Sunday, September 30, 2007

weekend report

This weekend was crazy... but we had a lot of fun!

Saturday started like all of our other Saturdays recently... with taking Clara to dance rehearsal. This week I was in Clara's Ballet I class taking photographs. I have a ton but I haven't gone through them all yet. Here's just one of Clara with her instructor in the background...

She really takes her class seriously and tries very hard. Its tough for her to keep up with the big girls in her class... but she doesn't give up.

As soon as Clara's rehearsal for her role (snowflake) was over, Jeff and Alex picked us up and we were off to Six Flags Great America!!

The company Jeff works for had rented out the park for the day. So although we didn't get there until 3:30 and only had about 3 1/2 hours before closing, we had a fabulous time!

Here's a shot of the kids right after we entered the park... Alex was tired (he and Jeff had gotten up at 5:45 so they could go for their weekly bike/run... Jeff runs and Alex rides his bike... yesterday they went 7 miles)... and Clara was fairly refreshed having napped most of the way to Six Flags...

It was great! There were so few people there that we could walk right onto most of the rides and some of them the kids got to ride 2-3 times in a row without having to get off. Here's Jeff and Clara driving the cars... yes... I missed the focus a bit on this one... I was riding with Alex and that boy likes to bounce off the center rail of the track... I'm luck I got any shot at all! :-)

We stayed until it closed at 7:00 and that was plenty for the kids... it would have been nice to have had more time, but it was nice that we went as a family (we had toyed with the idea of Jeff and Alex going without Clara and me because of her dance commitment). It was good that we went all together because it meant that Jeff and I could avoid the multiple turns on spinning rides since they rode together without us. I don't know what my deal is anymore... I can do rollercoasters and I totally love them but put me on a "spinning tea cup" ride and I'm done for the day... sigh.

Hmmmm.... I was tagged by Holly McCaig, I'll have to think on that just a bit more... so I'll post my list tomorrow!

I'm off to the couch!


Friday, September 28, 2007

two pictures

That's it for today... I really didn't take many.... well... I did take a few but they were at our homeschool recess today and since I don't have permission from the parents I won't be posting any with their kids in them. If you're wondering what my girly girl did at recess... here you go...

yes... she and her friends rolled down a hill, over and over and over again.

Notice Alex in the background? He was not a happy guy right then, while Clara was rolling, he and his friends were taking turns spinning each other on the tire swing. While he was spinning the tire he got his finger caught in the chain and pinched the skin off the tip of his finger. Nothing life threatening, but it sure did hurt. After that he sat by the tree and watched the other kids roll down the hill. Unfortunately I hadn't taken my camera out until this point so I have no non-injured pictures of Alex from today.

Like the attitude I got when I asked her to pause for just a brief second for a picture?

Tomorrow is another crazy Saturday. The painters said that they will be back at 7:00 am tomorrow so no sleeping in at our house. Then Clara has dance rehearsal. After that we're off on a super-fun family outing so hopefully I'll have lots of fun pics to post either tomorrow night or on Sunday.



Thank you so much for coming to my rescue and helping me figure out how to get my photos onto my mac! ImageCapture worked like a charm! Whew... I was seriously going crazy yesterday trying to figure it out.

Just a quick few pictures before we start school for the day. The painters are here painting our living areas so things are a little chaotic today... I cannot wait to see how it turns out!

Okay... here are the pictures.... yesterday we spent the day at the Museum of Science and Industry again. We managed to get through about half of the museum last week so this week we tackled the other half. In total we spent 9 hours there with our two visits and we didn't even do any of the things you pay additional for, like the submarine or the imax... we'll save those for when we get our membership (which we'll be getting once the Star Wars exhibit is open.... btw... we took a sneak peek at the the exhibit through a gap in the canvas yesterday... the kids are so excited!).

Here is Clara on the "L" showing me her dog purse she insisted on carrying...

Loved the R2D2 mailbox in front of the musem...

Clara taking a few snapshots with her fake camera...

Alex in the energy lab... making the lightbulb (which I cut off when I took the pic) light up...

Okay... starting school now... I still have more pics to post from our museum trip... I'll have to do those later!

Happy Friday!

Thursday, September 27, 2007

I'm here

... and I have pictures. However, I imported them using iPhoto and now I can't get them to open in Photoshop... sigh. Anyone have any clue what I'm doing wrong? I'm going to read and try again tomorrow, right now I'm too frustrated.

Sunday, September 23, 2007


wow... what a weekend! It really went by in a blur of activity! Saturday Clara had rehearsal again for the Nutcracker... btw, they've changed her role yet again... she's currently a snowflake. While she was in her class, I was in the Ballet II class taking pictures for the studio. It was a lot of fun. It wasn't formal portraits like I had feared, it was photojournalistic type shots of the classes for their promotional materials. I really enjoyed it once I got over my anxiety and just started shooting. I think I got quite a few quality shots. It was tough though... moving subjects using only natural light from the windows in the room.

Clara had a good time at rehearsal and made a new friend which is a HUGE deal for her. However, I guess she overdid it a little in class and had leg pains by the time we got home. We were going straight to Ikea afterwards to get the kids a computer desk, so she took a rest on the way there and went to the kids area at Ikea where she sat and colored while we shopped. Her legs are still bothering her a little today but not bad.

Last night was family movie night and it was Clara's night to pick... so, we can finally say that we have seen High School Musical. LOL! Actually, we enjoyed it. Next week Jeff and I pick so we're going over our list now.

Oh... big news... I'm typing this on my brand new iMac!! I still have a lot to get used to, but so far, so good! I don't have my email set up on here yet so I'm still using my pc too... LOL! I'm trying to wean myself from it though :-)

After my bubble layout from Friday, I thought I would post a couple more bubble pictures. If you want to be "fun mom", this is how you do it... LOL! On our science DVD that came with our curriculum... they took the making your own bubble wand a step further and showed you how to use your hands as a bubble wand! The kids had a blast! Clara was the most successful at it....

Sarah - I'll email you... but which subjects do you have in mind?

Well... I'm sigining off... this is my second blog post in one day! The other one is here ( I don't know how to do links anymore on my mac!! All of my little icons that were on my blogger toolbar on my pc are not there! ACK!

Okay... I'm off!


Friday, September 21, 2007

experiment day

Man, I'm losing it! I just typed in my title and somehow hit "publish" without actually typing anything in the body of my post! :-)

I'm trying to establish a fun schedule for homeschool this year. Monday through Wednesday are a serious "buckle down" days. Not only is it good to get going on our tough stuff at the first of the week but the kids have classes Monday through Wednesday afternoons so it's good to stay home those days. Thursday is free and clear... we have no classes and/or activities so I have now deemed that "field trip day" (this may change to movie day - we love to get the IMAX movies from Netflix that go along with our science - once the weather starts to get really cold) . That brings us to Friday... we usually have our homeschool recess group on Friday afternoons so we just have the morning (most of the time). So, I think we will make Friday "science experiment day". We're doing two science programs this year so I think we will alternate our Fridays. Last week we worked, not really on an experiment, but on starting our Astronomy notebooks. Today we had more time (our builder was stopping by to talk about repainting our walls so I stayed close to home all day) so we did two weeks' worth of experiments from our other program. It was really fun! We're studying water at the moment so it was really nice that it was warm enough out that we could just do everything out on the back deck. The kids had a great time... especially when the last part of the experiments was to make your own bubble solution and bubble wands.

Here's a layout I did with some pics I took today...

details here

Other than that... nothing much to report! I'm really, really sleepy so I'm heading to bed.


Thursday, September 20, 2007

museum day!

We decided that today would be a good museum day for school. We doubled up our assignments yesterday so today would be clear. So as soon as we managed to get around, we were off to the Museum of Science and Industry. Getting there started out a bit rocky because I had assumed that we would just take the bus that goes directly there from Michigan Avenue... silly me, I didn't realize that that particular bus only ran on weekdays Memorial Day through Labor Day. So after three "L" trains (one of those wasn't necessary, I just needed to get off the one we were on so I could consult my map) and one bus... we finally made it. We had a great time and our trip home went without a hitch.

Shortly after leaving the house to go to the museum.... we ran into Alex's favorite dog ever (but don't tell Friday).

Meet Clyde....Clyde wouldn't look at me... he kept his eyes on Alex. It was so funny to see his little bulldog body sprinting, pulling his owner along behind him when he spotted the kids. They seriously love each other.

Here's the attempt at a group shot... notice how only the dog is looking at me... sigh.It was just incredible having the museum basically to ourselves today. There were some other people but only a handful of kids. Last time we went on a Saturday we never made it into the Idea Factory because it was too crowded... so crowded in fact that they were issuing tickets for admission. Today at one point, Clara and Alex were the only two in there. Just another perk of homeschooling :-)

The kids had fun playing in the Imaging section... here's "thermal Clara"....

The only drawback to today is that several sections were closed for repairs. There was nothing really open in the space section.... but we got in on free passes today so no complaints from me. We stayed until it closed today and didn't even make it to the second floor. We'll have to hit that next time. Oh... one thing we did this time that we had never done before was the Zephyr tour... it was really cool... it was one of the kids' favorite things we did today. Another favorite was the Coal Mine which we have to do each time we go.

Well... I'm exhausted... so I'm heading to the couch!


Monday, September 17, 2007

guess who...

... didn't want her photo taken today....

I played with the Picture Perfect Home Studio that was part of my Memory Maker Master prize package. It was extremely easy to set up and included a new white backdrop (I threw my old one out in our move last December).... fun stuff!! These were taken with all natural light on our back deck. It was fun to play with backdrops again.

Nothing exciting here today, so I'm off!


Sunday, September 16, 2007

Sunday already?

I can't believe I haven't posted anything since Wednesday. I'm not really sure what I was doing the rest of last week.... I know the chaos which was our weekend... but I'm not sure what happened to last week.

So, with that... I will backtrack just a bit with the photos.. here are some from our trip to Silver Dollar City a couple of weeks ago....

This photo illustrates one of major perks of homeschooling... getting to go to amusement parks on the off season. Silver Dollar City is a great destination for homeschooling families because it's one of the few parks we've come across that all of the rides still run after schools are back in session. The only ride we were not able to ride that day was the Waterboggan, because that one they do shut down after Labor Day... but everything else was open. Not only was everything open but nothing had a line... we were able to ride rides again and again, without even having to get off.

So, here is the photo of my kiddos riding alone on the kiddie roller coaster... and I believe they rode it at least 4-5 times before they decided to get off.

Jeff and Clara on the swings...

Alex on the swings....

My dad riding the Elephant ride alone... he insists... what can you do? (hi dad!)

Oh wait... he's not alone... he's actually riding with Clara! And look... there's Alex! :-)

We had a great time... even though we rode the water rides so many times that my clothes were so soaked that they never fully dried out. It wasn't fun, but it was okay while we were there... however, it was not amusing to still have wet pants when we stopped to have dinner on the way home. I felt like I needed to explain to random strangers that no, I had not wet my pants, but that we had ridden the American Plunge four times in a row earlier in the day. Oh well.

This weekend was chaos with rehearsals. Clara had dance rehearsal on Saturday most of the day and Alex had rehearsal for the musical he's in today. Clara's dance rehearsals are tough... they really work the kids hard and she's the youngest one by over a year so she has a lot of ground to cover. I asked yet again, if they thought she was too young and this was too much for her.... I would much rather pull her out now than have her still struggling at performance time, but they said she was doing fine and to keep her in. She loves it and says that she had a great time.... so we're going forward.

Well... I'm going to go and watch the end of the football game.... I'm currently losing my fantasy football game to my brother-in-law by 9 points so I'm going to go and see if my QB can help me out a little!


Wednesday, September 12, 2007

the picnic...

Well... I was going to finish my Missouri pictures, but was persuaded to edit some of the pics from Jeff's work picnic instead. So here they are...

Look what Clara found... yes... another hula hoop!Alex and the frisbee...
Yesterday I warned you about Clara when she turns 16... today I will warn you not to trust Clara to partner with in games involving "softly" tossing a water balloon. The point was to throw it so your partner could catch it... apparently she had other ideas...
The games and equipment were provided by Windy City Fieldhouse... they did a fabulous job entertaining the kids (big ones as well) with all kinds of games and relays. Here are a few from the sponge race...
You had to keep the sponge above your head... Alex just rested his on there...
Clara held hers above her head... you can see how wet she was getting....

And finally... I leave you tonight, with the sneak attack....
I still have a few more to edit... some from the water balloon fight and a couple from the sack race. But I believe there are plenty of pics for today... don't want to overload it.

With that, I'm off to bed!


Tuesday, September 11, 2007

pictures... as promised!

As promised... here are a few of my pics from our trip to Missouri last week. I have a ton more (including a whole day at Silver Dollar City) but those pics will have to wait for another day. I also have a ton of pictures to go through from Jeff's company picnic on Sunday. I'm just chipping away at them, a little at a time.

Here's a photo to illustrate why you should fear the day Clara turns 16....

Thankfully she wasn't really driving... the golf cart was actually turned off.

The kids did a lot of fishing in my dad's pond. They had a great time since the fish were really biting...

I have tons of pictures of the actual fish that they caught, but I thought I would spare you those.

The watermelon pics are actually from our first night there... but the scary fact is, my camera's image counter just "rolled over" on our trip and started over at zero and I'm too lazy to reorganize the pics...

mmm... don't you just love the drip of watermelon juice and dirt running down her arm? LOL!

And finally... I'll leave you with a couple pics of two of the 30+ hummingbirds that hang out at my mom and dad's house. I honestly don't know how many there actually are... they're just too dang quick to count... but they're everywhere. They're also not all that afraid of you. I was standing within a couple feet of the feeder when I took these. This was quite adventurous of me given that I have an irrational fear involving birds, beaks and my eyeballs.

These guys are FAST!!

Okay... that's it for me. We started school yesterday and so far, so good. I thought my tough time would be with Clara given that this is the first year that she has HAD to do school... but honestly, my issues have been with Alex. He's not used to not having my full attention. We have some kinks to work out but overall it's been good.

Now I'm going off to bed!


Monday, September 10, 2007


I'm still alive! Just craziness here.... we were gone all last week to Missouri. We got back Saturday evening. Sunday we had church in the morning and then Jeff's work picnic until 8pm. Today was our first day back to "homeschool" so we had lots of stuff going on here. I promise I'll put up some pics tomorrow! Right now I'm just trying to get caught up on my Memory Makers assignments. I'll be back tomorrow! Promise! :-)

Sunday, September 02, 2007

we're back from Michigan!

Just a quick post tonight... we just got back from Michigan this afternoon and tomorrow morning we head out to Missouri for the week. Here are just a few pictures from our trip (quickly edited, so keep that in mind... lol).

Apparently the hula hoop they found was a very popular toy.

Here's Clara's attempt...
And Alex's (he actually did quite well)....
I wanted to play with backlighting at sunset and the only way Clara would cooperate was with the hula hoop involved.... sigh.

BTW... I totally s*ck at backlighting! I took so many crappy photos that it's not even funny. :-) I need to study some more and try it again.

We had bonfires both nights... the first night (pics below) we had the bonfire at my in-laws' house... the next night we went next door to their neighbors' cottage.
And what bonfire is complete without roasting marshmallows and making s'mores? Grandma even had butterscotch chips so Clara could make one as well (Clara's allergic to chocolate)...
(the pic above is really noisy... but it is what it is... I'll run it through neat image later)

And finally... I took entirely too many pictures of the sunset our last night. This is SOOC, just resized for the web.

Okay... I'm off to bed so we can drive about 9 hours tomorrow. The kids are excited though since going to Missouri always means a trip to Silver Dollar City.

See you next weekend!


(oh... I just wanted to say "hi" to the new people who have commented lately!! I get so excited when I have comments... LOL!)