Thursday, September 30, 2010

It's So Beautiful/On niin kaunista...

It's so beautiful here it's like walking into a painting every morning... (Pictures taken on our morning walks.)


On niin kaunista täällä on kuin kävelisi suoraan maalauksiin joka aamu... (Kuvat otettu aamukävelyillämme.)

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

New Experiences/Uusia kokemuksia

Yesterday we kept hearing this tune over and over and finally figured out what it was: the ice cream truck! Since the kids had never experienced the ice cream truck, we decided to run out and chase it :) After circling the neighborhood for a good 5-10 minutes, we finally spotted it! (In the first picture it is coming toward us, a white van in the corner of the photo.) So exciting!!

And loud. Very loud!!

So many ice creams to choose from! (And so very expensive.)

But yummy. Oh, so, yummy!!

And I am not kidding: As I am writing this, we hear the music again - the ice cream truck guy probably earned his typical full day's salary from our crew, and came back hoping to empty our wallet again. I'm sorry to disappoint - we didn't rush out this time :)


Eilen kuulimme vienoa musiikkia ulkoa ja vihdoin Kapteeni tajusi, että kyseessä oli jäätelöauto. Syöksyimme kaikki ulos, ja aikamme juosten katuja ees taas löysimme jätskiauton! Uusi kokemus lapsillemme, jotka onnellisena valitsivat jäätelöt. Ilmeisesti jätskimies tienasi tarpeeksi meidän poppoosta, koska juuri tätä kirjoittaessani kuulimme taas jätskiauton musiikin :-D Tällä kertaa emme syöksyneet ulos :)

Tuesday, September 28, 2010


Little Miss is so lucky to have three awesome big brothers and one older sister! Here is Mr. A teaching her how to boogie board, and taking her along for the waves. (Fantastic PE classes, we have here!! ;)

We've had more waves these past few days (nothing like Surfside on Nantucket, mind you, but enough waves to bring out the boogie boards for some wave fun), so we've been taking mid-day breaks to go to the beach, just about every day.

Mr. A was so patient with Little Miss and took great care! Mom even read a chapter or two on the beach in between swimming. {Heaven!}

WooHoo!!! High fives!!!! And, "Let's do that again!"


Viikonloppuna ja sen jälkeen on ollut enemmän aaltoja, ja vaikkei ne ole lähellekään itärannikon aaltoja, lapsilla on ollut hauskaa lainelautojensa kanssa. Videossa ja kuvissa on pikkuneiti A-veljen kanssa, veli oli niin suloisen huolehtiva ja molemmat niin nauttivat! Uudestaan ja uudestaan! Ja joka päivä! Hyviä jumppatunteja kotikoululaisille :)

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Typical Tuesday/Tavallinen tiistai

We are settling down, starting our Fall routines - and loving it!! Florida really is a fantastic place to be and homeschool. So much, in fact, that the thought of leaving in November is really sad. (Let's not think about it.)

On Tuesdays we wake up early with the sun (we used to do this all the time when the kids were attending a Christian school - now we try to do this torture only once a week :) for the big kids' photography class.

This week during class Little Miss and I took a walk in the pretty park nearby, and played at the playground. Well, Little Miss played, while I tried to stay put in a shady spot in my jeans and with my thermos of hot coffee. Insanity in Florida! I should just pack the jeans and change into them at the ice skating rink. The coffee was non-negotiable - the Captain arrived home at 2 am after missing his connecting flight in Philadelphia and having to fly into Orlando. (Thank goodness for one-way rental cars!!)

Straight from photography class we head to the ice skating rink. We have just enough time to drive over, eat our picnic lunch, and get our ice skating gear on before homeschool ice skating starts. First free skating, then lessons, followed by more free skating. We are out there for two hours (and our legs really feel it afterward!).

This time Little Miss agreed to do lessons as well! The teacher was excellent and it was amazing to see how much Little Miss improved in just one class. She had a good time, and promised to do the class next week also (as long as mommy comes too). The big kids had a great lesson too, last week was a little bit of a disappointment, but this week's class was a hit. I loved watching all the kids have such a fun time!

After dinner we walked over the beach (lovingly referred as our backyard) for our family game Tar Pit. Nice workout!!

Here's our happy (and slightly out of breath) crew!

The last sunset of Summer was gorgeous.. We are ready for Fall -whatever that means in Florida!


Syksyrutiinit alkavat löytyä, ja tiistaimme ovat täynnä ohjelmaa. Aamulla aikaisin suuntaamme koululaisten valokuvauskurssille. Eilen kurssin aikana pikkuneidin kanssa kävelin läheiseen puistoon leikkimään. Valokuvauskurssilta ajamme suoraan luistelemaan, kotikoululuistelua on kahden tunnin ajan, johon sisältyy myös puolen tunnin oppitunti. Tällä viikolla kaikilla oli mukava oppitunti, ja yksi pojista pyysikin voitaisiinko me mennä takaisin luistelemaan ennen seuraavaa tiistaita. Illalla kävelimme rannalle leikkimään tervapataa ja ihastelemaan kesän viimeistä auringonlaskua. Tänään alkoi syksy kalenterin mukaan!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Flag Football/Lippupallo

What a great game! It ended up as a tie game.

We have a very happy boy today. Mr. T is the sports fanatic of our (non-sporty) family. He would sign up for every sport, preferably a team sport, if he was allowed. And he would love it! He would thrive on the schedule of going from practice to game to practice to game without stopping. His parents, on the other hand, really appreciate quiet home days, family dinners & free weekends to go mothershipping or doing any other spur-of-the-moment things (like going to Canada at a moment's notice - read more here and here) that a sport schedule would typically not allow.

Mr. T has been rooting to play football for a while now (several years, I think?), and we moan and groan and find a reason why he can't yet. This Fall, again, he approached us about it, and to show we are making an effort, I sent out an email to our local homeschool group to find out if there is a team he could join (confession: I was really hoping it was too late to join). One family told us about a flag football team that has a once a week practice, followed by a game - for 8 weeks (we missed the first one, so six more Saturdays to go!), which sounded totally doable, so we signed him up!

Today was the first practice & game for him, and he loved every moment of it! He is still dreaming of being a running back (or wide receiver) for Chicago Bears, but for now, he is happy with flag football, and so is mom.


Tänään oli ensimmäiset lippupalloharkat ja peli meidän perheen onnelliselle sporttipojallemme. Hän on jo kauan halunnut pelata amerikkalaista futista, mutta emme ole vielä suostuneet (intensiivinen urheilulaji, paljon harkkoja, mahdollisia vammoja). Täältä Floridasta löytyi lippupallojoukkue, johon poika pääsi pelaamaan (vaikka missasi ekan kerran). Vielä kuusi viikkoa pelaamista, harkat ja peli yhtenä päivänä viikossa. Lippupallossa ei taklata, joten turvallisempi laji myös! Kaikki olemme tyytyväisiä :) Poika vielä pelasi loistavasti, ja peli päättyi tasapeliin.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Field Trips/Luokkaretkiä

(Photo credits)

Our first field trip today was actually to the.... library! We love going to the library, and when our school day became just too frustrating, we decided to close our laptops and call it quits. A trip to the library was just the thing. We actually got a little more school done after we got home.

But, ok - the picture gave it away: our main field trip today was to the Tropicana Field, where Yankees played (are playing?) the Tampa Bay Rays. The Captain (my hero!) took our two Yankee fans and two Red Sox (maybe now Tampa Bay Rays?) fans to watch the game. Pretty special!

Well, Missy & I stayed back home. Our evening was pretty special too {insert many many hearts here}.


Tämän päivän ensimmäinen luokkaretki oli kirjastoon. Mutta päivän kohokohta (ja varsinainen luokkaretki) oli (on!) luokkaretki Yankees vs. Tampa Bay Rays pesäpallopeliin! Kapteeni, pojat ja pikkuneiti ovat edelleen tällä reissulla, ja sillä välin Missy & minä nautimme ihanasta, harvinaisesta illasta yhdessä.

Homeschool Classes/Kotikoulutunteja

In addition to our Friday Co-Op classes, we signed up for a Photography Class on Tuesday mornings, followed by Ice-skating Classes at noon. This coming Tuesday the big kids will actually get to take some pictures (and we will know where to go and won't be late - that's the plan anyway!). Our flexible school curriculum Monarch allows us the flexibility of scheduling our own week around these fun activities.

Little Miss gliding around in June (with big kids).

Little Miss without the glider yesterday!


Perjantain kotikouluryhmätuntien lisäksi aloitimme tällä viikolla valokuvauskurssin (isot lapset) ja luistelutunnit kaikille lapsille.

Friday, September 10, 2010

First Homeschool Co-Op Day/Eka kotikouluryhmäpäivä

The long awaited, first homeschool co-op day!

This is our second year of homeschooling, and last year I was so overwhelmed I couldn't even add any co-op days to our schedule. It was all about surviving. And Not Scheduling. We were burnt out on five years of school, school projects, after-school activities and school homework (even though the school we attended really was a wonderful school!). Even though I kicked and screamed debated long and hard about homeschooling pros and cons, the thought of setting our own homeschool schedule was very appealing.

In our process of moving to Florida, and getting more comfortable with homeschooling, we discovered our church here in Florida has a great homeschool co-op. The more we read about it the more excited we got - it sounded like a great fit for our family! In fact, Florida (and the St. Petersburg area) seems to be very friendly to homeschoolers, there are a lot of co-ops and activities to get involved in!

Little Miss is too young to participate, but our older kids were so excited. They like being homeschooled (we occasionally ask if they'd rather go back to school and they say 'no'), but they are also all quite social, and were looking forward to making new friends. The class selection at the co-op was also so fantastic they couldn't wait to start learning! It was really cute: our older four are used to doing things together, but they all tried to get in different classes than their siblings. They all managed to pick 2-3 classes to be in alone, but in 2-3 they are with their siblings, as the class just sounded too cool to miss. Like Electrical Mischief:

"Welcome to Electrical Mischief!! If you want to learn all about batteries, electricity, connections, circuits, switches, wires, and motors then you've come to the right place. Learn how to strip electric wire and build an engine to power up all the gizmos we are going to create in this class!! Ever had to eat your dinner during a blackout? Or check if you have a steady hand? Well, fear not! Now you can tackle these pesky problems with your own electric gadgets. In fact, you will be building move-by-themselves contraptions, an illuminated fork, a flashlight and a hand fan. What about a Florida snow machine, sink a submergible, pilot a swamp boat or build a super car! Discover switches, tricks and traps as you learn all about circuits. Make kooky creations - after all, the world needs more illuminated forks! Materials fee covers motors, wires, buzzers, bulbs, batteries and other equipment needed." (From the co-op website.)

Or how could you miss Weather & Air?:

"By using, among other resources, Apologia's Physical Science book and a pile of hands on experiments, you will discover why some places and some parts of the year are warmer than others. You will find out what creates wind and why it is sometimes so destructive. You will come to understand air inversion, humidity, snow, sleet, thunder and yes, we will even generate a miniature lightning strike!! We will explore the science of solar energy in the most unique way - by flying a 50ft. solar sausage!? You will put together the instruments you need to keep track of temperature, air pressure, rainfall, wind direction and speed. We will be creating clouds, a rainbow, a giant snowflake and discover the secrets of evaporation. Through hands on experiments you will see the scientific principles behind weather and air, so that you can understand them - from the ground up." (From co-op website)

Figuring out where everyone's class is.

The co-op did a wonderful job organizing the first day. We were directed to the right tables for payment, then signing in, then paying for pizza for lunch. The kids nametags even included which classes they were taking - perfect for Mommy Forgetful and her Forgetful Offspring!

We first dropped Missy off at her first period class. There are five total in a day & the co-op meets every Friday for eleven weeks for the Fall Semester. Missy had picked American Sign Language as her first class. After school she was so excited to share she had already learned the alphabet and quite a few words too! And there was a girl in her class we had met at a picnic in June before we left for New England - and not only that, we figured out our families were in China at the same time adopting our little sisters!! Same hotel and all.. Small world :)

The boys' first class was History's Unsolved Mysteries:

"Have you ever wondered what happened to the Lost Colony of Roanoke? Did Amelia Earhart land on a deserted island or crash into the sea? This semester we are going to become history detectives and try to solve some of the great mysteries in American History including: Salem Witch Trials, Lindbergh baby kidnapping and the Lincoln and Kennedy assassinations. To really be a detective, you will have to do some investigating (homework) between classes. You need to have concrete evidence to back up your theories." (From co-op website)

We had some great family discussions today about the Lost Colony of Roanoke. The boys really enjoyed their class! Some of the other classes they took were: Think Tank, Creating a Board Game, Super Structures, Lighthouses, Tumbling, Nature Crafts, Creative Roaming, & Chemistry. We are so impressed! What a great co-op and what a great first day!!

So.... What did Little Miss & 5ennie do during the school day.......??

Yup! We went to the beach!!! Well, to be honest, we first got groceries, put them away, did laundry, Little Miss watched tv for a little bit while 5ennie checked her email & facebook, then we headed out for a walk at the beach :)

Found a cool, refreshing chair in the shade with a built-in shower head, oh yeah!

Chased the seagulls and picked up shells, walking up and down the soft, sandy beach. The water was so incredibly beautiful! And warm :)

After school and running back to the Mothership for our second load of belongings, we all went back to the beach. What a wonderful way to end a great day!


Minun oli tarkoitus kääntää tämä postaus suomeksi. Mutta. Ei kykene enää! Pitää. Päästä. Nukkumaan. Mutta lyhyesti ja ytimekkäästi: meidän Floridan kirkossamme kokoontuu perjantaisin ryhmä kotikoululaisia (syyslukukausi on 11 viikkoa), jotka saavat ryhmäopetusta eri aineista. Päivään mahtuu viisi tuntia, ja jokainen oppilas saa valita monista eri vaihtoehdoista mille luokille menee. Tänään oli eka päivä, kovin odotettu sellainen, ja se meni loistavasti! Meidän koululaiset tykkäsivät ihan kaikesta, ja odottavat seuraavaa perjantaita jo innoissaan :)
Koulun aikana pikkuneiti ja mama kävivät ruokaostoksilla, tekivät kotihommia ja kävimme myös rannalla kävelemässä! Ja illalla tietty takaisin koko perheen voimin :) Ihana päivä!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

We Made It/Perillä!

This morning we woke up near Savannah, Georgia. We left about 9ish in the morning, and had a really good, smooth drive to Florida. The day went by very quickly - the Captain driving & the big kids doing roadschooling with me. Little Miss enjoyed movies and playing with an iPod.

Aamulla heräsimme lähellä Savannaa, Georgiassa. Meillä oli hyvä ajopäivä Floridaan, Kapteeni ajoi, ja minä isojen lasten kanssa tein koulutehtäviä. Pikkuneiti viihtyi iPodin ja lastenohjelmien parissa.

When we got to the RV storage place where we had left our car, we discovered we had a dead battery. While the Captain & the boys took care of that (wish I had gotten a pic of the boys pushing the car!!!) I made dinner in the Mothership, and we started loading the car.

Kun pääsimme asuntoautotallille, löysimme tavallisen automme akun tyhjänä. Kapteeni ja pojat saivat auton käyntiin (harmi kun en saanut kuvaa pojista työntämässä autoa!), laitoin meille iltaruoan asuntoautossa, ja aloimme pakkaamaan kamojamme autoon asuntoautosta.

On our way to our (rental) condo, we saw dolphins swimming next to us on the bridge from Tampa to St. Pete! Sweet!

Matkalla vuokrakämpällemme Tampan ja St. Peten välillä sillan vierellä ui dolfiineja!

Little Miss was SO excited to see the Pink Hotel! She knows we sometimes walk there to have ice cream ;-)

Pikkuneiti oli kovin innoissaan kun näki tämän pinkin hotellin! Hän muistaa että joskus kävelemme sinne jäätelölle ;-)

Aah, it is so good to be back! We enjoy our traveling time in the RV, but it is good to settle in in one place for a little bit. Son A said before going to bed he couldn't imagine feeling any happier than this. Awww.....!

On ihana olla täällä taas! Tykkäämme asuntoautomatkailusta, mutta on hyvä asettua paikoillemme hetkeksi. Yksi pojista (A) sanoi ennen nukkumaanmenoa ettei voi kuvitella olevansa onnellisempi kuin mitä nyt on. Oih!!!

We got back early enough for a walk to the beach to play a bit & to watch the sunset. So beautiful!!!
The kids are super excited, tomorrow is their first homeschool co-op school day. This is our second year of homeschooling, but we weren't involved in any classes last year. I will try to blog tomorrow about their first co-op day! The classes sound AMAZING!!

Pääsimme perille tarpeeksi aikaisin että ehdimme mennä rannalle kävelemään, leikkimään (tervapataa) ja katsomaan auringonlaskua. Niin kaunista!!!
Lapset ovat todella innoissaan huomenna alkavista kotikoulutunneista paikallisessa kirkossa. Tämä on toinen vuotemme kotikoulua, mutta viime vuonna emme käyneet tunneilla missään. Tämän vuoden kotikouluorganisaation kurssit kuulostavat todella upeilta, yritän tulla bloggailemaan huomenna ja kertomaan miten eka päivä meni!