Monday, December 13, 2021

Gingerbread, Advent Hunt & Cake

Lindsey gave me a gingerbread man yesterday at church. She warned me it had been in her cupboard for a long time. She thought the kids may enjoy decorating it. Stacia pulled out some leftover frosting she had in the fridge. I thought it would be a great activity for Benny and GG while we were out today. We try to get Grandpa involved in things, we have the best luck when it involves Benny or Danny.  Look at those faces! 

πŸ“· by Arielle

Anyone who knows my Dad, knows he's teasing Benny. He's trying to pull the gingerbread man away while Benny smiles for the camera. 

Benny checks the directions to make sure GG is doing it right. LOL 

πŸ“· by Arielle

Benny was proud to show me this man when we got home. 

Benny's favorite feature is the hair. "I used PRETZELS, Baachan!" I think it's pretty great too. 

Millie doesn't love her antlers; Benny was happy to help out. 
Teasing me - he ate a button from the gingerbread man


Nolan was home today. He's finished one class and started the next. It was fun to have him for dinner and this evening's Advent Hunt. 

Advent Scavenger Hunt Clue: Four brings me light, Four brings me dark, Old is above.


Michael WARNED everyone the clues would get harder as we went along. Nolan has the reputation of being able to figure them out. There was a lot of milling around as they tried to figure this one out. 

It went a bit like this - Four things that bring light and dark.... light switches, windows, electrical outlets, and doors were explored. They went to the garage (pictures inadvertently deleted). Allie checked Potter's Closet.  


From time to time we admitted we needed a new clue. 


Finally, Michael gave a hint that it was NOT in the garage or basement and we all focused upstairs.... until he gave us the final hint... it wasn't upstairs either.  We headed to the entry way. 

Allie found it first...the 4 that bring light and dark to me, is the closet door. The bag was hid on the top shelf. Above it is an alcove with lots of antiques. 

Inside the bag were four shirts...

Stacia was busy baking today. She made a 6 in cake that all say was yummy - but RICH. She's practicing with frosting... They celebrated their find and ended the night with pieces of cake. 

Bella & Gideon's Date with Papa and Baachan

I believe this is the last Baachan/Papa date of the year.  Monday's we have Arielle and the boys come over for 3 hours of respite care. It was the perfect way for Michael and I to both be able to take the grands on these dates. Today, Bella and Gideon (BreZaak's children) joined us for an adventure. 


Any trip outside in -9* temps is bound to be an adventure.  We headed for a local shop to find presents for Bre and Izaak. It's always fun to watch the children's thought process. They were successful. 

We asked what they'd like to eat. Bella wanted chicken; Gideon wanted a cheese hamburger. Bella also shared with me, "Grandma, I've never been to a cafe."  Thus, a compromise was born. We did not get a McDonald's cheese hamburger, and we didn't go a cute cafe that wouldn't HAVE burgers.... but we did go to a diner and everyone was happy. 

I think a trip with Bre, Bella, Annie and Baachan is in the future - to visit a real cafe.  After lunch we headed over to the local ice cream shop...because we knew it would be a treat for the kids and we knew they had dairy free ice cream.  The gal there told me sugar free is hard to do unless you use alcohol in it...and they don't want to do that due to all the regulations they'd have to comply with if they "served alcohol." 

We headed back, wrapped the gifts in the car, and wrestled the car seats out of the van. We made it back to the house exactly at the 3 hour mark. 

Every grand gets to choose a "Baachan Shopping Gift." Benny chose a snow globe. Livie chose a Division wrap up book.  Bella and Gideon chose darling stuffed animals. The birds sing. We bought one for Annie and JoJo and took them home to give them. 
Annie, Bella & Gideon πŸ“· by BreAnne


It was a fun day with the grands! 

Absolutely Allie

 Hey - we tried to alliterate and find something similar to the Simply Stacia title. 

We could not be prouder of Allie.  Last spring, we produced work to earn her an extra 1/2 credit to accompany the 1/2 credit she had in American Sign Language (ASL). She brushed up on her ASL this summer and I researched curriculum and programs which would earn her another high school credit in American Sign Language.  As an aside, it is quite interesting to have the Japanese and the ASL threading through our home...1/2 the time I'm not sure WHAT is being talked about. ::snort:: 

I found a program written and overseen by the Director of Family Partnership, a charter school in Anchorage. Allie would be able to take a proven, teacher-graded, online American Sign Language class. They have three levels of study - for 3 high school credits.  I explained our situation to the teachers, Allie had a previous homeschool co-op class, she had worked through various websites this summer and is a senior. She had 1 ASL credit and we'd like her to earn a 2nd in the upcoming school year.  I asked if we could try Allie in Level 2. They were leery of our coursework having prepped her for the coursework. 

We settled on starting Allie in the 2nd half of Level 1. If she proved she could do the work, they would move her into Level 2 in a "couple of months." I knew Allie could do the work. I also knew that if she did 1/2 of Level 1 and 1/2 of Level 2 she would still earn one high school credit. 

Within 2 weeks Allie had finished Level 1 and moved on to Level 2. As we near the end of the FIRST semester Allie has finished Level 2 and moved on to Level 3.  Both our IDEA contact teacher and Dr. Parker agreed Allie should be awarded 2 credits for her coursework this year.   We updated her Individual Learning Plan (ILP) to reflect her actual progress. She will graduate with 3 foreign language credits! This feat earned us a call back from our contact teacher. We had been told Allie wouldn't be able to qualify for the Alaska Performance Scholarship (APS). I told our teacher our focus was going to be strengthening Allie's transcript so it would reflect well for college entrance, and we'd apply for other scholarship streams. This we set about doing. She has earned 2 math, 2 science, 1 creative writing and 2 1/2 foreign language credits since we were told she'd not be able to qualify for the APS. She is currently taking psychology and Brit Lit - also courses approved by the APS. It seems Allie is a "hair" away from being able to qualify for the APS now.  She needs math.  She has worked hard on math the past 10 months. She finished the math she was doing, did Pre-Algebra, and is currently chugging through Algebra 1.  Her contact teacher wonders if Allie can "kick up the pace" and earn 2 more math credits in the upcoming semester.  That's a pretty thick "hair" away. LOL  BUT it won't hurt to try.  Regardless, we couldn't be prouder of Allie's determination and drive. 

Here is a quick glimpse into Allie's ASL coursework. In this clip she and Stacia are demonstrating how to make a smoothie. 


Allie's teacher works as a deaf interpreter and her husband is a deaf pastor.  We are excited about the opportunity to attend a deaf church and get to know the deaf community. Allie has a gift; we saw it. Her teacher and the director of the course confirm it. Allie has been invited to join the American Sign Language National Honor Society. This will give her more experience with ASL and the chance to apply for scholarships from the society.