Saturday, April 28, 2012

Missing Teeth

I love this boy and his gappy smile! His teeth are falling out way faster than they are coming in. And seriously, whoever our tooth fairy is better get on the ball. She is always late. I mean come on, how hard is it to remember to stick some money under a pillow?

Sunday, April 22, 2012

A Full Day

At dinner last night, we were sitting around discussing the days activities, and I was overwhelmed with a filling of gratitude for the experiences my children are having.  We are so blessed to live in a time and place where they have so many opportunities.

The day started with promotion at the Mateo Academy where Anna, Alahna, and Robert are learning martial arts and self defense. (William will start in the fall.) They all were promoted to white belt second degree and Robert was surprised that he earned student of the month for February. Later in the day when we talked about it he said, "What does student of the month mean, anyway." :)

After promotion, Robert had his first t-ball game and Anna went with the youth group from church to take an introduction to scuba diving class. Listening to her talk about her experience had us all cracking up at the dinner table. She takes after her Grandma Jane and is a great storyteller.

At most martial arts studios white belts are given upon beginning the program. At the Mateo Academy Sifu makes his students earn it.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

brain malfunctions

So... I was just reading through some of my more recent postings and noticing all of the spelling and grammar errors.  Sorry about that, my brain isn't really working properly these days.

Mormon Battalion

I am still trying to get all caught up and I think I am just about there. (And sorry these posts have not been in any kind-of order.) We went down to San Diego in February to watch BYU men's volleyball. While we were there we went to the new Mormon Battalion museum. If you ever get the chance to go....take it. It was wonderful!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Cougar Heads

David took each of the girls to a BYU basket-ball game and out to eat for a fun daddy-daughter date. This has become a sort of tradition that the girls look forward to every year and Robert can't wait to be old enough to go to one too. (He has to be able to sit still for a little bit longer first!) This year they wore there hats from Aunt Crystal.

Another Field Trip

The CA Science Center had an exhibit about the Islamic contributions to science in the middle ages. It was fascinating. After this year, I have a whole new perspective on the "dark ages". Yes, those years are called dark for a reason, but maybe they weren't as dark as the history text books make them out to be. And some things that I was taught in school are simply not true. For example, did you know that most people in the medieval period knew the earth was round? Yup, Christopher Columbus was never worried about falling off the edge of the world, regardless of what your 2nd grade teacher told you.

We saw a full replica of the elephant clock invented by al-Jazari.
 And while we were there the girls rode on the high wire bike, 43 feet above the bottom floor!

Anna, of course, was fearless! Crystal, do you remember the cow ride in OK?

Alahna wasn't going to go until she saw Anna having so much fun. She was a little less fearless, but still made it all the way across!

Hufflepuffs Rock

Our Hufflepuffs are awesome, winning the house cup two components in a row.  So yes, that means we finished "Tales of the Bards" and next week will finish "Revolutions of the Renaissance Men". This year is just flying way to quickly!

At the end of "Tales of the Bards", or Year 4 at Quercus Alba, Robert was awarded an Ivory Acorn Award for his achievement in reading. He has really taken off and will read a Magic Tree House book in one day. Alahna was also awarded an Ivory Acorn for excellence in everything, but especially foreign languages. That kid has a gift. She is the youngest in our Latin class by a couple of years, but is right up there at the top of the class. And she doesn't even have to try! She hears it and it just sticks in her head. And for French, let's just say that when I have a question she's the one I'm asking.

St. Andrew's Abbey

In January we went to St. Andrew's Abbey. It was one of the coolest field trips so far. The monks knew we were studying the middle ages so they focused on the role of monasteries and the church throughout the dark ages. We learned so much and had the nicest monk to give us a tour. We even attended mass where we were able to use some of our Latin skills. The girls were almost bouncing out of their seats when they started singing one of the songs we learned last year. 

The Abbey makes and sells ceramics all over the world to support themselves. This is one of the kilns.

Father....wish I could remember his name..... ringing the bell for mass.

And our wonderful tour guide. Can't remember his name either. I really should have written them down.

Congratulations Alahna

Today Alahna took the written part of her Certificate of Merit piano test. Yesterday she took the actual test. She had to sight read, play all her scales and 5 finger patterns in under 4 minutes, play 4 songs from memory and one with music. And of course she passed with flying colors!

She has been working towards this for months and we are super proud of her.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

A Quest

To get excited about school again after Christmas break my knights and shield maidens were summoned on a quest. They received messages via their owls in the morning telling them to prepare to face many perils and to bring back as much knowledge as they could find. They were then sent on a scavenger  hunt to find bits of information on the middle ages. Anytime there was bickering they were sent to destroy the dragon. At the end of their quest they were rewarded with root beer floats. 

armed for battle

We will conquer! I love this picture!

And I love this one even more! The boys and Alahna are hiding from a potential threat to their mission... a car! Anna is hiding because she is so embarrassed to be seen outside like this!


Because potions class was a big part of Harry Potter, it has been a big part of our school year at Quercus Alba. We have had many crazy experiments, but not so many pictures of them! Here is Anna when we made slime. She loved it, but some others were not as enthusiastic about the gooey substance.

Motte and Bailey's

Earlier in the year (man, I am so behind in my blogging) we studied medieval castles. The kids used salt dough to make motte and bailey castles. These castles could be built in a matter of days by an army and were used by William the Conqueror in the Battle of Hastings.

Weekend at the Beach

David's parents invited us to join them at his mom's cousin's rented beach house for conference weekend. We had a great time, but it is probably safe to say we didn't get as much out of conference at we normally do! Thank goodness for DVRs! It was a little on the chilly side most the time we were there so there wasn't much for playing in the ocean. But we had fun hanging out on the pier, collecting sea shells, and playing in the sand.

Anna and Alahna dug a tunnel in the sand. Anna started digging a hole and when Alahna started digging one too they decided to try to connect their holes. We were all ecstatic when their hands met and they completed their tunnel!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Pyramus and Thisby

We just finished a component in which we spent some time studying Shakespeare. I was concerned that the boys would be too young and not understand it much, but that fear was completely put out of my mind after our first play, Hamlet. They loved it. I found an audio version of it for children and they listened to it every night for a week. We also studied King Lear, A Midsummer's Night Dream, Macbeth, and The Taming of the Shrew.

The kids put on the play within a play, "Pyramus and Thisby", from a Midsummer's Night Dream and William was Lion. If you haven't read it, I highly recommend it. We laughed and laughed and are still laughing about it now!

transplayroom railroad

After learning about the transcontinental railroad, Robert decided to build one using the geotrax set. He was so proud that he made it from one end of the playroom to the other.

A little update on Robert- His patch time has increased from 2hrs/day to 4. He will be fitted for new AFO's (his braces on his legs) later this week and has an apt with the neurosurgeon next week to discuss surgery again.  But on a fun note... he has started t-ball and LOVES it! I will post pictures of that later!

Mad Scientist

The girls have been enjoying potions class with our new chemistry set.