Monday, August 31, 2009

Christians Courageous---A Book Review

Today's guest reviewer is my son Daniel. Daniel is 16 and plans on entering the seminary next fall. He is a voracious reader and I knew that this was the perfect book for him to review. Please keep Dan and his vocation in your prayers.

Christians Courageous, by Aloysius Roche is a very wonderful book. It depicts the lives of 14 heroes of the Catholic Faith. The tales are spread out from the Roman persecution to early English monasticism to Hawaii at the end of the 1880's. It shows the courage Catholics have shown throughout their history to bring the message of Christ to all people. These 14 men would climb to the top of the world in order to preach the Gospel, and one actually did!

I very much enjoyed the book. However, the book lays claim to being written for youthful readers. While the story structures are clearly toward that level of education, the vocabulary and the amount of knowledge needed to enjoy the book, as much as it deserves, is more of an early high school level. This being said, as a read aloud this book would keep most young listeners on the edge of their seats. It is perfectly suited for a read aloud. Each story is short enough to finish in one sitting, and most are jam packed with action to keep young people interested for the time it takes to read. I would recommentd this book for any person from about twelve years and up, but younger that that if they do not have to work through the book themselves. Reviewer: Daniel Collins
This review is written as part of the Catholic Book reviewer program from The Catholic Company. Visit The Catholic Company to find more information on Christians Courageous.

Tessellations: Geometric Art

A tessellations is created when a shape is repeated over and over again, covering a plane without any gaps or overlays.
I didn't know this until I discovered this term while researching this week's Unplugged Project: Geometric.

This art form is also explored in our new favorite art book: The Usborne Complete of Book of Art Ideas.
This is by far, the best book of art for kids that I have ever used.
To find out more about tessellations, check out this wonderful website, Coolmath4kids.
I found printables to use for coloring at this website also.
We discussed patterns and geometric shapes that fit together.
We also had a lesson on the colorwheel and complimentary colors.
Luke worked on his geometric patterns, but this is as far as he got. After coloring these two hexagons he moved on to the pattern blocks, which are another type of tessellation.

Kimmy stuck to her coloring for quite awhile, I was very proud of her.
We have this real neat Puzzellations set from Barnes and Noble.
We had a whole set of tessellations and didn't even know it--until yesterday!!
Our finished pictures.
We learned that using complementary colors in our geometric pictures make the picture "POP".
Amy and Laura then moved on to other geometric art from our new favorite book.
Gracie worked a long time to complete her artwork!!
Laura made a pattern from directions in our book.
Using this pattern, she was able make a beautiful geometric picture.
The effects of this technique are amazing.
I need to get a frame for this!!
Puzzles are also tessellations.
Grace is getting a little help from big brother Pat with this puzzle.
Amy made a "tessellation transformation"
This is from our new art book.
Check out others geometric Unplugged Project here.
Next weeks Unplugged Project is OCEAN

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Makes my Monday--Sleeping Babies

Kimand Luke
June 2007
Kim and Luke
August 2009
Check out what makes other's Monday's special over at Twinfatuation.

Tot School

Kimberly is now 39 months old
We had another fun Tot School week with Kimberly.
I introduced Kimberly to this rhyming game this week.
She has gone beyond Luke's ability to rhyme, and he is 4, but I am not going to compare the kids. She loves to sit and do schoolwork, while Luke is quite a bit more active.
I placed seven cards on the table at a time and then gave one card to Kim and she found the match. We continued this way until we had gone through all the cards. Science this week was about water and ice. I had frozen a bunch of small toys in big ziploc containers about a week ago and have been waiting for a warm day ever since. Well, it looks like autumn may be here, because the temps are only getting into the 60's this week.
So, we had a chilly afternoon saving the toys from the giant iceberg.
Kimberly worked on her domestic skills.
When you fold laundy for 12 people--there are a lot of washclothes, and Kimberly always hurries to help me fold.
She is great at it.
Daddy took us to the zoo!!
We learned that Kim can move the world,
but it tires her out!
I got the locks and keys out this week.
I bought several locks about a year ago, and all the younger kids enjoy playing with them.
A lot of fine motor skills are needed to get these locks opened with their keys, and Kim was very proud everytime she had success.
Becky spend an afternoon baking with both Kim and Luke.
We all benefited from these tot-school efforts.
Kim is getting very good at doing her Lauri Alphabet Puzzle. She can so it all on her own, but when we are working on identifying letters, I work on one row at a time with her.
Kimberly helped us all make new crayons.
Kimberly had fun coloring with them and building with them.
These turned out very cute!
We received our "new school year" Pre-School Weekly Readers.
Kim loves these, even more than Luke. It adds a lot of fun and variety to Kim's schoolwork.
Reusable mazes were a hit this week.
Kim is doing great with writing.
Our new Tot School tool are these steam puff counting trains.
You can see the complete post about these here.
Kim using the 1-5 trains and does a great job lining the trains up and then counting "smoke" to the matching numbers.
We made a people flip book!
This was one of Kim's favorite funny people!
Check out all of this weeks Tot-School fun at 1+1+1=1.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Simply Made Sunday--in the kitchen with Mom--

When I saw this weekly blog subject, I knew it was something we could join in every week.
So here it goes, our first week taking part in Simply Make Sunday.
This week, with the help of Becky, our resident professional baker, we set out to make these simple cakemix cookies.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies

1 package devil's food cake mix
3/4 crunchy peanut butter
2 eggs
2 Tbls milk
1 cup candy peanut butter pieces
We doubled this recipe because we have more than your average number of cookie eaters around here.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine the cake mix, peanut butter, eggs and milk in bowl.

Beat at low speed with mixer until blended. Stir in peanut butter pieces.

We added a little extra milk.

This dough was quite dry and couldn't easily be spooned onto the cookie tray,

so we made them into balls and put them on the tray. This made Kim and Luke very happy!

Looks great and ready for the oven.

Bake at 350 for 10 to 12 minutes. We baked our on air bake cookie sheets and they took a little longer than they would on a regular cookie sheet.

The most important part, the taste test.....they pass with flying colors.

Check out all of this weeks Simply Made Sunday posts at Our Homeschool Fun.