Sunday, August 30, 2009

Back to School

We began the 2009-10 school year on Monday, August 17. It's been a thrill ride every day since!

With the older kids, that meant the beginning of a lot of coursework. JDS is taking 4 of his classes at a drop-&-pay co-op on Thursdays near our house and he, so far, is really enjoying it...socially, that is. Economics class seems to be his favorite, but he is also taking Government, Shakespeare and Physics. In the spring semester when Economics is over, he will take Art History and he is most looking forward to that. Both of them are taking an SAT Prep Class and JDS will be taking that a few times this year. AMS is taking 100% of her classes at home, including her first science with a lab. She is, so far, doing pretty alright with a B average. :)

With the younger kids, our year is starting out in KONOS focusing on Inquisitiveness. The first two weeks focused on the stars and planets.

Here are some highlights from these first two weeks.

Baking and decorating star cookies
for our "Star Party" at G'ma &
G'pa's house on Friday night. :)
I discovered that a "Star Party" isn't the ideal
setting for photo-taking. If I don't use the flash,
I get blackness. If I use the flash, well, I get the
following (and a lot of complaining)...

JSS and COS camped out in G'ma & G'pa's living
room when it was time to hit the hay. Unfortunately,
I didn't think to get more photos other than
this poorly arranged one. G'ma & G'pa camped
out with them and made it all the more FUN!
A little "Star Game" that the younger ones
and Mom came up with for G'ma & G'pa to
"earn" their star treats for dessert.

We settled down to watch our two firstborn
"star" in a video back from 1995, I believe.
We got a LOT of laughs!

Fast forward to 6 AM. We were
hoping to get up before the sun to
see how the constellations had
moved across the sky, but alas
the sun beat us to it!
Beautiful time of day out in the
country, though!
JSS practicing with his bb gun & target.

Just something to remember the
morning by...(sigh)...just takes my breath
away remembering it.
What's a trip to the farm without
some good ol' hay bale jumping?
COS and Elanor decided to join in the fun.
This is an "accidental" shot. I heard her
laughing as she was racing Elanor,
turned around and shot two frames.
This was the second and I LOVE it!

The little kids were VERY tired
these first two weeks, mainly because
my Mother's Day kitties were rambunctious
all night! Here's a shot where even one
of THEM was tuckered out. (Peter)
Learning about some constellations
Can you guess which constellation this is?
What about this one?

This one?
And these???

We made a sort of "light bright"
version of constellations with black
construction paper, flashlight and a
2 liter bottle wrapped in foil. It was hard
to get clean shots, but here are two.
Can you guess which constellations these are?

JSS and COS went to their first planetarium.
Here are some activities outside the theater.
(JSS looks like a little person here.)
Do YOU know how much you weigh
on the sun? the moon? venus?
Jupiter? Pluto? WE DO, thanks to
this wayyyyy cool scale.

During these first two weeks, our home
school association had their Kick Off Meeting for
this school year. Here is my field trip
table all set up and ready for visitors. We made
it interactive this year. We listed the 26 field
trips we have coordinated for the Fall on the table
with "representations" of 11 of them and 2 more
representations of "sneak peeks" from the
spring semester. If you could match 3x5 cards with
the correct representation within 60 seconds, you
won a sweet treat! It was a lot of fun, generated a
lot of visits to our table and was a good way
to get people to remember some of our trips.
Special thanks to Candi & Julie for manning the
table with me all night. They were STELLAR!
(Get it? STELLAR? With all the star studying?)
Friday Night Family Date:
Biology lab!
This is a shot when AMS opened
her 6-day-old pond sample...
We had to burn matches in every room
to get that funky smell out of the house!
A future doctor? Lab assistant?
This is not staged...
we really did have fun doing this!
Last activity of the study:
Make your own planetarium using
a garbage bag, a fan and a flashlight.
They got 30 minutes to try and figure out
how to do it. After 6 attempts...
(some photo'd here)

...I suggested that when we visited
the planetarium, we were INSIDE
the domed theater. The lights came on...
...and they figured it out.

(Photos aren't all that great because my
back is trying to give out on me and I
couldn't really lean over to get the
shots. These are from just holding the
camera down there, not lining up the shot.)

Friday, August 28, 2009

AMS' First Place State Fair Entry!

for complete listing of winners,
including our photographer-girl!

We just LOVE the textures and colors
in this piece of artwork!

Needless to say, we completely agree
with the judges decision!
This truly is a beautiful picture!

We are so happy for you!!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Summer '09

Remember when you were a kid and the first week back to school you were given a writing assignment with a theme along the lines of "What I did this summer?" Well, this blog is a pictorial of that for our family. Hope you enjoy it. We sure did!

JSS, COS and Mom all swam at
our sweet neighbor's pool as
often as we could! Mom
even learned how to sweep a pool!

One of JDS's jobs. He actually got a job at a local
vet clinic in May, but a neighbor also asked him
to do her lawn, so this is him doing that one hot
afternoon. I thought this would be better than my
showing up at the clinic with my camera. :)
AMS also had a babysitting job a lot of the summer.
Unfortunately, I have no photos of that, but she
DID work very faithfully.
More swimming shots to emphasize our point.
They both also began learning to dive this summer,
but I took all those photos on my phone. Sorry.
Got up and close with nature as often as possible.
Went bowling irregularly. This shot was taken
on Father's Day. Simon is so intense...and a
pretty good bowler!
This is one of the only clear shots I got.
Imagine this, the other bowlers don't
appreciate my flash going off while they
are bowling! So, most of our photos are
blurry and not worthy of sharing, unfortunately.
We enjoyed a lot of healthy eats
this summer thanks to the fruits
of Simon's, JSS's and COS's labor
of love in our Patience Garden.

We learned some new outdoor skills at
the Bass Pro Shops Outdoor Family Workshops.
JSS saved up for and bought his very own
bb gun, bb's & target for practice! We bought
the safety goggles as a bonus. :)
He looks like he's practicing to be a sniper in this
photo, but he's just practicing with his target,
which is small and sitting on the ground.
We celebrated a good ol' fashioned 4th of July
with family and friends.
Among other things, we had an egg-toss...
SEVERAL different games involving water
balloons (in 100+ degree heat, it's a given!)...

A sack race (yes, those are garbage bags!)...

Painting clothing to wear to the
fireworks display...
Bobbing for apples...
Some of our favorite folks!
JDS and AMS went to Camp Peniel for
the first time, thanks to the extreme
generosity of their Great Aunt Ellen.
We celebrated a couple of birthdays,
one of which was spent 11 hours in the car!
Look how cheerful she is anyway!
What a blessing!
Learned some new skills at soccer camp,
taught by two professional soccer players!
Practicing said skills...
FYI, JSS won the first drill on the first day
of soccer camp! We were so thrilled for him!
JDS made a Jessica doll to share
his senior year with and her first
outing with us was to celebrate...
G'pa and G'ma's big 40th Wedding
Anniversary dinner at Red Lobster!
We finally got to have our Young Eagles flight!
(Remember that from January!!??)
JSS in the plane he flew for about 25 minutes!
The pilot got him up in the air and landed...
JSS did the rest! He is so elated! Now he
wants to become a missionary pilot!

We acted goofy a LOT!
I love this pic!
Went English Country Dancing the week before
we started back to school and we were thrilled
to have a very special guest with us...

The real, live version of cousin Jessica from B'ham!
She stayed with us the entire week before
we began the 2009-10 school year. What a joy
she is to have around, even if JDS did hog her time.
Spend a lot of time with friends. AMS
went to two Bible studies this summer, as well.
We went a little wild at times.
And did some baking
(JSS also would like to be a chef.)

Back to School Kiwi Lime Pie...
made by JSS!