Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Here's Christmas! Hope yours was as good as ours!

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Sunday, December 18, 2011

Here It Is!!!

Here's the video from DD's ballet recital. Turn on your volume, and prepare to smile. DD is in the back row, right.
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Monday, December 12, 2011

A Successful Weekend

Well, it was busy but I do think we accomplished our list. The final presents have been purchased (still need to start wrapping). We have a tree to place the gifts under (needs decorating). Met with friends, saw family, and fit in DD's dance recital.

If you want to talk cute, let's discuss the recital. The kids were just adorable, most of them under 7 or 8 I think. I haven't had a chance to look through the video and a friend took photos that I haven't seen yet, but here's a couple of my pictures.After the recital was when we went to look for the tree as well as rewarding our dancer with a vase of pink roses and dinner at Pizza Hut.

We did that in quite the snow storm. All told we got at least 6 inches. But during our dinner the temps rose 14 degrees and by the time we got home there was a record wind storm. Our cable kept going off and power flickered for at least an hour, probably more, then it stopped as fast as it started. Roads were a total mess this morning and will be worse tomorrow as temps drop again turning wet snow and slush to ice. They even closed school here in town. Well, you can't let the rest of the kids have a snow day and not offer the same to the home schooler, we we took the day off too. They are off building snow men as I type.

And now I'm back to trying to complete tasks that just seem to pile up. Hope all are well out there!

Friday, December 9, 2011

She Did It!!!

DD passed the Level 1 Math Skills test at 95% (without the extra credit)! That means she is basically advanced at the 1st grade level. She adds and subtracts and handles all the basic geometry and algebra with ease. The only areas she needs more practice is Time and Money, which we really have only glossed over to this point any way. I was pleased that she got 3 of the 4 coins correct and even the basic o'clock time.

To say I'm proud is an understatement. I only gave it to her to see just what she had retained after completing the "kindergarten" math book I had purchased for her this year. She still has to do the "1st" grade book and I doubt she will be ready for the Level 2 test before next year, but hey, she's not yet 6 years old!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Fun! Fun! Fun!

The holidays have creeped up on us as usual. It's not like we don't know they are coming, it's just they seem to be on the way one day and here the next. As is becoming the tradition, we spent Thanksgiving with my DBIL and DSIL. The dinner was fabulous and now we need to cook our own turkey so we have some additional left overs. What we came home with were gone before the weekend was over.

Then DD and I may just have started a new tradition. I felt that since she is doing so well with her ballet class that she deserved to see a real live ballet. Every year the Eugene Ballet Company comes to Anchorage and performs the Nutcracker over the long weekend. They include many local performers, especially children. It's a wonderful way to kick off the season. DD had a wonderful time and I'm sure her cheeks must have hurt by the time it was over. I had almost as much fun watching her as I did the ballet. I think we may just have to do it again in the future.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Brrrrr...!!!!!!!

It's been mighty cold out there this week. Temperatures actually dropped below zero Fahrenheit. No more snow, but it's only because it's just too cold. They are predicting more snow by Sunday and then right back into these frigid temps.

Oh well, just means more time curled up with knitting on my lap and with all the holiday projects on the list that isn't a totally bad thing.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Look what DD did!


OK, so I can't say that I'm at all surprised. She asked for this the last time she had a hair cut, but the gal who did it didn't really listen. And it's not like she complained when it wasn't exactly right. But recently, she had started asking for another hair cut. It was getting very long again, so with Daddy having the day off for Veterans day, I said, "Why not!" So, first thing this morning we were off and the salon was our first stop. It is awful cute, but what a shock when the women took it to just below her shoulder and DD softly asked to go even shorter. She was thrilled and the first comment from DD was, "Now it won't get in the way when I put my seat belt on."

It sure doesn't.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Fa la la la!


Yep! That's what I'm hearing around the house these days. Sunday we woke to a lovely covering of snow. About an inch. And the cold winter weather was upon us that fast. The days preceding were cool, highs in the 40s. But now we are lucky to see the top side of the 30s. And yesterday.....well, we got even more of the white stuff. If it weren't for the kids and their snow fort, I would most likely be cleaning an accumulated 3 - 4 inches off the drive. As it is, they have worked every spare minute building a fort with all that snow. As we don't have a lot, they have been robbing from the unoccupied home next door. (TeeHee) The fort is mostly a foundation for now, but I think by the end of winter they should have a respectable room.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Not a good week!

This has been the weirdest week. Stressful and yet some things went so much smoother than I thought they would. First, DH was in an accident early in the week. He stopped a little hard when a light turned yellow and the gal behind him thought he would just blow through it. (So many here think yellow means to speed up. Arrrgh!) The rear of his car is crunched just enough to need fixed, but amazingly, the tail lights still work. After some brief concern about possible whiplash, DH seems to be fine though.

The story doesn't end there though. You see, the other driver left the scene, called the police and reported she had been in an accident and that supposedly DH left the scene, and is uninsured. Well, thankfully there were witnesses that gave the police her plate number as being the runner in the Hit and Run, plus DH waited until the officer arrived proving he hadn't fled. And to top it all off, she works for the Department of Public Safety (State Troopers) just like DH. All in all, that girl is in a world of hurt as she was arrested (but not held) and could still end up loosing her job.

After all that excitement, DH had to take a work trip to Juneau. This is where life was good. The kids were well behaved and the days flew by. We had school and Aikido to keep us busy. I sure wish I could get some photos of the boys at Aikido to share.

Then yesterday, the landlord replaced our furnace. It took 12 hours with no heat and limited hot water after they had to disconnect the water heater too. I was pleased the house didn't drop too low, but it was cold even as the kids went to bed. At least we came out the other end with a safe furnace that will hopefully be a little more fuel efficient.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Another Field Trip

We are having field trips galore this month. Our latest was a trip to the Alaska Native Heritage Center. This is a wonderful place with lots of fun things to do, and going as a school group really makes it worthwhile. We had the center to ourselves and they provided wonderful activities. We watched a movie about Raven the Creator, danced and made bead necklaces. Then we had a quick tour of the houses that our native ancestors lived in. (Personally, I wish we had spent more time on that part of the tour, but it was lunch time by then.) Although the picture is not great, you can see some of the dancing. The first dance is "Build an Igloo" and the second is "Raven the Protector". Enjoy the video and don't forget to turn on your sound:

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Sunday, October 2, 2011

Outing!


For weeks now, we have tried to make a trip to the Anchorage Museum. First, there was a child sick, then Daddy was sick, then there were conflicting obligations. But on Friday, we finally made it. There has been a very nice exhibit on Mammoths and Mastodons since some time last spring. They leave after the coming weekend. When the boys worked very hard writing a Compare/Contrast paper about these creatures and elephants, I wanted to reward them with a visit. It turned into quite the day.

We started with a trip to the Library, where we gathered our reading material for the next few weeks. This was followed by a stop at the park right behind the library where the ducks gather. We fed the ducks and then watched them play as we ate our own lunch.

When we were done eating we headed off to the museum. Most of my pictures didn't turn out because you are not allowed to use the flash. This one,
the flash accidentally reactivated. That is just the rear thigh bone and it's one of the smaller species at that. Once we were through this exhibit (which we went around at least twice), we proceeded downstairs to the Arctic Studies exhibit, on loan from the Smithsonian. This was more interesting for Daddy and I, but there were some things the kids enjoyed viewing. We also stopped by the Anchorage history exhibit. The kids liked this more than the arctic studies, especially since they have full sized boats and replicas of different housing.

By the time we were through this we were almost ready to go home, but to leave we walked through a couple of art exhibits where I took this one photo of a sculpture that was really fascinating. Seen live, the mittens looked as though they hung in mid-air. You really had to look hard to see the filaments that hung from the ceiling! Well done to the artist who created this wonder.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Real Termination Dust!

Well, the day has arrived. Termination dust is really on the mountains. You may remember we had that imitation stuff back in August that all melted. Well, Tuesday we were headed to the Doctor (DS#1 has a bug that was really swelling his tonsils - more on that later) and it had really come down the mountains. I wasn't sure when because we had missed the news for a couple days, but it turned out that we really saw the first of it. It made the news that evening. That does mean that winter is on it's way.

Then yesterday, the kids were complaining of being cold. I had noticed a chill too, but wasn't sure if it was just me. When they even complained I decided it was time to check and sure enough it was cooooooooold in here. It was only 62 in the house, and that means it's time to turn on the heat. It feels really good having it on, so I haven't turned it off either.

Poor DS#1 fighting this bug and being cold. It's nothing major, but boy are his tonsils swollen. The Doctor thought less of that than he did of the sinus drainage. Long story, short - there is a possibility that the cold we all had turned into a small sinus infection for him. Nothing to do but wait and if he's not better by tomorrow morning (which he really already is better) then we will call the Doctor again and he will prescribe an antibiotic. I totally agreed, though, to wait a few more days and make sure it wasn't going to go on it's own before stuffing medicine in him. A good thing too as it looks as though he won't need it.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Charity Knitting


I spent many hours of August knitting for charity. The Knitter's of the North Knitter's Guild in Anchorage, Alaska chooses 3 projects a year (plus numerous ongoing projects) and we knit items for charity. This year has been blankets for the dogs at the Animal Shelter and hats, scarves and mittens for the kids on the Kenai Peninsula. The latter is being distributed as part of the Toys for Tots campaign. I knit an entire set earlier, but so few mittens were done that I decided to knit as many pairs as possible during the final month. Well, between other projects, school and life I managed 8 pair. They are due tomorrow, so I don't have time for any more and I will need some help with the final touches, but I figure every pair of hands I keep warm is a pair of hands to be proud of. I think for future charity knitting if mittens are requested I will stick with them. They don't take that long to make and so few members seem willing to do them.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Leaves on the ground!

A few days ago the kids got into an argument while playing outside. Not unusual, of course, but non-the-less, this particular argument was a bit on the noteworthy side. You see, this little spat was over who got to use the rake to make a pile of leaves. Mind you, we only have a small amount on the ground. They were actually going to go and gather leaves from the neighbors house down the street. (I put a quick stop to that idea, thank you!) But we are, in fact, losing the green and moving into the dull yellow and grey of fall and the leaves are making a rather early departure from the branches and landing square in the yard. More and more, I'm seeing signs that lead me to believe that winter might be early and snowy. The termination dust I mentioned a while back is gone, but the mountains are becoming rather surrounded most days in a haze of dark clouds. The fireweed has gone to seed and I've not seen a bloom on one in days and days. And night time temperatures are dipping into the upper 30s. Brrrrrrr.....

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Weekend Away














We spent the weekend at my DBILs "fish camp". It's becoming a lovely weekend getaway up near Talkeetna. They have the cabin well on it's way with only stairs to put in to the loft and some minor electrical. They don't have the plumbing complete yet either, but they have a lovely outhouse that has it's own light and heater. The seat is even nicely tiled in a beautiful mosaic. Of course, this being August, it rained, but there was a roaring fire, lots of food, and tons of wonderful company. The kids of course, found the best way to get wet.












Happy Birthday Opa! We had a wondeful time at your party.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Catchin' Up


I'm taking a moment from the mountain of housework to say "I'm still here!" It's been a really busy week what with trying to do 10 layouts (LOs) for a Digital Scrapbook Place challenge. It's one of my favorites because it gets me to scrap a full 10 LOs in just two weeks. And what did I scrap? Well, my DDs very first ballet lesson, the kids enjoying the wonderful sun we had a few weeks back, the boys birthday, and general life with three kids.

Then, of course, there was school. The kids have really gotten into the swing of it, and most days I've had to look to keep them busy. The boys are slowly getting used to long term assignments, although I'm still having to remind them which I expect to have to do most of the year.

Today we went to the library and after we fed the ducks. It was raining quite a bit, so I didn't take the camera. I wish I had though, because DD nearly got surrounded. She really has to learn to through the bread instead of drop it so the ducks won't think they have to come to her for the food. To say it was cute would be an understatement.

We also have a big weekend coming up. More on that after the fact.




Thursday, August 11, 2011

Termination Dust!

Yep, in early August (actually about 5 days ago), termination dust was spotted by all who could actually see the mountains. Of course, I had to hear it on the news and from friends, since from my home all I could see was clouds.

What is termination dust you say? It's easy! It's the first dusting of snow spotted at the top of the mountains. There are some who say that what we have seen is not true termination dust. The light snow that showed up is expected by most to melt in the next few days. But it has been there for more than one, so in my book, it looks more like termination dust than a freak summer snow. The name comes from the fact that with that first dusting, fall days and then winter is soon to follow. Or - the 'termination' of summer.

Thankfully, today has dawned bright and sunny, but I'm afraid that days of high 60's are gone for another year.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Cookin'


Anyone who really knows me, knows that I don't cook. It's not that I can't, really, although I have never considered myself a good cook. It's more a habit. It really started when I was pregnant because I could not stand to be in the kitchen. All those smells just left me miserable and nauseas. Over time, both DH and I fell into the habit of him coming home and doing most of the cooking. Well, that is changing. Recently, I prepared what I consider to be a very big meal. It was such a big deal that DS#2 captured the moment and took a picture of me making mashed potatoes. And to tell the truth, those potatoes turned out really well. There wasn't a single lump. And even the kids ate those potatoes claiming them exceptional. (Thank goodness as my DFIL was in the house!)

Friday, August 5, 2011

TGIF!

Well, we have now completed our first full week of school for the year. It's taking a bit for all of us (yep, me included) to get back in the swing of things. I would have to say that we didn't do too bad, although at least two days this week we had a boy working right up to dinner and even a little beyond. Poor thing, writing is just not DS#2's thing. He can do math all day long, but words elude him something awful. At least he's doing much better on the reading than when we first started home schooling. Now if I could just find a way to get his muscles involved in the writing process we might jump this hurdle too. He is truly a kinesthetic learner with a healthy dose of auditory thrown in. Some days I wish I had a sound booth for him to do his work in, then he could talk his way through it all.

Our little miss loves math and asks daily to do more than is in her folder. She fought the reading/writing portion a bit until she realized that it wasn't that hard. As for DS#1 - well, it took a day or two, but he's doing well and has shown he really does understand money. Now to get him to pass the level two math exam and we can move on.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

As I'm clicking post.....


This is what was happening. The squeals of delight were probably heard around the block!

Just a normal Saturday!


DH and the kids are outdoors. I've been out finishing cleaning the van and now have a moment to sit. Ahhhhh..... The joy of a Saturday morning.

DD was given a "new" bike. It's purple which is really all she cares about. It's a little big, but not by much and it doesn't have training wheels which she still feels she needs (although Daddy was trying to solve that with trainers from the boys bike). Well, at least she was getting help from the boys.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

I'm exhausted!!!!!

This week started with an adventure. After two days of trying to get our new fur-baby delivered, we ended up jumping in the car and driving to Kenai. This is now about a 3 hour trip one way (I remember when it took a little over 3.5 hours). The kids were fascinated driving through the mountains, but since they had no idea we were going for a new dog, they were totally ready to turn around just as soon as we reached the other side. That all changed as soon as they saw this sweet face. She is a sweetheart of a dog about 6 years or so, totally loves the kids, yet is calm for the most part. She has manners that have even impressed the neighbors. She has quickly made herself cozy on the various blankets around for dogs and on Monday was even snapped snoozing on the couch. Her name is Sandy and we just love her to death. Even Madison has been seen playing with her as Sandy can now alert our totally deaf senior to neighboring activity. We feel totally blessed to have this lovely girl as part of our home.

Then the week progressed to the mundane, but very busy task of keeping up with friends (outings on Monday and Tuesday evenings, and I'm headed out tonight). I'm thankful the school outing that was scheduled for today was cancelled.

And to top it all off, we started school this morning. Since we ended our year so early and abruptly at the end of April, we have had a full 3 months to play and relax. But it is now time to buckle down and get back to work. For the moment, I have it planned so that we will again be done by the last of April. Let's hope that plans aren't so rudely interrupted again.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Hmm.... forgot to get the camera out.

The kids and I took a lovely afternoon and made the very best of it. We joined another family from the new home school group we have been enjoying and played in the park. It was a very busy park to the northeast of town with one very big surprise. Upon our arrival the kids were given a free brown bag lunch. Of course, they had eaten, so most of it came home and was consumed for dinner, but what a pleasant surprise. Each bag contained: milk, ham & cheese on a bun, apple, fruit jerky, and two "powerball" snacks that looked like donut holes but the package claimed had many more nutrients than a traditional donut. The warm, sunny day was perfect for the outing and the kids played very hard. The only problem... I forgot to take the camera out of it's bag and actually snap a few.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

A Favorite Pose


DD is starting ballet next month. She has asked and asked for this now for two whole years. This year, since she is considered a full-fledged student, we get a bit more funding and will be able to claim ballet as her PE. We are considering Aikido for the boys as well, but still need to make the visit to the Dojo. At any rate, the little miss is extremely excited and I only pray her enthusiasm continues. She will make such a pretty little dancer, don't you think?

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Busy, Busy, Busy!

Wow! What a winter. We have been non-stop with school, had multiple illnesses, some of which have taken us to the hospital, and here we are with the snow still on the ground, but thoughts of warmer weather on our minds. We have traveled, played, and worked our way through months of bitter cold (yes, I think it has been lots colder this year than I remember from years past). I look to the end of this month as hopefully showing signs of the spring to come.

The latest big events involve DD. She has just turned 5 years old. Where have the years gone. She is reading at about a 1st grade level (untested) and should test at close to a 2nd grade level by early summer. She surprises me every day with the things she can read by herself. She seems to like math too (something I'm very pleased about). She was truly disappointed when she realized she had completed her handwriting book for the year. I have had to create or find replacements to finish out the year. She still misspells her name from time to time, but as most of you know, we didn't give her the easiest spelling to learn and she gets it right most of the time. I also think she is going to be quite the knitter. She just started learning, but her tension is really good and once she gets past the first stitch in a row just speeds right through faster than I can keep up. I realized quickly that she needed her own needles instead of using her brothers as shown in the picture.

The boys seem to progress faster than I can keep up, and then will get stumped on something that you would think was relatively simple. But they get it all with practice and I am very proud of them. They read at a good solid 4th grade level and math is on track for their age. Writing still stumps them much of the time. You would think a Capital letter was a foreign object, LOL. But I'm sure they will overcome this in time as well. We are working hard to be ready for assessments in early May and then celebrate with a fun and easy summer. They also moved into Wolves in Cub Scouts. They don't seem to really understand what that means, but again, they will get it in time.

DH continues to work too hard and I feel like I don't work hard enough (except for those days when the boys really don't get it - but those are very few and far between). It seems no matter how hard DH works during the day, he always feels like he should be doing more. I really have to work hard to get him to think "home" not "work". Maybe some day he will get that they don't pay him to work past 5 o'clock.

Hugs to all, and help me think spring, OK?