Thursday, October 18, 2012

School and Soccer and Dancing, Oh My!

*This post is dedicated to my buddy Joy nudge to update this blog.  Thanks for the reminder that it HAS been far too long since an update! love, Sarah*

Have you heard Archibold Asparagus sing "Modern Major General" in Veggie Tales?  If you haven't....well, ask your kids to sing it for you.  I was hoping to find a cool YouTube video and give you a link, but I came up empty handed in my search.  I found a video of the original "Modern Major General", but that's not the one that comes to my mind, it has to be Archibold Asparagus. 

Anyway...all of that to say...that's what I feel like life has been around here.  Not the lyrics, mind you, just the speed of the song and the wondering when am I going to take a breath.  Archibold takes a few big breaths, and that breath is Sunday for us, and then jumps back in to the song with as much speed as he can.  The first few posts I felt like I almost had to make stuff up to make it seem like we were actually doing something besides lying by the pool.  Mark and I walked past the pool the other day and I said, "Remember when all we did was sit pool side all afternoon and evening?"  To which he replied, "Yeah, that was the life!"

So school began for Mark, and then for the girls.  And then soccer.  4 nights a week.  Four.  To which two of those I volunteered my amazing hubby to coach.  *Smirk*  I won't do that again, I promise Hubby!!  Can I tell you how cute my kids are when they play soccer?  Adorable!  Now, I totally understand that that statement has some bias in it, but you'd think so too if you saw them.

Julia is with the ball

#11 - Shot on goal!!

Check out that determination!

Kick it, Hope!!

And when Mark is not coaching Hope's soccer team:

he's doing something like this...

Endless reading

Hanging out with his girls...

...and with his Seminar.

So we have gotten to be tourists many places, including Lancaster County,

Gettysburg, where I think everyone in the area knew that we were from Maine and are awestruck by the 20th Maine and Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain,

Valley Forge, PA, home of the General Washington's Patriot Army for the winter of 1777-1778,

A fun day at Cherry Crest Farms, down near Lancaster,

The National Aquarium in Baltimore, Maryland

And lots of days hanging around the house enjoying this beautiful Pennsylvania fall weather.

There have been some great activities that have been run by the school that will remain highlights of our year here.  The first big bash was the Air Ship Wreck Ball that was sponsored by the Air Force and Navy students.  The theme was the Olympics and each seminar had to have a theme and dress appropriately and decorate a table where we ate dinner to the theme also.  Seminar 10 choose The Dream Team, referring the our USA Olympic basketball dream team of 1992.  The night started out with all the students and their families playing games on Indian Field and then moved into the LVCC, formerly the Officer's Club, for dinner and fun and LOTS of laughter!  Here's a few action shots of  Seminar 10 and a table shot also, which indecently took 3rd place!

Yup, that's us in the 3 Legged race.  :)

Last weekend was Oktoberfest.  It was put on by the Carlisle Barracks MWR (Morale, Welfare and Recreation), but it was for the whole community.  We went Saturday at noontime and there was a huge crowd already.  It was a super time with carnival rides for the kids and bratwurst for us.  I tried sauerkraut for the first time and found out it wasn't horrible.  The Carlisle Barracks Fire Department put on a Fire Academy for the kids and the girls loved it!  They got to do the low crawl and "rescue" a baby doll, roll a fire hose and use a fire hose.  It was all very fun and fulfilled some of the PA regulations for homeschool.  Gotta love that.

Oh, yes!  We are now dancers.  Okay, that was stretching the truth a wee bit...maybe more than a wee bit.  But we are taking ballroom dancing lessons.  It's something that we have talked about for a while but never have had the opportunity to do.  A retired Army colonel is a local ballroom dancing teacher and comes right onto the Barracks and teaches.  It is so, so much fun!  Picture 50 couples, Army couples with a few Navy, Air Forces and Marines thrown in, dancing the Tango.  Oh, it is a sight, and so much fun.  Wednesday nights are becoming my favorite night of the week.  There are a pack of kids that come, including ours, who watch and giggle and even try it out themselves while sipping on their Shirley Temples.  So far we have learned some basic steps to Swing, Tango, Cha Cha Cha and the Foxtrot.  I'm loving this enough that I'm thinking the Advanced Class in January might be in our future....

I think that catches you up on our extra curricular activities.  Mark is enjoying his class work.  He's had a few papers to write that were challenging.  One was entitled "Theorists Who Illuminate the Problem of War and Conflict" and the other "War's Corrosive Effect on Athenian Democracy".  Both of those papers were for the class called The Theory of War and Strategy.  He studied theorists such as Sun Tzu and Clausewitz and Jomini.  Sounds great, huh?  The students were taken to Gettysburg for a staff ride a couple weeks ago.  A well studied staff member took them to different locations on the battlefield and gave details about the goings on in great depth.  During this time, the guys were studying strategic leaders and Mark was told that he was going to brief on Joshua Chamberlain.  I'm thinking someone knew Mark and his zeal for Chamberlain.  But it gets better...not only did Mark get to brief on Chamberlain, they told him that he would be doing his brief when they were in Gettysburg for the staff ride when they hit Little Round Top.  When he returned home that night, my first question was....Where on Little Round Top did you give your brief?  His answer...At the 20th Maine monument, of course!!   What an awesome moment for my hubby!!  Yesterday his class was on negotiations.  He was an observer for a negotiation exercise.   Maybe I should have let his faculty advisers know he's the commander of the Maine State Police Crisis Negotiation Team?  Nope, this is one of those situations where it's good to blend in.  :)   The entire learning environment has been challenging and is fast paced, with lots and lots of reading required, but he seems to be keeping up well.  I don't know if he would think he is, but from my perspective, he is taking it all in stride.  

We had our last soccer game tonight.  It will be nice to have our evenings back, but we so enjoyed being outside and seeing the girls play and improve.  Basketball starts in January and there is spring soccer to look forward to also.  

This has been a long congrats for making it to the end!  Thanks for thinking of us and for your prayers.  Home is missed, but we are appreciating every day of this adventure!