Greatly Blessed

Greatly Blessed

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

New Dial Products for Kids #giveaway


This review is one that several of my kids were able to get in on!  We received both the new Dial Baby Body & Hair Wash, and Dial Kids Foaming Hand Wash.  They're part of the Dial for Kids line.


Katie and Hannah aren't "babies" any more, but I've always been one to use baby shampoo as long as I can get away with it, because I love the smell, and the fact that it's so gentle.


Dial Baby is fragrance free, and did a great job on my girls' hair.


The yummy watermelon scented foaming hand soap was a hit with everyone who tried it, including me!


Dial's products for kids (which also feature Hello Kitty body wash and soaps!) are developed with pediatric dermatologists to be hypoallergenic and ph balanced, with no added parabens or artificial dyes.

A big thanks to Dial for providing me with these products to try out, and coupons for two lucky winners to each receive a coupon for their choice of free product:  body & hair wash, OR foaming hand wash.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


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Friday, April 17, 2015

Our Week - With Large Family Illness and Chocolate Making


You wanna make a mom of many quake in her boots?  Mention stomach flu!  We came down with a brief but violent illness this week that hit 6 out of 9 of us starting in the wee hours of Monday morning.  We accomplished nothing Monday, very little Tuesday, but by Wednesday, we were ready to get back to homeschool.


Since we are studying early Central American civilizations this week, we made chocolate!


We learned that cocoa butter, at room temperature, is a rock hard solid, which surprised me.


After you add cocoa powder and confectioner's sugar, you stir for a bit.


After we got all the lumps smoothed out,


we applied the little stick on thermometer to let us know when it cooled to 94* so we could add the next step.


In the meantime, we took out the 2 real cocoa beans and rubbed the shells off and tasted them.  They were bitter.  Eli said they tasted like dirt.  I tried a nibble, and he had a point.  Even Paul and Katie tried a nibble.


Once the chocolate cooled to 94*, we added the crystallized bits and stirred until they were smooth, then we started putting chocolate into the little papers.  We did 6 plain chocolates, then added a couple of drops of peppermint essential oil and stirred it into the rest of our chocolate.


The boys decided it was pretty yummy!


Altogether, we made 16 chocolates.  In hindsight, I should have put less chocolate in each cup, since it was quite a mouthful when solid, and we had extra papers left over when we were done.  You can add nuts or peanut butter or whatever you choose.  I think dried cherries would be amazing.


The boys liked the mint chocolates better than the plain ones.


This was a really fun project.  I'm glad I got this little kit.  It really added something memorable to our study of Aztec culture.


As usual, Eli has more K'nex creations to share.  These are such great engineering toys!  The plane above has wings that tuck back.


And a smaller plane.


Thursday, Jack woke up with a cold, so I sent him back to bed.  Since we do almost all our subjects together, this left Eli at a loss.  I pulled a rabbit out of my hat and produced a pair of motors to go with his K'nex, and he spent the rest of the day designing vehicles and setting up courses for them to navigate.


This was the first one.  You can barely see the blue motor on the right side.


The taller design enabled this one to stay upright when going of the binder "cliff."


Today, we were supposed to make pots.  Now, we made pinch pots last year, but these were to be slab and coil pots, so I thought those would be sufficiently different enough to hold their interest.  Not really.  They weren't into the pots at all.


Eli made a couple tanks and some airplanes.

We finished out our week with with a trip to the park to enjoy the sunshine with friends.  It felt great to get out and breathe the fresh, warm air.  Especially after dealing with sickness most of the week.


Since we're not done with this week's work, we'll start out next week by finishing up Central American history.  Then we'll be on to Slavery and Renaissance Art, which, to me, doesn't seem to go together at all, but what do I know, right?  The following week looks to be more exciting, with the invention of the printing press and King Henry VIII, who my kids are already familiar with.


Only 5.5 more weeks of curriculum left for this school year!  WOO HOO!

Linking up with Home to 4 Kiddos, Faith Hope & Homeschool, The Homeschool Mother's Journal, and:

For the Display of His Splendor

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ARTistic Pursuits


ARTistic Pursuits was one of our all time favorite reviews last year, and we were so excited to be chosen to review another book this year!  This time, it's Early Elementary K-3 Book 2 - Stories of Artists and their Art.


We started off learning about Cimabue, and went outside for our inspiration for these pieces.  Jack's is a flower in a flowerpot, in honor of the birthday flowers Paul planted for me recently in our front yard, and on our porch.


Eli's painting was the houses at the end of the street, which he chose to give a modern twist to, by painting them in unexpected colors.


Next, we learned about Limbourg, and what a Book of Hours was from the 1400s.  This was timely for us, as we're in the Middle Ages right now in our history program.  Our project was "from sketch to watercolor."  Eli depicted a plane flying against a background of fireworks exploding.


Jack chose to do a farm scene.


Like last year's book, we were introduced to entirely new mediums in this course!  Here we have freshly smoothed spackle on hardboard, neither of which we've played with before.  The spackle goes on pink, but dries white, which we though was cool.


I recently bought liquid watercolors, so we used those, instead of pan watercolors for this project.  They're becoming another favorite.


We went outside the box even further with this assignment, choosing to combine our art project with our current science theme:  space!


 Eli's piece shows a sunrise from the surface of another planet.


Jack's piece is the surface of the moon, complete with craters.  I think the texture of the spackle really adds something to the final effect.


Working with watercolors again, we learned more about Cimabue, and about the use of gold leaf in altarpieces.  Brainstorming, we came up with scenes that would include gold.  Then we painted everything but the gold part.


As I was tossing out ideas, I suggested the boys could do a golden goblet.  When neither of them decided to use that idea, I painted a background for it myself.  What I learned from this is that I should have painted the whole background, instead of leaving the area to be "gold leafed" white.  It's hard to get your gold leaf the exact size of your blank space.


Before and after of the boys' gold leaf paintings.


The book taught us that we can also "texture" the gold paper to give it more visual interest.  Eli's making dots on his sun with the back of a paintbrush.


Project 3 was about Giotto and scratch art!  First we colored a page of watercolor paper using a light colored oil pastel.  Then, we went over it thick and heavy with a darker color.  (I ended up buying a box of black pastels so we could do more of these later.)


Eli was very happy with the way his scratched airplanes came out!  I like the sky effect the dark blue gives.


Jack made a castle!


We read about Jean Arnolfini and did more work with oil pastels.  This is Jack's.


And this piece, in honor of the cartoon books we picked up on a recent library trip, is Eli's.


In another lesson, we learned a technique that will be very useful:  painting with watercolors without them bleeding into one another!  You see a lot of bleeding of colors in the works at the beginning of this post, so I'm really happy that we learned this.  The eggs were mine.  The boys liked having me paint with them, and I have to admit, despite having very little art background, I enjoyed working on some of the projects with them.


The taco is Eli's.


And the flower, trees, and Easter basket is Jack's.


You can tell we really learned a great deal from this book!  I like how easy ARTistic Pursuits is to teach.  There's a materials list in the front of the book (also available on their website), and each lesson has a quick read aloud and then instruction.  It's a good combination of art history and art technique in small bits.


Although the suggested age range for this book is grades K-3, my boys, grade 5 and 8 got a lot out of it, and I learned a few new things, myself!  The print above is Eli's.


We'd never done printmaking before, and it was really interesting, spawning a discussion about how the printing press changed the world.

Early Elementary Art, book 2 sells for $47.95.  With 36 lessons, this would be a full year of homeschool art lessons for a family that does art once a week.  We tend to do art more than once a week, but we still have plenty of great projects left to try out.

You can connect with ARTistic Pursuits on Facebook.  To read about what other Crew families have to say about this book and the other books and levels of ARTistic Pursuits, please click the box below.
ARTistic Pursuits Review

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