Utah, A Bomb and a Slithering Sea Snake

The first week of school is tucked firmly beneath my belt.  This is fancy talk for, I survived. So did the kids, by the way.  Landon barely.  Apparently I neglected to mention to him when we began that school occurs every. single. day.  So on day two, as he toddled into the kitchen, his morning Cup ‘a Joe nestled firmly between his teeth (read: sippy cup of juice), he asked me the same thing he asks me every morning.

“Mommy?  What we gonna do today?”

“We have school again today.”



Face crumbles, juice falls to the floor and a great deal of weeping doth commence.  “But we alweady did school yestewday!”

Um…yeah.  Apparently school every day isn’t his favorite.  By day five he started to come around, though he never met the news that school was about to begin with much glee.  You can’t please everyone, right?

Not that school was a wash for him.  We worked on learning the States last week.  We labeled them on a map and each day learned to identify a few more.  By the end of the week, Sloan was able to point to and label 30 States.  Tia could label about 15 and then needed a few prompts for the rest.  Landon can point to about 6 when asked where they are.  But all on his own, he can label one State.


For some reason Utah. Not Florida.  Not Missouri.  Utah.


There is no way for me to answer that question.  I don’t know why.  All I know is my three year old can point to Utah when shown a blank map.  I am so proud.


We are one with the fish


As a reward for a great first week of school, we finished lessons early on Friday and headed to the The Florida Aquarium in Tampa.  We got up close and personal with the sting rays, we growled at the sharks and we made silly faces at the alligators.  And we topped it all off with some good old fashioned water play.



As an impromptu history lesson, we walked next door to the American Victory Ship, one of only four operational World War II ships in the country.  It was the end of the day and they were preparing to close, but they let us have the run of the ship before shutting everything down.  We rang the bells, visited the captain’s quarters and fought mighty battles against the enemy warships and alien droids.

We won each battle with nary an injury.  It was truly a victorious ship.

Just before leaving, one of the sailors aboard the ship took us into the Engine Room and gave us a quick history lesson.  The ship was built 70 years ago (not 60 hundred as Landon guessed…by hey – he can identify Utah, right?).  And the massive vessel was built in only 55 days.  Not 25 years as Sloan guessed.  But hey…he can point to 30 States on a map, right?

“Can you take us out on a ride in this ship?” Sloan asked the Sailor-man.  I just wish my child wasn’t so shy, ya know?

“Well, no.  Not right now.  We’re dry docked right now.  There are a lot of things that need to be done to get a ship out to sea.”

“Oh,” Sloan said, not masking his disappointment at all.  This week’s homeschooling theme is “Tact and How To Use It.”

Seeing his crestfallen face, Sailor-man smiled.  “You know,” he said.  “Every once in awhile we do take this beautiful ship out for a spin on the water.  You have your mom find out when we’re going to do that again and make sure you all come out to take a ride with us, okay?”

Sloan grinned and clasped his hands together at his chest.  “Okay!” he cried, his eyes dancing.  “When we go out, can you shoot off a bomb? Please?” He did use lovely manners making his Mama brim with pride.

“Well,” Sailor-man said, his own eyes twinkling, “Now I’m afraid that’s frowned upon…”

Pause.  Silence.

“What do you mean?” Sloan asked.

And we all laughed.  Me with the “Oh I’m so embarrassed I will explain this to him later” Mom laugh, and Sailor-man with the “I used to be a little boy and I had a few little boys of my own so I totally understand what’s going on inside his head” laugh.  And off we went.

Sunday night brought beautiful, perfect Florida weather.  There was an ocean breeze perfect for fishing and we traipsed down to the dock at sunset where Sloan immediately snagged a beautiful, large blue crab.  After a bit of dancing and a whole lot of finagling, we got him in the bucket and gave him a pinfish to play with.  Lee pulled in a good sized catfish that we all ooed and aahed over until it came time to take him off the hook, then we all scattered and let Lee handle the honors alone.

We’re a brave bunch.

The night ended early, however, when Sloan’s line bent over and he struggled and fought and pulled up a…friggin’ snake. When we figured out that’s what was on his line, Tia sprouted wings and flew 50 feet in less than a second.  I danced and yelped while Lee held his arms straight out and yelled “STOP!  Do not pull that thing in.”  He grabbed the pole and shook it until the long (too long) sea monster finally fell off.  And with our hearts hammering in our throats, we packed it in and marched inside, cooking our crab for a little late night snack.

How was your holiday weekend?


Our bedtime snack, courtesy of Sloan.