Taylor’s House of Cards

October 15th, 2014

Taylor was frustrated and beet red when I came home from when last night. She had been working in vain in a house of cards. I told her to go to bed and to stop worrying about it.

Today, during recess, she attempted it again.

Wedelia Chains, Rain Delays

October 14th, 2014

Taylor has been inspired to make daisy chains. She asked me where we can find some daisies, and I only could offer Wedelia. I learned to make daisy chains from a fellow soldier in Army Basic Training. We would have not much to do while waiting for other soldiers to finish chow or clean rifles.

One morning, while we were on standby to help Dad in the garden, I taught Taylor to make Wedelia chains. The girls all gathered as many long stemmed Wedelias as they could find around the yard, and Taylor and I combined forces to quickly make this Wedelia head band.

Kendall serves as a model for our first Wedelia head band.

We have been having a hard time getting to the homeschool group meeting at the public park. We have a regular routine that takes us to the park every Tuesday in the school year, but we were rained out two weeks in a row. The children were complaining that it always seems to rain on Tuesdays, even after a glorious, sunny, dry, and balmy week.

Well, Tuesday, October 7, was looking similar to the other Tuesdays. In fact, it did rain, and we were not intent on leaving the house at all because our regular trip to the library had been thwarted as the library is now closed on Tuesdays. The children were about to have one big, fat meltdown. After lunch, the sun shone. The children said that they wanted to go to see if their friends were at the park. I obliged, being that the afternoon was still early.

When we arrived at the park, we were the only ones there for about twenty minutes. A mother and daughter pair showed up. They were also homeschoolers who were part of the group, but I didn’t know them personally as the group is rather large. They were unsure if any children would be at the park. Another pair showed up, homeschoolers also, and pretty soon, the younger elementary school kids who are dismissed an hour earlier than their upper grade counterparts started populating the playground.

Taylor leads the One Potato Two Potato count to see who will be “It.”

Kendall is not in the shot because she quickly left the circle when she learned that she wasn’t going to be “It.”

September Round Up

September 30th, 2014

Ah, the monthly post…

The first week of the month, I was summoned to serve on a jury. It lasted three days. I woke up, drove to the Metrorail station, rode the train to downtown, walked to the courthouse, and listened to a case with seven other jurors. I spent my lunch hours with my mom who works a block from the courthouse. The whole experience of going into the city was fun, but not something that I’d want to do 200 days a year.

We are seriously buckling down on the practice of Christmas recital pieces. Ty is working on C.P.E. Bach’s Solfegietto.

Talon likes to wear her skates around the house.

Taylor is showing more interest in crafting, that is, quilling, making friendship bracelets, and making paper beads. She’s very creative and shares her things with her sisters. Sometimes there’s a mess on the table, but it’s the genius, I guess. There’s a mess on my table, too, whenever I’m in the midst of creativity. She has given quilled paper butterflies to her paternal grandmother and is working on friendship bracelets for her friends at the homeschool group.

Kendall and Talon have gotten in the habit again to read bedtime stories to Daddy. They wait until he is in bed, of course, so he is asleep by the time the first reader turns the first page. I’m sleepy, too, but they must read their books.

On the last day of September, we were getting ready to go to Bill Sadowski Park. Taylor complained that her boots were too small, so I allowed her to wear her cowgirl boots. At the park, Talon’s boot came unglued from the sole. Eventually, I Shoe Goop’d both soles as best as I could. Hopefully, both pairs of boots will suffice until Christmas!

Kendall at Bill Sadowski Park

Here is a recap video of September. As mentioned in August, this one features Kendall. Next month, another child.

August Round Up

August 29th, 2014

It’s been so busy around here.
On August 4, we officially started the homeschool year. Ty and Taylor are finishing sixth and third grade, respectively. Kyle is continuing fifth grade work. Kendall and Talon are starting first grade. I’m helping the children practice piano 35-45 minutes a day; we have been taking it easy during the summer and need to catch up.

On Wednesday, the 5th of August, I began teaching private piano lessons at a Montessori school one day a week. It makes for a short homeschool day, but our children do their homework during the afternoon.

Most days, after Wake Up, we eat breakfast and begin school. It’s non stop work until lunchtime. Sometimes, around 11 o’clock, the children have recess.

This video features Talon, who just so happens to be ready for the camera at any moment. I figure that I can make a video featuring each child every month… If I remember. Why is there a percolator in the video? To remind us that, through no fault of our own, things don’t go the way that we plan them, so we must be ready.

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Everglades National Park

July 31st, 2014

On Saturday, July 26, we took the a trip to the Everglades National Park to mark our fifth anniversary of our first family trip.

Now that we are licensed Hams, we allowed the boys to move ahead some several yards so that Ty could practice simplex transmissions. You can hear the transmissions at the end of the video, while we were on the Gumbo Limbo Trail.

There weren’t many people at the Royal Palm Visitor’s Center… Perhaps because it was July. Other than the mosquitoes and the intense sunshine, July is a great time to visit the Everglades because there is more green foliage and brighter flowers due to the afternoon storms. The prairie is brown in the dry season, when it is more pleasant to visit.

Black Point Sandbar in Biscayne National Park

July 21st, 2014

We made plans to visit the sandbar that we first discovered in a previous post. Dad came with us this time. I had looked up when the next low tide would be around nine in the morning, and, perfectly enough, the 17th was the morning.

We walked even farther down the sandbar because it was low tide, 25°31’52.9″N 80°19’03.0″W, to be exact. The children got some scrapes and cuts from the “knife rocks,” which were broken shells. All in all, it was a great outing.

Mommy Camp

July 8th, 2014

On June 13, we piled into the van and made our way out to the Everglades Amateur Radio Club meeting so that Dad, our eldest boy, and I could take our Technician exams. This is the club’s welcome board. Check out the last three lines!

We all passed our tests and are just waiting to see our names in the FCC database with our call signs. It’s taking almost a month because, well, paperwork, bureaucracy, and snail mail aren’t the speediest means.

Dad is, as I type, getting ready for a very important exam. We have been calling it the “Launch.” Literally, he’s shaving, shampooing, showering, and shining so that he can get out of here and on the road. While he was studying for his exam the past couple of weeks, I have been taking the children to several parks and outings to give Dad some quiet in the house. I call it Mommy Camp.

We went to Ocean Zone, of course…

the Chinese Bridge and Coral Reef Park…

Matheson Hammock (the children’s first visit to the park in a long time, since before they could remember. The lagoon was closed because of lightning, but people were still walking around, enjoying the balmy air thanks to the thunderstorms in the east that blocked the sun).

On the morning of Independence Day, we road marched to Whispering Pines Park to watch the parade…

I took the children to Black Point Marina, of which I have no pictures nor video but plan on returning, where we walked the trail into Biscayne National Park. We didn’t reach the end of the trail but could see the rocks and the sandbar in the distance. A storm looked to be approaching, so we made a run for it back to the van. We got as far as 25°31’55″N 80°19’8″W (click on the coordinates to see it on Google Maps). It was a pleasant walk if you don’t count the mosquitoes, but once the sun came out, they were gone. The children complained of its being hot because of the sun, but you gotta pick your poison here: mosquitoes or hot sunshine. You either slather yourself in mosquito repellant and sunblock lotion or simply wear long sleeves and long pants. Either way, you’ll be uncomfortable, but the view is worth it!

Finally, on Monday, I took the children to Larry and Penny Thompson Park, where the beach and water slides were closed, but the rest of the park was open for hiking, exploring, and playing. We found Florida star rush flowers and some pink water flowers of which have yet to identify.


June 23rd, 2014

“I love these new words that the French and Italians make up.”
Ty, Age 11.5

Studying Music History, particularly Opera History.


June 23rd, 2014

“When I was eating watermelon yesterday, I was crying because I didn’t want to get old.”
Talon, Age 5.94 and aging…

Ocean Zone and the England Game

June 13th, 2014

I turned 35 in May. It was a great day: really calm and happy. I took the children to our regular trip to Ocean Zone.

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