Thursday, February 21, 2013

10 Days in Europe

We've added a new educational game to our collection and I'm very happy with it!  We've played many rounds together as a family and on some days for geography during our school day.  It's easy and generally a pretty quick game.

The object is to plan a 10 day trip across Europe by either foot, boat or plane.  Each player has their own tray to hold 10 tiles to which they have to strategically place in order for their travel itinerary.  The countries on the map are a variety of colors, so to travel between countries by plane the two countries must match and also have a matching plane in between them.  To travel by boat the countries must border the same sea, and to travel by foot they must be touching.

After a couple of times playing I decided to give the kids a pop quiz by naming as many European countries as they could.  The first time they were able to name about 14-18.  A couple weeks later they were able to name between 24-25.  Not bad...we're making progress.
They also offer 10 Days in Asia, Africa, USA and the Americas.  Can't wait to get them all.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Decking Our Halls

Our craft table is quite messy and festive looking as we crank out our homemade ornaments.  Some will be gifts so I won't picture them all, but here are a few.  Thanks to all the creative people on Pinterest for giving us the ideas.

Jenna's cards
Jared's mitten
Jenna's mittens

Fa la la la la la la!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

This Week

Yesterday was the last day of fall semester at our homeschool co-op.  We probably won't be signing up for spring semester so we can crack down and get back to a five day schedule.  Both kids felt like there were pros and cons to joining the group last spring, but overall I think they were both enriched by the curriculum, spending time in a group setting and support in being with like minded homeschoolers.

As I mentioned before, Jenna had a speech class using the IEW curriculum this semester.  I felt like this was a great opportunity for her, especially at this age, where kids tend to be self conscious.  She had to give her final speech yesterday and spent the past couple of weeks preparing for it.  Wouldn't you know, she forgot her speech at home and ended up having to ad lib the entire speech!  I felt so bad for her but was also very impressed when I later spoke to her teacher.  She said that Jenna appeared to be the most relaxed speaker in the class which took her by surprise considering she was kind of scrambling at the last minute. She also commented that Jenna is a natural when it comes to public speaking.  In both of her speeches she received 'A's'!  I'm so proud of her! 

Jared is feeling very relieved to have his botany and writing classes over with.  He's not quite as extroverted as his dear sister and really prefers to be on his own.  He is his mother's son!  I still think he learned a bunch of new things and I think he'll continue to use his nature journal.

Here's to hoping we actually get some work done from now until Jan. 1st!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012


We are now survivors of Hurricane/Superstorm Sandy! What a night we had.  I feel like I slept with one eye open, expecting to have a tree crash down on our house any minute.  Thankfully, no trees fell down in our yard- it only looks like some monster chewed up a tree and spit it out all over our yard and house. 

Besides the excitement of Sandy, we got to go to a Newsboys concert just the night before the storm came.  We had such a great time!  We happen to live next door, literally, to the church where their concert was held so we were able to see their tour busses come in which was neat.  A few hours before their concert began we noticed them hanging out by their tour busses.  The kids were so excited they ran outside to meet them with paper and sharpie marker in hand. They talked to Michael Tait (lead singer), got his autograph three times, and then he was nice enough to give Jenna and her friend two backstage passes and a free ticket.  Pretty cool!  He walked them through the church to find the passes so they got to hang out and talk for a little bit.

It was my first christian concert.  The last two concerts I'd been to were Debbie Gibson and MC Hammer (Ha!), so I really wasn't sure what to expect! Honestly, I've always been a little skeptical of christian concerts and imagined it would be more about worshipping the band than the Lord.  But the Newsboys definitely kept it in the proper perspective, focused on worshipping the Lord.

Here are a few pictures of the concert:

They were making fun of their keyboardist, Jeff Frankenstein, because of his name, considering it's right before Halloween.  He was funny, he said, "Can you imagine trying to order a pizza, or book an airline ticket with my name?"  And to top it off, his mother's name is Sandy---going right along with the Frankenstorm theme!  Poor guy :)

The drummer, Duncan Phillips was my favortie!

A heard a couple of songs I hadn't heard from their God's Not Dead cd. Two I really liked were The King Is Coming and Here We Stand.

Thanks for the tickets, Mom!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Disney World 2012

We are  s  l  o  w  l  y getting back into school mode after a week vacation to Disney World & visiting family in the Sunshine State.  And might I mention, it was sunshiney and warm.  A perfect 86 degrees.

We had a magical time together!  It was our first time to Disney and much more fun than I expected.  The kids were the perfect ages for speed & distance walking and riding fun rides together.  Our favorite parks were Hollywood Studios and Magic Kingdom.  Here are a few pictures of our trip:

I think this was our 2nd out of 5 times riding the Tower of Terror. LOVED that ride!  I think we had a Fast Pass for this one, as it's practically empty.


 Jared & Jenna riding down Summit Plummet, a 14 story drop!

 Animal Kingdom
 Rockin' Roller Coaster
 Skywriter above Disney
 Swimming in a salt water pool with tropical fish and shark!
Magic Kingdom at night was fun! Ready to watch the fireworks.
 Gainesville, FL~ University of FL stadium
A lot of movement going on in this picture:
Jenna & Jared with their cousin, Mia and her dog Gator.
Mia & Jared spent lots of time reading books together!
Celebrating my father in law's 70th Birthday!
~The End

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Outside My Bedroom Window

It's October, and that means fall, rain, and cooler temperatures.  I'm loving the refreshing change of the season and the colorful fall foliage.  I can't wait to slip into a pair of boots and wrap myself in a sweater.  And, did I mention pumpkin spice? Oh yum...

It's been quite rainy lately, which makes for an even cozier fall, in my opinion.  Yesterday, as the rain lazily drip-dropped upon the leaves just outside my bedroom window I got a front row seat of a bird feeding frenzy. 

We have quite a variety of trees in our yard, but the Hackberry tree was the tree of interest yesterday.  This tree is covered in little purple berries (and as you'll notice in the pictures it is infested with galls, but that's besides the point).  I witnessed several birds, male and female, landing just outside my window.  It was quite a beautiful sight!  I was so excited that I called my fellow nature lover up to my room to come enjoy the view with me.  I also thought he might want to sketch one of the birds for his nature journal.  We sat on my bed and watched birds come and go, back and forth, chirping and singing their songs, all while enjoying their meal.  Before I grabbed my camera we saw birds closer than we've ever seen them: a male cardinal, a female cardinal, male and female robins, a finch, and bossy Mr. Blue Jay.

It was facinating to observe these birds up close.  Jared was also able to conclude that the orange-ish feather he found recently was actually to a female cardinal.  As Jenna would say-- I'm turning into Mimi (My mom, who also enjoys bird watching).  I can't help it!

Once I grabbed my camera I imagine one of those birds sounded the alarm because none of them came back.  But I was able to get some pictures of a few robins. (These are taken through my window so they aren't the best quality).

These next two are out of focus but I like them:

Next time I hope to have my camera handy to snap some pictures of the others.

~The End