Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Wrap-up of WW II History

A couple of weeks ago we had the final event for our history group. This was the culmination of our WW II studies, a chance for the kids to show all their work from the year.
It was held in the evening so the dads and grandparents could attend.

We started with dinner. (of course) We always include food in our gatherings. You know that's because to learn well a good teacher includes all five senses. I ask you, how else do you incorporate taste and smell??
( And you just thought we like to eat, ha!)

Some very special ladies joined us from central Illinois!

This was Alaina's first of many home school activities. "smile"

The kids displayed their reports and projects. It was impressive to see how much they had done.

As usual having the grandparents with us was the highlight for the kiddos. We were so glad that Katrina and Jason's Gramma was able to come.

They sang and had a couple of readings.

Sorry about the picture, but the boys did a "choral reading". Good job guys!

Then for the grand finale we listened to their production of Fibber McGee and Molly. We found the script online. This program was entitled "Scrap Collection". This was the first time the kids had heard it totally put together with sound effects and music etc. They got to hear their voices in character. It was GREAT!

Remember when they were recording? Here are a few shots from that time that I just got my hands on. This is behind the scenes in their making of Fibber McGee and Molly.

I love studying history this way in a small group. It comes alive!

This year we are studying Colonial America through the revolution! Drool!

(If you have any book recommendations, know of museums or activities from this time period, please feel free to share them.)

Saturday, September 26, 2009

One Good Man

Nate is on the set for the filming of One Good Man. If you'd like to follow along with the production of this movie they have set up a website. You can take a look around. If you prefer to be involved, you can sign up to pray for the production. Go to:

If you want to see some pictures of Nate at work, scroll down the Home page to the videos and check out the one titled "A Peek Behind the Scenes". We saw Nate 17 times! "grin" Not that we were looking for him or anything.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Test Flight

We got a new baby swing. This week we tested it.

Of course you can't test a "baby" swing without a baby!

We had a volunteer.

It was a huge success. "happy smile"

Monday, September 21, 2009

Front Page News

Thought you'd like to see what Gretchen has been involved with. It's something news worthy in their town. If you want to read about it you will have to click on the images to enlarge them.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Guess What Our House Smells Like??

Our little apple trees are loaded. (Remember all those honey bees this spring? 5/3/09)

Ken got out the cider press and we are making applesauce! Can you smell it???

Friday, September 18, 2009

At the Cabin

Labor Day weekend was Alaina's first trip to the cabin!! I'm sure that she will remember it as one of the highlights of her first year of life. "grin"

I love this smile of Alaina's.

I think she looks like one of Kyle's sisters. (Sorry to bring up that topic. You'll probably hear about it for years. "sheepish shrug")

Alaina brought one of her favorite toys. Her daddy grew it for her in his garden. We named it "baby watermelon". =) I couldn't believe it, she really does like to play with it and it's fun.

Morning at the Lake
The canoe is ready.

Uncle Matty got to feed little Miss.

Did I mention that she loves to eat??

Later that day we went over to the neighbor's to see their new bathroom. I love this sink and faucet. They even have an automatically closing toilet!!! (Ladies of the world rejoice.)

This is Dave. He and Debbie's house is decorated so well. Many of the things they have used they've made themselves and reflect who they are. They told me that I'd be surprised at what they'd added to their family room. I was!! Dave's a "hunter extraordinaire". . . . no??

How do you dust an Elk??

We had a little bonfire in the evening.

Ken and the Phillips Clan left on Monday. The kids and I stayed through Wednesday.
There was a bit of work to do.

Haley and I worked inside while Matthew tested his more artistic abilities.
Somehow anything is more fun when you get to climb on the roof.

New News

Haley and Ken got going and left the house early this morning. They have been trying to get around to this for ages. Haley is now the proud owner of a . . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . . . driving permit. Run for your lives!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

A Loaded Gun!

We have an unusual family tradition. When the kids turn 13 we have a birthday surprise. No not a surprise party but ---- what we do is the surprise. Sometimes "when" we do it is unknown to the recipient as well. "wink"

Matthew turned 13 last November! Yikes! We told him that we wouldn't celebrate until the weather got warmer. Poor boy, he's been on pins and needles for ages. We broke down and had to give him some hints as to when it might happen. We didn't want to torture him.

Well a couple of weeks ago the weather was just right! He took a letter out to our mailbox at the end of the driveway to be posted for me and ------ low and behold there was a loaded gun in the mailbox! A loaded squirt gun that is. That was the beginning of his special day. As he went back up the driveway three of his friends charged out of the tall grass to attack him. "smile"

After thoroughly soaking themselves they came in to find what was next.
I explained that they were going to be given 10 challenges to complete. Each time they successfully survived (wink) they would pick out 2 pieces to a puzzle that would tell them what the prize at the end was going to be!!

Challenge #1: hum a song that our "judges" could name. Sounds easy doesn't it??

Our Judges Tim and Nate

I couldn't believe it. We laughed our heads off. The first song they picked NONE of us could recognize. Here they are humming away. Matthew said that he's known this song ever since he was born! Ha.

Ever heard of "Who Let the Dog Out"???? I wouldn't call that a song. Matthew said he heard it in a local educational toy store! The singers had to pick another song. They came back and tried again. Of course this time their judges were a bit more uncooperative. "smile" At least it was a song, and we all knew it!

Robby picking out some pieces.

Challenge #2: put together a jigsaw puzzle.

Number 3: run up the stairs from the basement to the second story---backwards----- twice.

This challenge is dedicated to our Lainio Grandparents. "kisses"
They had to separate and put in order some playing cards. Not too hard except there are four decks---all with identical backs.

This took a surprisingly long time.

Now what does this puzzle say??

This challenge was really fun to watch. Each had to stand on their head for 5 seconds.
Jason had no problem and was the only one who could do it alone.

This was one of my favorites. Do a relay race up and down the length of our driveway---hopping on one foot----carrying a raw egg-----in a spoon. =)

They were really good, they didn't lose a single egg.

They did ask if they could break a few on their heads though. "grin" Boys!!!

A couple of challenges involved water balloons. No Problem!!

After consuming chocolate this challenge was to suck on a fresh lemon slice without making a face! I can't even read about it without my mouth watering and my teeth feeling weird.

The Bubble Gum challenge. They each had to blow 20 bubbles. The bubble gum was that huge stuff that takes forever to chew up. giggle

Next was their last challenge and so far they had all lived through them!!

Now they each had to eat 1/4th of a container of ice cream----not using the hand that they normally eat with----and using baby spoons.

They were pretty happy about that---for a while. After about half way, one of the boys said, "To tell you the truth this is more like torture!"
(If they couldn't, we didn't make them finish it.)

I would have tried using my feet, how about you??

Then it was time for a swim and just in case they had any room left for food----- pizza and raw veggies for lunch.

What did that clue puzzle say, and what did it mean???

Yep we were off for the afternoon to Action Territory. Hooray!

What's to do there????
Bumper Boats (complete with squirt guns!)

Lazer Tag
(Matthew said this place had something in the air that made the lazer beams show up as you shot! He said that was great!)

Mini Golf

Go Karts

and of course Arcade Games

After cashing in their tickets for prizes we headed home for birthday dessert.
Haley made "Dirt".


They had a BLAST!!

Happy 13th Matthew