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.

Thursday, September 30, 2021

We The People movie review #godsnotdeadMIN #GodsNotDeadWeThePeople #MomentumInfluencerNetwork

I got the opportunity to see God's Not Dead - The Next Chapter, We The People ahead of it's release date.  I liked it!  I will say, up front, this was a 2 Kleenex movie for me.  I cry at everything, though.  
Quick synopsis:  social worker persecutes homeschool families, judge rules they must send kids to school or be found in contempt of court, which means hefty fines and jail time.  A trip to Washington DC happens, for the purpose of testifying at a congressional hearing.  

This picture is the 4th installment in the God's Not Dead movie series, which I did not know prior to viewing.  It does fine as a stand alone film, though.  It doesn't feel like you're jumping into the middle of the story.  I came away from it wanting to see the first 3 movies, though.  

There are several other fun threads that run through this production, of course.  There's kind of an underdog character who has their moment to shine, when a single mom stands before a senate subcommittee and makes a passionate speech.   There's a small whiff of romance between a homeschooled teen and a public schooled teen.  

One thing I realized while watching We The People, is that I've become really dependent on the closed captioning on all the streaming services.  The screening I watched was not closed captioned, and I know there were things I missed.  Oh, the joys of getting old.  

You can get more information about the film and showtimes on Facebook, or at the God's Not Dead website.  Buy your tickets for this inspiring, family friendly movie, in theaters October 4-6.  

Many thanks to Pinnacle Peak for providing this product/product information for review.  Opinions are 100% my own and not influenced by monetary compensation.  I did receive the product in exchange for this review and post.  

Saturday, September 25, 2021

Our Fun & Games Week

Have you seen the popper fidgets?  I spotted a game version on Zulily, and it's been a hit in the library.  

It's been interesting to learn the various grades' response to the library.  The preschool through second grade love coming to the library.  They're excited about getting books.  They like story time and crafts.  

The 3rd, 4th, & 5th grade classes, you start to see who likes reading and who does not.  I've really been enjoying these classes, because they're well behaved, and more engaged with what I have to say.  

The middle school and high school kids are much harder to herd.  I've read fun poetry (Shel Silverstein).  I've done Mad Libs.  I've tried passing out books for everyone to read from for 5 minutes and then switch to a new book.  I've read aloud from an adventure book.  They don't seem to like any of these, although Mad Libs was almost acceptable.  

Worksheets are met with, "Are we getting graded for this?!"  I've taken to bringing in things I hope might keep them entertained for a bit.  Games, art, toys, etc.  My hope that we'd have meaningful discussion about books seems to have been a fantasy.  I have a few readers in each class, but mostly, it's not "cool" to pay attention, participate, check books out, etc.  I'm not sure how to reach these guys yet.  

Ages ago, someone sent me a link to sign the girls up for stuffies with limb differences from Nub Tribe.  I had forgotten all about it, honestly.  This week, a squishy package arrived with a purple hippo for Katie and a pink one for Hannah.  

Miss Hannah also got her NEW LEG this week.  I think this was the fastest turnaround time ever from casting to delivery.  Paul took the girls to this visit, which was a huge blessing to me.  It usually takes several visits to complete a leg, so I was very surprised when he came home with Hannah's old leg, and no Hannah (he dropped them off at school).  

Jack was the yellow pieces.  We played a couple quick rounds while dinner was cooking.  We each won once.  

I've started to autumn-ify the library.  It's not totally level, but I'm working around a piano, so I'm calling it good enough.  Text & pennants by Crikey, garland from Hobby Lobby, twine I found in our gardening supplies.  

Out with the animal print shelf markers, in with the leaf print ones.  

The shelves are looking a little bare right now.  We've got over 150 books checked out right now.  

After taking 3 weeks to do the puppy book/craft with the kindergarten & first grade kids, I decided to go much more simple for the preschoolers.  They glued the puppy onto the page and some of them wrote their names at the bottom.  

Another new book order from Library & Educational Services.  I try to keep my spending to under $4 bucks a book, so I was thrilled to find a place with lots of $2 and $2.50 books.  I've got an order on the way from there.  Anyone else notice that shipping seems to be taking longer these days?  I've gotten so spoiled with almost instant Amazon deliveries.  

Library lions!  Another kindergarten/first grade project.  As a homeschooler, projects take as long as they take, and that's okay.  In the library, I get them for a certain amount of time, and then they have to move on.  I'm still figuring out what we can realistically accomplish in that amount of time.  

Good news on the Fi front.  Instead of Fiona chasing Grumman all the time, we're starting to see Grumman chase Fiona, too.  They're starting to coexist a little better.  

Sunday, September 19, 2021

Starting to Feel Like Autumn

We had our first day where the high temp was less than 80*.  I pulled down one of Hannah's new autumn outfits, and snapped a couple pictures.  

As Hannah has gotten bigger, I've been struggling with what she can wear.  

See, she has kind of a jumble of bones where most people have a thigh bone that points down.  This causes her prosthetic to be really bulgy at the top.  She can wear stretchy leggings, but she can't wear regular pants at all.  (I used to have her wear jeans from the boys department, and now even those aren't loose enough to accommodate her needs.)  

Now she's in that awkward stage where kid sizes are too small and adult sizes are too big.  It's been a challenge.  I was really sad when she outgrew a couple of my favorite brands.  But then I discovered some of them do adult sizes.  Like mother-daughter matching type stuff.  So, this gorgeous sunflower tunic that's close to perfect for Hannah is actually an XS adult top.  Having discovered a good fit for her, I'll be snagging some more of these the next time they pop up on Zulily.  

Up to more craziness in the school room.   

Those are toilet paper tubes, cut in half, and painted with tempera paint.

And a very stealthy proof of life photo of Jack, who hasn't been seen much on the blog recently.  

In-progress pictures

One of my classes has been learning about insect with their teacher, so I thought we'd do a bug craft in the library.  I put out the painted tubes, googley eyes, sticker eyes, pipe cleaners, scissors, black washi tape, black paint daubers, coffee filters, white glue, glue sticks, and tissue paper.  

I showed the kids 3 examples of bugs I'd made.  (There's a purple tube body under those coffee filter wings, even though you can't see it.)

But I told them they could do whatever they wanted.  They were actually super creative, and I feel like the craft was a success.  

Especially if the mess they left behind is any indication.  

Here's one of the K/1 class, student-completed puppy & bus pictures.  I like the idea of tying the book and craft together--although we don't have time to read the story, do the craft, and have checkout, all in the same visit.  

So it was story & checkout one visit; checkout & paint puppies one visit; and finally, cut out bus and glue puppy & bus to larger paper the third visit.  We reviewed the story at visits 2 & 3.  I'm hoping they can use the picture to tell their grown ups what happened in the story.  

The day I handed back their completed (and dry!) bus projects, we read a lion book.  

I've been cutting yarn during my TV time.  We'll be making lions next week, if all goes well.

I was outside and turned around to find Fiona watching me.  

We've dwindled down to a single library book being picked up from the city library.  Hannah needed this one for school.  Jack's class is currently reading Fahrenheit 451, and Katie's class is reading The Hobbit.  

This was a craft book project that Katie completed a couple weeks ago.  

"Mom?  Can you take a picture of this so I can throw it away?"  Okay then.  

Josiah was house sitting recently, and I think Fiona missed him.  He's her favorite.  

 She's a pretty little cat.  

The library white board is magnetic.  I took the Magnatiles to school and let the high schoolers play with them as one of the "stations" I did this week.  There were also a couple games, origami book & paper, and... 

The Thumbprint Drawing Book, which I set out with a stamp pad and some paper.  Some students produced drawings like this, similar to the ideas in the book, or even followed the book's tutorials to create exact copies of the examples shown.  

And one student went a bit further.  This was completely created from inkpad, fingerprints, and a black marker.  Obviously I'll be needing to provide more time for artsy expression.  

I had to fire up Crikey to cut out a bazillion yellow circles for lion faces, so I pulled out a few baby things I had socked away for Kasen.  

I Crikey-ed up a couple bibs and an orange sleeper.  

The color on this is horrible, that's red on royal blue.  I used a heart for the period.  

And this is where I struggled.  The longest word is 2.6".  Weeding this was a challenge to my eyesight.  Pulling off everything *except* the words from the fronting (like backing, only on the front) when my Crikey's knife is getting dull...  Tiny green on green not quite cut madness.  I'm really happy it turned out well, and I'm making a mental note not to attempt anything that little again.  

Snagged during a recent FaceTime.  Lil guy is adorable, and the big guy is smitten, which I think is adorable, too.  

I put out bookmarks for the students to take during checkout for all the classes from 3rd grade up.  Which means we go through a lot of bookmarks.  So I've been scouring the 'net for free ones.  Sometimes government websites have them in the teaching resources.  I also put out a request in a Facebook group for authors, publishers, and book reviewers, and that's where this pile came from.  NASA has some great printable ones, but my new printer is lousy, and printed them with stripes that shouldn't be there.  

Oh, the sacrifices my kids have made for this library!  Kellogg's is doing a promotion giving away free books with the purchase of specially marked packages.  So my kids are eating Froot Loops and other random Kellogg's products to do their part.  

Miss Fiona climbed right into my lap one day.  

I thought I had killed the plant Sam gave me for Mother's Day.  I'm terrible about killing plants.  But I started watering it regularly, and it came back.  I'm so happy to see it blooming again!  

Jack Jack participated in a charity shoot yesterday.  He had a great time, which made me happy for him.  

I zapped Zach some Amazon money for his birthday, and he sent me a picture of the hat he used it on.  With a little Kasen love thrown in on the side.  

Whew!  That's all for this week.  We're heading back to Shriners next week, hoping for big progress on Hannah's new leg, and maybe an ankle cover for Katie.  

Thursday, September 9, 2021

Our Not Very Exciting Week

Maybe that's just what we needed, after both Eli and Sam visiting, and traveling out of state, and the start of school--a not very exciting week.  Things are starting to settle into our new routine now.  

Oh look!  A normal cat!  One that goes in bags and boxes.  Grumman doesn't do that, so it's been fun to watch Fiona do cat things.  She seems to be gravitating toward Josiah as her person.  

Some of the finished bookmarks from last time.  I did the project again with a different class this week.  

I'm pleased with how they turned out, and Kelly over at Kelly's Classroom Online liked them so much, she asked me to guest post on her blog.  

I also threw a map in there to make a few geography bookmarks.  I love how those turned out, so I'll be on the lookout for an old atlas I can hack up.  I'm eyeballing an old hymnal, too.  Might take a second look at some travel magazines... 

I read The Puppy Who Went to School with the kindergarten and first grade, and they painted black dogs with white paint.  The next week, I brought in simple school bus coloring pages printed on yellow paper for them to cut out.  They glued the bus and the puppy to a sheet of 11x17" construction paper so they can tell their grown ups that the puppy followed the bus to school.   (Except I notice that one child's project has the bus about to run over the dog, instead, lol.)  

Since it's September now, I changed out my August Notable Events for September ones.  

One of the teachers told me about BidRL.com, an auction site for overstocks and damaged goods.  I was able to get both the ottomans in this picture really cheap.  Trying to have enough seating so that we're not always at the tables.  

I found a new to me site with $2 books and went a little bit crazy, so I put the new titles on display as they were finished being processed.  

The girls had another visit to Shriners this week.  I hate for them to miss school so early in the year, but Hannah really needs that new leg.  We go back in 3 weeks.  

Our city library hauls get smaller and smaller, yet we're still surrounded by books.  

I talked about spine labels with my 3rd & 4th grade students this week.  This was actually harder for them than I anticipated, so I'll be using this worksheet with my 5th grade class and the middle schoolers, too.  The high schoolers got the lesson on the white board without the worksheet.  

I'm mostly done with my library binder.  I took pictures of the students as they checked out book the first week, and now I have all the students name, photo, and barcode sorted by class, so that I can have that class' pages open when they come in, and scan their barcode to check their books out, without having to ask, "What's your name again?"  

This is super helpful to me, because I struggle with names, and now I'm having to learn 100 of them all at once.  (What's Katie got going on here, fashion wise?  She decided to wear her PE uniform under her clothes that day.  The funny thing is, I noticed the hem of her shorts peeking out from under her skirt that day, and totally missed the shirt weirdness until I saw the picture later.)  

Next week's lesson plans include a review of fiction/non-fiction, and an insect related craft.  There's a lion craft I want to do, too, but I have yet to sit and chop 3 skeins of yarn into little bitty pieces.  Maybe a little mindless television is in order.