Monday, March 28, 2011

Multitudes on Mondays: 1–26

Today I'm embarking on a new journey.  Destination:  Gratitude.  I know this is a lifelong journey and I'll never fully "arrive," but I'm confident that my Guide will show me my world in a completely new way as we travel together.  All I'm bringing with me is a heart that longs to praise Him, a mind that wants to be made new, and a body designed to see, hear, taste, smell, touch, feel, and reflect on—to truly experience—whatever He desires to show me along the way.

So here are my first steps toward 1000 Gifts.  May the journey continue long after Mile Marker 1000 is reached!

0001 - Good friends and long car rides and the uplifting conversation that always results when the two come together.

0002 - Beautiful weather every. single. day. during Spring Break.

0003 - Doctors who catch mistakes that keep Kimpaws on earth a little longer so sweet memories can be made.

0004 - The excitement in my girls' eyes at the Boardwalk in Kemah.

0005 - Seeing my adventurous girl in her element as she darted from one big ride to another and my reserved girl slowly building her confidence as she gradually worked her way up.

0006 - Little girls getting to fish at Grandma and Grandpa's house.

0007 - Seeing that patience pays off.

0008 - Catching a catfish with a cane pole.

0009 - Spring in full bloom!

0010- Freshly squeezed OJ with breakfast.

0011 - A little girl's first stitches on a sewing machine.

0012 - My "hurry up and get it done" girl slowing down enough to make it neat.

0013 - The joy that comes from seeing the fruit of your labor.  (Every single stitch was hers!)

0014 - A mom who taught me to sew so I could be there when it got to be too much for little hands to work with.

0015 - A mom who is still needed for all those things I don't know how to do!

0016 - Safe flights there.

0017 - Laughing until your sides ache.

0018 - Hearing that, after 16 years, he still misses me when we're not together.

0019 - My church family.

0020 - The God I worship with them.

0021 - Being made aware of gaps in my prayer life.

0022 - Hearing a new thought:  "It's not death we fear, but what it might take to get there."

0023 - Safe flights home.

0024 - The smile on his face when he walked through the door.

0025 - Claps of joy when sweet Millie realized that what she was doing was spelling words!

0026 - Home.  Agreeing with Dorothy that there's no place like it.  And we got to be here all. day. long.  Ahhhhh.

To read about the multitude of blessings others experienced in their lives this week, visit A Holy Experience.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Show & Tell: Adventures Week 26

WOO HOO!  We finished our week, and Spring Break is here!!!

In history this week, we saw our country continue to expand westward as pioneers took one of three trails to areas that were just beginning to be developed.  All three trails left from Independence, MO, but they led to different parts of the country.  The Santa Fe Trail led people in a southwest direction to Santa Fe, New Mexico; the Oregon Trail led people in a northwest direction to the border of Oregon and Washington; and the California Trail led people in a westward direction to Sacramento, California.

We also learned that California acquired its statehood in 1850. 

Even though it's on the west coast, we weren't surprised to see California added next because so many people had rushed there to seek their fortune in the Gold Rush of 1849.  It was interesting to see how many things in California refer to the Gold Rush:  their professional football team is the San Francisco 49ers; their state flower is the Golden Poppy; their state nickname is the Golden State; and of course there's the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco.  (We were really surprised to learn that this is actually red rather than gold!)

Because we looked at the Golden Gate Bridge, we spent some time looking at the construction of bridges.  First we made our own suspension bridge model.

All of our toy cars are in the attic right now, but our suspension bridge was able to hold the weight of a frog and a dinosaur!  :)  We made a mock earthquake by shaking the bottles of lemon juice, and our frog and dinosaur stayed in place as the bridge swayed.  Then we scooted the lemon juice bottles closer together and held the ends of the bridge against them.  This time when our "earthquake" struck, the frog and dinosaur immediately fell off.  It was a neat way to see that a suspension bridge is a great idea in a place like California where earthquakes are common.

Next we looked at bridge construction in general.  I gave Hannah two boxes, a piece of paper, and a quarter, and told her that her job was to design a bridge (paper) that could connect the two pieces of land (boxes) while holding weight (quarter).

For her first attempt, she didn't do anything to the paper except put it across the boxes, but she found that it wasn't able to hold any weight this way.

For her second attempt, she realized she needed to do something to make the bridge stronger, so she folded the paper into quarters.  This design was the second strongest of all:  It held a total of 24 quarters before collapsing.

Next she decided to see what would happen if she only folded the paper in half instead of quarters.  The bridge didn't have as much support, and it only held 6 quarters before collapsing.

Next we rolled our paper to see what kind of bridge that would make.  Turns out, not a very good one!  Because of the rounded surface, we couldn't even get one quarter to stay on it!

We tried making a fanfold bridge to see what kind of support it would offer.  It held 6 quarters, then bent in the middle and fell to the ground.

And finally we made our winning design, which was to open up the fanfold bridge and use it like an accordion fold.  We had to raid the coin stash several times before we finally made this bridge collapse.  It ended up holding a total of 36 quarters and 134 nickels!  And it was still standing until I accidentally bumped it and sent it crashing down!  (If we had designed an accordion fold suspension bridge, maybe that wouldn't have happened!)  ;)

All those coins and still not much sign of buckling!

Finally crashed!  But look at all those coins!!
We talked about the elements of design that made the accordion fold bridge so strong and discussed how engineers do what we just did:  They look at the supplies that are available and try to use them in ways that give them the result they're looking for.

In Bible this week, we focused on Jesus as a Servant. We just started doing Our 24 Family Ways by Clay Clarkson in the evenings, and it was interesting how the two overlapped. One of the questions in our family time was, "If you were a peasant and a king suddenly decided to make you a princess, would you begin to treat people differently than you do now?" Hannah—bless her honest heart—said, "Yeah. Honestly, I would. I would want to be served." Sounds like there's lots of room for growth as we go through our suffering servant lessons! ;)

In science, we took a look at solids, liquids, and gases.  We learned that we could mix baking soda (solid) with an acid like vinegar (liquid), and together they would release carbon dioxide (gas).

Our baking soda was inside the balloon, so we just dumped it into the vinegar.

We could "see" the gas being released because it filled up our balloon.  The results were much more impressive than we expected to see!
I told the girls that gas is added to soda to make it fizzy, and we poured some into a glass to see the tiny bubbles.  Then we added some raisins and watched them go up and down as the tiny bubbles attached themselves to the raisins, brought them to the surface, then popped, sending the raisins back down to the bottom of the glass, where the process was repeated all over again.

And finally, we discovered that baking soda doesn't have to be mixed with an acid to release a gas.  If it's just heated up it will release some gas, which is what happens when you bake a cake.  Greg's birthday just happened to be this week, so we looked at a piece of his birthday cake and found the tiny bubbles where gas was released from the baking soda during the baking process.  Then we added some baking soda to hot water to see the bubbles for ourselves.

They're tiny, but they're definitely there!
For Spring Break, we're heading to Houston to visit MeeMaw and Kimpaw for a few days, then we'll head to the lake to visit Grandma and Grandpa for a few days.  We're all looking forward to spending time with extended family.

To see what other My Father's World families did this week, visit Kathi's Weekly Homeschool Highlights at A Heart Like Water.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The Lighter Side of Life

I don't think Greg has ever been the subject of one of these "The Lighter Side of Life" posts, but today he will be!  But first we'll start with Millie.  :)

One day we were talking about history in the car, and Millie asked, "Mom, what I want to know is, when did the Disney princesses happen?"

I said, "What do you mean, 'When did they happen?'"

She said, "You know, like when were they alive on the earth?"


Millie has been all about math lately.  She figured out how to add, and she's going crazy with it.  One day as Hannah was working on word problems, Millie came up to the table and told me she had a word problem for me.

"Suppose I have a napkin with 7 goldfish.  You ask for one goldfish and I give it to you.  Then you ask for another goldfish and I tell you 'no.'"

I could tell from her voice that she was about to get to the question part of the problem.  My mind was thinking of all the possibilities.  Maybe "How many goldfish did I give you?"   Or possibly "How many goldfish do I have left?"  Oh, no.  Her question was ...

"How does that make you feel?"


Some of Greg's powerlifting athletes advanced to Regionals, so he's been on the phone with them working out schedules and travel arrangements.  One of the kids' last name is Boutte, pronounced "booty."  One evening after dinner, this particular kid called Greg's cell phone.  He looked at the Caller ID to see who it was, and when he answered, he said, "Boutte!  What's up, man?"

Millie looked at me and said, "Mom, did you hear that?  Daddy called that boy 'booty.'  That's kind of rude, isn't it?"


And speaking of Greg ...

The other day we were driving along and talking about girls and drama and hormones.  I said, "Good grief, what in the world are you going to do in 7 years when there are three of us and only one of you?"

Without missing a beat, he looked at me and smiled and said, "That's why I built the shop!"


Would you belive I don't have one single funny Hannah story to share with you?  She has been minding her P's and Q's lately and staying busy crocheting and reading.  (She's attempting her first granny square afghan.)  I'll definitely have to keep my ears open and give you a good Hannah story next time.


As for myself, this isn't necessarily a funny story but more of a really quirky personality issue.  But I honestly just spent the last two days completing six weeks' worth of blog posts.  Apparently I can remember to take the pictures, I just fail miserably when it comes to transferring them from the camera to the computer.  :P  But something about the way my brain is wired makes it mandatory for me to post in chronological order, and heaven forbid I do more than one week's worth of school updates in a single post.  That just wouldn't set well with my OCD.  ;)  And if you want me to let you in on a little secret, another post will magically appear on Tuesday when I have a chance to update again, but it will have last Friday's date on it because that's when we finished that school week.  Told ya ... quirky.

So Stephenie, it's not that your computer was messed up and you weren't getting my updates!  It's just that my updates all went up at once!  :)

And Stephenie, Monica, and Erin ~ thanks for checking in on me and making sure everything was okay when I disappeared from the blogosphere for a while!  You girls rock!  :)

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Show & Tell: Adventures Week 25

Last Thursday we wrapped up Week 25 of Adventures in My Father's World.

Usually this is the part where I tell you which states we learned about during the week, but this week I'm going to give you a hint and see if you can figure it out.  Ready?  Here's your hint: 

We ate pork loin and corn casserole for dinner Monday night. 





you're right!

Actually, we added both Iowa and Wisconsin to our notebook as they were the 29th and 30th states.

In history, we learned so many things about the Gold Rush of 1849.  We learned about Captain Sutter and the day one of his employees, Mr. Marshall, found gold on his land.  Captain Sutter wasn't happy about this discovery because he didn't need the money and he was afraid that people who did need it would come dig up his land, which is exactly what happened.  We were surprised to learn that not many people ended up getting rich from the Gold Rush.  The main way it affected our nation was by bringing so many people to the West Coast.  We also learned three properties of gold:  (1) It's very heavy; (2) It's very tough; and (3) It's not affected by acid the way most metals are.

Here's the notebook page Hannah made for the Gold Rush:

I bought some gold colored beads and some foil pie tins and let the girls "pan for gold" in a bowl full of mud.

Hannah found the first gold nugget.

This was their stash when Millie decided to quit.  (She does not like to get dirty!)

But Hannah worked a little longer and found several more pieces of gold before she decided to quit.
In Science, we learned about atoms and molecules.  We learned that water is made up of two atoms of hydrogen and one atom of oxygen, and we made some marshmallow water molecules.

Each "molecule" has two pink marshmallows to represent the hydrogen atoms and one green marshmallow to represent the oxygen atom.

We put them all in a cup, and when Greg came home from work, Hannah asked him if he wanted a glass of water.

I love the look on his face.  "What are you talking about?!"  Then she got to explain it to him.  :)
We also did some hands-on activities with dishwashing liquid.  Hannah learned that dishwashing liquid helps cut through grease to remove substances that water alone can't.

We buttered a dish, and Hannah tried to wash it with water alone.

Not only did the butter stay on the dish, but it made her hands a slippery mess!

When she added a little dish soap ...

... the butter rinsed right off.
Our book did an excellent job of pointing out that people often have to use a detergent similar to dish soap to clean up birds after an oil spill because they need something to cut through the oil that's all over their feathers.

We also learned that dishwashing liquid can spread water out.  We did two experiments to demonstrate this.

First we sprinkled some pepper onto a bowl full of water.

Then we added some dish soap in the middle of the bowl.  The dish soap caused the water right around it to spread out, pushing the pepper to the edge of the bowl.

And finally, we made some homemade bubbles and learned that when you blow air through a bubble wand, all you're doing is stretching out the soapy water around the puff of air.  That's a cool way to think of it!

In math, we started a unit on weights.

One of our assignments was to find an item that weighed 1 kg.  We must have spent a good 10 minutes weighing various items in the pantry.  Finally, the peanut butter worked for us!

And just in case this might be helpful to any other All About Spelling users out there, I finally realized this week that just because a curriculum comes with tiles that love to fall off the dry erase board and land in or under the workboxes below it as you're trying to move them around during a lesson, doesn't mean you have to use them!  A red and blue marker will work just as well to allow your child to see the relationship between vowels and consonants!  Happy, happy day!

This week Kathi at A Heart Like Water is debuting a new My Father's World Weekly Homeschool Highlights.  If you're a My Father's World user and you'd like to see what others are doing or give us a peek into your schoolroom, feel free to head on over and link up!  :)