Our Family

Our Family

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Our Week in Review (July 24-30)

So here we are at the end of July.  Public schools around here start back in two weeks!  I do not even have all of my curriculum decided.  I guess I am going to have to figure out the last few things this week and get them ordered.

We had a busy week this week!

An art teacher in town has been offering painting classes once a week for children with a different subject being painted each week.  The cost was $20 per child.  I knew Lily and Emmie would love to go and we called a friend to see if they would like to go as well.  I would only be able to send them one time.  So Monday morning we loaded up and headed to the painting class.  The subject was a butterfly.  The background on the canvases were painted already and the butterfly was drawn, so all they had to do was paint the butterfly.  They had a great time and did a wonderful job on their paintings!

Tuesday Anthony had a birthday!

Wednesday our goats had to have some DNA pulled and tags put on their ears for identification for the state fair. 

Then we had to run to town so Nick could have a physical.

Thursday we had our 4 H meeting.

When we got home this sweet face was at the house ( and his mama of course!)

Friday morning I took Nick to take his permit test.  I ran into some snags when the police department told me they can no longer accept my homeschool form.  It is a really long story, but I had the correct form according to what is written in our homeschool law, but they wouldn't take it.  So I had to leave run to the 4 H office, borrow their computer, file my homeschool paperwork again online, print out that form, have that form notarized, and go back.  They did accept that form (even though that form is no longer the legal form we file and now I have registered twice!) and allowed him to take his test.  He passed.  I can't believe he is old enough to start driving!

Saturday Alex and Lily made some homemade ice cream for our indoor church picnic on Sunday.  Lily won the Golden Scoop award!  She was very excited.

For the school side of our week, we finished In the Reign of Terror from Heirloom Audio (upcoming review), did a little bit of math (not as much as I wanted to), did some work in English on a Roll (upcoming review), and reviewed the letters and words we have learned in Greek (upcoming review.)  Emmie has worked on Phonics Museum everyday (upcoming review.)  We finished The Golden Lamps Book 6 of The Terrestria Chronicles.  Oh and coding.  I do NOT like coding.  AT ALL.  It is very tedious work.  But Christian and Anthony enjoy it so I purchased CodaKid Minecraft Mods.  They can work on it mostly themselves, but when they encounter an error, I have to find it and fix it.  If I can't I contact Tech support and ask for help (they are great at offering help.)  They did 2 lessons this week and have been very happy at the things they have made in Minecraft.

The girls have been working very hard this week on their Little Red Riding Hood Doll sets.  They are almost done with them.

Lily also made a blanket for Liam.  Her sewing skills will surpass mine very soon.

Anthony got a drone for his birthday.  He has spent a lot of time flying it.  He got it stuck in a tree the first day he had it, but Nick had great aim with a soccer ball and knocked it out of the tree for him.

We medicated the coughing goats again.  I really wish they would stop coughing!  And have been exercising them everyday to build muscle and hopefully get them used to walking in the show ring.

Nick's rabbit that escaped when we were on vacation finally got caught last night!  It only took us a week to outsmart that rabbit and get her in the cage.  I hope she doesn't figure out how to get out again!

I hope you had a great week!

Happy Homeschooling!

Friday, July 28, 2017

July Nature Seekers 4 H Meeting

For our July meeting, we went on a bank tour.  We have never toured a bank before, so I thought it would be a good idea for a meeting.  I knew the tour wouldn't be long, so I found some cute ceramic piggy banks for the children to paint when we were finished.  We had 11 children present for our July meeting.

 I was so glad that First State Bank was willing to have us come and tour! 

The children got to see the vaults where the coins and bills were kept, and where the safety deposit boxes are.

We toured the teller area, and they explained how the money is collected, counted, and verified. 

We got to see the different offices, learned about different accounts and types of loans are given, and how technology has changed how banking is done.

Afterwards we went back to the EH house and conducted our meeting.

Then we painted piggy banks.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Review: The Writing Desk by Rachel Hauck

Book Description " From the New York Times bestselling author of The Wedding Dress comes a new captivating novel of secrets, romance, and two women bound together across time by a shared dream.

Tenley Roth’s first book was a runaway bestseller. Now that her second book is due, she’s locked in fear. Can she repeat her earlier success or is she a fraud who has run out of inspiration?

With pressure mounting from her publisher, Tenley is weighted with writer’s block. But when her estranged mother calls asking Tenley to help her through chemotherapy, she packs up for Florida where she meets handsome furniture designer Jonas Sullivan and discovers the story her heart’s been missing.

A century earlier, another woman wrote at the same desk with hopes and fears of her own. Born during the Gilded Age, Birdie Shehorn is the daughter of the old money Knickerbockers. Under the strict control of her mother, her every move is decided ahead of time, even whom she’ll marry. But Birdie has dreams she doesn’t know how to realize. She wants to tell stories, write novels, make an impact on the world. When she discovers her mother has taken extreme measures to manipulate her future, she must choose between submission and security or forging a brand new way all on her own.

Tenley and Birdie are from two very different worlds, but fate has bound them together in a way time cannot erase. "

If you have never read any of Rachel Hauck's books and you enjoy Christian fiction, you need to read some of her books!  The Wedding Dress remains one of my favorite books of all time.  The Wedding Shop and The Wedding Chapel were also amazing along with the Royal Wedding Series.  When I saw that she had a new book coming out, I could not wait to read it! 

The story is told using 4 different people's perspectives, two in the present and two in the past.  In the present we have  Tenley and also Jonas Sullivan.  Tenley has a great grandfather and a father who were acclaimed authors.  In her grief over losing her father, she writes a romance that immediately becomes a best seller.  She struggles with writers block because she fears that she is a one hit wonder with a name that people recognize.  Jonas is a good, honest family man who has been hurt by his best friend and ex-fiancée.  He meets Tenley when we comes to remove a desk in her mother's house, The Writing Desk.  In the past we have Birdie Shehorn and Eli.  Birdie is a wealthy heiress who desires the ability to craft stories and decide her own future.  Eli's family had money and he is titled, but the family wealth has all but disappeared.  He needs to marry someone wealthy to secure his future.

The Writing Desk is a very well crafted story. Each of the characters are well developed and believable, although even thinking about the wealth some of the families had during the Gilded Age is beyond my imagination. The story transitions very well from the past to the present.  The plot was very interesting to me because when you as a reader find a book that you love you wonder if the author is going to be able to write another that will be as good or better.  The Writing Desk presents that dilemma from the author's side.  But, the story does not really focus on Tenley's writer's block.  Yes that is part of the larger story but the main ideas are about love and forgiveness, trusting God and finding your own path in life regardless of what other people think or believe about you.  The Writing Desk will make you laugh and cry, teach you about forgiveness, and that God can use anything for a great purpose.

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of The Writing Desk for the purpose of writing a fair and honest review.  I received no other compensation and all opinions are my own.  I am disclosing this in accordance to the FTC regulations.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Homeschool Crew Review: ACTÍVA Products

My girls love doing art projects and were excited to have a chance to use and review the Rigid Wrap and CelluClay Quik-Sculpting Kit from ACTÍVA Products.  We also received the ACTÍVA Products' Favorite Sculpture KIDS CRAFTS eBook.

Rigid Wrap and CelluClay Quik-Sculpting Kit

The Rigid Wrap and CelluClay Quik Sculpt Starter Kit ($11.90) contains 2-4" rolls of Rigid Wrap and 8 oz of CelluClay for making a variety of different types of projects.  The CelluClay is not clay at all.  It is a powdery material used for paper mache. To use the CelluClay, you measure an amount into a ziplock bag and add water to it.  When you close the bag and knead it, it combines the water and CelluClay to make your paper mache product.  After applying it needs at least 24 hours to dry. To use the Rigid Wrap, you cut several one inch pieces off of the roll, dip them in water and place them over the product you are using.  Rigid Wrap takes 15-20 minutes to dry.  Once the products are dry you can paint and decorate them however you wish.

The ACTÍVA Products' Favorite Sculpture KIDS CRAFTS eBook (29 pages) is available for free.  In it you will find color photos and instructions for 12 different projects you can make including:

Silly Spider
Bold Beads
Deadly Dinosaur
Beautiful Butterfly
Terrific Totem Pole
Piece of Cake
Egyptian Sarcophagus
Erupting Volcano
Mardi Gras Mask
Painted Pumpkin
Peppermint Candy Bowl
Snowman Ornament

We decided to make two different projects from the eBook.  The first project, the butterfly, used the Rigid Wrap.  The back of the eBook contains a few templates so we printed out the butterfly, traced it onto some cardboard and cut it out.  Next we cut the Rigid Wrap into pieces. It left a powdery substance on the table, but it was easy to clean up.

They dipped the Rigid Wrap into a bowl of water and placed it over the cardboard butterflies.

We had to let the first layer dry a little before adding the second layer.

After the second layer was dry they were able to paint their butterflies.(Emmie ran off with hers before I could get a picture.)  They were impressed with the results.

The second project we did was the dinosaur and it used the CelluClay.  We traced the template onto a piece of cardboard and cut it out.  Then we mixed the CelluClay.  This was a little tricky because it does not say in the instructions in the eBook how much water to use and there were no instructions in the box for using the CelluClay.  The eBook instructions for the dinosaur said to mix 2.5 cups of CelluClay in a ziplock bag.  I found on the website a tips and tricks section that said for 1 lb of CelluClay to mix 32 oz of water.  So I used  2.5 cups of CelluClay and  added 5 cups of water.  This was way too much water.  I had to add more and more CelluClay and still it was watery.  I finally got it to what I thought was a good consistency and then I had way too much CelluClay.  I think maybe we were supposed to have 2.5 cups total after adding the water.  The extra I stored in a Ziplock bag. After we applied the it took several days for it to dry before it could be painted.

We had fun with our Rigid Wrap and CelluClay and would use it again in the future. I think you can make some really interesting projects with these two products.  I loved the projects that were in the eBook, they were very creative and appealed to both boys and girls. I love that they included colored photos.  I think some of the instructions should be a little more specific.  It would be helpful to include the amount of water you need on each of the  CelluClay projects and also about how long to allow the Rigid Wrap to dry before adding more layers. 

To see what my Crew Mates had to say, stop by the Crew Blog!

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Our Week in Review (July 17-23rd)

It was HOT in Arkansas this week!  We had a few days in a row hovering around 110 with the heat index, and do you know where we were? Camping.  We had had to postpone a camping trip twice in the last couple of months.  Once because there was just too much to do around the house and the other time was when Chelsea had the baby.  This time we were going!  With chickens and rabbits we could leave enough food and water to last a few days and be fine. Of course now we have goats too  and they have to be fed twice a day. Chelsea agreed to come over once a day to take care of them and Art and Alex were going to come home and feed them once a day.  We are minus one rabbit and have no idea how she got out.  The cage was closed and no holes dug around it.  The other rabbit in the cage is still there.

Earlier in the week we did not have too much going on.  Lots of swimming for the children and they did do a little bit of school work, mostly math.  We also spent a lot of time preparing for our camping trip.

 The camper needed a bath inside and out.

The goats need to be exercised every day.  We are trying to exercise them separately so they will get used to be apart and not be overly stressed when it gets to be fair time.  Oh my!  They cry and cry when they are apart.

I ran Chelsea to the doctor for her follow up appointment.  She is doing well.  The baby also had is appointment this week.  He is now 10 lbs 14 oz and is doing great!

After we got back from the doctor on Wednesday it was time to go.  We arrived at the lake around 5:00.  As soon as we backed the camper into the site, a tire on the camper blew.  The spare was the wrong size.  When Art and Alex fed goats on Saturday they had to go to three different places to find tires to put on the camper.  Also when I was turning off the shower Friday night, the cold knob broke.  We had to turn off the water and Art had to buy some caps on Saturday to plug the water to the shower so we could turn the water back on.  Never a dull moment!

We fished, swam, went on the boat, played lots of cards, and drank lots of water!  We watched a movie in the camper every day during the hottest part of the day. 

One of my favorite things about this lake is that even though there is a swimming area (and its a nice one with picnic tables, a little bit of a beach and a water slide), you don't have to go to the swimming area to swim.  The water is shallow enough that we can walk out of the camper and swim right outside the back door.  We also like it because every time we go we catch fish.  Even if they are just little fish.

Lily found some tadpoles that were in different stages of development.
Emmie decided she was going to make a leaf collection.  Then she also started collecting some different rocks she found.
Christian found a big toad.

Emmie caught that bass all by herself while on the boat.  It was 16 1/2 inches long.  Nick had caught a bass that was 13 1/4 but had to be thrown back because it was not legal to keep.  Christian caught a good size bass that was legal to keep so that fish and Emmie's fish are now in the freezer.

We are out of food so I have to go brave Walmart even though I'd rather just climb into bed! 

I hope you had a great week!

Happy Homeschooling!