Yearly Archives: 2004

Back in the saddle

The kids had their first full day of homeschool after the Thanksgiving break yesterday and they both struggled a little.  Kelly organized everything very well, but did not get everything done.  Christian was not very organized, but got almost everything done.  It should take a day or two for them to get back up to speed.  Kelly finished her article on whether one should be nicer to people at Christmas time, so after today, both of them will have turned such an article in to the Albany Democrat Herald.  Kelly wrote a great article, but she won last time so I do not expect that she has much of a chance of winning this time.  This is Christian’s first pass at this, so I think he has a pretty good chance.<p>Lorena took her third and final mid-term last night.  She thinks she did OK, but is not sure if she did OK enough to pass the test.  If she did not pass, she has only a few days to take it again before she has to take the final on December 7.  I surely hope she passes this and the final because she has worked very hard on this and it would be great to be able to move on.

Thanksgiving report

I am ashamed to admit that I got absolutely no pictures this weekend. That being said, we had an absolutely great Thanksgiving break. On Wenesday night my nephew Charlie called. His car had broken down on the freeway. By the time I got to where his car was parked, it was hauled off. So I picked up Charlie, we got his car from impound, and he spent the night with us. We really enjoyed having him. On Thursday, Dad, Mom, all my sibilings, and their families came over along with Tim Meekum and Warren Bone. We had a marvelous Thanksgiving dinner.

Then on Friday, Lorena, Kelly, Christian, and I went over for a tour of Warren’s new farm in Scio. That night, we invited Warren and went to a great play at the Albany Civic Theatre. The kids absolutely loved it. The play was from 1890 and was called Charlie’s Aunt. The sun was shining so much on Saturday that the kids played out with the neighbor kids most of the day. On Sunday, we went to meeting, did homeschool, and read a bunch from Henry Reed’s Thinktank and The Witch of Blackbird Pond. Lorena studied for her final mid-term in intermediate algebra that she will take today.

Christian in Newspaper!!! (photo)

Christian got into the Albany Democrat Herald newpaper today and was even quoted in the article that accompanied the photo! We were all very excited. I have posted a copy of the article here. In addition, Christian finished his article for entry into the editorial writing contest at our same local paper. It is a good article and I think he has quite a good chance of winning. We are in a big hurry now to get ready for Thanksgiving. The question of the day is how we are going to get the turkey completely thawed so we can cook it starting very early tomorrow morning! Kelly is going to the orhodontist today, too, so it should all be very busy.


Christian out front in the “Shushing” contest

Homeschool slowing, linux, and the dentist

Kelly amazed me yesterday when she explained to me that she found a better way to do our history studies. We are going to go ahead and follow her idea. It should add some additional structure and learning opportunity for her. We are slowing down the homeschool a little going into the Thanksgiving holiday. The kids have a dentist appointment today and Kelly has an orthodontist appointment tomorrow, too, so we are going to spend a little more time on getting ready for everyone to come for turkey dinner.

Our linux computer blew up on us a couple of days ago so we have been using the windows computer to do our homeschool planning. I really like to use the linux computer better though so I was disappointed that I was going to have to spend $300 to buy new hardware. I talked to Steve Wilcox, one of the IT guys this morning about it and he said he would put me together a box from stuff that they are going to throw away. That is GREAT!

Preparing for Thanksgiving

On Saturday, all of us ran down to Salem to buy some crafts to decorate a little for our Thanksgiving dinner. Then, we spent the afternoon doing some crafts: Candles, pins, and a styrofoam turkey. While we were doing that, we found that KPDQ had moved their family radio hour and a half to their FM station. We always listened to it up in Sherwood on their AM station, so we were very disappointed when we could not get that station in Sherwood. We can get the FM station in Albany and they have extended the program from an hour and a half to two hours! It includes Bears and Claws, Adventures in Odyssey, Left Behind: Kids, and the Focus on the Family Radio Theatre.

Missing posts and recital photos (photos)

I have noticed a couple of posts are missing from the last few days. I am not sure why that is. Especially the posts with Kelly and Christian’s recital pictures. I will put the pictures back up here. That is frustrating. Homeschool is going well. We are getting ready for Thanksgiving. We are not sure what we will do this weekend. We cannot decide whether to go to the Aquariaum at Newport or do some craft projects here to decorate the house for Thanksgiving dinner.

Here are the pictures of Kelly and Christian’s duet recital from last Friday. They both did great.


Christian all dressed up and ready to go


Kelly and Christian with their participation certificate

Busy weekend

After the kids recital on Friday, we went out for dinner at Jack-In-the-Box with Grandpa Milo and Grandma Sarah. On Saturday, the kids finished their homework and we went out again to have breakfast at McDonald’s in Albany. That night we really just hung out at home and I tried to get Fedora Core 3 Linux up and running on the computer with not too much success.

Kelly, Christian, Lorena, and I went to see The Incredibles by Pixar on Friday night. It was great. We especially liked the cartoon before the movie. It was about a Jackelope and a sheep. Amazing.

I read Nehemiah 1 today at lunch time.

Adjudicated recital

Kelly and Christian are going to perform in an adjudicated piano recital this afternoon. They took the day off from home school yesterday to go to the largest Veteran’s Day parade west of the Mississippi River. They had a great time. Today, they are also going to go to the biweekly homeschool play day in the gym at a church close to our house. Grandpa Milo and Grandma Sarah are going to the recital and we will all go to dinner together in Salem when it is over.

Logic and critical thinking

I just found a book on critical thinking among those that were sent to us by Sonlight. I looked through the lesson plans, but could not find where it fit, so I just started Kelly in on it yesterday. It is a book of logic problems that might help her think about things in a little more creative way. Christian is doing well in his math, but I think I am going to start him back on addition and subtraction flash cards before we go on to multiplication flash cards. He does great on the math, but has to calculate some of the additions and subtractions instead of just knowing them.

I have started writing up a plan for a family business on our other website here. Over the next year or two, we want to identify, plan, develop, and run a business that will both provide the kids with some college money and teach them how a business works, and give them some responsibilities. It should be interesting.

Today is Veteran’s Day, so Lorena and the kids will both have the day off from school. We try to time most of our days off to coordinate with days off for the local government school so the kids can have a chance to play with some of the neighbor kids.

We are doing just fine on our schedule. What I have decided is that we are going to just cover the material provided in the Sonlight program and then quit. I think we should be right on schedule. I was thinking I would like to spend whatever extra time is required to get the kids up to where I think they should be in math this year, but we are going fast enough already that I I thnk we will be close to where we want to be when the year ends. I really think that is best to have a firm demarcation to transition from the school year to the summer. We will switch over to Mavis Beacon typing again for the summer, but that will be the entirety of our summer work.

Lorena passes the 2nd test!

It seems like everyone in the family is starting to do well on their tests. Lorena got her second mid-term back last night and she passed it on the first try! She was so excited she squealed at the teacher, a very nice lady in her seventies who just smiled. Lorena also took her proficiency exam again yesterday. She thinks she did well, but we will have to wait and see if it was enough.p>Kelly will start in on some new logic exercises today. She got a big book of them as part of her Sonlight program. I think they should help her quite a lot with her math and other thinking skills. They actually look like a lot of fun. I need to find a logic program for Christian because I do not think one came with his current curriculum.

UPDATE: I went to the sonlight web site and found that Christian DOES have a logic (critical thinking) workbook from which we can work. I will get him started on that tomorrow.

Kelly’s statewide assessment results

The other day, Kelly’s old government school sent us the results of Kelly’s Statewide Assessments for Reading and Literature and for Mathematics. I got onto the Oregon Department of Education web site to see how to evaluate the tests. Kelly scored significantly higher than the material the school was making a half-hearted attempt to teach her. It was a super confirmation that it is not just for reasons of socialization that it is good to be home schooling the kids, but for academic reasons, too. Although we have not received any tests for Christian, I am sure it is equally as true for him.

Lorena takes what is being called a proficiency test today. She will also get the results from her previous test. If she has passed the test she already took and does well on the proficiency test, all she has is one more test to assure that she gets through algebra with a passing grade. I am sure she can do it. She has been working VERY hard and I am quite proud of her.

Tim to meeting

My cousin Tim Meekum went to gospel meeting with us for the first time in a couple of months. He seems to be doing great. He was on a medication that was not right, so he got a little paranoid for awhile, but now they have it regulated again. The kids really enjoy talking to him on the way to and from meeting. We always get some cough drops to suck on at meeting and then stop after meeting to buy a 64 ounce caffeine-free diet soda and some salted peanuts. Today, he was lobbying for a fruit pie, but his weight is getting up there pretty high, so I nixed that.

He is coming over to our house for Thanksgiving this year. I also invited his Brother David and David’s wife Valerie, but they won’t be able to make it due to prior plans. I think the family will enjoy having him there. He is really very easy to have around.

Rocket launch (photos)

We launched Christian’s rocket yesterday! It was excellent. Grandpa Milo and Grandma Sarah went out into Grandpa’s field with us to watch the launch, but we could not get the rocket motor to ignite. After everyone else left, Christian and I fiddled with it a little bit more and were about to give up too, when the thing finally ignited and took off. A flame stabbed out of the bottom of the tube and it took off like a …well, like a ROCKET. The thing whooshed up into the air until we could barely see it and the parachute deployed exactly like it was supposed to. Here are some of the pictures we took:


Grandpa Milo, Grandma Sarah, Lorena, Kelly, and Christian in the launch field


Christian with the rocket he assembled (the very first)


Kelly and Christian had to climb the fence to recover the rocket from where it descended in the neighbor’s field


Chistian shows where the rocket flame left ash on the launch pad

Kelly wins writing contest (Photos)

Kelly entered a writing contest in our local newspaper, the Albany Democrat Herald and won. She will get $25. This article has a picture of the newspaper column where her entry appears. It really was a great article.

Lorena took here test and thinks she did well. If she passes this, all she has left are a proficiency test that she does not think will be a problem for her, one more mid-term, and a final. The final does not count toward her grade, so she only has one really big test prep effort and she is through with Intermediate Algebra.

Christian’s model submarine came in yesterday and he is dying to put it together. Saturday we will run down to the local hobby store to buy paint and glue. He will be able to start on it on Sunday afternoon or Monday. It is a very cool nuke sub the Andrew Jackson by Revell.


Kelly’s winning article


Christian and his beloved Rubix

Lorena–math proficiency test

Lorena has to take a profeciency test today. She took it once a little earlier and barely missed a passing score. Fortunately, she gets to take it again. She will only have three more tests after this: two more mid-terms and a final. I think next semester, it would be good if she just took an art class or something like that. She enjoys them very much and this semester has been so stressful, it will be a good change.

Home school is going well. Kelly gets two new reading books today and we finished a really great read-aloud book yesterday with Christian, so he will get a new one tomorrow. We are moving along quite well in math, grammar, spelling, cursive writing, science, and everything else. It is definitely a better learning experience for the kids. They are actually having softer spirits toward each other, too. I notice that if my spirit is good, theirs improves, too.

While Lorena is taking her test tonight, the kids and I will go to gospel meeting at the Ramsdell house.

Bush Wins! (Photos)

We were all quite happy with the election results. I have some pictures of the whole affair at our household. In addition, I won a hundred dollars yesterday when my company selected my entry as the winner in the quality slogan contest we had there. ATS is a factory automation company and my slogan was: Making Quality Automatic.


Kelly and Christian supporting their candidate


Kiwi and Rubiks cheering for their candidate


Dad holding his winning slogan check

Election day – Viva Bush!!!

Our household is quite excited about the election. We are all pretty optimistic our candidate, George W. Bush will win if there is not too much voter fraud by the democrats. Last night we stayed up late to wait for the results of a lawsuit the Tom Daschle perpetrated on John Thune in a tight senatorial race in South Dakota. A judge who was appointed by Daschle and who should have recused himself pretty much had to to throw the case out. The claim was that only republicans should be prevented from observing the election…

Daschle and the democrats are off the edge this year. It is going to be an exciting evening and it will be a great home school experience to watch this with the kids. Maybe in the 2006 race, we will all work on the election as part of the home school experience. We might be able to play a pretty fun role with our Spanish skills.

Harvest party (photos)

We had a great party on Friday night! Here are a few photos. The last two pictures are of Kelly’s ant farm that she got for home school. We have been having fun with it, but we are not sure if we did it right so the word is still out on whether they are all going to live for more than a day or two. If not, we will try again.