Sunday, November 30, 2008

A Happy Homeschool Thanksgiving

This week has, of course, been a crazy one. I am sure it is the same with every family at this time of the year.

A few days before Thanksgiving, we celebrated this festive holiday with all of our friends in our homeschool group (there were probably 60 of us all together!). We had so much fun!

It was hosted by one of the many members in the group who run a working farm. They have ducks, chickens, roosters, turkeys, baby chicks, horses, ponies, cows, etc.

Poor R... she is such a girly girl. She overdressed herself for being on a farm.

But she tried to make the best of it and (after applying some facepaint) was soon running with the others. :o)

And, yes, that is my daughter rubbing her tummy and saying, "YUM! Turkeys." The poor turkeys you see in the background are going to be Thanksgiving Dinner this year.

Sandy, who was the hostess, dressed herself and her 7 children as either pilgrims or indians, and gave all of us a wonderful history lesson.
Sandy is a 9th generation direct ancestor of William Bradford, who was one of the original pilgrims. She also has his personal journals that he wrote in from his journey overseas to the "New World", and of his trials after his arrival. It was fascinating.

One of the entries in his journal was that in the beginning, the settlers did not have much food at all, and many of them were starving to death. That first year after they arrived, the rations of food had dwindled down to merely 5 kernels of corn per person, per day!

So, Sandy had prepared some corn and gave each of the children 5 solitary kernels of corn... and then told them, "Happy Thanksgiving! Didn't you like this wonderful feast?" Ha ha. Some of the littler ones got a little worried that they were not getting anything else to eat! :o)

Another interesting entry in the journals was that there were no utensils for the settlers to use, so they had to use sea shells as spoons. Sandy encouraged those who wanted to, to try to eat their meals with a shell instead of the utensils that we take for granted.

R decided to give it a try... which, if you know R, you know she is very prissy. It was soooo out of character for her, but she did it! The look on her face is priceless, but she did it! I was so proud of her!

The kids ended the eventful day by going on horseback rides!

Well, all except little H. She didn't mind so much. She had too much fun playing in the giant sand pit they had in the backyard.

At the end of the day, she was completely filthy from head to toe, and was asleep in the car shortly after this picture was taken. (as you can see from the picture, she is already staring off into space and I couldn't get her attention for a picture, so this is what we ended up with) :o)

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Homeschool Field Trip! Woo Hoo!

Our homeschool group took a field trip to Pizza Hut the other day. The kids had so much fun!

First, they got a tour of the restaurant. Including the kids getting to walk through the giant freezer in the back (which they thought was tons of fun). Then, they learned about sanitation and saw the really cool dishwasher they used (I wish I had one of those... it scalds everything and cleans it all in about one minute!).

The manager had the kids so scared of the scalding hot temperature inside the thing that when he opened it and the kids saw all the steam pouring out, a lot of the kids ran quickly away to their moms! My kids were just stunned and wouldn't move an inch. ha ha.

Then all the kids got to make their own personal pan pizza... any way they wanted it.

I wish there was a better picture of H (and one that didn't have ME in it!), but she was soooo funny shoveling fistfuls of cheese into her mouth! :o)

Of course, their favorite part was the very end... when they all got to EAT their delicious creations.

All in all, it was a wonderfully delicious... er... uh.... educational field trip. :o)

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


Peek-a-boo! I see you!

We have an orange tree in our backyard. The kids just love to climb it, because the branches are fairly low to the ground.

Within the past few weeks, the tree has been showing signs of producing oranges. For the most part, they have been small and green. But, just recently, it has begun bursting with sweet, juicy oranges!

There are so many that the branches hang down low from the heavy weight... some branches dangling just inches off the ground. The children have taken it upon themselves to be the "Official Orange Pickers". They must pick a dozen every day or two... and still there are so many more on that tree that we don't know what to do with!!!

There is no way for us to eat them all before they go bad, so the kids have started getting very creative and using their imaginations.

R usually likes to pretend she is selling them at a market, and gets B and H to "buy" some from her.

B, on the other hand, tends to get a little more physical with them (as a true boy would). He likes to use them as baseballs and play target practice. (we, of course, make him clean up the mess afterwards). :o)

All in all, we have our very own, built-in entertainment center in the backyard! It provides hours of citrus-smelling fun!
Fresh squeezed orange juice, anyone? :o)

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Surviving the Month of a "Million" Travels

Whew!!! I know we haven't posted in a while, but for good reason. We have been BUSY! Like the title of this post says, this month has been renamed in our family to the Month of a Million Travels.

First, we spent several days in Kentucky, unexpectedly, during Jay's mom's illness.

Then, a couple of days after we got back, my dad came to visit for a few more days.

Then, a day or two after Steve went home, Jay got a terrible sickness that we thought was the flu (but actually turned out to be a really bad case of strep throat), and I spent the next several days nursing him back to health (and keeping it from spreading to everyone else).

By the end of the week, Jay was still not entirely well, but we had a scheduled, non-refundable trip to Orlando to go on vacation, so I was responsible for packing everything (and everyone) and getting us to our resort in Orlando (to attempt to have a fun time, even though Jay was dreadfully sick).

We had 3 days after we got back from our trip to Orlando to wash all the laundry, RE-pack everything, set R & B up to stay at Jay's sister's house, and get me, Jay and H to the airport for an 8 hour long flight and then 3 hour long drive to the beautiful state of Oregon, where we stayed until late last night, when we again made that exhausting 11 hour trip to come back home.

Then, I got a call that my friend Tonya is in town from TN and would like to come for a quick visit today before she has to drive to Gainesville on a business trip.

So, needless to say, I am TIRED! (and after reading all of that again, it made me even more tired!) ha ha.

I have plenty of pictures from all of our travels, but at the moment, I have GOT to get my house under control, and all this laundry done first!!! (or at least make it somewhat presentable for when Tonya comes over!) ha ha.

As soon as I have a moment to sit here, edit pictures, etc., I will write another post. I will probably make a Blog Series, where I spend a couple of weeks highlighting some of the events during this Month of a Million Travels.

But for now.... the dryer bell is buzzing.... duty calls! (again) :o)

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

A Surprise Guest

I received a phone call that my dad had a job in Ft. Lauderdale and wanted to stop by to see me. Since he had flown his own plane down, it was going to be very quick and easy to fly on over to where we live for a short lunch date with me and the kids (Jay, of course, was at work).

We had a wonderful lunch, catching up and talking about how much the kids have grown (and they have!). Then he took us shopping (Grandpa's are really good at spoiling their precious grandbabies), and showed him around our home.

It was only supposed to be a quick "Hi and Bye", but the weather here changed unexpectedly, causing thick clouds to cover the area and leaving him unable to fly back home. So, he was "forced" to stay with us overnight. :o)

We, of course, didn't mind a bit! We got to spend a lot more time together and the kids just loved it! They have missed seeing their Grandpa Steve! Even better still, the weather delayed him the next night, too! (tee hee).

It was finally clear enough for him to fly out this afternoon. So, as a fun "farewell" treat, Grandpa Steve took me and the kids flying in his airplane!

I was very nervous! Especially since little H had to sit in my lap in the cockpit near all of those neat buttons and knobs she thought would be fun to play with!
But she thankfully behaved like a sweet little angel, and fell asleep soon after we got in the air.

R and B both loved wearing the headsets because they could hear themselves talking in the microphones. They liked pretending to talk to the tower and giving the call numbers of the plane. It was very cute.

Then Grandpa let them take turns pretending to fly the plane (while we were on the ground, of course!). It made them feel very special. :o)

We had a wonderful time. What a nice surprise visit. And now, B keeps insisting that he is going to grow up to fly planes just like his Grandpa Steve. :o)