We're back, and raring to go!

Well, we sort’ve fell off the face of the earth for a while, but we’re back now!

We took a trip to Lake Chicot State Park in Lake Village, AR. It was a nice trip!

We had car trouble while up there, which meant our trip was cut short, but the weather was really nice. Cold. But nice.  We stayed in a cabin.  We drove to the closest Walmart, which was actually in Mississippi.  The bridge, in my opinion was scary! I don’t do bridges.

We all took a travel journal along, and we made notes about the drive to, the visit, and the trip home. We are only about 3.5 hours away, and I think we’ve decided to repeat this trip. Once we crossed the state line, at Ashley County, AR, the roads all seem to be littered decorated with cotton!

I’ve never, EVER seen this much cotton just lying on the ground.  I wanted to stop and pick some up for my journal!  I mean, it’s cotton… Arkansas cotton! I really wanted some.  Joe, my darling, sweet husband, did allow me to stop and get a small handful!

Oddly enough, just a few weeks ago, we learned that there’s a Chicot State Park right here in Louisiana!

We went on a Nature Trail while in Arkansas. It was really nice. It was the first time the whole family went on a Nature Walk together. 

We saw some very interesting looking trees, leaves, and plants!

It was so nice to be able to take school on the road! The girls got their own digital cameras to snap photos! Everything was more fun because we were doing it at Lake Chicot!

A few weeks ago, we had our 1970s party! What a blast that was!  To prepare, we listened to a lot of music from the decade! I thought it would make me hate all things ’70s, but it was actually quite awesome, err… groovy!

The kids got to make their own pet rocks and blue jean pocket purses. We danced, of course! We had our own version of the Soul Train Danceline. There was School House Rock on in the background (and most of the kids REALLY enjoyed it!)
No party at our home is truly a party without a game of musical chairs!  I love how creative the parents were with the outfits.  The 70s was a time where a lot of fashions crossed over, and it was evident at the party!  Face wore a dashiki and bell bottoms with black boots, Flower Picker wore a Peace Sign shirt with bell bottoms, and #1 Son wore a suit that my dad had from the 70s.  I don’t know why he still had it, but it came in handy! I even made a T-shirt for Joe (Keep On Truckin’)

It was a blast!  All the children are either in our congregation, or children of friends who are in our congregation!

Now, we’re back to school… we joined the Arbor Day foundation and our trees arrived last week. Tomorrow, we will be planting!  We received 3 Eastern Redbud trees, 4 White Flowering Dogwoods, 3 Golden Raintrees and a Crape Myrtle.

So, that was a lot to update, but, we did a lot!  I’m hoping the kids are as excited as I am to get back into the swing of things!

~Jackie 😉

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Sickness, Sewing and Super 70s!

What do these three things have in common?

Well, the whole crew has been sick for the past two weeks.  Sometimes only one or two, never all at the same time – we took turns.

So, we didn’t get much accomplished in the way of school.

We did our weekly bible reading, which had a nature study idea built right in –
Deuteronomy 14:11-20 talks about birds that were deemed Unclean.  I believe in all,
20 birds are mentioned.  So, I created notebooking pages about a few of the birds, with some information as to why they may have been deemed unclean to the Israelite people. I even uploaded the pages, so you are more than welcome to download and use for free.

My daughters enjoyed the reading, because it was both, interesting and gross. 😉

We also read an article about Ravens. It was found in an old bound-volume publication.  I was quite amused at the antics of ravens.

The girls are hostessing a Super 70s party next month!  I’m so excited.  Even though the 70s weren’t my decade, (I’m totally a child of the 80s!), I’m having a blast planning the party.
I spent a few hours last night sewing Bell Bottoms!  Yup, Bell Bottoms!  Groovy!

I have some pictures of our one-of-a-kind party invitations.

IMG_2011 These are REAL, authentic 1970s 8-track tapes, the names of the hostesses are on the part that would stick out of the 8-track player, and the invite info is on the back!  This was so fun!

The girls are getting excited, and they’re asking, “Is that 70s?” about everything!  They really want to have all things authentic.  I have some 70s pros (read, people over 49, who remember the decade), on staff to help keep it ‘real’!

Posted in Bible Study, Nature Study, Science, Sewing, Yadda Yadda | Tagged , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Oh, what we've been doing!

Last week, we had a great time!

We kicked off our Homeschool PE – we did curl-ups.  We had to see how many we could do in one minute.  Can I just say, doing curl-ups makes you wonder if a minute really takes 60 seconds!  I managed to eek out 14.  I was proud of my 14, though.  Obviously, we’ll need to work on that more.

The weather was quite horrid.  We had non-stop rain, with threats of tornadoes, so it was a bit hard to concentrate on much.

I’ve been using “Good Eats” with Alton Brown as Food Science teacher.  Believe it or not, Alton Brown has inspired #1 son to cook a few things.  On a recent, albeit rerun, episode, Alton discussed the case for Butter, and, almost in passing, he mentioned how one can make butter.
Well, there was our food science project: Make our own butter!
We ended up using this recipe, which was awesome!  The recipe claims that you can make it in only 5 minutes.  Although it was a quick process, it was longer than 5 minutes.  We don’t have a stand mixer, so we used our hand mixer.

IMG_1959IMG_1960IMG_1967IMG_1963IMG_1969butter3butter finished More photos here.

This month, #1 Son and I have entered the National Novel Writers Month Challenge-  to write a novel in 30 days.  This is a huge undertaking, but #1 Son is an aspiring writer. He’s written one novel already, with plans for several more.  He’s created a series of Teenage Superheroes.  I don’t know all about it, because that isn’t my genre, really, but he works hard on developing the ideas.
His interest in writing is why we decided to use the language arts curriculum that we chose this year:”Write the Novel Way”.
I’ve had an idea for a while about a girl who Flower Picker created.  I’m hoping that this month, I’ll be able to put together, if not a novel’s worth, but even a short stories worth of story.

This week, for the Bible Study, we’re reading Deuteronomy Chapters 14-18.  It also became the inspiration behind this week’s Nature Study/Science lesson.

The scriptures mention birds of prey, which were deemed unclean.  Specifically mentioned: Osprey, Vulture, Black Kite, Red Kite, Glede, Cormorant, Bat, and Hoopoe.  So, we’re going to find out more information on these flying creatures!

Posted in Bible Study, Literature, Nature Study, Science, Yadda Yadda | 3 Comments

Bread Photos

Ok, so in my last post, I said I would post a pic of our Pumpkin bread.

Well, that day, I made what turned out to be Persimmon/Pumpkin bread.

#1 Son labeled it Persumpkin bread.  Clever, Right?

Anyway, the bread was sooooooooo good that we forgot to take a picture. (insert blushing face here)

I’m slowly learning my camera’s features. I think after 18 months of ownership, it’s only right. I used the macro to take these pictures.  I read somewhere recently that food should be photographed using the macro feature…

Today, I baked a loaf of Pumpkin bread, and I remembered to take a pic, so here it is:

[singlepic id=149 w=320 h=240 mode=watermark float=left]

[singlepic id=148 w=320 h=240 mode=watermark float=left]

Posted in Science, Yadda Yadda | 2 Comments

Another Week has come and gone

This week started rather slowly.  The Principal of our school, AKA “Daddy” was home for the day, so it made school almost impossible.

We unschooled that day. 😀

We had fun with our Art Study.  We’re finishing up our study of Mary Cassatt, and, well, I was inspired to do something… well… interesting.

I picked a handful of Mary Cassatt’s paintings and, well, take a look –

IMG_1924.JPGThe-Tea,-c.1880

IMG_1928.JPG Little-Girl-in-a-Blue-Armchair,-1878
Mother-And-Child-XI IMG_1929.JPGIMG_1932.JPG

We did Chalk art for our last Cassatt picture coloring page.  Everyone enjoyed it.

Next week, our history turns to the state of Arkansas.  This is to prepare us for our vacation in November!  Yay!!!

I hope this is enjoyable to all.  I have a US Cookbook and thought we’d include it in our study – not sure though.

Oh, after last week’s Handicraft Lesson in Knitting, I can safely say there is only ONE knitter in this house! Flower Picker has stuck with it! Face and #1 Son just didn’t get the love aspect… and I can’t blame them. They totally take after mom.

We always watch a movie together on Saturday nights. This past weekend, we watched Another Thin Man (love the classics!), and I always crochet in front of the TV. It was quite a sight to look up from my crochet to see #1 Son Crocheting, next to Flower Girl Knitting, in front of Face Crocheting! The Principal was the only one not doing anything with his hands.  He says it’s things like that that he appreciates about me – sharing my love of crafts with the children. Aw….

Anyway, Edgar Degas will be the Artist for the next few weeks.  The Cassatt film we watched sort of introduced the kids to Degas, so I hope it goes well.  Our new composer is Frederic Chopin. We’ve been listening to his music all week.

Also, we tried something new this week.  The Principal bought some avocados. Why? Because they were on sale, silly!  Anyway, I know nothing about avocado, other than they’re used to make guacamole.  So, FACE googled a recipe, #1 son smashed the avocados after I learned how to peel them.  We ate tacos that night!

IMG_1923.JPGYum- Oh!

For our Nature Study, we braved the ferocious jungle called Walmart, and sought out our subject.

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We guessed it’s weight, measured it, and then went to cut it…

IMG_1935.JPG
Then we sniffed it –
IMG_1937.JPGIMG_1934.JPGIMG_1936.JPG
Three of us found the smell putrid, but, of course, FACE didn’t seem offended by the odor.
We then scraped the stringy stuff and the seeds out.  Can I just say – how people can buy several large pumpkins, cut them open, scrap the innards and all with a smile on their face… is beyond me! This was the worst 2 hours of my life!  That includes the day I first smelled chicken manure!

Anyway, after we removed the insides, the air cleared a bit, and I nuked the parts, so I could get the meat out.  I followed the steps that #1 Son found here.
IMG_1939.JPGGotta love the stick blender!

We will be baking a loaf of Pumpkin bread this weekend.

Now, with all that behind me, I just wanna say – I’m glad we participated in this week’s Nature Study Challenge, but after 10 minutes of scraping that stringy stuff – I was ready to throw in the towel!  It was more intense than I thought it would be – but it was my first time ever cutting a pumpkin.  We took a chance, made mistakes, and made a mess – to paraphrase Ms. Frizzle.

Will post a picture of the pumpkin bread.

Posted in Art Study, History, Literature, Music Study, Nature Study, Science, Yadda Yadda | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Homeschoolers do PE?

After reading Barb’s motivating post about how she implemented PE into the homeschooling schedule, I set out on a search to find something we could do!

I found this – HomeschoolingPE.com!!

Hoorah!  I’m so excited.  This is awesome! This is put together in such a way that even I think I can handle it.  One activity a day, concluding with a Health research project.  I’m so excited!  Did I say that, already?

I’m getting ready to add this to next week’s curriculum.

Posted in Yadda Yadda | 1 Comment