Saturday, August 11, 2012

Highlights of Our Week and a Visit with Family

I have TWO weeks worth of highlights to share including a visit with family, J4 learning something really awesome and a puppet show! 

Let's start at the beginning....

Highlights from the week of July 30 - Aug 3

In addition to our regular studies and current review items:

We finished reading the Wizard of Oz. I'm still amazed at the way it captivated the boys' attention.

We began two new read-alouds. One is a Lamplighter Publishing title Little Threads by Elizabeth Prentiss. Little Threads is a wonderfully told story about the beauty and honor in obedience. I first heard of Lamplighter Publishing a few months ago while attending a book club with several wonderful women. We were studying Mission of Motherhood by Sally Clarkson. Several of the mothers highly praised the quality and lessons learned in any of the Lamplighter books offered. My husband and I happened upon their booth at the Southeast Homeschool Expo last week and learned more about Lamplighter Publishing and their many titles. It was extremely hard to decide which book to read first to our children!

Our other read aloud is a favorite story from my childhood.  I have not forgotten my fourth grade teacher reading Summer of the Monkeys by Wilson Rawls aloud to our class. I am looking forward to revisiting Jay, his little sister, Grandpa, ol Rowdy.

We took our children with us to vote on Tuesday, July 31. We believe it's crucial to show our children the importance of  our freedom to vote.

Chemistry class with our friends happened a little differently this week. Only C8 stayed for class. R6 had a painful ear infection and even though J4 loves chemistry class, he's not quite old enough to attend class without mommy's supervision and help. C8 and two other friends learned about vanillin, and how this small molecule and its wonderful smell is able to leak out of an inflated balloon. They also made toothpick and mini marshmallow models of the vanillin molecule. We had planned to include a microscope lesson at our house, but that was postponed since the doctor suspected R6 had strep, too.

Additionally, on the nights the Olympic gymnastics was shown, we stayed up very late. (All three participate in a gymnastics class.) We adore Gabby Douglas and were ecstatic to see her win Gold!

I have two favorite free resources from this week. First is an app for the iPhone, VocabularySpellingCity.  The second is a daily devotional for kids we picked up at the convention, Keys for Kids. It's also available for free online.

Lastly, we began a new Schoolhouse Review, Speekee. It's an online, video based Spanish curriculum. I've never heard so much Spanish being spoken by our children! It's been FUN!

Highlights from Aug. 5-8

Online Resources Used While Out of Town:
  • Reading Kingdom - A learn to read program J4 and I are reviewing.
  • T4L - Math, Science, Language Arts, Reading, and Social Studies all in one place for C8 and R6. Our own subscription
  • - A game based curriculum to teach spelling, vocabulary and language skills. A product we are reviewing with C8 and R6
  • Heroines of the Past Bible Study - fabulous ebook Bible Study C8 and I are reviewing
  • Speekee - Online children's Spanish program
I only packed three physical books for our trip (my Bible, Little Threads and Summer of the Monkeys), our laptop and our Kindle!

On to Our Trip:

Daddy had to travel to Arizona for a few days. The kids and I packed up and traveled to my mother's home in our hometown ~ most all of our family can still be found in that little town. We spent as much time as we possibly could with as many of our sweet family members as we could!

My paternal grandmother and grandfather always cook a big dinner while we are home. Their purpose is to keep our family close by gathering us together whenever possible, and we are so thankful for what they do! When I was growing up, my great grandmother would have the whole family, and quite regularly the pastor, every single Sunday for dinner. My grandmother took over the tradition of frequent Sunday meals, and now she gathers everyone together as often as she can. It means a lot to us to get to visit with our family. We love them all so much! The kids played and fished for hours on this day.
Fishing with my dad at my grandparent's house. We were able to spend lots of great time with my dad this trip, too!
The kids watched a true barn raising. I love how close our family is and how they don't mind sacrificing time and energy to help each other out ~ values I want my children to hold dear.
(My sister and I kept our kids together every moment we could. There's one cousin that always managed to be out of photo range :) Mr. E, I'm talking about you! .... Great memories were made.
We are so very thankful God placed this precious lady in my grandfather's (and our) life. They've been married almost a year. My maternal grandmother passed away nearly two years ago. We miss her daily.

Jonathan helping PawPaw harvest okra. A beautiful okra blossom.

This is not by any means an exhaustive account of the family we spent time with (like Aunt T. and Miss J.) and our activities during our trip, but his is a good account of some of the memories made...

August 8-11

We left our family Wednesday morning and traveled to our home in GA. C8 had her first piano lesson of the new year that afternoon and the drive is a good five hours when it's just the kids and myself. We also learned that we would need to meet Daddy a day early just north of ATL. His plane was delayed and he needed fresh clothes for his Thursday and Friday meetings. (He got to meet Condi Rice on Friday! I'm jealous!) We made it to our hotel around 10 pm ... a very long day.
The next day, Thursday, we enjoyed the indoor pool at the hotel and J4 did something amazing! He swam on his back for the very first time!!
That evening we had a family date at a nice Atlanta restaurant and finished our night with another swim.

 Friday, we visited the Center for Puppetry Arts. We won tickets through Expedition Mom (check this link for a great review of the show) for a family pack of four tickets to see The Tortoise, The Hare and other Aesop's Fables, to make our own puppet in the Create a Puppet Workshop and tour the museum. We had so much fun! We loved making the puppets with our instructor, Mr. B, and touring the museum (was a little creepy to C8, the boys loved it), and everyone enjoyed the puppet show!
  Our Speekee Spanish curriculum suggests making a sock puppet to go along with the lessons. In the gift shop, at The Center for Puppetry Arts, we found an adorable sock puppet kit for three! As soon as we got home the little ones wanted to quickly put their sock puppets together! They were so much fun to make!! Just look at those cuties pretending with their puppets. 

Today, we enjoyed a seven mile family bike ride. It was so refreshing...I'm thankful to have such a beautiful and safe area to cycle with the little ones and Daddy...

If you're still with me, thanks so much for sticking around and reading to the end =)

Homegrown Learners

Favorite Resource This Week


  1. Thanks for sharing baby girl! I really enjoyed your visit w/ me. Wish we could be together more often. I am so proud J4 learned to swim. He surely did a good job! Maybe now he can teach Nana to swim. :) Excited that daddy got to meet Condi Rice. :) I love all of you so much! Mom

  2. I know you were busy this week, but it sounds magical! I loved seeing my little piano student once again - she is really a light in my week!

    You're doing a great job, mom!

  3. It sounds like a beautiful two weeks!! I just love time with extended family! I think the puppets are great, and how awesome that J4 is such a good swimmer :)
    Thanks for linking up at Favorite Resources, Hope. Happy weekend!


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