Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The Perfect Day

For those of you that worry that our kids might be socially deprived, (or worse yet, impaired) due to their homeschooling, I thought I would share an experience in order to ease your minds. A couple of weeks ago, we received an invitation to a homeschool opening social, of sorts. Another mom reserved a park up the canyon and sent out a "Come One, Come All" email. She made simple food assignments and then waited for people to arrive. (In all fairness to her, it wasn't that simple. She had it VERY well thought out, and we were certainly grateful for her effort!)

The morning of the event, I was met with mixed responses from the kids. The little ones were excited to get out of the house. The middle ones were anticipating the time with friends. David, however, was unhappy that his precious time was being imposed on. He tried to talk me into letting him stay home. After all, no one his age would be there. None of his friends would be hanging out with "little" kids. I explained that this was a family activity, so he grudgingly went along.

When we arrived, things were still being set up. Since we were some of the first, the kids willingly jumped in to help. When they were done, they began to explore. A little way from the pavillion was the perfect river; not deep or fast enough to worry about the little ones, and walkable (across, that is) for the rest of the kids. There was also a fair amount of debris (boards, branches, rocks) laying around the river bank. David took one look at the potential, and though he probably won't admit it, I heard the words, "Let's see. What can we build here?" escape his lips. After that, I didn't hear from him again for...4 HOURS!!! He managed to rally the troops and draw them all into his adventure. He's always been a natural leader in that way. He put them all to work.

Meanwhile, Josh found the coolest tree to climb. He kept telling me how "awesome" this day was. Kendall disappeared into the wooded hills with some other cousins. Chamane wandered the vast, open lawn to her hearts delight. Thomas sat and listened to Grandma Allen read stories and teach silly songs to the kids while she played the guitar. They played games on the lawn. We ate and ate and ate. Best of all, I had a great time visiting with my sister, Ellen, and many of my other friends. There was no deadline of when we had to be home. There were no jobs that needed to be done. We were totally free to experience nature and relax.

As far as the kids were concerned, they were super busy. There was no asking when we could go home. There was no whining about not having anything to do. I think they stayed away for fear that if they were seen, I would say it was time to go. As the afternoon wore on and it was time for people to think about leaving, they decided to take a picture of all these kids together (moms included). I didn't think anything of it until I saw the photo later. I must admit that the sheer number of homeschoolers was impressive. I think at last count, 160 people attended the activity, and that was just a handful of those that were invited.

When all was said and done, we all had a great time. I think every one of us made at least one new friend. Most importantly, we all went home refreshed and ready to hit the books. I thought it was cool that we could spend a day like this and call it "school"!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Miss Maney

"You have got a face!"

I've had a request for more pictures of Maney. Since I've always considered myself to be eager to please, I'll go ahead and post some...if you twist my arm...ow...ow.....

I promise this shirt was clean when I put it on her...I think...

All of our kids are great foragers, aided by the kids who dish up BIG bowls of applesauce and just leave them. At least it wasn't wasted.

Maney enjoying some Grandma time while her mom has a bottle with her muffin. YUM!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

What kid doesn't know about McDonalds?

Yesterday my husband and I took our 5-year-old on a date. We went to McDonalds to get a bite to eat. On our way in, he squealed with glee at the prospect of going to a restaurant. As we got our food and found a seat, he commented nonchalantly that there was a McDonalds sign outside. He said something like, "Hmm. There's a McDonalds sign out there." We started to ask him questions about his whereabouts. We asked him if he knew where we were. He promptly changed the subject. We asked if he'd ever been to McDonalds. He said, "No." We asked what McDonalds looks like. No answer. As we were starting to chuckle over his lack of comprehension of the situation, he took another bite of the hamburger from his "happy meal" and pointed out that there was a McDonalds sign on the napkin. What do you know. We had to flat out tell him that we were at McDonalds! I wish I had a camera to capture the excitement on his face! Every kid's dream!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Tom's 40th B-Day

My AMAZING husband turned the big 4-0 this week. My super cool sister, Angie, put this video together for the celebration. Tom, here's to the next 40 great years! And here's to more of Angie's cool videos. Ange, thanks for helping me look a lot less lame!