Sunday, May 24, 2009

Science Symposium and the newest addition

Tuesday we had a homeschool science symposium that turned out really great. Dr. McClusky brought some real human hearts and led a great discussion on how they work and how to keep our hearts healthy, we learned about weather from the National Weather Service, and Travis Hanson taught a very exciting class on the effect that temperature has on matter, complete with many explosions and special effects. We also had a class on butterfly metamorphosis for the younger set. The kids and I really enjoyed the whole afternoon!

Then we picked up our new kitty from the Shaws on the way home. Here she is:She's all ready been taught how to use the laptop :-) She really is a very sweet, adorable kitty. Heidi named her Snowbell, but I don't know if we're going to keep that name- seeing as she isn't white. Maybe 'dirty snowball'? Just kidding. Any suggestions? Here she is sleeping on Heidi's pillow. Heidi adores her.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Clogging Nationals at Lagoon

Phew....the end of the year Clogging Nationals held in Utah are over for the year! We went down to Farmington, Utah for 2 days of competition at Lagoon and had a great time. Friday consisted of solos, duets and freestyles: Hailey had 2 duets- one with Taylor and the other with Troy, Hailey and Taylor both had freestyles, and Hailey had 5 advanced solos (they're short). So they danced on and off from 12:00 to 5:00. Then the dance-offs began at 5:30 and didn't end until 10:00p.m.. I was so ready for all the music and noise to be over at that point. :-)

Here are some pictures of them in costume: Hailey and Troy before their championship level traditional duet. They received a first place.
Hailey and Taylor before their advanced traditional duet. (We love the traditional category!) They placed first too.
Here's a picture of them on stage. Aren't they cute? Taylor needs to grow here soon so they can continue dancing together!The next day we began it all again for their team dances and had to be back at Lagoon by 8:00 a.m. I was worried that I'd sleep too late so I ended up waking every half hour all night long. (Isn't it so annoying when that happens?) Happily, we got everyone packed up and fed and arrived on time with all the right shoes, costumes, and hair curled and gelled. (We only accidentally left one big bag of clothes behind at our friends house but my dear friend Lani was able to get it and bring it back to Idaho- thanks, Lani!) Saturday's schedule had us all finished up dancing by 10:45.a.m.! So the rest of the day we were free to play at the park!

The beautiful vintage carousel is always our family favorite, especially for the little ones. Heidi, the cat lover, chose the pink kitty to ride, of course.
Torsten and Reagan on their dashing steeds.
Here is Taylor (red hat), Corey D., Hailey, Troy D. and Torsten on the "Turn of the Century" ride, another vintage original at Lagoon.

And here is the "Turn of the Century" once it gets going.....this beautiful old ride reminds me of a gigantic painted piece of confectionery. I just wish I could ride it without getting sick. :-) Me and rides don't get along too well anymore. My idea of excitement is riding the sky tram from one side of the park to the other.
Here's Joel and Reagan waiting for the kids to get done with a ride that Reagan wasn't tall enough for. He was less than an inch too short for a couple rides and VERY disappointed about that. But next year.....
Taylor and Joel finally paid the money and did the deed this year. They've both been eyeing "The Catapult" for a few years now. It sounds like from Joel's description that it feels like you're never going to quit going up, up, up. Here they are getting strapped in and ready for blast off.
There they go!
In the evening, we attended the awards ceremony for the conclusion of the competition. We found out that because Taylor had scored in the top 7 for boys freestyle, he was called back to clog for the MVP competition. That was a very exciting honor, especially considering it was the first time he had even competed a freestyle at Nationals. Unfortunately, Taylor had ridden a few too many wild rides and eaten a little too much cotton candy, etc. and was feeling horrible by this point. But he didn't give up- he threw on his costume again, then threw up in the bushes a few times, and then went out on the stage and danced like he hadn't a care in the world! He did great! He ended up winning "All Star All American" for his freestyle.

Hailey also did very well. She placed in the top 15 for her freestyle and won "Rookie All American". She and Taylor were very excited because they both received "All American" jackets as prizes (the kind you have the year you've won embroidered on the back of). It was all quite heady stuff. But by 11:00 p.m. the festivities were winding down and we jumped in our car and skedaddled home. By that point, we'd all had quite our fill of Lagoon and we'd be happy not to see another roller coaster ride for a long, long time. Or at least until next year....

Monday, May 11, 2009

Shakespeare Play

Torsten's Shakespeare class performed "As You Like It" Saturday night at the Oakley Opera House. I was so amazed at how well all the kids remembered their difficult lines and they did a great job of acting! It was such a fun night! I, of course, forgot my camera (aaaaggh!) but luckily, Torsten's piano teacher was there and took some pictures. Here is Torsten in his "forester" costume after the play.


Heidi told me she found an edible umbrella in the garden. Some of my kids are like me and like to eat tangy stringy rhubarb right off the bush. Rhubarb always reminds me of horseback riding with my cousin. I'd grab a stalk from the garden before we went for a ride. She only had one horse and I always rode in the back (because it was her horse, she got to "steer"). So I'd hold onto my cousin's waist with one hand and eat my rhubarb with the other, taking in the view of the Nebraska countryside as we rode along. Great summer memories.....

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

I figured out how to knit!!! I'm so excited! A few years ago, my friend Sarah, tried to help me learn and we spent 3 afternoons together. I tried and tried and never could get the hang of it, even with all her help, so I gave up and figured the adage "you can't teach an old dog new tricks" was depressingly true.

So yesterday, my friend Jen shows up at homeschool soccer with the cutest little knitted hat for her baby- I wish I had a picture to show you how adorable it was! It was so perfect that you really would have thought it was store bought. Jen said she learned how to knit last May by looking at "how to knit" books from the library! That inspired me. I had to go to Wal-Mart after soccer to get paints for Torsten's Shakepeare scenery, so I stopped in the yarn section and grabbed 2 different pamphlets on how to knit and a set of needles. Those pamphlets were so helpful! It's strange to me that a diagram would be easier to grasp than having someone sit by me, but between the 2 different booklet explanations, I figured out the gist of casting on, knit and purl stitch. Do you know something funny? The realization that I was actually knitting, inspired in me the same giddy feelings that I used to get when I'd lay in bed the night before Christmas or before a family trip to Disneyland. Am I weird or what? Thanks Jen for the inspiration! Now I have to keep practicing so I can do it without looking like I haven't any coordination- you know, knit with less awkwardness. I knit like I'm all thumbs! That same awkward look I have when I'm trying to french braid hair. :-)

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Watch where you plant your pear trees....

Some excitement was going on in the Pearson yard Thursday morning..... We had RotoRooter pay us a visit to suck our old septic tank dry, then a backhoe operator busted the tank into pieces to get it out of the ground.

The whole family came out to watch (because you know, Mike Mulligan and Mary Anne dig a little faster and a little better with more people watching.... any of you out there read that book to your boys so many times you can almost recite it? :-)).

This fun all got started because I asked Joel to plant 2 pear trees for me. We thought we'd situate them on the west side of the house to help shade our master bedroom. Little did we know that our septic tank was located right there! Joel's shovel went right through the top of the concrete tank as he was digging the hole and ever since then we've had rather smelly breezes blowing towards our bedroom. I'm glad the problem is fixed but that part of the yard is going to be a mess until we can get grass growing again!

Morning Rainbow

Eating breakfast the other morning, we looked out the window and saw a rainbow in the mist from the falls. Either Taylor or Hailey ran out and snapped a picture.

Taylor's 10 years old now!

Taylor's birthday was yesterday! Here is a Smilebox card I sent him. I thought I'd share it.
Click to play this Smilebox scrapbook: Taylor's birthday
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