Thursday, November 29, 2012

Back to blogging - What we are up to this week.

We. made gingerbread cookies for the firefighters at station 17 that helped put the fire out in our house on Thanksgiving morning. You can read all about it here. We came at just the right time the  ladder truck was just coming back from some weekly maintenance. Every week they have a "tool" day where they test all the tools on the truck and make sure they are working properly. They checked the ladder and extended it all they way up then rotated it and checked all the nozzles on the top. They shoot out 1000 gallons of water per minute! The kids were so excited to see the ladder go up so high. The fire captain then gave us a tour  of the fire truck and explained to us what all the tools are used for and the different types of trucks. I was very entertained by all the information he gave us. It was a really neat experience.
My 4 little birds all lined up from tallest to shortest (so cute that never happens in a picture!) watching the ladder going WAY up.

Robin is doing well with her school work we just added vocab and spelling to her weekly work. She also started reading eggspress and is having fun with that.
On Monday morning after we did a bit of school work I shut all the drapes and got all snugly with the kids on the floor with loads of blankets and pillows and watched:

Chimpanzee -  A Disney Nature Series Movie

We love nature shows!

We read the FIAR book Down Down the mountain and read all about mountains
My 3 younger kids made mountains and we looked up actual mountain ranges and some facts about each one Robin choose K2 because it is in China and she loves anything China, Duck chose Everest because its the biggest and  Owl chose a mountian in Argentina  (that I  cannot pronounce or spell for that matter) because he liked the name of it. I had the kids cut up white paper and glue snow at the peaks.

Here is a picture of our mountains ( the facts are on the index cards) our elf  Peppermint decided that it was going to try and climb K2 last night!

Robin checked out a huge pile of Panda books  from the library (she has an obsession with all things China)

We finished up our short unit on ancient India we still need to go to the store this weeked and get some sand and dirt so we can make mud bricks like the ancient people of  India.

Speaking of India, Robin wants this Indian Barbie for X-mas but it is $47! Makes me think that the American girl doll ins't so bad of a deal for $120 When this barbie is $47. She also wants the $40 2012 Holiday Barbie for $40. Crazy expensive Barbies!

For Science we finished up out unit Matter
Robin loved making a Matter book that I printed out from Teachers Helper magazine I get them from the library and make copies of items I want to use, they have the best worksheets.

We  had a  "3 states of Matter snack"
Solid - ice cream
Liquid- root beer
Gas- carbonation 

Robin Joined Webrangers, Falcon did it may years ago and really liked it. She really liked that she got an official WebRanger ID to carry in her purse. If you are not familer with Web Rangers it's a cool site that kids earn badges and such my completing lessons based on historical sites and national park information. It's a lot of fun and free. I had forgotten all about this site until earlier this week I was borrowing Falcon's library card ( the only card with fines) and saw his ID in there.

We studied Abraham Lincoln  this week by going over greatest accomplishments, then we had a discussion on why John Wilkes Booth shot him. It was pretty ironic that the day we discussed his assassination was the day we actually went to the theater to watch A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. We had a silent  moment in the theater where we thanked Abraham Lincoln for all he did to improve our country.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

House Fire = Why Fire Safety is Important.

On Thanksgiving morning at 5:30 am I woke up to the sound of a smoke alarm, I knew instantly that it was the dryer ( I will explain later how I knew)  so my husband and I went running to the basement only to find flames inside under the drum where we could not reach them.. He yelled for me to fetch him some water so  I ran upstairs to the kitchen to get water from the sink, I was standing right next to the big utility sink  but didn't think to use that. After I reached the dryer again it dawned on me to use the sink I was standing next to. I still was not fully alert as the smoke alarms had awakened us from a  pre thanksgiving slumber. I saw my Husband put a towel over his nose and mouth so I did the same using a thick  mattress pad. "Should I call 911?" I asked "No we got this" he replied. I kept looking at the rafters above the dryer knowing that is where my daughter's bed is, where she is still sleeping soundly.( my gut was telling me to call 911 but I ignored it at this point). The mattress wasn't really helping me much and my lungs were burning so bad from the smoke, I still kept handing  him water though. I thought if he can still take it and he is right over the fire then I can take it as well. Minutes passed and we were still trying to drown  out the fire that was not getting any better. More smoke alarms started going off  as the smoke started quickly  creeping through the house. Despite the fact that I was holding a cloth over my nose and mouth my lungs burned worse that I had ever experienced and I wanted to cry. Finally, I left my husband in the room with the dryer that he was determined to extinguish and called 911. After I hung up with them (I was an a stationary land line in the basement) I ran upstairs  to the main level of our house and yelled up to the 2nd floor to wake up my 2 boys that sleep up there. "Wake up. wake up, Fire! Fire! There is a fire in the house we need to get out" My 12 year old son thought it was just a fire drill and was strutting down the stairs with a half smile on his face. "This is not a drill there is a real FIRE" I shouted. He then picked up speed and came down quickly, my 2 other children were now awakened by my yelling and coming out of their room as well. After I got all the kids out of the house I ran through the house opening all the windows to let the smoke out (not thinking that the drafts could help feed the fire). I grabbed a few blankets on the way out for the kids who were outside freezing.
We stood there staring at our house shivering in the early morning hours and  I was thinking was how much I had to be thankful for this year.

We could hear the fire trucks from far away and I tried to get the kids focused on how neat it is that those sirens we hear are just for us, racing their way to us.
Eight fire trucks arrived and they quickly got to work and did their magic. Luckily the dryer was up against a concrete wall and a concrete floor. The Fire Captain stated that if  the dryer had been on anything else but concrete and next to anything else but concrete that our house would have defiantly went up in flames. Scary thought!

In this picture you can see the side of the dryer that was up against the wall.
              The inside of the dryer, The clothes in the dryer were not salvageable most were burnt and charred.

The walls around the dryer were all black and charred. Here is the room that it all happened in. The ladder is where the dryer used to be. I repainted the walls and rafters with Kilz primer to cover up the blackened stains and help to seal in the smoke smell.

My youngest lost his favorite stuffed Giraffe. He asked for it before bed but I told him I would bring it in to him after he was asleep, I forgot :( It has been 6 days since the fire and he hasn't even asked where it is yet (fingers crossed he never does) not sure what I am going to say to him. I have tried to find that same giraffe on the internet but no luck so far. Poor sad Giraffe, he is all burnt and has holes in him from where the skin is just missing. The whole bottom of the giraffe was just gone!
The item we did manage to save was my youngest child's   favorite mini size Minnie Mouse. Just a good soak in baking soda and the smoke smell was gone!

Fire safety month is in October and we did a much more in depth study this year than years before, and I am so glad that we did. Most of what I knew was right we didn't do but we did all make it. Thankfully we tested all our smoke alarms last month and put fresh batteries in all of them because that's what woke  me up. I try not to think of what would have happened if the smoke alarms didn't work and I cringe when I think about the fact that my 3 yr old and 6 yr old sleep in the room directly over the washer and dryer. I will be placing a fire extinguisher near the washer and dryer from now on. 
When you are done reading this please check all of your smoke detectors and replace batteries if more than a year old.

I am extremely thankful that there was less than $1000 worth of damage and that everybody was safe.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Sunset in the Graveyard

Fun toilet paper turkey we made next to the Trio block Robot. I have these cute little turkey's all over the house!

I have not been blogging lately  my life has been quite busy with the many trips back and forth to the Hospital to help care for my dad for the last 3 weeks.It  feels like I have been  treading water in rough seas and just barely keeping my head above water.Schooling has bean rather sporadic, I have been unable to keep a routine in  my day due to the needs of my father and the many long phone calls I have had to make to get medical insurance stuff dealt  with.

This week I was able to get back in a routine. Well for 2 days I did. Then my printer ran out of ink causing  another kink in my plan. Life never does go according to plan does it?

As a family I have been reading the American Girl of the year in 2006 Jess. We did a fun jungle bird art project from this great art book.
On the far left was Falcon's  the middle one Duck did (I was so excited to seem him actually want to take part in a project we were doing) Robin's is on the right.

Falcon has been working on writing his memoir on the speech he wrote for our library and his interview on the news about it.

We had a fun  afternoon playing pop for letters,  Zingo  Boggle Jr., and Mermaid island 

I came across this wonderful letter recognition program on pinterest. I was sad to find out that I needed to purchase it but I did so anyway and am glad I did.
Duck working on with the  new letter program, he loved it. I even bought the hand pointer that they use which was such a hit. Duck loved using it and pointing to the letters with it.

I am reading...
 Almost through with this one!
 I am reading this for the boys tween book club I started.

I just finished this book, I LOVED it! So glad I cam across this series.

Beautiful sunset that I shot while watching the sunset in the graveyard