Wednesday, August 26, 2009
The first thing we did was Disasterville. It's set up to look like a town that has been through a natural disaster. You can go through simulations of an earthquake, tornado, hurricane, and wild fire. A couple are a little cheesy, but overall they were pretty fun. The earthquake was probably the most scary because it moved. You can't simulate an earthquake if the ground doesn't move. That was he first one we went to and it scared the baby a little. She was apprehensive about the rest of them, but she did it anyway.
Around the corner from that exhibit was a "televison studio". It was where the meteorologists track storms. You could even get in front of a green screen and read a script. They had monitors so you could see yourself. That was cool. The boy had the best time watching himself on screen. The baby even did it a couple of times. She's a little more shy than the other two. She will attempt things if her brother tries. Yeah, I need that headache. Around teh corner from that was another exhibit on natural disasters. You could watch tornadoes and hurricanes form, demonstrate hail falling, step into a wind tunnel, pilot a plane through a hurricane, adn a few other things. It was very hands on and that was what I liked. I liked it even better when we applied lots of antibacterial hand cleaner. There were many, many people there just waiting to spread all kinds of germs.
There was also a display about the human body. Part of it was a little too intense for us. They had a display of babies in various stages of development in the womb. The babies were real. The kids thought they were dolls until the big girl read a sign. Her eyes welled up like she was going to burst into tears. I explained that the babies had died before they were born and they were given to science for things like that exhibit. It still threw a little somberness over us for a while. The rest of the exhibit was good. The kids got to put together a Mr. Potato Head at an exhibit about DNA.
Kids in Charge! is an exhibit they have that is like a play place for kids, big and small alike. It's basically science experiments in toy and game form. The baby girl was fascinated by tubes that blew air and you balance balls on the streams of air. They had that set up as a game. You can adjust and move the tubes back and forth. You start at one end and pass the ball from air stream to air stream til the end. At the end you shoot the ball into a basket. I did it once. The boy saw an experiment using building blocks to build a pyramid. He of course chose the biggest pattern and did it. He loves to build. The big girl liked a puzzle table. It was set up with different wooden puzzles and she stayed there for a while. She is very good at those.
My favorite was the planetarium. When we registered at the museum, they gave us passes for a show. Loved it! The baby fell asleep almost as soon as the lights went out. I wasn't far behind, because they showed some movie that I was not the least interested in. But the demonstration when they turn all the stars on just impresses me to no end. Space is a very hot topic in our home. We have done astronomy, specifically the solar system, twice as our science and could do it again and be perfectly happy. The kids even said a couple of answers that were right. We all thought the planetarium was way cool.
There was so much there and we are so glad that we made the trip. It was well worth our time. We packed a lunch and there were plenty of picnic tables and areas to choose from. We sat in the garden in the shade. It was quiet and the company was wonderful. If you get a chance to go, I would suggest it. We had thought about getting a family pass, but it is an hour and a half away from us. We wouldn't just hop down one day, so we decided against it. We will, however, be there for the next homeschool day. You can't beat free.
Have a great day!
Monday, August 24, 2009
The water slide got dropped off on Friday. We had rented it for Saturday, but they weren't able to deliver on Saturday. We were good with that. When it was all set up and the guys were ready to leave, one says, "We'll be back on Monday to pick it up." Dropped off Friday, picked up Monday and we only pay for one day? You got it! As it was getting set up, the thunder started booming south of us. You could see the storm building, the clouds dark and ominous. It stayed that way until almost dark. We were bound and determined to get on that slide. We blew it up, filled up the landing pool, and took off. We only got a couple of rides in, but it was fun.
Saturday, we were all up early, finishing all that last minute stuff. About 9 or so, we started blowing up the slide and filling the pool. The big girl had a friend come over early, and that was the first thing they wanted to do. I can't blame them. My nieces arrived a short time later and quickly got changed and headed out to the slide. I was helping one of nieces when hubby came running inside. One of my nieces dislocated her elbow. I'm still not sure I got all the details, but hubby and his brother were headed to the emergency room. Not a great way to start a party. It didn't slow the kids down any. Yelling at them to slow down didn't help either. They ended up putting a cast on my niece and home she went with her mama.
The big girl had requested an ice cream cake. I got a recipe from a friend that is fantastic and easy, easy, easy. The first time I made one was for hubby and they have become the standard request for birthday cakes now. She wanted chocolate everything, but it seemed like too much even to me. So we compromised and ended up with vanilla ice cream, which really helps. We had a fruit tray, two dips, a veggie tray, a cheese tray, chips, sodas, cows in a blanket (I used beef sausages), and sausage balls. There was more food than we knew what to do with, but hungry kids wiped out most of it. Sun + water + kids = healthy appetites.
We came in at one point because of the weather. It wasn't the rain. Afterall, we were on a water slide. It was the thunder and lightning. We did the cake to pass the time, then opened presents. The big girl got earrings, nail polish, money, and a rip stick. She's been wanting all of those things, so she had a great birthday. We went down to the road after everyone had left so she could ride her ripstick. And she had her two bestfriends spend the night with her. It was a banner day.
I had put messages on Facebook for or homeschool friends to join us. We were given a great gift by having the slide as long as we did and I wanted to share. Nobody took us up on our offer, but that was alright, too. Sunday we all had sunburned faces and couple of us had really sweet tans. Sunscreen was applied and reapplied, but after being out all day, it could only do so much. The baby is the most beautiful nut brown color. It was a great weekend and we are all tired now. We finally let the slide down about 6:30 last night. It was time.
I'm sorry you weren't here. You would have had a great time. Now it's laundry and clean up and a little bit of school. Tomorrow is our first field trip. I'll post about it when I can. My prayer today for you is one of joy and love and fruitfulness.
Have a great day!
Sunday, August 16, 2009
The big girl was a roly-poly baby. She weighed as close to 9 pounds as you can, even, on the dot. Her rolls had rolls. She had a head full of dark black hair and looked just like my mother. That lasted all of two days. All her dark hair fell out and was almost immediately replaced by a very light brown and she looked just like my mother in law. Craziest thing ever. It took her almost two years to lose her beautiful blue eyes and go brown. It was a gradual thing and we watched it happen. They are a deep brown now and more beautiful than the blue. She walked at 11 months and was always a very smart baby.
One of her favorite stories is the spaghetti story. I had made spaghetti for dinner. We were introducing real food and she got a little plate. She loved it. She had spaghetti everywhere. It was in her hair, her chair, the wall, the floor. I got it all cleaned up, wiped her face after I took a million pictures, and got her ready for a bath. She crawled around while I ran her bath. I scooped her up and took her to get her nakey. She had spaghetti in her diaper. I am still amazed how she got spaghetti through the bib and the shirt she was wearing, and down in her diaper. She smiled at me like I found her secret stash of noodles. Too funny.
She started dancing at four. She had said she wanted to be a ballerina. I told her when she started school, which was only a month or so away. I called the studio where we still dance today and signed her up. She was smitten from the beginning. I loved her little pink leotard and tights. There is something about a bunch little girls in pink dance clothes that just makes me smile. I didn't think that she would get out on stage for the recital, but she did. And she still does. She has taken ballet, tap, jazz, and hip hop. She is phenomenal. She has taken hip hop for the last three years and is taking it again this year. She gets her funkiness from her mama.
She has the greatest smile. She has a little dimple that shows up when she really smiles. She has these big brown eyes that see the world in such a beautiful way. I hope she never loses that. She laughs and plays and my heart sings. I love to hear joy surrounding my children. She is very tender hearted and loves her family and friends. She doesn't like it when people are hurting, specially when it's someone she cares about. She is a fantastic big sister, always trying to protect her brother and sister. They fight, too, don't worry. But she is their hero. She takes that very seriously.
I am blessed by her sweetness and her kindness and her love. She is my heart. She is what makes our days bright and beautiful. I love my big girl.
Big girl, I hope you had a great birthday. My wish, dream, and prayer for you is one of joy for all your days, and prosperity in all things, and fruifulness in your endeavors, and true, real love to fill your life.
Have a great day!
Thursday, August 13, 2009
Friday was pretty busy. We ended up going to the park for a little bit. There was only one other home school family there. I had a blast, because I really like the mom. She and I have both spent our fair share of time in the Lone Star State. I love that place. That's not the only reason I like her. She is smart and funny and great to spend time with. Our kids get along and spent quite a bit of time together.
From the park to dance sign ups is where we went next. I wanted to get there early and try to consolidate some dance days. I did get it down to three which is an improvement over four. There is the possibility that the big girl will get to move to a Tuesday class, which would cut us down to two. That would be suhweet. I could definitely deal with that. The boy is taking ballet this year. I really do not think he will like it very much. It's a beginner's class and he won't get to be as "free". I could be wrong and he could love it. We'll see. The baby is excited about her tap shoes. She wants to wear them all day and play in them. I told her no. She'll tear them up before class even gets started.
After a little down time at home, we had to get to church. The youth were having a dinner to raise money for a confirmation retreat. Most of the ingredients for the dinner were donated, and even the cooks donated their time. The big girl had to be there early to help set up, serve, clean up, and whatever else. The up side was that because she helped, she got to eat for free. The youth raised over $400. I thought that was fantastic. We even had a full house and a few to go orders. Then we had a church service with a ministry that has come in to try to help our church with some issues. It was a very good service, but we did leave a little early. It had been a long day for us and the kids were more than ready to go.
We were at church again on Saturday for a training session and short service. We left at the break and went to a family fair that was being run by a local business that was totally free. The food, activities, prizes were free. They had bounce houses, horse rides, face painting, cotton candy, and more than I can even list. The kids had a fantastic time. They had been so great all weekend, we felt like they deserved some fun. The boy even won a limbo contest. He won a G-Force tshirt from the new movie about the guinea pigs that are spies.
Sunday was church and grocery shopping. Shopping on Sunday is not always pleasant, yet there we are in the middle of it. Some how we didn't get home until after 4. I think that's the part that I can't stand, the losing half the day part.
Monday was youth for the big girl and I ended being there the whole time. I had been asked to do snack, and by the time I got ready to leave, hubby had called and said he would be late. If I would have left, I would have 10-15 minutes before I would have to leave again to pick the big girl up. Wednesday was a JAM meeting and a confirmation meeting. The confirmation meeting was last minute. On the bright side it was at Chik-Fil-A, and was paid for. The kids got to play and only came out of the play area to get a drink. We didn't get home until after 4. We still had to school, which went pretty well, all things considered.
Today was veggie co-op. It was my volunteer day and we got there about 8. The orders this week were very big and took a long time to fill. Even with 4 of us packing, it seemed like forever. Then we started to run out of things. When large boxes started getting emptied, they got moved outside. We finally had enough room on the table to start putting everything on it. The boy helped me fetch produce for a little bit but it was so crowded, I finally had him go back to the TV room. As small as he is, he still took up too much room. We stayed until 11:30 and I was exhausted.
When we got home, the kids did their independent work while I washed and put away produce. I like that part for the mindlessness. I can float to wherever I want to be in my own mind. We did bible and history together, but had to wait for science. We finally got that done while dinner cooked. We had turkey. All I had to do was prep and pop that bad bird in the oven. Three hours later we were eating, and I did almost nothing. Love those nights.
Now they are in bed, hubby is watching poker, and I'm on the computer. Sleep. Now there's a concept. I think I'll try it.
Have a great day!
About ten o'clock last night, hubby was on his cell phone with his brother. We heard some pretty loud thunder and hubby reached over and unplugged the phone line from the wall that goes to the computer. Out here in the country, we still have dial up. I was playing games on the computer, not online, minding my own business. All of a sudden, out of nowhere, comes this zzzzzzipping noise, and a POP!, and then a ssssssizzle. The computer went dead, half the lights in the house went out, and the kids were coming up the hall. I would have been alright if I hadn't smelled smoke. Hubby slammed his phone closed, I grabbed the Social Security cards, credit cards, and insurance papers, and we scrambled the kids together.
We searched the house, inside and out, but couldn't find where lightning had struck. The smell of smoke dissipated and there were no further signs of a fire. The kids wanted to sleep together so we let them. They got to sleep in the living room, which is always a treat. Short of putting the kids in our bed, we wanted them closer than the other end of the house.
Our neighbor has given us permission to use his dog pen for Scout. I have started taking the kids and the dog down before I make dinner. Everybody gets to run around and get rid of some energy and I have a little peace while I cook. On our way to the pen this evening, we noticed that a 15' tree that had been outside the pen was now laying on the ground. It was a foot or so away from the hole where it had been and branches were scattered all around, as if they had been blown off. We figure lightning struck the tree and the electricity traveled to our house.
The damage report is as follows: The lights in the kitchen, back hallway, and our bathroom were out. That was a circuit that flipped. The TV in our bedroom has reset itself and won't turn on because we don't have the right button on the remote. The button is not on the TV, either. No television in the bedroom for us anymore. Thank goodness it was given to hubby by a friend. Our phones don't work anymore. It will ring, but it will not answer. I get a new phone. I'm not bummed about that because I cannot stand our phones. The batteries will not stay charged to save my life and I wanted something new.
All in all, it could have been much, much worse. God was with us and kept us safe. I told the kids we should pray after we had all settled down and they said they already had. We were so proud of our kids. We did say a prayer together and then went to bed. I didn't sleep very well, but hubby said he slept like a rock. Good for him. The only real downside is that we got not one drop of rain. Oh, well.
Have a great night!
Monday, August 10, 2009
The Big Girl:
- Progeny Press Study Guides- Island of the Blue Dolphins, The Magician's Nephew, The Secret Garden, and Mr. Popper's Penguins.
- Landmark Freedom Press Mathematics
- Lifepacs Language Arts Grade 3
- Lifepacs Math Grade 3
- Explode the Code 1,2, and 3
History: Story of the World 1 & 2
Science: God's Design for Life-Animal Kingdom
Bible: Acts Bible Study, Exodus Bible Study Lapbook, Discovery from Apologetics Press, Explorer's Bible Study. *
*It seems like a lot for bible, but it really isn't. The Acts bible study is about 8 weeks long, but I can make that as long or short as I want. The Exodus study we may not do as a lap book. Discovery is small booklets that cover different topics, but relate to scripture. The Explorer's Bible Study I bought at convention, but now I'm not so sure I like it now. That one will be a work in progress.
There are also some "extracurricular" things I would like to accomplish. We have a Spanish curriculum that I bought, and typing that I would like the kids to use. Somehow, we have to fit that in. Along with that is reading some of the books on our own bookshelves as well as getting to the library once a week or so.
Of course, we are also dancing this year. There's one more monkey to throw in. We got signed up Friday and I am OK with our choices. We only have three days instead of four, but Wednesday is going to be crazy busy. We go my dance, JAM, back for the baby's dance class. Busy, busy day that will be. The big girl wanted a day other than Monday, but we had to sign up for Monday. There is a class on Tuesday, but the teacher wanted to see the demographics and experience of the students. She doesn't want to push the big girl backwards. If she does move to Tuesday, that is two days of dance. That would work for us.
It is going to be a very busy school year. We also have co-op one day a week. That starts in September. We have our first field trip scheduled in a couple of weeks. There is a museum in Tampa that is doing a free homeschool tour of the museum, which includes access to many of their key exhibits. Hubby is taking the day off to go with us. I would also like to do a zoo trip or SeaWorld towards the end of our year to talk about animals. The Butterfly Gatdens are always popular as well. Some of the projects hubby has lined up are bird and bat houses. He is going to help the kids build one of each, and talk about why they have some of the features they have. Pretty interesting so far. Then there's the ecosystem in a bottle that they will do at the end of this week.
Lapbooks will be very present in our school year. We just started one today on ecosystems. We also have one planned for mammals and Exodus. I am also planning one for our co-op. I downloaded a great one about inventors and am very excited to get it started. I like the hands on activities, and the way a lapbook can reinforce lessons learned. If you haven't done one, you can scroll through my old posts and see the three we did last year.
I hope that's it. I'll keep you updated as to our progress. That's pretty normal, though, I think. I believe it's nap time. I pray that you embrace Christ today, as he embraces us each day.
Have a great day!
Tuesday, August 4, 2009
The first thing to go was the food pantry. That was the only thing that got let go. Our veggie co-op is very important to us. We firmly believe that all the chemicals and preservatives and fake sweetners in our food supply are really very harmful to us. The school co-op was for learning things we would not normally cover during our school year. It was for socialization as well. The kids got to play after their lessons and see each other more than once a week. That keeps relationships going. And we pay for dance. That is also PE for my kids. We love it too much to give it up.
The kids wanted to play baseball in a program run by a local church. It's close to our house and on the way to dance or wherever. It was just too much. I didn't even bother to register us. If we couldn't volunteer because of time, we couldn't play baseball. That just seemed wrong to me, so no baseball. It would have been one more activity to cram into our already overloaded schedule.
When we register for dance this week, I am going to try to get as many classes as possible on the same day. That would lighten our load tremendously. With homeschooling, we can be anywhere at any time. I like that. If there's a class at 3, we can be there. Most kids can't. I have limited the hours that I put in to our after school program. You couldn't tell by the last couple of weeks. Hubby has been able to help in the evenings. We took dinner with us one night and ate after we had been there a little bit. Then hubby went to a meeting and I kept cleaning out our closet while the kids watched a movie.
We have been able to spend more time as a family the last week or so. Hubby took some much needed time off from work last week. We got to eat dinner as a family at a decent hour. That was fantastic. We played games a couple of nights after dinner. One night we sat and watched "Fantasia". The big girl says she remembered parts of it, but not all of it. The boy thought it was fantastic. The baby was scared at the part with the dinosaurs. That part is a little scary. I really enjoyed our time together. It made me want more.
Hubby and I sat down and made a menu. We had to. We are gone so much, that we would eat dinner at restaurants every night if we didn't plan. Even when we plan, we end up driving through somewhere some times. We changed the menu the other night. We ended up making Shrimp Mornay and it was super, super good! It's nice to have a plan. I can make some stuff ahead of time, and warm it later if I need to. I made tacos the night we took dinner to church with us. It was quick, easy, and portable.
We are trying to stream line and figure out what is going to work best for us. We really don't want to be out half the night and continue with the really late hours we keep. Our calendar starts filling up about now with classes and co-ops and responsibilities. We need a schedule that works for us, not works us. Say prayers, please. My prayer for you tonight is one of love and grace and blessings.
Have a great night!
Saturday, August 1, 2009
I really liked the variety of activities. All three of my kids learn different ways, but isn't that the nature of homeschooling. This study had enough to keep all my kids busy. One of my favorites was the build your own solar system. You print the planets on cardstock and use them with a piece of cardboard to build the solar system. The twist is that the cards are blank. The kids have to figure out which planet is which and what their place is in the solar system. That let me know how attentive the kids were. They also have two diagrams of the sun. This is an observation experiment and introduces recording scientific information. There's also Name the Planets, Charting Constellations, To the Sun Game, and more.
There is also vocabulary for the unit. They have highlighted words and you can choose all or some of them. There is also a glossary with the definitions of each word. There are a couple of activities that help reinforce it as well. But you can also use the words in any other program you may be using, specially one that allows you to build your own vocabulary. Some of the words were a little challenging for us. It seemed like we had really accomplished something when we finally learned the words.
The kids liked the links to the websites. Any time they can get on the computer and learn they are happy. They like the different websites and that we could link it through the lesson. We had never really done that before. One of my favorite links was the sunrise and sunset link. It has the times for each for cities all around the world. The kids favorite was a link to NASA. All of them were interesting.
Overall, I would say that this unit study was very worth the money and time. There are activities, a book list, website links, and experiments to help reinforce the lessons. It is informative, but it is also fun. This one gets a big thumbs up from us. Check TeacherBookBag.net for more unit studies.
Have a great day!