Friday, May 30, 2008
We pulled off the road and didn't get on the road again for 2 1/2 hours! Yes, it took the police (almost) that long. It seems that the local schools in that area had gotten out early for their last day of school and were celebrating a little too hard... including throwing rocks and I'm not sure what else. So, all the local policemen were dealing with that.
It was neat talking to the other guy. Throughout the morning/afternoon, we got to talk to him quite a bit. He was so nice. He was a roofer and was on his way to a jobsite on a 3-story house. He said maybe God knew he didn't need to be going up on that house today. I loved how we just sat (I mean stood... most of the time in the sun and I did get a sunburn) and talked about God and His plans for our lives and how He watches over us.
We also had a nice lady come out of a local floral shop and give us all cold water bottles! And, the policeman who finally came said something like "Praise God the children weren't hurt."
So, we missed the Pompeii movie, but made it in time to have a very late lunch and then go through the exhibit. It was incredible! If you ever get the chance to go see some real artifacts from Pompeii... well, I'd say it was worth it. We enjoyed listening to the audio tour. And, Alexandra's favorite part was seeing the actual cast of the dog that you see in quite a few books, etc. We read a Pompeii book by Usborne this morning which is really good and reminded us about Pompeii and the who/what/when/etc.
Unfortunately, we couldn't take any photos, so I have none to share. We did get a puzzle, a book, and Alexandra bought me a magnet, so maybe I'll take a photo of them to add to this post... but right now, I'm just very tired. It's been a long day.
UPDATE: We watched National Geographic's "In the Shadow of Vesuvius" which was a good documentary.
Thursday, May 29, 2008
Older Chefs Kids Cooking Program
For older chefs we've planned a Dinner Club. Each week you will receive a dinner menu to prepare for your family or friends and a cooking emphasis, such as etiquette, manners, table setting and more.
Younger Chefs Kids Cooking Curriculum
Younger chefs can enjoy our cooking and reading summer program. Each week you will receive a book title(s) and a few recipes to create that go with the book.
Sounds like fun to me. Let's get cooking this summer! :-)
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
Here she is making "snot." She also ate some chocolate covered... something. The lady didn't tell her what she'd eaten until AFTER Alexandra ate it. What was it? A chocolate covered cricket. Did my little girl really eat that??? Yes. And, then I did, too. I thought that maybe it was harder to eat since I knew what I was eating. And, really, it just tasted like some (not so great) chocolate... with a crunch.
Here's Alexandra shooting into a nose. The thing would "sneeze" every once in awhile. I think this was teaching about the importance of the nose in keeping harmful substances, like dust and bacteria, out of your body.
Here is the "burping" guy. We had fun pumping him full of soda and making him burp. We really got the giggles from this whole crazy museum exhibit.
And, here's a very short video of Alexandra "burping." As you can see, she was having lots of fun!
On Monday afternoon, I joined a gym! I haven't exercised much in 3 years (since I started homeschooling) and I went to my first class last night. IT FELT GREAT!!! Since my health problems last month, I really did it "light" in the class, but I was still sore last night. And, I was so glad Alexandra "begged" to go to the Kid's Club (play area) and really enjoyed it! I was going to try and go just when my husband was home or she was in classes. At least for now, this looks like a fun time for both of us. I can't wait to get "back in shape." Today, I go for my "initial assessment." Yikes! But, at least I'll know where I started from...
Also, in the past few weeks, I haven't wanted to break for summer. There is just so much we 'want to' and 'need to' do. But, now I'm SO ready for a break!!! I can't wait to just spend some time sleeping in (well, actually I'm not much of a sleep in type of person - but I can let Alexandra sleep in and enjoy some quiet reading time... or computer time!), swimming, going to museums, etc, without the nagging in my head that "we should be doing school."
Lastly, I'm really considering switching to more of a Classical method of homeschooling next year. Does anyone do that? And, could I ask you some questions if you do? Thanks!
Monday, May 26, 2008
Yes, our luna moth emerged last night. I heard him wiggling around, which usually only happens in the morning. Too bad I didn't go and check on him. I was on the phone for about 20 minutes, and when I came back into the living room, I saw him sitting on the side of the butterfly hut!
This evening, we decided to let "him" free. We took him out in the backyard and opened up the hut and Alexandra tried to let him crawl on her. He ended up getting out of the hut and flapping around on the ground. Next thing we knew, he was headed for the pool and we couldn't stop him. He fluttered into the pool and landed on the water. I jumped in past my knees and reached gently under him and picked him up and put him back in his hut.
Tonight, we have him sitting in his hut, but with the door opened - and not in the yard with the pool but in a separate fenced in area. Our hope is that if he can fly, he'll fly away during the night.
We were hoping to get photos of us holding him, but that just didn't work out. But, he is beautiful and we were so happy to have this experience.
Sunday, May 25, 2008
Season 2 started earlier this month and I now have my DVR set to record them. I should have my first episode to watch today! But, even if you can't record them, you can watch them online HERE. They have videos of all of season 1 and the start of season 2 there. And, they also have a "for teacher's" page with activities and additional links to videos, etc. So, enjoy some music!!! Maybe your child, or you, will be inspired to create some music of their own... or at least to practice the piano a little more. :-)
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
(Above video: "Winter" from "The Four Seasons" - I know I'm more familiar with "Spring", but this piece is lovely! And, I love the pan flute! What a seldom-seen instrument.)
I love what Melissa at In the Sparrow's Nest is doing for spring and the four seasons. She is using the book Nature's Paintbox which depicts each of the four seasons in a different medium. She is using those mediums to make their own pieces of art. They did a GREAT job with spring!
Along with that, she mentioned Vivaldi's "The Four Seasons." I commented on her blog that we might start studying Vivaldi & The Four Seasons. We have a piano book I picked up a month or so ago called Antonio Vivaldi: The Four Seasons in an easy arrangement for piano. But, it isn't "that" easy. :-) My daughter's been playing since August and she couldn't play it. But, I've played for about many years, and I'll do just fine. It has pictures and poems and the piano music.
After listening to a sample at Amazon, we requested Classical Kids "Vivaldi's Ring of Mystery" from the library. We also requested "I, Vivaldi" by Shefelman. And, we plan on using The Four Seasons at Classics for Kids, which Melissa also recommended.
I also have Beethoven's Wig 2 which has the "Spring" piece from The Four Seasons. I hear it and in my head I hear, "It's spring, let us sing, Vivaldi!" OK, we really need to get that CD out tomorrow. (Oh, and I just saw that they have Beethoven's Wig 3!!!)
We might wait and do this study in the summer, but I wanted to post it here so I have everything in one spot.
And, on a different "note", I just bought a Memorial Day set of 12 minibooks to make a lapbook from Lilliput Station. This is actually a project her daughter helped her create. (See May 21st post) So, we'll probably be working on that during the next few days.
We've also read a biography, Firetalking, which is really good. But, so many of her stories tell us about her and her life! I am LOVING her books, and I can't believe it's taken me this long to find them.
Online, I found these 2 videos: the first one is about the history of pysanky eggs and the second one shows you how to make the eggs!
Alexandra's other favorite Polacco book, John Philip Duck, was about the ducks at Peabody Hotel in Memphis, Tennessee. My husband and I went to that museum on a school trip the summer before my senior year. At the hotel, the ducks are trained to spend the night on the roof and then they ride down the elevator and march into the water fountain to spend the day. They march to John Philip Souza. Polacco's books is "loosely based on actualy events." I was glad to find a video (thought not a very good one) of the ducks marching to Souza. Maybe we need to do a little Souza study???
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
Here's our little chihuahua who turned 3 on the day my nephew was born. She always has yellow eyes when I photographer her. I just love this photo!
And, he took this great shot of his grandfather who was out on the deck watching for hummingbirds.
And, here's my shot of one of the hummingbirds! It needs cropped, so you might just enlarge it for now. We LOVED watching the hummingbirds. And, I picked up some books about them today to do a little study. I want some hummingbird feeders now, too!
Monday, May 19, 2008
They will be blogging about their adventures from the tip of Alaska to the bottom tip of South America. They are hoping for this to be a very education experience not only for their own kids, but for students anywhere... including homeschoolers! I think we'll be using this for some geography studies... starting with Alaska!!!
Saturday, May 17, 2008
I thought I'd start with some of the photos my husband's aunt. She's a professional photographer in that she sells some of her work and has even had at least one show. What amazed me most as I looked through her photos, besides how good they were, is that she often only takes one shot of something! If I want to make sure I'm going to get a good shot, I might take a dozen. I'll have to ask her how she knows she's got "the" shot.
This first photos is of some water striders. I remember one of you studied these lately, and I'd love to have a link to your post! I was amazed at how well this photo turned out because we were up on a pretty high bridge.
We all took turns taking photos through the whole in the side of this hill. I know you don't see photos of me very often, so yep! That's me!
One of our coolest "finds"... we found TONS of tadpoles in various pools of water, and then came upon these 2 toads... There was a string of eggs behind them and I remembered how Robin at martinzoo had recently posted about the difference between frog & toad eggs. If we lived closer, I would have scooped some up to watch.
The first site when we drove up to the small pools of water were LOTS of these blue butterflies! Probably 40-50. They were sitting in groups and I love the photo my aunt took of this one near Alexandra's foot.
I loved how these turkey vultures seemed to be playing king of the hill.
Friday, May 16, 2008
Above is a photo of great-grandma with her only great-grandson... Alexandra is her only great-granddaughter. Also, my sister-in-law and her little family live out in the country, and I'm having a terrible time downloading photos. It took me about 20 minutes to get this one photo, so I'll try to post more later.
Tuesday, May 13, 2008
Monday, May 12, 2008
Saturday, May 10, 2008
This was a very tiny, almost transparent light-green insect. I wish I could have photographed him better.
And, on Saturday I found this HUGE moth (about 4 inches wide) on a bush near my driveway. I looked him up on What's That Bug? and found he is an Imperial Moth. The females have more yellow, so I believe this is a male. They also go through 5 instars, like the luna moth, so I'm curious if this is typical of moths. I read on this site that the caterpillar can grow as big as a hot dog. Wow!!! I've also enjoyed looking at this site of moth photographers. Near the bottom of the page, it shows that both Luna Moths (which I posted about here) and the Imperial Moth are giant silkmoths, which are some of the largest resident moths of North America.
The officer also used her own blood to show the kids how the investigators determine if something is blood or not.
On our last stop, she showed us where they actually look for fingerprint matches. She talked about the fact that they can only access criminal fingerprints. The prints you give when you get your driver's license or join the military are not usually searchable by police.
Before we even got officially started, the kids were busy finding turtles in some water in a ditch. Aren't they cute??? They were "baby" red-eared sliders.
We had our largest group ever... I think we had 19 families. We have really grown this year!!!
Our main topic was moths and the man in the red plaid shirt was our guest speaker, Mr. Don. Mr. Don raises moth caterpillars and brought plent for the families to take home. (The caterpillars or "cats" are on the picnic table on sweetgum cuttings - he had both luna moth cats and regalis cats.) Unfortunately, we're going to be out of town soon and couldn't take any home.
We ran into lots of poison ivy, and I'm hoping no one got a rash! Mr. Don showed us how to recognize it by the 3 leaves - the middle one is often bigger than the other 2. It wasn't only growing on the tree, but on the ground, too. A good reason to stay on the paths!
Another of my finds. Mr. Don said this was a cicada exoskeleton, but it's about 1/3rd the size of the cicado exoskeletons we usually find. And, I loved its stripped abdomen! Cool!
I saw one of the kids studying this leaf and went to take a look. Something has been eating it - what neat holes it has left!
As we finished our hike and went back to pick up our pupa, we were amazed to see one of the moths had emerged!!! So, here is what our luna will look like. :-) We weren't expecting them to emerge until June, but now we're not sure when ours will emerge. This little guys wings still haven't expanded.