Sunday, February 28, 2010

An Eventful Weekend

We have had quite the eventful weekend. We live in Hawaii.On Saturday we had a tsunami warning. We have tsunami warnings often, but this time they were taking it very serious. It all started....
Saturday morning, about 5 am, my husband's cell phone was ringing. He woke up and checked his voice mail. My mother called him and told him about the warning(she is on the east coast). He woke me up. "There is a tsunami warning. We have to get up." I really didn't think much of it because like I said we get these warnings a lot. "I am going downstairs to turn on the news." he whispered. A few moments later, he came back upstairs and told me it was expected to hit the islands around 11:15 a.m. "I think you need to get up!", he was very serious so I got out of bed. I came downstairs and we were watching the news. Immediately, we started thinking about where we were going to go and what we needed to pack. On the news they said we would need 7 days of food and water, light clothing, first aid kit, flashlight, radio, important papers, etc. My husband decided he would go and fill the van up with gas and I told him to go to the atm and pull out cash. I was thinking if the power went out for a few weeks the atms wouldn't be working. So, he left and so did everyone else. The lines at all of the gas stations were long. They even had the police standing guard.
While he was gone I started packing up food and filling every possible container with water. Meanwhile the sirens were going off outside.
The sirens woke the kids up. They came down the stairs and asked me what was going on. "Why was your phone ringing all night? Why are there sirens going off?"When I told them, the look of fear came over their faces. I told them we would be okay and that we had plenty of time to get somewhere safe. After the initial shock, I had them collect blankets for everyone and spare clothes. I thought it would be better for them and helpful to me if I kept them busy.
My husband came home from getting gas and we started packing the car with everything.
Then he told me on the radio they were asking people to stay home if they didn't need to evacuate. I called the Civil Defense because I wasn't sure if we needed to evacuate or not. We can see the ocean from our neighborhood but I wasn't sure how far a tsunami wave would travel. They told me we would be safe at home. When I told the kids we were going to stay home they didn't believe me and kept insisting we needed to leave. Finally, I explained to them that it would be more dangerous for us to be on the road.
Just as a precautionary, we decided to take all of the food and water upstairs on the second floor of the house. We told them at 11:00 we would all head upstairs and stay until it was over with.
It was 7:00 am and we turned the t.v. off. I just felt to have it on was not doing us any good. The constant reminder of what was coming was exhausting emotionally and physically. We were ready and we knew around what time it was going to hit. We decided we would turn the news back on at 10:45.
After breakfast, I vacuumed the house and cleaned the bathrooms just to keep mind busy.
Around 9:00,we took the kids outside and played on the playground for a little while.
Although, it was kind of eerie outside. Everything was quiet besides the sirens.
We came inside and turned the news on again. We watched as the big island, Hawaii, prepared to get hit first. It was now 11:05 which was when the big island was supposed to be hit. As we watched on the news, you could see the water being sucked out (you could see the reef)and rushing back in, but no big waves. It happened again and again. Each time faster then the time before. We were waiting for this monster wave to come into the camera's view but thank God it never happened.
So, it was quite the scare but we were safe!! We did learn that in an emergency we pulled together as a family. We all took on a job, completed it and were ready to evacuate with in an hour. It amazed me!
After all of that, tonight we went for our usual nightly walk. I somehow lost the garage key and we were locked out for about an hour and a half. It just happened to be a really chilly night too. Luckily, my neighbor brought jackets over for the kids and shortly after the locksmith was at our house. I was suppose to be doing my midterm tonight for the class I am taking, but I decided I would blog about this crazy weekend instead. After a good nights sleep, midterm tomorrow night!!

Sociology Project

Sweet girl finished up her Sociology unit in History last week. This was a big project she worked on for the unit. The purpose of the assignment was to experience one of the jobs of a Sociologist, taking surveys. She surveyed 20 people and asked each 10 questions. After she gathered all of her information, I had her take the assignment a little further. I had her analyze the information and write a report about her findings. I also had her make graphs for each question so she could visually compare the results of the survey. Here are a couple of pictures of her finished project.

Reading With Big Sis

Little man loves to be read too. He will sit for hours listening to stories over and over again. He has a very good memory. He will memorize the book and then read it to himself or to us. It is the cutest thing and the older kids get a big kick out of it.
This is something new he has started. Sweet girl enjoys reading her books(during school) under the school table on the dog bed. She usually has a dog curled up with her. Anyway, Little man waits for reading time grabs his book and goes under the table with her. When I saw him do this I just had to grab the camera.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Starting a Physical Education Class

I started a Physical Education class with our homeschool group about three weeks ago. Many of the parents wanted a class where all ages would be welcome to participate. Everyone is having such a great time and my kids look forward to Tuesday. It has been nice to break up the school day with some exercise too. I will admit that I was a little nervous when I first started because I scheduled the class from 10 a.m. -11 a.m. but the kids come home from P.E. ready to get down to work. It is convenient that the class is held at a community park in our neighborhood so it is just a minute drive home.

We have been using the curriculum Homeschool Family Fitness by: Bruce Whitney. It is a great program to do as a group or a family.

Usually, each week I have the kids warm up, stretch, we do about 15-20 minutes of exercise,the lesson and then fit in 1-2 games.

Week 1- we did fit testing so we could see where everyone was and so the children could each make goals for themselves. We also played a game of 4 squares which was fun. I hadn't played that game since middle school. Week 2- we learned some football techniques , played a game to practice the techniques, and freeze tag(which is always a big hit). Week 3- we learned soccer techniques and played a soccer game. For our exercise this week I changed things up by adding in hurdles and sprints. This was fun because I set it up like a relay race-boys against girls. This week(4)- we are going to be jump roping. We will be learning basic jump roping and adding a few tricky moves-fun. There is also a game of Tiger Tails on the lesson plan. I have decided to add in some yoga this week as a part of our stretching exercises to keep things interesting.
Anyway, just a little preview of the curriculum. It is great and covers everything; dancing, swimming, snow activities, golf, juggling. You name it.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Making Time-An Answered Prayer

Making time for yourself is a challenge I think for every homeschooling mother. I know if I find an extra moment it is spent catching up on the laundry, cleaning, preparing meals or lesson planning.
One of my homeschooling friends invited me to a Zumba class at her church. I really wanted to go but I didn't know how I was going to fit it into our already tight schedule(sports 6 days/week, along with homeschooling and other activities/field trips).
I was sitting in my car waiting for my son to finish soccer practice. I opened up a devotional I receive through email from AOP called "Timeout for Mom". I actually giggled because this email came to me shortly after I told my friend I wasn't sure if would be able to go.
I read..."If we want to stay emotionally and spiritually healthy to enjoy homeschooling our children, then we must make taking time for these moments a number one priority. Without them, we shrivel up and die within, and homeschooling becomes one repetitious day after the next."
Then it went on to say how Jesus needed timeouts to get through his day as well. It also stated we should let go of the false guilt we feel when we give ourselves some time and that we should learn from Christ's example. For me this was a light bulb moment.
I read on...."Is today your day to rejuvenate and find yourself again? Don't wait for the help to fall from the sky. Humble yourself and ask for it."
Wow, I never thought of it that way...."Humble" myself? While I continued to wait for practice to be over, I humbled myself and prayed. I prayed that I would be filled with the Lord's strength and that I may find some time to be rejuvenated again.
Practice was over. As I walked over to my son , coach called out to me,"I am going to have to change practice day to Friday, instead of Thursday." I looked at him and smiled . This change meant that my Thursday night was now free and I would be able to go to the Zumba class.
On Thursday, I went to the class and it was so much fun. I felt great, rejuvenated and blessed for the opportunity to go. I am looking forward to the next class:)

The Rainforest

Silly guy just began studying the rainforest. Him and Little man created these creepy crawlers as an activity on Friday. We used air drying clay, pipe cleaners, beads, and floral wire. They turned out adorable.
Little man's "snake" has spikes on his back. He was very proud.

Electricity and Magnetism

Silly guy is finishing up his study on electricity and magnetism. He has enjoyed this study and it was filled with a lot of information, many hands on activities and experiments. I posted a few of his experiments. Above: He was learning about wet cells. When I first pulled out the lemon, he was really excited. He thought he was going to blow up the lemon, lol.

Above: This experiment was to show him how electricity and magnetism are related. We created a magnet using this dry cell, wires, nail, and switch.

The Three Year Swim Club

A few weeks ago we went to see a play presented by the Honoulu Theater for Youth called "The Three Year Swim Club". The actors were wonderful and the content of the play was inspiring.

The play was set on Maui in the late 1930's. It was inspired by a true story about coach Siochi Sakamoto and his three year swim club. In the play, the three year swim club was made up of four high school students(3 boys and 1 girl). They began their training in the irrigation ditches of Maui's sugar cane fields. Coach Sakamoto used nature to encourage and inspire his young team. Coach Sakamoto went on to assistant coach the U.S. Olympic Swim Team from 1952-1956. He is also a member of the International Swimming Hall of Fame.
Here are the members of the Three Year Swim Club. I have hyperlinked their names if you want to read about their individual achievments.
Siochi Sakamoto
Bill Smith
Keo Nakama
Bill Woolsey
Ford Konno
Evelyn Kawamoto

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

The Last of the Machines

Silly guy finished his Machine study in science this past week. It was a great unit with lots of fun experiments and information.
On our last day of the unit, he made this catapult out of Popsicle sticks, a rubber band and masking tape. I also had him write a short paper about how the catapult reduced work during battle. You can find the tutorial for How to Make a Catapult here. It was so simple to make and a lot of fun.

Little man always likes to join in the fun.
Pulley experiments

Now he is moving onto Electricity and Magnetisim. Ooooo! He has been waiting for this study:)

Le Nozze di Figaro

Last week, I took my two oldest children to the Honolulu Opera Theater. We saw Le Nozze di Figaro by Mozart. We had never been to the opera before and it was a wonderful experience for us. I wanted to take them to this particular opera because we will be studying Mozart in Music History this year.
The kids enjoyed getting dressed up from head to foot. It was the first time my daughter wore heels(small ones but they were still heels). Her father was a little frightened but I am happy to report she did survive.
Once we arrived at the opera it was packed full of people. We were running a little late, so we rushed to our seats and sat down. A few minutes later, the lights dimmed and the music began to play.
The orchestra began playing and their beautiful music filled the room. Some of the music was so moving it touched your soul. It was a great time and I am looking forward to taking them again.

A New Project

I keep reading about felt food on all of the blogs, especially Confessions of a Homeschooler. She has all of the tutorials or links to tutorials on her blog. I just think it is precious and really wanted to make some for my Little Man.
I pre-cut all of the pieces and they are patiently waiting in my closet. I thought I would get the project finished in a weekend but that didn't happen. I am okay with that. If nothing else it will become a summer project when sports are over.
When I was cutting all of the pieces, Little Man was very eager to play with them.
I am planning on making felt pizza, strawberries, cheese and bologna sandwiches, doughnuts, and raviolis.


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