Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Calfiornia History in Columbia State Park

California History was lived for a couple days up at Columbia State Park. Sarah's history group which has studied California History for the past 9 months spent some time living in the past as they visit Columbia State Park near Sonora California.

Our adventure began by looking for the largest flake of gold ever found. It was displayed at this beautiful vineyard. The Vineyard was huge and covered with green lawns, flowers, trees, and more flowers. A paradise of beauty.

The next day we had a tour of Columbia, an old gold town still portrayed in the 1850s. We had a docent led tour of the store, fire station, and school house. The school house teacher actually taught a lesson as she would have in the 1850s with the girls sitting on one side of the room and the boys on the other, using chalk slates and standing when addressed by the teacher before answering. It was a good practical look at what it was like to be a student in the 1850s in California.

We also had the opportunity to search the town looking for trivia answers to what it was like living in a gold town. The students explored the bank, black smith, barber shop, and various other parts of a gold town with their little red book in hand. After lunch it was time to pan for gold! We had a lesson on how to pan for gold and then took our time looking for those precious little flakes of gold to remain in our gold pan. We even got to keep what we found--hurray!

Columbia was a fun experience for kids and adults--the history so rich and the friendships so wonderful. If you haven't been there, it's a great little vacation spot we think you'd enjoy.

Drama Production

Valley Oaks performed two plays, Adventures in Neverland, and Without the Book. Both plays were written by Valley Oaks home schooled boys. Adventures in Neverland was one of those plays you just had to laugh. It was based on Peter Pan and his adventures in Neverland with a little twist as it was Patty Pan (a girl) and the lost girls (not boys) who had the adventures avoiding pirates.

The second play, Without the Book, was it's own story about how an evil sorcerer wanted to have control of all the fair tales and make sure there were no more happily ever after endings. It was a hodge podge of characters ranging from the Big Bad Wolf, Little Red Riding Hood, Cinderella, and of course Prince Charming--although two characters were battling for this title.

Directed by Gerri Woessner, Valley Oaks Drama Director, the plays were a huge success and loved by everyone who came.

The most exciting part for our family was seeing Amy starring as one of the lost girls in Adventures in Neverland. Never shy to the stage, she did outstanding acting and speaking her part with confidence and poise. It's a play you'll have to get a video copy to enjoy yourself.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Easter at the Collins

Resurrection Day! Easter is probably the most exciting day in our family because it solidifies our faith. Without Christ's resurrection from the dead, our Christian faith means nothing. But Christ did rise, He has risen indeed! Christ has power over death and over our sin. Jesus Christ was indeed the sacrificial lamb that died for our sins. He is the ONLY way to God and that is what we celebrated this Easter Sunday.

We colored Easter eggs the old fashion way with vinegar, water, and dye. Everyone in the family had the opportunity to color the hard boiled eggs (and then enjoy deviled eggs on Sunday!)

We celebrated with a beautiful worship service at Grace Bible Church followed by a delicious brunch with an opportunity to fellowship with our fellow believers. Later in the day we had cousins over for another big dinner followed by an Easter Egg hunt in the back yard. It was only Amy, Sarah, and Jesse looking for the hidden eggs. Lucky Sarah found both the silver and gold egg this year!

Timmy's 15th Birthday!

Timmy turned 15 on the 14th of this month. What a shocker! He celebrated his day with friends playing some of his favorite games: Ultimate Frisbee, Volleyball, and Dodgeball. A pizza dinner followed by cake and homemade ice cream which made this day a special one!
Timmy's favorite gift: Colored Duct Tape!!!!!!
Timmy's favorite food: Pizza, Burritos, Hotdogs, anything but sandwiches or meatloaf
Timmy's Favorite Restaurant: Dell Taco and HomeTown Buffet
Timmy's favorite outdoor game: Dodgeball
Timmy's favorite indoor game: Smash Brothers on the Wii
Timmy's favorite leisure time: Making Hot Wheel towns or building Mainstreet Disneyland Lego buildings--they're awesome!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

My Baby is Ten!

Sarah celebrated her 10th birthday on April 5. Double Digits! It's sad as a mother to see your little one encounter double digits knowing that half their life living with you is now over. When the video camera was running and Sarah was asked, "How old are you today?" Sarah proudly replied, "I'm 20!" "Not quite," I said. "You're moving a little too fast." Kids always want to be older and Sarah is no exception. But as Sarah turned ten, she wanted a Build-A-Bear Monkey more than anything else. She not only received one build-a-bear monkey, but TWO monkeys--TWINS. A brown and a pink monkey were given to her along with a monkey birthday party. As you can see, she is still is a little girl loving stuffed animals. The afternoon was spent with games, games, and more games with friends. Monkey Tic-Tac-Toe, Monkey Basket Upset, and a beautiful Monkey cake made by Amy and Bob. Yes, Sarah is ten and enjoying life. Her favorite Bible verse we're working on is Phil 2:3 "Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind, regard one another as more important than yourself." Yes, that's our goal for our little one!

At 10 Sarah loves: Build-A-Bears, Polly Pockets, My Little Pet Shop
At 10 Sarah's favorite food: Acorn Squash, French Toast
At 10 Sarah's favorite place to go: Friends' houses
At 10 Sarah's favorite school subject: Vocabulary Cartoons
At 10 Sarah's favorite sport: Soccer
At 10 Sarah's favorite things to do: Bike Ride; Rollerblade, Badminton