Thursday, February 21, 2008

Juice It Up

My husband used his Christmas money to buy a juicer. We have all quickly gotten addicted to our daily allowance of orange juice. It has truly become a family affair. My oldest nephew comes in each morning and asks "when are we going to make juice?" So the two boys have gotten drafted as official orange peelers.

Most of us stick to plain OJ, or perhaps OJ w/ an apple tossed in. But the older boy loves what his uncle is preparing--some new concoction each day--a little of this, a little of that....mmmm, good!

the homeschooling family

As a homeschool mom I am always on the look out for new and excellent resources. Over the ten years I’ve been homeschooling, I have come to the conclusion that true homeschooling is more than just school at home, but it is a lifestyle. For those of us who have educated our children at home from the beginning, we seem to have learned right along with the kids. There are many others I know, like my cousin, who have taken their older kids out of public school to begin homeschooling. It seems as if jumping feet first into this lifestyle can be a bit overwhelming. Allowing older kids who are beginning to homeschool to have a say in how they study and some of what they study can go a long way to helping your homeschool be more beneficial to the student(s) involved. Spending some family time together going over just what goals, benefits, obstacles, etc that you are expecting can be a good way to start off your homeschool journey together.

For folks who would like a helping hand in getting and keeping their homeschool organized, there are many choices available. Today I learned about The Jubilee Academy. This online resource helps parents by providing all books and cds, providing an online calendar of daily assignments and lesson plans, and the staff is available to provide guidance to the parents. There is also an online message board for parents to share ideas with each other. This may well be one of the most valuable resources offered. I know that as a homeschool mom, sometimes I need someone who really “gets” where I am to just listen. Being internet based allows families who travel regularly to stay up to date with lessons and assignments. Access is available anytime night or day, seven days a week.

Friday, February 15, 2008

birdhouse building workshop

I recently learned about a local birdhouse building workshop. It seems like a great activity to take the whole family to. It is scheduled for Feb. 24 at Seabrook Int. school. Three classes are slated at 8:30, 9:30 and 10:30. The Seabrook Tourism Committee is sponsoring this free event to encourage backyard birds in the community. You will build a birdhouse to take home.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

pontoon boat cruise

In their efforts to reconnect people with nature, the Armand Bayou Nature Center offers pontoon boat cruises every Saturday on their 28' Ranger. You get to choose either an early morning breakfast or sunset cruise. On these guided aquatic safaris, you will be able to view local wildlife and plant life.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Mardi Gras

Can Mardi Gras be considered a family event? I know that around here, local celebrations have offered children's parades during the daytime hours, allowing families to celebrate together. Down in Galveston, Texas, there is a Mardi Gras museum that families can visit together to enjoy a little more of the festivities.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Chinese New Year

Last night we celebrated Chinese New Year a bit early. It is not officially until next week (so you still have time to celebrate with your family!) We have a Chinese friend with whom we celebrate every year, as she is far from home and this is her biggest holiday. It would be like us missing Christmas and/or birthday. Her sister was here visiting so we were doubley blessed to celebrate early.

It is really great to learn about the traditions associated with the culture, try new foods, and have fun together. We had the traditional fish (well, baked fish minus the head, tail and bones) chicken, rice, stir fry veggies, fruit and fortune cookies.

oranges symbolize wealth and fortune cookies are always fun!

sweets are shared to hope for a "sweet" year! my kids love pocky sticks and the chocolate covered fortune cookies were a sweet treat!

I found gummy rats in honor of the year of the rat!

We kept it very simple this year compared to past years, but still a very nice time together. We also made sure to hand out red envelopes filled with money to all the children.

red packets are given to the kids. It's everybody's birthday!(these were simple to make using library pockets as a pattern and computer generated clip art!)

Learning about another culture together and experiencing some of the customs together is an excellent way to spend family time together. Gong Xi Fa Cai!