Friday, August 31, 2012

Jesus Sun Catcher

This is a sun catcher that we made for school today.  It was part of today's Bible lesson.  It was fun and I think it turned out beautifully :)   {It's prettier with the blinds open and the sun shining through, but I know in the picture you see glare.......sorry}
with blinds closed

with blinds open on a cloudy day......there is a little sun coming in
To make: First, I used a crayon sharpener to create crayon shavings.  Next, I used my Cricut to cut out two inch letters for Jesus' name out of construction paper.  Then, you cut two 9 inch squares of wax paper.  Arrange the letters on one piece of the wax paper and then sprinkle the crayon shavings all around.  Carefully place the other piece of wax paper on top.  Next, place the wax paper between two sheets of newspaper and iron on low setting.  This melts the crayon shavings and helps to stick the wax paper together.  Then, take four strips of paper and tape to the edges to make the border (I used double sided tape).  Punch two holes in the top and run some string/ribbon through and hang!  Ella is so proud of her project :)  And, I am proud of her :)

Again, I can't take credit for the creativity.  My Father's World teacher manuals are very thorough in giving you project ideas and instructions.  It even gave the idea to make another one using just red and green and hanging it at Christmas time.  I think that would turn out pretty.....we may have to do that later!
Another thing I wanted to add......when I had looked ahead last week at this lesson, one of my thoughts was "where am I going to get a newspaper from?"  We don't subscribe to one and I really didn't want to have to make a trip to get one.  Well, God provided!!  Occasionally when the Prattville Progress has leftover papers they will deliver them the day after.  This has happened only once or twice in the almost year we have been living here.  Guess what?  Literally a couple of days later, we got a leftover newspaper delivered to our house.  I know that may seem small to someone else, but it was a BIG deal for me (for a couple of reasons I choose not to share, but trust was HUGE!)  Thank you, Father!!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Minnie Mouse Cupcakes

These are some cupcakes that I did for a family in our church.  Their little girl is turning 2 and is having a Minnie Mouse birthday.  They needed 48 cupcakes!!  These are chocolate cupcakes with red buttercream icing.  I made the bows out of a 50/50 fondant/gumpaste mixture.  The ears are black candy melts.  Then there are edible pearl accents.

Science with Air

This past week in science, we have been talking about the wind.  The fact that it exists even though we can't see it.  Then I remembered something I had seen on Pinterest that said:
          I believe in the sun even if it isn't shining.
          I believe in love even when I'm alone.
          I believe in God even when He is silent.

That made me link this lesson to to that.  We did a couple of experiments.  First, we made boats out of aluminum foil....the Nina, the Pinta, and the Santa Maria to be exact (since we have been studying Christopher Columbus this week).  The girls put them in the bathtub and blew them from one side of the tub (Spain) to the other side of the tub (North America).  They had a blast.  Second, they took cardboard-like books and used them to fan napkins across the kitchen floor.  They both had such a good time doing this.  They had several races to see whose napkin would cross the finish line first.  (Of course I can't take creative credit for these projects.....they are recommended by My Father's World....except I changed a piece of paper to a napkin :)

Anyway, when we concluded the lesson, I thought of the Pinterest quote.  So I reminded them that though we can't see the wind, we know it's there because we saw it move the objects.....just like we can't see God but we know He is there because we see the works He created and how He works in our lives.

Boat Experiment

Napkin Experiment



Tuesday, August 21, 2012

What's In a Name?

As I mentioned before, this year we will be studying the names of God in Ella's second grade curriculum.  So, we started by looking at what is in a name.  What do they mean?  Why are they special?

As suggested by the teacher's manual, I took the time to write each girl a letter (couldn't leave my kindergartener out of this ;) explaining what their names mean and why we chose those names for them.  Both girls found this very special.  I was actually surprised by Ella's response.  We had always kidded around that she was named after the neighbor's cat but didn't think she really thought that was the reason we chose her name.  After I explained the reason behind it, she was quite emotional and gave me a great big hug and said, "Thank you, Mommy.  I didn't know my name was so special."  It was a very sweet moment.  I always try to make sure my babies know how very special they are, but I know Ella feels special regarding her name now too.

To finish off the discussion, I helped them make name bracelets.  They had a blast!
Leah looking in the beads for her letters.

Ella's finished bracelet.

Monday, August 13, 2012

First Day of School

Today started our first day of school for the 2012-2013 school year.  Ella started second grade and Leah started kindergarten.  My desire is to blog in a little bit of detail about our homeschool experience in order to help others who may choose that as well.  I will probably not be able to as much as I desire to as there are only so many hours in a day and I have to priorititize :)

Either way, we use My Father's World ( ) curriculum and absolutely love it!!!  I have used it since Ella was in kindergarten and grow to love it more each year.  They have great forums to gather ideas from and I have found many other homeschool blogs devoted specifically to MFW so I'm not sure I will offer anything new, but you never know!

Today was a great day!  One of my favorite days of homeschool that I remember over the last two years.  Ella started Adventures which will focus on American History.  Bible focus will be on the different names of God.  Of course there is science, spelling, english, math, etc but those two things (bible and history) make the foundation.  (BTW, we started using Alpha Omega's Horizons for math and I LOVE it!)  One thing not included in the instructor manual is vocabulary so I selected 10 words from her history and science lessons this week as well as her reading book.  I plan to do this weekly as we go along.  One of the things in the package this year include a new Bible.  She was sooo excited and to watch her sit down and read it on her own was precious.

The pictures below are from snack time.  It recommended a patriotic red, white, and blue snack.  We had some strawberries, white almond bark, and blue sprinkles on hand so that's what we did and the kids loved it.

One thing I'm excited about is something probably most homeschool mom's do every year, but I'm just now doing....making spiritual objectives for each child for the year.  I've read about it and heard others talk about it, but never determined it for myself.  Well, I have now.  And, I'm super excited about it and am praying that God would grow my children more toward Him over this coming year.  

So, nothing new and earth shattering today, just excitement over what this school year will bring!  I am so grateful that God has allowed me the opportunity to teach my kids at home and though we've said we will take it year by year, I pray He would allow us to continue just like this year after year :)

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Roses for Emilee

This is a cake I did for our friend Emi.  Her mom asked for a simple cake....nothing fancy.  I had seen these rose cakes and wanted to do one and everyone said how simple they were to ice.  Her favorite colors are blue and green so teal makes her happy :)  It is certainly not my best work, but I would use a different tip next time.  I think that would help.  But, she like it so that is all that matters :)

Banana Pudding Cupcakes

These are some banana pudding cupcakes I made.....just because!  I saw a picture of one on Pinterest and wanted to make them.  When I went to the link, the recipe was not posted but rather she referred you to a cookbook she was writing that would be out this fall and the recipe would be in there.  She named a few of the ingredients so I just figured it out for myself.  I'm sure she probably made them from scratch, but I think these turned out pretty good the easy way I did them.

First, I baked cupcakes using a butter pecan cake mix.  While that cooked, I made some instant banana cream pudding using the pie recipe (less milk).  Once the cupcakes were cool, I used a filling tip to fill the center with the banana pudding.  I topped the cupcakes with buttercream icing that I made using banana flavoring.  Then crumbled up vanilla wafers and sprinkled those on, and then drizzled it with butterscotch ice cream syrup.

We had friends over that night and the husband ate two.  He said they tasted like "banana bread on crack."  I must say, they were pretty good.  And different....a break from chocolate and vanilla.

A Visit to Family in Tennessee

I'm pretty behind on blogging, so I will do a few today and try to get caught up for tomorrow since it will be our first day of school and I want to blog about school this year in a bit of detail.  (That may be wishful thinking, but we shall see..... :)

Almost a month ago now, we went to visit my cousin, Cantina, and her family in Tennessee.  We surprised her daughter Sarah for her birthday.  We had so much fun.  It was a really great visit.  Here are a few pix.....

These three stayed dressed up for most of the visit :)

A tea party.......of course :)

All the kids on the couch

We took a bike ride to feed horses

And these would be the horses

Charles even took some time to play basketball with the girls

Leah making a slam dunk :)