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National Museum of the American Indian ~ Mega Field Trip 2018

Mega Field Trip - Museum of the American Indian

Another museum we visited in Washington, D.C., was the National Museum of the American Indian. I grew up in an area strongly populated by Indians. I think the history of these people native to America is fascinating – both interesting and horrifying. I have wanted to visit this museum since it was established. It was not open when I got to first visit DC so it was high on my “must do” list this time around.

The museum did not disappoint. It is densely packed with exhibits and information that helps each of us understand more about these peoples and their history. From artifacts to badly done movies and advertisements, this museum covers it all.

One area that we found fascinating was the artifact exhibit that showcased hundred of items. Each item is number and listed. There are electronic screens close by that you can touch to find out more about the items that interest you. Each item seemed to have information on where the item came from, the Indian group that it is associated with, how old it is suspected to be, and what it was used for. There were many items that were similar but from different Indian groups and those were interesting to look at and compare. We spent a fair amount of time in this area.

Another interesting area showcased articled that had been intricately beaded. One of the most fascinating was an American flag that had Indian group named embedded in the beads of the strips of the flags and the initial of each state on the stars. It is stunning!

We made sure to visit the floor that covered many of the different Indian Nations and their history. It was presented well and we went from group to group, seeing the difference in what they ate, how they dressed, the different ceremonies they had, and other things that made each nation unique. It was extremely well done.

There was a small area that had seating close to some video screens. Those screens were showing animated tales and legends from the Indian nations. It was interesting to listen to the legends and stories, to see them animated. Miss J was particularly interested in these tales.

The last part we had time to visit was the advertising and other promotional items area. This was a huge room that had every advertising thing that had ever been done with any relation to an Indian or native peoples group. From Barbie dolls, which the girls found interesting, to Big Chief Tablets, from motels in teepee shapes to drinks named after Indians, it was really a unique look at how our nation saw/sees these Americans.

One the main floor there are several examples of canoes and other water craft. These life sized craft were interesting and really help see how the area of the country the people lived in influenced their construction. This was also true just outside the exit, where we were able to see some crops planted and some outdoor ovens.

From the walkway up to the entrance through the exit and onto the sidewalk going away from the museum, this was a fascinating place to visit. I enjoyed it very much and truly wish I could remember many of the things we read in that building. It was stunningly created and displayed and a stop I would highly recommend.

Blessings,
Lori, At Home.

Beneath The Cross of Jesus ~ hymn

Beneath the Cross of Jesus

Something that always brings me peace is the cross of Jesus. Yes, I realize that it is also a place of great pain and anguish. But the peace comes from the recognition that in the cross I have hope and a future. Without the cross, I do not have a hope or a future. With no hope, no future, there is no peace.

Jesus took on my sin while on the cross and put it to death. When he rose from the grave, he conquered death and removed sin. Through him, and only him, is there true peace. So that cross is a peaceful thing for me.

This words of this hymn reflect that peace can be found in the shadow of the cross. It is a refuge.

Beneath The Cross of Jesus

words: Elizabeth Clephane (1872)
music: Frederick C. Maker (1881)

1 – Beneath the cross of Jesus I fain would take my stand,
The shadow of a might rock within a weary land,
A home within the wilderness,
A rest upon the way.
From the burning of the noon-tide heat and the burden of the day.

2 – O safe and happy shelter, O refuge tried and sweet,
O trysting place where heaven’s love and heaven’s justice meet!
As to the holy patriarch,
That wondrous dream was giv’n.
So seems my Savior’s cross to me, a ladder up to heav’n.

3 – Upon that cross of Jesus mine eye at times can see
The very dying form of One Who suffered there for me.
And from my smitten heart
Two wonders I confess:
The wonders of His glorious love and my own worthlessness.

4 – I take, O cross, thy shadow for my abiding place.
I ask no other sunshine than the sunshine of His face.
Content to let the world go by,
To know no gain or loss,
My sinful self, my only shame, My glory all the cross.

Blessings,
Lori, At Home.

 

New Mexico Bucket List ~ Blogging Through The Alphabet

Blogging Through The Alphabet Intro

It’s time for another round of Blogging Through the Alphabet. This time, we are going to visit New Mexico.

Why NM?

Well, I love that state. I may be living in Texas but I will always be a New Mexico girl. I grew up there and love visiting several times a year. Whether we go and just sit on the porch and enjoy the summertime or sit through a massive snowstorm that dumps 2 feet of snow on the ground, I enjoy it.

New Mexico has an amazing variety of climates and ecosystems. From the hot, dry desert to the high mountain deserts to the pine forests to the plains with their flat, grassy areas, you can see such a variety of nature.

Many of these things on the NM Bucket List are things I have been privileged to do or see. Many are still on my own bucket list. In putting this together, I enlisted the help of my parents to see what they would suggest. They had some neat things on their ABC list so I am just going to combine the two.

What are you getting during the next 26 weeks?Blogging Through The Alphabet Intro image copy

  • places to visit
  • things to do
  • wonders to see
  • food to taste
  • beauty to behold

New Mexico is called the Land of Enchantment and I do believe they have earned it. Join me over the next few months to see just why NM is known as the Land of Enchantment as we go Blogging Through the Alphabet. Letter A begins next Friday, 2/22/19.

Blessings,
Lori, At Home.

Each week we will be linking up with the hosts of Blogging Through the Alphabet. Please visit some of these other blogs to get things like book lists, vegan recipes, and wonderful places to visit, just to name the topics I can think of off the top of my head.

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You can also join us and link up your own Blogging Through The Alphabet Post!! Just be sure to follow these simple rules–

* Each post must be family friendly. If it is not, we have the right to remove it.
* When linking up to this post, you give us permission to share your post and/or a photo from your post in future posts and social media shares.
* Place the Blog Button from the site onto the post you are linking up.
* Use the hashtag #abcblogging when promoting your post. This will help us find you and help us promote you as well.
* If you have time, check out a few of the other posts and share the love.
* The most important rule is to make sure you are having fun! This is not something we want you to be stressed out over. We want to see all the fun ideas that everyone comes up with for the letters!

For The Temple (Heirloom Audio) ~ a Crew review

How do you approach history? Whether it is through books, field trips, text books, or some combination of them all, audio productions can add a significant conversation to the topic. Heirloom Audio has created a series of productions based on the GA Henty novels. Their most recent production, For The Temple, is a wonderful retelling of the Henty novel by the same name about the fall of Jerusalem during the Roman occupation of the Jewish lands.

For The Temple CD package (1)

This 2 CD set provides over 2 hours worth of story time. It features all the wonderful audio story-telling elements of a movie without the video portion. The vocal talents of folks like Brian Blessed, Julian Rhind-Tutt, Joseph Reed, Sophia Oxenham and 15 or 20 others create a fast-paced storyline that propels the listener into the setting of about 65 AD in the region of Galilee.

For The Temple open CD set (1)

STORYLINE –

John is the son of a vintner (grape grower and wine producer) in the area of the Sea of Galilee. He is about 16 at the start of the story. His family is raising a younger girl, Mary, who is 14. Mary and John are promised to each other and this plays into many decisions made in the story. They are growing and learning together. During a storm while the two are out on the Sea of Galilee, they are caught unawares and in danger. They are rescued by Josephus, the Jewish governor in the Roman controlled area.

Josephus is doing all he can to stay true to the Jews while peace-keeping with the Romans. His efforts fail and Rome invades the area. Josephus asks John to join him as he is impressed with John’s calmness during the storm. John does and they are caught in the siege of a walled city, Jotapata. When all around him are being killed, John was able to escape with a young boy named Jonas who had helped him prepare.

They made their way back to John’s home but he realizes that there is much to be done in fighting Rome. Particularly when he understands that they will head for Jerusalem, that the Holy City for the Jews is the main place they desire. John gathers a group around him to harass Rome through unusual tactics, knowing that face to face combat will not be helpful but only result in many deaths.

The biggest issue, however, is not Rome. It is the way the Jewish factions are fighting each other, looking to control and hold the power over everyone. They are killing each other and anyone who speaks against them. It is worst in Jerusalem, where not only are the factions causing issues, but they have imprisoned and killed much of the Sanhedrin, the ruling body of the Jews, and are using the temple as a stronghold. The people in Jerusalem are hurting, scared, and starving. And Rome marches on towards them.For The Temple quote

John ends up in an unusual position where he can almost ensure the safety of the temple in Jerusalem. Eliciting a promise from the Roman general Titus to do all in his power to save the temple, John pushes on with his band of followers, just in case, in the “first duty of every Jew, to protect the temple.”

 

THOUGHTS –

For The Temple is a fabulous story that brings history to life. I know that can be said of every Heirloom Audio production and this one is no different. The setting allowed me to learn much more about the time frame approaching the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem in 70 AD. I knew quite a bit about Rome but this taught me much more. Rome’s power was overwhelming. When you hear the numbers of men, women, and children who were killed as Rome marched towards Jerusalem, it is hard to comprehend. It is hard to understand that they would intentionally starve the people in the cities during the sieges and then murder anyone they came across after they entered the city. That kind of hatred and heartlessness is so difficult to understand. Yet, it is part of the history.

Knowing how hard people fought to protect the temple and Jerusalem brings another perspective to the history of that city and area.

G.A. Henty was an amazing writer and these stories are adaptations of his work. There is quite a bit changed in the audio production but it doesn’t necessarily make the story better or worse, just different. I would highly suggest reading the Henty novel, though. It really give a lot more detail about the way Rome approached Jerusalem and the way the people were affected. This is just one more way to expand the learning in relation to this audio production.

We took one morning to just sit and listen. The girls and I all got something to do with our hands, put on the CD, and enjoyed the story. I gave them some background prior to starting the CD, knowing that it would help them understand the setting and the people. I had already read the novel and listened to the CDs so I could prepare them a little bit. As we listened, we stopped once in a while and read some of the questions from the study guide or discussed what was happening. There were a few times when questions were asked and we took some time to talk about things such as who Josephus was, why the factions were fighting each other, and how the Romans fought. A couple of times, I did have to stop and explain what was happening. We also talked about the themes of loyalty and extending grace rather than humiliation that run through the story.

At the end, one of the girls asked if the story in the novel had ended like the audio production because it seemed somewhat abrupt to her. I told her that there were some definite changes to that part of the story and explained how the novel ended. Knowing the story ahead of time really helped me guide the girls through the story.

We absolutely enjoyed For The Temple. One of the lines towards the end is worth repeating:

History can certainly challenge us to look at what we believe.

For The Temple Study Guide (1)

STUDY GUIDE –

Heirloom Audio sent us an email that included a study guide that was about 40 pages in length. It follows the tracks on the CDs, making it easy to correlate learning. Each track has vocabulary words, some questions that just help to guide listening and follow the story, and then some additional questions that really make you think a bit deeper. There are also several small sections that are about different topics that will help you understand better. Some examples of these topics include the food of the region, Sabbath and Shabbat, and some information about Vespasian.

The end of the study guide includes three specific Bible study topics. These Bible studies are on No Other Savior, Proper Worship, and Christ Our Temple. These each have several statements to dig deeper into and Bible verses to support each of those statements.

GIRLS’ THOUGHTS –

Each of the girls had the same statement when asked about their favorite character – Mary! Spunky, sweet Mary starts the story at age 14 and informally betrothed to John. We see her grow and change, becoming a woman who understands her duty and the duty of the man she loves. She learns to become a wise young woman who works hard and prays hard. She retains her spunk throughout the story. She is a good role model, well, except for where she pushes the boat out onto the water after being told not to. But, that is something for you to experience when you listen to the Heirloom Audio production of For The Temple.

Blessings,
Lori, At Home

Looking for more Heirloom Audio? Here are their other productions (links go to my blog reviews).

Be certain to head over to the Homeschool Review Crew blog to read what other families thought about Heirloom Audio‘s production of For The Temple. Just click the banner below.

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Natural History Museum ~ Mega Field Trip 2018

Mega Field Trip - Natural History Museum

In Washington, D.C., we made sure to visit the Smithsonian’s Natural History Museum. It is humongous museum packed full of exhibits. We knew it would be a huge hit for two reasons – minerals and gems and the live butterfly exhibit. Miss J – age 9 – and Miss L – age 12 – we excited for those reasons. We went to the Natural History Museum while At Home Dad and Miss E visited the Holocaust Museum.

The Natural History Museum has so many amazing parts to it to visit. A large elephant greets you as you enter the museum. From there, you really have to choose what to see. We went straight to the butterfly exhibit. It was an additional cost but well worth the price. We spent over an hour just watching the different butterflies. We learned the names of several and just watched them fly, land, eat, rest, and whatever else it is that butterflies do. Miss L is still very fascinated by butterflies so she was elated the entire time we were there. Her highlight was when a butterfly finally landed on her and rested there. Because photos were allowed, I gave her the camera and let her take as many pictures as she wanted. She loved that!

The blue morpho butterflies were just stunning. As beautiful as they were, though, I liked many of the smaller ones more. I particularly enjoy watching yellow butterflies. There were helpful attendants throughout the exhibit and they were pleased to answer any questions that they were asked.

While we were enjoying the butterflies, my sister-in-law was enjoying the medical exhibit that talked about epidemics. Totally not something I am interested in but right up her alley. So, we did the flying things and she did the germs. 🙂

We met up after that and visited the gems and minerals exhibit. The gems were stunning and I truly enjoyed their beauty. Miss J, surprisingly, got really bored, even looking at the Hope Diamond and crown jewels! When we got to the end of that exhibit and stepped into the minerals? She came to life. She absolutely was thrilled to spend time in the gigantic mineral exhibit. She enjoyed the hands-on part where a computer went through the different crystal structures, pointing out many of the minerals that are created by that. It was a wonderful way for her to learn more about what was fascinating to her. She would look around her and try to identify some of the minerals that were using what the computer was showing her.

We spent a very long time in the minerals, probably another hour. Then we got some lunch. It isn’t cheap to eat in the museums. However, the convenience can’t be beat and the food carts and such outside were not any cheaper
overall.

We spent the afternoon looking at many different animal exhibits. There was one that showed a whole lot of animals from different countries and their habitats. The taxidermy was interesting and the girls found some of the animals interesting. Of course, Miss J loved the giraffes. I thought the tigers were neat. From these very large creatures to some very small ones like owls, there were lots of animals to look at.

There was a dinosaur section but it isn’t fascinating for the girls so we did not spend much time there. The insect section behind the butterflies was short-lived for us. There were too many creepy-crawlies for us.

We visited the ocean exhibit that showed many of the creatures found in the oceans and described the different parts of the ocean. (It ended up being a great precursor to the Marine Biology class that Miss L is taking now.) There were some really unique animals they had exhibited from the different depths of the ocean.

There was so much more that we could have looked at. We could easily have spent a few more hours due to the amount of material there. However, we were museumed out for the day so we called it quits at this point.

Blessings,
At Home.

A Site With Something For Everyone: SchoolhouseTeachers.com ~ a Crew review

This review contains affiliate links.

If you have read much of my blog at all, the name SchoolhouseTeachers.com comes up a lot. We use this site for tons of different reasons because there is SO MUCH there. When you purchase an Ultimate Annual Yearly Membership, you have access to everything.

schoolhouseteachers logo

What does this mean? For the single price (which is currently on sale for Crew followers! see later in the post for the code), you get access to every single thing on the site. This includes curriculum, review materials, printables, planners, meal plans, videos, encouragement, World Book, specialized sections for specialized needs, and tons more. This access can be for one person or for the entire family. The price does not change.

There are currently over 450 courses on SchoolhouseTeachers.com. This ranges in age from preschool materials to those for adults. We are using things from all over the site, it seems like.

My high schooler enjoys using the Daily Writing and This Day In History writing prompts. She uses these every day and follows those prompts. She has a notebook full of interesting writing samples because of the variety of materials there. She doesn’t write every single day but when she does, there’s no stopping her. Today, she wrote over a page on Laura Ingalls Wilder.

Another course my high schooler is using is Speech. She doesn’t love this course but it has been a good one for her. She is working on it two days per week and some of the assignments take her several days worth of work. It is challenging, such as asking her to create and present on a product she would create after having her watch an episode of Shark Tank.

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She started off her chemistry class on SchoolhouseTeachers with Friendly Chemistry. She understands so much chemistry and she is really thriving with it.

My middle schooler is using Elements of Literature. She is currently reading and writing about Peter Pan using this course. A lot is packed into each of these lessons and she is now working on writing a story with the characters she has created over the past few weeks.

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The middle schooler is also using Drive Thru History American History for her current history explorations. The videos are solid information and she prints off the review sheet to go with each one. She prints it prior to watching the video so she can read through it to know what to listen for in the video. These are wonderful videos that teach so much.

My elementary student is using Daily Puzzlers. This is a new one for her to help continue the critical thinking she loves so much. The strategy for this is great for also challenging her spelling.

I am using one of the printable and editable planners to keep track of my girls education this year. It is wonderful to be able to print exactly what I need and to edit and personalize it to my needs. I pop it into a three-ring binder and can then add to or change as needed. From the weekly pages to the calendars and the monthly notes, this planner is just perfect for me.

Don’t forget that there are also some additional resources that you have access to when you become a member of SchoolhouseTeachers

  • World Book – There is an access code and link for members of SchoolhouseTeachers to be able to go to World Book online. There are spaces that are directed at different ages or topics. There is a search function and fabulous timelines. Readers, advanced non-fiction books, and more is all available for members of SchoolhouseTeachers.
  • Video Library – Members of SchoolhouseTeachers also have access to the wonderful video library. There are many videos that are related to the courses but Right Now Media access is also a part of this. There are well over 400 videos to be accessed. Parenting, faith, kids, science, history, and the list goes on.
  • Members Forum – This is a place where members can go to chat and encourage each other, ask questions, or get advice.

There is so much on the site that I felt like I should share, again, about this fabulous resource. If you haven’t yet, now is a great time to check it out. The price for Crew followers cannot be beat. I don’t know that I have ever seen it lower. Please check it out. I don’t think you will regret it.

SchoolhouseTeachers-Discount-Coupon-2019

Blessings,
Lori, At Home.

Click on the banner below and go read other reviews from Crew families, many of whom have been experiencing SchoolhouseTeachers.com for the first time. They have all found different parts of the site a good fit for their families and you might find that, too.

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New Bern, NC ~ Mega Field Trip 2018

Mega Field Trip - New Bern, NC

My posts are getting out of order but at least I am getting a few more up, right?

After we had finished at Williamsburg, we headed south to New Bern, North Carolina. You might recognize the name from the news – they took an almost direct hit from Hurricane Florence. We had a friend we were meeting for lunch. She knew the area and recommended a restaurant in downtown to meet at.

We were shocked at the recovery the city had made already. Most of the businesses were up and running, just a couple of weeks after being flooded. This was a town that was not going to be knocked down! There were piles of debris that were very large but it was so easy to see the spirit rather than the piles. Their determination was a joy to witness!

The restaurant was so yummy! The girls enjoyed it, also.

After a fabulous lunch, we took a walk around downtown. Did you know that this is where Pepsi was invented? I had no idea! We visited a soda fountain and looked at a display of Pepsi memorabilia. There was, of course, lots of neat Pepsi logo items available for sale. Nothing struck me to purchase, which I was kind of sad about. My mom has always preferred Pepsi so I was hopeful of finding her a neat gift but no such luck.

One of the neat things we saw in New Bern was the large bears. These are statues that different artists and groups have purchased and painted. They are placed in random spaces around the downtown area. Maybe even outside downtown; that I don’t know. We enjoyed seeing the different depictions on the various bears.

After a nice walk, we came across a unique gift store. There were lots of neat items in there and I ended up purchasing the book Mysterious Happenings of Coastal North Carolina by Sherman Carmichael. It was an interesting read about the shipwrecks, hauntings, and strange happenings along coastal NC. I learned a lot and enjoyed reading about different people that I had heard of but didn’t really know much about.

Along the way, there was a neat spot in an alleyway where someone had painted big butterfly wings on the wall. It was a perfect spot to do a photo so the girls each took their turn being a butterfly.

New Bern NC Butterfly Girls
Our stop in New Bern did not allow us to meet one of my blogging friends, as our schedules did not correspond well and I was disappointed. However, I was so pleased to be able to visit New Bern, see their can-do spirit, and learn about the place.

Blessings,
At Home.

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