Monday, November 21, 2011

Schakolad Chocolate Factory

Schakolad Chocolate Factory (pronounced shaq-oh-LAD) is a small chocolate boutique in Legacy Park in Plano.

Chocolates are hand made using a three-generation European style family recipe.  Goodies are prepared, hand dipped and decorated.  During today’s field trip the kids got a “behind the counter” tour of the facility.  The owner gave them an overview of the history of chocolate along with health benefits and other fun chocolate information.  They were allowed to sample all kinds of chocolate and even hand dip their own chocolate covered caramels.

It is probably not surprising to find out that we have had other chocolate field trips, like a visit to the Sweet Shop in 2007, and ‘The History of Chocolate” with cocoa trees at the Dallas Arboretum.  The Schakolad Factory was definitely a smaller scale factory but it involved a lot more sampling which is always a bonus!

I made it beautiful with abundant branches,
the envy of all the trees of Eden in the garden of God.
Ezekiel 31:9

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Screwtape Letters

For the last several years the kids and I have read C.S. Lewis’ Screwtape Letters together.   This is such a great book.  It is the letters from a senior demon to his nephew Wormwood advising him how to best tempt his patient to "undermine faith and prevent the formation of virtues" in a recent convert to Christianity.

Max McLean has been given permission by the C.S. Lewis foundation to perform a 90-minute stage adaptation.  It ran on Broadway for over 300 performances!  McLean is now touring the country performing.  Tonight he performed at Dallas’ Majestic Theater, which in itself was a huge treat!  

The performance was super, fantastic, amazing, hysterical, stupendous, and lots of other flattering theatrical terms! 

McLean has also recorded several version of the Bible called ‘The Listeners Bible.’  We enjoy audio Bibles, there are some passages that it is easy to get bogged down with pronunciation and the audio version is easier. 

the name of the star is Wormwood.
A third of the waters turned bitter,
and many people died from the waters that had become bitter.
Revelation 8:11

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Book Club - Oliver Twist

This evening was our PEACH Book Club.  The kids have been reading Charles Dicken’s Oliver Twist and tonight they got together to discuss the book.  This was a tough read, 500+ pages and Dicken’s writes using colloquialisms in 19th century London.  It is not a book the kids would have picked up and read on their own, but they seemed to enjoy reading it for Book Club. 

Religion that God our Father accepts as pure
and faultless is this: to look after orphans
and widows in their distress and to keep
oneself from being polluted by the world.
James 1:27

DMA Class - Mark Bradford

Each month the Dallas Museum of Art hosts a homeschool class.  They are generally interactive classes for parents and children.  This month’s class we took a look at the Mark Bradford exhibit currently on loan in one of the museums galleries.
Today’s class was Art and Community.  Bradford is an artist who uses found items in his work, posters, wrappers, cardboard, duct tape, etc. One technique he uses takes string glued to the surface and then he mounts strips of paper in a decoupage fashion over the entire surface of the piece.  The last step is to pull up all the string leaving grooves in the art work. 

It is an interesting craft technique but in my opinion, it’s not really art.  It is very random and it is not something I would hang up in my home.  But it was an interesting class and fun to see the kid’s reaction to this style of work.

there is nothing better for a person than to enjoy their work,
because that is their lot.
For who can bring them to see what will happen after them?
Ecclesiastes 3:22

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Charlie Brown Thanksgiving

Every year our homeschool group gets together in the fall for a Charlie Brown Thanksgiving at the Gungan’s home.  Much like the television episode, the group gets bigger and bigger as phone calls go out for invitations to the feast.  Guests bring a dinner that would make Linus proud, complete with toast, pretzels, popcorn, jelly beans and more.

Somewhere in the midst of our quasi-feast Ms. Donna gives a great history of Thanksgiving, complete with games and crafts.  The kids play for hours everything from chess to Nerf wars, while the moms enjoy great camaraderie together.  These are some of my favorite people; together we solve the world’s biggest problems and encourage each other in all things mom! 

This year I think we arrived around 10:30am and didn’t head home until after 5:30pm.  And like the Charlie Brown episode, every little Woodstock went home with contented smiles and patting their full stomachs!   

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation,
by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving,
present your requests to God.
Phillipians 4:6

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Father Daughter Date Night

Tonight was the first Church of Christ on McDermott Road Father & Daughter Date Night.  Girls and Dads enjoyed a dinner of mac and cheese with Jell-o for dessert.  Dinner was followed by craft time together.  Abigail and Jon really seemed to enjoy their evening together!

Daughters of kings are among your honored women;
at your right hand is the royal bride in gold of Ophir.
Psalm 45:9

Friday, November 11, 2011

Veterans Day Parade

At the 11th hour, on the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918, the guns of WWI fell silent and "Armistice Day" was born. Eight years later a Presidential Proclamation invited people to observe the day with appropriate ceremonies. With the passage of time it was changed to "Veterans Day".  

We have attended the veteran’s day parade in 2008, 2009 and 2010.  It is such a touching event to honor these men and women who have ensured our freedom.  Again this year we headed out with our homeschooling friends to the downtown Dallas Veteran’s Day Parade, waving flags, holding signs and cheering. 

Moreover, I will give you what you
have not asked for—
both wealth and honor—
so that in your lifetime you will have no equal
1 Kings 3:13

Baylor's Birthday at Amazing Jakes

Abigail’s sweet friend, Baylor, turned 11 on 11/11/11!  This morning when Abigail woke up her first words were, ‘it’s Baylor’s birthday!’  The girls celebrated at Amazing Jakes with 3 hours of Go-Karts, Laser Tag, Bumper Cars, Miniature Golf, and Rock Climbing!  Abigail’s favorite was the Go-Karts, which she only crashed once! 

They filled up on the pizza buffet and desserts!  Sounded like they had a great time!
Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy
good health and that all may go well with you,
even as your soul is getting along well.
3 John 1:2

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Grisham Farms Tour

Bearded Dragon

Hairless Rat!

Abigail and Penny the Potbelly Pig

We took a little break from our studies today and headed north to Grisham Farms. It is a family owned farm and petting zoo. In the barn tour the kids petted and learned about hedgehogs, sugar gliders, a bearded dragon, a leopard gecko, a ball python, doves, bunnies, Russian chinchillas, hairless rats, tarantulas, and more.

Outside the kids learned the difference between the wooly sheep, the Painted Desert sheep, and the dorper sheep. Abigail fell in love with a Potbelly pig named Penny. There were plenty of goats, miniature horses, full size horses and cows to visit.

Many of our homeschool friends join co-ops where the meet together for a specific class or specialized study. We have always enjoyed our field trips instead. We can take a break from our work, and check out something new. A lot of times these field trips mean school starts very early in the morning or it requires the kids to bring their lap tops in the car as we drive to a field trip. And sometimes, too many outings in one week mean they have to complete their studies on the weekend. But for the most part they are a great enrichment to our learning, and an excellent motivator to complete their work so we can play!

God said to Solomon,
“Since this is your heart’s desire and
you have not asked for wealth, possessions or honor,
nor for the death of your enemies,
and since you have not asked for a long life
but for wisdom and knowledge to govern my people
over whom I have made you king,
12 therefore wisdom and knowledge will be given you.
2 Chronicles 1:11-12

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Frontiers of Flight Museum

Outside the Frontiers of Flight Museum
Inside the Southwest Plane
Nose of the Southwest Plane

Captain Charles D. Mohrle

One of our first field trips as a family was to the Frontiers of Flight Museum at Love Field almost 10 years ago.  We have been to other aerospace museums including the Cavanaugh Flight Museum, and the Tulsa Air and Space Museum.  But the Frontiers of Flight Museum is the best, for one simple reason, all of the docents are retired flyers!  It is truly living history, the men taking you on the tour built the aircraft, flew the missions, they lived the history. 
It is so humbling to know the man teaching your children enlisted on December 7, 1941 because of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor!  Captain Charles D. Mohrle, just one of the amazing volunteers tells the stories of the 3 days of engagement he and the 510the squadron flew in the Normandy invasion.  He showed photos of the 24 pilots that began that mission and he is one of only 6 who survived those 3 days.  The children shook his hand and told him thank you as he told each of them, they were worth it.  I had to hug him; a hand shake just didn’t cut t for me.

The museum follows the flight plan of the earliest aviators to modern astronauts.  You can learn the history behind balloons and Zeppelins, the Wright brothers, World War I & II, commercial and general flight and the ongoing space program. There is a huge array of artifacts help bring history to life; full-size aircraft including the Apollo 7 Command Module, aircraft models, engines, missiles, space artifacts including the only moon rock in north Texas, uniforms, trophies, posters, helmets, art and many information kiosks.

Today our fifty PEACH kids met true heroes! I think the web site shows it takes 30 or so minutes to tour the facility; we spent 3+ hours there today and loved every minute of it!

Give to everyone what you owe them:
If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue;
if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor.
Romans 13:7