The adventures of a homeschooling family

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

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.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

July part 1

As usual, July was super hot. At one point, I didn't even want to go to the pool. I bought a bunch of water balloons and a wading pool and let the younger kids go crazy.

After we retreated from the sun to the safety of air conditioning, we tried introducing Laura and Adam to the game we call "Trains" which is really Ticket to Ride.
Adam just liked the treats and the little trains.
On the 3rd we decided to take a trip to the Jelly Belly Factory.
As usual, Annie didn't want to be in any pictures. 
After Jelly Belly, we went to Mary's Pizza Shack. It's tradition, because it's delicious. 

On the actual 4th, I didn't get any fireworks pictures. Just this one of Sarah doing smoke bombs and our silly dog trying to get the smoke. 
And also important, our peach tree had its first fruit. 
On the weekend of the 8th,9th and 10th, Sarah and I went camping with her Girl Scout troop. Buster ripped a hole in our tent after some backyard camping, so Sarah and I got to try out our new one in the field. 
Sarah actually let me braid her hair the second day!
We hiked to a waterfall and the girls played in the pool at the bottom.


We hiked along the lake, but didn't go in because we had already dried off.
The girls learned how to do a flag ceremony and carried it out while camping. 
Sarah was super cozy in our tent.
We were back in time for 7/11. Free slurpees for all!
Adam played T-ball again with the Junior Giants. Annie was his coach. He actually enjoyed it, more than he liked posing for this picture. 
On the 12, Annie's Girl Scout troop went camping. Well, they stayed at a house in a State Park, which is like camping.  
They went to Calaveras Big Trees. And yeah, those trees earned their name.
The girls got all kinds of silly posing in the roots of fallen trees.
Yes, they climbed in every tree possible on the trail.
And the big rocks too
Can this kid get any cuter?

The dandelions were huge! 
Also, there were ladybugs like crazy where we hiked to a river. The girls' shoes were covered with them, which freaked them out. 
Officially a tree hugger!

July is too big for just one one post, so part 2 will be coming shortly.