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Thursday, October 31, 2013

Counting My Blessings...

(Sweet Pea tuckered out and resting with her dry erase board)


As you may have read in my Art post. This week has been pretty
interesting. In case you missed what is going on around here... On
Saturday we went to a fall fest and then trunk or treating. When we came
home we seemed to have some plumbing issues. A clog maybe?
Daddy tried to unclog it but nothing worked. It was pretty late at night
so I grabbed the kids and spent the night at my moms. Nothing like having
four kids and no bathroom. We stayed till Monday when the plumber came.
He sort of unclogged things and we had someone come out and empty
the tank. The big issue is that we need some new piping. So that is going to
be done on Tuesday. So far we are doing ok with our directions from our
plumber. I won't go into details it's a little to much information. So we wait...

*I have to say I am so blessed to have family. To have my mom to drop
four kids on in the middle of the night . And a dad who then turns around
and goes out in the early Am for donuts . When we had to stay the second
night no one blinked. And dad made scrambled eggs for everyone for breakfast.

Now things didn't get better for use Princess bedroom heater went out. Lucky
the weather has warmed some here but that was fixed in a jiffy.

*The resilience of my family has been amazing. Despite having to run to
the laundry mat they all had smiles and giggles. Each grabbed a bag and
we were out of there in 45 minutes. The fasted laundry in the west. Hhmm
or east as it is. Then we came home and carved our pumpkins which was
so much fun listening to their chatter.

* This week we also spent some time at Grandmas. Grandmas house is
a relaxing warm environment. I am so glad to still have her here. The kids
Shared their costumes with her and played Uno .

* Princess is a blessing to me because she is all grown up now and
such a bit help to me. She knows how to do so many things and if
I need her she is there.

*Superboy is so creative and funny. He went to walmart with a
face paint job just to see the reaction of the people. Everyone smiled
and chuckled as they passed. Just a light to everyone.

*Spirit has been so intrigued with life. He gets so excited about the
small things and makes them so worth the time. All the little details of life
that we get wrapped up in and forget are worth it.

*Sweet pea with her little cute self giving everything a family
name even our pumpkins were named after family members.

* And Carl who after working all night came home and made me eggs
and bacon for breakfast. Just for me. Even though I had cooked for the kids
already but didn't bother for myself.  Thanks honey.


And last Thank you to my readers who make my time worth while.

Warm Blessings,


Nikki

Refrigertor Art -Pumpkin carving



Welcome to another post on the Virtual Refrigerator. You can
link at any of the blogs below if you would like to add your weeks art.
Including mine below this post. 






Happy Halloween !!!

Wow what a week we are having here at Angels of Heart.
Did you ever hear the saying that things happen in threes...?
Well we are having plumbing issues that won't be fixed until Tuesday,
then my oldest daughters heater went out , and now tomorrow the water
guy is coming to put a new bulb in. I hope that is it now for our family.

You know I never really thought of pumpkin carving as an art but
it really is an art. It can be rather challenging sometimes to get the desired
look.  I allowed each of my children to pick their own pumpkin for
carving. We used a pumpkin carver kit to help with safety for the younger
children. I went around and cut the tops off of everyone's pumpkins.
Some like the icky pumpkin guts and Sweet Pea well she used a spoon.





The kids drew their pumpkin face on or design with a sharpie.





Sweet pea is a little young so I just cut it out for her but the face
she drew is all hers.






 Our pumpkins had really thick walls and it took some time to scrap away
enough to carve. Spirit did a fun vampire face.







I'm not really sure what Superboy was trying for here but he now
calls this his Butler Pumpkin.









Princess is more exact and tried using one of the pumpkin carver patterns.
This has been a tradition at our house for years. You can check out the
Pumpkin Masters Website to see some how to videos and take a peek at
some of the tools we used to carve our pumpkin.


Thanks for visiting,

Nikki

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

VocabularySpellingCity- Review

 
 
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I was given a one Year Premium Membership to
VocabularySpellingCity through the SchoolHouse Review Crew
in exchange for my honest review which is a $29.99 dollar value
for a family with 5 students. VocabularySpellingCity is for
children in K-12th grade.

I don't usually do this at the beginning of a review but quite
frankly my kids struggle with spelling. It is something we really
have to practice. I have a child with dysgraphia and one with dyslexia.
This program has really become a value to my students especially
for my child with dysgraphia. It is a struggle to write sometimes but
it is not a struggle to type or to play games. VocabularySpellingCity
makes learning fun and that is just what we need when practicing our
words. Yes we still work on spelling from pen to paper but now we have
an additional resource to go along with what we already do. More on
our way of practicing spelling in a bit. First let me tell you what you
get with the Premium membership.

When you sign up you are given a Teacher / Parent home page
with in that parent page you are able to add up to 5 students.
I have four so it worked out perfectly for me. This is the spot
where you the teacher will be able to do most of your work for
your child. When you add your students each one will have
their own log in. I love this so much it keeps their work right
there just for them and is easy for them to navigate.

You will also be able to create your own spelling and vocabulary
lists.
I did this in two different ways. With my younger son I
used spelling words right from his current phonics curriculum.
I was able to mark them just for him and give the list and specific
name so I knew where it was and what it involved such as
-ack ending or Th- words. With my dysgraphic son age 13.
I took words that I saw with in his writing and added it to
spellingvocabularycity for him to practice. My 16 year old
is close to taking SAT's so I added words from her SAT prep
book for her to practice. Each then is set up right to their level.
I did not try it with my youngest as she is in Prek and still
learning to recognize her ABC's. You can add your own lists
like I did or you can search lists and find the one that works
just right for your child and level.

Now one of my favorite features is that you can create
Assignments
with in those word lists or beyond for your
child to complete. As you can see from the screen shot below
it is very easy to set up. You start by selecting the word list
you want your  child to work on , then the activities you'd like
them to do. Then assign it to the specific student you have in
mind and add any details or additional information. All of this
will then appear when you child logs in to their special log in.




The kids can play games for each one of their lists. The
games are to their level of ability and fun. I think this is
the prefect way to practice spelling, in particular for the boys
who just hate spelling. My second grader was so excited about it
he out right said to me "Mom this is so fun."  When a list is new
for them I would allow them to work from a Text guide .
I would lay out their list beside our laptop so they could practice
without frustration. Sometimes with my 2nd grader I would use
sentence stripes and put the words most challenging to him beside
him. As the week progresses I begin to take words away or take the
list away and they work directly on VocabularySpellingCity.

Not only can your child practice spelling through games but they
can practice a few grammar skills and vocabulary as well.



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By Friday the kids are ready for their tests. We took the tests on
spelling city on Thursday as a pretest and then on Friday we did
the test pen to paper. This worked best for us as I believe it is
important to be able to write the words out.


Something with the premium that you don't get with basic is
practice with your vocabulary. Vocabulary is something that is
important for comprehension within their reading and for those
SAT tests that many colleges require for admission. To me this
was completely awesome. This could be vocabulary for Science,
for a literature lesson or even a history lesson. The words
can be generated into flash cards with their definitions. Did you
ever spend time making vocabulary flash cards and writing out
definitions for study? I know I have and this is so much easier.
You can use the flashcards online or you can print them out for
study or for your own personal game. VocabularySpellingCity
makes studying easy for the parent and the child.


 photo flashcard_zps3b3e1de7.jpg

There are many resources available as well such as handwriting
practices
and worksheets.  There is a so much here to work with
with your student. Now once your kids play all of these games.
and compete their work . You have all of the information as
if you were right there watching the entire time. So you will know
what your child needs more work on and if they completed their
assignments. So that's progress tracking and record keeping.
Another quality I liked is no ads or banners.

Now I promised I'd give you a little glimpse as to how we do
spelling.  I give my children a list in a pocket chart. Each morning
we do our daily Morning spelling tasks which include reading the list.
Then spelling to exercises verbally. After that I choose 3-4 words
to practice writing on the wipe board. We usually do this activity
right before lunch. After lunch when we come back to the table
they choose a hands on activity using their words. Such as rainbow
words, painting words, wet dry chalk or sentence writing for the old
kids. There are many hands on activities available. Perhaps I'll create
a list at a later time for my readers. Then when we finish our afternoon
work we end it with VocabularySpellingCity. I truly believe that a child's
life should be text rich. This is a great way to add more and still have
a good time with learning. This program has become a reward for
the end of the day. They enjoy working in it.


If you would like to read more reviews click the graphic.

Photobucket

Warm Blessings,

Nikki
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Monday, October 28, 2013

Bridgeway Academy - Review


Bridgeway Logo photo bridgewayacademylogo_zps8c2d62cc.jpg

I was given a Learning Lab from Bridgeway Academy through
SchoolHouse Review Crew in exchange for my honest review.
The course is a 9 week course a $145. Value.  The course is called
Magic Tree House Social Studies- The Middle Ages with Kathi Thomas
This particular course is for children Grades 1-5th grade.  My son
Spirit that used the course is in the 2nd grade.



 Bridgeway Academy offers various courses to make learning easy for
the homeschool parent. There is also a customizable curriculum for
your individual student. Courses include K levels all the way through
high school in an interactive online study.

The Learning Lab's are live online classes. Children interact with
other students from around the world and their instructors. They
are set up as workshops so that you can select your child's interest.
The classes are used along with the Jigsaw meeting room. Set up to
get into the classroom is pretty easy to do as long as you have all the
system requirements. Kathi Thomas had a parent meeting before hand
so that we could iron out the bumps with the technology.  The meeting
room has various areas of learning associated with it. Here are some of
the features associated with the room.

Chat- Type text chat where you can answer questions and have
discussion. You are able to talk live with instructors and students
via a microphone as well.

Map- There is a map that shows students where each one is located.
We scrolled through several times. It's fun to see where your new
friends are located. We were excited to see our instructor is pretty
close to our location.

Webcam- There are webcam capabilities so that you can see and hear
your instructor live.

Whiteboard- An interactive whiteboard where students can write or
draw their answers.

Presentation window- This is where the powerpoint for the class is
loaded along with clickable links if your instructor would like you
to view an outside video.

My son Spirit did most of the course with little guidance. I did sit beside
him and listen on classes and help him along the way with instructions.
Spirit is not an auditory learner so this type of atmosphere can be
slightly confusing for him at times however he really enjoys
learning in a class environment. The class time was about an hour or
more in length which for my wiggly boy was just long enough. We
did read the Magic Tree house book more as a jump off of the topic.
Some days the children would have homework to complete for the
next session time.

In one particular session the children learned about what type of
food the people of the middle ages ate. Spirit soon realized that
the rich had more variety than those that were poor. The children's
assignment was to create a menu using either a royal menu
or a common persons menu. Spirit obviously choose Royalty
from his menu cover of a king in his crown.

 

They learned all about  the different classes of
the people of that time period and how they lived. Below
Spirit drew a home and some things you would have found
there with in it. We labeled the different items.




What I did like about these classes was that despite the fact
that my son was not an auditory learner he still was able
to get hands on with his learning by completing various projects
from his class time . Each assignment the kids had to do they
were able to go over them in class and even present them to
one another. We worked most of our session working on our
model of a castle. Spirit had some assistance from mom with
the hot glue gun but this was his model idea. 





What I liked most about the classes:
*I liked that there were hands on opportunities and different learning
styles used in the teaching approach.

* I liked that my son was able to meet other students and work in
a group environment.

* His instructor was very easy to work with and accommodating.

*We had to miss one session and were able to watch it on a
recorded session.


What I didn't like:
*Sometimes technology can be frustrating which is in no
part  anyone fault.

* Some of the topic was over Spirit's level. He tried to keep
up but sometimes he was just sitting and didn't understand
what was going on.



Overall though we enjoyed the classes. Spirit especially
liked being able to show his work to the class.

If you would like to read more reviews on Bridgeway Academy
Click the graphic below.

Photobucket

Warm Blessings,

Nikki
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Thursday, October 24, 2013

Diary of a Real Payne Book 1 True Story - Book Review

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I was given the book Diary of a Real Payne Book 1 True Story
from Barbour Publishing Company through the
Schoolhouse Review Crew in exchange for my honest review.
This book is a $5.99 value but is on SALE for $4.49

Barbour publishing is a Christian book publishing company. They
began as Bargain books in 1981 and grew to the company they are today
with over 150 books in print to choose from.


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The Diary of a Real Payne by Annie Tipton


This book is for ages 8 and up.

It is a hilariously funny story about a young girl and her
wild imagination. E.J. Payne's imagination often get's her
into trouble so her mom suggests she writes in a dairy as an
outlet for her wild fantasies. E.J is the all American sort
of girl who feels and sees beyond what the world offers. She
is creative and finds ,as the story goes, that she is stronger
than she sometimes gives herself credit. E.J would prefer
to one day get out of their little town of Spooner but for
now she is stuck there using her thoughts to help bring her
excitement. What she finds is that God is leading her life.
He is placing her in just the right places to make a big
difference in others lives, even for a girl who is so young.
E.J. is learning long lasting lessons that will stick with
her all of her life.


Watch for book 2 Church Camp Chaos coming March 2014


How we used the book:
I read the story to two of my children as a read aloud ,both boys
ages 13 and 7.  I wasn't sure if they would enjoy the girl theme and
the talk of lipstick and clothes but the overall storyline kept them
laughing.  It prompted my youngest son to create  a diary of
his own. I won't share what he wrote in it as it specifically is
marked as private. What mom wouldn't want their child writing
more often and by their own design.




 

My 7 year old is a wiggly boy so I allowed the boys to draw
while they listened . This particular drawing below came from
Chapter 9 called The Payne-Fully Spectacular Circus. E.J. , her
best friend Macy and her brother Isaac head out into the
neighborhood to collect donations for their schools food drive.
In an effort to give something back the kids create a mini
moving circus . What a great idea and hilariously funny antics.
They even knock on the grumpiest neighbor Mr. Johnson's house
 who soon chases them off but Mr. Johnson soon proves to be
a valuable neighbor and friend. You'll have to read to
find out how....







The next picture below is from Chapter 10 The First Snow.
EJ's dad takes her and Isaac to shovel snow for Mr. Johnson.
Dad quickly makes a game of getting the snow removed and
does so with the imagination of a Payne. 






We loved a Dairy of a Real Payne and Can't wait for the
next book. The kids really could relate it to their own lives
and those are the kinds of books that get the kids thinking.
I loved the overall theme of the book and that God was the
center of the story.


Warm Blessings,

Nikki


If you would like to read more reviews click the link below.
Photobucket
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Refrigerator Art- Self Portraits



Welcome to another post on the Virtual Refrigerator. You can
link at any of the blogs below if you would like to add your weeks art.
Including mine below this post. 







This week I thought it would be fun to share with you are yearly
self portraits. Each year the kids create a portrait of themselves.
We keep them all and the kids get to really see how much
their art improves with each passing year.


This is Superboy's age 13







Spirit's age 7 ... There is a large white square on top of his
picture because he drew fancy bubble letters of his name and
I like to try to keep their names private. Thanks for understanding.






Even Sweet Pea joined in on the fun.
Sweet Pea age 4.







Please share your art for this week at the link provided below.


Warm Blessings,

Nikki
Monday, October 21, 2013

Lego Challenge #1



Welcome to Angels of Heart's first ever Lego Challenge !!







Would you like to join us? The first Friday and the Third Friday of each
month you will find a new Lego challenge.  Here is how it will work....

1. Present the challenge to your kids and have them make their creation.

2. Take a photo of what they come up with and have them write a little
about their creation.

3. Create a post on your blog with their challenge and set it to live
on Nov. 1.  If you do not have a blog contact me in comments
and I can give you information to email it to me for your child's challenge
to appear on my blog.

4. On Nov. 1 come back here and Link up to the challenge and find out what
The new challenge will be.

5. Include a link to my post please.


6. You might also want to subscribe to my blog so you don't miss
any challenges....  Lots of ways to follow me on my side bar to the right.



Well now that that is out of the way... Let's get to the challenge.....






See you All Nov. 1. :)


Warm Blessings,

Nikki

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Saturday Weekly Finds






This was the best find I found all week online on
Rachel's Blog. Rachel has started an index for women
with bible studies for every book of the bible. She still has many
blanks but I can see this will become an amazing resource when it is
completed. If you know of any studies for the missing blanks please
message her with the information.




My list is short this week but come back next week for a special
Halloween addition.


Warm Blessings,

Nikki


Friday, October 18, 2013

Random 5 Happy Fall Y'all

The Pebble Pond




1. All of my fall decorations are out. My mom bought me this big
vase. I wasn't sure what I would do with it so decided to fill it with gourds
and corn. It think it turned out pretty good.





2. Over the weekend my three grandbabies came to visit and the older two
stayed and spent the night. It is always so good to spend time with them.
I love how in the photo below my son is trying to hold the little ones still.
It just doesn't work. They are on the move.








Here is a photo of the little ones playing. Its so cute uncle , nephews
and aunt playing together. I love they are all so close in age.








And of course I had to share the littlest. Such a smiley baby.










3. The neighbor and his dog came to visit to see what damage
we may have incurred with the flooding last week. He is great about
helping with yard clean up. I knew he was here because his dog Katie
appeared just like this at our door.







Katie is a big dog but such a sweety. You know she isn't going to
harm any of the kids.






She's sitting watching the kids play with those blocks above from the
porch. I invited her in but she choose outside. I guess it felt safer
then with all those little bodies.










4. Spirit went on Wednesday with his Grandparents to pick apples.
He was the only one of the kids to go so he got lots of special time
with Gram and Pap.





 




5. My favorite ice cream Is Moose Tracks. 





 Warm Blessings,


Nikki

Keep in Touch

I would love to hear from you. Feel free to comment or leave a message in my message box. I will get back to you as soon as I can. Thank- you for visiting Angels of Heart.

Rejoice in the Lord Always.