Saturday, March 30, 2013

A little Mind Candy

Unrivaled by Siri Mitchell ended up being a lovely bit of "Mind Candy". I flew through this book really quickly and enjoyed it. All the talk of candies and yummy sugar treats only added to the pleasure.

The story is told by both Lucy and Charlie. I found it interesting to see how each character views the same event differently and how some things are misunderstood.

The christian elements are pretty light and certainly not heavy handed.

One of the themes Siri Mitchell is sharing, about moving forward after mistakes and not letting those mistakes define everything about you in the future was very well done. People are able to change. I especially liked the line, I believe Charlie says it, (but I am not going to go and look it up right now) he says we won't forget the past because that is what brought us here but we will move forward.

 I appreciated the notes at the end that shared some of the history of the candy wars of 1910. This is a very interesting time period.

Thanks Bethany house for letting me read this book in return for a review. It was a very "sweet" romance!

Growing Tomatoes

The last few weeks I have been watering and tending our little postage stamp lawn. It sits right under/beside a pine tree so I bought some ph balancing fertilizer and some grass seed.  My kids kept telling me they wanted to grow something else too. So we bought some containers and some tomato plants. We are going to give tomatoes a try again this year. 

They each got to repot a tomato plant. 
 We can't actually plant our tomatoes in the ground so we have to settle for large pots. We will see how well they do.

 Henry is always my most eager waterer. He actually cried and sulked the other day when he found out I had already gone out and done the watering. He really likes this job!
 A few days after we repotted, the tomatoes already started to flower. My kids are really looking forward to a large crop of yellow, green and red cherry tomatoes.
It is good for everyone to get to work on something and then get to eat the fruits of all that labor.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Nature Art

Ian's art assignment this week for his online art class was to make some nature art. He had to go outside and find rocks, sticks, flowers, leaves or whatever he could find and make some sort of art. He had some help of course. The others couldn't let him have all the fun.

I think Sophie influenced him on his subject for art. She has been drawing a lot of dragons lately. 
 Molly loved collecting the pink petals that they used for the flame coming out of the dragon's mouth.
 I think it is "Awesome."  I don't usually use that word but my kids sure use it a lot. Where did they get that from? But they all had a lot of fun!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

10 Christians Everyone Should Know

I honestly have had this book on my Kindle for months. I agreed to review it after receiving a copy in December. It isn't that the book isn't interesting but I admit I love Fiction and feel like sometimes biographies are a bit dry. So I took my time making it through these ten biographies.

Some of these were people I knew little about so the biography was new and others I had already studied or read about and could have added more information than what was included. Being a homeschooling mom I can't help but learn a lot while I introduce my children to Bach and Galileo. And as an avid Austen reader I already know most of her life story. But I liked learning a little more about Anne Bradstreet and John Bunyan in particular.

These short essays are just introductions to these people and make you want to learn more about the time period in which they lived as well as them as a person.  Being a Christian hasn't been easy in any time period. It was interesting to see how each of these people lived the Christian ideals in a time or situation that made it difficult.

Love in the Balance - Review

Love in the Balance is the first Regina Jennings book I have read. I received a copy of this book from the publisher in return for a review. I love getting new books for my Kindle! I appreciate a clean romance too. This one had a few twists and turns which made the basic boy finally marries girl plot a lot more interesting.

What also made the story enjoyable was that Molly, the main character, changes as the plot progresses. She doesn't stay the same spoiled, snobby rich girl. Of course she changes because of some bad choices and the consequences. Don't we all have to learn from our mistakes!

I also enjoyed the Christian themes of forgiveness, honesty, repentance used throughout the book. The characters have to accept the fact that all are sinners and all need forgiveness. I think the author made the point that if anyone thinks they aren't sinners and judges others by their sins is a hypocrite.

An enjoyable read. I am sure I will read more from this author.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Simple Woman's Day book

I haven't actually written one of these memes before but I enjoy reading other people's Day Book posts.

Outside my Window the sun shining on the postage stamp lawn I am trying to save from extinction. The pine tree in the yard is making the ground so acidic so I bought some fertilizer that is supposed to raise the PH. Along with the grass seed we threw out I hope the lawn comes back so our yard isn't just all dirt (which means mud when my kids are out playing there.

I am thinking about science, math, history and language arts for for Fall. Shouldn't I worry more about what we are currently doing? Maybe it is because we keep getting catalogs advertising curriculum.

I am thankful that I haven't gotten sick. My husband is home from work for a bit with a yucky cough and flu. The kids had something less sever a week or so ago. But not me. I just seem to keep on going. Henry even commented that "you never seem to get sick". I hope that remains true!

In the Kitchen I am hoping to use some of the recipes I recently found on The Garden Grazer. She has so many great vegetarian recipes that I am pretty sure my kids will eat.

I am wearing sandals today. I love it when it is warm enough for bare feet or sandals

I am creating a monster! Molly has been very difficult the last few days. She is testing every boundary and drives everyone batty. But she is so cute.

I am wondering if Sophie will be alright attending two LDS girl's Camps this Summer. She really wants to go to camp with her cousins but also wants to go with our Ward/Stake here too. For a girl who hasn't ever really been away from us this could be overwhelming for her especially since they are one right after the other. It will be almost two weeks straight away from home. I have a feeling it will be harder on us than her. She is going to be too busy having a great experience.

I am reading a number of good things. I started rereading Pilgrim's Progress after reading The Preacher's Bride (which was very good!). I also have the autobiography of Maria Von Trapp that I am about 3/4 of the way through. I also just picked up a few new books for my kindle. Perhaps I need to not look at the eReaderGirl blog for awhile so I catch up on all the books I already have on there.

I am hoping for some will power. I want to continue to fit in my clothes but cookies and treats always seem to be around. I guess I just need to exercise more!

I am looking forward to Sunday. Not that the Sabbath is an especially restful day but it is a day I don't feel like I have to crack the whip to get my kids to do their chores, piano practice or school work.

I am learning the joys of Pinterest. I just started pinning and still haven't done a whole lot with it but I can see how time can certainly we wasted wandering from board to board looking at what others have pinned.

Around the house are Legos, Legos and More Legos. It would be so nice to not have to tiptoe through the front room every time I want to go across the room.
This is Ian's own creation. He had no directions that he was following. There is even hatch doors with hinges that open so a mini figure and get inside. This boy is really going to be an engineer!
I am pondering what to do about Easter. We will have an easter egg hunt on Saturday with friends but my kids are already talking about the scavenger hunt on Easter Morning. Last year rather than an egg hunt I had clues lead them from egg to egg to a prize at the end. I guess my boys got some Nerf guns last year. I can't remember what Sophie and Molly were given. Now they are expecting something similar this year. I hate to disappoint but I am not living my life trying to top or even meet what I do for each holiday from year to year. We are enjoying reading through the Gospels at the moment and reading the life and teachings of the Savior. That really should be the focus of our celebration and not Nerf guns or gifts of any kind.

A few plans for the Weekend include a trip to the farmer's market since my husband is sick. He usually gets my eggs and greens there for me. I also really need to scrub our showers so I guess a good bathroom cleaning is scheduled for Saturday morning.

I am not going to include a picture here for "A peek into my day" since I have already included a few pictures. But my real trouble is that I haven't taken any pictures except that one of Ian for about a week. I guess I need to make sure to document a bit more with photos.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

A quiet Wednesday Morning

Molly is still fighting the sickness that plagued us over the weekend. She was rather cranky all morning until I finally laid her down on the couch with her pink blanket. While I was busy with doing Math with boys she fell right to sleep.
 Once Henry is finished with Math he needs to do something active so he decides to practice his handstands.
 Sophie's online class is over so she sits and reads a book during her break from online classes. She has three classes on Wednesday.
 At the moment Ian has an online class.
Just a somewhat typical Wednesday morning around here.

Molly being asleep is the only out of the ordinary part. She is usually making messes or demanding attention in some way so having her asleep on the couch makes the day run a bit more smoothly. But such is life with a busy three year old.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Girl with the Pearl Earring

We headed to San Francisco today to go to the Art Museum.

They have an exhibit of Dutch painters and the highlight at the moment is the Vermeer painting of the Girl with the Pearl Earring.
After our school group was taken into the museum, we had a little hands on demonstration about where the pigments for the paint came from and a little history of the Netherlands. Evidently the blue of the turbin is made from Lapis Lazuli which is mined in Afghanistan, the pearl which had to come all the way from Shri Lanka all tell us that the Dutch were world travelers and brought back many of the things found in their many colonies around the globe.

We went through a few different galleries where we saw landscape, still life and portrait paintings done by some of the Dutch masters, including a few Rembrants, before we finally got to see the Vermeer.

Henry made the comment "We drove all the way here just to see that?!".  I guess he weren't as impressed as I was. It really is amazing to see the actual painting rather than just pictures of it.

Of course we weren't allowed to take pictures inside so we snapped a few outside in the gardens.

And since we were so close to the Golden Gate bridge we just had to drive over it

We don't make it into San Francisco often. It was a beautiful sunny day. A nice change of pace for the day.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Week in Review - Starting to get Sick

I have to say this hasn't been a really stellar week for academics.

Monday went alright. We worked on Ian's art assignment. His class is at 11:30 and after scripture and such we tend to do his assignment for the week and turn it in just before class. I really should encourage him to work on his homework before Monday morning but at least he gets them done and turned in. The other kids usually do the assignment too.

After his class we were able to squeeze in the next chapter of Story of the World which was about Richard III and the two princes in the tower. We didn't do much else but listen to it and talk about it. They did their Math and we even read a book about Rocks for Science before they had piano lessons in the late afternoon. While we drove to Piano we started a new audio book, Tuck Everlasting. Which we brought inside when we got home and finished one of the disks before dinner.

Monday was a pretty good day!

Tuesday was more or less normal. Scripture (which is D&C at the moment followed by a video from the Chruch History DVD), Math, and then work on assignments for Wednesday's online classes.  Ian had to write about hiking a mountain for his Geography class. He could choose a mountain from anywhere in the world . He picked Half dome in Yosemite, a little close to home! We haven't ever done this hike but have been to Yosemite. After watching a few videos on the Yosemite park website he was able to write a short report and make his powerpoint slide with pictures to turn in.

We went to the library in the afternoon. The kids always look forward to their hour of computer play at the library.

Then when we came home we finished Tuck Everlasting. It is a short book. Only 3 disks and the kids enjoyed the story. I need to find the movie now so we can compare them.

Wednesday morning Ian woke up sick. He actually was up in the night coughing and needed some cough syrup. When one child is sick it throws everything off. Sophie did do her online classes. And Ian attended his and even read his report. It is nice that he could attend his class even when sick and still didn't spread any germs :)

The check engine light has been on in the van for about 2 months and we finally had to do something about it so the car went in on Wednesday morning and we walked home from dropping it off and then had to walk back when they called to tell us it was ready. I count the 1 mile walk back and forth pretty good P.E. And since we had to walk by a 7 Eleven to get there the kids got to have a slurpee. They never get slurpees so this was a treat!

While having a sick boy and since nobody wanted to do much else I read aloud to them. I made it through the first of the Spiderwick books.
That about sums up what we were able to accomplish on Wednesday. We didn't get to the park for  Park Day because our car was being fixed and because Ian was sick. So the kids got to watch Harry Potter.

Thursday didn't get much better. Ian was still sick and running a fever. He didn't want to do much of anything again. So after our usual morning scripture routine I read book 2 in the Spiderwick series.
Henry and Sophie did their math and then it was time for Gymnastics and choir. Ian stayed home with Harry Potter 2 movie and I dropped the others off at their classes. Stopped at the store for a few items picked the kids back up from from classes and then made it home just at Ian's movie was ending.

Friday is usually co-op but with a still sick Ian and evidently a lot of the other kids in our co-op also sick it wasn't a great turn out. We didn't stay long. We were there for signing and chess but came home before Drama got going. So other than Math and scripture that is all the school work that got done on Friday. The kids played all afternoon and watched a movie.

I cut up another pair of old pants and made a new church bag.

I took the bag ideas from the tutorial I used to make this one but I made the bag bigger and made different straps.  I drew up and cut out a new pattern for this bag.

 It works perfectly for my church bag. I was tired of dumping out the bag so I could use it for band and then for co-op so now this on is designated for church. Maybe I will have to make another just for band.
And while my sewing machine was out I decided to fix the zipper on a Spring dress for Molly. This was a dress Sophie wore when she was little and somehow the zipper broke. I put it away anyway and just kept meaning to fix it. I finally got around to it.

And now Molly has another dress to wear to church and it is even ready before the season is already over.  The only problem is that now Molly is sick. She is a very hot, whiny kid at the moment and if the fever/ cough lasts the three+ days Ian's did I have a feeling we won't make it to church tomorrow.

The saddest thing is that we had a field trip planned for Monday. I sure hope we all are better by Monday.

So not as much academics got done this week as I would have liked but at least we did some and got a lot accomplished.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

All the Usual Distractions

I am sure my kids are not the only ones who find any excuse to step away from their school work. It isn't hard to find reasons to get up and leave that workbook sitting on the table. 

On a good day Sophie gets on the computer and does her math or any other assignment she needs to get done.
 Ian is always finding anywhere other than the table to do his Math. He often will sit in on Sophie's Teaching Textbook lessons.

 Henry usually gets out his work but when he sits down to do it something like the following always happens.
 Molly lays out a blanket and gathers some Webkinz friends, her dishes and food.
 She sets up a little tea party. Strawberry tea all around or at least for the lucky four that get cups. 
 Soon the school work is forgotten and Henry joins in on the party.  He can't help but what to help gather up some of the friends she has forgotten to invite.
He even helps with the cooking
And the whole things ends up a big laughing tickle/wrestling mess.

 Then Mom has to be the mean one and send him back to his work and then help Molly clean up the mess.

A book for Molly would be a little less distracting for everyone else.

We are still struggling with finding things for Molly to do while we try to read and do our school work. It is all part of the learning process.