Sunday, September 28, 2008

Beach Explorations

Home schooling is in full swing in our house finally. At the moment for science the kids and I are working with a friend of mine and her daughter learning about the beaches and oceans. Including the animals. About a week ago we were having some nice low minus tides so we drug the kids out early in the morning to check out what we could see in the tide pools.

Here is a photo of all the kids looking down into a tide pool.

Here was a sea anenome. The kids think these are pretty cool. They like to when you touch the tentacles that they pull back towards the body. Sometimes they even spit water!

Here is Madison showing us one of the sea shells she found. We refer to it as a China cap but really it's a Limpet. She likes these little shells.

Here is one of the many purple sea stars we find on the beaches around here.

Here was an interesting crab in one of the lower tidal areas. We more often see smaller purplish crabs that run away. This one was a little bigger and was waving it's arms at us like he wanted to fight.

Kenzie holding one of the more common little crabs in our area.

Kenzie holding something, I can't remember what. She was asking my friend what it was.

Joshua walking on the rocks looking for something intresting.
Here are 3 tiny baby sea stars stuck on a piece of shale rock on the beach. There were tons of them underneath the rocks all over the beach.

I have tons more pictures but couldn't put them all up but we have had fun with this unit so far. The kids especially like the field trip part of it.

Joshua and Kenzie are doing well so far this year with their first year home schooling. Madison and Izzak are back into their mode of doing school every day although the other two kids being home is a little more of a distraction for her so we are working on that. Joshua is doing well at getting most of his daily work done. Getting anything done is better then last year in school when he didn't actually do any work the entire school year.

We are also studying Alaska state history till about the middle of November when we will turn to famous Americans for everyone except Joshua who is studying Ancient Egypt and Greece for a bit after the Alaska unit.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Izzak is taller then me!

Okay so I knew it would come. I knew it was coming soon also....

I'm just not sure how I feel about it at the moment. Yes I'm glad he is growing normally and all. I
never was worried about that. I just always kind of dreaded the day I had to look up to my son to tell him to go to his room.....

Fortunatly he is a really good kid so I'm telling him that to often.

Anyway I measured him the other night and he was 5'6"! I'm only 5'4 1/2". One year ago he was 5 feet even and in March of this year he was 5'2". The kid has grown 6 inches in one year, 4 of those in the last 6 months. To me, that is just insane....My kids never grow that fast! Kenzie has only grown 2 inches in the last 3 years. Of course she is my short child but still.

He is an amazing kid though and I consider myself lucky to have him as my son. He is doing really well this year home schooling. I think he has gotten used to it after last year so he is settling into doing his work a lot easier. Not so much of the feeling like he should be able to play or goof off like we had a little bit of last year.

He has taken on a lot more responsibility in the last year as well. Most of it he does himself having chosen to take the responsibilities. He also spent a lot of time this summer doing odd jobs. Mowing lawns and painting. He gave a great impression to some people about his work habits and it has spread quickly. The kid is making money pretty regularly and doing well and budgeting it as well. A couple of weeks ago I even decided to open a teen checking account for him. He now has a debit card and all. He is doing real well so far with it. I thought it would be a great experience for him to learn about handling his money and having a bank account. The teen account has the ability for me to set a set amount for how much he can spend in a single day on his card and take out of the atm so no chance of him really going over his budget. He thinks it's pretty cool of course!

Anyway that is all for today. We have been having fun doing a beach explorations unit so far this year. I have a lot of pictures that I will share later this week.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Thanks Chrisb!

Isn't this a cute award? Chris over at MsCellania gave it to me. Of course it was like a week ago so I am a obviously really a bad blogger but I thank her anyway. This is what she said

Terri over at My Four Kids who had now been in Alaska a year. It must be the grandmother in me because I love to see how her children are getting on in their new life. She also lives in beautiful place so I get to enjoy some spectacular photos.

I can't believe we have been here for over a year now. It actually shocks me to hear it sometimes. Most of the time really it seems we have lived here much longer. We were told by our pastor the other day that we don't seem like new people here either and that we have really blended well into the community. The kids are doing great also and having a lot of fun with new activities we didn't do before we moved. I also have to thank her for her comment on my photos. I try, the beauty of where we live is the big reason they look great sometimes.

So I am to choose 7 bloggers to pass this on to. That is a hard thing to do. I love the blogs that I read even though I have been terrible at commenting lately. I've been very busy with the kids!

So here are the 7 that I could narrow it down to....

1. M over at And then there were two she has 2 very cute little kiddos and this last year her son Liam was diagnosed with Autism. I've been reading and chatting with her occasionally over the last year. She is a great advocate for both of her children and it reminds me of the challenges we had getting Izzaks diagnosis for his problems and the challenges we have faced.

2. The Giants Fan at the Sunny Little blog well because I love her and she loves my kids. And yes Maddie is growing up way to fast! (responding to her comment on another one of my posts.

3. Squishy Tushy I love to hear her updates on her kids and how she tells stories about the things they do and say. The kids are adorable and she takes fabulous photos. Her little girl is gorgeous!

4. Emma at A Question of Sanity cause I can totally relate.... We both have 4 kids and that is sometimes all it takes to lose your sanity. She doens't seem to be afraid to talk about anything and sometimes I wish I could do that

5. Becky at Peppermint Tea because she is starting to post again and I really really missed her!

6. Debbie at A Step at a Time She is a home schooler also and I like to read about her stories of teaching her children. Actually all the home school bloggers are a bit of an insperation to me since most have been at it longer then I have and it really is a hard job but very rewarding at the same time.

7. Heather at The Zoo we started emailing shortly after we met through our blogs and so I love to see how she and her girls are doing.

Okay I stuck to the 7. Like I said it is hard to choose....
I will post more photos soon. We are try to get our schedules down for home schooling all 4 of the kids this year and the kids wanted to learn a foreign language so they chose German. I took 3 years when I was in high school so I thought it would be a fun one to try. We are using Rosetta Stone and have only done a couple of lessons but has been going pretty well so far. Maybe I can get Maddie on tape sometime so you can hear her. She still has some sounds she doesn't do real well in her regular speech and they come out in her German as well so it is cute.

Saturday, September 06, 2008


I've talked about how we have bears here before, right?

I haven't been able to get pictures of them yet though to show you any proof. Of course I am sure you believed me but when we were at camp this week I was able to catch some pictures of bears while we were there.

You can see there is water between us. The river though is not very wide at this point or very high either. I was standing on the porch when taking this picture as I had no desire to bring the bears attention to me to much but there weren't very far away. I was anxious to make sure I got the picture didn't zoom in very well.

I got a little closer on this one and was near the bank of the river when I took it's picture. I was a little more comfortable since this one wasn't looking straight at me.

Kelly, his brother and a friend of ours had an even closer encounter with a bear though. They were waiting for one of the skiffs to come back to get them and the bags since they had a big load. While they were waiting they kept hearing something close by but didn't have their flashlights out to see around them real well. Their friend was getting pretty nervous but Kelly always the tough guy wasn't acting to worried about it. Apparently he was making jokes to their friend saying that he didn't need to worry he just needed to run faster then his brother. Nice guy right? Anyway when the person driving the skiff came back and flashed the headlights they could finally see the bear. It was standing less then 15 feet from them! They were very anxious to get into the skiff!

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Family Camp

I know I've been even quieter this last week. The reason for that is we were away at Family Camp on the Naha River. Really it's a beautiful place! We had tons of fun and I took over 700 pictures! Of course people kept borrowing my camera as it was apparently designated as the camp camera. People really liked it.

The week started out rainy as we were leaving. Getting to Naha is a little complicated. You have to take a boat for about an hour and a half to get to the other side of the island as there are no roads leading to it. Then a 1/2 mile hike over what they call "the hump" which is a bit of the island that as you can guess is going a little up hill then back down again to get the river. When you get to the river you take a small skiff for about a 1/2 hour to the actual camp site. It rained the whole way there but when we got there the sun popped out and it was gorgeous the entire time.

Here are the kids on the boat ride over. They usually play card games in the galley area of the boat. I spent most of the boat ride on the deck outside. I love the smell of the ocean and being able to see everything as we are going.

We arrived earlier then the rest of the church with another family, my friend Johanna. Some work needed to be done around the place before the rest of the campers arrived and the kids were great at helping out.

Here are the girls behind the little trailer we were using to clear some brush.

Of course during some of the working the girls found some muskegg mud to play in and got covered in mud.

Joshua working. He actually was really good during the camping trip and worked hard.

My niece Aidan was up for 2 weeks while we came up as well so she came up with me Wednesday, her dad came up on Friday after he got off of work. She got her first experiences catching salmon and riding rapids on the Naha.

Here she is tubing with Madison.

A lovely expression from Maddie....

More tubing with Madison

Kenzie coming up to the mess hall. The girls all had their hair braided while we were their along with little braids on the side that I put a bell on the end of. We could here them all running together often with 4 little bells ringing. It was funny.

Kenzie and Clarissa sitting on the edge of one of the skiffs on the little dock at camp.

There were tons of dragonflies around catching the mosquitoes and such that were flying near the river. Kenzies friend Clarissa kept wanting one to land on her, although I think she was a little surprised when it landed on her face right over her eye! She wanted me to get a picture of it for her and was having a lot of fun showing people the pictures afterwards. Personally if it had been me I would have probably had a panic attack or something!!

Here is Madison relaxing in one of the innertubes.

My 8 year old niece Aidan, isn't she a cutie? She was awesome at camp and has been a lot of fun to have around but she has to fly back to Portland on Saturday.

I know certain people here will ask wether or not I jumped and went down the rapids myself and the answer is yes, I did. It was fun. I was actually in the water with the kids alot since it is a river and pretty high this year we had to be pretty close by. The kids always had life jackets on when anywhere near the water.

And of course Kelly working with the boys. They were moving wood and the boys hitched a ride on the back of the trailer to the woodshed.

I have tons more pictures to share and plan to show some more in the next couple of days so I will be back soon.