Wednesday, December 08, 2010

The Cost of the 12 Days of Christmas

Will True Love cost more in 2010 than in previous years?

I found a cute online pop-up book that shows you what the cost of giving the presents in the 12 Days of Christmas would be in 2010. Evidentally, PNC has been doing this for quite a few years. They go through each day and tell you if the price went up or down since last year and then give you a total cost for the gifts. What makes this even more fun, though, is that you actually get to use your mouse to make the pop-up activities work! There are also lesson plans and some games, but I think we'll be sticking to the pop-up book this year.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

A Date That Will Live in Infamy

This video is a clip of FDR's famous Pearl Harbor Address. I also plan on watching this documentary narrated by Tom Brokaw entitled Pearl Harbor: Legacy of Attack. It is a National Geographic film. I have only watched the first few minutes, but it looks good.

Monday, December 06, 2010

Remember Pearl Harbor

Tomorrow is the anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor. CurrClick is offering a nice mini study about Pearl Harbor by "The Whole World Publishing." It is only $1! I'm going to buy it and read the story to my daughter tomorrow. It also includes pieces to make a lapbook, coloring pages, and questions.

Half Marathoner!!!

I'm in a posting mood tonight! This is my 3rd post in the past hour.

Anyway, I ran am now a Half Marathoner! I completed my first half marathon almost two weeks ago in Tulsa, Oklahoma. I ran 13.1 miles in 2 hours 57 minutes and 10 seconds. And, it felt GREAT!!! I am already preparing for half marathon #2 (in Fort Worth, TX in February) and #3 (in St Louis, MO in April). I love running and I love being an athlete for the first time in my life!

Homemade Christmas Cards

Today Alex and I went to the first of FOUR Christmas parties this week. This one was for our church's homeschool group. We started the party by singing Christmas carols at a nursing home.

Each family was to bring some homemade Christmas cards to give out to the residents after we sang. I got out my old scrapbooking materials and put these 5 cards together after seeing a similar card online. I thought they turned out cute and had to post them!

After the nursing home, we went back to the church for the second part of the party - a gift exchange for the kids and then some yummy treats for us all!

Christmas Around the World

CurrClick has chosen 10 bloggers to take us on a trip to view Christmas Around the World. The first stop is China with Jimmie at Jimmie's Collage! I really enjoyed reading about some of the unusual Christmas traditions in China. And the second stop is England with Cheryl at Crispy, Not Crunchy. I have not visited Cheryl's blog before and really enjoyed reading her post and learning about Christmas Crackers, Christmas Pudding, and Boxing Day!

You can follow CurrClick's posts on their blog and travel around the world this week. Oh... and each of the 10 guest bloggers is having drawings to give away free goodies! So, travel the world, learn about Christmas, and you might even win something, too!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Mental Math and "Around the World"

First of all, Blogger notified me yesterday that I've reached my limit on photos! 1 GB! But, I was able to buy more space (20 GB) for $5 a year. I'm just waiting for it to get 'approved.'

I was searching for some Mental Math worksheets that I've used at a co-op before... and I found them here!  They have daily sheets for 1st through 8th grade. Here are some samples from 5th grade:

100 X 10 = ?
How many feet in a mile?
1/3 of 30 = ?
1/4 of 28 = ?
70 X 80 = ?

In our co-op, I will use these to play Around the World. To play around the world, you have 2 students stand up. You ask one of the questions, and whoever gets it wrong sits down. The winner moves and stands next to another student who then stands up. You ask another question and the 'loser' sits down while the 'winner' moves on. The winner must win against every other student in the class! I know my last co-op class enjoyed this game, and I hope this one does, too!

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

National Museum of American History

We really enjoyed the National Museum of American History. One of my favorite exhibits was about Lincoln. Here is Lincoln's hat! Here's what the sign said: At six feet four inches tall, Lincoln towered over most of his contemporaries. He chose to stand out even more by wearing high top hats. He acquired this hat from J.Y. Davis, a Washington hat maker. Lincoln had the black silk mourning band added in rememberance of his son Willie. The last time he wore this top hat was to go to Ford's Theatre on April 14, 1865.

 Here's Alex's hand next to a cast of Lincoln's hand.

 Alex's online history class studied quite a bit about the conspiracy theory in the murder of Abraham Lincoln. These are the masks worn by the 8 people who were executed for Lincoln's murder.

 The original Teddy Bear which got its name from Theodore Roosevelt!

 Kermit the Frog!

The museum has some 'living' times were actors/actresses appear as people from history. This young lady was teaching us about the Greensboro Four Sit In. We, the audience, were new to the passive resistance movement and learning how to act and about what we might expect. It was an amazing lesson! We even learned a song that we could use at a sit-in or other protests.

Monday, November 08, 2010

Washington Monument

Part of our trip included research (sent by the Carolina Homeschool group leader, Dianna) on some of the monuments and memorials we would be seeing. This really helped make our visit special! So, I'm adding some of what we learned beside our photos.
The Washington Monument was designed by Robert Mills. His original plan called for a "large structure, built of columns and housing a number of statues, with a 600-foot obelisk rising from the center." They basically ended up building the obelisk.

Construction was started in 1848 and completed in 1884.

 Construction was suspended for about 18 years because the money 'ran out' and the Civil War.

 The walls are composed of marble and the color changes about one third of the way up. When construction resumed after the Civil War, the marble that they were able to get was a slightly different color.

The monument is 555 feet 5 1/8 inches tall. It is estimated to weigh 90,000 tons.

Along the stairs (which are no longer open to the public) you can view memorial stones contributed by various states, civic groups, private organizations, and others. On the way down the monument, the elevator slows at several places to allow a brief view of some of these amazing memorials. 

Marathon Miner

I loved hearing about the story of Chilean miner Edison Pena. He was one of the miners who was recently trapped for 69 days in a Chilean mine. During that time, he modified a pair of boots and ran up to 6 miles a day. "Pena believes that competing in the NYC marathon will be his gift to God; a tribute to a merciful God that spared him of a terrible fate deep within the mines."

As I'm preparing for my Half Marathon in less than 2 weeks, I find Pena to be a huge inspiration. I am continuing to pray that God helps me to train smartly and stay injury-free as I train. Thanks for all of your comments and prayers!

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

In Training... for a Half Marathon!

Yes, I am in training for a Half Marathon. And, my HM is 'just around the corner!' I'll be running 13.1 miles on November 21st!

I just started running at the start of June. Since then, I have participated in three 5Ks and lost 19.5 pounds! My brother went with me to the Komen Race for the Cure in Dallas and took some photos. (I have a wonderful brother!)

This is my 'famous' "Believe and Achieve" shirt. I say it is 'famous' because I have it as my profile picture on my exercise/weight loss/goal setting site (SparkPeople!) and another person recognized me at a race of 40,000+ people because of the shirt!

This was taken right before the finish. I set a new personal record on this run. Actually, each time I've competed I've set PRs! Anyway, I can't believe it, but I actually RAN for 9.5 miles yesterday! And, I WILL run 13.1 runs in just two and a half weeks! I'd love some prayers that I stay healthy & injury free!

Oh, and since this is a homeschool blog... where do I find the time to train? (I've been asked that quite a bit from other homeschoolers.) Well, Alex has co-op on Tuesdays & Thursdays. I teach in the afternoons (1:15 both days), but I drop her off at 9 am. So, I have a long morning free. And, I train on Saturdays & Sundays. Even for long runs I'm usually home before dd or dh wake up! Same with biking! Also, I'm trying to fit Alex into my workouts more so we sometimes go to the gym together or go on a bike ride.

DC - The Newseum

The Newseum was an AMAZING museum! We only spent about 4 hours there and I would have gladly went back for another day. It is kind of expensive, but it was one of our favorite stops.

The 1st Amendment is engraved onto the outside of the building. The museum is about news and how news is reported so the 1st Amendment is very important. (I'm thinking about having Alex memorize this!)

Around the outside of the building our front pages from each of the 50 states. We were excited that our very own Houston Chronicle was being featured for Texas! And, the main article was about the air show. The Newseum receives front pages from around the WORLD every day! And, you can access these pages online! Today they received 819 front pages from 78 countries! You can also choose to look at just the top 10. I enjoyed today's political comic front page from "Philadelphia Daily News."

One of the main exhibitions was about Hurricane Katrina. Alex really enjoyed this, too, because she lived through it! No, I don't mean through the hurricane, but most 'history' happened before she was born! And, we live in Houston where so many of the survivors/victims of the hurricane were transported. She remembers this event and took her time looking through this exhibit.

This was a sign explaining the markings that were left on the houses. They even had some of the boards off of the houses that were actually marked.

The Newseum has an amazing view of the capitol building. The street in the picture is Pennsylvania Avenue. Some of the networks use this area to film things happening on Pennsylvania Ave.

There are 15 theaters at the Newseum. Most of the films are between 5-15 minutes. We only watched two entire films - this one called "The Power of the Image." It was amazing! And we watched another movie about September 11th.
The September 11th exhibit mainly consisted of the film, this piece of one of the towers (I think I read it was an antenna, but I could be wrong), and a giant wall filled with front page articles about 9/11.

Another area was all about the 1st amendment. It talks about the 5 freedoms of this amendment: assembly, speech, petition, religion and the press. Alex and I enjoyed a computer game which tested your knowledge of the 1st amendment.

The museum also has one of the guard towers from the Berlin Wall. It is 3 stories tall and stood near Checkpoint Charlie. There are also 8 pieces of the Berlin Wall - the largest collection in the U.S. (I believe I actually read it was the largest collection outside of Germany, but I might not be remembering correctly.)

There was also an Elvis exhibition that was really neat. Alex and I watched part of a movie on a huge screen and looked that the exhibit. Neither of us is that interested in Elvis, but it was still fascinating. And, another exhibit I missed that I wanted to see was the Pulitzer Prize Photographs Gallery. So, I think I'll be asking for this book for Christmas!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Spy in the City & International Spy Museum - D.C.

On Day 2, Dianna (the lady who put the homeschool travel group together) showed us how to use the Metro system and we were on our own! Our first stop was the International Spy Museum to do the "Spy in the City" tour.
 Here's Alex as we get ready to enter the museum.

 And, Alex with her GPS machine. The "Spy in the City" tour takes you around parts of DC. We took the 1.5 hour tour (there is also a 1 hour tour). We probably walked 1.5 to 2 miles. The GPS system gives you clues about where to go next. 
One of our clues led us to Ford's Theater. Our plans included a tour of the Ford's Theater later in the week, but that ended up being the day that Alex was just too tired and needed to sleep in. So, we never got to go inside. I'm glad we stopped by on this day, though.

Another clue led us to the National Archives. There are so many beautiful buildings like this! And, yes, later we will go inside the National Archives building. As far as the tour, it helped orient us to this part of DC. However, it was a lot of walking and I am guessing we walked about 5 miles per day while in DC! So, this was quite a lot of additional walking. Everywhere you go in DC, though, involves a lot of walking! 

Here's another view of the National Archives building.I know the basics, like what type of columns these are - Corinthian, but I'd like to do a study of architecture with Alex. I learned this while taking Latin in high school, but I'd love a refresher course. So, if you have any ideas, please let me know!

DC Zoo with Martin Zoo

One of the most exciting things about our DC trip was meeting my wonderful blogging friend, Robin, and her son, Cade, from MartinZoo! We arrived in DC a little after noon and Robin picked us up in her car to head to the zoo!  

Alex took a photo of us. We had a great time! We've known each other for about 4.5 years online, but had never met in person. We felt like 'old' friends! The weather was rainy and cool, but the rain finally stopped and we enjoyed seeing the animals... and chatting!

Cade and Alex got along well. Here they are playing a game at the zoo.

And, here they are watching one of the two pandas. Alex and I have decided we want to see all of the pandas in the U.S. They are only at 4 zoos and we've seen 2 of them now!

After the zoo, we drove back to the hotel and had dinner at Chilis. We got to spend some of the evening together before Robin and Cade had to drive home. We hope to visit them again sometime!

Home from DC & Continued Prayers, Please!

We made it back from DC yesterday afternoon. We had a wonderful trip,  but are both tired! (And, a little sick... we either have colds or possibly just allergies.)
I plan on starting to blog about our trip this evening. In the meantime, we have co-op today. I had blogged about my daughters friends, two sisters, whose mom was dying. She passed away on Friday morning. I haven't got all the details, but I heard she was responsive on Thursday (she had been in a coma) and was able to respond by blinking. But, now she is in heaven and is out of pain forever! Praise God! But, she has left behind her husband and her two daughters, Maddie (12) and Kate (8). Also, lots of other family members and friends!

Please pray for the girls as they return to co-op today. Their dear friend (a mom) told me that they need to just get out and do things at this time. Pray for all of us as we come in contact with these little girls that we will do and say the right things... that the girls will feel God's love... that we will hold ourselves together and be there for them.

Specifically for my family, I also ask for prayers that I won't cry when inappropriate- especially as I try to teach Maddie, Alex, & classmataes on Thursday - and that Alex will feel secure as she comes to grasp that sometimes mommies do die!

Thank you all for your prayers!!!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Urgent Prayer Request!

Hi, everyone. I know I haven't been blogging faithfully. I do have an urgent prayer request, though.

My daughter has two friends (sisters - and one of the girls is my student) whose mom was just rediagnosed with brain tumors 2 weeks ago. She had a massive stroke on Friday and is in a coma. They are talking about taking her off of the respirator today.

Please pray for this lady and her family! Her girls are in 2nd & 6th grades. They homeschool and are at the co-op where I teach and my daughter spends 2 days a week. Please pray for a miracle of healing! And, if that is not God's will, please pray for comfort for this family! I can't even begin to imagine what they are going through.

And, please pray for my daughter. She has never been through anything like this and I know she'll be scared and, of course, upset. Please pray that I'll have the right words to share with her. Thank you!!!

Saturday, October 09, 2010

Komen Race for the Cure 5K

The Komen Race for the Cure raises money for breast cancer research, which is a great cause! This was my 2nd 5K race.
the classic pink ribbon on my cheek

I didn't take any photos at the race, which was AMAZING and HUGE! But, here's a post-race photo.

During the race you can run with signs of loved ones who were affected by breast cancer. My top one says "In Celebration of Lillian Hunter", my husband's grandmother. The bottom one says "In Memory of Evelyn Kaechle", my grandmother.

Friday, September 17, 2010

More Bubble-ology

We continue to have a lot of fun while learning in my GEMS (Great Explorations in Math and Science) class at our co-op. A few weeks ago, we experimented with which dish soap made the biggest bubles. To do this, we blew bubbles on a table and then measured the circumference of the bubble when it popped. The soapier you get the table, the easier it is to see the circumference! (And, what a mess!!! But, it is FUN!)

(GEMS has a great orientation video you can see at this link.)

My "First" 5K!!!

Earlier this summer I blogged about Spark People (or SP). Spark People is an incredible, free, online group that helps people lose weight and live a healthier life. You learn to set goals and achieve them! In fact, I have been working towards weight loss, and have lost 13 pounds since starting on June 1st! 

Another goal was to learn to run AND to be able to run an entire 5K... 3.1 miles. I started a program (through SP) called Couch to 5K (or C25K). With the program, you run 3 times per week. At first you are running 1 minute at a time and you work up to 30 minutes. Well, I could BARELY run for 1 minute at a time back in June, and now I run about 50 minutes, or a little over 3 miles, every weekend!!! And, I entered a 5K last Saturday.

I actually participated in 2 other 5Ks about 7 years ago, but I wasn't a 'runner' then. I would run as long as I could (a couple of minutes) then walk until I could run again. This time, I was hoping to run the whole 3.1 miles. But, the heat and the speed (I was going faster than usual!), got to me and I walked a lot of the last mile. Anyway, here is my timing chip on my shoe... I had to find a kind runner to help me figure out how to put it on. I later returned the favor and helped someone else!

This run was at a high school and it was neat having the band playing, the cheerleaders cheering, and the track team running! The cheerleaders helped us line up by holding signs for various paces. I lined up with the 10+ minute runners. The group behind me was the walkers. My pace is usual a 15 minute 30 second mile, so I knew I was slow. As a matter of fact, I ran with the walkers... a lot of them could keep up with me! But, I will get faster!

Alex took this photo of me when I got home. There were a lot of snacks on tables after the race, and I helped myself to fruit, a protein drink, and half a muffin. I always feel like eating healthy after I run!

So, I have another 5K coming up in 2 more weeks. My time on this race was (a slow) 46 minutes 30 seconds, but I did it! My pace was slightly under 15 minutes per mile. I'm hoping to do a little better next time... maybe under 45 minutes? It's a Komen Race for the Cure so it'll be HUGE! Actually, even this local race had almost 1,000 runners!!!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

How Much Change Will I Get?

Today we did some math using Family Math. The chapter we worked on was called "How Much Change Will I Get?" I had an inspiration to use the white board and make sales tags and draw the money. As we went along, Alex started adding pictures to go with these word problems.

Here's a Level 2 problem. (There are 5 levels.) In this problem, an item costs $7.12. You have a $10 bill and a pocket full of change. What coins would you give the clerk?

Alex loved drawing the items. I know this activity kept her interest a lot longer than it normally would have because she was enjoying the pictures. This is a drawing of a pencil and eraser.

Here's another problem which I think is a Level 1. An item costs $13.40 and you give the clerk a $20 bill. How much change will you receive?

And another problem - a Level 3, I think. An item costs $8.47 and you give the clerk a $10 bill and 2 pennies. How much change will you get?

And, another of Alex's drawings. I hope to add more drawing and story problems to our math as this seemed to be a hit in our house today!
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