Lego Challenge #43: Wrapped Object


Inspired by Sam's Lego Quest, (which is no longer active),  I wanted to start a 
weekly Lego challenge 
that kids can do and you can link up to. 
This linky has been open for a whole year, and will be closed soon. If you want to link up, please do so this week.
With the photo, please give your child's age, what country (or, if the the US, what state) you are from and anything your child wants to say about his or her creation.This can be simple or extremely complex, it's up to you. The only real rule is that it has to be custom built. Your own creation, not a pre-designed one.


You can write a separate post for the challenge or you can just add the photo of your child's entry for the challenge to a weekly wrap-up post.


Lego Challenge #43:Wrapped Object

Create anything you like out of LEGO and wrap it with some other material so no portion of the LEGO is showing.

Is there a sense of mystery about what the wrapping conceals, or is the object easily recognizable?
Tell us what you created, what type of material you wrapped your creation in and why.


Here are other Lego Challenges You Can Do:

With the photo of your child's creation, please give your child's age, what country (or, if the the US, what state) you are from and anything your child wants to say about his or her creation.

Lego Challenge #42: Illumination

Mixed Media means to combine one or more, other objects or art mediums with your LEGO creation. Your creation can be anything you like.
Inspired by Sam's Lego Quest, (which is no longer active),  I wanted to start a 
weekly Lego challenge 
that kids can do and you can link up to. 
This linky has been open for a whole year, and will be closed soon. If you want to link up, please do so this week.
With the photo, please give your child's age, what country (or, if the the US, what state) you are from and anything your child wants to say about his or her creation.This can be simple or extremely complex, it's up to you. The only real rule is that it has to be custom built. Your own creation, not a pre-designed one.


You can write a separate post for the challenge or you can just add the photo of your child's entry for the challenge to a weekly wrap-up post.

Lego Challenge #42: Illumination
What effect does light have on your Lego creation?
Create anything you like but think about how you will illuminate this design.
Does it glow in the dark?
Is there a light source inside the structure, so it has an internal warmth, like a house?
Are you lighting your creation like it's a fine piece of artwork?
Are you decorating your creation with lights?
What did you do to illuminate your creation and why?


Here are other Lego Challenges You Can Do:

With the photo of your child's creation, please give your child's age, what country (or, if the the US, what state) you are from and anything your child wants to say about his or her creation.

If you don't have a blog and would like to share photos of your child's completed challenge, please feel free to send me your photos at bergenholtzfamily@gmail.com and I will post them in the next week's challenge.

Advent Activity Calendar

Advent and 12 Days of Christmas Activity Calendar 2014


2
Put up outside decorations.

Make wreaths for the birds.
4
Baking Day: Stained Glass Cookies
St. Nicholas Day:
Write Letters to Santa,
7
Get greens and mistletoe and decorate the house with them. Have hot cocoa and perhaps make some Little Snowmen when get home.
8
9
Make kissing balls and orange or lemon pomanders.

10
Make wreaths.


11


12
Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe; Make Ojo de Dios.


13
St. Lucia Day
Breakfast in Bed for Parents!
Go caroling at the local 
Nursing home.




15
Cookie Baking Day
16
First Day of Hanukkah.
Make edible Dreidels.

17
Las Posadas
Have a Mexican teatime and get out the Nativities.
(Our 24th
Anniversary!)
18
Watch or go see The Nutcracker

19
Drive around and look at lights!

 20
Secret Santas Shopping 

21 First Day of Winter,
Go ice skating or Make snowflakes.
23
Christmas movie night
24
Christmas Eve, Last minute decorations.
Open a present.
25
Christmas Day,
Read the Christmas story from the Bible.
26
2nd Day of Christmas,
Feast of St. Stephen.
Deliver gifts.

27
3rd Day of Christmas;
Write thank you notes.



28
4th Day of Christmas,
Feast of the Holy Innocents, 
James' Birthday Celebration

29
5th Day of Christmas
Make Walnut Fortunes.
30
6th Day of Christmas
Make Christmas Crackers.

31
7th Day of Christmas, 
Have a New Year's Eve celebration
1
8th Day of Christmas, Have a New Year's Day dinner with Hoppin' John and play games.
2
9th Day of Christmas;
Watch a Christmas movie.
3
10th Day of Christmas; Roast 
marshmallows
at the 
fireplace.


4
11th Day of Christmas;
Make a treat and have a Christmas tea.
5
12th Day of Christmas
Have a Twelfth Night party.








Master Menu Planning!


As homeschooling moms we have a lot of regular tasks that take our time and energy but they are necessary, so we have to do them. Through the 19 years of homeschooling and homemaking, however, I have tried to simplify and streamline these tasks so that they take up less of my time and energy. One of these tasks is menu planning. It is a particularly difficult task for our family as we have special diets and palates that don't always combine well. I have two children who can't have casein (milk protein) or gluten. My husband has been a vegetarian for years. Most of my kids are picky eaters, only liking American-style foods and I crave variety and foreign dishes. One of my kids won't eat anything that is mixed together, like a casserole. And then there is the issue of getting the most for your money. What solutions have I found through the years? How do I accomplish the task of menu planning?
  • First I would suggest that you get a blank calendar page to make up a master monthly menu. Most of us tend to eat the same dishes over and over again, so I have found that you can pretty much get everything you like to eat in a one to two month master plan as people tend to eat the same things over and over each month or two, with a few variations.
  • At the top of each column, instead of the usual "Sunday...Monday...etc" write categories for the things that your family likes to eat. An example may be: 1) chicken, 2) hamburger, 3) Pasta, 4) Crockpot (in winter) or Salads (in summer), 5) New or Occasional dishes (which would include holidays), 6) Fish or Beef and 7) Pork. You could make the categories anything you like, however, customizing it to your family's tastes. My family likes to eat tacos more than anything else and I have found that they like me to serve it once a week! So, one of my categories is just Tacos.
  • Now, begin filling in the chart with your family's favorites. Some categories will be easy to fill up and others might take a little more work. You might even find that you need to change the category headings as you see where your family's favorite recipes fit.
  • Once you chart is almost finished, you will see that there are gaps here and there. You can fill them with new recipes you would like to try. This is where Pinterest, blogs that you like or a menu planning system, like Build a Menu, comes in handy. Build a Menu has lots of really great tasting recipes and has them in categories which include Dine on a Dime, Family Friendly, Low Carb, Low Fat/Sensible Portions, either just Gluten Free or Allergy Friendly, which all have no gluten, dairy or nuts, Vegetarian, Clean Eating, Slow Cooker, Grill-A-Meal and Trim Healthy Mama. You could even use these categories at your header categories in your own personal master monthly menu. You can pick from any or all of the categories each week, so you are not stuck with one type of meal. There is even a "Cheat and Eat" option for breakfast and lunch which is just an option to include items that don't need a recipe, such as a frozen pizza or a box of cereal to your menu. When I reviewed Build a Menu previously, the only thing I didn't like about the program was the fact that there wasn't a way to add in your own recipes, but now Build a Menu has added a new feature in which you can add your own recipes!
  • Make a shopping list based on your menu choices. If you do this step once, then you can use the same menu and shopping list over and over again without any additional work. You can do this entirely on your own or you can use a use an online menu planning system to help you with this step. I have found Build a Menu a lifesaver on this as well. The program has a built in shopping list generator. As you pick the recipes, it automatically generates a shopping list with estimated costs, divided into categories for easy shopping. And now, your own recipes will be added to the shopping list as well as the menu, so you should know exactly what you will be spending! The shopping list shows you what recipe each item is used for and it computes your shopping list in such a way that if you need a half an onion for one recipe and another half an onion for another recipe, the shopping list will reflect one onion. This saves money and waste. I have found the cost estimates to be very accurate. In this way, you can adjust your menu to fit not only your family's tastes and preferences, but also your budget. If the total is running too high, just switch out a more expensive dish with a less expensive dish, until you meet your budget.

 

  • And so now you have a month or two of meal plans that you know your family will eat and you know what you will be spending on them. All you have to do is add in any special occasions that come up the week you are shopping, that might influence your menu, such as holidays or birthdays. You now have a menu that you don't spend a lot of time creating each week that fits your budget!
And if you are convinced that Build a Menu can help you with your menu planning, you might want to hop over there right now because they have a sale going on in which you can get a 12-month access to their program for only $35!

November, Our Homeschool Weekly...er.. Monthly Report?

Snapshot Summary, November 7-27
We have been sick for most of the month of November, so I haven't been posting our Homeschool Weekly reports.
Before we got sick, the boys went roller skating...

and I celebrated my 53rd birthday.
Steven made me a chocolate pie instead of cake for my birthday. It was as delicious as it looks!
Thanksgiving was wonderful. It was just our family, but it was wonderfully warm and comforting.
  This is the cornucopia Katie made out of pizza dough.


For the days, off and on when we felt better, we learned about (and I will let the photos and links speak for themselves)...

Geography: Western India

We learned about the differences between the inner western India and the Diu island off the coast. We learned about some ingredients that we were previously unfamiliar with.

Geography: Nepal

We compared and contrasted India with the Indian subcontinent region of Nepal. We learned about Buddhism.

Geography: Sri Lanka

We learned about the sweet curries and coconut dishes of Sri Lanka. We learned about stilt fishermen and about some Buddhist traditions.

History/Literature: Beowulf

We read Beowulf and learned about the historical aspects of the story as well as the poetic devises of kennings, epithets and alliteration.

History: The Byzantine Empire

We compared and contrasted the Code of Justinian from the Roman laws. We looked at Byzantine art and made mosaics using mosaic tiles, tile adhesive and a old CD case.

Science: Prokaryotic and Eukaryotic Cells

We learned about the differences between prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells as an introduction to our unit on bacteria.

Hopefully I will resume next week with my weekly homeschool reports.

Join me at...
Don't forget the Memes here at All Things Beautiful:
  • History and Geography on Thursdays
  • Science on Sundays

History and Geography Meme: Highlights of November

We were sick for three whole weeks in November and so we did not accomplish much school work. Most of what we did was our geography and culture studies.
We learned about Eastern India...
and Nepal.
In history, we finished the Byzantine Empire.

What did you all do this month?

Montessori Makers linked up great posts, one on
and a post about topographical maps, 

Marie's Pastiche linked up several very fine posts:
another post in her Around the World with Pancakes series: Mongolian Gambir,
and continuing with their West African series:

ANANSI STORIES - TRICKSTER TALES FROM WEST AFRICA


DSC_0081pinnable2
Angelicscaliwags has been learning about the Ojibwe Native Americans:





create a fresco lesson
Adventures in Mommydom linked up fun posts on


Almost Unschoolers answered my request to link up any Wampanoag Indian posts:


Mi`kmaq Quill Box button
Multicultural Kids Blog linked up a wonderful post on Exploring the Mi'kmag culture by making a Quillwork Craft,
as well as one on 
Don't forget to link up to the Multicultural Kids Blog's Blog Hop each month.



I have really enjoyed the community of homeschoolers we have built here and I encourage you to check out the links you may not have seen and make a comment on the posts.

As always I hope that you continue to link your new (and old) posts with any history and geography topic to this meme every Thursday.

What history and geography studies have you been doing?

  Remember that I am pinning all posts to Pinterest.
You might want to check out the Pinterest board and see all the past posts.
Follow Phyllis Bergenholtz's board History and Geography Meme on Pinterest.

Please include this button on either the post you have linked or your sidebar or mention All Things Beautiful History and Geography meme in your post with a link. All posts that do not link directly to a history or geography post will be deleted.
All Things Beautiful

Bread Cornucopia for Thanksgiving

A few of you have asked about our bread cornucopia, so I thought I would post about how to make it. We followed the tutorial at Lilyshop, so you might want to go there for the step-by-step instructions.  But, just in case the link breaks in the future, I have put the written instructions here as well.

3-14 oz. cans of refrigerated pizza dough
aluminum foil
an empty disposable water bottle
non-stick cooking spray

To start the cornucopia you first need to create your mold so roll a piece of aluminum foil around an empty disposable water bottle. Add layers until you get a nice thick cone-shaped mold for your cornucopia. Fold the edges of the end of the cone in. Now remove your water bottle and stretch out the opening to widen it. Bend the end of the tail a little. Spray with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside.
Take your pizza dough and roll it out with a rolling pin a little so that it is about 1/2 inch thick rectangle. Cut the dough into 1'' strips. Leaving a couple inches at the top, layer the strips on the cornucopia, so that the layers overlap. Continue layering, adding strips as you go, until the entire mold is covered. 

Next braid three of the strips together and add to the opening of the cornucopia where you have left some of the mold exposed. Leave a little of the foil poking out.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and while it's heating beat one egg with 1 tsp of water in a small bowl. Brush your dough with the egg wash so it gets a shiny golden color when it bakes. Now this has to go into the oven at 350 degrees for 20-35 minutes or until it becomes a golden brown.

Let the bread cool a bit before you try to remove the foil. Take your time and be very gentle with it! Now you can fill it with whatever you wish -fruit, nuts, breadsticks, herbs.

Medieval Literature Study for Middle School Students: Beowulf

Hwæt! We have been enjoying studying Beowulf. We began our study by using a lesson from Charlotte Mason, which resulted in drawings by the boys to narrate and illustrate the story. They have previously heard Michael Morpurgo's version of the story and so with this familiarity of the story behind them, it was now time that we took a look at Seamus Heaney's translation for it is much easier to study the poetic devices and such with this version. This is a dual language edition, so we can look at the two and therefore are able to pick out a phrase or two from the Old English.


History
We looked at the historical aspects of the story. Beowulf was originally written between 700 and 100 AD in Old English. In the poem is a historical king, King Hygleac, who died in 521 AD, was from Geatland, which is now southern Sweden.
Christian references and Pagan references (wyrd or the pagan term for fate, for example) are entwined in the story.


Vocabulary

The boys learned quite a bit new vocabulary. Some of it had to do with the history in the story and some of it had to do with the poetry of the story. The system of comitatus, in which the warriors, called thanes, would pledge themselves to a lord (ring-giver), protecting and avenging for him in exchange for room and board, weapons and gifts is present in the story. Thanes were both housed and entertained in mead-halls. The entertainment was often provided by a scop, or a singer of lays, a short narrative poem that discusses a particular incident in a hero's life. Meaningful sayings were put into the verses to aid the memory. This is called aphorisms or  gnomic sayings.


Poetic Devices

The boys particularly enjoyed learning about a couple of the poetic devices used in Beowulf. They enjoyed searching for kennings, a poetic phrase in which an adjective and noun or two nouns are put together to form one descriptive term, such as whale-path for the sea, or swimming-timber for a ship. They also found epithets, or a descriptive word or phrase that stands in place of the person's name such as Wielder of Wonder for God. The boys were assigned to make up a few kennings and a few epithets of their own.


One of the most important (and most fun) features of the poem is the use of alliteration rather than rhyming. Alliteration is the repetition of sounds, rather than letters, of words that are close to one another. The boys enjoyed picking out the alliteration, and in fact, had trouble stopping, it was so much fun. 
Not only does the poem have alliteration, but the alliteration becomes an important part of its structure. Each line of the poem consisted on two half-lines with a break, or caesura in the middle. Each half-line contained two stressed syllables. The amount of unstressed syllables vary. I encourage you to use Beowulf as a read-aloud because it is really meant to be heard. These features make it so much fun to read and fun to hear. We went over the mechanics of this only briefly, as I wanted them just to enjoy the poetry. We will get into more detail on the poetic devices this once they reach high school literature analysis.  

related posts:

Lego Challenge #41: Mixed Media

Mixed Media means to combine one or more, other objects or art mediums with your LEGO creation. Your creation can be anything you like.
Inspired by Sam's Lego Quest, (which is no longer active),  I wanted to start a 
weekly Lego challenge 
that kids can do and you can link up to. 
This linky has been open for a whole year, and will be closed soon. If you want to link up, please do so this week.
With the photo, please give your child's age, what country (or, if the the US, what state) you are from and anything your child wants to say about his or her creation.This can be simple or extremely complex, it's up to you. The only real rule is that it has to be custom built. Your own creation, not a pre-designed one.


You can write a separate post for the challenge or you can just add the photo of your child's entry for the challenge to a weekly wrap-up post.

Lego Challenge #41: Mixed Media 
means to combine one or more other objects or art mediums with your LEGO creation. Your creation can be anything you like.

Here are other Lego Challenges You Can Do:

With the photo of your child's creation, please give your child's age, what country (or, if the the US, what state) you are from and anything your child wants to say about his or her creation.


If you don't have a blog and would like to share photos of your child's completed challenge, please feel free to send me your photos at bergenholtzfamily@gmail.com and I will post them in the next week's Challenge post.