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, October 29, 2022

Castle Air Museum - part 1

When I had the girls make a list of places they'd like to see for our Epic Fantasy Road Trip, Hannah included Castle Air Museum in Atwater.  I read that and was like, "Wait, there's another air museum within day trip distance??"  I knew Jack needed to see it.  So we went.  

Former Air Force One

These first two planes were on one side of the parking lot, so we had to look at those before we even went inside.  

There's a little gift shop you go through where you pay to get out to the full petting zoo of aircraft.

And from here, it's going to be a photo dump.  Because although Jack told me, I have no idea what any of these are.  

Pretty sure this one is British.  There's also a Canadian one somewhere.  

Wait, I know this one.  It's a Chinook.  

Invasion stripes.  Particularly poignant to me, after having been in Normandy last summer.  

We spent 4 hours at the museum, most of it out in the sun, watching Jack look at airplanes.  Katie melted a bit, in her black t-shirt, but Hannah did better than I would have expected.  We did start sheltering under large wings to get some shade as the day heated up.  

This was my absolute favorite.  See that plane?  

Look closely at the wheel brace.  

I cracked up.  Someone has a beautiful sense of humor.  

I know what this is!  It's a Grumman!

No, not a cat, a Grumman Albatross.

More to come, I just felt it was way too many photos for one post.  

Friday, October 28, 2022

Van Gogh Experience

I'm not sure when Fall Break became a thing, but since we had a few days off, I decided we needed to do something fun.  (And slightly educational, but don't tell them that.)  

We went to the Van Gogh experience in Sacramento.  Aside from Katie thinking the valet was stealing Matilda (the minivan), it was pretty neat.  

The whole shebang is set up inside a warehouse, and you walk through it at your own pace, like a museum.  

There are facts about the artist

And reproductions of his paintings

And videos about his life

I was glad that I'd seen one of his real works (at the art museum in Hawaii) because a flat reproduction can't possibly convey the great globs of paint he sloshed onto the canvas.  

One of the interesting things we learned is that the pigment he used to make reds has broken down with time, so we don't see the same colors now as when they were first painted.  

Speaking of color, it's suggested that Van Gogh himself didn't see the whole spectrum of colors that humans typically see.  

Some of the artwork was rendered in 3D, like this view of the sanitorium where many of his works were created.  

And this one, which is actually many pieces hung separately, 

But appears as a unified picture from the front.  

Hannah and Katie standing in a 3D reproduction of the bedroom painting.

There's a room you go into that's all mirrored, and there's soft music and moving sunflowers everywhere.  

And then there's a much bigger room, with a "show" of sorts, featuring music, projections, quotes, etc.

It's hard to explain, but the effect was soothing and entertaining.

It lasts half an hour, and there are chairs and benches to get comfy while you watch.  

You know how when you see a word in print, you don't always know how to pronounce it correctly?  Well, this was the part where Someone learned that "irises" is not prounouced "ear-ises."  

Starry Night, such an iconic masterpiece.  Being surrounded by it was really cool.  

All in all, even though it was expensive ($100 bucks to get the girls and I in the door, plus $15 for parking, and a Gift $hop at the end), I had fun.  I would absolutely go see the Monet or Klimt versions if they came to town.  

Monday, October 17, 2022

Our October

Happy October!  It's still been quite warm here.  Today should be cooler with a high of only 76* instead of our usual 80s & 90s.  I'm ready to be able to wear pants to work.  

I like to do a trial run on my crafts and projects.  Both so that I can foresee any challenges, and so I have an example to show the students.  So I dripped a bunch of liquid watercolor on coffee filters at home.  

I used one of the filters to make a cute little bat magnet.  Then I went to school and thought, "The kids could do this with tray watercolors."  

Turns out, the tray watercolors at school are lousy.  Aside from being mostly used up, the black wasn't really black.  So the kids' bats turned out kind of pastel.  Live and learn, I guess.  

And then there's the ideas that don't work at all.  I decided it would be cute with our dino theme to make candysauruses.  I cut out a stegasaurus, without the back plates, and glued it to construction paper.  Then I used white glue to glue candy corn onto the back of the dinosaur to make spikes.  Cute, right?  

Well, yes, but no.  The glue dissolved the candy corn.  The construction paper stuck to my desk, because the goo had gone through the paper.  Not quite the effect I was going for.  I was *really* glad I tried this one beforehand.  

The school had a fundraiser at Panda Express.  It was the first time we'd gone out to eat as a family since before the pandemic.  

It was time for Grumman and Fiona to have their rabies shots.  

They were not delighted with the process, but they're all injected and licensed for the next year.  Whew.  

More books.

My snapdragons are in bloom again, after looking really awful most of the summer.  

It's the one month of the year that the spider webs in the rosemary bush are decorative.

Autumn has come to the school library.  Leaf dress, Octobery books.  One of the books we did last week was Pumpkin Patch Parable.  I went through ahead of time and printed the references for all the scriptures.  Then I passed them out to my 3rd graders, who looked them up and as I read the story, they'd read the scriptures as we came to them.  It was a great exercise in looking up Bible passages, and I'm looking forward to doing it with my 4th & 5th graders, too.  

This is a work in progress photo.  I haven't taken one yet of the finished board.  I added leaves.  I was planning to do yellow letters, but I could only find black, turquoise, or patterned in the supply room.  I was going for something that would last until I decorate for Christmas.  

I moved a bigger bookcase into the spot where a skinny bookcase was.  Lots of shuffling going on.  I had to buy shelf pins, but there should be a shelf above Curious George tomorrow.  Which is good, because our picture book section is constantly expanding.  (Which is also good.)  

Me:  "I'll put up some leaf stickers to decorate for autumn!"

Grumman:  "No."

Hannah and Grumman playing.  She doesn't seem to mind getting all scratched up.

This was a neat book!  

I subbed in first and second grade a couple days last week.  I wrote their spelling words on the board and told them their teacher wanted them to "Write the words in ABC order."  One of the students was listing all the individual letters.  

I've learned so much working at the school this past year+.  One of the things I now know is that my favorite ages to work with are between 3rd and 6th grade.  And kids mature more over the course of the school year than they do during the short summer.  Subbing in 2nd at the end of last school year was fine.  They're "almost 3rd graders."  Whereas first graders at the beginning of the school year are basically end of year K students.  It was a little like herding cats, and I was happy to see their teacher come back to school.  We did, however do a couple fun things:  sidewalk chalk spelling words, a popcorn art project, and candy corn math.  

Trader Joe's looks like a pumpkin patch.  I feel like we're kind of past the pumpkin patch stage this year.  Autumn break (when did that become a thing?) is coming, and we'll do fun stuff, but I don't think we're going to a pumpkin patch this year.  

I was looking for a library book, and I looked under someone's bed at what appeared to be a couple beer bottles.  Fortunately, this underaged person was only stashing creme soda bottles from a recent field trip.  No, I have no idea why.  

We're still working on the Epic Road Trip plans.  I don't know if it will truly come to pass or not, but it's certainly fun to imagine.  

Korean BBQ chicken over white rice

They say a picture is worth a thousand words.  I have a lot of these pictures in my weekly uploads.  They represent a few words, namely, "Dinner's ready!" and "This is what we're having."  I text Josiah because he usually doesn't hear the dinner bellow.  (Side note, if Paul calls DINNER! from downstairs, Grumman hops up and waits for me to open the bedroom door because he knows that means we're going down.)  

Sad face.  Hannah just told me that she doesn't like wearing leggings or skirts any more.  She can't wear pants.  So that literally leaves dresses or shorts.  

The middle school hand chimes class played in church on Sunday, and the school choir sang.  Next performance will be Fall Concert next month.