Friday, February 22, 2008

A day at the fair...

Today was the big day! We went to the Indio Date Festival. Our first stop of course was the junior art exhibits. Seven of my students had 8 pieces submitted. Out of those 8 pieces there were 5 first place blue ribbons, one second place red ribbon, and two third place ribbons. I am so very proud of my students. Almost all of my art school students had their work grouped together in a glass display case. Here you will see Ryan Taylor posing in front of their pieces. Taylor won a first place and Ryan won a second place. Jenna's piece shown at the very top won a third place in the high school level competition which is pretty tough.
This is a closeup of Taylor's piece titled "Half Face".
After that we saw a juggler. Then we went to the rides. The kids had lots of fun on these as you can see.

Then it was time for the monkey show. We were able to see and be entertained by some very interesting baboons. Unfortunately I didn't get any good pictures of this.
Then we had lunch and after lunch we went to the petting zoo and the pig races.

After the pig races it was time for a snack. Ryan was in heaven when the doughnut he ordered turned out to be almost as big as he was. Guess what? He ate the whole thing all by himself.

Of course, no day at the fair would be complete without a game on the midway. We are now the proud owners of four goldfish.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

If You Ever Get A Chance

I just wanted to share some things that we do in our family in hope that your families may enjoy them as well. We got hooked on audio books a long time ago and they are usually pretty easy to find at your local library. Some libraries have audio ebooks you can download on your computer. They are great for car rides and for new readers. I really think I learned how to read with those old books that had an accompanying tape cassette with page turn signals! As a carry over to our love of listening we have become avid listeners of Christian Radio programs for kids. There are actually a whole bunch of them and they are easily accessible on the internet. About 80 percent of the good ones can be found at Here you can meet Avery Whitaker and Connie Kendall in Adventures in Odyssey. This has been an ongoing radio drama for 25 years now. Taylor gets up every day and the first thing he does is get online and listen to today's Odyssey. So he starts every day learning about God and how to apply the teachings of the bible in real life situations. We have also come to love some other shows, like Paws and Tails, The Pond, Down Gilead Lane, and others. His Kids also has lots of great Christian kids music. Often, we listen all day long. You can also access some of these shows at At this site you grown ups can also access tons of sermons from tons of pastors. Some of my favorites are Chuck Swindoll, John Piper, J.Vernon Mcgee, and more. I also just happened on another place the other day.
Here you find pirate adventures and sermons for kids as well as some of the programs I listed earlier.
Happy listening!
If you think about it, drop me a note to let me know how you and your family liked these suggestions.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Culinary, Theatrical, and Artistic Acheivements!

Last night, I told Jenna to make dinner. She is 14. Plenty old enough. She did a great job. Granted, it was only hamburger helper lasagna, but I know people who can't pull that off and they are a lot older than 14. She will definitely be making dinner more often!
On another note, last month Taylor and Jenna auditioned for parts in the community production of Peter Pan. It will run at the McCallum Theater May 20 and 21st. Jenna will be playing Running Deer, one of the Indian maidens and Taylor has been cast as Nibs, one of the Lost Boys. We are very proud of both of them!
Lastly, every February Indio plays host to Date Festival. This is a county fair for the Eastern end of Riverside County. There is a carnival, food and shopping, and lots of exhibits. My favorite exhibit , of course is the junior art exhibit, in which nine of my students competed in this year. Jenna, Taylor, and Ryan were among the nine. When I go to the fair on Friday I will know what if any prizes my students were awarded and I will proudly shout it from the cyber roof tops. I do know that one of my students received a first place blue ribbon for one of the projects she did with me. I am so very proud of her!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Valentines Day

Exactly 12 years ago today, my husband and I had our first date. It was just lunch at Carl's Jr. My hubbie wasn't too sure he would ask me on a second date. I was a little
weird, scary, and a single mom. But he did and now 12 years later I am still weird and scary, but he loves me anyway. In fact, I got a gift certificate for a massage for Valentine's Day from him. I am sooooooo happy! I wish I could say I was able to get him something spectacular in return, but as usual I am broke.
On a different note. Ryan lost his top front tooth a few days ago. He looks so cute.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Been awhile...

Wow, it has been a long time since I have blogged. While I had been blogging about life before, life kind of took over for a period. It has been so hard to get motivated after being sick. Especially because after a long down time there is always so much catch up to play. The time has not been a complete loss however. I have started two new groups.
One is a home school PE coop and the other is a home school play group. We had been part of another PE group, but it went defunct. It was very organized and well done, but the organizer was having a difficult time with the vendors she used and families just weren't showing up. She had done the group for many years and was ready to not have the responsibility anymore I think. So to fill the tremendous void left by the disbanding of the group, I thought up the coop. We started out with a kickball game. It went really well, or so I heard. I didn't actually get to go to the first one. That was the morning Ryan woke up sick. Next week we are going to try our hand at dodge ball! The play group is just a non structured park day twice a week. We started this past week on Monday.
No one else showed up, but I was not disheartened. We went again on Thursday and lo and behold 3 other families came that day! Taylor said this has been his favorite week of school so far and that even though he doesn't like writing, that he is starting to enjoy it. I think the playtime and socialization is making it easier for him to have a better attitude about home school.
Art class is still going strong and well. I have an average of 11 students per week now. Last year I had 2. Hopefully next year I will have even more. I would love if people would pray for that for me. I have also entered 6 pieces on behalf of students in our local county fair. We will know the results of that on February 22nd. I am always nervous before a class and almost ready to cancel each time, but once class starts and after it is over I am always exhilarated. I especially love it when the kids are really pleased with their own work. We just finished a lesson on the female impressionist Mary Cassatt. Included in today's offering is a pencil study I did of Little Girl in a Blue Armchair. Such an inventive title(drips with sarcasm).
The home school update goes like this. In history we are studying ancient Greece. We are about to cover the Trojan War this next week. In science we just talked about the atmosphere and humidity. In March we will get to go to a local news station for a field trip with one of our home schooler friends who is a forecaster on the local news. I always find it so surreal to see her at playgroup and then go home and see her on my tv. Ryan and I have been having loads of fun in Language Arts with Kevin Henkes books like Lily's Plastic Purple Purse and Wemberly Worried. With Lilly we practiced note writing and with Wemberly we made lists. This week we will tackle writing directions with Drawing Lessons from a Bear. Taylor is still working on spelling and grammar through Sign of the Beaver. Math of course is math. Taylor is learning his seven and tens times tables and Ryan already knows all his doubles sums and is mastering minus two subtraction.
So that is all for now. Nice and boring, just the way I like it!