Saturday, August 27, 2011

School Starts!

We homeschooled the oldest boy, Peter, for 13 years and sometimes you need to mix things up a bit. After much thought, planning and of course prayer, today the three oldest kids started at a charter school. They were so excited and a bit scared. Peter and Susan are in a middle school type environment for 6th and 8th grade and Lucy is in 4th grade.

We attended back to school night and were overwhelmed with the amount of rules and classes and teachers! HOMEWORK! Yes they got homework the first day of school. Hopefully they will make friends fast and figure out how to get their schoolwork done right and homework done faster then a snail so they have time to play in the evenings.

They have to wear uniforms and mind their manners at this school. No horsing around only serious students are allowed. This charter school is really into the History Fair and won big time the last couple of years. All the teachers are really "nice".I will need to volunteer each month in the classrooms and special events. That should be fun.

Here they are after school. They survived and were very hungry.

It was so quiet at home with only two little kids left. We had so much fun running errands, reading books and taking naps.
The big kids will ride their bikes to school until it snows. It is only 2 miles from our home, that is a 15 minute bike ride if they take the shortcut past the Catholic church and community garden. What Adventure!!!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Last Ditch Vacation, Grandma's house, Walberg resort, dinosaur museum

When you see the G on the side of the mountain it means we are almost at grandma Carol's home!

We went to visit and had so much fun we didn't want to come home and start school.

It is always fun to put around in Grandpa's huge garden. He always has such curious things growing. His grape arbor is amazing! This year he had some interesting gourds growing on accident.

We decided to make pickles. There were plenty of cucumbers for pickling.

One whole cucumber almost fit in each bottle. We are trying them this way just to see if they are crunchier. If we speared them or sliced them they would probably be mushy. This is a great recipe that we didn't even have to water bath the bottles.

Grandma gave Edmund a sword. It went everywhere with him and he even slept with it.

He was so busy getting into things around the house and outside. The best part was spotting a cat as it came walking by. Everyone would jump up and go pet the cat. Sometimes it was the neighbor's huge cat and sometimes it was grandpas cat.

Most of the time the kids all sat around and watched tv with grandma or a video. This was a summer treat because we don't have tv and we rarely sit around this long.

When there was too much energy to spare we went to a park in Lindon. The kids rolled down a hill and played on the swings. It was too hot to last there very long.

On Saturday grandma and grandpa had a mission reunion put on by the Ashtons. They have a very big place decked out for their family to come together for family reunions. They have a lot of kids and grandkids so it had to be fun enough and big enough for all of them. It is just up Provo Canyon.
Here is the little zipline. It was fun for the kids to do again and again.

This is the super big slide Pres. Ashton made with four HuGE pieces of thick plastic and a hose. The kids loved sliding down.

Grandpa brought a few canoes so we could all go canoeing on the pond. There is also paddle boats and dock out in the middle. Grandpa actually fell in the pond when he was trying to do a fancy boarding of one of the large canoes. But don't tell anyone because he hasn't fallen in for probably over 50 years so it was very silly and surprising. We can giggle about it now because it was a great splash.

In the back you can see the huge barn where lunch was held. It is huge! It has a kitchen a basketball half court that you can have dances on or set up chairs and tables for eating. It has a play place for the kids and loft and bathrooms. Also a comfortable nook with couches for visiting.

THE BIG ZIPLINE! Right over the pond!

Peter was up there with his Uncle Darron and his sister Susan most of the time. They did it again and again and dropped into the water with a big splash!

Double girl zipping.
A playground for the not so zippy sized kids.

Edmund loved this slide!

Lots of swimming...back to shore after zipping.

YES there is a tennis court!!

On the way home after visiting for four days at grandmas, shopping for school clothes and playing to our hearts content we stopped in at the Dinosaur museum!!

Thanksgiving Point was having an Aug. two dollar Teus. IT WAS CROWDED!

Edmund was excited to see Dinosaurs. He was going to fight them off with his sword. He was so amazed by the bones and said "Big A-ng" which means big dinosaurs. We kept telling him it was a baby dinosaur. So when he finally walked into the larger room with the HUGE dinosaur we was just stunned at how big it was. The look on his face was just classic.

This was a "BIG A-NG"!
We met up with some cousins. Here the little girls are building a dinosaur.

Here is the whole group!

If we had all day the kids would have loved to just play in the sand and build rivers and islands.

Digging for fossils, this part was too crowded so we left after we uncovered most of the bones. We also met up with the Goodwins! It was sure fun to see how big their kids are now.

Afterwards we ended up at IKEA on the way home to eat hotdogs and cinnamon rolls. It was funny because without telling the cousins we were going to stop there they ended up there too.

The next day school started and we made it home just in time to head off to Back to School night.

The Weed That Strings the Hangman's Bag: A Flavia de Luce Novel by Alan Bradley

This is the second book in the series of hilarious mysteries solved by an 11 year old girl in the 1950's England.

"Flavia, the precocious and wickedly funny heroine, begins narrating this novel while lying in the church's graveyard as she contemplates her own death. No, she is not thinking of suicide, but rather how sorry her family would be if she were no longer alive. Macabre as is sounds, Flavia's thoughts are so humorous that you will find yourself smiling." By delicateflower152 Amazon book review.

I was smiling the whole way through the book. It was funny to listen to the thoughts of a little girl that is preoccupied with poison and getting even with her two mean sisters yet curious about why people do what they do in her community. She has a knack for putting the not so obvious together just like Sherlock Holmes. The tiniest things come together for her because she is well read and very observant.

The mystery is how a famous traveling puppeteer died right at the end of his show. He was performing to earn money to get his van fixed at her church auditorium. He had a nice lady with him and he had other ties in the community that really were quite shocking. An unsolved murder or suicide from the past resurfaces. Did you know that people eat pidgins? I didn't, they are such little birds it never accrued to me that they were bred for consumption.

There isn't any bad language or gruesome details of murders. This is a clean book but with a huge vocabulary so kids might have a hard time with that. Read it and laugh!

broken book, healing book but yet whole

Monday, August 15, 2011

Sarah's Key by Tatiana de Rosnay

This was a very moving Historical Novel. It is based in Paris during World War II in 1942. The French police were involved in roundups and deportations, in which thousands of Jewish families were arrested, held at the Vélodrome d'Hiver outside the city, then transported to Auschwitz. In Auschwitz they were killed in the gas chambers, yes even the children. It almost seems unreal, or another world but sadly it is true.
The story is about a young lady that moves to Paris from the US and marries a Parisian. She is a journalist, has an 11 year old daughter and a husband that treats her like dirt. She is asked to write about the an event to remember the Jewish families that died in the French round up. She had never heard of it. At the same time in the book another story is being told, one of a little girl that survived the round-ups but lost her family. It is really about her story and the terrors she faced. This story made me cry more then once. Communism was knocking at everyone's door and no one really knew how evil it was until it was too late. It is hard to believe the unbelievable and it is harder to imagine living through such hell. It really puts my personal life back in perspective anytime I read about the Jews in concentration camps. In the story the journalist is going through hard things too but they are also put into perspective for her as she learns more about what transpired in the lives of people that actually become real to her the more she uncovers about them. It directly affects her family and her choices.
This was an amazing story despite its horrors, I hope I never forget the people like you and I that had their lives ripped apart in one night! That one night changed history forever, let us never forget!

Healing Book

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Auction Day - 3rd day - County Fair 2011

This is our last day with the lambs. We woke up very early to get to the fairgrounds to feed the lambs. The kids are nervous that no one will buy their lamb. Every year we have random people from a business in the community buy the each of the lambs at the auction. The kids just hoped that it would go well for us and their friends that worked so hard. This year our neighbors lambs were sick and they have a large vet bill to pay so we hope they break even.
Each lamb is given a number and a market value determined by their weight and placing in the market competition. We will be the 108th and 110th animal to be sold. The market value is $235 I think, so each sale the buyer only pays above the market value.
Here they are waiting to go down the shoot to the auction block! You need to look sharp and smile!

The lamb sells for about $350 if you are lucky, so the buying only pays $115 for the lamb. Seems simple right, well it does get more complicated but that is the simple version. Each child can also receive boosts on top of the auction price by multiple people they have written letters to. These sponsors can boost from $1 to $300 or more. So if you have 2 or three boosts at 10-15 dollars each you have paid for a couple bags of lamb grain you bought to feed your project. Every little bit counts. It takes 8 bags of grain at $16 each for each of our lambs this year. Uncle Lloyd and Uncle Max are always boosting the projects! Thank you!!!

Here is the auction room.

Susan's lamb, Dandy, is getting bid on. The caller can sure talk fast!

Here is Peter and his lamb Frog.

Lucy's lamb, Freckles, was a little later, 137 to go in. There were 360 animals being auctioned. Instead of doing all the lambs then all the Steers and then Hogs they mix them up and do about 20 sheep then 10 hogs then 2-3 cattle. This livens it up a bit.

We had some very nice people buy our lambs. Susan's competition in showmanship's father, Mike Nielsen purchased both Susan's and Peters lambs. The other little boy in our 4-H group's father purchased the other one from his company, Mountainview Veterinarian Clinic. They did pretty good at the auction. Most of the kids have their families companies buy them or out of this world prices. Sometimes a company will give a representative a couple thousand dollars to split between a few kids animals. However it is done it is a lot of very kind and generous people supporting the kids in the community in very expensive projects.

After the auction the 4-H kids help pass out a free lunch to all the buyers as the auction continues well past lunchtime. Local companies and the Macey's grocery store donate the food for this. This way the auction can continue without everyone disappearing because they are hungry.

We then went swimming for a couple of hours at the pool across the street. Thank you to grandma Arlene for the swim passes!

At about 8:30pm Saturday evening the kids said their good-byes after feeding their sheep for the last time. They will all be BBQ before Monday.

There was a beautiful sunset on the way home to make everyone happy. I think Peter was the only one that really had a hard time saying good-bye. He said this was his favorite lamb.

It sure was a good year at the fair! Thank you to all our boosters and supporters this year and last year! The kids really got a lot out of their projects!

Showmanship competition -2nd day- County Fair 2011

This is the day that you have to do everything perfect and even if you do the judge might not appreciate it or you might not know exactly what he is looking for. You just try your best! It was to our surprise a new judge, different from the day before in Market. He was really quiet and sometimes it was hard to tell what he was doing or looking for. He was quiet and very fair.

Lucy is ready! This is her first year. It is hard to remember everything and you just hope your lamb doesn't jump right out of your arms and run all over the place. The classes are divided by ages. Lucy was the 2nd group to go. The first group were very small and young and there were 5 lambs just running around going crazy right off. It was very funny. The lambs are 4 times as big as these kids. The boys that live on farms are tough. They don't give up and they tackle their lambs sometimes to catch them. Sometimes the lamb tackles them but they don't even give up or cry.

She kept her lamb calm but forgot to set him up a few times. She tried hard and survived the showmanship.

Peter is on his third year showing lambs. He has some pretty steep competition because he is in an older group. He was in class 11 out of 18! Talk about being hot and tired by now. It had already been 2 hours already. I feel sorry for the judge. All the sheep would have started looking the same to me!

He did really well and his lamb didn't jump too much when the judge came by.

This is the girl that really takes showmanship seriously. She was in the class for 5th graders. Here she is getting ready to go in the ring.
There is a family in our ward that has been into lambs for a while. The Nielsens. They breed and raise all their lambs at their grandpas farm. The little girl is the same age as Susan. She is really good at showing a lamb. You can see her here with the cute white hair flower, we will call her E.

I was sitting on the edge of my seat it was so close and intense to see the judge eliminate the kids one at a time.
And the winners are....drumroll, Susan in Second place and the white hair flower girl in first, E!!!! Susan did such a great job!

This was the last class in the JR division of the competition and as soon as she walked out of the ring she went back to the beginning and walked back in to compete for the Grand Champion and Grand Champion Reserve trophies. She placed 5th out of 25 of the best in her division! Awesome!

Our neighbor, Susan's best friend, also did great and came in second in her class. She competed in the intermediate Grand Showman Division. Great job!

4-H Projects -County Fair 2011

Well, there isn't just animals at the fair! The girls raced to the top of the climbing wall!

Then over in the 4-H building there are lots of projects! Susan got a first place on the pioneer bonnet and skirt she made with grandma Carol.

There is even a category for Lego's! Peter won a first place on his bionicle creation.

All the kids entered a baked good and won first place. Cookies, muffins and Zucchini bread!

Water colors! This one is an abstract face by Lucy.

All the kids in our Green Canyon 4-H group did a leather working project. Lucy took a little extra time on hers so it didn't look like a dog gnawed on it but you could actually see the well placed shell design going around her name. This water-bottle key chain holder is going to the State Fair! (that is what purple ribbons are for.)

All the coin collections got a blue ribbon! Only Peters was complete but the others were missing a few quarters. We tried to get the last few from neighbors and grandparents but we will just have to keep looking. That is what makes the coin collecting fun!

Susan is getting really good with the camera. She took some really nice photos of nature. She got blue ribbons on most of them. It is interesting to compare them to the photos going to state and you can really see a difference in the quality of the color. I think it might be time to get a new camera, the pictures she took were good but they looked so dull and fuzzy compared to most of the others.

This leather-work is by our cousin Nathan. It was really nice and he took a lot of time cutting it out. It is a pocketknife holder. It is going to State!

We also entered chickens! The girls took a long time deciding which chickens to enter. They all wanted one of their chickens entered but I didn't want to take the whole coop! Some of the chickens already had a chance last year so we didn't enter them again. Some of them have feathers missing on their backs so we didn't enter them. That left this chicken named EAGLE. She is a very nice chicken. We got her in our first group of chicks 3 years ago. She belongs to Mike.
All of her brothers and sisters but herself and one other either died the first winter by being picked off by some predictor. Then we gave the two chickens to Pam. They survived the skunks and the dog attacks over there. She then gave them back to us. This chicken Eagle evaded the horny rooster and survived the winter again! She is a survivor! She has such pretty orange speckles all down the front. She also is crafty and likes to eat the cat food in the garage. When we were entering the chickens in the fair the guy that is the expert can tell you what kind they are. He very kindly said that it didn't seem to be any special type of chicken and we should take it home. Oh the poor rejected chicken. If only they knew her special inbreed properties, survival, Everyone would want a chicken like this! The world will never know now. She rode home rejected and missed out on all the fun at the fair.

Luckily the girls were not too sad because we brought our Young Trio, Marley the rooster and his two lovely pullets, Plum and Sugarbaby! They won second place in the JR division! Hooray for Sexlink IFA store bought chickens! (they were pure-breed but just by a tiny bit I guess.) The real trophy winners are beautiful chickens, big boned and sturdy. You can see the difference when you compare them to our store bought chickens verses the special bred chickens.

We didn't enter anything from the garden because the grasshoppers have made lace out of everything! Hopefully next year!