Monday, December 29, 2014

Challah Bread Recipe 1

I made my first attempt with Challah bread this week because I wanted to try it before our first Shabbat. I used the Challah I Recipe from It was pretty good but I was low on honey and think I needed more. It turned out beautifully though.

You can find the recipe online. You can also watch a video of it as well. It was helpful to hear and see the instructions. There were things added there that weren't in the text.

Friday, December 26, 2014

Studying OT Biblical Holidays

I have been wanting to study the Old Testament Biblical holidays for quite some time but I wanted to wait until Gess was old enough to really get something out of it. Now that she is, I am anxious for the new year to begin. See, besides simply studying the holidays, we are going to actually observe them!  From January to December we will do each holiday as it takes place. In fact we are going to observe some of the non-biblical Jewish holidays as well.  We are using the book A Family Guide to the Biblical Holidays to help us navigate what to do. They have lots of great information and many fun games, activities, and crafts to go along with them.

There aren't really any festivals at the very beginning of our year. They don't really get started to until the spring. It is pretty much Spring and Fall, with just a couple in the winter.  You can see the chart on the back of the book that explains when they are.

We also plan on observing the Sabbath, or should I say Shabbat?  While the book gives suggestions on how to do it, I wanted see one actually in action, so I found a few helpful videos online. Of course ours will be a Messianic observance as we will include how Christ is the fulfillment of what we observe.

Here is a simple explanation of how each blessing is to take place.

This one instructs you on how to observe most of the traditional aspects of the meal with your family.

This one is actually filming a Messianic observance in Israel.I think we will include the Shabbat Shalom song in ours!

Our first observance will be January 2nd.  I found the exact times at Ours looks like this:

Shabbat, Torah Reading: Vayechi
Friday, January 2, 2015
Light Candles at:
4:57 PM
Shabbat, January 3, 2015
Shabbat Ends:
5:58 PM
I am excited to get started! I will hopefully share some about each of our holiday observances but I want to be careful recording them as I want them to be observed with the reverence it is due. I will also be trying some Challah bread recipes and will share which one we end up using!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Last Minute Stocking Stuffers That Mean Something

I got this in my email from Baptist Global Response and I couldn't help myself. I had to share it with you. BGR is a great ministry that truly meets the needs of those they help, both physically and spiritually. It's the place we give to the most, outside of our local church mission offerings.

When I got this in email I immediately shared it on Facebook and as my husband has started the habit, we never share anything about giving without actually giving ourselves. So, I purchased:

A Safe Place for Young Girls $5
$5.00 $5.00
10 Fish: $3
$3.00 $3.00
Feed a Hungry Child for a day $.50
$1.00 $1.00
Liter of water & food for one day $1
$1.00 $1.00



I printed out my receipt and I will actually place this in my daughter's stocking. That way she will know that in her honor we gave to help the needy as well as to make her happy on Christmas morning!  I can't wait to show her!

Monday, December 15, 2014

The Middle of Middle School Year 1

When I grew up we called it Junior High, but here they refer to it as Middle School. No matter what you call it, this was Gess' official first year out of elementary school. It has been interesting trying to find curriculum to meet her needs but it has worked out so far. She is at least working more independently.

My most exciting and newest change has been our math curriculum. I want to write about it soon but haven't had the chance. It is called Life of Fred and teaches math through stories. While you follow the life of this interesting character named Fred you learn math. You practice math facts, learn geography, time, addition and subtraction concepts as well as early algebra. The greatest part is the child doesn't really know that they are learning. It feels like play. My only concern is that since I started at the beginning its all review for Gess so of course it comes easy. However, it is the first time in her life that Gess has been excited about doing math! She even wants to do it on the weekends! While this is elementary math Gess is still on that level. Math is where she struggles the most.

For Social Studies we are still using Veritas Press and are loving it. While my next unit won't be free as I am not reviewing anymore, the cost will be worth it to me to have a subject that Gess can do totally on her own!  Without my help she has a grade of 94%! We are still on Old Testament and Ancient Egypt and we are almost half way through so this will take us into the summer. Next year we will get New Testament, Greece and Rome. While these are geared toward elementary school, I am confident that the content is challenging enough for Gess. It is certainly something you don't get just anywhere. I considered using their Bible curriculum but they come from a Calvinist theology so chose not to.

For Bible we are still using God's Great Covenant. Again, while this is still elementary level, I feel there is enough content to make it challenging. We should begin Old Testament II in January or shortly thereafter.

For writing we we are still working our way through Essentials in Writing Level 2. This also has her reviewing basic English skills. She has them solid for reading purposes. Writing is much more difficult for her. She loves how they explain it here.

We will be hopping back into Logic of English in January. We are quite a ways in but since this is review for children who don't read well it is presented in a way that makes it on target for Gess' age group.

While taking a break from LOE we have been using some other worksheets along with Essential Skills Advabtage (ESA). We will continue to use ESA as a supplement.  Gess really enjoys it and it's FREE!

Science is what I am still up in the air about. We have been doing our own astronomy study using resources I already have. In January I think I will try Science Shepherd Homeschool Science Curriculum since it comes with video teachings and only costs $35 a year plus a workbook for the unit I want to start with. I will let you know what we think of it as I don't know much about it.

That's where we are at halfway through our school year. How has your semester turned out? Feel free to share resources you find are working for you! 

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Christmas with the Co-Op

Today we had great fun with our new homeschool co-op. We went to the nursing home and performed The Little Drummer Boy. Gess was asked to be the angel, but she preferred to be a shepherd, so she was!

Next we invaded our local grocery store and split up into 2 teams. Each team had a budget of $20 to spend on getting food for a family in need. This needed to be non-perishable items that would make a good meal. Our team lost because we went over. Ours came to $20.43.  That's not too bad though. They picked out some good items. Macaroni and Cheese, veggies, cans of fruit, pasta and spaghetti sauce, juice, cake mix with icing and a few other things. 

After that we stopped at the old fashioned soda shop for a treat. Gess got a Dr. Pepper float and liked it!  That was a great way to celebrate Christmas I think. Our final meeting of the year is a mom's only luncheon. I am looking forward to that!

Thursday, December 4, 2014

First Snow

Having our first snow in November is something that doesn't happen too often around here. It came down on a Sunday while I was at church. As I was in the nursery waiting for children to arrive, I got some beautiful shots.

After lunch Gess was anxious to play, but first she helped daddy clean off the cars.

Then she tried to make a snowball but it wouldn't pack very good.

So, she settled for making a snow angel.

Monday, December 1, 2014

NaNoWriMo Novel Writing in One Month - I Did It!

For the first time in my life I took the NaNoWriMo challenge to write a novel in a month. It was also the first time I have ever attempted to write a novel at all. I have started a few books that I never finished, but they were all non-fiction about homeschooling, the bible, etc. This was a novel, a book to read just for fun. It was hard, but I did it.

Now before you start wondering when this book will be available let me assure you that it never will be. When you are focused on the number of words you don't have time to edit and I absolutely did not do any editing. Not only that, but the story line is all over the place. I was doing a good job of building characters and relationships but it wasn't really going anywhere so I threw in a little crisis which held me for awhile but I didn't feel it was enough. So I added in some other aspects and the story took a major turn leaving the the other crisis completely ignored.

There were also characters who I began to develop that never came to fruition and the title of my book, based upon my original concept, didn't even seem to go with what was happening so I had to go back and throw in scenes to work it in. Oh, and while I had a place to keep all my characters I would forget to write some down and so a few characters had name changes along the way!  One time was because I confused them with someone else and the other was that I just plumb forgot what I originally called him! And I still don't have a firm setting in place. I tried coming up with a fictitious name only to find it actually existed. I just didn't have the time to research geography.

In spite of it all I got my 50,000 words in which left me with a pretty good chunk of an incomplete and frenzied novel, but at least it does have a beginning a middle and a end. While it might not be totally cohesive, the point of the project was reached. I proved that I could write 50,000 words in a month. Just think about it. If I can do that, what can I do if I take my time? It was fun and helpful to see how well I could get my creative juices flowing. I handled areas of writing I felt weak in much better than I had expected and in the end I am left with some well developed characters, a theme, a title, and a few ideas of where they might lead. You never know, one day there just might be a book, but it will be built upon this session, not actually what was written during it.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...