Golden Grasses

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Volleyball!


A couple of cool homeschool Moms that we know got together a few years ago and started Wednesdays at the Park, learning and playing Volleyball. The season officially started today and it couldn't have been more perfect weather! The littles play on the playscapes, the Jr. Highers worked on skills and then did a couple of scrimmages, and the older crowd jumped right into playing games. Amanda brought Popsicles and fudge bars for 40 to celebrate J's birthday, which was a perfect addition to a late spring evening at the Park, complete with babies on blankets and dogs on leashes.

To top it all off, we saw hot air balloons! 
Guess where you'll be finding us once a week throughout the summer? 

@Golden Grasses 2008-2013. All photographs, artwork and text are the property of the owner unless otherwise stated. Don't miss a thing! Subscribe to Golden Grasses and get our articles right to your inbox!

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Blessed Be the Name





@Golden Grasses 2008-2013. All photographs, artwork and text are the property of the owner unless otherwise stated. Don't miss a thing! Subscribe to Golden Grasses and get our articles right to your inbox!

Knee Deep (literally)

*1*

Watched a great documentary film "Weapons of the Spirit,"  this week-end on a small Heugonaut village in France that rescued hundreds of Jews during the Holocaust. The entire community came together to provide food, shelter and education to children whose lives were forfeit in the currency of the time. One of the villagers said, "It was not an extraordinary Christianity that we possessed. It was Christianity, put to the test." A beautiful testimony to an entire community willing to dare say, "2+2=4".
*2*

We are still doing some school- bits and pieces, along with math for Cub. In between the pieces, the kids are reading, spending hours playing Legos, walking in the fields and along the river, drawing, painting, planting flowers and getting lost in a computer game or two.

*3*
Feeche removed  more barbed wire, metal posts and general over-run mayhem in certain areas of the property. It looked too fun so the rest of us spent several school/work breaks in the fields with him, taking down wire, digging out posts. When I say, "digging out posts" you might think to yourself, "ah, a few shovelfuls, a  hard yank and voila, a post!" Not so, my friends. These posts, set almost 90 years ago, are 3 feet deep into prairie sod and put in to last the duration. It required digging, digging, removal of stones and rocks, more digging. levering underneath the post and then finally calling Feeche over to twist and strong arm the post into submissive compliance while mutterings of, "Come out!" were heard. Yeah, that was fun. Some of the posts we decided were just a really terrific reminder of what the place used to look like, and since our backs were killing us, we are all about the reminder. Plus, they are aligned so perfectly- the craftsmanship that went into all of it is really something to behold.

*4*

While this has nothing to do with what comes next, I thought I'd give you a real world view of living with 15 yo.
And since we were outside anyway, we decided to start on the last of the brick-work, a short walkway outside the back-door. And the huge uglified pile of bricks sitting under the west window will be in the ground. It's amazing how hardscaping civilizes a place.

*5*
Flowers garden is growing, though we had to cover it for frost this week- mid-May y'all and it was sweater weather all week long. We mostly cleared the front beds and added in flowers and hostas. As I was moving daisies around one of the trees, I took a step and sank over knee deep in dirt, one leg only. Yes, you read that right. The best we can figure is it was the place where the old tree stump had rotted away, leaving ultra porous earth. Once I was extracted (thank God Dr. Dh was home!), we filled it in with some of the hard packed dirt we had dug up for the brick walk-way. Even with that, Cub went out to investigate and the area was super squishy. While I was stuck and slightly flipping out about whatever earth dwellers might be touching my submerged leg, Dr. Dh had a good laugh at my expense. His response,  (laugh, laugh, laugh), "Get the camera!" (laugh, laugh, laugh).

*6*
Mensa's Summer 7-How to Prevent Brain Drain over the summer!
Mensa's Excellence in Reading- summer reading program by age groupings- scroll down to see the links.
*7*
Fill in the blank. What's going on in your world? 


@Golden Grasses 2008-2013. All photographs, artwork and text are the property of the owner unless otherwise stated. Don't miss a thing! Subscribe to Golden Grasses and get our articles right to your inbox!

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Unbroken- TOS Review


I first heard about Unbroken when one of my Master's class kids did a presentation on the book and film. I was intrigued. A week later the opportunity for Unbroken Legacy of Faith Edition for FishFlix.com came up and I was thrilled. 


Flower and I watched this movie in the back of the van on the way to D.C. This movie is about an Olympian athlete who overcomes one adversity after another throughout WWII. It's intense, disgusting and heartbreaking at times. Because of his status as a world-class athlete, he is particularly targeted for cruel treatment, and at one point is asked to betray his country for special privilege's. He refuses, making the abuse all the worse.  There are illusions to this man's faith, and one very powerful scene where he takes inhumane treatment so that another POW isn't abused. It was truly heartbreaking, but a powerful visual of what Christ has done for us. The faith aspect is always alluded to but it is not front and center in the movie. It would have made for a more powerful movie to include Louie's faith more prominently,in my opinion,  bringing redemption to the terrible circumstances this courageous man endured. That being said, the overall quality of this DVD, from packaging to bonus CD was outstanding. 

Included with the film is a bonus CD which superbly rounds out the film, delving into Louie's faith, ability to forgive and the Redemptive Power that sustained him in the face of cruel brutality.

Unbroken Legacy of Faith Edition by FishFlix.com 
provides  bonus CD included with the film that includes
  • Coming Full Circle: Louie’s exclusive CBN interview
  • Faith Lesson: Louie discusses the faith that sustained him
  • Captured by Grace: The Billy Graham Evangelical Association and Louie Zamperini give an inspirational message of faith
  • Louie & Laurie: Pastor Greg Laurie interviews Louie Zamperini

This is an excellent film to watch for U.S. and Modern History, WWII studies, in a co-op or youth group, as a family night (with older kids) or simply as enjoyment for anyone who loves war stories and real life heroes.. I will say that some of the scenes are fairly intense, a bit much for my 12 year old. My older boys (ages 15 and 20), however, loved it. 

For anyone who values quality, wholesome entertainment, FishFlix.com is a company that you'll want to follow and keep an eye on. FishFlix.com makes available quality, Christian and family films. If you appreciate that, as I do, you'll want to check out the other great films available through FishFlix.com 

Follow FishFlix.com  on Social Media:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/fishflix
Twitter: https://twitter.com/christiandvd
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/fishflix/
Google+: https://plus.google.com/+Fishflix/
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/familychristianmovie

For more reviews from the Excellent Crew: 

FishFlix.com Review

Crew Disclaimer
@Golden Grasses 2008-2013. All photographs, artwork and text are the property of the owner unless otherwise stated. Don't miss a thing! Subscribe to Golden Grasses and get our articles right to your inbox!

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Challenge A Prep



We are deep into Spring, heading into Summer and I am regularly busy with getting things done and planning for what's next. Our CC Practicum is just over a month away and I am soaking in scientific copiousness and other brainiac cool things. It will be 3 days of sharing the classical model, CC love and talking with new and veteran homeschoolers. And an on-site bookstore. It's like classical Christian community heaven, right there.
In between that I am busy stock piling tons of info for Challenge A- which I'll be directing in the fall. Can.not.wait, y'all. Our group is 1/2 full (Master's class, move on UP!) with several others discerning if it's going to be a good fit for them or not. I have a Challenge A notebook already going, with tabs and sections, files and more. It is going to be a rocking year. Thought I'd share some of the goodness with you -even if you are not a Challenge student, there is a lot of fantastic info on getting organized, Jr. and Sr. High Homeschool, memorization, and much, much more. If I've left someone out, or a link that is too good to pass up, please let me know and I'll add it right in!

Specific Helps
Flash Card Making Kit
The World on a String- Globe Ornament
Infographics on 30 Different Countries
Creating a Geography Table
Continental Blob Maps
Squilt: Music Appreciation Made Simple
Henle Study Guide from Memoria Press. 
Challenge A Extra's Ebook

World Fair Tri-fold display- check out ClassicalTeacher at c3 

Great Posts from Challenge A Mommas
Challenge A: What I Can't Live Without- by 6 More Summers
Challenge A Notebook Organization by 6 More Summers
If I Could Start Challenge Again by Classical Conversations at Home
Let's Talk About Challenge A by Mt. Hope Chronicles
What is it like to be a Challenge Parent by Half a Hundred Acre Wood
Insight from a First Year Challenge Mom by Half a Hundred Acre Wood
20 Things I Wish I Had Known About CC's Challenge Program from EverFaith
Bridging the Gap - Foundations to Challenge Series #1
Bridging the Gap- Foundations to Challenge Series #2
Bridging the Gap- Foundations to Challenge Series #3
CC Blogs/ Carnivals/Link-Ups
CC Blog Roll, Link-Up and Carnival at Half a Hundred Acre Wood
HomeGrown Learners: Classical Conversations
Half a Hundred Acre Wood
Mt. Hope Chronicles
Suzanne Shares
Running With Team Hogan
Bring 'em on! 


@Golden Grasses 2008-2013. All photographs, artwork and text are the property of the owner unless otherwise stated. Don't miss a thing! Subscribe to Golden Grasses and get our articles right to your inbox!

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Work, School and Dick Van Dyke

*1*
Flower had a fun sleep-over with one of her goofy, clay making besties and came home raving about the Dick Van Dyke show. Too funny because the day before Cub and I had watched an episode: The Prank Phone Call. As a result, it's been the week of the Dick Van Dyke show. I miss the writing wit of Firefly, but it did prove too intense for a certain "G" rated girlie who resides here. Dick Van Dyke has obvious gags, but the delivery is perfect and no-one can move as fluidly, even if he was voted worst British accent in the role of Bert.

*2*
Geography lovers will want to check out THIS awesome site with great infograhics about 3 different countries- Challenge A peeps, check it out!
Looking for some good summer flicks? Check out this awesome list History Movies for Homeschool

*3*
It was re-enroll week at work. My ear is going to fall off due to the phone ringing, ringing, ringing. All good. I love the families that I work with!

*4*
Tons of chatter on social media about homeschoolers who work. The number of families who homeschool and have two parents working continues to grow. Check out my blog series:
Your Compelling Reason
Flow, Grow and Tools
Inventory
Just 4 Things
Be Extraordinary
*5*
Looking for some good summer flicks? Check out this awesome list History Movies for Homeschool
*6*
Feeche and Cub have de-fenced and blazed trails. We have rolls of chain link and loops of barbed wire and many, many metal fence posts in the barn as a result. It's so great to have green lines of sight that aren't broken up by rusty, broken down fencing. Loving it! The cats and dog love that we are outside with them. Ursa is continually being taunted by the barn swallows, who I swear have set up a rotational schedule amongst themselves to take turns dive-bombing her.

*7* 
Summer school has consisted of MUS, FFL, Adv. Bio for Cub and Spelling You See, Mental Math and PreScripts for Flower. Next week we are going to throw in Cycle 1 and 2 Grammar CD's from CC. I'm fun that way. Fall is coming together, which is relief because 2 weeks ago it didn't look so good for Cub. We actually have so many great academic opportunities for Cub that we are going to have to weed some out. A great problem to have!

@Golden Grasses 2008-2013. All photographs, artwork and text are the property of the owner unless otherwise stated. Don't miss a thing! Subscribe to Golden Grasses and get our articles right to your inbox!

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Vietnam Memorial D.C.


@Golden Grasses 2008-2013. All photographs, artwork and text are the property of the owner unless otherwise stated. Don't miss a thing! Subscribe to Golden Grasses and get our articles right to your inbox!

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Spring Around the Homestead

*1*
Aren't these beautiful? Flower had the great idea to use some of the old stumps as flower pots. Came out just lovely.
*2*
We had rain this week, which can be a pretty big deal around here. And we went from almost 80 degree weather back down to low 60's. Flower planted her small plot with green stuff- green beans, lettuce, basil, parsley, as well as some squash and can't wait for it to come up.
*3*
Feeche had finals this week and knocked out another semester with great grades and very little debt. He also got his car back, thanks to the love and diligence of our friend Don, who not only gave him the car, but made sure he found a transmission for it, and then another transmission for it. His heart is gladdened. Don and Ricci are humble servants, always giving, blessing, showing up and praying with no thought for reward or prestige. Our lives and hope are blessed because of them in so many ways.
So, once Feeche got over finals- i.e. slept and ate and slept and ate, he and Cub have spent the day de-fencing. Which means taking up and out more of the cattle fencing, held in by 4 foot deep sunk-poles and lots of rusty barbed wire  around the property. It is looking more civilized by the minute.
*4*
Found a cool web-site, Foldables, that shows a ton of different review games for concepts, ideas, skill, very much along the lines of Dinah Zike, who happens to have her own YouTube Channel, full of cool and useful educational ideas.
*5*
Been gearing up for fall and getting excited about The Lost Tools of Learning for Writing- the focus is on how to think in order to write well. I'm in love. Caitilin, you were right, of course!
And Roman Roads Media is introducing live, on-line classes with both Wes Callihan and Jim Nance. The homeschool world gets better by the minute!
*6*
Went to see Age of Ultron with my peeps. What a convoluted mash up of a would be story line. I'd heard great things but it's definitely a C imho, redeemed only by familiar characters and great special effects.
*7*
Spending lots of time doing training for Classical Conversations Practicum and it is a class act from beginning to end. The training, resources and materials available to Tutors, Directors, Speakers and the Management Team seriously terrific. They take to heart the adage that a rising tide raises all ships.

@Golden Grasses 2008-2013. All photographs, artwork and text are the property of the owner unless otherwise stated. Don't miss a thing! Subscribe to Golden Grasses and get our articles right to your inbox!