Saturday, January 19, 2013

Week In Review

Well another week is behind us.  We accomplished a pretty full week of school.  :-)  Here are the highlights from our week.

Ok - first the exciting stuff from this week!  Remember the skull that we found?

Well we started our research to figure out what kind of skull it was on Monday.  I had the kids think of all the animals that it could be and why.  They thought of horses and cows (because some live next door), hog (because we have seen some), beaver (because we saw one that was victim of road kill a few miles from our house), and dog and coyote as well.

On Tuesday I found skull pictures of all those different animals and we looked at them to see if they could fit.  Of course we quickly concluded that it was not a beaver (LOL) and it decided it could not be a dog or coyote because the teeth were too blunt.  The teeth fit that of a cow or horse, or possibly a hog. 

So our plans for Wednesday were to look at more pictures of those skulls and see if we could determine what kind of animal it was.

BUT - our Daisy brought home the lower jaw on Wednesday morning!!  (you can see her in the picture - she wasn't too happy that I took it away from her - LOL!)

LOOK AT THAT TUSK!!  I knew as soon as I picked it up that our skull belonged to a hog!!  So all our research changed to just researching a hog skull.  I found some wonderful websites to help us.

We determined by the teeth that 1) the hog was about 4 years old when it died due to the fact that the 3rd cusp of that last molar is showing, but not all the way through the gum line and 2) this is a hybrid hog, or ferrel hog, because it has the hybrid tooth that only those hogs has (the little tooth behind the tusk).  These hybrid hogs are a cross breed of a domesticated hog with wild Russian boars.

Here is the full skull put together (you can see how the hog is missing the front part of the top skull...this is what was making classification of the skull so difficult before we got the lower jaw).

We also had this other bone that Daisy brought home and determined it is most likely the hog's humerous bone.  It fits the measurements for an adult hog humerous bone! :-)

These next couple of pictures our pictures that PaPa got a couple of years ago coming home.  This hog family was crossing the road.  (and to get an idea how close this was to our house...see the house in the background - that is our house!)  


Here is a close up of the boar of that family!  BIG GUY!!


So we can't wait to get our bones and our research journal to the Dallas Zoo so we can get some points in the nature exchange program!  And I think the nature exchange program has sparked enough interest in my kids that they are excited about the next adventure!  :-)

Well Tuesday we got a bit of a late start to school because we woke up to a surprise - SLEET!  It was not in the forecast so we were all going "huh?"  Even though it was ice and not snow the kids were still super excited about it and wanted to play in it.  So they bundled up and went and played for a bit (they stayed out until I made them come in because their noses and cheeks could not get any redder!)

Aaron had a really good week of school.  Wednesday and Thursday when he came in for school he went straight to his box and got his Cars alphabet workbook and did his two pages with no prompting, no instruction.  And then on one day he asked if he could have one of the white boards because he wanted to write his alphabet.  

Here is a picture of the GOOD JOB that he did!

Of course Alyssa wanted to do the white board do and wanted me to take a picture of her girl she drew.

She also wanted me to write the alphabet so she could trace it.  She did trace a couple of letters :-) but then she started just doodling.

And in all that picture taking I got a shot of Seth working on his English workbook!

And I had to get a picture of this!  He was working on compound words - using picture clues.  I just LOVED his 'boxnut'!!!  :-)

In History we studied when George Washington became president.  One of the suggested activities was to make johnny cakes.  We decided to do that for breakfast this morning (Saturday).  The kids really liked them!

And the last thing I want to share this week are some more (yes more) updates made to the school house!!  My hubby was super super sweet last weekend and bought me a new desk and organization unit!!  (excuse the pink blanket over the window - the sun was shining in that morning and blinding Alyssa)

Here is the desk!

Here is the organization unit - that came with the fabric bins!!

We also decided that due to the fact that we have chairs in the room we really didn't need the bench.  So I took off the fabric cushion and stood the crates up on end to make another organization unit to go under the window (the bins, as you can see need to be cleaned out, I haven't gotten to the organization yet).

A view from the door!

And my hubby also introduced me to an app on my ipad that makes it into another monitor display for my computer!!!

In this picture I have my powerpoint on my ipad with my Word document (notes for the powerpoint) on my main monitor.

And here I decided to open up my laptop to use the laptop screen so that I had 3 monitors to move around one!!  This way I could see the information that I found on the internet on one screen, with my powerpoint on another screen, as I type my lesson notes on the third.  (And if you couldn't figure it out - this was for co-op classes that I am teaching!)

That's it for our week!  

Until next time,

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Oh yeah - I forgot!!

Ok - so if you haven't read the week in review yet... this is the rest of it.  I forgot one exciting thing that happened today!!!

On Monday at the zoo we went into the nature center and I had the lady working in there explain to Seth the nature exchange program.  Basically you find something nature related, or draw a nature picture, or make a nature journal, and bring it in and you earn points to use to acquire other nature items from the center.  We spent some time looking at all the different items you could acquire to get Seth interested in wanting to do this.  Of course he found a few things that he would like to have and was even able to add up the points of two of the items!!  :-)

Anyways today I was working in the school room when Seth comes running in with this animal skull stating that Daisy brought it home and we needed to get it to the zoo so that he could get points!!

Of course being the good homeschooling mom that I am (insert evil laugh)...I have decided first we are going to do some research to determine what kind of skull it is.  I am going to have Seth make a little research journal of our work to figure this out and then we can take the skull and the research journal to the zoo when we are done!!  :-)  YAY!!

So I will keep you updated on what we discover!

Until next time,

Week In Review

Hey everybody!!

Well we are slowly getting back into a normal routine!!  :-)  We weren't quite there this week but we are headed in the right direction!!

So on Sunday Seth got baptized.  The only picture I have right now is this one of him in his suit before we went to church.  I haven't gotten any other pics yet.  My dad, hubby and brother-in-law all took pictures so there are pictures.  I just don't have them in my possession yet.  (I was too busy bawling like a baby through the whole thing to get pictures!)  As soon as I get some pictures though I will post some on here. :-)

It was a super special day!  My grandmother and her husband was able to make it.  Of course my mom and dad came and my aunt and uncle, who surprised us with my cousin Ryan!  And of course my cousin Sarah was still here as well!  On Sunday we fed 16 people at our house!!

My cousin Ryan stayed with us Sunday night and on Monday, he and Sarah went with us to the zoo!!  That was a lot of fun too!!  In fact most of the pictures for this week's post is from that trip to the zoo!!

The next two pictures are of Ann, the Okapi.  This is one of the animals that Sarah worked with during her volunteer time at the zoo.  It was neat to see Ann respond when Sarah called her name!  :-)

We really did have a fun day, despite the fact that it was a bit cold.

On Tuesday we did some very light school in the morning.  Seth wrote out his bible verse and then we watched some videos on rainbows, hurricanes and tornadoes.  Afterwards he had to tell me how a rainbow was formed, along with the difference between tornadoes and hurricanes.  He was able to do that all that!  We also looked at some pictures of tornadoes and hurricanes and he had to tell me what each picture was.  He also drew a picture of a rainbow (complete with raindrops and clouds in the sky because he said you can't have a rainbow without that!).  (This was all done as requirements to earn a weather pin in cub scouts!)

Here is his rainbow picture.

Aaron finished another kindergarten book on Tuesday as well!!

On Wednesday and Thursday we did some reading, English and math.  Seth did a good job both days!!  Aaron and I picked up where we left off on his learning through sounds and before we read books.  He has also started a new cars workbook, working on writing his alphabet.

I got this picture of one of Aaron's worksheets from his learning through sounds book today!  I was so proud of him!  He is recognizing beginning sounds and is doing a good job writing his letters too!

I have also been busy this week getting ready for the 4 classes that I am teaching at co-op this semester!!  But I am on a good track to have most of planning done before classes even start, complete with lists of prep work that is needed already laid out!!  So all semester I just have to get my prep lists for my next classes to know what I need to do!!  And that prep work will just be for getting crafts and stuff done.  All lessons and teaching will already be planned and ready to go!  GO ME!!!  :-)

So tomorrow we will have a laid back game and activity book day so I can work on that planning!

And Monday we start back full swing!!  I told Seth that all subjects will start up again and we will be working really really hard to get 2nd grade done in time to have at least a little bit of a summer break!  (From what I can see on the calendar right now if we don't have any other weeks off except for a spring break week we should be done mid-June!... but of course I have wrestled with idea of going to year round school so if we end up taking some time off and have to go past that mid-June date of finishing that would be ok too!  :-) )

Well, that's it for our week!  

Until next time,

Thursday, January 3, 2013

A Long Overdue Blog Post

Oh wow!! I am so long overdue for a post on here!! December was just so incredibly busy!! We are blessed beyond measure! :-) So I will try to update you the best I can!! (be prepared - lots of pictures!!!)

Seth got to participate in his first parade!!  His cub scout group was in the Ennis Christmas parade!!  He had so much fun and spent the entire time yelling out to everyone "Merry Christmas!!"

We also took a fishing trip with our cub scout group.  I only got this picture of Aaron!!  But I love it!! :-)

December was a bit of a weird month of school for us!!  We had some struggles with Seth and ultimately determined that my little Seth is a kinesthetic learner!!  (which basically means he is a mover - he learns through movement).  For my type A personality this is quite strange! LOL!  But I am realizing that all I need to do is just change my teaching style up some.  Here is a picture of him one day doing his worksheet!  This was a type of worksheet that he has been struggling with - but letting him have the freedom to sit/stand as he wanted to get it done really did work!!  And his handwriting was better with it to, go figure!!
Here he is another day sitting on top of his desk to do his work.  I have heard of kids like this use an exercise ball to bounce on while reading, or even standing on their head on the couch to read!  WOW!  My life is going to be fun! LOL!
Aaron got to put his new skills of patterns and sorting to good use helping me sort socks one day!!  

That's about all I have to post that is really school related! LOL!  For Seth we just focused on reading, writing, math and spelling.  Aaron continued to work on his Before We Read and Learning Through Sounds.

My cousin spent the month of December (and will be with us until next week) with us!!  She has been doing a winter volunteer job at the Dallas Zoo (she is attending Texas A&M with hopes of being a vet).  The kids sure have enjoyed having her here!  Especially Alyssa.  Sarah is sleeping in Alyssa's room and Alyssa calls Sarah her "roommaker". 

We had our annual CHECK Christmas party and it was a blast!!  There were a bunch of kids there!  They had so much fun making gingerbread houses!

All 3 kids were in the Christmas play this year!  I know there are other pictures of the play but I don't know where they are at right now.  The only picture I have to share right now is Alyssa in her kitty costume!  (and it doesn't show the tail that matches the ears pinned to the back of her shirt).  The funny thing is that the moms were given the instructions for the younger ones to dress as animals...we could choose what animal.  Five of the little girls showed up dressed as black cats!! LOL!!  Aaron was a camel and Seth was a wise man!  (I have got to figure out where the other pictures are so I can post some more!)
 We went one evening to Santa Wonderland at Bass Pro Shop.  We were too late to get passes to see Santa but still had a good time seeing the decorations and playing some games.

The weekend before Christmas we went to Huntsville for Christmas with my parents and with the Lucas family.  My grandmother gave Alyssa a pop-up castle tent and I think this was her favorite Christmas present out of everything she received!!  As soon as she got home she wanted it set up.  It was designed so that you can color it.  She spent all evening working on her castle!

She then wanted to sleep in it so we figured out how to get it on her bed so she wouldn't be sleeping in the floor.  LOL!

 After about a week of sleeping in it we realized that she wasn't sleeping very well so we convinced her to put it back on the floor and play with it during the day.

On Christmas Eve Sarah, Alyssa and I did some fun Christmas baking.  Here are our smores cupcakes!!
 Here is the oreo fudge we made - YUM!!  It tasted just like cookies and cream ice cream!!
 Sarah also made her world famous pumpkin cheesecake.  We also made a concoction of homemade caramel poured on top of pretzels with white almond bark poured on top of that!  It was so good!!  Alyssa had so much fun helping us make everything too!

She even went up to Granny's when we were done and helped make homemade lasagna!

On Christmas morning we made waffles with homemade strawberry sauce and homemade whip cream!!  It was yummy!!
Here is our table all ready for Christmas morning breakfast!

After breakfast we got Daddy to play the boys new Angry Birds Star Wars Death Star game!!

My mom came up after Christmas and her, Sarah and Alyssa and I had a girls day shopping!  Alyssa literally shopped until she dropped!

And poor kiddos!  They got a trampoline for Christmas and have hardly been able to play on it because it has been so COLD!!  It is like winter said "I made it and I'm not leaving!"  Poor kids.  They will bundle up in their coats and go jump until they are just too cold and come back in.

We had a great Christmas!!  But the best Christmas present of all was on Saturday night, December 29th, when Seth told us that he wanted to be saved!!  We went into our bedroom and Daddy led him through the scriptures and Seth prayed the sweetest prayer ever and asked Jesus into his heart!!!  That will be a memory I will never forget!!  He made his public profession of faith on Sunday and this coming Sunday morning he will be baptized!!   My mom and dad, grandma and her husband, and aunt and uncle will be coming up  to see it!!  We are all so excited!!!  (oh and it's Sarah's last Sunday here with us so she will be able to see it too!!)  His salvation was the best ending possible to 2012 and we are starting off 2013 with his baptism!!  So we are off to a great start!!

Of course I will post pictures next week!!

Until next time,