Sunday, September 29, 2013

 It is harvest time here.  I have pulled up my garden and brought in all of the veggies.  Some green tomatoes are ripening in their boxes.  Another bowl of tomatoes are ready to be canned.  I have been using my dehydrator a lot and I love it!!!  I dried a case of pears and 12 trays of plums.  I have been putting all of the dried fruit in my homemade granola.  I have even dried zucchini and tomatoes.  I plan to use the zucchinis in soups this winter and I heard I can take the dried tomatoes, crush them, and then when I add water to the tomato powder I can make it into paste or sauce. 
 Todd continues to work on the Chumstick property.  Our shed is just about done, i.e. it has a finished roof and a door that we can padlock.  We still need to close up the top and put siding on it, but at least we can store things inside and know that everything will stay dry. 
 Tuesday the school had a fundraiser for Haiti among other things. Now that Bonnie is at the college we are out of the loop with all of the school functions.  However, Bonnie was home from college early enough to participate in the Color Run.  Kids ran around town while people threw color bombs at them.  The streets and sidewalks were covered in yellow, purple, and pink chalk.  The kids wore their colors proudly as well. 
Bonnie finished her first week at the community college.  She is really enjoying it and finds the course load doable.  She finally appreciates all of the diagramming and grammar lessons she had with Abeka since that is all she has done in her English 101 class.  She is liking her Art History Survey and is excited about her Economics 101 class.  Her most challenging class is her AP History class that she is taking at the high school.  She is showing herself to be a good, disciplined student.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Another Week Down

Monday, Bonnie and I went to the community college to tour the campus on our own.  Bonnie is pretty nervous about starting school there on Monday so we went to the college to find out where her classes will meet.  Once we figured out where all of her classes were located, we headed over to the bookstore and purchased her textbooks.  She was pretty excited to find used textbooks and only had to pay half price.

Also on Monday, Todd took off to attend the Regional Pastor's Conference in Spokane.   He came back home on Tuesday only to take off on Thursday for Aberdeen to help our sister-in-law drop off my niece to visit a friend.  Poor Todd drove from the east side of Washington to the west side.  He has had very little time to do much this week.

The kids and I have continued to go to the gym every morning this week to workout.  The novelty has started to wear off so it is getting a little harder for one of my children to be excited about working out, but regardless of their attitude, we are there.  I ran longer than I ever have so I have hope that I will be able to run a 10k in April, at least that is our goal.

Tonight we all headed out to the Chumstick property to have a campfire and cookout.  The boys found a concrete well casing that we have turned into a fire pit.  It was so nice to sit out there and roast our hotdogs over the fire and enjoy a quiet evening.  I wish we had brought the camper out there.  I could have crawled into it and fell fast asleep. 

We finish our week with Brian's birthday tomorrow.  The Big 14!

Monday, September 16, 2013

Science Nightmares

This weekend has been a HUGE drain on me mainly due to trying to play catch up with Brian's school work.  I thought we had it under control but realized that we were sadly behind in science.  We managed to get his science video made and posted last night but I ended up having to sit through one of Brian's recorded online class sessions so that I could hear a one minute blurb about 45 minutes into class on how to submit the video.  The teacher didn't really explain where to submit it so it took another ten minutes or more to figure out where to submit the video.  It was getting late so I sent Brian to bed and submitted it for him.  I am still not convinced we did it right.  This morning he has to watch the other students videos (just two not all seventy) and comment on them how they used energy and influenced matter.  I dreamed about the video, and Brian's assignments all night.   Ugh!
He has til noon to finish this project and catch up on his reading.   Remind me why we are doing this?  Oh yeah, to train my kids to be thorough, organized, responsible, and accountable...that's why!

I posted the video on Facebook if you want to see it.  I will try to get it on here later.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

I'm On a Roll Today - My 3rd Post- Don't Get Used to This

I finally pulled some pics of my husband's phone.

Tubing with the Harpers on Labor Day Weekend 2013

A Great visit with my friend, Laurie Popovich, and her daughter from North Carolina


I think I can finally take a few minutes to process all of the twist and turns of joining a virtual school.  Last Wednesday, Brian started his freshman year of high school at the Washington Virtual Academy (WaVA).  To ease into the school year, WaVA is using a "Ramp Up" schedule which means they are introducing one or two classes a day instead of doing all of your classes on day one.  Each class has an orientation that you are to attend where each teacher introduces  his/herself to you and explains how their class works.  Brian has not started all of his classes yet, he still has computers and history to start up.  The orientations have complicated our life somewhat in that they are live sessions and you have to schedule your day around them.  Wednesday we had a class at 11, 12, and 2.  This made for an extremely hectic day as I was working with Bryce on his schooling, and trying to get our church ready for AWANA.  My head was spinning by 5 pm and still can't believe that the day ended with no real complications.

Brian is my one kid who doesn't like change and doesn't like be told what to do.  He likes to call the shots, so WaVA is going to be a big learning curve for him.  Yesterday, when he sat down to do his science assignment I think he was going to revolt when he realized all of the steps his assignment required.  He had to pull up his science assignment, copy and paste to a word document, fill it out, save it, and then submit it the dropbox.  Sounds easy right?  For Brian it was a lot of hoops to jump through.  After brooding about it for a while he took off and ran off some steam.  Then todayhet sat down and did it.  He even had a smile on his face.

I know that this whole virtual school is going to push Brian academically.  One of the big reasons I wanted him to do the virtual academy was for the accountability.  The kids are more likely going to do their best for someone else than mom.  Also, WaVA takes the pressure off of me when it comes to his high school transcripts.  I wish I could afford a Christian on line school but it just isn't possible. 

I started writing this post a week ago (Read next blog...Too Busy to Blog), but I wanted to finish it.  During this week Brian finished all of his orientation, has taken several quizzes in math and has almost completed his first English test.  He has learned how to install various things on the computer and already knows more about the computer than I do from his class overview.  He is in the process of completing his PE fitness test and we have joined the local gym as a family so that he can get all of  his PE requirements done.  Thursday and Friday was spent taking assessment tests in math and reading and this weekend he is catching up on his school work that he wasn't able to complete due to the assessment test.  Overall we are slowly getting the hang of WaVA.  

To Busy To Blog...among other things

Where has all the time gone....So much many things to blog about.....too tired to do it.....Can you relate?

I am so jealous of my friend, Sue.  Her blog is so up-to-date and full of cool pics and fun happenings.  I wish I could do my blog justice.  Thanks for being patient with me, oh-ye-few,  who actually take the time to see if Kellie has blogged about anything.  Keep checking in.  Don't leave me. lol

What to tell you about first...

....Labor Day weekend with the Harpers....tubing down the Wenatchee River...trying to make our float a long, relaxing, memorable turned into a three hour long float with a leaky tube, sun setting, bone chilling but over all fun time....

....A visit from a North Carolina homeschool friend, Laura Popovich and her daughter, AJ, who were touring WA as AJ was promoting her artwork... .

....starting the Washington Virtual Academy and figuring out how it works, budgeting time to make it to all of the online, scheduled orientations, sitting through hours of classes with teachers who were all telling you the same thing on how to use the online school...patiently guiding your child through how to be an active online student....

....coming to terms with the fact that my oldest child is 16 and starting the Community College in a week...She is also taking an AP class at the high school and making an "A" so far on all of her quizzes and tests.!!! Yeah!!!!  So proud of her....She is also the secretary for the drama club and active in meetings and planning...trying out for the fall play...ministering to a close friend whose mother died last week of cancer....trying to figure out how to be a witness in school and with her friends...growing up too fast...

....harvesting the garden-green beans, carrots, lots and lots of zucchini (want any?), tomatoes, peppers, potatoes....canning, freezing, dehydrating,...

...working on the Chumstick Property (we have made arrangements with my mother-in-law to purchase her 4.71 acres), putting in power, building a shed, cleaning up all of the stuff that has been dumped on it for the past thirty plus years....: (....rejoicing in finding plum trees, apple trees, blackberries, and who knows what else....

See what I mean...busy, busy, busy...who has time to blog?

We did one really cool thing this week.  Brian has to make a thirty second video introducing himself and what he likes to do for his Physical Science class.  He decided that he wanted to make a video of himself rock climbing.  Once he has the video finished (he still has to edit it) I will post it.  However, here are a few pics from our video session.

                         Bryce climbing the rock.                            Todd getting Brian all hooked up
                    Todd makes climbing look easy.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Labor Day

We have finally reached the last day of Summer vacation - Labor Day. 

I have to say that my stomach is turning as this day has finally approached.  The biggest reason for my unsettledness is that I do not feel ready for summer to be over and school to begin.  I have spent the last hour this morning going over the Washington Virtual Academy website looking over what we need to do to get started for this school year.  I have procrastinated badly about getting ready and I now realize that all of those boxes that Brian's school books came in had some valuable information printed on them, but I, in my desire to unclutter our house, tore them down and sent them all to the recycler.  Oops! 

Fortunately, I am not in too much trouble with WaVA.  School officially starts on Wednesday so Brian can do his Online Orientation class tomorrow while I get Bryce started on his school work.  Wednesday, Brian and I have to sit in on a Orientation meeting at 11 am and then on the 12th he is scheduled to take a math and reading assessment test.  The whole idea of this online academy makes me nervous but I keep telling myself that once we get started it will go well.  Everyone that I know who has done WaVA has loved it.  Besides, one of the reasons why I wanted to do the online academy was to keep Brian and myself accountable to some one to keep us motivated and on track.

One thing that concerns me is that our school work will no longer come from a Christian Worldview but instead we are allowing the Common Core into our home.  I don't like the Common Core but this is one thing I know.  I am so thankful for the Christian education I received while growing up but I feel that it did not prepare me to defend my faith and my beliefs against what the public schools are teaching.  I didn't know how to combat their worldview and their thinking.  When a soldier is being prepared to go into battle, one thing he does is learn about the weapons his enemy uses and how to disarm them or defeat them.  By allowing my children who have been equipped with the armor of God to go into the public educational field as high schoolers we are trying to expose them to the world's educational system so that they can identify the fallacies in their teaching and know how to stand up against it, to know how to defend their worldview, to know how to witness and shine a light/be a light in this world that we live in. 

After going through the WAVA site this morning, I don't know if I more nervous now than before I looked at it.  So....time to get rid of some nerves by tearing apart an old barn.