Our Family

Our Family

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Our Week in Review (July 23rd-29th)

All summer long there have been empty chairs at my dining room table.  Some days boys were gone for one day events.  Then we had camps.  Alex and Christian gone for 3 days, then a week later gone for 4.  Lily, Christian, Nick, and Alex gone for 3( I can't remember the last time I only had to cook for 4 people!) , then a week later Nick and Alex gone for 4 again for 4 H State O'Rama.  You only have a chance to be young once and have these opportunities and I am so thankful that they were able to have them!  I was asked how I could afford to send the children on all of these trips.  All of the 4 H activities that the children do come out of my education fund.  I set aside money every month for curriculum, art supplies, etc.. and other activities.  It's not a lot of money and it has to be able to stretch.  We are very blessed that the community we live in has so much support for 4 H.  Our 4 H Foundation helps pay the cost of camps and other activities like District and State O'Rama.  The first time a child attends a state camp, half is paid for by the Foundation which is an enormous help to the parent!  This year Christian received a state scholarship to attend STEM camp.  Camp counselors attend camp for free, so Alex could attend our county camp free.  The 4 H Foundation paid the costs for State O' Rama, all they had to have was spending money and money for a few meals. They had some wonderful learning experiences this summer and lots of fun too!  I am so glad they had these opportunities even though I do miss them when they are gone.

My van is still in the shop as I sit here and write this.  It has been under repairs for a week.  The wrong parts and something else needing to be fixed caused some complications.  And Art had to work all week-end. I only had 4 children most of this week but next week will be more complicated if it does not get fixed for a few more days since I cannot fit all of the children in the truck.

Monday Chelsea and Liam came over for the morning.  Nick was gone all day to finish up working on his project for State O' Rama.  Our ag agent came over in the afternoon to check out our animals and pull DNA and tag goats for state fair.

Tuesday morning I dropped off Nick and Alex for their trip to University of Arkansas at Fayetteville for 4 H State O' Rama.  This was their first time to go.  4 hers 14-19 can complete at State O' Rama in individual and team competitions and also take place in workshops. Nick did not place high enough at District to complete at state so he was signed up for 2 workshops and an Interior Design team competition.  His role in the contest as STEM is his main project, was to create and present a design of a floor plan of an apartment using 3-D design software on an iPad.  The other components of the contest was to choose furniture to suit the floor plan and things like fabrics for furniture and curtains and types of flooring and countertops. Alex placed high enough at District in Sports Fishing so he was able to compete in that, take place in one workshop, and compete in a team contest in Livestock Skills.  Some of the things he had to do was to identify retail cuts of meat, different feeds, hay quality, fill out a medicine form, and more.  Nick's team placed 4th.  In Alex's individual competition he placed 6th.  In the team contest they did not place in the top 5 and so did not find out their final score yet.  They were gone until Friday morning.

Wednesday was Anthony's 13 birthday!

Thursday Lily had piano.

Friday we picked up the boys and ran a few errands including buying some penicillin for a goat that just can't seem to shake a snotty nose that we do not want to go to pneumonia.  Hopefully it will help her so she will be able to eat better. Alex has been giving her the injections. 

I was happy to turn my animal chores back over to the children!

The girls wanted to have a sleep over with sleeping bags and a tent they made in their room.  They had a list of 17 activities they wanted to do at their sleep over including books to read, a board game, and shadow puppets.

Our baby chick is one week old and doing well, but none of the other eggs have hatched.  We are about to give up hope on them.

We did some school work this week.  Emmie worked on a few Learning about Science studies from WriteBonnieRose (review this week.)

We did a lot of work on Project Passport: The Middle Ages (review this week.)  And one blazing hot afternoon we watched Disney's Robin Hood as part of the study.

Lily and Emmie started a study of Paddington Bear from Branch out World.  After reading the book and working on some of the day one activities we had to watch the movie.

We started the Molly American Girl series, finishing book 1 and halfway through book 2. 

I filled out and mailed in our Notice of Intent to homeschool for the 2018/2019 school year.  The paperwork has been simplified and mostly you just need your name and address, the students you are homeschoolings name, age, and grade they are going into.  I could not remember what grade Christian was supposed to be and started to write down 5th.  Then I didn't think that sounded correct so I asked him.  It is 6th.  Oops.  Our new year will be starting August 13th.

I hope you had a great week!

Happy Homeschooling!

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Homeschool Crew Review: Northwest Treasures

Northwest Treasures

My boys love anything dinosaur related so we were excited to have an opportunity to review the online class Dinosaurs and the Bible from Northwest Treasures.  Along with this class we were given access to the video Taking the Mystery Out of Geology.
Dinosaurs and the Bible Online Course

Dinosaurs and the Bible is a 6 part series for grades 5 to adult.  For each lesson there is a video to watch narrated by Patrick Nurre, that lasts between 16-22 minutes.  Videos are streamed through Vimeo which allows you to watch on a computer, mobile device, or even on your TV with the correct equipment.  After watching each video there is a downloadable worksheet you can complete with comprehension questions from that video.  At the end of the series there is a 15 question test that asks questions that cover the entire series. Access to the course lasts 6 months. You will learn how we got our view of dinosaurs, why they are classified the way they are, who the main discoverers were of these big bones, how they became extinct, information about the ice age, how they are dated and why that is flawed, and much more. Lessons in this series include:

Lesson 1 How We Got Our Modern View of Dinosaurs
Lesson 2 The Classification of Dinosaurs
Lesson 3 Dinosaurs and the Bible, The Great Dinosaur Rush
Lesson 4 The Extinction of Dinosaurs
Lesson 5 Dinosaurs and the Ice Age
Lesson 6 Fossils, Age, and Soft Tissue

Take the Mystery out of Geology Online Course

Taking the Mystery out of Geology is a 20 minute video narrated by Patrick Nurre for grades 5 through adult.  This video helps the viewer understand a Biblical perspective of geology.  It clarifies the science and philosophy of geology and is a great place to start your study of geology.  It also is a great resource for someone who is looking for a geology resource that is not strictly evolutionary as many are.

When Northwest Treasures appeared on our vendor list, it was the first time I had ever heard of them.  I was very intrigued!  There are so many wonderful looking resources on their website!  Not only do they offer  online classes, they also have educational kits and curricula such as Geology For Little Eyes, fossil gifts and even field trips.

I watched these videos with my 5, and 7th grade boys.  My 2nd and 4th grade girls also watched a few with us.  I streamed them on my television using the Vimeo channel on my Roku.  I thought the information presented was very interesting and informative.  We loved the images and charts shown on the screen and the narrator's passion and enthusiasm for the subjects was very obvious to the listener. It can be very hard to find dinosaur resources that do not come from a strictly evolutionary background.  Dinosaurs and the Bible does present the information with a Biblical creationist framework but it doesn't shy away from talking about Darwin, evolution, and how and why scientists believe as they do today. 

My favorite lesson was Lesson 3 The Great Dinosaur Rush.  Throughout my years of being fascinated with dinosaurs when I was young, a brother who wanted to be a paleontologist, and teaching my own children about dinosaurs, I never thought about the people that actually discovered the bones.  I remembered the problem with the Brontosaurus dinosaur but never knew who it was that actually put together those bones to form the dinosaur.  I found that information fascinating and at the same time a little sad.  We also enjoyed watching Dinosaurs and the Ice Age and also the problems with secular scientists dating methods.

The worksheets to go along with the videos are a great way to reinforce what your child has learned and also to ensure that they are actively listening.  You could wait until after the video is completed to give your child or you can give it to them ahead of time so they can look it over and know what information they need to remember.  The final exam is a multiple choice test and an answer sheet is also included.

We enjoyed our first course from Northwest Treasures and the knowledge we have gained about dinosaurs and geology. I would definitely be interested in using products in the future from Northwest Treasures.  To see what my Crew Mates had to say, stop by the Crew Blog!

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Homeschool Crew Review: No Longer Little: Parenting Tweens With Grace and Hope

Raising Real Men

I recently had the privilege of reviewing No Longer Little: Parenting Tweens with Grace and Hope from Great Waters Press.  This is a book that has wisdom for parents who have or will have children in the 8-14 year old age range. 
No Longer Little by Hal and Melanie Young

This was not the first opportunity I have had to read a book from Great Waters Press by Hal and Melanie Young.  I first learned of them when I reviewed the book Raising Real Men, an outstanding book for parents of boys.  Since then I have also read Love, Honor, and Virtue: Gaining or Regaining a Biblical Attitude Toward Sexuality (which the Crew is also reviewing), My Beloved and My Friend, and other books and audiobooks sold on their website for the children to enjoy.

No Longer Little: Parenting Tweens With Grace and Hope is a 203 page paperback book.  It contains an introduction, 12 chapters, references, Scripture references, index and Colophon (which explains the use of different fonts.)  Chapters include:

Getting Bigger: Hormones and Body Changes
The Rollercoaster: Emotional Upheaval
Brains Turn to Mush: Why School Goes Awry
Many a Conflict, Many a Doubt: Spiritual Questioning
The Awakening: Sexuality and Virtue
Social Struggles: Overcoming Awkwardness
Media, Gaming, and Discernment: More Than Amusement
Conflict at Home: Family Relationships
Transitioning: Youth in the Bible
Celebrating Growth: Coming of Age Ceremonies
Producers, Not Consumers: Work and Stewardship
The Next Big Thing: High School and Beyond

The book is written in a conversational tone and is very easy to read through.  Hal and Melanie are very straight forward and honest but are also very positive and hopeful.  These years are challenging but not all doom and gloom! They share experiences that they have had with their own children, what's going on with children in that age range physically, mentally, and spiritually, and strategies for dealing with this changes without having a breakdown yourself! I read it cover to cover in a very short period of time, but with an index in the back of the book you can search for a topic and read those portions first if you prefer.

I honestly wish that I had read this book about 12 years ago.  With children ranging in ages from 7-21 I could've used this wisdom when my oldest was just starting this phase. I honestly did not ride her emotional rollercoaster very well (do not get on the rollercoaster! Chapter 2 talks all about it.)  But what a blessing it is to be able to have read this book now.  I have 4 children in this tween stage right now, 1 girl and 3 boys, and it is so, so helpful to realize we are not alone in the battles we face!  Chapter 3, Brains Turn to Mush, was a wow moment for me.  I really thought it was just my son who faced this problem.  You can look right at him ask him to do something, he will look back at you and respond, walk up the stairs and out the door without doing it.  It's not just him but a perfect;y normal thing that happens at this age.  The authors also point out difficulty with learning is common and ways to save that love of learning.  One of mine battled and battled with math last year and really felt defeated by it, but I realize now that his brain was just not ready for it yet.  Social struggles was another great chapter. Children this age all feel like they are socially awkward and there is a lot of information and guidance about helping your child through these issues. In the chapter on Media, Gaming, and Discernment, Hal and Melanie give a lot of helpful information and suggestions.  Technology is not going away and we need to teach our children to use it responsibly and how to discern good and bad media for themselves. 

No Longer Little: Parenting Tweens With Grace and Hope is an outstanding parenting book and one that I will refer back to and reread may times over the next several years.  I highly recommend it!

To see what my Crew Mates had to say about No Longer Little: Parenting Tweens with Grace and Hope and also  Love, Honor, and Virtue: Gaining or Regaining a Biblical Attitude Toward Sexuality stop by the Crew Blog!

Sunday, July 22, 2018

Our Week in Review (July 16th-22nd)

I live in Arkansas.  It gets a little hot here in the summer, but I have to say that we had a couple of just ridiculously hot days this week.  Over 100 degrees on the thermometer and over 115 with the heat index.  I bought a bag of chocolate chips on Friday morning when we went grocery shopping and by the time we got across the parking lot and loaded the groceries the top of the bag had melted.  I am thankful for the cooler temps today (only low 90's) and hoping they stick around this week.

Monday the girls had another painting class.  This week's lesson was on Monet and painting water lillies.  They both enjoyed it and I am glad that they had an opportunity to go 2 of the painting classes this summer.

The rest of the day I cleaned and did laundry to get the 4 children that were attending 4 H camp at Timber Lodge Ranch ready to go.

Tuesday right after an early lunch we headed to the EH House to meet up with all of the campers.  I was a back up driver just in case they did not have enough room to load everyone's stuff up (you can fit a lot into a 15 passenger van!)  They did not end up needing me, so I kissed my campers goodbye (even the ones I have to stand on tiptoe to reach) and off they went.  It was the first time Lily had been away from me overnight except for the couple of times she has stayed with my parents.  She had a great time.  They did a lot of swimming, went kayaking and canoeing, played games and did other activities (pictures have not been posted yet.) They did have a thunderstorm one night but it wasn't a very bad one and it ended before bedtime. 

With 4 children gone, that left me with all of their chores!  Rabbits, chickens, and goats had to be fed, watered, and cleaned up after.  Morning animal chores took about an hour with Anthony helping by watching the goats eat.  The evening animal chores are a little easier and only take about 30 minutes. Someone also had to do their inside chores too, but we got them done.  The house felt very empty and strangely quiet.

Emmie does not play well by herself.  I don't know if that comes from being the youngest of 7 or just her personality.  Christian and Lily are her usual playmates.  With both of them gone she was a bit lost.  She and Anthony played some board games and worked on a puzzle together.  She did some school work and we watched a movie.  She decided to sew a small blanket for Liam. On Wednesday she had a play date at our house.  A couple that goes to our church had their granddaughter stay with them a few weeks in June.  She and Emmie are almost the same age and enjoyed being in Sunday School together.  She and her mom have been back in Arkansas for several weeks as they get ready to make a move to Hawaii (dad is in the military.)  The girls had a wonderful time playing together and I enjoyed visiting with the mom and grandma.  The girls are planning on writing to each other.

 Wednesday night we had a chick hatch and as of today it is still doing well.  Thursday we found another but we wont talk about that one, other then to say that I texted Art and told him I don't think I'm cut out for this stuff.   To fix the problem Art made some adjustments to the roost and elected Anthony to make a box to put the eggs in so the mom could sit on them.

Thursday Chelsea and Liam came over.  And the children returned from camp.  The house went from silence to complete chaos!

My van is in the shop.  It needs some back breaks and other repairs.  The parts will not be here until Tuesday.  This spring/summer every vehicle we own has needed repairs, plus we needed tires on the truck and repairs on the tractor and lawn mower.  Thankful for a husband who can fix the problems but it still is costly and frustrating when everything is breaking down at once.

We finished Andi Far From Home, the 6th book in the Circle C Stepping Stones series by Susan K. Marlow, another outstanding book.  We started Book 2 of The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place, The Hidden Gallery, but I could not read that one while the children were at camp so we are only 7 chapters in.  I found the Molly American Girl books really cheap and Lily has been reading through those.  We finished the video series, Dinosaurs and the Bible from Northwest Treasures (upcoming review) and are working on Home School in the Woods Middle Ages.  I have ordered Paddington (the picture book we already have the chapter book) for a study from Branch out World (upcoming review) that we will start this week.

I placed an order for the rest of our school books and will be posting about our curriculum choices starting this week.

I hope you had a great week!

Happy Homeschooling!

Friday, July 20, 2018

Review: The Love Letter by Rachel Hauck

Book Description

From the New York Times bestselling author of The Wedding Dress comes a story of long-lost love and its redemption in future generations.

Romance has never been actress Chloe Daschle’s forte—in life or on screen. But everyone knows who to call for a convincing death scene . . . and it might be killing her career.
When Chloe is given a peek at the script for an epic love story, she decides to take her destiny into her own hands and request an audition for the lead female role, Esther Kingsley. The compelling tale, inspired by family lore and a one-page letter from the colonial ancestor of scriptwriter Jesse Gates, just might break her out of this career-crippling rut. Jesse would rather write about romance than live through it after his past relationship ended in disaster. But once on-set together, the chemistry between Jesse and his leading lady is hard to deny.

Centuries earlier, in the heart of the Revolutionary War, Hamilton Lightfoot and Esther Longfellow wrote their saga off the silver screen. Esther’s Loyalist father opposes any relationship with Hamilton, but Esther must face her beloved father’s disapproval and the dangers of war in order to convince Hamilton of their future together. Hamilton has loved Esther for years, and on the eve of battle pens the love letter she’s always wanted—something straight from the heart.

Set in stunning upcountry South Carolina, The Love Letter is a beautifully-crafted story of the courage it takes to face down fear and chase after love, even in the darkest of times. And just maybe, all these generations later, love can come home in a way not even Hollywood could imagine.

The Love Letter is written from 4 different character perspectives in two time periods.  In the present day we see the story through Chole and Jesse, and in the past during the Revolutionary War, we see it through Esther and Hamilton.  Throughout the story the reader is taken back and forth through time, but this is not at all confusing, the time shifts flow easily form present to past and back again.  The characters and setting descriptions make the reader feel as though they are transported through time to the Revolutionary War.  The author does a fantastic job making the reader understand some of the difficulties that both sides of the war faced.   The historical portions of the story were my favorite, though I didn't love the direction that Esther and Hamilton's story went.  I understand why it was written that way though.

I had a harder time relating to Chloe and Jesse and I think it's because the Hollywood actor/actress lifestyle is just harder to understand.  I loved the idea of the movie being based on a letter that Jesse found from his ancestor.  I liked the growth of both Jesse and Chloe throughout the book.  I loved the direction that their story ended.

For a star rating I give The Love Letter 4 out of 5.

Rachel Hauck is one of my favorite authors.  The Wedding Dress is my favorite book of all time and I have enjoyed every book of hers that I have ever read.

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book in order to write 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.

Our Experience with the Tim Tebow Law (Arkansas)

When we first started homeschooling there was no such thing as a Tim Tebow Law.  Homeschool students were not legally allowed to participate in extra curricular activities in the public schools. The law you may know is named after Tim Tebow a former homeschool student who won the Heisman Trophy in 2007 and later became a professional football and baseball player.  Over the last few years, several states (but not all) have adopted Tim Tebow Laws.  Each state that has adopted the law has different rules and regulations.  Check your own state laws to find out whether or not homeschoolers can participate.  I am not an expert in the law, this is information I received from the HSLDA and Education Alliance, and by doing my own research.

In Arkansas, the law (Act 1469) was passed in 2013.  It allowed students to participate in public school activities such as band or sports under some conditions.  The students had to inform the school of their interest, were required to be at school no more than one class period per day (if the activity such as band or football was scheduled during the school day that counts as a class), they had to score higher then the 13th percentile in a standardized test, and participate in any try outs, drug testing, and code of conduct.  The original law only allowed students to participate in the activities of the resident school district.

In 2017, HB 1474, Act 592 modified the law to allow homeschoolers to participate in extracurricular activities in any school district they choose with a few conditions.  They have to wait 365 days after being approved to compete in athletic activities unless they are entering 7th grade that year.  They can participate in practices but not in competitive activities.  Nonathletic activities do not have a 365 day wait. Also, they have to have permission from the superintendents of both districts, the resident district, and the district they wish to participate in.  You can only participate in one school district's activities.

As I mentioned above, when we started homeschooling there was no Tim Tebow Law.  So what school district our house was in did not matter to me, we were homeschoolers.  Our church and all of the other activities we participate in are in Nashville though we live in South Pike County district.  Three of my boys started playing soccer when they were 4, but my oldest aged out of park soccer at 13.  A year later, Nashville started a high school soccer team but he was not eligible to play because at that time you were only allowed to play in the district that you lived in.  South Pike County does not have a team.  I was VERY happy when the modification of the Tim Tebow Law was passed and he could have an opportunity to play soccer.

I started making phone calls to make sure I dotted all my i's and crossed all my t's to make this happen.  I spoke to the school principal and the soccer coach to make sure they knew of Nick's interest to play.  I spoke to the superintendents of both schools (both were agreeable).  I met with the guidance counselor.  I gave him a standardized test.  I took copies of shot records and other paperwork to the school.  We had a sports physical and took in the form.  We attended registration and picked classes.  Soccer is an after school activity and the school required him to be in class one period per day.  He could choose any class at any time of the day.

The staff at the school was very, very good to us through the whole process.  They were  welcoming and positive about us being there. They were helpful walking me through what we needed to do and when they were not sure got got the information we needed.  I am stressing this point because I have heard many negative comments about how homeschoolers have been treated by public schools.  That did not happen here in our district. There have been a few homeschoolers in the district participate in band, but we were the first for sports and for sure the first from another district, so there were a few little bugs that needed to be worked out, but nothing that was a big deal.  For the fall semester he took a first block class.  On the first day when he tried to leave, they wanted me to come sign him out.  But the office staff was notified that he was allowed to leave after first block and it was no problem.  To use the computers, the students sign in with their lunch number.  He didn't have one because he is not there for lunch. He was assigned a number and it was no problem.  The second semester he went to a 4th block class.  Because he was not there in the morning for announcements he missed the soccer meeting sign up as it was in the middle of the day when he wasn't there.  A call to the coach covered what he missed at the meeting.  Because he is not a full time student I did not register him for classes when the other students registered.  It was not a problem they let him wait until the schedule came out and we went to the office and registered.

The one thing I disagree about the law is the 365 day waiting period for athletics.  I understand there are reasons they wanted this put it, but if a child is going to attend all the practices, they should have an opportunity to play on the team without having to wait.  Especially in a situation like ours when the resident district doesn't offer the activity. But, even though he was not able to play in any of the games, attending the practices was a good learning experience.  He is registered for his classes this year and will have an opportunity to make the team this year. Also, the part of the law that says the superintendents have to agree.  For us it is not a problem because there is a good relationship between the districts but I wonder if that is true everywhere.

I am thankful for the Tim Tebow Law and the change that allowed us to participate at a district that has soccer.  Attending a class and having a chance to practice with the team was a great experience.

Does your state have a Tim Tebow law? Have you participated?

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Homeschool Crew Review: Code for Teens The Awesome Beginner's Guide to Programming (Vol 1)

Code for Teens

With three teenage boys in the house who are all very interested in anything that has to do with STEM, I was excited to see Code For Teens the Awesome Beginner's Guide to Programming (Vol 1) appear on our vendor list from Code for Teens.  This book has been a big hit in my house this summer.  Two of the boys were actually arguing over whose turn it was to use it!
Code for Teens

Code for Teens The Awesome Beginner's Guide to Programming (Vol 1) is a 220 page paperback book with colored illustrations.  This book is a self paced guide to learning JavaScript.  Parents do not worry if you know nothing about coding.  The only requirement from a parent is purchasing the book, reading a 3 page parent introduction and making sure your child has a computer (not a tablet) to use.  The book guides your student through the lessons with clear step by step instructions and shows what their response from the computer should be when they type in their code.  In addition to step by step lessons, each chapter has a quiz (answers provided in the back of the book), drills, aggregate reviews, and DIY projects with recommended solutions.  A glossary of terms is also included along with the chapter that first introduced the term. There are 10 chapters in the book.  Chapters include:

Chapter 1: Hello World!
Chapter 2: Time to Operate
Chapter 3: Comment on the String Section
Chapter 4: Have Some Functions
Chapter 5: Shall I Compare?
Chapter 6: Logically Operational
Chapter 7: Projects Galore
Chapter 8: Hip Hip Array!
Chapter 9: Loop a Round
Chapter 10: Make a Hangman Game

There is no required software to download on your computer.  Students need to be have Google Chrome web browser on their computer.  Instructions for downloading this is in chapter one. They also need a "workbook" to save their quiz answers, reviews, and DIY projects.  There are several  options for a workbook discussed in lesson one including Google Docs, Microsoft Word, iWork Pages, OpenOffice, or Notepad.

I have to admit that as much as my boys enjoy projects such as coding, I do not.  I find it incredibly tedious to type out lines of code and then have to go back through the code and find your errors.  I had purchased an online beginning coding program but they could not do it on their own.  I had to sit with them because we always, always had errors.  I was so thankful that with Code for Teens I could hand the book over and let them work on it on their own!  I did read through the book for review purposes, but I did not have to enter any code myself!  I found it interesting and well done.

Anthony (13) had been the main user of Code for Teens.  The book is written to the student with bits of humor thrown in throughout that he loves.  His lessons have been successful with no errors.  I love that he can work at his own pace and that we didn't need to download anything to use this.  The quizzes and reviews for each chapter help them to retain what they have learned and the projects are fun.  We used Google Docs to make his "workbook" and that has worked well for us.

Alex (14) saw the book, "borrowed" it, and started working his way through it.  He is going into 9th grade and I told him if he completes all of the exercises, quizzes, and projects I would give him 1/2 credit in computer programming.

We would definitely be interested in purchasing additional volumes of Code for Teens.  To see what my Crew Mates had to say, stop by the Crew Blog!

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Our Week in Review (July 9th-15th)

Last summer the girls had an opportunity to take a painting class and they painted beautiful butterflies on canvas.  The class was offered once a week for 8 weeks in the summer (we only went the one week.)  This year I was glad to see Playful Painting was back and basing the lessons on famous artists!  We cannot take all 8 weeks of classes even with a sibling discount, but I did want them to be able to go to a class or two.  Last Monday was a class on Vincent Van Gogh and Starry Night which the girls love, so I was so glad to be able to take them to the class.  It was very well done.  The had an opportunity to look at several examples of Van Gogh's work, watch a video of a book being read by Van Gogh and then we guided step by step to paint while still having an opportunity to make the painting unique. 

 With Christian and Alex gone, that meant I had to feed and water goats.  Someone has to actually stand and watch them eat so they do not steal the others food or switch troughs.I had Nick and Anthony give me a hand.

Tuesday and Wednesday  I took Emmie to Chelsea's to play with Liam for the day.  Christian and Alex were still at camp.  Nick and Anthony hung out at the house, and I spent the time (6 hours each day) with Lily at a 4 H Quilt Workshop.  The project was to make a rag quilt.  We met at the Junior High school because she had an AccuQuilt which would cut out the squares and cut the fringe.  Each quilt needed 40 squares, 20 for the top and 20 for the bottom.  They quilted each square in an X shape and then had to sew the squares together to form their quilt.  The hardest part was making sure all of the fringe was on the front side when sewn together.  Lily had a bit of a hard time with this and had to pull apart several squares, but other than that did great!  I was so impressed with all the girls hard work.  There were only 5 in the workshop ages 9-16, but they all made a quilt to be proud of! 

The school also had a embroidery machine and each girl was able to pick a design to embroider on one square.  Lily wanted a panda bear, her name, and the year on hers.  The design needed 13 thread changes so I got to learn how to use the machine so I could change the thread.
Her quilt matches the pillowcase we made a few months ago.

Wednesday afternoon Art went to pick up Alex and Christian from STEM 4 H camp in Ferndale.  While they were there they got to:build and program LEGO Mindstorm robots and race them in a course, build and launch Sea Perch robots,  build and test eco robots to clean up an area, make treboulchets, build and test wind powered cars, build and shoot rockets, build and test egg drops, make slime, make and test stomp rockets, and build earthquake structures. They also did the Pack Shack community service project again.  Pictures have not yet been posted for this camp.  I am so glad they got to go, they both had a great time!

We have had a broody hen for several weeks.  Thursday morning when Alex went out to do chores, he found a chick.  Unfortunately it had fallen from the nest and was laying on the ground in the mud.  I thought if it made it 24 hours we would be in good shape, but it lived about a day and a half before it died :(  No others have hatched yet but hopefully some will soon and we will be more successful.

Saturday we babysat for Liam. 

I hope you had a great week!

Happy Homeschooling!