Monday, August 26, 2013

Classical Conversations

As we begin a new school year I wanted to add a page on the blog which specifically addresses the new homeschool organization we have joined known as Classical Conversations. It can't possibly cover everything, but for those of you who are interested in the approach we are taking I thought it might be helpful. So, if you're interested in learning more about Classical Conversations and the classical education model in general, please feel free to check out my new "Page" listed as the third bullet under the "Homeschooling" section on the right side of the blog. We hope all of you have a wonderful 2013/14 school year as you guide your children on their academic journeys!

The Little Guys

LOVE this picture! This was taken in early May, but despite the delay, I just had to share and record for posterity this moment of pure preciousness! I can't imagine a better way to wake up than to these two sweet smiling faces! So thankful my phone was next to the bed to capture these beautiful smiles from our two little munchkins! :)
 Grammy gave Jackson this knight outfit a while back but it has only recently become a favorite. Jackson loves to dress up as a knight and "Protect the princesses from the bad guys!"
 One chilled out 3 1/2 month old baby! This was taken the beginning of May and I thought the way McKinley had thrown her leg over the side of the swing was adorable!
I sure love my two little guys! They are so super sweet! :)

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly Caterpillar

One morning in June I was outside watering/checking on our garden (which is basically a tomato garden since nothing else apparently wants to grow in that location) when I heard a relatively loud "thunk." I looked around and saw this guy had hit the ground. He must have fallen from a good 20 feet so I'm surprised he made it. After recovering from a moment of shock he began to move and I took him inside for Kennedy and Jackson to inspect (Reagan was in Tennessee with Little Anna).
From our research this appears to be an Eastern Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly Caterpillar. These particular caterpillars go through five stages beginning with light green and turning darker with each stage. From the pictures we found on line we believe the next stage for this little guy would have been a chrysalis. Sure wish we could have kept him around to see him turn into a butterfly but we didn't want him to die on our watch and so we decided we should probably send him on his way. We took him back outside and deposited him on the trunk of the tree he originally fell out of.
 Letting our caterpillar go

Locks of Love

Reagan has always wanted her hair to be long. Last spring (2012) when I had my hair cut for "Locks of Love" she decided she wanted to grow her hair out in order to give it away as well. We decided this summer it was long enough to cut so while we were in Tennessee in June all the kids went in for haircuts.
Here is Reagan's before and after haircut
 Ms. Alicia cutting Reagan's hair
 Look at all that long blond hair and such a happy girl! 
The back of Reagan's new hair cut and a happy/proud girl with her hair  
 Before we got there Missy K had been determined she only wanted her hair trimmed. Once she saw Reagan and Anna's haircuts, however, she decided to cut her hair too. It wasn't quite long enough to donate to "Locks of Love" but as you can see she cut quite a few inches off as well! 
 Jackson was pretty excited about getting his hair cut too... After we were done, he got down on the floor and kept saying "Put it back! Put it back!" as he desperately tried to collect all the hair on the floor. Poor Jackson, he has such a hard life!
 While the girls waited for Jackson to have his haircut they enjoyed some Ring Pops I had brought along for good cooperators. 
 Here is the finished product for Jackson too. He was about as excited about my taking a picture of his new haircut as he was about the haircut...
Anyone have ideas on how to make getting a haircut less traumatic for little guys? It's about as rough every time Grammy and I try and cut it. Any and all suggestions welcome! :)

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Good-bye & Good Luck to the Meyers Family

The Meyers family have been some of our best friends here in Lexington. I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know Kelly over the last couple of years and the kids loved playing with Maddie and Travis. We were so sorry to learn they were moving away this summer and have (and will continue to) miss them terribly! We wish them all the best in Illinois and look forward to seeing them the next time they visit Kentucky!
Before they left we had a sleepover for all the kids. Here's a group shot of our crew enjoying a popsicle break. :)

 Mendelssohn thought the popsicles looked pretty good too 
 Travis and Jackson thought it was pretty silly for a kitty to want a popsicle
 I had to take a few more cute pictures of Mr. Jackson as long as I was outside with the camera

 Go Jackson go! :)
Thanks for letting the kids come and hang out with us before you moved! We wish you all the best and come visit us soon!

VBS 2013

The kids participated in our church's VBS program again this summer in June. Our good friends Maddie and Travis joined them to experience the Veggie Tale themed week. Here they are singing during the Friday evening closing.
Our pastor's sweet girls
   After the program ended, the kids could purchase Cool Whip pies to throw in their favorite teacher's faces in support of Salvation Army and the "LemonAid" stand our youth group had set up each night throughout the week before and after VBS.
 Travis wasn't sure if he should waste the Cool Whip by throwing the pie in someone's face or just enjoy the treat himself. lol :)
Guess the opportunity was too irresistible...
 Miss Reagan had no doubt about whether or not she wanted to throw the pie or eat it! :) 

 Maddie enjoyed the opportunity as well 
 Reagan enjoyed this multiple times
 and helped Missy K too since she was a little bit nervous about doing this
 After the pie throwing was finished the water balloon fight began! 

 Missy K got a little wet! lol :)
 Maddie decided she didn't want to get soaked and quickly hit the sidelines and watched the action. She cracked me up by wanting to make sure I took a picture of the spot on her shorts that was wet. lol :)
 Four cute kiddos enjoying a final lemony snack from the "LemonAid" stand
Thanks for everyone who worked on this week at St. John's! :)

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Summer Fun at the Pool - 2013

We purchased Parks and Recreations Pool passes again this summer. Besides the girls taking two terms of swimming lessons we spent many mornings and afternoons at the various pools. Tates Creek is my favorite but the kids really love Southland and Woodland. We'll have to do our best to work in one or two more days this week since they'll close until next year after Labor Day weekend.
Jackson wasn't feeling cooperative for the group photo, but he was feeling pretty silly with my sunglasses. :)
This Shark, which Aunt Arla gave us (one of Lance's old swim toys), was a favorite all summer long
Before our good friends, the Meyers, moved away at the beginning of the summer we were able to work in one fun swim day with them. Here's everyone enjoying a snack together during one of the breaks.
 Maddie and Reagan are the same age and since we are in the same homeschooling co-op and Girl Scout troop we have participated in many of the same activities the past couple of years.
Missy K and Travis hanging out together - these two have been in several of the same pre-school classes
 Jackson and Travis are best buddies too, they're just a little more difficult to get a picture of together...
All the kids enjoyed the fountains at Tates Creek Aquatic Center again this summer, but Jackson especially got a kick out of them. I imagine it's partially because he isn't as proficient a swimmer as the bigger kids.
Sweet Maddie and silly Travis, working hard to swim while holding his breath and paddling above water. lol :)
Travis and Jackson were fascinated by a couple of June Bugs who were caught in the water. They would have me rescue them and then watch them as they dried off on the side of the pool.
McKinley with Ms. Kelly
 Sharing a towel
 and a good laugh 
 I guess that's what girlfriends are for! :) We miss you guys!
After Grammy and Grand-Dad came back from Alaska they spent some time with us in Kentucky. The pool is significantly easier with a Grammy to help! :)
Our primary swimming buddies for the summer were some of our neighbors and good friends. This picture was taken the first time we accidentally ran into them at the pool. I don't know how many days we spent with them at the pool afterwards but they were the BEST pool buddies ever! Their nanny, Abby, and I were able to split the big kids and little kids up which made it so much easier and fun for everyone! Sure hope this arrangement works out again next summer!
Mia riding the dolphin
What a smile! :)
Missy K loves turtles! :)
Sweet Miss Addison with Abby
Missy K in front of the play structure at Southland Aquatic Center
Having fun changing the flow of water
 Addison on the frog slide 
  Jackson discovered another way to enjoy a sunny afternoon at the pool 
 Such sweet friends
I apologize for the quality of these videos. I'm not sure what I was doing wrong but the camera obviously wasn't focusing. I still wanted to share these videos of the girls jumping off the diving board and swimming since this was both a big accomplishment and major source of entertainment the latter half of the summer. Reagan is in the primarily pink swimsuit followed by Kennedy in the green swimsuit.
Reagan doing a "toothpick" jump
Kennedy demonstrating form like you've never seen it before - I think she looks a bit more like a helicopter getting ready to take off than a child jumping into a pool but hey, whatever works! :)
Reagan and Kennedy jumping together
Mia jumping off the diving board
Addison and Jackson weren't to be outdone by their big siblings they could jump in the pool too! Way to go Addison!
Jackson really had to concentrate before he was able to jump. I didn't manage to capture his full routine on tape which was to count (in any random order from 1-20 for quite an extended period of time) as well as the build up included in this video. Long story short, jumping into the pool was a pretty lengthy process for Mr. Jicky Jack. lol :)  
"I didn't bump my head!" Jackson and I had a difference of opinion as to where he should stand to safely jump into the pool...
Thank you to everyone for all the summer fun at the pool! :)