pinterest-dd591.htm Oak Creek Academy: August 2008

Friday, August 29, 2008

Science Fridays - Chemical Reaction

Welcome to our Lab!!
UHM, I mean kitchen.  
We finished up "The Hickory Chair" today with a science lesson on
chemical reactions and curdling.

Following is a glimpse into our life, homeschooling, and science.

Our mad scientist!!  He disguises himself as the "Pumpkin Man" and has super strength.  Okay, maybe he's just standing over the air purifier and his shirt is puffed up.

My "love science, but can I do the experiment from the couch?" son!!

Here we are getting set up for figuring out chemical reactions.  We put a 1/4 cup milk in each of the 3 bowls.  Then added 1 tablespoon of orange juice to one, 1 tablespoon vinegar to another, and 1 table spoon lemon juice to another.  Stir and leave for five minutes!!

AND THE WINNER for "Most Chemical Reaction" IS:

Drum Roll Please!!

Milk and Vinegar
It began to curdle immediately!!

Second Place Winner!!
Milk and Lemon Juice
Although it separated quickly, too, it didn't react the same as milk and vinegar.

Third Place Winner
Milk and Orange Juice
This ended up looking like a melted dreamsicle.  The milk even had an orange tint to it.

A fun morning of homeschooling was had by all.  The boys are happy that we had orange juice left over too!!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Field Trip Excursion

Today was a monumental day for me.  We (the boys and I) went into D.C. to look at a couple museums.  I'm not normally the one to go into the District on my own, so this was hugh for me.

Anyway, we have been reading "The Hickory Chair", from Five in a Row and the illustrator, Benny Andrews, has some of his works on display in various museums in New York, Georgia, Japan, and D.C.  I thought it would be a good opportunity to take the boys in and go to a couple.  I was quite happy when I found out that the Jim Henson display was still going on.  It was very easy to get to, via the Blue Line Metro.  The unfortunate part, there were signs everywhere stating no pictures.  However,

I took this one before I realized I wasn't suppose to!!

This was in the area where kids could create story boards.

The boys had a great time watching the video's of the various things Jim Henson has contributed to:  Sesame Street, Muppet Show, and Fraggle Rock.  There was an area that you could put on a puppet show and it was "televised" to another TV in the hall.  There where muppets on the wall that you could attach eyes, noses, eyebrows, or mouths.  And of course the usual, overpriced gift store.

All in all, it was a good experience riding the metro in, finding the museums, and getting home (until I couldn't find the exit, in the parking deck, that accepted credit cards.  Obviously I did as I am blogging about it now)!!

ETA:  actually changed a word so the sentence was correct.  Fortunately for me, my hubby was an English Major in College, so my lacking in Language Art skills is balanced with his need for a red pen.  :)

Field Trip Excursion part II

Our Very First Field Trip

These photo's were the ones the boys asked me to take at the Smithsonian Castle. Airplanes and rockets are always a hit in our house.

They thought the Penny Farthing was cool. We read about them last year. Will have to pull that book out again. :)

Live cam of the Panda's at the National Zoo. Thing Two really wanted this one.

Had to take a photo of the Gibson Electric Guitar. My husband would have if he were with us.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Another Thoght

So, my first idea needed to be reworked a bit.  If I'm unable to come up with a name for our school, at least I have a generic design made.  Nothing to fancy, but would look good on a gray sweat shirt or tie-dye shirt.  Might be able to work it onto a magnet for the car.  Might change the word "the" in black to "an".  Not sure yet!!

Naming our Home School

I have often pondered what to name our Home School and it just hit me this afternoon

SimonIan's Home School

Vote in the poll, if you feel like it (over to the right) or leave a comment.


P.S.  it's the combination of our boys names  :)

Friday, August 22, 2008

What to do??

The boys are going to a friend's house tonight which makes me wonder what we could do tonight.  Kevin and I have limited choices (read here), in that walking through Olde Town Alexandria (or something similar) just isn't an option.  There's always a movie &/or dinner out, but that digs into vacation funds.

What would you do??

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Third Day of School

We'll be starting our third day of school in just a bit.  The boys are really enjoying school this year and it seems to be going well.  

This week we've been "rowing" (term from Five in a Row, meaning to read the same book, for five days, and pull out different subjects from it) "Follow the Drinking Gourd" written and illustrated by Jeanette Winter.  The story is set before the Civil War and follows a black family's journey to freedom from slavery.  The boys and I have been having great conversations about what it means to be free, why some thought they could own people, and why Peg Leg Joe doesn't have a leg (quoting one of my boys "why did Joe loose his leg and Daddy's is in a cast?").

Today, in Art, we'll be listening to music and seeing if we can memorize the song "Follow the Drinking Gourd".    I was able to find at our library "How Sweet the Sound, African-American Songs for Children" selected by Wade and Cheryl Hudson, which has this song on it.  I feel fortune, because with Kevin being more worn out at the end of the work day, I really didn't want to bother him with entering the music and lyrics (found at the end of Follow the Drinking Gourd), into some of his music software, recording it, and burning a CD for the boys.  

Now, it's time to round up the troops, get ready for the day, and start school.  

Have a great day!!

ETA:  For those who use Five in a Row, here's a link to the song "Follow the Drinking Gourd" and to say that my son thought it was funny that I could find a song quicker on the computer than on a cassette tape.  LOL

Monday, August 18, 2008

First Day of School

We started our 2008/2009 school year today. We started, actually, with playing Legos for a bit. I made a little red school house. Both boys thought it was great.

Here are the boys on their first day of school. We have pictures from most first days of school. Think I've missed a few but am trying to get back in the habit of taking them.

The boys got to pick their own lunch today as part of the "First School Day Treat" . Turned out to be okay healthy, they asked for apple sauce, graham crackers, and peanut butter. Thing One also wanted meat balls.

Okay, another tradition started, make a good desert. First picture is of the brownies in the oven. The second is of them out with white chips melted onto them. Boy, I really need to read the manual for our camera, I'm sure all the fuzziness can't be operator error.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

A chain is

only as strong as it's weakest link; so someone once said (and I don't remember who, so I can't give proper credit).  Based off of that statement, I realized this afternoon, that a fence is only as good as it's closed gates.  "Huh?" you say.  I went to pick some tomatoes and realized, well to late, that I had left one of the gates open after mowing yesterday.  You see, we back up to woods that have deer living in them.  To them, my plants, with varying degrees of orange tomatoes, was a salad bar (and at the right height too).  So, I've lost a lot of tomatoes, but hopefully more will grow.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Current Events

Just got back from the Orthopedic's office; it is a good news/bad news thing.  The good news is that Kevin will not need surgery.  Bad news is the cast stays on for 6 - 8 weeks and he'll probably end up with arthritis in his ankle.

The doctor mentioned that after the CT Scan on Wednesday, the radiologist called up to say something like "you wouldn't believe all the small fractures" and the doctor did because of the swelling.

Thursday, August 14, 2008


Hello Grandparents!!  Dad got your email and here's your hello back.  Can't wait to see you again, maybe for Grandpa's and Dad's birthdays!!

Queenie wanted to say hello too.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Current Events

The past week (roughly) has been rather stressful, here at the Brock Household.  While we were cleaning the north side of the house this past Saturday, the ladder slipped and Kevin didn't make it down without having to practice his dismount.  No official score given, but a trip to the ER was his prize.  We left with him in a splint, crutches, and a prescription for pain killers. Tuesday (the earliest we could get in), he saw our family doctor who referred him to an orthopedic doctor.  Today, we went there for about 3 1/2 hours.  Most of it was in the orthopedic's office while he was being seen, having more ex-rays taken, and getting his gray walking cast, which he gets to wear for a month.  We then had to go to the first floor, so that a CT Scan could be done, on his ankle, to determine any damage that wasn't seen on a normal ex-ray wouldn't show.  Friday afternoon, we're back to the orthopedic doctor to see what else needs to be done.  Praying for no surgery.


I'm posting our timeline that I created to use with our Five in a Row Curriculum this year.  We'll be adding story disks to it (a story disk is a small picture to remind the kids about the book) on the year the book was published.  Plan on adding pictures of family members, too, to give it a bigger picture of history.  Other ideas may be included as well.

This is the front cover of our time line, "A Walk Through History"
I had trouble getting a good photo of the individual pages.  I created them in excel, 10 years per page.  There is a gray bar through the center of the page.  The odd years are up and the even years are down - to allow room for story disks and notes.  At the beginning, I included a few blank sheets, labeled with the centuries (1600's, 1700's) as I figured there wasn't a lot to put on it this year and we could just take notes.
I wrote a note to the boys, from Kevin and I, at the end.

Once I had all the pages printed I wanted and laminated the front and back covers, I took it to Staples and had a comb binder put on the edge.

P.S. (added on 8/14/08) just had the thought that almost anything could be added to our time line really, as the boys ask about it.  For example, we live near Mt. Vernon and may be there in Oct. or Nov.; we'll probably add a picture of George and Martha on their birthdays.  Or pictures from other books we read about historical people, inventors, or the like.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008


We had chicken and baked potatoes for dinner tonight; which really isn't anything to special.  What made it better, was how I cooked the baked potatoes.  Before rolling each in tin foil, I spread a little butter, sprinkled a bit of garlic salt, and, with mine, rolled in some fresh rosemary.  It tasted really good because each bite had a taste of the herb in it.  Will have to do that again sometime.

Does this count

as a "staycation"?  On one forum that I read regularly, some have have opted for a staycation instead of going somewhere, meaning they stay home but have a vacation week.  They find cheap things to do around town, maybe go out to dinner once, sleep in, etc.  It's cheaper than traveling, $$ on food, hotel or condo fees, etc.  Read an article in the Washington Post, awhile back, of a woman who paid to have her house cleaned and lawn mowed.  She then took a week, at home, to enjoy the friends, books, and other things in life that can be difficult during a 40 - 50 hour job.  That sounds like fun to me.

Anyway, back to our life right now.  Kevin hurt his ankle this past Saturday (went to the ER, too), doctors today, and now to the orthopedic tomorrow.  We've been vegging on the couch more, working on computer stuff together, reading to the kids more, enjoying the olympics.  In all of this, the boys are having to learn to clean more and we're all learning patience.

In the post below this, Kevin's blog is spelled out and there's a pic of his foot on it.

Monday, August 11, 2008


Yes, I am actually sending you to another person's blog - my husband's.  No need to blog all the current events when he's done some for me.  :)

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Oldest photo on our computer

Okay, so I'll need to scan in photo's from our wedding day. The oldest pictures on our computer are actually from Christmas 2002 and January 2003. Just kind of partial to this photo as Thing One is just getting to know his little brother Thing Two. Kind makes me tear up with joy. A whole lot easier 5 1/2 years later when the c-section doesn't hurt anymore. LOL!!

Twelve Years ago

today, my husband asked me to marry him.  It was a Wednesday night, at youth group (we both helped out).  He formed it as a game of Wheel of Fortune, with it reading "Jennifer, I love you!!  Will You Marry Me?"  Don't honestly know if we have any pictures from that day, but we do have video.  LOL!!  He had it taped.  

Kind of interesting, because I've been cleaning and purging stuff this week, and today I found some pictures, stashed in a draw, from cutting our Wedding Cake.  Think they were from friends cameras because I framed all that we got from the photographer.  It was neat to see some of my nephews in those photo because they are all in college, or just graduated college now.  It reminded me how fortunate I am to be happily married.   Will have to see if we have any photo's on the computer to upload.  If not, I'll get some scanned in and up load them.