Friday, October 4, 2013

All Is Right in My World

Here we are, already 5 weeks into school, and it feels good.

My extended family is back in their respective homes. (for now)

My house is cleaned, organized, and free from a plethora of baby gear.

I have over 3 bushels of apples in my basement and the tree leaves are slowly changing color.

My races are mostly done for the year, I completed my half in a decent time and I have had a good recovery week.

I have been able to write every afternoon this week, and I've been spending the last minutes of most of my evenings reading A Teaspoon of Sea and Earth. It is an intense read, but very well written.

My baby sister is 19 today. And my dad crested 60 this week.

My baby headed off to BSF with her aunt and cousin. I am pretty sure this is the first time she has went anywhere with out a parent or sibling. It tugged at this mama's heart.

My camera has batteries.

All is right in my world.

I thought I'd take a few minutes to type an update on school. I wrote of grand plans before we got started. But for all you know, my schemes could have blown up in my face. So, how is everything actually shaking down? Are my schemes working?

The answer to that is a resounding YES!

We fell behind in math for both Freckles and LC with our math book fiascos. But, both are almost caught up. Everyone has completed 25 lessons in all the other books-spelling, grammar, and handwriting.

So, Friday school...

Well, we love the Great Courses lecture/videos. The lecturer dresses up like a main character from the period he is lecturing on. He has been a Viking, Christopher Columbus, John Smith and Miles Standish. He speaks in their accents, wears period clothing, and tells their story. It is very riveting. After we watch the lectures, there are question in a workbook that we have been discussing orally. Which is working well.

They also have additional history textbook reading that is assigned to go with the events we have learned about in the lecture.

For fun, I had the kids make up stories of what might have happened to the Lost Colony of Roanoke. They loved that. We will be making a map this week of North American settlers and where different groups from different countries settled.

In science we took up Galileo. We talked about his discoveries, and did some hands on experiments. Last week we watched a YouTube video on his life. It was interesting and I learned a lot. We start Isaac Newton today. With Newton, there are a lot of hands on experiments that we will be doing. lPlus we will look into his life.

In the fine arts, we have done an intro to Baroque and Classical music, as well as Baroque and Classical art forms. We learned a bit about John Milton, the author of Paradise Lost. We will begin reading that together after we finish Dr. Doolittle. (I know, compatible genres...snort) BMV, Freckles and LC are each memorizing a shorter Milton poem to recite at our church campout tomorrow evening. Today, they will be drawing/painting a picture to go with their poem.

ArtPrize has been a major part of our Fine Arts program, like it is every year. We have spent hours down there. It was fun studying Rembrandt last week, and then looking at more Art Prize entries. There are a few that have been painted in the dark/light style that Rembrandt employed quite often.

As far as our reading lists go, we are all making progress. I am having BMV read some books aloud to LC, and some she is reading on her own. Freckles is an island unto himself, and he is making progress. He is currently reading David Brainard's bio, which is rather heavy. We are halfway through 1776 already. I have enjoyed re-reading it. I am amazed by the youth of the players in the colonies. Quite interesting.

Musically, we are singing a new hymn a week, so we have sung 5 hymns already. A couple were by Isaac Watts. All were written between 1600 and 1800. I love it!

So, that is how it's going. Better than I could have hoped. I am enjoying learning alongside the kids.

Well, for our recipe this week, I am sharing the why's and wherefore's of Pesto Chicken. At 3 ingredients, you really can't get simpler. Combining cheese, pesto and chicken, you can't get more delicious!

Pesto Chicken
1-1/2 pounds boneless chicken breasts, thawed, and cut into 2-3 smaller chunks
1 cup of store bought or homemade pesto (my recipe here)
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

On the bottom of a greased 9x13 pan, spread 1/2 cup of pesto.
Place the chicken piece in one layer on top.
Pepper generously. 

Spread the remaining pesto over the arranged chicken.
Cover pan with foil.
Bake at 375 degrees for 35 minutes.
Remove foil, and sprinkle with the 2 cups of cheese. Place back in the 375 degree over for 10 minutes. Turn your broiler on High, and broil for 4-5 minutes and until the cheese in nicely toasted.

Serve over rice or pasta or couscous. Amazing!

How is your fall going? What are you looking forward to this weekend?