Friday, May 30, 2014

Memorial Day Weekend

A weekend at the cabin with friends is what the Dr. ordered. 
It may not have been totally relaxing, but it was tons of fun!
 Bella braves holding her first crayfish.
 The boys look for salamanders, build bridges, and explore.
 Our mountain biking gurus.
 Travis teaches the kids how to chop wood.
Issac takes a turn.  All the kids actually loved this!
 A trip to the cabin isn't complete without Hyner View and hang and para gliders.
 Bella was super brave this time and instead of freaking out about a snack used the ax to chop it!
 Along the spring bed they spent a lot of time.
 Baby Owen had tons of fun too!
 Issac named his pet salamander - Sally.
 The kids explored almost nonstop.
 The boys return from man stuff.
 Riding his first mountain bike.
 Balancing on Daddy's hand.
 Catching small toads.
 Showing dad the fairy houses and their work.
 Clay pigeon shooting.
 The kids practice target shooting.
 Kody becomes a pro.
 I even find time to fire off a couple rounds.
 Wyatt breaks in his new hunting rifle with the first shot, they sight it in, too.
Wyatt continues to perfect his hunting skills.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Nature Club

Today is the last day of Nature Club.  It's amazing how great our little country school is, at least from  my perspective.  Three days a week, they offer free clubs to the kids who would like to participate in diverse sets of activities that appeal to their interests.

Monday - Circus Club
Tuesday - Nature Club
Wednesday - Gym Club

Wyatt happens to participate in all three.  What a little joiner he is.  But Bella did the same and I happily let them.  We have teachers who do it, because they believe in teaching.  "Aaaah" breath of fresh air after all the talk of testing, common core and all the other bureaucratic nightmares of public education.

Circus Club teaches stilt walking, unicycle riding, juggling, cup stacking, tumbling, etc...

Gym Club is sports pick up games.  Think your and my childhood, where you just gathered your friends to play basketball, football or baseball in the backyard and streets.  Well in a world where safety makes this a frightening prospect, the school lets the kids stay once a week and figure out what games they want to play.  Sometimes several going at once.

Nature Club is brand new this year.  It was for those kids interested in learning about nature, their surroundings and physical sciences.  Surprisingly to me it draws an equal crowd of boys and girls.  It makes the sciences exciting and more accessible.  It is filled with tons of field trips that take you out into the surrounding area and woods.  Our last field trip was a creek study, where they learned about water bugs, pollution and how to know how clean the water is due to the identification of bugs in the water.  So cool!!!

Monday, May 26, 2014

How to Tame a Dinosaur

...North Museum Style
I mean what boy doesn't dream of riding a moving mechanical dino?  And what I love is that all within one room the boys stay busy doing totally different things.  But there are lots of rooms and displays and interactive family fun things and I'll spend any free day I have playing there with my kids!

Friday, May 23, 2014

Envirothon Team

So Envirothon is like quiz bowl, but all about natural science stuff.  This year they covered macro-invertebrates, bird identification, tree identification, mammals, and???  quite frankly I can't remember.  Needless to say, Wyatt knows much more about this stuff than me.

This year our school created a team and competed in the county competition for the first time.  Not only did we tie for first place in our age group, but our team tied for second in every age group (grades 3-6).  I love this team of outdoorsmen and lone woman.  They are truly happy kids.

And true to my word, I told them if they won first place I would buy them pizza and accompanying junk for a party to celebrate.  Look at their happy faces.  Way to go!

Thursday, May 22, 2014

End of Year Series...

End of School years are busy, busy, busy.  I know that I anticipate the summer with more excitement than my kids most years.  So everyday (or as best as I can manage) I'll post about all of our end of school year activities.

CONCERTS (chorus, band, orchestra, etc...) depending on the year and kids

Right now we have one violin and one viola player.  Bella just decided to pick up trumpet and Wyatt picked up chorus.  Fun times!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

At the Car Wash

Who needs to pay for a car wash when you have a small work force?
Love these kids, love these traditions.
Building memories for a lifetime!!!

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Handy Dandy Notebook...

Or Handy Dandy Hubster...
It's even better than the notebook.  It saves us tons of money and has an element of raw animal sexiness.  Love it!!!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Second To...

Mother's Day may be my favorite holiday, only second to my birthday.  Of course.  Well that's partly true, but only in the fact that both aren't really holidays but celebrated events.  Once again this is a day devoted to me.  And I like to think that most every day I am a pretty selfless mother and wife, but if you tell me that I can have a day to be on.

My day was made perfect by my husband and children.  Basically they just pour the love on even more than usual.  It started with breakfast in bed, flowers from Bella.  I then came down to a table of donuts and elementary school kid craft for mother's.  And let's be honest I love this stuff too.  Hearing kids fill in blanks about their parents is a hilarious read for me.  But maybe it's just my kids.  Nothing too crazy this year, but lots of endearing things.

Then Travis and the kids managed themselves for Church that morning, Travis handled all kid behavior issues and we came home to a late lunch and finished the day by laying out.  The kids played happily on the trampoline and in the sprinklers as I read and eventually napped with Bella in the backyard.  And that folks is pretty close to perfection in my book.

After a light dinner and dessert we opened more presents.  Two awesome sets of sneakers.  The kids went to bed and I took the time to update my blog and catch up on the important but rarely urgent matters of my life, that I tend to neglect.  I then read in bed before falling peacefully asleep.  Ahh isn't it nice this mother thing.

All of that aside, it really is.  Best surprise of my life was finding out how much I enjoyed being a mom.  And it helps that I have the best kids, making my job pretty easy.  Happy Mother's Day out there to all the selfless, wonderful mothers who make this world a better place to live.  Your actions matter and have a far reaching influence for good.  Keep up the good work.
from left: pen, book, he can't remember, granola bar, cell phone, $5, and keys