The adventures of a homeschooling family

Howard and Rachel
Annie, Emma, Sarah, Laura and Adam

Wednesday, March 1, 2017


Initial order of 169 cases, or 2,028 boxes of cookies.

After pre-orders and the first week of site sales.

I can't wait until March 20, when its all over and done with.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Catching up

    So, a bunch of stuff happened last year. Laura kicked butt in 7/8 girls swim, Adam learned to swim (kinda). Sarah and Emma danced beautifully, Annie started college classes, got her license, bought a car and got her first job. She also got her first college acceptance letter: yay!
     Laura, Emma and Sarah went to camp together while Annie, Howard and I did our first 5k. Then Laura came home from camp with bad headaches. 
     At first, she said her head hurt. Then it progressed to screaming about how bad they were. Ultimately, they sidelined her fall swim season. We had been planning on fall swim meets through the group that does actual ranking and all that jazz. Instead, we spent it worried about more serious issues. The treatment plan she was initially given called for a cup of coffee in the a.m., Excedrin migraine daily, along with ibuprophen, and Dramamine, throughout the day. After a month of this, she got an MRI, which indicated a lesion. Cue more worry, and finally, a trip to the neurologist. 
Neurologist says there is no reason to worry. The irregularity only shows up on one screen of a hundred. If we are worried, retest in 2 months. And stop the crazy cycle of meds, she's only 8! He put her on a daily med, and recommended ibuprophen as needed. 
     Follow up MRI has finally been read. No growth, no change, no concern. Retest in 5 years. See neuro for dosage changes as she gets older. Laura has migraines.

     With that headache (ha) out of the way, I started Laura back on math that's more her speed. She has been doing 2 lessons a day to catch up. She's almost finished with her science, and has been flying through spelling. 

     Annie aced both her college classes. She was accepted into a program with the District Attorney's office. She is still trying to master pre-calc and trig. She's working as many hours as she can, because she is saving up for her senior trip to London next month. She is also having to make serious choices about her future. 

    Emma took a STEM class again this school year. This year they made Rube Goldberg machines. Out of the class, hers got the closest to finishing the final step. The transportation to the event is killer on machines that rely on very soecific calibrations. Emma is taking a history class this year and is doing really well. She's still dancing, tap and ballet. Also, she switched piano teachers. She has to practice an hour a day, and she is finally learning theory. She's also the same height as me. She turned 14, and spent her birthday morning hanging out with this horse.

     Sarah is a self-starter. She no longer needs to be told to do her school work. She works independently, and finishes before 1pm each day. She is doing well with grammar. She complains that her math is too easy, so has started supplementing with Khan Academy. She is working on finishing her violin book, and practices daily. She got a subscription to Raddish and has been trying new recipes each month. She is also taking a history class, and doing well. Later this month, she is going to science camp/outdoor Ed for the first time. 

     Adam has been jamming on his math. I think he is the only one happy with math this year. He also has been soaring through his science, and is one chapter away from finishing it. Lately he has been wanting to learn more about the rock cycle. He became a Cub Scout this school year. He earned his Bobcat and is working on his Tiger. This is my amazing action shot of him crossing to get his 
He got a Nerf football for Christmas and now he can throw a pretty decent spiral.  He started baseball this week. 

     Howard and I celebrated our 20th anniversary by doing what we do best: going to the movies and sitting through a movie neither of us liked. Then we strolled in the rain to an early dinner. We popped into a little shop to pass the time, and ended up falling in love with a hutch tucked into the back corner. We went on to have a lovely dinner. The next day, Howard surprised me and said he had called the shop, bought the hutch, and even set up delivery. That is love right there. 

Also things that happened:
This kid went camping, to the aquarium and Santa Cruz Boardwalk with her Girl Scout troop. 
This kid also went with her troop. The Mystery Shack was on her itinerary. It kinda made us feel like throwing up, though. 
That same weekend,these 3 kids went to Disneyland, with this guy.
     They also went to my grandpa's 90th birthday party/anniversary party. 
And went to the store at Universal to pick up some Harry Potter stuff. 
 Meanwhile, we saw
A disgusting beach covered in dead crabs. 

When we all returned from our busy weekend, this 
Became this 

And this happened, getting out of the pool.

Two kids got hearing aids,
one got glasses.
Oodles of Girl Scout badges and patches were earned.

Pumpkins were carved.

Costumes worn and candy collected. 
 Gifts were given

Wisdom teeth were pulled ( with no pictures taken) a new year started and rain fell. Which leads to this update in mid February. The craziness of cookie season is upon us, so I don't see this blog being updated until we are rescued from the fortress of 2000+ boxes of cookies that will descend upon us this weekend.  

Friday, October 7, 2016

July part 2

Last year I found a renaissance festival for kids. After the fact, of course. So I put the date for this year's in my phone and waited. A few days before the event, I informed the kids we were going on a drive.
They complained because they didn't know where I was taking them, the drive was long, and we couldn't bring Howard. He was sad too, but someone has to work to keep this crazy family going. 

The festival was in Nevada City. It was geared fully for kids. They took turns being a knight at the entrance.
Then they met with the fortune teller.

There were so many stations!
Even the older girls got into it, and decorated the heck out of their shields.

Annie helped out with gluing at the puppet station.
Adam was the only one who wanted a crown, but he said it could not have glitter.
The face painters were all volunteer, and had different offerings. This is a shield on Adam.
Pretty sparkles for Sarah.
Emma was a good sport about hers. She is lovely. 
Laura got the full face treatment. 
Laura is wearing a tunic she decorated. Then she made a peg doll.
Face painted knight
Pretty princess
So the thing at the Festival was that the entrance fee was $3/kid. All the stations were free, and run by volunteers. There were 30 stations, and we didn't do all of them. Some were cool but hard, like carving soapstone with chisels, some we just didn't get to because of time, like PVC cannons. It was really fun and the kids want to go back next year. We will have to schedule it, because it's one day only, on a Friday. 

Regular swim season ended with Championships. Our team was undefeated in our division, so our family decided to actually go this year. The kids had a clinic the Saturday before. All kinds of training and practice. Laura left a little early, because her friend Emily was having a birthday party. Laura was bummed to leave swim and put on clothes, but when we got to the party, it was a swim party!! Good thing she had a swim suit in the car!
Her friends from Girl Scouts were there too and they had a blast. And she got to keep the flowers.

Since swim took up most of our summer, we decided to pack a summer's worth of activities in the days leading up to school.

One fine Sunday we headed to the city of Columbia, a state historic park. We walked the streets, had lunch, and rode the stagecoach. 
Not everyone was excited. 
Adam got a new gun, which he shot at the stage robber.
Laura is beautiful.
After this, we had a bit of a misunderstanding. Howard took the kids to do this bowling game. All wooden, including the ball. I wanted to look at historic stuff, so I said I was going to look at the schoolhouse display. 

They thought I said I was going to the schoolhouse. So when they were finished, they hiked to the old schoolhouse, with no water. They were hot and thirsty. It was dusty. 

Meanwhile, I was in the building next to the bowling, watching a movie about how water was moved to Columbia using a system of wooden troughs. It was air conditioned and nice, but no cell service. 

When I finally walked out of the building, I got a bunch of texts, asking where I was, did I have water, and help!

So then I hiked to the schoolhouse, which was interesting, but I would have driven to it. Water was distributed, Howard walked back to the car and picked us up. 

Then we drove to Moaning Cavern and went on a tour. It was 300 or so steps to the bottom . It doesn't sound like much, but it was through winding walkways, and then a spiral staircase. By the bottom, this out of shape mom's legs were rubbery, and I knew we had to go back up!
Laura was bit weirded out by the tales of the bodies that had been found in the cavern. I guess it had originally been a small hole that opened up to all of this, and unsuspecting people had fallen in while walking by and met their deaths. I'm glad it's been discovered and explored and safe now. 
If you look closely, you can see a rope hanging in the back. We chose the stairs over the rapelling to get to the bottom.
After the long hot day, they took turns falling asleep.
Monday morning they started the last week of swim. It was pretty relaxed.
Did I mention swim was in the mornings, starting at 7 am?
Adam made huge progress this season. He started kind of scared to get in the water, and ended able to swim a 25 with no help.

He's proud of his team jammers.
I don't have any pictures of championships because we weren't close enough. It was 2 days of super hot intensity, with periods of downtime, shaved ice, coloring, kinetic sand, and trying to keep tempers in check. 104-106 degree heat can make people crazy. Thankfully, it also helped our Gators to victory! The Gators won Champrionships by a landslide. These are the coaches and the kids who stayed around for the awards ceremony. Most parents took off, because being by the pool but not being allowed in for 2 days in that kind of heat was torture!
By making finals in championships, Laura qualified to go to Meet of Champions the next weekend. There were only 6 kids from our team, of all who qualified, who went to MOC. They had special practice the week before. Laura spent most of her time talking with her friend Maggie. 
At Meet of Champs, while Laura was waiting to do one of her heats, the girl behind her asked if she was Laura. It was her friend Kylie from last year's fall swim! She was swimming with a different team and they hadn't seen each other since October 2015. They spent the rest of the meet hanging out.
There were so many swimmers at Meet of Champions that there were at least 6 different sheets to choose from to find your swimmer and put it on the back. 

She did pretty well at the MOC. She was in the middle of the pack of all the 7/8 girls. After MOC, summer swim was finished.

It was the team's 30th Anniversary,so the the awards ceremony was a bit fancier this year. All of my kids dressed up. They cleaned up well, I think.

Sarah made sure she was at the front of the line to get her medal.
Emma received the Coach's Choice Award this year.
Adam got a certificate for "Most likely to tell the coach "No!""
Laura received an award for having the highest points of all the 7/8 girls on the team. 

And with that, our July was finally over.