Aug 17, 2016

Double Digits and Kittens

This girl has hit double digits!
Everything about this year's birthday was Star Wars related.  It is definitely the story that has captured her attention this last year.  All the books mulitple times, encyclopedias, character books....
...and FINALLY, what she'd been waiting for so patiently....
watching the first Star Wars movie - Episode 4.
And she was shocked at her gift from us this year: 2 kittens!!  With, of course, Star Wars names:
Padme and Maz Kanata.  These are our sweet friends who graciously shared their kittens with us!
Liza was a little upset she didn't get to hold a kitty for the picture.
 Ahhh, that's better.
 Part of Malia's gift was that she and Daddy got to do a project with wood together, to make the housing for the kittens.  Malia really loves working together on projects.  She's creative, and it's quality time.  Double the goodness.  Together (with the help of a great friend and his tools!), they made:
 Everyone's smitten!  When Nate got home from work today, the first thing he said was "I'm going to go hold the kittens."  Even he, is smitten.

Aug 16, 2016

Theme for our School Year - Nature Study!

School Year 2016-2017.
Theme for the year....Nature Study!
We have been working into school the last couple of weeks and I am LOVING our topic for the year.  Nature/God's Creation has seemingly endless fascinating elements, and the kids have been showing a lot of interest in observing, dissecting, using the microscope, and even writing about the things we've learned the past week and a half.

A couple of weeks ago I spent a few hours gathering our main curriculum and supplemental texts.  The main two being: the Charlotte Mason Nature Journal and Considering God's Creation.  I then gathered some textbooks that we had inherited from my elementary school after its closing, and bought a couple of used books on  For the few of you who are interested in this sort of thing, here is the flow chart I came up with, as I attempted to coordinte the material from all the books:

Our 2016-2017 Nature Study Flow Chart.

Here are the books we're using that are mentioned in the flow chart:

Charlotte Mason's Nature Journal.  This journal was my basic guide as I planned out the semester.  It goes through all 4 seasons, revisiting the same categories of nature each time.  There are enough prompts for one entry per week.  We plan to meet up with friends weekly to fill these out and play.

Considering God's Creation (Teacher's Guide and Workbook) from Eagle's Wings.  We are loving this book.  My kids go crazy over little worksheet-type crafts and this book has lots of them.

How Nature Works by Reader's Digest.

Nature Study: A Pupil's Textbook.  This is a reprint of an old classic.  It guides in observation of different things in nature.  What I really love is that each topic is followed up by a writing assignment.  Since I make up my own language arts assignments from our theme, this is a great help for me.

Plant Life.  From the Bern School library.

Insects and Spiders.  From the Bern School library.

Plant Parts.

Usborne World of Plants.

DK Encyclopedia of Animals.

How Seeds Travel.  From the Bern School library.

Junior Science Book of Trees.  From The Bern School library. (not pictured)

Jack's Insects.  A fun fiction book that teaches about insects.

Jul 22, 2016

Fair Time!

Ezra constantly sneaking blackberries off the bush outside (though being asked countless times not to!!).  It was particularly important that he not eat up all of them this week, as we were picking them and using them to make Josie's pie for the fair!
 The girls both took a baked item and a cross-stitch to the fair this year.  Josie was excited to receive the Reserve Champion award for her minion cross-stich!
Malia finished her Star Wars piece!
 Our float won Grand Champion this year and our club made the evening news!

Farwell Family Round-Up!

My parents gifted us with a family trip to Mahoney State Park for their 40th anniversary!
It was so memorable and special!

Malia, Jo, and I made the Omaha news following their horse ride!
SOOO thankful for my family and the fact that we live fairly close to each other and love to be together!  That is a gift!