Monday, June 27, 2011

just ducky!

We had two batches of Call Ducks hatch out last week. Above is the brood belonging to the Chocolate Bibs we borrowed from a friend of mine to breed, below is a combined hatch from our Black Bib and Blue Bib. The ducklings above and the darker ones below will all be Blue Bibs, while the lighter ones below will be Splashes. (The foreign words are Call Duck colors.)

The past week has just been filled with cuteness....

Stalking Wolf, chapter 4

The boys' work from Chapter 4 of our Stalking Wolf story, J's drawing of Stalking Wolf as he sets out on his wanderings above, and below is Zoo Boy's depiction of the two very different regions he wandered to -- the mountains of Canada and the tropical rain forests in the south.

J's chapter summary above, Zoo Boy's below.

last week's distraction

Here's what we did that interrupted our school week last week:

Good reason to play hookie, huh??

No, they're not ours, they belong to a good friend of mine. There's nothing like watching wriggling, squirming, adorable puppies come into the world!

Stalking Wolf, chapter 3

Last week's work on our Stalking Wolf sage story. J's drawing is above, of Stalking Wolf training to be a shaman, Zoo Boy's below, of Stalking Wolf receiving the elders' interpretation of his dreams from his grandfather, Coyote Thunder.

Above, J's chapter summary, below is Zoo Boy's.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

final share day of the year

Yesterday was our final Monday Homeschool Classes share day for this school year -- the co-op is now on a break for the Summer (although we'll get together for park days, letterboxing, and other outings on a less formal basis until we start up again in the Fall).

This is J's Lapbook that he created in his "Sir Cumference" class (which dealt with various Geometry concepts over the course of 6 fun stories and associated projects). Zoo Boy also took the class and completed the work, but didn't want to put his work into a lap-book form.

This is J's presentation board about our town that he created in the "History of My Hometown" class that I taught. The kids all did an amazingly thorough job of researching their particular town's histories and in creating presentation boards to display on Share Day. Great topic for kids this age (9-11), as the history is very personal to them and a great motivator for doing independent research.

Both boys participated in an interactive story reading about Martial Arts that was put on by the same organization that taught Zoo Boy's Martial Arts class. He's very enthusiastic about starting Karate classes, so I'm looking into that for him. (He wants the same instructor, which means a bit of a commute, but we think it's worth it because, as Gabe put it, he's "just excellent".)

J also participated in his very first Spelling Bee, and came in 2nd place! The word he misspelled? Chocolate. (He left out that 2nd "o".) Go figure, it's like the most important word in our lives!

It was a great session of classes, we're already looking forward to the Fall's offerings!

Stalking Wolf, chapter 2

The boys' drawings from the second chapter of our sage story (J's above Zoo Boy's below). They both drew Stalking Wolf as a young man, receiving visions from the spirit world.

J's chapter summary above, Zoo Boy's below.

Stalking Wolf, chapter 1

We began work on our Native American Sage last week. We are working with Stalking Wolf, and Apache Shaman. Here are the boys' drawing from our first chapter (J's above, Zoo Boy's below), depicting how Stalking Wolf got his name as a young boy.

J's summary above, Zoo Boy's below.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

spilling the beans

J shared our news in last week's journal entry:

His drawing of the ultrasound and where it was taken:

The real McCoy:

It's kind of "old news," but we needed to share it with folks in real life before they read about it on the blog!

So the logistics:

1. We're due in early January, so I'm 10 weeks along (the above ultrasound photo was taken when I was at 8 weeks).

2. Yes we're surprised! But not shocked, I had a miscarriage last fall, so we knew that a pregnancy was a possibility at least.

3. Yes, we're delighted! We had wanted to have more kids and had tried for quite awhile a few years after Zoo Boy was born, but were ultimately told by the doctors that it wasn't going to happen naturally, and we decided not to pursue fertility treatments. (So, of course, we gave away all our baby stuff. Ahhhh.....)

4. Yes, you're doing the math right, I'll be 46 when I deliver this little bundle. That's all the math we're allowing, we don't want to hear about how old we'll be when this one graduates high school, etc. (Tho everyone seems addicted to math all of a sudden!)

5. Everything is PERFECT so far with the baby and even with me. If you don't count the puking. (We don't, it's just another sign that everything is perfect!)

6. The boys have mixed feelings -- both were shocked, especially since we'd just finished up our Human Development block a few weeks ago and had discussed when a woman stops having babies (and both boys had identified that I was too old to have a baby). J is looking forward to having a new little sibling around. Zoo Boy, whose very favorite part of his life is knowing that he's the youngest member of our family tree, is a bit distraught, but actually handling it pretty well. He's got a few more months to get used to the idea....

7. NO, we did not purposely do this as a follow-up to our Human Development block. (Although the timing is absolutely impeccable, and the kids are having a blast following along week-to-week with the baby's development!) We're committed to homeschooling, but we're not THAT committed....

more NA tricksters

My computer and my camera are conspiring against my being able to post in any sort of timely fashion! But last week we worked with more Native American trickster tales from the southwestern tribes:
Above (J's) and below (Zoo Boy's), the boy's work with the tale "Coyote Steals the Blanket."

Above (J's) and below (Zoo Boy's) work with "Coyote Loses His Dinner."

We're working with an Apache sage story this week -- more to come!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

scary sky

Unless you live under a rock, you already know about the tornadoes that hit southwestern/central Massachusetts yesterday. What you might not know is that this all happened alarmingly close to where we live, just a few miles north of here. We got off lucky, about a minute and a half of rain and some gusty winds were all we saw, but we have family and friends that live in the areas hit, which made for a scary afternoon. So far everyone we've been able to get in touch with are fine, although we're anxiously waiting to hear back from one friend in an area that was hit pretty hard.

It's all very weird for New England -- we get an occasional twister that will touch down and take off someone's roof or knock down a few trees, but to have a path of destruction that stretches across 30 or 40 miles by a really large tornado is just outside of our historical knowledge.

Last time there was a big tornado was back when I was a kid. A large tornado hit the Windsor Locks, CT, area and traveled northward for about 15 or 20 miles, affecting areas not far from our house. After all the excitement of yesterday afternoon, I told the kids this morning how my Dad, my brother and I went out looking for debris the following day. We actually found paperwork and other debris from the Air Museum in Windsor Locks, a good 25 miles away.

So of course the kids insisted on taking a walk to see what we might be able to find near our house:

Most of what we found were plastic sheeting and other chunks of building materials that most likely originated locally. (And of course, a lot of leaves and branches.) But J was excited about a piece of play money he found. Logically, that's probably also a local find, but we had fun guessing all the different places it might have come from. Like the elementary school behind my parent's house whose roof was ripped off. Or maybe one of the collapsed houses in Springfield that we saw pictures of on the news.

It made for an interesting twist -- pun fully intended -- on our morning walk. I'm just grateful that that's all the effects we saw from the storms.

Native American tricksters

We've begun our final cultural block of the school year, a short-ish block in the Apache culture. To start off, we're reading Trickster Tales from southwestern tribes. My kids are just loving these stories, and their work is reflecting their enthusiasm.