Thursday, September 11, 2014

Flying High, Twisting About, & Sailing Low

New Mexico
Have you heard of the White Sands? Well, we didn't until we studied New Mexico.
It's another Spectacular Creation from our God. 
I decided to create a "White sand" (aka Moon sand) sensory box for my little man.
All that's needed is 8 cups of flour & 1 cup of baby oil. He had lots of fun!  

The hot air balloon is New Mexico's official state aircraft.  
The girls enjoyed making their own hot air balloons! 
(As you can tell by seeing what Kalia said for hers, this activity was done before July 15). :-(

First, we put the baking soda in a balloon. 

Next, we added vinegar to a water bottle. 

Then we added water. 

Lastly, we attached the balloon & shook the baking soda into the solution.

And watched the balloon get bigger & bigger!

This state is in the Tornado Alley so it's most likely to get hit by these dangerous storms.  
We talked about tornadoes and prayed for those who were affected by the deadly tornado in May 2013. We also compared hurricanes to tornadoes and talked about the importance of our emergency box that we prepared when we studied hurricanes

The girls are busy doing their tornado craft.

We did this "Tornado in a Jar" Experiment but unfortunately I couldn't get a good photo of it. :-/ 

Rhode Island
*The Smallest State
*Nicknamed the "Ocean State"
*This state is only 37 miles wide & 48 miles long but has 384 miles of shoreline.

With all that said, we decided to focus on boats for this unit. We first talked about how God is higher than a hot air balloon, more powerful than a tornado, and stronger than a boat.  
Our saying was, "People need boats, but Jesus can walk on water!" 

The girl worked hard on their boat activity

Rhode Island's State Motto is - Hope.  The state flag is pictured below. It is said to be inspired by Hebrews 6:19 - "We have this hope as an anchor for the soul." This a sweet reminder to us believers especially with all that's going on around the world.

Coincidently, our theme for this year's Family Retreat was Hope (more about that later). 
So, the girls wore their Hope shirts even though they're hard to see behind the boats. :-) 

May our Hope be built on nothing less than Jesus' blood & righteousness!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

From a Lamb to Lady Liberty

New Hampshire Unit
Who is Sarah Josepha Hale? Well, she was born in New Hampshire. She was home-schooled by her mother. She grew up and became a school teacher. But, she is famous for writing the nursery rhyme, Mary Had a Little Lamb. We decided to do activities pertaining to that rhyme for our New Hampshire Unit.  The girls & I talked about how Mary in the Bible also had a little lamb. He was actually the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world (John 1:29)! 

We enjoy this book because it illustrates a brown Mary. :-)

K. put this puzzle together & did this coloring sheet

Fun Fact - The 1st recording ever made was Thomas Edison speaking "Mary Had A Little Lamb" on his phonograph in 1877.

New York Unit
Of course we had to focus on the Statue of Liberty for this unit. 

Five Interesting Facts About Lady Liberty
* She was a gift to the US from the people of France in recognition of the friendship established during the American Revolution.
* Not only does she serve as a symbol of freedom, the statue also functioned as a lighthouse for 16 years from 1886-1902.
* She is 305 feet which includes the pedestal & foundation (151 feet from the base to the torch).
* Her feet are 25 feet long.
* She weighs appox. 225 tons!

My Creative 7 yr old made this pattern block model of Lady Liberty. 

The girls are working hard on their crowns. A fun craft that only cost me $1.14...Yay! 

We did a "Why is the Statue of Liberty Green?" experiment. The Statue is made of copper.  Before 1982, pennies were also made of copper.  So, to accurately conduct this experiment we used pennies that were made before then. The 3 pennies we chose were from '64, '73, & '77.
First: We washed the pennies in soap & water.

Next: We dipped them in salt & vinegar. They became totally clean & shiny. 

Finally, we let them sit outside overnight. They turned grayish-green!

The Conclusion: The Statue of Liberty used to look like copper but because of the high content of salt & moisture in the air the outer layer of the copper reacted and turned her green.

    Books Read - Naming Liberty & Liberty

    My Little Ladies

    Monday, August 18, 2014

    Guest Writer: My Mom

    As soon as I read my mom's endearing comment to this post, I just had to repost it.

    The 41 year “date”
    On June 2, 1973 my husband, Curtis Gilbert, Sr., took my hand and asked me out on a “date”. During that “date” we planned our future, traveled, worked, loved, laughed, danced, cried, argued, honored, shopped, encouraged, complained, disagreed, prayed, worshiped, served, celebrated, shared, dined, gave, entertained, promised, respected, nurtured, courted, and had two beautiful babies. Most importantly, we learned the significance of having Jesus at the center of our lives.

    On July 15, 2014, after 41 years of marriage, he brought me home from that “date”. He told me good night in the most caring and loving way possible as he entered the presence of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I miss him deeply, but know that I will see him again.

    Monday, August 11, 2014

    Sorrowfully Shining the Light

    God has been so faithful in blessing my family with joy, hope, and peace as we grieve the loss of my dear father.  Although we are very sorrowful, we are also rejoicing in God's goodness.
    As I mentioned in the previous post, my dad fulfilled the purpose that the Lord had for him.
    And he would want me to fulfill my ultimate purpose to shine the light of Christ in this very dark world.  Darkness is in Every. Corner. Of. The. World.  My dad is actually the privileged one because he gets to be with the Savior now while the rest of us believers wait for the day when we will be with our God and "he will wipe away every tear from our eyes, and death shall be no more, neither morning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away" (Revelation 21:4). Until then, I strive to shine the light of Christ in my tiny corner of this fallen world.  As I home educate my children, I desire to more intentionally point them to The Light of the World - Jesus!

    North Carolina Unit
    Speaking of light in the darkness, our recent North Carolina Unit was focused on lighthouses. The tallest lighthouse in the US is located in NC - the Cape Hatteras Light. We started this unit by discussing John 8:12 and listening to the Seeds Family Worship song based on John 8:12.  By the way, we LOVE the Seeds Family Worship songs!  If you haven't heard of them, check them out! It's definitely not just for kids; my hubby & I enjoy singing these great truths as well.  

    We read this nonfictional story of bravery about a teenage girl named Abbie Burgess who tended a lighthouse for a month by herself.  Her father, the head keeper of the lighthouse, was away from the island getting supplies and her mother was very ill at that time. 
    Then, Carysse completed this Graphic Organizer about Abbie while Kalia did a Color by Number Lighthouse

    We culminated our unit by making these lighthouses. Thanks Mom for the red cups! :-) 

    This Little Light of Mine, I'm gonna let it shine! 

    Sunday, August 3, 2014

    The Saddest Day of My Life

    July 15, 2014 will forever be etched in my memory because it is the day that follows the dash on my father's gravestone. Two in a half weeks ago, my dad, at the age of 64, went to be with his Savior suddenly following a heart attack.  My heart has a hole in it that is now filled with deep sadness.

    I had the privilege to give a reflection at my dad's funeral.  Here's what I said -

    As I pondered coming before you to give a reflection about my dear father, I thought I was going to talk about his love for people and how he brought so much life, joy, and laughter to every group that he was with.  But you probably already knew that.

    Next, I thought I was going to talk about his love for the elderly who were homebound and how he would joyfully visit them, take communion, and speak God’s Word to them. But you probably already knew that.

    Likewise, I thought I was going to talk about his love for gathering with God’s people and how he would delight in being present whenever the doors of the church were open and how he served the church diligently.  But you probably already knew that.  

    Then, I thought I was going to talk about his love for caring for his family and how he sacrificially served us in any way that he saw a need. How he countlessly drove 10 hrs to visit my family and joyfully took my disabled son on walks around our neighborhood. But you probably already knew that as well.  

    So, what should I say about a godly man, loving husband, caring father, and faithful friend? Nothing other than that my dad was born a sinner like all of us but he put his trust in Jesus & at that point God began a good work in him and saw it to completion.  The morning after I got the news that my dad had passed and was now with Jesus, I read Psalm 138.  
    The Psalmist begins by giving thanks to the Lord for his steadfast love and faithfulness. And it ends by saying, “The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me.”  As tears flowed down my face that morning, I gave thanks to the Lord for his steadfast love and faithfulness towards my family through my dad’s life.  And I was overcome with peace and assurance that the Lord fulfilled his purpose for my dad.  On the evening of Tuesday, July 15, I believe that my dad was given the most glorious welcome that he’s ever received as His Savior said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’  

    Please pray for my family especially for my mother who lost her beloved husband of 41 years.
    My Parents ~ Valentine's Day 2014

    Thursday, July 10, 2014

    E + E = 2 Great Scientists

    New Jersey Unit
    Albert Einstein, the German-born scientist, spent the latter part of his life in New Jersey.  We decided to focus on Einstein for this unit.  He is considered the greatest scientist of the twentieth century.  He has no concrete connection to the mathematical concept of "Pi" which measures the ratio of a circle's circumference to its diameter which is approx. equal to 3.14159.  However, March 14 (3.14) Einstein's birthday is also Pi Day! I'm definitely not going to teach my 7 & 3 yr old about Pi, but we had fun with circles anyway. :-)

     I showed C. how to find the diameter of a circle.  She gathered several round objects from around the house, traced the circles on paper, & then measured their diameters.

    We searched through our recycle bin for round objects and placed them in a round plastic sorter.
    Then the girls had fun creating a circle collage!

    Grand Finale - "Pi" Dessert
    (Mini graham cracker pie crust, vanilla pudding, and mini Oreos)

    Ohio Unit
    Even though we're not on the "O" states yet, we decided to do our Ohio Unit after New Jersey because of another scientist/inventor ~ Thomas Edison.  He was born in Ohio but his 1st lab was in New Jersey. He is considered one of the greatest inventors of all time. 

    Interesting Facts about Edison: 
    * He was home schooled by his mother.
    * He was partially deaf.
    * He proposed to his wife in Morse Code.

    We really enjoyed the book "Now & Ben" that we read for our Massachusetts Unit. When I found out that the same author wrote a book about Edison, we checked it out! We liked how the author explained how many of the modern technology we use today is because of Edison's inventions. Some of the things he invented were the phonograph, transmitter for telephones, alkaline battery, & the motion picture camera. But he is mostly known for his invention of the incandescent light bulb! 

    We had 2 light bulbs go out the week of our unit.  The Lord always sets up these things for us by providing exactly what our homeschool needs exactly when we need it! 
    The girls had fun coloring the bulbs.