Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Printmaking Week 2

We are so privileged to get to work with artist Melissa Mohammadi!  Another great day of learning and creating.

Monday, May 29, 2017

Lassen Volcanic National Park - more snow and returning home

A great trip. We came home the long way because I do love Hwy 395 and that meant a trip over Donner Pass and another chance to play in the snow - yes! Still lots up there...

Still in Lassen

Mt. Lassen behind her

This puppy loves the snow!  He couldn't get enough and rolled around in it, frolicking with such joy...

At Donner Pass, he was so excited he wouldn't sit for pictures, but stood with the girls....

G insisted on bringing home a cooler full of snow... which meant snow baseball in the yard at the end of the trip!

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Lassen Volcanic National Park - Day Two Thermal Activity

This part pretty much freaked G out, I don't know why.  I thought it was fascinating!  The last time it erupted was between 1914 and 1921 and yet, as the video in the Visitor's Center says - it is certain that it will erupt again, the only question is when.  We could smell the sulfur before we approached the pools and then saw both the steam and the visibly boiling water.  Reading park warnings that visitors had sustained "extreme injuries" from falling through the snow into boiling water was a bit freaky... but fascinating geography too!


Watching the steam rise across the snow...

A reminder of our Big History classes

In front of the pit of visibly boiling water...

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Friday, May 26, 2017

Track Party

Celebrating the kids and the coaches - lots of dedication and hard work!

2017 Team

2017 Championship Meet Competitors

And here's part of an email that the track commissioner sent to me about K:  She "had such a great day and we are so very proud of her and all her accomplishments this season. She is a great athlete and a wonderful person. She always has a positive attitude and always did everything we asked of her and more.

So thank you for sharing her with us and allowing her to use the gift that God gave her on Sunday. She is an integral part of our team and we would not have gotten third place overall without her."


Thursday, May 25, 2017


A friend who is also an accomplished artist offered the kids a printmaking in the park class and it was a lot of fun, very interesting and informative!

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Track and Field Championship

K qualified for the championship meet and was seeded first for the shot putt.  It was dramatic to watch, as the 7th grade girls all threw so well at this championship level.  The young woman seeded second threw further on her second shot than K had on her first (30'), so the tension among the competitors and spectators rose.  But then K's second shot was a 30.8...  and then that young woman stumbled on her third try.  One of the coaches whispered to me, "now she's throwing just for fun" and sure enough, on her third shot K threw 31.1, not a PR, but enough for the championship.  Hurrah!  I love cheering for this kid....

Here's the final throw, courtesy of Charles recording skills.  She makes it look easy...

And the announcement of the champion:


Her team also got third place overall again, which was a big deal.  Both of the girls were really excited and had fun celebrating with the team.  In fact, the team was so excited that the organizers had to ask them to get off the field so that they could announce the second and first place winners! :-)

Our crazy day was like this:  up at 4:30 to get ready and get Puck out.  Get everyone else up, fed, and out of the house by 8:30.  To IHM to set up for Rel Ed.  At 9:15, orient the substitute teacher for the Rel Ed class.  Then, fly up to CSM for K's event.  She wins!  Then, leave the girls to cheer the other events and return to clean up from Rel Ed.  Stop by ATM, pick up flowers for sub, en route.  Return to CSM to cheer running events.  Leave CSM to get K to baseball practice by 3PM.  Pick her up at 4PM and return - again - to CSM to see final running events and announcement of winners.  Then to Oakland for dinner with Grandpa...  Whew!

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Larvae to Ladybugs

On the entomology theme, our ladybugs also moved quickly from larvae form to ladybugs - and this was a first to watch for us, pretty neat, actually....

Larvae, which the instructions described as looking "almost like alligators."  Well, not the description I'd use, but....

Closer up, closer to transition.

Then they almost seem to shrink into themselves...

Until ladybugs appear! This one, eating half of a water-soaked raisin.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Caterpillars to Butterflies

From skinny little things to plump and hairy... and now hanging...

Chrysalis form.  One of them kept flapping vigorously, which was fascinating...

Yeah, we've done this before, but it never gets old!
Ready to go!

And the release!

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Out of the Ballpark Home Run!

An out-of-the-ballpark home run! She's had home runs before, but never over the fences and into the slough! Someone always tries to retrieve the balls as souvenirs for the kids and this one came back muddy and soaked. Super awesome!

 Charles took the video - I was en route to taking G to a birthday party. We pulled over to watch it and yelled inside the car! (I might have cried a little too.)

 The video begins with her at-bat and you see a ball, then a runner stealing base ahead of her. Her home run swing is at 45 seconds.  Watch the home plate umpire as he realizes it is a homer - he's always encouraging and cheering for K (and for all the kids) and it is fun to see his enthusiasm.  He found another ball and wrote the date, etc. on it as another souvenir for her too and then chatted with her for a long time after the game, telling her how he just knew she was going to nail one over the fences soon.  Super sweet.

And the ball, muddy from being hit into the slough!

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Homework for Writing Class

G had homework for her writing class, to interview my Mom.  Here's the transcript:

Question number one:  What was the greatest experience of your life? 
Giving birth to Therese your mom

Question number 2:  What was your best childhood experience?
Spending the summers in New Jersey.

Question number 3"  What was your worst childhood experience?
When I was bad getting spanked by my grandmother.

Question number 4:  What is your favorite place you've ever lived?
The house we live in now.

Question number 5:  What was your favorite childhood house?
The house I lived in from 7 to 12 grade.

Question number 6:  What is the best advice you have to give to your grandchildren?
Study hard in the week and party hard on the weekend.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Vocabulary Presentation on the Origins of the Word Baseball

The assignment for this class was to create a presentation in which the students explored the origin of any word that interests them. Not surprisingly, K chose "baseball." The presentation turned out pretty well and I learned a few things watching it!

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Shot Putt Divisional Champion

Her best throw is 31.6 and on this day she threw her second best - 30.7 - which was enough for the meet win.  Now on to the Championships...

Love this picture because it looks far even in the photo.

Throw #2

With teammates and coaches

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Entomology at Home

We finally got our boxes of ladybug larvae, caterpillars, and praying mantis egg sacks.  The caterpillars we've done before and they are just for fascination and fun; the other two are new and fascinating to see.

Ladybug larvae, now molting away....


Praying Mantis egg sack