Sunday, February 28, 2010

Lisa's Logbook - February 28

Outside: Overcast. Lots of snow on the ground.

Sounds: Christian radio playing. James plunking away on the computer and talking to his friend on the phone.

Home: Talking with David about paint colors as he plans to paint his bedroom

Projects: planning a party for my teenage daughter's birthday!

Pondering: being the mom of two teenagers!

Teaching: working on a unit study for The Lightning Thief

Gratitude: thankful that today is the LAST day of February! Come on, Spring!

Recipes: Sausage Quiche and One-Bowl Brownies were hits this past week.

Duds: Jeans, black tank, red long sleeved shirt (with Christmas design), grey Pistons hoodie.

Reads: Remarkable Creatures by Tracy Chevalier (author of Girl with a Pearl Earring). Next up? Wuthering Heights.

Vids: Cities of the Underworld, State of Play, I Hate Valentine's Day, Post Grad, Moon, Veggie Tales Pistachio, The Tenant of Wildfell Hall (see mini-reviews at Mirkwood)

Hopes: that a new battery will "fix" my van since it doesn't want to start anymore and Bob can't find anything else wrong with it.

Love: the new Veggie Tales, Pistachio: Little Boy That Woodn't!

Plans: Start production for my new job, Spanish, Essay class, Unit study on The Lightning Thief (begins Tuesday), celebrating Emily turning THIRTEEN!


Suzy and her very good friend, at co-op.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Winter Break Day Four

As Michele pointed out in the comments yesterday, the kids are still being educated. Definitely! I don't do well with unstructured stuff, as I mentioned, especially since we never let them just watch TV all day. And in the cold weather, our tiny house gets small REALLY quick if they are rattling around bored.

They've all enjoyed the activities this week, even David, who has that typical teen ennui. Tomorrow is co-op, so our Four Day Break ends today with the following activities:
  • Watching the end of The Magic Flute with Daddy
  • My 3rd Live Meeting conference for job training
  • Making paper airplanes (from a preprinted book)
  • Having an impromptu paper airplane battle
  • More Mad-Libs
  • David listened to The Hunger Games on audio this week (Enjoyed it too!)
  • James wrote a bunch more on his book.
  • Played outside and made a cool fort (James and Suzy)
  • Emily discovered crocus buds in the garden by the back porch.
  • Visited two libraries
  • Grocery shopping with all 4 kids, giving them tasks to do throughout
  • Played Star Wars DVD Trivial Pursuit (David's choice - You're surprised, I know. lol)
  • David tried to repair my printer (yesterday & today) and my Flip video camera (today) and wasn't successful with either one, but he learned a lot!
If you don't have a paper airplane book, check THIS SITE for some cool planes to fold.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Winter Break Day Three

Since it IS break after all, everyone (except James) got to sleep in today. (I don't think James can sleep in to save his life.... lol)

Other Highlights of Day Three included:
  • My second Live Meeting conference
  • Francis: Knight of Assisi VHS tape
  • The first part of The Magic Flute (yes, in Swedish! lol)
  • Scattergories game (chosen by Emily)
  • Cutting out paper snowflakes (Try THIS SITE for instructions if you don't know how.)
  • Read two more chapters of The Lightning Thief aloud
  • More Mad-Libs (great and fun grammar practice! Check back for a post just on Mad-Libs soon!)
  • Kids played outside for a while & David went for a walk
  • David worked on his essay workshop homework
  • A renewed interest in NaNoWriMo novels prompted James to start writing again and Suzy to think about continuing her story.
  • Tae-bo workout for me
  • Fried potatoes and sausage for dinner
  • Homemade brownies for a late dessert
I'm loving our week and considering a unit study on Greek gods and Ancient Greece based on The Lightning Thief. (MICHELE - it's all your fault! LOL)

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Winter Break Day Two

Day Two of Winter Break wasn't quite as unique as Day One, but I still think we had a good day.

Highlights include:
  • Watercolor painting (after a long search for the paints and paper)
  • Read aloud two chapters of the Lightning Thief while they were painting
  • Mom's first Live Meeting for job training
  • Donuts (Krispy Kreme!)
  • Trivial Pursuit DVD for Kids (chosen by James)
  • History Channel: The Great Escapes of WWII
  • Sledding with friends (weather 38 - lovely for sledding!)
  • Two quick library trips
  • Mad Libs with Daddy
  • Chicken pot pie and blueberry crisp for dinner (both homemade)

Monday, February 22, 2010

Winter Break Day One

Day 1 of Winter Break here at Cornerstone has brought the following:
  • About 6 inches of snow
  • A game of Disney Scene-It (chosen by Suzy)
  • Some origami creations
  • Several rounds of Mad Libs
  • Homemade cinnamon rolls for lunch (Here is the RECIPE)
  • Some time outside (for kids) shoveling snow and playing, and then again a second time outside for James and Suzy
  • Watching National Geographic: Animals in the Womb (a little MORE INFORMATION than I would have imagined on some topics, if you know what I mean!)
  • Read-aloud the first three chapters of The Lightning Thief
  • Lisa did her job training.
My camera was left behind at a friend's house, so I can't show you any pictures. And we ran out of time for the second game. All in all, a good Winter Break day.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Lisa's Logbook - February 21

Outside: Sunny and cold. Winter Storm in the forecast. Tomorrow we may get 4-8 inches of snow!

Sounds: Christian radio playing. Bob chatting to David in the other room.

Home: The big TV died a quiet death this week. Now, we have a miniscule TV in its place.

Projects: TAXES need to get done this week.

Pondering: Should Spanish classes be canceled tomorrow?

Teaching: Shaking things up this week - no workbooks! Movies, games, crafts. It's Winter Break!

Gratitude: So thankful for sunshine in the middle of winter!

Recipes: Making home made pizza again tonight since it got great reviews last week. Going to make home made cinnamon rolls tomorrow AM. Beyond that, I have no plans.

Duds: blue long johns, burgundy robe, pink fluffy socks. Haven't even brushed my teeth. Yup, I'm lazy and no, I didn't go to church.

Reads: Just finished Don't You Forget About Me by Jancee Dunn and haven't picked up another book yet. Have quite a few library books to choose from.

Vids: Northanger Abbey, Cities of the Underworld, Whip It!, Valentine's Day, The Time Traveler's Wife (see mini reviews on MIRKWOOD).

Hopes: That I catch on quickly to the concepts that will enable me to do well in my new job.

Love: my SmartWool socks. I think I mentioned them before. I won 2 pairs in a drawing in Frankenmuth years ago, and I've worn them out. Need to get new ones. I like the look of the ones called BEST FRIEND in bright pink.

Plans: Job training, Sledding Day, Pampered Chef Party, Co-op, Book Club, and DREAMCOAT and other fun with my sister Janet

Pic: My father-in-law painted this picture years ago. One of the kids snapped this shot of it hanging on our wall.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Winter Break to Shake Things Up

The upcoming week is going to be DIFFERENT here at Cornerstone. I am tired of the same-old, same-old, and so have decided to shake things up a bit.

Several schools around here had "Winter Break" and we usually don't do that enabling us to take off whenever we like in BEAUTIFUL spring and fall weather. However, I think this year, we need a break.

But I don't do well with unstructured time. So, I have chosen some fun learning activities to keep us moving forward this week but still allow us a break from the norm. Friday we have co-op, so we will have four days this week to enjoy this change. Then next week, I'm going to roll out some different learning activities to replace some of our boring ones.

So, this week will include:

MOVIES - aside from the normal entertainment movies, I've found a few educational videos to play (on our TEENSY television).
  • National Geographic: Animals in the Womb (DVD from library)
  • History Channel: Great Escapes of WW2 (DVD from library)
  • Francis: Knight of Assisi (VHS tape we own)
  • Ingmar Bergman's The Magic Flute (VHS we own, and I just realized it is in SWEDISH with English subtitles! That will be an adventure! lol)
GAMES - 2 per day, one chosen by the kids, one chosen by me.

  • Origami (found my book and origami paper in a drawer)
  • Paper Snowflakes
  • Water Colors (just painting)
  • Creative Thinking Through Art (set of 2 books I own)

READ-ALOUD - We will begin a new book this week: The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan. This will be the first book I've read to them in more than a year that isn't one I've read before.

Sledding on Tuesday
Maybe swimming Friday night

We will probably keep our Bible routine going, since once we stop that, it's hard to get moving on it again. It's a centering way to begin our day.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Long Division Game Online

Found a great online game to reinforce long division. One of my children always has trouble remembering what comes next when doing these types of math problems, so I was glad to see that's exactly what this game focuses on.

Go HERE to play. It's free!

Lots of other great math games online. My kids love too.

We're taking a step away from the boring textbooks and workbooks. Join us, why don't you?

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Valentine Boxes

Here are the kids' Valentine boxes. Always a tradition at our homeschool group to have a Valentine mailbox contest. We divide them up into age and ask someone objective to do the judging. James won first prize in his age division. I was very proud of him. He worked very hard on his box.

The insane look on Suzy's face is her delight in taking APART her box after the party. LOL

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Lisa's Logbook - February 14

Outside: Snow flurries, piles of snow on the ground, overcast sky - I'm over it. So ready for green grass, daffodils, and blue skies.

Sounds: James and Bob talking about a computer game he is playing

Home: Bob hung up some pictures I've been asking him to hang up for weeks! The "new" dryer is working great! Need to get the kids' bedrooms straightened around this week.

Projects: TAXES need to get done this week. I am such a procrastinator! I also have to get on the phone and figure out my health insurance. The state screwed something up and I never got my card. Also finishing up the SOF 08-09 yearbook (picked the project up from someone that wasn't able to complete it). Also have to do some soccer registrar stuff this week.

Pondering: changes to our schedule and duties now that I've landed a 20 hour/week contract position working from home. And thinking it's a good thing I made sure I had a desk behind a door that closes.

Teaching: Working already on the March lesson plans.

Gratitude: Thankful for the job opportunity the Lord has brought my way.

Recipes: Going to make homemade pizza tonight (heart shaped!) and some no-bake cookies for the Valentine party tomorrow

Duds: Jeans (and they're not too tight!), long sleeved bright pink tee, fuzzy pink hoodie

Reads: The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Bronte for book club - going to read 50 pages a day until I'm done; will be done this week. I started another book the other day, but I didn't like it and decided not to read it.

Vids: The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Whiteout, the rest of Season 1 of Castle, and Picture Perfect (Read my reactions to them at Mirkwood.)

Hopes: that you all are having a HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY!


Plans: Valentine Bowling Party with homeschool group, homeschool support meeting, teach essay class (no Spanish this week), AYSO board meeting, youth game afternoon, Prince & Pauper movie day for the kids

The kids played outside in the snow making "houses". They created everything from chairs, sofas, and tables to TVs, DVD players, and computers. Emily was the photographer for these

Friday, February 12, 2010

Phone Interview

In honor of the phone interview I have scheduled this afternoon, I give you this cartoon.

Click on it if you need to see it larger (which I imagine you do!).

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

How Candy Hearts are Made

How Candy Hearts are Made - click HERE for photo tour!

Romeo, Romeo, Wherefore Art Thou, Romeo....

Doesn't every ninth grader in the nation study Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet? I think it's a pretty standard curriculum staple for high school freshmen.

Since David will be done with The Silmarillion by the end of February and he's already done Beowulf, he's completed the literature choices he picked out. So, I decided to have him do Romeo and Juliet. He tells me he's already read it, on his own. I was floored by that admission. Really? You read Shakespeare on your own?

No matter, he still needs to study it. So, I've dug out a copy (we have two actually) and found a FREE online literature guide. I am looking forward to it, really!

And there are several good movie versions. I probably will let him watch the DiCaprio/Danes/Luhrmann version; since it has guns, he'll like it, and since it's the original language, it will reinforce the literature connection. But he also will have to watch the Zeffirelli one *I* watched in high school. :-)

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Betty Lukens Bible felts

Betty Lukens - do you know who she is? What I know is that there are wonderful felt sets available with her name on them.

Years ago, I bought a Bible felt set from Timberdoodle. It came printed on large sheets of felt and each teensy numbered piece needed to be cut out. That took me a couple years to complete, I think! I bought the file system to store it (pictured at right). It has a number of large flannelized stiff sheets with numbered outlines to store the figures so they are easily located.

So, then the beautiful pieces were finally all cut out and far too precious to let the kids just play with! My intent had been to use it for Bible lessons, which we do just about every day. Our usual curriculum is the Baker Bible Study Guide for All Ages, which over four years covers the whole Bible. But, like a lot of good intentions, it never really became a habit and soon my beautiful Bible felts were gathering dust.

So, today, I pulled it out with the intent of either USING it or SELLING it. James and Suzy voted to keep it, so we pulled out the figures for Genesis 3-6 and used them to illustrate our lesson today (Genesis 3-4). A Bible story guide (pictured) is available to go along with the felt set, so the instructor can easily choose the right figures to go with each story.

Since Suzy doesn't read well enough yet to participate in Bible reading, she is in charge of putting the felt figures on the board. Worked well today; let's see if we can keep it up.

This last picture gives you a good sense of how large the set we own is. Our figures are 6-1/2" scale. Another larger set with a 12" scale is available for larger groups. A church we used to go to owned that set, which is how I first learned about Lukens felts.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Lisa's Logbook - February 7

Sorry this is all I've been posting lately. Will try to do some actual educational posts soon!

Outside: Some puny late afternoon sun, snow on the ground

Sounds: Suzy excitedly telling me a long involved story and something playing on the radio

Home: Cleaned out, painted, and put new shelf paper in two big kitchen cabinets. Feels nice to have something in order!

Projects: Darn taxes - still need to finish them!

Pondering: the book of Isaiah. Finally finished reading it!

Teaching: My home education is boring. Need to DO SOMETHING! Something DIFFERENT and EXCITING.

Gratitude: My God provides all my needs, according to His riches in glory.

Recipes: Hmmm.... oh, gonna make bean dip for tonight.

Duds: Black yoga pants, long sleeved grey shirt (from the 5K), grey hoodie

Reads: The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Bronte for book club, By a Lady (about an actress who time travels back to meet Jane Austen). Getting ready to start reading the book of Jeremiah in The Message.

Vids: Extract, Duplicity, Star Trek, Castle Season 1, Bright Star, The Memory Keeper's Daughter

Hopes: that my children can be friends! Now and later....

Love: getting FREE magazines at the library. Several libraries I visit have an area for people to drop off free magazines they no longer want. Scored a big stack of exercise magazines yesterday.

Plans: Spanish classes, Children's Museum?, Co-op