Friday, October 23, 2009

Pick... him!

Alyssa tends to take after me, in more than just looks. So when it comes to making a fool of oneself, she isn't usually the first to volunteer. Parker, however, is his daddy. If there's an opportunity to get on stage, he's there! Prior to a family trip to Mickey's place today, Parker decided that he really wanted to be chosen to participate in the Jedi Training Academy. Previous such attempts have been most disappointing, so smart boy that he is, he enlisted the help of the sibling with legible handwriting to create a sign. Apparently the Jedi master liked Alyssa's plea to "Please pick my brother" because Parker was the first child selected. Needless to say he was thrilled, and Alyssa was more than happy to cheer from the sidelines.

We enjoyed our usual slew of rides, beautiful weather, and time with Daddy. And though we're really not so into Halloween, we were dutifully impressed by the annual selection of Disney-themed pumpkins. No hope of such artistically-carved gourds showing up on our doorstep!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

How's it going?

We’re now two months into the whole homeschooling thing and this is a question we get a lot. My answer (most days) is “we love it!” As I anticipated (and occasionally feared), there are times when my patience runs low and days when the kids would really rather not do school. But more often than not we enjoy our time together, enjoy learning, and enjoy the freedom of making our own schedule. So far Alyssa’s favorite part is getting to sleep in. Where I once had to drag her out of bed each morning to rush her out the door for school, she now usually sleeps later than her traditional start time. Of course this sleepy mama doesn’t mind that change of pace either! Instead of dinner as a family, we eat breakfast together. Rather than playing, reading and wrestling with daddy in the evening, we enjoy him in the morning. School doesn’t start until after he leaves, around 11. Not normal, I know, but it works for us! The hour-and-a-half I would have to spend in the car picking up and dropping off, we spend doing school together instead. Actually sitting down, teaching, and planning takes even less time than I had anticipated. We’ve fallen in love with the library, and I think I might enjoy reading together even more than they do. Parker is learning to read on his own – something I initially thought would intimidate me but has proven quite intuitive. Alyssa who once hated math now often wants to do only math. I’d like to think it’s my incredible teaching ability, but I have a feeling it has a lot to do with the fact that I let her use real money =). But mostly I feel like I have my life back. And my kids back. I love having them around, and love getting to teach and learn on our own schedule. Homeschool progress report month two: I’ll give it an A!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


It's a bit of a novelty around here. Parker actually wondered aloud if we can drink rain. I suppose we need a lesson or two on the water cycle! Alyssa, Parker and Reagan were all too happy to slosh around in the backyard after dinner tonight, filling up their new rainboots with all the water they could stomp. My little point-n-shoot did it's best to keep up, as my favorite toy is getting ready to leave on a grand adventure with my parents. Methinks it will be rather glad to capture images of real wildlife for a change after months of shooting only these monkeys!

Thursday, October 08, 2009

10 years

Had you asked me on October 9, 1999 whether I could ever love a man more than I loved Danny at that moment, my answer most certainly would have been NO. But I could not then appreciate what a wonderful husband Danny would be. I didn't know what it would be like to know and be known so well that we would be able to anticipate each others' thoughts and actions. I had no concept of how much more lovable a man would be after watching him love my children with a ferocity matched only by their mother. I didn't know grey hair would be so sexy. I didn't anticipate that maturity would be immeasurably more attractive than goofiness. I just didn't know how good marriage could be. Or how great a catch Danny really was. By God's grace and Dan's diligence I truly love him more today than I did on that amazingly fun Seattle October day. And I pray that the love we share today will pale in comparison to the love we'll enjoy in the decades to come. I am so grateful that Danny said "I do," and even more grateful that he had "done" more for me in these past 10 years than I could have ever hoped for.

Monday, October 05, 2009

If ever your patriotism tank starts running low...

go to an air show!

Danny's been doing a great job lately of planning fun family outings - usually something he's wanted to do but needed the kids for an excuse. Whatever the motivation, we've all had a good time! This week was a trip south for the military air show at the Marine Corps Air Station Miramar. Through some connections I still don't fully understand, we got to sit with the families of the Blue Angels and had a front row center view of everything. I don't think our kids fully appreciated the privilege, but Danny and I certainly did. They were impressed by the loud jets (and grateful for the ear protection), paratroopers, tanks and helicopters, and especially excited about getting to climb up on them. I was impressed by the excellence of execution and the technology, but was also struck by the sense of pride among the military personnel and their kind respect towards all of their giddy, and probably overwhelming, guests. I also became convinced that it most certainly must have been young men that thought up most of the maneuvers. No woman or mature male in their right mind would have considered attempting any of them!

(that's two planes people!)

(Alyssa in a goofy moment)

(Parker listening intently to instructions about how to fire this Marine's weapon)