Friday, April 28, 2017

New Science, New History, New Chicks...Spring has Sprung

Wow...what a week.  We enjoyed beautiful weather most of the week.  A little bit of rain, but we lived with it.

We are finishing up our end of the study of the Periodic Table of Elements with Ellen McHenry's Basement study.  This was such a detailed program, and it is really wonderful.  Very much over the kids understanding of science.  But if you have a kiddo that LOVES and wants to learn the Periodic Table in depth, this is definitely the program you want to use with them.  Very easy to use and lots of experiment ideas.  I only had to order one chemical, so pretty easy supplies to have on hand.

This week we finished up by doing experiments.  We did a variety, including trying to check the iron in cereal.

Using vinegar to clean the pennies.

Making a battery with vinegar, coins, and paper towel.

Melted aluminum foil.... this was very cool to watch and also very stinky!

This was for fun... mentos and diet coke.

Brayden has his 4H demonstration this week.  He chose to talk about the casserole section of his Race Around the Clocks meal project.  We have added two of the recipes he has made to our meal rotation.  One of them is a shredded potato casserole.  He handed out a chart on how to make an easy casserole in just a few minutes with items you have in your cupboards/fridge.  Considering his speech issues, he did really well.

Our chicks hatched.  We had 3 officially hatch.  Two survived.  We worked hard to save the 3rd, but he didn't make it.  It was amazing to watch this process.  It was even harder to not open the incubator.  The girls and I watched this for hours and hours.  Their cousin came over and spent the night and watched too.  It was a chick hatching

More 4H projects.... Brayden wanted to have a BBQ with some friends.  So we took advantage of that.  Caty made butterscotch bars from her book.

Joey made two types of pumpkin bread for people to test.

Spring sports are starting up.  Both the girls are doing soccer.  And all the kids are doing tennis.  The girls were so excited to be back playing soccer.

Lydia is working on her bracelets for her Silver Award project.  It's a slow going process.

One of our chicks fresh out of the incubator.

Playing soccer with her friend.  Another friend and I were walking at the fairgrounds and the kids were all playing in the gorgeous weather.

Practicing their sign language presentation for class.  No walls

Lydia was invited to attend a Girl Scout Awards banquet.  Last year she finished her Bronze Award as a Junior Scout.  That night she earned a neat patch and was able to meet the CEO of Girl Scouts of Western Ohio.

She and Bradie doing their presentation.  They even coordinated their outfits.

Through all of this craziness, the kids worked on math review for the end of the year.  Joey continued his Specialized Life math program.  The kids all spent two weeks reading Charlotte's Web for their assigned reading.  They all really liked the book.  But since it was "longer", I split it up over a 10 day period to make it not feel overwhelming since they have comprehension questions to answer.

Life isn't slowing down!!

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Planet 316 - Daily Bible Jigsaw Puzzle Review

I love playing puzzles online.  I recently had the opportunity to review the Daily Bible Jigsaw Puzzle app from Planet 316.  Now I have puzzles on the go!!

Planet 316 provides a beautiful 30 piece puzzle that you can use to distract yourself from the stresses of the day.  The Daily Bible Jigsaw Puzzle is available in many formats including:

Each puzzle includes calming background music and a scriptural reminder who to turn to with the stresses of the day.  

You play one puzzle daily for free.  But you can play more puzzles each day using coins, and re-do past puzzles.  Usually its 2-3 coins to play the puzzle.  But you can actually earn coins through playing different pieces, such as power pieces.  Another way to earn free coins is to watch ads for other online games that you could play.  But if you would like to, there is also the option to purchase more coins in various amounts.  It ranges from 55 coins for $4.99 all the way to 780 coins for $59.99. 

Each puzzle takes roughly 5 - 10 minutes a day, depending on how distracted I was while working on it.   I used the version of Daily Bible Jigsaw Puzzles on my IPhone from the Apple App Store.  It was very easy to download.

You can also Play with and Challenge Friends that are also playing the Daily Bible Jigsaw Puzzle program/app.

I loved that I could easily rotate the pieces.  If there was a time I needed a distraction, or if I was waiting somewhere and knew that I wouldn't have enough time to get involved in reading on my Kindle, that is when I would get out my Daily Bible Jigsaw Puzzle app.  (Yes, there was a few times I played in while eating lunch or even while watching TV in the evening.)  

I do not keep a lot of games on my phone.  Generally it's overloaded with  But one day, Lydia even grabbed my phone and was looking for something to distract her.  I opened this app, because I knew I didn't have to worry about it having inappropriate material.  She really enjoyed the puzzles she played also.

The puzzles are beautiful.  I have really liked every puzzle that I have solved, whether it be nature scenes, animal, flowers or even children playing.  The pictures were beautiful each time.

In this day and age of negativity, it seems like many of the apps and games center around negativity and fighting of some sort.  It's great to have this option.  One that I do not mind allowing my children to play also.  Planet 316 has definitely impressed me with the Daily Bible Jigsaw Puzzle app.  It will remain a constant on my phone.

There is no cost to download the game, but there are in-app purchases for extra coins.  This is completely optional.  But if you do have children playing, be sure to have purchases passcoded in your device.

I did watch a couple of ads during the review period, just to make sure the ads that you watch to earn coins were family friendly, and I did not see anything inappropriate.

If you are looking for a brief, inspirational distraction, Planet 316 has definitely created a great program with the Daily Bible Jigsaw Puzzle.

Several members of the Homeschool Review Crew were given the opportunity to try out the Daily Bible Jigsaw Puzzle in various formats.  Click below to see how they used this program and what they liked about it.

Daily Bible Jigsaw {Planet 316 Reviews}

Crew Disclaimer

Friday, April 21, 2017

Full course load, Science projects, and Safety Field Trip

Well we were back to full course load this week.  For some reason, the kids were struggling with this.   Ok, not all of them.  But Lydia seemed to struggle.  I think part of it involves that none of them have been enjoying our science unit study.  It's a great program, but they do not really care to study the periodic table that in depth.  They are enjoying the experiments.  There are some great experiments.  That has kept their attention.  Below I'll post some of the cool experiments we done this past week in science club.  I think we are all ready for our next study unit on Trees though!

We started out our week though with family.  We celebrate our anniversary with my parents and brother & sister-in-law.  All of our wedding anniversaries are within a couple weeks of each other and we include all the kids.  So first off we went to a local favorite restaurant for lunch.  The meals looked yummy!

Then it was home to our house for presents.... there were lots of presents!!

One of my favorites.  My niece Bryce made me this!! It's for bird feed, but I love it on the back deck.

I snapped this picture at the Kingdom Hall on Sunday.  They were singing together.  They are very close.
4H Project updates

We are back into the swing of working on 4H projects.  Lydia started a new project this week, since she finished her other animal project.  She started a new Dog project.  She wont be learning dog training, but the history of dogs in society and their influence on our lives.  The first couple of activities have been interesting.  I found a series from National Geographic that we started to watch.  It's called Dogs The Untold Story.

Joey had a couple of baking projects this week.  One was to find a substitute for oil.  He is very anxious about trying anything new.  We found a substitute that Caty could eat, since she is allergic to applesauce (all apple products) and that was the suggested item.  He used Greek yogurt and Lydia said it was really good.  Joey would not really try it, since there was different flour in it also.  He used buckwheat flour.  It's a darker flour, and he said he would not do it.  Ugh...Joey's OCDs are about food.  So far even with meds and age, he has kept the same ones.

Brayden had to make peanut butter cookies.  This was a project that I totally tried to stay out of the kitchen for.  I had to step in when he was not coming to the oven when the timer was going off to remove the cookies.  So I went in to yell down the hallway.  I was told they were very yummy and they smelled amazing.  But I could not try any of these since they were made with regular flour.  He did really well on his measuring.  Next we need to work harder on cleaning up the mess we make.

In Joey's tobacco project, we learned about tobacco and movies.  We read the CDC recommendations and discussed how tobacco products are displayed in movies and video games.  He also had to read Universal Studios policy on smoking depictions in films.

For careers, both boys needed to work on introducing themselves with a firm handshake.  They also needed to research email etiquette.

Caty worked on her garden project.  She did a soil test where she wants to plant her zinnias.  She planted her flower seeds a couple weeks ago and they are growing wonderfully.

Caty also started her sewing project and made supper one night.  It was for one of her projects.  She learned how to make grilled cheese.

Both girls took their miniature gardens outside to enjoy the beautiful sunshine we had this week.  One of Lydia's ferns in her soon-to-be dog park is not doing so well.  So hopefully the real sunshine helps it.


This week I had them all refresh their addition and subtraction charts.  Brayden flew threw all of his facts.  Joey and Lydia did also.  Caty struggled just a bit.  This is going to be our math for the next few weeks.  As we were going through our division, I noticed a few things that was holding them back.  So hopefully this will help things go smoother as we introduce decimals this summer.


This week they started Charlotte's Web for their assigned reading.  They were also actually excited to start this book.  Next weekend hopefully we'll be through the book and they can watch both movies.   I know they want to watch the non-animated, but I remember the animated one.  So we may have to either watch both or take a secret vote on which one we'll be watching.


In history we worked our way through Genesis Chapter 2 & 3.  We reviewed the 7 days of Creation and talked about the sin that took place in the Garden of Eden.  We also covered the first murder in the Bible, Cain and Abel.

Language Arts

Review of alphabetization.  They also worked on re-writing sentences by correcting the errors in them.


The science fair projects that have been started are doing well.  Trouble is, Lydia lost two of her fish.  Not sure why they died.  So we are going to get another set this weekend.  We'll be changing out the water in that plant also.

Caty's chicks should be hatching soon, according to our countdown clock.  So we prepped the house and got some wood chips and starter food for them.  But when we went to get supplies from the farm store, this happened....

The boys haven't officially started their projects.  It's on the schedule for next week.  Brayden changed his mind anyway.  He's going to do a project on Popcorn, or he thinks he is.  Ugh...


Lydia and Caty are working on cursive.  Lydia started the next level in Memoria Press.  Caty is just starting cursive.  So Lydia is actually just improving on what she's already doing.  She was excited to start this new book and keep learning.

Field Trips and other Classes

Science Club

Well there were lots of experiments.  We finally successfully made a smoke bomb.  We also made elephant toothpaste and tested the oxygen in yeast bubbles.

We had a field trip at the beginning of the week with the Girl's Troop.  It was to finish off their Safety Award projects for each of their current levels.  We had an exciting trip to a local firehouse.  They were actually called out on a run in the middle of our trip.  We almost had to reschedule.  The kids thought it was neat watching them leave on the truck.

We had tennis practice this week.  This was my first week of working with all the athletes on my own.  (I volunteered to coach tennis this season.) We were almost rained out, in fact it started raining during practice.  But we toughed it out and kept playing.  There was no lightening and it wasn't a downpour.  It was so fun!  I didn't get pictures of all the athletes.  We have 2-3 others.  Not a big team, but we have fun together.

Lydia finished up her volunteer hours to earn her award.   But she loves it so much at the stable.  So she'll continue to go there weekly.  She is also taking a few classes that the barn has to offer.  This month she is learning the history of domesticating horses.

Lydia also had programming this week.  She is learning how to make a carnival shoot app/game.  Hopefully next month we will get to do a 3D printing class also.

I did skip physical therapy this week.  Joe was in Tennessee and it is a lot to just keep up with the kids and their stuff, I couldn't handle rescheduling and trying to fit everything in this week.  So I start back for a couple more weeks, next week. This week I worked at getting my walking goal everyday.  There was a couple days I couldn't.  There was just not enough time in the day and energy for me to do it all.

I hope everyone had a wonderful week.  Linking up with other homeschool moms at

Weekly Wrap-Up