Sunday, May 18, 2014

Lifestyle of Learning 2014 Edition: Volume Nine

We began the week in New Mexico and ended it back home and back to our routines.
With Sunday being Mother's Day we all went to breakfast together.
Joseph read scripture for us.

And we enjoyed each others company.
Thanks for the treat, Mama!

After breakfast we went for a walk around the souvenir yard.
The souvenir yard is my Grandaddy's collection of tractors and cars and miscellaneous items that have always been a playground for us kids.

 Then got on the road again, enduring dust storms through Texas.
If you look real hard you just may see a bunch of wind turbines.
We stopped for the evening in Texas and
Bishop and I had a Mother's Day steak.  Yum!
It was a great steak and even better company!
Thanks for the wonderful dinner, sweet Bishop!

On Monday we completed our journey home braving thunderstorms through a good portion of it.  It was harrowing - visibility was poor and lightening was striking not far from the interstate but we made it!  We made it in time to feed the boys dinner and then drive to a neighboring town for Maceo's three hour musical rehearsal.  No rest for the weary I tell you!

Tuesday was spent largely just taking care of business (cleaning out the vehicle, returning the rental, getting my bearings) until it was time to get Maceo to another three hour rehearsal.  Bishop and I read a couple more chapters in our history book.  We also finished our book on Archimedes and Christian shared information with us on the Punic Wars.

Wednesday found Bishop and I returning to our history group.  After completing our narration and map work we talked about the origin of what we consider to be the traditional crown,

colored stained-glass style Celtic knots,

 and made Constantine's shields.

 Ok, so the making of the shields really involved using icing to write the Chi Ro (Greek for Christ) on the top of chocolate cupcakes.  Of course the kiddos loved this activity as it involved eating the shields upon completion.

Thursday was a day packed with cool crazy learning fun.  Bishop spent five hours at a science event.  The morning hours were spent learning about fish.

He then was afforded the opportunity to tour the holding facility for the fish that will be in the Wonders of Wildlife Museum.

He dissected a fish

 and then painted with one in the Japanese style, Gyotaku.

Maceo went to the final meeting of his middle school level acting troupe and then went to a three hour rehearsal of Into the Woods.
Bishop and I finished out the evening reading Charles and Mary Lambs retelling of Shakespeare's A Midsummer Nights Dream.

Friday found us trying to get caught up on some house and yard work until it was time for Maceo to go to his private vocal instruction.  And afterwards we all gorged on all-you-can-eat ribs and Bishop and I read some of Our Little Athenian

We finished the week with more fun.
Bishop attended a friends birthday sleepover and apparently had a lot of fun and very little sleep.

And Maceo and I attended a homeschool performance of Music Man Jr.
and then closed down Braums with all of our friends!

We had an absolutely full week - full of family and friends, travel and exploration, learning and adventure!
I am tired but satisfied!

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Lifestyle of Learning 2014 Edition: Volume Eight

Another whirlwind week.
Maceo had another performance at ArtsFest.

This boy has grown so much.  His dance ability has grown so much.  He is a joy to watch.
It was reported back to him by a respected member of the theatre community that he had been complimented on his dancing by yet another respected member of the theatre community and he has now been encouraged to pursue dance in his future.  More to think and pray on!

That same evening Maceo and Bishop attended youth group.  It was their youth group leaders final day and they spent it fellowshipping.
It was energizing!

Monday, before scouts and rehearsal and in addition to getting prepared for our trip, Bishop made his first batch of jelly.  He made violet jelly.
The freshly picked violet petals were first steeped in boiling water to make this bluish-green infusion.
 The infusion turns a very pretty lavender color when lemon juice is added to it.
Isn't this cool?
 Bishop further prepared the jelly by adding the sugar and pectin to the infusion and boiling it accordingly.

 He then ladled it in to the sterilized jars and used the water bath method for the canning.
 Isn't the jelly just an absolutely beautiful color?
We haven't had time to give it a taste test yet but, now that we have returned home, I see some hot homemade biscuits served with butter and violet jelly in our near future!

Tuesday found us on the road again heading back to New Mexico for another funeral, for a final goodbye to my grandfather.  On our first full day in New Mexico we did a little sightseeing.  We began by having lunch at a little restaurant in Mountainair and read a little bit and conversed about Native Americans.
Aren't they cute?
We went to the Salinas Pueblo Missions visitor center and then went to the Gran Quivira site.
Despite sustained winds of 45mph and gusts much higher then that we went to the top of the mound and found it to be beautiful.

 We enjoyed the history,

we examined the rocks,

and Bishop worked on his photography.

He took some really stunning photos.
I look forward to getting them developed and seeing them in print.
I love his point of view.
He will enter some of them in the fair but cannot display all of his work there.  I think that I will have to arrange a photo exhibit at some point. 

Once again the kids had ample opportunity to learn more about the value of family as a whole and to learn about those things that make our family unique.  We checked in on our family that buried a wonderful woman a couple of weeks ago and were facing their first Mother's Day without her.  We visited with my 93 year old grandmother.

We learned more about dealing with little cousins.

And we learned how to honor a great-grandfather and tell him goodbye.
 From the funeral home to the church where the service was to take place we made a procession and drove all over the county that his parents homesteaded in and that he spent his entire life in.  We drove past his birthplace and his ranch house.  We went through the town where he met my Granny.  We went past his elementary school and jr. high and near the town where he graduated high school.  We went to the church that he attended with his second wife, Gram.  It was moving.

 And in the midst of all of this we learned more of God's goodness and grace as He brought us gifts of beauty ...
and nature...

Hiding under this...

...was this!


and happiness even in the driest of places!
and family.

Even in the midst of all of this we managed to get some reading done.  Bishop and I continue to work on a book about Archimedes and Maceo worked on some scripts.

It was a full week.  A week full of fun and travels, tears and memories, learning and love!