Free drinks

Today I drank a lot of coffee.  Then I got really thirsty.  It was cold and raining today.   I don’t function well in the rain and I didn’t have any water.  What is a girl to do??  Hit up a Starbucks that is what!!  Anyhow, I spot that no one is in the drive thru so I zip in.  The guy on the intercom is apparently bored and is taking my order in a funny voice.   Not one to be a stick in the mud I order in an equally funny voice.  I drive around to get my drink chuckling, Lela is slightly horrified at my behavior, Piper says “that was awesome.”  I pull up and hand the guy a $20, he gives it back and says, “thank you for being awesome.”  BOOM!  Free Green tea and hopefully my daughters see it’s okay to be yourself no matter who is watching, or listening.



Grand Canyon

Wow!  We just had the best trip.  Nana and Papa wanted to go the Grand Canyon so we offered to help get them there since we had never been.  It turned out to be a wonderful trip for us all.



I didn’t know what to expect so we went in without much of a plan.  We stayed at the Kachina Lodge and enjoyed dinners at the El Tovar.  We also did the junior ranger program, took the shuttle around to all the sites and drove the hermit road up to hermits rest stopping along the way.





After we had our fill of hiking, walking, eating and being in awe it decided to snow!  So we enjoyed an evening and a day of wonderful fluffy snowfall.  The girls were thrilled as this was the first time at the canyon and the first time they remember seeing snow fall!  What a great trip and wonderful memory making with family.



What is your school day like?

I get this question often from friends and family. I know it is just curiosity as I am curious what other parents are doing for their kids. I have to say that no two days are the same, we have no set schedule of tasks that needs to be done although we do have things we do at the same time each week.

Tuesdays – we have music and then gymnastics
Wednesdays – every other Wednesday we have science and art at Covenant house (once for Piper and Lela and once for Landis)
Thursdays – we have ice skating for Lela and then our homeschool coop where Landis and Piper do a book club and Lela does art and chess

So here is a recap of today:

7AM – Piper, Landis, Phoebe and I get up and get breakfast. I make Phoebe’s lunch.
745AM – Then Landis and I watched a video on how to make a hydraulic machine.
8AM – Phoebe and I read a book a couple times. She is working on the word “am.” During this time Piper is reading a Nancy Drew book and Lela is sleeping.
9AM – Landis and I take Phoebe to school, Piper stays home and reads and Lela is sleeping
915AM I start doing laundry and Piper and Landis start building a hydraulic machine, they get pretty far and then I get involved to help. We get it all built and play with it, making it pick things up. We talk about hydraulics.
1030AM Lela wakes up and I make everyone a burrito. Lela is not a fan of sweet breakfast and the others are ready for a meal
1115AM we head out to Costco where they girls help me shop by looking for organic items, selecting fruits and talking about the weeks menu. Then we check out and they go to the snack bar to buy a smoothie. They work out how much it will cost and sort out the money, buy the smoothies and return to me with the change and their drinks.

We come home and they help me unload the groceries and put them away. I do more laundry, Landis and Piper play dress up with my clothes and then do some gymnastics.

1PM Lela and I play a few games of chess, we look up horseback riding stables and lessons on the computer. Landis and Piper do more gymnastics

2PMish Piper plays a game on the iPad, Landis plays with some dolls. Lela searches for horse games for the iPad on the computer

310PM we rush out the door to pick up Phoebe

This afternoon they plan to play, do crafts and more gymnastics I am sure. Then Jason will come home and we plan to have veggies and snacks and grill out in the backyard. That might be followed by some viewing in the telescope this evening. Then off to bed.

Arabian Horse Show

I think it’s interesting how some girls (and I’m sure boys) come in to this world with a deep love for this giant majestic animal. I respect the horse as a giant creature that could break my bones, crush my skull and bite off my fingers.

Lela loves horses and every year we go to the horse show.  We spend as much time as we can watching the horses and all events she is interested in seeing.  This year we were lucky to go on Sunday and Monday.



Here is my happy horse loving girl.

Saturn!

We’ve had the telescope out a few times since purchase — the trigger point, for me at least, has been the fact that whenever I walk in the backyard and look to the east I see Jupiter shining bright. I’m by no means any sort of expert (or even close) on astronomy, so honestly I’m not sure how long Jupiter will hang around or when it will be back. Which makes me want to stare at it a bit through the telescope. Just something about seeing Jupiter and its four moons amazes me. And the cool thing is, it appears to have the same effect on Piper. Everyone else thinks it is cool, don’t get me wrong… I think it kind of freaks out Lela and Mystique, though :)

The other planet that we were excited about seeing was Saturn. In the research I did for the telescope one of the criteria was being able to see Saturn and its rings, so I knew it was possible. I just didn’t know if it was possible for us :)

As luck would have it, Saturn doesn’t pop into our nighttime viewing until late April / May. Piper and I didn’t want to wait that long, so we talked about getting up early one morning where Saturn was in the sky. Luckily (?) I’ve been waking up early lately, so for me a 5am viewing isn’t too bad, and that’s when Saturn was visible, just before the sun came out.

Piper told me to wake her up anytime so we could do it so this morning when I woke up at 4:45am I decided this would be that morning. I got up, crept about with the lights off to try and keep my night vision, and got the telescope out to the backyard. Saturn was pretty easy to spot once I knew the general area — this giant planets can be bright!

It was near the moon, but luckily it was only a sliver of brightness so didn’t affect the viewing. I guided the telescope over to the area of Saturn, found it, focused in and…. saw the rings of saturn!. Amazing! Clear as day (night), little Saturn surrounded by its rings, just sitting up there in our night sky.

I went inside to Piper and Lela’s room, shook Piper a bit and when she woke up and looked at me I just said “Saturn”. She got this big grin on her face, made a little Piper-squeek, grabbed her glasses, and started to get out of bed. I grabbed her blanket and wrapped it around her and we walked out to the telescope.

I moved the scope to find Saturn again and got Piper her step stool and let her take a look. I didn’t say a thing — I wanted her to find the rings for real, not just think she saw them because I did. Her hand reached up to focus… and then she looked up at me with a big ol’ smile and said, “I see the rings!”

We both took turns looking at Saturn for a few minutes, and then she went back to bed, still smiling. I brought the scope back in (after a quick peek at the moon which was also amazing) and started up my normal routine.

What a great way to start the day.

Valentine’s at DMS

Today we dropped Phoebe off at the Seed with her homemade valentines and headed over to DMS to celebrate Valentine’s Day with their old classmates. I have to admit being a little nostalgic and missing the simplicity and beauty of a Waldorf education and of course their amazing teacher.

(null)

But then we went in to the class and spent a few hours. I still think the classes are overcrowded and I feel like I need a shower for some reason, lol! A cramped room with 30 4th graders makes you need a shower

Phoebe turns 5

We had another birthday at the Haslup house. Phoebe turned 5!!

(null)

We celebrated in fine fashion with presents at home followed by dinner at Oreganos With Nana and Papa Slocum. Phoebe could not wait for her pizooki (chocolate pizza cookie with ice cream). She happily devoured it until I took it away for fear of her making herself sick☺️

This is one funny kid. She is a typical fourth child in that she knows more, learns faster, keeps us laughing and is determined not to be left out. She is kind, loves animals and is starting to be pretty independent. How full our life is, we are so thankful for our little Miss Pheebs!

Phoebe starts preschool

So we have been homeschooling this year and sort of trying a bit of this and a bit of that. It is pretty easy with the older 3 as they can read and self direct their learning. Phoebe is happy to tag along and learn as they do. She is really good at math and enjoys adding sums but at some point her mental ability surpassed her motor skills (ability to write specifically). That coupled with keeping up with the activity level of 3 older siblings was beginning to wear down our 4 almost 5 year old. That meant daily meltdowns surrounding her inability to do what everyone else was doing, whatever that may be.

Jason and I had already discussed sending her to Awakening Seed for kindergarten so I gave them a call to see when registration started. It turned out there was space in the pre K so we decided to get her going.

She was thrilled and has been every single day since. She made fast friends and her teacher says it has been like she has been there all along! I love that they have a rest time because I feel that was lacking in her busy life. Mostly she just lays quietly but today she actually fell asleep! When I drop her off she is happy for me to just leave. The other day she actually told me, “mom, you can leave now.” She said it in a very sweet way and I am so happy for her that she has found a place she can be herself and be independent for a bit. Hooray for her and hooray for Jason and I for seeing it and finding a solution! Parenting WIN!

Here she is talking shoes and weekend plans with her school bff, Penelope:

(null)

Our First Telescope!

Last night we were sitting outside and looking up at the stars as they started to appear. I have an app on my phone that shows all the stars, follows your movement, etc… and we started identifying some of them. A couple of the brightest objects turned out to be Venus and Jupiter. We even saw Mars with its reddish tinge of color. We all thought it was really cool.

Coincidentally… Mystique and I had recently been talking about applying some of our annual bonus money from work to a telescope since all of us were interested in astronomy, and Piper was in particular. With all that in mind, and Jupiter blazing bright in our backyard, we decided to dip our toe in the water of backyard astronomy by purchasing a beginner telescope.

I did some quick research and decided upon a Celestron Cosmos 90GT refractor telescope. The really cool thing is that it puts out its own wifi network and you control it with a fairly nice app on your iPhone or iPad. We all know that was the clincher for me… plus, it was nicely priced at around $400 and even better — they were in stock at Fry’s Electronics just down the street.

And all that leads up to tonight… where we had our first backyard astronomy night. Let me tell you… it was awesome. The telescope came with two eyepieces of different magnification. I started out with the less-magnifying one just to make sure I knew what the heck was going on. With the easy-to-use finder scope I was able to pinpoint Jupiter and get it right in the middle of the eyepiece. Once I focused I nearly fell over… not only did I see Jupiter, I also saw its four moons aligned in a perfect line across its equator. Holy. Cow.  I immediately went inside, turned out all the lights, and got Mystique to come look and verify that I wasn’t going crazy.

Once she saw them, too, I told the girls and we all took turns looking at Jupiter and its four moons. Right in our backyard! It was so cool.

And then I got out the 10mm eyepiece that provided even more magnification. Once I found Jupiter again (that bugger moves!) I was shocked again. As soon as I got it focused correctly — I saw two distinct bands running up and down Jupiter’s surface. I saw its clouds!  Oh, and the moons had moved a bit as they traversed around Jupiter. And we saw that, too!!

Needless to say, it was awesome. Piper really got a kick out of it — she started drawing pictures of what she saw and was hanging out with me outside for most of the night. Eventually I had gotten to the point where I had figured out how to get the app to control the telescope properly and we had it zooming around to various stars. We even saw Mars but it was moving too far towards the horizon to get too good of a look. Plus, it’s nowhere near the size of Jupiter so was fairly small, even with the good eyepiece.

We set the telescope to track Jupiter for a while (which means it automatically moves the telescope to follow Jupiter in the sky), and saw the moons shift their position a bit more. By 8:30pm we were happy with what we saw and figured it wasn’t going to get any darker outside, so we called it a night.

I think I’m hooked. I’ve got a list of websites to read and books to find so I can learn what to do (and not to do).  I’m pretty sure this Celestron will be ok for a little while… I can’t wait to get it up to Pinetop to see what it can do without the Phoenix light pollution. Piper’s excited, too, and we even had Lela outside for a while.  It was funny seeing her reaction… it was pretty much the same as Mystique’s — impressed, but kind of freaked out about the fact that there’s another planet out there and we could see it and its moons from our backyard.

(null)