Thursday, October 25, 2012

Art Class–Angela

Here are Angela’s projects. Her class focus was not the same as Olivia’s so she ended up with more projects. I did not get to see what Angela left for the exhibition, so I’ll come back and post those later. But, here’s what she brought home.

She made a paper mache pumpkin.

Art Class - A1

She also painted pictures. First, she worked with leaves. She was supposed to look at a leaf, draw it, and then paint it.

Art Class - A2

Here is a fall painting she did next.

Art Class - A4

With each activity they did, the students were asked to write about the process. I think that was Angela’s favorite part! She filled her index cards with detailed instructions. It has been fun to read her cards detailing every step of the processes she enjoyed in art class.

In a final activity, she was supposed to look at a scene – a still life scene, I think. She was supposed to express what she saw, thought, and felt, and then try to reproduce that in a drawing.

My Flowers

Art Class - A3

Here’s what she wrote to go with My Flowers:

I see a window, flowers, creativity, stars, designs, and my outlining.

I think about a garden full of flowers and a vase of flowers fresh from the garden on the table.

I feel a love for drawing.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Art Class–Olivia

Six weeks of art classes ended this week. Olivia’s last class was last Thursday and Angela’s was this Monday. Children were selected from the local schools, but the director of the art center wanted some homeschool involvement as well. So, he reserved spots for Olivia and Angela. We were so thankful!

Most of Olivia’s class sessions were spent sketching, practicing, and trying to learn technique. She then turned that practice into two finished products.

There will be an exhibit soon showing selected drawings from each students. Her teacher kept this first one for the exhibit.

Art Class - O2

This one was a pencil sketching based on a painting by Van Gogh. Olivia then went back and solidified the lines with ink.

Art Class - O1

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Not Quite Ordinary Observations

For Today...Tuesday, October 23, 2012

In the great outdoors...the last gasp (hopefully!) of summer. We’ve been blessed with moderate humidity, so the windows stayed open even as the temperatures climbed again. We hope that Friday’s anticipated cold front ushers fall in once and for all!

Within our four walls...autumn decorations are finally up, just in time for the fall weather! The girls took care of that for me yesterday afternoon before we left for Angie’s art class. We don’t have many decorations – a couple of door hangings and a few tablecloths, enough ceramic gourds to decorate the mantle, and a few serving pieces to replace my Arthur Court collection on a shelf in the dining room. Oh, and I think the girls found a stuffed turkey to grace the piano. But, it is amazing what a difference just a few decorative items make!

A heart of thanksgiving...for a calm, quiet week before we head into two very busy weeks.

A heart of prayer...for a struggling friend. Also for the farmers trying to get in the last of their crops before another rain hits. Most of the farmers only have soybeans left. Soybeans take several days to dry out enough for harvest after a rain. We have had rain, even in small amounts, every five or six days lately, and that has made harvest difficult.

Random observations...something has made us laugh nearly every day lately. I want to get in the habit of posting those little moments, if only for me to remember them.

Thoughts from the kitchen...I have discovered the delights of homemade cream soups. Opening a can of cream of mushroom or cream of chicken soup has always been such a natural thing. But a few weeks ago we didn’t have any on hand, and I really didn’t want to change the menu for the day. Doug found a recipe, and it was so easy and so good! I have tweaked it a bit here and there, and I could eat the cream of chicken soup straight up! Yum!

On my bookshelf...Tricia Goyer’s new book! Doug handed it to me today as a surprise! I am making myself finish my current review book before starting it, though. Of course, I say that as if I’m not enjoying my current review book – I am enjoying it, too!

Projects...working on a cross-stitching portion of Christmas presents. I’d forgotten how much I enjoyed cross-stitch. 

Sounds of the moment...the kids cheering because I told them they could watch Veggie Tales – Larry Boy, to be exact. It’s been a while.

Last week we learned...Steven and Angie finished up Greek myths, but are still learning about Greece. In science they progressed from what happens underground to the water cycle. Olivia’s focus has been on genes in science and Russia in history.

A favorite thing from last week...a relaxed Saturday. It’s been a while!

The planner...just school this week, and church Wednesday night. Art classes are over, for which I am glad. We are so thankful to have had the opportunity, but I won’t miss being in Stuttgart twice a week!

Because visuals are three sillies

2012-10-21 09.27.13

Saturday, October 20, 2012

A Little Theater

Angela is working through Sonlight’s Core B history and science with Steven. She is doing it for the second time (she was barely five when she did it the first time), and although the information review is definitely beneficial to her, the workload is technically beneath her grade level and definitely beneath her abilities. So, we supplement heavily with some resources that challenge her to create projects based on what she is learning. They require her to both dig for more information and use her creativity to pull that information together into a complete project. She typically gets to choose from a “menu” of ideas, and it has been fun to see which activities she chooses. I think these resources are going to really help her find some of her as-yet undiscovered talents and interests!

As we learned about Greek mythology recently, she decided to choose an assignment that guided her through writing a short play. She had to write the script, create the stage, gather any necessary props and costumes, and manage the cast.

Her play of choice was about Poseidon, and she and her cast performed it for us this afternoon! (The script follows the video, if you need it.)

Poseidon and the Nymphs

NARRATOR: Poseidon was the god of the sea. He also got angry very easily.

POSEIDON: What a perfect day to wreck some ship on the rocks of doom, or wash someone upon a deserted island with no food.

NYMPHS (singing): Swiftly, swiftly the ship went down; on the rocks the ship went down.

NARRATOR: Now Poseidon did not like the nymphs’ singing. Rather, he completely hated it!

POSEIDON: Must ye nymphs always sing? I do not like it at all!

NYMPHS (singing): Singing softly is our passion, singing about poor shipwrecked sailors on the rocks.

POSEIDON: Well, stop! If you don’t I will make you! (Poseidon waves his wand toward Napolea, one of the sea nymphs, turning her into stone.)

NYMPHS (singing): We weep, we weep, for our dear sister Napolea. She has done nothing wrong to suffer this.

POSEIDON: Do not cry. I will bring her back if you will only sing when I want you to.

NYMPHS: Oh yes. Do please.

POSEIDON: I will indeed. (Poseidon waves his wand once again, restoring Napolea to her normal self.)

NARRATOR: So to this day all the nymphs of Poseidon never sing without permission from him.

The play was followed by a silly song entitled “Silly Songs with Dolphins.” The last line is a bit of a family joke. When someone can’t find something that is “hidden” in plain sight, we inform them that they may not pursue a career in herpetology!

The Dolphin’s Missing Hairbrush

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Not Quite Ordinary Observations

For Today...Tuesday, October 16, 2012

In the great’s trying to decide whether or not it’s going to be fall. Trying. Today is a very still, humid, overcast day with temps in the upper 70’s. Not bad – we’ve been able to keep the windows open, even without opening the front door for extra circulation (the mosquitoes are bad again).

Within our four walls...a great need for fall decorations. I think I’m going to bring the tub down from the attic one day this week and let the kids decorate for me.

A heart of thanksgiving...for healthy children. I trust that if that ever changes, God will provide all we need to deal with whatever comes our way. But, I never cease to be thankful for the health that has surrounded our family thus far.

A heart of prayer...for friends suffering loss and for salvation for several loved ones.

Random observations...we have much evidence of growing within this house. Half an inch of growth per child in the last two months. Oh, and Steven is thrilled to announce his first two loose teeth. He’s so proud!

Thoughts from the kitchen...I found a couple of exciting recipes. One of them is for halloumi, the official cheese of the island of Cyprus. In fact, if it’s not made on Cyprus, it’s not really halloumi! It’s a rare treat for us – we used to only get it when someone was coming from the Middle East. Recently we found it at a Middle Eastern store in Little Rock, but it’s quite pricey. Like I said – a rare treat. So, sometime after the Christmas busyness, we’re going to try to make what we will call Ark-alloumi! We’ll see how it turns out!

The other recipe we’re going to try is yogurt. It is getting more and more expensive to buy, but we really like to have it on hand. We could make it for about half the cost, and it seems relatively easy. Worth a try!

On my bookshelf...a couple of fiction novels and a Bible handbook to review this week and next. But, what I’m really giddy about is the fact that three Tricia Goyer books are on their way for my November reviews! soon as I get done here, OIivia and I are going to work on some of her crochet stitches. I’m suspicious that she wants to crochet some Christmas gifts but doesn’t want to tell me. Hmmmm…

I also want to teach her how to use the hemmer foot on the sewing machine so she can hem my fall napkins for me, and maybe even some winter and Christmas ones as well.

Sounds of the playing quietly and this chair squeaking every time I move. I’ve also heard quite a few email notification sounds recently as my fellow Home Educating Family reviewers and the members of our Arkansas minister’s wives Facebook page are doing a lot of chatting back and forth right now.

A favorite thing from last week...I went to pick Angela up from her art class, and found her writing. Apparently the kids are supposed to write about the art processes and techniques they use with each project. I happened to glance at some of the cards and saw one or two lines scratched on the cards. Not Angela’s. She covered her index card back and front with detailed information about what she had done. My smiles were mostly over the fact that Angie has discovered a couple of true passions lately in writing and sketching. She writes and sketches all the time, and I love the things she comes up with! It’s so much fun to watch my children develop their personalities and likes.

The planner...we joined Doug for our association’s annual meeting last night, and he’s going alone tonight. Church tomorrow night, and I have a meeting Thursday night. Add to that full to-do lists, and you can probably understand why we’re looking forward to not doing a whole lot this weekend!

Because visuals are fun...I posted this on Facebook, but I just had to put it here, too. Olivia can’t get enough of little Thea, and I love watching them together.

Friday, October 12, 2012


To all of those who entered last week’s final Blog Hop contest, I am so sorry! I neglected to get the winner posted this morning.

The winner is…


Congratulations! Send me your mailing address, and I’ll make sure your planner gets to you. Hope you love it as much as I do!

To all others who have won but not yet submitted information:

NextGen Homeschool – On the Go Planner

Maria – Wall Calendar

I need to submit names and contact information soon to get all of the prizes out. So, I need your contact information by Thursday, October 18th. After that point, an alternate winner will be chosen. My email address is ann [at] thehibbardfamily [dot] com.


Friday, October 5, 2012

Blog Hop: Fabulous Field Trips

Blog Hop Button
Well, friends, the time has come for our very last Not-Back-to-School Blog Hop post! The month has gone quickly!

Today's topic is "Fabulous Field Trips." I cannot wait to see what my review team friends share about their field trip adventures!

I have a stack of various forms and resources that would allow me to record every field trip for record-keeping purposes. My children could even use them to produce fantastic reports about our trips. We never use them. I confess I have never once even encouraged my children to produce evidence proving that they learned something on one of our outings. But, every time we go through pictures or talk about our trips, they prove that they remember. We plan our outings just for the sake of having fun, but we rarely come back from one without having learned something. I guess that is what happens when you plan trips for a family addicted to learning!

A look back through our blog history reminds me of some of the fun trips we have taken over the years.
Two Air Shows


Air Show 7
A trip to see hummingbirds banded
Trips to the zoo with extended family...


or just us

Summer band concerts (my husband and sister-in-law used to play in this band, and my mom does now!)

Historical sites & events
Museum 7


Trains 2
Combine rides
Combine 1
Even a simple trip to Barnes & Noble with friends counts!

And occasionally we are invited to join organized school trips like Farm Safety Day.

Note: All of the pictures link back to blog posts about those trips.
We rarely plan for our field trips to be super educational or to fit precisely with our current school focus. We just take advantage of opportunities that come our way or plan outings that fit with what we as a family enjoy. Frequently, though, it happens anyway. (That especially tends to be what happens when God is the One who engineers our adventures.) Even a recent trip to the eye doctor was almost like a field trip because Olivia and I had just been learning about the eye in school. The doctor took the time to explain how what Olivia had learned in her science books related to her eyes specifically.

With that, we come to the end of our blog hop. But we do have one last giveaway! First, last week's winner...

NextGen Homeschool!!!

Congratulations! I know you'll enjoy your planner! Be sure to email your mailing address to ann [at] thehibbardfamily [dot] com to claim your On-the-Go Planner!
Also, if you have won a previous contest but have not yet sent your contact information, be sure to do so as soon as possible so we can get your prize to you!

This week's giveaway is my all-time favorite Well Planned Day product. It is the Well Planned Day paper planner.

As helpful and wonderful as I find the online planner to be (more and more every time I log in, in fact!), I cannot imagine doing without my paper planner. I have never used a planner with greater ease than this one. (In fact, here's a post that shares how I use my planner..."How I Use the Well Planned Day Planner")

To enter this last giveaway, just leave a comment before 5:00 PM CST Thursday, October 11. Be sure to check back next Friday for the winner!!

Remember: due to international sweepstakes laws, this giveaway is for US entrants only. This giveaway is not tied to any social media site. All prizes must be claimed within eight weeks.

And, as always, don't forget to click on the blog hop button at the top of the post to read about the field trips my fellow review team members enjoy.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Fun at the Zoo & More

Grandma & PopPop arrived late Wednesday evening after enjoying some time with Steph and Morgan in the Little Rock area. The kids were sooooooooo incredibly excited that they were coming. For days before their arrival, every prayer included, “Thank you, Jesus, that Grandma and PopPop get to come and that they get to stay at our house and that they get to stay for several days!”

Thursday morning, Doug and I got up early and headed to Arkadelphia for the OBU Pastor’s Conference. The kids and grandparents were able to tackle the morning in a slightly more leisurely fashion before they, too, loaded up and headed out of town. They went to check Morgan out of school for a day at the zoo! When they tired of the zoo, they went downtown to a park by the river for some play time.

Grandma got some great pictures of the four little monkeys. I think they had fun together!




The girls informed Steven that they didn’t think his legs were long enough to climb these things.


He decided to prove them wrong! By the way, this is the child who used to be terrified of climbing into the Chick-fil-A play area – and not when he was too little for it, either. I’m proud of the way he’s grown into intentionally choosing to try many of the things that intimidate him. Not all of them, but many of them.




Kids and grandparents alike were pretty worn out by the end of the day, but they all seemed to have fun. (Grandma said she needs about six years to recover before doing it again!) We all met up for dinner, ran a few errands, and then headed home. We spent the rest of the weekend just enjoying each other’s company in a very relaxed manner.

Thanks, Grandma & PopPop for coming to stay with us!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Not Quite Ordinary Observations

For Today...Tuesday, October 2, 2012

In the great outdoors...hints of color on our peach trees. We anticipate a brown fall because of the drought, but we are hoping for color on our fruit trees since we watered them all summer. We shall see!

Within our four walls…much fresh air! We figured out a way to hang a screen in the front doorway. The increase in cross-circulation is phenomenal! It makes a good 3-4 degree difference in the house, which can mean keeping the windows open a little longer when the temps climb again.

A heart of thanksgiving...for the flexibility to take an extra week off when we need it. This week we need it.

A heart of prayer...for family members who are struggling.

Random observations...administrative tasks suck up a lot of time. I know they need to be done, so it is productive time. But, they just look so small in the grand scheme of things, so I forget they take so long.

Thoughts from the kitchen...we’ve had a bag of cheesy potato, ham, and broccoli soup in the freezer since just before our cool days ended last spring. I’ve wanted to pull it out so many times, but it’s been too hot. Not today!

Oh, and my children have decided to enjoy soup!! They’ve always complained about soup, so I didn’t make it very often just to avoid the fight. Now they like it. That makes me very, very happy.

On my bookshelf...still finishing The Bible in World History, and then I need to read a historical novel I’d forgotten about entitled Beloved Enemy.

Projects...getting ready to start organizing pictures for Christmas calendars. And I need to organize Christmas craft projects so nothing slips through the cracks or catches me off guard. Organization is a project, right? It sure is fun enough to be one! 

Sounds of the moment...pages rustling as the girls check each other’s math lessons. Why have I never thought of having them to that before?

Last week we (Doug and I) learned...that the cycle of sin, judgment, and restoration from Deuteronomy is reflected in the Passion Week. It was such a thrill to sit under our religion professors again and soak up the learning.

A favorite thing from last week...the pastor’s conference and the delight of my children each time they expressed thankfulness that Grandma & PopPop not only got to stay much longer than usual this time, but they also got to stay at our house instead of needing to head back to their hotel. That just made the kids’ week!

The extra week off school to try to be prepared for our busy fall schedule. We have a lot of weeks off from school coming up, but they are not really breaks. So, this week will be helpful.

Because visuals are fun...Angela loves these sparkly pink shoes. They were almost too small, but we decided she could get a little more wear out of them. Then she discovered that there was a missions-related shoe collection, and she decided that it was more important to donate these shoes while she could than it was to hang on to them a little longer. So, Sunday night she proudly added them to the shoe barrel.