Saturday, December 31, 2011

2011

Summing up a whole year, all in one post.  Note to self, blog regularly!  In 2011:

Tyler: Played basketball and had a great time.  He also turned 11 and officially moved from cub scouts to 11 year old boy scouts.  He now gets to go on overnight camp-outs!  He attended his first one in the fall, and had a great time.  Tyler also decided to give homeschooling a try.  We talked to him about homeschool vs. going on to middle school, and after going to the middle school orientation, he chose homeschool with his siblings.  He's been having lots of fun going on field trips, and has figured out that if he gets his school work done early in the day, he gets lots of playtime!  Tyler has also started babysitting his siblings from time to time, which has made my life much easier.  It's nice not having to load up everyone in the car every time I need to run an errand or take Bryan to the gym!

Bryan:  Kept busy with gymnastics.  He ended up finishing his level 5 season as Texas South State champion, go Bryan!  He also competed in Future Stars Testing again, and came in 4th in the 9 year old age group.  Besides gymnastics, Bryan has also enjoyed all of our field trips, and his cub scout activities.

Kaylee:  Took to homeschool much better than I had anticipated.  She has such a love of learning!  She transitioned quite well to me being her teacher, which is good.  She decided to continue recreational gymnastics, though turned down another offer to join team.

Elly:  Finally started talking!  While she had some vocabulary, she had been quite behind in her language development.  After her 3rd birthday, she finally started becoming a lot more talkative.  Better yet, we finally started understanding what she was saying!  That's always a bonus.  Elly also quite loved having all of her siblings home, and started her own "school" by getting pencil and paper whenever everyone else sat down to do their school work.  Park days have been her favorite.

We also did quite a bit of traveling during 2011.  We went on a trip to Germany in the spring, where we got to celebrate my grandparents' 60th wedding anniversary.  The summer brought a family reunion with Dave's family at Aspen Grove family camp in Utah.  It was great seeing everyone, and the kids very much enjoyed getting reacquainted with their cousins.  The fall was filled with field trips, which everyone really enjoyed.  My grandpa passed away in October, so we decided to go on another trip to Germany for Christmas, to keep my grandma company.  All in all, 2011 was a busy and eventful year, and I wouldn't have it any other way!

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Armand Bayou Nature Center

During this field trip, the kids got a taste for what life was like for early settlers in TX. They also learned about native plant and animal life, which the nature center is trying to re-establish.  It was a great, hands-on experience.

They learned how to make rope.




Then they learned how to make butter.  And they got to eat it, too!




Finger spinning wool was on the agenda, too.  Enough twisting made the wool curl into cute little bracelets.




Saturday, November 05, 2011

Future Stars Testing

These handsome guys came in 3rd and 4th (both of them 8, competing in the 9 year old age group)!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Halloween

In true family fashion, half of the costumes were, once again, improvised....  Tyler wore the karate suit, which has been worn by either one of the boys for 3 or 4 years in a row now.  Bryan was Random Dude (his idea!).  Kaylee and Elly benefited from a Gymboree sale...

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Houston Downtown Aquarium

Next on the list of field trips was the Downtown Aquarium.  The kids got to take a class there, where they learned about carnivores and got to touch a couple of animals.  After touring the aquarium and riding a little train around the park and through the shark building, everyone got to go on all the rides.  No lines, which meant lots of turns.  Another perk of going with a homeschool group, everyone else is at school!  :o)



The train went through a tunnel that went through the shark tank.  It was quite impressive!


Downtown Houston, view from the ferris wheel.  I used to love ferris wheels, but didn't do too well on this ride.  One time was all I went for, despite the kids begging for more...  


My kind of ride!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Galveston Railroad Museum

The Galveston Railroad Museum was fun, though part of it was still under construction.  Hurricane Ike did a lot of damage back in 2008, and it's taken them a long time to restore everything.  It was an interesting field trip, and we'll probably go again next school year, when the model train area has reopened.  As it was, the kids had a great time exploring the old train cars, and climbing on a couple different engines.








Of course, you can't go to Galveston and not go to the beach!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Children's Museum Houston

The kids had a fun time at the museum, though I have to say I was a bit underwhelmed.  Some of the exhibits I wasn't very fond of (like the one comparing cheese its to doritos, asking which was a healthier choice...), and some stuff was broken.  Probably won't go on another field trip there.




Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Houston Museum for Natural Science

After the first year of homeschooling Bryan, and knowing that the rest of the kids would be staying home for the new school year, as well, I decided to follow the advice of one of my good friends and join a homeschool group.  I love it, not only for the support, but for the park days and field trips!  It's amazing how cheap museums become when you can get a group rate.  Awesome!  For our first field trip, we went to HMNS.  The kids had a blast!  First stop was the butterfly center.  It was amazing, I now want to get some plants that will attract butterflies, so we can have more in our own backyard.




Next stop was the IMAX theater, where we saw a movie about two different animal rescue centers, one for chimpanzees and one for elephants.  I was impressed with how people dedicated their lives to help these endangered animals.  After the theater, we got to spend time exploring the rest of the museum.


And learn about polymers.


We also got to see the gem exhibit, which the girls loved, haha.  It was a super fun day, and the kids have been begging to go back.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Chirp, chirp...

Can you hear the crickets?  Poor neglected blog hasn't been updated for almost a year.  Turns out that has really left some people in the dark about what's up with our family.  Like, the fact that we're now a homeschooling family.  Or that we just spent a month in Germany.  And some of our own family didn't even know!  So, I have resolved to revive the old blog.  I've been wanting to, anyway, as it has been a great way to keep a journal of sorts.  Now I have another excuse.  Thanks for the extra incentive, Melissa.  :o)  Watch for a series of posts over the next few days.  I'm going to probably back-date a lot, so I can still have my life here in chronological order.  Can't put 2010 into 2011 now, can you?