Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Ahhh school is starting....

I guess you could say that the next school year is upon us. Its hard for me to go along with this since I don't really take an official break from homeschooling in the summer. But alas, it is time to be more structured in the learning instead of the allowance of the reading of fluffy candy books all day. Although, it will really be hard to put down those fluffy books. (I finished Austinland the other day..what a delightful story! Nothing substantial in it, but it was a yummy book. I just downloaded book 2 the other day. But I won't read it during school time, I promise!! at least I'll try not to.)

 To start things off this week I gave James a challenge. I gave him a package of straws and a roll of tape. Then we brought out the BIG Shakespeare book. The challenge was to have him build a structure that would support the BIG Shakespeare book. However, he could only use the straws and tape.
 The purpose of this exercise is to help him learn how to think outside of the box. Any kind of structure won't work. He had to fail and try a few different ways to finally get it to work.
 And it did work!!!
 When I raised the ante and added the GIGANTIC green dictionary, the structure didn't hold. We ran out of time that day, but I know if I give him that challenge again he would figure it out.
 For Luke, I dragged him to a town hall meeting with Senator Mike Lee. I'm a big fan of Mike Lee. He knows the constitution and was even quoting it that night. He had some great ideas on how to get the economy going and to get the budget balanced.
 Afterwards, Luke wanted to ask him some questions. So he did! There were many people there wanting the senator's attention. Luke asked his questions and they were answered very well. Luke has mentioned that he aspires to be a constitutional lawyer, and if this is what he chooses, then he met some great people that night that gave him a good idea of what to do to get there.
These are the books that Luke has chosen to read/study before Christmas break. He has his work cut out for him, but I'm excited to see what his brain comes up with! Woo!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

The County Fair

 This year our family has been volunteering at the community garden. We grow the food and give it to those in the area who may need it. It has been a great family project for us. Our former garden area is currently occupied by the chickens and where the new garden will be is still under construction. We have been lucky enough to use some of the produce from the community garden. I love garden fresh veggies.  I even made salsa with only ingredients from the garden (except the cilantro).

We decided to enter some of the produce into the County Fair. The boys have all worked so hard pulling weeds and killing bugs, that we thought it would be fun to let them enter some of their favorites.
Ben with the eggs. Ben LOVES those chickens! He saved those eggs for a few days to make sure he had 12 all of the same color. Unfortunately, when we left the fair, I carried the eggs out. My arm was bumped by the car door. The eggs didn't make it home. But hey! The blue ribbon did!
Luke really wants to grow a giant pumpkin. However, we're newbies at this whole gardening thing and have much to learn about growing large pumpkins. Lots and lots to learn. Yep, another blue ribbon!
James with the purple onions. Digging up onions are like opening presents. You never know what they will look like until you dig them out! Yes that is a blue ribbon.

Mark entered the Firecracker peppers. Those little peppers are H-O-T to put it mildly.  Blue ribbon!!
This is James' baby. He has been caring for this watermelon with the hopes of entering it into the fair.  I think he cared for the watermelon more then his own personal hygiene. But I know its totally worth that blue ribbon.
Mark also entered the tomatoes.  It was our only red ribbon. The tomatoes weren't all the same size, so there was a deduction there. But thats ok. We ate them anyway.

Monday, August 6, 2012

When the days fly by...

The last couple of weeks have FLOWN by. Can anyone relate?  It seems like summer just barely started and HELLO school  starts next week..well..seminary starts next week, the rest of us are enjoying an extra week and a half of summer.
In the last couple of weeks, here is what we have been up to.

The Boys love a good video game. Even if the screen is 4" on Cory's iPhone. Who knew a game could be so exciting!?! Yeah me neither..and I still don't understand it. 

Here Ben is all dressed up for the pioneer day parade. He kept saying "Ye Haw!"

Mark is R-E-A-D-Y for the Pioneer Parade to start!! With James in the parade to walk with Ben, this left Mark, Luke, myself, and Grandma to gather the candy. Who do you think was the most

Yes that would be Luke running into the road to grab those handfuls of "special" taffy.

 This is the begining of the parade...and you can also see the end of the parade. I love our small small small town. The parade consisted of several of the primary groups, the local royalty, the city councilmen, and a local running for senate. And thats about it!

Yeah here they come!!!

They almost walked right past us without seeing us. James was gathering up candy on his way. As you can see, there wasn't exactly a huge crowd waiting to pick up the treats. All of the kids were in the parade all ready!
 That evening we went to the dinner up at Zion National Park. What a production! We loved it! This picture is proof that Luke was with us, but I believe this was the ONLY time I saw him all evening. Some cute blond (that wasn't me) acquired all of his attention!

We had a lot of fun though. A local band was rockin out to "Follow the Prophet" and all sort of other awesome songs. We loved it!!...

...Even though I was wearing purple and was having a bad hair day.

 Ben had a great time! He is in that cute-every-minute-and-he-knows-it-so-he-gets-away-with-everything stage. A super time to be a kid.
 Mark is not that far behind.
 After dinner we spent the next two hours watching the three younger boys play on the playground. You'd think they never went to a park! I swear I've taken them at least three times to a playground..ok maybe only twice. 

Luke celebrated his 15th birthday. Ben is helping his with the finger picture..that way when I scrapbook the birthday I'll know how old he is turning. Let's the scrapbook James recently had his first birthday. So I'll get to scrapbooking this birthday in about 20 years. Well its a good thought anyway.

And everybody loves a cake covered in Rolos. yes?

Luke loves pink ties. I never thought I would be able to buy my kids pink anything since I have no daughters. Who knew!!! And he loves it so I'm happy. :)
 Luke is an amazing young man. I love that I've been able to have 15 awesome years with him. Happy birthday Luke!!