Friday, September 26, 2008

Trying our hand at still life drawing

As part of our apple week, we've been looking at Still Life with Apples by Paul Cezanne. We thought it might be fun to try drawing our own still life artwork with apples.

Here's Cezanne's artwork:

And here are my little artists -- we chose oil pastels as our medium.

This is Jaden's finished artwork . . . the apple he was looking at was mostly red with a few yellow and green spots, which he so carefully included in his drawing!
Here is Lael with her piece, entitled Apples in a Basket.
Lael and I had fun experimenting with blending colors of pastels by rubbing them together with our fingers!
Lael did another picture which was part still life drawing (the apple) and part drawing from her imagination (the glass of apple cider) -- well, they go together well!
And here's my attempt at drawing a basket of apples -- I'm not an artist, but I had fun trying! (It's actually very therapeutic!)

Thursday, September 25, 2008

GodSeekers Academy this week . . .

We are having such a fun week so far! Here's what we have going on:
  • We are reading How to Make an Apple Pie and See the World by Marjorie Priceman . . . we usually read it every year about this time just because it's such a fun book! We're working on an apple lapbook filled with all kinds of "delicious" information to go along with this great book! We'll also be taking an apple-picking field trip to wrap up our week of learning about apples

  • To tie in with our apple book, we've been looking at "Still Life with Apples" by Paul Cezanne, as well as some of his other artwork. This afternoon we are planning to try our own apple still life drawings with oil pastels . . . I'll be sure to post some pictures afterwards!

  • Jaden has been enjoying his phonics program so much! I am using the Explode the Code primer series with him, and he is doing so well! The letter of the week for this week is S -- the first thing Jaden asked me when he woke up this morning was if I could print out an S book for him that he could read. (I use Reading A-Z's website for those.) So I printed out his book and he had it down pat before breakfast so he could read it to Daddy!

  • Lael started Horizons 2 math today . . . and it was "easy-breezy" (her words)! Today's lesson even had a cross-number puzzle, which was new for both of us -- but lots of fun!

I have some other things I want to do this week, including:

  • apple prints -- that's just a classic "must-do" project in fall

  • History for Little Pilgrims - continuing on with the history in Genesis, including placing pictures on our timeline for the Tower of Babel and the flood

  • writing apple cinquains

  • cooking with apples -- maybe some apple bread or apple dumplings (yummy!)

Friday, September 19, 2008

Our week with "When I Was Young In the Mountains"

This week, the book we've been focusing on has been When I Was Young In the Mountains by Cynthia Rylant. The story takes place in the Appalachian Mountains and is a sweet story of a simpler time. We've enjoyed so much about this book and have learned alot at the same time!

Some of the things we've discussed include:
  • where the Appalachian Mountains are located
  • the importance of being content in whatever circumstances we find ourselves
  • the literary device of repetition
  • the use of details in illustrations to help tell the story
  • the differences between life in the story and our lives today -- things like having to pump your water, use an outhouse, cook on a woodstove or take a bath in a tin tub
  • what coal is, where it comes from and how it is used

A highlight of the week was making a meal from the book. We made baked pinto beans and cornbread. (The family in the book ate pinto beans, cornbread and fried okra, but I'm not an okra expert, so we left that out.) I forgot to get the camera out while we were making the baked beans, but here we are making cornbread . . .

Our cornbread recipe came from Titi Ramonita and it's so yummy! It starts with two boxes of corn muffin mix (we used Jiffy brand) . . .

. . . and one can of cream-style corn.

Other ingredients include: 3/4 c. sour cream (or plain yogurt), 1/4 oil and 2 eggs

Once you mix all ingredients together . . .

you spread it in an ungreased 13x9 pan and bake in a 400 degree oven for 20-25 minutes. Then you poke it all over with a fork and pour 1 stick of melted butter all over the top and let it soak into the cornbread (told you it was the yummiest)!

And here are my little chefs with the meal they prepared: baked pinto beans, cornbread and fluffy lemonade salad. They are great cooks -- it was a fantastic meal and a fun culmination to our week of learning!

Now, don't you wish you could have been here for dinner? :)

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

More Labor Day pictures

These pictures were skillfully taken by Uncle Brock -- except for the picture that Uncle Brock is in :) He is a great photographer . . . if you've never done so, check out his blog !

Thanks for sharing the pictures, Uncle Brock!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Jaden's first soccer game!

Here's our soccer-playing Jaden, ready for his first game!
"Miss Pat" gave us a ride (Daddy had another commitment this morning), so she and Lael were Jaden's cheering section, while Mommy was the game photographer!
Before the game, Jaden did some drills -- including the one where you have to dribble between the cones which requires ALOT of concentration!
Then it was time for the game -- or at least the time when all the kids ran around the field chasing the ball ;). Jaden's team is the Sharks -- GO SHARKS!
Jaden's team played very well, in between water breaks. And in the final seconds of the game, Jaden scored his first goal! We all were SOO excited and Jaden was so proud! He got high-5s from everyone on his team, as well as the coach. (This is the same Jaden that had more fun pulling up the grass and dropping it on his teammate's head at practice on Monday.) But he was in the game today!
Great job, buddy!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Catching up with us!

It's been a while since I posted any pictures of the goings-on here at GodSeekers Academy, so here you are . . .

We went peach picking the end of August . . . picked 26 pounds of peaches and enjoyed them immensely!

Jaden thought he was in a jungle when he stood underneath the branches of the trees.

Lael was a fantastic peach-picker!

August also saw the start of soccer for Jaden! He has been so excited ever since we talked to him about playing! (And he's counting down the days until his first game this coming Saturday!)
Here he is practicing his dribbling . . .

. . . and trapping the ball!
We got to spend time with family on Labor Day . . . the kids enjoyed taking a break from the activities to read with Uncle Brock!
But there was also time for playing baseball with Daddy!
Jaden hit a couple of "home runs"! Yay!
And this week Lael started ballet and tap class! It's at the same place where Jaden has soccer, and we are so very excited for all she will learn this year. She even gave us all a dance class on Tuesday at lunch time to share what she had learned. She is practicing her steps and reading all she can about dance.
Well, hopefully that catches you up a bit on what's been going on here . . . never a dull moment, that's for sure!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

I don't like politics!

I had a revelation as I cleared the table after supper tonight -- I don't like politics! (I know, probably the only person in the world who doesn't!) But I started thinking about why I feel that way. It seems like every time I hear news commentators analyze the upcoming election I feel sick to my stomach. Political advertisements result in me changing the channel or turning off the television. Listening to people passionately defending their candidate of choice usually leaves me speechless. Yet it's not because I don't care . . . in fact, I care a lot.

So why the extreme reaction to politics? As I pondered this question while washing my crockpot, I came to a conclusion. It seems like so many times when people discuss political issues, they focus on matters of opinion rather than standing on principles of conviction. And that's where we get into trouble.

It's extremely rare to find even one other person with whom you agree on everything 100% of the time. My husband (whom I love dearly) and I often see things differently. Many of our friends and family have made different decisions in their lives regarding jobs and parenting than we have. The beauty of having a genuine relationship with another person is that it allows me to see past the differences between us so that I can truly appreciate what that person adds to my life.

If, as Christians, we spent less time expounding on our opinions and more time standing on our convictions, this world would be a different place. There are so many people across our nation that claim to be followers of Jesus -- so why do people have to depend on our government's social programs for food, housing, education and disaster relief? If we, as Christians, allowed our lives to be governed by the question "What would Jesus do?" what differences would be seen?

You see, I think God has some pretty clear ideas about foreign policy, domestic policy, the economy, marriage and the family, human life, education, energy . . . basically everything that candidates are discussing. And God's principles probably don't fit perfectly in either party's platform -- because God is not about campaigning for change . . . He IS the only agent of change! He is about transforming lives, communities, nations and our world. But it starts with each individual believer as we are willing to stand up and do what He tells us to do:
  • Humble ourselves
  • Seek Him
  • Repent

This is what I am purposing to do every time I get that sick feeling in my stomach this election season . . . I'm focusing on 2 Chronicles 7:14, which says, "If My people, who are called by My name, shall humble themselves, pray, seek, crave, and require of necessity My face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven, forgive their sin, and heal their land." Will you join me? Our country does need change . . . but true change won't come from a political party; it only comes through the transforming power of Almighty God.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Wednesday Worship!

I was visiting Cindy Rushton's website this evening and a particular post caught my eye . . . surprise, surprise, it was about worship! It seems like everywhere I am, God is speaking to me about the importance of having a worshipper's heart . . . that worship is not a "slow song" but a life surrendered to God and willing to be used of Him to touch those around us with His love.

Cindy's article talked about something that isn't always our first thought when we consider worship -- spiritual warfare! Just like Joshua and Jehosaphat discovered, the best way to come against the enemy's strategies is through praise and worship. Worship is about surrendering control of the situation to God, and praise magnifies Him instead of the battle we are facing.

If you want to read the article, here's a link:
What a Way To Battle! Worship! by Cindy Rushton

I was blessed by it!