Tuesday, February 28, 2012


In our history studies we have come to the end of our Ancient Greece studies but before Story of the World moves into Roman History it takes a chapter to visit the Americas and discuss the Olmecs in Central America and the Nazca Drawings in South America. Rather than just color in the map which is included in the activity book I decided to have the kids draw a map on their own. After reading "The Core" a few months ago and really liking what I read about Geography there I have been meaning to draw maps more and make that a part of our usual school work.

I had the kids fold the long 11x17 paper in half both horizontally and vertically. These were our Equator and a random longitude like that I drew onto the map in the book we were using as our reference. From there we added in our Tropic of Cancer and Capricorn as well as the Arctic and Antarctic circles.  Then we just sketched in the continents.

Here is Sophie's finished product. She was about to crumple it up because she didn't like how North America turned out.
Ian was happy with how his turned out even if it is rather skinny.

Henry wouldn't even try this exercise. He wanted to trace it but I wouldn't let him. So he refused to even give this method a try.
This was mine. As usual it is rather light. But I think it was fun.

We are going to be doing more of this.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Jelly Belly

Our co-op spent Friday at the Jelly Belly Factory.  My kids were very excited to go. They have seen pictures of Sophie as a baby with the Jelly Belly hat on her head. She must have been about Molly's age the last time we took a tour of this candy factory.

Molly especially loved the "Jelly man" which greeted us at the front door.
There were also all sorts of cars in out front decorated with jelly beans.

Jelly Belly sure owes a lot of their success to Ronald Reagen's love of these little treats. They had several of these bean pictures of him on the wall throughout the factory.
It takes a lot of Jelly Bellys to make one of these pictures.
Everyone had to pose with the portrait.
The lobby sure looked fun with all the different flavors dangling from the ceiling. Evidently the most favorite Jelly Belly is the "Very Cherry" and the 2nd is "Buttered Popcorn" with Licorice coming in 3rd.

We couldn't take pictures inside the actual factory. Once we had the hats on we were ready to go in and that was the end of the photographs. They said they didn't want anyone to seal their candy making secrets.
Ian was very brave. During the tour the guide offered a few people to try some of the Been Boozled flavors. Ian got a bean the looked like "Buttered Popcorn" but it ended up being "Rotten Egg". He couldn't tell us what flavor it was but he certainly spit it out pretty quick and was very grateful for the "very Cherry" bean he got to eat right after to get rid of that gross taste in his mouth.

Everyone had a great time on our trip through this factory but they were especially happy that we took home a large bag of their Belly Flops which we picked up at the gift shop.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Blue and Gold Bobcat

Last week we attended our first Blue and Gold dinner.  We have had a cub scout in our house for less than two months.  Ian is having such a good time in scouts! He looks forward to the activities each week and comes home excited about the things he got to do.

I need to capitalize on his excitement and see if we can work on some more of the requirements.  In his first month he quickly memorized the things he needed to remember for his Bobcat.  So at this dinner he was presented with this patch. We were also surprised that he got two belt loops. He got the artist belt loop and the marbles belt loop.  At first I thought this was pretty normal but when talking to another mom whos scout is about 6 months older than mine I found out that he only had 4  before getting these same two belt loops that night.  So I guess they aren't that frequently given.  I just have no idea what they have to do to earn them. They aren't listed in the handbook and both of these were earned doing things in his den meeting.

This cub scout was very excited about the whole event and was very pleased when his name was called and he got to go up and collect his new badge and belt loops.

Now I just need to figure out how to sew a patch onto a pocket. How does one do that without going through both pieces of fabric?

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Pointillism assignment

Each week Sophie gets an assignment from her online teacher. I help her photograph or scan the image and then email it to the teacher to "turn it in".

This is what Sophie sent in this week.

Obviously it is a pointillism assignment. During class they discussed Seurat and this style of artwork. Sophie was then asked to draw a flower, fruit or animal using pointillism. Sophie did a number of flowers but then she tried her hand at an animal. She picked her new seahorse Webkinz "Nauta" as the subject.
She even added in a background. I thought markers would be the easiest medium for this assignment but perhaps I will let her try some paints next time.

Sophie really LOVES this class! She is really interested in art and is a pretty good artist herself. So the class has really be a lot of fun for her and she can't wait for the next class!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Wordful Wednesday - My Mr. Knightly

My last year of college I shared a room with my sister. We would often fall asleep listening the audio of the movie Emma. That Miramax opening, even when I hear it at the start of a different movie, always makes me think of Gwyneth Paltrow and Jeremy Northam.  While listening, my sister and I would sometimes talk about what kind of man we pictured the other marrying and she would say such nice things as "I can't see you getting married" or "I have no idea what kind of man is right for you".  These weren't great things to hear when you were a girl in Provo, returned from your mission, and finishing your last year of BYU.  I didn't feel pressure to get married.  I was actually more worried about what I was going to do when I got out into the real world and left the life of a student. I really wanted to just be a student forever.  I would jokingly tell my sister that I was just going to have to go out into the world and find myself my own Mr. Knightly.

I don't know why exactly I choose Mr. Knightly as my particular Austen hero.  Being a big Jane Austen fan I had all her wonderful but different matches swimming in my head. I loved the humorous and witty Mr. Tilney.  The goodness and sense of duty of Mr. Darcy or Mr. Ferrars was, of course, desirable.  Captain Wentworth's undying love was very romantic. But I think I liked the idea of  Mr. Knightly because he sort of had all those things in one.

So I came home to California and spent a year trying to figure out what direction I was going to take. I got a job and moved three times. I quit that job and substitute taught for a bit so see if I wanted to teach.  Finally a friend of mine who was going to college in the bay area needed a roommate and since I wasn't tied to anything in particular I decided to go to the Silicon Valley where there were jobs a plenty and dot coms were still in their hey day.

My first day in the area I went to a singles ward FHE. My friend and I were set on going to the family ward but decided we should go to singles wards activities.  The activity that night was dodge ball. The ladies all sat on the stage while the men threw balls at each other. None of us wanted to venture out onto the gym floor.  But after the game there were refreshments and some mingling.

My friend and I sat and talked to a few different people and one of them was the temple coordinator in that singles ward. He was rather excited to find two ladies that had served missions and could go to the temple. It is always easier to get the guys to go to the temple if they know there are some females that will also be there I guess.  So he got our information so he could make sure we went to the next temple trip which just happened to be that Saturday. I am sure you can guess who that temple coordinator was, right?!

I spent the next day trying to find a job and the job market being what it was then I had interviews at a few different places that day and the next.  These weren't great jobs but it would be something.  I was offered a job at one of the places that day and would start immediately.  I knew I would need some more professional looking clothes but being new in the area didn't really know where to go to find something.

Wednesday night after being offered the job I got a call from that Temple coordinator to see if we were still interested in going up to Oakland on Saturday.  In the course of conversation I told him about getting a job and wanting to go shopping. He offered to come and take me to the mall.

So our first date was to the mall.  We ate some Chinese food at the food court and spent the rest of our time wandering from store to store. We discussed places we had traveled when we went into the luggage store.  We looked through the bookstore and talked about books we liked.  We sampled lotions and scents at Bath and Body works and really had fun at The Museum Store (that one isn't in the mall anymore which is sad.  It was our favorite!) looking at art and historical things. It was a great first date. We learned a whole lot about each other and what we liked and didn't like. I didn't however get any clothes. I didn't even look for any. Who wants to try on clothes on a first date!

So he took me out again on Friday and then even took me to the temple for the temple trip on Saturday. My roommate/friend couldn't come.  It was pretty much fast forward from there. He quickly became a fixture in my life. Spent just about every evening together and we emailed each other throughout the day. I went with him to his friend's wedding receptions and work parties. He even couldn't be without me for a weekend so when he needed to fly to his brother's house for a weekend for something he bought me a ticket and I went too.  We had so much fun together.  We went to movies, dancing, on hikes,  drives,  and concerts, we sometimes even stayed in and read books aloud to each other.  We really became best friends.

I did take him home to meet my family as well.  He would talk about politics, history or finance with my parents.  He became a favorite with Julie, my sister with downs syndrome.   They really liked him but....

He was old! He is a whole 8 years my senior.  He certainly didn't seem that old to me except when he talked about music he listened to in high school or when he told me the year he graduated from high school or something and I realized I was only in like 4th grade that year.   My mom would ask me questions like "How can he be 30 and not married?" or "Is there something wrong with him?".  Ok. So those weren't her exact questions but that was what she was thinking and I am sure what most people were thinking about a 30 year old man.

My sister, the one that couldn't see me married and couldn't picture anyone that I would match well to, said that he was alright but didn't know if he would be is favorite in-law.  

But despite my parents worries about the age difference and my sister's lack of enthusiasm we got engaged a little over 3 months after meeting. And were married about 4 months after that.  We just knew we wanted to spend the rest of forever together.

So in the end I did find my Mr. Knightly although I am most definitely not an Emma. I am much more of a Elinor so perhaps he should be my Edward but I will always think of him as My Mr. Knightly.

This is supposed to be part of Cocoa's Wordful Wednesday post from last week. I am a bit late but just in time for Valentine's Day.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Jesus Wants me for a.......


Yes! I get to be a Sunbeam teacher.  After 5 years of being in the Primary Presidency I decided to volunteer myself to teach the 3 year olds.  We have had trouble finding and keeping a teacher for this class for months.  So I figured my position would be easier to fill than the Sunbeam teacher assignment. Sure enough it was.   I like to think this calling will be less stressful and time consuming but I have a feeling it will be a whole lot of work and I will leave church each week feeling very tired.  I have been nursery leader, I know pretty much what I am in for.
Of course the potential energy of ten 3 year olds could really throw me for a loop. I guess we will have to see what comes of this new adventure.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Art Literature

We listened to Chasing Vermeer in the Fall. We really enjoyed it  and it got the kids very excited about Vermeer paintings. For some reason we didn't get the next books in the series until just recently.  Most likely we got busy reading other things and other school work.  But when I saw the audio books sitting there on the shelf at the library a few weeks ago and couldn't pass them up.

We started with The Wright 3.  This book took us on an adventure while learning a lot about Frank Lloyd Wright and especially the Robie house in Chicago.  We looked at lots of pictures of the house online so the kids could get a feel for what the story described. They have all decided we need to take a trip to Chicago so we can see this house. I am sure there are a lot of great things to see in Chicago so we will have to add it to the list of places to visit some day.
Since we couldn't go to the actual place I did find this video of the lego Robie house that really helped the kids see the layout of the whole building.

After watching this video they decided they really wanted to have this set of Legos but since the price tag says $179.00 I don't think it will be added to our Lego collection.

We quickly moved onto the third book in the series The Calder Game.

This book was about Alexander Calder and a sculpture called the Minotaur. I actually couldn't find a picture of this sculpture when I googled it so perhaps it isn't real or else just isn't photographed. But there were enough other pictures of Calder's other sculptures to give the kids an idea of what his work was like.
The kids were very excited to see this Alexander Calder fish mobile online because it is described in the story.
I personally had never heard of Alexander Calder before listening to this book. I have seen sculpture and mobiles much like the ones I see he made but I hadn't ever actually paid attention to who the artist was that created them.

I really liked these series of books. They helped me look at art in a different way. I hope the kids learned to see things in art they may not have thought before. If nothing else they have become acquainted with artists and styles of art they might not have otherwise. Well worth the time listening to this stories.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Language Arts for Today

Sophie had her online art class today. She turned in and discussed this assignment.

It was done with cut up scraps of paper. They had been discussing Matisse. But while she did that I needed to do something productive with the boys so I grabbed a book of the shelf. Sophie had already read it and did an oral book report on it so I knew she wouldn't mind missing it.

I spent an hour reading aloud to the boys the book Punished!. Ian wasn't supposed to do any reading this morning (He had had his eyes dialated yesterday afternoon and wasn't supposed to do any reading for 24 hours after and he wouldn't hear of disobeying the doctor's orders) so he couldn't do his math or writing.  Henry has no problem doing away with such things for a day so this was school for the morning.  It is a great little book just right for this 6-10 age range. It taught the boys some great language arts terms in a fun way.  I don't think they will forget what an oxymoron, an anagram or a palindrome is now. They also have all sorts of new puns to try to fit into conversation.

But you know it made an impression when they unprompted tell their Dad all about it when he gets home from work. That is the ultimate endorsement for a book!