Thursday, April 28, 2011

Come to the Fai Do Do

What a fun day we had today! We moved into the south officially last Saturday and have been blaring " Cajun for Kids" music since last week. I highly recommend this cd and other cajun and zydeco music if you ever study the Cajun/Creole culture. They are so fun to listen to and we are learning a lot of Cajun words! We talked about George Washington Carver, aka Plant Doctor, yesterday and how much he contributed to not just the plant world but also how he taught the color should not be the deciding factor. What is so cool is Jay is at the end of his language arts curriculum and ironically enough we are learning about G.W. Carver and reading about him there too! I love how God does that ! We sang, " Oh Suzannah", held cotton balls and found things in our home that were made from cotton and how heavily the south relied on the cotton industry.

I had really been looking forward to today because we started the day off with donuts outside in the cool morning, pretending we were at Morning Call ( a coffee shot in New Orleans that has been around since the early 1800s). We had our Cajun music playing as we read books on hurricanes, Alabama, and Chicken Soup for the Kids Soul ( great book!!). We also looked at pictures of Mardi Gras and talked about how God would feel if we decided to "go crazy" for a day before giving up our sinful behavior. Some interesting discussion going on in those 6 and 4 year old brains of theirs. Jayden also did a small book of pictures of category 1-5 hurricanes and wrote a sentence describing the damage that occurs at each level. He did a great job!!!
I got a few Cajun tales from the library as well; one being, " Petite Rouge" based off of the fairy tale Little Red Riding Hood with a Cajun spin. The kids are ever so patient with me as I have to stop, look at the French pronunciation, get it right and then continue on. We also read a Cajun Tall Tale today and talked some more about tall tales. Tomorrow, we are moving on to Florida and Alabama and hopefully making some Key Lime Pie. Mmmm!

Dual/Trio/Quadruple Purpose Rooms

Eat In Kitchen: eating, school, laundry room, cleaning supplies, baking, cooking, art supplies
Living Room: congregating, school, watching tv, play room, relaxing
Boys bedroom, sharing, playing, school
Girls bedroom: sharing and playing
Our Bedroom: Office/Sewing Craft room/Sleeping/Sometimes school/Living
Our Closet: Storage/Hanging clothes/Hannah's 'room'

Yes, just like Austen, Hannah sleeps in the closet. There is a little window and a fan- she loves it. She takes naps and sleeps at night in there. When we lived in our 1000 sq ft apt with just the boys we were glad to put Austen in there because we needed a place for Jay to play at quiet time and Austen to sleep. Now, pretty much same reason. Hannah was in the bassinet next to my bed for many months but then she just started sleeping and only waking up , hearing us or actually hungry so we moved her, her monitor and fan to the closet. Its a walk in, not huge but a nice enough size to accommodate a pack n play. The door doesn't open all the way but hey, who needs clothes any ways?

My prayer is that by the end of this year, we will be moved out of our 1100 sq ft home and into something much larger. Ben and I were laughing that we will all be together in one room of the house, afraid to venture off in fear of losing each other. This is our fourth home since we have been married and we have moved 5 times ( the first out of our parent's homes). Each time, we have increased the sq footage by around 100 sq ft each time....inch by inch by inch we are getting there....but we have 6 people now. God has blessed us with a great neighborhood, food and shelter....however, we will be so thankful to have room to spread out in and live and entertain. Cannot wait to share this praise report that has been a prayer going on for two years now! Here's to a few more months, hopefully!

Peaceful Slumber

You are nine months now, how are you nine months? You move around in an army crawl motion with a vengence. But now, you don't try to find me much anymore, we explore. You see an open door and move like a shooting bullet after it before I see that it is towards a room that looks nothing short of a lego store and shut the door. I shut the door, I keep shutting doors to the bathroom, the boys room and you look at me like, " you are no fun" . 
Yesterday, Moriah was feeding you with my quartered grapes, then you started gagging and unbeknownst to me my wall and toilet crayon coloring two, almost three year old, was feeding you three whole size GRAPES- yes, Hannah, Jesus is on your side and I need heart medicine. 
You sleep, almost through the night now. Why am I sad about this? I miss you at night, your little piercing eyes staring at me with wonder and peace. I love how I can fulfill that in you. It's like me to God. But please, wake up at least for 4 minutes so we can share that time together. 
You say, " mamamamamama" whenever you want me, look at me, or need some love. I love whispering in your ear and watching you stop, intently focus on my voice and smile. I love how when I'm feeding you in the same room as Daddy you stop, peer at him and crack the largest smile you have. 
Hannah, my heart is overflowing with love- I love you!

Way Past Due Midwest Blog

How could I NOT post these amazing pictures?! Back before all of our family arrived, actually while waiting for my Dad to come in late February we were completely engulfed in the Midwest states, mainly Kansas, Nebraska and Iowa. For a fun activity we made "bean" bags and filled them with beans as many soy beans grown in this particular area of the country. ( Yes, don't get me started on Food Inc) but for all intensive purposes, we cut, sewed with my amazing sewing machine and filled our bean bags. If you know anything about me, you know how much I love sewing, how little I know about it and how little I do it. I think the biggest reason is the size of our house and how I have to put everything away and get it out and with Hannah's sleeping quarters in the area where I store it, well it just makes for my free time where I could be sewing always falling into the " shoot, forgot to take the machine out again" category. Never fear, we had a LOT of fun and laughter with our trusty bean bags and the kids are learning, which is so fun for me to watch and soak in.

Simplified Living

The mornings have been incredibly beautiful and cool. It seems, every morning, the kids open the back door and begin exclaiming about all the many lady bugs that are dotting our "plants" out back. The kids find aphids on the leaves at our home as well as where we work out. 
The other day, Moriah came in, wearing nothing but a sweatery jumper and pulling out her ladybug that she so gingerly placed in her pocket. " Is it still there, yep, she's still there" Neverminding that each time she removed the bug from her pocket she squished it a little bit more until it was nothing short of dead twice over. Or Austen, walking around with a bucket filling it with lady bugs simply to watch them crawl around. They LOVE them!
I am loving this morning time that they are sharing and the beauty of the stillness. Ben was home, sleeping, the other morning and I left the boys in the backyard while I ran some errands because they were so into the lady bugs that they did not want to stop watching them. 
These small, reddish orange, block dotted, winged bugs take hold of their captivation for extended periods of time. 
So sit back, stop what you are doing, set down your broom, your i phone, your running shoes, open your back door, scrunch down, listen, watch, wait and breathe, breathe slowly for life is constantly moving and changing around us if we only stop to observe.

School is Messy

Add caption

making our pinatas

Friday, April 22, 2011

Joint Easter Study

We always celebrate and remember Easter based on Christ- I have already stated this in a previous post but this year has been fun to incorporate some new traditions, ie: from Konos. We have crafted butterflies out of tissue paper, pretended to be a chick hatching from an egg, played charades with " what type of egg am I?" , had our own egg rolling contest and read the Easter story many, many times talking about it and discussing it during our nightly, family devotion time. Also, we nailed together a cross and are hanging all of our sins on it that we did just this week. I felt truly inspired by the Holy Spirit do show how sinful, by nature, we truly are. When the kids wake up on Resurrection Sunday all of those sins will be taken off the cross and instead there will be " the blood of Christ". I am really, really excited by this. I keep thinking about John in the bible, in Revelations, where he starts crying about who can open the seal and the silence in heaven and how there has only been and only will be ONE who has conquered the power over death, hell and the grave and his name is Jesus. Praise you Jesus!

"Then I began to weep greatly because no one was found worthy to open the book or to look into it;and one of the elders said to me, "Stop weeping; behold, the Lion that is from the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has overcome so as to open the book and its seven seals." Revelations 5:4-5

  Today, we will be making hot cross buns. I learned just this week that in England,, the buns were adopted to show a cross on them, symbolism of the Crucifixion however, the Saxons ate them with symbolisms to their gods and pagan rituals. After reading these different histories on where the word "Easter" comes from (   They first appear as cakes made by the pagan Saxons to worship Eostre, the god of spring) I am realizing that although there are so many fun and different ways to incorporate Christ, the true reason is Christ not tradition. I love Resurrection Sunday that I can show my children that we do not worship a dead god, but rather a living God that Christ's bones are not in the ground but that He is alive! One of my favorite songs for this week is " O Sacred Head Now Wounded" - the beauty of the words as it describes what Christ suffered for our sins and ultimate damnation breaks my heart. For someone to have that much love- to die for the child molester as well as the liar, the one who tortures innocent victims and the stealing of a $5 item. To have that love, "In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins." 1 John 4:19.

Enjoy your weekend and remember, its not about you or what you can do or have done, its about recognizing and receiving the cost of suffering that Christ paid for you on that cross. If you do not have an active, obedient life in Christ- receive it today. He loves you more than you could comprehend and you have nothing to lose and everything to gain- " To live is Christ, and to die is gain"

How Expensive Are Your Children?

Due to rising gas prices, I have been thinking about the costs of things lately. Where to go, where not to go, how to consolidate my trips, etc. and then I start thinking about the kids what they cost, what they need , etc. To be honest, yes they eat food and need the basic necessities in life but kids are as expensive or inexpensive as you want to make them ( and this has nothing to do with medically related expenses- that is a whole other story). I am talking about toys, stuff basically.

I can remember the different fads going on in school and how I had to be apart of them. As a parent, you get sucked into this mentality so much more if you are not careful. Children will appreciate a pad of paper and crayons way more than a new game system if you have taught them the beauty of imagination and creativity. They will appreciate a simple walk around the neighborhood and stopping to find the tiniest wievel in the grass if you let them. My kids have taught me "simple" on many, many different levels. The saying, " stop and smell the roses", children really DO this and I forget, as a fast paced adult to stop if it weren't for my children.

What do kids need? They need me to sit down and play with the toys they already have with them, to read a novel together, to play games they already have. They do not need me to buy them entertainment gadgets that will only take time away for them and myself, their time together or deprieve them of alone time where they could be learning the importance of down time.

My challenge is think before you buy.....many times magazine will label this toy as " educational" when in essence, it is merely a ploy to pull you or your child into a world of fast paced, image loaded, sound magnified "stuff". Go to the library, check out a FREE book and read it together, go on a nature walk, laugh together, tickle each other and enjoy simple- everyone else tries to complicate childhood with stuff- simplify it and enjoy the peace the comes with it. Children are a blessing from the Lord- God will give you creativity on how to enjoy your blessings, have more blessings by simply releasing yourself with brands, too much toys and other things that cloud your mind.

The Southwest! Part II

See the cd player?? We were blaring our Mexican music until Ben said he could hear it from our living room

We are wrapping up our fun filled week with studying the southwest and Easter. It's been a busy school week but not a busy "on the go" week ...which after last week I am perfectly fine with that. This week, we read more on deserts, droughts, water conservation. We talked about how pit vipers , ie: rattlesnakes, smell, what senses they have, etc. In the above pictures the kids are working on their pinatas that we will paint today and fill with some candy for them to break open.

The weather was beautiful yesterday, cool mornings, cool evenings and warmer temperatures during the day. Ben took the boys swimming for a huge part of the afternoon which was so incredibly nice. The house was silent I wasn't quite sure what to do with myself.

I am fluent in Spanish but trying to find a good Spanish program for kids is a lot harder than I anticipated. It's really important for me to have my kids bilingual and hopefully trilingual when they get to HS and choose a language of their own choosing. Soo, I am still working on that part. However, we talked alot yesterday on Texas, their culture and their heavy Mexican and Spanish influence. We counted in Spanish, listened to Los Lobos y Lalo Guerrero on the cd player ALL DAY LONG ( haha :) ) and danced.

I made up this fast paced color game where I had this magnetic color shapes and I would toss the azul one to Jay and he would look at it, repeat and then throw it to Austen. We had a rotation of colors flying around the room and the kids thought it was hilarious when Moriah would throw hers to me, miss me and I would have to go get it :)

I was pretty impressed that even Moriah could locate Texas on the map. Austen could label about 60% of the states that we have covered and Jay about 85%. The ones in the middle, Nebraska, Kansas they look really similar so a little bit harder to decipher.

Today, we will be painting our pinatas and listening to more Mexican music. I have all my music and books for the Southern study so we will be jumping right on board with that tomorrow! I am super excited since the south is my favorite region of the US. For me, it's enchanting....I don't know why but I could live there even though my husband wants nothing to do with it :) I did push for a job in Nashville back 6 years ago but after a few lack of communication on their part we parted ways with a possible life there and settled out here.

Monday, April 18, 2011

R.I.P Cobra

This past week after Riah got out of dance class she got a hold of Austen's green and blue, rubber cobra snake. Unbeknownst to me, as I was securing everyone and everything in the van she had put this beloved snake in the grips of her teeth and pulled and it tore into two pieces! Austen has had this snake for a year, it is his favorite as it is green. The entire van unraveled in a second. Riah now has millions of little black, tiny dots of gel inserts all over her, the van and her seat, Jay is besides himself sobbing for Austen, Austen is looking crushed, his lip out as far as it can protrude, eyes puddling and Hannah is crying for being in her car seat. It was a sad, sad scene.

Riah apologized to the entire car; this was not intentional but she still felt bad. WE arrived home and I was making lunch for everyone when I looked for the boys, they were outside. I called them in but they said the needed to finish digging. No problem, just finish and come in. A few minutes later, they came in , asked me to come out and I came upon a scene of grief, agony and tears. The boys had dug a hole for the snake, buried its lifeless, two part body, covered it with a pile of dirt and made a grave marking, taped it to a single stick and said "goodbye". Jay was just crying. It broke my heart. This snake was so important to both of them. HE kept saying, " as I was covering the snake up Austen kept saying, ' bye snake, bye, bye' and it made me cry harder."

Oh what precious, precious hearts you have my sons. Let me wrap my arms around you, squeeze you and preserve you. I love you and so does your Heavenly Father! The heart of the Father coming out in my boys.... so precious


What our school books look like:


On top of our ongoing southwest unit, we are also incorporationg a couple weeks of the Easter unit from Konos. Last week, we spent some time reading out of the bible about the last supper, we read some Passover books from the library and talked about the symbolism. Also, we made matzah and set our timer for 16 mintues all the while pretendnign to the be Israelites and hurrying around as we didn't have much time before we needed to get out of Egypt. We read about the 10 plagues and talked about different ones and how we would have felt.

Moriah and Jayden acted out, with the help of puppets, the last supper and we reclined on pillows as we enjoyed our Matzah. I am really, REALLY looking forward to this week as I do not do the Easter bunny thing. I tried it, I like it, it just doesn't ever seem to fit into how I am wanting our Easter traditions to go. We really focus on Christ, the colored eggs in symbolism of Him, etc. It's just a very sacred week to me and I can't , for the life of me, get into the Easter bunny. I have friends that do and I think it's awesome....I just can't. Anyways, we have so much planned and I can't wait to take pictures and write about it. Blessed is HE who comes in the name of the Lord!

Home, Home On The Range

Yee haw! We have been saddling up here mighty fine studyin' the southwest states. What a great week it has been! Earlier this past week we put on our cowboy/cowgirl/ train conductor ( oh, how there is always an non conformist in the group lol) outfits, placed a quilt in the living room floor and ate our cowboy grub which consisted of pork and beans wrapped up in a tortilla. We learned that the cowboys didn't use utensils much but rather tortillas for scooping and holding their food together. Austen decided he wanted nothing to do with the food and requested a pbutter/apple butter sandwich. I agreed for sake of keeping peace but then he ate a nibble of that and said he was done.

I set up a campfire and we sat around and read about scorpions, rattlesnakes, the Hopi Indians and how they had no doors or windows on their homes but climbed up to their roofs and went down the openings there. We sang home on the range and Jayden, Moriah ( who claimed her self to be a girl scorpion who was going to " peench you") and Austen played a game of charades where they acted out different desert animals. This was fun to watch because they know so many. One in particular Jayden stood up and had spikes pretending to dart out of his body as he morphed into a saguaro cactus. The kids thought I had lost my marbles when I began talking in a twisted western accent only acknowledging myself as Suzy Mae. " Mama, mama, can you not talk like that?" Haha!

Later that week, we attended a birthday party at a mountain range where it tied so perfectly into our southwest studies because after the party we all went in to talk to the ranger who spoke awhile on desert animals and their tendencies, eating habits, etc. Especially the scorpion. Blech!

Equipped with our black lights, we headed out. If you can imagine me. My ears are highly attuned to any rattle, ruffle, scuffle or slide that may encircle my ankles at any second and try to steal the life out of me. But, never fear, I forgot that due to the fact that it was ME that was hiking we would be guaranteed not a single animal sighting and yes, we found not one scorpion on the entire hunt in the dark. I was stunned, what! I never want to see one in my home but I wanted to see one in the desert. Sooo, Ben talked about taking the kids later this month to another scorpion hunt. I will probably not go so that they can have the privilege of seeing scorpions. I think I emit waves of terror through the air that send out signals to any living thing and they just hide; I have no idea.

We also made a diorama of a desert scene. The kids created cacti out of cardboard. We were going to paint them but the kids opted to color them instead which was fine with me- less mess. They took toothpicks, split them in half and stuck them around their cardboard cactus. We also read MORE desert books about drought, rattlesnakes, and the adaption of desert plant life- Saguaros are succulent plants they " suck" the water that falls on the ground around them. We talked about our trips to the Grand Canyon as well and looked at pictures. The boys have been listening to Hank the Cowdog ( a " lovely" and so " deep") audio book series of a Texan talking dog and his "wild" adventures. For as much bible, classical literature ( the real Mary Poppins series....) and quality children's literature I don't mind the occasional Hank but it kills me listening to it...its kinda like the equivalent of Diego on mind starts to go numb. Sorry Diego!

We have also been reading a really cool series on Arizona. It is an alphabet and number books for different things that make our state unique. Learning about the different agricultural and development of the state has been fascinating...let's see if I can get the five c's right- copper, citrus, cotton, cattle and shoot can't remember! Also, reading about Oklahoma from the scholastic series of states. This is, again, a great resource when studying the states as it is a colorful series with lots of history, social factors, food ideas, and talking....although, I did talk to my friend who is from OK who stated that not all the "Oklahoman" words were used that often. Nevertheless, we are having a great time. This week will be our wrap up and hopefully just as fun! Saddle up!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The Southwest!

Well, we have arrived. Here we are in the southwest and studying it like crazy these next couple of weeks. We are mixing in the Easter unit as well so to say our plate will be full is an understatement. Yesterday, we went to the zoo and had such a great time. We arrived before regular opening and enjoyed the peacefulness of the zoo, watching the zoo keepers care for the animal habitats, and being able to view the new orangutan exhibit with very little competition. We meandered through the rain forest area and headed to the southwest ( AZ Sonoran Desert) part. I have always enjoyed this part as all these animals are still fairly exotic to me. I love seeing the desert tortoise, rattlesnakes, coach whips, and gila monsters ( and yes I yelled Gee-la monster when I first arrived as well as JAH-valena and Sa-GUA-Ro_) Lord, have mercy!

We also observed mountian lions, a bob cat grooming itself, the rare Mexican red wolf, pronghorn, as well as prickly pear cactus blooming, prairie dogs and the sonoran toad. The desert is so beautiful right now with all of its blooming. Wow God, you are amazing! When you look at a desert, many people see cactus and brown but when you see how God dressed the cactus with a blooming period where they burst with vibrant pink, orange, yellow's amazing. The wild flowers and poppies blooming at the base of the mountains is simply breath taking.

We also visited a railroad park! What a great experience. We had heard so much about it from others and were very impressed with the affordability of it, for a family our size, and all that he had to offer. We rode the train around the park, the kids rode an old fashion carousel equipped with a coach ( the younger kids and I rode in this) and Jay rode the horse behind us. Disney music from Mary Poppins and other older movies played beautifully around the carousel. It was so much fun! We also toured an old train that was like stepping back in time through the train station, seeing how the cars were organized with the guest quarters, the area where Franklin Roosevelt gave speeches and had held meetings, how the food was prepared, where they slept, went to the bathroom.

We also toured their newest addition, a model train building where the most extensive model train sets that I have ever seen were created and still being created. This opened 10 weeks ago and is free for the first year, fyi! The kids loved chasing the trains around the track and they rode in an old fashion trolley too!

Finally, we ate a picnic lunch when we first arrived and played on two different play structures. One was designed as a western saloon/general store/jail house. The kids loved running around it putting each other in jail, breaking free and making a run for it on the jail house roof. I even chased the kids with Hannah in tow around and around. I was laughing when Riah wanted me to crawl into the smallest hole with her. Many things I can do Miss Moriah, that, now that is now one of them. However, the three of us girls slid down the slide together and had a great time. It was hard to go but I think that going to the zoo will now equate making a stop at the train park too. It just makes sense considering how close the two are together and how far the zoo is from us.

We enjoyed reading and learning about the transportation that AZ used back in the late 1800s to early 1900s and how much has changed since that time. I enjoyed reading that Phoenix had quite an elaborate trolley system and for much of its earlier stages this is what helped develop and transport people back then, first by mules and horses and then by electricity. Overall, we had a great day- finished it off with a java chip frapp and made the drive home listening to Adventures in Odyssey all the way. I love homeschooling!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Little Peepers

I have been noticing a lot lately that My mini me watches my every action and hears my every word. Ben was saying how the other night when she was screaming in her bedroom because she had disobeyed, gotten her window closed, books taken away that when he went in there to take care of her and strongly advise her to end her screaming escapade that she was sitting in her bed, with her silky blanket wrapped around her finger and wringing it back and forth :/

I have eczema, sometimes of the year really, really bad. I almost always have it on 2 fingers and I'm at the point now where I have switched detergents to all natural oils, done with fabric softener, eat very little wheat and working on the dairy. I am trying to figure out what is the cause. But one thing, when I am stressed, no matter what time of year I will start wringing my fingers back and forth because the itching sensation actually starts to make me feel calm. I am  of a different breed, just bare with me.

The thought that Moriah was doing this blew my mind. She literally observes with blatant details my actions. The other day I was loving on Ben and Austen kept saying, " mama, mama, mama,mama,mama....." and Moriah goes, " Auten! you not keep sayin' mama, mama, mama, you say cuse me mama and den wait" - ummm, how may times have I said that to my children and here little mamacita at the ripe old age of 2.5 is reciting that. That just makes me even more , scrutinize my daily interactions with my family. It is very important for me to respect Ben as my husband, the leader of our family and a father, to love him and to serve him. I truly try to every day, and by no means am I perfect....who is....but wow, if my little chica grows up and can take an ounce of all my effort of all that I have tried to learn since we first got married and bring it with her into her marriage someday, it will be all worth it. Whether playing gobs of goopy makeup, sticky mascara, or too much bronzer over one side of her face with purple eye shadow to mimicking my tone of voice or sayings, I pray that what I'm seeing and hearing in my "reflection" is honoring to the Lord. God I bring this before you. Thank you.

Potty Train All Aboard!

Yes, Moriah is potty trained, more appropriately put Moriah trained her potty. If any of you have potty trained a child before it is a very humbling experience. I tried to potty train her at 21 months- HAHA! It was a joke. I did, successfully do it until Hannah arrived and then she resorted back into making puddles all around our home. Do we have a puppy now? So after waking up morning after morning very irritated we put her in pull ups and life became so much easier. The only problem, FOR ME, was that I felt like I failed. I know it may sound so insane, but I put a lot of effort into my children and potty training was one of them.

Jay was "p.t'd" at 37 months, Austen at 26 months ( completely I might add, meaning no accidents ever- amazing child that he is), and then there is Moriah. I had someone pose a question, what are your tips. I wish I had some. To be honest, all those potty training books out there, I am beginning to realize are just lovely references to what a perfect world would look like if we could cookie cutter our children into them.

How did Moriah finally get it? She had diarrhea the entire previous week and turned around, figured out what the sensation was to "go" and started running to the bathroom and doing her business on her own. Isn't that what potty trained really is? I mean, for them to know the sensation and just go not us always reminding them or pumping them full of juice? Yes, I have finally figured it out- just like airline ticket prices, there is no pattern to potty training with each child- To each his own, and to their mama, well it's better to buy pull ups longer and have a peaceful environment with a child that is not quite ready than to force an agenda that will come in its own time. Wow, took me 3.5 years to figure that out- yes, 3 children potty trained in 3.5 years...good, GOOD times.

Monday, April 4, 2011


Phew, today was the last "catch up" day for our states. Tomorrow, we will be doing a short study on Hawaii and then taking 2 weeks to focus on the Southwest, which I am really excited about since we live here and have some awesome field trip opportunities, scorpion hunt anyone? :) But as for today, we focused on California. We have had the privilege to go to California about 5 or 6 times and I prefer northern over southern, mainly due to the congestion....but they both have beautiful things to offer.

Today, we ate some " sardines" tuna and talked about how they canned sardines along the coast in Northern California, we made comic strips of Disney characters and talked about Walt Disney; we also watched a movie on Disneyland. The kids loved seeing all the rides they went on last year and reliving the fun. WE also talked about earthquakes, what you do if you are caught in one as well as what is actually happening. We used two pillows to visualize the earths crust hitting each other and moving one plate under the other.

Surfing, who hasn't envied those surfers who spend hours in the sun and waves. We will be practicing our skateboards later as there are definitely no oceans near us but for the time being, we stood on pillows and surfed back and forth, watching out for incoming waves. I even threw out a lovely Australian/surfer accent- it was impressive let me tell you! :) We also discussed more aspects of the Redwood trees and now, even though I do not care much for California, I would like to drive to Yosemite and a little south to see the Sequoias, they look so breathtaking! On to Hawaii tomorrow!

The Pacific Northwest!

So we took the entire day yesterday and jam packed it with fun lessons geared towards Washington, Oregon and Northern California! What was so fun about these lessons is that we had just been to Oregon and N. California this past fall so the kids vividly remembered the landscape, culture and of course, the Redwood trees. 

We started the day off reading books on the states mentioned above, talked about apples, tall tales, volcanoes and Paul Bunyan. We loaded ourselves up with science experiment equipment, heavy "logger" attire ( and might I add this was an insane idea given it was 88 degrees yesterday) and made the long trek " through the woods" to the logger camp, aka: the park. 

What a great time we had playing logger games: shimmy up trees, arm wrestling competitions, "chopping" logs and having a log( child) rolling contest. Oh how the personalities of my children come out when the word contest or " on your mark, get set, go" are stated. Austen, is so competitive that he is known to walk away and sulk if he does not win. So, we dealt with character and , oh my , cooperation as well. Funny how I mentioned that we were still on cooperation...well, I felt a little better looking at how long Konos gives to work on it and it was 30 I guess that would be about a school year...thank you Konos now I don't feel so slow! 

We also built a mountain out of sand and brought a bottle filled with baking soda, started off with 4T of baking soda but then Hannah, some how amidst eating grass, leaves and other odds and ends dumped over the bottle and spilled probably half of it...oh well, I was able to salvage most of it and our experiment was a success. It was fun to talk about Mt St Helen erupting when Nana was only 19 years old- the kids thought that age was really funny on Nana :) 

We came home, ate applesauce in memory of Washington apples that are actually the apples that we receive here in AZ and took naps. What a great day! Oh, and we didnt' die of heat stroke either in spite of our heavy logger shirts.

Verse we are learning Romans 12:18 As much as it depends on you, live in peace with one another. ( Cooperation)

Riah rolled down a grassy hill, full speed ahead on her pink and purple bike, hit the curb, flew forward and landed on her face all in about 5 sec after arriving at the park

building our volcano

Mt St Helens

log rolling contest