Sunday, April 24, 2016

Lifestyle of Learning 2016 Edition: Volume Seven

April 17-23

I, over the last couple of days, have spent time reading the posts on this blog that bear the label "Lifestyle of Learning" and it has been an enjoyable endeavor.  It has validated for me the importance of documenting our adventures and it has assured me that the boys are learning so much and growing up to be such fine young men.  It's affirming!  So I continue...

I forgot to note last week that Maceo and I have begun the process of working our way through the book "Art of Writing".  We have read and discussed chapter one and have begun the writing exercises.  Next week we will share our writing and go over chapter two.  Throughout the entirety of the week Maceo, Bishop and I have had hours upon hours of conversation.  I really need to try documenting some of these, oftentimes intense, conversations.

Biahop served at the food pantry this week.
Also, Bishop spent time researching different pottery techniques.  This research was reflected in his latest creations, these faceted pots
Bishop also continued with scouts.  He began a special merit badge class to help him earn his personal fitness merit badge.  He has been logging his fitness activities for some time but this class will help him finish the more didactic portions of the badge.  He researched different types of workouts that are readily adaptable to doing in small quarters.  He requested the medicine ball and the elastic bands to explore a couple of options.
He was grubmaster for this weekends campout.  He did some prep work at home prior to the campout.  Their menu included breakfast burritos, meatball sandwiches and stuffed baked potatoes.
Bishop really enjoyed the hike and it does look as though it was a beautiful day for it!
Bishop attended science and history group.  We studied the integumentary system and did some fingerprinting exercises.  In history we continue to take a look at the Constitution, in particular Article 1.  We viewed a relevant portion of the Constitutional Literacy DVD.  In between the groups we dined at Creasian.  Bishop and I made more progress towards the achievement of our goal to eat through their authentic Chinese menu.  We tried the chickens feet and the eggplant dish.  The eggplant was amazing, the chicken's feet less so.  We are very close to fulfilling our goal.

Maceo didn't have vocal lessons but he did continue with his pre-professional training acting class and youth performance troupe.  He also had a rehearsal for and performed in a special production, "Broadway Backwards."  Maceo sang "People" and performed in a reverse version of Grease Lightenin' - the girls sang the song and the boys wore "booty" shorts and danced around with checkered flags.  I do have film footage of it but can't get it to upload.  Shucks because it is soooo entertaining!!!

Maceo watched a production of Junie B. Jones The Musical.  He spent a considerable amount of time learning baseball statistics and he and I spent about an hour on an impromptu grammar "lesson,"  we discussed many rules and exceptions to the rules and he edited some writing.

Maceo spent part of the week preparing for the prom - picking out his tux, ordering flowers and getting a haircut.
He ended his week by attending prom with his lovely girlfriend.

It's a good life!!!

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Prom 2016

It's that time again - PROM time!!!
My handsome boy...
and his lovely date...
together again for prom - Prom 2016.

This is what happens when happens if you ask a lefty having difficulty putting on the boutonniere if she would like some assistance.
Aren't they a good looking couple?

After we failed to tie the dog covered bow tie Olivia decided it would work as a pocket square.  She really wanted him to wear that dog bow tie to prom.

Blowing bubbles! 

Beautiful and quirky! 
How do you like the ride? 

Gotta love this girl!!!

 And they're off!!!!

Cheers!!! to another great prom!!!

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Lifestyle of Learning 2016 Edition: Volume Six

March 20-April 16
There is always so much going on and, although things are a bit slower with Maceo not presently being a show, this past month has been no exception.
I have focused considerably on sorting, purging and organizing the stuff in my house.  In the process of doing this little gems have been uncovered.
I pulled out a pile of shirts from shows that Maceo has performed in over the years.  He couldn't resist trying on the shirt from his very first production - Honk Jr.  He performed in that show eight years ago and can still rock the shirt (sort of).
Bishop assembled an ensemble consisting of a stocking cap he loved as a little youngster and his dad's high school letterman's jacket.  Lookin' good!
I still have a lot of work ahead of me but the trip down memory lane has been fun!

We tried a new church.  We celebrated Easter.  They went to youth group just a bit.
We watched the NCAA men's basketball tournament.  Maceo's team made it to the championship but lost (shucks).  Immediately Maceo began watching MLB and started a countdown to NFL kickoff.

Maceo continued his personal pursuits, including that new found interest in baseball.
Bishop also continued to work on personal endeavors - drawing, music, and debating.
Bishop is working on concept art for Christian's novel.
Bishop and I visited an art gallery.  They had an outdoor exhibit that included wood sculptures, stencil art, and murals.  The murals were inspired by the work of visiting artist, Axel Void.
Mural by Axel Void.

Bishop's with his favorite stencil art.

Brick City - the site of the Axel Void exhibit.
There were two exhibits in the gallery.  One was Axel Void's skull study exhibit.

The other exhibit was Documerica, a photography project from the 70's.

As a bonus, we got to see an exhibit of art produced by students from local elementary, middle, and high schools.  Inspiring!

This was created by an 8th grader - so cool.  

And, of course, Bishop continued with his own art.  He has logged hours of drawing and hours upon hours of pottery.  We are exploring options for him to participate in some high school juried exhibits.

His own personal design.

Faceted lidded pots.
Bishop did some cooking.  I really need to get him in the kitchen more often though.

Buffalo chicken grilled sandwich.

Maceo performed at YouthFest.  He sang a duet.  I should have recorded it so that I could share it with you but I was too busy enjoying the music and crying.  It was beautiful.  He is know preparing for an upcoming Broadway Backwards production.
He also continued with vocal lessons, youth performance troupe, pre-professional acting class and improv.
The latest improv class. 
Maceo also saw multiple productions that were being performed around the community - Hair, Mr. Burns, and Insane with Power.  Both boys and I went to a poetry reading.

Bishop continued with scouts - meetings, working on merit badges, and pondering his Eagle Scout project.  Also, he helped a friend and fellow scout with his Eagle Scout project.  He logged a total of six and a half service hours helping stain and install cubbies at a Boys and Girls Club location.

(I know these photos seem redundant but they are all different, the progression cracks me up)!

Bishop also continued science group.  We completed our studies of the nervous system.  We studied the anatomy of the brain, the brain stem, and the senses and we played a body trivia game as a review.  I wish I had pictures of all that we did.  It was really quite cool but, alas, I do not.

Cooper aka Phineas Gage!
In history group we studied the American Revolution and are now looking at our founding documents and are studying American government, in general.  We took a look at the Articles of Confederation, its strengths and weaknesses, the Constitutional Convention and now are studying the Constitution article by article.
A state representative visited our small group and shared with us the process of passing bills in our state.

We also spent time examining the scripture for some traits of a good leader and we have all been challenged to keep these traits in mind as we watch the presidential race unfold.

Bishop and I attended an event called  Sugar Rush.  We paid an entrance fee that, in turn, went to charity and then were treated to all sorts of sweet goodies.

Not only were the treats yummy but they provided some inspiration for our own baking.  But more importantly it assured us that some of our specialties could compete with what the professionals are offering up.  We are thinking that we might participate in this event next year.

As always, we have spent hour upon hour upon hour in discussion.

And, of course, the learning isn't merely restricted to Maceo and Bishop.  Christian continues his studies in South Korea and Keegan continues her adventure in L.A.  She opened a new show and set up a website.  And I have been exploring wild edibles and what to do with them.  I have had an amazing crop of violets.  In the past I have made violet jelly with them which I did again this year.  However, this year I have also candied some of them, pressed some of them to dry so that I can make these lollipops in the future, and started some violet white wine vinegar and violet balsamic vinegar.  I also made dandelion jelly and red bud blossom jelly.

Wow, there is always so much to learn!!!