Friday, January 28, 2011

Show & Tell: Adventures Week 19

Another week down! Today we wrapped up Week 19 of Adventures.

In Bible this week, we continued to look at Jesus as the Lamb of God.  We looked at several passages to help us better understand that Jesus is the Lamb of God who takes away our sin, but my favorite was Isaiah 53:7-8, which gives such vivid detail of the crucifixion of Christ.  When Hannah finished reading the passage, I asked her if she could tell me what it was describing.  Without skipping a beat, she said, "When Jesus died on the cross."  I asked her if she knew when the book of Isaiah was written, and she was shocked to learn that all of those details that described his suffering and death so perfectly were written over 700 years before he was even born!  We talked a little about the accuracy of Scripture and the way that God knows things that no one else could ever know, and every time He tells us something in His Word, we can be sure that it is true.

We were supposed to make a handprint lamb for one of our Bible activities, but Hannah had just made one over the Christmas break when she saw the idea on a Smile of a Child show called Sarah's Stories, so we counted that one as her lamb and put a big ol' check mark in that box!  :)

In history this week, we learned about pioneers who traveled by flatboat down the Ohio River.  The girls briefly heard about Johnny Appleseed when he was mentioned in one of the chapters we read in American Pioneers and Patriots, and Hannah read more about him in Joan Holub's Who Was Johnny Appleseed? during her book basket time.

Since we were learning about Johnny Appleseed, it only made sense to munch on apple slices for our snack one day.

We were even blessed with the presence of Princess Camille!
We learned what pioneer schools were like and made a very abridged version of the New England Primer.

We're both curious to know what letter this was and when it disappeared from our language!  It looks similar to an f, but it must have made a sound similar to /s/ because it replaced the letter s in words such as sinned, slay, and sight.  Okay, enough of my nerdiness!  :)
We learned that Ohio was next in line to acquire its statehood.

And in science, we discussed how scientists classify animals into five groups: mammals, reptiles, birds, fish, and amphibians.  I really wanted Hannah to spend a little more time learning about these groups, so I made a crossword puzzle that goes along with the assigned pages from The Usborne Internet-Linked First Encyclopedia of Science.  (I posted it online, so if you'd like to use it, feel free to download both the crossword puzzle and the answer key.)

We also played a matching game where we had to match various animals with the category they would be classified in.  For example, if I turned over a card with "mouse" on it, I had to make a match by turning over a card with "mammal" on it. 

Hannah played one game with me and one game with Camille.  She won both times.  Stinker!  (Maybe I'm a sore loser, but I recommend copying these cards onto card stock before playing the game just in case you have a 7-year-old who might be tempted to look through the paper and read what's on the cards.  Just sayin'.)

As for the three R's, things are still progressing well.  I did add some handwriting exercises into her day.  I haven't ever really been satisfied with her handwriting, but when Greg started making comments about it, I knew it must be bad!  I tend to gravitate toward perfectionism.  Him, not so much.  ;)  My friend Shannon gave me a free teacher's manual for A Reason for Handwriting, so I ordered her the Transition book thinking that if her print improves enough, I can begin to teach her cursive, which she really, really, really wants to learn.  Hopefully that will give her some incentive to slow down and write neatly.

It's hard to believe that next week we'll be on Week 20!  Stop back by and join us for our next adventure, when we laissez les bon tomps rouler!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Hannah's SHOCKing New Adventure

About a year ago, Hannah decided she didn't want to take ballet anymore.  She informed us she was ready to give it up for basketball.  So in November we registered her for Upward basketball.

Her team's name is SHOCK, and she absolutely loves it!  Sometimes she has fun playing basketball . . .

. . . and other times she has fun just . . . well . . . playing!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Show & Tell: Adventures Week 18

Today we wrapped up Week 18 of Adventures in My Father's World.

In Bible, we looked at Jesus as the Lamb of God.  We read from John 1 where John the Baptist refers to Jesus as the Lamb of God, and tied that in to Exodus 12 where the Israelites are preparing to leave Egypt during the first Passover.  The point was that the Jews would have had a good idea of what John the Baptist was saying when he referred to Jesus as the Lamb of God.  Because they had been celebrating the Passover Feast for so many years, they would have made the connection that a lamb saves.

In history, we spent the first three days learning about Eli Whitney and the cotton gin.  In order to have a better appreciation of the cotton gin, we spent one evening picking seeds out of some cotton.

The first step was to make some "cotton seeds" out of construction paper and glue them onto our cotton.

By the time we were done, our cotton was full of seeds!  But it would have been too easy to pick them out like this!

So I balled the cotton up to make it look a little more like it does when it grows on a plant.

The girls worked and worked ...

... and picked and picked ...

... and finally got all the seeds out, but they pulled out a lot of cotton, too!
After this, they had a new appreciation for Eli Whitney's cotton gin!  Here's the notebook page Hannah made for her U.S. Notebook:

Toward the end of the week, we learned that Tennessee was the next state to be added to the union.  The girls immediately remembered going to the water park in Tennessee with Uncle Clark's family, so they felt like they had a personal connection with this state.  :)

In science, we discussed the difference between living and non-living things.  We read through the creation account and categorized everything God created as either living or non-living.  Then we took a look at the most basic component of all living things:  the cell.  The girls watched a DVD called The Newtons' Workshop:  The Cell-a-bration, which I highly, highly recommend, and they built a couple of cell models out of jello.

This was our edible cell model.  :)  The green jello represented the cytoplasm, the banana represented the nucleus, and the mandarin orange slices and raisins represented the organelles.  And yes, it was delicious!

Although we technically could have eaten this one, it sure wouldn't have tasted very good!  I just wanted to do a model out of clear gelatin so the girls could see the different parts a little better.
Once we began talking about cells, we discussed how microscopes help us see things like bacteria that are too small to be seen with the naked eye.  We did an experiment to see if bacteria grows faster in a cold environment or a warm environment.

We placed one jar of milk on the windowsill in the kitchen ...

... and an identical jar in the refrigerator.

Five days later, this is what they looked like.  Hannah remembered this project and thought we had made butter!  But I took the lid off, and one quick whiff told her it wasn't butter at all!  (Or at least if it was butter, she wasn't having any of it!)
 Glad we made it through this little project with no incidents!  If you remember, we've had our share of milk woes around here!  :)

Monday, January 17, 2011

The Lighter Side of Life

Here are a couple more moments that put a smile on my face!

Hannah has been on a crusade lately to convince us that she's old enough to ride around the block by herself on her bicycle, but we have our feet planted firmly on this one.  She's just too young.  Period.

A few weeks ago, we were in Wal-Mart, and Hannah said, "How old will Millie be when I'm 18?"

I said, "She'll be 15.  Well, she'll be 15 part of the time and 16 part of the time."

She said, "So will we be old enough to ride around the block by ourselves then?"

I kind of giggled and said, "Baby, you'll be old enough to drive by then!"

She said, "Oh."  Then we walked a couple more paces and she said, "So will I be old enough to go around the block by myself?"


When I told Millie that we were going to take Grandma and MeeMaw to a tea room before we went to the Nutcracker, she said, "But what if I don't like tea?  Oh, never mind.  I'll deal with it.  I'll just drink coffee instead."

Friday, January 14, 2011

Show & Tell: Adventures Week 17

This week we finally resumed school after a ridiculously long Christmas break.  I had every intention of starting school last Monday when Greg went back to work, but the fact that we got back from Christmas with my in-laws late Sunday night plus the fact that our house was in typical post-Christmas disarray meant there was no way that was going to happen!  We decided to use last week to clean out toys and closets to make room for new Christmas presents and just get our house back into some sort of order.  By mid-week Hannah was asking if we could please start school again, and I knew it was time.  Seven weeks is just too long for us to go without structure.

In our United States studies, we learned more about the Wilderness Road.  We read three chapters in American Pioneers and Patriots about a family that left their home in North Carolina and traveled west.  The girls always love listening to stories from this book, and this week Hannah especially enjoyed the pages that described how pioneers made cloth.  When we went to the Renaissance Festival back in October, she spent quite a while watching a lady weave thread into cloth.  She must have been playing close attention because she was able to point out several differences between the loom pictured in the book and the one she observed at the Renaissance Festival.

We also learned that Kentucky was the next state added to the union. 

Did you catch that?  Kentucky.  If you've kept up with this blog at all, you know that I love to tie food into our lessons wherever I can.  Yet I somehow managed to muster up enough will-power to make sure that no pictures of us eating fried chicken appeared anywhere in this post.  And let me tell ya, that was no easy feat!  :)

In science this week, we focused on weather.  (I have never claimed to be a whiz when it comes to science, so I just have to take this opportunity to give a big shout-out to My Father's World for making science seem so easy and for arranging the units in such a logical order.  Thanks, Marie!)  In our last unit we studied how heat expands and cold contracts.  What a great thing to have fresh in your mind when you study weather.  My girls now understand that thunder is just the loud "boom" that results when a lightning bolt heats up the air around it, causing it to expand.  Maybe—just maybe—the girls will keep this in mind next time there's a thunderstorm, and Greg and I will be the only two people who end up in our bed!  Maybe.  But I'm not holding my breath.  :)

We also did a super-awesome activity where we made our own weather vane.  Am I the only homeschool mom who puts off activities like this because it just seems like it's too much work???  Fortunately, I finally got my behind in gear and we put it together.  I'm glad we did, too, because it turned out to be a really neat little project!  (And, like always, it was neither difficult nor time-consuming.)

All it took was an Amazon box, a chopstick, an empty spool of thread, some air dry clay, and about 20 minutes!

Success!  It really worked!  We had a good strong wind that evening.  First it was coming from the west ...

... but then it changed direction and started coming from the north.
When we get done with science, I'm usually impressed when the activities and experiments work.  I kind of sit back and say, "That's so cooool!  But how did somebody figure that out?!"  I can follow directions with the best of 'em, but I'm not naturally one to explore and observe and discover things on my own.  So I was a little proud when we finished this project and Hannah said, "Mom, you know you could just take a Wal-Mart bag outside and hold it up and see which way the wind blows it."  Yeah, Hannah!  Way to think for yourself!

In addition to this week's science, Hannah also did several science activities on her own over the Christmas break.  Grandma and Grandpa gave her a Tasty Science kit for one of her presents, and so far she has done three of the experiments. 

In the first one, she took a look at the effect baking soda has on food by baking two batches of cupcakes, one with baking soda and one without.  (Funny story about the cupcakes:  She made them on her own, but I checked the consistency of the batter before she put them in the oven.  It looked a little funny to me, so I had her walk me through all the steps again.  Come to find out, the recipe called for 1/8 tsp. of salt and 1/4 tsp. of vanilla, but she accidentally used cups instead of teaspoons when she measured.  Oops!)  We made a new batter, baked our two batches, and compared them when they came out.  The baking soda cupcakes were obviously bigger, so Hannah—believing that she had just made the scientific discovery of the century—said, "Oh, wow!  So baking soda has yeast in it!"  (If that doesn't make any sense to you, this might help explain it.)

For her second experiment, she made homemade soda pop.  I tasted it, and I did survive, but I can assure you that if all soda tasted that way, the average American would be a much slimmer person.

And finally, she made some good old-fashioned rock candy.  She mixed water, sugar, and blue food coloring in a pretty big jar we had at the house and let it set.  After three weeks, this is what we got.

We knew there was candy on the string, but we were surprised to pull it out and see the big chunk of candy on the bottom!

You could definitely see how the sugar had crystallized.

And when I went to empty the bottle, which I assumed had nothing but blue water left in it, I was surprised to find lots more rock candy at the bottom!
 MeeMaw and Kimpaw also got Hannah a science kit for Christmas, and this one just happened to have a little archaeologist kit in it where you dig for the dinosaur skeleton.  Hannah is all about dinosaurs these days, so she had that baby excavated in no time flat!

Don't let the picture fool you!  Occasionally, we do brush hair and get out of our pajamas.  Even during the holidays!  ;)

As far as the three R's are concerned, things are progressing well.  We started Unit 4:  Verbs and Adjectives in Rod & Staff grammar this week, and we started 2A in Singapore Math.

It was a gentle first week back, but a good one.  And it feels so good to have structure in the home again!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

The Gift That Keeps on Giving

We interrupt this Christmas to bring you . . . a stomach virus!  Ahhh, yes, the gift that keeps on giving!  And one that you can so generously share with those you love the most!

Our Christmas plans with both sides of the family were altered this year because of the dreaded stomach bug.  Millie came down with it the weekend before Christmas, which is when we were supposed to head to the lake to be with my side of the family.  So we ended up skipping that celebration and just invited my parents and niece to our house for Christmas Day instead.  Here are a few highlights.

Ready for bed on Christmas Eve.
The girls awoke to find a karaoke machine on Christmas morning.

They put on one heck of a concert!  (Fortunately we were able to find a karaoke CD with kids' music!)

Millie digging through her stocking.

Hannah digging through her stocking.

This was one of the sweetest moments of the day.  Hannah left her favorite Webkinz chihuahua, Gloria, at the park one day after co-op.  When we realized it was lost, we went back to look for it; but it was nowhere to be found.  When she opened up this present and saw a new Gloria, her face absolutely lit up!

She was so happy, she started to cry!  (There's a slight chance that this may have made her mama start crying, too!)

I'm not sure what Ashley is doing here, but if I had to guess, I'd say she's showing off the new bling on her left hand.  Her boyfriend proposed to her the night before!

Millie was super-excited to get her very own camera!

Karaoke isn't just for kids!  We also got an oldies CD, and Grandma kept us all . . . uh . . . entertained with it!  ;)

Ashley chose was forced to sing "Happy Birthday Jesus" for her mic time. 
Fast forward one week.  It's now time to celebrate Christmas with Greg's side of the family at his parents' house in Houston.  Two weeks had passed since Millie's stomach bug, and no one else ever got it, so we figured the rest of us somehow managed to escape it.  We figured wrong.

The next victim?  Yours truly.  My dear husband was kind enough to take this picture of me while I was sick in bed.  I think at this exact moment, my words were, "Truly?  Now???"

Unfortunately, I was sick in bed for my brother-in-law's 40th birthday celebration.  And when Mama is sick, Daddy does what he can to survive.  In this case, it meant throwing the girls in the tub with his brother's kids!

Here are the kids all dressed up and ready to go to Uncle Clark's surprise birthday party.  Each of these girls has her own look.  It always amazes me that they're all related!

Here are all the kids together on present night.  The girls are Meemaw and Kimpaw's grandchildren, the boys are their great-grandchildren, and every last one of them is as cute as cute can be!

I finally felt a little better by Day 3, and I was able to join the rest of the crew for a trip to the park by Aunt Steph's house.  Daddy pushed the kids on the merry-go-round.

They tried to return the favor, but somehow that didn't work out as well!

My beautiful niece, Shania.

My other beautiful niece, Aleeyah, with my sister-in-law Rossana.

These two were made for each other!

The kids found this adorable little dog.  He had tags, though, so we were able to return him to his owner.

And of course there was karaoke!

My brother-in-law Clark gave quite the performance!

Meemaw snuggled up with the three big girls and read them a bedtime story on our last night.
Treasured memories . . . germs and all!