The adventures of a homeschooling family

Howard and Rachel
Annie, Emma, Sarah, Laura and Adam

Monday, April 6, 2015


Back when we were doing the addition, Emma's friend's dog had puppies. They asked if we wanted one. The timing was horrible. Then we lost Max. And no one was sure if we wanted a small dog. Then the family said if we didn't take the puppy, she was going to a shelter. So now we have a new dog. Her name is Pond. After Amy Pond, from Doctor Who. I have got her to follow me when I say, "come along, Pond."

She is really cute. Which is a good thing because she is a punk. She only really likes me and Emma. She is still a puppy, and has chewed thru pretty much everything in the backyard, including a pair of Adam's shoes that he left out. 

Our blow up pool is toast, along with my clothes lines, our pool cover, a skip it (remember those?) an extension cord, diving rings, water squirters, pencils, Nerf darts, bow strings and pretty much anything left out. 

She is an amazing jumper and can get all the way to the top of our play structure. She has been jumping up to grab clothes off the line, then hangs on them until the clothes fall. Then she snuggles with them. 

She is pretty tolerant of the kids antics, now that it's been a while and she is getting used to us. They like to pick her up and make her talk, using her paws to point. Which kids? Mainly Emma and Sarah. Sarah is getting over her fear of any and all dogs. She likes to pick up Pond and carry her about. It took a couple weeks of bribing the dog with treats to get to this point, but I'll take it. 

Pond is still a punk, though. We are looking into getting a lab, still. Then they can be buddies. And chew up everything else in the yard. 

Walker Stalker Con

A while back (I can't remember when because I didn't write it down and it's 12 am) someone Annie knows texted her and asked if she wanted to go to Walker Stalker Con. It's like Comic Con, but smaller, and for The Walking Dead. 
We don't watch the Walking Dead. However.....

There was also a Doctor Who panel, Night of the Doctor. Present would be Matt Smith, the 11th Doctor, Karen Gillan, and Arthur Darvill, who played Amy Pond and Rory Williams. 

So really, how could she refuse? We got tickets for Annie, Emma and me. Annie's contact drove us to San Francisco, so I didn't even have to drive! Bonus, because I hate driving in cities and parking my beast of a car is nearly impossible, even in Sacramento.

We got there early, looked at all the Walking Dead merchandise, wandered around, and felt a little out of place, in our  Doctor Who shirts. We didn't have oodles of cash on us. We'd decided to just enjoy the experience. But...

Then we saw where Matt Smith was signing autographs. Annie and I pooled our money so she and Emma could meet him. He was wrapping up before lunch, so they were the only ones in line. He was really nice. He tried striking up a conversation with them, but they were kinda star struck. He asked if they were sisters, and they kinda nodded. 
Then, he started signing and Annie spoke up when he left off the "e." Then she asked if they could get a picture with him, which is a big no-no, since pictures are in an additional area, for more $. His agent guy said No way. But Matt said sure and smiled for a few quick pictures. Very cool. 

Annie and Emma walked away, still kind of in shock that they had met him, and that he sounded the same in real life.
 So then after a bit, we decided, hey, why not spend all our money? We had to decide between Arthur Darvill and Karen Gillan. Karen won out, because hey, she dresses cool, and shaved her head to be Nebula in Guardians of the Galaxy. No quick pic here, the handlers actually blocked Emma's iPod when she tried to take pics in line! Karen was also very sweet, and signed a pic to all the kids, even though there was a 2 name limit.
The woman who drove us, also named Karen, helped a balloon artist while he was making a balloon Tardis, so we got to take the first pictures when it was finished. 

Later, we went to the Night of the Doctor panel. Annie was able to ditch us and get a better seat as a single. Emma and I could barely hear anything because of the echo of the speakers. What we did hear was funny and sweet. Matt, Karen and Arthur did a rousing rendition of Bohemian Rhapsody. Afterwards, because we were separate, Annie ended up outside of the building and couldn't get back in, despite her protests that she was a minor and needed her mum. 
Obviously, she found me. 

We stopped for hot mini doughnuts on the wharf. Like literally stopped at a light, we gave cash to Annie and Karen's daughter, with instructions to get two bags of mini doughnuts and meet us back at the light. The two of them did it and were very proud of themselves. They both have anxiety, so it was a big step they took together. 

It was our big adventure, getting out of our comfort zone. I would totally do it again, and so would Annie and Emma. And I'd bring the whole family.

And no, we still haven't started watching The Walking Dead.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Getting ready for Christmas

We went to the movies as a family. I think to see Big Hero Six and there was an elf cut-out.  The kids looked adorable so I couldn't resist.

This year we decided to upgrade from our 3 foot tree.  Emma was quite helpful with fluffing the branches.

Add in garlands, snowflakes, stockings and white paper chains and our decorations were complete.