Monday, February 28, 2011

Monday Musing

What I'm thinking: That it is no fun being sick. And that folks, is why I completely missed my Monday Musing last week and have not blogged in 12 days. But I am getting better and feel pretty much back to normal today.

What I'm reading: While I was in bed so much, I read Dead Lucky: Life After Death on Mt. Everest by Lincoln Hall. An amazing story about this man's survival.

What I'm listening to: Right now Everlasting God by Lincoln Brewster is on our radio station. What an awesome God we have!

What we're learning: We are back to school this week and studying the Westminster Shorter Catechism question #34 in Bible. Then we will also be learning all about Leif Ericsson, Macbeth of Scotland and El Cid in history.

What I'm watching: Over the weekend my Sweetie and I watched The Right Stuff. I have always loved the space race and like watching this movie.

What's cooking: Tonight I am making Hamburger Soup in the crock pot. I will tell you, my crock pot saved us this last week.

What I'm buying: I can't think of anything I need to buy this week right off hand...I am thinking to have a gold hunt for the younger group of kiddos in our co-op so I need to maybe get some gold spray paint....

What I'm thankful for: That we were just sick with the flu. There are a couple people I know right now that are looking at death in the face...when I think of them, my health issues seem very small indeed.

What I'm creating: I am almost finished with my photography class which means I need to write that review. I also have to begin creating a portfolio of photos that shows my style of photography. Which is a great question.....what is my style? I have no clue.


What I'm praying: That instead of trying to get my trials done with and over quickly,  I would look at what lessons the Lord is trying to teach me through them.

What I'm planning: Having lost all of last week, I am very behind on my co-op planning. I am teaching about the Gold Rush for the next three weeks and have a lot of catch up to do.

What we did this last weekend: On Saturday the two older children did their presentations at our 4-H County Presentation Day. They did great and got gold! So now they will move onto Sectionals which are the end of March. Yesterday we heard an encouraging sermon on Psalm 39 and hoping in the Lord, then a relaxing afternoon at home.

What I'm looking forward to: We have a quiet week this week which is good. The only thing on my calendar is our co-op meeting. And I cannot believe that tomorrow is March....

A picture to share:


~We did have snow in our forecast last week, but got this crazy hail storm instead. The girls had their own 'hail' fight.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The GBBC

As a part of our co-op we have been doing a weekly nature study. I really love Charlotte Mason and her ideas, with nature study and notebooking being a big part of this. Unfortunately that has been my weakness. After we finish Bible, math, grammar, history, and logic, and I explain for the third time that steak has a long a sound and speak has a long e sound (and I don't really know why), and I explain fractions, decimals and prepositions....my brain is fried. So I was so thankful when my dear friend volunteered to do a weekly study with our co-op. And we have had a great time and learned a lot so far this year. Each week we do something different....a tree study, whales, indigenous flowers, and this week the GBBC.


I had never heard of the GBBC or the Great Backyard Bird Count before. Basically it works like this: for 4 days, people all over the United States count birds. You can do either a stationary count (standing in your backyard), or a traveling count (while on a walk or nature trail). You count for 15 minutes or so, and then you enter onto the official site the number of birds you saw and what species they were. On the site there is a section on bird identification that really helps you figure out what kind of birds you are seeing. You can count each day of the GBBC or count only once, it is up to you. This year the GBBC is February 18-21 which is this weekend.


This would be a great way for you and your kids to get outside and notice the birds around you. On the site there is a spot for kids with craft ideas, games and more information. We'll be out there...at least on Friday, and I am planning to do a couple activities with the kids on bird identification. Join us!


Monday, February 14, 2011

Monday Musings

What I'm thinking: That the rain I woke up to this morning, literally snuck in overnight. Yesterday was a beautiful, warm day with barely any clouds and now I see gray, rain.....

What I'm reading: Cooking and food books have been interesting to me lately....I just have a couple more chapters in My Life in France, and I am also reading The New Food Lover's Companion by Sharon Tyler Herbst. This book is basically a food encyclopedia, and right now I am in the G's....Gouda cheese, gougere, goulash, gourd...

What I'm listening to: Kids doing their morning stuff upstairs and rain sounds outside.

What we're learning: This week we are onto question #33 in the shorter catechism, Dasher is doing narrations from Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH and the older children are working hard on their presentations; Mr Lego's is on 'Rabbit Showmanship' and Bookworm is doing hers on 'The Many Uses of a Rabbit'.

What I'm watching: This weekend we watched the old Sherlock Holmes film with Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce from 1939. I love the way they talk in old movies!

What's cooking: Tonight I am making Clam Chowder with sourdough bread. Really appropriate for a rainy day.

What I'm buying: Big shopping happens later this week....

What I'm thankful for: The freedom we have here in this country to homeschool. This truly is a blessing that I need to not forget.

What I'm creating: I am doing my month of teaching in our co-op in March, and will be enlightening our children's minds to the California Gold Rush. Lots of ideas in my head.....Gold Rush books, crafts and maybe a real live gold hunt....

What I'm praying: That I would seek first His Kingdom, and as I do my daily things, be aware of what my true motives are.

What I'm planning: Today is Valentine's Day...I have never been big on the holiday because I love to be more spontaneous and today feels a lot like a Hallmark forced romance....but that doesn't mean we don't exchange Valentine cards, think about love and eat chocolate. (I'll take any excuse to eat chocolate...)

What we did this last weekend: We picked up Mr. Lego's new glasses on Saturday, then made yummy Maki, Tempura and Miso for dinner. Yesterday we went to church and heard a great sermon on Matthew 6, then had 2 couples over in the afternoon for our Supper For Six. And I have to say that we ladies won the Catch Phrase game!

What I'm looking forward to: We have our rabbit meeting tomorrow night, where Mr. Lego and Bookworm will give practice presentations, then we have co-op on Wednesday. But today I am really looking forward to going to a dear friend's house this afternoon to just hang out. I really love my friends.

A picture to share:



~Our Supper For Six group.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Day at the Museum

Hi my name is Mr. Lego and I am reporting on the Academy of Science. First we went to the Planetarium and saw the show. I thought that it is better than Imax. They talked a lot about evolution; they showed the big bang and lots of other false things. Next we went to the rainforest, it was so hot in there! There were lots of butterflies and birds and spiders. My favorite animal in the rainforest was the Poison Dart Frogs, they look so cool with their bright colors. Lastly we went to the aquarium and saw lots of fish and sea creatures. They even had a diver who dove down in one tank with 3 other divers that had over 2500 fish in it! We saw Jellyfish and stingrays....and we saw a 20 foot fish - the biggest one there! I would like to go back and see the Poison Dart Frogs and the spiders.

This is a pendulum that swings with earth's gravity. 
 



This is a Poison Dart Frog. It is fake, but there were real ones in cages.




This is a Jellyfish.





This is one of the divers in the tank with the 2500 fish.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Getting To The Top

On January 27, 2011 my sisters, my big brother, and my grandparents got on a ferry at San Francisco, and went to Angel Island. We were planning to make it to the top by lunchtime.
The hiking was mostly easy, but it was hard at some places. We saw lots of white, small,  and very pretty butterflies. We saw 4 deer, and they looked like they were used to people because they didn't run away. When we got to the top, there was a beautiful view of all the cities and the bay.
It took us 4 hours to go up and down. We ate lunch up at  the top, too. You could hear the city noise. The island was about 700 ' high. An island is land surrounded by water, so that makes it 'sea locked'. Only rangers live on the island, but you can camp there overnight.  There is also a fort there.
Going to Angel Island was lots of fun; I hope to go there again soon.


On the ferry we went right by Alcatraz Island. There is Angel Island in the distance.




On the ferry.




Most of the hike was in the shade, but this spot was sunny.




 We are at the T O P !


Angel Island.


~Written entirely by Bookworm.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

I Am Now the Mother of a 14 Year-Old

Time is sure strange. I remember when I was young and just could not wait for the summer. Or for Christmas. I would go to bed one night in March and wish I could wake up the next morning in June. Time is constant, but in my mind it is flying right now. It felt like a good pace when I got married, got a teeny bit faster when we started having children, but now it is zooming by at light speed. Proof of this is the fact that up until July of last year, I thought my 13 year old son was only 12. I would even mess up his grade level when asked. (Since we homeschool, grade levels are not a big deal.) So really I have only been mentally aware that he has been 13 for about 6 months, and now I have to make my brain believe I have a 14 year old?! I am sure I will be in denial of this for a while....but time keeps going, so Happy Birthday, Mr. Lego.

My boy, you are a good friend. You like being with people, talking and hanging out.







You are a hard worker. You mow the lawn, sweep out the garage, and are there to help me lift things when I can't. Remember that bookshelf yesterday? I could not budge it, and you carried it up the stairs for your weakling mother.



You like adventure. I don't think I have heard you say that you are scared of something. And airplanes, cars and things that move have always intrigued you.



You really like 4-H. And this last year I have been happy to see you step up and do some things that I didn't think I would have had the courage to do when I was 12....I mean 13. Like being the substitute secretary for our club meeting last month, or, when finding out that no one was doing a project report, stepping in and on the spur of the moment preparing and delivering one.





You like to serve. If you had your way, every Christmas and Thanksgiving, we would spend the whole week helping out at the food bank.




You are wearing my sweatshirt. Yes, every now and then I find something missing from my closet; you are now 3 inches taller than me and still growing. I don't mind; there aren't that many articles of clothing that we would both wear. But you might have to talk to Dad about that....



You love sports. Football, baseball, rollerblading, wrestling, swimming, soccer....we don't do any organized sports, but you love playing with dad or your friends and sisters.




And you love to eat. Here you are, on your birthday, with my Double Chocolate Trifle. (I'll post that recipe someday)


Happy Birthday, my son! May God continue to sanctify you and draw you closer to Him as you become a man. And this year, may you learn more, grow taller and become stronger. And not just in your body, but in your heart.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Monday Musings

What I'm thinking: Of all I need to do today. We need to do school, I have a couple errands to run and then I have some photos on my camera that I need to edit. And I have laundry to do, and some organizing projects in mind. A busy, yet profitable day!

What I'm reading: Still working on My Life in France.....

What I'm listening to: Chattering voices upstairs and a quiet downstairs.

What we're learning: The older children are reading Patty Reed's Doll by Rachel K Laurgaard for co-op, we are learning the Latin roots jacio (throw) and pono (lay) in vocabulary this week, and then the older ones are working very hard on their presentations for 4-H. These are due in less than 3 weeks now....

What I'm watching: Yesterday while we were driving I saw the buds coming out on the cherry trees in the area. What a lovely and beautiful sign of Spring.

What's cooking: On Wednesdays we have co-op in the afternoon so I almost always make something in the crock pot so the late afternoon is smooth. This week I am making Brown Sugar Chicken with rice and broccoli.

What I'm buying: The Boy who had a birthday yesterday is still growing so I am off to find him a couple of pairs of pants later today.

What I'm thankful for: I am very thankful for our health. We have not really been sick, except for some little colds a couple weeks ago.

What I'm creating: I am thinking about doing a Valentine's craft later this week with the kids and saw this great idea on my friend's blog. 

What I'm praying: That, as I do my daily things....housework, child training, errands and cooking; I would do it seeking first God's kingdom, and for His glory.

What I'm planning: Our friends are moving to Colorado in the next couple weeks, which is sad, but then they gave us a bookshelf which made me very happy. So now I need to figure out how I will juggle and move around all our books.

What we did this last weekend: We went to a rabbit show on Saturday and Dasher's rabbit got Best of Opposite Sex Breed (basically 2nd place out of all 22 New Zealand's there). Then that afternoon we celebrated Mr. Lego's 14th birthday by having fun appetizers at an Italian restaurant, then eating his dinner of choice at home and watching a movie. Yesterday we heard a very convicting sermon on Matthew 6, then we went to the assisted living center to help hold a service there for the residents.

What I'm looking forward to: We have our 4-H meeting tomorrow night, where Bookworm is giving a project report. Then co-op is on Wednesday, and then Sunday afternoon we are having 2 families over for our Supper For Six.

A picture to share:


~The Birthday Boy himself. A blog post coming soon.....

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

15 Years

15 years ago last Thursday I said 'I do' to my love. 15 years. I remember when we were first married, I could not image what it would seem or feel like to be married over 10 years. And now it is 15 wonderful years. I tell him often that each day I feel like I love him as well as I could ever love him, but then the next day comes and I love him even more. We have been blessed with a good marriage; not that we don't have bad days, but most days I am so happy he is mine.

To celebrate we decided to go to Carmel for a few days. The grandparents graciously watched the children so we could spend some time by ourselves.

Since we both love to eat good food, we had looked online the couple of weeks before to get an idea of the different restaurants we wanted to try. This one was where we went for lunch on the first day.




It was very French inside, and had that rustic country inn look to it.


I had a spinach, goat cheese and tomato omelet, while my Sweetie had a tomato olive wood-fired pizza. Accompanied with some lovely merlot and our lunch was nearly perfect.


The next 2 days were spent walking around lovely Carmel....



Eating delicious food...


(This was our favorite food meal, at Dametra Cafe)

...and walking on the beach.


We had bikes with us so we drove to Monterey and biked from Lover's Point all the way to Seaside. (Later when I got home I looked on the internet and saw that we had biked 10 miles round trip! No wonder I was so sore.)


The nice thing about this beach was that there was no one around....which meant we had no one around to take our picture.

We sat on the beach for a couple hours, watching the birds, surfers and having a lovely time talking to each other. I had fun playing around with my camera....




Our anniversary night we went to our favorite atmosphere restaurant of the trip: Anton & Michel.

I had the best Flourless Chocolate Cake that truly melted in my mouth.



We drove down the coast a little ways to the Headlands to see the sunset one night....



I think that the Pacific coast is the most beautiful coast in the world.

And of course the sunset itself.....



Very romantic indeed.

Our last day there we went to Casanova's - a great little Italian place.



I could have just eaten the sun-dried Tomato Tapanade, breadsticks, and olives, and been a very happy lady.



Our waiter was very nice and kept refilling the olive bowl for us.

We can't get away like this too often. You know.... work, homeschooling, housework, life. But it is such a blessing to be able to, every once in a while, head away with just my love and I.