Friday, November 21, 2008

The End of Another Week

It's been a busy week! Normally, we would have taken off this week but with Thanksgiving next week it only made sense to wait til next week. The girls had two co-ops this week. Their first one was about composers. They studied Bach and Toby Mac. They also enjoyed a Thanksgiving party with a cute craft. Then, later this week they had their PE co-op. They played lots of school yard games. The same day we had 4-H Christmas Carol practice for our community service we will be doing in December. After practice, we had our 4-H meeting where we made stain-glass sugar cookies. That was a learning process. We now know how to make them look right...smile! We also strung popcorn for garland for our Christmas tree. We had a lot of fun but I was highly over stimulated with all the activity going on around us.

We are almost finished with our study of Japan. This week we read about different foods prepared in Japan. They really eat a lot of rice! We also read some of their tales. We read the Wise Old Woman, the Fountain of Youth ( a Japanese folktale), and The Two Foolish Cats. We also went to the bible and found some verses that helped with the moral of the stories and how we can apply them to our lives.

We talked about origami. We also attempted to make some. It is a lot harder than it looks!
The last thing we study was Hiroshima. The girls were very interested in the story of Pearl Harbor and then when we used the atomic bomb on Hiroshima. Mikayla was so excited to learn that the anniversary or the day we dropped the bomb, is her birthday. We will be reading more about that when we start back after Thanksgiving. After we finish up our Japan study, we will be beginning our study of Christmas around the world.

We all took off today. It's been a great day! Today was Autumn's birthday. So we made her some yummy Cinnamon Strudel Muffins. We will celebrate after supper tonight. The girls sang her Happy Birthday all day. She has had several calls to wish her a great day!


We also decided to make homemade applesauce...that was so yummy. We are hoping this weekend to squeeze in decorating for Christmas. Tomorrow we are going to decorate the 4-H float for the Brandon Christmas parade...fun...fun!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

My sewing adventures

So...after making the girls costumes...I am thinking...I really need to start sewing. So, not trying to venture out to big...I decide I am going to make Autumn a little diaper bag...nothing fancy...just simple to practice my reading of pattern directions and such. Well, obviously, I do not know how to read directions...or only like to skim through. I knew this about myself before but I put it to the test with this bag.

Only after bringing my project half done to Paula's to help me figure out where I had gone wrong...did I see where the problem lay. She pointed out a sentence in the directions that I totally skipped. How did I not see it? I think my brain moves faster than my mind allows me to read. So...I will be ripping out the seams to fix it. I am bound and determined to get this thing done so she can have it for December....its a must...it has snowmen on it!!!

Officially I have declared myself a "HANDS ON LEARNER". I like to touch and feel things...not read...but as we all know...we have to read it anyways!

So, not dissuaded, I headed to Hobby Lobby tonight to buy more "EASY" patterns for me to practice. I just had to.... they were .99. How could I resist! Now...the hard part...picking out material...that I don't mind messing up...but that the girls are willing to wear!

I did discover Hobby Lobby has some of the cutest material...but at 5.99 a yard...that's a little pricey for a novice! So I will be scanning the $1 racks for a while, at least til I am a little more steady in my adventures!

Hannah wants to learn how to sew. Next year she will be able to take the sewing class with 4-H. This will be great for both of us! What a gift to know how to sew...just think of all the money we could save by her sewing her own clothes...well, its wishful thinking anyways!

Wala! My Bag! Much smaller than I had imagined...but good practice just the same!

The Ag Museum



Today we went to the Agriculture Museum with our 4-H group. It was nice out today. I think the high was around 74 or so. It was kinda overcast...but great for being outside. We had a blast. The girls got to see: The Cane Mill, The Cotton Gin, The Print Shop, The Blacksmith shop, The Quilting exhibit, the saw mill, they watched someone caning a rocking chair, and got to milk a "fake" cow with utters...fun...fun. Each of the stations had someone there to demonstrate and tell about how each things was used back in the day.

We also went inside the museum. They had a blast in there. They were intrigued by the old timey cars. They loved the model train that was set up in the middle. It was set up like a small scale town with a huge track. The kids followed it all around the track.

The girls got to know some the of the other kids in 4-H. It is so funny to watch children and how quickly they make friends. Strangers in the morning turned to great friends by noon!

The girls wore their pioneer outfits to match the festivities. There were several schools on field trips there today as well. We had several teachers stop all of them to take pictures. They all thought they were adorable.

Mikayla ripped out the hem of her dress before we even got started...but I only let that bother me for about an hour...smile! I wanted to take the dress and sew it right there...but I had to let it go...she could have cared less.

I think the highlight for Hannah was drinking root beer out of a glass bottle...she said, "This is what they drank out of in the old days!" Both the girls insisted on keeping their bottles.

Autumn was a trooper...she LOVES being outside...so I barely heard a peep out of her. She was so kind to keep all poopies to herself until we got home. It was like she knew we were home...b/c we were barely home 10 min...when she decided to go...smile!

By about 12:30...I was exhausted and ready for a nap...we headed home...but I never did get that nap!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Today...our study of Japan continues...

Well, Mikayla has been begging me to make a volcano. And since we've been studying about how Japan is full of mountains that are really old volcanos....it was time...smile! So today we did that. We made the volcano out of homemade playdough. We didn't have enough salt to make it look realistic...but it did the job...the girls loved it! This is where we got the recipe from: http://www.volcanolive.com/model.html





A video of the volcano errupting...we should have darkened the dough so you could see more of the foam...but as you will watch...the girls love it!
video

We also studied about the 4 main islands that make up Japan. We also looked at some art from Hokusai. They weren't so interested in that...but at least they looked at it!

We finished up the book Chibi. It was a beautiful story of how a town came together over the beauty of a family of ducks.

I have been struggling a bit this week...trying to make everything happen...you know...school (adding more to it...like music appreciation and art appreciation), laundry, keeping up with Autumn and giving her quality time, keeping the house decent (not clean...smile).

I was really challenged last week by one of the homeschool moms in our group to make our studying God Centered....That is my whole reason for homeschooling yet...many days...a complete focus on His word gets pushed to the side. That is kinda me though. My whole world is who Christ is in me...my relationship to Him...but I get sucked into..."the so much to do" mentalality" that I just don't slow down enough for Him to talk to me. That's my prayer...that somehow...I will make HIM first and not my "to do" list for the day...that seems neverending! A challenge indeed.

Anyhow...that's today...

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Our Study of Japan


Yesterday, we began our study of Japan. We read two books about Japan that explained a little of the culture, money, geography and such. We are reading a book called Chibi. It is a cute story about a family of ducks that caused a sensation.

The girls have colored a map of Japan and written out some of the major facts such as: population, religion, currency, language etc....They have also learned that Japan is an island (and what an island is), and that it has over 4000 mountains. Most of the population lives near the coastlines because of all the mountains.

They are coloring a paper doll right now...and playing...smile...of a traditional Japanese woman dressed in a Kimono. We will cut these out and let them play paper dolls with them.

In a little while, we will be drawing a rabbit, one of their native animals, from a drawing instruction book (art).

I just finished reading them a Japenese folktalel- "The Fountain of Youth".

We will hopefully be spending about two weeks on this study. We will take a week off for Thanksgiving break!

The rest of this week the plan is to do an artist study on Hokusai and read some favorite Japanese Children Stories.

Next week, we will continue our study of the culture of Japan, foods of Japan, and read some stories such as The Wise Old Women and apply it to scriptures such as Proverbs 8:12, 10:14, 17:24, 12:15. We will also be reading the boy of the 3 year nap. We will study the history of Hiroshima, as well as, read the Two Foolish Cats.

We will also be learning about Japanese shoe customs and making Origami. We will finish up this study by doing a unit study on the book Crow Boy and taking a trip to a Japanese restaurant.

These are all things we do in the afternoons after we do our normal: reading, spelling, phonics, writing, math and such.

I am trying to squeeze in Reader's Theater and Science and Music too. The girls are starting piano lessons this week...and Upwards cheering and basketball...boy are we busy bees!!!!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Today-our day off!

Well, Fridays are our day off...we work really hard Mon-Thur to get all our school work done and then try to do fun stuff on Fridays. Sometimes...Friday is our catch up day...but most of the time we get to play.

Today, we went to the gym-they love to go there and play-then we went to Hancock Fabrics. We picked out some patterns, they picked out a craft to make, then headed home. The girls had to use their allowance money to buy their crafts...so they had to count out their money at the store.

They wanted to go to McDonald's. I told them I was broke so they would have to use their money...they were so excited to do that. So I helped them figure out how much their lunch was.

We arrived home and waited for the electrician to come. Our garage door stopped working. We found out it was the computer board in the motor that is fried...so we will have to see if we can replace that without having to buy the whole motor...and of course...our home warranty doesn't cover that.

I also wanted to get an estimate to see how much it would cost to put a flood light at the front of our garage and one in the back yard. That was $128 for each light plus the cost of the lights. So that will be on hold...probably til tax refund time...hopefully. The girls have really been playing outside so much more.

Hannah finally learned to ride her bike so she loves to be out there!

After they left, I showered and put Autumn down for a nap. The girls and I played twister...I am so not flexible like I used to be and then we played a really fun game Hyperdash. It plays a lot like the old Simon we played when we were kids...but it can be played inside or out. Its a great memory-concentration game. That was a lot of fun!

Then we got ready for supper, cooked, the kids in the shower, Chad played Uno with them and then off to bed.

It was a busy day off...like most of ours.

The girls will be starting Upwards next week...so that will add to our busy life...Hannah will be cheering and Mikayla playing basketball. We are excited to see them involved...but know it will be taxing to our tired bodies...

I can't believe Autumn is almost One



Where did the time go? How did it go by so fast. I try so hard to cherish each moment with my beautiful girls...but somehow...life gets so busy...I try to document their life through this blog for now...but I usually don't talk much about Autumn. She is so sweet...stubborn...and will definitely give the girls a run for their money.

She is so much easier than the girls were at her age...but then again I have two awesome girls that help me with her. She will indeed be spoiled rotten. She laughs so easily and loves to growl at her Daddy.

She isn't walking yet...but if there is one thing I have learned with my older two is that they do things on their own time and in their own way. I am very excited to learn more about who God has created her to become. Will she be a missionary? Will she be a doctor? Will she be a Mommy? Who will she be? It both scares me and blesses me to know God has big plans for us all.

I am so sad that Mimi never really had a chance to love and spoil her. There were things that we didn't like that Mimi did...but she did spoil them rotten...sliding them a cookie here and there unbeknown to us. But she did spoil and love them and we won't have that anymore.

I told the girls they have a big responsibility to share who Mimi was with her.

Autumn is such a trooper when it comes to homeschooling. There are many days she sits on my hip as I teach the girls. However, there are many days she plays so well by herself. She loves to plunder in the girls books...she will be a reader yet...smile!

God has been so good to bless us with another sweet girl. I am in awe of how good He is to us no matter how much we don't deserve it.

Thank you my Jesus, for my little girls and their Daddy...I am humbly in awe of your goodness to me!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

The FireKeeper's Son



Last week...we finished up our S. Korea study by doing a unit study of The Firekeeper's Son by Linda Sue Parks. We talked about how Korea is a peninsula. The unit study was from homeschoolshare.com They have a wealth of info that is great for homeschoolers. And the best part is...it's free!

We used The Firekeeper's Son to discuss science related ideas. We talked about Sang-hee's father when he fell down. He could have possibly sprained his ankle. We talked about different grades of sprains and what it means to sprain your ankle. How it is a stretching or tearing of ligaments. So of course, we had to discuss what a ligament was in relation to bones and such.

We also talked about what it means to break a bone so that lead to studying a little bit about the skeletal system. We read a few books about the body and how its important to take good care of our body by eating healthy and staying active.

For social studies we talked about Sang-hee's temptation not to do his duty in lighting the fire for his father. We expanded on responibility and honoring our parents even when its not something we may want to do. We compared honoring his father to us honoring God when we do things we know is right even if its not something that is our desire.

I told them how parents often know the feelings their children have because we were once children not long ago.

As far as Language Arts, we talked about similies and how it is a comparison that uses like or as. We also discussed personification. I had the girls personify a tree. I also had them personify emotions such as hate, frustration or happiness.

We also explored ways that people communitcate without words.

For a little math lesson, we practiced using ordinal numbers. We played a game online to help them understand more about first, second and third and so forth. The girls had fun with this...they did very well!

We also studied triangles and their names by what length their sides were. I am not sure the completely understood but at least they were introduced to the idea. This is my purpose in most of this study...basic introduction to ideas.