Saturday, November 6, 2010
Here he is, 7 a.m., dressed and ready. This is the "before" picture. Those are his snazzy racing shoes :)
Here he is crossing the finish line! The time on the clock is a little off from his official time. The official time is tracked by a chip attached to his shoe. It doesn't begin till he crosses the starting line and he was in Level 3 seeding so he crossed the starting line a little after the clock shown started. I was getting so worried. The clock said 3:18 and he hadn't come around the corner of the far building. I was getting a little teary eyed thinking that he wasn't going to make it. He came around the corner at 3:19 (by the finish line clock) and I wanted to tell him to hurry up! Skyeler was calmer, she told me that it wasn't going to take him a whole minute to run that short distance :)
Here he is getting his shiny, wrappy thingy. It helps him stay warm. We knew we were headed in the right direction on our way to the finish line when we saw a bunch of sparkling people headed our way. Unfortunately, it was still freezing at the end of the race and by the time we picked up his track pants and made our way back to the car, he was really cold.
The sight at the end of the finish line...the Indianapolis State Capitol Building.
Here he is with Aly and Skye inside the Convention Center. He told me I should have said his hair was a wreck. Who cares about his hair!! He just ran 26.2 miles :)
Darth Maul, Athena, and Darth Vader ready for Trick or Treat. I think Darth Vader is trying to use his Force powers on me :)
I tried to do Aly's hair into some intricate looking thing. Not too shabby. You can't imagine the bobby pins it took to keep it that way!
On a mission ... a candy mission
Skyeler walked with us but didn't dress up. She's checking out Aly's stash to see what she can confiscate. Lucky for her, Aly doesn't like a bunch of mini chocolate bars. Skye and I had quite a pile to ourselves.
One thing you need to know about Skyeler...she hates surprises. Usually, Dan and I are very good at NOT surprising her, however, we had two great opportunities for surprises the week of her birthday. Granny and Papa decided that they just couldn't miss being here for her 16th birthday. I decided that I couldn't miss the opportunity to surprise her when they got here :) She was surprised! Papa beeped the horn as they pulled in the driveway and she looked out the window and saw the red truck. It was great!
The second surprise was her birthday present. She had asked for a dress for the Renaissance Festival for an early birthday present. We bought it for her and told her that that was pretty much it for her presents. Well, her laptop, which had been Elizabeth's old one, was not keeping up with some of the new photo/video editing that she was trying to do. Dan decided that she needed a new one and since it was her 16th birthday, he wanted to do something special for her. So we bought her a new laptop. She had NO idea :) Dan took her out to Panera and took his own laptop case with her new laptop in it (with all her stuff already installed and ready to go). He pulled it out and surprised her. Needless to say...she LOVED it!!! And was VERY surprised! Dan took a couple pictures at Panera ...
While Dan and Skye were out at Panera...Granny, Aly, and I went shopping. Aly wanted to buy something for her sister for her birthday. She was so excited to find the purse that Skyeler had been looking at! She bought that and some pretty push pins for Skye's bulletin board. We happened across a birthday card from a cat at Target. It was perfect! So not only did Aly come home with a birthday present for Skye, but Sparkles (unknowingly) came home with a card and a present...a burnt orange shirt with a cat on it.
It didn't take long for Aly to realize what Skyeler getting a new laptop meant...the trickle down effect :) We got a chuckle when Aly said "Can I call Skyeler's old laptop 'my' laptop now?!" Dan wiped all of Skyeler's stuff off it and got it ready for Aly. Who knows how long it will keep running, but for the moment, we have a pair of geeky, techy girls. This is what they looked like that evening! The best part...it wasn't staged :)
So we are glad that Skyeler had a wonderful Sweet Sixteen! She's such a blessing and we love her very much.
After the photo shoot, we came back to the house for some pizza. Then we were off again for a scavenger hunt at Skyeler's favorite outdoor mall. Dan and I had spent a couple hours getting questions and riddles ready for the scavenger hunt. Questions like "Which direction is 'Nine?'" Answer: West. "What lotion might Alice wear in Wonderland?" Answer: Secret Wonderland by Bath & Body Works. "Bring back a Caribou Coffee napkin with a signature on it. Get 2 extra points if the signature is Aly's." Well, you get the idea! The girls had a blast! After two hours, Hadley, Skyeler, and Elizabeth won the hunt. Tori, Calleigh, and Sarah were only a couple points behind, however. The girls were so tired that they didn't even want to shop :0 We dropped by Dairy Queen to pick up the ice cream cake and then headed home for dinner. Skyeler had an awesome time just hanging with her friends. It was a great day!
Aly, not to be left out, had to jump into a few of the pictures. My favorite of her and Skyeler alone is in the sidebar. Her favorite was her and Skye in the canoe, a picture she had planned from the moment we went to the park :)
Thursday, September 30, 2010
Skyler Ray (a.k.a. "little" Skyler) and Aly found a suit of armor to pose by
The joust: the tourney was very enjoyable this year, our knight was from "Scotland" and is on the horse with the purple trappings
Back (l to r) Tommy, Riley, Calleigh, Elizabeth, and Tori; Front (l to r) Matt, Nina, Max, Aly, Skyeler, and Skyler Ray
Skyeler found a very cool hair ornament that actually holds her fine hair
Aly also found a very pretty hair ornament. It looked very nice in her long hair
Riley comes to Aly's rescue with a piggy back after her shoes (which got a soaking in the dewy grass) began to rub her feet
"I'm only here for the food" (name that movie!) Actually, it is always on my list to get a funnel cake :) Surprisingly, I ate more of the candied pecans than this funnel cake. The kids descended on me once I bought it :)
Skyeler wearing her Sweet 16 Birthday present (a little early). I'm such a bad mom, I forgot to get a formal picture of her wearing it (oops). She had been drooling, I mean looking, at this dress for two years. It is very pretty.
The back of her very pretty dress :)
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
It has been quite a few years now that Bryan Davis has been among the top favorite authors of Skyeler and her friends. His "Dragons in Our Midst" and "Oracles of Fire" series have been read, reread, and passed around between them. Skyeler loves to listen to the audio books before bed at night. Now that Aly is 10, she is listening with her sister and getting to know "Billy" and "Bonnie." When Skyeler, Elizabeth, and Calleigh found out last May that Bryan Davis was going to be near our area, they asked if I would take them to a book signing. So we loaded up the car and drove an hour to meet him. Skyeler and Calleigh brought the few books that had not been signed personally and Elizabeth bought a new one to have him sign. He graciously posed with the girls for a picture. The girls love the stories he has to tell and getting to know the characters within them. I love that he is a Christian author who provides them with a clean fantasy series to read. A win-win situation :)
Skyeler has asked me to post a few links for anyone who might be interested in checking out her favorite author...
http://www.daviscrossing.com/shopping.htm to check out all the great series he has available!
http://www.mastersandslayers.com a direct link to his brand new book out this month.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LA2DgBJ9PYs a song that was written for the book "Masters and Slayers," set to music, and performed. Look for Skyeler's YouTube link coming soon. She got a copy of the music and has recorded herself playing it on the piano.
Calleigh, Bryan Davis, Skyeler, and Elizabeth
Friday, September 10, 2010
Teaching Textbooks Math is great. Aly does the lessons on the computer. Totally takes this non-mathy mom out of the equation. I love it and so does she. Aly loves her new grammar book (Junior Analytical Grammar). We are picking up the pace a bit in spelling and handwriting. This year I'm having her do more writing. We are starting out with some story starters and she has had a couple creative little paragraphs. Our read aloud is The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe. I had to make her pick from a few classic books for her reading assignment. She doesn't like to try new things in reading. So her first book was The Mouse and the Motorcycle. She finished it this morning and decided she really liked it. For fun she is reading the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series. Last week she had all her Playmobil figures lined up in the Roman arena and they all had Greek Mythology names and were acting out various battles and scenes (and a few make believe ones) from the book. For science we are planning a study of biomes and habitats, as well as adding in the Land Animals of the Sixth Day book. We went outside and looked around our backyard for nature and found a bunch of rotting apples from our apple tree were feeding butterflies, flies, chipmunks, and the groundhog (or hogs, not sure how many there really are). There were between 6 and 10 butterflies flying around the bottom of the tree. Aly got this picture of one of them...
Skyeler's work is going well, too, though she's working pretty independently. We have tried to incorporate her interests into her schooling this year and still leave time for her to explore some of the extras that strike her fancy. History is the Middle Ages. A time period she loves. Right now it is mostly reading. We hope to add some field trips to make this come more alive. Algebra is Algebra in any language. She's just trying to plow through. Same with grammar, where she is just doing a refresher workbook. Literature will be two fold. She'll be reading some Medieval Lit along with her history assignments (for instance, this week she began parts of the epic poem Beowulf). Also, we will be doing the Movies as Literature course with friends of ours. In science she is working on finishing up biology from last year and then will be moving on to chemistry. She is most excited about her two electives: Photography and a Jane Austen Literature study. Photography began last week. She's beginning with an Amanda Bennett unit study and then we will move on to various online resources from there. One of the biggest things with photography will be to have her out practicing with the camera multiple times a week. She has already been roaming around outside the house looking for something interesting to photograph and I am hoping to get out to some of the metro parks for more practice. Our Jane Austen Lit Study will start in October with friends and we are all excited. We are going to have the girls keep a blog of their work during the study, so stay tuned for a link. Skye has been using her free time to practice her piano and brush up on some Photoshop skills. She has been using Photoshop in our co-op Yearbook class and this year she has branched out to try some other things. She was excited to have a montage of book covers that she had Photoshopped together posted on the Bryan Davis Dragons in our Midst forums. I am trying to foster this talent and let her have time to explore and experiment.
All in all a great start to the new school year. Co-op begins in a week and a half and then we will be in the full swing of things. I always have hopes to update weekly or so, but life does happen and I have no idea if I will be able to keep up or not.
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
Aly being ... well, Aly :)
That morning I was also able to capture this cool shot of Skye and her reflection. If you look close, you can also see her shadow.
Skye and Granny
The Younger Yahoo's and their umbrella
Our last night at the beach, Cheryl and I walked out to pick up our beach paraphernalia and saw the tide was completely out. Neither of us had seen it out so far before and it was really amazing. The beach was so wide and their were little tide pools of water left behind. We ran back to get the yahoo's and Granny from the pool. The kids LOVED running around in the tide pools.
There were some "minnows" in some of the small tide pools. The yahoo's and I had spent some time on the beach during the week trying to catch some in our buckets (we didn't bring any minnow nets with us ... next time!). Skye and Bryce ran back to the condo to pick up our buckets in hopes that the small space would allow them to finally catch one. I don't know how long we stood there while the yahoo's and Granny tried time after time to chase those little fishies into the buckets. Bryce built a wall and Skye sat real still while Granny "herded" them towards her. Skye has the patience of Job when it comes to things like that. I think she and Bryce would have been sitting there till the tide came in if we had let them.
Finally a picture of all four yahoo's. We had hoped to take portraits on the beach. I wanted a new one for my "Cousins" frame, Granny always wants new pictures, and Cheryl wanted to get her Christmas Card photo. Unfortunately, it was too windy. Way too windy. We'll just have to wait for another time.