Friday, May 31, 2013


Did you hear that loud, long sigh?  That was me looking back over this week.   So many hurdles were     met and conquered.  Bonnie registered for the community college and signed up for next years classes at the high school.  (She will be taking AP History.) Bryce finished all of his cub scouts requirements for the Arrow of Light award, the Webelos highest award.  I also signed him up for the swim team prep class.  Both boys finished their standardized testing.  Lastly, I completed the enrollment for Brian in Washington's virtual academy. He will be taking geometry, English, world history, biology, flash animation, and music appreciation.  He is very excited about the class on flash animation. To complete the day and the week, Bonnie was awarded a certificate of academic excellence in algebra 2/ trig and in art.  We celebrated her achievements by going out to eat.

Seven more school days and we pack everything away for the summer and head to the beach!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Memorial Day and Other News

Yesterday we celebrated Memorial Day.  This year Todd was asked to conduct the services at the local cemeteries, so the kids and I loaded up and headed over to Mountain View Cemetery to take the time to remember our fallen soldiers.

 Watching my husband and listening to him as he conducted the service made me so proud of him.  Once again God confirmed within me that we are exactly where we need to be and doing what God wants us to do.  (Todd was asked to conduct the services again next year.)
While at Mountain View the kids and I went over to visit the grave site of my mother-in-law's father, Vincent F. Brehm who served during WW2.

After the service Todd got a phone call from a former pastor and friend who invited Todd to join him in climbing Mt. Rainer in a couple weeks.  Wow!  As soon as Todd returned home, he grabbed his backpack, loaded it up with weights, and started training for his big climb by climbing Tumwater Mountain.  For my TN folks, that would be like climbing Lookout Mountain.

Bonnie is enjoying her job at the pool, but right now she is pretty bored.  With overcast skies, rain, and a broken heater, my Bryce is about the only kid who shows up every day.  We are looking at signing Bryce up for the swim team prep class.

This morning at 6 am, Bonnie registered for her college classes.  We couldn't get her into the math or chemistry class that she wanted because we failed to get the override codes that showed that she has completed Algebra 2 so those two classes will have to wait until second quarter.  Instead, she is signed up for English 101, Introduction to Economics, and Art History Survey.  She will also take a history class at the high school in the afternoons.  The last thing on our school agenda is to show the high school the French language curriculum we have and see if they will allow her to use it to satisfy her foreign language requirement.


Standardized testing this week...Finish history next and plug through math and language then We Are Done!

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Bonnie starts her new job today!  She will be working in the concession stand at the city pool.  I am excited for her.  I know she will do awesome.  If she had her choice she would work in the kitchen at Camas Meadows Bible Camp but they can't afford to pay their staff so it is all volunteer.  If she didn't need to make money, she would be there right now, but she is determined to pay for her college books and materials so she had to find a job that would pay.  I don't think there will be too many people at the pool today.  It has rained all week and the temps are in the 60s.  That wouldn't be too bad since our pool is heated, but I heard that the pool heater is broken so if the water is cold, it might be a pretty boring day there.  On the  good side,that will give Bonnie time to learn the layout of  "kitchen" and how to run the register.  After watching Bonnie work at camp last weekend in the kitchen I know she will run the place in no time flat. 

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Let the Tests Begin

Today we started our standardized testing.  As much as I hated taking a break from our regular work, it was necessary for us to do our testing, especially since Brian will be joining WaVA next year.  I figure they would appreciate having his test scores. 

I really miss my teacher friend who used to test the kids.  Two hours and all three kids were accessed.  Now we are back to using Thurber's Testing Services from North Carolina.  The tests came in the mail on Friday so Brian is testing this week and I will test Bryce next week. 

The boys are finishing up everything.  Both have completed their science books and are almost done with history.  I have stopped testing them in history and have asked that they finish reading their textbooks.  I figure Brian will be one chapter shy of finishing his Algebra book.  Bonnie has assured me that they never completed any of their math books in the high school.  Instead they skipped around in math.  We won't finish our language books, but our going through and making sure we highlight all of the key areas.  There again, Bonnie assures me that we are doing way more than what they do in the high school.  It sure is good having her around to give me a fresh perspective.  Maybe that is why us home school moms often grill each other over our curricula and teaching styles.  It helps us know if we are doing ok.  I talked to one mom over the weekend, who doesn't really follow any guidelines.  I can't do that, I have to KNOW that we are hitting the mark or at least trying to when it comes to covering all the bases for graduation. 

June 12 is our last day of school.  At noon, we pack up our books and head off for vacation!  Let the countdown begin.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Monday night, Brian earned his Tenderfoot badge in Boy Scouts along with several other boys.  It was really cool to see what our Boy Scout troop does here in Leavenworth. I am really excited for both Brian and Bryce to have all the opportunities that our scouts have.  We learned that our troop has a high percentage of boys that become Eagle Scouts.  I really hope we are able to stick with it all the way through.  This summer they have several trips planned.  In a couple of weeks they will be going on an overnight hike.  In July they head off on their Western Washington Excursion where they spend four days traveling around Washington state. In August is their 50 mile canoe trip.  The boys will miss that one since it is the same week we go to Tennessee. Then in September they have another overnight hike.

One of the cool things about our troop is that they get to meet in the Ski Hill lodge which was built during FDR's administration (1930s) when he initiated the CCC.  There are plans in the works to fix the lodge up and do some landscaping around it.  It just seems to be the perfect place for our Boy Scouts to hold their meetings.

Speaking of meetings, last night we had the "privilege" to attend a meeting of the drama club with Bonnie.  There has been a lot of "drama" in the drama club lately, and it finally came to a head.  A meeting was called for all of the students, parents, directors, and principal to attend. Brigadoon was Bonnie's third play with the current directors.  With each play, we heard an earful of how the directors handled the cast and were concerned.  With the first play, we just told her to deal with it and to make sure that she was on task and respectful to the directors.  During the second play, we continued to hear about how the directors would yell at the kids, make them cry, were emotional, and caused a lot of frustration among the kids.  After one practice where Bonnie became the target, Todd decided it was time to sit in on a practice to see for himself what was going on.  With this play, we heard about more drama between the cast and directors and it finally came to a head.  Bonnie along with a few key actors approached the principal with their concerns.  Once the play was over, Bonnie and the other drama students met to try to discuss with the directors some of the changes that needed to be made for this drama club to continue (Several students have left the club and won't work under the current directors.) .  Unfortunately, that meeting didn't go well and thus we had last night's meeting this time with parents and the principal.  It was interesting to say the least.  Will it make a change?  I don't know.  A retired teacher sat in on the meetings and had a lot of good insight.  The best thing is that she has agreed to mentor the directors and help them with classroom control and basically teach them how to manage the club.  That is the biggest problem.  The directors have no idea how to set boundaries, establish rules, and hold to them, therefore the students push and push and the directors get frustrated, angry, and lose control.

What impressed me the most is how Bonnie handled the whole thing.  She was very careful with her words.  She was able to rephrase comments made by other students who were emotional so that the comments were constructive and not offensive.  She really has become the voice and the leader of the drama club.  The current drama club ...ahem...president... refused to speak or make any comments during the whole two hour long meeting.  Even the principal stopped me after the meeting to tell me how impressed he was with Bonnie.  Yep,,, that girl is doing great.

Monday, May 13, 2013

After finishing up with our school, the boys and I headed downtown to help the Bird Festival pass out flags and packets to several of the Leavenworth stores.
This weekend is the annual Bird Fest.  They have all kinds of hikes planned and different bird related activities.  People who visit Leavenworth this weekend can purchase a raffle ticket and if they go to any store that is flying the Bird Fest flag, they can get a stamp on their ticket, the more stores they visit and the more stamps they receive will enable them to win prizes at a drawing.    Our job was to make sure all of the participating stores got their flags and stamps to use for this weekend.  Wouldn't you know it decided to rain just as we started passing out everything but that didn't stop us. 
Todd met a guy Saturday in the park around Blackbird Island.   He was reading a Bible that someone had given him.  Naturally, Todd stopped to ask what he was reading and why.  That led to a conversation and Todd invited him to attend church.  He did.  So Todd invited him over for supper tonight.  He didn't, but he is coming over for lunch tomorrow.  Evidently, he is living up in the woods, literally.  Todd invited him over to eat, shower, and do laundry.  So we would appreciate your prayers for Michael.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Marathon Day

 It is ten o'clock and my marathon day is just about over.  No,  I wasn't running any races, that is Todd's hobby.  Today  was just one, very , busy day.  I foolishly thought that I could actually sleep in an extra hour this morning since I didn't have to fix breakfast for the men's Bible study, but when I did get up I ambitiously decided that I could have Bonnie take her food handlers test before she had to go to her 9am orientation meeting at the city pool.  To work in concessions she has to have a food handlers permit and our computers at home have not been cooperating and neither has Bonnie's busy schedule.  So here it is, the morning of her orientation and no permit.  Since our computers weren't working, I ran her out to the church at eight.  With only a minute to spare I got Bonnie to the pool at nine with her permit in hand.  Looks like she has a job at the pool.  After dropping off Bonnie, it was a dash to the house to pick up the boys and take them to the church for our annual work day.  Two hours later, the boys and I scurried home so that Brian could get ready to march in the Maifest parade with the Boys Scouts.  With that over, we loaded back up to head to Wenatchee to get the last few items for our mother's day gifts and a pop-in to see my nephew at his going-away-party before he leaves for the Army.   Home again to drop off the boys and pick up Bonnie to take her to the cast party for her play, to the store for flowers for Bonnie and the music director that she adores, back home to do some laundry, feed everyone dinner, pick up more supplies for the concession stand and back to the high school for the final performance.  Whew!!!  I am exhausted.  If I had a pedometer I bet I logged in over 26 miles, so I guess I did run a marathon of sorts.
My mother-in-law's Mother's day gift.  We took pictures of her childhood home and framed them in an old window frame that I found under the chicken coop.
Bonnie playing Fionna in Brigadoon
Bonnie singing "Waiting for My Dearie"

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Catch Up

Busy, Busy, Busy....that seems to be our theme.  I need to get a smaller camera and one that is easier to download pictures with to help me stay up on blogging....sigh....

 Bonnie has had two performances of her play so far.  This weekend is the final showing of Brigadoon.  I have to say that her performances have been exceptional.  She has been on pitch with all of her songs, very articulate, and very believable.  I filmed her Saturday night, but I am going to film it again this weekend to see if I can do a better job.  Then I have to figure out how to transfer it from a cassete to our computer.  The other bonus with Bonnie's play is that I have gotten to know two other homeschool families who children are also in the play.  One of them uses the Washington Virtual Academy so she gave me alot of positive feedback.  After a very lengthy phone call with WaVa yesterday, I will be signing Brian up soon with them instead of Insight.

 -Side note - Bonnie received Math Student of the Month.  !!

Brian earned his Tenderfoot badge in Boy Scouts.  Although he complains about going to scouts sometimes, secretly he really enjoys it.  It sounds like they will be doing a lot of activities this summer.  I am excited to hear what treks they will be going on.

I picked up all of my garden plants last night.  With temps in the upper 80s, it feels wrong to not plant although I should still wait another month.  It is ok to put in my "cold" weather plants so I will probably go ahead and plant my carrots, radishes, potatoes, and brocolli.  I decided to plant my lettuces in our back yard in the flower boxes.  I am also experimenting with some celery.  I don't they will work but it is worth a try.  My big problem is finding the time. 

Well, that is a little catch up.  I will  upload some pictures of Bonnie's play later.  Until then...

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

I actually got excited about schooling on Monday.  I have been deliberating and stressing over next year's schooling for quite some time, probably because I have been so frustrated with this year.  We have pretty much decided that Brian will be doing the Washington Virtual Academy next year.  He and I have talked about it alot, to see which Washington virtual school would fit him best.  I think we are going to go with Insight Virtual Academy.  They still let you go at your own pace and everything is on-line.  Brian can choose which path of curriculum he wants to take i.e. core, comprehensive or AP courses, etc.  This will ensure he is getting everything required for graduation and take that burden off of my shoulders. 

Here is where I get excited though.  I hadn't not settled on what to do for Bryce.  Do I sign him up for the vitrual school as well, or stick with what we have on hand?  Since I monitor all of Bryce's schooling already, I chose to stay with what we already have on hand.  I pulled out our Tapestry of Grace curriculum and since I have the majority of it on hand we will use it.  TOG will cover his geography, literature, history, and Bible.  I will keep him in Abeka math and English, and use Apologia science if I can figure out who I loaned the book out too.  sigh... He is also working through Sequential Spelling so we will continue with that.   I chose to go back to TOG for a couple of  reasons.  One, I already have it.  Two, I love TOG.  Three, Abeka on line has not been that big of a help.  I still work with Bryce on his online classes and tailor it to his learning style.  Also, while teaching Bryce history with Abeka, I would find myself teaching him more than what the textbook taught, because they would only give a general summary on the person or event.  I spent Monday morning, pulling out all of my books for Unit 1 of TOG Year 3 and researching the library to see what they have on hand.  I plan on pulling all of the books from the library in August so we are ready to go.  I can't wait! 

Bonnie and I went back to the community college on Monday for her advising appointment.  She registers for the fall quarter at the end of this month.  I am so excited and nervous for her.  Today she has a job interview to work at the city pool.  I feel strongly that she will get the job.  Then it is time to get her learner's permit and sign her up for driver's ed.  We need her to start driving to help get her back and forth to the community college.  Until then she will need to ride the city bus.