Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween

... is over! : ) 

I'm sore from all the walking during trick or treat times. Everyone had a great time though ... that's what really counts. Making memories with the family ... what could be better???

Our town also had their Homecoming ... ya know I'm not really sure what homecoming is all about. We've only had it for the past few years too. Who knows???

Anyhow they have a parade & the boys enjoy going to parades! We also took Nana & the neighbor kid along. They like the candy the best : )

After the parade we went to the city park. They had activities for the kids and Llamas! LoL They were thrilled over the llamas and the rock climbing wall.

After a full day out and about doing all that we came home and carved pumpkins:

Then it was time to dress up & go beg for candy ...

We also trick or treated our Wal*mart & a couple streets in the next town since we were at Wal*mart anyhow.

I'm super sore tonight & don't know if I'll make it to co-op tomorrow! The boys would have a problem with not going to co-op though ... so I better get to bed so I can run them over tomorrow morning. Can't disappoint my little ones especially when they want to do "school" work! : )

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Blogs Are Hard and Legos All Around

Who would have thought blogging would be hard???

Ok, so the blogging part isn't hard. It's finding a layout and figuring out how I want it to look that's hard. : )

I'm loving the new one, but there are features missing that I want in it. The colors are very nice and it's clean looking ... so that makes stuff easy to find on it ... for me anyhow ; )  But it's still not right and it bother's me.  Like I don't have enough to do already, I have to worry about this blog.

Maybe I should just have Mike make me one. That would give him something to do and he likes helping me out with things like this. Then I wouldn't have to read up on all the html and css stuff! Personally I like to point and click, drag and drop, type and enter! I'll leave the hard stuff up to my husband. : ) 

The boys are enjoying this blog. Sammy has been snagging the camera every chance he gets and taking pictures of his Lego creations. His pictures are below. I promised him that I would add them here for everyone to see. Comments are very welcome ; ) 

Well I reckon that's it for now. : )

Friday, October 21, 2011

Apples Apples Everywhere

Apples ... everybody (at some point) does a study on apples. If you Google for a study on apples you'll have an endless supply of information, worksheets, activities, ideas ... and on and on it goes.

Well, we too did a unit on apples ... and this isn't our first time. : )  Apple units are always fun to repeat. Well ... not so much repeat as in we study the same thing over & over again. There are a few things that you have to go over each time, but with apples ... there is just so many things you can do ... you just have to choose a few to do each time. If you didn't just choose a few you'd spend a month on apples easy!

One of our wonderful libraries has a homeschool program that meets every other week & they recently did a apple theme too. They had apple tasting, learned how apple trees were planted & how they crossed the different apples to make a new kind of apple, colored apples, went over the seasons of an apple tree, apple nutrition, what foods are made from apples, and made apple pots (pictures below - these are little flower pots that have been painted to look like apples). This library has an awesome homeschool program leader! She comes up with some great ideas & my boys just love going to the homeschool program!

Our homeschool group also got into the apple spirit of things and went on a field trip to an orchard.

We went to Fuhrmann Orchards in Wheelersburg, Ohio. Paul & Leanne Fuhrmann are the owers & Leanne was our guide for the day. She was a really great guide. She had a book about apple trees that she used as a visual while telling our kids about what apple trees need to grow, went over how they pick apples (did you know that once an apple hits the ground they leave it?), showed us the basket they use to collect apples & how you load & unload it, explained what happens to the apples once they are dropped, and went over the different kinds of apples they grow & what the differences there were between the apples. It was educational even to me & I found oh so interesting!

Look at the faces of those kids. You can just see how they are listening and wanting to learn!!! : )

After that we took a tour of the packaging part of the operation. They sink those large crates full of apples into water & the apples float up out of the crate ... who would have thought of that ... well someone apparently did ... I wouldn't have. I'd just have apples that looked like they've been in a fight!  

Here we are being told how the apples are cleaned, sorted, and packaged. Look at those faces again ... don't you love it when you can just see their brains soaking up all that info!?! : )
 Stacked crates full of apples - this is inside a giant cooler - so the apples will keep ... oh my it smelled soooo good in there!!!

At the end of our tour they gave the kids a sticker (and a few of us adults were lucky enough to get one too!), coloring book, a pumpkin, and an apple of their choice. Sammy seems to think he's going to keep his pumpkin forever ... I'm planning on having them use the smaller pumpkin for our Pumpkin Seed Count online project! Then they can carve them or paint them or draw on them ... however they want to decorate their pumpkins.

Nana went with us on the field trip too ... she loves this sort of thing ... and before leaving she bought 3 bags of apples, a gallon of apple cider, and one of those apple cider slushies. I would recommend the apple cider slushy to everyone! I didn't think I'd care for it, but it was really good!

Some more random pics of our field trip ... we had planned on doing a corn maze too, but the weather wasn't on our side (it was rainy & cold) but still well worth the trip. 

Here my hubby is talking to Paul (owner) about selling their apples & fruit to Wal-mart
I'm glad we finally got to go to the orchard that is close to us! We go to one that is much further away. I knew there was one around here, but until now I had no idea what the name was or how to get there. We'll be visiting the Fuhrmann Orchard again!

As far as I know they don't have a website, but you can find them on Facebook by clicking here.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Snowmen: A Movie Review

Going out to the movies isn't something we get to do very often ... especially as a family. The stuff out there is usually for adults or it's a cartoon. I don't know about you all but I get enough of cartoons at home!

A few days ago I received an offer to participate in a special online viewing of the upcoming movie Snowmen. Below you'll find out a little about the movie and our review for this movie.

Presented by ARC Entertainment and Mpower Pictures
Running Time: 86 minutes
Rated: PG
Opens October 21, 2011

Cast: Bobby Coleman (Last Song), Ray Liotta (Wild Hogs), Bobb’e J. Thompson (Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs), Josh Flitter (Ace Ventura Jr.), Christopher Lloyd (Back to the Future), Beverly Mitchell, Doug E. Doug, and Christian Martyn.

Snowmen is a humorous and heartfelt coming-of-age story about three unlikely heroes and the winter that changed their lives forever. After a surprising discovery in the snow catapults three small-town boys into the spotlight, the best friends hatch a plan to be remembered forever by setting a Guinness World Records title. Along the way, the trio battles schoolyard bullies, unites their community and discovers that - while fame may be fleeting - true friendship lasts forever.

What will your legacy be? What will you do today that says “I was here” tomorrow? How do you communicate what you value most? Snowmen prompts audiences of all ages to ask these life-defining questions, while affirming that it’s not what you do that matters as much as how you do it.

You can learn more about Snowmen by visiting the site here. Watch the trailer below:

I had 3 out 4 boys watch this movie and this is what they had to say about the movie after it was over:

Nick - 18 - It was really good. Heartwarmingly Chilly (I think he's just trying to be cute)

Walter - 10 - Loved it! It was funny and sad. Yeah I would tell other people to watch it.

Sammy - 9 - Brilliant! I liked it!

What Mom has to say - I actually missed a lot of this movie because I was watching my boys watch it. It totally had their attention! You could tell when the funny parts were on because of all the smiles and laughter and during sad parts ... well you could read that on their faces as well. We even had some tearing up ... although I won't name names here. ;)

This movie does a good job at drawing you into the lives of the characters and makes you feel. It shows the kids with strong moral values (faith; friendship; compassion). We need more decent family movies like this. This is something I could watch with my children again (unlike most of the stuff they like). I would recommend this movie to anyone who has kids or not. Heartwarming sums it up pretty well and who wouldn't like that? :)

I received no monetary compensation for this review. I was provided with a link and password to view the movie online in order to facilitate my review. All opinions expressed in this post are our own.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Non-productive Week ...

It started Sunday afternoon with a visit from Papaw (my Dad). He wanted to take Walter & Sammy fishing - all night. Which is fine. The boys LOVE spending time with their Papaw. : ) So we packed up their clothes for an overnight fishing trip and off they went.

Monday morning I spent with Netflix. Once I start a series I have to finish it ... so since the kids were gone I watched tv curled up on the couch with my blanket and remotes. : )
Papaw brought the boys back home around noon or so. Walter ended up having an allergic reaction to something. My poor baby's face was swollen and he had a rash on both arms and neck. So off to the doctor's office we went to wait and wait to be seen. He worried the whole time about co op the next day. He didn't want to go if his face was still swollen. After finally getting back to see the doctor they gave Walter a shot and then a prescription. Needless to say we didn't really put in much book learning that day!

Tuesday morning Walter was normal looking. No redness or swelling! Yay!!! : ) So we got ready for co op. The boys are just loving their co op classes. They both have a gym and science class (loving science!).  Then Walter also has art, music, and bible studies. Sammy does a FIAR (Five in a Row) class for about 1 1/2 hours. On co op days we don't do homeschool studies at home unless we have a video to watch or something like that.

Today I fully intended to get some school work done ... really. But life just didn't agree with me on that one! The boys decided that 5 am was a good time to get up today. I really don't know what that was about. Walter complains and complains when I wake him up 7 am and Sammy is more slug than anything else during the mornings. LoL Moans and groans and wants to go back to bed. Today though they were both bright eyed and bushy tailed! It was like having morning people for kids. I was the total slug this morning! So Mom vegged out on the couch while the boys explored their morning super powers.

We did manage to get in a video about Japan before running off to the Paramount to see Mathemagic. Super cute show and funny! The boys complain about math, but they liked this guy with his magic tricks and they answered the math questions from the audience. Since I was sitting beside Sammy I could hear what he was saying clearly ... and I'm proud to say he was getting them all correct!!! From what I understand Walter knew what the answers were too. So I'm proud all over again! That's my boys! : )

So I guess the week hasn't really been all that unproductive after all. I just needed to write it down to realize it!

It may not have been a week for learning that I had planned but other learning did occur. Just hanging out with Papaw is a learning experience for anyone ... and there is all that nature when you are outdoors. Co Op provided some hands on learning and the boys were able to socialize ... they love making new friends! Our math show was a good reenforcement and made me realize how much they really have been learning during our math sessions at home.

It's great to be able to homeschool. It's wonderful to realize that your kids are learning even when you don't notice or think they aren't.

They fool you into thinking they really aren't learning what you are trying to teach. Then you sit here at the computer and start typing away and it hits you. They are paying attention! They are learning! You aren't the bad parent/teacher that you were thinking you were.

I'm off to hug my little ones and let them know I'm proud of them for being such good little learners!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Please Excuse Our Mess

Things will be changing around a bit here for awhile.  I'm trying to find a blog look & formation that we can call home. : )

If you have any tips or advice please let me know! I'm certainly open minded and happy to receive tips/advice from those of you who have been around the blog world.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Our Expedition to South Korea

Annyong hase-yo! Hello from South Korea! We are having a good time with our geography study this year. The boys and I are learning so much. We're only 2 countries in (well plus the continents and oceans study we did) but we're enjoying it ... and that does make a difference! : )

I don't have as many pictures as I wanted of our week ... the camera needed batteries & we just didn't get any until our study was all but finished. So I took pictures of the completed project. This is something the boys are enjoying too. They love posing for pictures and help me decide which pictures end up on the blog.

So what did we do this week? Find out below:

  • First we reviewed things we learned about China
  • Added the South Korea flag to our passports and stamped the date we started
  • Located the country on the world map
  • Completed the Mapping Activity - which also teaches us the capital city, population, major religion, language, currency, and what kind of government they have
  • Learned how to say hello in Korean - Wow! This is a hard one for sure!
  • Painted hello on paper in Korean characters
  • Read fun facts about the country - the boys' favorite fact was that in South Korea #4 is the unlucky number ... it's like the #13 in the US
  • Learned about the flag and completed the activity for it
  • Completed the Animals mini-book - that's 6 more animals for our Classification Wall
  • Prayed for the people of South Korea
  • Completed the lapbook activity
  • Completed the binder & stamped the passports with our finish date

Here are a few pictures of the finished work.

After finishing the work we made a Koren dinner. After looking at all the different dishes out there we decided to go with the Korean BBQ Beef dinner that was included with the study. It was really very good & everyone, except Walter, liked it ... even Nick (who doesn't like to try new foods!). Sammy really loved it cause we had rice with it ... that boy likes his rice!!! : )

Here is how our dinner turned out. We served it with rice, peas, and bread.

Well I hope you enjoyed learning about our South Korea study. Hope you'll come back & see our next adventure!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

We Won! Family Time Fitness

I recently blogged about a giveaway from Erica over @ Confessions of a Homeschooler was doing for Family Time Fitness.  Well ... we won!!!  : )

I'm super excited about this!  Our boys need some sort of structured physical education and I've been looking into Family Time Fitness since Erica first blogged about it, but $99 is a lot of money and I just wasn't really sure about spending that much. I mean I can just send my kids outside to play right?  Well from what the Family Time Fitness website says I'm wrong! 

Now we'll see first hand if that's really true or not.  I can't wait to get this program and try it out!!!

I'll certainly let everyone know how it goes.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Our Expedition to China

We are using Confessions of a Homeschooler's Expediton Earth: A Journey Through God's World as the core to our geography curriculum.  I say core because with some of the countries that we will be exploring we'll add to it.

That what I did with our visit to China. You're meant to spend a week on each county, but with China we spent 2 weeks.  I added in aspects of Amanda Bennett's Expediton China DNG unit, an Evan Moor book on China, printables from around the web, and books from the library.

We started off by filling out our passports, adding our China flag sticker, and stamping the date that we started. Then we located China on our world map and learned how to say hello in Mandarin Chinese.  This is a picture of the boys writing hello in traditional Chinese writing.

Some things we learned: 
  • China's capital city Beijing
  • Population
  • Language
  • Religion
  • Currency
  • Government
  • Inventions
  • Great Wall of China
  • Terracotta Warriors
  • Silk
  • Holidays/Traditions
  • Animals
  • Geographical Features
The boys liked learning about the animals and putting them up on our Animals of the World Classification wall chart (I'll get a picture of it next time ... I thought I had one in this bunch but must have forgotten it).

I think the best thing for them was the Great Wall of China craft we did.

These are pictures over several days.  No way we completed all that in a day! :)  We used floral moss for our greenery ($2 @ Walmart) ... that stuff is messy and dirty ... be warned!!! :)

Walter loved playing with the blocks between buildings on the wall!

Here are pictures I got of the boys while doing their China study:

Working on worksheets.

Chinese Lanterns for when we talked about the Lantern Festival. 

Animal book. 

Chinese Fan Craft 

Binder with lapbook components in it. 

Sammy & Walter with their Expedition Earth Binders 

Well that's it for Our China Expedition.  Hope you enjoyed seeing what our boys did.  We had grand ole time with this study!