Sunday, September 30, 2012

Travels Through Africa

Davan's current educational obsession is still geography and world cultures.  She's been on this kick for months now.  She's worked on many different projects in this arena from learning languages to memorizing world maps (she can name every country in the world if she does it continent by continent, but tends to leave a few off if she tries to do the whole world in one go) to studying various different atlases to drawing maps to writing reports on countries that interest her. 

She recently went to a birthday party where the party favor was a gift certificate to Powell's Books.  She was so excited, but had a hard time deciding between two different atlases or a map of the world to put up on her wall.  She ended up with an atlas that she loves.

Her most recent project was creating a game based on the idea of Journey Through Europe.  We've played it several times this weekend.

Davan asked me to mention that she's well aware that her map of Africa isn't to scale, but it was the best she could do freehand.

Making this game took a serious amount of work from drawing and coloring the board to filling in the cities to visit plus the roads between them in a way that is keeping with conditions in Africa to creating the cards for each city with some of them being special cards that have to do with the city in question.  I'm really impressed.

As usual, Ranger enjoys it when we're all down on the floor at her level and she can attack us with her tongue or (much preferred by us) just move in for a cuddle.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

And Yet One More Post

The last one for today's bevy of posts is the one I'd set out to do originally.  Here's the video I made from the footage I got of Davan at open workout at Do Jump on Sunday.  It's a little long.  Forgive me.

Davan's Dance

Remember how I'd said that Davan had choreographed a dance to celebrate that we were all home?  Well, I was able to convince her to do it again for the camera.


Starting a paying job on top of continuing to keep the household running and keeping up my own Poekoelan training has left me with not a lot of free time.  I don't envy single parents or two parents with full time jobs.  I guess that's why a lot of people eat out nearly every meal, no?

Anyway, I've found myself with some free time this Thursday morning and I decided to make a video out of some footage I took of Davan at Do Jump on Sunday.  However, when I uploaded pictures from the camera, I found a lot more than just that footage.

On the Wednesday I was flying home from Colorado, Davan tried out a diving class.  Anthony took her and got some footage.  I've thrown together a little video for our enjoyment and yours, as well.

While I'm Away

This week we're doing a no TV week.  As we don't actually watch broadcast TV, we've come up with unique rules for ourselves.  We're not to watch videos at all (except creating videos is okay, which means some watching as part of the creative process) and we're to limit our on-line computer time to a reasonable amount.  We opted not to put a particular time limit on it, but leave it up to ourselves to be reasonable.  Any use of the computer for things like Rosetta Stone or word processing is okay without limit.

Monday evening I came home very briefly between work and class to have dinner with my family.  After I left, the two of them had to find a way to entertain themselves.

Meanwhile, they aren't the only ones adjusting to a new schedule which involves being home alone more often than previously.  I came home from doing some work trade at Do Jump while Davan was teaching there this week to find this:

Ranger had been doing a little living room rearranging.  Other than a lingering doggy odor on the couch, though, there was no harm done.  She has taken to sleeping on the couch when we aren't home.  She knows not to when we're here, but seems to think the rule doesn't apply when we're gone.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Pikes Peak Climb Video

And a video of myself and my step dad on our day of Pikes Peak climbing.

Video Time

Here's a video I made of the Elk Meadows backpacking trip Anthony and Davan did while I was in Colorado.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Computer Issues, Yet Again

Once again, our computer is on the fritz.  Sigh.  I'm currently sitting at the library, writing this entry.  Anthony thinks it's our wireless keyboard and mouse that is causing the problem and will borrow a traditional version of each from work tomorrow to attempt to reset things.  Last time we did that, the computer seemed to mostly work for a good couple of months.  We'll see if it's the magic bullet again.

I got back home on Wednesday evening and was thrilled to see my family.  Davan absolutely refused to tell me anything about what they did while I was gone until I told her all about my trip.  Stinker.  I did, eventually, find out that they had a fun overnight backpacking trip to Elk Meadows, her new silks class went pretty well with a few people in the class she knows, although she is hoping it gets more challenging, the first Zig Zag class was fine, but not the same without Lena, and she's not sure about the diving class she tried.  She wants to dive, but the kids are nearly all a lot younger than her and no one seemed to be doing anything much more challenging than what they did that class, which doesn't feel like a challenge at all to her. 

I went back to work on Thursday for another two work day week.  I had fun with work the first week, this week, maybe not as much.  I think I was tired from traveling and maybe felt a little like I needed to find my place again after they got along for a week without me.  I'm having a hard time being patient with myself about learning names.  There are 80 kids!  However, I still have to think about the names of the 12 kids that are in my class.  I'm getting them, but feel slow about it.  And I made two embarrassing mistakes while teaching.  One was starting the simplest form we have with the wrong strike and the other was skipping three when counting out jumping jacks.  These things happen, of course, but did they both have to happen this week?

Davan, Anthony, my MIL and I went to the Ringling Brothers Circus Friday night.  Anthony saw the advertisements for it when we were watching the Olympics and insisted that we needed to take Davan.  It was okay.  Talking about it afterward we decided on this analogy.  If you say that Cirque du Soleil is like Disneyland, then Ringling Brothers is a bit like riding the rides at a state fair.  I actually enjoyed the animal acts a lot, but I wonder if I'm being insensitive to animal rights then.  There were protesters outside, even!  So, looking around a little just now, I think the jury is out a bit on if the animals are mistreated or not.  It looks like there was a fair amount of mistreatment back in the 80s and early 90s, but not recently.  It's certainly something to think about.

We're spending the weekend doing a hodge-podge of activities.  I went to class at Poekoelan yesterday morning after Anthony and I walked Ranger together.  Davan and I did some dinner prep together and then played a game while Anthony went for a bike ride.  I went back over to Poekoelan to practice for an upcoming green sash test - one of the testers asked if I would attack for holds for her.  In the evening, we had nachos for dinner and Davan made lemon poppy seed muffins for dessert.  Oh, and Davan showed us a dance she'd created while I was out of town.  It was great, but I didn't record it.  I'll see if I can get her to do it again for the camera.  This morning Ranger and I went for a run, then came home to participate in Sunday morning pancake making and eating.  I went to help for a bit with cleaning for the test (the whole school had to be cleaned prior to tests - it's the tester's responsibility, but others usually help, as it's a big job).  Davan cleaned out her clothes drawers.  We took stuff to Goodwill.  Davan is at rehearsal for Seeds of Hope.  Anthony is on another bike ride.  I'm going over to Do Jump to pick up the directors' baby shortly to watch him for the second half of rehearsal.  Then we'll have pizza for dinner tonight before the week starts over again.  Whew.  Actually, there's been a lot of time for reading and just chilling out, as well, even though it sounds busy.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Quick Jot

I can't remember if I actually mentioned this was coming up or not, but I'm in Colorado right now.  I'm here visiting my mom (mostly) and my step dad (he's a bonus) all by my lonesome out of my little family unit.  A fare special came up and my mom offered to fly me out to visit.  Ideally, it would have happened while Davan was away at camp, but the schedule didn't work out that way. 

Davan was less than thrilled that I was leaving so soon after she got home, but understanding, as well.  She's gotten to visit my parents on her own a fair number of times over the years (once in California, once in Colorado and once in Las Vegas - the kid hasn't suffered) and mentioned that she thinks she might occasionally want to come visit me without her future family.   She's a good kid.

In fact, she's a good kid who's holding down the house while I'm away.  Anthony is working as usual and she is taking care of Ranger, taking care of meals (during the week) and getting herself all the places she needs to go during the day while I'm away.

I'm having a very nice visit filled with hiking, eating and conversation.  The big event of the visit was hiking up Pikes Peak.  I'll do a longer post all about that soon, but I'll post a picture as a little appetizer.