Friday, April 15, 2011

13 Books and a few dozen plays in 15 Weeks

Ok I am an avid reader, so this should be no sweat to me. I just finished two books this weeks. My challenge to myself is to pick books that I normally would not read, mixed in with those I would have read anyway. I love mystery novels and true crime, but never been a fan of biographies and the like. Hopefully, I can find one that will keep my attention all the way through! Here we go:

1. Hot Mahogany: Stewart Woods (http://www.stuartwoods.com/html/pastbooks.html)
2. Mounting Fears: Stewart Woods
3. Jesus, The One and Only: Beth Moore (http://www.lproof.org/)
4. The Upside of Down, Finding Hope When It Hurts: Joseph Stowell (http://www.getmorestrength.org/)
5.  Alex Cross's Trial: James Patterson ( http://www.jamespatterson.com/)
6. Surviving a Spiritual Mismatch: Leslie Strobel (http://www.leestrobel.com/channels/Christianity.php)
7. The Final Warning: James Patterson
8. The Last Tsar: The Life and Death of Nicholas II: Edvard Radzinskii (http://www.randomhouse.com/author/24817/edvard-radzinsky)
9. Divine Comedy: Dante Alighieri
 10. Bertolt Brecht: Biography (http://www.imagi-nation.com/moonstruck/clsc15.htm)
11. The Crucible: Screenplay: Arthur Miller
12. A Dolls House: Henrik Isben http://www.imagi-nation.com/moonstruck/clsc5p.htm
13. R.U.R. - Rossum's Universal Robots (great play, but worth another read) Karel ńĆapek
 



Ok so I LOVE Bertolt Brecht, he's the bomb so I also re-read all his plays again. I know, cheating, since I already own them and read them before, which is why I added them on at the end :) See I know how to be fair and diplomatic, sometimes :) I would highly recommend that anyone who loves a good playwright read and learn from one of the greatest of all times. Pick one, anyone and I know you will be hooked for life. I was.
 I am also a die hard fan of Tom Stoppard, especially the play Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead so anything you read by the lovely and talented Mr. Stoppard will transport you! I didnt put him on my list but I did have to sneak a couple of his books in. There are so many talented playwrights that when I pick up one, it reminds me of another and another and before you know it I am leaving with 15 different playwrights complete works...I am freaky like that.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Flat Happenings

04/11/11: Post Office and Mesquite Arts Museum, AMC Movie

Untitled Sculpture at the Art Center

Mesquite Art Center
We also took a field trip to the Mesquite Arts Museum to take a look around. We have never been there before and thought now was as good of time as any. We could not take pics inside, but we took some outside. They had a pretty cool sculpture the kids liked so we stopped and posed there. Today we took a trip down to the Mesquite Post Office. I was going to get the travel books stamped but, they were still closed. Hopefully I can get it done later today :)
Mesquite Arts Center
outside the Mesquite Art Center

Our local post office
 At the end of the day we decided to take a trip to see Diary Of  Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules. Drizzle Fizzle stayed with a friend, I didnt think that was the most appropriate movie for him to watch, he's only four! Princess adored it and laughed alot. I thought it was pretty cute myself. Lord knows I ve sat through some really horrible movies as a mom. All in all a great day with my kiddos.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Homeschool Giveaways Website!

Homeschool Giveaways Website!

There is a new homeschool website getting ready to launch that will be centered around giving homeschool curriculum away for FREE. The grand opening giveaways have some great products like a complete Mystery of History set, Horizons Pre-Algebra Set, Picture Smart Bible, and a whole set of early learning currriculum for 2yrs – K. There are also several other things set to be given away such as gift certificates.

To get notified of the giveaways, all you have to do is sign up for the “Giveaway Blast”. Please be sure to put in my email address:  jenngreene1014@gmail.com as the referral source. There is a pre-launch giveaway right now for a beautiful Well Planned Day Planner that I can win for referring the most subscribers. You can enter too after you sign up! Just copy & paste this and send it out to your friends!

Here is the website: http://www.homeschoolgiveaways.com

April Update and Flat Travelers Adventures

04/09/11: Birthday Parties, Car Auctions, Science Camp, Scarborough Fair and Stolen Dogs

Today was an unusual day, I guess would be the right way to say it. We were awoken early in the morning to a banging on the door. Opened it so see my neighbors (who we dont get along with) standing there with my boxer, Jack! They go on to inform me that two teenagers literally walked up to my back gate, opened it, called my dog out, leashed him and started on their merry little way with my pup! DOG NAPPERS! I couldn't believe it. Our dog will go with anyone, he's a big lug, but the audacity of these kids to come and steal him was outrageous. I was so thankful our neighbors were outside  and stopped them. I would have heard tears for weeks and months. Odly enough, these same two kids come back and say we have THEIR DOG and want him back. I almost laughed. I went on this large spill and provided proof, he was in fact our dog, microchiped and all they could not have him. I was told by my neighbor they came back 2 more times when I we gone trying to get him. Insane, I tell you. We had to go and buy a lock to keep them out and our dog in. So that was our morning. After the insanity we managed to get off too week two of science camp~~~YEAH. The kids and flats got to learn about pulley systems (which we actually went over at the theater)  magnets and electo magnets and electricity. When we finally got back, our dog was still there so we put him in the house and left to go to the car auction at the salvation army. We ended up buying a really old car for $300 that needed some fixing up (on purpose) so my 16 year old son can learn about mechanics and then keep the car when he gets it up and going. I am a firm believer that all people, especially men, should know basics about cars. My son is not so enthused as I am about this, but he will come around, hopefully. Besides its great bonding time :) While my son and I were at the auction, my daughter was at her best friends birthday parties. That's right parties. Rose Maria and Amber share the same birthday 2 years apart. So my daughter was busy at the skating rink getting her grove on and having a fabulous time, while we were picking out an almost clunker to revive! We finally got finished around noon and decided to head off to opening weekend of Scarborough Fair out in Waxahachie, TX.We love the Mid-Evil and Renaissance time periods and like dressing up and having fun. Unfortunately, I was the only one that could dress up because my kids had grown to much :( We had a great time though playing games, watching the shows, people watching, and acting silly. The flats went along on this joyous trip and got to step back into time for a few hours and experience a different culture and way of life. If you have not studied this time period, I highly recommend it and you must and I mean must make a week of talking in the language and dressing up from the period and making food only from that time. Its a lot of fun and the memories will last forever.   (pics to come)

04/10/11: Family Day

Today after church, we went and ate lunch at the sonic park and then we decided to make it a stay home family day. Princess has been searching for a pen pal that she can write to and email so we spent some time taking care of that and even found one for our 4 year old! Now she still wants more, girls. We went a bought Drizzle Fizzle, our 4 year old, a bike at the Goodwill and some training wheels and made this the say he was going to learn to ride, if it killed us! He picked up on it real fast and was all over the place before we knew it, reeking havoc in the neighborhood like all good toddles should do. Then we played some B-Ball, threw some bean bags around, swam for awhile in the kiddie pool, chased the dog and drove him crazy, and finished the day with a meal at the park  By the time it was over we were all ready to crash and burn for the night. 

BLOG UP TO DATE!!!! GO TEAM ME!!!! WHOOT WHOOT!!!

April...very busy month..for us and our Flat Travelers

04/01/11: School Carnival

This month has been so excruciatingly busy, its been unreal! I barely have had time to breathe, much less blog about it, but FINALLY I have some downtime so I thought I would catch up everyone on all the happening's, especially my flat travelers families! I have definitely neglected my blog duties to them and I apologize :( What can I say, I am not a very consistent blogger, but I try to be :) We started our month off by attending a wonderful carnival at a local Elementary School called Tisinger. They had wonderful games from rock climbing, basketball, ring toss, duck finds, knocking bottles down, and of course FOOD! What good is a carnival without food? That's like going to a skating rink and not skating..not natural at all, so of course, we had to eat! Now we are vegetarian (more towards the raw vegan side) so finding food is a little harder for us than most at a carnival, but we always manage, besides we not aliens, we still love our junk food! Drizzle Fizzle spent most of his time at the basketball game, of course, hes my little basketball junkie. He lives for sports. Princess spent most of her time at the rock climbing wall and Munchkin basically hung out.He's 16 and too old and too cool to play little kids games (at least in public)! (pics to come)

04/02/11: Science Camp and Library Field Trip

Ms Williams-Science Teacher
Today we started off with Science Camp. This is something that I enrolled my daughter in through the public school system so she can do hands on science activities that supplement what we are studying at home. So we kinda cheat with science and I get a print out from the school science teacher of her lesson plans and we follow that, with and add on a christian perspective.:) So today we learned about mass, gravity, friction, force in action, etc. It was alot of fun for my daughter, since she is a really hands on learner.
Princess shooting hoops
She made it, just could not follow the ball

 Later when we got back, we went up to the library to check out the book and movie,Tuck Everlasting, since we are going to be seeing it on the 8th at the Dallas Children's Theater, I wanted her to have the backdrop of the story. We also learned about the dewy decimal system and how to use the card catalog to find books. normally they just use the computer or ask the desk clerk. We got of pics with our flats reading and picking out movies and doing puzzles with my youngest, Drizzle Fizzle. They all had a great time.





04/03/11: Church and Bluebonnet Pics

Listened to a wonderful sermon today on The Ultimate Jesus, from the book of Hebrews at our church, Centerpoint, focusing on "What motivates us to respond to God? What are some appropriate responses to God? Sermon from Hebrews 10:19-25" http://www.centerpointmesquite.org/2011/04/03/sermon-our-ultimate-responses-to-the-ultimate-jesus/
Drizzle Fizzle

Flat Traveler
 Afterwards, we went to a close by spot and took pics of our flats and family in our State flower, the Bluebonnet. We have fields of bluebonnets that grow wild and taking family pics in them is practically a national pastime here in Texas. your not normal if you dont have at least one bluebonnet pic! Once we got home we settled in to finish watching Tuck Everlasting, eat a picnic dinner outside and played some B-Ball!  It was a nice way to spend the day.
Princess and Drizzle Fizzle


04/04/11: School AGAIN

 Well, eventually it had to happen, school work. Reluctantly we all had to get back on track and start up on school again. We were kinda lazy, so we spent some time online with Time4Learning and did a little Mystery of History, but ultimately called it a short day and the kids vegged in front of the TV, until I got home from work. 
 Close to the end of the year, we always seem to get a little lazy and unmotivated to work, but we eventually kick back into gear and get it all done. The kids did finish up Tuck and there not to sure about the play yet, but i think they are going to enjoy it. The flats kinda just hung out with them and got a tour of the school room and the kids moping around the house, waiting for me to get home so they could play outside :)
 Some days are just like this. I am not too worried about it, since we school year round, it lets us have the luxury of slacking off some days and taking random days off, Joys of homeschooling!


04/05/11: AWANA

We love AWANA at our church. The kids get all psyched up memorizing their bible verses and seeing what the theme is. Its alot of fun. Today was canned food drive day. We support a local homeless ministry called Our Calling that one of our elders owns. Its a fanatic ministry : http://www.ourcalling.org/ Anyways, the kids and our traveling companions had a great time playing games, learning about the Lord, having snacks and helping out the homeless in Dallas.  I would like to say I took pics, but I didn't sorry :( I will try to get some though and there are some on the church website as well.

04/06/11: RANGER GAME! WHOOT WHOOT

Ok we are a little fanatical when it comes to sports and we take them pretty serious in our house. I don't care if its baseball (Rangers/ New York Yankees) Hockey (Dallas Stars/ Penguins) Football (Cowboys/Vikings), Basketball (Mavericks all the way baby) or our all time favorite UFC (George St-Pierre AKA GSP/Urija Faber/Forest Griffin) we are fanatical about our teams and out players! So today we got to watch the Texas Rangers whoop up on the Mariners! That made us 5-0 baby! Thats right, we have not lost a single game all season and our flats were there to witness the greatness that is the TEXAS RANGERS!! Oh yea we also got to see people dressed up like M&M's, the official mascot the horse, Davie Crockett, Abraham Lincoln and others. The game was awesome, we remain undefeated and the kids got ice cream, fresh fruit, popcorn, nachos and we got Jr. Ranger Passes so we can come to the next 8 games and support out team. FANTASTIC DAY! (pics to come)


04/07/11: Mid-evil Times, Downtown Tour at Night, Salvation Army Homeless Volunteer and Trains!


 Had a blast today. The travelers and our family went to do some volunteer work at the Salvation Army, handing out food to the homeless and praying for them. There are so many needs that need to be met other than the physical needs of people and we are glad to get to play a small part in all the wonderful things the Lord is doing in the lives of our homeless community. I cannot think of a better lesson for my kids to learn than that of giving. To give love to those who are in desperate need of Christ and to show them how thankful they need to be to the Lord for all that they have in life. This lesson comes in clear when they go and serve in Christs name. I did not take pics at the Salvation Army for privacy reasons, but rest assure, your travelers learned a valuable lesson and brought joy to some men, women and children that desperately needed a little light, laughter and love brought to them, and you guys helped make that possible, so thank you.
 After we finished up at the Salvation Army, we decided to stop by Children's Medical Center and take a look at the trains they have. Children's Medical Center is such a wonderful place. Not only do they have a great staff of friendly, warm, caring and compassionate people, they also have a awesome train set up to help spread some joy and laughter to the kids that are suffering.
 My youngest has been a guest at Children's on several occasions from birth till current and I am also so pleased that they do little things like taking them to look at the trains to help make their day brighter and less "hospitalized". I could go on and on about this hospital and how wonderful they are, but I will stop.
 Once we soaked in all the trains we could (grand canyon, downtown Dallas, Mt. Rushmoore, Indians) we decided to head out to Mid-Evil Times for a night of Dinner and Torment!



  The kids and flats got to meet the knights and take pics and we abandoned our vegan-ism for a night and ate like slobs with our hands :) They loved it. Nothing like a good old fashion fight to the death over a princess to get a family hungry. Our team may have lost, but it was fun nonetheless. Great times.
 Here you see Princess with a couple of different knights and her flat traveler to boot. I love how genuinely nice all these guys were. There must have been close to 60-80 kids swarming around them and they were never rude. Just sat back posed, smiled, shook hands, posed with swords. Great bunch. If you ever get a chance to go, you really should. You wont regret it.

It seems like all our flat travelers want to get a good ol fashion tour of the big D,so we decided to video tape our care ride home, at least through downtown, so you could see what it looks like at dark. Dallas is very beautiful at night. You go to see the Reunion Ball, were the famous chef, Wolf Gang Puck cooks also known as Donkey Kongs microphone, by my kids.You also visited Donkey Kongs stairs, his pliers, his pool and other things Kong related. Never guess my kids like Donkey Kong. All of downtown Dallas is for the great  Kong! It was an excellent adventure! (pics to follow)

04/08/11: Tuck Everlasting and Grandmother's Birthday (we wont say which one..she might attack us)

Today was the day we had been prepping for. The day we set out to see Tuck Everlasting at the Dallas Children's Theater. The show was 2 hours long and the boys loved it, my daughter not so much. If you ever read the book its about this family who drinks from a stream and gets eternal life. The problem is they realize that its a blessing and a curse at the same time. They focus on love, loss, the hand of God in life, etc. The boys finished the book, so they knew what the ending was with Jess Tuck and Winnie, my daughter (the reading slacker) never got half way through, so she was real upset with the ending. I wont say how it ended jsut in case you never read the book, but for days she went on about how unfair it was and she was mad at Winnie and her decision. That's all I will say. Nope, no more, read the book to find out! Go on read, its good for you...really it is...would I lie? well than...watch the movie, slacker number 2! After the movie, we went over to the kids grandmother's house to celebrate her B-day! I promised her I would not put picks of her up for the world, so I have to keep my word, but we had fun and ate cake and played some games. I love watching my kids bond with their grandparents and realizing how important family is.