Ancora Imparo - I am still learning

Thursday, December 31, 2009

New Year's Resolution - Keep Blog Udated!

And now for some fun Christmas pictures I should have posted a week ago... Ugh...

Taliesin's Peace Card - he made this for his dance teacher the day of his Christmas dance program. (See below).

Dance Program - So Sweet!

Riding the Christmas Train

Tis the Season for Bright and Shiny Things

Santa Came!

Making Magma for Mt. Mustafar - this year Taliesin and Nathanael were all about Star Wars and science for Christmas. This is Mt. Mustafar from Star Wars III. They also received Darth Vader's robotic arm to assemble, some fun robots (including R2D2, of course), a bouncy ball making kit, an a light-producing kit.

Each year, we celebrate the Twelve Days of Christmas. This is a partridge in a pear tree snack (a pear, vanilla yogurt, and granola).


Monday, December 14, 2009

Taliesin's Tithe

Taliesin just made me so proud. As I've blogged about, he is really getting interested in the Hebrew/Jewish holidays. He has celebrated Thanksgiving with a Passover seder. He is now in the process of celebrating Hanukkah. This evening, we looked up a Jewish holiday calendar online. Several of the holidays are about fasting or tithing. On December 27, Taliesin has decided to give up candy and sweets (a big challenge two days after Christmas. He has said he is going to try his best). In February, he is going to buy some canned fruit and give it to our food bank. In May, he is going to be giving a missionary tithe to the church. These holidays inspired Taliesin to bring his box of change he has been saving into the living room tonight. He told me, "I need to give some of my coins in offering." He had a total of $2.80 in mostly pennies. So we counted off 1/10 of his coins and put them in an envelope to give in offering on Sunday. I am just so proud that Taliesin is becoming so spiritual. He really does understand. He has been telling everyone of the importance of giving to those less fortunate this Christmas. He was so excited to make a shoebox this year for Operation Christmas Child. He is just understanding so much this year. I am so thankful!


Sunday, December 13, 2009

Happy Hanukkah!

Taliesin is celebrating Hanukkah this year. He has enjoyed lighting candles each night. Such a beautiful time of year!


Monday, November 30, 2009

Thanksgiving 2009 pictures

Thanksgiving this year was a wonderful time for all, but especially for Taliesin. He so much enjoyed conducting a seder. Here you will see the lapbook pictures - some of Taliesin's and some of Nathanael's - and a couple from Taliesin's seder, too.

I love the way Taliesin is so impressed with meaningful things. Of course, he loves to just have fun like everyone else. But he understands deeper meanings. Just try to get through a movie with Taliesin with no questions. It is impossible! He always has a million questions about why this character is acting that way or how did this person really do that. And he really connects with ideas and traditions that hold a deeper meaning - such as with a Passover seder in which each item is symbolic of something else. This year, Taliesin has requested that we study Hannukah. So I am off to do research on this tradition as well. Should be fun!


Monday, November 23, 2009

The Past Week or So

This week will complete our Thanksgiving lapbooking. We are, of course, studying being thankful and counting our blessings this week. As soon as the lapbooks are all finished, I will post some pictures.

Yesterday at church, our pastor did the neatest thing. He tied in Passover and communion with Thanksgiving. Well, Taliesin loved this, of course. You may remember how interested in Passover he is right now. So, of course, we now have to have a mini-Passover celebration for Thanksgiving this year. He is so looking forward to it.

On Saturday, poor Nathanael had to get a staple in the top of his head. He and Taliesin were in the backyard, digging in their favorite pile of dirt. Taliesin had a kid-sized hoe, breaking the dirt. He swung as Nathanael leaned. They collided, and Nathanael has a staple in the head to show for it. We are just so thankful it wasn't worse! He is doing really well with it. He has some pain where the staple and cut are, of course. Tylenol has been helping. Other than that, he's his normal, ornery self.

The Saturday before, I hurt my back. I leaned over to put Princess in the house and - wow - something happened. I'm not sure what. I made the mistake of sitting down. An hour and a half later, I was able to get up and go to the emergency room, where I was diagnosed with sciatica. I'm doing physical therapy, so I hope it helps. :^)

Kelsey and I are beginning the fifth week of new classes. It has been challenging keeping up with everything with injuries thrown into the mix. But it is still very worth it.

That has pretty much been our week - lapbooking and injuries. But we do have a lot to be thankful for this Thanksgiving. We are definitely counting our blessings!


Thursday, November 12, 2009

What to be Thankful For

As soon as the lapbooks are all finished, I will post a picture... Since November is the month of Thanksgiving, Taliesin and Nathanael have been working on a fun set of lapbooks from In the Hands of a Child's Daily Devotional unit. Each day, we have been reading about ways, watching DVDs and videos about, and lapbooking about ways that we can be more like Christ. For instance, we lapbooked about the Golden Rule. We've watched Veggie Tale DVDs about forgiving and letting go of anger. We have even read about loving one another as displayed in How the Grinch Stole Christmas. Our units will culminate the week of Thanksgiving with being thankful and counting our blessings. Taliesin and Nathanael are both having a really good time with this. That's one thing I just love about homeschooling/unschooling. We can do our own things in the ways we are interested in doing it.

After this unit, Taliesin and Nathanael are looking forward to our Christmas Cheer unit and then the Twelve Days of Christmas. If anyone has children that enjoy lapbooking and unit studies, I would definitely recommend In the Hands of a Child. Their products, along with Five in a Row, are so excellent!


Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Fall - Part 3

I'm sorry about the delay in getting these posted. These are some fun pictures from the past week's activities.

Taliesin made this fall picture for his dance teacher.

Nathanael at his dress-up dance class this year. Last year, he would not go. He was scared of the kids in costume. This year, he was happy to dress up as Obi Wan and went right in.

At the Mall. Taliesin was more into this than Nathanael was. But Nathanael enjoyed the candy. LOL

The Fall Festival at a local church. Nathanael loved the slide in the middle picture. He was on it most of the night! In the picture, you see a black streak coming down the slide. That's Taliesin in his Darth Vader costume. The bottom picture is one of the cars in the Trunk or Treat line.


Monday, October 26, 2009

Fall - Part 2

Decorating Pumpkins

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Fall - Part 1

Fun at the Pumpkin Patch

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Unschooling Interests

We are having a conversation on the Christ-Centered Unschoolers list about "lessons." You know, the daily plans we homeschoolers often like to have to be sure that our kids are "learning." One thing I've noticed about unschooling parents. They love it when their kids enjoy - um, let's just say - non-traditional things. They understand when kids get into a specific movie or a specific genre of writing or a specific type of music - and they encourage that interest. I blogged a week or so ago about how Taliesin and Nathanael are so much into Star Wars right now. And as much as I - um - do not care particularly for Star Wars, they have learned a lot from those movies. They inspire them to study more about space. They get us into discussions about good and evil. They get us into the whys of individual actions and how our behavior affects others. Why would I ever want to stop that kind of natural, interest-driven learning - even if it is from movies that I could live without watching over and over and over.


Saturday, October 10, 2009


Taliesin and Nathanael have been playing with their keyboards today, and I caught this picture of Taliesin singing into the microphone. No autographs, please.


Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Lotsa Lapbooks

I should not be surprised that Taliesin has taken to lapbooking so much. Just this evening, he has finished up his volcanoes lapbook and started one on the Book of Genesis. We're also keeping prayer journals for devotional lapbooks we'll be starting in the near future. (This week, we're planning to make a "kindness pie." There is a cute paper "kindness pie" activity in the Hands of a Child booklet for a Devotional a Day, and Taliesin and Nathanael got the idea to make an actual pie. So that should be fun). Nathanael has even gotten into lapbooking. He's made two so far - one on dinosaurs and one on volcanoes (two of his favorite subjects). Tomorrow, we're working on pirates again, according to Taliesin. And then he wants to start a map lapbook to go along with his unit study over Mirette on a Highwire, which, of course, takes place in France. So we have our next few days cut out for us. LOL


Tuesday, October 6, 2009

What We've Been Up To

Last week, we took Taliesin and Nathanael and the daycare kids to a play of Winnie the Pooh at our local community theater.

Of course, we have been doing lots of art

And inventions

And monster trucks!

We are still here, just been busy the past couple of weeks. We have been trying to keep up with ourselves. Taliesin has really gotten into inventions. Above, you will see pictures of some of his hydraulic machines. We've studied so many things from health and nutrition to friendship (see the above Winnie the Pooh play) to pirates. I invested in some fun lapbooking kits from In the Hands of a Child. Taliesin, especially, is loving them! He's been bouncing back and forth between them, his Five in a Row unit studies, Star Wars, art, and inventions here lately. And of course, we have to take our annual trip to see and ride the monster trucks at our local Dodge dealer. This year, Taliesin rode, too. Last year, only Nathanael wanted to. I even rode. It was pretty fun, I have to admit. The Winnie the Pooh play was definitely a highlight. All of the kids loved it, and Taliesin still shows an interest in getting into theater. If you remember from a year or so ago, Taliesin began taking dance lessons with hopes of eventually getting into theater. He's still in dance, and now he's old enough to begin classes and day camps through our community theatre.
So things have definitely been busy here, but I will try to keep up better!