Friday, 27 January 2017

Weekly Wrap Up 1/27/17

This week was a pretty light load as we had my Mother visiting for a few days.  Since we wanted to spend time with her I let the kids due the bare minimum of work, basically math, reading, and keeping up with their coop class homework.:)

My husband and I had a date night and went to watch the Capitals/Blue  hockey game.  Where the Capitals beat the blues 7 to 3 YAY!!!

My mother was able to join us in celebrating our daughters 15th  birthday.  We went to  a Japanese steak house for her birthday lunch!

Nana had lots of time to play and hang out with the children.
 My mother also got to see where our Coop is held as she spent 1/2 a day there as the kids attended classes before I had to take her back to the airport.

Our little book club/JA Bizztown activity this week included a Checking account game.  And today we have boys over to watch the movie Wizard of OZ and we will be discussing the difference between the book and the movie.  Then my son's friend will spend the night:)  I will have pictures of that next week.

We had a surprise visitor at my bird feeder this week -- A Pileated woodpecker.  I saw him once last year and he showed up again this week.  I love watching him at my bird feeder, plus my mother got to see him which made her happy:)_

That is our week in a nutshell, next week we need to hit the books a bit harder in order to catch up a bit from our slacking this week:)  

Friday, 20 January 2017

Weekly Wrap up 1/20/17 School and Birthday

This weekend my oldest turns 15 years old!!!  I can't believe how fast the times flies by.  We are talking to her about colleges, driving and lots of other adult things these days.  GULP! I am not ready and still have so much to teach her before she is ready to fly away on her own in just 3-4 short years.
My mother is flying in today to spend the weekend with us and help celebrated Firedrakes birthday!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY!  You are amazing and we love you so very much.  We can't wait to see where your dreams take you!  Kisses from us all:)

This past week we had a horrible ice storm hit our area.  So we were house bound for several days.  My daughter discovered a poor squirrel stuck to our bird feeder pole.  Probably the same one who keeps stealing the bird food.
Poor this had somehow caught its foot between the hooks and was unable to escape.  I was able to help it escape by using a broom to lift up the squirrel's body and as I did it was able to free its leg. My husband wanted to shoot it and while I am not a fan of the darn squirrel eating my bird food, I refused to allow my husband to kill it.  SO the squirrel has been freed to rob from me (and the birds) again:)
 This week in our simple machines unit we have been learning about screws.  Since my husband was unable to go to work this day (due to the ice storm)  I had him do the experiment with MarioFan.
They were comparing a nail versus a screw and looking at which was easier to use and why you would use one over the other for certain tasks.

Then they used a drill and looked at the mechanics of the drill

Next MarioFan built a screw using our Knex kit

 We are continuing our book club looking at the book Wizard of OZ.  The boys are doing great at answering the questions and remembering the facts of the book as we fill the map and the worksheets.
This week we had the boys do a few crafts --building the main characters from the books using different materials.
They had about 2 hours to build 4 different character and showed lots of creativity which was the whole exercise!  

Their finished creations.  We are hoping the boys can use their creations to perform a short skit on their own next week.
 I don't often document my daughters school these days as she is doing so much on her own now that she is in high school.  However this week I was able to volunteer in her Coop Literature class and witness the the class in action.  It was a lot of fun!
The kids were putting the case of Anne Hutchinson on trail.  The Coop teacher was the judge and the class was split into two side -- defense and prosecution.  They kids had to either defend the verdict of Anne or explain why the verdict was unjust.  Each kid had a role to play.  The kids have been researching and preparing for this case for several weeks.  I was there along with four other adults to act as a jury and judge based on the facts the kids presented decided whether trial was just or unjust.  

Firedrake being sworn in for her testimony.  Her part  in the trial was to act as a legal expert against Anne.

There were lawyers and she had to answer questions based on her knowledge of the case. 
I was so impressed with the level of knowledge these kids had on this case!  The lawyers and the cross examinations were impressive and at times very funny.  Some kids really delved deep into their roles as witness.  IT was a wonderful experience for the kids and for me to be able to take part in:)!

Friday, 13 January 2017

weekly wrap up 1-13-17 School Resumes

Coop resumed this week so we are back to our break neck schedule and on top of it my husband was out of town for business.  Not sure if it is just me or if others find this to be true but it is always hard to get back into the swing of things after a long break.

Before my husband left I had a few hours in my glass studio to complete the flat panel lamp I am making for my son's upcoming birthday (in June-yes I am way early)  This is the lamp assembled 

Next I patina the soldered lines to match the lamp base I had.

Lamp is finished and I am quite happy with it.  Need to get a different light bulb for it as this one was not centered (too high) but I have six months to find the correct bulb:)

Another thing I had to accomplished before my husband left last week was making a tornado tube.  I was trying to be very thrifty and save $ and make my own as it looked so easy on various videos I watched.  In order to save $5.99, I spent over $8 on supplies:(  However the darn thing did eventually worked beautifully.

My husband drilled holes into two bottle caps for me this was the easy part.  I spent $1.50 on obtaining two 1 liter bottles from the store (not something I have around the house)

Next according to multiple videos you simply need to use hot glue to fix them together lining up the holes and wrap with duct tape to secure the two bottles together...and this is where the problem arose.  Yes the hot glue tacks the bottle caps together but when you tried to whirl the joined bottles they break apart and you get water EVERYWHERE!  So we decided to use super glue which cost $2.99, but once again it didn't hold and water flew everywhere:(  So my husband went to buy epoxy glue which cost about $4.50.  Are you totaling up the cost of this:(  However this time it work!!!!)  more on that further down.  

With my husband out of town the kids and I went out to dinner before piano lesson one evening:) 
For our book club we are reading Wizard of Oz and working on a few projects (hence the need for the tornado tube above):)

My friend came up with a computer scavenger hunt "facts about Kansas"  it also proved to be a good lesson on looking for sites that are reputable as many sites are incorrect in their Kansas information.  Great learning opportunity to teach the kids to look at multiple sources before jotting down the first thing you see and not to depend solely on wikipedia;)  

Boys had fun working on this project together and trying to figure out which site was trustworthy.

Next the boys played with the Tornado tube and read a little about  tornados

Next the boys worked on a Map of OZ which I found online and while reading the book will be labeling the map. They are also working on a chart showing examples of the lion's courage, scarecrow brain and tin man heart before the character ever reach Emerald City.  I forgot to take a picture.
Next week the boys will be working on making some characters of the books and planning a skit of a section of the book using their creations in the third week.  We are also hoping to have a movie night to do a compare and contrast of the book versus the movie for the fourth week.

In science MarioFan is still working on learning about simple machines and building examples using our Knex kit.  This week we have been learning about wheels, gears and axels

Building a windmill


hand mixer (which I had to explain what it was to my son, oh my)
For History, the kids have completed learning about WWII European campaign and over the holiday break read and watch several movies/documentaries.  Now we are moving on to learn about the Pacific campaign and America's involvement.  We also plan to watch a few movies/documentaries over the next month.

Firedrake's 9th grade history reading will include:

MarioFan's 7th grade history reading will include:
I am also looking into the book called Bomb by Steve Sheinkin
We of course are also reading history books, discussing, and watching documentaries and movies to delve into this topic:)

So that has been our school week in a nutshell:)  Thanks for stopping by:)

Wednesday, 4 January 2017

weekly Wrap up 1-6-17

Happy New Year!! I hope everyone had a wonderful start to the New Year!  We had a nice relaxing week.  Each of the us just chilling and doing our own thing:)  My husband watched football and worked on a few chores he has been meaning to get around too.  My children spent their time unwinding and playing with their new Christmas presents.  My daughter had to work on a little school over the break but it wasn't too much.   I spent some time in my stain glass studio, and experimenting with my new kitchen appliance...the instant pot:)

We took the kids to see the Christmas train at the botanical gardens-- we go every year 

MarioFan and a friend took a picture inside a snow globe -- here they are posing in a silly way

I spent several day working in my glass studio-- here is a lamp that I am making.  I still need to do a little more work before it is finished.  I will post a picture when it is finished

I made a cardinal sun catcher which I will be giving to family when we see them next month.

Here is the finished piece!
Here is another piece I am working on.  I finished one and am still working on getting the other matching one done and then it will be hung in my dining room as accents to the entrance of the room.  I will post a picture when it is completed.
Lastly I am working on my largest glass project to date.  This piece is 40 by 30 inches and will hang in my bathroom window.  I spent time working on the pattern and making changes, deciding on colors and then bought some glass.  The cost of glass is getting very pricey from when I first began:(  

Got the kids outside to finally rake the leaves up in the front yard.  Not sure why or how but all the neighbors leaves end up in our yard.  The wind seems to circle around our front yard:(  

I have joined the instant pot craze that is going around and bought myself a Christmas present.  I have never used one before but have heard amazing things about this appliance so I wanted to give it a try 

The first meal I tried was pork loin and it turned out yummy!  My skeptical husband was quite impressed with the process.  
Usually to get pork loin this tender I use the slow cooker for 8 hours.  But the instant pot only took 25 minutes.
I also used it to boil eggs and peeling the egg shells have never been easier.  So far this thing is living up to my expectations and may very well be my new favorite kitchen appliance!

So we have started back to our coop schedule and home school schedule this week and I will post more about what we are working on next week as we are just getting started after several weeks off.