Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Reading Aloud Challenge: Reviewing A Big Year for Lily

I have been MIA here on posting my reading aloud challenges.  And I've also been MIA on posting reviews.  I can't believe I totally missed a due date.  But I digress.

I decided to combine the posts, because the bulk of my reading aloud this summer has been from The Adventures of Lily Lapp series by Mary Ann Kinsinger and Suzanne Woods Fisher.  We started book 1, Life with Lily, again back in June.  And while I'm still needing to finish reading it aloud to my kids, last night I finished reading book 3, A Big Year for Lily.

From the publisher:
Lily Lapp's family has settled into their new home in Pennsylvania, but life still holds big changes and big steps for Lily. Good changes, like once again living close to her beloved cousin and best friend, Hannah. Bad changes, like a mean girl who plays tricks on her. And no change at all where Lily would most want one--Aaron Yoder sits near her in school and relentlessly teases her. Surprises are in store for Lily as she learns, with Mama and Papa's help, to manage the ups and downs of growing up Amish.

The third of four charming novels that chronicle the gentle way of the Amish through the eyes of a young girl, A Big Year for Lily gives children ages 8-12 a fascinating glimpse into the life of the Amish---and lots of fun and laughter along the way. It combines Mary Ann Kinsinger's real-life stories of growing up Amish and the bestselling writing of Amish fiction and nonfiction author Suzanne Woods Fisher. With charming line drawings in each book, this series captures the hearts of readers young and old.
This book is so much fun!  Richard and Trina delight in the crazy things happening to Lily in each chapter, and both beg for one more chapter!  In A Big Year for Lily, she is now a 4th grader, with three little brothers around.  And she is always getting into scrapes.  Or scrapes are finding her

My kids listen, hiding their face in their hands and shaking their heads... "No, Lily.  Don't do that!"  I'd say they are engaged.

Like the earlier books in the series, this is a fairly innocent, sweet, simple set of adventures that is sure to appeal to both boys and girls.

Very fun read-aloud.  I can't wait for book #4.

Disclaimer:  I received this book through LitFuse Blog Tour.  No other compensation was received.  All opinions expressed in this review are my own.  

Monday, July 29, 2013

Bountiful Baskets: July 27

I know, I usually post on Saturday.  But the whole camera cord thing has thrown me off.  I finally broke down and bought one.

So here is what my basket looked like on Saturday.  And I only got the one...

What's inside?
  • 2 bags of Artisan Romaine lettuce.  
  • 1 head green cabbage
  • 8 oz mushrooms
  • 3 lb carrots
  • 1 bunch celery
  • 2 cucumbers
  • 2 bags of big grapes
  • 4 grapefruit
  • 3 nectarines
  • 2 mangos
The baskets also contained blueberries... but there weren't enough to go around, so I took a basket without blueberries.

What will I do with all of this?
  • The fruit, as usual, just gets eaten.  Nothing special.  I sent a bag of grapes to work with Dale, so hopefully he'll snack on those instead of junk.
  • Lettuce will be salads throughout the week.  Again, nothing really special.
  • Likewise, carrots and celery are just staples that get used.  No planning necessary.
  • Cucumbers -- somehow we always seem to struggle to get cucumbers used up here.  I'm thinking this week that I will slice one up, store it in the fridge in a produce container, and suggest the kids have it with ranch dressing.  And if that works, I'll do the same to the other.
  • Mushrooms.  Oh, the possibilities.  Mostly, I do believe, the mushrooms will be used for me!

Simple too:

Slice up 4-5 mushrooms and a bit of chopped onion, celery, carrots or whatever.  Saute.  I add Greek seasoning at this point.  Add a couple of eggs, prepared as you normally do scrambled eggs (with milk, with water, with nothing... whatever floats your boat).  Scramble up the whole thing.  When eggs are close to done, I add a handful of feta cheese, and a handful of fresh spinach, torn.  And generally, I turn off the heat, and just stir it all up until the cheese is a bit melty and the spinach is wilted.  I cook in a cast iron skillet, so it retains heat pretty well.  You may need to leave the burner on low.

This week, I don't have spinach, so I'd just make it without that.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Summer of Service A.C.T.S. - Grow!

This month, as part of the Summer of Service A.C.T.S. Blog Tour, we're talking about growth.

Grow in your walk with God every day

Not sure what this Summer of Service thing is all about?   First, I posted about Discovering how fun service can be.  Then, we talked about imagination.  Both posts talked about an opportunity to win a chance to go on a mission trip.

But this month, we're talking growing.  One great way is through daily devotions.  I know that has made a huge difference for my kids.  But first, this:
For moms with kids in school, the most hectic months of the year are usually September and May. (For most homeschooling moms, those months are pretty hectic too.) The end of the school year involves parties, playoffs, and final projects. The beginning of the year has moms and kids feeling overloaded with shopping trips, sign-ups, and new schedules.

Establishing healthy, positive routines is a tough job. Too often, music lessons, sports practices, and after-school clubs can overshadow the routines that build family and healthy habits—both physically and spiritually.

One of the great new Adventures in Odyssey products released this year is 90 Devotions for Kids, aimed at kids 8 to 12. This soft-cover book draws you in with illustrations, puzzles, and kid-friendly applications. It also includes a daily Bible verse, daily challenges, words of encouragement from different AIO characters, and more. Even if your kids aren’t already Adventures in Odyssey fans, they’ll enjoy these daily devotionals, and get to know the Odyssey crew along the way.

This devotional, and the edition coming this fall (90 Devotions for Kids: Life Changing Values from the Book of Matthew) are great tools to help your kids put a regular pause in their day for Bible reading, prayer, and thoughts about God. If you start now—by the first day of school, you’ll already have a spiritual component scheduled into your kids’ routine. After that, everything else will hopefully just fall into line! 

You can download a sample of the 90 Devotions for Kids right here!

And Tyndale House has given one lucky Footprints in the Butter reader a chance to win a copy of this book!  I'm jealous...  <smile>

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer:   I received an Adventures in Odyssey album for free from Tyndale House Publishers as part of the Summer of Service A.C.T.S. Blog Tour.  No other compensation was received.  The fact that I received complimentary products does not guarantee a favorable post.  I am participating in this because I truly believe in the values encouraged in this program.

Lasagna: It's what's for dinner

This post could be subtitled -- I seriously scored at Safeway today!

I had to take Connor to town this morning to work on an Eagle project, then came home to pick my kids up to go work at the food pantry, and THEN I'll have to head back to town to pick Connor back up.

I decided that I needed convenience food tonight.  That today would be a good day to splurge on something easy to prepare, and yummy.  So I headed to Safeway.

I started by getting 18 gallons of gas for $2.43 per gallon (whooo-hoooo!) because I had earned $1 off per gallon.

Then I used my Starbucks giftcard to buy a coffee... which gave me a treat receipt, so I can go back and get a $2  beverage when I pick Connor up.  And I decided that I was picking up one of the party-size Safeway brand frozen lasagnas.  $10.  But tonight, it was worth it.

While waiting for the coffee, I logged into Safeway's Just 4 U site... where you can add coupons to your Safeway loyalty card.  Just in case there was some fabulous deal, like a free something or another.

I found a coupon for the party sized frozen meals, making them $8 ($7.99 actually), limit 3.  I quickly added that, as I'd much rather pay $2 less.  And then I found another coupon good for $5 of a $15 frozen foods purchase.  Oh, yeah, added that baby too.

So I purchased a lasagna for tonight.  A lasagna for the freezer.  And it cost me $10.98. 

Totally worth it.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Review: Homeschool Programming's TeenCoder C#

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I have often confessed on here that I have a whole bunch of geeks in my family.  When we were presented with the opportunity to spend a chunk of this summer learning more about computer programming, the answer (of course) was an enthusiastic, "Can we??"

So here goes -- my review of TeenCoder C#, a full-year computer programming course for high school students put out by the wonderful folks at Homeschool Programming.

 photo TC-WP2_MED_zpsdc904d38.pngThis curriculum includes a student textbook and a DVD for each semester.  The first semester, pictured here, is Windows Programming.  As you can probably guess, you do have to do this on a PC (but the other high school series, Java Programming, can be done on a Mac!)

Connor has been working at this very independently.  I love that part.  But that makes writing a review a bit tough.  So I had him talk me through a chapter (most chapters are meant to be done over a week, 17 chapters total.)

He chose Chapter 5: Basic Flow Control, as he says this is where it started to actually get into programming instead of learning about history and various introductory concepts.

He started this chapter by reading through the lesson and watching the slide show (the DVD portion) that goes with it.  There are four lessons total in this chapter, so he read a lesson/watched the slides daily.  He wanted to make sure I knew that the number of lessons does vary though, so in a chapter with five lessons, he'd be doubling up on lessons somewhere in there.

After finishing all the lessons in this chapter, he did the activity. Sometimes the final lesson and the activity are basically combined.  In this chapter, the activity is "Jeepers, Beepers."  My response was pretty much an, "Okaaaaay... just WHAT is that?"

Connor patiently explained that you are creating a program using FOR loops and WHILE loops.  He seemed to understand what that meant.  Can't say I totally do, but I'm certain if I sat down and read the chapter myself, I'd get it.  The program does a whole lot of beeping ("Hence the name," said my son) and different buttons make it do different types of beeping.

Of course, Connor avoided talking about things like chapter tests <sigh> or anything along those lines, but he is quite excited that he'll be programming a 2-player chess game by the end of this book.  And for extra credit (oh, yeah, he's planning that) you can add features like castling, pawn promotion, and checkmate detection.

In the early part of the book, it is taking him maybe a 1/2 hour per day, or maybe 2 hours per chapter, to complete the work.  That time does increase as you go, and (he wanted me to be sure to point out) he does have some prior computer programming experience.

We did try using this program once before, only at that point, the DVDs weren't available, and Connor didn't have any real programming experience.  He found the materials to be a bit intimidating then.  So his recommendation is that if you've done things like KidCoder, you could start in early high school.  Otherwise, you might want to start a bit later.

 photo TC-GP2_MED_zps241e02d9.pngConnor has also looked over the Game Programming books that comprise the second semester of TeenCoder C#.  This one has 15 chapters, with the first couple being a bit of review of what was learned in the Windows Programming half.

"And then," he says with a lot of excitement, "it starts getting into all kind of stuff dealing with game elements, and I think this material would apply to other game design situations, not just video games."

I smell a Game Design Merit Badge request coming...

The full year, 1 credit course is available for $155 -- that includes the books and DVDs for both portions of the program.  The best part is it is non-consumable, which means that the cost averages out to about $50 per kid if just my big three take it, and only $31 per kid if my little ones can still use it in a few years.  Given that they are arguing over who gets to program in Scratch right now, I know they will be interested.

Definitely go read some other Crew reviews, as people reviewed all four of the programs that Homeschool Programming offers.  William and Thomas are working on KidCoder Visual Basic (for 6th-8th grades, which my boys were when they began), and when they finish that, all four boys are going to do KidCoder Web Design (for grades 4 to 11 in my house, but officially, they say 4th-12th).  Connor is very excited to start TeenCoder Java when he completes the C#.  And I love that they'll end up with 3 credits of Computer Programming on his transcript.  My geeks need that.


I'm not sure if I really technically need to include this disclaimer, as I received this product as part of my regular job with TOS, and it was not actually in exchange for writing this review. I just love the product, so I chose to.

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Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Bountiful Baskets: July 20

No pretty picture, because:
  • I still can't find the cord for my camera
  • Saturday was insane, so getting a picture of my basket didn't even come close to making a wish list, much less a to-do list

But I did have some time to kill on Sunday, so I priced out my basket.  I thought I'd tell you about that.  First, what was in my TWO baskets:
  • 12 bananas
  • 2 6 oz containers of blueberries
  • 3 heads green cabbage
  • 2 heads of cauliflower
  • 2 bunches Tuscan kale
  • 8 organic kiwi
  • 3 bunches red leaf lettuce
  • 2 cantaloupe
  • 2 bags of grapes
  • 32 fairly small black plums
  • 8 organic tomatoes on the vine

I went to Safeway, as their produce is similar quality, and I found:
  • Bananas were $.56/pound.  I had 4 lb, 14 oz of bananas, so $2.73
  • Blueberries were $4.99 per package, so $9.98
  • Green cabbage was $.59/lb.  I had 7 lb, 2 oz of cabbage, so $4.20
  • Cauliflower was $1.79/lb.  I had 4 lb, 4 oz, so  $7.61
  • Kale was $0.99 per bunch, and they were similar size.  So, $1.98
  • Organic kiwi were $0.59 each, so $4.72
  • Red leaf lettuce was $1.29 per bunch, though the bunches at Safeway were a bit smaller.  Regardless, let's call that $3.87
  • Cantaloupe were 2/$5, so $5.00
  • Grapes -- I found some that were similar for $2.99/lb.  I had 4.5 pounds of grapes, so $13.45
  • Similar plums (Safeway ones were larger though) were available for $1.49/lb.  I had 4 1/4 pounds of plums, so $6.33
  • Organic tomatoes on the vine were $2.79/lb.  I had 2 lb, 11 oz, so $7.50
All total, my two baskets would cost $31.50 ($15 each plus the $1.50 processing fee) and had I bought nearly identical produce at Safeway, it would have cost $67.37.

Now that makes me feel great about my Saturday morning at Bountiful Baskets...

(And no, I'd never ever pay $5 for 6 oz of blueberries.  I would have chosen different stuff had I been shopping at Safeway for my produce... but I have to say I love having those blueberries, and I love having organic tomatoes, and the grapes are delicious...)

Oh, and what am I doing with all this stuff?  Well... almost all of it we just eat (bananas, kiwi, lettuce, cantaloupe, grapes, plums, tomatoes).

Cabbage will be the basis of three crockpot meals.  I have been coarsely chopping cabbage, putting it in the crockpot along with whatever (potatoes, carrots) and some meat, and some liquid... no recipes, just whatever looks good at the time.

Cauliflower -- one was already chopped and eaten with bleu cheese dressing.  The other will be cooked, blended up with milk, and added to alfredo sauce.

Kale -- I dry it, crumble it, and sneak it into sauces, scrambled eggs, etc.

Blueberries -- I'm hoping to make some muffins, or else they are just eaten.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Merit Badge Monday (on a Tuesday): Webelos Outdoorsman

I'm sorry.  Three weeks into this, and I'm already blowing it and not posting when I said I would.

It's been a hard week.  And the post I had written, well, I can't post it because I can't find the cord to get pictures from my camera to my computer.  <sigh>

So, it is on to Plan B.  Let's talk about Richard, my Webelos Scout.  Because I have no idea if he will still have a Cub Scout Pack this fall, we are trying to get things done on our own.  And one way we worked on his Outdoorsman Badge (required for Arrow of Light) was on the American Heritage Girls camping trip a couple of weeks ago.

Since Trina is too young to earn the camping badge with AHG (which I think is pretty stupid), she wasn't required to do things like set up the tent.  That became Richard's job -- with Connor coaching/helping him to do so.

This is part of him doing this requirement:   With your parent or guardian, take part in (a Webelos den overnight campout or) a family campout. Sleep in a tent that you have helped pitch.

He also was able to do an evening activity that included a campfire.

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He can't finish earning the badge, however, as most of the requirements involve him doing things with his den.  However, he did spend time learning most of the skills needed, such as fire safety, Leave No Trace, etc.

The best part, of course, is that *I* didn't have to set up the tent. 

On a related note, one of the badges that Thomas earned at Summer Camp (and was awarded last night) was the camping one. He's completed a lot of the requirements unofficially, but summer camp is a great opportunity to just demonstrate them all and get the badge earned.  Whoo-hooo!  Another Eagle-required merit badge down. 

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Book Review: Children's Atlas of God's World

It is time for another Moms of Master Books review!

This month, we are reviewing an amazing new book, the Children's Atlas of God's World.  This Master Books title, written by Craig Froman, was created in a partnership with My Father's World.

From the publisher:
A one-of-a-kind atlas that glorifies God, explores His creation, and honors His followers around the world!
  • Discover amazing wonders of God's creation, including longest rivers, tallest mountains, and more.
  • Examine interesting factual details about Christian explorers, missionaries, and history makers.
  • learn about geographic features and how these were formed by the Flood, plate tectonics, and volcanic activity - plus other details of God's amazing design.
The atlases that line the shelves of libraries and bookstores are filled with both evolutionary thought and secular worldviews. This atlas is packed with unique insights into Christian history makers and amazing landmarks. One will explore the design of ecosystems and biomes, great civilizations, and discoveries found around the world. The full-color, visually engaging book provides a dual purpose as an elementary curriculum and a valued reference tool.
Outline maps and facts regarding the seven continents are provided, as well as detailed maps and data of the featured countries. The comprehensive information provided for each focus country will bring to light their culture and traditions, holidays, exploration, legal system, and economic industries, as well as missionary accounts and other material to help children connect to people from regions around the globe.
What did we think?

Does that photo answer the question?

This book is fabulous.  The kids (even the big ones, who did not want to be photographed!) loved just looking through the book and just reading a snippet here, or looking at a photo there.

I appreciate that this covers every continent, and a smattering of countries for each. In a perfect world, of course, it would cover precisely the countries I want.  But if they included Sweden, then Norway would need to go, which would mean that it is lacking for someone who is delighted to have information about Norway.

I love that this atlas includes all kinds of information -- maps, photos, information about biomes, animals, all kinds of different places, and it also includes information about Christian History and Tradition.

In the Germany pages, for instance, there is the general map info, and all the statistics.  Plus there ins a paragraph on the autobahn, Gutenberg, Luther, and Bach on the first two-page spread.  The second set incudes lots of photos (a dirndl, Rothenburg, the Black Forest, a Christmas tree, Neuschwanstein, the Rhine Valley, sausages, and a German Shepherd) and information about all of that too, including Biome info on Rivers & Lakes.

Now, unfortunately, I have to point out that on one of the first pages, there was this map of the US:

The little green "C" flag marks a UNESCO World Heritage site (in this case,  Mesa Verde National Park) and the red number dots represent landmarks, rivers, etc.  The red 5 is Yellowstone, the 6 is Grand Canyon... but that 2?  The one solidly planted in Iowa?  Well, let me show you:

I'll confess that is the only obvious error I've spotted, and I'm sure most people wouldn't notice it (The Black Hills and Mount Rushmore are "somewhere in the middle"), but it was one of the first things I saw in the book, and it screamed out at me.

I still highly recommend this book, whether to use as a curriculum item, to just look through randomly, or as a fantastic reference for elementary aged kids.  This book is as bright and inviting as other kids' atlas I've seen, with the added bonus of including Christian events and not obsessing about millions of years.

Here is a great glimpse of the book:

You can go see what other Moms of Master Books have to say about Children's Atlas of God's World!

There is a Book and a Treat Facebook party coming up on July 23 (Tuesday) at 9 pm EDT where you could win cool prizes including (I assume) this title, something from Life Source Vitamins (the "treat" sponsor this month), among other things -- and discuss the book. 

Disclaimer:   I received this books for free from New Leaf Publishing Group as part of the Moms of Master Books program.  No other compensation was received.  The fact that I received complimentary products does not guarantee a favorable review.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Merit Badge Monday: Pottery

A friend, Cristi, over at Through the Calm and Through the Storm asked me to make this a link-up post, so I am going to do that. It'd be great to see some other ideas of how people are incorporating various Scouting activities into their lives!

A couple of the pieces done on the wheel
This week, I'm talking about the Pottery Merit Badge, as all three of my Boy Scouts just earned that one.  Our council is doing a monthly Saturday event, and in June, it happened at the Fine Arts Center. The kids could choose from Art, Sculpture, or Pottery.

Thomas, with his interest in Archaeology, wanted to do the pottery one, and his brothers thought it sounded fun as well.

The piece Thomas did on the wheel
This merit badge involves reading a bunch about the history of pottery and ceramics, and learning a bit about how it is used today.  That is stuff we did here before the class.  In class (six hours), they got dirty.  Really dirty.

They played with clay, and lots of it.

They had to work with various techniques, and each kid created a number of different pieces.  Those pieces were fired, and the kids got to come back for a couple of hours the next Saturday to glaze their pieces.  They were fired again, and just this past week, we were able to go pick up the finished work.

Connor's big piece, a T-Rex
Thomas is talented.  The other boys did a good job too.

The "big" project involved making a slab pot, topped with coils.  Then a pinch-pot lid was created, with a sculpted animal.

I love that the kids had the chance to spend 10-12 hours learning about pottery and doing pottery, and two of my kids are content.  One wants to find a way to pursue this further.  And that is the idea behind these merit badges... to learn a bit and maybe discover a new hobby, interest, or career path...

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Bountiful Baskets: July 6

I missed doing Bountiful Baskets last week.  I think I have definitely gotten used to this every week thing.

So, I contributed for two baskets this week.  Here's one:

Between the two, we got:
  • 4 heads red leaf lettuce
  • 3 eggplants
  • 3 bunches broccoli
  • 8 red onions
  • 3 bags of green grapes
  • 2 personal size watermelons
  • 2 pineapple
  • 11 peaches
  • 10 plums
  • 2 mangoes
  • 8 bananas
What will we do with all of this?

All of the fruit will just be eaten.  No planning necessary.  I may possibly dehydrate the pineapple, but I doubt it.  They are pretty green, so we won't be eating them soon. 

Lettuce just gets eaten.

Onions just get used.  No special plans.

Broccoli-- the kids will have some with ranch dressing, we'll so some sort of broccoli-chicken casserole for lunch this week once or twice, and probably a stir-fry.  With red onions.

I made some type of a pasta thing with the eggplant last time.  I fully intended to write that up, or bookmark it, or something.  My family LOVED it.  All I remember is eggplant, cottage cheese, and my spaghetti sauce.  <sigh>  So, I guess I'll look around a bit to see if I can find what I did last time.

Not too exciting of plans, huh?

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Book Review: The Icecutter's Daughter

I've had the opportunity to read and now review The Icecutter's Daughter by Tracie Peterson.

This book takes place in Minnesota (Waseca) in the late 1890s.  I love reading about that time period in the upper midwest, so I had to check out this book.

From the publisher:
As the lone female in a houseful of men, Merrill Krause dedicates her life to caring for her family and their business, as her dying mother asked. Besides, it suits her; she's never felt like she fits what most people expect in a girl--she'd rather work with her father’s horses and assist with the ice harvest. And though she’s been mostly content up to this point, a part of her wonders if there will ever be anyone who will notice her amid the bevy of brothers determined to protect her from any possible suitors.

When Rurik Jorgenson arrives in their small Minnesota town to join his uncle's carpentry business, he soon crosses paths with Merrill. But unlike other men, who are often frightened away by her older brothers, Rurik isn't intimidated by them or by Merrill's strength and lack of femininity. The attraction between them begins to build...until Rurik's former fiance shows up with wild claims that bring serious consequences to Rurik.

Can Rurik and Merrill learn to trust God--and each other--when scandal threatens their newfound love?
I like my historical fiction to be fairly heavy on the "historical" and very light on the "romance" part of the fiction.  Even though I'm not terribly familiar with Waseca (I have been there) or really with southern Minnesota much at all, Tracie Peterson made it feel very real, and everything I do know about that time period in Minnesota suggests that her research was solid.

Another draw for me was that Merrill is the youngest child in her family, with four big brothers.  In spite of absolutely every description not remotely being like my kids, I couldn't help but see Trina and her four big brothers in all of the family interaction.

Another concern I have with Christian fiction is just how preachy it can be.  Peterson does a great job of making the faith of the various characters quite important, but not falling into chapter-long sermons or totally unrealistic dialogue. 

The story was enjoyable and brought up some interesting issues to ponder.  Why are we so quick to accept negative stuff we hear about people, even when it is totally out of character for them, without investigating it or <gasp> going and talking to the person involved?

I will be watching for more books by Peterson. 

Disclosure:  Bethany House provided me with a complimentary copy of this book for review purposes.  No other compensation was received, and all opinions are my own.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Reading Aloud: the Camping Edition

Summertime and the reading is still pretty infrequent...

This past week, William and Thomas were away at Scout Camp, all week, and when they returned, I had already taken the other three to an American Heritage Girl's family camping weekend.

So not a single teeny-tiny bit of family reading-aloud happened this past week.

But, again this week, I've been busy reading Life with Lily by Mary Ann Kinsinger and SuzanneWoods Fisher.    I was hoping to report that we had finished it, but alas...  no such luck.  We read all of ONE chapter in the tent this past weekend!

We've also pulled out our Sonlight Core B again, and are back to reading Charlotte's Web.  We put Homer Price into the pile, but never started it.

And we pulled out Poppy and Life Cycles, and those will start up as soon as the big guys all leave again this week.

How about you?  What are you reading out loud?  And I'm going to be leaving this same linky up for a month at a time, so feel free to sign every time you post about reading aloud!!

Monday, July 1, 2013

Merit Badge Monday: Doing Something New

Okay, so I have five children who are all trying to make some progress in various scouting groups.  And it is all some pretty cool stuff.

So I am going to start posting every Monday about it.  Every Monday.

Because I have to make sure I am giving them the time they need to do these things.  And if I plan to be blogging weekly, well, I'll have to give them that time.

So what will I blog about?
  • Connor, William and Thomas are all working on Merit Badges for Boy Scouts (hence the post name), particularly Eagle-required ones.  So many of my posts are going to be about those.
  • Connor, William, and Thomas are all close to advancement, so I might post about some new ranks.
  • Richard is working in Cub Scouts towards his Webelos Badge. Lots of great stuff there.
  • Trina is working on badges for American Heritage Girls.  Some of those are really a lot of fun.  So there is a very good chance I'll post about some of that.
No pictures this week, but William and Thomas just returned from a week-long summer camp, where they earned all kinds of great badges.

Thomas thought that the Cooking merit badge was his absolute favorite from camp.  It was two merit badge sessions long and in air conditioning.  Plus it was fun.

William completed Cinematography and really enjoyed that.  That one took up three sessions (so half of his merit badge slots) and he had the chance to learn a bit about 'fighting' on camera, and the best part was that he got to die a couple of times, in a couple of different roles.

They earned lots of other great badges too, but those were definitely the favorites.

I already know what I can post about next week, but I'm going to have to let them get busy so I can continue after that...