Thursday, December 31, 2015

Christmas 2015

We went to NC for Christmas, by way of GA (briefly)
It was warm! Even hot!

We went to the beach (river beach), we played outside, we saw some of these hooligans (and others though I don't have photo proof).

It was fun.
Our own house seems extra cold and quiet now.
I guess we will get used to it. Maybe.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Balloon Rally

Here is a peek at the Red Rock Balloon Rally 2015. Case you were wondering if spectators can get a completely ideal viewing position on the red rocks, the answer is: Yup.

I had talked up this event so much to my mother in law that I was afraid she would be disappointed.
Nope. It lived up to the hype.

Oh I forgot to mention: it cost $5 to get in as a spectator.
I don't know, I think that's worth it, don't you?

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Homeschooling-on-Saipan Blog

A friend requested that I leave a link here to the blog I kept while homeschooling in Saipan during the 2014-2015 school year.  Here it is, and it should all display on a single page, with the first entry showing up at the very bottom, in case you want to scroll up and read chronologically.

I crafted our curriculum for the year myself so that we could properly take advantage of what was around us, as well as our travels.  We learned a lot about the ocean, and about mapping.  For the ocean unit, we incorporated science, history, art and literature into a months-long study of the sea.  There was a case study on hermit crabs, in order to understand the interrelations between sea creatures, and then of course to more fully appreciate the effects on life in the ocean from environmental change, degradation or pollution.

You will find that I included plenty of reading recommendations on various topics throughout the blog, though some entries such as this post are entirely devoted to tips on good books.


(Oh, and one final note: In case you found this post through a search engine and are simply looking for information on the legal requirements about homeschooling in Saipan or the Northern Marianas, I wrote a post especially for you here.)

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Halloween 2015

This year, we had a dragon rider, the school principal, and Donald Trump

A. changed into a martial arts fighter for trick or treating,
since she figured that outside of school, no one would get the joke

Face painting that BR got at some fair

The kids' school hosted a "trunk or treat" event and I decorated our car simply, but with a twist...

See that guy peeking out from behind the black cloth?  Well, when you reach in for candy, he may grab your hand and startle you, or you may end up with a handful of oozy (gummy) worms, or maybe applesauce...  This was a HIT with the kids at school.  Several just stayed in the line so they could reach in over and over and over again...

Some neighbors carved this "Seahawks" pumpkin, ha ha!

Friday, October 16, 2015


Kit joined J. and me in Las Vegas for a few days.  Jer did his work thing, and Kit and I played and caught up.

Monday, October 5, 2015

No-school Friday

It was a perfect day for a family mountain bike ride in the forest.  No photos of the forest part here; we just took these on the drive home.  (psst: Guess which one is the middle-schooler...)

Lunch Box Notes, by the Great and Awesome Me

Every morning, I put handwritten notes into each of the kids' lunchboxes.  These are such a hit that at least one of them collects them all in a shoebox under their bed, then makes a "book" for each month, by stapling them together.  

Sure, notes by Mom are to be treasured, but sometimes, you just need a self-authored one:

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Weekend in Santa Fe

There is nothing quite like spending the weekend with good friends.

They took us hiking outside of the city, and to some fun spots inside the city.  They fed us good food and showed us around their neighborhood and let the kids take turns flying a toy drone.

We slept hard and we played hard, until we had to say goodbye.

I took advantage of the good weather to give a short little triathlon a try.  It ended up not being as short as I had expected, but it was fun times.  I would do it again, despite some long climbs (phew).

The kids even got a drawing lesson while I was away.  Steve taught them about "negative space."
They also built a fort in the "desert" and had a water fight and watched a movie together and discussed their favorite reads.  They are really comfortable together; it's fun to witness.

Thank you for having all eight of us all together, Kari and Steve.  Watch out---if you keep treating us so good we may just come back again and again...

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

First day