Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Drama and Service to Others

So it wasn't a very catchy title jumping out at you this time. There was just - not really a good way to bring a post about two totally different things together in to a one-liner description. :) 

On top of music this year (another post) my three older children, LM, Hoss, and Miss Priss, are participating in a drama. Through their music teacher last May, we learned about a church not far from where we live that hosts a Christmas play every other year - A Christmas Carol. 
LM is playing the part of the 'First Spirit', Hoss is (chuckle) Tiny Tim (he's anything but tiny, but they said he does the part wonderfully) and Miss Priss is one of the younger Cratchit daughters. 

Here is LM with old Scrooge himself, working in one of their first rehearsals together. She is super excited to get this part - it's what she wanted, and it's also her first to ever be in a play like this. Unless you count those they come up with at home, which can't really compare yet. :) She is doing amazing, but of course - I am bias. 

It's hard to see, but Miss Priss is sitting in the chair to the right, closest to where I was, sporting a nice ponytail. Just past her is Hoss' head leaning over. This is the only shot I've been able to successfully take of their rehearsals so far, practicing a Cratchit family scene. I'm not sure what it says about my children or myself, that they are so excited about the part of the play where they get to eat real food during the Christmas meal scene. :)

They are doing amazing, and I am so thankful for this chance for them!

I also enjoy getting them out to help with something outside their own bubble that they live in. It just so happens that my mother is secretary at her church, where they run a weekly food pantry. So we are able to help sometimes, getting food bags and boxes ready to hand out. The kids love it, and I love the chance to get to explain to them how nice they have it and how much God has blessed them to not have to worry about where the next meal is coming from. 

Bagging chicken

Dividing crackers

Helping load boxes, and put things away

Cleaning freezers

And, yes - fussing over who gets to roll the cart from one room to the next. Alas - they aren't perfect :) 

We have been super busy the last couple of weeks, with my husband finally falling in to a 'home 1 1/2 weeks, gone 1/2 week' schedule and birthdays this week and next week.
Never a dull moment! 

Friday, September 4, 2015

Scientific Observations

One day last week, while cleaning up from breakfast, Hoss discovered this guy sitting on the window outside of our kitchen. 

Hoss grabbed a plastic food container, captured this guy, and brought him in. I think he figured he was probably not fully alive - which was a WRONG assumption, by the way - and wanted to preserve the body. He put a lid on it, and for a while this huge moth didn't move a hair ( pun intended ). LM took this time to observe every detail she could about the outward appearance, and recorded them for keeping. 

(which my phone has apparently turned sideways for me)

Then it got interesting, when all of a sudden - he woke up. Then, we heard nothing but frantic wing beating through this container. We let him go, but not before we would at least figure out that what we had found was a 'Waved Sphinx Moth'. We finally found our moth here, where you can find a good description of this type of moth. They all loved to watch his movements, feel how soft the wings were, and see it go in spurts of very active flying, to not moving it at all. I had to act mercifully and tell the kids to let it go, so that it would survive, and remind Hoss that it's not okay to preserve a moth if you have to first deprive it of life. 

He (or she - something else to look up, maybe?) did make for some good scientific observations, though. :) Education is where we find it - not always where we are given it without some work.

Saturday, August 29, 2015


Although I wasn't present on the blog much over the summer, we actually have tried to keep up with some school related work. Or - maybe school related is too strong a word. We have been busy. That's probably more accurate.

My husband, who was gone the first half of the year, is now back every other week thankfully. The down side is, it will probably continue that way for the rest of the year, unless he gets longer orders to go elsewhere. I know that it's hard to understand a schedule like that if you aren't married to a man who is #1 In the military or #2 Travels for work. A LOT. 

We began school in August, slowly, as we tend to drift out of school sometime in May of every year and drift back in around the beginning/middle of August. At a time when everyone else is vacationing, we had already had our vacation (back in February) so we stayed busy at home base. I was very blessed this summer to acquire some new (to me) materials from the local Montessori school here, and also to buy a few things we needed. One of the biggest blessings were the complete bead cabinet beads, minus the cabinet. The color is off from the traditional colors that are sold. Apparently, these are old and I am not completely sure what company they came from. They would not work in a traditional Montessori classroom, and most homeschool parents buying them might not even like the color change. I knew it would only be a short adjustment for my bunch, and for a fraction of the price, they have more than made up for the change.

My tidbit today is just a sensorial blurb, showcasing Buddy Boy. He has a renewed interest in the Brown Stair and Brown Tower, now that he has the bead cubes to compare with them. One day, while I was working with another child or two, I turned around and he was working steadfastly to bring the brown stair and brown tower in and set it up. Then he brought in our bead cubes, and set them up. Then he went and got the individual bead bars, and put it all together. I love when something occurs to them without my help or prompting. When his brain is connecting without me needing to assist. So, without further ado and so much chit-chat on my end, here we have some not-so-great-in-quality pictures, because I had to shoot them quickly, to show what was in fact almost 40 minutes of working through what he was thinking about, moving the stair and tower around and bringing everything to where he wanted it. 

This was actually the last picture I took, after he made the vertical connection of the pink stair (except, ours is brown) and the bead cubes.

He worked fr a long time to make sure this was just how he liked it. It doesn't look like it should take very long, but in truth he had to concentrate and move very carefully to balance connected bead bars that tend to roll around. The one beads were especially difficult, and his determination was endless. 

Bug always tends to get in on the action, quite happy to try and get credit for something she didn't do. Or maybe she's just a camera hog. :) She was actually working on another project that we were preparing for, which I will share later - after we've completed it :) 

Few pictures this time, but just a quick insight in to what's going on and how we sometimes work in spurts, sometimes not as perfectly smooth as I'd like it to be, but right now, it's what works. :) 

Happy Homeschooling!

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