August 30, 2008

Our Homeschool Mascots

Silver Spiral Academy's mascots

Here we have Tux. He loves to sleep on our books on the table.

Here is Bella. She makes sure everyone gets all their work done.

And here we have Kali, being held by her boy, Alex. She thinks *he* belongs to her.

August 28, 2008

Science Experiments

This afternoon I had Alex pick out 2 experiments/tricks from a library book that he has checked out. 101 Physics Tricks by Terry Cash. He picked out one on water density & one on convection currents. The experiment on water density was easy but takes longer. We filled a small plastic container with water, to the brim. Then we cover it will foil and put it in the freezer. When the water freezes it expands and will push up out of the container, raising the foil cap. This experiment is currently in our freezer. :-) The second experiment was also easy but didn't take as much time. I took pictures to document.

Alex reads over the experiment.

He checks to make sure we have everything we need.

Alex puts the food coloring into the small container (this will dye the water in this container).

Morgan adds hot water to the small container, big container has cold water.

We had to change small containers (the other one floated!) and we are now preparing to pull off the foil cap.

Foil cap is off, colored hot water is at the top and starting to flow around & down.
Yea, our experiment worked. :-) The kids were excited and continued watching the containers until the hot water completely mixed with the cold water and it was all colored purple.

August 26, 2008

Civil War at Belle Meade Plantation

Yesterday we went on a field trip to Belle Meade Plantation in Nashville, TN. They offer homeschool days and yesterday was "Civil War at Belle Meade Plantation". We tour the Belle Meade house, led by interpreters in period outfits. They told us about life at the plantation during the Civil War. We met up with some friends and had a nice time. After the tour, hands on activity and scavenger hunt, we had a picnic lunch which finished just in time for rain. Good timing!

Here are the 5 girls standing on the front porch of the house listening to our first guide.

This is our first guide. She was giving us rules as well as information about the horses bred & raised at Belle Meade during the Civil War.

Morgan and 2 of her friends working on their letter writing. They were using quill pins & ink.

Alex working on his letter writing.

Our Civil War soldier guide. He told us what the soldiers dealt with during battles and showed us how their rifle worked. Boy, was it LOUD!

Being silly kids and having a great time.

August 24, 2008

Our Weekend

First I have to say that the kids did really well with school work this past week. We had a disorganized week with some coming & going and we had minimal fussing & all school work completed. As much hassle as they were giving us previously this is a big step. Yea! I think it helps that we are more organized as far as the school work itself. I am being more firm with them doing what needs to be done before they get to play. It is become routine and that is a big help.
So, I'm proud of my kiddos for accepting all of this.

After school work and getting some play time on Friday, Morgan made spinach & artichoke dip for the art show reception. They asked each artist to bring something for the reception. Morgan found the recipe online, made it herself...just had help taking it out of the oven. What is really cool is that we already had all of the ingredients. Gotta love it. :-) We had a round loaf of White Mountain bread so we made a bread bowl to serve the dip in. We made bread cubes, cucumber slices and toast points to serve with the dip. The reception went very well and had good attendance. We had friends & family come by. Morgan was so proud and excited. A really cool experience for her.

Saturday morning we made a new batch of laundry detergent. Somehow I ended up with a bar of Dial antibacterial soap to use instead of Ivory. I didn't realize it until I was part way into the process so we went ahead with it. The detergent has turned out just fine. I just used some in a load of towels and they are nice & clean and smell great. I tell ya, I can not imagine spending money on store bought laundry detergent anymore. Ever! Seriously, it costs just over $1 to make 5 gallons of homemade laundry and it works great. When we make a batch we share with my mom & brother. Later we went bowling. Somehow everyone was in a grumpy mood before we even left the house. It carried into the bowling center but finally went away. *phew* I hate when everyone is grumpy. The bowling center was busy and noisy...Alex ended up getting over stimulated from the noise & got a headache. Luckily we were near the end of our 2nd game so we finished up and headed out. We went to Catfish Campus for dinner...yum!! Their hushpuppies are delish! During dinner Morgan started talking about Barack Obama's VP announcement, campaigning and elections. We had a really good conversation. She's very interested in all of it. Wooo!! I think with her interest in the elections coming up in November that I'll work on bringing in some of that into school. We've always discussed our reasons behind why we vote & who we vote for. I think she will enjoy anything we can add for her.

Today we are having a lazy day. It has been drizzly outside. We need the rain desperately. Morgan is making a cake for Corey's birthday (tomorrow). We are taking it over to my mom's house later this afternoon so we can have a little family celebration while Corey & my brother are off work.

August 22, 2008

Counted Cross Stitch

Morgan has decided she wants to learn how to do counted cross stitch. My mom and I both know how and I think it is definitely something she can handle. We were at Joann's a week ago and my mom found this book of designs...all fairies. So we just *had* to get it! Here is the book: Cross Stitch Fairies Aren't they just precious?! We didn't buy any DMC thread while at Joann's because I have a ton and wanted to check to see what we needed before we just started buying. Well, as luck would have it we needed quite a few of these colors. LOL! So, I bought them the other night and I'm hoping to start working on one with Morgan this weekend.

August 20, 2008

Youth Art Show - prep work

We have done all of our prep work for the Youth Art Show that is coming up on Friday. We printed Morgan's photos, picked out mats and frames. Then came the fun part...putting the hardware on the frames so they could be hung in the gallery. My thumb was SORE! The good news is that is was worth all the hard work. Her pictures look great. We dropped them off, 6 new pictures plus 1 from her digital photography class, and they are all hung up. The opening reception is Friday night. We will be there and so will other family and friends. Morgan is so excited. The show will continue for 6 weeks. I promise to take some pictures.

I uploaded all of her trip pictures into a photo album. If you didn't get an email linking to it then please let me know. :-)

We are proud of our little Puff!

August 11, 2008

Back in the swing

We seem to be back in the swing of things around our house. Corey is as busy as ever with work and the kids & I are working on our schooling routine. We are finishing up books in some subjects and have already started new ones in other subjects. The new math books & the grammar program are in. Our science is backordered but should be coming in 1-2 weeks. I am being more "aggressive", for lack of a better word, in getting the kids started on school work and not letting them push it back & slack off. Woo...go Mommy/Teacher. :-) The kids are doing well on their end and not fussing when I tell them it is time to start. Woo...go kiddos. :-)

Bowling starts back up this week & both kids are participating. HP Club starts up on Tues night. We still haven't heard about Morgan's dance class schedule (ugh!). And we are working on some changes in our book club. A couple families have left and we are getting a couple more so making some schedule changes to that. I haven't heard anything about 4-H yet but that usually starts back up in September. I am helping to start a new homeschool support group in the area and that is keeping me pretty busy. But I'm loving it. Finally, scheduling some field trips. There are plenty of things like plays & such that you really need to schedule early so they aren't booked.

I found this while looking around at some other homeschooling blogs and just LOVED it!! I have to share.... I will survive (homeschool style)

August 7, 2008

Return of the Roaming Child

Miss Morgan is home. It is nice to have her around again. It is amazing what you miss when one of your children is off on a little adventure. Morgan got home shortly after 11pm last night. She took her cousin up to see her room and Grandpa & Dad unloaded the goodies/stuff that Morgan accummulated on the trip. :-) Then Grandpa, Grandma & Josie had to leave because they had been travelling all day and had to get up early to leave to take Josie home. Miss Josie starts back to school tomorrow. We managed to get Morgan & Alex into bed by midnight. Not bad considering both kids were very excited about Morgan being home.

Alex was up with the sun. Well, okay, maybe not quite that early but it was about 7am. Poor Corey worked all night and managed to get 2 broken hours of sleep. :-/ I got up about 8:30am. Miss Morgan didn't wake up until NOON! And that was because Alex went up to wake her up. LOL! I'm guessing someone had been running short on sleep. The kids did very well today. Bella figured out that Morgan was really Morgan & belongs here at the house.

Our new math books arrived today and Morgan was all excited because her book is pink this year. LOL! Maybe she'll like math or at least not complain so much about it. *sigh* Hey, I can hope! While outside with Bella we saw a baby bird in the yard. It was still fluffy but had lots of feathers. It walked & hopped along the grass and made a tiny "chirp" but wasn't flapping his wings or really trying to fly. His chest was reddish and we've found a blue robin's egg shell on the ground a while back so I'm pretty sure this is a baby robin. I tried to get back out there to take a picture of the baby bird but we couldn't find him. Hopefully that means he flew back up to his nest.

By this weekend I hope to have all of Morgan's pictures on the computer.

August 4, 2008

Back to school...homeschool

Alex and I started back up with school today. Morgan is still on her trip but she'll just jump in when she gets home. We are wrapping up the last bit of our current curriculum. Corey is ordering the next set. We are sticking with Math-U-See , Story of the World , and R.E.A.L. science . We are switching to Growing With Grammar . We will still have book club,dancing, guitar lessons, bowling, HP Club, 4-H, roller skating, park days, and field trips. I think we will be plenty busy. :-) We don't use a lot of prepared curriculum. We use a spine and then expand on things that we are interested in by doing field trips, online research, checking out library books,etc. I like using multiple resources and approaches. We don't do a lot of "busy work".

Our area does a back-to-school tax-free shopping weekend. Well, we didn't even pay attention and went to Wal-Mart on Friday night. Ohmigosh....mistake!! It took us over 2 hours! I will say that I am sooo thankful that we don't have to go through all of that. They've really pushed the dress code to the point of uniforms here...khaki or navy pants, certain color polo shirts (tucked in & belted). The shirts are red, white & navy (I think) and then each school got to pick a special color for their school only. Well, some people are having trouble finding the right colored polos in various sizes. What a mess. Not to mention the list of school supplies that you have to supply since they are cutting budgets yet again. No thanks!! We will study what we want, when we want, how we want....without having to supply everyone with tissues, hand soap, crayons, paper, markers,etc.

August 1, 2008

Morgan in San Diego

I have some friends that live in southern California that I've known for over 10 years and yet we've never met in person. We met through an email list when we were all pregnant with our first kiddos (all due in September 1998). We've remained good friends but haven't had the chance to meet yet. Morgan has become penpals with one of the kids. Well....they got to meet last night!

After a nice day meeting her Great Aunt Margie, going shopping and going to a movie, Morgan went to meet up with my friend Diane and her daughter Christine. My dad and stepmother were kind enough to help us arrange the meeting and get Morgan there. Thanks!! The girls got a couple hours together, talking over ice cream and Diane got a few pictures. Here is a good one of Morgan & Christine. :-) Aren't they cute??

I have to say that I am a little jealous because *I* didn't get to meet Diane & Christine too! One of these of these days.

I'm not sure what else they are doing in the area but I just had to share this little part of Morgan's adventure with everyone.