Greatly Blessed

Greatly Blessed

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Weekly Wrap Up - the week before Christmas


We're just days away from Christmas!  All the gifts in the house have been wrapped.  Stockings are mostly stuffed.  And school is wrapped up for now.  Although I'm sure we'll sneak some learning in here and there over the next 2 weeks of vacation time.  It's nice to slow down a bit, take a little break.


Jack made some snowman ornaments.  I can't remember where I saw the idea, but it was cute, so we copied it.


We put them on our school room Christmas tree.  Which, aside from the snowmen and our Chick Fil A cow in a Santa hat that showed up in the mail recently, is looking pretty bare.  Not many ornament crafts this year.



Hannah got a turn with the little felt tree.


She's now "off track" which means no school for her until February.  I'll enjoy having her around the house, as will Katie!


I'm not sure what these tiny little ornaments are for, but we inherited them with some fabric, and this seemed like a perfect use for them.  


Behind that bottle of glue is Miss Hannah again.  I bought the A Beka Art Projects 1 book last year for her, thinking she'd use it when she was off track, and during the "summer," (hers is only 4 weeks long--have I mentioned I hate the track system?) however, we didn't use it as much as I had hoped, so I'm pulling it out for her to work on now.


The finished Mr Acorn.  And yes, she glued him to the table.  Made me giggle.


We recently got 3 new games to try out.  Simon Swipe, Monopoly Junior, and Play Doh Launch Game.  Even though they're old enough to play regular Monopoly, the big kids had to give the Junior version a try.


Anybody remember when we colored coffee filters??


We finally turned them into snowflakes this week.


Here's another one of those "saw it somewhere online" projects.  We used small bowls with thick rims to paint black circles on thick watercolor paper.


Jack used one of our Take & Toss Toddler Bowls for his.  Then we painted the circles primary colors and the overlaps secondary colors.


Eli used a smaller disposable storage bowl like this one.  This is one of those projects that went better in my head than it did in real life.


I sewed!  I was getting into the Christmas fabrics to make more gift bags, and I made Hannah's skirt.


Believe it or not, this blue tee is a Christmas shirt.


See?  So Sheng Dan Kuai Le to you, too!


Have you played with Tegu Magnetic Wooden Blocks?  I put these in Katie's stocking last year, and we like them so much she's getting a slightly larger set this Christmas.  Eli was playing with them while wearing a dog tag, and came up with a clever mental exercise:  using ball chain (which sticks to the magnetic blocks), try to go through each block without overlapping.


In art this week, we played with mixing color again.


In retrospect, I think Eli could have handled this activity in acrylic paint, instead of the tempera we used.


I also feel like we might have gotten richer colors from acrylic paints.


But it was a valuable exercise, nonetheless.


And the finished results were pretty.  The book suggests writing down the color combos used on the lines below the circles.  I get why they would recommend that, but I think all that writing would have ruined the activity for my boys, so we skipped that part.


In science, we're studying the human body.  This week, we read about germs, and I pulled out The Magic School Bus: The World of Germs science kit.


We did the first activity, which was to start bread mold growing in a test tube.


We'll be keeping an eye on this over Christmas break.


Fun coincidence:  I was pulling out a page for Katie in the dot marker art book, and I saw this raccoon page.  Jack had just read me a passage about raccoons in his Spelling You See book, so I pulled it out for him to color.


In Drawing Unto Him this week, we did an interesting exercise.  In the small boxes off to the right of the page, we came up with 4 different thumbnail sketches of ways to show the idea that Jesus is the Light of the World.


Then, in the larger space, they chose their favorite and did a bigger drawing.  While I really like Drawing Unto Him, and the concept of part Bible study/part art lesson, this is definitely a high school level course, and my students are not there yet.  I think this would be a better program for Brianna, who is older and more artistically inclined.  I hope that as this book takes off, the author will come up with other levels for younger children.

Hopefully at some point this week we'll manage to make a few more ornaments for our sad little school room tree.  But I suspect most of the pictures for next week will be of free play time with new Christmas toys.  And that's okay, too.

Have a lovely Christmas, everyone!

Linking up at:


For the Display of His Splendor
and Homeschool Blog and Tell, and My Week in Review.

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Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Working on the House


When we first looked at this house, we joked that the great room was so huge we could cut part of it off and have another room.


That's just what we decided to do!  That end used to be "play room," but with fully half of the kids in the house being teenagers, we're feeling the need for an extra bedroom these days.


Paul framed out the wall on the floor.


And then we stood it up to test fit it.


You can get an idea how big the original room is by the corner of our 10 person dining room table on the right in this shot.  There's one window in the new room, and two more windows in what's left of the dining/play room.


Test fit looks good!


From inside the new room, looking through the dining/play room, toward the kitchen.


It was a group effort, with everyone from Jack to Josiah lending a hand or taking pictures.  While not "homeschooling" per se, it is helping the kids see what goes into making a house.


Sam and Paul take some measurements to make sure it's straight.


Okay, this part was actually fun.  I got to cut the carpet and padding, following a laser line.  I think all my years of cutting things for sewing came in handy for this.


On the inside.  Adding insulation and sheetrock after anchoring the wall.


It's looking like a construction zone in here!


From the outside.


Okay, guys, come over here and LIFT!


Hopefully, I can post some PAINTING pictures soon!

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