Saturday, October 25, 2008

Balloon Fiesta was here the first week in October. It was another great year for the event and although there was a tragedy of a balloon catching fire, the rest of the week provided some spectacular pictures. We had some friends join us the first weekend and had a wonderful time.

The leaves are changing quickly here in New Mexico. This weeks temperatures have been about 20 degrees cooler than last week. I decided to get up this morning and take the kids to a park and then out to lunch. Actually, the lunch was all about Aaron's kick-back for wearing clothes that matched his sister. Someday he will be a lawyer or politician with the way he can negotiate things.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Jedi Training

One of the most exciting parts of the last day at Disney was the Jedi Training Academy. Aaron had the opportunity to be one of about 25 kids picked from the audience to participate in the training. He doned a cape and chose a lifesaver to complete his gear. The kids received training from "trained professionals" and then had the opportunity to put their training to use. Each child had their moment to shine with one on one combat against the leader of the dark side; Darth Vader himself. I think Aaron was thrilled that he was able to "show Darth Vader a real fight" and strutted off the stage as an accomplished Jedi Knight.

All Traveled out

As you can tell from our blog, our summer was spent passing through multiple airports and racking up those miles on Tom's car. We finished off our traveling with a trip to Colorado and California the first part of Sept. Miranda and Aaron joined about 400 other home schooled kids in the southwest region for 3 days at Disneyland taking classes that Disney coordinates. Of course, we had to get there first...

Tom and I decided somewhat at the last moment for me to travel to Colorado to try to narrow down areas of Colorado Springs we might want to live in. I had researched several schools and really wanted to try to narrow down the ones I am most interested in. The kids and I drove to CS where we spent about a day and a half driving around the north end and trying to get a feel for the area. We visited a few home builders and just drove around mostly. My mom and dad took Aaron and I out to celebrate our Birthdays as we both turned another year older.

On Friday, we drove to Denver and caught a flight to LAX. We rented a car and started our long, precarious drive out of LA, right at rush hour on a Friday night. If I can drive in LA at rush hour, I can drive anywhere. It did not help the situation that the site of the commuter train crash was right close to the area we drove through so traffic was a little more hectic. We finally made our way out of LA and out to the desert. We arrived in time for dinner (Ggma and Ggpa had to wait a little later than anticipated.) Grandma sure hasn't lost her touch with cooking and it was nice to sit down to such a great meal after the frazzled nerves. Saturday was spent relaxing and the kids taking a spin in the golf cart. Ggpa really put his life on the line with Aaron at the wheel. Thank goodness we have several more years before Aaron driving becomes a reality. Miranda was quick to exit the cart before Aaron took his turn at the wheel. The kids had a blast playing mexican train dominos and Gma and Gpa were surprised at how they have improved. Our visit seemed to fly by and it was time for us to leave before we knew it. We enjoy our trips to the desert where things move a little slower but it provides good rest time to reflect on things.

We drove back into LA Sunday afternoon where we picked up a friend at the airport. I really know my way around LAX and Aaron started asking lots of questions about the questionable people hanging around close to the airport. We picked up Angie, who had a agreed to spend the week with us, and we manuevered our way to our airport a short distance away. We spent a few hours that evening in Downtown Disney where Aaron visited his beloved LEGO store (I am so proud of Aaron for coming to his senses and deciding to make his grand LEGO purchases for when we returned home. I love when he figures out good choices on his own; with very little convincing from me.)

Our Disney classes started Monday morning with both kids enjoying an animation class. Angie headed out to some of the "little" activities with her 4-year old, and I found myself, husbandless, kidless and lonely in Disneyland. Who would have thought! Sort of an odd feeling to be in the "happiest place on earth" but feeling sort of sad and lonely. By midday when the classes ended, I was eager to collect my kids and enjoy some time with them together. We ended the day with a dinner hosted by the home schooling community and a talent show, where by far, the best talent was that of the Thomas children (Miranda's best friend) playing piano.

Tuesday was spent in California History classes for Aaron and a physics class for Miranda. I chaparoned the physics class and learned a thing or two about how the roller coasters really work. Miranda conquered one fear of speed and heights and although she did not ride the "big" roller coaster, she road a smaller one and even managed to smile afterward.

Wednesday we were on our own and so we rode as many rides as possible the whole day. It was great that we had so many friends with us. I find that riding a loop roller coaster multiple times in a row just does not appeal to me anymore, so having multiple kids ride with Aaron makes life a little easier.

Of course, our whole trip we really missed Tom. We decided to make a sign and take several pictures with it to let him know how much we missed him. Although the trip was fun and the time spent with Angie and Claire made it even better, we still felt the missing part of our family and are anxious for him to join us on our next adventure.