Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Birds & Paint

Sounds like an odd combination, doesn't it? Part of our homeschool, wind-down-the-year studies is on animal life. This week we're concentrating on birds. At 7:30 AM today, we were out for a nature walk looking for birds. We saw robins, sparrows, cardinals, bluejays, and orioles, while several flocks of geese flew overhead. We stopped and listened silently (yes, they can be silent!) to all the bird calls. The early morning is just the best time to hear the birds. We saw robins catching worms, captured a roly-poly...and reminded Jacob how he used to snack on them when he was a wee lad. Yuck!

Later, we broke out the art supplies. I'm with Lori...I do not like paint, or many other messy art activities. But with the weather being warm, we can at least head outside to do art, and not make a mess in the house. Jenna was in charge of painting this little birdhouse. I was reminded how happy I was to be outside. Paint EVERYWHERE!!!!! Praying it's truly washable so it comes out of her clothes.

Charlie spiffed up this little feeder.

(Wondering if Daddy will notice his drill in the background...)

Amarin had a building kit to put together. He chose to build a windowbox, and loved using his very own toolbox, hammer, screwdriver...and Daddy's power drill. When I brought it out, he said, "Oh, yeah!" Such a male! Later we'll fill the box and enjoy some flowers. (No, this had nothing to do with birds but it was fun)!

Charlie decided to get in on the manly toolbox work. We found part of an old tree stump and let him hammer away.

The look after hitting his finger. Just one of those painful lessons.

Time for an icy treat.

Char took off with his project into the woods. Bare feet...such an important part of summer!

What a ham!

Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial Day Fun

We just couldn't miss the Memorial day parade today. Small town...small parade...a whopping 10 minutes long if I want to be generous on the side of time. Not only is it great to honor our veterans, but it was also Jenna's first parade. So, we all got decked out in our red, white, and blue, and waited for the big parade.

Laura and I had to run across the street to say hi to her friend Sami, that goes to school with her. She, too, is from Asia, and they are often mistaken at school for sisters.

Of course, the parade had to start with the police escort...including an old fashioned car.

I couldn't convince Amarin that was the real Statue of Liberty!

After, we packed a picnic and headed to the state park. Laura was lounging with her little pony.
Yeah...she's got it made.

Jamie and Charlie went to the little store to buy some worms...but it was closed. Bummer. And we ate all our food, so no extra bread lying around. (Like there's ever any leftovers).

But that didn't stop Charlie and Amarin. They nabbed some fruit snacks, put them on their hooks, and tossed out their line...for almost one hour. Seriously.

We didn't have the heart to tell them that no fish was going to nibble their Veggie Tale gummies. Truth be told, they were just having fun casting their own lines.

See Laura? She thought it was a great idea to walk toward the water...thinking perhaps her dolphin friends would be there to greet her. Not a happy girl when we wouldn't let her go swimming. She slapped her leg several times to be sure we knew she was mad.

These two are like glue...even when they're madder than anything at one another, they are inseparable.

Jacob knew there was no way he would get a fish to bite, so he just hung out, watched, and kept us informed about his latest read...Jacques Cousteau. I now know more than I ever cared to know about the man...and, yes...I did assign the reading...must think twice before giving these assignments because I know I'll hear A LOT about them. There was a reason his papa knicknamed him motormouth at the ripe age of 2.


Amarin loves this pass time. My quiet one enjoying a quiet activity.

Jenna tried her hand at fishing. I'm thinking she needs a girly fishing pole. And I can't wait to see how she manages to put a worm on the hook...who do you think will squirm more?

Have you ever seen sweeter faces?

And look at her hair. I'm thinking some curls may be on the way in her growing locks.

My sweet, strong Charlie. He has the most amazing personality. We've really seen him growing up in the past couple of months.

Oh, and no fishing excursion would be complete without detangling a fishing line from a nearby tree!

Happy Memorial Day, 2011!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Days At Home

I know, I know. I've not been the most prompt lately with by blog. Frankly, it's a little tough to top the blogs about swimming with dolphins. We're back to our normal routine...school, activities, grocery shopping, outings here and there, grocery shopping, etc.

The weather this past week was pretty...no...very, very yucky. Cold and wet.We spent a majority of our time indoors, and we're all going a tad bit stir-crazy.

Yesterday we were finally over 55 degrees. Whoa...heat wave! So, outside we went to burn off all that extra energy.

This was actually last weekend before the polar winds blew in. Jenna decided to blast the boys with the hose. It's well water, friends...very, very cold water. She thought is was hilarious until the hose got turned on her. I decided not to post the tears. As the boys say...she's such a girl!

Daddy held Laura a safe distance away from the water. Guessing that was his way of avoiding a good soaking!

Today was a lesson in changing the oil. The boys thought is was cool until...

Charlie decided he'd rather build a house for an ant. 'Cause I'm sure that's exactly what the poor thing was looking for...a new grave...er, home...

Jenna and I decided to do our girly job of fixing lunch for our guys.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

MAW - May 14, 15

So, my swim with the dolphins was done. But I still had another afternoon of sunbathing.

I love sitting on the steps, splashing my hands in the water, and just looking beautiful!

My siblings all decided to jump into the pool together.





Daddy can hold on to all of us in the water. He's so strong!

Then, Sunday morning, we flew back home. Let me tell you, my teeth were actually chattering when we hit that 43 degree weather. Seriously? This is May? Someone put me back on the plane to Bella and Fiji, please!!!!

The limo picked us up at the airport and drove us home. I was happy, but not quite as much as the drive TO the airport last week.

I had such a fun time. I feel very blessed!

Friday, May 13, 2011

MAW - May 13

Today is Friday, and my last day with my dolphin friends, and my people friends that I have met this week. I have had so, so much fun. I've been smiling a lot and doing my favorite thing...swimming and splashing in the water!

I'm jumping back to last night, though. We went back to the restaurant where they feed the tarpon and sharks...one of those sharks was a least 6 feet long, Daddy said! Mama ordered alligator for us to try. Most all of us loved it! Jacob wished Mama would have told him it was chicken so he could eat his whole piece.

Here's Amarin eating his alligator, with a spicy coating which is perfect for him!

Jacob really wanted to eat crab down here. So he ordered fresh stone crab which is only in season here until May 15th. Phew! Just made it! Jacob...he's so silly!

Charlie had a bird sitting right behind his head, so he got up to watch it, as well as the fish and sharks swimming.

Now, back to this morning with my dolphin friends.

My sister and me...just hangin' out with the fish and lobsters.

Michael briefed us on what to do and not do in the water. Today was not a structured swim, but an open swim...swimming with the dolphins in their environment. No touching the dolphins today, and we had to keep our hands from moving around in the water. We had to keep moving, and not "challenge" a dolphin by nodding our heads at them or swimming directly at them.

So here we are. A mass of noodles, fins, and people, all having a blast in the water. Mama even said the water was warm. And if you know my mama, she's not very tolerant of anything less than bathwater temps!

More masses of swimmers! Sometimes we couldn't tell where the dolphins were, but those watching from the viewing area could tell us if they were below or behind or beside us.

We all lined up to swim together across the water. Apparently the dolphins think this is fun.

Sorry dolphins...we kind of fell apart!

There's a dolphin we could see!

This is how I felt all week...happy, happy, happy! Lots and lots of smiles and giggles.

Mama and I had a fun swim together.

I was giggling because Mama kept making noises in my ear that sounded like a dolphin blowing bubbles.

I don't know what Mama was laughing about, but she was having fun, too. She had always wanted to swim with the dolphins! She thinks they are beautiful and smart!

All done. I'm happy.

Very, very happy.