Friday, August 30, 2013

Beauty Captured Day 30 0f 365

One of my close friends was married yesterday and believe or not she took the time to make her own wedding cake. It tasted wonderful too. Bottom layer had a cheesecake filling and the second layer had a chocolate filling. The top layer of course was saved for the first anniversary. 

The Pebble Pond

Weekly Wrap Up

My friend that got married made her own wedding cake.
Well, we did not do a ton of school work this week. Obviously Tuesday was tied up with classes at Cooperative. Wednesday and Thursday had us setting up/decorating for a wedding and then the rehearsal and wedding was on Thursday. I was gone all day both days. In the process of moving lots and lots of chairs and tables I have completely messed up my lower back. It bums me to say that I haven't not been able to do a lick of exercise since Monday. If I am no better it will be to the doctor this coming Monday. Below you will find some of the stuff we did get accomplished:

Studied and Discussed
Owl Study
Theodoric and Clovis from Famous Men of the Middle Ages
Creative Writing Fractured Fairy Tale
Review of Quotations and Parentheses in Sentences
Filled out book report form for Twenty-One Balloons
Art History with Time4Learning

Reading Materials
Wesley the Owl
Twenty-One Balloons
Famous Men of the Middle Ages
The Door in the Wall
The Book of Luke
Who is My Neighbor from What I Believe Series
25 Truths
High School Prep Genius

What We Watched
CNN Student News
Nature Documentary about the Snowy Owl
Online sermon from Northpoint Church with Andy Stanley

Sadly one Zumba class on Monday

Reviews We Are Working On
The Presidential Game
People Keys
Bridgeway Grammar Review

Classes Attended
Creative Writing
LEGO Design
Yearbook Staff

I am sure that Grace would say her favorite thing this week was 1) watching the doves under the bridge,while swimming at the river, feed their babies in the nest and 2) watching the Snowy Owl documentary on Netflix. She also enjoyed helped serving food at the wedding last night. 
Grace watching Snowy Owl documentary today.

Remembering the Past

We always start our mornings off with the Apologia series, What We Believe. This semester we have started on the third book in the series, Who Is My Neighbor. Today's readings took me right back to my childhood. In this chapter the book talked about Mr. Rogers Neighborhood and Barry Manilow writing and singing the advertising jingle for State Farm (Like a good neighbor State Farm is there) in his early days. I have always been a huge fan of Barry Manilow and of course anyone in my age range watched Mr. Rogers Neighborhood as a kid. This made me think that Grace literally had no idea who Mr. Rogers was and had vague notions of Barry Manilow. I immediately went to youtube to find a clip of each for her and she of course was horrified that any kid would have liked Mr. Rogers and that the puppets were really creepy. She did enjoy the clip of Barry Manilow singing the advertisements for Dr. Pepper, Pepsi, KFC, and McDonalds. She was most familiar with the Band-Aids commercial song because that one is actually still played today.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Prayers Welcome

I have some real emotional stuff going on here and could really use the extra prayers. I won't go into the details because some of it is not mine to share. If you see less posts from me than usual just know that we are dealing with "stuff" and my mind is elsewhere. Please be patient with me and I will post whenever I have a free minute to think.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Percy Jackson Lovers Live Here

Just got back from seeing the new Percy Jackson Sea of Monsters movie. Loved it!! Girls afternoon out for us. Percy Jackson is something me and Grace have shared over the years, always reading the book aloud so both of us can share the experience together. I can credit the Percy Jackson series for igniting a love of Greek mythology in Grace. Actually for a love of all things mythological. We started with Greek because of the book but have dabbled in Egyptian, Roman, and now Norse. The Norse mythology ties into our Middle Ages study for history this year. It is so interesting to hear how other cultures explain the creation of this world and different events that took place. Of course we believe in the Bible and the literal creation from the book of Genesis but we still find it interesting to compare and contrast to how other peoples and times tried to explain it. Now we are anxiously awaiting the release of House of Hades Book #4. Also the new movie left you hanging for the next which would be The Titan's Curse. Of course very bummed that the next movie will be out in like 2-4 years. Why couldn't they have made this series like The Hobbit and The Hunger Games with filming one right after the other without any lag time? I guess this series just isn't as big as the other in grossing money and doesn't warrant the same treatment.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Friday, August 23, 2013

Beauty Captured Day 23 of 365

Got a shot of this guy on our deck this afternoon.

The Pebble Pond

Grace Continues to Create

Grace take on a mermaid.

Girl in tutu.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Beauty Captured Day 22 of 365

Do you see it??? The elusive sun. This has been a summer without sun for our area of the United States. Rain, rain, and more rain for over two months. I started wondering if I was actually living in Seattle after the past couple of months. Today and the remainder of this week calls for SUN!!!

The Pebble Pond

Weekly Wrap Up

We are still trying to settle into some type of normalcy as far as school goes. Too many doctor appointments and Cooperative business this week to actually get in a complete week of school. Monday after lunch we did a few subjects and Tuesday morning before Cooperative we did some personal development stuff. Wednesday - Friday have been at a normal but slow pace.

What We Are Reading
Twenty-One Balloons
Wesley The Owl
Glaucia - Early Church History
The Book of Mark
The Children of Odin
25 Truths
High School Prep Genius
Who is My Neighbor from Apologia
King Alfred's English

What We Studied or Discussed
Owls - Pellet Dissection
Undoing Algebraic Equations
Geneseric the Vandal (Famous Men of the Middle Ages)
Review of Run On Sentences
Writing Homework
North Africa
Drug and Alcohol Awareness

Reviews We Are Working On
The Presidential Game
People Keys

Zumba Classes
Stationary Bike

Classes Attended
Creative Writing
Yearbook Book Class
Drama Class
LEGO Design Class

Grace's favorite thing this week was definitely owl pellet dissection. She thought it was like a treasure hunt to find as many skulls as possible. We purchased our materials from Home Science Tools. I would definitely recommend purchasing the large owl pellet, which gives you the opportunity to find way more bones and skulls.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Ornithology - Owl Pellet Dissection

Today was the day Grace had been waiting for. August and part of September is her study of owls that is part of her yearly study for Ornithology. Owl pellet dissection is something we have done before, but at that time we opted for the fake plastic version of the bones and faux material that was used for the hair. This go around it was all real. Grace had a large and small pellet to dissect today to count as part of the lab portion of her Ornithology credit. I had to run some errands that mean leaving this whole process in the very capable hands of herself and hubby. By the time I got home the mission was completed.

Grace was thrilled to find multiple skulls in the large pellet. Voles, mice, and a bird. She was also able to identify most of the bones and replicated a skeleton which was glued to the black tag board paper. Grace thoroughly enjoyed this experience. She is also enjoying her current book "Wesley the Owl" about a young biologist that adopted a barn owl at 3 days of age. Wesley lived with her until his death for 19 years. The story chronicles the life of a barn owl in captivity and his unbelievable bond with the biologist who raised him.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Favorite Tools for Art Journaling

Most of my readers know that I have a love for art journaling. I only started art journaling about one year ago, but already I have tools that I deem favorites for the process. I am a marker girl. Love all different kinds of markers. Grace is actually the same but her coveted markers are Copics for her manga drawing and they cost 7.00 each. Most of mine come in sets. In the above pic are some of my colored Bic permanent markers. Sharpies are good as well but my personal preference is Bic.

Next on the list would be metallic gel pens. I use these for highlighting and sometimes writing. They do not work all that well to write on a background of watercolor. I should also mention that the tools are not in order of importance or love of item. Just stuff out of my art journaling bag that I love to use.

Again, metallic markers. This markers above are Liquid Metals by Sargent Art and I think they were purchased at one of my favorite haunts; Michaels, JoAnns, and Hobby Lobby.

This black pen is probably my all time favorite and it is a very inexpensive pen. I use this for outlining, sometimes writing, and so much more. This is a .7mm R-2 rollerball.

When I began art journaling my adhesive of choice was simply a glue stick, but I have evolved. I watched some youtube videos and saw them using the double sided tape and dispenser. Great, great addition to my tools.

My absolute favorite type of watercolors and they are super cheap. I know many, many art folks out there will turn their noses up to this set of watercolors, but truly they work wonders for what I need them to do. This is the generic set of watercolors that Michaels sales for like 5.00 or less. Most of my art journal pages have watercolor backgrounds.

The two above watercolor sets are mainly used for accents on top of the other watercolors set. The metallic set was picked up at a homeschool convention in Greenville from Miller Pads and Paper. The glitter watercolor was from Walmart.

Of course neo gel pens are the bomb. You can see the pack is missing one color and that would be white. Grace stole it for her highlights on her manga drawings.

I have used all types of paper and this is my newest purchase. I originally purchased this medium tone paper for chalk but after purchasing it realized that the paper is not textured and I didn't think that chalk would adhere very well to the paper. They were on sale for 5.00 each so we stocked up. Now it has become another art journaling pad.

My favorite pens are actually very fine pointed. I use these for writing and accents, highlighting, and sometimes borders. A fairly inexpensive set at 25.00. I think I used birthday money for the purchase last year.

Couldn't find the third pen that goes with this set. Copper, silver, and gold metallic sharpies. Love, love, love these pens - they are so rich in color and application. Again I use these mostly for highlighting and accents. 

Monday, August 19, 2013

Beauty Captured Day 19 of 365

Mr. Gwen the ferrett asleep before his nightly funfest. Sweetest face ever!

The Pebble Pond

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Insanely Weird Weather

This summer has had the weirdest weather I have ever seen in my lifetime. Two days ago was the coolest on record for our area at 69 degrees. In August! 69 degrees! Normally we are in the 90's or at least the high 80's. If my memory serves, we have only reached 90 degrees one day the ENTIRE summer. Pitiful weather for swimming. It has rained almost every day since the beginning of June. That is like 8-9 straight weeks of rain. Everything under the sun has been rained out in our County. Fourth of July parties, parades, fireworks, birthday parties, swimming parties.... I could go on and on. This week has been rain and coolests temps of the summer. The last four days we have barely gotten out of the high 60's. Of course I turned the AC off and opened windows, so that has been nice. Another downside to all the rain and very little sun is the fact that many gardens just flopped. Hardly any decent tomatoes. I am hoping that the cooler temps stay and it doesn't decide to just spike in this last part of August and September. I know I shouldn't look a gift horse in the mouth, and should be thankful for all the rain. Our area had suffered with drought conditions over the past few years and I we have a well for our water. So lots of rain means good well water for us. On the flip side I am very eager to see the sun again.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Weekly Wrap Up

This was one of those weeks that you just had to hold on tight and make to Friday. The first part of the week revolved around preparing for the first day of Cooperative, then doctor's appointments, a going away party, and fitting school in where we could.

Our first day of Cooperative was awesome. Lots of new families and students to meet with 36 families participating this semester. All the students seemed to have a good time so hopefully they will all be back next week and we can move on with the remainder of the semester. Grace was excited to find out that she got the part of Olivia in Twelfth Night. The high school class will be performing a Night of Shakespeare in November. This will include three spoofs of Romeo and Juliet, Macbeth and Hamlet while Twelfth Night is a shortened version. Much work ahead of us in memorizing lines while the elementary students will be preparing for the Aristocats to perform in December.

One of our fellow Acts of Faith performers is going to Tanzania for missionary work and won't return until January. Yesterday there was a going away party for her to wish her well. Great kid that will be missed. Praying for her safety and success with her mission.

What We Learned or Discussed This Week
Early Church History through Glaucia
Staying Healthy through Vintage Remedies
Saying Not to Drugs through Time4Learning
Vocabulary with Maries Words
Prepositions Review
Attila the Hunn
Inverse Operations
Owl Study
Norse Mythology

What We Are Reading
Wesley the Owl
The Children of Odin
Famous Men of the Middle Ages
King Alfred's English
Twenty-One Balloons
The Book of Mark
Who is My Neighbor?

Classes Attended
Creative Writing and Introduction to Poetry
Yearbook Staff
LEGO Design

Upcoming Reviews
The Presidential Game
People Keys - Personality Test

This week there was no mistaking that Grace's favorite item was CNN Student News, but a close second would be what she is reading for science Wesley the Owl

Our ever present supervisor.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Beauty Captured Day 15 of 365

I missed a few days in there due to the craziness of Cooperative on Tuesday and the business I had to handle or the Cooperative the day after. But I hope to catch up.

Our constant school time companion.

The Pebble Pond

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Personal Development Tuesday

Each Tuesday proves to be a fairly hectic day for us. Tuesday is Cooperative day and today is the first Cooperative day of the semester. I have four classes to teach today - elementary art, puppetry arts, fun with literature, and yearbook staff. Grace has four classes to attend - creative writing, LEGO design, drama, and yearbook staff. With all of this in mind I never schedule very much to do school wise at home on a Tuesday once the Cooperative is back in full swing. This got me thinking about exactly what I did want to schedule on Tuesday mornings for us to do before we left the house for Cooperative. There were 2-3 products we reviewed this year that I really wanted to work into our schedule. With this being Grace's 9th grade year there was already so much for her to do I didn't know how we would work those books into our schedule. It then hit me to do a morning of Personal Development and that is exactly what we did this morning. First I read a chapter from High School Prep Genius. You can find my previous review of this product here. Today's chapter was Interests that Make You Interesting. We read aloud the chapter together and discussed the questions at that followed.

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Next we read one truth from 25 Truths - Life Principles of the Happiest and Most Successful Among Us. You can read more about this product from my review found here. Today's truth concerned protecting your reputation. This time Grace read the truth to herself and then we discussed the questions that followed. 

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The last thing we crossed off our list this morning for Personal Development is a current review product from People Keys Inc. This was a student personality style test for career choice. I will be posting a review for this product on September 9th. 

I plan on continuing Personal Development Tuesday throughout the year and obviously also including our morning devotions and Bible reading as well.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Beauty Captured - Day 11 out of 365

Edible homemade gluten-free bread. lol.

The Pebble Pond

Baking Day - Gluten-Free Style

Today I was determined to bake some gluten-free items that were actually edible. My thoughts were to do muffins, bread, and cookies. I have already tried some recipes for muffins and cookies that were good but wanted to widen the scope a bit. A couple of weeks ago I purchased coconut flour from Amazon for a tortilla recipe that failed miserably. This means I had a lot of coconut flour that needed to be used. So the first recipe I tried was for muffins made with coconut flour.

Even though these turned out a bit dark they tasted just fine. I snatched this recipe from The Spunky Coconut. I will definitely being using this recipe again.

Next on the agenda was a cookie mix I purchased from a local cottage business. When I originally add all the ingredients, it was still to dry. I added more butter and they turned out flat and lacy, but still tasty.

Last but not least is sandwich bread. We have cut down on eating bread dramatically since going gluten-free. Grace doesn't like bread at all, hubby only needs sandwich bread when working his three long day shifts, and I currently use rice tortillas for my sandwiches. Every once in a while I would like something I could use for a grilled cheese. This recipe I found on Pinterest but didn't remember to pin it and now I can't find where it came from. The ingredients were: sorghum flour, white rice flour, tapioca starch, potato starch, almond milk, xanthum gum, salt, sugar, honey, eggs, yeast, and butter. I think this one might be a keeper.

It didn't rise as much as I would have liked, but still usable for toast and garlic bread. I am still on a mission to perfect this whole baking bread at home thing without gluten.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

How We Use Marie's Words

Marie's Words is a newer product on the homeschooling scene. I had seen posts, etc. about the product in blog land and on Facebook. Once seeing what the product was about I knew I really wanted to give it a try with Grace. Me and the husband visited The Great Homeschool Convention in Greenville in March of this year. Lucky for me Marie's Words has a booth and I got to meet the brother of of Marie. Of course I purchased the product and it sat on a shelf all summer. My hands and fingers were a twitching to start this product and it was very hard to wait until last week to do that. Marie's Words does come with instructions on how to use the product and other games you can use with the cards, but with me being a homeschool mom I knew I needed to tweak it a bit for our family and put our own spin on it. Marie's Words contains 550 vocabulary words to study for the ACT or SAT. You can find more information about Marie's Words on their website. First I want to say this is not a review and I did pay for this product. I just want to share how we use a wonderful little product in our home.
At the beginning of each week I give Grace 10 new words to study from the box. I found a ring to put them on (they do come pre-punched) to do so. Currently we are going in alphabetical order through the box of words. Each day Grace reviews the words and their definitions as well as how it was used in a sentence. That gives her five days to learn the words. Sometime during the week I put together a little quiz for her to take on Fridays. As of now I am only creating a matching quiz between the words and definitions and asking her to pick five words from the list to create five sentences. I was pleased to see that her first quiz went well with a score of 100. I am not a grader and typically do not grade all of her work. With this being her 9th grade year though I know I need to get some grades together for her transcript at the end of the year.

Some other activities I might start including on the quiz is putting the words in alphabetical order, creating more sentences, and maybe working with synonyms and antonyms. Working with 10 cards a week will almost see us finish the box in 1 1/2 years. At that point we will start over and do it again. I am hoping this will prepare her better for the ACT of SAT. Another item we are using for SAT prep is SAT App Quiz you can get for free on itunes. 

Friday, August 9, 2013

Beauty Captured Day 9 of 365

We have had so much rain this summer that mushrooms are everywhere.

The Pebble Pond

Weekly Wrap Up - The Week of Busyness

This week has truly been crazy busy. All the last minute details for the beginning of our Cooperative had to be dealt with as well as planning a friends wedding and starting school. The week was gone before I knew it.

Monday - We had our final teacher's meeting to go over details for the Cooperative and got some of the rooms set up with what we would be using. I attended Zumba by myself because Grace was sick most of the week with a bad cold.

Tuesday - Auditions for elementary drama 2-6 then deciding who got what part. That was incredibly hard because we have a lot of talent in the elementary class. It was also so much fun meeting some of the new families.

Wednesday - Half day of school because we needed to travel to a weekly doctor's appt in the afternoon. While in the bigger city I stopped by Micheals and JoAnns to purchase last minute art supplies for my elementary art class, ferret food from Petsmart, and went to Home Depot to get prices to build some stuff for the Cooperative. After all of this running around we all decided we needed a pick me up and stopped in to get frozen yogurt at Sweet Monkey.

Thursday - On this day I had a meeting in the afternoon with my co-director of the Cooperative to finalize some of the plans for her wedding. She is getting married the end of this month and I am responsible with helping decorate and food.

Friday - This brings us to today. A full day of school, few errands in the afternoon, and hopefully Zumba class tonight. I am catching the cold that Grace has been suffering through all week. If I don't feel worse and Grace continues to feel better off to Zumba we go.

What We Learned This Week
Alaric the Visigoth
Preventing Sickness from Vintage Remedies
Vocabulary Words from Marie's Words
Greek and Latin Root Words
Barn Owls
Saudi Arabia
Lesson 1 in Algebra
Creative Writing with Story Starters

What We Are Reading
The Children of Odin
Famous Men of the Middle Ages
Twenty- One Balloons
Wesley the Owl
Glaucia - Early Church History
The Book of Mark
King Alfred's English

Review We Are Working On
People Keys - Disc Career Online

Our favorite item this week would probably have to be The Children of Odin which is a recommended read to go along with the Famous Men of the Middle Ages material. Grace loves the character Loki from the Thor and Avengers movie. Well the book is full of stories of Loki, only he is a very bad character in Norse mythology. I will have to say it has been very interesting studying Greek mythology last year and Norse mythology now. Seeing how they both explained what we know to have happened through the Bible is fascinating. So many stories are so similar. We enjoy contrasting the stories between Greek, Roman, Norse, and Christianity. 

I am sure that next week Grace's favorite item of interest will be the return of CNN Student News. She has missed it so much and is counting down the days till it returns, which is Monday the 12th of August.

I am linking up with Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Have You Every Thought About Teaching a Yearbook Class

A few months ago I got it into my head the possibility of teaching a Yearbook class to upper grades through our Cooperative. The review of Picaboo Yearbooks, which you can read through the link, sealed the deal for me. Firstly our Cooperative was looking for a good fundraiser. Secondly I wanted it to be something the students could really be a part of. In walked the idea of a Yearbook Class.

When I started the thought processes for this class I knew it would need to cap the class to a smaller amount of students. My final student count is 10 but I was willing to accept up to 12. I did do some recruiting because I knew of a couple of girls in the Cooperative that were huge photography buffs. My next step was to actually create a class where they all learned a few things as well as created a product that families would purchase.

Our Cooperative runs in semesters. This means I have 14 class times to teach the students the highlights of creating a yearbook and producing the product as well. The way that the Picaboo Yearbooks software is set up will allow the students to do some work from their home if needed. Some items we will be learning and touching on include:

  • Typical jobs that are sectioned out among a Yearbook Staff
  • Choosing layouts, backgrounds, accents, covers, colors, etc.
  • How to create a good caption
  • How to Take Better Pictures
  • Choosing what goes into the book, how many pages, content, etc.
  • Editing photos, pages, and entire project
  • Cost of book and how to set up a storefront on Picaboo's site
  • Creating a schedule of who will be doing what and when they will be doing it
  • Choosing partners/groups to work on certain layouts
Even though the class is referred to as "Yearbook Class" this book will actually be more of a memory book of the entire semester. All 60 students will be found somewhere in the book. It may be through group class photos, recitals, performances, candids, or special recognition. We have 36 families participating with the possibility of selling 36 memory books. This could go a long with in helping to fund the next semester's drama production, new sound or lighting equipment, art supplies, and other items that are needed to continue on for subsequent semesters. If this class goes well we may offer it every year or maybe even every semester. Parents truly love to have something to remember what their children have accomplished and the students love having pictures of their friends. 

Beauty Captured Day 8 of 365

We love taking photos of nature, especially the larger moths. With us living in a very wooded area we tend to get all types of moths taking a siesta on our porches, decks and ceilings during the day. They fascinate me and Grace and we love waking up to see what stayed behind from the night each morning.

The Pebble Pond