Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Current Art Projects and Easter 2014

You can probably guess the character in the above pic but if now from Frozen.

I have lots more pics of what Grace has been working on but it is a super secret project that will be unveiled next week. I will post about it next week.

After Easter church service we headed to my sister's house for lunch. So great to have everyone under one roof.

Grace's Easter dress before changing for the rest of the day. Didn't want folks thinking she went to church in her frilly skull shirt. Ha Ha.

Monday, April 21, 2014

TOS Review - Home School Adventure Co. - Philosophy Adventure

Home School Adventure Co.
Have you ever had a desire to study or teach Philosophy? How about studying Philosophy through the lens of a biblical worldview? If I am really honest I must say our answer would have been a big NO. When I saw Philosophy Adventure from Home School Adventure Co. come up for review, my first thought was we don't teach classically so what would we do with this product. My second thought was this is going to be way over Grace's head and she won't understand any of it. Who am I kidding! I thought it would be over my head too. The word philosophy is kind of scary in itself. The Webster's American Dictionary defines philosophy as the rational investigation of the truths and principles of being, knowledge, or conduct. I truly thought that I wanted to just take a pass on this review, but after more research on their website about the product I became more and more intrigued. The rest they say is history. I am sure glad we didn't skip the chance to review and use this product. Let's get into some of the details about what this product teaches and all the logistics of how to use it.
Philosophy Adventure
We received Philosophy Adventure as a digital download. There were three separate texts to download and print; main text, student workbook, and teacher resources. Being the binder queen that I am I printed everything in one shot, hole punched it, and put it in a big binder with dividers.
The main text printed out to 125 pages and is broken down into the study of 8 different philosophers, checklists, creative writing, and the appendices section. I will start off by quoting the very front of the material that Philosophy Adventure aims to teach your child to write skillfully, think critically, and speak articulately. All very important endeavors for any student. Each philosopher chapter is set up the same:
Biography and Historical Context - Each philosopher has a biographical section with a telling of their life and other historical contexts that may apply to him. What other philosophers he may have come in contact with or was influenced by their works.
Write, Think, and Speak Pages - Here is were the student will delve into writing skillfully, thinking critically, and speaking articulately through various assignments.
Geography and Mapwork - Each philosopher chapter includes a page describing where they were born and their travel destinations. This also includes a map to mark off all the areas mentioned which is found in the student workbook.
Contrast - This section includes (if available) source writings from the philosopher and information comparing and contrasting these writings to a biblical worldview.
The beginning of the main text also includes recommended ways to give credit to high school students for the work accomplished with Philosophy Adventure. Also you will find helpful information about scheduling the material throughout the week.
A wealth of information is found in the back of the main text that deals with all the information you and your child needs for the writing and speech assignments. I'm speaking specifically of the checklist and creative writing sections. Here you will find all the "meaty" information about pre-writing, brainstorming, selecting sources, polishing, critiques, and so much more.
The student workbook (142 pages long) has all the questions and writing assignments for each philosopher as well as journal pages and mapping activities.
The teacher resources download includes memory cards for each philosopher, timeline with philosopher images to glue on, the answer keys, and quizzes.

Other Available Products
 Mere Christianity Critical Analysis Journal
Philippians in 28 Weeks
The Wise Woman with Literary Analysis Journal
Some of the above products can be used with Philosophy Adventure. Other Crew members did review these products and you can visit the website for the TOS Review Crew to read what they thought.
How We Used the Product and What We Thought
I would like to preface this section of my review by saying that Grace is currently taking a speech class and had lots of homework in that area already. I tell you this because we chose not to do the speech writing portion of the program at this time but we did read over all the insightful advice that is given about research and writing speeches. We concentrated more on learning about each philosopher and all the corresponding activities/assignments that went along with it. I also assigned vocabulary words for each section using the bold typed words that Grace wasn't familiar with relating to each philosopher. Grace's favorite section of the product was simply learning about the philosopher's life and teachings. I found the assigned creative writing assignments very clever and really made the student think before starting to write. Some of the actual writings from the philosophers went over our heads. We stopped using our normal history program and let this take its place for the entire review period. Maybe that is why we concentrated more on historical and geographical information included in the program. The way we used it had us finish with 4 different philosophers. I really liked and enjoyed using this product and learned a ton about philosophy in the process.
You can purchase the Digital Download Version of Philosophy Adventure for $39.95. There are other options on this page as well to purchase. This product is recommended for grades 6-12. If you are interested in purchasing a product from this company they are offering 10% off your order with the coupon code CREW-10 until May 15, 2014.
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Crew Disclaimer
Review Crew

Sunday, April 20, 2014

THM Macafoni - Kind of Like Mac and Cheese

Since starting THM one thing my daughter has really missed is the old Mac and Cheese box for a side. I whipped out my trusty THM cookbook and started looking for something that might satisfy her. On pg. 359 is a recipe that replaces the pasta with cauliflower. I tweaked the recipe a bit and turned it into a baked Macafoni dish. I took some of my Joseph's Bread and put small pieces in my new coffee grinder to make bread crumbs to go on the top. I actually baked this one last night and put in the fridge. Today after church we took it to my sisters for lunch and just about all of it was gone. To me and my daughter it tastes more like a cheddar potato dish than macaroni. That is okay though because we like both. Who would have though we would be eating broccoli and cauliflower every week and actually enjoying it.

Journey to Jerusalem

About every other year our church holds a Journey to Jerusalem Event on Good Friday. So far about half of them it has rained the entire time. That doesn't slow us down though. Just about everything was moved inside, even the camel. This year Grace and her friend were old enough to man a vendor booth in the market place. Since both took pottery this semester they decided to have a pottery booth and make pinch pots with the kids.

This year I partnered with another church member and we did the pomegranate juice booth as well as dates, figs, and fig newtons for the kids.

We even had a King Herod in his palace that hosted a feast of food for all the visitors.

A church member donated the money to bring in a camel. This guy is just a year old and his name was Josiah. Very friendly and oh so soft to pet. One of the keepers had a baby Lemur on her neck the whole time and the other keeper had a baby kangaroo in a pouch. There were also petting zoo animals outside under a roofed area due to the rain. All the animals were from North Georgia Zoo and Petting Farm. Very nice folks with very nice animals. They do wolf, camel, kangaroo, reptile, and otter encounters. We are definitely going there soon to visit.

This is a picture I took right before the event started. As you can see we set up a market place. All the children an adults were given gold coins upon admittance to spend at the vendors. Plus there were thieves and beggars all trying to get the gold coins. Roman centurions were patrolling the area and we even had Pontius Pilate with his wife strolling through the market place.

This was just one of three tables of food laid out for the visitors to King Herod's palace. Lots of good food. Me and Grace were very good and didn't partake in the sweets. They did have grilled chicken wings which is on plan and Grace had some of those.
We had a great turn out from the community even with all the rain. Lots of my cooperative families attended as well. At the end of the event our pastor playing Jesus came through the crowd to collect his 12 fishers of men and they went to partake in a living Lord's supper that everyone else could participate in as well. A couple of the events didn't happen because of the rain like making the earth quake, the cross walk, and visiting the empty tomb. Regardless it was a wonderful night.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

New Volunteer Experience

Some of my readers may recall that Grace started volunteering at the local animal shelter a few weeks back. As much as we wanted to make that situation work it just wasn't. The dogs were very big and very strong and not something she could handle. Plus it was not a no kill shelter so the circumstances were very sad and stressful. We took a month off and Grace decided she wanted to try again. This time we moved to another shelter in another county to try again. Charles Smithgall Humane Society seems to be a much better fit for us.

There is an adult cat room set up almost like a real home. There are cages to the left that are not in the picture. A certain amount of cats are let out for the mornings and then the others are let out for the afternoon. Plenty of toys. Volunteers can go in and sit down and visit with all of them very easily.

Another area we worked in yesterday was the kitten and puppy room. Currently on two puppies in resident (one in the first pic). After the morning cleaning is accomplished they too are let out to play most of the day. We can sit on the floor and play with all of them.
Next week we will show up during cleaning time so that Grace can learn the system of cleaning all the cat cages before letting everyone out for play time. She will  learn all the cat rooms well first before we move onto the dog section.
Luckily they have many small and medium dogs that Grace can handle and walk. Plus these dogs will either be adopted or stay at this shelter until they are. This is a no kill shelter. The dogs have a fenced in area where each is allotted 1 1/2 hours of outside free time everyday. All in all it is just a much better situation for Grace to volunteer in. She is looking forward to many precious moments of helping out. This is not to say that the other shelter doesn't need help and is doing everything they can to save the unwanted animals in our community. It just wasn't the right situation for a very tender hearted young person to work in.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Weekly Wrap Up - Easter Week

Sometimes it is hard to keep up with all of Grace's current passions. Right know she has fallen in love with our chickens again. Every day you will find her outside feeding, watering, collecting eggs and playing with the chickens. This week she even decided to learn out to clean all the coops. She wants to earn some extra money for a business venture she is interested in starting. So now she is the proud recipient of a weekly allowance. The allowance is for all the chicken chores (which takes a huge load off of me) and of course keeping her room cleaned and picked up (which is no easy task for any teenager).
This week we had the joyous experience of another Easter hatching of chicks. It has happened the same time frame nearly every year. This go around 3 or 4 eggs hatched. We didn't want to do big clutch because we already have so many chickens on hand. As you can imagine Grace spends a lot of her time with them. She wants this clutch to be very tame and we are hoping they are not all roosters which will eventually have to be harvested.

Hubby bought a new camera for him and Grace to use for their art. Grace has become quite interested in taking pictures due to the new camera.

Puppy of course is always a great model.

Our Cooperative classes are winding down for the year which means a performance in a couple of weeks. The high school kids are working on finishing the set for Fiddler on the Roof. Grace helped with the set and will be doing a lot of the stage makeup for the performances. She is really missing not performing in this one which brings me to our next piece of news. Grace wants to audition for the King and I at our local community theatre. Auditions are on May 11and 12th and will take up most of her summer with performances at the end of July and early August. Hoping some of her friends come out and do the same as they need a large cast for this one.

Trim Healthy Mama is going great. Grace has lost 6 pounds and I have lost 4. She is really enjoying this way of eating and is really happy with the results. To see results so fast is very encouraging for her.

I am in the process of writing a chicken study guide/lapbook for the company I freelance write with. Grace is taking all my pictures for me and the above pic is of our only rooster in residence.
So what did we do academically this week? Well we finished up with the Supercharged Science review and went back to our General Science textbook. The module for this week is about Geology, Archaeology, and Paleontology. We are also just about finished the Philosophy Adventure review and that post will be coming up at the beginning of next week which means we are going back to finish up our Middle Ages study for the year. So happy to be able to get in 4 Algebra lessons this week even though Grace is having a little trouble understanding reducing factions with exponents and reverse distributing with them same. The program she is enjoying the most this week is Micro Business for Teens. Reading through this book and doing the activities have really sparked an interest in her with creating a micro business. She has talked with her favorite teacher Ms. Christy about helping with birthday parties by dressing up as Disney princesses. This would let Grace do all the cosplaying and makeup that she loves so much. She will also be helping with summer art camps at the same location. It is really going to be a very busy summer for Grace and me for that matter.
I should also mention that Grace has started some sewing lessons. Her first project was a skirt that was finished in a couple of hours. Her goal is to one day be able to sew her own costumes for cosplaying and the micro business she is planning for Birthday Disney Princesses.
So, summing up this week our biggies are finishing Cooperative Classes, delving into costuming, makeup, photography and chicken care, getting healthy through diet and exercise and working on review products with some Algebra thrown in the mix. It really has been a good week.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Trim Healthy Mama Hits and Misses So Far

So far we have had very few misses with recipes on the Trim Healthy Mama way of eating. Yesterday I made Peanut Butter Cups and they were a big hit
1 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup cocoa powder
Truvia to taste
Splash of Vanilla
Natural peanut butter
1 tablespoon of heavy cream

They turned out huge and delicious. Definitely need to split one with someone from now on when eating. I also tried my hand at cheesecake and that was an epic fail. Of course I have never cooked cheesecake in my life so this may take some practice. Another fail (at least with Grace) was the Quinoa. I ate it but wasn't overjoyed with it. Tonight I am making some quinoa as a side dish with roasted broccoli, salad, and beef tips. Other recipes that have been hits include:

Cheeseburger Quesadillas
Crockpot chicken with rotel and cream cheese
Pizza Casserole
Chicken, veggies, quinoa
THM Pancakes
Sandwiches with Joseph's Pita Wraps

We still have a lot to learn but getting there. Grace even told me today that she feels better eating this way and off of a lot of the processed junk. The two things I have to keep in stock to keep her happy is Zevia soda, Sobe Life water, and plenty of skinny chocolate. Next on the list to try is Berry Whip.