Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Divine Providence while at the beach!

Beautiful turquoise water of the Gulf of Mexico.
I believe God is involved in mankind's affairs. I do not believe that God looks down on us and just shrugs and lets us fend for ourselves. I believe like a parent He is there to guide, protect and intervene when necessary.

We were at the beach for a week this month and while there, I felt clearly that Divine Providence guided our steps. One day we decided to change our original  plans. We were going to take the kids to the local water park, but after checking on the prices and acknowledging our children's age group, we decided it would be too much trouble and money involved for little return. So we told the kids we weren't doing the water park instead we were going to do something much better.

You can imagine the disappointment... However they were excited about the unexpected. And we, the parents, were nervous about meeting those expectations.

On the way down our building, as we entered the elevator, a lovely older lady, seeing us all dressed and together as a family asked, "Are you going shopping?" I told her that we were going for a drive. So she asked if we had been to the Naval Aviation Museum in Pensacola. "Not yet." I responded quickly thinking about the possibility of maybe we should go there this morning, but still not sure. Would the kids enjoy it?? Would it be too much information for kids under 10 years old? Would the 30 minute drive be too long? Would we find too much traffic?

Checking out all the nature treasures.
As we left that morning at 10 am with plans to go for a ride to show my parents the State RV park and the pier, we had no idea what the day would hold in store for us.

Once we got to the State RV park we found out that the Nature Center had baby alligators and a whole exhibit of local mounted animals on display. We spend an hour in there talking with the employee in charge about RV lifestyle. The kids amazed us with how much they know about animals. I had no idea they knew what taxidermy was. Most of the things they shared with us they learned on their own watching TV shows, educational videos or websites and reading books. There were snakes, turtles, insects, alligator, frogs, cockroaches and lots of preserved dead animals and shells, snake skins and other nature treasures for us to see. The Nature Center offers weekly activities that include educational videos, nature walks and more.

Turtles and more turtles!

We stopped at the gift shop and the grandparents gave the kids a little something. My husband and I decided to travel to Pensacola and try the museum. Mainly because it is FREE admission. We figured we didn't have anything to lose!!!

oh, boy!! were we glad we went. There is so much to see. There are 2 big pavilions full of aircrafts in both of them. There are FREE guided tours at different times, there are simulators of all kinds for the courageous people that like to try them (these are paid rides). There is so much history, geography, engineering, social and cultural content in this Museum.
Look at that red airplane on the wall!

The air crafts are displayed in such a way that will cause you to awe at how amazing they are. The aircrafts hang from the ceiling as well as from the walls. There are also the traditional standing alone ones on the ground. Whoever designed the displays did a great job. The sitting benches for the visitors are old air crafts seats still with the seat belts and furnishings. There are jungle gyms and climbing structures for the children made of  parts of air craft carriers or ships.

Here are some of the other amazing exhibits offered at the Museum for FREE:

The perfect jungle gym for the kids!
the frictionless air track demonstrates Newton's three laws of motion;
* wind tunnel - including Bernoulli's Principle.. show how a wing produces lift;
* Space scale - allows you to read your weight on other planets;
* watch demonstrations on four computer-based flight simulators;
* the free-fall race demonstrates Galileo's law of falling bodies with different weighted tennis balls;
* Descartes' divers help us to understand the principle of buoyancy;
* air pressure changes from the Dead Sea to Mt. Everest are shown;
* various propulsion devices;
* watch as "stuff" is removed from the Magdeburg hemispheres.

My troops walking the museum!
There are exhibits from the trip to the Moon, from people who were lost at sea; from dirigibles; of air balloons. You can see the living quarters of the troops that are out at sea; POW living conditions; a former  President's aircraft and so much more. There is even an IMAX at the Museum with at least 4 different features showing each day.

We left the Museum at 4:30pm - their closing time. Everyone was happy to have come. Everyone was refreshed. There was a sense of gratefulness to the men and women that serve this country. Men and women that take their jobs seriously even when just training. We truly enjoyed our trip to the Museum and I know for sure we will be coming back to it again next time we come to this area.

Blue Angels flying low!

DS7 was moved by the POWs who were tortured in the war camps in Vietnam and Japan. DD9 was amazed by the air crafts she was able to climb into their cockpits. DD5 had a blast watching her first IMAX movie. Everyone enjoyed the simulators and all the information we learned.

Divine Providence showed us the way!

How has the Lord showed his direction in your life lately?

Blessings, Tereza

Proud to be an American!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Learning Log of July 2012

Hi everybody,

we have had a busy, busy summer. The kids have done so much. It has been a joy to see them blossom and grow and break new barriers. Below all the stuff we did. As always, there is so much that I know I forgot to list, but I hope some of the links we used and books we read will help you too. Enjoy!!

Books - Read Aloud to all

Simple Trampoline Summer Fun!
* Bible Every day.
* Diane Goode's Book of Silly Stories & Songs
* L is for Liberty by Wendy Cheyette Lewison
* Contrary Bear by Phyllis Root
* Oh, Kojo! How Could You! by Verna Aardema
* The Tale of Tricky Fox retold by Jim Aylesworth
* Dadblamed Union Army Cow by Susan Fletcher
* The Nightgown of the Sullen Moon by Nancy Willard
* Dream Big Little Pig! by Kristi Yamaguchi 
* The Moas by Katie Beck
* Miss Smith Reads Again! by Michael Garland

Learning the lyrics during the Drama Camp

* The songs for the Groovin' with the Arts Summer Camp: At the Hop, Earth Angel, Only You, Blue Suede Shoes, Back to the Future and Rock and Roll is Here to Stay.

DS6.5 independent reading list plus listening to above books:

* Potty Animals - what to know when you've gotta go! by Hope Vestergaard - DS6.5 picked this one up by himself and read it. His comments afterwards: "It's hilarious!"
* The Moas by Katie Beck - DS6.5 read this book on his own and then he told me about it and offered to read it out aloud to me. What a wonderful surprise! 

DD9 independent reading list plus the books above:

* When I was your Age - Original stories about Growing Up by Mary Pope Osborne, Yep, Howe and more.
Ginger Rye by Eleanor Estes
* Clementine by Sara PennyPacker
* Record Breaking Animals by Daniel Gilpin
Our 4th of July breakfast. I got it from the internet somewhere!
* The Big Book for Peace - a compilation of stories by many writers as well as illustrators.
* Drawing Cats and Kittens by Paul Frame
* The Indian in the Cupboard by Lynne Raid Banks
* The Adventures of King Midas by Lynne Reid Banks

* The Great Art Adventure by Bob Knox
* The Body and How It Works by Steve Parker
* Darius - The Lonely Gargoyle by Micha Estlack
* Summer Discovery by Drew Carson
* Henry Bobbity is Missing * And it is All Billy Bobbity's Fault! by Mark Childress
* The Moas by Katie Beck
* Tiger, Tiger by Lynne Reid Banks
* Taddy McFinley and the Great Grey Grimley by Heidi Salter  - I really liked this book. My daughter read it and made the comment that she loved the book and that the main character was just like her: she had a very creative imagination. Of course, I picked up the book and read it too. And yes, I can see how my DD9 is exactly like the character in this book. The book is about how people are robbed of their imagination by the Great Grey Grimley. I highly recommend this book!
* The Pahntom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux - Calico Illustrated Classics 
* Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson - Calico Illustrated Classics
* The Adventures of Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe - Calico Illustrated Classics
* King Arthur and Knights of the Round Table by Howard Pyle - Calico Illustrated Classics
* First Big Book of Why by Amy Shields

Websites/ Cool Links we have discovered.

* Keys for KIDS - Daily Devotional for FREE on line. I began doing this with the kids last month and it really is working out for us. It takes about 5- 10 minutes to listen to the story and the Scripture of the day. The fun thing is that we always have a little discussion afterwards. Nothing forced or coerced, the children voluntarily speak out their thoughts on what they heard. this is exactly what I was looking for!! Afterwards we pray together.

* The Curriculum Choice - The website is a must if you are researching curriculum. On the top right there is a search box, you can type the name of the book or curriculum you want to find out more about and the related post will show up.

DD9 drawing a Christmas moose.
* Jan Brett's website -  Jan Brett is an illustrator. She has illustrated dozens of books. I don't remember how I found her website, but we have read lots of her books and we just drool over her illustrations. Once at her website there is so much information there. She has VIDEOS where she teaches HOW TO DRAW and not only does she teach the technique to draw but she shares wonderful information on the animals: their habitat, what they are like, what they eat, etc. So it's an art and nature study curriculum altogether and FREE!! 

DD9 learned how to draw a horse, dolphin, baby polar bear, a husky, a moose and a hedge hog.

DD9 is improving her drawing and sketching with Jan Brett. It's lovely to see her discover her talents and gifts. She is blossoming each day. If you have a child interested in drawing and sketching this is MUST website!! Her website also has free printable cards, games, other activities and so much more! I highly recommend this website!

* Math 5 Live - DD9 watched the lessons for Tessellations, Patterns... DS6.5 watched Place Value (it covered decimal point too)

* Home School Book Review - I found this site while looking for book reviews made by Christian families. I always find books that seem interesting at my Public Library and since I just can't read all books I try to find out what it's them by reading reviews and synopsis to discover their content and any improprieties.  

* Brain Pop: videos on the Olympics, food and their nutritional value, cameras, drawing, graphic design, traditional animation, comets, galaxies, ex-planets, dark matter, social networking, Greek gods, braces, teeth, burns, African savanna, copyright, photography, ants, and other stuff.

* Wallace and Gromit World of Invention - Build, explore and invent your socks off!! Lots of fun! 

* Drawing with Kids - warm up exercises from Donna Young websites. 

 Field Trips/ Summer Camps/ Out of the home Activities
Splash pad fun
* Karate Pool Party; Karate Luau Party, Splash Pad fun.

*  Karate and Tumbling classes; going to the park with Grandparents; going shopping;

"Grooving' with the Arts" Summer Camp - an art, song and dance enrichment experience. This was a week long camp that all my children participated in with the exception of the baby. They enjoyed it very much. The kids learned lyrics to 1950s songs and dance steps, as well as lines to a play. I thought it was a good experience, however it was very "schoolish". I found out later that the model is the same used in public schools: everybody sing and dance and everyone comes up to the microphone to say their lines. It's really not a play where characters interact with one another instead of with the audience. The children weren't taught anything about voice projection, being in character or any other drama essentials. Most of the time was spent learning the lyrics, the movements to the songs, playing games and doing crafts. Although the kids had fun (it was a social function after all) I don't think they were challenged enough.

* Once a year, when my parents are here, I go to a Thrifty Store and shop. This time I bought a ton of books and toys for the kids. I found some treasures like a book on magic which the kids read immediately and learned many tricks. I found many art books and science books. So yeah, they read many more books but I wasn't able to list them all here. I also found bags of Legos. I am saving them for the Winter.

 Activities at Home
DS7 Art journal creation.
* Art journals: We used letter stickers as masks and used a myriad of colors to paint over and create art. DD9 made animals out of her letters, DS6.5 did a mixed media abstract art and DD4.5 practiced writing her siblings names using the stickers. 

* More artistic activities: I bought the kids a clipboard each for them to use on our next trip and we spend an afternoon embellishing them. First the kids drew on them and then we colored the pictures with paint pens. Lots of fun! We also tried painting by numbers. 
* Playing in the rain; swimming; playing dodge ball with Grandpa; jumping on the trampoline; chasing rabbits, hunting for blackberries; gardening; riding bicycles; 
* I used Kindergarden Number Order Puzzles with DD4.5 many times. She enjoyed them a lot and kept asking to play again. I printed them on cardstock and then stored them in a ziplock bag. They are from Confessions of a Homeschooler. Erica has many FREE files with games, worksheets and other fun activities for children. Her site is definitely worth checking out.

* DD9 began a journal; lots of chess playing and Uno. Also pretend games, fort and cave games and lots of dancing. Bead work, tea parties and cooking pretend play.

* For 4th of July, we shot off our own fireworks. The kids had a ball!

* Lots of cooking: egg muffins, zucchini muffins, corn muffins. I bought pounds of over ripen bananas and we made lots and lots of popsicles. I used dark chocolate chips and coconut oil. Just melt them and dip the frozen bananas into the dark gooey lava. Yumm-O!

* DD9 helping Daddy put a new set of bookshelves together. She enjoyed using the electric screwdriver and figuring out the layout for the shelves. And I got myself a new office. :) Pictures coming soon.

* Games online:  Defend your nuts; Age of War; Snoring, Snoring 2 Wild West, Backyard Monsters, Ruff Ruff Man,Caveman, Duck Life 3,Duck Life 4, Elephant Quest, Happy Builder, Kizi Games,

Glow in the Dark sticks: Cheap summer fun!
* Swimming, playdates with friends, glow in the dark fun (I bought some glow in the dark sticks, bracelets and necklaces and one night we turned all the lights off in the house, put some music on in the living room and danced to our hearts content with our glowing sticks. Another night, we went swimming with the glowing sticks! So much fun!) swimming, gardening, swimming, swimming... Did I say swimming already?
TV shows/ Movies/ YouTube videos
DD5 creating with beads.

* Episodes of Backyardigans; Strawberry Short Cake;
* Episodes of The Adventures of Young Indiana Jones - on Netflix. 
* Episodes of Deadly Dozen - documentary about dangerous animals in different continents.
* Story of 1
* Barbie in the Nutcraker
* Antz
* Babies - we love this movie. We have seen it at least a half dozen times.
* Summer Magic - from Netflix 
* Kaya - A Cry in the Wilderness - from Netflix 
* Barbie - the princess and the pauper.
* The Piano Guys - they are amazing musicians and have fun videos that involve a lot of editing knowledge. Like this one that the same guys plays cello 7 times in the same scenes.  
* How To Train a Dragon 
* Olympics - gymnastics, canoeing, volleyball, running, swimming... My kids are now practicing so they can participate in the next Olympics. :) DD9 wants to run, swim and compete in karate.
Watching What's in the Bible video again this time on their laptop!
* What's in the Bible - Volume 1 - I highly recommend this series of videos. They are not the watered down stuff. Lots of information, detailed Bible study and fun fun songs and characters. At first, DD9 said it was boring (she thought she was too grown up for puppets), but she watched the whole DVD. Since the first showing, they have watched it again about 3 or 4 times. 

Mom's Eclectic Reading List

* Raising CEO kids -  Just found this website and when you sign up you receive a lot of information in your inbox. If you have a kid who is always trying to make money or start a business, you might want to check it out.

* Shark Girl - I am really enjoying this book although it was written for young adults.
* Creative Correction - I bought this book when DD9 was born. It didn't make much sense then. I thought a lot of her ideas were unnecessary. Now I am re-reading it looking to implement most of her ideas. :) Ha!!

More homemade banana Popsicles: easy, cheap and healthy snack!

What were your favorite activities this past July? Please share in the comments section.