Sunday, September 30, 2012

Raiders and Ravens

It's that time of year again.

While normally we wouldn't be rooting for the Raiders or the Ravens or any other pro football team for that matter (except maybe whichever one Tim Tebow is on at the moment), we will spend the next several weeks cheering on the Raven and the Raiders.  

While we are huge Gators fans and try to plan our Saturdays around Gator game time, flag football is pretty exciting too.  Especially when three of the best boys in my life are playing.

We moved here last year right before the season started so we didn't get to sign our boys up.  They played for a year in Texas and it's the only sport my older two sons want to play at all (besides swim team, which I have been putting off because of the practice hours.)

Last fall they could be found nearly everyday playing some form of football in the front yard...some sort of made up rules to make up for there just being three players (or four when their Daddy would join them).

This fall we get to go to two evening practices a week and games on Saturday mornings.  Considering I'm doing this solo, with two little girls in tow, I hope they are very thankful for this opportunity!  I know that I am thankful that they all practice on the same evenings, at the same times, and that their games on Saturdays are an hour apart at the most.

But it is fun to watch, and the weather has cooled off so it's been nice out by the evenings.  There is a playground nearby that I take the girls to while the boys are practicing, so it's working out well.

And it's always nice to see my children doing what they enjoy, and working hard at it.

Although my third son, the same one that says writing makes him itchy, has been having issues with the working hard at it part.  He's the one who always jumps at the chance to play a sport.  I'm not sure what took away his excitement with flag football, but he's been acting goofy and making excuses more than playing.  

That's him in the center, standing with his head down while the play is happening around him.

While I don't expect more than he's capable of, we did have a talk later in the day about being a team player and doing his best.

He asked for a break after every play he was in, and then after about three plays he participated in (and I use that term loosely), he hopped off the field on one foot and declared himself injured.  If it didn't look so comical, and if I didn't know him well enough to know how dramatic and strong-willed (aka stubborn) he is, I might have been upset that we sat there for most of the rest of the game watching him sit on the bench.  Towards the end, his coach finally talked him into trying to play again and he did a little better...running down the field when his team did, but not necessarily trying to do anything.

These sweet little girls played and ran around until they got bored and hot and then asked several times when we would go home.  While evening practices are nice and cool, our Florida mornings are still humid and hot.

First for the Raiders, loss for the Ravens.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

MFW EX1850: Week Seven

This week we were excited to have a visitor...Grandpa (my dad)!  He brought two chihuahuas with him to add to our already highly energetic home.  The kids love them all...grandpa and his two pups, and although they were quite yippy, they provided entertainment for my little ones and we were all happy for the distraction of waiting for daddy/hubby to come home.

Meanwhile, no break from school was had for Grandpa's visit.

We're now in the time period of the beginning to mid 1600s.  The Catholics and the Protestants were still battling against each other and the "Thirty Years War" was fought.  Maryland became a colony. The plague and fire swept over England.

For our study of fish this week, we pretended to be an archerfish...which spits streams of water at insects above the water to knock them into the water for lunch. We saw how that's not so easy since light bends as it passes though water and where it looks like the bug is (a paper bug in our case), is deceiving.  We used a pencil as our stream of water and looked through the water filled base to try to land our pencil tip on the bug.  It was pretty hard.

I hope your week was great!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

"When's Daddy Coming Home?" Jars

As a way to help the kids understand a little more how long it will be until their daddy comes home, I had them make these little countdown jars.  The boys understand the calendar and how long Daddy will be gone, but Leah constantly asks and well, everyone loves M&M's, so all of the kids thought this would be fun.  All I did was clean out some peanut butter jars and let the kids use my stash of stickers and Sharpies to decorate the jars.  I counted out the correct amount of candies for one jar, which fittingly filled the entire jar, and then filled the other four up the same amount.  As with every deployment he's been on, we don't know exact dates, so I'm sure they'll be some adding or subtracting once the big day gets closer.  

Leah with her "Daddy and me" necklace that a friend blessed us with for each of my children.

(I couldn't get him away from the Gators football game to come decorate his jar with us!)

The best part for the kids was that I took so long to collect five empty peanut butter jars (I finally just emptied two full ones into a storage container) that they got to eat about three weeks' worth of M&M's the first day.  Now whenever Leah talks to Daddy on Skype, she tells him the M&M's are almost gone and he gets to come home soon.  Ummm, not quite "soon" yet.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Beach Trip

Two moms, ten kids, one gorgeous day at the beach.

Going to the "big" beach without my husband doesn't usually happen in our family.  While the beaches up here in the panhandle are beautiful, they are a little rougher than the beaches I grew up going to in south Florida.  The waves here are pretty big and the slope of the beach, while fine for older kids, just doesn't work with little ones.    

My boys love the bigger waves of the big beach though.  A friend and I were going to try to swap kids so the boys would be able to go the beach while the girls stayed behind this time, but that morning was beautiful and the beach website said green flag so we (both of which had deployed hubbies) threw on our swimsuits and braved the beach with our ten kiddos. It went perfectly.  The weather was breezy, the water was calm and the kids were happy.

The boys were a bit disappointed at first that there were no waves to boogie board on, but being able to swim out to the sandbar where the water went from being over their heads to just up to their knees again kept them happy.  Really, just being at the beach with their best friends made them happy.  

Gabe keeping safe from the sand.

We are enjoying where the Air Force has us.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

MFW EX1850: Week Six

Few words, several pictures this week...

Making butter from cream in a glass jar.

A snack of crackers and fresh butter.

Making bird nests for science...chow mein noodles, shredded wheat, peanut butter and chocolate.  Add a few m&m's for eggs.  Snack.

Owl pellets.  Which for those who don't know, (I didn't until this year) are the coughed up remains - bones and fur - of swallowed-whole rodents.  (It's not poop.)

Our three pellets all turned out to have, what we determined to be, vole remains in them.

We've also been continuing our read-aloud of Amos Fortune, Free Man.  Again, MFW picked a winner and I'm asked most nights by my oldest son to read double what the teacher's manual suggests.

I hope you had a great week too!

Monday, September 17, 2012

MFW EX1850: Week Five

This week found us reading more about the early settlers...those in Massachusetts and Rhode Island.  We continued to work on the Pilgrim activities in the History Pockets:Life in Plymouth Colony book and the boys had fun choosing their occupation and designing their own store signs:

We also talked about quilt making and the boys colored patterned quilt squares and glued them together to form a paper quilt.

We were supposed to do these Indian games last week and squeezed them into this week instead.  In this one, we played Twig Toss using a craft stick.  You start with the stick on the back of your hand, toss it in the air and catch it in the palm of your hand.  I think we were supposed to use two hands, which would have made it much easier.  Next time I'll read the instructions better.  It was challenging, but we still had a lot of fun with it and caught it a few times.

In this next game, Almond Toss, you mark one side each of six almonds and place them into a bowl.  Toss them into the air, catch them in the bowl again, and for every almond that lands with its marked side up, you get a stick (or a toothpick in our case) to keep track of points.

Gabe won!

We finished up the history pockets book with a letter "home" from Plymouth to England.  In our home, I let the boys be creative and silly a lot as long as they are getting the basics of writing down.  And they love to be silly.

This fun little activity was an example of entertainment for children back in the day.  It's a simple little game where you pulled a lever and the geese went back and forth, snacking on the bush in between them.  My boys all thought it was pretty fun too (for a little while anyways).

Math.  Not Christopher's favorite subject but he likes it a bit more when he gets to use cool math tools.

And finally...Leah makes several requests a day to do preschool until I either make time to do BFIAR with her or I find her some worksheet to do school with while I'm doing school with the boys.

I hope your week was great!