Friday, July 31, 2015

Week 7 - 4H and Relaxing schooling

If you noticed...I am running a few days behind right now on each weekly review.  We are currently remodeling an area of our house and turning it into a family room.  Between camps, swim lessons and schoolwork, I am trying to paint and get the walls ready so that we can move into it in a few weeks.  So the "weeks" will not be matching up for a few weeks.

So This week we started a more interest led week of learning.  Last week while we were still in Maryland I let the kids pick out books to use this week while we were at Barnes and Noble.  I knew I would be busy with things around the house, and with 4H judging this week I really needed things to be simple.  So armed with the books that they picked out, our week started.

Last week I mentioned how we bought a new book that allows you to turn any book into school curriculum.  Each day the student is supposed to read a few pages from their library books and then do 10 pages in this book.  Some are writing activities, and some are just fun doodling activities.  It's a great concept.  So the girls started these this week.

I kind of created my own version for the boys to use, while I see how the actual books go, since they are a bit pricey.  And I do have 4 kids to be buying for.

It was a busy week, Caty had swim lessons every day.  She knows how to swim, but I wanted her to learn more technique.  She had a really good time, and enjoyed working with the teacher.  Now Lydia wants to take some lessons too.  Caty is very proud of how she is learning new strokes.

It was also 4H judging week.  Lydia has 5 projects, Joey has 3, Brayden had 2 and Caty could make a project board of what she learned in Cloverbuds.  So yes...count it...that's 11 projects to have ready.  Eleven judges to switch everyone between.  I nearly lost my mind this week, but all in all it was a great experience.  I seen a shy side of Lydia that I was hoping was improving, but it didn't.  I also saw how this shyness hindered her getting an even better score at judging.  But I also saw a side of Brayden that made me smile big.  I have been so depressed lately about a few things in his development, that I had to just smile.  He didn't enjoy the whole judging experience because of the noise level.  But he was smiling ear to ear when he was showing me how he "Got 2 outstandings!!"  That was great.  He actually opened up and spoke with the judges with no problem.  Caty had no problems either.  Joey was pretty anxious, but he made it through with 3 Outstanding ribbons.  Up to the date of this blog post, Lydia has earned 2 Outstanding and 1 Good.  She still has two projects to have judged and the Style Review Fashion show next week.

 So I know I have a ton of food allergies, but the kids not so much.  I have shown then box mixes and now teaching them about from scratch.  This week they made homemade brownies.  I am hoping this helps Lydia with her fractions also.  Lydia has been working on cooking a few things this week.  She made apple cinnamon oatmeal muffins, homemade brownies and even blender pancakes this week.  She also made spaghetti and meatballs.  I broke down and showed her how to make my homemade sauce to go with the meatballs she made for her 4H project.  She was a very busy girl.  We are going to keep on with the momentum of her cooking.  I just keeping making project lists.  Caty wants to do more also.  So I'll be including more snacks and lunches for both of them to prepare.  Brayden wants to learn a few more things also.  So lots of time in the kitchen for me.  But he just wants to make box desserts right now, very easy for him.

 Lydia participating in Skill a thon at her Horseless Horse judging.

Lydia is working on her DIY Summer Cooking Camp.  I think she is enjoying it, but unfortunately there are a few issues technically that I do not like.  I hope they can make the changes and adjustments because I won't be signing up for more until these are fixed.  Joey is enjoying his Minecraft Camp also.  But again the same technical issues exist and it is making it difficult to report projects.  I like easy, especially when I have 4 kids to help out.

 Most of the kids liked them.  I thought they looked more like crepes than pancakes.  They ate them all though.

The kids finished up the Summer Reading program at the library near us.  They all earned a minium of 60 Super Hero Bucks to buy prizes with.  Caty was very happy to earn enough to buy the two prizes that she really wanted.  They all did really well.  But we kept up with our reading while we were in Maryland.  Now to keep that momentum running.  I have to get our program up for next week.

I did run and purchase a whole stack of 4H curriculum this week.  We gave in and let the kids get a kitten.  I will be suffering a bit with my allergies, but since I have done my best to avoid cats for over  year now I have been fairing rather well.  Hopefully keeping it limited and off the furniture will help me out.  I even picked it up a few times and played with it and didn't have any adverse reactions.  I know sometimes our bodies can heal things, so just maybe this is one of them.   So she decided to use the Purrfect Pals project to learn more about cats right now.  So check off Life Science for her for a few weeks.  All the kids will work on a couple of the science experiment books.  Lydia also will work through the beginning archery book.  Caty will be doing Snack Attack, and all the kids will be working on Let's Start Cooking.  Have you checked out the curriculum?  I really like it.  It's also very inexpensive.  If you are looking for self-directed projects, check them out.  You can visit your local county extension office (at least in Ohio you can) and purchase it.  You don't have to be in 4H to do that.

We are working on remodeling a few rooms in our house to make sure we have no wasted space.  We are still waiting on our new windows and doors.  I hope they are here soon.  The old ones are driving me nuts.  This upcoming week it will be paint time.  I have to start with the ceiling and walls.  I am going for a beach theme with tans, light blues, and a few teal accents.  I also have been shopping for what we will be doing for flooring.  Considering we have a pool and hot tub in the back, I know laminate flooring needs to be on at least 1/4 of it so they don't ruin the new carpeting.  So one more project to work on.  Friday they are sanding the there will be a big mess the next few days to clean up from.

I'll share more pictures of that next week as we our goal is to try and get through this by Joe's vacation week in August.  I am definitely feeling a bit overwhelmed right now with everything going on.  Nothing is  It all has to be done.

I hope everyone has a great week, and see you next week.

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