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Friday, October 31, 2008

I Brake for Deer...

Joy and Prairie Chick...this one's for you guys!
It was Thanksgiving day, the year was 2000. I was travelin' down by Watts Bar Lake tryin' to get to my parent's house to commit gluttony (Hey! It's a holiday, so cut me some slack!). I was probably going 55 mph, but I was so consumed with my desire for cornbread dressing that I failed to notice this sign

Now, just to clarify, this sign doesn not mean "beautiful deer frolicking in the green green forest" It means, "Watch out! A ginormous buck is likely to run out in front of you and total your car!" Okay, with that out of the way, I was totally oblivious to the warning signs. I turned my head to admire the beauty of a Tennessee fall, only to look around and "BAM!"

Okay, so it may not have been this massive, but it sure seemed like it at the time. It did have alot of antler, that I remember! Alright, so lets recap. This deer ran out in front of my Nissan Sentra that was traveling at around 55 mph. Needless to say, it did a bit of damage. Now, I have never been much of a conspiracy theorist, but I believe this deer was just waiting for me to come along. Probably had some buddies with him, but they turned chicken and bailed out at the last minute. Now, this part of the story is surreal. The deer ran (or hobbled) off into the woods. As I was phoning the highway patrol, a pickup truck pulls up behind me. Two rather burly men in camo and orange hunting vests jump out. "You alright, lady?" one said to me. "Uh," I respond looking over at my car "I think so." Silence for a bit. "Soooooo, " the other guy says" Deer hit ya?" "Duh" I think, but since I'm nervous and a bit outnumbered I respond "Yeah." To my relief the highway patrolman pulls up and jumps out. "Did you, ummmm happen to see where it went?" one of the hunter's asked, scanning the woods. "No, sir, don't exactly care either." I answer. The patrolman saunters up and starts scribbling his report. "Maam, you know that by law if you find that deer, you can take it home with you." one of the hunters kinda whispers to me while the patrolman is looking over my car. For a moment, I ponder this. Yeah, I am soooo going to go hunt for that wounded deer and then do what? Strap it onto the top of my car with the hood that is completely crumpled up making it nearly impossible to drive and drive on up to ma and pa's house and announce that I've just brought dinner? Yeah, that's not gonna happen! "So, if you're not going to go find it, do ya mind if me and my buddy here do?" one of the hunters asked me. I smile, "Sure." The patrolman nods at them as well, I suppose bidding them godspeed. Looking back, I think those two guys probably never did one day of real hunting in their lives. Probably just parked on the side of that stretch of highway waiting for some poor hungry female to hit a deer and then "happen" to arrive on the scene. Maybe I am a bit of a conspiracy theorist. Anyhow, I went on my way and did finally make it home for dinner. That dressing was well worth it. So, you see, hunting is serious business to some in these parts. You get em' how you can get em' whether by gun or by compact car!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Planetary Update!

Well, last week and today we have studied Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn. I plan on wrapping this unit up this week, cause next week we embark on our Pilgrim unit and it's a biggun, so I don't want to overload my little mind and wind up spending the whole month of Thanksgiving grumbling. So, we'll slack a little on science and nature , only doing selections from our Nature Reader or Pilgrim related science projects, if they come up. I really want to make the month of November special. I want it to transform my children in some little way. My concern is not that they learn all the facts and figures, but more that they learn the attitude of grattitude through the lives of the Pilgrims. That they'll recognize the courage it took to make such a frightening uncertain journey and how God's hand was over the whole thing. Well, here's the pictures of some of the projects we've been into in our planet unit.

Many of the planets we've studied have volcanic action goin' on, so we made this little volcano. Sorry it's not more elaborate, but I didn't exactly feel like whippin' up some paper mache'. The kids didn't care, they thought it was neat.

When we studied Jupiter, Lillie made this chart that shows the size comparison of all the planets. Here's how you do it.

Draw a plus sign with both lines measuring 7 inches long. Draw dots on each pole then connect the dots to make a big circle. Label this circle Jupiter. Now, measure from the center 3 inches, draw dots to mark , then using a different color, connect these dots to form a circle. Label Saturn. Continue this process using the following measurements:

2.5 inches for Uranus

Slightly less than 2.5 inches for Neptune

A little over .5 inches for Earth

Exactly .5 inches for Venus

.3 inches for Mars

.25 inches for Mercury

Now you can compare the size relativity of the planets. Which planets are the largest, smallest, closest in size? It's a pretty simple way to illustrate size difference comparison.Here's the picture of Lillie's chart. She's not the best drawer of circles, yet, but the important thing is that SHE did the work. For Saturn, we made these easy Saturn models using styrofoam balls, old scratched cd's, paint, glitter, and alot of patience :) They turned out pretty neat and I expect the children to revolve them around things for the good part of the afternoon. Here's some pics and videos.

And here's just some random shots on the memory card. I wonder sometimes about this kid...
Ummmm...those are grits if you were wondering.

The freedom of homeschooling! Reading Lesson on the Fridge!!!!

Have a blessed day!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

How Revealing...

"What we believe is revealed, not by what we know, or say we know, but by how we actually live."

These words caught my eye. I have begun, once more to read Nancy Leigh DuMoss's book "Lies Women Believe and the Truths That Set Them Free" If you have never read it, it's a must. But, enough product placement, back to that quote. Re read it, go on. Now, sit down and think about it. So often we say we believe certain things about God, the Bible etc. But, do we live out what we say our beliefs are. One thought that jumped out at me as I was reading this was, I say that I believe Jesus is coming back. Why? The Bible tells me that. The Holy Spirit bears witness of it in my heart. I KNOW he is coming back! So...why am I not more concerned about those that are lost? Why do I not have more sense of urgency about me? I am not living what I say I believe...period! I believe he's coming back, but in the back of my mind I seem to think I have all this...time, to do what I need to do to prepare my loved ones and my children for this event.

The truth is, I have time, just not spare time. The Word tells us to redeem the time. It literally seems like yesterday that I brought my first child home, now she sings "There Is A Fountain" at the top of her lungs and never stops talking. It seems like yesterday that I was watching Jack pull up on the furniture, now he never stops running and requests prayer for Jesus every morning. The fact of the matter is, before I know it, God will be dealing with their hearts, he'll knock and give them opportunity to let him come into their heart and if I'm not real careful, I'll miss it. And if I'm not even more careful, I'll look back and have many more regrets about the way I lived my life and encouraged them to live. I know mistakes in parenting are inevitable, but I fear I'll have a lot of regrets that I could have avoided. What I guess I'm trying to say is, God's been good to me. I believe his word, but true belief comes through an outward showing of faith in the way we walk this journey. How's your trip going?

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Need A Laugh?

Much thanks to my sister who left these in my inbox this morning! I needed a good laugh.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

One Small Step...

In our planet unit today, we studied the moon. In my search for a short educational video clip about the moon, I stumbled upon this little gem, which had me fooled for a second thinking that it was a serious'll see what I mean about it being deceptive. Oh well, it gave me a chuckle anyhow... Make sure you turn the music player off in the sidebar!

We did two nifty little projects today. The first was a moon phase mini-book. I got the instructions to make the book template here. Then I just had the kids paste construction paper cutouts of the phases of the moon into the little books. Here's a video of the finished product...

Next, we made craters using a golfball and some wet sand. We learned that the bigger the object, the bigger the crater and the speed and direction it hits the moon, changes the size and shape of the crater. Here's a video of the kids making craters and poor Tucker just trying to get in on the action...

Did a really neat object lesson for devotion this morning called "God's Toolbox". I gathered up some tools from Jody's tool box and laid them out. I read in 1 Corinthians about the gifts God gives and how everyone has various gifts and they are all needed to benefit and do the work of Christ in this world. Not everyone can preach, or sing, or teach Sunday school, but we learned that God will and can use us everyone of us for the furtherance of the Gospel. I asked the kids what the tools were used for and then asked questions like,"Could I hammer a nail in with this screwdriver?" This was a great little lesson to illustrate the principal of gifts and talents.

Tried something new with Lillie and reading practice this morning. I got on Google Books (which, by the way, is one of my new fave sites) and downloaded a copy of an old primer called Elson Readers Primer. I picked a selection and printed it out. Lillie sat down with a highlighter and read through the passage, highlighting all the words she knew. I helped her with the ones she didn't but then went back and wrote the unhighlighted words on index cards and did the 3 Lesson Method to help her learn those words she didn't know. Then we went back and reread the passage and continued the process until she could read the entire passage fluently. It was a simple and easy approach to add a bit of variety into our reading lessons.

Jack's naptime is on the horizon, so I will be conquering math and writing with Lillie while he's snoozin'. Then when he gets up, he's gonna work on his letter sounds and counting, though he doesn't know that yet...ShHhhhhhhh.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Weekend Update

The get together started out with good intentions. A beautiful day of fun and food at the park with family. But, it was way toooooo chilly for the kiddos, so we gave up and moved the party to Jody's mom and dad's house. Managed to catch some pictures of the kids in action. We really know how to have fun in our family...I assure you!

Double Trouble in Pink Hoodies...

LOOK AT THIS STRUT!!!!!! It's like she owns the b-ball court, or something...

My brother in law Denny is all the time doing something crazy with the kids...Like this!
AND..........This!AND......of course, this. You have seen correctly. That is my baby being suspended up in the air in her uncle's teeth (he's like a mama cat to these kids, sorta)
And this is my little beefcake doing what he does best...sweating. We fight because we love.
Have a great day!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

But....All My Friends Are Doing It????!!!!!

Well, I have succumb to peer pressure. All my blog buddies started getting these super nifty blog backgrounds and I can't be left behind! Where would this world be without progress, you know?
As promised, here are pictures of the elements we added to complete our Native American Lapbook!

This is the cover .

Inside is a flap with the Native American legend "The Invisible Warrior" which is a whole lot like "Cinderella" It was neat to see how oral traditions of stories differ from culture to culture.If you lift the flap up, you get a section devoted to the Three Sisters (corn, bean, and squash) that were so important to the Native Americans. The top of the section has a quote about the Three Sisters and this Flap book template you can get at the Homeschool Share site (just click it in my sidebar). The bottom section is the Legend of the Three Sisters.
Open the cover and you get this nifty little book that explains the purpose of each plant in a three sister's garden.
I also promised I would share Lillie's new Phonics lapbook. I used some templates from Homeschool Share's Phonics lapbook, but also pulled from ABC Teach's site to get the Word Wheels and Word Strips.
The yellow pieces velcro on and off! Where would I be without Velcro?

These word strips are totally neat! You must succumb to peer pressure as well and go print some of these. Now that I have a new look, I have gotten my fix. Now I won't feel the need to rearrange my furniture ...

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Down To Earth...

The day is just flying by! I seem to be spinning'll take a miracle to get all our schoolwork and housework done today! Yesterday, took a nature walk with the kids and my dad, had a nice time. It was a beautiful day! Then, I had to go settle up with the library. Can you believe I owed them $11 and ten cents!!!!!!!! Gasp! I have never ...NEVER...paid that much in late charges! If I keep up with this memory loss thing, I can kiss "Homeschool on a Shoestring" goodbye! Yesterday, however, I booked it and we completed ALL our schoolwork for the day!
Studied Venus yesterday and I have decided that, although Mercury would help my weight, moving to Venus would help with my time management. Did you know 1 day on Venus=243 days on earth! Now, I'm in hot water! Where do I move, now?????? Earth and Venus are roughly the same size, so my weight won't be much different, like 10 pounds! However, Venus is HOT HOT HOT and I burn easily and they don't make SPF 500000000000. Oh well...
The kids filled in their Solar System Notebook pages for Mercury, Earth and Venus today. I'll have to post pictures of the notebook pages I created later on. My children spent most of this morning playing with their lapbooks (Lillie's got a new phonics lapbook hot off the inkjet!) and exploring the solar system using this site. You must go check it out. It really is alot of fun! Today we focused on Earth and made a nifty little craft. Get it here.

The kids then sat down to do their notebooking. They are really learning so much using this unit, I've learned quite a bit too. I love homeschooling, cause I get to learn right along side them! I meant to do an activity to tie in with studying Venus, but didn't have the materials on hand, so will have to try it out tommorrow!

Added Earth to our Solar System poster...

And tried to keep Chloe from crashing the party!We will be finishing up our Indian Lapbook tommorrow, so I'll be sure to post the finished product for you. Well, I'm off to tackle the three R's...wish me luck!