Monday, August 27, 2012

Cast Off

With all of the drama of getting Bonnie ready for school, I failed to mention that Bryce got his cast off on Thursday. 
 Instruments of Destruction...waa haa haa (evil laugh)
 Fear and panic build...
 Resigned Fate...
 Off With His Arm!!!!
Ok,.. it wasn't so bad.  The mini Skil saw was a little intimidating but wasn't so bad.  It won't cut flesh...good thing huh?!  So the boy with the blue arm is no more.  He now has a splint that he has to wear for two more weeks.  Then it is back to normality.  Yeah!

Friday, August 24, 2012

The Saga Continues

Well, Bonnie is NOT doing AP Biology.  The principal called again and said she needs to take some other science to prepare for it.  He is afraid she might not pass the AP class and doesn't want to put that burden on her.  So Bonnie is taking Inquiry Science 2, whatever that is.  Next year she will take AP Chemistry and her senior year she will take AP Biology.  So her hard classes this semester will be Geometry and Inquiry Science 2.  Ok...we can handle that.

I still haven't figured out if they have accepted her transcripts from the subjects she studied last year.  I have a feeling they want to see what kind of student she is this year to see if she measures up.  Oh stomach is not so out of whack now.  I still feel like I am the one be evaluated as her teacher.  Bonnie seems to be handling everything perfectly.  In about an hour, we head over to school to have orientation, get her locker, her "new" schedule and find her classes. 

Wednesday, August 22, 2012


So when my husband came home yesterday and saw Bonnie's high school schedule, he was not pleased.  As a public school teacher who has worked primarily with honors students he knows what sets the honor students apart from those just skating by.  He saw right away that Bonnie was given a "just skating by" schedule and was not all!   With Bonnie's permission Todd went back to the high school to either get her a more challenging freshman schedule or to have her enter high school as a sophomore.  After much talk with the counselor and the principal, Bonnie now has a more academic schedule and she is entering as a sophomore. 

Her new schedule is as follows:  1st semester choir/health, p.e., geometry, and AP Biology.  2nd Semester is choir/art, living skills, English, AP Biology.  The AP Biology has me nervous.  The students entering that class received the textbook at the beginning of the summer and have been told to be ready for a test on it on the first day of class.  Bonnie received the book today and has five days to study it.  At the end of her first week of class, Bonnie will be asked if she can handle the class or not.  If not, hopefully she can move into the Advnaced Biology class.  She wants to try it.  She believes she can do the class which makes me so proud of her.  I truly hope she can prove the principal wrong and show herself to be a model, hardworking, student. 

Last night, we had to draw up a transcript to show all the work she did last year.  That was nerve wracking for me.  To be honest, one of the reasons why I wanted her to go in as a freshman was because I feel that I had failed in keeping track of everything.  Fortunately, I had her EOC scores (achievemnt scores) to help me and Todd who knows what you have to do to submit end of year grades.  Also, my friend Michelle who is a home school mom and mother of a high school student, helped me to see all that we had done.  For example, the kids participated with the Christian school skiiing last winter.  The Christian school counts that as their p.e. credit and therefore so could I.  Her music lessons and her practice time counts as music class.  Tapestry of Grace also shows you how all the curriculum translates into high school credit.  In all she received 8 credits last year. 

In short, school starts NOW!.  Bonnie is studying chapter 1 of her Biology today and probably a chapter or two each day til Tuesday.  Pray for her!  Pray for me! 

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Encouraging Words

This morning Bonnie and I headed over to the high school to register and sign up for classes.  I can't tell you how nervous and apprehensive I was (Bonnie may have been too, but hid it well.).  You know how it is as a homeschooler.  You often wonder as a homeschool mom if you are doing your job right.  Are you preparing your children properly? 

This morning as we sat in the counselor's office and she looked over Bonnie's achievement scores, I soaked in all of her words of praise on Bonnie's academic successes.  In fact, she encouraged me to enroll Bonnie as a sophomore instead of a freshman.  To be honest, according to the California Achievement Test, Bonnie scores in almost all of her subjects in the 11th grade to post high school level (other than spelling...turns out the counselor is not good in spelling either and high fived Bonnie with that one.)  In short, she was very impressed with Bonnie's achievement record.  Bonnie and I exchanged a look, a smile, and a huge sigh of relief. 

Bonnie has her schedule all set up now.  It is pretty light.  In fact, the counselor's concern with Bonnie coming in as a freshman is that she is going to be bored, i.e. not academically challenged.  She encouraged Bonnie to find academic clubs to join to keep her challenged.  Right now, Bonnie's class schedule is choir, p.e., health, living skills, and science first semester. Second semester she will take choir, art, english, geometry, and computers.  Yep...pretty light.  Choir meets 3 days a week with health and art meeting the other two days.  First semester is going to be a breeze. 

Friday is Back To School Days.  She will get her locker, go through orientation, and find all of her classes.  School starts on Tuesday.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

School Books

I finally buckled down and ordered our school books.  This was a hard year for me to decide what to do.  Working at the church office has presented some unique challenges to our schooling and has forced me to reevaluate how we school.  I am a morning person and I am most productive in the mornings.   However, all my productiveness is being channelled into the church and not my children's schooling.  Something had to change.  I am sad to say that this year we are deviating from our normal curriculum, i.e. Tapestry of Grace and Apologia and going straight Abeka.  I chose to stay with Abeka because I am most familiar with it.  We have been using Abeka for math and language for seven years now.  Bryce has used their science for the past two years, so going with Abeka for everything was not a big decision.  For a while I was contemplating using Bob Jones. My good friend, Sue, used the Bob Jone online academy last year for her fifth grader.  She graciously offered to let me use her daughter's books for Bryce and encouraged me to use their online academy.  I looked into it, but the reality was I was still going to have to order all the consummables which was going to be a couple hundered dollars.  That made me relook at Abeka.  They also have an online academy (not as fun as BJ but good).  My other dilema with Bryce was that he is a grade ahead in science and math.  Abeka won't let me tailor his online schooling but they have a program where he can do online school for just his language arts and Bible.  I will then work with him independently  on his math, science, and history. These subjects are his strong suits and mine as well so that won't be hard for me to do. This means while I am working at church Bryce can sit at his desk with his own computer and sit in on his online classes. For Brian I ordered Abeka as well.  He is very self motivated and prefers workbooks over textbooks.  He will like the Abeka books.  For math, he will use his sister's Saxon Algebra textbook.   I am excited that this is the answer we were looking for.

If I could start over I would have started my children with a classical approach to schooling.  I didn't know anything about classical in the beginning, but the more I hear about it, the more I see the students and what they are taught and how they learn I think it is the best approach.  Unfortunately, I can't do it.  There are so many approaches to schooling, so many ways to go about it, so many curriculums that it is overwhelming.  Knowing what I want and knowing what I can do is what it all boils down to.  What I can do is use the Abeka program.  It is a Good program.  I trust it.  I understand it.  I can implement it.  So....the books are ordered and in just a few weeks we will get started. 

Saturday, August 11, 2012


With Bonnie and Bryce off at camp, Brian has been able to get some one on one time with mom and dad.  Tuesday, Brian and I went to the movies to see the new Batman movie, then on Wednesday Todd took Brian kayaking down the river.  Yesterday, Todd and Brian loaded up their backpacks and went hiking in the mountains. 
They hiked up to Lake Valhalla up in the Cascade Mountains. 

It was about a two and a half hour hike in so not too bad for Brian's first back pack trip. 
It was this time of year that we would take our boys from the boys ranch backpacking.  They would take ten days and hike up to 100 miles in the mountains.  Since moving back here, I have been looking forward to the day that we could go back packing as a family and experience the beauty of where we live.

 Brian caught the first fish of the trip, which is a good thing since that was their supper.

They hiked back out this morning and are now home.  I enjoyed the evening to myself but am thankful to see them safely returned.  Now it is time to pick up Bonnie and Bryce from camp.  Just a few more weeks and then we all have to get back in school mode. 

Friday, August 10, 2012

Final Week of Camp

We are in our final week of summer camp. 

For six weeks of this summer one of the kids has been at camp as either a camper or staff.  This week Bonnie and Bryce are both at camp.  Bonnie is working as a counselor-in-training (CIT) and Bryce is a camper.  Thursday is family night at Camas.  Parents are encouraged to come up, eat dinner, and watch skits that each cabin has put on.  I received a very positive report from the camp speaker.  He was very impressed with both Bonnie and Bryce.  It is always good to hear positive reports on your kids. 

I was able to get a couple of pictures of the kids' skits.  Bonnie's cabin's skit depicted a week of camp while Bryce's skit was about how we can take all of our troubles to God.  Bryce played a dog who was kicked by a bully; later he plays a kid reading the Bible when a bully tears up his Bible. "God" comforts the ones who are being picked on.  Hey,  I didn't say they were the best skits in the world.  There was one skit that was great.  The girls pretended to be on the show, "The Bachelor."  They did awesome and had my vote for the best skit.

The thing that my kids like most about Camas is the pranks the cabins play on each other, so I wasn't surprised when I pulled up to the cabins to find this...
who knows whose sleeping bag and bag was on the roof of the cabin.  Oh...and Bonnie's favorite bunny has been kidnapped.  Hopefully, she will have it by the time I show up tomorrow afternoon.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Now that Todd has his new phone, he is always taking pictures.  I love scrolling through his photos and adding them to my pictures.  Evidently last Sunday, Todd took a few pictures of Bonnie singing with the praise team.  Our friends, the Townleys, are here and they always help us out with music when they come over.  Chris Townley played the piano while his daughter sang with Bonnie and his son played the bongos.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012


Todd is on his final week of vacation.  Today he decided to climb up Tumwater Mountain which is in our backyard.  Hiking around here is a bit different then what I am used to back east.  I never worried about the wild life when hiking in the Lookout Mountains or Smokeys.  However, there are bears and cougars living around us, as well as, coyotes and wolves.  Today Todd encountered another form of wildlife that you have to be careful of....rattlesnakes.

Todd not only ran into one rattle snake but two of them.  The first one was about 2/3 up the hill; the second one was at the top of Tumwater.  I am afraid that Todd was a little "rattled" after his hike.