Sunday, October 22, 2017

Willy Wonka!

Once we got past the initial excitement of Kylen being cast as Willy Wonka (I was over the moon excited!!  Wonka is ONLY my ALL TIME favorite fictional movie character!), the reality of the challenge hit home.  Kylen didn't sing much in his childhood, especially after illness robbed me of my singing voice and we switched to home church.  He resumed singing when he started voice lessons last year.  Although he's improved tremendously, it stretched him . . . A LOT!  We didn't realize just how much singing there would be.  You'd think the "musical" part of Willy Wonka Jr. the Musical would have tipped us off, but I was imagining Wilder with his short, random ditties.  Then Kylen got sick, and we experienced the stress of being a lead singer with a sore throat.  Through lots of prayer and tea, he made it and fared better than expected!  :)  Overall, it was an incredible experience.  He even got his first taste of fans when little children wanted to meet him and gave him drawings.

Construction was being done in part of the building, so they decided to paint the floor for fun!

Interesting door handles.

Presenting . . . Willy Wonka!

The oompa loomas were cute, a bunch of little girls with green wigs.

A simple hat change and jacket-to-vest transformed Wonka into the Candy Man.

The Bucket family.

Mrs. Gloop stole the show during her scenes.  She's an extremely talented actress.

Greg pulled two all-nighters to finish these boxes and a few other props.  Each time a ticket was found, a box would light up.  Then they would go out as each child was sent away.

Waiting to meet Wonka.

There will be no gum-chewing inside the factory.

Time to sign the contract.

So many extraordinary rooms!

I loved this scene with the pink candy boat.  It was brilliant the way they executed it.

Mr. Wonka at the helm.

Violet the blueberry!

This was hilarious!  They used a Ken doll for the shrunk version of Mike Teevee.

Of course, in the end, Charlie does the right thing and earns the ultimate prize: to become Willy Wonka's heir.

I loved, loved, loved this production, and it wasn't just because Kylen played a lead.  It was truly well cast, well done, and creative.  I take my hat off to the director, Jenna Solberg.  I could have watched every show and still enjoyed it.  We had good turnout from family and friends, which made it extra special for Kylen greeting them after the shows.

My brother celebrated opening night with us!

I started a tradition of presenting Kylen with a keepsake whenever he is cast in a lead role.  This time, I found a neat replica of a golden ticket and candy bar on Etsy.  I gave them to him at the restaurant after opening show.

We're so proud of this boy and excited to see how God uses theater in his future!

Sunday, October 1, 2017

September 2017

September had some fun highlights, a lot of school, and a whole lotta Willy Wonka rehearsals!

We were invited to an elaborate Old West mystery party.  Kylen was the sheriff, and Greg was a stagecoach driver!

Kylen came up with this idea, took a pic after mowing, and added a caption.

We attended a high school graduation for an awesome dude.

We were planning to skip Silverwood this year, but a very nice gal blessed us with free tickets on the last day.  And it just so happened to be a beautiful day.

The soup was AMAZING.  Some of the tastiest soup I've had.

Kylen talking to my brother.  We were able to get an extra ticket for him to join us!

We got in an old time photo shoot.

I'm in red, my brother's on one side, and Kylen's on the other.  :)

Monday, September 4, 2017

Kylen's Final Year of Homeschooling *gasp!!*

It's our final year of homeschooling!  Will we get everything done?  Meet all the requirements? Maintain our sanity?  Lol!  Yes, we will!

I've been too busy to dwell on the fact that we are nearing the end of a long, hard, rewarding journey. I think it's better that way, because I would probably cry a lot.  It means my son is growing up, and I don't know how much longer he'll live at home.  It means my life is going to change drastically in a year, and the unknown can be a little scary.  Instead, I am focusing on numerous tasks related to graduation.  And that's fine, because God will help me cross bridges when I reach them.

Without further delay, here is what Kylen's senior year looks like.  :)

Math ~ Calculus ~ 1 credit
Boy was this a hard one.  I researched and researched until I was sick of it.  Kylen doesn't like math, and as he's gotten older, it's gotten harder for him.  I needed something that wasn't too challenging, something designed for high school rather than college.  But I didn't want it watered down either.  We finally settled on a book with a good reputation that doesn't delve heavily into theory: Calculus: Graphical, Numerical, Algebraic (AP Edition) by Ross L. Finney, Franklin D. Demana, Bert K. Waits, and Daniel Kennedy (Third Edition, 2007).

We also purchased the solution manual so he can check his own work.  Since I don't have tests, we will be using the review at the end of each chapter for exams.

Honors English IV ~ 1 credit
Kylen will be taking two English courses through Liberty University Online for college credit.  In addition, he will continue to make progress on his new novel.  I may have him read a few classics, time permitting.

Science ~ Conceptual Physics ~ 1 credit
Science is another subject Kylen doesn't enjoy, but Greg would still like for him to take physics.  The compromise is that instead of a traditional approach, he will be doing conceptual physics.  This simply means he will learn the concepts without being required to do a lot of math/problems.  I am using Guest Hollow as our guide.  It's heavy on reading but includes a light lab and videos.  I will be eliminating books that are not enjoyable and filling in with other things such as Physics 101 videos.

History ~ Government ~ 1/2 credit
The primary textbook is American Government from bju press.  He's reading The 5000 Year Leap by W. Cleon Skousen and will watch Drive Thru History videos.  This is a class he's also taking at co-op, adding a classroom discussion component.  He'll read a couple of novels if time.

Social Studies ~ Economics ~ 1/2 credit
The primary curriculum will be Exploring Economics by Notgrass.  He will watch the Economics for Everybody video series.  If time, he'll read a couple of novels.

Foreign Language ~ French III ~ 1/2 credit
We are reducing French to a half credit this year, because Kylen is getting burnt out on it.  He will be doing the final and fifth level of Rosetta Stone and working through The Ultimate French Review and Practice. He will translate at least one book from French into English.

Bible ~ 1 credit
As usual, this subject will include church, family Bible time in the evenings, personal Bible reading, and possibly a book about church history.

PE ~ 1/2 credit
PE always consists primarily of basketball: at the KROC, co-op, and Tuesday evenings with Greg and others.  Any kind of physical activity will be counted.

Drama ~ 1 credit
The current production Kylen is in will go through mid-October, and he is taking a drama class at co-op.  He'll probably audition for more plays throughout the year.

Occupational Education ~ 1 credit
We would not have done this subject if it were not required for graduation in our state.  This has been a difficult credit for us.  I have slowly added things over all four years of high school, and he is close to being done.  So far, we have the following:

*An automotive basics class taken at co-op
*Numerous hours of various shows including cooking shows and Undercover Boss
*The documentary The Hobert Shakespeareans, about a brilliant educator
*Basic lawn care
*Map skills
*Computer basics
*Touring a roller coaster company
*Visiting a college fair
*Taking a college campus tour
*Attending a writer's seminar by a well known published author
*A hunter's safety class

He still needs about 24 hours out of the 120.  I would like to have him do a few online career assessment tests and learn basic woodworking by doing a wood project with Greg.  Hopefully, we'll get in another college visit or two. If that doesn't fulfill the remaining hours, I will probably have him watch more episodes of Undercover Boss.

This sounds like a lot, but with the exception of the college English courses, I think it will be easier than last year.  :)

Saturday, September 2, 2017

August 2017

August started on a sad note.  Two more young deaths occurred in my family, second cousins of mine.  The brothers, ages 11 and 17, drowned in a river.  Many hearts were touched by the tragedy.  I spent a lot of time praying for their family, and we hosted relatives who traveled to attend the funeral.

Yellow balloons were released in memory of the youngest.  They shared a story about how he had commented they must be having a party underground whenever he saw balloons in the cemetery as they drove past.

We will continue to pray for the grieving loved ones they left behind.

A week and a half later, Kylen took hunter's ed as part of occupational education.

It was a long week, but I think he's glad he did it.  We celebrated completion of the class by taking him out for dinner.  I posted more pictures here.

The solar eclipse was a big event!  We wanted to drive to where we could see it at 100%, but Greg couldn't spare the vacation time.  Plus, we were going on a long drive just a week later for a wedding reception.  I wasn't thrilled with the idea of getting stuck in traffic if a lot of other folks had the same idea.  In the end, we watched it from our driveway.  90% eclipsed wasn't as cool as the real deal, but Greg was super excited.  I enjoyed it, and Kylen thought it was neat but couldn't understand the fuss.  Lol.  He's never been a science fan.

Here's a picture Greg got through the solar glasses.

It darkened quite a bit, although it didn't get dark enough to see stars.  The lighting was eerie, like just before a huge storm.  Here's a before and after pic on the porch.

Probably the most dramatic change was the temperature drop.  It went from feeling comfortable to downright chilly!

You can see our neighbors watched from their driveway too.  After it was over, Greg rushed off to work.  I hope someday we get to see one at 100%, but if not . . . it won't compare to the glories of heaven!

The full post about our quick trip to Montana is here.  Pictured below: my cousin Melody with her brother and new sister-in-law.

We had such a nice time hanging out with family the next day, we were reluctant to come home!

That was August, a mixed month of sad times and happy times.  Oh!  I almost forgot!  Kylen got cast as Willy Wonka!!  Performances will be in mid-October.  We can't wait!