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!


Elaine Shandra said...

What a great summer! I hope you all have a fabulous school year and more fun adventures to come!

Mike Grace said...

I love the summer summary! Glad you guys had a great summer and that the camera and new washer and dryer are working out so well. : )

Mel said...

What a cute post. It looks like you guys had a great summer!