Monday, April 26, 2010

This & That

I have so many blog posts rambling around, but not nearly enough hours in the day to complete them all, I am going to do a quick, bullet point update for everyone.

  • School is going very well. Princess TD is reading independently and I am so impressed with her comprehension. She loves our curriculum and the more challenging readers that we are reading. She loves to retell the stories to me, her brother, Mr. TD and really anyone who will listen. I guess she's catching on pretty well to the concept of narration...gotta love Charlotte Mason!

  • Speaking of school and our curriculum...I am making the trek up north (to Arlington) to meet the author of the curriculum we use, Carrie Austin. I can't express enough how excited I am to finally meet her and talk about our future plans with Heart of Dakota! I have been planning out my questions and thoughts...I am sure this will be a moment where I say something silly or forget to ask a question, so it is my goal to be prepared! (I am almost as excited as when I got to meet Lisa Whelchel. =))

  • Planning my meeting has made me realize how silly and insecure I can be at times, but the thoughts of insecurity were confirmed when I attended the second half of the simulcast of Beth Moore's So Long, Insecurity. (Great book, BTW) I realized that all of the fretting I am doing over meeting "the author" is just plain crazy! I am not meeting "The Author," which is where I should feel humbled and insecure, but another homeschooling mom like myself. I am now praying for His guidance as I ask the questions needed to make our homeschool what He wants it to be. (Oh, and I am still taking my list! I do think He expects some preparation on my part!)

  • Easter was so much fun this year! We had some great friends over for lunch after church and then our kids went on an egg hunt. I was amazed at how fast the 4 kids found all of the eggs. We barely had time to get our cameras turned on and ourselves out the door before they had the backyard cleaned out! Here are Princess TD and Little TD after we returned home from church and of the candy swap after the egg hunt. So cute!

  • I have posted about American Heritage Girls before, and will post about our first camp trip soon, but not much about what we are looking for in the group. Princess TD makes friends everywhere we go, but rarely do we see the girls she makes friends with again. Our homeschool group is so large, that you have to make an effort to connect with another family to ever hope to see them again. We have done that with a couple of families, but we were still looking for a regular connection with the same group of girls. AHG has provided that for us, as well as leading us to another homeschool group. We, and especially Princess TD, enjoy seeing the same girls every week and it is providing her the chance to work on her skills at maintaining friendships. In an effort to promote these relations, one of the AHG moms planned a Tea Party for the girls, where they came all dressed up for a special time together. Princess TD wore a dress that was sent to her by my aunt, and my grandma's (my aunt's mom) china tea cup and saucer. She was so adorable that day and even drank from her cup with her pinkie up (much to Mr. TD's chagrin). Little TD was along for the ride that day and as usual, was a perfect angel. I only hope that Princess TD is just as compliant when he gets to the age where he has his own activities that don't include her! I can hope, right?!? Here's the Princess at her Tea Party!

Well, that is all for now. Stay tuned for a report on the camp was a blast!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Badge Work

Princess TD has been working on a few badges at home for American Heritage Girls. She has completed several in class, and a surprise two at our AHG Family Camp Out last weekend. One of the ones she wanted to complete at home was the Photography badge. The book is pretty old, and says that all the badge work must be completed on a 35mm camera. Well, I worked with one of our troop committee members to rewrite the requirements for a digital camera. She completed the badge with her digital camera (and mine). She was to take 24 pictures around the neighborhood. She opted to wait for the spring flowers to bloom and took pictures of them at our house, our neighbors houses and at a local park. She did a great job and took some very interesting shots. Here is what she took:

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At our end of the year banquet, Princess TD will receive the following badges: Our Flag, Gardening, Aviation, Outdoor Skills, Cycling, Photography, Hiking, and Fire Safety/Fire Building. She is having a blast with the group and loves going to the meetings.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Camp Anniversary

The last few years, it has become a family tradition to plan a camping trip to celebrate our anniversary. This year we planned a joint trip with Mr. TD's parents. We chose a central location in Mission Tejas State Park, and made our preparations. We camp so often, we have a checklist, and our site set-up runs like a well oiled machine. We arrived at camp after Grandma and Grandpa, but made quick work of setting up our site and were able to help them finish setting up their trailer.

Since our first night there was our actual anniversary, Grandma made dinner and it was yummy! She made taco soup and it was perfect since that afternoon was a bit chilly. We could definitely tell when that cold front came through!

The weather forcast said there was a slight chance of scattered thunderstorms our first night out. Well, let me say there was a 100% chance of thunderstorms where we were! Our canopy over our eating area collapsed from the weight of the rain water! We woke up to one of the corners of the shelter bent inward and almost touching the ground. It was all mangled and the metal supports were bent beyond repair. We were able to bend them back to somewhat the proper place, but it won't be used again. Grandpa took it home with him to see if he could use parts from it to salvage our first canopy that also had bent supports. Needless to say, we'll be looking for a new shelter design - soon!

Princess TD spent every night in the camper with Grandma and Grandpa. Little TD spent one night in the camper, but preferred sleeping in the tent where his sister couldn't bother him! They had a blast running back and forth between the two sites.

On our second day, we hiked all over the park and explored many things in nature. Grandma spent a lot of time teaching Princess TD about the blooming plants we encountered. Princess TD was like Grandma's shadow and followed her everywhere. Little TD loved collecting sticks and trying to make a bow and arrow, a sword and any other "boy" kind of thing! He loved playing outside in the woods.

Princess TD took this picture of the rest of us on our hike. She did a great job!

On our third day, we visited the park in Rusk to look at it for a potential camp trip and check out the train of the Texas State Railroad. When the Space Shuttle Columbia broke apart on re-entry, approximately 50 pieces of the shuttle were found in Rusk State Park. It was amazing to look at the pictures at the memorial site they created.

After exploring a bit outside and in the gift shop, Princess TD sat with Grandma and Grandpa watching a film on the history of the railroad, and Little TD and I watched the engine come through and attach to the passenger cars to make the trip to Palestine. He loved watching the train couple up! He about jumped out of his skin each time the engine blew its whistle-it was VERY loud! We will have to come back and take the train ride! The park was very nice too! We picked out a couple of good sites for our tent.

After we returned back to Mission Tejas, we attempted to recreate a picture that was taken of Mr. TD's family at the Mission San Fransisco de los Tejas at the park when Mr. TD was almost 2 years old! We didn't get the recreated picture, but opted for a "new" family picture instead!

Our last day was spent cleaning up the pollen as best we could on all of our things to get them packed up. The bottom of our tent was still wet from the rainstorm, so we had to dry it off before we could pack it back up. After we cleared out our site, we headed to our friends ranch nearby. That will have to be another post...this one is long and I'm tired!