Saturday, June 16, 2012

Homeschool Mother's Journal 6/15/12

One of the busiest weeks ever...
In my life this week...
Last week we had nothing on the calendar, this past week every day had at least one "leaving the house" place to go.  When you are the mom of kiddos who resist change in routine, a schedule like this one could mean disaster!  BUT, I'm happy to announce that it is Saturday morning and we all survived pretty much unscathed!

Here are the highlights of our week.  I posted pics of our grand adventures so if you want to hear more you can click on each pic for "The rest of the story!"

Our first big picture taking adventure was in Indianapolis to watch the Colts in an open practice.  My cousin was drafted to the colts this past spring so it was especially exciting to see him on the field!

Thursday, we watched the taping of the evening news in Fort Wayne.  I contacted the meteorologist about being a guest at our coop classes this fall.  He was more than willing and also invited our family to join him for a tour as well as the taping of the evening news!

Yesterday, we got up before the sun to travel to South Bend to see our friend become  an American Citizen!  We also spent some time at the Zoo.

In our homeschool this week...
We are super excited to be done with the first 2 days of the 2012 - 13 school year!

My favorite thing this week was...
Hearing each of the newly naturalized citizens stand and tell what country they are from. 

What's NOT working for us...
The kids bought badminton (I had to look up the spelling for that!)rackets and birdies for dad for fathers day. We set it up last night to practice before the family comes here for a picnic lunch on Sunday.  My advice to parents of kiddos with Asperger's... Don't even try to teach you kiddo how to play badminton on a day when he had to get up at 5 a.m., travel 6 hours in the car, sit in a courtroom for 2 hours, and walk around a zoo in 90 degree heat! It's just not worth it!  We will try again today.

Things I'm reading...
I'm still working on "Bonhoeffer" 'cause it is sooooo long.  I would still recommend it though!  

I'm Praying For...
In Indiana, we are still praying for rain!  Our pool is down 4 or more inches and we don't want to top it off 'cause our well is probably down that much too.  Many places are starting to ban burning and fireworks.  We were in a traffic jam on the highway yesterday because someone flicked a cigarette out their window and started the grass in the median on fire.
Thanks for taking the time to re-live my week with me!  I look forward to many more adventures this summer and sharing them with you!  Bless you this week whether your schedule is empty or overflowing!


Friday, June 15, 2012

2 Fieldtrips in 2 days!

3 Trips in 3 days!
We have only decided to count 2 of them as school though! We just couldn't justifying a day of NFL football as school, but we still had tons of fun!  The kids are so excited that 2 days of the 2012 - 13 school year are over with!

Wednesday, we spent the day at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.  My cousin was Drafted to the Colts and they had an open house and open practice.  If you want to see all of the pics from that day and the post about them, click on the image below.

Last night we watched the evening news being taped at a local television station!  My oldest son wants to be a meteorologist so this was right up his alley!  Our local weather guy, Curtis Smith, posts frequently on Facebook with pics and stories of visiting local schools.  So,  I took the chance to ask him if he would visit our homeschool coop next fall.  He not only said "sure" to that but he also invited our family to tour the studio and watch the evening news as it is taped live!  

Unfortunately, I missed two e-mails from Curtis before we left yesterday.  Little did we know when we arrived that the station's computers all went down for a while that afternoon.  They almost didn't get to do the news!  Thanks to the guys in the control room, all was well in an hour or so!  Curtis also wanted us to know that he had to do the weather outside for the first half of the news with the winners of a contest, members of the FW Fire Department! They won a backyard party complete with wings and frozen yogurt.  During the party, a fire call came in so there was left over yogurt for the news team and US!  This day had been anything but typical for the news team members!

 This is a view of the newsroom from the "loft" where we watched the taping.  Curtis is getting his mic on and will soon don the red BBQ apron to "do" the weather from outside with the fire fighters.

This sweet reporter did a story on a radio station that is paying child support for dads for Father's Day.  She was the first person we got to see use the "Green Wall."  Melissa Long was the anchor for the evening.  She cracked us up during breaks and commercials.  All of the "gang" had a great friendship and camaraderie. The kids' favorite "characters" in the newsroom were the photographers.  

You can tell that they were taping at dinner time!  First, Cameraman Austin  had string cheese...

Then he had yogurt!  Within a few minutes of Curtis announcing that there was extra frozen yogurt in the freezer, I think everyone had some!  Even Melissa ate some at the anchor desk.

During the 6:00 news we got to see Curtis use the Green Wall.  After he was done with the weather he finished our our tour by taking us to the control room and lastly, to the freezer for frozen yogurt.

This morning we were up at 5 for another big day!  A friend of our became a US citizen today.  We drove about 3 hours to the Federal Courthouse in South Bend to watch the ceremony.  The kids thought going through security was fun, "Just like at the airport!" 

 Caleb noticed there was no flag in the court room; he thought that was odd.  

When I told him that we would be asked to stand when the judge came in he said, "I know mom!"   I asked him how he knew that.  We have never been in a real court session.  His answer: "Duh! I watch Judge Judy and Judge Joe Brown!"  :O)

Caleb was right.  The flags were missing...Until the Marines brought them in!  They stood so still I didn't think they were breathing!  The judge did a great job!  He read from the Constitution as well as The Gettysburg Address.  My favorite part of the ceremony is when all of those being naturalized told their name and place of birth.   There were people from ALL over the world from Africa to India, from China to South America, from Eastern Europe to Mexico and Canada.

This is Steve and his sweet daughter Makenna with his certificate.

The ceremony was over around lunchtime.  Since we drove so far to get to South Bend we decided to take in the Zoo before we left town.  

We took Makenna too!  Would you believe Makenna and Carolyn are in the same grade?! 

 Considering how hot it was today, the animals were pretty cooperative in posing for us!

I've seen a one humped camel before but never one with two humps!  He was so cool!

The girls on the train.  They chose the very first seat;  the boys chose the very last one!

 This peacock sat on the roof of the pavilion where we ate lunch. He was quite photogenic and very entertaining!

Even though the week was VERY busy, we are glad it's Friday night.  All alarms are OFF and we definitely plan to sleep in tomorrow morning!
Only 178 days of school to go!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

A Day With The Colts

We so clearly remember a long day of waiting for the NFL Draft to be completed this past spring.  After watching the computer screen for over 7 hours we were feeling discouraged of ever seeing Chandler's name on the screen.  When it came down to the last 10 pics we were downright depressed.  Chandler was "supposed" to get picked far sooner!  As each pick came and went we were either happy that "he wouldn't be going there," or sad because "that team had nice colors to decorate the victory cupcakes we were hoping to frost.  We felt like we had wasted the whole day just sitting and staring at the screen.  As we were waiting on each pick our son who was watching on another, slower, computer was sad that we knew each pick a few seconds before him and kept giving each away. When the last pick rolled around, he started screaming, "It's Chandler!  It's Chandler's name!  Chandler's going to the Colts!"  We thought he was teasing us because earlier my husband had done the same thing to liven up the afternoon.  In the matter of just a split second, we yelled at him to quit teasing and also saw Chandler's name on our screen.  Then, we were all screaming!  If you didn't already know, we are from Indiana and a draft pick with the Colts is better than anywhere else!  Prior to this year, we have never watched much of the NFL Draft. let alone all the way through!

Today the Colts held an open house.  We had the privilege of walking on the field and watching an open practice.  Most people were so excited to see the Colt's first draft pick, Andrew Luck, but we were there to see "The Cuz!"

The day started out with a fantastic Free parking spot and our first up close glimpse of Lucas Oil Stadium.

The long line and a half hour wait to get in were worth it!  We joined thousands of other fans down on the field.

 The turf felt very soft and squishy on our bare feet!

 The food lines were long since all the concessions were half price.

 By the time we got our food and sat down we were starving!
It was a beautiful day for the roof to be open!
The view of the city out the North "Window" was super neat!

We sat in 3 different decks and watched practice from each level of the stadium.

We watched the Special Teams practice close to the field.
Super Cool to see Chandler introduced on the Big Screen!

We watched the quarterbacks practice hand offs from the middle deck.
We watched the quarterbacks practice throwing from the nosebleed section.  Josh and
I had some serious height phobia shaky knees at times!
It was fun to watch the "little kid that we used to babysit for" signing autographs after practice!
Chandler sees his adoring family when he headed back to the locker room.  I Love that kid's smile!
Pasta (At The Spaghetti Factory!) The perfect ending to a very fun day!


Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Tuesday Top 10 #2

Tuesday Top 10
Top 10 Read Alouds

My kids are beyond the age of needing mommy to read with them but they still LOVE to read aloud with me, even chapter books!  So, my list today is a combination of their favorite books from "Then and Now!" 

*Because of certain "labels" like dslexia, ADHD and Asperger's, we still read almost everything aloud for comprehension and corrections.

10.  Carolyn's Favorites (Now) are the Kit Kittredge Books that are part of the American Girl Collection. 

9.  Josh's Favorites (Now) are the "Once Upon America" series of historical fiction books.

8.  Caleb's Favorites (Now) are the Brian Books by Gary Paulson. Caleb is very much a nature boy himself, so I think he probably imagines himself in the Canadian Wilderness with Brian!

7.  Not long ago, Josh LOVED any book by Jake Maddox.  If you have a young man who struggles to read after 2nd or 3rd grade, these books are a must!  They are about all sorts of cool boy topics like football and BMX bikes but are written at a lower reading level.  They introduced Josh to chapter books without being to cumbersome for him.

6.  If You Give a ... a ...  (Then AND Now!)We love all of the books by Laura Numeroff! My 11 and almost 9 year old still ask for them to be read at bedtime!

*If you like these books you might also love, "If You Give A Boy A Bible" by Any Holmes.

5.  We LOVE Shel Silverstein! (Then and Now!) We love his Poem Books, Like "A Light in the Attic" as well as his books like, "The Giving Tree."

4.  "Big Wheels" By, Anne Rockwell: (Sadly, a 'then' book!)  The boys read this one so often when they were little the binding is falling apart!

3.  "A Garden for Miss Mouse," by Michaela Muntean is still requested for a bedtime read! When the kids were little they loved guessing the last word in each rhyming sentence!

2.  "Who Put the Pepper in the Pot," by Joanna Cole, will always be one of our favorites, and yes, we still read it sometimes! 

1.  The ALL TIME FAVORITE at our house is Richard Scary's "What do People Do All Day?"  We still have dad's 1970 something copyright copy that is falling apart.  When we ordered a new copy from Amazon, not all of the original stories were in it!  So, we still read the old one!

The kids LOVE all the details and labels!

It was so difficult to pick just 10 books!  I think I'll go find some more "Then" books to read on the next rainy day!