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Week 2 of Italy

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Wednesday we tried to go to the arms and armor museum in Monteriggioni, but they were filming a war movie there, and so we had to walk half way around the city to the other gate (it has a wall with two gates, one on either end). In the end, they wouldn't let us get to the town square, so we had to just leave without seeing the weapons and armor.

We saw a bunch of small lizards all over the place (rea counted 11 of them), and we picked some horrible olives while we were there as well. Most of the time in the city was spent at a weird place that we were not sure of the purpose of. It was a raised platform with a hedge all around it except for an entry ramp, and on the top it looked like it had a watering trough. Perhaps it was for washing clothing?

After going home disappointed and having lunch, we decided to go to the Bagni San Filippo, which is a natural hot spring that was not too far from the tenuta. We had a fun time in the hot water, but did not take too many pictures because o…

Week 1 of Italy

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Last Tuesday we left for our trip to Italy. We woke up the kids at 3:30, and the plane left at 7:30. We were on various planes all day, and we arrived in Italy at 11 am the next day. The kids (aside from Gideon) binged watched movies all day long, and practically everyone on the entire plane commented on how well behaved they were. Sleeping on the plane was hard, but what can you do? It is a small price to pay.

After landing we got a car (which took an hour at least). The car that we got was an 8 seater van with a huge trunk, which we named the "Behemoth". We had planned on getting a smaller car, but that was all they had apparently. Timmy is sure Behemoth means "A small mammoth".

After we got the car, we went to a train museum and saw some trains and planes. We only really went there because we needed to find a bathroom, but we made the most of it when we were there. Timmy and the other kids loved the whole museum a lot, especially the trains that you could climb …

Broken Bike, Working Car.

Ever since Mike got the printer fixed the kids have been demanding more and more 3d printed toys. He got all of his parts for his games printed, and is now printing pokemon, pachyderms and princesses.

Both Mike's and Alison's teaching has remained quite busy. Alison even has one of her students trying to get all of the classes that they will miss while we are in Italy scheduled during the upcoming week. We will see how well that works.

Alison and the kids went to Thanksgiving Point. We heard that there are no field trips to Thanksgiving Point on Monday mornings, so it's the least crowded time of the week. We usually meet some homeschool friends there. This week we played in the water erosion exhibit (a sand and water table) and then rode ponies at the farm.

This week our homeschool schedule stopped working. This happens about every 6-8 weeks, and Alison usually enjoys coming up with a new one. But this time she was really hoping it would last one more week until we left on…

Another busy week

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This week Alison and the kids went to the zoo, thanksgiving point, and the library to get Italian books (to get in the mood for Italy). It was a busy week.

Rea took some pictures at the zoo. Here is one of the best ones:

On Monday Mike started another semester of teaching CS 101. This time he is teaching two classes simultaneously, which has been so far doable. Finals might be a little crazy, but aside from finals, the first week of a new class is the hardest part.

On Tuesday, Mike was biking to work, and both of his brakes on his bike quit working (half way down a hill). He finished his trip very carefully, and then when he went home, he fixed them both (replacing the disk brakes pads, and tightening the pad brakes). Hopefully that won't happen again.

We are leaving for Italy in 2 weeks and 2 days, so we have been spending a lot of time getting ready for that over the last week. The kids are watching muzzy, and we are trying to remember all of the last minute things that we need …

In the last four years...

I just noticed that this blog has gone 4 years without a comment on it! I know that people read it, and even talk to us about it, but apparently it doesn't incite people to comment on the blog.

Early this week Mike looked into getting a Masters degree. He could get a 100% tuition grant, but only after he has worked at this place for a full year. He is probably going to do it, so that everyone will have to call him Master Brown.

He also started to bike to work again, since he has a job that is so close to home. The hill is still a killer, but it is still doable.

The kids went to Martial Arts class this week on Tuesday. They enjoyed it as usual. At the same time Mike went to the BGDG meeting, and he played one of his games, and also a game by another member of the guild.

On Wednesday was Timmy's date night. He chose to have ice cream and a movie. It was fun.

On Friday Mike realized that we needed to get international drivers licenses to drive in Italy. We got some the same night…

That Infernal Nonsense

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On Monday Mike was home for Labor Day. We had a bit of a barbecue, played some "Space Game" (which is a board game that Mike is making that the kids really like), and also bought a lot of food at the Macies case lot sale. The kids wanted to have a parade, so we all rode bikes around in the road with streamers attached (and thus we had a parade.)


For our date night Alison and I had our 9th anniversary date (a week early because the play was closing this weekend). We went to the OBT to see "that infernal nonsense Pinafore" while the kids all stayed home with a new baby sitter, who they impressed by teaching about the many edible weeds in our yard. It also turned out to be Salt Lake Comic Con, so we walked around before the play and saw cool costumes.

The kids went to a board breaking class at their martial arts school. We didn't realize that this week was board breaking, so Timmy just had to sit and watch. Boards cost $5, which is supposed to be earned by the stu…

Berry picking and the hedgehogs

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Alison and the kids went outside a lot this week, and almost every day the kids got to play with the Dalyais. That made it one of the best weeks for the kids. It's nice to have good homeschooling friends. It also gave Alison time to work on rewriting the science curriculum she loves into a more usable form.

Alison has also been working about two hours every night this week (one time she had 5 back to back English classes). She made almost $200 last week, which is pretty good considering all that she does is teach on the computer from 5:00 - 7:00 (before the kids get up).

On Tuesday Mike went to his design guild meeting, and presented his witch hunt game. He made a 9 card version of it, which was very well received. Mike also got back a rejection from a publisher for "The Citadel of Madness" this week, so he is going to shop it around a bit more, as he thinks that it is a great game.

While he was at the BGDG, Alison and the kids went to their martial arts class. It happen…