Monday, February 28, 2011

Beyond Co-op: Thomas Edison #3

This was our second formal gathering, but I'm counting it as the third since I posted about our visit to the one-room schoolhouse.  We were covering Chapters 5-8 (and one lesson from 9).  The kids first talked about  pollution and buffers.  They learned about the great job that plants do in protecting our environment and of course talked about helping to take good care of it themselves.

 Can you see what we talked about next?  Can you read the chart?  Yes, it's recognizable even without getting a close up view.  It's the periodic table of elements.  I love that this topic was covered in a fun and interesting way.  This is not something that I would have tackled in any depth at this age.  I am thankful for co-op because many topics are covered that wouldn't be otherwise - and in such great ways!
 The children were attentive and interested in the topic.  Science is such a great hands-on topic and a wonderful one to share in a group!
 We learned about the structure of an atom - specifically the protons and electrons.

Each child was given a paper with a different chemical symbol on it.

 They were then to draw the electrons.  They learned how many went in each layer around the protons.  They also learned that when the "complete number" (8) was not found in the last layer, that the cells would be attracted to other elements that would complete them and make them "happy" (with 8 electrons).
 In order to illustrate the combining of cells, each child was given the opportunity to be a cell.  They then had to find another element with which they could join in order to be "happy".

The ties on the sides of the "cells" could be used to join the cells together.

What a great way to experience science!  I love co-op and am thankful for the opportunity to be in one.  Thanks Vickie and Vivian for a wonderful day!  More soon on our next co-op adventure!


Friday, February 25, 2011

Book Club - In His Steps

Just a quick note for anyone that may be following our Book Club posts.  This month we read the book In His Steps by Charles Sheldon.

The book is about a turn of the century church/town that is radically changed when people take a vow to live life as Jesus would.  They ask themselves "What would Jesus do?" before making a decision.  This is a classic book that I remember reading in college.  I enjoyed it again a second time.  It's always a good reminder to have a filter like this to use when making decisions. 

As an aside, isn't it funny that none of the girls have the same cover on their books?

Next month ... The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate.

Happy Reading!


Thursday, February 24, 2011

Cupcakes & Friends

Going to combine a couple of things here.  Rebecca received a book for Christmas on making cupcakes.  Really cute cupcakes!  She has had fun on a couple of occasions making them.  I know she would like to make them more often.  (Can be tough with a diabetic in the house!)  She has enjoyed making them with friends a couple of times too.

This was her first try.  Snowmen.  Aren't they cute?!!!

 She made these with a sweet friend and they made different expressions on them.  Can you see them?  Happy.  Surprised.  Serious.  I love them!

Here are the artists!

Here is the birthday girl before enjoying the treats!

 We were able to go to VA to spend time with our dear friends there.  While we were there, lots of fun was had by all!  (I unfortunately was too busy having fun to take many pictures.)  Rebecca and Hannah have been friends all of their lives.  We were blessed to live beside our friends for 7 years.  We are thankful for our visits, though wish they could happen more often!

The girls had fun creating in the kitchen.  This time they chose to make flower cupcakes.

Don't they look great?!  They  made each petal and decorated it with sprinkles!

Here is a platter full of flowers.  

Playing in the snow was also a hit!  It wasn't much snow left by their standards, but by ours - it was great.  As Roger said, we sometimes sled on frozen leaves.  This is great.

 Always fun to play games with friends.  Actually, most anything can be fun with friends.  Even the most mundane of chores is made lighter with the conversation, laughter and enjoyment of a friend.  We are thankful to be blessed with many precious friends in our lives!

One last note on the cupcakes.  Rebecca is interested in selling cupcakes.  If you are local and interested in purchasing cupcakes, she is able to take orders.  She has many themes to choose from as well.  We haven't figured out pricing (and suggestions?).  Just wanted to offer in case there was interest.

Hope you are having a fun-filled week!


Field Trip - Bowling

This is an outing we do every year.  It's an easy one to plan.  We all know what to expect and we don't have to worry about weather.  I've been planning field trips for groups since Christopher was 2yo.  Wow, does that seem like a long time ago.  I was a relatively new mom, with an amazingly cute little boy, looking for some neat opportunities to do fun things with my son and our friends.  So, sixteen years later, I'm still planning outings for my handsome big son (and his siblings) and our friends.  It hits me at moments like this though that he won't be on many more outings with us.  Tears start welling up.  Sometimes change can just be hard.  I'm thankful for every moment I've had and for all the opportunities to explore and learn with my children.  I know that things will change and am praying that God will prepare us all for these next steps.

I will miss all the moments like this though.  Sweet moments that come often because we are with each other every day.  I love seeing them laugh and play together.  I'm thankful for all the time that they have had together.

OK, I didn't expect to go there as I started to write this post.  I mean, bowling doesn't elicit a lot of emotions on most days.  We met up with some of our friends.

Unlike last year, I signed up Eliana to bowl this year.  I wasn't really sure what she would think of it, but thought it was worth a try.

She loved it!  She rolled her first ball and then would look at me and sign/say "more"!  I loved that I could say YES!
We had a great time!  I'm so glad to have this time to just have fun!

We went out for lunch afterwards too.  We went to Crazy Fire.  It was a splurge for us.  It's a place that Christopher enjoys and I really wanted to treat him to a place that he really liked.  The surprise was that Eliana also really liked it!  I think she may end up being a good little eater.  One can hope, right?

Just a quick look at our day.  We are headed off tomorrow for another fun outing!  Hope your week is going well!


Wednesday, February 23, 2011

I-pad Giveway!

If you are interested in potentially winning an I-pad AND helping to support an adoptive family, please go visit this blog site.

This is the Haddick Family and they are adopting Anya.  She is the cutie pictured in my sidebar!  We've been praying for this sweet little girl - and now for her whole family.  They are very excited to be bringing her home hopefully soon.

Please feel free to share this on FB or on your own blogs!


Valentine's Day!

I organized my pictures tonight and realized how seriously behind I am in my blogging.  I'll try to do some catching up this week.  This is out of order chronologically, but since it is "dated", I'm going to go ahead and post it.

We enjoy celebrating holidays.  It doesn't have to be a big thing, but just something that makes the day fun or special.  Sometimes it is just doing the little things each year that build memories and traditions within your family.  I'm thankful that Rebecca has a real heart for building these memories and is a great help to me now in pulling things off!

We started with breakfast having waffles and heart-shaped (kind of) strawberries.  Not super themed, but still yummy.  Lunch was sandwiches - but cut into a fun heart shape.  (Thanks Rebecca!)
Handmade Valentines from their Nana!  They loved these - thank you!
Yes, Christopher was there and he also received a card - just didn't want to be in the photo.  You'll see that theme happening again in pictures later in the day.  ;-)
Thanks for my pretty card!
We had other small treats during the day.  I wondered then if any of them were gluten-free, but didn't check.  More to think about on another day.  For now, I'm just going to let her enjoy them!
Afternoon treat.  For those wondering, I have sugar-free hot chocolate for Joshua.  And no, he did not eat a lot of sugary treats through out the day.  His numbers weren't up for that.
 For dinner, we had our traditional pizza - heart-shaped with I love you written on it in pepperonis.  Daniel helped me make it this year.

We had a lot of mushrooms from our shopping trip, so I decided to make stuffed mushrooms to go with dinner.  They were so good!  I know I'll be making these again!
Rebecca the wonderful made treat boxes for each one of us!  She filled it with sweet tarts.  She is so thoughtful and loves to bless others.  I'm not sure her siblings realize what a blessing she is to them!

She also made our dessert for tonight.  She received a cupcake book for a Christmas gift and we have enjoyed her creations.  (More on this in another post.  If you are interested in her making something for you, she is interested in doing this as a side business!)  Aren't they cute?!  Tasted yummy too!

I'm blessed to have a wonderful family.  Thank you God for the many ways that you have blessed me and loved me.

With love

Tuesday, February 22, 2011


Thanks to those that guessed - and also wrote notes.  :-)  Sorry to be so long in responding!  It's been a crazy busy week -end.

The total spent for all of that yummy food ...


I thought it was a pretty good deal and am excited about all of the delicious things we are eating.  I made zucchini chocolate chip muffins today and they were a huge hit!  Can't really go wrong with a muffin when you add chocolate to it.

More later when I catch up on sleep and other goings on around here.  Hope you are having a great week!


Friday, February 18, 2011

Produce Shopping

I went again to the Farmer's Market with friends again this morning.  We went early and took notes on what was available and the prices too.  So many good things to choose from.  Here is what we got.

Corn - 9 ears
Grapes - 3 pounds
Zucchini - 7
Garlic - 5
Bananas - 23
Tomatoes (Roma) - about 25
Asparagus - 2 bundles
Oranges - 16
Apples - 13
Sweet potatoes - 22
Red potatoes - 57

So, here is your part.  How much do you think I paid for this?  Make your guesses and I'll post the answer soon.


Saturday, February 12, 2011

Beyond Co-op: Thomas Edison #2

We had a impromptu field trip with our Beyond Co-op group.  This lesson just looked like too much fun to do at home, so I thought it would be fun to add a meeting for our group.  These lessons were all from Chapter 7 and we covered them all in one morning in a very hands-on way.  (This wasn't technically our second meeting, but since this one comes first in the manual, I'm posting it first.)

I contacted a local historic site and asked about the availability of using their one-room schoolhouse.  They were very open to doing a brief history of this one-room schoolhouse and the use of these schools in general. 

She then left us in the school to do our own lessons.  How neat is that!  For those that are local, this is the Hughes Academy in Hillsborough.

We started with a lesson on penmanship.  We talked about the importance of penmanship and why it was valued so highly in the time of Thomas Edison.  Each child was given a page with some quotes by Edison.  They copied the quotes using their best handwriting.

Next we had a lesson on paying attention.  Thomas Edison struggled in school because it was hard for him to stay focused on the lessons the teacher was talking on.  It really reminds me of one of my own children.  He is incredibly smart and at times incredibly distracted.  I know that he can do great things and am just trying to encourage and teach him as best I can with God's help!

For the first exercise, I split them into 2 groups and gave them a list of activities to do.  The instructions at the top of the page included "read through all of the items and then start".  There were 12 listed activities.
 Some of the activities included standing in a line from oldest to youngest, doing 5 push-ups, singing the alphabet song, name the capitol of your state and more. 

Soon after they started, I got tickled and realized that they had not followed the instructions.  I had wondered if this would "work" and was somewhat surprised that it did. 
You see the last item on the list said "Only do the first two items on the list".  It prompted good discussion on paying attention. 

We then had one more activity on listening/paying attention.  For this activity, the children worked in pairs.  The partners sat back to back so that they could not see the other person.  One had a piece of blank paper and they were to draw the picture (of various shapes) that their partner described to them.  One of the other moms and I demonstrated this for them.
Then they tried it. 
Most of them did really well with this and seemed to enjoy it. 

It proved to be a real challenge for one of my boys with auditory processing disorder.  I knew it would be hard for him, but thought he would be able to do it.  I tried to help him work through to be successful.  Its hard watching your kids struggle - though at times I think its good for them too.  I want him to learn that he can do some things that he doesn't think he can do. 

Now, school was out so each child took a turn ringing the bell.

A picture in front of the school at the end of our lessons.

Our last lesson was on "how far is 1/2 mile"?  This was how far Thomas Edison had to walk to go to school.  We took a walk to demonstrate.  It was a beautiful day and the walk was easy and pleasant.  We walked to the courthouse and took a photo in front of one of the monuments.

And one of the moms too!  We so rarely are in front of the camera. 
What a fun morning!  We missed the families that weren't able to come to our impromptu outing.  I'm thankful that this worked for some of us though as it's always fun to join friends!

One of my sweet friends let me know that today (Fri) was Thomas Edison's birthday.  We've put off one of the lessons in our manual and it just couldn't be put off any longer.  It was making a cake - one that Thomas Edison enjoyed for his birthday.  We omitted the sugar frosting and it was still really yummy.

We are having a great time with this study and have more fun hands-on projects in store!  Hope you are having a great week too!