Monday, February 28, 2011

Winter Is Not Over Yet

Snow has been falling since early Sunday morning.  This morning I measured the snow fall and came up with eight inches.  By noon, another two inches had fallen.  I would guess we got a total of 12 inches by now.  I know, no one in our house is complaining.  Well, ok, they aren't too thrilled with snow duties, but they sure had fun sledding downtown after school. 

Today was an off day for the movie crew.  Tomorrow, however, we have to check in at 7am.  Did you catch that?  I said WE have to check in.  The kids are going to be extras in the movie tomorrow.  I would be too except now I am working as the set teacher so I have to stay in the classroom and monitor the actors as they come in and out.  I am required to work up in the classroom for twelve hours a day.  That sounds like a lot to be in one room, but the pay check after the end of the two weeks will be worth it.

Today the kids and I went to the community cupboard to find some colorful hats and coats to wear.  The extra's director doesn't want any black - no black coats, hats, scarfs, etc.  Fortunately, Bonnie has a baby blue coat, Bryce's coat is orange, and Brian has an extra coat that is red.  However, we did have black hats so we needed to find something more colorful.  They want this movie to be light and festive and no drab colors.  The kids will need to dress warm as they will be outside most of the morning.

Since I will be inside, the kids are going to be given "fake" parents to hang around with.  Brian wasn't to thrilled about that.  He really wanted to be with me.  I think he is also scared about what he is going to be asked to do.  I explained to him how when you watch movies and you see people window shopping or walking down the sidewalk that those people are really extras that have volunteered or been hired to walk or look at things.  He seemed to relax about that.

So time to wind down for the night and get everyone ready for an early morning.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Set Teacher

I finally learned my job title...set teacher.  I met the character Claire today.  She is also eleven and sweet as can be.  The kids were really excited because they found out they could go sledding today and the camera guys were going to film it for the movie.  It has been snowing here since early this morning and doesn't look like it is going to stop anytime soon.  The producer wanted to take advantage of this great snowfall so sent the kids out to play.

Oh.. and about my teacher certificate.  They don't think it is going to be a problem but suggested I contact the state of Tennessee and see if they have anything on file. 

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Ira Finkelstein's Christmas Vacation

That is the name of the movie they are making here in Leavenworth.  They will only be here for the next two weeks filming the "Christmastown" scenes, and then back to Seattle to film the rest. 

Today I spent the morning with the young actor who plays Ira.  He is home schooled so there wasn't much for me to do but sit.  At one point I had to check the angles he had constructed, but other than that, he had a teacher's key to check all of his work.  He is one of thirteen children and his mom has homeschooled all of them that are of school age.  I would love to have a cup of coffee with her.

Right now, however, I am stressing out a bit.  I got notice that I need to bring in my credentials tomorrow and fill out some paper work.  I told them on the phone that I received my degree in '92 and have been homeschooling for the past seven years.  I haven't been in an official classroom for a while.  That didn't seem to bother them so hopefully the fact that I can't find my diploma won't bother them either.  Pathetic isn't it?!  Actually, I am quite sick to my stomach.  There have been several things as of late that I can't find.  My brain is all jumbled up inside as to where all of our things are.  I know where they used to be in North Carolina, but I can't find them since the move.

Tonight, Todd and I went through every box in the garage and I still can't find my diploma.  I even went through Todd's office at church.  I found the jacket that the certificate was in  but not the certificate.  I had it framed and sitting on a bookshelf back east but where it went I don't know.

So, what does this mean?  Well, I am prepared for them to tell me that I can't work for them.  I am disappointed in myself for my lack of organization when it comes to important documents.   So once again I will update you tomorrow.  As of now, I am scheduled to school the young girl actor after church and then the boy who plays Ira once again.  A good four hours tomorrow. 

Friday, February 25, 2011

Someone Pinch Me

Ok...I am so excited and really wish I could call some one and just ramble on and on about what just happened. 

Remember, I told you about the movie that is coming to Leavenworth and how they need people to be on the streets as extras.  Well....I got an email yesterday asking for information on the family for the director in charge of extras.  I sent all of our stuff in this morning - a picture, our sizes, ages, etc.  I also got an email from a friend of mine who works for the Chamber of Commerce telling me that they also needed  people who can sew and a substitute teacher for the actors. 

So....I sent my name in.  I told them that am a local home school mom who has a degree in secondary education and I sew.  (I have made most of Bonnie's costumes for her plays.)  I got a call today from the film asking me to be their sub.  ---This is where I need someone to pinch me----  They have several actors between the ages of 8 and 16 who need someone to watch over them while they work on their school assignments.  I also have to keep track of each child actor's school time because they might do school for an hour here and thirty minutes there, but at the end of the day they need to  have got in at least three hours of school time. 

The actors start coming to town tomorrow and I will be working with their key actor in the morning.  If they get school in on Saturday and Sunday then they can get away with not getting  a full school day in on another day.  I will be doing this for the next two weeks. 

I am not sure what I am going to do with my children.  I am still hoping they can come in to be extras but I might not be available to work that out now. Todd plans on working from home in the afternoons, but I may have to have someone else come over during the morning or dare I leave them on their own.  Hmmm.....still haven't got it all worked out.

Today the kids and I went into town and saw that the snow maker machine thingy was out and blowing snow all over the sledding hill.   They are going to have to run that thing non-stop for the next few days to get enough snow for the scene.  The shop keepers were out putting back up their Christmas decorations since they didn't know this whole thing was happening til just a few weeks ago.  Everyone is excited.  The high school band is going to be in the parade.  The whole Christian school is going to be on the streets for the parade.  It is going to be lots of fun.

I will definitely  have to keep you posted on how this works out.  I am praying that these children are disciplined and that it won't be much work.  It sounds like most are upper elementary so I am not worried about the level of work they are doing.  I might need to have some extra work for them to do if they don't have enough to work on. Hopefully they will.  Time will tell.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Lake Wenatchee

Sunday afternoon Todd couldn't wait any longer to get on the water.  The sun was shining, and the temps were in the 40s.  It was a beautiful day to be out.  Once again I went with him to drop his truck off at the Tumwater Campground and then took Todd up to Lake Wenatchee in Plain.  This time, however, I brought all the kids with me.
What we didn't realize until we got up to the lake was that there was a nice breeze blowing.  I am sure the wind chill was near the 30s or lower. 

Isn't the water just beautiful.  Not that brown, chocolate stuff we swam in down south. Here it is crystal clear all year long.  You don't realize how deep the water is because you can see the bottom, but it can be 20 to 30 feet deep.
In the background is Dirty Face Mountain.  The rocks on the right are where all the kids went.  They have a fort that they are building back there.  It is pretty cool.  In summer we will come up here to swim.  Just like in North Carolina, the home school moms congregate here once a week to visit and play.  My kids love it here.

It took Todd three and a half hours to make the trip from the Lake to the canyon.  He was pretty frozen when he got home due to the wind.  Of course, that won't stop him from doing it again. 

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Long Weekends...Good or Bad???

Getting back into the school grind is always a challenge after a long weekend.  Not only did we take President's Day off but we also took off Friday due to a Memorial being held at the church.  The kids and I served at the Memorial from 8:30 am to 3:30 pm.  The kids brought some school work with them to finish the week up but other than that it was a no school day for us.

Needless to say, it was difficult to get back in the grind.  Somehow we managed though.  Brian is starting the Algebra segment of math which excites me.  Bonnie is still working her way through her Algebra book but I am still leaning on Todd to check even my work.  I really need to get a teacher's key.  Bryce is doing well in everything.  It is joy to work with him.

Today was especially exciting.  I got all the information needed for Bonnie to audition for the Leavenworth Summer Theatre.  Every year they put on the Sound of Music and use local kids to act out the parts.  Bonnie will be trying out for the part of Louisa so right now she is memorizing the song "So Long Farewell." and we will see if she makes it past the cuts.  Tryouts are March 5 so I will let you know how it turns out.

The day is just about over.  I need to fix some spaghetti and settle in for the night.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

A Star is Born

I am so excited!!!  A movie is going to be filmed here in Leavenworth and they have put a call out for extras.  I signed  up the family and we are eagerly waiting for info back.  Evidently, a film crew is coming the first of March to film a Christmas movie here.  They are going to make snow to cover the streets and grounds in downtown (assuming all of our snow is goine, which is pretty much is.).  They are also going to put on a Christmas parade and they need lots of people to stand along the parade route...that is where we come in.  I hope we can get a front row spot. 

It will be fun.  I will keep you posted and hey, if you are in the area, call the Chamber of Commerce and tell them you want to be involved too.  : )  Check out this link to read more about the movie coming to town.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Happy Birthday to Me

Last Friday was my birthday.  Nothing special here, just another day with the bonus of cake to eat.  Todd encouraged Bonnie and her friend, Makenzie to make my cake so I turned the mixer over to them and gave them a box.

Thankfully I checked on them occasionally or my cake would have become...well...let's just say it wouldn't be cake.  Once we figured that they didn't add enough water to the mix, the girls remixed the cake and put it in the oven.

I even turned my cake decorating supplies over to them.  They mixed up some colored buttercream frosting, filled up some icing bags, and went to town.

My very first graffiti cake.  I just love it.  Thanks girls!!


Last Thursday the boys got their wrestling uniforms.  Both of our boys were clueless to what wrestling was all about other than getting down on the floor and trying to pin someone to the floor.

This whole wrestling thing has been a fun learning experience for them.  They had no clue they were getting uniforms so you can imagine their excitement when they got them.  Both boys came home wearing their new jackets, then eagerly began to open each bag revealing their pants and black team t-shirt.  Neither one clued into the last bag with something red in it.  Maybe the fact that it was so small made it appear to be insignificant.  I had no desire to spoil the surprise for them either.  To be honest I wasn't sure how they would handle that last piece of wrestling attire.

The next morning it was pretty obvious the boys had finally opened that last package.  You could hear giggling from their room and before I knew it out came Bryce in his singlet.  He thought it was the coolest thing in the world.  In fact, the boy wouldn't take it off all day and proudly showed his singlet to anyone who stopped by that day.  Eventually I had him put on some shorts.  I could only take the singlet for so long.  Brian eventually put his on.  He wasn't as keen to wear it all day as his younger brother.  He did comment that the singlet was great for holding his fat in.  Yeah Brian  has any fat.
By the way, did you know how tall Bryce is getting.  He is just about as tall as Brian.  He is losing weight and getting taller.  With wrestling he is getting more and more focused on exercising and building his muscles.  Yep, I think we made the right choice signing the boys up.

Friday, February 11, 2011


Brian has reached the segment of his Awana book where he is to create a diorama depicting a story from the Bible.  The book gave him three options of stories to recreate and he chose to do the story of Paul and Silas.  In Acts, we read about how Paul and Silas were arrested because they were preaching the Gospel.  They were then placed in jail and chained to the walls.  That night, while singing songs of praise to the Lord, an earthquake hit that caused their chains to break off and the doors to open.  The Roman jailer came running into the jail thinking that all of his prisoners had escaped.  However, Paul and Silas called out to him assuring him that everyone was still there.  At that point the jailer fell to his knees and asked how he could be saved.  "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ," said Paul.

Jailer (red) praying, Paul (standing) and Silas (sitting)
Brian and I worked together on his project.  We used thin sheets of Styrofoam for the walls and floor.  I used Todd's soldering iron to melt grooves to make the Styrofoam look like bricks and a stone floor.  Brian painted the walls and floor. 


Together we made the men.  I couldn't find my clay and didn't have enough salt to make playdoh so we made our own clay out of glue and cornstarch ( 1/3 cup cornstarch to 1/4 cup thick, white glue).  As we were shaping the figures we realized that their body parts wouldn't stick together so Bryce came up with the idea of using toothpicks to join the parts together.  We even used the toothpicks to attach the figures to the styrofoam floor.

Yarn was used to simulate the chains, and I made tunics from felt.  While searching through my fabric box I remembered some fake fur that I had and figured it would make cool hair.


Brian was pretty pleased with the results.  I can't wait until it is Bryce's turn to make one.  I think we will try to do the story of Philip and the Ethiopian eunuch.  I have got a book on how to make a chariot.  Hmmm...maybe we could go ahead and make it now.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Piano Lessons

Bonnie and I just got back from a meeting with her new piano teacher. 

I am so excited for her.  The best part is that the teacher lives just a mile away (Bonnie thought it was 3 or 4 miles away and too far to walk so I checked the odometer to verify that it is just a mile and definitely walkable.)  and we know each other from our Alpine Boys Ranch days. In fact, Bonnie's teacher sold us her baby crib and changing table when I was pregnant with Bonnie.  It's another case of "It's a small world." 

Bonnie will start her first lesson next Thursday.  Her teacher, Kathy, said Bonnie could practice with the books that we already have and to bring them in next week for her to look at. 

I am so excited for her. 

All Good Things Must End

Yesterday, was our last day of skiing.

It has been so fun for all of us to head up ski hill and ski.  Bryce never did make it to the big hill, but he is skiing like a pro now.  I sat back and was excited to watch him glide down the hill, weave in and out of people, and turn to ski past me then back into line at the tow rope. 

Bonnie spent most of her time skiing with her friend Makenzie on the big hill.  The slopes were so slick that Brian could ski down the big hill, glide across the middle section and half way up the small hill. 

Now we have to be on the look out for used equipment.  This is one activity I want to invest in for my kids.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011


Friday has become Todd's day to go kayaking.  Yes, it is winter time.  Yes, there is snow on the ground and ice floats in the water.  And, Yes, my husband can't wait to get on the water.  This is his time off; his way of relaxing; his way of refreshing himself.

On this particular Friday, we woke up to ice covered vehicles and roads.  In fact, the schools were delayed to allow the salt/sand trucks to prepare the roads before the buses could get out.  Ice, however, didn't stop Todd.  He loaded up the kayak on the top of the Blazer, and had me follow him up the Tumwater Canyon.  We dropped his truck off at the Tumwater Campground and then Todd jumped into the Blazer with the boys and me and we drove up to Plain. 

Todd chose to get into the Wenatchee River near The Rock, a favorite swimming spot.  Everything was covered in ice.  To get some pictures of Todd, the boys and I walked/skated down to a snow/ice covered bridge.  I was too scared to go to the edge of the bridge to get really good pictures.  I had fears of slipping on the ice and sliding through the railings so the boys and I stayed safe in the middle.  That meant I had to duck and try to get pictures through the railings to see Todd.
Todd usually takes someone with him but decided to go solo today.  This particular route took him five hours the last time he went down it, so I was surprised to see him back home just two hours later.  The water was rising and flowing a lot faster due to the warm weather and rain. 

I try not to worry about my adventerous husband.  I know he needs these moments to feel refreshed.  He doesn't get a day off so I won't begrudge him a few hours to himself, just cover him in lots of prayer. : )

Thursday, February 3, 2011

The Crud

I've got the crud.  You know, that I am filled up with mucus and junk stuff that is going around?!  Yep, I got  it.  It started with sinus headaches this past weekend, those headaches that make you feel like your eyeballs are going to bug out.  By Sunday night, the mucus starting flowing, and well, do I really need to go into anymore gory details? 

Our school week has been impacted by my lack of desire to do anything except blow my nose and lay in bed.  However, I have determined to keep everyone going and found a wonderful solution to my predicament. 

Our history has been centered around Ancient Greece and the Persian Wars.  We had just read about Leonidas and the 300 Spartans at Thermopalae.  Since I am very visual, I  went to my favorite resource, Youtube, and found the History Channel's documentary on the Last Stand of the 300 Spartans.  It is a 100 minutes long so we broke it off into two segments and spent Tuesday and Wednesday watching the program.  It is a great tool to see how Spartans were raised and trained, the weaponry of the Greeks, as well as key figures in the Greek-Persian Wars - such as Leonidas, Thermosticles, and King Xerxes.

We didn't advance in our Latin studies but continued to review lessons 6 - 9.  I think the kids have it and are ready for one more lesson before the test.  Brian is quick to memorize.  He memorizes so easily and remembers it that the other two get quite frustrated with him.  Hopefully, it will motivate them to learn their stuff and be quicker on the draw when verbally quizzing.

In math, Bonnie is factoring polynomials, Bryce is subtracting fractions with borrowing, and Brian is working with graphs.  I am having to lean more and more on Todd when it comes to explaining Bonnie's math to her.  I think it is about time to buy a teacher's manual, or start scheduling a time for Bonnie to have math with her dad. 

In language, Bonnie is learning how to identify and diagram gerunds, infinitives, and noun clauses.  Brian is dealing with adjectives, and Bryce is focusing on his prepositions.

Bonnie right now is reading Homer's Odyssey, Brian is being forced to read a Magic Tree House book on Ancient Greece and Bryce is reading faithfully everyday in his readers.  Me...I am reading through the Janette Oke books again because they are here in the house and I need something to relax with.

The week is just about over and I am praying that this crud will go away.  Thank goodness for Nyquil to help me sleep at night.