"Let us strive to make each moment beautiful."

"Let us strive to make each moment beautiful."
Saint Francis DeSales

Lego Challenge #37: Halloween

Inspired by Sam's Lego Quest, (which is no longer active),  I wanted to start a 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 #37: Halloween
When you think about Halloween, what comes to mind?
Make something out of LEGO that reminds you of Halloween.


You can also get inspiration with these posts, even though their linkies are now closed.

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 challenges, please feel free to send me your photos (bergenholtzfamily@gmail.com) and I will post them in the next challenge's post.


History and Geography Meme: Illustrations by the Children



"History provides great material for narrating, and children enjoy narrating what they've read or heard. They also love to draw pictures. Some children...were asked to draw a picture of their favorite scene. The results showed how well children can visualize, and, of course, whatever can be visualized in the mind is a possession for life.
The pictures these children drew are interesting from a psychological point of view, too. They show what different and sometimes obscure details appeal to the mind of a child. They also show that children can enjoy figuring out mental challenges as much as educated adults. Admittedly, the drawings aren't perfect, but, like the art of primitive peoples, they tell the story directly and vividly... This glimpse into the minds of children should convince us how important it is to nourish the mind with good material. The kind of weak, diluted resources that schools too often give to children do not stir their imaginations." -Charlotte Mason

Lego Challenge #36: Wearable LEGO

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 #36: Wearable LEGO
Create something out of LEGOs that you can wear.
You can also get inspiration with these posts, even though their linkies are now closed.

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 challenges, please feel free to send me your photos (bergenholtzfamily@gmail.com) and I will post them in the next challenge's post.

October 11-19, Snapshot Summary of our Break Week: My BFF Retreat

October 11-19, Snapshot Summary: My BFF Retreat
Saturday, October 11
The whole family went to my sister-in-law, Brenda's house. We enjoyed a lunch together, played games (Majong, Cosmic Encounter, Apples to Apples). Brenda played some Atari bowling with Alex. Katie made a spaghetti dinner buffet. We played more games, watched a video of the play we had done last year, "Once Upon a Time," looked at last year's yearbook and then Sam read from Percy Jackson Greek Gods.

Sunday, October 12
We had Panera bagels and cream cheese for breakfast and played Apples to Apples. The family packed up and left and then Brenda and I packed up 
and left for the B & B, Trent Hall in Saint Mary's county. We stopped by the Saint Mary's Visitor's Center and got information and directions.
Once at Trent Hall, we were given a tour of the property from a golf cart.
We had a picnic lunch at the dock, explored the place and...
then had hot tea on the porch and talked and talked. 

We went to Bert's 50's Diner where I had a hot turkey sandwich and Brenda had a roast beef sub.
We went back to the B & B for wine and cheese by candlelight. I read The Rocket Boys and Brenda read a book she found in the Inn, The Teenie Weenies before bed.


Monday, October 13
We woke up to a lovely breakfast of fresh fruit,
granola and sour dough toast with coffee, of course. 
It was raining, so we explored the house. 
Later the weather cleared, so we went to nearby Leonardtown, Maryland with ideas of shops to go to, most of which were closed (Columbus Day.)
We did wind up going to an antique store where I scored a coffee table for $30 and Brenda got the perfect lamp for the BFF suite and a few other little things. We were on our way to our next destination and as were were passing a church, the noon-time hymns bells began playing, so we sat at the bench right in front of the church and shared the sounds of the bells together. When the hymn ended, we started to leave, and then another hymn began, so we sat back down and listened some more. After the hymn finished, we went to a Comic book store, which was a combination comic book store and cafe. I bought comic books (for .25 cents!) and D&D Next. Brenda bought a couple of presents.

Next we walked down the street...

and decided to go down to the wharf, where we saw a heron.
We enjoyed the compass rose, which includes the thirty-two points of the directions of the wind. Eight points which are larger and darker in color represent the eight major winds. Each point is labeled with the Roman name that was commonly used in the Middle Ages for each wind — Tramontana - N, Greco - NE, Levante - E, Syroco (replaces Siroco) - SE, Ostro - S, Africus (replaces Libeccio) - SW, Ponente - W, and Maestro - NW. The smaller blue points represent the eight half-winds and the smallest red points represent the sixteen quarter-winds. Then, we went to the Natural Foods Store. As soon as we arrived, we noticed that the chimes outside were ringing. It had bins of herbs and spices and we bought some of them. I bought some that I will be needing for the recipes that we will be doing for our geography-culture studies. We also bought some butternut squash soup for our dinner. We also both found interesting things. As we were checking out Brenda noticed the cashier, Autumn, had a Keep Calm and Carry On button and she asked Autumn if they had them for sale. Autumn said that they didn't and that she got it in England and insisted that Brenda take the button. As Brenda checked out, I went outside to sit at the picnic table, but the chimes did not ring until the moment Brenda walked outside.
Next we went to the Speakeasy Coffee Shop for lunch, but lunch was no longer being served.
They did let us take a peek behind the bookcase
at the Speakeasy bar. We tried two other places that were recommended,  but they were closed, so we went back to Bert's 50's Diner. I had a Ruben and Brenda had a grilled chicken salad, which was big enough that she saved half to take back to the Inn to have with our soup for dinner. 

When we got back to the B & B, we had a cup of tea and chatted on the porch. I had trouble making decisions all day, and so I made up my mind that the next decision that was to be made, I was going to make it. Brenda asked me who should go first for the bi-plane rides in a WWII-era Stearman we planned to take the next day and I immediately said, "You!" which cracked us both up.
Later, after dinner, we had wine and a chocolate-ginger pattie for dessert...
all by candlelight in the kitchen easy chairs. Brenda read the Teenie Weenies and a Decameron Tale, and some from In His Steps, which tells you of the breadth of her interests. I stuck with the Rocket Boys.


Tuesday, October 14
We had another lovely breakfast at the B & B. 
Brenda told me about a dream she had had the night before in which we had gotten into a big bubble and that I was afraid but Brenda said that it was going to be alright. We took that as a sign that we'd be safe flying today.
This time we discovered a lovely wooden grasshopper on the porch. The house is so vast, we were always discovering new things.
It was a pretty day and we were glad because we got a phone call from the pilot and he said that it was a "go
." It has a fabric-covered frame, so you can only walk on certain areas (in black), has a wooden propeller and has a hand-crank start-up. The pilot joked that the plane had a rubber-band in it and that he needed to crank it up and after crank it, said that he thought that was about 15 minutes worth of flight. Brenda went first, as planned. The pilot gave us a history lesson on the plane as we taxied down the runway. The U.S. Navy and U.S. Army Air Corps used Boeing's Stearman aircraft as a trainer extensively during World War II, and in fact, more than half of the military pilots from that generation received flight training in such a plane. The pilot had just come back from a weekend at Massey Airport, (which is only 20 minutes from my house) where he had given bi-plane rides, so he was a bit tired, but he became excited as he saw our enthusiasm. It was like nothing we had expected -the ride was smooth, very little bumping, like floating in space. He pointed out places all around the area, such as Sotterley Plantation. At one point, he offered to let us fly the plane for a few minutes, which was nerve-wracking, but fun. Then he did figure-8 maneuvers...banking to the right and then to the left, so that the wing was perpendicular to the land. When Brenda had her flight, she asked the pilot to waggle the wings at me before they landed. My turn was next, and I was able to fly around a cloud.
After the flight, Brenda bravely drove over the Solomon's Island Bridge, as she is afraid of bridges. On our way back to her house, we stopped by Nagoya Asian Bistro for a late lunch.  We shared a scallop hibachi, and pork dumplings (pot stickers) and miso soup. Then we arrived back at Brenda's house and had a kale salad with ham and cheese on it and watch The Danny Thomas show that had the pilot for the Andy Griffith show while we had pumpkin pie.

Wednesday, October 15
Brenda had some household appointments (furnace man and law care guy) so I checked my email and downloaded some photos for the family to see.
Then Brenda called her hairdresser and we went there for a little make-over for me. We made gingerbread with chocolate icing, had sandwiches for lunch and hot dogs, baked beans and cole slaw for dinner. We watched The Princess and the Cabbie, which is about a young woman who struggles with dyslexia, and had coffee and gingerbread.

Thursday, October 16
Brenda made a pizza and I made salads for lunch so that it would be ready when we got back from our errands. We went to the dump, stopped by a produce stand (closed), went to a consignment shop named "Cherry Pickers" because Brenda is keeping her eye on a Russian Midshipman-style hat for Quentin. I bought a school Civil War map and Brenda bought a couple of books. We went grocery shopping for the weekend. I enjoyed looking at all the gfcf things they had, which are not available at my local stores. We went back to Brenda's house and had the homemade anchovy pizza and salad. We rested a bit and then went out to the library that Brenda volunteers at. She showed me all around and then I found a few items at their book sale. We then went to the Chesapeake Beach boardwalk. We went back to Brenda's house to make dinner. We had bought a pumpkin pasta sauce at the store so I made a dinner of apple sausage, butternut squash, spinach and whole wheat penne in the pumpkin pasta sauce. It served 8, so even though it was delicious, we had lots left over. We watched Cagney and Lacey and ate more gingerbread with cappuccino.

Friday, October 17
I had leftover cold anchovy pizza for breakfast! We went to a Grief Support Group. The counselor was very nice and Brenda read a children's book on grief that she had found at the library, Life is Like the Wind, which I recommend for anyone who knows a child that is struggling with grief. We cried. 
After the meeting, we went next door to the Boys and Girls Club to inquire about the play The Twin Beaches Players are doing, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. It was to open this night and the director was still working on the set. We went to Panera for lunch and I had Autumn Squash soup, Squash Ravioli and Acai Tea. Brenda had the soup with a Turkey flatbread sandwich and lemonade. Then we went to Office Depot so that Brenda could buy a wireless mouse and I picked up some pencil boxes (22 cents each) and some index cards for the boys. We then went to K-Mart for their summer clothing clearance sale (everything was $2 each). Brenda bought some fun pants! We went back to the grocery store for some things we had forgotten.  We then went back to Brenda's house, reviewed all we had done, ate Shrimp Orzo casserole and waited for my family to arrive!
Once they arrived, Sam read to us all out of Percy Jackson Greek Gods and then we had a sundae bar.

Saturday, October 18
We had Panera bagels and cream cheese for breakfast, and then we played games. Then Steven and I left and had lunch at Nagoya Asian Bistro while Sam and Katie made lunch and Brenda did some art projects with the kids. After lunch, Steven and I took a walk on the boardwalk. Then we played more games, and then it was time for dinner -take-out Mexican dinner. Then Brenda treated us to a play while Steven stayed back at her house with Alex. Alex played a series of games for autistic children that Brenda had found on her i-pad. We love going to the theater and enjoyed it very much, even though the directing wasn't the best we had ever seen. Back to the house for more sundaes.

Sunday, October 19
We had a big breakfast of sausage, eggs, Canadian bacon and hash browns and played more games. Katie, Brenda and I went back to the sale at K-Mart so that Katie could buy some clothes and then back for lunch of grilled cheese and soup. We watched some of The Infinite Worlds of H. G. Wells, and then packed up to come home...
but first we stopped off at the homeschool Harvest party, where they played games...

made crafts, had dinner, made s'mores...
and in general had a good time. We made it home about 11:00.

How was your week?
Join me at...

History and Geography Meme: Dates and Century Books



Images of Book of Centuries by Florence Rankin (?) on display @ Charlotte Mason Digital Collection 

"Children will need to have a sense that what they're reading has a specific time when it happened before their collection of knowledge gets too vast. To do this, make a century table, something like this timeline chart, only longer. To make one, divide a long sheet of heavy paper into twenty columns. Put the first century in the center and let the rest of the columns represent a century, either BC or AD. 
Let the child write the names of people he reads about in the century they belong to.
At this point, children don't need to focus on exact dates, but this simple table of the centuries will give the child a graphic memory of when things happened. He will have a panorama of events pictured in his mind in their correct order." 
-Charlotte Mason

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.

We are on vacation this week, but 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

Lego Challenge #35:Metamorphosis

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 #35:Metamorphosis
Can you show Metamorphosis in action with Lego?
Transform your design into another in as many or as few stages as you want.
An idea to start your creative process might be to make two objects; the first stage, and the last stage of metamorphosis. Then design an object that has elements of both in it, to show the in-between stage.
This can represent an actual living thing, or it can be a totally invented entity.

You can also get inspiration with these posts, even though their linkies are now closed.

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 challenges, please feel free to send me your photos (bergenholtzfamily@gmail.com) and I will post them in the next challenge's post.

October 3-10 , Our Homeschool Weekly Report, week 6: A Day in the Life of Our Homeschool


I haven't done a Day in the Life of Our Homeschool post in quite a while, so I thought I would do one this week.

Everyone wakes up when they naturally wake up, so it varies what order people wake up and come downstairs a bit every day. Steven and Alex, however, almost always wake up first. Steven begins cooking breakfast and Alex watches Netflix, usually The Magic School Bus. This morning Steven is making eggs (scrambled and easy over), sausage links and hash brown patties. I get up and check my computer and sip my coffee while I wake up. James wanders down and plays on the family computer, and Quentin comes to the living room to chat with me. By this time, breakfast is ready, and so Sam and Katie come down for breakfast and morning meeting and the television goes off for the day. At the morning meeting, over breakfast, we talk about any concerns, updates and the like. We also assign chores for the day. I read the list of what needs to get done that day and people volunteer to do them. After morning meeting and breakfast, we begin our after breakfast chores.


Then, I sit down and decide what we are going to accomplish today in school. I have a rough outline written down, but now is the time I gather things that we will be using and deciding how we will go about our studies. Yesterday we went to Walmart for grocery shopping and I noticed they had a scrapbook on sale, which was something we have been needing to hold all of our squished pennies pages we have been making for our US geography studies this year. So, Alex and I put those pages in our new scrapbook. We all decide we need to have a US map for the front which can be colored as we go through the states like we did with the postcard geography album, so I put that on my "to-do" list.
We decided to work on chemistry today, so we reviewed what we had learned about electron orbitals before.

In the chemistry text (Friendly Chemistry), it shows a section of the atom, that they have transformed into what they call a "Doo-Wop Board" (don't ask me why, because I don't know why they call it that.)



So we get out our "Doo-Wop Board" and I explain how the electrons go on the board...each magnet represents one electron, the yellow one going in one direction (let's say clockwise) and the gray ones going in the opposite direction (let's say counter-clockwise).


They learn that for the S or spherical orbitals, one gray and one yellow electron goes down, and for the P or pear shaped orbitals, they go down one on the x position, one on the y position and one on the z position and then the second is put in the x, y and z positions.


We work some atoms together, looking at their atomic numbers on the periodic table, and then making them on the "doo-wop board" and then they do some on their own. Sam informs me that he needs an algebra test, and so I print out one for him and he begins to take the test.


By this time, we have lunch (fish sticks, chicken nuggets, ramen noodles and sweet potato fries), complete lunch chores and the boys sit down to play some computer games together while Katie works on her job applications. She is applying to our local Natural Food Store today. She tries to complete one application a day, but the job market is tough. Steven tries to help me download the photos that I took on Katie and my shopping trip from my phone to my computer, but it gives him some trouble.
Then it is time to complete some English with Quentin and, reviewing nouns and adjectives and writing phrases using them, along with spelling. Alex keeps hounding Steven about putting on the television for him, but if Steven puts the television on for him, Alex immediately goes upstairs and the rest of us are left listening to a television show that we don't really want to hear until we realize he is gone and turn it off. Because of all of this, we decided as a family that there will be no television for Alex except in the morning, when he does watch it, so Steven tells him he isn't going to put on the television, and so Alex makes noise and thumps around the house because he is angry. Then they have a snack of apples with pumpkin caramel dip and I have a pineapple-ginger smoothie. Quentin then does a lesson on subtracting with borrowing with zeros and James works on reducing fractions.


By this time, it is time to help Katie with dinner. She makes Chicken Parmigiana Meatballs for the boys...


and I cook the spaghetti (gfcf and regular), mini sausages (for Alex) and a Bean, Tomato and Spinach Sauce (for Steven and I). We have some leftover salad to serve with it. Katie says that she is not hungry, and will eat later. After dinner, we complete our after dinner chores. Sam works on his government class work, which today means determining the differences between Federal and State responsibilities and laws. Alex seems particularly disturbed at this point in the day. He yells loudly and stomps around and is unable to tell anyone what he wants. Perhaps he is still angry about the lack of television. 

Good News New Testament
I read the Bible and history and work with James on his English. He takes an unusually long time at this, saying that he doesn't feel good, doesn't feel like writing, erases perfectly good work over and over again and in general distresses over his work. I try to remain calm and persevere until we finish, which takes about a half-hour. By this time, I am pretty done for the day and the kids have time to play on the computer or whatever they want to do before dessert. I had hoped to do some more with Alex, but I just don't have the energy to at this point in the day. I decide that I will put that first on my list of accomplishments for tomorrow. I search Pioneer Playscripts for a script for a play we will be doing at our co-op, now that I have the final number of students who will be participating. It is a bit of a difficult task as we have 9 males and only 4 females, along with five who need no lines or minimal lines because of their young age. It is almost unheard of to have more males than females available and to have more than twice as many is really unusual. It makes my task of finding an appropriate play difficult, along with the rather large amount of walk-ons. I am determined to find a play before our co-op meets again on Wednesday, so I continue my search. 
Tales of King Arthur James Riordan Victor Ambrus HCDJ
After dessert, which happened to be chocolate and vanilla ice cream sandwiches this night, I read to them from our read-alouds, Tales of King Arthur, Black Horses for the King and Norse Myths. Then it is time to brush teeth and off to bed for Alex, James and Quentin. Sam, Steven and I have time to watch some television and Katie plays on her computer. Steven and I go to bed, while Sam continues to work on his schoolwork. I don't know when Katie and Sam go to bed, because I am soon asleep after just reading a small chapter of King Arthur (more advanced version than I am reading the kids.)

What else did we do this week?
We went roller skating with friends.
We made fun Orange Creamcicle Floats.
Katie and I finally got around to going shopping for her birthday. We had so much fun goofing around while we shopped.

 We also had our last co-op class for this session. We worked on foreshortening in art...
and we finished up our teambuilding class. Next semester we will begin rehearsal on our play for this year, The Keeper of the Tales, 1001 Arabian Nights.

week 6

This was the last week of our first semester, so it was a week of finishing up any unfinished projects. Now we can start on new topics for the next semester. Next week we will be taking a week's break between semesters.

Science: Chemistry, Lesson 3

And so with our work this week, we finished up our chemistry lesson on the Building Blocks of Creation.

History: The Barbarian Tribes

We finally finished up our study of the barbarian tribes that moved in at the beginning of the Middle Ages.



World Geography: Tanzania, Kenya and East Africa

We finished up our study of East Africa with an East African feast.
We finished up our study of Africa, and will be moving on to India when we resume school week after next.
In English, we completed some dictation and composition in addition to the reviewing of nouns and adjectives. In MathQuentin worked on subtracting with borrowing with zeros and James worked on reducing fractions.