Friday, January 27, 2012

The Music Man

Baylor in center
Prof. Harold Hill

Blake far left

What a treat!  Tonight we went to Lovejoy ISD's High School auditorium to watch The Music Man, both Blake and Baylor were in the cast! I think this was Abigail's first time in a 'school building.' 

The 1957 original Broadway plot centers around con man Harold Hill, who poses as a boys' band organizer and leader and sells band instruments and uniforms to naive townsfolk before skipping town with the cash. In River City, Iowa, prim librarian and piano teacher Marian Paroo sees through him, but when Hill helps her younger brother overcome his fear of social interactions due to his lisp, Marian begins to fall in love with Harold. Harold, in turn falling for Marian, risks being caught to win her.

The kids were fantastic, the music, props, costumes were all first class! Bravo Blake & Baylor, we're so proud of you!  You hard work showed!

Let them praise his name with dancing
and make music to him with timbrel and harp.
Psalm 149:3

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Nasher Sculpture Center Home School Class

There are a few places in Dallas that are just a must see in my book.  One is the Dallas Museum of Art; I am fascinated by God given talent.  My love of art is more for the 2 dimensional art, beautiful landscapes and still art; I have grown a fondness for 3 dimensional art. 

The Nasher Sculpture Center has a fantastic collection of sculptures.  The Nasher, like many other fine arts in Dallas has a great program for home educated children.  It is fun to look back at the kids from their first visit in 2008, 2009, 2010, to 2011. 

Today we toured the Nasher with our homeschool group PEACH.  The docents broke us up into smaller groups and led us into multidimensional conversation about the relationship between paintings and sculptures. 

You have many workers: stonecutters, masons and carpenters,
as well as those skilled in every kind of work
16 in gold and silver, bronze and iron—craftsmen beyond number.
Now begin the work, and the LORD be with you.”
I Chronicles 22:15-16

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Second Christmas

Today boxes arrived from Mimi, each one with a different child's name on it!  Talk about excitement at our house.  The kids patiently waited until Jon came home to open and share the fun with him.  There were lots of art supplies, videos and Lego's! So we spent this evening watching Indian Jones and painting.  Thank you Mimi!   

Everywhere and in every way, 
... we acknowledge this with profound gratitude.
Acts 24:3

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Sunday Afternoons

One of the fun things about Sunday afternoons is the exchange of children.  A couple of times a month we trade kids, meaning Caleb goes home with Herrings to play video games with Blake, and Baylor comes home with Abigail.  At some point the the girls decided that baking was one of their things to do together.  Today they baked a chocolate cake with chocolate icing!  They also played on the YooStar and made their own movies, with dancing stuffed animals on the moon.  Such good kiddos! 

Surely, LORD, you bless the righteous;
you surround them with your favor as with a shield.
Psalm 5:12

Friday, January 20, 2012

Fruit of the Spirit - Kindness

Each month our home school group holds chapel, this school year we are covering the fruits of the spirit from Galatians 5:22-23.  Caleb was given the topic Kindness for this month’s devotional.  He did a great job and seemed to be very much at ease.

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love,
joy, peace, forbearance, kindness,
goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness
and self-control.
Against such things there is no law
Galatians 5:22-23

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Tour of Frito Lay Headquarters

Storage & Sustainment
In 1932, C.E. Doolin entered a small San Antonio cafe and purchased a bag of corn chips.  The manufacturer of the chips was selling his small business, so he purchased the recipe, and began to sell FRITOS® Corn Chips from his Model T Ford.  The kids posed by the same Model T that is in the lobby of the Frito Lay headquarters in Plano.

Marketing Minds!
Today PEACH took 100+ homeschooler to tour the Frito Lay headquarters in Plano.  We broke up into smaller groups and spent an hour and half touring the facility.  The building is definitely state of the art with atriums, cafes, health clubs, beauty salons, and everything else you can imagine!  We toured the Research and Development and got to check out the test kitchen and watch the process of Cheetos and Lays being made.  The kids learned that a majority of the positions at the facility require an engineering degree whether it be mechanical, chemical or electrical engineers.
Research & Development
Ab's bag design

One of the cool presentations included an introduction to the concept of sustainability including composting, recycling, upcycling, and energy conservation. Abigail was excited to show the upcycling of the pop cap tabs into the bracelet she was wearing.  The kids were also able to create their own new chip bag, package and seal them in product development.   
he said to his disciples,
 “Gather the pieces that are left over.
Let nothing be wasted.”
John 6:12

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Fort Worth Symphony at Bass Hall

Bass Performance Hall

Today we ventured out to Fort Worth for the Fort Worth Symphony’s Young Persons’ concert.  This year’s program featured Aaron Copland’s Suite from Appalachian Spring.  Today’s program focused on the process of collaboration between the composer, Aaron Copland; choreographer, Martha Graham; and set designer, Isamu Noguchi to make this performance come alive. 

There was a narrator who told the story of the ballet along with the full symphony orchestra.   Before the performance the kids learned the folk song “Simple Gifts”.  To perform along with the orchestra.  As the narrator told the story, image s from the book Ballet for Martha: Making Appalachian Spring were shown on the screen above the orchestra. 

One of the great benefits of field trips as homeschoolers is we are not seated on the floor with the masses.  Since we are usually smaller groups we get the benefit of great box seats!  Today’s performance was at Bass Hall and the  box seats had a coat room attached to each box, very posh!   The kids were quite impressed!

That each of them may eat and drink,
and find satisfaction in all their toil
—this is the gift of God.
Ecclesiastes 3:13

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Sixth Floor Museum

2011-2012 Youth Advsory Committee

This school year Caleb is serving on the Youth Advisory Committee for the Sixth Floor Museum.  The Y.A.C. is comprised of ten youth from 10 different cities around the metroplex, all high school aged.  They give their input on everything from the JFK website, Facebook page, exhibits; and serve as ambassadors special museum functions, programs, and civic events (including Stephen King recent book signing stop in Dallas for 11/22/63).

Tonight museum curator, Stephen Fagin joined the committee on the 7th floor, which is off limits to the public, and shared several artifacts that are not currently on display.  One of the great pieces of history Mr. Fagin shared included the hand written notes by all the Trauma 1 staff at Parkland Medical who attended President Kennedy!  He also brought actual reels of news footage filmed when Oswald was shot!   

Footage of Oswald shooting
Mr. Fagin also brought the controversial camera of alleged eye witness Gordon Arnold.  If you remember Mr. Arnold came forward in 1978 claiming he was at Dealey Plaza just a north of the concrete retaining wall on the grassy knoll, and that a bullet passed extremely close to his left ear, then he dove to the ground.  Arnold said a man armed with a revolver and dressed in a Dallas police uniform kicked him while Arnold was still lying on the ground then demanded his movie film then threw the camera back at Arnold.  There are no corroborating photos verifying Mr. Arnold’s.
Ruby's chains
The kids were also shown the transcripts for the closing arguments in the Jack Ruby trial where Mr. Ruby was convicted of murder with malice in 1964.  If you remember the verdict was overturned and set for a re-trial in 1967, however Mr. Ruby became very ill with cancer and died at Parkland Hospital.  While at Parkland even though Ruby was deathly ill, he remained chained to the bed because he was still a prisoner.  Mr. Fagin showed the kids the actual ankle chains that Ruby wore. 
Most of the items we saw are in the vaults of the museum and some are brought out to rotate the exhibits, but other remain archived.
Probably the coolest item the kids saw was an exact duplicate of the rifle Oswald used.  The gun was not a replica but the exact manufacturer run, make and model used by Oswald, including the Japanese sights and leather strapping.  Of course Oswald’s actual gun is in Area 51 but it was an eerie feeling to look thru the scope of that rifle.

If you are pleased with me, teach me your ways
so I may know you and continue to find favor with you.
 Remember that this nation is your people.
Exodus 33:1

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Pop Tab Bracelet

Most of our friends know that Caleb collects aluminum cans to recycle and then gives the money to our churches mission funds.   With that said we have LOTS of aluminum cans!  Friends, neighbors and even Jon's co-workers bring us bags of cans.  Caleb smashes them and then when we have a dozen trash bags full, we take them to the recycle center. 

Back when he first began recycling cans, Caleb would pull the tab top off of the cans before smashing them.  He saved all the tab tops and used them to make chain armor and everything else boys create with random stuff. 

Recently I came across a tutorial on how to make tab top bracelets and showed it to Abigail.  Since we have an abundance of tabs, we dug out the ribbon and got started crafting. I think when the day was over she had created a dozen or so cute bracelets.  She is planning to take them to church and share with her friends.  Abigail has already decided she wants to make a belt too!

she was always doing good
Acts 9:36

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Home Depot Kids Workshop

Frankie & Jon working on Sissy's project

The first Saturday of the month means it's Home Depot Day! Home Depot host Kids Workshops on the first Saturday of each month with great wood working kids.  The kids sand the wood down, use wood glue and hammer, nail, and screw to assemble each month's project.  Ideally the workshop is for kids 5 to 12 but Frankie still loves making the kits.  Recently Home Depot has added a painting station so that once the kids have completed their project they can paint them! 

The LORD your God has blessed you
in all the work of your hands.
Deuteronomy 2:7

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

DIY Instant Oatmeal

DIY Instant Oatmeal minus the little packets!

My family enjoys oatmeal for breakfast at least twice a week.  It is one of those quick, easy, nutritious meals that everyone likes.  Originally I would purchase boxes of instant oatmeal, but once my son hit those teenage years he could easily eat four packets of oatmeal for breakfast!  That was a lot of sugar!  Some instant oatmeal manufacturers make low sugar, heart healthy versions but they were a little too bland. 

I set out to make a topping that I could mix with instant oatmeal that would be tasty but not quite so sugar-filled.  I mix up the following ingredients and keep them in an air tight container.  For every 1/2 cup of instant oatmeal they add one tablespoon of mix.  Some days we add dry or fresh fruit, but most days they add hot water stir and breakfast is served. . . . unless you're a fourteen year old boy, then you repeat this process four more times! Did I mention, it is much cheaper than those individual packets!

Oatmeal Topping
1 cup milk powder
3 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
½ cup brown sugar Splenda
½ cup Splenda
2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup instant oats

Place all of the ingredients above in a blender, turn on low until the mix is thoroughly mixed.  Make sure oats are placed in the blender first, they will mix into a fine powder and thicken the oat mixture. 

1/2 cup instant oats to 1 tablespoon of Oatmeal Topping
1 batch of topping makes approx. 65 servings of oatmeal!

She gets up while it is still night;
she provides food for her family
Proverbs 31:15

Monday, January 2, 2012

Finger Print Jewelry

The finished product, finger print jewelry!

Polymer clay is one of those craft products that have always intrigued me, but I have never worked with it.  With the recent popularity of the online pinboard Pinterest I have gotten a better look at all the possibilities.  A recent pin on how to make fingerprint jewelry caught my eye, brilliant!  Imagine capturing the kid’s fingerprints in sterling silver using polymer clay.

I used the tutorial and had the kids press their thumbprints into the clay.  Since the kids aren’t exactly babies anymore, the charms are a little larger than a typical charm.  Next I stamped each child’s initials and simulated birthstone.  Finally I used a small petifour cutter to cut the charms into heart shapes.

I created a smaller heart with each child’s birth year.  The next step was to coat each piece with silver dust and bake at 250 degrees for 15 minutes.  After cooling, I coated each piece with a sealer and then assembled my charms.

I created a set in silver and in gold.  The polymer was so easy to work with and I foresee many more similar projects!  I was amazed at how clear the fingerprints showed up and just how pretty these charms turned out!  Because they are made of baked polymer clay they are lightweight even though they have a metallic look. 

Keep my commands and you will live;
guard my teachings as the apple of your eye.
Bind them on your fingers;
write them on the tablet of your heart.
Provervs 7:2-3

Sunday, January 1, 2012

New Year Resolutions

Jon reading this morning, while Abigail snuggles!

I don't know that this title is adequate, but for most people it is the time when they make changes in their life. I posted at the beginning of 2010 that our family is in the habit of reading thru the Bible every year together using a NIV Chronological Bible.
It is like brushing our teeth, it is part of the daily routine. We get up, the kids do their math lessons with Jon, I prepare breakfast, we eat, get ready for our day, and then before we all go our separate ways we read the Bible together. The chronological versions of the Bible separates the scripture into 365 readings in the order scholars think they actually occurred. For example when you get to the gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke, John and they all tell the same story you would be reading each of those on the same day. For me, I've found it really has helped be understand the course of events better.
This will not be the only Bible time we have during the day, the kids have done studies on New Testament Survey; Denominational Doctrines; the Reformation Movement; Apocrypha Writings; and studies of various individual books of the Bible. Jon enjoys studying books of the Bible and reading commentaries. Me, I like just about any of the Beth Moore study books or First Place. But our reading in the morning is all of us together reading, every single day!
Last year the publishing company was changing the cover on the particular publication that we have been reading for the last decade, so I purchased Bibles with the old cover for each of the kids. One day when they go off to college I will pack it along with them and we can all still read together-ish! You don't have to have a chronological Bible to read scripture in the order in which scholars think they occurred there are great reading plans that let you use your current Bible.

Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds;
tie them as symbols on your hands
and bind them on your foreheads.

Deuteronomy 11:18