Friday, August 30, 2013

My Week In Images

This patch of blue sky....

because even though we couldn't see across the lake in Tahoe because of smoke, there was still beauty.

This sweet little girl, playing in dress up clothes......

because these days won't last forever.

This gorgeous Delta sunset....

because it reminded me of God's perfect peace.

This trip to the library.....

because I am thankful that we don't live too far.

This lovely vacation spot.....

because I am so thankful for the wonderful friends that God has blessed me with.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

California Delta

This past weekend we went to the Delta.

My friend's Aunt lives right on the levy, and she graciously invited us and another family to come play for the weekend.

When our three families get together, there are 20 kids running around.


Literally, right outside their back door, is the dock to the water. And what is very cool is that they have not one but two diving boards. One is a high dive, at about 10 feet.

There was lots of this going on.

Bookworm's turn....

Fearless Nutsy had to have a go...

Hmmm, it is a bit high...

"Mama, should I jump?"


Here she is telling off all of the spectators because they kept counting down for her.

She was only up there about 4 minutes and finally jumped.


And this crazy girl jumped from the high dive...are you ready? 

29 MORE TIMES. (She went for an even 30)

The shorter diving board is more springy and is perfect for flips into the water.

There was jet is my friend and I on a wild ride.

And Bookworm did the crazy ride; jumping wake and flying high.

There was tubing...

With crazy bumping....

And eventually this happening.

There was wakeboarding that happened...this is the extent of the photos of our family and thankfully none of me crashing. (My ribs are still hurting.)

There was volleyball...

Night games.... (including a massive Capture the Flag game)

and yummy food.

We saved the best for last and on our last day, set up the Giant Slip And Slide.

This thing was huge; the photos actually don't give any sense as to the speed we got (especially the older ones) going down that thing.

The bigger people would go passed the end of the tarp and go through about 10 feet of grass and mud....we were all a mess.

The moms went down a few times...

And My Sweetie had fun going down too.

The kids would all race down....

...and end up in a pile at the bottom.

If you are friends with me on Facebook you can see a few videos of it on my homepage.

I am so thankful for generous friends who invite us to such a fun place! Thank you for sharing your lovely vacation with us.

And now Summer is pretty much over; we start school up next Tuesday.

Goodbye, summer.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Monday Musings

What I'm thinking: That I am getting older. After a weekend of tubing, wakeboarding, giant slip-sliding, and river swimming, I am one sore lady.

What I'm reading: I just finished a book titled Damn Few by Rorke Denver. He is a Navy Seal instructor and was also an actor and advisor in the movie Act of Valor. A great read.

What I'm listening to: Right now David Garrett is playing beautiful violin music on Spotify.

What we're learning: One more week and school begins! I am pretty much ready...except for planning out our writing class in co-op (Student Intensive from IEW). Last week of summer break!

What's cooking: This week I am making Mediterranean Wraps, grilled chicken, and Japanese buckwheat noodles.

What I'm thankful for: I am very thankful for an automatic washer and dryer. Can you imagine what it must have been like 100 years ago?

What I'm creating:  Each year in 4H the kids prepare a 5-8 minute speech with visual boards and discussion answers. I have always wanted to teach them how to use Power Point and teaching them in 4H would be a good place to do it. So this next year I am going to lead a presentation project for our club. I need to figure out a lesson plan and decide what to focus on because our 4H year starts in September. And of course I need to learn about Power Point.

What I'm planning: I am planning to edit the photos I took at the Delta this last weekend. We had lots of fun and I love documenting our adventures with my camera.

What we did this last weekend: Like I said, we were at the Delta. We went with two other families and had a blast playing in the water. Kind of our last fling before we get back into school.

What I'm looking forward to: I am looking forward to my mother in law coming for a visit this week. I am also looking forward to starting school. We seem to always accomplish so much more when we are on a schedule.

A picture to share:

~The beautiful oasis where we spent our weekend.

Friday, August 23, 2013

My Week In Images

 This bowl of Skittles...

because it was an impromptu math lesson and a fun summer treat.

This picnic....

because it was a lovely time for a dear friend and I to relax and talk.

This cucumber plant...

because when I see it stretching its little arm out like that I am reminded of the hand of God.

These makings for Caesar Salad....

because it was oh-so-yummy.

This date night....

because I love him.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

{Crew Review} In The Hands of a Child ~ World Government

We usually take a break from school from about the middle of July through Labor Day. I do love this time; we usually take a couple of small trips, let the kids sleep in, watch a movie every now and then, and I plan school for the coming year. But the kids can get bored pretty easily.

And that is where this fun Notebooking unit from In the Hands of a Child comes in.

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What It Is:

I received to review a Notebooking unit titled World Governments. Meant for grades 8th through 12th, this overview of world governments is perfect to do during a school break, since it only takes 5 days to complete.

First off, what is Notebooking? To put it simply, notebooking is a way to show, in written and illustrated ways, what you have learned. These pages can be looked at in future times to review and remember what was taught. Basically Notebooking is like a lapbook, but without the cutting and gluing. You can see more about Notebooking here.

When your child completes World Governments, they will have learned about:

  • Powers and Roles of Government
  • Types of Government
  • Limited and Unlimited Government
  • International Organizations

In addition, there are sections that focus on democracy, dictatorship, monarchy, and republics. Each section of the unit has information to read, activities to do, and vocabulary to learn. Some of the vocabulary words taught are arbitrator, hierarchy, immigration, and theocracy.

Each day your child will have a section of the guide to read which is between 1 and 3 pages in length. They will then complete the activities for that day. These are located in the back of the unit. Each activity uses a fill-in-the-blank model; some of these asked them to define words, compare leaders, or answer questions based on the reading. There is a convenient 5-day schedule in the front of the unit which makes it easy for independent learning.

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What You Get:

World Governments is sold in a pdf format; it is approximately 50 pages long and easily reproducible. It is usually sold for $12.00, but right now (at the time of this review) they are having an incredible sale and you can purchase World Governments for only $5.00. This is an amazing deal, and I encourage you to take advantage of this great price. You can also download a sample of the unit here as well.

What We Thought:

I gave this to my two older children to do. They are 13 and 16 years old, and I gave this to them to do independently. The first day though, we did sit down together and look over all the material. I had them be responsible for copying the appropriate activities and putting them into their notebooks. They went at their own pace, and each afternoon showed me their progress, by what they had put in their notebooks. They spent between 30 minutes to an hour doing this each morning; if I had wanted to I could have assigned a couple of suggested extension activities that asked for further research.

One of the activities that they enjoyed was comparing democracy to a dictatorship. That afternoon we had a good discussion about dictatorship; one child thought that having someone who was completely in charge was a good thing, and would unify a nation. That led us into talking about sinfulness, and the greediness of power. We talked specifically about historical dictators in the unit, such as Hitler and Mussolini, and we all came away with a profound thankfulness for where we live.

I really liked how the unit was set up; this was truly an overview of government and was very beneficial to my children. The one thing that was a little confusing was that the activity page were in a separate part of the unit than the reading sections; this meant there was a little more work finding the accompanying worksheets, but with a little help my kids did fine. I also liked that I could give them the printed schedule and let them independently go through the unit; it gave my older ones something productive to do during our school break and also gave us some great family discussions too.

There are so many other notebooking and lapbooking units, meant for all ages, that other members of the Crew were given...Kitchen Science, Geometry, Ships and Submarines, The Alamo, The Metric System, and more. Click below to read what they thought.


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Wednesday, August 21, 2013

{A Crew Review} Because You Are Strong - Doorposts

If we are having a really bad day and can't do school; with sickness, attitudes, or just life being overwhelming; the one thing that I still try to do is Bible.

Teaching Bible is one of the main reasons I homeschool; and a wonderful resource with helpful Bible teaching books is Doorposts. Why is the company called Doorposts? Well their motto is this verse:

"You shall write them on the doorposts of your house, and on your gates." ~Deut. 6:9
As the parent of my children I am commanded to teach biblical truths to my children. Doorposts, using parenting and character-training books, give parents the tools to help them teach their children more about Scripture.
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There are so many wonderful products from this company, but the one I was given was a soft-cover copy of  Because You Are Strong: A Study of Godly Strength for Young Men.

What It Is:
This study book, meant for boys ages 10-12 and up, is written by Daniel Forster. There are eleven sections in the book; each study uniquely focusing on a different area of strength.
Some of these include:
  • Strength and Wisdom (Proverbs)
  • Strength in Battle (I Samuel 17)
  • Strength and Temptation (Study of Samson)
  • Strength and Serving Others (Study of Jesus' Actions)
The goal of the book is two-fold. First, it is to gain biblical knowledge and understanding; and the second goal is to practice and learn many different types of Bible study.
The types of study your son will learn how to do include:
  • Topical Study
  • Character Study
  • Word Study
  • Verse Study
  • Chapter Study
  • Book Study
Each study is conveniently broken down into days. This makes it very easy to assign and put on a school schedule. Each study takes between four and eleven days to complete; if done daily each week the book can be finished in about 15 weeks.

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What You Get:
This is a workbook style book, which I do appreciate. I have found with my son that he likes filling in the answer lines instead of having to copy answers in a notebook. You can purchase Because You Are Strong from Doorposts in two formats: a soft cover book or as an ebook (PDF). The soft cover book is normally $14.00, but is listed right now on their website for $12.00; the ebook format is $10.00. You can also see sample pages here.
The studies are in-depth; in each study they are taught how to study using a checklist. Doorposts gently leads them through the steps; they go beyond just reading the passage and also ask appropriate thought questions and have the students look up and study cross references. In each study there are convenient side bars which show the study checklist, list online resources, give definitions, helpful quotes, and study ideas. At the end of each study there is a box that lists items for additional study and gives other application ideas, assignments, and verses to study. To complete this workbook you will need to have access to Nave's Topical Bible and Strong's Exhaustive Concordance. You can purchase inexpensive hardbound editions at the Doorpost's website.
How We Used This And What We Thought:
I had Mr. Lego use this. He is 16 so when I signed up for this I thought he might be on the old side for this book. But I was pleasantly surprised to find that this was the perfect fit for him. The daily lessons are the right amount; he would spend between 15 and 30 minutes a day doing the workbook. I really liked that they taught my son how to study the Bible. For example, in the chapter on word study, they are learning about the word 'valor'. They are taught how to look up words in a concordance, how to read a dictionary entry, and how to dissect and study the word and its derivatives including valiant, valiantly, might, virtuous, and power.
In another study they are taught how to use a Bible commentary and are asked to do a short part of their study from Matthew Henry's Commentary (available online). The online resources were most helpful; they suggested apps and other websites. There are step-by-step instructions in the sidebars for searching in e-Sword, using references at Biblegateway, and navigating at Biblestudytools.
I was very impressed with this study. My son really benefitted from not only learning how to study the Bible, but he also learned some wonderful truths about being a strong Christian. I loved it that the book gave explicit instructions and didn't overwhelm with the questions or assignments. And one of the things I really appreciated (being the mother of three daughters), is that they have a section in the back with alternate questions for young ladies.

I do plan to have him complete the workbook in the next few months and then use the different study ideas to continue Bible study assignments.

Some members of The Crew reviewed this book and others received a Bible Study book for girls titled Beauty in the Heart. Check out what they thought by clicking below.

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Monday, August 19, 2013

Monday Musings

What I'm thinking: That we have some very weird weather today. It is supposed to be 104 today, but right now it is 80 degrees and cloudy. The combination of cloudy and hot is unusual here....

What I'm reading: Well, I have been reading a couple of teacher manual -type books in preparation for school...Logic of English (soon to be a review), Biblioplan, and IEW seminars are on my mind.

What we're learning: We are at T-minus 2 weeks and counting to the beginning of school...I have scheduled out most of our schooling, but need to focus on co-op classes this week.

What I'm watching: Over the weekend My Sweetie and I watched Close Encounters of the Third Kind, which I had picked up from our library. Two thoughts: very stupid movie, and our library needs new DVD's.

What's cooking: I just looked at my menu for the week and we have: Clam Chowder, (Seriously? Soup in the middle of August?) Enchiladas, and Artichoke Stuffed Pasta with Marinara Sauce.

What I'm buying: I ran out of canning jars and I am planning to freeze more tomato sauce so I need to go out and get another dozen.

What I'm praying: I am praying for friends of mine who are feeling overwhelmed. With child training, their jobs, housework, marriages....the Christian life is a hard one, and I am praying for grace and mercy as we all do our daily stuff.

What we did this last weekend: Saturday we pulled out some of the old summer veggies that had quit producing, then we hit the pool for a swim. That night we had grilled chicken and a delicious Zucchini Gratin for dinner, then I bribed my family to play Speed Scrabble. Sunday we heard a convicting sermon on Matthew 7, then to the park for our final church picnic.

What I'm looking forward to: I am looking forward to seeing a dear friend this week, finishing up my school planning, and organizing the school binders. We also have a fun weekend planned next week.

A picture to share:

~My Sweetie and I.

Friday, August 16, 2013

My Week In Images

This laundry....

because folded laundry is always a good thing.

These shopping helpers....

because 98 cent smoothies make the trip fun.

These books....

because school starts for us in a couple of weeks and my co-op buddy and I are planning.

This lovely flower....

because even though I don't know its name, it's still pretty.

My babies....

because no matter how big they get, they will still be babies of mine.

The Pebble Pond