Saturday, November 23, 2013

Delivery Day of Jared's Eagle Project!

The long awaited day is finally here!
The tables and steps are delivered!
 One of the Dad's in the troop transported the tables with his huge trailer. It accomodated both 8ft tables really well. They stacked them under the pavillion for winter storage. Now American West Heritage Center will have more table seating available for their programs. Jared designed the table with a cross piece along the bottom so that they can be stacked. It worked perfectly. He has had several people asking him for his design because the tables are so nice.
 Then it was over to the Opera House to deliver the steps for the stage. They were so sturdy when they set them up to the door way next to the stage. The previous steps were so rickety. The top step was flush with the door way lessening the risk of tripping.
Good Job Jared!
 This is one happy young man! Handsome too.
 This is Chris Schultz. He is the programming manager for AWHC and works with the scouts wanting to work on Eagle Projects. He was a wonderful mentor to Jared and was so easy to get a hold of. Jared wanted his project to be meaningful and not be handed to him. He wanted to work for hard...for it. Well, he definately worked hard for it. It took him three months to complete, starting with phone calls, drawing up the plans, developing a budget, presenting it to the committee, collecting donations, coordinating the boys, cutting, assembling, sanding, varnishing/painting, and delivery. He has learned so much and has literally matured with this project. Something you always hope to see in young people.
He has definately earned his Eagle with this project.
Now he just needs to finish up a few loose ends, and get some signatures and he will be done.
Oooh, look....the Scoutmaster and Sophie the kitty.
He's such a pushover.....the Scoutmaster that is.

Green Canyon

The kids and I are attempting to continue hiking through the winter as long as we can. We are hoping someday to all own snowshoes. We ventured into Green Canyon. I love that this canyon is just up the street from our home.
It was COLD!
We managed to hike for two hours. We found a trail that headed into the sunny side of the canyon. That was inviting. It was very invigorating. We were so busy talking on the way back down that we accidently hiked beyond where we had parked. Once we recognized that the trail looked new we had to trace our steps back to find the van. I have no idea how we did that but we did.
Jared always gives Kaleb a hard time for hiking with his day pack full of survival gear. To tell you the truth, I am glad he does. I would hate to be stuck out somewhere in the mountains with snow and not have any matches. If you have Kaleb with you, he will have everything but the kitchen sink in there.

How are you Peeling?

If you were to ask Sammy how he was feeling after
eating all those apple peels he would say "Just Fine"!
I always say our floors are cleaner because we have dogs
and our floors are dirtier because we have dogs!
In this case there were less apple peelings in the bucket
and more in Sammy's stomach. It looked like he was eating spaghetti.
During the time that Sam was stealing apple peelings, Henry was growling at Sam to leave his bucket of garbage alone. I guess he was trying to claim something that Sammy had absolutely no intentions of honoring.
This dog is always hungry and will find anything to eat.
Last week he ate one of the kid's paper mache birds from my Science class that I teach at Star Academy. It was sad. I had to tell this poor boy that our dog ate his bird.
He was okay with it. He managed to make another one.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Victoria's Sewing Project

This is going to be really hard to believe. Back in September, I needed to de-stress with a sewing project. So I sewed Emily (on the right) a new 1940's style dress. About the time I was finishing mine, Victoria decides that she is going to sew a dress for Molly.
She did it all. She chose the fabric out of the fabric stash. Cut out the pattern and sewed this dress beautifully. She is not afraid of the sewing maching at all. Not to mention that she is good at it. She even finished all the seams with a zig-zag stitch.
 We were all impressed with her ability. I love that she looks at something and says...I can do that!  I loved to sew when I was her age. I was constantly cutting apart old clothing to get my resource of fabric since my mom didn't have any. Both the girls have had sewing supplies at their fingertips. Not to mention that they have had me to ask questions. I have definately messed up enough times to know how not to do something as well as how to do it correctly.
 I am really proud of her. I didn't even help her with the velcro enclosure on the back.
Yes, I know the collar is up on her dress.
Today, Victoria is presently trying to make her own Barbie clothes patterns.
That's my girl!

Day 3 Eagle Project

Jared came to me a couple days ago very concerned about the weather. It was going to snow on his next work day for his Eagle Project. He really didn't want to get behind schedule. So in a moments notice, he managed to grab 4 scouts from our homeschool co-op. We are extremely blessed with awesome friends.
In a short amount of time after classes, these boys managed to get both tables sanded and one of them varnished.
Did it snow? YEP! Lots!


Victoria has a new fluffy pet. And boy is he cute.
Meet Georgie.
He has a few issues with ADHD so it has been impossible to get a picture of him NOT blurry. He is quite the character. He has to do everything NOW. Not in a second, NOW. I was very apprehensive for Victoria to buy a hamster from Petsmart. Our others were hand raised and we never had to worry about them biting. This little guy is the sweetest hamster. From the very first day he was easy to handle. Though handwashing is important before and after handling. Victoria is proud of herself. She used her birthday money to buy this little guy and food. We had the rest of the set up including the squeaky hamster wheel that the kids won't let Kirk put oil on. That is another story.

Day 2 Eagle Project

Our backyard was filled once again with boys everywhere helping Jared with his Eagle Project. On Day 2 they measured, cut, drilled, and assembled two picnic tables for AWHC. It is amazing to watch these capable young men working on these tables. And they were done accurate, clean and neatly. I was very impressed.
 It was hard to believe that at the beginning of the day our yard housed a pile of lumber. And at the end of the day there were two big, sturdy picnic tables. Jared now inspects every wooden picnic table he sees around town. He looks at the design and whether or not they are sturdy AND have adequate leg room. It is funny to listen to his critiques. He is quickly becoming an expert.
 Through out the day there was always time for a little fun.


Need I say More?

Day 1 Eagle Project

Jared has started his Eagle Project of building two sets of steps for the Opera House at American West Heritage Center and two picnic tables. On the first day these boys worked hard. They measured, cut (by an adult....Kirk),drilled, screwed, assembled and painted!
Jared did an awesome job managing this project. He is really maturing into adult hood. He has a gift for managing and organizing so even though he has been under a lot of stress with this project, he has managed it well in obtainable goals.
Victoria was very excited that she was allowed to do some of the painting.
This is a classic picture of Jared and Cameron debating, contemplating, discussing.....
 And this is what you do when you have been there for too many hours and your brain is taking a break. We had quite a few moments where me, the mom had to step in and prevent something from starting. The beauty of being a mom, we can see things before they occur.
 Victoria observing from a far.
The morning was pretty crisp with frost but ended with beautiful warm sunshine.
The next morning......


I blinked and realized that two weeks have flown by.
Victoria had high hopes for a costume this year. With limited funding for a costume we talked her into being a scarecrow. We "thought" we still had Kaleb's old costume but quickly we had sold it in a yard sale before we moved. Oops. Well, nothing that can't be remedied from a trip to the thrift store. Along with a couple dollar store crows. She looked pretty cute.

 A blast from the past! It was very disturbing to the kids for them to see their Dad dressed this way. Everyone at work was dressing up in the art department. Some people really got into it.
 This is Jared's costume. A pumpkin. I think I have a picture somewhere of my Dad doing the same thing with a pumpkin. Actually, Jared did dress up. He wore a button down shirt with a collar.
 Jared volunteered to hand out candy. In this neighborhood little kids start walking around while it is still light out. It has taken us two years to figure this out. This time we were prepared. It is neat to see Jared interact with the little "tater tots"(that is what he calls little kids). He even had to untangle a necklace out of a little girls hair. Some of the kids thought he was a Dad because he is so tall.
 Daphne loves to dress up still. Victoria was panicing that she was going to be the only one but we reassured her that as long as her sister had legs, she would still dress up.
 Daphne and I came up with this costume for Kaleb. He is very interested in the job of being a part of the Hazmat Crew. We couldn't resist even though Kaleb hates the idea of "dressing up and looking like a dork". He not only got best costume at our co-op but almost all the adults that he saw wanted to know where he got a Hazmat uniform. I told him that next year he didn't have to dress up. This was the last tormenting year of wearing a costume.
 We had so many pumpkins that we were secretly delivering them to our neighbors. Of course they figured out where they came from. It was actually fun having so many because everytime Victoria asked if she could carve another pumpkin, we just said "sure, go ahead".


Our sweet Daphne is 21!
For the first time in 9 years, both the girls celebrated their birthdays in the same week. So we pretty much partied all week.  I felt better knowing that I was only eating cake for one week rather than over two weeks. It was a mental thing. You have to understand that.
When Daphne was about 5 years old we discovered that she loves parties. Especially planning parties. We would literally be cleaning up her party and she would come up to me, telling me what she wants to do for her next birthday!
You just had a party and now you are talking about your NEXT birthday!?
This would go on all year....talking about her next party! One more clue into the world of autism. Becoming hyperfocused on a thought or an idea.
Daphne's idea was her next birthday party.
All I could think about was how sweet she was at 5. I didn't want to think about her being 6!
Well, we thought that at some point she was going to move on to another idea that pops into her head and leave the birthday planning thought behind.
Nope! Not Daphne!
It was almost becoming unbearable. So at her young age we made a family rule.
Daphne cannot plan her birthday party until after August 31st of every year. With her birthday towards the end of October, I figured that 6 weeks of planning should be enough.
It became a game. She would come to me with a thought on her party and I would remind her that she would need to keep all those ideas until August 31st. I thought she had forgotton about the rule.
Nope! Not Daphne!
Every year in the month of August, Daphne will say something along the lines,
"I can't wait to talk about my birthday" with a huge smile on her face.
Now, she is 21. Yes, she is still planning out her birthday and finds great enjoyment in helping Victoria plan out hers mostly. And every year, she has taught Victoria that you can't talk about your party until August 31st. So I will hear them whispering to eachother about thoughts of their birthdays.
The girls love their Birthday!
I do too.
I loved them deeply from the first thought of their existence and loved them beyond words from the moment I layed eyes on them.
So do the boys plan out their birthdays?
Nope! They have Daphne to do that!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Twinkle Award!

 Victoria has mastered her Twinkles!
This is a big deal if you are working bowing through the Suzuki books for violin. Daphne has been teaching Victoria now for a few months. Things kind of fell apart during the summer. But they are back on track again and doing quite well together. Daphne is teaching her the same way she was taught by Miss Shari who was her teacher long ago.
We are all really proud of Victoria's accomplishments. Daphne awarded her with the same Twinkle Award that she was awarded with by Miss Shari.
I love violin music filling the house. And I love that Daphne is able to use her gift to bless both Victoria and Kaleb with lessons.