Sunday, July 31, 2011

Homeschool Play - Horton Hears A Who!


So have you ever heard of the Horton Hears A Who! by Dr. Seuss?   It is a cute story and my children also enjoyed the movie.  Not only is it a great plot and entertaining it also has a very pro-life message!

I found the following review of Horton Hears A Who! HERE:

"For those of you not familiar with the plot of Horton Hears a Who, it’s about an elephant who is made aware of an entire world of people living on a speck of dust.  Horton makes it his life’s mission to protect the little Who’s from disaster.  Because – as the catch-phrase goes – A person’s a person, no matter how small!
The pro-life message of HHaW is unmistakable.  And, for those who may not know, there’s actually another book with Horton – Horton Hatches an Egg, which is very pro-life too."


While writing this post, I just learned about the book Horton Hatches the Egg.  Maybe we'll add this book to our collection too.

Last week, a 16 year old homeschooler in our homeschool group organized and directed a week long drama camp at her house for 23 younger children in our homeschool group and guess what skit they performed this past Friday night as a closing for the camp?  Yep, Horton Hears A Who!

Each day at the camp the actors and actresses learned their lines and then they painted the props for the skit.  Below are some of the props that were painted.  The kids did a great job and had simple, but adorable costumes!  

Here is the group of children that worked hard and had fun.  The teen director and the other teens that took time out of their summer schedule to help with the camp did a remarkable job!  All the children had a lot of fun and the memories made are priceless!

After the 15minute skit, all the participants and their families and friends enjoyed a potluck supper and swam in a neighborhood pool!  Here are some yummy treats that were decorated with the Horton theme:

One of our moms carved an elephant (Horton) out of watermelon. So cute and clever!


Another mom hand drew Horton out of icing for this cookie cake:


In was a great drama camp week for all and I think the children and teenagers that were involved will always remember that "A person's a person no matter how small!"

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Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Wordful Wednesday: 2011-2012 Homeschool Curriculum

Below is a list of all that I hope to accomplish this 2011-2012 homeschool year with my 4 Cupcakes! I have included links in each subject area in case anyone is interested in finding out more about each resource.  Just click on the text link to get further information.  For a peek at our homeschool classroom you can visit this post HERE from last year as my classroom setting will be the same for this year.

If you would like to see what other Catholic Homeschoolers are teaching this year you can go  HERE at  Catholic Mothers Online to see other link ups!

I have alot of material to cover, but I hope to enjoy the adventure with the following curriculum:

Family Morning Devotion I call this time "Couch Catechism" because the children and I plan to start each day around 8:30 AM (that's my start time goal anyway) on our family room couch to say prayer intentions, say the Morning Offering Prayer, read a devotion from Jesus Calling while my children look up the scripture to go with each devotion (thanks Melissa for my Jesus Calling book win last year, we are enjoying this book!), read the saint for each day from Saints for Young Readers for Every Day, Vol. I and Vol. II, read a Friendly Defenders Catholic Card, and read a little out of Child's Bible History.


Curriculum for Cupcake #1, 6th grade daughter

Handwriting: finish Handwriting 5 for Young Catholics

Daily Oral Language/Grammar:  Language of God, Level E


Religion: My Catholic Faith Delivered (Following Christ, Grade 6, Online Course) , The New Saint Joseph Baltimore Catechism, No. 2 and HERE is a review of the Saint Joseph Baltimore Catechisms from Cathy Duffy Reviews

Math: Teaching Textbooks 6

Spelling:  My Catholic Speller, Level F

Reading: Literature Guides from Memoria Press, Grade 6, (Anne of Green Gables, Treasure Island, The Bronze Bow, The Hobbit)

Writing:  WriteShop I

History:  Tuesday and Thursday with siblings, Ancient Greece with Famous Men of Greece and The Greenleaf Guide to Famous Men of Greece as my spine and supplementing with several books, including D'Aulaires' Book of Greek Myths and Evan-Moor History Pockets, Ancient Greece

Science:  Apologia Astronomy with siblings. I bought the science kit from Creation Sensation where all the materials for each of the science experiments in Apologia Astronomy are boxed up and mailed to your door.  I also purchased an Astronomy Notebooking Journal for my children to use and fill out.

Latin:  Latina Christina I with siblings.

Spanish: will be taught by a friend of mine who is fluent in Spanish

Map Skills: Maps, Charts, Graphs, Level F 


Art:  Each Friday afternoon with siblings.  I hope to continue with the Mark Kistler online art classes that my children enjoy alot and then every other Friday do the Meet the Masters art program that is also online.

Typing:  Typing Instructor for Kids

PE:  recreation soccer in the Fall and Spring

Music:  weekly piano lessons with a friend of ours who teaches piano

Curriculum for Cupcake #2, 4th grade son

Handwriting: Cursive Writing Skills for Left-Handed Students

Daily Oral Language/Grammar:  Language of God, Level C 

Religion:  Faith and Life (Jesus Our Guide), The New Saint Joseph Baltimore Catechism, No.1,  work on earning the Religious Emblem for Boy Scouts

Math: continue with Right Start Math, Level C

Spelling:  continue with All About Spelling, Level 3/ My Catholic Speller, Level C

Reading: continue with Pathway Readers

Writing: Writing Tales Level One

History: see Cupcake #1 Curriculum

Science: see Cupcake #1 Curriculum

Latin:  see Cupcake #1 Curriculum

Spanish: see Cupcake #1 Curriculum

Map Skills: Maps, Charts, Graphs, Level D

Art:  see Cupcake #1 Curriculum

PE:  recreation soccer team in the Fall and Spring

Music:  weekly piano lessons with a friend of ours who teaches piano

Our son will continue to be involved in his local Boy Scout Pack.

Curriculum for Cupcake #3, 2nd grade daughter


Handwriting: Catholic Heritage Handwriting Series, Level 2: Finding the Way

Daily Oral Language/Grammar:  Rod and Staff, Preparing to Build, English 2


Religion:  Faith and Life (Jesus Our Life)First Communion Catechism, other First Reconciliation and First Communion lessons and resources to prepare for these sacraments in the Spring.  I plan to do a First Communion scrapbook with my daughter like I did with my older 2 children before they received First Communion.

Math: continue with Math U See, Alpha and then Beta

Spelling:  My Catholic Speller, Level A

Reading:  Pathway Readers

Writing:  WriteShop Primary

History: see Cupcake #1 Curriculum

Science: see Cupcake #1 Curriculum

Latin:  see Cupcake #1 Curriculum

Spanish: see Cupcake #1 Curriculum

Map Skills:  Maps, Charts, Graphs, Level B

Art:  see Cupcake #1 Curriculum

PE:  recreation soccer team in the Fall and Spring

Music:  weekly piano lessons with a friend of ours who teaches piano

For Cupcake #4, Pre-K, age 3 1/2 daughter

In my "spare" time, (Ha!Ha!), I might get around to teaching my 3 year old a free program I found on the computer called Brightly Beaming Steps to Reading Program, Preparatory Curriculum

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Friday, July 22, 2011

The Homeschool Mother's Journal: Summer Edition



 In my life this week…

My family and I are trying to stay cool in the hot weather.  My neighbor said the heat index today was likely to reach 120 degrees!  Dear God, thank you for our cool home and I pray for all those that don't get a break from this heat.  

In our homeschool this week…
I am still in the process of planning out for this coming school year.  I hope to start early August.  I plan to do a post soon on ALL that I am planning to do with my children.  I'm thinking there are not enough hours in the day to do all the curriculum I bought, but like Anna-Marie at Life's Adventures, I'm thinking positively too! :) 

My favorite thing this week was…
the cookout we hosted tonight for our co-ed softball team.  We had a great time with all the players, their spouses, and kids and it was great fun to fellowship with everyone off the field! 

Questions/thoughts I have…
If you homeschool, do you get overwhelmed just before another school year begins?  I've been homeschooling now since 2005 and each year sometimes feels like the first year of homeschooling because of new family dynamics and curriculum.

I’m cooking…
anything that is on sale and/or have a coupon for at Harris Teeter :) 

I’m grateful for…
my hard working husband, children, and a cool home to get relief from this heat wave.

A photo, video, link, or quote to share…
In the picture below are most of the members of our co-ed softball team.  Our team is made up of 30/40 something year olds, with one 20 something year old.  Everyone on our team has children, except for the 20 something year old who is engaged and we have 7 married couples on the team including my husband and me.  So it is always a good time to hang out with the adults and play a fun softball game.  Last night was the tournament championship game and we won! Can you find me?  We all look so lovely with our dirty, sweaty selves in this photo.  We had a fun and great season!  I'm sorry to see the season end :(


In the picture below, my husband said make a silly face (it's a tradition to make at least one silly shot in our family), so I listened and stuck out my tongue, I think my husband is yelling and then no one else on the team listened! :)

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Sunday, July 17, 2011

I Cleaned This Pot With What???

So do you ever have a pot that looks like this at the bottom where the food sticks to it and a soapy sponge or rag just want clean it well enough and you find you have to dig your nails into the rag to try to scrap it clean?

Have you ever used a dryer sheet (any brand will do) to clean dirty pots?  Yep, a dryer sheet!  I don't know where or when I picked up this tip, but it works.  Now I know dryer sheets can be expensive and I don't use one each time I clean dishes, but since I get my dyer sheets on sale and with coupons, I will pull one out to clean a dirty pot that just won't get clean with a rag or sponge.


So I just put warm water in the pot and scrub the bottom with the dryer sheet and it's amazing how quickly the food comes off the bottom!


Here is the pot nice and clean with little effort from me since the dryer sheet seems to easily lift off any stubborn food left at the bottom.  Note: I did rinse the pot with dish detergent and water after using the dryer sheet.  :)

So have you heard of this cleaning tip before?  If not, give it a try and see what happens and let me know if it worked for you.  Happy Cleaning!

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Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Beautiful Handmade American Girl Doll Clothes

Do you know a special little girl who loves dolls, especially American Girl dolls?  If so, I wanted to give a shout out for a friend of mine who makes beautiful clothes for these dolls.  The designer, Jane Fulton, has a beautiful collection to dress any American Girl doll, 18 inch doll, and even Bitty Baby dolls no matter the season or occasion!
Here is a picture of my daughters' dolls with matching NC State cheerleading outfits that came with red and white pom poms.

Here are my daughters holding their dolls with their fleece soccer outfits with hats.  My daughters received these doll clothes at Christmas. 

Jane also makes warm pajamas for the dolls in so many cute patterns and fabrics!


Recently, I won these adorable panties on Jane's Facebook page, Doll Clothes by Jane Fulton!  My girls were so excited to dress their doll in these fancy pants.  Thank you Jane!



Do you want to see Jane's entire collection of doll clothes?  If you are like me, you will love all the outfits and won't be able to decide which one you love the most because they are all so beautifully sewn with love and creativity!

You can "Like" Jane's Facebook page HERE so you can see her photos and contact her if you have questions.  While you are on her Facebook page, be sure to browse through her albums and see all the beautiful outfits.  She makes Separates, Dresses, Swimsuits and Leotards, Nightgowns, Pajamas and & Slippers, Hats & Mittens, Bitty Baby & Bitty Twins clothes, Outerwear and even Dog Jackets

Jane also has an Etsy shop HERE where you can see more photos and prices for each unique piece of clothing.

Jane is also now selling her handmade doll clothes HERE at Kidzola, The Online Children's Marketplace. 


My girls love all the outfits Jane makes with love and care and enjoy dressing their dolls in such fun and cute clothing!  If you know of someone who would be interested in purchasing these handmade doll clothes spread the word by linking back to my post here, share on Facebook, or tell a friend! 

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Tuesday, July 12, 2011

14 Years Ago Today We Said "I Do!"

Our wedding day on July 12, 1997

14 years ago today you and I made a covenant and said "I do".
Many memories and 4 blessings later, I continue to love growing old with you!
Happy Anniversary to us!
I love you!


This photo of the church's ceiling is one of our favorites.  
 The photographer captured this beautiful shot during our 
wedding ceremony.


On our way to the reception after our ceremony

 
Since my hubby and I met on the beach we had a beach themed wedding cake complete with realistic-looking and delicious candy seashells cascading down the cake. Nancy Hearn made the cake so beautiful! She also made the shells so realistic that some of our wedding guests would not bite into them because they thought they were real seashells!


 A close-up photo of the candy shells on our cake. Thank you Nancy for your beautiful cake art!

On top of our cake was this cross uniting 2 wedding bands placed in the candy coral. This cross is now hanging in our home as a constant reminder of Who keeps our marriage and love strong.

Two are better than one: they get a good wage for their labor. If the one falls, the other will lift up his companion. Woe to the solitary man! For if he should fall, he has no one to lift him up. So also, if two sleep together, they keep each other warm. How can one alone keep warm? Where a lone man may be overcome, two together can resist. A three-ply cord is not easily broken.  Ecclesiastes 4: 9-12
One tradition that we have done each year on our anniversary since our first anniversary is watch our video from our wedding. Now we did get married before the digital age so the color quality is...90ish, but the memories of our day continue to be with us each time we play our video. We did copy it onto a DVD to help make it last longer. It is a joy to now watch the video with our cupcakes as they ask why they weren't there to celebrate with us ;-) Each year we are not only reminded of our holy vows we took in front of our Lord, family, and friends, but we also get to see friends and loved ones that are no longer with us here on earth. You know I still get "butterflies" and filled with excitement just before I watch the part of the video where I'm about to meet my true love at the altar and begin our lives as husband and wife!
 
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Friday, July 8, 2011

Oh My! Live SSSSSnake Feedings at Local SSSSSerpentarium!

This past weekend my son's Boy Scout Pack met at our local serpentarium to see all kinds of rare and exotic snakes, crocodiles, lizards, and other interesting creatures found all over the world.

We saw these beautiful birds as we entered the building. 

Python

Giant Anacondas live in South America and is the largest snake in the world, reaching a max length of 25 feet!


Nile Monitor Lizard

  There is information about each creature as pictured below.  If the snakes are venomous then it will have red skull graphics as in the right corner in photo below to tell the reader just how venomous the snakes are with 5 skulls being the most venomous.  So the Western Green Mamba is 5 skulls and its venom is neurotoxic.  The bite can be painless and victims often don't know they have been bitten until they have terrifying symptoms including fatal respiratory paralysis!  Yikes!


The Western Green Mamba is found in West Africa.

King Cobra striking a pose at the glass

My son engaging in a staring contest with the King Cobra.  On a previous trip to this serpentarium, the King Cobra actually struck at the glass and made my son jump, needless to say! But, my son was determined to stare one down again! Boys!

Each Saturday and Sunday afternoon the serpentarium feeds their slithery and slimy friends and crocodiles and we were there this past Saturday afternoon to witness how they are fed! Yuck-O, but Cool-O all at the same time!

So the workers set up wire gates around the snakes' cages and we stood behind the gates, of course!  Here is a gate that we are behind with the worker in the green shirt inside the gate trying to feed a King Cobra. The guy said this is the worst snake to feed because King Cobra's are known to chase after victims.  The man in the photo is feeding the snake with the glass cover open as he tries to get the snake to grab his dinner.  King Cobra's only eat other snakes so they fool them by putting a drop of snake's blood on turkey meat to make the snake think they are eating another snake.  

In the photo below the man on the left side of the photo has a metal claw with a dead white rat at the end and he is trying to entice this Puff Adder to eat it, but this snake was not hungry so the cage is closed and we were off to see the next feeding.

This cobra was hungry and snatched the white rat. Lovely isn't?  :)

Here's a Bushmaster (very venomous), with a rat's tail hanging out of it's mouth. Yummy!  :)  

Then it was time to feed the reticulated pythons that wrap their prey and strangle them.  On the menu today is this big (already dead) hare.  You can see the head of the snake between the logs.

The snake grabs hold and snatches the hare from the worker's hand. 

This is a Saltwater Crocodile that lives in Southeast Asia, Northern Australia.  This crocodile is lovingly named "Bubble-Boy" and was fed raw chicken, but the presenter said that these crocks munch on people too and they have found jewelry in this type of crock dating back to the 1940s!
 
Going...

Going...

Gone!

Below is a Siamese Crocodile that lives in Southeast Asia.  These crocodiles are endangered or extinct through most if their range.  This big guy snatched 3 whole raw chickens for its meal.  In the top photo a long pole with a claw at the end is holding the chicken in the air.

Dinner is served!

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