Wednesday, August 28, 2013

A Witness

School started yesterday here in Leavenworth.  We were going to start too, but decided to put off school til after Labor Day.  Funny, I haven't heard anyone complain about it.  As homeschoolers we are always curious about what curriculum everyone is using so I thought I would fill you in.  Brian is doing the Washington Virtual Academy (WaVA) this year as a freshman.  His books were waiting for us when we got back from Tennessee.  True to form, Brian grabbed his Geometry book and began reading through the first chapter.  The next morning he began to educate me on all the geometric terms he had learned the night before.  lol  Love that boy.  What he didn't do is pick up his literature books and start reading them.  ha.... Brian's classes this year are Geometry, Washington State history, English and Literature Analysis I - his literature books included The Diary of Anne Frank, Romeo and Juliet, the Life and Times of Fredrick Douglas, and Classical Literature for Young Readers.  He is also taking Physical Science, Introduction to Computers, Web Design, Game Design, and Music Appreciation.  He is looking forward to all of his classes but literature.  (The boy only likes to read what he wants to read.)

For Bryce I have decided to dig through my stash of curriculum and use what we have on hand.  That means we are pulling out our Tapestry of Grace again.  We will be doing Year 3 which focuses on the 1800s.  I loved that study and love the attention to detail and literature books that TOG suggested.  I have most of them on hand and am pretty excited about using TOG again.  He will continue with Abeka math (Basic Mathematics), language, and science.  We will also continue to work through his Sequential Spelling book. 

Bonnie is taking one class at the local high school this year which is AP US History which she started yesterday.  She already likes Mr. Allen and has some quality students in that class.  In a few weeks, she will then start her classes at Wenatchee Valley College.  At WVC she will be taking Art Survey, Economics, and English 101 for the first quarter.  Last week Bonnie went to an orientation at the college to help her get to know the campus better and where all of the classes are.  She walked away more confused than ever, so I told her we would go back on our own with her class schedule and find the rooms and walk from one room to the other so she knows where she is going.  She is pretty nervous but excited.

Now to my title of this entry, A Witness.  Bonnie was a witness to an accident yesterday morning on the way to school.  Our neighbor boy who is a senior in high school got "hit" by a school bus while walking to school.  Don't get panicky.  Nothing was broken.  The boy and the bus decided to cross the road at the same time.  The bus didn't see the boy and the boy evidently figured the bus would stop and wait for him, because he had to have seen the bus.  Bonnie was walking to school and saw what happened and has had to report to the principal what she saw and was told that a police officer will be questioning her later today.  What a way to start off the first day of school.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Vacation is over and I finally can get all the pictures together.  The boys and I had a great time.  It is always nice to go home and get spoiled a little....well, maybe a lot!  The boys and I spoiled ourselves even when flying - going out to eat in LA and Minnesota (ok, in the airports), watching movies on the airplane, and enjoying all of the pop and goodies the stewardess would give us.  The first part of our time in Tennessee was spent just being with mom and dad.  Mom and I had a good time shopping and we all got a new wardrobes. 

After we finished our shopping, we headed off to visit some of the Civil War battlefields that are in the area.  There are four battlefields in and around Chattanooga - Chickamauga, Lookout Mountain, Missionary Ridge, and Orchard Knob.  Bryce will be studying the 1800s this year and I figured it would be beneficial for him to visit some of the areas where the battles were fought.  Our first stop was Chickamauga.   We visited the museum and watched their video depicting the battle.  My favorite monument is the Wilder Tower built by an Indiana battalion.  It is built like a castle turret that is three stories high.  You can walk right up to the top and get a great view of the area.  Chickamauga has a lot of great memories for me.  When I was little we would go there and fly our kites or shoot off model rockets.  In the summers the symphony would play there and we would lay on our blankets and listen.  Even my ecology class in college did a study on the deer population living in the park.   The next day we went to the top of Signal Mountain where the Confederate soldiers stationed themselves to keep an eye on the Tennessee River to watch for any ships that were coming in to supply the Union soldiers who had stationed themselves in Chattanooga after their "defeat" at Chickamauga.
 Our next stop was Lookout Mountain where another Confederate battalion had stationed themselves. 
There weren't a lot of Confederate soldiers stationed on top of Lookout Mountain and when the Union soldiers climbed up the mountain side the Confederates couldn't angle their cannons to shoot at them.
The Union forces ended up captured Lookout Mountain.  The battle that took place here was known as the Battle Above the Clouds. 
Chickamauga and Lookout Mountain were the first military parks established to honor the Civil War.  The veterans of the war came to dedicate the parks and helped with the positioning of all the cannons. 

Once we came off the mountain we went to  Aunt Bea's Restaurant for dinner.  Aunt Bea's made the news recently.  When President Obama came to visit Chattanooga last month, his Secret Service called Aunt Bea's to see if they were open.  Aunt Bea's was closed.  Now if the SS agent had notified the owners that he was asking for the President they may have opened but the agent didn't identify himself.  But the main thing is that the President wanted to eat at Aunt Bea's.  In fact, when Bush was President and visited Chattanooga he too wanted to eat at Bea's but he had asked the restaurant to close down and serve only his group and they wouldn't do that. 
So what makes Aunt Bea's so special?  Well, for one you don't order anything.  Instead, they sit you down at a table that has a huge lazy susan in the middle of it.  Then the waitress begins to bring out dishes of food - fried chicken, fried fish, mashed potatoes, green beans, pinto beans, mac-n-cheese, banana pudding, cole slaw, potato salad, biscuits, corn bread, sweet tea and water. You spin that lazy susan around and fill your plate.  If you empty a dish, they fill it back up until you are full.  Another thing they do is assign people to sit at your table if the restaurant is full so you might just get to eat a family style dinner with someone new. 

The next day we took the boys to Lake Winne - an amusement park that started in 1925.  Its most popular ride is an old school wooden roller coaster - The Cannonball.

 We started off light by heading to the ferris wheel.  I came prepared though and took some Dramamine before getting on any rides.  I was going to enjoy my day and not spend my time sick to my stomach.

Every year my school would go to Lake Winnie to end our school year.  We also went every summer with my mom's work for their company picnic.  Many of the rides I rode in 3rd grade are still here and running.  I love Lake Winnie and now my boys do too.

After Lake Winnie we cleaned up and headed back up Signal Mountain to hear my dad play his saxophone in the Uptown Big Band.  I love big band/swing/jazz music.  It was such a treat to hear dad play.
We had one more  thing to do before our trip to Chattanooga was complete.  The boys had asked that we go to their favorite playground in Collegedale just down the road from the Little Debbie company. 
It had been raining all night and all morning so everything was pretty wet, but the most disappointing thing about the park was how much it "shrunk."  The reality is that the boys are getting bigger.  It was a sad day for my two boys.  Just a short walk from the park is a memorial park for all of the armed forces.  The boys like going there to climb on the tank, so we had to check it out before we left. 
Our week was finally over.  We crammed a lot in.  Our bags were loaded and heavy on the trip back.  We made it back late Tuesday night.  Now we are back into the full swing of things - office, garden, house, etc.....Could we delay school just another week or two?  or five?

Sunday, August 18, 2013

I just read my last post and it sure sounds chopping.  It is hard to type on an iPad and let your thoughts flow.  Hopefully tomorrow I can get on my dads computer and get some of the pictures he has taken over the course of this week.  Just to fill you in.  We spent Friday on Signal Mountain and Lookout mountain at two more Civil War Military Parks.  Did you know that the Chickamauga/Lookout Mountain military parks were the first Civil War parks to be established.  The veterans of the war came to the dedication and helped determine the placement of all the cannons and placed monuments were their battalions fought.  Quite humbling.  Friday night my mom and I took the boys to the movies to see the new Percy Jackson movie.  On Saturday we all went to Lake Winnipesaukee amusement park.  Thank goodness for Dramamine!  After a quick shower and dinner we then all headed back up Signal Mountain to hear my dad play in the Uptown Big Band.
Today we went to church were Dr. Gene Getz was the guest speaker and then a trip to moms favorite flea market.  Tomorrow we plan to visit the boys favorite park in Collegedale, laundry, and packing.  Our vacation is coming to an end.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

My Tennessee Home

The boys and I are on vacation!   Tuesday morning, like 2 am, we got up and headed to Seattle.  By six we were on our way to Tennessee.  We are going to be here for a week visiting my parents.  So far mom and I have gone shopping for the family and today we took the boys to the Chickamauga Battlefield.  I love history!   If we lived in the south I would be a living historian spending my days at historical sites pretending it was the 1860s.  You can't go to Chickamauga without visiting the Wilder Tower.  The Wilder Tower is a monument dedicated to an Indiana battlion.  It is built like a castle turret and is about three stories high.  You can climb up inside it and there is an awesome view overlooking the battlefield.

Tonight I am having dinner with some high school friends.  I am looking forward to seeing my friends.  It has been 26 years since we graduated.  Wow!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Kitchen Raiders

Bonnie and her girlfriends, Kiera and Anna, raided the kitchen yesterday evening to make brownies. The other night our conversation around the dinner table ended up talking about making goodies for your co-workers.  Bonnie decided that she would then make her Dark Fudgy Brownies for the lifeguards at the city pool where she worked.  She then called her friends up to come help and I was booted out. lol  Bonnie likes the Dark Fudgy Brownies because they come from Clean Eating Magazine and are an approved snack i.e. they have "healthy" ingredients.  For example, these brownies use avocadoes instead of oil, whole wheat flour, flax seed, and evaporated cane juice.  They are very good.  Our one spoiler is that we use milk chocolate chips in the brownies instead of dark chocolate chips. 

The brownies came out of the oven as soon as she had to head off for her second shift so they were warm and soft when she delivered them to the pool.  She really likes working there although it can get pretty boring at times.  She has decided to get her life guard certification so that she can work as a life guard next year and get more hours and more pay.  She is not making as much money as she had hoped, but she does have enough to cover this school year.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Paddleboarding and our Special Visitor

 We took several of our youth paddle boarding today on the Columbia River in Wenatchee.  The weather was perfect. The winds were calm, and everyone had a great time.  The current  was a little too strong for us to paddle where we wanted to.  We had hoped to go up stream to another park and finally to the where the Wenatchee River empties into the Columbia.  Instead we paddled down river to a sand bar.  From there we abandoned our boards and swam in the river.  We had a blast!

 We then headed back to the lagoon where we started and raced each other and tried our best to knock each other off their boards! 

I highly recommend paddle boarding.

Now, about our Special Visitor....
On Sunday mornings it is common for us to have visitors.  After all, we do live in a tourist town and many of these tourists seek a house of worship on Sunday mornings.  Yesterday was no different.  We had several visitors and nothing was abnormal about them.  However, as we were singing Jesus walked in.  No Joke!  Jesus walked in to our Sunday morning service.  Long brown hair, beard, and white flowing dress, just like in the pictures!  There was a lady with him.  Maybe it was Mary Magdeline.  She was also wearing a long, white, sleeveless dress.  They walked up the side aisle and sat in the front pew.  I am NOT making this up!

A few things crossed my mind when I got over the shock of seeing "Jesus."  First was, well, do you remember ever telling your kids, "How would you behave if Jesus was in the room?!"  That was my first thought.  Would how I sing, how I worship, how I listen in church change if I actually saw Jesus sitting there with me?  My second thought was, "Did Todd arrange this?  Does he have an object lesson  planned out?"  You know like that article that is circulating through facebook about the pastor who dressed like a homeless person to see how the church body would treat him?.   My final thought was of Elizabeth Smart - the young girl that was kidnapped  by a man who dressed like "Jesus" and had her doped up and living in fear.  That made me concerned for the woman that was with this man who obviously has a problem.

I honestly don't know who this man is.  Nothing happened during the service.  Todd preached like normal and didn't draw any attention to the man, although afterwards he told me he was pretty upset by this couple.  I am sure he was wondering too what their agenda was.  As we stood to sing the final song to conclude our service, "Jesus" and his friend got up and slipped out just as quietly as they had slipped in.  We will never know who these individuals were or what they are trying to do.  Only God knows.

So what would YOU DO if Jesus came to visit you?