Friday, August 29, 2014

The Beginning of Knowledge

I am really looking forward to this upcoming homeschool year!  I have many fun things planned.

These are my curriculum choices for 2014-2015:

Bible -
     Exploring God's Love (from Positive Action)
     Bible Memory Picture Cards (from A Beka Book)

Character Development -
     Character Concepts (by Marilyn Boyer)

Reading (primarily sight words) -
     MBR Beginning Reading Program (by Laura Felzer)

Reading (primarily phonics) -
     Language Development Visuals (from A Beka Book)
     Letters and Sounds (from A Beka Book)
     Letter of the Week, Book 1 (from The Education Center)
     Letter of the Week, Book 2 (from The Education Center)
     God's Creation from A to Z (from My Father's World)

Handwriting -
     Get Set for School (from Handwriting Without Tears)

Math -
     Math (from BJU Press)

Social Studies -
     Social Studies (from A Beka Book)

Science -
     God's World (from A Beka Book)

Health -
     Horizons Health (from Alpha Omega Publications)

I also have some other ideas...things we might add later in the school year.  (It always is helpful to establish our routine first!)  I will write about those choices when the time comes.

To me, it looks like plenty to keep us busy!

I want learning and our homeschool time together to be enjoyable for T.  He will learn...but for us, it is not just about the academics.  It is about the heart, too.

First of all, what is knowledge?  According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, knowledge is information, understanding, or skill that one gets Something I read recently explains further.

     The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge:  but fools despise
     wisdom and instruction.
 Proverbs 1:7

     This is the key verse of the book of Proverbs.  The fear of the Lord is the
(or chief part) of knowledge.  If a man wants to be wise, the
     place to begin is in reverencing God and in trusting and obeying Him.  Fools
     despise wisdom and instruction.
 Just as a wise one who is
     willing and anxious to learn, a fool is one who cannot be told anything.

          ~from Believer's Bible Commentary by William MacDonald, page 792

We will begin each day with Bible study.  Through such, I believe T will learn the fear of the Lord—knowledge of God the Father, of His love and grace in Christ...holy, humble fear of God...a reverential affection for Him and devotion to Him.  This chief part of knowledge will be the cornerstone for all the academic subjects that will follow throughout our day.

So, there you have it.  I will let you know how everything goes as we move through our homeschool year.  I am planning (hoping, at least!) to be more intentional in blogging about our homeschool time and activities this year.  I will do my best!  

Linked to:
   iHomeschool Network
   Ben and Me
   Titus 2 Tuesday

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Breakfast Strata

I've been MIA for almost a month.  I've been working like a crazy person, cleaning my house (parts of it, anyway) and preparing for our new homeschool year which is scheduled to begin in just a few short weeks!

As a result, I've not been doing some of the things I normally do (such as blogging and cooking!)...but I tried a new recipe yesterday, so I thought I'd share it.

It's a crock pot recipe called...

Breakfast Strata

6 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
salt and pepper, to taste
16 ounces frozen shredded hash brown potatoes
8 ounces (2 cups) cheddar cheese, grated
1/2 pound bacon, cooked and crumbled

Mix together eggs, milk, onion powder, dry mustard, salt, and pepper.

Layer in crock pot as follows:
   1/2 of the potatoes on the bottom
   1/2 of the cheese
   1/2 of the egg mixture

Repeat layers.

Cook on Low for 5-6 hours.

Sprinkle with bacon before serving.

Makes 4-5 servings.

The photo above is minus the crumbled bacon sprinkled on top.

Linked to:
   Try a New Recipe Tuesday
   Tasty Tuesdays
   Fun Food Friday
   Family Fun Friday
   The Gathering Spot

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

M is for Monkey

This was T's lunch for today...reminiscent of our recent trips to the zoo for his birthday.

  • two monkey-shaped sandwiches (one made with the crust...and holding a banana-shaped candy)
  • green vine (pull-apart Twizzlers)
  • "M" and "MONKEY" Scrabble Junior Cheez-It Crackers
  • pretzel balls in a paper liner with a monkey design and a monkey pick
  • homemade banana pudding — the kind where the custard is made from scratch in a double-boiler  :P
  • milk in a cup with a monkey design

T came into the kitchen while I was preparing this lunch.  He pointed to the Cheez-It Crackers and asked, "What say?"  I held up the monkey-shaped cookie cutter and replied, "/m/" as I moved my finger from left to right below the letters.  He exclaimed, "Zoo!" he made a connection, right??  (~Not the one I was hoping for, obviously!)  

Monday, July 21, 2014


T received this postcard today...

from a fellow who lives in Australia.

Grenada is an island country consisting of the island of Grenada and six smaller islands at the southern end of the Grenadines in the southeastern Caribbean Sea.

Grenada is located northwest of Trinidad and Tobago, northeast of Venezuela, and southwest of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.

Grenada is known as the "Island of Spice" because of the production of nutmeg and mace crops of which Grenada is one of the world's largest exporters.

Other facts about Grenada:

  • area:  133 square miles
  • capital:  St. George's
  • population (2012 estimate):  110,000
  • official language:  English
  • currency:  East Caribbean dollar
  • national bird:  Grenada dove (critically endangered)
  • motto:  "Ever conscious of God we aspire, build, and advance as one people"

source:  Wikipedia


T received this postcard today...from Belarus.

It is a postcard of a painting called "House Egret" by Podverbnyj Yuri.

The painting is acrylic on canvas, created in 2011.

The artist was born in 1976 in Belarus.

The sender of the postcard wrote that the egret is listed in the Red Book of the Republic of Belarus due to its small population.

Saturday, July 19, 2014


I received this postcard today...from Switzerland.

According to the sender, it shows a church in the town of Solothurn.

Solothurn is located in northwestern Switzerland on the banks of the Aare and at the foot of the Weissenstein Jura mountains.

As of 2012, Solothurn has a population of 16,460.  As of 2000, 85.7% of the population speaks German, 3.0% of the population speaks Italian, and 1.7% of the population speaks Albanian.  The remaining population speaks French or Romansh.

source:  Wikipedia

Coral Reef

For lunch today, T enjoyed another bento with a coral reef theme.

His lunch consisted of:

  • two angelfish-shaped sandwiches (each with a candy eye)
  • puffed goldfish crackers
  • "CORAL REEF" Scrabble Junior Cheez-It Crackers
  • peach yogurt (in a small blue bowl with a waves design)
  • Little Debbie coral reef cake
  • milk (in a shaky cup with a blue and green fishes design)
There's also a coral-colored shell ring next to the sandwiches.

I was thrilled to discover a tank displaying a coral reef at the Riverbanks Zoo!

This was printed on a sign posted next to the tank:

What is Coral?

Corals look like plants or rocks,
but they are colonies of tiny animals.
Up close, each "polyp" looks like a
sea anemone, with a sac-like body
and mouth ringed with tentacles.
Polyps feed on tiny prey that drifts
into their stinging arms.

There were other signs posted, too.

Hard corals secrete stony skeletons
in many different shapes and sizes.

Soft corals have flexible skeletons.
Sea whips and sea fans bend and wave
with the currents.

Riches of the Reef

Reef communities contain
a dazzling diversity of life.
Every inch of colorful coral
is covered with anemones,
algae, urchins, sponges
and other clinging life.

There are more kinds of fish here
than anywhere else in the sea.
Some are drab and inconspicuous;
others boast gaudy colors
and fantastic shapes.
All are abundant.

This is a close-up of what T is checking out!

Friday, July 18, 2014

Cape Hatteras National Seashore

T received this postcard yesterday...from North Carolina.

The postcard shows Cape Hatteras National Seashore...a sunrise over the calm Atlantic Ocean with beach grasses and barrier dunes on Hatteras Island.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Riverbanks Zoo

Today is T's birthday!  :)

We visited the Riverbanks Zoo...for the first time ever.  Beforehand, we ate a picnic lunch on the grounds.

We thoroughly enjoyed our time at the zoo.  There were lots of animals to see.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Coral Reef

For lunch today, T enjoyed this bento with a coral reef theme.

His lunch consisted of:
  • two fish-shaped sandwiches (one with a candy eye)
  • puffed goldfish crackers
  • "CORAL REEF" Scrabble Junior Cheez-It Crackers
  • applesauce (in a small blue bowl with a waves design)
  • Little Debbie coral reef cake
  • milk (in a shaky cup with a blue and green fishes design)
There's also a coral-colored shell ring next to the applesauce container.

I discovered some interesting facts about coral reefs.
  • Coral reefs are underwater structures made from calcium carbonate secreted by corals.
  • Coral reefs are colonies of tiny animals found in marine waters that contain few nutrients.
  • Coral reefs grow best in warm, shallow, clear, sunny, and agitated waters.
  • Coral reefs are most commonly found at shallow depths in tropical waters, but deep water and cold water corals also exist.
  • Coral reefs occupy less than 0.1% of the world's ocean surface, yet they provide a home for 25% of all marine species.

source and photo credit:  Wikipedia

Linked to:
   Bento Blog Network
   What's for Lunch Wednesday

Saturday, July 12, 2014


I received this postcard today...from Portugal.

The postcard shows an image of a photograph taken by Emílio Biel, (1838-1915).
He was a businessman, publisher, and photographer.  He was considered one of the pioneers of photography in Portugal.

The subject of the photograph is Torre dos Clérigos, or Tower of Clergy [Church] in Porto, Portugal.

The Clérigos Church is a Baroque church which was built by Nicolau Nasoni, an Italian architect and painter.  Construction of the church began in 1732 and was finished in 1750 (approximately).

The monumental bell tower of the church, Torres dos Clérigos, is located at the back of the building.  It was built between 1754 and 1763 and is 75.6 meters high (approximately 248 feet high), dominating the city.  This great structure is one of the most characteristic symbols of Porto.