Friday, July 17, 2009

Framing up at art

The boys had an art class last Tuesday--an art class at Autumn Moon, a scrap and knitting store a few towns over, that I forgot about. We were very fortunate, the owner of the scrapbook store allowed us to come in later in the week and make one of the projects. She would have let us make paper decoration (hanging in the photo below) but I was really really tired. I can't imagine how this woman works so much--think she might be superwoman in disguise. She was great with the boys. The project was pretty independent and only needed them to paint the picture frame and then decorate it with paper cutouts.

They spent an hour creating a picture frame. I was glad they had a chance to do some stuff, just them. Sometimes Mom is helping or we are tagging along with their older sister's stuff. This was an opportunity to do some stuff with just the two of them without a lot of stress or rushing. Though my youngest managed to get paint in his armpit despite the t-shirt. Don't ask me how; go figure. Life in the past weeks have been extremely hectic and I was grateful for their project and some slower time.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Driving from a box

Under Minnesota Law, full time homeschooled children can take the classroom driver's education at home with approved an approved curriculum. We chose to use Driver's ed in a box. It does what it needs to do--at least it wasn't filled with meaningless hours of gore mandated with other classes. As my daughter said to me, the gore only scares the people who are already aware of the importance of safety. Teenagers that think they are invincible and laugh at the gore on television will not benefit from it.

My daughter should have had her license long ago. She could have had her permit at 15, her license at 16 under regular law, but as a farm employee--she could have had it earlier. Though insurance costs were a factor anyway. I worry about really young driver's--even ultra responsible ones. I failed to file the paperwork when she was eligible. She has her learner's permit now and is working on getting her license--she will still get it before her birthday. This picture was taken when she first took the wheel early in May...well first time on the road legally anyway. She has moved my car in my yard if anyone cares to know.

I spared her the public posting of other photos near the end. For all the excitement and reminding she did, I think the end of the drive home really did distress her. She was extremely relieved when I drove over the local expressway--relieving her of the congested area until we got to a country road where we weren't being run over by passing traffic. We have since driven back to Rochester and the Twin Cities both, but she did great. I think it will still be a while before she is truly comfortable because I have noticed that I almost have to force her to drive when we are going anywhere near the metro area. I guess I am safe in my chauffeur position for a little while longer.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Volunteering on the farm at the Minnesota Zoo

I have missed my blog friends the past couple weeks. We have been extremely busy cleaning and dealing with some house issues. It is nice to be able to come and spend a few moments and reflect on more positive things in my life. I've missed you. :)

This is the third year my daughter has volunteered at the Minnesota zoo as a zoo teen. It is an incredible honor to be chosen. It is highly competitive--the year she applied I believe there were over a thousand applicants for the 50 or so spots. It has been a great experience. She used to work during the zoo camps, helping the instructors. She also helped in the kids den--a play and exploration area for visiting tots. This year, she is able to occasionally help on the farm.

It is a good experience for her. She has been able to incorporate her work on the farm and at the therapeutic riding place. She really loves working at the zoo and the animals. Sometimes its goats, pigs, calfs and little chicks!

We drive enough to get to the zoo, we really cannot just go back home. We are in the cities with her while she works. That can make for a long day for my boys, but they have chances to fun things too. We have really enjoyed the Russian bears and the giraffes in the African exhibit. It has been a great time. In this picture, they had just been able to feed them. Morning is definitely a better time to feed them crackers because otherwise they get full and less interested in the interaction. We can't wait for the new playground to be finished--it will be a great place to burn some energy while waiting.