Monday, September 22, 2014

A Walk down the Freeway

We had a unique experience this weekend.  Last April they closed down a stretch of I-96 near us. After a summer of angst, they opened the freeway (early yay!) this morning.  Before they did, yesterday, they opened a small section of the freeway for people to walk down.  Boy, did they.  Not only walking but also running, biking, unicycling, skating, skateboarding, strollering, and just about any other form of non-moterized travel.  There was even a marching band.  It was so much fun.  A great, free, once in a lifetime family field trip.







This is my favorite picture



and if we look just to the right it looked like this:



Thursday, September 18, 2014

Homeschool Plan 2014 - 2015



I am pretty sure that I made this way harder than it should have been, but, at long last, we have a plan.

Zippy:
Classical Conversations Challenge A - this is a total curriculum that is as the names states challenging.  We decided that Zippy is going into grade 9 this year.  Challenge A is geared for grade 7, fortunately there are some minor modifications to make this high school appropriate.  A good example is math.  Zippy is doing Algebra instead of 7/8 grade math.  I love that students can work on the math that is appropriate for their learning level and still discuss math concepts on the community day with their fellow Challenge students.

Extra Curricular
Those fun, social activities during the week.  This year kind of turned service oriented, but it is what she chose to do:
American Heritage Girls - She joined AHG last year and made some really nice friends. Her first badge she wants to work on is cooking.  Look forward to seeing lots of yummy badge requirements here on the blog.

The Animal Shelter - She started volunteering during the summer.  You have to be 13 to volunteer and she has been bugging me about it for a while.  She is really impressing me with her desire to help the animals even though the job is sometime kind of stinky.


The Library - She is also volunteering once a month for an hour at the library as part of the teen advisory group.  Basically they discuss things they can do to help in the library and community and work on projects. This summer they helped out with a program where they one on one read to a small child.

Church - This year our church is trying something a little bit different.  There is not a normal Sunday School class for the teens.  Instead they are encouraged to participate in a small group of teens on a different night and serve on Sunday morning.  I think Zippy will be part of the team that greet people as they enter the church.  It is right up her alley.  There is also the fun youth group meeting once a week as well.

Little Dude
This was where a lot of the thinking and rearranging came into play. I really had to figure out what the goal needed to be for this year and plan accordingly. The goal, in case you were wondering is to get his speech well in hand.  That means practicing, practicing, practicing, and not just with me.  So I had to find places for him to go where there would be other people to talk to.  We already decided that we are going to homeschool him because of his medical issues so finding a place was a little more challenging than just putting him in kindergarten.

Preschool - 3 half days so he can practice talking with the other children, and also work on all those preschool skills, like holding a pencil and letter recognition, that he still is working to master.

Speech Therapy - One time a week through our local public school.  While I have had serious reservations about our public schools, the speech therapist that we started working with last year is super helpful.

Classical Conversations Foundations - This was probably the hardest bit of the puzzle to fit together.  I had this mental block that said he is not is kindergarten so he should not be in classical conversations, right?  In addition to that because I am tutoring Challenge A I did not want to just throw him into this new, slightly more rigid class environment.  However an opportunity came up for me to tutor Essentials on a different campus.  I take him with me to give Zippy the time to work on her work (and the responsibility to get it done withing a set time frame).  Essentials meets in the afternoons and Foundations meet in the morning.  It dawned on me that he could attend class and the work at home - all oral memory work since he does not read yet - would provide a perfect opportunity for him not only to learn more words but practice saying them as well.  He gets to hang out with the younger siblings of my Essentials class.

The road is set before us, and in truth we have been traveling on it for a couple of weeks, but I am now comfortable in saying this is the direction that we are going this year.



Thursday, July 24, 2014

Hospital Days

Two weeks out of the hospital and I think, maybe I might be back to normal.  The Little Dude is doing fine, as he continues on this journey of health and well-being.  Here is a collage of hospital pics.  You will note that there are none of the exhausted mom. {smile}



Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Wordless Wednesday {almost}

Settling down in the ICU waiting room for the third night of (lousy, non-exsistent) sleep.  Seriously, it is like being a new mom and sleeping in an airport or train station.  Anyway the Little Dude was hospitalized Monday with dehydration and low blood pressure.  They've been treating him an he is doing considerably better. Here are the pictures that tell that tale:

~ Holly

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Motor Muster

Last weekend was crazy!  Zippy went camping and canoeing with her American Heritage Girls troop.  There are no photos but I heard that she had a wonderful time. There were pit toilets, a raccoon, and they cooked hot dogs by putting them in a milk cartons and setting them on fire (I'm sure there was more to that one).  They also went canoeing and fell out of the canoe, on purpose.  I do not see how any of this can be qualified as a good time, but I am so very grateful that there are good women who do and share that love with my daughter.

While Zippy was off having a fabulous time in the woods, the Little Dude and I were left at home.  I asked him what he wanted to do, he said he wanted to ride the train.  So he and I headed over to Greenfield Village.  It was Motor Muster.  That is where all the vintage cars and hot rods line the streets.  It was a beautiful, sunny day so there was about a bizillion people, but that was ok.

We did go on the train...and the (carousel) horses...and the pedal cars that they have out special for the Motor Muster.  We also saw some sheep, cows and lots and lots of cars.  


The Village stayed open much later than usual so we went back with the hubs when he got off from work.  We rode the train and carousel again, and looked at lots and lots of cars.  I don't really understand the whole looking at the engine thing, but I do like some of the hood ornaments. Oh, and we got ice cream from an old fashioned Good Humor truck (I don't think Little Dude let any fall in the hub's hair).


This is my favorite picture of the whole day:



Sunday, June 15, 2014

Happy Father's Day

So last year I forgot to send out a card and did a blog post to honor my Dad instead, and it worked out really well.  So I'm going to do it again.

Three Lesson I Learned from my Dad

Never stop learning.  
My Dad is one of the smartest people I know, especially about geography and history.  He listens to books, watches documentaries and film, and he travels a lot, learning as he goes.  He even wrote a whole book, not published, but still that is huge.

Precook your chicken
When grilling BBQ chicken (of which my Dad makes the best), precook the bone-in chicken before saucing it and putting it on the grill.  It will come out, most importantly, done, as well as moist and yummy.

Drive Defensively
My Dad taught me to drive.  I went through driver's training where I learned the rules, but my Dad taught me the most important lessons. He was a professional truck driver.  He was the one who got into the car with me, especially when I learned to drive a manual transmission.  When I was in middle school, I got to spend a couple of summers on the truck with him, watching him be professional. It left an impression.  When he told stories about how other people drive, that also left and impression.  

Thanks Dad for ALL you have taught me.