Sunday, October 25, 2009

Halloween Parties and more

I took my kids to OMSI with a friend of mine this week. I love showing them the baby exhibit there, especially when I am pregnant. I couldn't believe how big the 25 week baby is (how far along I am).

The kids got to attend a Halloween party on Friday. We had lots of fun!
The kids decorated sugar cookies.
Dad turned into Triclops during the cookie decorating.
They finger painted spiders.
We had our 10th annual Halloween party as well. Here are our cast of characters.
Death on Vacation and a referee (Matt and Javann Allen).
Sumo, ninja, and Marsha Brady (Jeff, Gina, and Jenny Russon).
Angel and Devil (Danile and Ted Ducette).
Wendy and Peter Pan.
Cougar Fans (Jaymee and Mike Hornberger).
Greek God and Goddess (Heather and Vic Trevisanut).
Weiner Man and Wife (Kim and Phil Rosendale).

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Gymnastics, Homeschool, Pumpkin Patching

Okay, first of all I have to mention that my kids participated in our ward's primary program today. My kids have been working for weeks on memorizing their parts and practicing the songs. Robert had this scripture: Matthew 16:19 "I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven". Okay, I don't know about you, but that seems like a pretty hard scripture to memorize and Robert has worked so hard! He said it perfectly in the program today and I am so proud! Also, Isabelle seemed to be quite a hit during the program. During "I am a Child of God" she sang louder than any other kid in the primary! I swear that every person that I looked at in the congregation was looking at Belly, or me, and laughing/smiling etc. I have never gotten so many comments after a program due to my kids. My friend sitting near me said that the best part of the program was just watching Bella. What a cute silly girl.

I signed Bella and Austy up for gymnastics and they have just been loving it!

Homeschool Outings
For some homeschooling last week I took the kids on some outings. The first one, we went to a state park and rangers talked to the kids about spiders and their webs. They made a web out of tape and got to feel how sticky it is, and then they learned that it is not sticky for the spider.

We then went on a walk to find spiderwebs out in nature and identified orb vs. sheet spider webs. It was so fun and I learned a ton as well as the kids.Our friends, the Ducettes, came too.
I just have to include Bella's cute hair from this day too. I saw a cute hairdo for a girl in a magazine and tried it out. It think it turned out cute. :)
The next day Daddy was home from his two week long trip (ugh!) and we went to check out the Salmon Spawning. We got to see little tiny salmon eggs, hear about how they develop and their life cycles etc. And it was all out in the woods. It was fun. :)The fish actually get to be the size that Austin and Belly are holding!
Pumpkin Patch
So, we planned on going to the pumpkin patch yesterday. It ended up POURING rain! But, with how much Rob has been gone lately, and I know he will be in the weeks to come, I wanted to strike while I knew he would be here. We all dressed up in matching Halloween colors. But, since I knew we wouldn't be able to see any of that with our rain coats, we took a pic before we left.
There was a hay pyramid that all the kids enjoyed climbing on, even Austy!Austy found this fun tractor bike.There was a petting zoo. Isabelle couldn't get enough of holding this bunny.
Rob found this fine specimen, do I smell some competition?....We removed the corn from the cobb,

launched some pumpkins,

rode some ponies,
Robert did not want to show that he was actually enjoying the pony ride.
made some rope,

and had a great time!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Conference, Homeschooling, Gardening

So, first of all I want to say how grateful I am to be a member of the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I was talking to someone the other day about how in our church we get public speaking opportunities from the time we are 4 years old and up. By the time you are a teenager, you may have an opportunity to speak in front of hundreds of people (the whole congregation). We don't have one main pastor that does all the speaking. Each person in the congregation has an opportunity to teach and we all learn and grow from each other. I love that! Then we get opportunities through callings and we learn to rise up to the challenge and learn to organize events, become a leader, learn to social network, delegate responsibilities, plan ahead, work out our finances. This really is a leader training church! As I talked to Rob about this, he told me that when he was on his mission in Honduras, the members of the church were taught how to read, they learned about hygiene, basic life skills etc. The church members are helped at whatever level they are at, to move to a higher, better level than before with things that not only help within the church, but are useful for life in general. Truly inspired.

Anyways, I got to watch/listen to conference this weekend and listen to the prophet and apostles. I always feel so filled afterwards. I prayed for help with strengthening our family, and the first talk I heard after praying, addressed just that. I love the quote by Elder Henry B. Eyring that said, "Selfishness is the absence of love." It really made me think. It is something that I need to work on .

I loved listening to Thomas S. Monson and his talk on loving and serving others. I know that our leaders were called of God.

So, I made the decision to homeschool Robert, and Isabelle this year. It was a very hard decision, and if I didn't feel so good about it, I know I would have been way too intimidated to do it. But, I feel so lucky to have so many friends to lean on for support and advice.

In our area there is something called the Home school connection. This is where Robert goes to a school two days a week and I homeschool him 3 days a week. He loves it! He says he likes it way better than Chinook. He has a gym class where he alternates rock climbing, swimming, and gym activities, he is taking math, science, and a creative writing course. I augment those subjects at home, then also teach him language arts, social studies, and art.
This is a picture of his first day at the Vancouver Home Connection.
I have been surprized at how well it has gone, not just for them but for me. I feel much closer to my kids. We are having lots of fun together. I feel like I am getting to know them better. Robert wrote a letter the other day and in it he said that his favorite holiday is Halloween- I didn't know that! I had Isabelle draw pictures of her favorite foods. She said her favorite foods were chicken, grapes, and pie. I was shocked by the pie thing! I almost never make pie! She is truly her father's daughter.

Normally in Robert's prayers he has not wanted to say what he is thankful for, and if he says much it is something like legos or friends. Since we have been homeschooling, he says how thankful he is for family, mom and dad. I can't believe the change.

Some fun activities we have done:

We made slime, and experimented on how many water droplets will fit on a penny for Science.

We read a story about frog and toad (wind in the willows) then I had Robert draw frog, Isabelle draw toad, then taped them to pencils and had them act out the story with their puppets.- Lit and art

We made necklaces with beads. I had them sort the beads, then create a pattern with them.- Art and math.

We also went to a Harvest Fest put on by a local History Museum and learned about blacksmiths, logging back in the day, old fashioned stores and clothes. Social Studies.

I am having so much fun! (I think the kids are too!!:))

So, I never imagined that I would be doing this, but I canned veggies from my garden for the first time, this week.
We had TONS of tomatoes, so I decided to make spaghetti sauce with them. I am glad that my cookbook had a section on canning, and that my mother-in-law, who has done canning all her life, was able to come up and bring her canner! It wasn't nearly as a bad as I thought it would be. The worst part was just peeling all of the tomatoes. I just love that I am learning new skills and that I did the whole process- planted the tomatoes, harvested them, made the sauce and now it really will be homemade spaghetti.