Thursday, August 25, 2011

Summer 2011--The Cliffs Notes Version

While the kids were sad to see school end in the spring, they were quick to embrace all the glories of summer. While we enjoyed the lazy days of summer, I hope that we continued on the road of academia. We were just really sly about it. :-) The following is a Cliffs Notes Version of the many courses we enjoyed this summer.

Library Science 101

One of the first things we did was enroll the kids in Library Science. They were very dedicated to the library's reading program--finishing all 10 weeks. While many of the prizes didn't last 24 hours, I am hoping the reading habit sticks. We recorded 128 books that Nathan read this summer. Abbie read 5 sets from American Girls, finished the Ramona Quimby series, read two Little House books, and became quite the fan of animal books. She also read for 60 days and from over 20 different genres/topics to earn a free ticket to a movie. It got to be so crazy that we finally relented and let Abbie get her own library card as Mom's was maxed to the limit week after week.

Scootering/Cycling 101
The kids got scooters and a tricycle for birthday surprises this year. The sidewalks may never be the same.

Outdoor Survival 101
For some reason, Michael, Abbie and Nathan enjoy camping. (Andrew probably will, too). So Nate and Dad ventured out the Fathers and Sons camp out, and they allowed Abbie to accompany them on the ward camp out. I, wisely, stayed home with my little ones. We enjoyed all the amenities of home, and the survivors enjoyed campfire smells, good food and sleeping on the ground.
Photography 101
Michael acquired a DSLR camera this summer and has been taking photos like crazy. Someday he's going to teach me all about it. Someday.... Until then, I get to enjoy the fruits of his labors.
Civics 101
We enjoyed learning about our nation's independence at the annual Idaho Falls Independence Day parade. While I felt the parade didn't really muster up to parades of the past, I did enjoy a few select views of the crowd:
Home Economics 101
After years of drowning in laundry, our professor of home economics insisted that we upgrade our classroom supplies. I agreed. Life and laundry have been so much more pleasant ever since. Those professors may just know what they are talking about after all. :-)

Zoology 101
We ventured to the zoo a couple of times this summer. The kids love the monkey house. I meet them on the other side. We did enjoy the baby swans, flamingos and zebras. As always, the zoo is just the right size for us. Thanks to their World of Zoo Wii game and lots of book reading, the kids knew a lot about the animals before we went. They love their animals!

The traditional feline photo didn't go so well the first trip to the zoo. So we tried a new approach on this standard:

The traditional photo was a little more picturesque on our next visit.
The trio observing flamingos.

Agricultural Science 101
For agriculture lesson, we attended Reed's Dairy Family Day with the Hales cousins. (yes, I know that as Farmers we didn't venture out of the city for our agriculture day, but if you could see our garden you would know we are farmers in name only). We learned that agriculture is hot and kinda smelly. But if you stick it out, harvest is really great especially in huckleberry flavor.

It's always more fun with cousins!
Harvest Time! Ice cream for the win!
After enjoying harvest season, we embarked on Equestrian 101. Due to the immense amount of skill and concentration required to photograph and keep an eager two-year-old out of horse traffic, we only have photos of Abbie's equestrian skills, but I hear they were all pretty stellar.
Family Science 101
Our cousins from Minnesota came for a visit which allowed us to dabble in family science. We had all the cousins from the Hales family in the same room at one time and thus the occasion warranted a photo. This where the science came in. Most of the 11 were looking in the same direction. A+ for us!

During the cousins visit, we enjoyed playgrounds, pizza, movies, birthday cake and of course cousins. It was an event packed week.

Mastering Supply and Demand
Now that the summer is drawing to a close, we are happy to report that we are ready for school to start. We have the supplies that Bridgewater has demanded. For the last month, I have been gathering all the required school supplies and stashing them in a box. After purchasing Nathan's school shoes, I told him to put them in his box (meaning the shoe box in his closet), he put them in the school box. He's just a little excited with school on his brain. If the school year is half has fun or as educational as the summer, it's going to be great.
Hurray for a great summer!

Tuesday, April 05, 2011


Mother Nature isn't being very cooperative in providing daffodils at our house this spring so I decided to get my own. I think this daffodil is cuter anyway.

Friday, April 01, 2011

The line up

I do try. I try and try to get pictures of the children all looking at me. The other night I tried again, and this was the best I could get:

or this:

Most of them, look like this:

Well, at least we'll be able to look back and remember we had fun even if we were never photogenic all at the same time.

A lesson in geography

Nathan was helping Andrew clean the toy room and came across a beach pail. The following lesson in geography occurred:

Nathan: Mom, this is a beach bucket. You use it at the beach, but we don't live by a beach. Beaches are in Africa, and we live in Australia.

Mom: We live in America not Australia.

Nathan, pointing to Louisiana on the USA map in the play room: Right, we live here in America.

Mom: Well, actually, we live in Idaho. Up here.

Nathan: Right. Idaho. Not Australia. Mom, did you know we live in Idaho? We don't have beaches in Idaho. Just in Africa.

Thankfully, geography was not on the Kindergarten assessment.

The big boy bed

If you know Andrew, you know how he loves to jump. Well, add to his amazing leaping ability and strong desire to imitate a kangaroo at all times--a mattress and the crib springs, and you know we have a recipe for disaster waiting to happen. I, of course, was in denial that my baby needed to be taken out of the crib, but when I caught Andrew reading in Nathan's bed two days in a row because in his words "I've changed my mind about Andrew's bed," I knew it was time. Off to the store to get his new bedding. He wanted the Lightning McQueen bed to be just like his bro.

The first night he did great. He didn't get out of the bed once which of course was aided by the fact that he was very tired. Nathan was a little upset that Andrew didn't want to play after bedtime. He came out saying that Andrew just grunted at him when he tried to talk to him. The second night Andrew was a little more daring and was starting to test the waters, but overall it has been the smoothest transition from crib to bed yet. My little boy is growing up.

He's starting out with just a mattress on the floor until I am confident he won't fall out on his head. He had a close call last night, but I think he's getting it. We'll be shopping for beds for the boys before I know it.

He's very proud of his bed. Multiple times, he has grabbed my hand and said, "Mom, do you want to see my big boy bed? Let's go see my Lightening McQueen bed! There it is! My big boy bed!"

They always look so small in the big bed.
Love you Andrew!

My little grammarian

Proper grammar has always been a big deal in our family. As a former copy editor, I can't help but correct the kids when they don't conjugate words correctly or use words they've just created to fit their modification needs. So when Andrew and I had the this conversation yesterday, I felt a little victorious:

Mom: Hi handsome!
Andrew: Mom! I am not handsome! I am Andrew!
Mom: But I think you are handsome.
Andrew: I am Andrew, and I just look handsome!

My handsome Andrew who at the tender age of 2 is beginning to grasp the concept of modifiers. And just for the record, I still think he is handsome.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Michael's new job

Michael started his new job with End Point today. Everything is going well so far; they like him enough already to put him on their company website.

Congrats again, Michael J!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Just cause she's cute

Another Bulldog on the Block!

This week was Kindergarten Roundup for Nathan. We filled out all the forms, signed on all the lines, aced the assessment, and now Nathan is registered for Kindergarten for this fall. He was a little shy, but now he knows that school is not scary just exciting. Look out Bridgewater Bulldogs, here comes Nathan!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Let the new adventure begin!

Michael has accepted a job offer! Hurray!

His start date will be March 28. We are excited that he can work remotely so we don't have to move. We are excited for all the things this job will offer our family. You can read more about it on his blog, Meanwhile, Back at the Farm....

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Through the eyes of my boys

Nathan and Dad like to take walks on nice weather days (few and far between but we are hoping for more) and take pictures of the things they see. Nathan uses Dad's iPhone camera and definitely has a unique perspective on the world. Dad, being the geek he is, started a website to showcase Nathan's work. So if you ever wondered what our block looks like through the eyes of a curious four-year-old boy, check out:

A sample of Nater's most recent work

Decision time.....

We have a lucky problem around here. More jobs than we can use. What to do, what to do.... We'll keep you posted.