Monday, we started new units in school, and its been a ton of fun. I wanted to dive back into school after the holidays, with a bit of fun and a detour. I thought it would be neat to see where the girls' interests lay right now, so I let them choose any topic they wanted to do a two-week mini unit study. Chena chose Rainforests and Penelope chose Bears vs Pandas. I will have to post some of their projects on the blog, after I take a few pics. I had them design a chart, with pockets on them. On each pocket or lift-the-flap, I wrote a subject area. So we had Social Studies, Math, Art, Language, Writing, etc. Then Monday night I wrote an activity for each subject area and tucked it, hidden, behind the topic area. So each day they can choose whatever subject area they want, but they have no idea what the task or project will be. They get so into it, its pretty neat. They don't get to peek, so all they know is they are going to choose Art, because they are feeling crafty, or Math, hoping to make a graph, or Social Studies..hoping it will be a history movie..etc. They have had some surprises but they have loved all of it.
Monday night was our 4-H dog club, "Puppy Power", and it was the first night for the club members to bring a dog. We met at our local kennel club where we have done agility classes, obedience, etc. We did a mini clicker training demo for our club, and we took our Rat/Fox Terrier, Pluto.
Tuesday, Chena had her piano lessons. It especially exciting for her right now, because..guess what?! We bought a piano! Chena takes lessons from my mom, but we have only had a keyboard for her to practice between lessons. We have been impressed with her enthusiasm for it lately, so we decided to buy a used piano..and we found the perfect one! Its in great condition, which was important to me because its a piece of furniture I will be looking at and dusting for many years..lol. Its really pretty! Both of the girls have been having lots of fun with it, playing and singing together. I never learned to play, but Michael says I should go back and give my mom another chance to teach me. :)
Wednesday we had to go into town for errands, and I had things to pick up from the library. The girls have a monthly book club at the library, so they talked to the club leader about how they were doing on the current book, etc. Then we had to go to the feed store to buy food for the bunnies, and we had to get some horse feed too. SO many errands!! But when we go into town only a few times a week, things pile up. I went to the thrift store and got a few dowels to use for clicker training (making "targets" with tennis balls glued in the end), and was looking for a few other things. I always get things while "thrifting" that I never set out to find! I love it. While I was in town, I decided to splurge and buy some king crab for dinner. Oh what a rare feast! Not something we buy very often, but we all love it.
Thursday was our Nikiski Homeschool Fellowship meeting. The girls each had a presentation prepared to share with the group, and we had lots of fun with our homeschool friends. Then we headed over to pick up one of our horse club buddies to come and spend the night. Michael was headed out of town to drive an airplane engine to Wasilla, to our mechanic there..so we decided to have a sleepover. We made mini pizzas and played board games until quite late!
Friday was a great day to just play outside with the horses. We didn't have to go to town, we had nothing we HAD to do, so we did a few errands just here and there. I walked over to my neighbor's house, and had a cup of coffee and a visit with her, while the girls sledded with their friend. Then I worked with Mukluk, clicker training, and working on some new tricks. He learned how to spin! I'm excited about this, as it will lead into other tricks I hope to teach him. He was getting so excited, since he learned to "bow" he will follow me around, bowing and bowing until I distract him with a new job. Friday night we were going to go to a concert, but the roads were so icy, we decided to just listen to them on CDs at home instead, and order out for hamburgers and shakes to be delivered. It was so cozy just to hang out, and wait for Michael to get back home from Anchorage. He took Charlotte with him, so we missed both of them, alot! Chena helped me work in my scrapbook nook, with an overwhelming task of organizing layouts into albums. I have done about 25-30 12x12 albums, but often just threw the pages in as I completed them, and they were not in chronological order. So we worked hard, and got a lot done. Sometimes we played detective, trying to figure out the dates of the photos, etc. I usually write the date on every page I create, but there were soo many where I forgot to do it.
Saturday we were up early and headed to town, with Pluto with us. It was our Peninsula 4-H Rally Day, a yearly event where all the kids come together for a day of various "classes" on all kinds of topics. For example, I taught a clicker training class, using Pluto for demonstration, while Chena was in another room teaching "Pop Up" cards, and our friend taught "Geocaching..Hiking with Purpose". We had Pluto go through a small tunnel, jump on his mini trampoline, and do a few other of his tricks. The kids loved it, and I gave them a chance to try out the clickers, and see how they worked. There were classes of all sorts. I usually teach a class or two, but in between that I like to walk around and see everything that is going on. Its a blast!!
We headed home after that, and I was tired. But, did I mention it was my birthday? I kind of forgot myself, with all of the Rally Day events. So when we got home the girls pampered me, let me rest, while they did chores and took care of some laundry. Penelope even gave me a pedicure and a foot massage! She painted my toes pink with purple flowers. Then we all got ready, dressed up, and headed out to town to take me out for my birthday. We ate gourmet pizza and homemade root beer at my favorite spot, then went to Coldstone to get icecream to take home. I don't like cake, but oh boy...I love sweet cream icecream with Resees mixed in. We bought two quarts, but since we were still 40 minutes from home, my silly (and very practical) husband TIED the icecream to the top of the car to keep it cold. So all the way home, we kept begging him to pull over so we could check on it, and see if it was still there!! He was enjoying the suspense, so he made us wait. Oh what joy and relief when we got out and saw that it had held on all the way home! :)
We spent the rest of the evening until quite late playing board games, eating the icecream, and opening my presents. Yes, he made me wait for that too! I had spotted a package that came in the mail, and it was from my miniature horse tack store..so I had some idea, but was not sure. I was hoping for a harness for Mukluk..and it WAS!!! I am so excited! My goal is to teach him to pull a cart by summer. Michael said he will build me a little cart or sleigh!! I was so jazzed, I wanted to try the harness on him or the kids but they said no. :)
Well today we skipped church because we had a pool party for my niece at 1 pm, and it would have been hard to get there on time. We went to the pool party, and all the cousins, aunts, uncles, and grandparents had a ball there. Its a wonderful pool, with a 300 ft slide. Its even free for residents of our tiny town, so its a popular place in the winter.
Tonight my mom is having some of my friends over, along with my sister and sister in laws, for a game/snack night for my birthday. I better go and get ready. While I'm gone, the rest of the family is going to take the Christmas tree down. Yes, you read that right. Grin. I told you we have been busy (and its kind of a silly tradition to leave it up until my birthday, because I love it so much.) In fact, I think I had better go sit and admire it one more time, before I head out.