Saturday, March 29, 2014


Victoria made this adorable little sock monkey in her American Girl History class.
 There were three of us helping the mom teaching the class. And of course there were many crazy, chaotic moments, like when someone lost their eye, or they had overstuffed a leg, or when one of the girls would bring me their monkey with the needle attached asking for me to knot their thread, leaving me no thread to knot. It was fun and they turned out really cute.

A Work in Progress

Our 4H group is tackling a wood project. They are making this cute Jellybean Dispenser 
Last week they measured out their pieces on a board. Kirk cut out all the pieces literally at the last minute! 8 pm the night before! Ugh, I hate it when he does that.
Anyway, they sanded the pieces, drilled holes, and hammered the pieces together. They actually got farther along than I thought they would. I only had to remove about 5 bent nails. Pretty good for 17 kids.  Sometimes I think we are insane to think we can do a project like this, indoors (there was a freak snow-ice storm that day) but it worked out great! We have good moms helping the kids in this group.
Next time we will be painting the bases and attaching the jars. Check back in a couple weeks for the finished product.

Get into a Circle....

This is proof that homeschoolers are one of a kind.
We have a joke that when told, homeschoolers don't know how to get in a circle, when you call them together to play a game or something. The other moms and I were setting up for 4H the other day to work on a wood project. But first we play games to strengthen their public speaking abilities. The kids love this part of the meeting because they get to stand up in front and speak most of the time. Depending on the game. Anyway, I was just about to tell the kids to get in a circle but my friend Becky told the kids to get into a star shape. I was thinking that they would be stumped and laughed that she had told them. In a matter of seconds, this is their star shape that they got into.
So they might not be able to get into a circle, but they sure can get into a star.
And why not, we are Cache Valley Star Academy.

Slow Down!

This is what you do when you are living life at the speed of light.
You slow down, read a book, put your feet up, listen to the water whisking by and the sizzle of hot dogs.
Oh, and watch your husband be the Chefmiester.

Eagle Scout Court of Honor

Jared had his Eagle Court of Honor last week. We are all relieved....he did make it before his 18th birthday. He had spent a year as Senior Patrol Leader of about 40 boys so it didn't leave much time for his Eagle Project. It was a wonderful Court of Honor. We had over 50 people at the Mendon Station to witness this award from both Troop 1 and Star Academy, our homeschool co-op.
AND of course my wonderful family. Aunt Carol, Kathy and Troy, and Rich! oh and me too.
Kaleb arranged for the Colorguard to present the colors and the Honor guard. Jared's friend Cameron from both the troop and homeschooling was the MC for the COH. Our friend Gillian gave a wonderful speech about Jared's character. She was the first person that we came into contact when we moved to Cache Valley. They had moved up from Phoenix years before and homeschool as well. We were instant friends. She also taught everything that Jared knows about public speaking in a Toastmasters class for 5 semesters now. I am so thankful for her to really give both my boys valuable skills, which was completely obvious, because at the end Jared summed up the evening with an awesome speech on Leadership. I am so proud of Jared and all that he is becoming. Who would have ever known that the little curly haired little boy would grow up to be the man that is towering over me.  Becoming an Eagle Scout has been a long earned road and he deserved to stand before his peers and adults and parents too. I am really proud to be his mom.
Oh, I even got a Mom pin!
 Do not look too closely at these cupcakes. I have no idea how people get them the same size. Only a mother would worry about what the cupcakes look like.
The boys reminded me...."Mom, boys don't care what they look like, they just eat them".
They were right.
 At all the COH that we have been at, the boy would have all his memoralbilia on a table of cub scouts and boy scouts. Jared didn't really have that stuff and didn't want it. He doesn't like a lot of hoo-haa, as my dad would call it. I got thinking about what Jared really likes in Scouting. He likes the hiking and camping part. So we collected things that represented that. We included his daypack because a while back he  started writing on the back of it all the places that he has taken his daypack. I thought it was a great idea.
 We included the rope that he made himself in the Pioneering merit badge. The hiking stick that the girls and I bought from an old guy who made them at the Farmer's Market. Long ago I told the boys if they log 50 miles then I will get them a hiking stick. Well, they have logged almost 100 miles of hiking distance. It took a while to find the perfect stick, many years later, but I held my promise.
Victoria and I came up with this idea on our own. I was in the cabinet just minutes before leaving to set up for the COH and I came across our Scrabble Tiles. So Victoria spelled out parts of the Scout Law. Our guests were impressed with our creativity. We wanted everything to be special, just for Jared and it was.
We are proud of our Eagle Scout.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Silhouette Paintings

In art I taught the kids about value and how to tint acrylic paint in a gradation of color.
I think they caught on pretty quickly, and they all turned out really nice.
 Jared and Kaleb
Victoria and the sample that I painted.

Tortoise Sitting

We had little visitors this month. These two little guys are the cutest things. And boy can they pack away their food. One was more active than the other and could really fling the sand sky high....for a little three inch rock with legs.
Open Wide!

Monday, March 10, 2014

Daylight Savings

I have officially decided....I hate Daylight Savings!
Long ago, living in California, I could hardly remember to change the clocks when we had a tiny newborn added to our lives. For the first two years of Daphne's life we were an hour late to church and didn't notice it until we drove into the parking lot or our neighbor hysterically laughed at us because we had forgotton a second time.  Uugh. Alright already!
Moving to Arizona 19 years ago was a dream come true for our time challenged lives. Even though we didn't change our clocks like the rest of the United States, my mother still reminded us that it was Daylight Savings. HA! I didn't have to pay attention!
Well, now we are back to Daylight Savings and I am determined to remember to change our clocks! So, we almost forgot. I remembered unexpectedly at 10pm Saturday night. Clear out of the blue. Not sure how I even had the thought, but I remembered. By the way, I think my mother forgot...because she didn't remind me to change our clocks.
Day two of Daylight Savings and I thought we were doing really well all morning. In fact, I felt like we were ahead of schedule in school. I was feeling pretty good for a Monday morning, multi-tasking to the hilt. Victoria was scheduled to have a play date at 1pm. Great, got lunch out of the way, violin lesson from the big sister.....I had time to actually eat lunch. Things were looking good, until Jared made a comment that his cell phone hadn't changed the time yet. I looked at my cell phone and saw that it was 1:25! WHAT?! But the clock that I have been watching all morning, staying on WRONG!
I hate Daylight Savings.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

One Point Perspective

This project took almost three weeks for the kids in my art class to finish. I purposely gave them huge paper. It takes them out of their comfort zone by giving them something big to work on. We used markers and then brushed it with water to give it a watercolor effect. It was a little confusing for the younger ones at first but then they were coming to class with drawings on smaller papers that they had done at home. It was pretty impressive what they were showing up with.
I like how I can give all the ages the same lesson and they will take it
to whatever level they are on. I also like how if one kid "gets it" at one table they start helping the other kids around them. They get creative ideas from eachother that way.
This one is Victoria's. Though it looks simple, it was very challenging for her and
she enjoyed every minute of it.
I also like how each persons technique came through. Kaleb likes vibrant colors while others like a more soft, pastel look. This one is Kaleb's. I like how he got clouds in the sky with the watermarks.
There were about three in the class who really detailed their drawing. Jared and Kaleb were each one of them. Jared had signs and deep set windows with trim on some of the buildings. He wanted a more soft looking sky to not take away from the building.

Charcoal Owls

For my two art classes that I teach at Star Academy we did
charcoal owls with pastel eyes. It was fun...and messy.
This one is Victoria's 
 Here is Jared's with his glowing red eyes.
 Here is Kaleb's. His looks like he has his head turned back looking over his shoulder.
I asked Kirk to draw an example. His always looks more realistic....
 Where as mine always look more whimsical.
I am pretty impressed with how all the kids did in the class. The youngest were only 6 years old. I have 20 kids in one class age 6-11 and 20 kids in the second class ages 12-18. It has to be my favorite subject to teach.

Sledding at the Sinks

We finally found out where the "Sinks" are in Logan Canyon in February.
What a cool place....especially if you have teenagers who really want a good sledding hill....and a dare devil 9 year old.
There were snow mobile markers down the main part of the hill. Wouldn't you know became a target without trying. I lost count as to how many times we had a close call with that thing. The first time the kids made a train, Jared being the heaviest was in the back with Victoria in the front. It was so funny because the added weight in the back proved the laws of physics with him sliding faster than Victoria. This meant that their train ended with Jared backwards, head to head with Victoria and Kaleb and Daphne split, holding onto eachother practically going down sideways. And then literally, wrapping themselves around the snowmobile marker.
 There are down sides to a long sledding hill. Like the long walk up, which really wasn't too bad if you were over the age of 10.
 It snowed almost the entire time we were there. We were getting a little concerned that we were going to have to dig the van out. The are where we parked was already pretty deep. I think the new tires on the van helped.
 Here comes Kirk...and his beard.......there he goes! When we got home he asked me to trim his beard. He didn't like how it felt when it blew in the wind. I was glad to see it shorter. I was starting to think that something was hiding in it.
 This is the sign that it is time to go...
 This moose was taking a rest by the side of the road just watching the cars go by. Long ago when we camped in Yellowstone, we kept watching for a moose. I just wanted to see a moose in the wild. Now that we see them often, I am still amazed at these animals. Whenever we drive anywhere, we are always on the lookout for wildlife.