Friday, November 23, 2012

Thanksgiving Week

Happy Thanksgiving, welcome to the Christmas season, but not quite Advent yet. 

We did have 2 full days of school this week and a bunch of random learning.  Our regular school days were a little difficult.  The best I can come up with is Amber resented having school when local schools were off.  Never mind she gets off lots of days when they have school.  It also was pretty laid back school. Oh well. We survived. 

We did have a fun science activity with yeast Monday afternoon.  We fed sugar to our little yeast package and gave it a nice warm water home and it didn't disappoint us. We only had to wait about half an hour before it was giving off enough CO2 to blow up Amber's balloon.   Amber sat watching the bottle of yeast the whole time, only a occasionally playing Farm Story. 

Grow little yeasties, grow.

This was another activity suggested by our periodic table unit study.  The details are in the book Fizz, Bubble & Flash.  We have entirely enjoyed the fairly simple, yet effective, activities in the book. The science lessons in the book are also simply stated, but Amber learned from them.  This book is our favorite resource this week. If you are looking for fun, simple science activities then this book is for you. 
In history, we continued to discuss WWI. I am still disappointed in our curriculum, but we continue on and supplement it nearly daily.  We reached the point where the Russians negotiated peace with the Germans and had their own revolution. Our book never mentioned what happened to Tsar Nicholas II, but simply states he just gave up his throne. No, mention of the violence in the revolution. It's like studying about the French Revolution, but never learning the fate of  Louis XVI. 

I ended up summarizing the Russian revolution for Amber and briefly mentioned the stories about Anastasia. Amber latched onto that though. She remembered at the library seeing a Royal Diaries book about Anastasia and now desperately needed to read it. After a quick online library request for the book, we received notification the next day it was waiting at our branch. Amber immediately devoured the book and wants more.  I have to say, we really have had good luck with the Royal Diaries. While they are fiction, they are based closely on the facts. The books are all told from the view point of a royal princess in the form of her diary.  Amber has read quite a few and they always peak her interest the subject. 

This week, our Thankfullness Tree finished growing.  Amber and I were thankful for:
Amber: Her DS (it enjoyed a few days of use), Chicken Cheese Casserole (Amber's new favorite dish), colder weather, iPod touch and Farm Story, Thanksgiving.
Christy: We have food that I can make meals for our family, having our own piano (the tuner was here this week), our house, time for family dinners, my iPad
If you notice, Amber added a post-it note to the tree after church on Wednesday evening.  Our church has a food pantry and asks the members, once a year at Thanksgiving, to donate. Amber's extra thankful item is "I am thankful for (the) food drive so people can have food".   She was thrilled to help her daddy haul our food offering up to the chancel this year.

We also had a wonderful Thanksgiving on Thursday with my family. I didn't have to do a thing this year, except drive the 85 miles to my sister's house. Mom had already gone earlier in the week to help and play with grand kids.  My sister went to so much effort for us all this year. It was a special time for the kids and we all enjoyed being together. We missed my dad, and we were all a little weepy at times. Still, it was good to be thankful together and rejoice in having Fred with us still and my dad having finally been released from his pain. 

Seriously, she works and has 2 young boys.  How does she have time to make stuff like this.

We arrived back home Friday afternoon after spending the night in a nice hotel close to my sister and then enjoying more relaxing family time this morning. Biscotti, the kitty, was immensely happy to see us. He did tell us off about leaving him for a day and half, but then was cuddly, especially after I got out his kitty treats.

Cousins playing outside before the rain and cold of the day.  Then, inside play.
We did no Black Friday shopping in physical stores.  Instead, we boggled over the people waiting in the cold and rain to get into the mall and stores where my sister lives.  Our hotel was across the street from the mall, so we saw first hand the lines of people and packed parking lot mid-evening on Thanksgiving.   In case you were thinking that I'm one of those anti-shopping people, my iPad got quite a workout searching for online deals on Thanksgiving evening and Friday morning.  I had over half of my Christmas shopping done before returning home today.  

(L)Amber and her cousin at the "Magic Tree".  Apparently, this tree is decked out every year and people come from all around town to see it.  It is very pretty and took a lot of careful work to create.
(R) Amber and I took a picture too.  We were able to get out for pictures between the rain showers, but we all were pretty cold.

This weekend we will put up our Christmas decorations and start preparing for Advent and the coming of the Christ. I hope we can have a relaxed season and, despite my shopping today, not put too much emphasis on the gifts and trappings.  I'm still working on our Advent study for school.  Actually, I'm still waiting for our church to set out the Advent studies for kids and adults.  That's basically my plan.

Have a great weekend and I hope everyone enjoyed their Thanksgiving.

Linking with:

Homegrown Learners Favorite Resource This Week


  1. Now, I'm going to have to follow YOU about Chemistry...after volcanoes is Chemistry! LOL I found an on-line site (Chemistry4Kids) that I'll be using as a spine (since I don't have even ONE Chem book) and a Chem experiment kit we've had for years. (I also have an e-book for simple experiments as well.) I'll have to keep this book in mind too!

    I wish we could find the Royal Diaries! :( Our library doesn't have them...and it now costs $2 PER BOOK to have it mailed (interlibrary loan).

    Love the fruit and cheese turkey! Very creative!

  2. Hey, we have that book (Fizz, Bubble, & Flash)! We haven't dug into any of the actitivies yet, but I thought it looked like a good one. I picked it up at a used book sale a long time ago.
    The Royal Diaries series is a good one. My girls like the movie Anastasia...of course it's Disney-ized, but it does expose viewers to some of the ideas.
    LOVE that turkey made from the fruit!! And, that lighted tree is amazing!
    No Black Friday shopping for us, either. I do as much of my shopping online as I can.
    Thanks for linking up, Christy. Have a good weekend :)

  3. We have had fun with that yeast experiment, too (and on Thanksgiving week last year!) Sounds like you had a great week and are ready for the Christmas season.

  4. Love that experiment Christy! I will have to show Kei that. That book looks really great. It looks familiar. We may have it! LOL We have so many books. I think Kei has a Science Kit that has "bubble and fizz" in the title. Thank you again for the WWI resources. We were on a light schedule last week and only watched a video on WWI. I bet that Keilee would like the Royal Diaries series. She LOVES historical fiction and I had forgotten about those. So glad you had a great Thanksgiving and that turkey is too cool. I have time for stuff like that but do nothing! So glad Amber had fun with her cousins. And that Magic Tree is glorious! I love it! My site has been hacked it you visit. It is still accessible on iPhone, etc but not on browsers I think. I have someone working on fixing it. It has gotten me so upset! :/

    1. I noticed something was up last night, but I was using the iPad on the non-mobile version. The mobile version looks to be alright. I hope it gets corrected soon. It will be alright, don't let it upset you too much.

  5. Great photographic representation of your school week! Thanks for sharing the diversity of what you do in your homeschool. here's what we've learned in November: