Friday, November 26, 2010

Thanksgiving Day

A look on the outside

Front-yard football -- the tackling sort

Don't you love how *ready* Jimmer looks with his hands in his pockets?

3 girls, 5 boys -- no protective gear

Thank goodness this all took place before their tummies were stuffed with turkey, mashed potatoes, and pumpkin ice cream pie.

Look out, Kathleen. You've got 3 boys charging to tackle you!

She may have avoided getting tackled,

but Mikey didn't fare quite as well on this play.

A view from the inside

A happy Thanksgiving here.

We hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving where you are!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

In the mind of Mikey

Along with Kathleen's pile of drawings and other papery projects covering a table in our school room, Mikey made his contribution to the heap.

He's steady in his work and not one to disappoint.
So, as you can imagine, his creations are of...vehicles.

Some *wearing* exciting things

I was informed that this is a monster truck with
a front slider, coil overs, and reservoir shocks.

Some *doing* exciting things

A mudder with a supercharger--making a muddy projectile mess.

For the record, this next one is Mike's favorite drawing.

A rock-crawling Jeep Comanche using its winch.

My only concern with this drawing is that there is no longer a driver in the vehicle.

What happened to him?

Does his mother know that he was driving precariously over boulders near the tundra line among snow-capped mountains?

Did he leave a trail plan with a park ranger before he started his off-road journey?

Did he bring a sweater?

A go kart
I can handle peddle go karts.
I think.

Diagramming vehicles from various perspectives is also a trend with Mike's drawings.

He started doing this when he was around 7 years old. After we took a ride on Uncle Bob's houseboat down the Mississippi, Mikey came back and started drawing the whole boat from different angles--some of which he had never actually seen.

Channeling his inner da Vinci:

Okay, I was caught a little off guard with the next one. NOT a vehicle?

Besides Mike thinking about vehicles, I'm usually not sure what else goes through his mind. So I must ask:

"What's this flow chart?"

"Is this a diagram of your mind showing how you file and retrieve information?"

He says, "Oh, that's a diagram of a bunch of slide outs. I imagined all of the little boxes sliding into each other and all fitting into the largest box."

"I drew that a LONG time ago when I was little."

(Interpretation: "A long time ago" = sometime last school year)

* * * * * * *

Now that he's not so "little," what does he make?

Drawing in 2-D > Building in 3-D

He's kind of big on this Erector Set right now.

This week's creations:

A dragster

X Plane (his high performance "test model")
with forward-swept wings and twin tail fins

In progress: an off-road pick-up truck chasis
with independent front suspension and live axel in back

(He did have to tell me all the specifics because I know nuh-singk about zees vehicles.)

So there you have it.

Glimpses of Mikey's mind on the inside...from the outside.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Kathleen's dream bedroom, etc.

So I was sorting through piles of things that have overtaken one of our horizontal surfaces in the school room and found a handful of Kathleen's old drawings.

"Old" as in WAY back when she was in 5th grade.

Last year.

When she was, you know, still just a kid.

Her dream bedroom -- a treehouse loft

with several modes of entry/exit.

A knotted rope

A climbing wall

A ladder

For a crash landing or perhaps just a little fun:

A mound of colored foam blocks.

And, of course, an outdoorsy mural.

Moving along...

I also found Kathleen's first gig poster creation among the piles.

When I found this next picture, I figured it had to be Mike's...but, to my surprise, it is Kathleen's.

Hmmm...go cart innards.

A mechanical drawing? By Kathleen?
Looks like her brother is rubbing off on her.

Kids' artwork leaves a lasting glimpse of what has occupied their active imaginations.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Our bustling front yard

Question: What do you get when you have a large front yard and a triple garage filled with wheeled outdoor vehicles?

Answer 1: A magnet to all children out of doors.
Answer 2: A busy vehicle-fixing husband!

Yesterday's scene:

Sixteen of these neighborhood kids

rode our outdoor vehicles through the street,

jumped bikes in our yard,

played in the driveway,

Whirled around everywhere

at the same time.

Buster, you're totally busted.

No beating the girls with a hockey stick. You'll be able to climb the tree soon enough.

Girls like to jump too.

But nobody likes to fall.

Just wait until Joe fixes our Green Machine and Razor 360. Then we'll even have a contingent of parents joining the front-yard fun.


Friday, November 12, 2010

There may be something to it

A homeschooling graphic

Click here to view the full, clear graphic.

When homeschooling parents are hunkered down deep in the trenches of a school year, it's encouraging to see something like this.

Next week, we'll finish our 18th week of school out of a 36 week full year, and that =

halfway there!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Another year older

This little monkey likes to be around people,

has a well-developed sense of humor,

loves math, wrestling, target practice, all things spy, learning about weaponry and how money is made,


still loves to snuggle!

Our youngest is EIGHT!

And I'd like to keep him right there.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

All Hallow's Eve

Our kids don't mind the gory stuff these days.

It's sort of grown on this long gray wig.

They've watched our neighbor, who dresses up every year as the Grim Reaper, stand *very still* outside his doorway waiting for his prey. Then he scares the daylights out of all the tweens and teens.

So, I guess that's his trick before he hands out the treats with a big unseen smile behind his mask!

That may have rubbed off on our kids by now.

Oh dear, she's smiling. She forgot about playing the part of the gaunt, anemic, fairly serious but still nice witch.

Nice in that she still used good manners while trick or treating...and doesn't know any weird spells.

She must have thought she was still being a *cute* witch like last year. Looksie.

MK and K, good witch and Annie Oakley

That's better.

More in character anyway

This year we had:

A couple of bandits, a pretty ghould witch, and a pioneer girl.

Just one kind of gory one in the bunch.

And two bandits who came home with loot that I'll trust was willingly offered and politely received.

No ca$h $pent on co$tume$ thi$ Halloween.

Besides MK's wig that was purchased and unused from a couple of years ago, they pulled this stuff out of their dress up hampers.

I thank you kids from the bottom of my heart.

My very bloody heart.

* * * * * * *

Although we saved a little on this year's costumes, we did end up spending a little bit for the doctor's appointment and pharmacy yesterday after we noticed MK's bad reaction to the face paint.

She woke up barely able to open her eyes this morning, and the irritation started spreading throughout the rest of her face.

She's doing much better today.

She wanted me to post this picture of her taken yesterday.
She purposely didn't smile. Thought it would be even ickier that way.

I think she's more impressed with real gore rather than the artificial painted gore. The real thing is always more spectacular than that which is simply made up.

No costume or paint necessary. It's just scary all by itself!