Thursday, August 30, 2012

The Dead Sea Scrolls Exhibit

Last weekend Gabe and I had the extreme pleasure of visiting The Dead Sea Scrolls in Fort Worth.  

In our history studies the past couple of weeks we have learned about Nero, the martyrs of the Early Church, the Jewish historian, Josephus, the Fortress of Masada, and The Dead Sea Scrolls - and ALL of these topics were covered in the exhibit!! I can not tell you how amazing it was! Unfortunately, cameras are not allowed at the exhibit, so I didn't get any pictures of the exhibit itself and the pictures I do have are all off of my phone, so you are just going to have to take my word for it, or plan a trip to Fort Worth and see for yourself. 

We spent a little over an hour seeing artifacts from Masada (where a sect of Jews fled from the Romans in AD 63, were pursued and eventually committed mass suicide), coins from the first century AD, early print Bibles and of course, fragments of original scrolls bearing texts from Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Deuteronomy, the Psalms, Isaiah, and Daniel. Each time our tour guide would say something that we had been studying, Gabe would give me this big smile! 

After seeing the exhibit, we visited the gift shop where we purchased a souvenir for ourselves, Daddy, Selah, Mig and a few birthday gifts for family members.

Next we headed to the lobby where a Mediterranean  Restaurant was catering for the exhibit and bought a gyro, some hummus, and baklava. We then ate our Mediterranean cuisine in a Bedouin tent.

After lunch we went over to the Qumran Simulated Dig Site. This was Gabe's favorite part of the exhibit. 

The dig site was layered with real ancient artifacts and 2,000-year-old potsherds from the Ancient Near East, contributed by the Smithsonian Institute. They say that if you find one, you can take it home with you. Well, our guide had a lot of fun with my little guy and was touched that he was trying to find a piece of pottery for his siblings. He ended up letting him not only take home a potsherd for himself, but also for Selah and Mig. I even found a marble tesserae from a Roman mosaic that I was able to bring home as well. 

Gabe really enjoyed being an archaeologist and after digging awhile uncovered a column: 

He then helped another visitor uncover an ancient plate (though tessera and pottery are the only things you can take home with you). Here he is with his finds and a big smile:

This was definitely a trip to remember! If you get a chance to See the Scrolls, don't pass up the opportunity! 

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Baseball Tryouts

For the first 4 or 5 years of Gabe's life, he struggled really hard with his asthma. He couldn't do normal boy things like a tickle fight, running around the yard, or jumping rope without having to have a breathing treatment or take his inhaler. It was normal for him to wake up a few times during the week needing his inhaler. If things like that would set him into an attack, there was no way that he could do any kind of organized sport. We tried a gluten, dairy and soy free diet, and allergy medicine, but that didn't seem to help enough. Finally, last year we saw an allergist that prescribed the right combinations of diet and medicines to finally get his asthma under control!! Praise the Lord!! We found out that cutting out gluten and soy wasn't helping at all - just making life more difficult, but cutting the dairy was helping, though his dairy problems aren't so bad that he can't have a piece of pizza and a bit of ice cream on special occasions. All of this has made him feel and act more like a normal little boy! He has a new energy and is more confident than ever!

We felt so sure of his health that I signed Gabe up for fall baseball!! A few weekends ago we headed over to the Corinth Baseball fields and he had try-outs.

The word "try-outs" is a little misleading...all of the boys got a team, but the coaches watched their skills and chose thier players in a draft after the try-outs which helps to even out the skill set of the players. Because he is almost 7 years old, he went straight to Coach Pitch baseball and skipped over t-ball, which made me a little nervous for him. This meant that many of the boys have played for 2 or 3 years already. I was so afraid that he would be very far behind his team mates. However, he did so well at try-outs! He wasn't the best out there, but he also wasn't that far behind the best! He caught grounders, hit the ball a few times and everyone was impressed with his swing! He smiled the entire time he was trying out.

He ended up getting chosen for the Yankee's team. We have gone to a few practices now and he is having a blast! In fact, it looks like Daddy will be on the team, too! Byron helped the coach out at the first practice by pitching and did so well that the coach asked if he will be the official coach pitcher for the team!  Their first game is set for September 8.

Mig enjoys cheering for Bubba!

You can be sure that there will be more pictures to come of our baseball guys!!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Our Classroom

When we moved in the middle of the school year last year we went from having a "homeschool closet" where we kept our books and supplies to having a whole homeschooling room!! This has been such a blessing!! During the months we have been in the house we have added to our room and now I am ready to share our workspace!

For Mother's Day (which happened to be the same week as Teacher Appreciation Day), Byron bought me a white board and a globe!

Since we have the wall space and room this year, we will be completing a History Time Line - which will be on the white strips behind the table.

The calendar is new! Last year I just had a paper calendar in the front of  Gabe's Math Binder that we would fill out. It is really nice to have the calendar, months and seasons as a visual for Selah to learn the calendar now that she is in kindergarten! Plus it really makes our room fun!!

We also have a tv in the school room - it is not connected to the cable, though. We invested in an Apple TV to connect to the tv - which has been an awesome tool! I have a playlist of our worship songs, memory verse song and some of the kid's favorite You Tube videos that we use during circle time. I can also use it to pull up websites to help teach. It has been a great tool for us!

I hope you have enjoyed the classroom tour!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

First Day Fun!

I think it is important to get the kids excited about school. Since they are homeschooled, they don't get the excitement of getting to meet their teacher or seeing friends that they haven't seen all summer, but I still wanted them to have some excitement for the first day, so we did some fun things to get ready for our first day.

Last Tuesday I took the kids shopping for new school supplies and a new school outfit. After our shopping was over, I treated them to McDonald's!

On the morning of the first day, we ate donuts for breakfast! Then, they all dressed in their new outfit and we did school pictures.

The kids were very excited and it was a great way to start off our school year!

First Day of School

Yesterday was our first day homeschool for the 2012-2013 school year!

Gabriel is now in 2nd Grade!

He will be using the following curriculum:
All About Handwriting B
Super Teacher Spelling Lists (Grade 3)
Saxon Math (2nd Grade now, but will start 3rd Grade by January)
First Language Lessons level 2 and Writing With Ease year 2
Christian Kids Explore Earth and Space
The Mystery of History Vol. 2
Classic Book Studies

 We decided that since Selah is reading on her own, knows all of her letters and letter sounds, and since she knows all of her numbers to 20 we would go ahead and start her in Kindergarten this year!

Selah will be using the following curriculum:
Progressive Phonics
Confessions of a Homeschooler K4 Curriculum
and various other resources

Mig isn't really in school yet - but I do refer to a book called Slow and Steady, Get Me Ready to fill his "school" time when he needs a little directed activities.

I also pull activities and guides (art and reading) from the What Your ___ Grader Should Know series.

Should be a super fun year!!

Friday, August 3, 2012

Hot Fun in the Summertime!

Well, today is our last day of summer vacation. Monday morning we will begin our second year of homeschooling!! We have had a very fun summer!

We have played in the sprinklers:

Spent time with family (Rachel, Will and the cousins were up a few weekends ago and Rachel and Will did a 5K Mud Run) not to mention a few trips to Belton):

We have participated in two Summer Reading Programs - the library had a Summer Reading party with a petting zoo, bounce house and games:

We have watched Team USA win many medals and particularly enjoyed the Opening Ceremonies:

We have gotten some much needed rest:

Eaten some tasty summer treats:

And just had fun!!! Thanks to Aunt Jackie for the fun Slip N Slide - we added our slide to it and some shaving cream for some Super Sliding!!

Hope you have all had a great summer, too!

Year Book

As I was putting together our End of School Party I thought it would be cool if I put together a year book of our first year homeschooling. It was kind of a passing thought until, a few days later I got an email from Shutterfly with a code for a free photo book!! DEAL! The kids and I had a great time putting it together and it arrived in the mail last week!! It turned out great! The kids have had so much fun looking at all of the neat things we did last homeschool year!