Friday, March 28, 2008

Frog Dissection

One of the moms in our group has a background in Biology and she has been offering a weekly "helps" class to all the kids in our group who are studying Biology this year. It's been a great boost for Joel who hasn't been all that thrilled with this highschool science subject.

Joel's comments about this particular dissection class? "Just glad we ate lunch first."

Thursday, March 27, 2008

The Tripods Trilogy

I took the advice of my favorite 12 year-old (Ben) and am reading a science fiction trilogy that has me on the edge of my seat. The Tripods Trilogy by John Christopher. I continue to be impressed with what my sons have to show me. While this may not be terribly challenging or even considered great literature, this is some good reading!

I finished the first book, "The White Mountains", in record time and am now racing through "The City of Gold and Lead". Will Parker, the young protagonist, has escaped from a life of contented, if not mindless, submission to the Tripods just before his "capping" and is now making his way to a competition that may win him the prize of entering the city of Tripods where he and other subversives hope to study them and perhaps discover where they are weak and may be attacked. At least, I think that's what's going to happen. I haven't finished the second book yet. I have high hopes, though, that Will and his comrades may save mankind afterall.

Great stuff for a 12 year-old boy to read. And lots of interesting ideas to chew on. On second thought.....maybe this is great literature!?!

I recommend the Tripods Trilogy for any pre-teen on up. Boys, especially, will eat these up.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

"If a commission by an earthly king is considered an honor, how can a commission by a Heavenly King be considered a sacrifice?"

--- David Livingstone

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Where has this month gone?!?!?!

This week finds me in the last stages of preparing for our group's last monthly homeschool event for the year. Our homeschool group chose the theme "World's Fair" this year for our monthly activities and it has been interesting as we've read books on China, Austria, Holland and now Africa.

I'm rather pumped at what we've come up with this month since these "Group Days" tend to stress me out. (hmpf) That's a bit of an understatement. Really.....I honestly think I'd rather have a tooth filled than endure the brainstorming, planning and then carrying out of a dreaded "Group Day". Being on a committee with imaginatively creative minds that threaten to spin my tame world out of control unnerves me. I really don't do good with the fluidity of creative genius (unless I'm the genius wandering in and out of wonderful ideas, and then it's okay, of course.) Other people being fluid with their ideas and leaking them onto me makes me want to run and and hide for cover. All that said, at this point I'm feeling pretty good about this one.

As we wrap up our school year, the committee I'm on chose to read a book about David Livingstone. We have invited a couple dads to speak about their visit to Africa (complete with a power-point presentation); one of the moms has organized a program that utilizes a dozen or so teens and their musical abilities (my guitar-playing son is part of this ensemble), another mom is in charge of decorating and we are topping off the day with a pitch-in international luncheon. I'm responsible for the luncheon part (basically looking up simple ethnic recipes for others to make and organizing the details of the meal.)

The items on the menu are:

Arroz Con Pollo -- Latin/South America
Tortilla Chicken Casserole -- Latin/South America
Polynesian Meatballs -- Polynesia
Chicken Lo Mein -- Orient
Squash and Peanuts -- Africa
Chicken with Cumin Sauce -- Africa
Coconut Rice -- Africa
Taquitos with sour cream and salsa -- Mexico
Humous and Pita Chips -- Mediterranean
Mexican Dip and Chips -- Mexico
Loaves of French Bread and Brie Cheese -- France
Eggrolls -- China
Pizza - Italy

Australian Jack (cake) -- Australia
Pinapple Custard -- Australia
Eclairs - France

I think that's a pretty fun and mouth-watering food line-up. I'm starting to look forward to it.

More later after I survive the day. Maybe I'll even remember to take my camera.

Bis dann!

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Expo Night

Below are some pictures taken at our Homeschool Group's annual Expo Night. This year, with the help of a very talented mom in our group, the teens produced an "Old Time Radio Show" and the various talents of the children were the radio show's program. Very clever idea.

Ben (in red) made an "Interesting Animals of Madigascar" display and also exhibited his own lego creation depicting a scene in The Last Crusade.

The teens who produced the Old Time Radio Show. Joel (in the back in plaid shirt) played the role of Cameron Townsend and also was a sound effect "technician".

The young ones who performed a choreographed program illustrating people groups around the globe and everyone's great need of the gospel. Ben in front (second from the left).

"Window on the World" presentation by the younger children. Ben in red with purple flag.