Thursday, May 27, 2010

school ends and summer begins

It has been gloriously hot for 5 days now. I am loving every minute of it. We have been filling our time with hoses, sprinklers, trips to the lake and reading and relaxing beneath the cool breeze of the ceiling fans. This kind of heat slows things down to a delightful pace, one that lends itself to the blogging I have neglected.

So once upon a time, way back in June we were still in school and we had book club. We read Gooney Bird is So Absurd by Lois Lowry. It was a great story and it introduces different types of poetry. In the story, Gooney Bird wears underwear on her head as a brain warming hat. We decided to make other sorts of brain warmers and the results were just as hilarious as if they had been wearing undies on their heads lol.

Near our house they are completely re-doing a road that connects to main routes. My friend Amy's husband is the engineer on the job and they organized a homeschool field trip to the construction site. This may have been the highlight of the year for Ian lol. We learned about all of the different types of jobs that are done on the site and then the kids each wrote about which job they would like best. Everyone really enjoyed seeing the machines at work and talking to the workers on the site. It was a great trip and we learned a lot.

This year was my 10 year college reunion. I find that hard to believe but despite my disbelief I enjoyed going to good old Mount Holyoke and reuniting with my friends Becky and Kristin. It is an MHC tradition to have a laurel parade and the older classes march ahead of the graduating class and then the graduating class marches through all of the alumni. It's a really neat experience. Everyone wears white and carries something to represent their class color (if they paid the exorbitant amount to go to reunion which I did not). I brought one of my greatest accomplishments to march with me. She and I had a great day and really enjoyed spending time with Becky, her daughter Ella and Kristin.

Lexie turned 10 at the end of May and she requested a beach style cake to celebrate. She is such a great kid, I would have made her the empire state building if she asked.
Once the weather warmed up the trips to the lake began. This day was just me and the boys because Bella was celebrating Lexie's birthday at Six Flags with Hannah and Lexie. I know I'm biased but I really do think these are two of the cutest boys on earth.

To wrap up a year of art lessons on American artists we went to the Norman Rockwell Museum. We had a great tour and then got to spend time being creative in the area downstairs for drawing. He was such an amazing artist. I would love to go back again sometime by myself and really take some more time to look at his amazing works of art.

There always seems to be so many birthdays in June. I had the honor of making cakes for two of my friend Bree's beautiful children. I made her 3 year old son Eliseo this baseball cake...
...and this was for her 13 year old daughter Bailey

Our special end of the year field trip for the TLC Academy was to Lupa Zoo. I hadn't been in years and it was even better than it used to be. I love that place and highly recommend it. Sadly my camera died half way through the trip but we were able to capture some of the awesome animals they have. Our favorite was the black panther which we didn't get pictures of.

The kids participated in a Research Group this year at a local library. The librarian hosted a few families of homeschoolers and taught them the process of writing a research paper from selecting a topic all the way to an oral presentation. Hannah did her paper on Owls, Lexie did chocolate, Bella did butterflies and Isaac and Ian (and me) collaborated on a paper about sharks. On presentation day the kids brought refreshments that went along with their topic. Lexie brought white, dark and milk chocolate, the boys brought shark bites, Hannah made these adorable owl snacks and Bella made butterfly snacks.

They all did terrifically amazing jobs on their presentations that day and then they gave them again that night for their parents at our TLC end of school celebration and award ceremony held in my kitchen.

The boys presentation was more like a skit. They were wise old fisherman and I was a girl writing a paper and asking them questions about sharks. It was probably a little more comical than informative...
The kids also put on a skit of the 3 Billy Goats Gruff for their parents.

They each received awards from me for Godly character traits that they displayed through the year.
Our tadpole finally grew into a frog. He was an adorable little wood frog named Fred.

He seemed quite happy when we let him go by a lake near our house.
Isabella celebrated her 9th birthday this past month. I am still in disbelief about that as well. I still feel like I'm 24, how can I possibly have a 9 year old and have been out of college for 10 years?! My beautiful girl got an armful of Silly Bandz for her birthday and celebrated with a sleep over and a trip to see Toy Story 3 in 3D on openeing day. We actually got to be at the first showing in our area. It was a special day for my big girl. She didn't even want a themed cake this year. Her tastes are obviously maturing and she requested a chocolate cheese cake...I tried to pretty it up a little too.

We were blessed with tickets to a Pittsfield Colonials game from a friend for Father's Day. It was a great way to celebrate what a wonderful father Jason is.

Awwww, what a great daddy!
My children have been a part of a homeschool music group since September that my friend Amy hosts and teaches. She is also the kids piano teacher and one of the most wonderful homeschool moms that I know. The kids performed a choral ensemble of patriotic songs. They did such a great job. In between songs many of the kids performed piano pieces as well. Bella played a song called Drifting on the piano and sang it with Amy's daughter Leah. She also played Amazing Grace and she and Amy's daughter's Leah and Lily sang Proud To Be an American In addition to the 10 or so songs that they sang as an entire chorus. It was a very impressive performance and I was a very very proud mommy. My mom and Madi came all the way up to see them perform and I know that made it even more special for them.

The funniest thing entertained my children for hours the other day. We harvested our peas and they spent almost 2 hours diligently shelling them and preparing them for dinner. They loved it. They were pretending they were from "old times" and had such a blast. In addition to the hours of entertainment they provided, the peas were also delicious.

Speaking of is a picture of Ian and Madi dressed up as two peas in a pod for the Bike and Doll Carriage Parade. I decorated their wagon as a pea pod and they were the peas because they really are two peas in a pod.
Isabella was a little Native American girl and she pushed Annika in a stroller that had been transformed into a teepee by my mom. It was ridiculously cute and they won an award for most original.

Isaac was a Patrotic Red Sox fan and he won an award for Most Patriotic. I think that toothless grin, upturned eyebrow and cowlic must have sold the judges...

Our agenda for the rest of summer is to enjoy the rest of summer. We are looking forward to our trip to Lake Compounce for Jason's company trip and we are counting the days to our vacation!!!!! Fishing, beach and fun here we come!!