Saturday, August 22, 2015

Botanic Gardens Homeschool Day

This is our second time going to a Homeschool Day at the botanic gardens. This time the activities focused on the Nature of Horses, the major exhibit on display right now.  I don't remember any of the botanic gardens in California having temporary sculpture exhibits.

The sculptures were all made from driftwood...not.

The artist, Deborah Butterfield, used to make them from wood, but they would fall apart. Now she makes them from wood, has them cast in bronze piece by piece, and then paints them to look like wood.

At one station the girls made their own sculptures.

While we were there everyone was waiting for the corpse flower to bloom. It did not that day. It gives off an awful stench when it blooms. Yes, it is huge!

Mia begged to be allowed to feel what a lily pad is like. So I let her!

I loved the pretty colors on this tree trunk.

The created sculpture framework with these rods. Funny how we had these exact rods at home and I could never get them to play with them!

I am obsessed with taking pictures of children from the back. I think it just grabs their curiosity and cuteness.

I was a really hot and crowded day at the gardens so Mom splurged on iced lemonade.

Horses. We love em.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Back to School

Well it's not really back to school, but onward to school for the first time!

Ben is in a preschool/day care at the college Brittany goes to now.  He had a bit of hard time his first day but we all know it will get better!

Avery, on the other hand, was not ready to leave when it was time to go home! 

Maks was kind of in the Ben camp but should also come around. Such unfamiliar territory!!

All of them are growing up soon fast!

Anna starts Junior Kindergarten on Monday and I'm pretty sure she will have the same first day issues as Ben and Maks. The three of them are pretty sensitive. But by next summer they won't want to leave! 

Mia has gone to Friday school for two Fridays now, and true to form, looks disappointed when we get there on time to pick her up! She and Avery are such social butterflies.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Colorado School for the Blind

Several of us from our homeschool group went on tour of the Colorado School for the Blind. It was fantastic! Everyone there had such a positive attitude and I think I learned as much as the kids.

Students complete a six to ninth month training program in which they learn domestic arts, technology, Braille, shop arts, and movement. We visited the kitchen first. This lady was one of the cooking teachers.

Here is our tour guide, yikes, I forgot his name already!

We watched a blind woman cut onions and learned some of their safety procedures. The masks you see on some of the students or teachers are for those who can see some light or color. It trains them not to rely on that but rather on their other senses which are generally much better than their sight sense.

We learned how they use the microwave and stove. There are raised dots on the microwave buttons to help them find the right one. Students have to make a complete recipe from scratch for sixty people in order to graduate. That includes reading the recipe, getting to the store, shopping, and all the cooking, alone. I'm not sure most of us can do that sighted!

In the shop the students learn to use saws and other tools. They also learn how to fix common household appliances like vacuum cleaners. The young man in the mask has been blind only two years. He was 33. I wanted to ask what happened but didn't want to be rude. He had a great attitude.

Technology is very big and is really making so much more of the world accessible to them.

The kids were soooo good on this long tour (hour and a half). It helped that none of the speakers could see them so they could fidget and move around as they needed. This was a public tour, not just for our group.

We got to hear automatic readers.

The next room was the Braille room. Here, students learn to read Braille in its various forms, literary, math and music. They typed or punched everyone's name out in Braille. They also passed out cards with the Braille alphabet. Mia took some home for her friends.

Our last room was the movement room. Here they learn to get around town by foot, car, bus and taxi. They use the feel of sunshine to determine the direction they are going in as well as other techniques. We found out that they don't like the bird noise at traffic lights because it is inconsistent from town to town. They prefer to study the traffic flow with their ears. To graduate they must find their way back after being dropped off somewhere in the city. They are alone and can ask only one question of one person but are encouraged to not ask any. Again, could a sighted person do that?

Fascinating is all I have to say.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Cleft Picnic 2015

On Sunday we attended the annual Face to Face picnic. We love this organization started by two young ladies with cleft lip and palates.

Mr. Balloon Guy was here last year and still full of corny jokes. Everyone also got fun tattoos.

The little ones played and played with this mini water park.

Anna met a little friend with bilateral cleft lip and palate from the same province of China as her. With all the Face to Face activities we hope they will become good friends.

We never imagined Becky would be at this picnic as a parent rather than as a sister. But it's s great resource for her.

We decided to a little advertising for Dash for Smiles while having fun with Anna and Elsa. Yes, it never ever ends. Frozen, that is.

This giant dog decided to take a selfie with my camera.

Archery was there again this year.

Arek was on a business trip so Becky came with us.

We look forward to next year!

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

A New Discovery

We already knew of two places to play in Cherry Creek but we recently discovered a new one and it's closer to our home! One day we stopped at a trailhead near our home. Being on the trail only a few feet we found this.

It turned out to be a little memorial for children that have died. The plaques in the background are all little memorials.

After hiking a little bit, we came across the creek.

Since we were not in bathing wear we decided to just spend a little time trying to catch tadpoles and making plans to come back another time.

That next time was two days later with Becky, Maks, Oli, some neighbors and Charlie!

We wore our bathing suits this time. Well, the kids at least.

Charlie did not seem to feel well all the next day so that will probably be his last trip to the creek. Who knows what he ate, drank or what bit him. But he had so much fun!

Maks may pass Anna in height soon and they are two years apart!

This is probably going to be our go-to creek area from now on. The kids caught lots of small frogs. We do catch and release or catch and try to sneak it in the car, whatever you want to call it.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Tea Party Coop

Yesterday the girls went to a Christina Rosetti tea party coop.

While the girls had muffins, cookies, fruit and tea, a mom read Christina Rosetti poems to them. Mia did not like her black cherry tea, but Anna really enjoyed her orange spice tea.

Afterwards they played in the backyard. Love the sweet, simple coops.

Yesterday, too late for Dash for Smiles, our team hats came in.

We are probably going to have to work on the logo and the hat quality for next time, but for now they'll do.