Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Whew! Where did the time go?

It certainly didn't go to getting any blogging done. For my followers, I apologize, again for the long delay in posting.

Summer was busy around here. You would think life would eventually slow down, but I don't see it happening yet. I remember thinking that everyone was wrong about it getting busier as the kids get older; I was the wrong one.

A1 was busy getting her freshman year finished up over the summer. With her reading college level literature and history material and juggling her volleyball schedule and other aspects of life, like chores and eating and sleeping and youth group, she got a touch behind. So summer was spent doing Biology and briefly finishing up Algebra II.

It is so hard to believe she is 16 already. I sound more like my Mom everyday. The driver's license is officially in her wallet and on our insurance; a month later than it could have been due to her busy schedule not meshing with mine. She does a great job and takes it very seriously. It was funny while we were driving with her. Just a few things said are coming up. Most of these phrases came within the first few weeks of driving and taking her classes.
  • When looking out for new obstacles: Andy said, "Did you see it before I told you about it?" A1 replies, "No, and that's why this is training." Andy, "Yea, that's why I lay awake at night."
  • I don't remember what this was in reference too. "Oh geez that was really bad."
  • When told probably scuffed tires coming back onto the road after slipping onto gravel at edge of back country road. "I love you car"
  • Me, "We nee to work on stops." As I am locked into the seat belt. "But Mom I can stop on a dime."
I have these posted in the office when I want to laugh and remember how very far she has come. I love that she has it! It is now more prayer time for safety when she is driving, but that next step to independence is there. She has been driving herself to volleyball practice, and Austin and herself to youth group and quiz practice. I had the flu a couple weeks ago and she got to fulfill one of the things she thought would be so great to do for me when she got her license; getting groceries. She came home and promptly came to the door of our room to tell me that she wasn't ready to be me anytime soon. It wasn't quite as fun as she thought it would be. We still let her drive as much as possible, yes even when we could drive ourselves. The more she drives the better she'll be.

A2 didn't have to make up any school work. He had a great school year and a great summer. Beside all the other things I posted about, he was our lawn mower guy again for his summer job. He also got to go flying this summer a couple of times and is hooked. He has wanted to do this for a couple of years and found out this year on time when the Young Eagles program was going to be happening. He has .9 hours logged of flight time in his book. He has been blessed each time to be in a single passenger plane and the guys have let him actually fly the plane. No take offs or landings, but in the air he has it. The biggest grins I've seen in a long time are across his face when he comes in. The last flight though he learned that flying with a sinus problem is just not the ticket. He used some of his money from summer mowing to get a flight stick for his computer and used Flight Simulator all summer. This fall at the start of school he even was flying the WWII planes and doing battle on Flight Sim Air War over Europe. He is growing, and growing and he hasn't even hit the spurt yet, just steady growth. Just after I was out of quarantine(mid October) from flu/bronchitis, we measured on the post and he had caught up to his sister. He is only 12. So we had them back to back and she was about 1/4" taller. I thought that was strange, so we checked her to the post and she had grown about that much since her birthday. She said it was out of sheer desperation since she doesn't want him to pass her. I am guessing maybe around Christmas or his birthday the day will be here. He can wear Andy's grey cowboy boots and he looks just as good in them as his Dad. Size 10.5 shoes. The clothes are at a tricky spot. He is caught between a 18 boys and small men's so we might have some swimming in clothes for a bit.

I spent the summer gardening and freezing, canning(52 pints of salsa) and planning the school year this year. Tweaking things to work better and so far that has happened. I also had to keep reminding my freshman that if her work wasn't done before the new school year started that she wasn't moving up in grade level. She handed in her last assignment at 5pm the night before the first day. Nothing like taking it to the wire. I also got to go work at the farm planting in late May. We helped get the fencing done for the cattle too and we had our 3rd baby for our personal herd. I also spent the summer getting my thyroid medicine straightened out and think we are finally where it needs to be. Wahoo! Now if I can just stay well enough to start hitting the exercise hard again to see if it holds that would be great!

Andy stayed busy at work and helping freeze and pick the garden here. I don't know that as much would have gotten done without his help. Gotta love a guy that helps out.

We went camping in Brown County State Park this year, stopping at the Children's Museum on the way there in order to see the King Tut exhibit. A perfect wrap up to our school year. The exhibit was so amazing and it was really cool when the kids asked questions of the people that they were curious about from their school work and things they were seeing. They people were impressed with what the kids new. The sad part was no pics. The hard part was not touching, for me. I could get so close to something that we had studied and that was so very, very old. It was so surreal. I just wanted to feel it. To touch something that people touched thousands of years before. I didn't though. Still amazed when I think about it.

The things they had. God is so amazing.
As we continued being chauffeured down to Brown County to our camp site, we talked about the exhibit and how neat it was to see. Camping was a blast! We always have a great time camping and it is something we look forward too. The forecast was just a touch off in the rain category. It started to pour just after we got tents up and had started to eat. We all dashed to the van for cover as we hadn't set up a rain tarp over the eating area. It didn't last too long, it just seemed like forever. We hiked. Found a couple of interesting mushrooms on the path. Just had to post a pic of this one because, well, the guys noticed it first, enough said. Enjoy your laugh! We also biked and ate traditional camping food, not fajitas and other things we usually take. Andy and the kids went to the nature center talk the first night while I stayed back with the fire and worked on getting some computer things done for school. It was peaceful and quiet, just what I needed.

So that was summer. This is now. School has started and it is going great! I have had to tweak a few things on HST+ because of illness and having somethings scheduled too tight, but we are having a great time. We picked up at the Fall of Rome and just ended our first Unit with the War of the Roses. It was so very cool to read my family tree history to the kids, reminding them that this was their family history too. We have things traced clear back and even mentioned fighting in the War of the Roses. The red rose, for the House of Lancaster, is on our family crest/shield. It made learning all the dates and kings more of a reality than being just out there. Both kids did awesome on the unit test(10 weeks of material, timeline and maps). We didn't review any, with me being sick for 2 weeks school is going longer, due to illness, not snow days. Plus this time I wanted to see what the remembered without going back. Both got high 80's. Great job guys!!

Our unit celebration, was a ton of fun. We didn't do the medieval feast, timing was off. What we did do was make cookie shields Andy's traditional shape. Dad chose to be a Viking even thought the kids told him that they lose in the end. Austin went with the traditional shape, as did Ashley and Mom.

We also played a castle siege. Thanks Laura! This was great!

We played it two times through and the winner only won by 2 or 3 points. Lots of "I am on a rocky island"-like this solved all the problems of a moat and making her impervious to attack at all. Austin's quote "I have 28 towers and 150 foot walls."-kind of hard for arrows to get over those from attackers, but also tricky for those inside to climb up the ladders. My parents came again for the celebration! Anytime I want Dad to come for school, I think all I'll have to do is mention cookie maps or cookie anything. Dad and Ashley were on a team for their castle. She had to work on designing hers on the paper that day. Austin and Mom were on the other team together. He had a head start, since his work was done, and he worked on it one or two days while he was down sick.

The teacher and principal have declared this week Fall Break! Also known as catch up week around here. While A1 isn't quite as far behind this year at this point, the 3 hour/2 day a week practice really cut into her time, so catchup week. I had wanted to schedule the year like this at the beginning, but the kids didn't think it was a good idea. They've changed their minds. It also gives me time to catch up on some grading as report cards are going out on Monday.

No promises of when I'll write again. I may bring my posts from my other blog here and just do the one. I can't even keep up with the one.

Thanks for reading everyone. I'll get to a post on what I did different with TOG and HST+ this year soon(relative speaking). In the meantime if you want help before posting, drop me a comment and I'll get back with your.