Tuesday, November 26, 2013

School Summary - Roman Emperors (the Good, Bad, and Ugly) and the Fall of Rome

Our "Roman Feast"
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A Summary of November 4 - 15

We've just been plugging away as we're in the thick of the school year. In just a few weeks, we'll be taking a whole week off for Thanksgiving break. Until then, we are just trucking along.
Here's what we did these two weeks:

Things that were scheduled:
Language Arts (Grammar, Spelling, Penmanship, Reading, and Writing)
Soprano started her new reading book, "The Family Under the Bridge". Tenor finished up "The Sign of the Beaver" and started "Blue Willow".

Typing, Spanish, Geography, and PA History for both.
Well, I just found out that Soprano has been less than diligent with her Spanish work. I've been waiting to get the answer key for each lesson from the curriculum writer so I hadn't been scoring the younglings work. I assumed that they were keeping up with each week's lesson. We had to have several discussions about what her choice meant and what the consequences would be. The deeper issue was sorted out but now she has multiple weeks to catch up on.
Tenor had Greek and learned two more Greek letters. Soprano had Home Ec where she learned to bread chicken (baked chicken parmesan) and use the pastry cutter (Cinnamon Crusties.) It took a lot of persuasion to get her to touch the raw chicken but once she started she did a great job.
Chicken Parmesan
Cinnamon Crusties
My Father's World Rome to the Reformation-
We have reached the end of the Roman Empire. Although we spent 13 weeks learning about Ancient Rome, it didn't feel burdensome.
Bible: We read a little more in Acts and then read portions of Revelation. We also started reading about the lives of Christian martyrs in Trial and Triumph. The things that Christians have suffered for the faith over the years make me even more thankful for the freedom we have in this country.

Science: These two weeks we did several lessons from the AIG Human Body book. We talked about dental health, nutrition, and vitamins and minerals. We also read about Florence Nightengale. She blazed a trail for women in the medical profession as well as better/safer/more hygienic care in hospitals all because she felt God's call on her life.
History: We read about some of the later, more prominent emperors of Rome: Nero, Vespasian, Titus, Domitian, Diocletian, and Constantine. Then we reached the end of our Ancient Rome studies with the fall of Rome. We were also supposed to do a Roman feast according to the teacher manual. I wasn't really feeling up to the effort of putting it all together so I decided to skip it. The younglings suggested we go to Olive Garden for our feast instead. Their logic, "Olive Garden is Italian food and the Ancient Romans were Italian because they were from Italy." Couldn't argue with that!
I'm doubtful that the Ancient Romans would have had chicken alfredo but I'm pretty sure they had grapes and bread.

I'm also incorporating Story of the World Volume 1 as well as Mystery of History Volume 1 and 2.
For week 12, I added Mystery of History 2 Lesson 4 (about Paul's 2nd missionary journey) on Day 1. For week 13, I eliminated Streams of Civilization on Day 1 and 2 and added MOH 2 p65-66 on Day 1 and p67-69 on Day 2.
Other MFW: 
Music: We listened to  few Mozart pieces and kept up with listening at lunch most days.
Art: We read about Early Christian art, symbolic colors, and the Basilica.

no extra videos this week
Favorite Books: 
Saint Valentine by Robert Sabuda

Monday, November 25, 2013

Make a Card Monday - Birthday Blessings for Boys

It's been a long while since I've had a 'Make a Card Monday'. I usually make all of my cards for the year in one shot and then pull from my stash throughout the year. I had some time in September to get started on next year's cards. These were the two color combos I came up with for my young boy birthday cards.  
cardstock: DCWV textured cardstock base and mats, Georgia Pacific (white)
patterned paper: DCWV Nana's Kitchen and The Green Stack, also unknown scraps

embellishments: eyelets (Making Memories)
color: Palette Noir ink, Tombow and LaPlume markers
tools: EK Success embossing folder
stamps: TAC Birthday Blessings

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Meal Planning System Update & Easy Spaghetti

Way back at the beginning of the year, I posted about my pick-a-card meal planning system.
It is actually the first system that I have stuck with for more than a few months. It's been really great for us---helpful with budgeting, helpful with grocery shopping, helpful with actually getting a decent meal on the table.
Tenor either trying to help me or comment on my cooking by changing the whole week to Eat Out or Left Overs.
I wanted to do a quick update to say that yes, it does work! I've needed to tweak it just a bit though and thought I'd share.
Our schedule had changed this fall when our homeschool co-op began meeting again. That made both Wednesday nights (worship team rehearsal at church) and Thursday nights (wiped out after co-op) harder to make a full meal. We also reevaulated our budget and decided to cut back on expenses to try to get a little more into the savings account and to increase our tithe. I was also finding that we had way too many left overs so I didn't need to cook full meals 5 nights a week.
To have our dinner plans reflect a little less time mid-week and a little less available money, I changed my header cards.
Now we do
Pasta on Monday
Chicken on Tuesday
Easy Meals on Wednesday
Left-Overs on Thursday
Pork or Beef on Fridays
Left-Overs again on the weekends.

Changing up the cards was super easy and can be shuffled again if we need.

In a comment in my original post, someone asked about me sharing recipes for some of my go-to dinners so I figured I'd try to start posting those too. All my dinners are easy-peasy, not time intensive, and honestly, probably a little boring. But they fill us up, generally don't garner any complaints, and help me get food on the table. :)

Here's a pasta dish we enjoy (I use either Ziti or Penne noodles):

Ziti Bake                                                   Serves 8-10
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.                                              Prep time 20 min; Total time: 20 min.

1 16oz pkg Ziti noodles

1 lb. ground beef
1 15 oz carton Ricotta cheese
¼ C Parmesan cheese
¼ C chopped parsley
1 egg, slightly beaten
¾ tsp. pepper
2 15oz jars spaghetti sauce
1 8oz pkg Mozzarella cheese, shredded


1. Cook Ziti noodles; drain; set aside.
2. Brown hamburger and then combine with Ricotta cheese, Parmesan cheese, parsley, egg, pepper, and half the spaghetti sauce.
3. Add Ziti and toss gently to coat well..
4. Spoon into a 13”x9” baking pan.
5. Pour remaining sauce evenly over pasta and sprinkle with Mozzarella cheese.
6. Bake for 20 minutes or until hot and bubbly.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

School Summary - Ascension, Persecution, Dispersion (aka the Early Church)

Home Ec--biscuit pizzas
I respectfully ask that you not pin pictures of my children to Pinterest. Thank you!
A Summary of October 21 - November 1

Sometimes I really have to force myself to write these summaries. It would be one less thing in my life if I skipped them but then I keep thinking back to the past two years and how much I enjoy looking back at what we did for school. I would have forgotten so many things had I not blogged about them. And these summary posts certainly make compiling my end-of-year portfolios easier. So I'll shall persevere. Much like our school year which is getting slightly more on track.
Here's what we did these two weeks:

Things that were scheduled:
I'm glad that I can understand all of Soprano's math at this point. I'm more glad that Tenor is gifted in understanding math...every day I correct his lesson and hand his notebook back to him to fix any errors. Most of the time, he's able to figure out what he did wrong, correct it, and turn it back in. There are times though when he can't figure it out and I have to try to explain it to him. I can usually use the teacher manual (which has the answer and sometimes the work to find the answer) to explain it but when it doesn't... eek! I'm glad he usually just 'gets' it because my explanations tend to go like this, (holding up hands or drawing diagrams) "So if you have a 1 foot by 1 foot square, what's the area in inches?" blank look from Tenor, me getting louder "So if you have a 1 foot by 1 foot square... do you get it?" nope, nothing; me getting louder "So if you have a 1 FOOT by 1 FOOT square..." Volume unfortunately does not equal explanation. :) Usually we can figure it out together. The two or three times we just didn't get it, Bass came to the rescue.
Language Arts (Grammar, Spelling, Penmanship, Reading, and Writing)
Soprano has been reading through Helen Keller and finished up the book by making a couple of mini books. One about Helen's life events and one about being a good friend to someone who is deaf or blind.
Tenor's writing assignment from... well, the not easy writing assignment has been completed! We struggled through and finished it! Tenor's final score was a 91%, and we were both very proud of his accomplishment.
Typing, Spanish, Geography, and PA History for both.
Tenor had Greek and learned two more Greek letters. Soprano had Home Ec where she learned to bake (a coffee cake) and use the oven (biscuit pizzas.)
My Father's World Rome to the Reformation-
Moving on with our studies of Ancient Rome, we talked and read a lot about the early church and how Christianity spread throughout the Roman empire.
Bible: We read quite a bit in Acts, which was interesting to me. I didn't realize how little time I had spent in that book. We read about Paul and his 3 missionary journeys in Acts as well as in Journey Through the Bible.

Science: These two weeks we did several lessons from the AIG Human Body book. We continued learning about the 5 senses by talking about taste and smell. Bass did an experiment with them using a potato, apple, and carrot. They tasted a bite of each while holding their nose closed and then without to see how our sense of smell affects our sense of taste. They also had tastes of sweet, bitter, salty, and sour foods to map their tongues taste buds.
We also had a quiz, a lesson on our digestive system, and a lesson on teeth.
We were supposed to make a mold of our teeth with clay and then use plaster of paris to get a 3D look at teeth... instead the younglings used Model Magic to make tooth models.
Tenor's on the left, Soprano's on the right; Showing the enamel, dentin, and pulp.
History: We are making our way through Ancient Rome but the history we studied these past two weeks focused on the early church and the spread of Christianity. We did read a bit about Caligula.

I'm also incorporating Story of the World Volume 1 as well as Mystery of History Volume 1 and 2. 
For week 11, I added Mystery of History 2 Lesson 3 (about Paul's 2nd missionary journey) on Day 2. On Day 3, we finished the MOH2 Lesson 3 portion about Paul's 3rd missionary journey.
Other MFW: 
Music: We listened to the Story of Mozart, and finally began incorporating extra listening during our lunch time. I created a Haydn playlist using the CD from the RTR set as well as any other Haydn pieces we had in our collection. We've done pretty well listening about 4 days a week. Yea, me!
As we listen to Mozart pieces, I'll add those to our lunch time list as well.

Art: Art is going so well this year. Last year, for whatever reason, it felt like a chore to fit it in. This year it just seems to happen. Tenor is showing some talent for drawing too which kind of surprises me. They had a lesson on drawing the human figure, one on drawing a human skeleton, and a study of The Portrait of Caligula. I made them write a paragraph about their observations about it.

The Bible Story of Paul (Saul) Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6
Storykeepers: Captured!
Storykeepers: Roar in the Night
Storykeepers: Ready, Aim, Fire!
Storykeepers: Trapped!
Favorite Books: 
Follow Your Nose by Vicki Cobb
Your Tongue Can Tell by Vicki Cobb
Good Enough to Eat by Lizzy Rockwell
What Happens to a Hamburger by Paul Showers
The Very First Christians by Paul Maier
Mozart the Wonder Boy by Opal Wheeler
Mozart Tonight by Julie Downing
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart by Mike Venezia

We have another potty!

In my daughter’s words that was the most exciting thing about our new house… having another bathroom. After settlement, the first project we began was a renovation of the powder room. Although we had a million things to accomplish, starting with a new, CLEAN bathroom felt like a good time investment!
Here's what we started with:
I think the velvet curtains really add some class to the gas station bathroom style sink and the carpet.
So gross! I had blocked the trauma of this room from my mind, I think. And yes, that is carpet in the bathroom. At least it wasn't shag carpeting, like the other bathroom.

In short order, hubby ripped out the sink, medicine cabinet, and toilet. He put in new flooring and replaced the fixtures. (We only had this bathroom for the first 1 1/2 months we lived in this house, hence the toothbrushing gear.)
Euro style sink and cabinet from Lowe's. Its slim profile allows for room to move in this itty bitty bathroom as well as some hidden storage. Faucet by Moen.
New flooring (left-over from our last house and just enough to do this tiny space) and a new commode. This pic is mid-paint job.
After a slight delay to get other projects done, he rewired the lighting so that we could have 1 fixture above instead of 2 lights on either side of the mirror.
This room didn’t have any baseboard molding (although it had a chair rail and crown molding?) so we installed that too. We hung the mirror which we made from an old window at our last home. The pegs are great for decoration and to hold the hand towel.
My DIY mason jar soap dispenser.
Basket and flowers on the back of the door.
The wood 'crate' holds extra hand towels, tissues, and extra tp.
The tin sign was a beach souvenir, the candle holder a house-warming gift from my sweet sister-in-law, and the bird ornament a gift from a family friend. The linens are a mix of vintage pieces and a thrift store find.
Having a second bathroom was a major selling point for us when we bought the house. Now that it is complete (and clean and carpet-free!), we are really enjoying it!
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