Sunday, June 30, 2013

Lifestyle of Learning Volumes 20, 21, and 22

Our educational journey is ongoing and continuous.  It is not confined to nine calendar months with summer being a break from it all.  It is day in, day out, week after week through the entire year.
It is our life.
It ebbs and flows and shifts and changes as we progress through the seasons of our lives and through the seasons of each year.
For us, autumn typically finds us connecting with our community, as there is an increase in the number of festivals and such that are offered, and reconnecting with the homeschool community, as many homeschool groups structure their calendars similarly to that of the public schools.  Autumn will also typically find us tackling the more readily apparent academic topics. Maybe this is due to all the talk swirling around us about going back to school or maybe we just need a change of pace after the living through the crazy days of summer, I am unsure.  It also finds us enjoying the out of doors, enjoying the sublime weather of autumn.  It is an energizing time.
Whereas autumn finds us out and about quite often winter finds us largely hibernating, cozied down in our nest of a home.  We tend to be less outward focused and more inward focused.  We tend to be more introspective as individuals and as a family.  We read a lot.  And we focus on a deeper connection to the holidays that we celebrate and to the family relationships we are seeking to develop.
Spring finds us looking outward again.  As we watch the world awake from the slumber of winter
 we become energized.  As WE awake from the slumber of winter we feel rejuvenated.  We typically begin to get a hankering for road trips, to get out and see the world.  We typically settle for day trips but it seems to be enough, it scratches the itch and we return home with a better appreciation of the area in which we live.
And then there is summer.  For us there is no such thing as the lazy days of summer.  Sure we have lazy moments, a smattering of days here and there, but it is not the norm.  As businesses have realized that there is an enormous market for programs that are intended to keep kids busy during their days out of school, they have created a plethora of camps.  We are not invested in keeping our kids busy in that way but we do find that these camps provide unique opportunities for us.  The boys will usually be involved in some camps.  And I will spend a great deal of time and effort making sure that they are prepared for these camps.  They used to be involved in the unique summer offering of Vacation Bible School, going to about five per summer but they have now outgrown that.  They have not outgrown the fair and if they choose to exhibit items in the fair then a considerable amount of time will be spent in preparation.  Also, it has become traditional for them to do the library reading program, not because they need incentive to read but because they might as well get some free stuff for the reading that they are already doing.  Our program allows you to earn a 'flip' card which is a punch card with free or highly discounted things to do around town.  Free food, free activities and experiences fill up our summer days.  Our summers are typically full to the brim.
And this summer is no different.
So, let me now share with you a bit of our busy June 9 - June 29.
We began by attending, and Bishop participated in, a friend's Eagle Scout Court of Honor.
This was such a joy-filled experience and we were so glad to get to celebrate with our friends.  This new Eagle Scout has been a guide and mentor for Bishop during his scouting journey.  His most recent accomplishment now serves as inspiration for Bishop.  Bishop had never discounted trying to earn Eagle Scout but he had not determined that he was going to go for it.  After he participated in this ceremony he proclaimed his intent to pursue this goal.  It is already providing a different sort of focus for Bishop as he approaches his scouting endeavor.

Speaking of scouting, Bishop attended boy scout camp where he was had the opportunity to work on earning the insect study, fishing, fly fishing, forestry, fire safety, wood carving and leather working merit badges.  He also spent a considerable amount of time hiking around the camp and swimming.
Midweek I had the opportunity to visit my scout at camp.
He gave me a tour of the camp
and I learned that Shockers and Peach Nehi were the hot commodities at camp this year.
I also go to have dinner with him.
I was so thrilled to get to spend this time with him and to get a visual of the place that he spends one week out of every year at, one of his favorite places.

Maceo had his own camp to attend, a day camp at our community theatre.  He attended the Summer Institute that worked on presenting to the public Mulan Jr.  Summer Institute involves putting together a production from beginning to end in a two week period of time with every participant being 18 years old or younger.  They meet Monday through Friday for seven hours a day, with the only exception being during the second week they also meet on Saturday.  Performances are on the final Friday and Saturday with a total of six performances.  It is a totally impressive endeavor.  Auditions are on day one with the casting list going up on day two.
Maceo was cast as Shan Yu, the leader of the Huns, the invaders of China.
Theatre has been an integral part of Maceo's life for about six years.  This past year he opted not to participate in the community theatre at all.  This production was his first during the 2012-2013 season and he really enjoyed being back.  I foresee more participation during the season to come.
For his opening show gift I gave him this giant fortune cookie.
I constructed it out of fun foam and filled it with candy and, of course, a giant fortune.
It was a fun gift and I think he enjoyed it.
And it was a fun show and I know I enjoyed it.

And, even though the days were very full we still found time to visit with friends...

and go to book stores and comic book stores...

and build legos...

and continue with insect studies...

and study other creatures with these free cards from Bass Pro...

and explore interesting shows (have you seen Exit or Face Off? fantastic!) and read interesting books...

and develop new interests.

What a great life!

Monday, June 17, 2013

Happy Birthday, Austin!

My grand-nephew Austin just turned 3
and over the weekend Bishop and I joined with his family to celebrate this special occasion.
And what a sweet celebration it was with its colorful Curious George theme.
There was definitely some monkeying around as we curiously explored fingerpaints...
and bubbles...
and, for some, even our food.
It was a fun and joy-filled celebration.
Happy Birthday, Austin!

Friday, June 14, 2013

Happy 238th Birthday and Happy Flag Day!

On June 14, 1775 the Continental Army was created by the Continental Congress as a unified army that would allow the colonies to fight Great Britain.  After gaining our independence our army stayed committed to defending our country and its people.  238 years later our U.S. Army is still committed to defending our great country and is committed to doing it with an all-volunteer force.
On the same day two years after the Continental Congress formed the Continental Army the Second Continental Congress adopted our flag to represent our young nation

So on this day we recognize Flag Day by flying our Old Glory from our porch
and we celebrate the birthday of the army with a little patriotic treat.
For an inspirational little read on Old Glory check this out
and Happy 238th Birthday, U.S. Army!

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Lifestyle of Learning Volume 19

Aaahhhh...Sunday has arrived.
So we say farewell to the week that has just ended, this first week of the new academic year, and we recap how it is that we have chosen to live our lives for this week, the week of June1- June 8.

We checked on the goslings that we found at the park a couple of weeks back.
 We found that ours were grown and another little family has some kiddos that are almost there.  They are practically the size of their parents, their markings resemble an adult goose but their feathers lack their shininess of their parents.  They are so sweet.

We enjoyed the natural offerings around us.
We are particularly enjoying the glorious offerings of the magnolia tree down the street.

We are still watching the magnificent show 'North America'
and more MythBusters and FaceOff and so on and so forth.
There has also been reading.  Bishop is making progress on The Brotherband Chronicles and Maceo is working in World War Z.  Maceo also found this cool website that allows him access to movie scripts.  He depleted the ink in the printer by printing the script for Napoleon - a movie written by Kubrick, his favorite director, but never produced.  He has begun reading that as well.

Speaking of Kubrick, Maceo bookended his week with Kubrick movies.
The Moxie is doing a Stanley retrospective during the month of June.  Of course, Maceo is thrilled.  Last week he saw Dr. Strangelove and this week he saw 2001 A Space Odyssey on the big screen.  He even managed to talk some friends in to joining him to view 2001.  He is proud that he was able to introduce his friends to Kubrick.

There is still sketching going on here.
On a whim, I got Bishop the Boys Doodle book thinking that it might provide fodder for his sketching goal.  He really digs it!

I sent the boys on a dudeventure.
(They would hate that I just wrote that.  They scoff at my phrase but I find it much easier to say then guys day out or dude adventure.  Dudeventure is succinct and quirky - it works for me).
I sent them downtown for lunch at a Mexican restaurant and then a quick walk to the larger movie theater for a viewing of Iron Man 3.
They had a blast!

We had other adventures.
We took a day trip...
to the Ralph Foster Museum,
chuckling at first with the claim that it is 'The Smithsonian of the Ozarks"
but coming out a believer.

And we saw the Star School.
And we went in to Branson...
to score some lunch...
and some ice cream.

Another day we managed to celebrate summer at Lamberts.

We enjoyed the weather.  Whatever it chose to bring.  Whether it be fog...
or rain or sun.
And when it was sunny we worked outside building a basketball hoop, planting more flowers and mowing the yard (although that last job never seems to be done when we are getting as much rain as we are).  And when it was rainy we worked indoors rearranging the house.  Maceo now has his own bedroom.

Other business got taken care of as well.
The boys went to the dentist.  Maceo went to the barber.
And the Jeep went to the shop.

 I ended the week helping a friend prepare for her son's Eagle Scout Court of Honor.
Our week will begin with attending this special event.  We are so excited!

What a fantastically full week it has been.  We have accomplished so much and we have enjoyed life so very much.  Now we dive right in to another week of life and all of its grand adventures!