Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Back at School!

School is in full swing and we are back to getting up at 6:00 (well I get up a little later :)...

Hannah has 7 classes and loves switching classes and teachers for the first time. I was worried she would have trouble focusing and it would confuse her, but it actually seems to be working better for her than when she had to be in the same class all day. She says she is better able to focus, and she has been really responsible with her homework and keeping track of everything. I am so proud of her!



Abigail loves her class because her teacher is really nice and of course... pretty...that always helps in Abigail's book :) She usually has her homework done before she even gets home. She wants to take full advantage of her free time and is always very motivated to get her work done quickly...which is a good thing :)



Hannah and Abigail have both been really into their future hopeful vocations lately. (Hannah wants to be a game designer and Abigail a fashion designer) I often wonder how and if these paths will play out. They are both so passionate about their interests.


I took Hannah to a free class for kids on computer programing just a couple weeks ago. We used a program called Scratch from MIT that is really cool and created for kids. It is pretty basic and completely visual, but it teaches the basic underlying concepts of programming. Hannah loves it, and has been working on some cool projects. Basically you have a little "sprite" that you can change and make do all kinds of things, you can add "if, then" statements and change what the background does, add sound etc....and best of all it is free! The class we went to is talking about offering more advanced programming and robotics in the future, and Hannah is so excited about that!!


Abigail has created a very large notebook for her fashion designs. She got this huge 3 inch binder and didn't know there was a cool thing called a "3 hole punch" so started punching holes in paper one sheet and one hole at a time to start to fill this thing. I had to stop her after a small stack of sheets and encourage her to use what she already had to begin with:)...and to show her a 3 hole punch! (she thought that was a very cool invention) She has announced that she is starting her portfolio of designs! She actually has some really great ideas, she still gets frustrated because what is in her head, she has trouble putting on paper. She is a great artist, but I have tried to encourage her that drawing people and clothing is really hard for anyone! I guess the next step is I need to teach her to sew...I have been procrastinating...I am not a good teacher of anything...:(




Abigail has also informed me that she planned out her whole birthday (which is not until the end of October!) in a monkey theme...she loves to plan (esp her birthday)...takes after someone I know, maybe ! She has got the cake, decorations, give-aways, games, time, invitations etc, everything all planned out and just waiting for me to execute...we'll have to work on the cost!


Hannah decided to get contacts and loves them! She is doing a great job of remembering to take them out too...she is so excited to see again! (the eye doc. told her she is legally blind without correction...Hannah was impressed...takes after her mother unfortunately!) Her glasses broke a few months ago, but we had to wait until we got insurance and money to get new ones!


Here are some recent photos of making brownies...and the best part...eating the batter





Tuesday, August 11, 2009

July

So I am almost caught up!!!


July: Yes, the girls went back to school in July! July 30th to be exact...photo:




David also started his job on July 6th and we have full benefits right away! Yeah...Hannah can finally get new glasses! My kids are mostly ecstatic that we will have money so that they can have TV once again :)



David spent a week of training in Kansas City...he says the BBQ there is by far the best he has ever had!




We had a huge monsoon in mid-July that knocked down a couple huge trees in our backyard! We were really glad we are renting :) as the landlord paid to have them cleaned up and will plant new trees in the fall.





Doug and Nicole and the kiddos came to visit for a week just before they moved to France...we had an awesome time and are missing them already! Hooray for Skype :)



Just before school started we spent a couple days at a resort called The Pointe at Squaw Peak. It was nice to just relax by the pool for a couple days before we launched back into life!













Abigail started soccer clinics that David is running for her team every Saturday. She is learning to juggle and is doing headers for the first time! There were a few bloody noses the first week...not Abigail's...

Epiphany...

I have decided that maybe if I post more often the posts will be more interesting, and I won't have to spend the whole day working on it! (and I won't misplace my photos somewhere that I can't find)

June

June: The girls ended school and I couldn't believe that Hannah would be a junior higher in 8 weeks! They just grow up so fast!
Hannah went to summer camp in California and missed the last couple days of school :) It was her first time being gone for this long at a distance...she has gone to northern Arizona the last couple years. It is getting easier though (for me) it is just amazing to watch her grow up and become more and more self sufficient.


David got a job offer with Assurant at the end of the month. We were so thankful that God had provided this job at a time when the economy has been so horrible! We continue to be amazed at God's care for us through everything. I can say though, that is was such a good learning experience in so many ways. Yes, it has been hard and we are still catching up financially, but it really was good.


The girls had fun this summer experimenting with the video portion of my camera...Abigail loves to perform and Hannah loves to be behind the camera :)

Here is a couple fabulous examples of their fine artistry.


video video

April and May

April: hmmm, well there was my birthday, we had some of my close friends over just to hang out.








Ok, this was really cool, Hannah won the Spelling Bee for her school and got to go to the Pinal County spelling bee. She did great and got into the final few kids. I had photos, but I cannot find them :(

We also took the girls to an outdoor concert with Jonnie and Brookie, they are sisters who are up and coming with Disney. This was the girls first concert experience and they had fun being in the pre-teen "mosh pit" and seeing the artists up close. They also got their pictures taken with them (only on my crappy camera phone) and had them sign a photo. Fun stuff!


Here are some Easter egg hunt photos too :)














May: The kids put on plays at school as part of the end of the year stuff. Both girls had parts in the plays for their classroom. Abigail played Beethoven's mom and put on a great performance pretending to die! Both girls also played a short song on the keyboard.
I finally found a job and started working for the Art Institute as an admissions advisor...it ended up being so horrible that I quit shortly after training! By this time David had sent out hundreds of applications and resumes. He had been contacted by the company that would eventually hire him, and we were hopeful that there would be light at the end of the tunnel!

Spring Hiking

Near our house is a small range of "mountains"...the San Tans (more like large hills) that we went on a few hikes this spring. You get up high enough to look over the valley...it is beautiful...esp in the spring with the desert in bloom.


Hannah trying to make a "sundial" and checking it with her watch :)


March: part 2

After the "fun" boat ride on Canyon Lake we drove up over the lake to a viewpoint and then onto a couple old real ghost towns....Tortilla Flat and Goldfield...


Though Tortilla Flat sounded cool..it was pretty lame, just a strip of old buildings with an ice cream shop and tacky souvenir place.








There was an interesting area where the water was running over the road into a rocky area that the kids went climbing in.
Goldfield was much more picturesque...it is a tiny mining "town" that still has a bunch of stuff around from the mine. Lots of great photo ops!









March: part 1


So the winter seemed to fly by, and I am also not sure where the spring went either, I think we were emotionally absorbed with finances and trying to find a job...by May I was realizing my kids were almost done with school, and it felt like it just started...

March: Hannah had her delayed birthday with her friends...they went ice-skating! :)




Hannah also did a report on Aristotle for a major project at school called the Wax Museum...here she is in her toga :)




We went to a really cool airshow out at Luke Air Force base, it was the first time my kids had seen planes like that. We also got to watch the Thunderbirds, which was a huge hit!













Here is a pathetic video of the Thunderbirds...they were so hard to get... the bottom plane is actually flying upside down...which I know you can't see! :)


video


Spring Break was during March so we tried to do a few fun cheap things as a family. We drove up to Canyon Lake and took a little boat out on the lake, Hannah had a blast...Abigail was scared to death. She only wanted me to drive the boat and hated the wakes from the other boats!! We had to go so slow so she wouldn't scream...in the end she said she liked it "ok" but doesn't want to do it again. Here are some pictures of us trying to have fun :)







Yeah...look at those faces!







Abigail feeling ornery, but better now that she is out of the boat!