Friday, April 29, 2011

Orange Belt - Tae Kwon Do

Collin is now an orange belt!!!
 These two are advancing!
 Removing their white belts!
Tying on the new orange belts! YAY!!!

Here's a video of the testing for Collin... First is his form and then two self-defense moves. Sorry that it's side-ways. I'm not sure how to turn it so you'll just have to turn your head. LOL! :)


 I don't know why Collin didn't make it into this pic (ignore the laundry in the background -- it's clean, just needed folding :). This was our tomb cake. Um... the kids put the icing on it and it kinda broke apart into pieces. LOL! It's okay though.... it still tasted yummy. We made other things too but I didn't get pics. Our favorite are the Easter Story Cookies. My kids love those!
Easter morning!! Here are their Easter gifts and their Easter clothes. Aren't they cute?? As for their toys... Ronni's is a wooden dress up toy. The clothing is magnetic. She loves it! It has shoes, pants, shirts, and dresses. Tons of fun for her. Collin got some Papo figurines -- a knight, a horse and a dragon.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011


As I mentioned in my previous homeschool post, we went on a field trip with Collin's virtual charter school next year. So excited about it. The three of us went to the zoo yesterday. Hooray!! :) Here are pics of our adventures.
 Tortoise: The kids loved it b/c they were walking all over the place. They've never done that before while we were there. :)
 The kangaroo exhibit. I love this one (I still miss the sea lions they replaced) because we get to walk through their home with no walls or fences between us. It's neat!
 Gorilla. This one is always a hit with my kiddos.

 We stopped for a snack. I had popcorn in my backpack. Do you see where Collin's foot is propped up? Apparently there was an ant bed there and a few moments later Collin yelled, "Ants!" And leaped off the rock a few feet in front of us scratching and jumping. LOL! Poor guy! He made it with no bites though. haha! Just plenty of tickles.
 Elephants... they are very aromatic.
 This is where Ronni ended up for part of the trip... my shoulders hurt. haha! Especially when she was on my shoulders and I was lifting Collin up to see things too. Whoo! Quite the workout!
 Collin was up there feeding the giraffe but that man stepped in front of me as I was clicking. Oh well, just trust me, Collin was there.
 As strange as this is, Collin is always most excited to see the ostrich. Normally he says far away so the only way Collin sees him is if I zoom in with the camera and show him the picture. You can imagine his excitement when the ostrich walked right up to us and started pecking at the pinecones in front of our feet. It was awesome!

 They loved "milking a cow".

 and feeding the goats!
 And, of course, posing for their mommy to get pictures.
 The "Wormies" as the kids called them.
Ronni kept sliding off the back of the lion so she sat on his tail for me instead. LOL! Her idea. ;)

Then, we left and ate lunch by the river in the picnic area. The kids and I were exhausted but we still had to go to the other side of Columbia to run some errands before heading home. We all slept well last night. =o)

Lunch and Play

Every year during spring break there is a play put on for children at the local gardens. Everyone brings a picnic lunch and prepares to watch a show. There are crafts and the Easter Bunny as well. Here are pics from last year. This year was fun too though. We went with friends this time. :) Oh, and, did I mention that it's completely free??!!
 Here's our picnic blanket and lunches. You can see Ronni's purple egg on the blanket. That was the craft this year. So much better than painting. I was able to just grab all the supplies and bring them back to the blanket instead of staying up at the crowded craft table. :)
 Here's Collin's egg. It's become much more decorated since then. The kids brought home some of the foam stickers and covered them. hehe!
 This year was a marionette performance of Cinderella. Very cute! :)
Here they are!! Aren't they fabulous?

Monday, April 11, 2011

To Homeschool or Not To Homeschool....

This is the question that has been bouncing back and forth in our heads for a while. I was homeschooled and I have always wanted to homeschool my kids b/c it was sooooo much fun! I didn't want my kids to get lost in the crowd of public school. I went to public school and private school before we homeschooled so I've experienced them all. Homeschooling was by far my favorite. Paul never has and has been a bit unsure about the whole thing. Not against it, just not sure about it either. So Sunday we talked and prayed and talked some more. We finally came up with a decision and the more research I've done the more excited I am about it.

We're going to do K12 SCVCS (South Carolina Virtual Charter School). Basically, it's like public school at home. In the state of South Carolina it is completely free. They send everything your child will need during the school year... even a laptop. I have no registered Collin for it. Here is the info I got on it today from talking to a mother who has been doing it for 3 years (I think) and the lady who answered the phone when I called them.

It follows public school schedule so basically, we won't do school year round. We will start on a certain date and finish on a certain date. We can adjust the holidays in between as we want -- when we take spring break and all that. I figured we'd revolve it around Paul's work schedule. =o) If he gets a holiday off then we'll take it. Everyone is given a homeroom teacher and is require to "meet" with him/her via the internet monthly. This teacher also plans monthly outings for all of her students. Sometimes she teaches classes online and if Collin is watching it then there are things he can click to "write" on the board or raise his hand. There's even a little chat room so he can answer questions if asked. Totally cool! It is fairly flexible though. The mom I talked to said her son is only taking Math like that this year and it's the first time she's done it. Most of the classes are very flexible. In Kindergarten he will take Math and English daily. History and Science only about 3 days a week and Art/Music only 1-2 times/week. He will also take PE which is whatever we decide to do. Or, another option is the block scheduling where Collin could do Math on Mondays, English on Tuesdays and so on. Whatever option we would rather do. He has to have 30 hrs a week put into school and 5 of those hours have to be extra stuff (can't remember what they called them) like projects, field trips or even trips to the library.

About 10-15% of his work will be done on the computer. The rest will be away from the comp. There is a zoo day coming up where I'll get to meet other students, parents, and teachers from this school. We think we may be going so I can meet them and talk to them. :)

They have free speech therapy (just like public school) and they use assessment tests. So, if Collin passes assessment tests with an 80% or better then he can go on to the next lesson so he could fly through the classes if he wanted to. On the other side of that, if he is struggling in math and rocking at everything else then he would work at that level. So... it has all the benefits of public school mixed with the benefits of home school. I love it! It's not as flexible as real homeschool b/c it's technically a charter school. We get transcripts and report cards as if he's in school. I just can't see anything negative about it. I think it's going to be awesome and I can't wait until August!!!! =o) Hopefully we'll be in a new house by then so we'll have somewhere to put all the school stuff. hehe!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

That's it! I'm saving up for a sewing machine!!

Isn't this adorable?? All this is is a t-shirt and two bandannas. So easy but it cost $50. Right now it's on sale for $30. Ronni would be soooo adorable in something like this. I have decided that I am saving up for a sewing machine. Maybe by the time we get into a new house (when we'll actually have room for a machine) then I can buy one and make her this cute little dress. Soooo adorable!!! =o)

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Saturday Morning Sesson

This weekend is General Conference weekend. It's one of my favorite weekends!! I LOVE CONFERENCE!!! Lately, I have been focusing on being a better mother and ways to improve (yes, there are TONS of ways... I have a lot to work on) so I was extremely excited about conference because of that. I knew I would get some answers but I had no idea that there would be so many. There were some great talks!
  • L.Tom Perry -- Keeping the Sabbath holy
  • Jean a Stevens -- Becoming more child-like
  • Walter F. Gonzalas -- How to be a better follower of Christ
  • Kent F. Richards -- spiritual and physical pain cured through Christ
  • Quentin L. Cook -- LDS women are incredible (Yeap!! Totally earned some brownie points ;)
  • Henry B. Eyring -- Service
So, granted, not all of these are about children -- at least, that's what it seems but every single one of them had something to do with children and raising children. It was awesome! I saw things I can do with the kids to help them focus more on Christ on Sundays. Then there was the talk about becoming more child-like. It spoke about how precious these children are and how we need to be humble and full of love just like them. I learned how to teach my kids to follow the words of Christ and to teach them about the Atonement. Cook's talk spoke about how important it is for me to teach the kids and to care for the kids. Finally, Eyring discussed service and how important it is for children to learn about service now so they will be more willing to serve and help others when they are older. Basically, through all of this I learned how incredibly special the spirits are that I have been given. They are amazing and some days it's so easy for me to forget how special they are. Hopefully, I will be able to remember this and my relationship with my kids will become stronger and we will all be stronger in the Gospel from it.

Okay, 1 hr and 20 minutes to the next session! HOORAY!!