Sunday, October 3, 2010

we travel back in time...

We visited the Renaissance Fair this weekend with the boys.


At Mack and Milo's school we are attempting to start a Renaissance club for the young people to get some "hands on" time with history. I am just as excited about picking my "character" and planning my costume. We will let you know what comes from this!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Flats

The boys recently received "Flats" from Reunion Island in the Indian Ocean. Thanks to my friend Sharon where I got the idea for this "pen pal" like exchange through the Flat Stanley website.

The premise of this exchange came from the book "Flat Stanley". In the book a young boy gets flattened and is then small enough for his parents to send him in the mail to visit far off places. There is a website that you can register and contact other classes or homeschooling families to send your own "Flat" to. This is the second time we have hosted "Flats".


Here are the boys with the "Flats" from Reunion Island at the river in Sequoia National Park. We enjoyed taking them around our community snapping photos of the paper people. It is a wonderful way for the boys to share about their live as well as learn about other communities around the world.



Our next project is to send our own "Flats" to New Zealand to another homeschooling family. Above you can see Mack's "Flat Stubbie" and Milo's "Flat Milo". We will have to keep you posted for when they return.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Last Backpacking Trip of 2010





Troy, Mack and I headed out on Saturday for a final backpacking trip this summer. Thanks to my mom for always being open to keeping the other two monsters so I can feed my need to explore the back country.



Here are the boys getting ready to march. We left Lodgepole campground and 5 miles later made it to Clover Creek. This hike was definetly challenging, we climbed the whole way. Mack did great! We were very proud of him.


We left our gear and hiked up another two miles (four miles round trip) to Twin Lakes. Mack brought his fishing pole, but only got nibbles.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Let the Homeschooling begin....


This week marked the offical beginning of our homeschooling year (or when we have to actually collect samples to turn into the boys' charter school).



Milo is embarking into homeschooling this year and Mack is in the 5th grade.
Friday culminated with a visit to a local preserve that Mack and I are volunteer rangers at.

















We spent an hour catching frogs and marveling at the variety of colors, markings and speed of these little creatures. We even watched a huge wasp that was at least two inches in length and had beauitful organge wings (see picture to right). When we got home we realized we had found a tarantula hawk!


Monday, August 23, 2010

a visist to Nana's




We had a nice visit to Pacific Grove to see Nana Parks after her trip back east. She brought back mintueman hats for the boys, which they loved.

When I took the kids to Dennis the Menace Park all the other kids where screaming, "Here come the pirates!" My boys were a bit confused, since they knew these were mintueman hats.

The big boys even went surfing in that freezing water!!!!






Sunday, August 15, 2010

the boys will play when mama is away...




Took another beautiful Sunday hike with my mom to Weaver Lake. We were up and back to Visalia around 2pm. When we pulled up to the house this is what we saw...

Yes, that is a platform in the tree. The boys were so exicted!


Maybe mama needs to rethink her Sunday hikes....who knows what I might come home to next time :)


Thursday, August 12, 2010

Clouds Rest








Being in the central valley of California and so close to Yosemite National Park, last summer Troy and I had planned to hike Half Dome in a day. As I did more research I realized the crowds hoping to summit Half Dome would ruin the trip for Troy and I. I also doubted my ability to hike 14 miles and deal with the elevation gain. (Lets face it I Hate To Work Out!!!)





Upon further searching I came across another summit that actually looks down upon Half Dome and does not boast the same crowds, CLOUDS REST! The planning took several months because Yosemite is incredibly busy during the summer months. To secure a permit to backpack and camp in the back country it took submitting requests five months in advance. Now that the trip is over I can say this.....IT WAS WORTH IT



We left Visalia at 4am and reached Yosemite Valley at 7am. We ate breakfast, then a two hour wait to pick up permits we already had reservations for (we were slightly annoyed). Next, back into the car for another hour of driving up to Tuloumne Meadows and Tenaya Lake. We started out on the Sunrise trail head. Above is a pic of Troy and Mark after a 3 mile hike, and a climb of over 1,000 feet in elevation (all done in a series of switchbacks that were a killer). In the distance was Clouds Rest, our destination for the second day of our hike.





We stayed our first night at Sunrise Lakes. A few other hikers passed through, but we had the lake to ourselves that first night. Can you see two heads in the water? Mark and Troy the "bathing beauties".














Our destination for day #2 was the summit of Clouds Rest, 10 miles round trip and an elevation of 11,000 feet above sea level. It was a beautiful hike with awesome vistas....Clouds Rest was breath taking. You can see Tenaya lake in the background next to Troy. This is where we began our journey the day before. After a lunch below the summit we headed back to Sunrise Lake for a final night then back to civilization on Sunday.


Ice cream and hamburgers never tasted so good!