Wednesday, November 18, 2009

IDEA Workshops

Here are some pictures of the kids at a homeschool workshop we attended the last week of October. In the morning they learned about identifying minerals using jelly beans, then about mining using cookies. In the afternoon the kids wrote and their own versions of If You Give a Mouse a Cookie and drew a picture to go with it. In between the two sessions we enjoyed a snack and a short trip to the beach with our dogs.

Quite a few families attended, as you can see.

Isaiah and Samuel work on their 'cookie mining' worksheet.

Miriam and her friend Keegan tore their cookie up pretty good getting their 'minerals' out leaving them with some pretty hefty reclamation costs.

Joshua and I 'mined' quite a few high value 'minerals' and didn't completely demolish our cookie so we made a pretty decent profit from our mining expedition.

We enjoyed some beautiful scenery during the break.

The kids enjoyed stretching their legs.

So pretty!

I just love this picture of Miriam running by.

The kids took turns running with the dogs, here is Joshua with Haley.

And here's Miriam with Henessy.

It was so sad to see graffiti on this pipe and on many of the rocks on the beach, it hadn't been there when we'd visited last.

Listening to If You Give a Mouse a Cookie.

Miriam got to hold the mirror the mouse looked into to check for a milk mustache (I think I'm remembering that right).

Samuel uses the props to aid him in retelling the story.

These workshops were so fun. I am really thankful that we have these opportunities for the kids to take advantage of!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Noveling Club

Earlier this year a friend of mine told me about a site called
where they have a free downloadable resource every day. A couple of months ago they offered a free ebook on hosting a Junior Secret Noveling Club. It sounded like fun and two of my kids were interested so we started our club in early September.

The first order of business was to name our club. The book suggested having each member choose a word that inspired them and then use all those words in the title. Our club was called:

The Junior Secret Imagination Butterfly Tempted Courage Magic Scar Noveling Club

We started with six members - 2 girls and 4 boys - but lost one of our girls early on, poor Miriam! The other 5 members completed the 8-week program and had a lot of fun in the process.

Our lessons were broken down as follows:

Week 1: Genre - kids learn what this means and choose the genre for their books

Week 2: Hero - kids choose the hero of their story (protagonist)

Week 3: Villain - kids choose the villain in their story (antagonist)

Week 4: Conflict - kids decide what the main conflict in their story will be

Week 5: Setting - kids choose five settings that will be in their story, including time, weather and objects present.

Week 6: Plot - kids fill in a plot map including: introduction, inciting incident, complication, climax and conclusion.

Week 7: Analysis - putting together much of the previous information on a single form and discussing how things will 'flow' in their stories.

Week 8: Chapter list - kids complete a list of 10 chapters showing the main action and setting for each chapter.

It was awesome to see the different ideas each kid came up with. It was also fun to see the difference between the boys and girl. For example, Miriam chose the genre Fantasy and planned to include in her book: unicorns, people, romantic, adventure, grassy yards with flowers and girls that wear dresses. Isaiah, on the other hand, also chose Fantasy as his genre but planned to include: wizards, elfs, guns, hobbits, ice and fire. Lol!

Young novelists hard at work. A snack was always provided to feed their busy brains. (-:

As they were painting pictures of their villains I pulled out my camera and this is the result. They didn't want to get 'shot', I guess... Sorry.

Miriam painting her villain, the mad scientist. (He kidnaps the princess, Rebeka)

Isaiah painting his villain, the emperor. (He wants to take over the world)

All our club members proudly show off their finished notebooks and their 'fuzzy pens' which each member recieved as their reward for finishing the program to use in writing the novel they had planned out during club.

...and here they show their true selves. Lol!

Saturday, November 7, 2009


A few random photos from the last two months...

My boys and the Earle boys having fun with our mini-Wedgits.

Yum, caramel apple! I got these cool sheets of caramel at the commissary that you just wrap around the apple and bake for a few minutes, so fun!

Isaiah enjoyed his caramel apple while he and I played a game of Scrabble. For the record, I won...but just barely!

Crazy boys playing tag in the field 40 degree weather!

Then they decided to use a tarp as a slip-and-slide...well, only two of them were brave enough for that. And I am happy to say my son was not one of them! These Alaskan kids...

Our dog, Haley, climbed into this laundry basket to take a nap. Silly dog!

Aww, love for the daddy.

So pretty!
A view from our deck.

Miriam uses uses base ten blocks to help her 'get' carrying.

Miriam and her friend Julie enjoy pancakes after a sleepover.

Henessy's crazy twisted way of laying...this does not look comfortable to me.

Haley shows off her grin. She has a wicked under bite that can make for some very cute or very funny expressions.

Miriam came home from playing with friends and asked if she could put on her swimsuit and 'sun herself' on the deck. Again, it is not all that warm out...bright and sunny, but not warm. Still she stayed out for a good 10 or 15 minutes. (-:

I don't know why Miriam was sitting here to read her book but when I found her I had to take a picture, of course!

Ok, maybe two pictures...

And last, but not least, my ever-photogenic teenager. He is his fathers' son.
That's all, folks!

September Camping Trip

Here are the pictures from a camping trip Isaiah, Miriam and I went on with our neighbors in early September. The weather was lovely (until the final morning), the scenery was gorgeous and the fellowship was was a great time had by all!

Our campsite. The blue tent in front is where Miriam and I slept with Haley (our newest dog. The big tent is where our neighbors slept with their two littlest boys and the little green tent is where Isaiah and his friend Samuel slept with Henessy.

The view from our campsite to the right...

...and to the left.
There is actually a bald eagle in one of the trees on that bluff...he is taunting me because no matter where I moved to I could not get a good picture of him! Alas!

Miriam playing on the 'swing'.

Matthew and Daniel playing in the creek.

One downside to this beach...lots of dead salmon washed up on shore (there was a dead sea otter as well, so sad) since it was toward the end of spawning season. The dogs really enjoy rolling in these for two day! Ick!!

Samuel jumping into the creek to catch an ailing salmon, Haley is ready to help out.


Isaiah and Samuel having fun on Samuel's raft. The dogs are having fun chasing waves.

Miriam passes a little eel that Mr. Sexton found in the tide pools to Daniel.

Miriam shows off a clam she found. We though it was alive and she built a little habitat for it only to have it crack open at some point revealing only emptiness inside...she was very upset!

I just love this picture!

Miriam exploring a tide pool. We were searching for a starfish to put in our habitat...turns out there were none to be found but we had a good time searching and came away with an itty bitty hermit crab. (-:

Miriam in front of 'mossy garden' - her name for these woods, an appropriate one as the ground is completely covered in moss. Beautiful!

Miriam and Henessy on our walk out to touch the large rock you can see in the view to right of our campsite above.

Our path to the goal in the upper left.

Touching 'the rock' - goal reached!

Left to right: Miriam, Daniel and Matthew.

Remember our pathway from a couple pictures back? Well...this is it again as the tide started coming in, turns out we waited a little too long to head back! Thankfully we headed back when we did and only got our feet opposed to being stuck out on that rock!
The cold water felt good on Henessy's paws which got all cut up on the barnacles on the way out, she refused to head back with Isaiah and insisted on following Miriam and I. Poor baby! It took about a week but she recovered fully and was none the worse for wear when all was said and done.

And here is our path under water! Whew!

Cold feet.

Once again...those rocks just to the right of the large rock, the ones you can just barely see the tops of...those are the rocks we were sitting on, which I took that picture of Miriam and the little boys on!

One tuckered dog...

...and another. (-:
The dogs pretty much slept for two full days after this trip!

Miriam jumping cute!

Henessy watches the kids and dogs play on the beach.
The second day we were joined by several more one point there were 5 dogs and 19 kids running about the camp!

More campsites being set-up in the forest.

Kiddos enjoying the campfire.

The end.