Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Homeschool Mother's Journal: An Eventful Week in October

We had a very BUSY and fun week! Thankfully, this week will be a little more relaxing (I hope). I'm not going to talk a lot about school work, because I didn't take many school pics.

Pumpkin Patch
We stopped at a nearby pumpkin patch to buy a pumpkin, but we didn't have enough cash on hand. We decided to take advantage of the photo props while visiting.

Piano Practice 
Mrs. Lu is the BEST piano teacher in New Braunfels! Alyssa continues to improve her skills and plays beautifully thanks to her teacher.

Park Lunch Date
I surprised Alyssa with a picnic at the park as our first mother-daughter date for the week. We ate our lunch and did school at the park. Alyssa will finish her first spelling workbook this week and she's already halfway through her math curriculum. Most of the book has been a review so far. She is learning new concepts such as finding averages, finding the area of different shapes using formulas while reviewing basic division facts and place-value notation. She'll also finish the first level of her cursive program this week. Alyssa LOVES the step-by-step drawings they include in the book. Her Reading and Phonics program has her reading Robinson Crusoe. She finds the story interesting. We even had time to hang out on the playground.
Math U See Delta
Spelling You See
Orange Leaf Frozen Event
Another mother-daughter date that I planned this week was at Orange Leaf. I told her to bring her Elsa costume, but didn't tell her why. Alyssa and I split a yogurt treat, watched the Frozen movie, participated in the sing-a-long, and made a new little friend. Elsa and Anna made a special appearance. We headed to subway after the event, because it was too late to make a dinner at home. We had a blast!

Lacey's Baby Shower
What a wonderful baby shower! The hostesses had a yogurt bar with a variety of yummy toppings for the guests. They served delicious  breakfast cupcakes too. Our friend, Lacey, is having a baby girl in January. She'll name her Mackenzie. She received many awesome gifts to get her started.
Alyssa's Buddies
Library Halloween Party
Our local library always hosts a Halloween party which includes a costume contest and and candy scavenger hunt.
Queen of Hearts
Arts and Crafts
Library Tour and Candy Hunt Begins
Our Friends Always Dress in Cool Family Costumes
Photo Shoot and Lunch Date with Nanny
I scheduled Alyssa's Christmas photo shoot at JCPenny's Portrait Studio She also brought her Halloween Queen of Hearts costume. We went to lunch with Nanny Lynn at Johnny Carinos and visited her at her house before the shoot. Photos to post later!

Peanut Butter Cookies!
We made peanut butter cookies to snack on one night. YUM! YUM! YUM! We bought some milk chocolate almond kisses for the tops.

Visitor
My favorite cat visited us again. He's soooo affectionate! He'll only let me hold him for a few minutes, but he's constantly rubbing up on our legs.


I will link this post up at My Week in Review at Home to 4 Kiddos. 

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Wordless Wednesday: Karaoke Sleepover Fun

Alyssa had a friend stay overnight not too long ago. One of the activities that my daughter LOVES to do with her friends is use her karaoke machine. She has a blast singing! She was dressed as a pirate, but decided not to wear half of the costume.
Singin' Loud
I will link this post up at Mama to 5 Blessings: Wordless Wednesday. Feel free to join in on the fun. Share a photo with a few words or none. 

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Virtual Refrigerator: Paper Plate Sun Craft

My daughter is studying astronomy this year. Alyssa was motivated to create the following art craft after reading about the sun in her Apologia Exploring Creation Astronomy book.

Materials Needed
White Paper Plate
Yellow Construction paper
Glue Stick
Scissors
Yellow Colored Pencil
Book About the Sun

Project Directions
First, she colored a paper plate yellow. Then, she traced her hand on yellow construction paper nine times. Next, she  cut out and glued the hands on the paper plate to form a sun shape. Finally, she flipped the sun over and wrote a short blurb about the sun.

She wrote the following text on the back of the sun: "The sun is the largest star in the sky. It is a hot ball of gas. It is not safe to look directly at the sun." 

Thank you for visiting A Learning Journey. I will link this post up at The Virtual Refrigerator. God bless!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Menu Plan Monday: October 13th, 2014

Monday
Breakfast - Blueberry and Pecan Oatmeal and Scrambled Eggs
Lunch - Shrimp and Veggies (Cucumbers and Tomatoes)
Dinner - Leftover Chicken Schnitzel and Spaetzle

Tuesday
Breakfast - Oatmeal (Flaxseed and Wheatgerm)
Lunch - Beef Enchiladas and Carrots
Dinner - Chicken Taquitos and Asparagus

Wednesday
Breakfast - Breakfast Burritos and Egg White Chocolate Milk
Lunch - Mother-Daughter Lunch Date (EAT OUT)
Dinner - Fish with a Spinach Strawberry Salad

Thursday
Breakfast - Boiled Grapefruit (Half) and Fruit Smoothies
Lunch - Turkey and Cheese Wrap
Dinner - Sausage Zucchini Penne Pasta with a Spinach Caesar Salad

Friday
Breakfast - Lemon Poppyseed Blueberry Pancakes
Lunch - Grilled Turkey and Cheese Sandwich
Dinner - Spicy Black Bean Burger with an Avocado Salad

Saturday
Breakfast - Cereal and Egg White Chocolate Milk
Lunch - Tuna Fish Sandwich and Bell Pepper
Dinner - Venison Chili

Sunday
Breakfast -Scrambled Spinach and Tomato Eggs
Lunch - Chicken Salad Sandwich
Dinner - Chicken and Broccoli Stirfry

I will link up at Menu Plan Monday at I'm an Organizing Junkie.



Sunday, October 12, 2014

Scripture Sunday: Be Obedient

I am linking up with Ashley and Amanda at For His Glory TeachingEvery other Sunday, they host their Scripture Sunday Sharing His Love Linky Party. I will also link up with Scripture and a Snapshot
Scripture and Snapshot

The scripture I want to share with you is inspired by an Armed With Truth giveaway we won back in July. My daughter absolutely LOVES their temporary biblical tattoos. They are easily applied. Alyssa attempts to memorize each verse before it wears off. The tattoo immediately captures the attention and curiosity of her friends so she's spreading the Gospel during play dates and in Sunday School.

Scripture Sunday Thoughts 
I really need to focus not only on my daughter's obedience to the Lord, but on my OWN obedience in reading the Word, worshipping, praising, praying, and focusing on how I OBEY God in ALL areas of my life. I need to dig deeper in the Word, develop a better relationship with Him, thank Him more often, and serve the Lord with my whole heart no matter the circumstances I face.

Obedience shows our faith in God's plan and our love for Him. I know that if I am obedient to God, then I am being loyal and trusting Him.

God bless you all this week!

Thursday, October 9, 2014

BookCrash Review: The First Christmas retold by Janice D. Green

I recently reviewed The First Christmas as retold by Janice D. Green with illustrations by the talented Violet Vandor. I strive to focus on the birth of Jesus during the Christmas season. I'm already preparing for Christmas by reading and choosing books for my Christmas Book Tree Advent Countdown which is one of my favorite Christmas traditions. I also try to tie in an activities related to the story read aloud. Let me tell you about a book I reviewed that includes both a familiar story we must all hear and a fun activity that'll engage your child.

Book Description (From the Website)
The First Christmas, by Janice Green and illustrated by Violet Vandor, tells the account of the birth of Jesus Christ. Adults and children alike will enjoy snuggling up to share these thirteen colorful scenes and the engaging discussion questions as this timeless story unfolds. Even older readers may be surprised to learn something new as they read again of the Messiah's birth.


My Thoughts
The 32-page paperback book gives a well-written, detailed, and complete account of the Nativity Story. The message is one that has been heard by many over the years but is of great importance for all children. I really appreciated the italicized conversation starters or questions found on each page that enable the parent to check their child's understanding following each section of the story. These questions will help you interact and engage with your child and help them focus on key topics. The questions help children make personal connections to their lives and feelings in relation to the story. For example, the author asks the child in the book "How do you think Mary and Joseph felt to have to walk or ride a donkey for days? Can you think of a time when you were very tired but you couldn't stop and rest?" The questions will spark a conversation and get the child thinking about their lives.

The lovely illustrations are simple and suitable for all children. There are not any inappropriate or violent illustrations in this retelling. There is a relevant illustration on the left side of each two-page spread of the story.

I love books that include meaningful activities within the pages of the book. This children's book concludes with a Bible Quilt activity that reinforces the truths from the Bible. The First Christmas coloring pages for the family activity are found on the publisher's website, however they are not FREE. They cost $1.50 for a PDF downloadable file which is reasonably priced considering the memories and possible traditions you'll create with your family. I do feel that it would be in the best interest of the author to offer these coloring pages FREE to individuals that purchase the book. This could be done using a special link and/or password added at the front of the book.

I would like to note that this book begins not with the angel's announcement to Mary, but that it begins with Gabriel's visit to Zachariah and Elizabeth about the birth of John the Baptist. You'll hear about Mary and Joseph's visits from the Angel, Mary's visit with her cousin Elizabeth, their travels to Bethlehem, the discussion with the innkeeper, Jesus's birth, the angel's visit with the shepherds, and lastly the journey of the Three Wise Men as captured in 13 colorful scenes depicting this retelling of Jesus's birth.

A small suggestion to the author would be to capitalize any words or phrases that reference God or Jesus. Another minor suggestion would be to make the story more concise for younger readers who may not be able to sit still for long time periods. It may be a little too wordy for readers in the youngest age group.

Recommendations
I recommend this delightful book to Christian families with children in preschool through early elementary ages 4-12. You could read the book as part of your morning devotions or bedtime read aloud during the Christmas season. I will be giving this book to my daughter for Christmas this year. You could even break the story up over several days reading a little each day to make it easier on younger children. It would make a perfect Christmas gift for relatives and friends. There's a good chance that this book may become a tradition if you enjoy reading Christmas stories every year. I know every year we enjoy telling the story of Jesus's birth. If you do too, then this read aloud book can be added to your collection. You may even want to share this title with the Children's Ministry staff members at your church or even with grandparents.

Price
HoneyComb Adventures $9.95
Amazon $9.95

Note: All prices are subject to change without notice. Websites may include selected pages to preview before purchasing the book.

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary, free copy of this book from the publisher through the BookCrash book review program in exchange for an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are my own. I am disclosing this information in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255 "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."