Friday, March 31, 2017

Pushing through and Relaxed Schooling is too Difficult....

This was such a short, but long week.  I have had continued back pain for months now.  I have been seeing a chiropractor, but haven't felt much relief.  So I went to my family dr out of desperation.  He offered muscle relaxers or physical therapy.  I chose the physical therapy.  So this was my second week of therapy.  He told me that I am losing physical strength in my legs, so I need to build that back up and strength the muscles that are causing the trouble.  Or so I think.  Last week he said I might not run again, but this week he said go ahead and try a light jog.  Joe and I have been going on nightly walks.  So I tried a light jog next to him while he was walking fast.  WOW!!  I felt a little better physically, but not those muscles.  I just need to keep doing these exercises he prescribes and then go back to see my family dr. in two weeks to decide what to do.

But the PT and stupid cookie delivery has been driving me crazy.  It's so time-consuming, and the girls didn't even sell that many boxes.  But its a matter of delivering all over the place.  I didn't plan very well for the delivery.  More to think about for next year.

I continued to give a more relaxed schooling approach to things though, to see how it goes.  It didn't go great.  So I will be changing some things up again starting next week.

But this week, between projects, appts and deliveries, the kids worked on 4H projects.  They played Prodigy math and also the boys played on MobyMax.

Over the weekend, the girls worked two Cookie booths at area malls.  This was their favorite part about selling cookies.

We ate lunch at the mall one day, since the girls had soccer clinic shortly after we finished selling.

Joey got to eat pizza at the mall for the first time since he was very little.  He seems to have healed from his dairy sensitivity.  He couldn't get enough.  We had to have a talk about overeating.

Caty loved this popcorn display.

After this, the girls were invited to participate in a soccer clinic at Bowling Green State University.  They were excited.  The Women's soccer team put on the clinic.  They met students from around the world.  And practiced some great soccer skills.

On Monday we had American Girl Club.  Lea was the girl this month.  We learned about rainforests.  We made terrariums and animal masks.  The girls also each gave a short report about an animal.  Caty talked about one of her favorite animals, the Okapi.  Lydia spoke about the coatimundi.

Monday, Caty worked on more knife skills.  It's in one of her 4H cooking skills books.  Dicing, slicing, and chopping.  She got some yummy bread from Costco and I sliced the first loaf and then told her to work on the next one.  She's learning the differences in the knives that we use.

She also got to bake some more oatmeal raisin/chocolate chip cookies for a friend of ours.  She ended up making so many that she gave a plate to her grandfather and her Uncle too.  They both love this kind of cookie too.

Sunday at the mall, we encountered a homeless man.  We bought him some food, and it brought up a lot of questions from Caty.  We had a lot of discussions for a few days about helping the homeless and why some choose to even remain homeless.  I had bought these books a few years ago at the recommendation of a friend.  So we pulled them out and this was part of Caty's reading time this week.  They all feature an animal who was homeless, and how they were able to be helped.  She thinks she wants to do something for the homeless for her bronze award with Girl Scouts.

Both the girls continued their miniature garden projects.  This week, they researched the plants in their gardens.  Lydia attempted to make her doghouse for her Dog Park theme.  But it didn't turn out very well.  She got frustrated, so I told her to step back and return to the drawing board.  They drew up plans.  Caty decided on a Candyland theme now for her garden.  So she is thinking of what she will be making for her garden.

Lydia finished up her first year of Zoology Level 2.  This is a three-level project.  Each level is two years.  So she is on track to finish well before she ages out of 4H.  It's giving her a great overview of what veterinarians really need to know and all that is entailed in owning larger animals, like horses. Now she will work on her scrapbook of experiments and poster board for judging.

Another of Caty's projects is the 4H Getting Started on Art.  This week I worked with her on the color wheel.  We were surrounded in magazines creating charts about the different categories of colors.  She has known how to blend colors for a while, but it's a matter of remembering what colors are in each category for when she goes to judging.

Since Joey, Brayden and Caty have typical cooking projects, I literally included a bunch of projects on our menu plan for the week.  Lydia won't be starting her books for a couple weeks.  She chose a party planning project.  Here's an overview of the week....

Veggie pizza with Caty - slicing, dicing, chopping.

Brayden ... How to make homemade meatballs....

Brayden .... made baked tortilla chips, bean dip and made nachos for dinner.

Joey created his own muffin recipe.  But first he had to do an experiment in what happens when you overmix muffins.

It wasn't pretty at all!

His final creation was.... bacon cheddar garlic muffins.  He said they were awesome!!

Brayden told me he wanted M & M cookies.  I said, "There's the oven....make them."  So I just had to keep track of him and give him a few reminders.  He made cookies two days in a row!

Another dinner Brayden made (His 4H book is Race Around the Clock Dinners - teaching them to look at what you have and you can make a quick meal without take-out).  He made Pour-A-Pan pizza.  It was really easy and everyone seemed to like it.  This will go on our meal rotation, but we decided to make a few tweeks to it.  The crust needs more flavor we decided.

Another meal that he made.  The project was to pick items from a list and make a casserole.  So he picked them out.  I don't encourage the use of canned soups in our cooking.  But he did use the cheddar cheese soup in this recipe.  It was potato, ham and cheese casserole.  Everyone liked it and the leftovers were a hit the next day also.  But we discussed using canned soups, versus just using milk and cheese to make the exact same thing without all the additives.  So this will go on meal rotation also.

Joey is working on a Halo book he found at the library.  It's taking him a bit to make it through.  He's enjoying it.  Brayden finished another Geronimo Stilton and found a new series called Commander Cheese he liked.  I also found him a series from Scholastic called Stick Dog.  He seems happy with the Geronimo Stilton series a lot.  Brayden is also reading an adult Star Wars book too.  This one will take him a bit to finish.  Lydia finished up Matilda, and continued on Fifth Wave.  Caty read comic books all week that we bought last week at Fantasicon.  She has fallen in love with Heathcliff!!

The boys aren't doing well with science coop, so we worked on their work independently throughout the week.  This study of the Periodic Table is confusing me.  I am walking that fine line of, what do the boys really need to know about the Periodic Table.  Are they ever going to use the information?  I never learned this much detail.  Neither are going to college and neither have any interest in Science.  So we are glazing over some of the more in-depth subjects....since they are staring at me with glazed over - confused eyes already.  But the girls will keep studying in our coop and looking at the subject in-depth.  This week in science we learned about valence electrons and played this game to learn the amounts that each element has.  It also helped to continue to know the elements.

Last week's science project introduced atoms (I forgot to post it).  They kiddos created atom cookies.

Lydia has been working away at her volunteer job at the stable.  She really enjoys it.  She rides when her work is done, and she is starting to practice or "train" for the riding show she is going to in May in Columbus Ohio.

Lydia is also taking a American Sign Language Class.  She has finished three weeks and absolutely loves it.  She is progressing well, I think.  I hope this teacher continues.

I'm still kicking around how I'm going to change things up.  But the boys are definitely not doing well with the relaxed schooling.  Even the girls struggled.  I kept finding them gravitating toward their video games.  So that is what I will be fighting again next week, and see what will work in the house.  I can't wait to finish PT...I hope it doesn't last too long.  It's a huge disruption to the kids and their schedules.  That doesn't help the stress level in the house.

I hope everyone had a great week!!  See you again soon!!

Linking up with other moms at:

Weekly Wrap-Up

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Manhood Journey & City on a Hill Studio - Manhood Journey Father's Starter Kit Review

We recently had the opportunity to review a series that helped show children how they can cling to God for direction in the time period we are living in.  Values and morals have changed so much in the last couple of generations.  But many still cling to those older values where men treated women with respect.  Manhood Journey & City On A Hill has released a great series that allows fathers to help the next generation learn these ideals in their program Manhood Journey Father's Starter Kit.  

The Manhood Journey Father's Starter Kit gives fathers a way to help encourage their sons into Manhood by using the Bible as their guide.  It is meant to be used with boys ages 8 through 17.  

This easy to use set, includes a group discussion guide to lead a group, a 1 on 1 discussion guide for father's to use with their own children, a DVD that provides introductory videos for all six modules, and 10 Map Brochures that helps to guide your group on their journey.  As I mentioned, this program allows you to use the Bible as your guide in the journey.  But the program is written non-denominational, so you can use whichever version of the Bible that your family prefers.

The Manhood Journey Father's Starter Kit can be used independently between a father and son, or they could choose to include others in this journey and form a group study.  They can set up weekly meetings to work on fun, hands-on interactive activities that are suggested in your course guide.

The group guide breaks all the activities down by week.  It makes it very easy for anyone to use to guide a Manhood Journey meeting.  The guide even breaks down a suggested time allowance for each part of a meeting.  So even those who do not enjoy "planning" activities, really need to do very little extra other than show up.  Questions for group discussions, and even one-on-one questions are provided.  It also includes homework for each father/son pair.

Each topic refers back to the Bible for explanation.  It helps fathers and sons to lay down a firm foundation with God in both their relationship, but also encouragement for their sons to see where they can turn to as they grow up.  Because even as adults, we have all felt helpless at times.  But if we keep our trust in God, then we do not need to feel this way.  Other topics include the importance of prayer, how to build relationships, and even how men can serve others with a humble attitude.

The Manhood Journey Father's Starter Kit is meant to be used over a 6 week period.  And it helps to teach young men how to trust in God, learn his word, pray, build relationships and serve others.  It provides a wonderful example of what a traits a Christian man should be exhibiting.

Along with the group guide, the Manhood Journey Father's Starter Kit also includes a 1 on 1 guide that a father and son can also use together, if they choose to not conduct a study in a group setting.  This resource provides fathers with more talking points to draw out their sons and also help them to look deeper at themselves.  Are they exhibiting all aspects of the Manhood Journey in their lives?  Self-examination is also encouraged to help fathers continue on their lifelong growing journey.  The 1 on 1 guide is very important with extra points for the gentleman that is conducting the group sessions.

Included also is a free copy of Wise Guys by Kent Evans.  This title gives men real-life examples to learn from and follow their lead in life.  These men are more experienced in areas of life, than maybe you are.  But instead of boring lectures, you can read examples of how to live life in a Christian way.  There are even questions to ponder to really allow the men who read it to search their souls.

The Manhood Journey Father's Starter Kit is a wonderful resource.  I really like the soul-searching that it encourages men to do.  Even if a child, does not have his father in his life currently, this program can still be used with him with a trusted friend.  Both father and son can be encouraged and see growth as they explore life choices using the Bible as their guide.  What better foundation can we lay for any of our children than to teach them to build their lives on the Rock provided by God.  That will allow them to have a firm foundation in this shaky world.

I read several of the passages with our boys.  Joe has been traveling, so was unable to do regular studies during the review period.  Each week's material was actually brief.  Even if you hold group studies, meetings would be maybe an hour a week, plus some socializing.  I was able to cover topics several times throughout the week.

The boys enjoyed the points being presented.  They said they did not find it boring at all.  They found it interesting that unlike the world we live in, they can see how the Bible can apply in all areas of their lives daily and not just when they pick and chose.  They can really see that firm foundation that I was referring to.

The cost of the Manhood Journey Father's Starter Kit is only $29.99.  That is a great deal for this program and all that it includes.  I would highly recommend this product to families who are working hard to raise Christian children who love God.  This short 6 week study can be expanded if you desire.  Or completed in the suggested time frame.  It packed full of reminders for the men and great examples for the children.  It can also be used multiple times throughout your son's childhood.

Several members of the Homeschool Review Crew were given the opportunity to review Manhood Journey Father's Starter Kit from  Manhood Journey & City On A Hill.  Take some time to click the link below to see how they used this program in their homes, and how they enjoyed it.

Manhood Journey Father's Starter Kit {Manhood Journey & City on a Hill Studio Reviews}
Crew Disclaimer

Friday, March 24, 2017

Fantasticon, Cooking, and Girl Scout Week

At the end of last week, we had surprised the kids with tickets to Fantasticon a few weeks ago.  It's kind of like Comicon, but on a very small scale.  They had a blast planning their costumes, it seemed like no time before the day was here and we had to get their costumes going.

 Brayden was Dry Bowser...this was harder to create.  He was very proud of his costume.

Princess Zelda

Cloud Strife

The Flash

Dry Bowser

 They loved it so much.  They started making plans for next year's costumes already.  Ugh...get started now.  Apparently the more homemade, the better!  This was the kid's costume contest entries.

 That same day Goodwill in our area was hosting a special patch giveaway for Scouts who brought in donations.  We made sure to grab a bunch from our Goodwill stash (that I always forget at home), and we took some stuff in.  Caty fell in love with this chair while we were waiting at the counter.  She was disappointed when I said we couldn't bring it home.

It was Girl Scout Week.  So we had lots of activities planned.  Daily they were doing things to earn a badge to show how much they learned to help others.

They made a poster showing what they love in Girl Scouts.

They made birds nest starters to hang in the trees.

Baked cookies and visited a beloved friend.  

Learned about hidden sugars.

Planted miniature gardens.

Lydia started her science fair project.  It's hydroponic gardening.  She started 3 different 2 liters....there are mollys in each one.

This week was a week of making progress on their 4H projects, practicing math and having a relaxed approach to school.  One of our projects was to finish pillows for hospice patients.  This is a 4H Wood County project.  We finished 20 pillows over a 2 day period.  We all worked together.  We have 20 more to finish up soon.

We celebrated Pie day...

Had Art class....

And cooked a lot!!!

These were Joey's pear muffins...they were a huge hit.  I think he forgot he was eating something healthy.

Brayden made a pasta dish that everyone said tasted wonderful!  He learned how to grate parm cheese.

This relaxed school approach was difficult for them.  I'm going to give it another week to see how things go.  I was hoping to finish out the school year this way, but it may not work out for all the kids.  And yet another flexibility that homeschool provides families.....

Hope everyone had a wonderful week!  Linking up with other moms at:

Weekly Wrap-Up