Friday, September 30, 2016

Pirates Voyage Dinner Show

By far one of the most memorable things about our trip to Myrtle Beach has to be the night we went to see the Pirate's Voyage Dinner show.  It was amazing!

I had stumbled upon this attraction quite by accident on Pinterest one day before our trip and after watching the short video on their site I knew my boys would LOVE it!



Boy was I right! It was an amazing show and my boys had the best time.  They're still talking about the show and their favorite parts.


Inside is set up like a giant pirate village 

We enjoyed all the pre-show trivia questions

We were blown away by all the decorations and details (like this map on the ceiling)

We were entertained by singers and jugglers

They had live California sea lions as part of the show & the pre-show 

The boys were thoroughly entertained and the show hadn't even started yet!
  Once the pre- show was finished the door were opened and we were allowed into the dining and show area.  It was immense!  The show was spectacular and the food was yummy.  We had a creamy vegetable soup with flaky biscuits, roasted chicken, roasted potatoes, corn on the cob, and pulled pork.  For desserts we had warm apple turnovers and bottomless drinks of coffee, soda, water, sweet tea.  We weren't allowed to use flash photography during the show and I was happy to just sit back an watch. There was so much to see!  I'm sure if we ever go back to Myrtle Beach we'll definitely head to Pirate's Adventure again.

The half of the show area that would fit into my camera lens! 
Linking Up With:

Awesome Life Friday



Weekly Wrap- Up: The Week We Went Baking at the Nursing Home

We had so many plans this week but they kept changing at that last minute; mostly due to the weather.  It's been a dreary and cold week with rain threatening most days.  I didn't mind though; all that nasty weather and canceled plans allowed us to really focus on schoolwork this week.  We managed to get so much done and still have lots of fun.



Math:  Ian started book 3 in his Key to Decimals book and is just flying through the pages.  Alec has finished up his Math Made Easy 5th grade book and will start in his new book next week.  Evan is close to finishing up his Multiplication Facts Made Easy book and has been working hard at understanding multiplication.  For now he is using his multiplication chart to help him on facts larger than 5 and we'll soon focus on memorizing them.  The older two boys completed two more pages in Are You A Math Genius and all three boys worked on the next set of pages in Multiplication Games.  Ian and I played a few games of Clue and one pretty quick game of Monopoly.  He was a great banker and started out the game really well, but I came from behind for a quick win with a set of hotels.  Luckily he's a great sport and was all smiles anyway.

Reading:  Alec read A Dragon's Guide to Making Your Human Smarter and started reading the Survivors series.  Ian finished up The Deadly Dungeon and read The Empty Envelope.  Evan and I finished up Night of the Ninth Dragon.  We all started reading Storm Warning together; the 9th book in the 39 Clues series.  We also started listening to the House of Hades in the car.

Physical Education:  We hosted a birthday party over the weekend at a place called Zoinks.  They have a room with a rock wall, laser maze, and air hockey table that my boys just love.  Alec climbed the rock wall at least a half dozen times.  Ian made it to the top three times-- his first time ever making it to the top!  All three boys were running through the laser maze trying to beat the scores of the previous contestants and occasionally teaming up with friends.  They had a great time!


Geography:  We read V is for Volunteer learning a bit more about Tennessee.  Evan and I are reading about water habitats so far we've read Rivers, Coral Reefs, Wetlands, Ocean Floor, and Beaches.  Alec and Ian spent a few afternoons playing Stack the States honing their facts about the 50 states. All three boys completed a page in our Maps and Geography book on South Carolina and we read What's Great About South Carolina finishing up our South Carolina unit.

Spelling/ Language Arts:  All three boys started working in their new spelling books.  We decided to try Building Spelling Skills and both Ian and Alec are working on grade 4 while Evan is working in grade 1.  I purposely picked books below their skill and grade levels so they'd have a nice easy review and we could ease into regular spelling lessons.  Evan knew all the words in his first lesson before even writing them once so we skipped over to lesson 2.  They seem to be enjoying them and don't complain so I am happy.  All three boys also worked on two more lessons in their cursive books.  Evan completed the next two pages in his 100 Words to Read, Write, Spell and Draw by the Thinking Tree while the older two boys each completed another page in their English and Grammar books.

All three boys picked another set of pages in our Draw Write Now and our Draw Through History pages to complete.  Ian learned about two point perspective drawing while drawing the castle and ended up working it all out on a completely separate page so he'd have enough room to draw all the details.  It came out amazing!



Socialization:  We met our friends at the park for a fun afternoon of playing on the swings and slides.  We also attended a birthday party and hosted two more parties ourselves!  It was quite the busy weekend.  We met up with some friends to go see Storks on Thursday; it was such a cute movie and made us laugh out loud.


We spent an afternoon at the nursing home with my grandmother.  They were having her participate in a baking class and asked the boys to join.  They made apple turnovers and had a great time answering apple trivia questions, singing along, and talking to all the staff.  Afterwards we took her on a walk of the center and found the resident cat to pet.  The boys made friends with a few of the other patients; many of them are retired nuns who taught at local area catholic schools and they just love getting to talk to the boys.


Science:  Ian completed his EEME kit on making a magnet.  Evan read through his latest Ranger Rick JR magazine and we learned about swamp animals.  Alec picked out a series of pages in his read and color books learning about puffer fish.  The boys all picked out their topics for our homeschool science fair and we requested a bunch of books about parrots, ocelots, and remote control vehicles.  Alec started reading about Ocelots reading both Big Cats and An Introduction to the Ocelot and Margay and Other Rare Wild Cats.  Ian started putting together remote control vehicles.  We have this kit that allows him to put together 10 different types of vehicles and he's going to work on putting all 10 together and taking pictures of them for his report.




We went apple picking this week and noticed a HUGE difference in picking apples this year compared to previous years.  We talked about why apple production might be down and how the late frost might have hurt the growing apples.



Life Skills:  Ian made us all waffles this week; I just love how quickly and easily he can whip up a double batch. He even washed out the waffle maker when he was done!  The boys helped us pressure wash the mats we had on the basement floor when it had flooded and Ian helped paint and seal the floor.  We found a few spots of mold and after treating them we wanted to try and stop more mold from reforming.

Art:  Alec finished up his Stained Glass Made Easy.


Evan finished up his last dragon watercolor painting.




All three boys worked on a fun fall art picture with leaves.  They could not decide on just one project so we agreed to do all three within the next week.  For this week's project we drew leaf skeletons using some super fine markers.

Linking Up With:

Weekly Wrap-Up


Awesome Life Friday

Frugal Family Home Link



Thursday, September 29, 2016

The Things I Wish For

I forgot to look up this week's list assignment until last night so I didn't have much time to think about it.    When I saw: Share your wish list all I could think about was.... "my wish list?" I was totally stumped. 



While there are always thing I want I never have a list going and when asked by my family what I'd like for my birthday or Christmas I often start to think that the things I want aren't that important and begin crossing them off in my head.  After all; they're just things and ideas for people to buy me.  I try really hard not to be materialistic and want things.  I tend to focus more on family and experiences than things and so it's hard for me to think in terms of a wish list.  If I do give out gift ideas they are often practical things that I need and not necessarily things that I want.  

But as the night wore on I realized there are some things I wish for.... they just aren't things that can be bought!

For example more than anything I wish for more time in the day.  Don't we all?  I often feel like our life is more laid back because I don't work outside the home.  We don't sign up for all sorts of sports and activities and we're not always on the go.  And yet there never seems to be enough time to accomplish everything on my daily "to do" list. 

I also find myself wishing for a clone or a second set of hands.  I figure it I can't have more time in the day this would be the next best thing.  If I could have another me around cleaning the house or helping one child with their school work while I worked with another; that would be wonderful.  It would free me up to spend more quality time with my family. 

I often find myself wishing for more frequent family vacations.  Which I guess would boil down to more money or time.  I have so many ideas for fun family vacations planned and I can see our opportunities slipping away as my boys grow older each year.  So maybe a part of me really wants to freeze time... just a bit.  


More quality time! Or a way to visit those who have passed.  I try so hard to make the most of each moment I spend with my family; and I don't just mean my boys and my husband.  My grandmother is nearing the end of her life and I find myself wishing for just a bit more time with her before she passes.  There are many friends and family members we've lost along the way and I often think how wonderful it would be to visit them now and then.... just to sit and have a drink together.  

Linking Up With:


52 lists with Chasing Slow

I Choose Joy!


This Is How We Roll Thursday Party


Wednesday, September 28, 2016

My September Reads

I thought I'd be taking a bit of a break from reading for the fall since I seem to get so sucked up in all the books that I start neglecting the housework and the boys' schoolwork and all that "other" stuff.... but I just kept on reading!  I've read some really great books this month and thought I'd share.


The Pursuit-- I love Janet Evanovich books and started reading Fox and O'hare novels as soon as they came out.  In this book Fox and O'hare must stop a madman from releasing a small pox virus onto American soil using their usual friends in the con.  With many plot twists and turns it was a fun novel to read.

When I'm Gone-- This novel by Emily Bleeker was so gripping I finished it in two days!   A man who looses his young wife to cancer mysteriously starts receiving letters from her after her funeral.  He struggles with the secrets these letters reveal and tries valiantly to both hold onto her memory and to find a "new normal" for himself and their three kids.


The Things We Wish Were True-- I LOVED this book by Marybeth Mayhew Whalen.  When tragedy strikes at the local town pool it sets off a chain reaction of events no one saw coming.  A great book about the things we know are true and those that we just wish were true.


Tricky Twenty Two-- How I did not know that another Stephanie Plum novel came out last fall I do not know but I was so excited to check this book out from our library.  I love all of Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum books and this one did not disappoint.


Three Wishes-- I have just recently discovered Liane Moriarty and I love her books. This book follows a set of triplets through the trials of adulthood.  At their birthday celebration things take a dramatic turn and in order to figure out where things went wrong they look back at how it all started.


Curious Minds -- A new Janet Evanovich series introducing characters Knight and Moon.  Knight is a billionaire eccentric and Moon is a  newly hired junior analyst at Knight's bank.  Moon and Knight set off to find some answers about what happened to Moon's boss and uncover a conspiracy that could lead to the collapse of the US economy.



Three Wishes -- This book by Barbara Delinsky came up on my library's page when I was searching for Liane Moriarty's book and it looked like something I would enjoy reading.  Boy was I right! It's about a small town Vermont lady who is hit by a car walking home from work one winter's night.  She wakes up in the hospital with a memory of a near death experience, describes seeing the light, and remembers that she was promised three wishes.  She then struggles with what to wish for and how to go about reliving life with more focus on the everyday.


Wedding Dreams-- This book combined two short stories one by Debbie Macomber and another by Sheila Roberts.  In the first story a young woman is thrown off course when her grandfather announces he has ideas to arrange a marriage for her.  While plotting with the young man to thwart her grandfather's wishes they end up falling for one another but are afraid to admit it to one another.  The second story deals with a young woman who's candy company is about to get repossessed by the bank; a company that has been in her family for generations.  Determined to save the company she fights back against the bank big wigs and rallies the town to help her.


Who We Were Before--  This novel by Leah Mercer was so gripping I read it in just under 24 hours! It's about a young couple who loose their young son to tragedy and are still struggling to move on after two years.  They take a trip to Paris together and get separated at the train station.  Both spend 24 hours alone in Paris thinking, reliving the accident, and reflecting on their relationship.  Both struggle to remember who they were before and wonder if there is a way to go back. 



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Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Art Project #40- How to Draw Books & 10 Benefits to Using Them

My boys use this series for writing called Draw Write Now and we just love that it combines art with writing.  There are so many benefits to drawing and my kids are often reluctant to try having been frustrated with drawings that they didn't like in the past.

Since we've just jumped right into our schoolwork this year we have already pulled out our new Draw Write Now book as well as our older two books.  We also have a Draw and Write Through History book that my boys can choose to work with.  We have found so many wonderful benefits to using these how to draw books to teach drawing.



As they were painstakingly following the drawing directions the other day I was struck by what wonderful lessons they really were!

Usually we are focusing on these books for the writing, spelling, penmanship and punctuation.  I always looked at the drawing as a fun bonus for the hard work of writing but it struck me this week what a great art lesson it was and so we had to include it as part of our 100 Days of Art Challenge!

Evan's turtle (he was even inspired to draw seaweed and water around it!)


Alec's crab 

Ian's Viking Longhouse 

I have found quite a few benefits to using these how to draw books (as well as several others we have lying around).

1. How to to draw books break up drawings down into small steps so it's easy to follow along and see how complex objects are made up of smaller pieces.

2.  By following the directions the kids feel a great sense of accomplishment because they have a finished picture that everyone can recognize.

3.  How to draw books are available in a wide range of subjects so they appeal to most everyone.

4.  The act of drawing builds fine motor skills and many of the steps in the drawing books are quite detailed; requiring students to draw on and hone their fine motor skills.

5.  Using the how to draw books spark creativity. While my kids are learning how to draw specific objects and animals they often color them, add other details or even modify drawings to look like other animals or objects not covered by our books.

6.  How to draw books draw children's attention to details and I find that my kids are learning so much about each subject as they draw them.  With our Draw Write Now & Draw and Write Through History books my boys are also tying all these details and drawings in with the facts they are writing about.  

7.  My boys have learned to pay close attention to the instructions!  I'm hoping one day this will transfer over to paying attention to all instructions but... well... that may be pushing it.

8.  Most of the books require a light hand at drawing with some erasing here and there so my boys learn that drawings rarely come out perfectly on the very first attempt.  There are steps, corrections, and "mistakes" made in everything we do.

9.  These book often teach perspective; you can't draw an animal with all four legs showing at the same time, you can't draw a car with all four tires shown at the same time, etc.  My kids learn how to draw what they see and not what they know about the object.  

10.  Drawing can be FUN! And anyone can draw.  



Our other art projects:
Project 3: Star Wars Crafts
Project 4: Watercolor compass circles
Project 5: Floral pens
Project 6: Watercolor outlines
Project 7: Scratch art jellyfish
Project 13: Water gun art
Project 14: Watercolor Kits
Project 15: Dragonfly Silhouettes 
Project 16: Painting pet rocks 
Project 17: Spray Paint Resist
Project 18: Water bottle windsock
Project 20: Tin can windsock 
Project 21: Firework glue art
Project 22: Qixel art kit
Project 26: Spray Painted Canvas
Project 28: Tin Foil Art

Linking Up With:
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The Virtual Refrigerator is an art post link-up hosted by Every Bed of Roses, Homeschool Coffee Break, Raventhreads, and This Day Has Great Potential #VirtualFridge #art