Monday, March 31, 2008

Just for fun

87 words


Composer Study

Composer study is one of those areas that I always have grand plans to incorporate into our day and never quite make it.  Last night as I was planning our last 12 weeks of school, I was looking at Ambleside Online's composer for this last term and started hunting around the internet for some samples of the composers music.

I was delighted to find some You Tube videos of performances, some live, some recordings, that I can share with my students.  I thought a way that I could remember to actually have my kids listen to the music I'd post the YouTube video of each selection. :)  Here's the selection we listened to today.

Saint-Saens Symphony no 3 in C minor.  This selection from You Tube is the Rotterdam Orchestra during a rehearsal.  It's not the complete work but it is neat to watch an orchestra practicing.  I tried to embed this, but it didn't work.  Hopefully, I'll figure out how to get that to work again. :)  In the meantime, if you're interested, check out the link below.


Monday, March 24, 2008

School today

Just a recap of todays fun.  I'll work backwards starting with my 6 yo, then my 8 yo and ending with a snippet from my 10 yo.  She hasn't narrated anything to me yet. 

A run down on R's school today:
We finished Tree in the Trail by Holling C. Holling and learned about the plaza and the Palace of the Governors in Santa Fe.  I told R. that she has been there before.  She was only 2, so she doesn't remember being there.  Here's proof that she actually was at the plaza in Santa Fe, Nov. 2002.

R is sitting on Daddio's lap.  I'm pregnant w/ #4 and not enjoying much of this trip.

We also read about heroic Grace Darling who helped rescue sailors who were shipwrecked off the shores of the Farne Islands.  It's an amazing, true story which you can read about here.


We also learned about the Saxons defeating the Britons and causing them to retreat to the mountains of present day Wales and Cornwall.  Today, the  citizens of Wales and Cornwall are descendents of the ancient Briton's and their language is very similar to what was spoken by the Briton's of long ago.  With the overthrow of the Saxons, many changes were made.  First, the name of Britain was changed to Land of the Angles or Angleland, which became England.  The land was divided into 7 Kingdoms, each with their own ruler.  The Kingdoms were continually fighting against each other.  The Saxon's were also pagans.  They torn down the church's and killed the priests.  It was many years before England would embrace Christianity again.
Gregory, a Bishop of Rome, had longed to go to England to teach the people about Christianity for years.  He was not able to go himself, so he sent Augustine to go and spread the word.  Augustine was welcomed by the Saxons and eventually every kingdom embraced Christianity again.

We also learned about Woodpeckers and how they sometimes drum for fun.

A's school day recap:
We learned about the Pilgrim Fathers arriving at Plymouth and how the members of the friendly Indian tribes, namely Chief Massasoit, Samoset and Squanto, helped the pilgrims survive.

We also finished Diane Stanley's book Shakespeare Bard of England today where we learned how some people find it hard to believe a person with such a limited education could have written the such incredibly intelligent plays.  They thought that nobles and scholars and maybe even the Queen herself, were the ones who actually penned these plays.  However, those people are in the minority.  Most who have studied Shakespeare and his life believe that he is the true author of these plays.

We learned about one of the greatest inventions of all times and the man behind the invention, Guttenberg and the printing press.  What an amazing tale these inventors have.  To hold on to a dream at the expense of losing everything, including family and friends, and to come out the other end with an invention that is still impacting us today.  Guttenberg was no exception.  He worked hard, toiling long hours, forsaking everything else to come up with the printing press.  That invention revolutionized the world by putting books into common peoples hands.

Lastly, we visited with the Beverly family in our story, Children of the New Forest.  Edward Beverly has gone off, with the intendents blessings, to join with the Kings Army.  Along the way he has met with a man who served under his father.  The two men are excited to meet each others acquaintance and are eagerly anticipating joining the fighting to win back the rightful title and position of King James.

For E.  Her narrations will come tomorrow.  However, we do have some new vocabulary words:
birstle and brae

Anyone want to take a stab at the meanings, without looking up the definitions in a dictionary.  I'll give you the source of the words and the sentence where they were used.

They were found in Robert Louis Stevenson's Kidnapped. 
birstle:  'Lie here,' says he, 'and birstle'.
brae:  Having thus set folks' minds a rest, we came down the brae, and were met at the yard gate (for this place was like a well-doing farm) by a tall, handsome man of more than fifty, who cried out to Alan in the Gaelic.

If you have an answer, make sure to leave it in the comments.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Happy Easter

We've been memorizing hymns from a CD that we love.  Here is a video of my girls singing one of the hymns that's perfect for Easter.

It takes a little bit for the video to load and the song is ~3 min. but it's a beautiful song.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Blender Bliss

I'm loving my BlendTec Blender.   Today I made peanut butter and a green smoothie. Our smoothie today was made with Swiss Chard, non-fat Vanilla  yogurt, banana, orange, frozen blueberries and strawberries.

Just finished shelling the peanuts

In the Blender



Green smoothie



Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Math or Art?

Found on the opposite side of my 8 yo's Math yesterday.  

I don't know if you can make it out very well, but there are little drops of water coming off the horse.  I also see the beginning's of a little girl in the water, but it looks like she erased it.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Life Skills

In our Keepers Group we worked on Cooking this past Friday.  You can see more about our work on this badge on my Keepers Blog as well as the other things we've been working on this year.

There's a lot required in earning the Cooking badge.  With three girls going through the program, that's a lot of meal planning, prepping, cooking and cleaning.  I didn't want this badge to be like our baking badge, which I'm still working on w/ all of them, I knew I'd need to get to work right away!  I had them draw numbers 1 - 3, each number representing a meal.  1.  Breakfast, 2.  Lunch and 3. Supper.  I'm so clever.  

With their numbers drawn and meal they are responsible for determined, I sat down with each of them and had them come up with what they wanted to prepare this week for their respective meals.   With a little guidance we came up with some good meals.  Right now they aren't real daring and creative (we'll be eating a lot of fruit salad ) but they are nutritious and the girls came up with them on their own.  The biggest struggle for this will be with R, my 6 year old.  She is such a picky eater and really doesn't like to eat anything besides chicken, preferably w/ a nice coating and "sauteed" (we all know it's really fried).  Since adding squash puree I don't mind the chicken nuggets so much, but I'm not eating them every night this week!

As I think about it I'll post pictures of the meals and my chefs as they are creating their masterpieces.

Here's R last night at dinner:

Our menu included Pork Tenderloin (daddy helped with the grilling), rice, pineapple and carrots.  Yum.

This morning E, who is in charge of breakfast this week decided to make Buttermilk Scones.  We found a simple recipe on AllRecipes that she followed.  We need to work on her mixing the dry ingredients a little better (we were supposed to sift them, but I can't find my sifter) as there were pockets of salt and baking powder.  Despite that, they were still yummy.  She served them w/ Strawberry Preserves and orange juice.

Mixing the batter.

I didn't get a picture of the finished product, they went fast!

Adding in lunch for today.   A's job is to take care of lunches for the week.  On today's menu, PB&J on whole wheat bread, oranges and milk.

Saturday, March 8, 2008


It's now time for another delightful tale from Greek Mythology.  Our narrator and artist today is, once again, E. 

Pygmalion didn't like any women.  So he made a "perfect" woman out of ivory.  She was so lifelike he did everything for her that he would do for a real woman. 

Pygmalion making a perfect woman

At the Festival of Venus, Pygmalion was praying to Venus.  He was about to say "Please make my ivory statue alive."    Afraid to verbalize his desires, he instead said, "Please give me a woman like my statue."  Venus heard what he said, and also read his mind, knowing what his deepest wish was.

Venus lighting the fire and granting Pygmalion's wish

When Pygmalion came home, he kissed his ivory statue and felt that she was warm.  At first he didn't know what was going on, but once he figured out she was alive, he was quite excited and married her at once.

Pygmalion and Wife

Venus blessed their marriage and they lived happily ever after.  Which as you know for Greek stories, doesn't happen very often.

*My take on this story.  This story I think is probably the most "troublesome" one we've read so far as far as content.   I haven't read the full version of Pygmalion, but I get the impression that this was heavily edited for content.  I think they did a pretty good job keeping it "G" and still giving an accurate account of the story.  One other element in this story that was more on the troublesome spectrum was the worship of Venus.   E. is aware that they worshiped gods, but this was the first actual "in the temple worship" story she read.  At first I was a little hesitant but after talking it over with Daddio, we decided to go ahead with this story.  He felt that she has a very deep understanding of the One True God and salvation through Jesus.  She also understands that the worship of gods is not only sinning, but that it also grieves our Father's heart.  This story gave me a great way to talk through some of these issues w/ E. and turned an otherwise borderline questionable story, for our family, into a really positive experience.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Signs of Spring


(hawks are not that uncommon here.  What made this a sign of spring was that there were three hawks "playing".  I thought there was probably 2 males and 1 female.  I'll leave it to you to figure out why that is a sign of spring. )

Again, we have rabbits all over the place.  I just like the way the rabbits eye is glowing.

Spring in the desert is barely discernible from winter and is short lived.  In the words of Ferris Bueller, "Life moves pretty fast.  If you don't stop to look around, you just might miss it."

E's Week in Review

Here's a look at what E's. done so far this week in school.  E. is the one narrating to me. :)

In This Country of Ours, we learned about General Braddock who led a lot of English soldiers to try and chase the Indians and French out of English Territories.  They marched out into an open field with their vibrant red coats all lined up while the French and Indians were hiding behind bushes blending into their surroundings.  The English soldiers were a fair target and they started to shoot at them.  George Washington had a lot of bullets shot into his coat, but he didn't get hurt even though he had two horses shot out from underneath him.  In the end, General Braddock and almost every English soldier was killed.  Washington started an army of his own later and managed to drive the Indians and French out of the English Territories by fighting in their own style.

In George Washington's World, we discovered Benjamin West, the famous American painter.  He was invited to visit His Majesty George III.  He painted him and the Queen.  King George liked his paintings so much he commissioned him to paint paintings for England.  After the public saw some of his paintings, they were outraged because the custom of the time was to paint everyone with flowing Greek robes.  Even Native American Indians were depicted wearing Ancient Greek dress.  Benjamin West said that he thought an artist had a duty to paint things exactly the way he sees them.  The King wholeheartedly agreed.  We then moved on to learn about Frederick the Great who became known as Frederick The Miser when after the war ended he was trying to raise money to make Prussia great again.  He sent away all these people who had been important to his war effort with nothing more than a "goodbye".  One of these important men was Baron von Steuben who had been specially trained in the higher tactics of war.  Baron von Steuben eventually made his way to America and helped fight w/ the Americans.  Meanwhile, in France, King Louis XV was more interested in his own pleasures, the coffers of France were dry and he didn't care.  The people of France were poor and starving.  The King and his friends came up with a plan to get more money from their already starving people by purchasing all the wheat and grain in the country, storing it in their warehouses until there was a scarcity of food.  Then they would sell it back to the people charging them a lot of money for the grain.  Louis knew that this couldn't last forever and that the people were becoming more and more discontent.  However, he still didn't care and adopted Madame Pompadour's quote "Apres nous le deluge" which means, "After us the deluge!"  Saying, "But so long as it comes after I myself am dead, what of it?"  At this same time, Maria Theresa of Austria, trying to strengthen Austria's position after the war with Prussia, arranged to have her youngest daughter Marie Antoinette marry the Dauphin (Do fa), the French Crown Prince.  Marie Antoinette was a girl who didn't want to do any lessons.  All she wanted to do was play all day.  When she was 14, she excitedly went to France to meet her husband.  She was disappointed when she met her husband, Louis.  He was dull, quiet and interested only in making locks and hunting.  Marie Antoinette soon discovered she'd have to make her own fun at court. 

At about the time Marie Antoinette visited Paris for the first time, Lafayette was also living in Paris.  Lafayette had been born in the countryside of France and was raised by his Grandparents.  His mother eventually came back for him and brought him to Paris to live with her father.  Lafayette's life in Paris was very different from his life in the countryside.  He was appointed as a Courtier in the Dauphin's court, but was not happy there.  He wanted to be a soldier like his ancestors.  His wish to be dismissed from court was granted.  In 1775, at the age of 17 he was given a post with a regiment of soldiers in Metz.   Through this post, Lafayette would meet with the Duke of Gloucester, brother of George III, which would lead him to America and to help fight for American Liberty.

We also learned about Napoleon Buonaparte, born in Corsica.  Corsica had just been taken away from Italy by France the year he was born.

In Madam How and Lady Why we learned how there is a lot of chalk in limestone, which eventually helps to make caves.  The water is filled with chalk that goes to the limestone.  When the water meets the limestone it digs into it and makes a big cavern.  The water that is left in the cave drips off the ceiling.  As it drips it makes stalactites because there is a lot of chalk in the water.  Stalactites look like stone icicles that hang from the ceiling.  The water on the ceiling drips onto the floor of the caves and it builds up forming stalagmites.

We learned about animals which have designs in their bodies like modern inventions we use today.  Bats have sonar, there are thermometer birds which keep their nests at the right temperature, baby spiders that fly kites, gazelles have "car radiators" in their heads, keeping their brains cool as their core body temperature increases during flight from predators.

We mourned with Abigail Adams as dysentery plundered Braintree, where the Adam's family lived.  John was away at the time with the Continental Congress and was devasted when the news finally reached him.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

A tribute to a friend

A few weeks back I shared about my pity party that turned into a wonderful time spent being blessed and refreshed.  What I neglected to share in that post was that I do have one wonderfully faithful friend who calls and emails and even came for a visit in December.

I didn't forget this friend during my pity party, in fact, I thought about her quite a bit because she is much better about contacting me than I am at contacting her.  However, a pity party isn't about being rational! LOL

This post is for her.  I love you Danielle and I cherish our friendship.  You have brought much to my life and I thank God every day for having our paths cross over 20 years ago.