Friday, March 30, 2012

Support those Crazed Carrots!

I have never used my blog as a platform to ask for something from my readers, until now.   I am asking for your generosity and support for the kids Destination Imagination team.  You all know the impact that DI has had on our family over the past two months from the posts I wrote about an awesome morning, the movie screening, the final push, and a really good, long day.  Jessica, at Teachable Moments has written about a marathon meeting day the creation of the bags to sellthe movie screening event, to winning the State Tournament. DI has fueled new interests, provided a platform for existing talents, developed new friendships, and introduced my children to real life applications for skills that will be vital in the world they are growing up in.
Once you win the State Tournament you are given a packet of information for the Global Tournament which is attended by 20,000 people, and literally takes over the city of Knoxville, Tennessee for one week.  Just the registration fee for our team (team members and family members) is $5,000.  This does not include travel expenses, food and lodging.  It does not include the Connecticut Tee Shirts for the parade of nations nor does it include the State Pins that should/must be purchased for pin trading at the Tournament.  This is a significant expense for families who have made the choice to homeschool, thus taking one parent out of the workforce.
If our children were in traditional school we could approach the PTA and ask for assistance in raising the funds for the fees.  Perhaps we could hold a walk-a-thon or sell flowers and have 500 families participate.  That is not our situation.  We have 5 families who have been working non-stop since the announcement was made Saturday afternoon.
We have set up a website where donations can be made online.  Would you help me to spread the word about our online fundraiser.  Please Facebook it, Tweet it or email it.  If you belong to a homeschooling group, would you send it there?  A coop?  An unschooling group?  
When children do great things, it must be celebrated no matter where they attend (or do not attend) school.  I am discouraged that I could not get this “news” into the newspapers.  We can focus on the “news” of today....on the Israel/Iran tension or the staggering debt that is crushing this country OR we can look for the positives.   Earth Day is around the corner.  And in a little corner of Connecticut six children did an extraordinary thing for which they received the highest praise.  They now have a platform to present their project to a wider audience and compete against other teams from around the world.  
Would you help celebrate their success?

Please visit our website at

Jess, from Teachable Moments, was the ever eloquent author of this post. I knew that I had to get the fundraising word out on my blog this morning, I checked hers out, and knew there was nothing more to say. Thanks so much, Jess, for kindly letting me re post your words!
Let's get these kids to the Finals!
I know that we can do it.

Thursday, March 29, 2012


He is such a great dog. IMG 1458 IMG 1451 IMG 1455
 He's just a big, yellow, fluffy, bear.
He is filled with love.
Dog treats.
And dead things from the woods.
But we love him anyway.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

A really good, long day!

Last Saturday was the CT state finals for Destination Imagination. It has taken me a long time to get to this post, mostly because I am in recovery mode. It was a very hard, long, tiring week leading up to Saturday. I was anxious for the kids, I was backlogged, and I was living off borrowed energy from caffeine. I think the detoxing and removing caffeine back to my one or two cups in the morning is what made for such a sluggish week. I am through the worst of it…
Anyway, I did not sleep well the night before, so it made for a much longer day. But it was a very long day! We woke up at six was on the road by 7:30, and did not come home till past 8. I felt the same as when we take a long flight, and leave the country, and 12 hours later you arrive wherever feeling icky, drained, stuffy, and fuzzy mouthed.
 That kind of draining long day.
Although I felt like doo doo, I could not have been more happy.
The kids did amazing.
 They arrived, and were mentally prepared, they checked out where they would do their play that would explain to the Judges what their project was. IMG 1709
They met and went over their self evaluation form with an appraiser. IMG 1717
Soon it was time to get all of their props into the loading area. IMG 1721
When the appraisers said begin, they had 8 minutes to set up and perform. IMG 1723
As they were performing, the appraisers walked all around them listening carefully, and noting things on their evaluation cards. IMG 1724
The kids just kept right on doing their play. IMG 1725
There were no mess ups, or stage fright, IMG 1726
They did so well for their first time in front of judges and a live audience.IMG 1727
Finally it was over!
They did it all with 27 seconds left on the clock!
The panel of appraisers came out to talk with them. IMG 1729
They interviewed them with questions on how they made their props, where they found information, and  asked for more info on what garbage island was/is. IMG 1730
Basically, they wanted to make sure the kids knew the info that they provided, and that they did this project, not their parents. IMG 1731
The kids answered all of the questions confidently, and marched out of that room with huge smiles! IMG 1735IMG 1749IMG 1754
They did it!
They had some down time before their instant challenge, in which it was just the team and an appraiser. They are sworn to secrecy, and can not talk about what they had to do, but my kids said they did awesome. So I guess that is good!
There was a DJ'd dance party for an hour, so they could blow off steam. IMG 1760
Evren had fun running all over popping bubbles from the bubble machine, IMG 1764
And Addy?
  IMG 1773
Well, he took full advantage of the down time.
Finally, it was almost time for the much anticipated award ceremony! IMG 1775
The kids had to parade in, carrying their team flag,
  IMG 1780
and then take a seat in front of the stage, while they went through the categories announcing winners. Finally, their challenge was called, and guess which team came in first place? IMG 1783IMG 1784
With huge smiles they went up on stage and got their medals and trophy! IMG 1785
Those were some over the moon kids. IMG 1797
My kids were:
We did it!
(Look how tired those eyes are!)
  IMG 1798
 and, I can't believe it! IMG 1799
 and Ev was all, let me hold it, too!

We finally meandered out of there and headed out for a 27 person Indian feast. IMG 1804
What a day.
What an amazing, wonderful day.
Great work crazed carrots, all of that hard work paid off!
Now, we are off to compete in the Global finals in Knoxville, Tennessee at the end of May.
Look, they made the paper!

Friday, March 23, 2012

One hour beach trip

It was a micro trip.
  IMG 1599 IMG 1611 IMG 1610
And yes, one hour at the beach IS like a power nap. IMG 1614
It was really very nice. IMG 1609
I didn't know it could be done!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The final push.

IMG 1202
The Destination Imagination state finals is on Saturday. THIS Saturday March 24th! The kids are finishing up their incredible project, putting a lot of hours in on their improv and scenery. IMG 1575
I can not believe how much hard work, and pure energy went in to completing this project. IMG 1586
 I mean this is a group of absolutely fantastic children, but really I am blown away. IMG 1592
 When I decided to homeschool my kids years ago, this is the exact sort of project based learning that I had envisioned.
  IMG 1587
My kids have never been as focused, or as committed to something as detailed and as powerful to them, and people around them as they have been with this project. IMG 1584
Now don't get me wrong, it has been quite a commitment! Tuesday was another six hour day! When you add in commuting time, that is an 8 hour day! Week after week this can get to be exhausting and disruptive to family life. We will be DI-ing for 4-5 days this week with a cumulative total of 11 hours working towards being ready for finals, and finals themselves taking 8 hours on Saturday. But it's exciting, and they are so geared up for Saturday. IMG 1595
We will find out if they make it to the next round, which is Global Finals in Knoxville, TN in May. I wish them all the best. But you know what? I have seen these kids literally grow and change right before my eyes. I can't even describe how powerful of an experience this has been for them. They have cried tears of utter frustration, squealed with joy, and smiled some of the widest smiles I have ever seen. IMG 1592
But the very best part is hearing them speak about everything with such pride and ownership. This has turned out to be one truly outstanding journey for the kids. IMG 1315


In the back woods, one deer antler: IMG 1572 IMG 1573 Awesome.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012


IMG 1574
Gooey goodness!

Even more fun!

Some random images from the past few weeks: IMG 1379 IMG 1381 IMG 1383 IMG 1386 IMG 1396 IMG 1401 IMG 1461 IMG 1462 IMG 1478 IMG 1484 IMG 1487 IMG 1269
I love looking over past images, and seeing all the goodness that I forgot about.
 Good times!