Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Peek Into Our Homeschool Week-- Sept 22-26, 2014

I don't know why I didn't take more photos this week, but apparently I didn't.  I was a fun week, but light on the photos.

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Lydia practicing her spelling

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Discussing conflict in Island of the Blue Dolphins

Monday, September 29, 2014

Dinners of the Week-- Sept 22-28, 2014

Disneyland Attractions and Walk-throughs {and what we think of them}

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Continuing in our series about Disneyland attractions and rides, I really wanted to keep my eyes and ears open during our last trip in February.  That's one of the great things about Disneyland: there's a hidden surprise around every corner and always something to be discovered.  If you're looking for some of those lesser known experiences, this is the post for you.


Tiki Room-- The Tiki Room is my personal favorite place to stop in the middle of a busy day in the park.  It's a great place to rest your feet, cool off, and enjoy a fun show.  This one has been a crowd pleaser for every age group when we go to the park.

Captain EO--I have to admit that I've never seen this show.  I'm not a Michael Jackson fan, but if you're looking for it, it's located between Star Tours and Space Mtn.

Aladdin--I really can't say enough good things about the quality of this show. It's not something you'd expect to see in the middle of a theme park.  But the quality is amazing and we all loved it.  The Aladdin stage is located in the Hyperion Theater at the end of the Hollywood block of Disney's California Adventure.

Jedi Training--I want to take Noah to this one next time.  Come battle Darth Vader outside the cafe in Tomorrowland and possibly end up on stage.

Turtle Talk with Crush--Anyone remember Crush from Finding Nemo?  You enter into a large room and are sited in front of a huge screen where Crush appears and answers questions from the audience.  I was absolutely amazed by how Crush pointed people out and interacted with them.  Next time I'll figure out the trick.  :-)

Disney Jr. Live On-stage--I haven't seen this one, but I've heard lots of moms say their kids loved seeing favorite Disney characters come to life.  Handy Mandy, Little Einsteins, Jake and the Neverland Pirates... you'll find your kids' favorites here.

A Bug's Life: It's Tough to be a Bug--Ah, this is a fun one.  Discover what it's like to be bug size with this tour from Flik.  This 3D show give you a glimpse into their world complete with smells, sights, sounds, and even some touch.

Walk throughs:

Sleeping Beauty's Castle--You have to be able to go up and down stairs to enjoy this one, but I love the miniaturized scenes from the movie as you relive the story.  Classic Disney!

Tarzan's Treehouse--My kids love this one and it's a great way to burn off energy.  Located right next to Indiana Jones, it's also a wonderful way to keep the younger ones busy while they're waiting.  And don't forget the interactive play area at the end.  But I personally miss The Swiss Family Robinson Treehouse.

Tom Sawyer's Island--Sorry I haven't done this one yet either.  I think you have to row the canoes to get there and I'm just not up for the challenge yet with kids.

Redwood Creek Challenge Trail-- For several trips, I didn't notice this part of the park.  It's tucked in the back of Disney's California Adventure near Grizzly River Run and from the main path, it just looks like a small section of the park.  But in true Disney from, it's more than meets the eye.  When you walk through the entry, it's like a whole other park.  Slides, rope climbs, a bear cave,... and my kids loved the zip line surprise at the end.  It's well worth checking out.

What is your favorite lesser known attractions at Disneyland?

Friday, September 26, 2014

2014 September Bookmarks

*Bookmarks is an online book club hosted at Creative2xmom. Here we discuss the books we've read in the past month as well as the suggested reading. Our suggested reading for September was The Me I Want To Be by John Ortberg.

 These are the books I read this month:

Courageous by Randy Alcorn--  I'll just start out by saying this was a looong book.  That's my way of justifying my short reading list this month.  And I didn't have very high expectations for it as it was a book made from a movie, instead of the other way around.  However, I was very surprised by the quality of the story and the characters.  It really sucked me in.  I would find myself reading way into the night when I just couldn't put it down.  At times it was a little preachy, but not over the top.  And the storyline took several twists and turns that kept me reading.  Very good and definitely worth the read.

Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O'Dell-- Classic fourth grade novel we read for California history.  I loved it and my first grader loved it.  The fourth grader... well, he probably would have enjoyed it more if we hadn't read such big chunks at a time.  However, as we clarified the creatures in the story, that was his favorite part.  A great piece of history and a fun way to learn.

Our suggested reading for September was The Me I Want To Be by John Ortberg--  I'm about 75 % through this one and am finding you really can't read it quickly.  Well, it is written in such a way that you could, but you'd really end up missing the point of the book.  It's really missing with the way I think.  My greatest gift from this one is coming in re-wiring the way I think.  Paying attention to my thought life in how I worry or predict the outcome of situations.  I like it... it's just hard to summarize 'cause it's a lot of meat to chew on.

So what are your bookmarks this month?

Tell us in the comments about the books you're chewing on. Or link up a review from your own blog. Let's share the books we're finding, good and bad. And give us your thoughts on The Me I Want To Be by John Ortberg.

And join us for our next bookmarks post coming October 31 as we discuss Real Food Real Frugal by Susan Godfrey.

*Linked to these Parties

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Sheerluck Homes and the Case of the Missing Friend {Review}

As part of the Veggie Tales "I Can Read" series, Sheerluck Holmes and The Case of the Missing Friend explores the issues of friendship and hurt feelings.  When Sniffy leaves a note saying his feelings have been hurt, it's up to Sheerluck Holmes and Dr. Watson to determine who hurt his feelings and encourage him to return home.  Can they solve the case?

Written for beginning readers, the sentences are short and the words are easy.  The illustrations are detailed and well-done.  The story isn't exceptionally deep and I felt it could have been done better.  But over all, the point came across.  This book is written for children ages 4-8 years, but I feel an 8 year old would easily become bored with the story.  My 6 year old read it quickly and she's probably at the higher end of the appropriate level.  

Overall, I liked this book.  It wasn't anything exceptional, but it's a nice book for learning to read with a good moral.  

*Disclaimer: I was given a free copy of this book for my honest review.  All opinions are my own.

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