Monday, November 23, 2009

Junior Black Belt

Much to our surprise, Hannah was awarded her Junior Black Belt this evening at Tae Kwon Do!!She had a belt test last week, and we really didn't think she'd be moving as the instructor didn't teach them a new form with this last belt, but he moved both the senior brown belts up to junior black belts!

And now...she goes all the way back to the beginning to re-learn every thing in every belt color she's ever earned - to clean up her moves and perfect them. She'll have help though as it looks like Steven and Rachel will be joining the class next week!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Disneyland with Family

We have out of state family visiting and today, we all went to Disneyland! The crowds weren't bad and we managed to get on a lot of rides, every single one of the big rides and many other favorites.

One of the fun things these days is that Hannah is old enough to go on rides by herself...for example on Autopia, she can drive a car on her own, or take younger passengers with her. So she and Abby rode together. Every single member of our family rode Autopia and it was so much fun racing side by side and stopping along the way to take pictures of each other, etc. Hannah tried a ride she has refused to go on for the last few years - Space Mountain. And she absolutely loved it, and can't wait to go on it again! Yipeee, Finally! We managed to get everyone on Big Thunder Mountain, everyone except for Rachel, which meant someone had to sit out with her, which Gramie offered to do. BTMRR is always a fun ride and it was fun to see how much Abby enjoyed it, and it was rather funny to see how much Ryan did not like it. He's not big on roller coaster and rides with dips. We must have spent over an hour on Tom Sawyer's Island. The kids loved all the caves and bridges and stuff there is to do over there. We spent a little bit of time in Critter Country, hanging out, waiting for the family to ride Splash Mountain. That's a ride neither Hannah or Rachel will yet try and Ryan wasn't having any of it either, so we sat and waited and enjoyed a sucker while waiting. The kids enjoyed watching the characters coming in and out of the backstage area and once our family rejoined us, the kids took a picture with Pooh. Early in the evening, Grandpa joined us for the remainder of the time that Disneyland was open. We managed to get in four rides with Grandpa and the teacups was one of them. I can't remember if that was a designated non spin cup or spinning cup. Each of us had our own preferences as to whether or not we wanted to make the cup spin and thus chose who were riding with based on that. LOL. We had a great day! It was so much fun spending the day at one of our favorite places with family from out of state. Both our girls did new things and are looking forward to going back and doing them again...and again!

Friday, November 06, 2009

Shelter Day

In the 4th grade, here in California, history is California History. And for the last 6 weeks, the California Indians have been the topic of History in Hannah's class.

At the beginning of the unit, each student with the help of their parents had to come up with an Indian Name for themself. After much deliberation around the dinner table of such names as Babbling Brook and Slow to Walk, the name Sleeping Tiger was decided upon for Hannah. That was the name she was referred to in class when it was history time.

She's had a lot of assignments that involved creative writing, thinking, and story telling. While some of it's been very time consuming, she's loved every minute of it.

Today, our unit on the California Indians comes to an end. And it is time to move the village to a better location. Today was a fun day, and you could dress up as Indians if you had a costume. There was one assignment left in preparation for today and it was to make something of organic/natural resources. Hannah made a head dress by sewing cranberries and leaves together. We had an indian costume that Hannah was going to wear, but a friend offered us one that was a little bit bigger, so she wore that. Put the costume together, braid the hair, dawn the head dress, and along with the new boots Mama bought, she looked like a true Indian Squaw. The Journey began just outside the classroom, where Ms. Harris distributed the food that would need to be carried to the new village location. The tribe traveled all over the school grounds in search of the perfect place to set up a new village. Stopping at various places to talk about the resources available at that location and why or why not it'd be a good place to move the village to. Chief Laughing Turtle (aka Ms Harris) led the class through the halls (aka Canyon of the Doors) and through a cave (aka the front office) and out the other side of the school grounds. Finally, a location was found that had the resources needed to move a village to. Using the branches of the fruitless mulberry trees that the school district had trimmed this week and saved for Chief Laughing Turtle, she began teaching her tribe how to make a shelter. And from there, the tribe broke into their separate clans and began making their own shelter. Once shelter had been made, the Chief went from clan to clan tattooing the clan all the same. California Indians tattooed their chins. Each clan had a tattooed chin, but not one clan had the same.After being tattooed by the Chief, it was now time to document their journey and share of the things they saw while traveling. Finally, it was time to eat. On the menu for the great feast was beef jerky, celery, lettuce, green onions, pine nuts, raisins, strawberries, potatoes (or as the Indians called them 'tubers'), walnuts, and prickly pear. The Chief explained that these were all foods that the Indians would have found and ate off the land, she also gave each food the name the indians would have called them. The tribe lined up and gathered their meal and then returned to their shelters to eat with their clan. Following the great feast, Chief Laughing Turtle gathered her tribe and based on a writing assignment they had completed, she told each indian what their chance was for catching the very prey they had written about. She then rolled a dice and the indian learned their fate of whether or not they'd caught what they wrote about. As the day was winding up, the husband of Chief Laughing Turtle came and demonstrated spear throwing and then let the kids each try it out. That was COOL! And the kids all had a fun time trying to do the very thing that would take down an elephant! Shelter Day came to an end when the ringing of the bell was quickly approaching and the Chief gathered her tribe together and wished them all a good vacation and told them that when we come back on track, our new history unit would be that of the Mexican Americans.

It was such a fun day, all the kids really got into their characters and had so much fun. They all tried the food and came back for more and more. Most definitely a fun way to end the history unit!

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Class Performance

Today, Hannah's class participated in a "Revue" of performances. Ms. Harris taught the class Troika, a Russian Folkdance, to perform. The dress rehearsal for the entire school was this morning, and since it started within minutes of school having started, I stuck around to watch, as I knew pictures wouldn't turn out so great at this evenings show.

I did the poster for our class! I'm so happy with how it turned out!
The class did an outstanding job, as did many of the other six classes that participated. One of the sixth grade classes learned all the steps to Thriller. It was so cool! Another class did a dance to Ghostbusters, and two lower grade classes did a couple of dance routines to Patriotic music.

The program this evening didn't start until 7:00, but they were well prepared with lots of lighting, etc. It was so much fun to see all the families - parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles - come out and support the classes that were participating.