Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Utah wins!

All 3Gs and the Daddy skied again and won! For the 3rd year in a row, our uncle has taken the children up to Brighton to ski. It was a good experience again. AND the weather this year was perfect! Last year it was a blizzard and we almost got stuck up there!

In this picture you will see my 3Gs digging patiently in the Dig Quarry for fossils at the Museum of Ancient Life. We also thoroughly enjoyed the Erosion Table wet sand play. The big take away from the trip was the hips of dinosaurs differ from reptiles. It was a wonderful collection of ancient life displays.

When we weren't able to leave SLC as scheduled, we took a look at the IMAX show about the International Space Station at the Clark Planetarium. I was so excited to see how this field trip wrapped up the Apologia book about Astronomy! The children had been there before and were excited to introduce me to it too.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Less Refereeing (sp?)

We are one child less of a set since I sent the little girl with Gramma yesterday. The loads on planes this Thursday are quite full as everyone is anxious to ski Utah, so, the Gramma (and Grampa) agreed to take on a first grader for the week if she could travel Monday instead of a larger, more-difficult-to-load Thursday. 3 people trying for one flight beats 4 people trying because stand-by is not ideal. This will be the children's 3rd year to ski with Uncle Jerry and we look forward to this next adventure. I might even try my hand at a few projects while away from where we live now. If we can get on the plane, that is...
This is a picture of our attempts to blast off home-made rockets on the sunny Saturday morning in conjunction with study on Saturn. The study was weeks ago, but the alka selsor rockets couldn't be set off inside, so we enjoyed blasting each, except for G#3 who was upset that his didn't go higher which led to discussions about fuel and more "wheels" turned.

Less school, but more life lessons in tree trimming and disposal as well as garden preparation. Still, the schooling continues. We're finishing the astronomy book this week and beginning the flying creatures book next week. I compiled a Lenten study for children that was taken wonderfully this morning by the boys. I know it's a bit early, as I was reminded by the engineer of the group, but we won't get to school constantly through all 40 days of Lent and I believe there is too much to miss if we don't finish it before Resurrection Sunday. Spelling, penmanship, grammar and reading lessons, math, history, geography, and music study keep going even though there is travel and breaks.
This is a picture of the AWANA grand prix cars and base coat painting tonight.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Tuesday with Mighty Acorns

Sumac discovery, then lopping off buckthorn and honeysuckle aliens for G#1. All the while, the two other Gs slopped along with me on the forest path. We didn't get to meet the industrious beaver though.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Fun Reading leads to Fun Gardening

I was looking for books by J. Arnosky and found this about worms by C. Arnold. It was the perfect read for my two younger kids! I'm ready to garden tomorrow after a visit to the home store for supplies!

The map of state birds showed many insights into bird migration and an introduction to the Zoo I book on flying things. The handwriting example is from our G#2 who, added a nice coloring job to finish if off.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Oh the fun of planning for next year... NOT!

In his free time, the nuclear engineer Daddy taught our budding plumber how to remove the blue 1970's sink from the guest bathroom and replace it with a 25$ one piece used sink from the Habitat For Humanity Re-Store shop. I keep trying to explain that learning a trade is the best way to pay your own way through college.

We reviewed Uranus and Neptune today and introduced Pluto and the Kuiper Belt from Apologia Astronomy. We've built a volcano to demonstrate the largest volcano in the Solar System from Mars and soon we'll explode a rocket to demonstrate the space exploration to Saturn. The topic of science keeps getting more and more interesting as I consider that the Well Trained Mind formula asks me to take my kids into chemistry next year. I've looked at at book called "Real Chemistry" and continue to explore other options as well. But for now, we will move from the Astronomy topic into the Flying Creatures Zoology I book from Apologia as well to discuss habitats further in the context of birds, insects etc. I'm an Earth Science geek and will do whatever necessary to get the kids outside and explore during all this craziness.

I was so pleased to hear about the amount of stars in the sky when we were out on the southwest Iowa farm over the weekend. The boys have learned to look up and enjoy the night sky without all the lights of the city. BUT, when we come back to Chicagoland we also look up to count how many planes are lined up for landing at O'Hare. Amazing!

But for now, the seed trays are clean and ready for seed-starting mix. It's past time to get the garden growing and I'm finally ready to put it together with my junior gardeners. They've been ready for a while to get at the digging part. They've been diggers for most of their lives come to think of it. Speaking of digging out, this is a picture of our efforts to clean up the driveway during January.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Indian Princess Campout & Sledding somewhere in Northern Illinois

"The hill was really high, but this picture doesn't show you how high Mom," said the little Purple Feather. "We got to sleep on the top bunk above all the dads and we had so much fun!" BTW, the Daddy learned that the bright light below the moon for a couple of weeks now is Venus.