Friday, March 22, 2013

Black Death

As a homeschool family we get the luxury of choosing our curricula. What a daunting task for a mother in her rookie years. Luckily we are in our third year of homeschooling and I feel like I have a better grasp of what we are doing. We have found our groove, one might say. Not to imply that things are smooth sailing everyday. We also have an infant and a toddler in the house! Homeschooling takes a lot of preparation on the front end, starting with goal setting. Once goals were in place, we scoured the masses of curriculum and found what met our needs. Today, I LOVE the curriculum that we have chosen for the most part. The kids are doing exceptionally well and make me unbelievably proud. 

 Product Image

One of our favorite subjects is History. We chose a curriculum by Susan Wise Bauer called Story of the World. It has four volumes. We are currently in the second volume: The Middle Ages. I love the fact that it encompasses reading, geography, map reading, chronological historical accounts, a biblical worldview, crafts, activities, and even recipes all in one curriculum. The second volume picks up at the fall of the Roman Empire. We have studied the Byzantine Empire, The Ottoman Turk invasion, the Normans from the north, the settling of European countries such as France, England and Spain, and even touched on India, African Kingdoms.

 Recently we studied the spread of the bubonic plague throughout Europe, Africa and China in 1347, wiping out a third of the worlds population. At the time, it was unknown how the disease was being spread, but many blamed the Italians. Scientists later discovered that the fleas living on rats that roamed through cities, spread the infection. It was given the popular moniker, the Black Death. The European citizens made plague masks which they believed would stave off the infection. This lesson coincidentally came as we were recovering from our own black death. A week of sporadic vomiting by all, except Shy. In the truck, in a carseat, in beds, in toilets, in garbage cans! Lots of laundry!!! Then, on the heels of that virus, another intestinal virus. To top it all off, many of us had the sinus crud. We felt like we had been repeatedly run over by Mack truck. Thankfully we all survived our black death. We praise God for restored health. To commemorate the weeks of illness and our subsequent lesson on the plague, we made our own plague masks. The kids loved it and hopefully they will never forget get! I know I certainly will not!

Friday, March 15, 2013

Seven Months!!!

Hooray for seven months! Really? Seven? Already? Mercy, how can that be? Guess that is what happens when you're having fun! My littlest girl is seven months old! I would like to make time stand still and really savor these moments. I know all too well, they are gone in a heartbeat! 

 What's this?
 It makes noise!
But... does it taste?
Eeeeh, still testing.
Ummm, not so good!
What else can I chew on?
Found something!

Shy is still has the lively personality. Newest trick: flapping her arms like a little bird. Squeals and sings. Completely supports herself while sitting. Catches herself when she tumbles over. Chews on everything!!!!!! Expecting teeth in the coming months! Exclusively nurses 6 times a day. She has begun waking in the middle of the night to eat...must be a growth spurt! I have a love/hate relationship with her growing! Naps 3 to 4 times a day. Blows raspberries! Has found her feet and toes. Shakes her rattle. Still moving in reverse!

Such a happy baby = such a happy Mommy!

Did I mention that she puts everything in her mouth?

Monday, March 11, 2013

Blue and Gold Banquet


Our family got to enjoy our first Blue and Gold Banquet for Cub Scouts. It is a special time of recognition for each cub scout's achievements and crossing over into a new den. We enjoyed a slide show of all of the High Adventure activities the boys and their families shared throughout the year. Moe's provided us a delicious meal by catering the event. After our Cubmaster then opened the evening's ceremony, each den leader took the stage to award each scout individually for his own accomplishments. Parents escorted their scout to the stage to receive their awards. The Tigers, Wolves, Bears and Webelos each earned badges, belt loops, beads, arrow points and even the arrow of light, the cub scouts' highest honor. The boys were full of life and energy throughout the night, with good reason. They should all be proud of their hard work.

 Because Marcus is the Wolf den leader, Eli courageously made his way to the stage alone. No fear!

 Eli and Dad during the crossover ceremony.

Eli and his best friend, Tesfaye after the banquet. 
They are both in the same den, but Eli was excited to wear his new Bear neckerchief.
Can't blame him!

Eli joined scouts mid-year in 2011, just a few months before this banquet. We elected not to attend since Eli had not completed his Tiger (first year) requirements in order to receive his badge. He did however work very hard during the rest of the year and part of the summer to complete his Tiger book and receive his Bobcat badge and Tiger badge. This year he was able to begin the year with his den and complete all of the activities with his buddies. The Wolf den is a tight knit group of boys. It is wonderful to watch these friendships grow. We value scouting because of the skills and self confidence that are cultivated in these boys, while instilling biblical values needed to face this world. Marcus and I have even made a few friends!