Saturday, June 19, 2010

And now, it's time for some random funny (and scary!) photos

Asleep on the elliptical trainer

Mustache March (see what I mean about "scary"?)

Friday, June 18, 2010

Honolulu Farmer's Market

R was taking a Red Cross Babysitter class in Honolulu on Saturday, so we left the house extra early to grab breakfast at the farmer's market.

Okinawan Donuts. MMMMmmmm...

Garlic butter corn-on-the-cob and local tropical juice

A shrimp omelet made with duck eggs

And what farmer's market would be complete without a booth devoted to spam?

Thursday, June 10, 2010

The Pill Box Hike

We live in such an incredibly beautiful place! I will be sad when we leave, but that's just life in the military, right?

We are certainly blessed now that our oldest daughter is ALMOST 12. For those of you who don't understand the significance-that's BABYSITTING age! It seems like we are just extraordinarily busy with tasks at work and home, but try to sneak out once in a while for a date. A few weeks ago we left at 4:30 am to go on a sunrise hike up to the pill boxes. The pill boxes are little posts in the mountains along the coastline that served as look-out stations during WWII. They're abandoned now, but it's still interesting to visit this little piece of history.

Of course, no romantic date would be complete without an adorable baby! Here I am, sitting against one of the "pill boxes."


Dole Pineapple Plantation

You can't live on Oahu and not pay at least one visit to the the Dole Plantation!
Ready to see all the pineapples?

OK! Here we go!

Hmmmm, which way to go...

Pineapple heads!

We're only slightly lost in the maze!

Hike to Makapu'u

Our family took a very fun hike up over the Makapu'u lighthouse. Hubby hauled the camera gear and carried the baby. I pushed M and P in the double stroller. It was utterly painful yet exquisitely breathtaking.

My husband is amazingly athletic.

I am not.

My two big kids

The lighthouse

This was amazing. We hiked near a humpback whale sanctuary. The whales migrate from Alaska to Hawaii in the wintertime. I could have stayed for hours just watching them swim and play in the water!

Testing (blech)

Hello Faithful Followers,
I am a tired, busy mommy and don't always have time to post the way I would like. Blogging is at the very bottom of my priority list, so forgive me for taking such long blogging breaks. I'm going to try to get in a few more posts this week just so you can see what we've been up to these last few months!

Standardized testing is required for homeschoolers in Hawaii. Those of you who are familiar with my educational philosophy know that I don't really believe in "grades" and "testing." Learning is what matters, and it's a daily, lifelong pursuit, not something that's done at a desk between the hours of 8:00 and 2:00. We do have formal lessons for math and communication (writing, speech, or grammar) daily. We have less-formal lessons for history, science, foreign language etc. We try to keep away from textbooks in those subjects as much as possible and read lots of living books and supplement with cd's and dvd's. I do keep good records to make sure we don't overlook any important topic, such as the Civil War or the three states of matter. That being said, I was VERY nervous about our first experience with the Stanford test. I knew my children were bright and educated, I just wasn't sure that they fit the "government-approved definition" of bright and educated.

I sent R and A into their little testing rooms with the rest of the nervous, young homeschoolers, then ran to the park to kill time with my younger 3. I picked R and A up at noon, greeted them and asked as casually as I could, "So, how'd it go?" R sighed and confessed, "Mom, I didn't know any of those math problems." My heart sank and I begin thinking in my head which math curriculum we should switch to next year since the one we were currently using CLEARLY was not working. She told me how everyone had finished the math section way before she did, so the proctor let everyone else go take a break because it was taking R SO LONG to wrap it up (the test isn't timed, but it's not always reasonable to make everyone else sit there for long periods of time waiting for others to complete a section). She said,"Then I didn't know what else to do, so I prayed to God to help me know the answers, and then I remembered them!" Sweet girl.

Let's just say I was in a lot of anxiety the last two months waiting for those scores to come in! But, *big sigh of relief* the scores arrived and the kids did great. Not just great, but really, exceptionally well across the board. Even in math! Hooray! I think her cause of anxiety was probably the fact that the questions start out easy, then get progressively harder. If you're taking a 6th grade test, the questions aren't all at the 6th grade level. They start out at the 1st grade level then progress to the 12th grade level, so the tricky questions might cause some panic to set in, even though it's not really reasonable to expect a 6th grader to know 12 grade math.

R still hasn't finished her math curriculum for the year, so she has to keep working on that for the next couple of weeks. A is about 6 months ahead because he really likes to do math (weird, I know). I'm also having them do some writing through the summer. They'll probably do a little bit with foreign language as well. One of the perks of being in the military is free online access to Rosetta Stone! R is learning French; A is learning German. And they'll keep on reading, reading, reading through the summer. M resumes preschool July 8th, so we'll probably hit the books full-time at that time again as well. What are your summer plans?