Tuesday, May 13, 2014

A Year in A Nutshell

This is undoubtedly the quietest my blog has ever been. It's been quite a year for our family, and life has left me no time for blogging. I have missed it, and it's good to be here again.

So here's our year (really two) in a nutshell...

In the summer of 2012 Kurt, along with hundreds of other pilots, was furloughed when the company announced that it was shutting down all air operations. The announcement was made on a Tuesday, and he flew his last trip four days later. He had been with this company for twenty-three years, so this really rocked our world. We experienced the whole rollercoaster of emotions for the next six months, but God walked us through it and provided for our family in some amazing ways.

In December of that same year, Kurt was hired by another airline...much rejoicing and thankfulness! We felt incredibly blessed, but this new job meant leaving Cincinnati, our home of almost twenty years, to move to Florida. It was incredibly difficult for us to leave our friends and church family, but we knew God was in control and felt at peace about accepting this job and the move.

The next few months were spent getting our house ready to sell, putting it on the market, and traveling back and forth to Florida to house hunt there. Our house sold quickly, which was such a blessing, and at the end of July we shed many tears as we took leave of our precious friends and our dear, familiar home to set out on this new adventure.

So we've been here in sunny Florida now for nine months and have had lots of adventures so far. There is so much to see and do here, and I'll eventually get around to posting about it all.

Until next time I'll leave you with a very Florida family photo...


Blessings,

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Popping in for A Moment

So things have been quiet around the blog for the last few months. 

We've had lots of exciting things going on that have kept us much busier than usual. I don't have time to go into all the details right now, but I did want to check in here to say that we're all well, our school year is rocking right along, and hopefully I'll have time to post again soon. :)

Blessings,


Friday, November 16, 2012

Galloping The Globe: Packing for Italy

Over the years that we've done unit studies, it's been fun to set up a display table with all sorts of books and other items related to the topic we're learning about.

I usually set it up the night before we start a new unit, and when the kids wake up the next morning they are really excited to check out the display and see what we'll be studying.

This year for our Galloping The Globe adventures, I decided to try a new twist on this idea by creating a travel suitcase filled with items representing the country to which we'll be "traveling".



I began by digging out an old briefcase of Kurt's and decorating it with vintage luggage tag images like the ones used on old steamer trunks. I printed them out after doing a Google image search with the keywords "vintage luggage tags Italy".

The kids really enjoyed these and liked them so much they put them in their notebooks at the end of the unit.

After getting the outside of the suitcase ready, I packed our Italy items:
  • printouts of Italian money 
  • Italian postcards (made my own using internet images of famous landmarks)
  • box of biscotti
  • Papa Piccolo (our Five in A Row story for this country)
  • Italy ABC's
  • passports
  • airline tickets
I hid the suitcase on our front porch and gave the kids a treasure hunt, which they had to follow in order to find the suitcase.

They had a blast checking out the items inside and munching on the biscotti while I read Papa Piccolo. It was a fun and engaging way to begin our study of Italy.



Thursday, November 15, 2012

Happy Adoption Day!

We recently celebrated the eighth anniversary of our sweet Giggly Girl's adoption day.

I will never forget standing in the Civil Affairs Office in China with my husband, anxiously waiting her arrival, and the moment that they placed her in our arms. 

It's hard to believe it's been eight years since that moment. She has grown up so very much since then, but she still has her wonderful giggle and smile that warms our hearts. She is daily growing in her love of the Lord, as He continues to work out His beautiful plan for her life. 

What a miracle and joy she is to us!


We love you, our sweet Giggly Girl!



Monday, November 12, 2012

Galloping The Globe Kickoff Week

Here's a summary of my lesson plans and the resources we used for our Galloping The Globe kickoff week, which turned into two weeks. I hope you find these helpful!
  • Read How to Make An Apple Pie and See The World several times throughout the two weeks and played this Apple Pie Geography Game, which ended with our making an apple pie.

  • Read Me on The Map by Joan Sweeney and made a layer book containing maps of our rooms, house, street, town, state, country, continent, and the world. I made this layer book template which you can download and use for your own Me on the Map booklet.
    • Read Maps and Globes by Jack Knowlton and There's A Map on My Lap! and made a paper-mâché globe. (The readings and the project were done over a four day period.)
    • Listened several times to the Continents and Oceans song from Geography Songs from A-Z. We are really enjoying this CD and have already learned so much world geography from listening to this and the other catchy songs on this album. It comes in CD or MP3 formats.
    • Talked about what an explorer is and read about Christopher Columbus.
    • Put together our world map floor puzzle. (The one pictured below is not the one we own, but it is the one I'm hoping to get soon.)
    • Labeled the continents and oceans on a world map.
    • Learned about the compass rose, went outside and practiced using it to walk N, S, E, W. Filled in a compass rose notebooking page. Used what we learned about the compass and cardinal directions to go on a treasure hunt.
    • Began memorizing the creation account in Genesis 1. As we "gallop the globe" our science focus will be God's amazing creation, specifically animals from each country, as well as continuing our regular nature studies.
    • Watched Incredible Creatures that Defy Evolution. (This is on Netflix instant streaming, and all of us were riveted. Can't wait to watch the other volumes in this series.)
    Other resources we'll use during our travels this year:









    This was a fun week for us and a great way to get ready to Gallop The Globe!







    Saturday, November 10, 2012

    Field Trip: Ocmulgee National Monument

    While visiting family in Macon, Georgia, several weeks ago we visited the Ocmulgee National Monument, which is home to several Native American mounds.

    People of the Mississippian culture inhabited this area in central Georgia circa 1,000 AD. They were farmers, and the mounds they built were used for things such as ceremonies, council meetings, and burials. Visitors can enter and view the interior of one of the council/ceremonial mounds, and this was a highlight for us.

    The visitors center houses an exhibit that gives the history of the area and tribes who lived there; however, we did not spend much time there because it was such a gorgeous day, and we wanted to be outside.

    Entrance to Ceremonial Mound



    When the Mississippian people inhabited the area, their village was situated between 
    these two mounds.



    It was fun having my Dad along on a field trip!



    Gorgeous views from the top of the largest mound, particularly of the wetland areas. 



    In addition to the rich history of the various peoples who inhabited this area over thousands of years, the park itself is a beautiful place to hike, picnic, and enjoy nature. We saw three deer and a snapping turtle on one of the trails we took through the woods.

    Ocmulgee National Monument is operated by the National Park Service and is open daily from 
    9:00 am to 5:00 pm. It is closed on December 25 and January 1. Admission is free.

    If you ever happen to be in Macon, Georgia, and are looking for a field trip, I highly recommend this beautiful spot.

    Thursday, November 8, 2012

    Compass Rose Treasure Hunt

    This treasure hunt was a fun way to practice what we've learned about the compass rose and cardinal directions, and it was quick and easy for me to throw together.

    What You Need:
    • brown paper grocery bag
    • scissors
    • black sharpie
    • some sort of treasure/prize to be found at the end of your hunt
    What You Do:
    • When the kids aren't around, go outside and step off/map out the route you want them to take to find their treasure. I hid ours on the front porch, had them start in the backyard and make several turns in order to get to the prize. (Ours went something like this: Take 8 steps west, 20 steps southeast, 12 steps east, 10 steps north, 15 steps northwest, etc.)
    • Once you've figured out your "route", write it on the paper bag and crumple it up to make it look old.  I chose to draw a compass rose at the top to help out my younger children.
    • Give them the treasure map and head outdoors for some fun! (You can obviously do this treasure hunt indoors, but I found it easier for them to understand N, E, S, W, when we were outside.)
    Enjoy!