Sunday, December 18, 2005

Christmas carols

Today on one of my favorite homeschooling blogs, Cay Gibson's, House of Literature, she had a post about one of my favorite Christmas carols, Mary Did You Know? by Kenny Rogers and Winonna Judd. Be sure to check out her post.

Having been raised Catholic I have always had a special closeness to Mary which was passed down to me from my own mother so songs of Mary are especially dear to my heart. Another of my favorite songs to listen to at this time of year is Amy Grant's, Breath of Heaven (Mary's Song). (On this site scroll down to the bottom, go to page 10, and it is song #192. Click on it to hear a porotion of this beautiful song.) Having carried my own four children, my heart just bursts listening to this song. The lyrics will stay with you throughout the day and they make a beautiful mother's meditation.

Breath of Heaven...

I have traveled many moonless night
Cold and weary, with a babe inside
And I wonder what I've done
Holy Father, you have come
And chosen me now
To carry your son

I am waiting in a silent prayer
I am frightened by the load I bear
In a world as cold as stone,
Must I walk this path alone?
Be with me now
Be with me now

Breath of heaven
Hold me together
Be forever near me
Breath of heaven
Breath of heaven
Light up my darkness
Pour over me your holiness
For you are holy

Breath of heaven
Do you wonder as you watch my face
If a wiser one one should have had my place
But I offer all I am
For the mercy of your plan
Help me be strong
Help me be
Help me

-Amy Grant

Sunday, December 11, 2005

lights on our house and in the sky

Tonight as we went outside at dark to ooh and aah over my husband's light display on our house, looking up into the night sky I was given more reasons to ooh and aah as I looked upon the moon and bright red Mars close by it,

and Venus , the brightest it has been in 2005.

I was glad we had been lured out to see the house lights because I had completely forgotten the email I had received the other day about this NASA article telling me all about this amazing sight to see tonight.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

finding new resources reason to squeal

In November on Theresa's Lapazfarm Home Learning blog she shared about a great resource the Clickschooling yahoo group. Scroll down to her Thursday, November 10th post titled, A Truly Useful Resource. This group sends out an email with resources for a different subject each day. For FREE! It has been such a wonderful addition to our studies.

Well today, when I checked my email from them and clicked on the link for their history resource of the day, I think I actually squealed in delight. They recommended The Learning Calendar site. What a gem of a find! This site offers for FREE a monthly newsletter that lists events and people and a little blurb about them for each day of that month AND activities to go along! They have a What Happened Today? history section. Click on any day of any month and find out an interesting tidbit. WOW! I have been doing this very thing in making our Monthly Birthday Wall having to hunt ALL over for my resources. THIS site will be such a help with this now. They also have a calendar that you can purchase which has even more ideas. I will be trying this for sure.

Thanks again to Theresa. :)

a little birding news

Above is a poster of Greater-White Fronted Goose from National Geographic's website. This goose was first noted by the Lewis and Clark Expedition on March 15, 1806 at Fort Clatsop, Oregon and sighted as #208 life bird for Josh Wright (who is studying the Lewis and Clark Expedition) on December 4, 2005 at The Henderson Bird Viewing Preserve, Las Vegas, Nevada :)

I thought I'd also share the following post from our birding blog (which is linked on the side of this blog) as it is a MAJOR part of our homeschooling.

We have been heading up to the park almost every day for a bird walk in our neighborhood park and I always feel blessed by the "surprises" we are given each and every time. Within the last few weeks we have seen new birds in the park including northern flicker, lesser goldfinch, inca dove, abert's towhee, red-tailed hawk, raven, and prairie falcon.This morning was no exception as we saw two western meadowlarks on the ground under a group of bushes in the park. As we watched them and got great views of their beautiful vibrant yellow breasts with the black v two more flew in next to them.None of these birds are new to Josh as he has seen some of them many times before but to see them in our own environment is reason enough to get excited all over again about them.

In our other birding news, we are gearing up for TWO Christmas bird counts with our local Audubon group that we will be a part of in a couple of weeks. They are back to back on Dec. 17th and Dec. 18th and Josh is in heaven knowing he will be birding ALL day, BOTH days lol. His poor dad is doing both while I opted to just do one.

I had to laugh this morning as we were at Target looking for ornaments to give as gifts. I showed him a "cardinal" and he just looked at me and politely stated that it really looked like a scarlet tangager but had the tail length wrong etc. There was a lady behind us who commented that he must know his birds. That's putting it mildly lol.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

literature and movies part 2

Since my last post Josh and I have finished C.S. Lewis's, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. I can't believe I missed this wonderful book when I was younger. We then took Superboy's recommendation, via his pen pal letter to Josh, and listened to Prince Caspian on audio. Another great one! Josh is now counting down each day till Friday when we will see the movie. From previews it looks wonderful. While birthday shopping for his older sister's 16th birthday, we came across a book about the making of the movie. He has been lost in it ever since. It seems that, like Lord of the Rings, it was also filmed in New Zealand and has people from that movie's departments also being used for this film. We'll give a movie review once we have attended.

SuDoku craze invades our house

I happened upon a SuDoku book of puzzles in the bookstore a few weeks ago and we all began to try our hand at these puzzles. If you are not familiar with them, you can find a great explanation and even take a try at an online one here. Boy are these puzzles addicting lol. We've been having a great time with them even though Josh and I are still at the beginners level :) I was pleasantly surprised to find this kids' Christmas version in the childrens' department at our local Barnes and Noble. We are having a blast with it. I am loving doing the word ones while Josh and his dad like the number ones better. Math and logic. LOTS of fun going on at our house.