Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Unschooling at it's Best! And on a Saturday, too!

Last Saturday, my mom took us to the Fire Chief's Barbecue, which was held at the fireman's training ground. Unfortunately, my camera battery pooped out on me, so I only got a few pictures of us having dinner. But we got to see lots of things that would have made for GREAT pictures.
We watched several teams rappell down the side of a building and see a guy "rescued" from a window. We watched the fireman team dismantle two cars with the Jaws of Life. (That was impressive, lemme tell you!) We also got to go up in the cherry picker basket on the ladder truck, as well as look at all the different types of firetrucks and talk to the firemen. Oh, and eat really, really great barbecued beef ribs! It was so much fun!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

A Look Back...

Monday was a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day with lots and lots of fighting and crying and tantrums...not all of which were done by The Kids. Sometimes I amaze/terrify myself with my ability to act like a two year old. It's not a pretty sight. And it hurts so badly when I realize that I've been the exact opposite of a Christ-like example for them.
We got throught it, though, and did a lot of praying with each other. I think that sometimes the "enemy" sees school as a great place to launch spiritual attacks, especially since I've been really wanting school to go smoothly because of my new job. (Click the link to read aaaallll about it!) I don't want to fight with The Kids all morning, then go to work from 5-10! I told Reilly that she can stop me anytime if she's feeling frustrated and we'll pray together. It's made a big difference so far, as she's asked at least once a day during school since Monday. More than anything scholastic that she learns, I want her to learn that God is our strength and our rock that can be leaned on at all times.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

The Arrival of Skipperdee

Last Saturday, we had a garage sale and we had told both of The Kids that if they contributed some of their toys and things to the sale, they could keep some of the money to buy something for themselves. Well, Reilly went for it whole-hog because she decided that she wanted a TURTLE! (I thought that she was saving for an Americal Girl doll, but she veered off into the land of amphibians...)
So, because she worked so hard and was so relentless with her culling of toys, on Sunday, Troy ordered a red-eared slider turtle for her. Through thorough tracking online, we knew that we were to expect the arrival of Skipperdee at 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday morning. And, honestly, from all the excitement and anticipation, you would have thought we were waiting for the arrival of the Pope, or something.

At 10:30, on the dot, I saw The Box Man pull up to the house. I don't believe that any UPS man has been greeted with such enthusiasm as was the man who had the honor of delivering Skipperdee to our door. Between the shrieking children and the barking dog, we may well have scarred him for life.

In that picture, she had just gotten done washing her hands so she can take him out of the box. I love the look of pure joy on her face!
I will say, he's a cute little fella! One of the reasons that Troy ordered him online was so that he could get a smaller one. Skipperdee is only about 3 inches long!
(SHOOT! I was going to include a video of him, scooting along, but it didn't upload!)

Pictures, Just Like I Said I'd Post!!

HI! I promised that I'd post pictures of our adventures on Troy's vacation....and I'm always one to keep my word to my, oh, 2.5 readers! (I'm a lonely blogger...I would love some comments...otherwise, I begin to feel like I'm talking to myself. Oh, HI Shery! She always leaves comments. Hint hint to everyone else...)
Anyway, the pics below are as follows:
Troy, peeking through the Indian's arm, trying to see what the Indian is looking like. (We have a tradition of taking pictures of Troy with each and every cigar store Indian that we come across.) Then, there's Reilly, holding the limp magic wand as a helper in the magic show at Silver Dollar City. We've seen the show about eight times, but The Kids always want to sit and watch again! Then we have Reilly and Declan with their new horns followed by The Family in the tippy room in Grandfather's Mansion at SDC.

We took a trip to a nature center and walked around and spotted deer tracks and things like that. You can see Troy showing Reilly how a real Indian would track and shoot a deer. (I love pictures of him like that! He's so rarely silly for the world to see! Although, there's probably a reason for that...)

We liked this arch type thing that was made by the trees...not sure if it really comes across in the picture...but we decided that it was the bridge (arch?) into Terabithia. Then there's Deco, the lone explorer!

Here are The Kids, riding their buckin' broncos at the Cowboy Heritage Museum.

They could have spent HOURS around the cowboy campfire and chuckwagon!

There was a little "town" set up that you could walk through. Or to put yourself in jail. Your choice. We chose both walking AND jail.
But only after I bellied up to the bar. I can't believe I willingly let someone take a picture of my backside! EEEEEK!

We completed our vacation with a trip to the Incredible Pizza Company. Reilly and Declan worked together to get tickets on the "Smack the Gator" game. Then we donned some lovely shoes to ride the go karts, since we all had sandles on...which meant that none of us were wearing socks. I try not to think about all the other people who had had their feet in where my bare feet were. *shudder*

And, what trip to a fast paced, frantic, loud game-themed restaurant would be complete without cashing in those hard earned game coupons on some crap...oops, I mean prizes? Vampire teeth and whoopee cusions, that's what my kiddos chose!
What a great vacation! It was hard to see Troy go back to work on Monday!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

What a week!

This week has been so great! Troy had been on vacation, so we've done lots and lots of school...but all of it in field trip format! And EVERYTHING is more fun when Papa's along!
On Monday, we were in Branson and we went to Table Rock Lake. We watched a video about how the dam was built and walked around the visitor center. Then we went down to the (very rocky) beach and walked along, exploring in the rocks.
On Tuesday, we went to a nature center here in town and hiked around there for quite awhile. (OK, quite awhile for me...I'm not usually a hiking kind of girl!) We saw a turtle and lots of deer tracks. It was so funny to watch Reilly and Declan play explorer!
Yesterday, we drove a few hours to a Cowboy museum...notice how vague I'm being? You know, that whole stalker thing! (Not that I really think that ANYONE is reading this anyway! Let alone some random stalker!) Anyway, it was great fun! Lots of art to see, and a whole kids area where they got to dress up like cowboys - chaps, vests, boots, the whole shebang! Then they could pretend to pump water, or sit by a little log cabin and cook over a cowboy stove, complete with tin plates and cups, or play at the chuckwagon and cook a pot of beans over a different cowboy stove. I think that they could have spent hours there!
Today, my aunt is in town and we went on a little garden tour, and tomorrow we're going to a fall party at Shelly's house. (One of the "members" of RFHG!)
Add to these things all that The Kids got to see being done at Silver Dollar City last weekend- someone making a clay pot, someone else making sorghum, etc. - and I feel like we've had a full week of school, even though there wasn't any book learnin'!
I've got lots and lots of pictures, but they're not on my computer right now and I don't feel like downloading them at this moment. Either I have a cold or some serious allergies going on, but my head feels like it's about to pop!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

This and That and The Other (a.k.a. I'm Running Out of Titles)

Pictures as promised!! Last week we got to go to the fair as part of "Our State's Largest Classroom" which was just about the best deal I've ever gotten. There was no entrance fee, PLUS we got to take our lunch in...something which we all know is NEVER allowed because they want you to spend $3947.00 on a corn dog and a pop. We went with my friend, Shelly and her boys Kyce (who is also in second grade) and Korbin (who is in kindergarten) and had a fantastic time!
Here are all the kids at the "Day on the Farm" experience. They got to milk a (fake) cow, gather eggs from (fake) chickens, plant some (fake) seeds, gather some (yes, you guessed it, fake) veggies, ride a little tractor like they were harvesting, and then go to the bank to collect their (fake) money.

Once they got their "money", they got to go to the store and pick out one treat. They could choose either a State Fair pencil or a snack of some sort. Yeah, they all picked snacks because, you know, pencils aren't as fun and you can't eat them.
We went into the Just for Kids building where we saw a HUGE sand sculpture and also got to see the guy working on it. (Amazing talent!) And we saw the entries for the pumpkin decorating contest. Lots of cute entries, but I loved the geisha the best!
Then on to the main building where they got to play in the worlds largest sandbox. (OK, maybe not the WORLD'S largest sandbox...but it was big!) I won't even start my story about how I had to go all Mama Bear and stand up for Deco when he got YELLED AT by the "volunteer" for tossing a small handful of sand at Korbin. Suffice to say I called the head of the fair volunteers and let her know that this particular lady was taking her job way too seriously! (And trust me when I say that I'm not one of those mom's who takes their kids side even when they are acting horribly. We are rule followers here, but he is 4.5 and got a wee bit excited and she went off on him. Made me so mad I could have spit, especially since I was right there, and on my way over to say something to him about it. I've never wanted to slug an old woman so much in my life! Oops, I said I wasn't going to go into that!)

We saw some Native American dancers, which was SO COOL! One thing that the main guy said that I thought was really neat was that he called his outfit either an outfit or a regalia, but never a costume. Because, as he put it, "When I dress up as Spongebob, I don't become Spongebob. That's just a costume. But when I get up in the morning, I am Native. When I go to bed, I am Native. I'm always Native, so this outfit is just an expression of who I am. It is not a costume because I am Native." Here, one of the guys is doing a hoop dance. Then, Deco really wanted to go up and tell them that he liked their outfits!

Here are my little farm kids! Reilly said the seat was too hot, which is why she's sitting like that!

And, on a completely unrelated to the Largest Classroom note, sometimes in school for math, we play Hangman on the whiteboard. And I always draw the hangman in detail. He used to carry an ax, but Reilly decided that was simply too violent. So now he carries flowers and a box of chocolates. Because, as Reilly says, he doesn't want to hang you, but he will if he as to.

And here he is, being sad because he didn't get to hang anyone. (I guess he's not so sweet after all!)

(Sometimes I hate trying to format the text on this site! I don't WANT everything centered, just the pictures! Stupid site!)

Sunday, October 07, 2007

I'm sorry, I'm sorry...

I know, it's been for-EV-er since I've updated this thing, and I've got some pictures and video to share from some things that we did last week. I've been struggling with headaches for the last couple of weeks and so when time comes where I can have a few minutes to update, I'm usually wanting to take a nap instead.

Or do laundry.
Not that I want to do laundry, don't get me wrong. It's just an ever present THING hanging over my head. But not as badly as it used to hang over my head, since we have a full sized washer and dryer now. Whoo-EE, that does make a difference!

But I digress! We HAVE been having school, every day, just like we should. I think another thing that keeps me from posting is the lack of exiting things that we do. I mean, how boring would this blog be if it was just, "We did LLATL Lesson 5, Day 5 and learned about adjectives. Then we did math facts on the board."? You'd all fall asleep in your chairs and probably slide to the floor and bump your heads on your computer desks and I just couldn't handle that guilt!

But last week, on Wednesday, we went to the "__________'s Largest Classroom" at the fair, which was a huge amount of fun. (Note the blank I left in place of the name of the state, just in case one of you three people who read this blog is a maniacal stalker and is wanting to pinpoint my location!) This "Largest Classroom" thing is intended as a field trip for schools, but we were able to sign up as homeschoolers and get the full benefits. We didn't have to pay an entrance to the fair, plus we got to take our lunch in with us so we didn't have to pay for fair food. It's the first time I've ever been to the fair that I didn't spend a single dime!! (No rides, we're going to Silver Dollar City next weekend!) The coordinator sent a packet with all the educational things to do and see while at the fair, so we did lots and lots of that. It was great and I'm sure we'll do it again next year. I'll get the pics on my computer and post them for y'all to see.

But for now, I'm going to go and edit. That's the other thing that I do that keeps me from blogging!

OH, P.S. - I just found a fantastic blog to read! It's called Confessions of a Pioneer Woman and it'll make you want to go out and get some boots and horses...even if, like me, you have no experience with those things WHATSOEVER!