A large family, homeschooling, adoption, special needs, whatever strikes my fancy, sort of blog.

A large family, homeschooling, adoption, special needs, whatever strikes my fancy, sort of blog.

Saturday, March 27, 2021

Our Week With A Big Box Of Loot

In 2019, back when we were doing races, Katie's prosthetist helped us apply for a grant to get her a running leg.  Approval came right before the world went on pause.  Since there were no more races, we decided to wait on building the leg.  

This process put me on the Challenged Athletes Foundation emailing list.  When an email came out about a virtual training program for high schoolers and kids about to go into high school, I signed Hannah up and then didn't think much more about it.  

More books to keep!  When I did the shopping for our Respite At Home bookstore treat, some of the books I was interested were not in stock, so they ordered them for me.  They're here now.  

I missed showing the girls' Celtic knot drawings last week.  

And their boomerangs.

I usually try to relate the art I assign to something, whether it's what the girls are learning about in flying or swimming science, or something related to the country we're studying, or a holiday we're about to hit.  This time I tied art & creative writing together.  The assignment was to follow the guided drawing to make a campfire, then write about camping.  

I found Katie's writing amusing.  "Most campers use trailers or tents.  Some use cabinets."  I'm picturing opening a kitchen cupboard and having a guy with a fishing vest and a hat wave at me.  

Cute little grass seed planters we started this week.  

Katie's bird grass has really taken off, whereas Hannah's snake planter is only sporting a few sprouts so far.  

The girls learned about bivalves in Swimming Creatures science, so I pulled out my beach finds from my trip to North Carolina for them to explore.  I miss the ocean.  I had a road trip to Santa Cruz and Los Angeles planned for March a year ago that got cancelled when everything shut down.  

One library pickup.  We've hit Antarctica now.  

Hot air balloons.  This was another draw and write project.  

The art project assigned for Antarctica was "meh" in my opinion.  They wanted us to paint watercolor snowflakes and sprinkle salt on them.  

Taking a little break from the Art Projects For Kids website, and picking up the Draw Write Now book 4, the girls drew penguins.  

Sam bought a car this week!  Lots of adulting going on here.  

Aurora borealis, also from the Draw Write Now book.

One day, a box showed up.  A rather big box.  It was addressed to Hannah.  Oh right, that thing I signed her up for!

When she started pulling things out, the brothers got very interested.  

"You got a quick ladder?" 

"And a water bottle!"

"And a med ball?" 

Altogether, it's quite a haul, from Challenged Athletes Foundation.  The goal is to get kids ready for high school sports.  Hannah will be in high school in the fall.  [blink, blink]  We're treating this like our PE program.  

Our second library pickup.  Since Antarctica is the last place assigned for us to study in our curriculum, I had the girls journal what country they'd like to learn about and why.  We'll be off to Nepal, the Galapagos Islands, Ireland, and Puerto Rico in the coming weeks.  

We did some stretching and I taught the girls how to "plank."  

I love that this piece of equipment will help the girls' eyes and feet work together more.  

Sam popped out in his slippers and showed us how it's done.  

I made sure to start us slow, and not overwork them.  I don't want them to be too sore tomorrow.  I didn't get any pictures of us using the handle tubes.  Since there are 3 of them, we were all doing those exercises together. 

Sam showed us a couple ways to use the heavy ball.  

And I realized the girls (especially Hannah) are going to need some more shorts soon!  

After playing with the equipment for a bit, the girls jogged around the block while I rode my bike alongside them.  We stopped at the Little Free Library in the neighborhood, and they each brought home a book.  They're looking forward to taking them back and trading them again.  I'm grateful that this anticipation means they're less likely to complain about running.  Reading makes a good reward.  

Katie is working on a penguin scene.  

And the finished scene.  The white paper represents glacier/iceberg, and the blue is ocean.  I think there's 10 penguins in there.  And the salt is snow.  Although, Antarctica is a desert, and gets very little precipitation--about as much as the Sahara.  

We started the process to grow Sea Monkeys.  It's just water at this point, but hopefully something interesting will happen next week.  

Trap season for Jack has started.  He's thrilled to be shooting again.  He's even helping with the younger team, so he gets out of the house for practice twice a week (plus shoots every other weekend).  

Shooting ranges and gun clubs are, by necessity, out in the middle of nowhere.  Today's location, however, was especially removed from the beaten path.  5 miles (no exaggeration!) off the road with lines, 2 miles from the nearest pavement, we got to this lake in the road.  Uh uh.  Not taking Matilda through that.  Jack circumnavigated the pond on foot and jogged to the range.  I could see the range from where I turned around, so I didn't feel too bad about ditching him there.  

Matilda got filthy on this epic adventure, 

so I stopped to give her a bath on my way home.  

Orcas and icebergs.  

Whew!  Lots of happenings this week!  We'll be finishing up Antarctica next week, then each of our bonus countries we'll do for just one week.  I think I'll hold off on the map post tests until the real end of the school year, as we're still playing the geography game each week, and I noticed when we review "old" continents there's some countries they're still uncertain on.  Maybe I'll bust out the world puzzles...  


  1. What a grand box of P.E. equipment to help the girls prepare for high school. I love the art work as usual. That is an epic adventure you had. What a lake/puddle. It is huge.
    Blessings, Dawn

    1. We've been having fun "playing" with the equipment so far. The Program starts on Monday, so we'll see how fun it is then, lol.

  2. Oh my goodness! Just one fabulous thing after another in this post! I really like the girls' drawings from the Draw Write Now book. They seem to be a higher level compared to the other drawings.

    Congrats to Sam on the new car!

    Your Hannah and my Nature Angel are the same age--starting high school next school year. How is this happening!?!?! Some of my kids have seemed old enough for high school, and some seem so young. Even though Nature Angel is very mature and very grown up for her age, she still seems so young--I think it's an aura of innocence that she's kept.

    Katie's camping "cabinet" will make me smile all week long! :)

    1. The DWN books are absolutely a new challenge for them. They're learning the subtleties of shading and directional coloring from them.

      It's too bad we're not close enough to have play dates. I'd love to sit and chat with you while our girls giggle and run off together.