Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Valentines fun and fondue

We had so much Valentines fun this past weekend! Brent and I were blessed to attend a dinner for young couples at a local church -- we met so many wonderful people and just so enjoyed a great "date night"! And they provided child care for the kids too -- what more could you ask for?

We also participated in a Valentine exchange with other homeschool families, which was lots of fun! Here are the cards we made!
Lael and Jaden each received 7 Valentines from all over the country . . . everything from bookmarks to family photos to a frog made entirely out of heart shapes (Jaden's favorite)! I'll have to take some pictures and post them later . . .

We had some fun treats for the kids on Saturday morning, including a new VeggieTales DVD -- because you can never have too many Veggies ;-)

And then on Sunday night, we had our very first family fondue night! So much fun! We had cheese fondue first, with steamed veggies and bread cubes for dipping:

And then for dessert . . . chocolate fondue, of course! With pound cake cubes, strawberries and banana chunks for dipping . . . YUMMMMY! Can you tell that somebody enjoyed his chocolate?

And in case you were wondering, here are the recipes we used . . . we highly recommend them!

Parmesan Fondue

1 1/2 cups milk

2 pkg. cream cheese (16 oz. total)

1 1/2 cups parmesan cheese

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

a pinch of nutmeg

Melt all ingredients together until creamy. Serve with your choice of dippers!

Easy Chocolate Fondue

1 1/2 cups chocolate chips

1/2 cup heavy cream

1 teaspoon vanilla

Melt in a double boiler over barely simmering water until completely melted, smooth and creamy. Serve with your choice of dippers!

Friday, February 13, 2009

37 years ago . . .

. . . two people made a promise to walk through life together, no matter what might come their way. He was 24 and self-employed; she was 20 and finishing college to be a teacher. They had no idea what God had ahead for them. It hasn't always been easy, but thirty-seven years later they are still walking through life together . . . and I'm so thankful because they are my parents.
Happy anniversary, Mom and Dad! Thank you for your commitment to serve God faithfully and love each other faithfully. In a world that treats commitment so casually, you are an example to all of us! We love you!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Wordless Wednesday!

(There are no words for this one!)

Friday, February 6, 2009

Dinner theater, anyone?

Jaden decided to put on a dinner theater for us all on Tuesday night. Now, I had planned a baked potato bar for dinner -- not exactly dinner theater food -- but we worked with it!

Here is the star of the show (and only actor) on stage . . . he's a pirate in case you couldn't tell!
Our make-shift baked potato buffetDaddy is enjoying "dinner and a show"!
And here is Pirate Jaden, looking very pirate-y and fierce!
The vast majority of the show consisted of Jaden swinging various swords around and saying "Arrrr" in genuine pirate fashion. (We tried to get him to sing a song or something, but he declined our request.)
So there you have it . . . dinner and entertainment! You can't ask for any more than that! Jaden will be taking requests for performances in the future. He is willing to travel . . . all that he asks is for help with transportation -- since he doesn't drive -- and that you feed him . . . but don't worry, he still doesn't eat that much . . . yet!

They are finally finished . . .

. . . our penguin lapbooks, that is! This is the first time I've ever posted pictures of our lapbooks, so I'm rather excited to say the least.

Now, if you have no idea of what lapbooks are, here's my little explanation: Lapbooks are a way to showcase the things we've learned through studying a particular topic or book. Most of our lapbooks have been topical in nature -- we've done lapbooks on the Olympics, the ocean, Thanksgiving and now penguins.

What makes a lapbook so much fun is that it's filled with little booklets called "minit books" which contain a specific bit of information. This makes a lapbook not just a great tool for presenting material learned, but a wonderful opportunity for review -- Lael and Jaden love to take out lapbooks they've made and read them over again or share them with anyone who will take the time to listen!

This lapbook began with reading Mr. Popper's Penguins as well as many other penguin books. This was the first lapbook that Jaden was really excited to put together; he's already asked that our next lapbook be about polar bears and other Arctic animals, so I guess we'll stay in the cold regions of the world for a bit longer.

So here we are: these are the covers of the lapbooks.
Lael's is on the left and Jaden's is on the right.
This is the inside of Jaden's lapbook -- it includes some penguin poems, pictures of 6 different penguins, as well as penguin puppets!

The inside of Lael's lapbook is a bit different as she is older and can do more research and writing.
The back of Lael's lapbook has her research on 6 particular penguins -- she included 3 interesting facts about each one.

The back of Jaden's lapbook has the life cycle of a penguin as well as cards for each of the 17 species of penguins.

So there you have it . . . an introduction to lapbooking by the amazing students of GodSeekers Academy! And stay tuned - there will be more to come!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

My daughter the author!

Lael is becoming quite the author! She wrote two books yesterday -- on her own in her free time! Being the proud mommy that I am, I thought I'd share her stories. These are her own words - we still need to work on the mechanics, but I'm so proud of her!

Story #1: The Cat that Would not Sleep by Lael

One day A boy went to the pet store and took a cat home.

The next day The boy took The cat for a walk to the park and they played in the park. but that night the cat would not sleep he played with his ball of string and played with his ball. The next day he went to sleep.

The End

Story #2: The dog that could not find his bone

One day spark the dog could not find his bone. he looked in his hole. his bone was not there. Spark was sad he called the dog helper and told him every thing he knowed and then he saw his buddy and in his buddy's paw he saw his bone

The End

I wish I could share the illustrations with you -- they are so cute!

Yay, Lael . . . I'm so proud of you! And I can't wait to read what you write about next!

Everyday moments

A homeschool friend issued a challenge to capture the "ordinary moments" of our children's lives. Here's one of ours . . . Jaden is forever making forts or hideouts, and he loves to hide from us. Last night Lael was at ballet. Jaden decided to make his secret hideout under the dining room table, but he did let me visit briefly to take a couple of pictures:

Thanks, Ami, for the reminder to treasure the everyday moments with our kids!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Super Bowl XLIII is history . . .

. . . and I really didn't see any of it! Not that I care that much about football in general, but since I've been married, my wonderful husband has endeavored to educate me about the finer points of the sport. Now, at least I can ask intelligent questions ;-)

Since neither the Patriots (the team of my childhood home) nor the Eagles (my huband's favorite team) were playing, I really didn't care who won - although I must confess that I was sorta hoping the Cardinals would pull off the win, mainly because nearly everyone I know was looking for a Steelers win and I like to cheer for the "underdog" - or at least the under-cheered for team!

So, what was I doing during the Super Bowl? Why, I was in charge of the concession stand, of course! I mean, football fans have to eat, right? (Besides, my best friend was here with her husband and family, so the guys watched the game, and we had "girl time" and took care of little ones.)
We had cheeseburger soup (so yummy) with homemade bread, spinach and artichoke dip (a family favorite) with Scoops corn chips, carrots and celery (needed something healthy - thanks, Connie) . . .
And for dessert, "football brownies" -- aren't they cute!

I just took my regular brownie recipe, baked them as usual, cut them into football shapes (use your imagination) and added the white icing "laces". Jaden has been talking about this all week - he couldn't wait for the Super Bowl so he could have football brownies! It's the simple things in life that bring the most joy!