Thursday, March 28, 2013

Field trip: Enchanted Forest

I decided yesterday (Wednesday) that we needed to go somewhere that we hadn't gone in at least 3 years by my count.  It may have been 4.  In any case, I found out that Enchanted Forest opened this week for the spring/summer season, and really wanted to take the kids since we hadn't been for so long.  So, we ditched the school work and headed out for the afternoon.

It turned out to be beautiful!  The weather is just starting to get nice around here, and we were so excited to hit Enchanted Forest on such a perfect day.  The kids loved it.  They are hoping to go back again this summer.  As far as theme parks go, it's pretty old fashioned.  But, my kids are happy with it, and I like that it isn't all over-done like Disneyland.  I kinda like it's antique feeling.  Don't get me wrong, I still want to take my kids to Disneyland someday, but I'm so glad that we have this close to us.  It's all we have for a theme park here in Oregon, so we'll take it.

Just as we arrived, they were pretty excited to see what this place was all about (April only remembered a little, and Aaron was just a little guy last time we went, and of course the little 2 had never been).

So, here's the low down on Enchanted forest.  It's like a huge storybook land.  There are a number of different classic children's stories, and nursery rhymes all throughout the park.  We started out walking through a castle that you could walk through some tunnels and find different characters/stories in.

The top of the castle with some beautifiul sunshine starting to peek through the trees yay!

Then we continued down a path that took us through Hansel and Gretels house, past Mary had a little lamb's school house, past Humpty Dumpty, and through a tunnel to Alice in Wonderland. enchantedcollage

After Alice in Wonderland we walked further along this pretty path to Snow White and the seven Dwarf's house, and finally to the witches castle.  They of course get to walk through the dark tunnels of the witches castle, and up the stairs which leads to a slide.enchanted2

This is the entrance to the witches castle.  I had to go in with the 2 littlest ones, they were kinda scared at first.


But, then they saw the slide and all was good.

This shot shows on the left the entrance, and the right is the slide.  It is set up nicely so they can go up some stairs to keep going down the slide over and over again.  Some even chose to keep going through the witches mouth over and over again..."I'm not scared!" they would say.


Alex just couldn't get enough of this place.  He loved looking at this little scene from snow white after the witches castle where the seven dwarfs are waving bye to snow white after she is rescued by her handsome prince :-)

Then we came to Goldilocks and the Three Bears.  Here's Goldilocks in her bed.IMG_3104

Alex is watching the three bears through a window...
IMG_3106's the scene where the 3 bears are telling the story about how their porridge had been eaten, and their chairs had been sat upon. IMG_3107

Up next...the crooked man's house!

There was a crooked man,
and he went a crooked mile,
He found a crooked sixpence 
against a crooked stile;
He bought a crooked cat, which
caught a crooked mouse,
And they all lived together in
a little crooked house.

They loved the crooked house.  It really is a little cooky to walk in.  You feel a little "crooked" :-)  Here they were being really silly trying to walk on the crooked floor.

Then to Little Red Riding Hood, and the old lady's shoe which the kids could slide out of.

Now we're in western town.  Walking through the old west.  There are some fun things to look at and do here.

This horse girl loved the opportunity to pretend to rope a steer.


 Aric decided to give it a try too.

That took us to the ride area.  Aric rode the bumper boats.  Alex really wanted to do this too but he was afraid to go to the guy that was going to help him into the boat. IMG_3130

April and Aaron rode the bumper cars.IMG_3132
Then I went with the 2 little ones on a train ride.  This is the little elf world.  It was cute.IMG_3137

April and Aaron waiting for us.  Probably laughing at how funny Mommy looked squished in that kiddie train :-)


Aric said hi to a chipmunk.

April rode on the log ride all by herself.  She loved it.  We ran out of tickets after that so we continued our journey through the park. IMG_3144

We're almost done!  Sorry about all the pictures.  I just loved taking pictures of everything.  We walked through a little village that had these fake people talking out the windows as if they were gossipping/chatting like they would have done back in the olden days.

Then there was Pinnochio and Geppetto talking as we walked through Pinnochio's playhouse about Pinnochio becoming a real boy.

And, finally, to finish it off there's a cool little water show to watch.IMG_3149
The kids had such a good time. There was a lot that we didn't do as far as rides go, and we missed the theatre production of Cinderella because we didn't want to hang around for another half hour with a cranky toddler (the older kids really wanted to watch it).  But, it was a fun little trip, and much needed getaway for us this week.


Friday, March 22, 2013

The Homeschool Mother's Journal: March 22


In my life this week...I have decided that I need to take a huge step back from facebook.  I'm getting frustrated when I get on there to do one thing, and it just sucks me in.  Before I know it I've wasted an hour (or 2 or 3).  I really want to get back to blogging more.  I'm pretty sure facebook is also the reason I have neglected my blogs so much.  I really want to get more of the great stuff we do posted.  It's not only the time issue with facebook, I have other reasons that I really just dislike it.  But, then at the same time I love keeping up with friends and family.  Ugh! 

IMG_3029In our homeschool this week...My 4 year old surprised me by doing this adding page all by himself.  I love how much he has been counting and adding things randomly all day long.  I was very happy to see this, and that he gets the concept so well. 

We started reading Pagoo.  April started reading Black Beauty.  We did some math.  We finished the  chapter on ancient China in STOW.  Not a whole lot was accomplished though.  I might just call that our spring break :-)

Helpful homeschooling tips or advice to share...start your day with classical music if you have boys or kids that need some focus and calming down.  Sometimes we even start with listening to bible songs, or sing-alongs.  I recently figured this out, and since we've started it has helped immensly.

Places we're going and people we're seeing...we went to sky high on Monday for homeschool day, and the kids jumped on trampolines for an hour.  Thursday we went to the Salem, OR Capitol building for homeschool apple pie day.  Friday morning was spent at the library playing on the computer for the little boys, and for April she joined the homeschool group art time upstairs.

My favorite thing this week was...finding some great deals at a thrift store up in Portland.  April found some skirts, I found some books and decorations, and Aaron found a fun lego planner.  I loved how cheap it all was too.

My kiddos favorite thing this week was...I think they liked apple pie day a lot.  They were all so excited, and loved going to see the capitol building.  My 4 year old even said on the way home that it was the best day.  (even though we had to leave early and miss the rest of it)

Things I'm working on...busy bags.  I have a busy bag swap coming up so I'm working on making 20 of these clothesline busy bags.   I'm excited to see the fruits of this labor, and have 19 new busy bag games for  my little ones to enjoy!


I'm cooking...3 apple pies, tacos, Ikea style meatballs and mashed potatoes, and a birthday cake.  That's most of what I made this week, I think. 

I'm grateful for...this week being over, and looking forward to a new one.  

I rewarded my kids this week by...letting them play skylanders on Thursday and Friday night.  Usually they only get to play on Saturday.  Thursday night was Daddy's birthday, and Friday night was because this has been a long week :-)

Something I am ogling or have my eye Hubby has been looking at boats.  He wants to get a boat for family outings.  It is something that I have always thought would be fun too.  Of course I'm not ogling over this as much as he is we'll see.

A photo, video, link, or quote to share...these guys sure love skylanders at the moment.  They love to play with the characters all week long, and dream about when they finally get to play the game on the wii on Saturday.


To see what others are sharing in their homeschool journals visit iHomeschool network.


Thursday, March 21, 2013

Apple pie day

We joined fellow homeschoolers from all over Oregon at the Salem Capitol building today for homeschool apple pie day.  It's a day where homeschoolers go and show our local government that the homeschool freedoms we have work and are important to so many families.

We made 2 pies to donate, took a tour of the Capitol building, and that's as far as we made it before we got a call that the chickens were out in the front yard (the gate got left open) so we had to leave.  Unfortunately we missed the big homeschool rally out in front of the capitol building.  But, I can say that it was probably for the best since Alex (2) was throwing fits within 5 minutes of arriving, and the whole time we were there was kinda difficult with him.  I'm glad we got to see what apple pie day is like though!  It was our first year going.

Our 2 apple pies before we took them in.  Thankfully they re-wrap them inside with some special wrapping that looks way cooler than ours :-)

My cuties at the front of the building.  All the homeschoolers looked so nice all dressed up.

It was really not too bad for weather.  A little chilly, but it wasn't raining!  I was thankful for that. IMG_3044

We signed in, took the tour of the building inside, and then went outside to get some pictures and eat our lunch.  Loved all the blossom trees!

There's the capitol building in the background.  I didn't have the right lens to get everything in the pictures.  My kids look so happy, right?  We really were happy to be there.

Loved getting pictures of these guys all dressed up.

Unfortunately this is when we got the message about the chickens.  The rally wasn't supposed to start for an hour, so we had to get home to make sure the chickens were okay.

Running around outside the capitol grounds was pretty neat on the way back to the car (which was a mile away). IMG_3046

We walked down this walkway.  I wanted to stay and take tons more pictures, it was just so pretty.  But, we had to boogie.

I really just wanted to get one more handsome boy picture before we headed out, and this is what I got.  No time to get a smile out of him!


Thursday, March 14, 2013

The Homeschool Mother's Journal: March 15, 2013


In my life this week...I went into the Dr. this week expecting to only get some routine blood work done, and came home with a whole lot more.  He noticed my voice was nearly gone, and I was pretty stuffed up.  He looked at me and said you've surely got a sinus infection, and it sounded like I need to get some antibiotics going.  The sinus infection wasn't too surprising as my sinuses are always in pretty bad shape, I never know when I've truly got a sinus infection or just bad allergies.  He also gave me some nasal spray, and directions for clearing my nose up.  Oh I sure hope this means I might get some relief soon!  I would love to be able to breathe again (FYI, I haven't been able to breather for months).  After this is cleared up he said we need to work on a solution to get the allergies under control.  Yes!  Maybe I'll have some relief soon!  The allergies have been bad the past few weeks.  Makes me worry about Spring and summer if they are this bad already!

In our homeschool this week...Monday was the last day of co-op Monday school for us.  Then Monday evening it was presentation night for the kids to show off all the things they did in their classes.  I think presentation night is my favorite part of the whole thing.  It's fun to see what everybody has learned together.  Aric also finally got to take his beloved "math fun folder" home.  He has been telling me about this math folder that they put together in his co-op Kindergarden class.  All he wanted to do was go home and play math games on Monday night when we got home.  We had to save it for Tuesday morning.  There are a lot of really fun easy games in that thing!  It will be nice to have that around for a while.

We also have been reading each morning from the scriptures about the life of Jesus Christ from his birth and we'll go all the way to the time he is resurrected on Easter Sunday.  It's an Easter countdown that you can find at Our busy homeschool.  This has been hard, but great at the same time.  I've never found it easy to sit down and read scriptures with all my children at once, but it's time.  They've done pretty well, and I've discovered that it can help Aaron to learn how to read too!  He's really trying some mornings, other mornings I have to push him more, but he's picking it up!  It's also nice because there is a movie to go with each day.  I really want reading the scriptures to go with our school day, each day, we are getting there!

Helpful homeschooling tips or advice to share...don't get stuck on a question and waste time trying to come up with a good answer when you don't have one :-)

Places we're going and people we're seeing...Wednesday we did a library double duty day!  In the morning we went to story time at our non-local library in Wilsonville.  We just love their story time.  Then later in the day we took a walk to our local library to return a book that was about to be overdue (these libraries are not connected, so we had to do this).  We ended up walking in during their brick club which no one was at, so my boys happily sat down and played with legos and blocks.  We weren't really planning on staying, but I couldn't deny them the fun of legos at the library.  While they were doing that I was able to pick up my books on hold, and a few others that I stumbled upon on the shelf.  We ended up leaving with a pretty big stack of books.  Good thing I have a basket in the stroller for walking home!

My favorite thing this week was...getting to know some new books (lots of them.  More on that later)

Things I'm working on...changing over to a more classical approach to our homeschool.  As in completely switching over, but it will be a slow process though.  I'm using Ambleside online right now as a starting guide.  So, that means I'm having to get to know a whole lot of books I've never read or even heard of.  I love it though.  This is what I've needed to do for a long time.  To take the leap into a more classical/Charlotte Mason type homeschool.  I'm also using "The Well Trained Mind" for guidance too.  I have been trying to gather books, and really wrap my brain around this whole 'classical' method of homeschooling.  I've always loved this approach, but haven't been ready to do it all the way yet.  I feel like I/we are finally there.  My brain is still processing a lot, and has been over the past 2 weeks.  Like how to fully implement all this is still mind boggling.  We are going to start artist/composer studies, copywork, reading, reading, and lots of reading.  This is a lot more reading than my kids usually like to do.  They will become readers soon!  I hope.

I'm reading...This is the stack of new books I waded through this morning.  Most are from the library, some are ones I ordered from Amazon.  Some of them I've only read the first 1 or 2 chapters.  I also have quite a few new books on my ipad kindle app, and on my nook that I'm glancing over.  Like I said I'm having to get to know a lot of books with our new curriculum/style of homeschooling.  I've also got the entire Charlotte Mason homeschooling series on my kindle app.  That's some heavy reading!  I've wanted to read it for some time, and I'm glad the whole thing is just on the ipad now to pick up and read when I can.  I love holding a good paper book in my hand, but I'm so thankful for electronic books too.  Makes taking a book anywhere easy!


I'm cooking...not much this week.  I only made some rice krispy treats with lucky charms instead of rice krispies to go with our art and story time.  That's about all I did in the kitchen this week.  Hubby made some yummy fajitas today for dinner when I wasn't feeling up to cooking.

I'm grateful for...the ability to still function each day this week even though I felt miserable pretty much the whole week.  We still managed to squeeze in some decent school work even though my head was pretty fuzzy and I couldn't always think straight through all the sneezing.  I'm grateful for our walk to the library on Wednesday.  I'm grateful that by the time we were walking home my 6 year old Aaron was complaining less about how tired he was and feeling better after getting out and walking.

I'm praying for...friends.  I guess I should re-word that, I'm praying for better friendships with old friends, and finding new friendships for my children and for me.  I'm praying for myself to be a better friend to others too.

I rewarded my kids this week by...paying the little ones $1 each if they were good for April (my oldest) while I was at my Dr.'s appointment.  She would report to me how good they were.  I also rewarded April $5 for being a good babysitter.  The boys would report to me on how she did as well.  They all did good.  This wouldn't normally be a paid babysitting job for April, but I decided to give them all an opportunity to earn some money.  I'm sure they'll want to go spend it tomorrow when we're at the store :-)

A photo, video, link, or quote to share...I stumbled upon this McGuffey's second eclectic reader while finding books from the Ambleside online book lists.  I'm excited to see how it works for us.  I like old books, and this one is pretty fun to look at.


To see what others are sharing in their homeschool journal posts visit iHomeschool network.


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