Friday, 30 March 2018

weekly wrap up 3/30/18-- Character sketches, Hopper and NHS

***Late post due to my computer being down all last week***

For Literature the boys have been reading the book All Creatures Great and Small by James Herriot.  The book is full of interesting characters so we have been working on understanding Character sketches.

going over the stick figure man and the general rules of what to include  (but not every one is used) when writing a character sketch

I found lots of free resources and I purchased a few inexpensive worksheets from pay (one of my favorite sites)

Next we watched an episode of the British TV series about the books and the boys did a few character sketches from the show (as the characters in the show were slightly different from the book)  We also did a few character sketches from the books and made comparisons.  Somehow I missed getting pictures of this activity:(

The boys finished their Light house watercolor painting this week.  Considering how much neither boy enjoys art I was pretty impressed with their work.  Most of the time they rush though the work so they can go play.  However this time around I made them really slow down and really concentrate on their work.  Anyway here is the results!!!

I think this is their best art project of the year!  

I have some super news!  Firedrake was selected based on her grades at public school to apply for the National Honor Society (NHS). I was a little surprised she would be considered since she is only going to public school part time.  However the school assured me that that would not be held against her and to go ahead and apply.  Last month she wrote an essay emphasizing 4 characteristics of the NHS and get five teacher recommendations from the school.  We just heard that she was accepted and will be formally initiated into the NHS in April!  Returning to public school part time has been an interesting experience, some good, some bad, but I am pleased that being in school only part time has not been a hinderance for Firedrake.

Parent teacher conferences for the high school were held this month and since Firedrake had straight A's last semester (3 classes), the school handed out 2 free tickets to a Cardinals baseball game for all straight A students.  Firedrake decided to give the tickets to her brother and Dad since she is not really a baseball fan.  I will find another activity for her to enjoy to celebrate her success in her first semester in public school.

I am still bringing myself up to speed after our holiday (last week) so this week has been a bit more disorganized than usual.  I crazily scheduled the kids and I to have dentist appts this week (morning) and a a.m. Doctor appt for a well visit for one of the kids.  I don't know what I was thinking when I scheduled these things before my Carribean vacation!  School has been a bit out of sorts as I try to reorganize and get back into the swing of things:)

Lastly my husband and daughter attended the March FOR our Lives event in the city.
Firedrake feels very strongly about this issue especially since she has returned to school

My husband and I are gun owners but we feel strongly that there should be more stringent rules and laws for gun ownership.  

My husband bought this at one of the booths at the event 

I am not interested in debating with anyone about the March or gun laws so if you do comment please avoid that particular topic.  I know it is a hot button issue:)  Thank you

Friday, 23 March 2018

weekly wrap UP 3/23/18--spring break and a couple's get away

IT was spring break for public school last week so my parents came to visit and while they were here, my husband and I ran off for a week get away:)  It was all planned out and we were excited about getting away just the two of us.  I tried to minimize the amount of running around my folks had to do with the kids and all their extra curricular activities, and allowed the kids to have week off school so they could do cool stuff with their grandparents.   Although my parents said the kids really wanted to just hang out at home because they are usually so busy.

While the kids were safe at home, my husband and I flew off to Dominican Republic to an all inclusive resort.  We purposely made a point of picking a resort that was fairly isolated so we had to just sit on the beach and relax.  Something neither of us are very good at usually so both of us were a bit worried that we would be bored just lounging by the beach and pool for 7 days but to our surprised we LOVED it:).
Our first glance of Dominican Republic from the airplane window

the hotel grounds were beautiful.  My husband and I were part of the resort where no children under 18 were allowed. So we had a completely kid free pool and beach.  I wasn't sure how this would work but I will admit it was very peaceful:)  We were also assigned a butler during our stay.  This was our person of contact for us to arrange meals, spa treatments, outings and answer any questions we had.  

On the hotel grounds we saw flamingos,  iguanas, macaws, and monkeys 

We quickly learned that if you wanted a shaded beach chair you had to set your alarm for 6:30 am and rush to the beach to reserve a seat otherwise they would all be taken by 6:45.  My husband was wonderful and rushed out every morning to grab us a prime location and I followed a bit later.  
proof that one day I got up extra early just to watch the sunrise over the beach!  The people at the very far end are on the family only beach!  Our beach was nice and quiet and so peaceful!

It was 84 degrees every day and the sky was a beautiful shade of blue

beautiful creamy sand...however no shells which was disappointing as I promised to bring some home for a few people so I came back empty handed.

Don't let the peaceful waves fool you.  The water was extremely rough.  I lasted only a few minutes each time I ventured into the water.  the sand and the roughness of the ocean made me quickly retreat back to the safety of my beach chair:)  I was getting thrown around like a rag doll.

There is nothing like laying under the shade listening to the ocean waves and drifting off to sleep.  Pure  Bliss

We splurged one day and got a couple massage and facial.  It was heavenly
We did attempt to go deep water fishing one day but it was cancelled due to the rough ocean that day. 

the adult only pool also had shaded huts where you could relaxed and just people watch.  

this resort had 5 restaurants and 2 buffets where you could chose to eat any meal.  Each had a different flair to it.  We tried them all:) The food wasn't bad I thought

I love trying different foods from places I visited.  This soup is called  Sancocho and is a traditional.  It was very good.  I found a recipe online so I may try making it at home for the kids.
After every meal we  were offered the traditional Dominican Republic drink which according to the bottle cures just about everything, haha...however it was very good and includes rum, honey, red wine and about a dozen different spices and wood fragments in the glass bottle.  I even read that some places include a fragment of a turtle penis -- hopefully that was not included in our drinks:)
For breakfast I tried this dish which I was told was a traditional breakfast (I can't remember the name of it) but it was mashed plantains, topped with sausage and egg.  I enjoyed it, my husband did until he was told it was plantains and not potato that was in it;)

The gardeners around the hotel would often be chopping down coconuts from the Palm trees and would for a tip, open them up for the tourist to drink the coconut water.  Honestly not my favorite drink:)

Our housekeeper always left a nice surprise for us when we returned to our room after a day at the beach which I thought was super sweet.  

We got flowers in the bathroom, rose petals on the floor etc...always nice to see what would be there each day

There were nightly activities that you could enjoy...
But my husband and I enjoyed laying on the beach beds at night looking up at the night sky ( we loved to star watch and we could see constellations so clearly) and just listening to the nights entertainments and the ocean waves.
being serenaded while boarding the plane to return home!

We are now back at home and my parents have left to return home.  My mother has a trip planned to Nepal in a few weeks.  Can't wait to see her pictures when she returns home.

Friday, 16 March 2018

weekly wrap UP 3/16/18 -- Edward Hopper, Herriot and an unexpected visitor

We had an unexpected visitor this week and it is tearing up my Garden!

A wild Armadillo!  My kids have seen it a couple of times but this is the first time I have caught sight of it and got in a few pictures. 

I have never seen one alive before and always thought they were cute looking.  Although  that has changed as I now know just how destructive they are for your garden:(

I wish he would stay in the woods otherwise I will have to figure out a way to remove him and transport him to a new location :()  

If you have ever had any dealings in how to gently encourage an Armadillo to stop tearing up your garden please leave me a note:)

For art we are working on learning about Edward Hopper.
Some resources we used along with Meet the Masters program.

learning about the artist and looking at some of his artwork
I really liked this artist very simple art work with simple lines and colors so we ended up spending two weeks looking at his work and 3 works working on art projects 

Working on the Meet the Masters art project

Beach scene emphasizing horizontal lines.

Next we worked on a water color painting, again emphasizing lines in the art.  This time more vertical lines were used.  We took 2 weeks to complete this water color project and really emphasized to the boys to slow down and be more deliberate with their brush strokes.

I found this free project on Pay  It also used the right brain drawing that we had just studied for our last artist using Meet the Masters.

I lightly made grid lines on art paper and the boys then using a ruler and the picture guide drew their on lighthouse and farm house.

then we worked on painting just the grass and the sky this week, as we ran out of time.  We will complete the work next week!  I reviewed how to use watercolor as their really is an art to it.  Too much water can make a mess of it if you are not careful!

MarioFan's friend decided to do a sunset sky for his picture while Mariofan decide to do a clear blue sky:)

You will get to see the finished project next week:), hopefully!

MarioFan has reacher another milestone in his life.  It is official!!!!

He is taller than his DAD!!!  My husband is no longer the tallest in the house and I think MarioFan still has a way to grow!     I been looking up at my son for a while now lol

That is are week in a nutshell:)  Hope you are having a fun week as well!

Friday, 9 March 2018

weekly wrap UP 3/09/18 -- Rousseau, Greeks and All Creatures Great and small

We have begun a new book for our Literature, which MarioFan and I do with a friend.

I can't believe I have never read this book!  So I am reading it along with MarioFan:)  Great book but there are some swear words so if that is worry for your family, preview it first.
boys are learning about Character sketches and their are plenty of unusual characters in this book!

For art we have been working on  Henri Rousseau.  We usually do two art projects for each artist we studies but I had a really had a hard time finding an additional project to do with this artist.  Everything I found online was about his jungle paintings.  Since that was already the Meet the Masters project we only did one project this time around.

Some of the books we looked at to learn more about this artist

Talk to the boys about right brain drawing and tried a few different types

got to work on our Meet the masters art project which is recreating the jungle painting

While Rosseau did lots of art about far away places he actually never traveled to any of the places he painted.

Completed work:)  
This is a fun book to read for MarioFan as it mentions all the gross and unusual things the Greeks did.  We haven't tried the TV show yet. I need to look into it:)
Image result for groovy greeks

We also worked on completing our timeline for the Greeks.  I am impressed we are still keeping up with this project, fingers cross we continue;)
Our timeline notebook is getting quite busy:)

My parents have arrived to visit for the week as this is spring break for Public schools.  Coop doesn't have their spring break until the April.  We will be very disjointed  next week as we try to juggle everything:)