Friday, June 27, 2008

Friday Inspiration

Today I am starting a new column on my blog called, "Friday Inspiration". Why Friday? Because there is no time like the present. As I was telling my son last night, "It's called the present because every day is a gift from God." And today is certainly a gift.

Today's verse is from Philippians 4:13 "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."
This is a verse that I have claimed for a long time. I loved the power in remembering that it's not my strength that I need to get me through the tough times, it's His. Then, I discovered that there is a similar verse in Matthew, and one in Luke. Then I started to dig further, and found many more verses that emphasize the same fact. So over the next many weeks I am going to look into this further and post one verse every Friday. When God wants to tell us something, He puts it in the Bible. When there is something He really wants to tells us, He puts it in there over and over again. Today, I pray that you will know God's strength and power, and turn to Him for your strength.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

My Father's World, Exploring Countries and Cultures

Our astronomy lesson is over, but I am looking forward to ordering our next science books. I will be ordering some studies on physical sciences from Answers in Genesis. In the meantime, we are still hard at work on other subjects. A few weeks ago we started on a journey around the world (without leaving home). I was hoping to be able to include both of my children with the lessons, however I don't think that is going to be the case. Most of the work is just too complicated, and not interesting for my 5 year old. Of course, that's not saying he is not at all involved. Our lessons began with a basic overview of world geography. In order to better illustrate our lesson, we baked a cake. You may notice that becoming a theme. Lucas loves watching the cake challenges and Ace of Cakes on Food Network. He has a desire to learn how to create cakes like they do. So we are learning that together.

Then we started our journey here in the United States. Part of the fun of learning about cultures is food. So we are going to eat our way around the world. You think because we live in the U.S. there wouldn't be anything to learn. However, there are so many different regions of the U.S. that are very different. We made New England Pumpkin Cake, Rocky Mountain Trail Mix, and Grits. I had wanted to have apple pie, but we did not get to that.

We are now moving on to Mexico. Last night we had Tacos and Bolillos (Mexican Hard Rolls). Chris made some Gondules (pigeon peas) also. But we forgot they needed to be made ahead of time, so we did not get to eat them yesterday. We will probably have them tomorrow with some rice. Gondules are not Mexican. I think they are actually Puerto Rican. But that is part of the North American unit as well. I thought about making some Mexican Wedding Cakes for dessert, but they are not actually Mexican either, and I don't really like them. Besides, as you can see from my other post, we were busy making a volcano cake. I never realized how much fun school could be. I just wish my kids would realize how good they have it, and appreciate the fun.

Final Astronomy Lesson

Oh my. We learned so much valuable information today that just proves how great God is and what a miracle is that we are here. The last two units in the book didn't seem very long, so I thought it would be a good idea to combine them into one. However, they were just jam packed with exciting information. But the best part was the lesson the kids got about working together to build a model space station. We pretty much stepped back and let them do it. Which is actually a very hard thing for me to do. And then we had a volcano cake to celebrate the end of the lesson. I am going to just leave it at that and let the pictures do the talking.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Pluto - A Planet, or Not?

Today we learned about our last planet. Or did we learn about the last planet last week? A few years ago, the International Astronomical something or other changed the definition of a planet. According to them, Pluto is no longer considered a planet. But many scientists believe that it is. We discussed both sides of the case, and the general consensus among the children is that Pluto is a planet. I don't know that it really matters one way or the other what you call it. Our project for the day was making ice cream. What does ice cream have to do with astronomy, you ask. Well, not a whole lot. But it is cold just like Pluto, so there. We mixed powdered sugar, cream, and flavoring in a little bag. Then, we placed the little bag in a bigger bag filled with ice and rock salt. Shake forever, it seemed and voila, ice cream. NOT! A couple of the baggies work, a few didn't. Oh well, it was a fun project anyway. I've always wanted an ice cream maker. But I realized in buying the ingredients, that it is much cheaper to just buy a gallon of ice cream. So in the future, I think that is what I'll stick with. Next week we are going to combine the last two units. We will be learning about stars, and explorations into space. And I have a special treat planned, if I can pull it off.