A large family, homeschooling, adoption, special needs, whatever strikes my fancy, sort of blog.

A large family, homeschooling, adoption, special needs, whatever strikes my fancy, sort of blog.

Monday, February 29, 2016

Art Supplies

After our recent sketching trip to the zoo, I realized that Katie needs her own sketch pad.  Fortunately for us, an opportunity came up for us to review some art supplies!

I was sent a generous box of paper pads and brushes from US Art Supply, and I'd like to tell you about them!  We received:

     11 x 14" pad of 60# Sketch paper
     9 x 12" pad of 60# Sketch paper
     5.5 x 8.5" pad of 60# Sketch paper

I wanted to see how the different sketch pads responded to different media.  This is Hannah's rainbow on the super smooth 60# sketch pad.  My favorite feature of this paper is how silky smooth it is.  The tempera sticks glide on nicely.

We also received:

     9 x 12" pad of 90# sketch paper
     5.5 x 8.5" pad of 90# sketch paper

Katie used the 90# sketch pad for her rainbow.  While the paper is noticeably thicker, it's also more textured.  This is a nice weight for markers.

Equal smiles from both testers.

New art supplies always bring out everyone's creative side.

When I told Brianna about the manga pad, she was excited to try it out.  The paper is glossy, and she wondered if the scented highlighters might squeak on it (they don't).

The tempera sticks reacted interestingly with the manga paper.  A single color was fine, but if you tried to color on top of another color, it didn't go well.  Gel pens are a fabulous medium for this pad.

The large, 11 x 14" size sketch pad is also great for classroom posters.  We've been going over the vowel sounds in language arts, and I created this visual aid for us to say together every morning.

I love how the availability of fresh paper brings out the creativity in my kids.  These warriors were drawn in pencil and colored in scented highlighters that Grammy gave me for Christmas.  But it wasn't just paper that we got to try out!  We were also given:

     7 piece nylon brush set
     10 piece artist brush set
     7 piece long handled brush set
     Premium Extra Heavy Weight Watercolor Paper
     Premium Heavy Weight Watercolor Paper

We used our new brushes and paper to try out a watercolor resist project.

The kids were fascinated at all the different brush shapes.  My favorite are the wide flat brushes.

Jack likes the l-o-n-g handled brushes best.

The colors were clear and bright on the watercolor paper, and I love that it didn't curl up horribly like some papers we've used in the past.

Although our resist project didn't work out as I had hoped, we were able to turn it into a mixed media project instead.

We got into the 7 piece brush set when we painted our Viking ships.

The bristles on these are really nice and soft.

The last thing I want to share with you is the hardbound field sketch pad.  The paper is 70#, so a little heavier than the 60# but not as textured as the 90#.  This book would make a lovely keepsake when filled with drawings.  The hard bindings give it a touch of elegance, while the metal comb binding allows it to lay flat or be folded back while open.

I'm very pleased with all the US Art Supplies that we reviewed and would not hesitate to purchase more in the future.

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The Perfect Bible For Tween Boys

Jack loves Legos.  In fact, looking through these pictures, I realized he's even wearing a Lego shirt in some of them.  So I knew that getting to review the Faith Builders Bible from Zonderkidz would be a big hit with him.

I didn't tell him what was coming, but I let him open the package.

His face says it all, doesn't it?

The Lego Bible, as he calls it, is a big hit with Jack, who is 11.  He read the first few pages of Genesis all on his own the night he got it.

While we have several Bibles floating around the house, as many American households do, most of my children have not received their very own Bible, for their personal use only, until starting high school.  There's a certain version on the school supply list, and within that version, I've bought several copies with different covers to suit the personalities of the users (or to fit our budget at the time, as the case may be).

Having his very own Bible was a bigger deal to Jack than I thought it would be.  One day, he asked me, "Can I get extra credit for copying the same verse from my handwriting out of my new Bible?"  I said, "Sure!" and then I laughed a bit, thinking, "Dude, you're homeschooled.  What does extra credit even mean to you??"  But anything that gets him looking up verses and practicing handwriting is an A+ in my book!

One of the fun components of this Bible is that it contains full color pictures of Lego builds depicting Biblical scenes and challenges kids to read more about the story shown.  It also includes "building block verses."  A feature I particularly like is the books of the Bible grouped by type, shown in different colors.  It helps kids to visually see the which books are minor prophets, which books are law, which are the gospels, etc.

Which, of course, inspired my boy to create some Bible scenes out of his own Legos.  This was the Israelites walking around Jericho.

And Jesus, walking on water.

And a depiction of the fight between David and Goliath, with the army of Israel in the foreground and the Philistine army behind the giant.

Jack has been using his Faith Builders Bible to look up verses for our current Bible study.  Hannah's borrowing one of my Bibles, but having seen how much use Jack's Bible is getting, I think I might get her her very own Bible for her upcoming birthday in April.  This VeggieTales Bible might be just the thing for her.

Interestingly, despite the fact that we learned to recite the books of the Bible last year and the year before, actually looking things up is not something my kids have had to practice very much, and I had to teach them how to do it.  We're working on a new Bible study, and it's been nice having Jack and Hannah learn to look up verses so that they can do some of the reading aloud instead of me doing it all.

Jack was very excited about his new Bible, and the day after it arrived he came running to me with an urgent question:  "Mom!  Mom!  Can I take my new Bible with me to church on Sunday?"  Yes, of course you may.  Then I discovered a bit of an ulterior motive.  "We get candy for bringing our Bibles to church!"  I see.

The Faith Builders Bible is the NIrV, or New International Reader's Version.  It sells for $24.99.

You can connect with Zonderkidz on Facebook and Twitter.  To read what other Crew Families have to say about the Faith Builders Bible, please click the box below.

Faith Builders Bible {Zonderkidz Review}

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Saturday, February 27, 2016

Our Week - end of February

Somehow, this week turned into a short week, too.  A dentist appointment limited our school time on Monday, and Thursday was spent at Shriners and Friday was a field trip (more on that later).  Still, we are plugging away at our school work, and I feel like we did a decent amount despite the interruptions of life.

We did a mixed media art project over the course of a couple of days.  I wanted to see if tempera sticks would resist similar to crayon, so we drew white designs and then painted over them in liquid watercolors.

Since the tempera didn't resist as much as I had hoped, we simply added to our pictures the next day, making pots of gold from gold origami paper and black contact paper, and using glue and glitter to better define our shamrocks.

Jack didn't make a shamrock on his original picture, so he added some sparkly shamrock stickers to his.

We have been listening to an audio drama, and I found these coloring sheets of King Alfred the Great to go along with our story, so they colored while we listened one day.

If you notice the phonics work on the white board behind the kids, that's from the language arts program we'll be sharing with you soon.

It's a very comprehensive program, but fun, too, as we played bingo this week.

We started a ship art project, but have not finished it yet, so pictures of the complete project will have to wait until next week.

Unless it becomes a UFO (un-finished object) like these pink clay hearts that were going to get dark pink paint in the letters, and have magnets glued to the back, but we never quite finished them before Valentine's day.  Oops.

We started some borax crystals this week.

Paul continues working on the downstairs bathroom makeover.

I snapped this picking Brianna up from soccer practice the other night.  Excuse the streaky windshield.  She is excited to have made the team because she's never played before.  She worked really hard during conditioning.  I'm very happy for her.

Thursday, we spent all morning at Shriners, test fitting the sockets for the girls' new legs.  The finished legs should be done mid-March, and not a moment too soon, either.  Hannah's having a hard time getting her current leg on, since she's outgrown it.

We had friends over to play one day this week.  The baby was fascinated with Luke.

I can't believe February's almost over!  But at the same time, I'm very excited for spring.  We need to get out in the sunshine more.

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