post") went to be with the Lord on Friday, January 30, 2009.  He had lived over 90 years, the past 66 with his beloved Elsie.  He served in two wars, raised two kids and lived the life we all want.  He truly was a part of the greatest generation and he shall be missed sorely by all of us he leaves behind.

Smith Family Tradition:
the family begins the burial process
by taking turns (JDS below)
Military Burial:
enough to bring the stoutest of
hearts to tears

We shall miss you, Grandpa Post.
Rest in Peace with the Saviour.

N.E.R.F.: Weeks #2-3 (Exercise & Rest)

Due to extreme temps last week, we flip-flopped weeks 2 & 3, opting to Rest last week because of the ice and instead sip hot chocolate every afternoon by a roaring fire while reading Pippi Longstocking.  :)   This week, we can wear shorts.  That's Texas weather for you, eh?!  So, we have been doing the Exercise week this week & reading a few books on muscles and the human body.

Here's a glimpse:

Enjoying one of the GREAT & ACTIVE games 
on our new favorite website:
The next three photos are experiments
involving our muscles from one 
of the books we read.

We had WAYYYY too much fun once
we read this passage from one of our books!
Get ready to laugh!

One activity-oriented website suggested
getting a balloon and seeing how 
long you could keep it in the air without
it hitting the ground.  As you can see,
they had a BLAST doing this...and got some
good exercise in what became a full-
contact sport!  

We rounded out the week's study on exercise
with a field trip with our local home
schooling group to CrossFit, where the
kids were taught about nutrition & exercise
by a professional, who encouraged a LOT
of hands-on learning.  :)