Saturday, October 18, 2008

pumpkins and pomegranates

Its just another rainy Tuesday (oooao), wish it were Sunday (oooao), cuz that's my fun day (oooao), just another rainy Tuesday...think The Bangles circa 1986. I haven't been sleeping enough can you tell!

Well, since I last blogged Nova and Isaac celebrated and accomplishment! They finished their first phonics workbook. I am using a series called Explode the Code. They are actually doing a 3 book set called Get Ready, Get Set, Go for the Code. So they just finished Get Ready and are working on Get Set! They were very proud of themselves!

We were super blessed to have my family come visit us for the second week in a row!!!! This time my mom and sister Kimberly came up and they brought Madilynn with them. I love love love having them here at my house. It was a beautiful, crisp fall day and the kids showed Madi how to jump in the leaves. She loved it of course.

The very next day was International Day. One of the homeschool families put together a day for families to come present information on a country that they have studied. We of course presented China. Bella, Nova and Isaac gave a brief but wonderful presentation. It was so cute and a great opportunity for them to share what they have been learning and hear from others. We were very very impressed with the work that other families had done. We hope to do it again next year. After the presentations we enjoyed an ethnic potluck dinner. Each family prepared recipes from their country. There was a party in my tummy, so yummy, so yummy. I have yet to perfect the art of uploading videos to the blog. It never accepts mine for some reason but the video of the presentation is on my Youtube page and you can see it by clicking here.

We were blessed to have the opportunity the next day to go visit Jason's side of the family for his mom's 50th birthday! It was so good to see them all. They boys especially loved playing with their cousins. They are all getting so big! The past few weeks the kids have been working very hard at recess time on building forts in the woods. We cleared out some branches and trash in the woods behind our house and they have a neat place under some branches. They also have been hard at work building a "tepee" of sorts against a tree like their friends Cal, Leah, James and Lily have at their house.

We got to get together with our old neighbors this past week too. We hadn't seen them in a long time either. Stephanie was one of my best buddies at our old house. She would come over and help me with the kids and play with them or just hang out with me. I loved having her around so much. It was heart wrenching to leave her and her wonderful mom Kristin. I couldn't have asked for better neighbors. Kimberly had been the summer babysitter for Stephanie and her brothers for a few years before they moved in so we already knew and loved Steph and her brothers. It was a joy getting to know their mom. I should have known such great kids had to have a great mom. We were so excited when they invited us to go pumpkin picking. It was great to catch up...and eat ice cream from the creamery.

On Sunday the kids had a performance at church. They had been practicing for weeks and they sang a few songs for everyone. I have a video of one of the songs that you can see on youtube if you click here. There were a lot of families who couldn't make it that day so we were missing a lot of our friends but they did a great job. They are just so cute!

After church we had an impromptu field trip thanks to some wonderfully generous friends who took us out to lunch at our favorite Chinese restaurant, the Amazing Pavilion. The kids all sat together at their own table and shared a pupu platter. They ate with chopsticks and talked a little to Anna, our favorite waitress, about China (she's from there). Mika fell asleep and napped in an authentic Chinese restaurant bed. Next week we will be talking a little more in depth about Chinese food and how different it really is in China. Now we'll have our restaurant experience to reflect on.

Yesterday my college roommate Becky came to visit with her two beautiful children. She is a teacher at a charter school in the Hill towns. She teaches a k/1 class. Being a full time teacher she doesn't have a lot of extra time for visits but she made time on her day off to come see us and since it was a school day for us she did a lesson for us. For the kids it was neat to have a guest teacher and for me to be able to "co-teach" with one of my best friends was great. We hadn't taught together since an internship our sophomore year in a 5th grade math class and back then we didn't really know what we were doing. We've come a long way. Becky's lesson was great. She had the kids estimate how many seeds were in our giant pumpkin then we cut it open and took a look and estimated again, then we grouped all of the seeds into groups of 10 and counted them. Isaac was the closest estimate. He guessed 400 and there were 506. We've eaten almost all of them! Hopefully we won't let another 6 months go by before we see them again.

Let's see, anything else...Well, we are continuing to study China. Like my blog template, notice all of the cool China pictures at the top. This week we are focusing on Ancient China. Bella and Hannah are making a lapbook for it and we are focusing on a really cute book about camels in Asia called Cappy the Lonely Camel. It has sparked lessons on list making, nicknames, adverbs, and camels. Last week we did Tikki Tikki Tembo which is always fun.

Isaac and I massacred a pomegranate last night. It was the first time I ever bought one and actually ate the seeds. I like when I can share first times with my kids. I think that's cool. Anyway, Isaac was the only one besides who really liked the seeds so we munched a bunch. We saved a serving for the kids to share at school today. When discussing them from a sensory perspective we decided they looked like little red corn kernels, and tasted like sour strawberries. I don't even know if they were all the way ripe, I have nothing to compare it too, but I thought it was yummy.

By now, due to my intermittent blogging throughout this cold day, it is night. It is no longer raining. It is snowing...hard...I don't want to talk about it. I'm just telling you so you can feel bad for me, knowing how sad snow makes me. I mean COME ON, IT'S STILL OCTOBER!!!!!! If you are like my cousin Crystal and you are happy about snow, please don't talk to me about it. I don't like being antagonized. Here is a picture of what it is like at my house right now. If you look closely you can still see my beautiful's just not right.