Tuesday, August 24, 2010

California State Park Junior Rangers

last bit at the beach

Rhys in chilly Donner Lake and Irene on the situpon

Rhys standing on a rock

Irene in our cool tube.

today at Donner Lake

Nana working her magic

side heart for Jennie

Nana had the brilliant idea

of wrapping marshmallows in crescent roll dough. Here is Irene with her's.

It was!

cooking dogs in croissants

over the fire. Some friends had pictures of this and it looked fun AND yummy.

very cheeky golden mantled ground squirrel

Irene's new helmet

Rhys' new one is white and silver.

Irene in new bandana

and jr ranger pin

Rhys in new survival bandana

and Junior Ranger pin

Rhys found a pocket knife

He is learning how to whittle. Rob is guiding him.

Sunday, August 08, 2010

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Book Arts Bash Thank yous!!! (TAKE TWO!)

I have talked about my dear friend, Lydia, many times. She is truly amazing. And when she joins forces with other amazing people, she makes magic happen. Lydia and Sherene got together again to have homeschooled children write novels or stories. To say that magic happened is really an understatement!

I was lucky enough to be part of a team to do a pre-read of a group of the stories/novellas before they went to the off to the big time judges (Sara Guen, Holly Black, Joshilyn Jackson, Karen Abbott, and more). The writing was really really good! It was a joy to read what young people are writing. I can't wait to see what they do in the future!

Things like this don't happen without the help and sponsorship of some wonderful people, groups, and companies. I would like to give a big giant shout out to the amazing sponsors of Book Arts Bash 2010:

Big thank you to our generous sponsors:

Dreambox: Visit Dreambox for an incredible interactive math curriculum for kids from preschool through third grade. For kindergarten math, Dreambox is unparalleled in fun and pedagogical value. Check out the free trial and see what you think!

Shurley Grammar: A grammar curriculum that takes your child from first through seventh grade, using drills and jingles to teach writing skills (and also reading skills!) along the way. A trusted name in home education, Shurley will not steer you wrong.

Classical Academic Press: If you're contemplating teaching Latin or Greek in your homeschool, you definitely need this system. With audio, video, fun activities, and online Latin games, as well as standard workbooks and quizzes, anyone can teach Latin.

Prufrock Press: Parents of gifted children often have difficulty finding work that will challenge their kids' abilities while still being fun. Prufrock's gifted education materials are a godsend. Kids see them as a treat!

Explode the Code: Many of us have used Explode the Code workbooks with our kids and enjoyed the progressive phonics curriculum. Now Explode the Code has launched an online version, taking their reading education to a whole new level.

Can you help Lydia and Sherene by republishing the results and sponsor links on your blog, supporting homeschooled writers and this novel-writing contest? Please email them to let them know you can help. They need twenty blogs to participate. Would you donate a post on yours?

Thank you to all of you who helped to make this happen!

The winners for 2010 are:

Kindergarten and First Grade:

A Big Problem by Brianna T.
Runners up:
Adventures of Big D and BMC by Emma W.
Zoo With A Strange Zookeeper by Vivian L.

Second and Third Grade:

The Adventures of Blue Flame the Heroic Giant Squid-Fighting Heroby Sage M.
Runners Up:
Ruby, A Twisting Tale by Emilie M.
Mittens the Cat by Melea von T.

Fourth and Fifth Grade:

1 by Nicci M.
Runners up:
One Girl Revolution by Sadie Z.
Blaze by Alexandra S.

Sixth Grade:

The Princess by Lena G.
Runners up:
Becoming Callie by Lena G.
Trixie by Lydia A.

Seventh Grade:

Happy Ending is a Place by Mandy H.
Runners up:
Violet Fire by Bryn B.
Kite by Hannah S.

Eighth Grade:

Hollin by Garrett R.
Runners up:
Common Animals by Thomas B.
Little Angel by Adayla S.

Ninth Grade:

Why I Missed the Second Set by Rose C.
Runners up:
Untitled by Larissa S.
Tales of the Humbats: The Seventh Piece by Raven M.

Tenth Grade:

Children of the Stars by Holden M.
Runners up:
Shattering Darkness by Vienna H.
The Scouser Cap by Emily V.

Eleventh Grade:

Cadence by Scout G.
Runners up:
Vengeance: 25 cents by Kathleen M.
Don't Look Down by Tanya S

Twelfth Grade:

If Pearls Could Sing by Pamela C.
Runners up:
Broken Things by Emily D.
Falling Night by Anna W.

Saturday, May 01, 2010

for my reader

who sees hearts as she goes along. I saw this and thought of you. it
is in our yard.

Monday, April 26, 2010

a letter to the fairies

Rhys wrote this tonight by himself with no questions or input from
anyone. it says:
Dear fairies, Sprinty Fast died today. I'm very sad. We buried him
with a plant. please write back. From Rhys.
The picture shows Sprinty's pot inside the plastic box with the
Frazier pine planted above Sprinty. it also shows how sad we are.

a letter to the fairies

it says:
Dear Fairies, Sprinty Fast died today.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Missing some of my loved ones

It's been more than 2 years since Pat died. Almost 2 years since my gramma died. Funny how neither of them are ever really far away. I think about both of them a lot. Just a week ago, I went to pick up the phone and call my gramma. Sometimes it just hits hard that they are gone. We have things that remind us of both of them. Some of the things wouldn't be special to anyone else - but they have meaning and depth beyond what they are for me - or for Rob - or for Irene and Rhys.

Bob worries that Irene and Rhys will forget Pat. I don't know that she's far from them either. Rhys will sometimes say something about Grammie - Irene will put on some Paris by YSL and smell like her. We talk about her. We talk about Great Gram too.

So - some days I just miss them both very much. today was one of those days.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

I'm not dead yet!

To my lovely follower - I'm so sorry that I've let this go for so long...it's that facebook thing, you know. It sucked me in -- it's where I do a lot of my posting, and then I forget to post here as well.

The kids are off track this month - we've done some things - not a lot yet, but, in general, enjoying time off of school. This week, Irene has been attending Nana's Sewing Camp with my mom. That's my name for it. I will post some pictures of the girlie in her new finery soon. I wish I had their talent to just go and do! I get all pent up with the making it right thing, that it loses fun for me and makes me tense. It's why I tend to do free motion quilting on whole cloth rather than needing to make points match and whatnot.

A little more than a month ago, I started going to a Cardio Kickboxing class (actually, they spell cardio with a K, which sort of grates on my nerves). One of my friends convinced me to join her at 5:45 AM at a gym that's about 12 minutes away from my house. It's good to have someone there to hold me accountable for getting my ample ass there. I am looking to be much more fit by the time I reach 40 - and that is only 6 months away -- so! The owner of the school suggested I join the UBC (Ultimate Body Challenge). And, while that would be great and all, I can't get there 6 days/week. I just can't. I know this. I don't know that I could even do a full 5 weeks. So, I'll stick with my Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays and see where I get with that. I'll try to add in other things on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

The kids, my mom, and I are supposed to head to Donner either Friday or next week - either Monday or Friday. Irene's class has just done a big unit on the Donner Party (they read _Patty Reed's Doll_). Growing up in Southern California, we did a big unit on the missions. I knew there was a Donner Party that had to resort to cannibalism to stay alive, I didn't know that there were more people than Donners, that they were SO close to being where they'd have been okay, and that it was such a series of missteps - oh my! Mom said that in Northern California, the elementary schools did learn a lot about the Donners. The pass is much closer to that part of California than it is to San Bernadino County. Anyway, in past years, the 4th graders have done a field trip to Donner to see the museum, some of the remnants of where the cabins were, the monument, etc. Well, that's not happening this year. This year, Irene's teacher is planning a trip to Virginia City...That's all well and good, but we've done Va City...twice...and really? We don't need to do it again. We went into a mine, we rode the train, we saw the cemetery. Ah well. So, I've decided that we'll go ourselves b/c we're off track and we can. :)

Hmm - what else? We have a new camera. Our old (5 years -- sort of old for a digital camera) gave us the fatal E18 error (i think it's e18). So, it is dead to us. Not worth $250 to put into it to fix it for us. We now own a Canon Rebel T1i. It's a bit intimidating. It can do a WHOLE lot. Mostly, I put it on super auto and just go with it like that. Or I put it on the sport setting and take a bizillion pictures like the paparazzi. Need to use it a lot and get our money out of it :D Also need to make sure it's totally awesome and fully functioning before the 90 day warranty is up!

Okay - this is more than you've gotten out of me in months. I'm going to shush now.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Tristan's Amazing Giveaway!

that will teach me not to check on my blog! I had a post written about Tristan's giveaway - which ended on the 22nd - Tristan is an amazing artist - his quilts? To Die For! I am lucky enough to be on a few yahoogroups with him and have been watching all the things he's done for several years now. I highly encourage you all to go and check out his blog - it's delightful and sure to have something to thrill your senses!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The Twilight books

Twilight (Twilight, #1) Twilight by Stephenie Meyer

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I decided I needed to read these books because I was just filled with all sorts of judgement when I saw VERY young girls reading them. As a substitute teacher, I work in grades pre-k through 6th. I've seen girls in 3rd grade reading the Twilight books. It was shocking to me - but it was based on hearsay. So, I decided to read them myself.

I really enjoyed the books. The story is told well and I enjoyed the characters. Bella was not as anti-life as I'd imagined her to be nor was she a poor student. I was sorry to see the books end. I enjoyed all of the characters and how Ms. Meyer built them up and showed them to us.

I still truly feel that just because a child is able to read the words, they shouldn't read the book until they are much older. Perhaps when Irene is in 7th grade I might let her read them. I know that understanding and maturity vary, but 3rd grade seems much too young. And with some of the 6th graders I know, I feel that is too young for most of them as well.

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