Friday, August 31, 2012

Photo Friday 2012 ~ 35 ~

Our first week of homeschooling (e-schooling, whatever you wanna call it) is over and we survived!  I have to say we actually even enjoyed it!  I wasn't sure what to expect and we definitely still have some kinks to work out, but I think we are really going to like it.  The typical day seems to go like this... The kids get up at their normal time (they are total early bird, morning people, and they do not get it from me!) and I get up way earlier than my summer wake up time.  The kids eat breakfast and get dressed before I come down from getting ready.  Then I get them set up with their first subject at about 9am.  Then I get my coffee and breakfast and try to perk myself up a little while helping them. :)  We get through about 2 subjects before recess.  Then while they are playing I set up the next subject and we do that before lunch.  I eat a quick lunch and then set up the afternoon's lessons and then have the kids join me after they eat and have another little recess.  My daughter being such a great reader has helped so that I can set out her literature and grammar lessons and she can work through them on her own while I do her brother's phonics and literature lessons.  We get done for the day around 2pm.  I might try getting some things set up the night before for my daughter since she can work independently on some things like her Spanish class and her independent reading, but so far, I just haven't gotten to it.  I need to do my photography editing in the evenings now, so maybe when things slow down for me I'll try it.  And I think just figuring out all the computer stuff and tracking attendance and all of that will make the day go smoother.  It'll just take time.  I figure it takes teachers at 'normal' schools a few weeks to get into a routine too, so I'm just gonna cut myself some slack.  Besides, the kids think I'm the best teacher ever. :)  Which I take as a great compliment because they both have had some pretty awesome teachers!  I didn't take many pictures this week besides our first day of school pics, so I went out this morning while the kids were at recess and took a few.  Here are my favorites...

 Just hanging out in the tree.

My little monkeys.

I love this kid!  And I have to say, now that I am his teacher I realize that he is waaaay smarter than I was giving him credit for (and I always thought he was pretty smart).  He is quite the studious little thing and I am so proud of him.

Who needs monkey bars when you've got a great tree?

I took this the first day of school.  He was pretty excited that his math lesson included counting any household object and he was able to pick his legos.  :)

My girl on the first day.  They look so cute wearing their headphones.  They use them for any online lessons that have audio that way they don't disturb each other.  The school sent them...they really do send you everything you need.  It's awesome.

We are looking forward to our long weekend!  Next week I'm going to share how we've got our room set up, so check back!

Monday, August 27, 2012

1st Day of School!

I feel like everyone already knows, but in case you missed it, we are doing the Ohio Virtual Academy this year for school.  The kids have been excited for weeks, ever since we got their computers.  Today was our first day and we treated it just like every other year and got up and put on a special outfit for the occasion.  Then instead of getting on the bus, we went to our school room and got started.  :)  It was actually really nice.  There were a few computer glitches (on the school's end) which I'm told are normal.  We got pretty much done though.  The kids loved it.  I mean it, they really thought it was awesome that could choose which subject they wanted to do first.  My girl picked cursive handwriting.  My boy picked math.  I think we are off to a really great start!  Here are some photos I took of them this morning.

I cannot believe she is in 3rd grade!  She looks so grown up! 

My first grader!  Looking grown up as well, especially since his free JC Penney haircut which they botched (I said leave the top long...).  Oh will grow!

I love this one!  She picked her outfit out of a few suggestions I made.  She liked how 'stylish' this one is. :)

My big kids.  I'm so happy to be their teacher.

I have the cutest students ever!

I did this this collage last year, so I'm going to add to it every year.  Wow!  I cannot believe how much she's changed!

Closeup version.  I love how her teeth are different every year.

Had to do the same thing with my son.  I don't think he's changed as much except for getting taller.  He hasn't lost any teeth yet.  I can't believe how different my kids are in that respect...I mean look at my daughter's first grade picture!

Close up versions of him too.

I hope the kids love it as much the last day of school as the first.  And I hope I do too!  Here's to a great school year!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Photo Friday 2012 ~ 34 ~

This was the last week of summer. :(  I'm so sad.  At least I'll have my kids home with me still, but we'll be busy doing school rather than lazing around and going to the pool.  I'll miss it.  We packed a lot of fun into this last week though.  A trip to Kings Island with friends, a pool day with other friends, and another pool day with family and we can't forget just hanging out with the neighborhood friends either.  That's what my photos are this week.  The neighborhood kids have discovered that my husband is actually pretty fun and not as scary as previously thought.  :)  That's because he likes to play football with them.  It's super basic touch football but they still like it.  I went out last night to snap a few photos of them in action.  I noticed at the back of the yard a beautiful patch of sunlight still peeking through (it was almost dusk) and I told the girls to come over and I'd take their pictures when they were done with football.  That ended the game really quick since they are all supermodel wannabes.  It was fun.  Here are my favorites.

This little girl has the most beautiful hair I've ever seen.  She always wears it up in a ponytail but I made her take it down for the picture.  The picture doesn't even do it justice.  It's thick and soft and gorgeous.  I'm jealous of a 9 year old.

I love the sunlight hitting her hair in this one.  She's such a pretty girl with the sweet personality to match.  I'm so thankful that we have sweet neighbor friends who I don't have to worry about corrupting my children, but who have a nice family with good values.

This is her older sister.  My son adores her.  She is just like an extra big sister to him, only nicer than his real sister sometimes. :)  What is with these girls and their beautiful hair?  She had it in a ponytail, took it down, ran her fingers through it and it looks like she spent hours styling it.  Lucky girls.

Okay, this is the real her.  Always smiling and happy.

Had to take some of my own pretty girl too!

I love this in black and white.  So soft and I love her smile.

I love her serious face too.

I had to include a photo of them in action playing football right before their mini photo shoot.  I love these girls!  

Next week school starts!  I have to admit, I am the teeniest bit excited about getting back into a routine and being a teacher.  I really should have taken my parents advice and majored in education in college.  But that was back when I thought kids were annoying.  And now I love them.  Figures.

Have a great weekend!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Photo Friday 2012 ~ 33 ~

Friday sneaked up on me this week and I checked my camera this morning and realized I hadn't taken a single personal photo all week.  This always happens when I start to get busier on the professional side of things and I forget to pick up the camera and takes pictures of my own family.  So I just asked my girl if she would stand on our deck for just a minute so I could take her picture.  I think it was actually less than a minute since she was eager to go back in and watch her show.  But I take what I can get.  I am in love with her freckles lately and how brown her skin has gotten over the summer.  She has the teeniest freckles I have ever seen and they make her even more beautiful.  They fade over the winter and I miss them.  I tell my kids that their freckles taste like cinnamon.  A good excuse to kiss them as often as possible.

She was mad at me because I asked her to look over her shoulder and she said it makes her neck hurt.  But I love her eyes here.  The reflections in them make them look so multicolored!

Hopefully next week I'll remember to pick up the camera more and get some more candid shots too.  It's the last week of summer and I want to enjoy it as much as possible!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Cramming in the Fun

As promised, I'm going to share a little more about our super short weekend trip to the Smokey mountains.  We went to pick up our daughter who had spent some time down there with her Grandmama and Papa being totally spoiled and having the time of her life.  My husband doesn't have much vacation time since starting a new job this year, so we tried to cram as much fun into 2 days as possible.  I think we did a pretty good job.  We went tubing, shopped in town, ate outside at the pizza parlor, and even had time for a fire and marshmallow roasting with my girl's little cousin.  And that was all in just 1 day!  The next day we packed up to head home and ended up having fun at some stops along the way.  We started in Cherokee with buying my son the bow and arrow he was dying to have.  Then we stopped a couple of times on our way through the mountain.  And we stopped yet again in Gatlinburg at the Nantahala Outdoor Center for a pit stop.  My husband loves to look at the hiking and camping gear and plan our future adventures (it's the boy scout in him).  They have a rock climbing wall in the middle of the store which is 3 stories high and our daughter decided she wanted to climb it.  Since it only cost $6 we said what the heck, what's another bit of fun crammed in!  She loved it and even did it twice since there was no one else waiting.  My son of course decided that he needed to do it too.  I kept telling him that it was harder than it looks.  He is afraid of heights so I didn't think he'd really like it.  But he insisted so we let him.  He made it about halfway up before he decided to come down.  I think he was really too short for it for one thing since his arms and legs couldn't reach the handholds and footholds well...and I think his fear of heights got the better of him.  Afterwards he said he thought he could just jump up the wall.  Maybe he thinks he's spiderman?  Too cute.  We didn't get home until after midnight, but it was worth it.  I can't wait to go back in the fall and have a little more time to breathe.  Here are some photos of all of our adventures.

My girl and her cousin.  They are the exact same age and they are so cute together.  They started a singing group and called themselves "The Cutie Cousins".  They even wrote their own songs!

My girl and her Grandmama and Papa.  How many kids get to hang out with their Great Grandpa and make memories like that?  I'm so glad I let her go.  Next year maybe her brother will go too!

Our view on the ride home.  I love the feeling of being surrounded by so much green.

Haha, this pic makes me laugh.  They both said it was too bright to open their eyes.  :)

My girl is turning into quite the little photographer.  That's the turkey we saw on the way home!  My husband told us whoever saw the first wild animal in the National Park would get $10.  Guess who saw it first?  He did.  Figures.  But on the way there we saw a wolf!  It was so cool!  No pic of him though.

My little rock climber.  She's ringing the bell at the top on the right.

Look at the determination on her face.  There was a balcony on the second floor that was perfect for pictures!

My boy trying it out too.

I love little weekend getaways.  So many memories crammed into such a short time, but totally worth it.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Photo Friday 2012 ~ 32 ~

My girl is back this week and that makes me happy.  Last Friday we left for the mountains after my husband got off work and had a nice little weekend trip.  We packed as much as we could into the two and a half days that we were there.  We went tubing at Deep Creek with the kids and it was so much fun!  They loved it.  I've been doing it since I was a kid and it is so fun showing my kids the fun things that we used to do.  I don't have any photos of it though since I was participating.  Oh well.  We also went shopping in town and my girl got another stuffed dog (shocker!). And my boy saw a cheap bow and arrow set that he really, really wanted, but we told him we'd get a nicer one in Cherokee on our way home.  He talked about it non-stop until we finally got it the next day.  He loves it.  It's so cute watching him shoot it.  I don't have any pictures of that either though.  I do have a bunch of other pics to share though.  I actually have so many that I promise I will do another blog post about our trip.  I know I always say that and then I don't follow through, but I am going to make myself do it this time.  Okay, back to the pics for today.  Here you go...

I love this pic taken at the top of the drive.  I love this view.  It never gets old to me.  I love the road cutting through the mountain, the amazing clouds and the yellow flowers.  Perfection.

My kids on the Appalachion Trail.  Maybe someday we'll actually hike part of it for real.

On our drive home we decided to stop at one of the "Quiet Walkways" that we always see marked when driving through the mountains.  It was awesome!  I love the feeling of being surrounded by so much forest and greenery.  It is so peaceful and relaxing.  Until you hear thunder and you have to run back to the car. :)  Next time we are going to wear better shoes and go much, much farther on the trail.  The kids loved it.

Another view of the mountains.  We haven't been in the summer in a while, we usually go in the fall and I love the contrast of how different the mountains look in the different seasons.  I love how blue they look and they just stretch on forever.  I know it's not as dramatic as most mountains in the world, but the Smokey's are just so much a part of my family that they will always be my favorite.

I've taken photos in front of this truck before.  It's right by where we stay (it's actually one of my cousins trucks) and it was a little more overgrown than the last time, but we were still able to smash down some weeds and get to it.  We were on our way back from town and this little photo shoot was totally not planned.  My son had taken his shirt off in the car because he was hot, so I just let him leave it off (it kinda clashed with my daughter's dress) and I actually like how he looks like a little hillbilly. :)  I love, love the way he is standing here.  He's got swagger and I love it.

My sweet girl.  I was so, so happy to see her!  We arrived in the middle of the night and she was sleeping in her fort she had made, but she woke right up and gave me some of the best hugs and kisses I have ever gotten in my life.  I know she had an awesome time, but I am so glad to have her back.

There's her sweet smile.

I love this of my babies!

The super serious version.

He can never stay serious for long!  Silly boy. I actually think this might be my favorite.

A new favorite of my girl.

I love when I force my kids into these mini photo shoots...these literally took less than five minutes.  My husband was standing behind me doing a count down because the kids were not in the mood.  They love me though so they do it for me and I'm glad that they do.  I promise to do another post next week about some more fun things we did on our trip!  Have a great weekend!


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