Saturday, February 28, 2015

First Kayak

Our first Kayak arrived so of course we had to check it out and make sure everything was with it!

The kids all think it's pretty cool and Dominic was pretty upset we had to put it away. Hopefully he'll like it when it goes on the water too!

CERT "EarthQuake" Victim Day

Today they had CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) training and needed "victims". My kids of course thought this sounded like GREAT FUN and volunteered right away! They have been counting down the days for this!
We got up early and left the "guys" home and us girls headed to Grand Ronde to be made up into victims. I wasn't to sure how the girls were going to handle it so I was an "observer" today and got to take pictures. First stop after checking in and getting a doughnut was "make up". Arianna volunteered to go first. She had bruises and a compound fracture (but they didn't bring a "bone" to use on her).

 Kaitlyn was next with a bloody nose.


Since we were the first people there, We had some "down time" and got to see some of the other "injuries" as they appeared.

Before long it was "into positions!"

After much moaning and groaning and a few screams they got "rescued!" and triaged!

By the time we were almost done Arianna had everyone in triage in stitches (figuratively speaking!). I must admit even the adults were having a great time! This was one of the coolest experiences as per the girls and they are already signing up for future victim days (each is a different disaster and at a different location). I also must say they all were the funnest, happiest "victims" I've ever seen!

Friday, February 27, 2015

End of the Oregon Trail Interpretive Center - Oregon city, OR

Today's Fieldtrip was the End of the Oregon Trail Interpretive Center in Oregon city. We had a blast! Our first stop was a discussion about wagon trains and what jobs different people would have and at about what ages. So the kids got a chance to learn about picking up buffalo chips for fires which the kids actually got to hold/touch (thankfully the resembled old funny looking rocks and not animal poop).

Then they pulled up a volunteer...(Dominic decided to help as well)
and they learned how the youngest kids got to clean oxens noses out on a regular basis. I must say, Kaitlyn was very happy they didn't make her demonstrate it on a real ox!
After that it was over to the general store to see what they might need for their trip and learn to pack a wagon!
While some worked hard to help figure out things and get stuff packed, Others had a different idea...
A good game of chess! Of course, I guess it would help if they both learned how to play it first! Arianna and her friend thought it sounded like fun and since neither of them lost/won it was all good.
After unpacking the wagon everyone headed over to learn how to make butter and candles!

Of course they got to do the butter a little bit differently and use the shake and bake method as we like to call it.

After which is was off to the main office to dress up and look around in their shop area.
The kids really enjoyed it and got to bring home their candles. Pizza for dinner and an early night. They have more fun stuff coming up!

Puddle Stompers!

We went on a field trip Wednesday and had lots of fun. They did a coloring sheet, listened to a couple of stories about ducks, then a craft project and off on a walk! The kids had a great time and had fun teaching the guides what they knew about dehydration, evaporation, life cycles, insect galls and more! They met some great kids and even Dominic found a couple of kids to hang out with.

Kaitlyn and Arianna even decided to have some fun with their hair!
It only lasted an hour or two tops, but they had fun and would like to try something similar in the future.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

The littlest things..

can turn into the best discussions! While driving for  45 minutes to a nature refuge for a play day with some other kids, we went past a graveyard..that one little thing turned into a full conversation about different burial practices (burial of the body vs. cremation), why some graveyards are more family plots vs. large community graveyards, the nuclear family of the "old" west (born, raised, died in same town) vs. the more mobile society of today, westward expansion, Oregon trail, the development and expansion of trains and transportation of goods from the 1700's to today. We had a wonderful discussion! It was also a great lead in to a few fieldtrips that are coming up!

In other news we are still working on the spring cleaning and getting rid of a lot of junk (donations, selling etc) and we have our first inflatable kayak on the way! It's a tandem so the kids can learn to handle one with me in the back to help them. Once the kids have learned how to navigate one we'll order a couple of singles for them. Then Dominic will be riding in the tandem with me on occasion and we'll see how he does. We'll only be on still water etc. and I think I have found a nice life vest for him. It  should be an interesting summer!

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Poor Mickey Mouse...

My kids found a bendable Mickey Mouse figure the other day...apparently he is a very interesting mouse. Today they are checking him for food and plant allergies, hypersensitivity to bug bites and have diagnosed him with "itchyearitis" which I didn't realize was a life threatening bacterial infection for mice but easily treatable with lots of care, plenty of cheese and screen time.
After deciding that Mickey Mouse might just live, the girls decided that today would be a great day to see about temporary hair colors. They got pink and blue streaks (and in some cases purple) thru their hair and Dominic even got a couple of blue streaks himself. The color disappeared rather fast so I did try and get a couple of pictures of it and I'll have to download them and see how they turned out.
We got several packets out in the mail to a few homeschool families in different states which the kids enjoyed doing.
Spring cleaning is still underway with most of the outside garage stuff done, finished garage (storage room/new craft/science place) is still being worked on. We gave away two of the older bikes and the trailer is almost loaded and ready to go to the dump again this weekend and then we should be mostly done with the big stuff.
We have 3 fieldtrips between Wednesday and Saturday so we will be busy! The girls are looking forward to all of them and of course I'll post pictures as soon as we have them.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Working on math...

Usually in the car. We do have some of the best lessons away from the house! The other day out of the blue in the car...

Arianna "mom, I know what 4 x 3 is"
Me "what?"
Ari "11"
Me "no but close!"
Kaitlyn "it's 12. 4 groups of 3 is basically 2 groups of 6. 6 + 6 is 12, so 6 x2 is 12 so 4 x3 is 12."
Well at least they understand manipulating numbers and how to find the answers instead of just memorizing things. I want them to understand how to get to the answer as much as I want them to be able to figure out the right answer. I love that they are able to visualize this in their head and put it into smaller pieces. 

Kaitlyn is doing well on her reading and reads a little bit everyday, Arianna is still a bit harder to pin down but at least she is saying she likes to read and is having some interest in doing a bit more as well. 

of course one of their favorite things in still the snap circuit set. They had a friend spend a couple of nights and they all had a good time playing with the set and did some of the more complicated stuff all on their own!

They also have been working on composing their own music. They sat in the car on a recent trip, discussing beat, melody, dramatic elements, wording, etc. and had a great time! They have been playing with styles of music as well. This should be interesting. 

Kaitlyn also is starting to schedule portrait sessions with other homeschoolers to become a better portrait photographer. She already has 10 families working with her!

Arianna has a few experiments she has come up with (with help from youtube and experiment books) so we will be doing some of those next week as well. 
The next couple of weeks are going to be very interesting!