Saturday, August 11, 2018

Caleb's 13th Birthday: Michael Jackson style!

I am officially the mom of a teenager ya'll. I have no idea how that happened. I'm pretty sure I was a teenager myself just yesterday. Regardless, my baby, my first-born is now 13. You know how much I love a theme and Caleb gave me a good one this year: Michael Jackson. Caleb has been borderline obsessed with all things MJ for a couple of years now so this theme wasn't exactly a surprise.

The invitations

Caleb chose a local skating rink for his party. It was perfect because we had the rink all to ourselves which means he got to choose the music.....all MJ! (Notice MJ's shoes....see what I did there.)

So cute! I went with red, white and black as the primary colors with little splashes of gold here and there. I stapled the black and white tablecloth to a tri-fold board ahead of time because I thought it would make a cute backdrop.



I was able to re-use some of the decorations from Caleb's Magic party last year. The color scheme was very similar.



The birthday boy....I mean teen. Yikes!

A Michael Jackson party must have the proper snacks!






Get it? King of Pop....and it's popcorn!

I bought the black and white water bottle labels here. I used my vinyl cutter to make star stickers. 

The cake.
 I was a bit ambitious with the cake this year. I'm pretty new to fondant (I've only made 2 cakes using fondant) but I decided if I could make a one layer cake....surely I can make three layers! It was super tedious and my back was killing me by the time I was done but it was worth it. I bought the MJ silhouette cutout here. I used star cookie cutters as well and added the gold star toppers.

Zicome 50 Pack Double Sided Gold Glitter Cupcake Toppers Attached with Sticks for Baby Bridal Shower Birthday Party and Wedding (Star)

Wilton Set of 6 Nesting Star Cutters


This was a little detail that was totally unnecessary and went completely unnoticed but I loved the idea. I printed out MJ music sheets and used my circle hole punch to make a garland out of his music!  I love little details like that even if I'm the only one that gets it.

The guests had a blast skating...at least I think they did....most of them fell a lot. Kids today do not know how to skate!

The skating crew. Such a fun group. (Sha'mone shirt can be bought here, I couldn't resist)

Family photo. 

I can't believe my baby is THIRTEEN! 

It was a fantastic theme, for a super fun party, in honor of a very special boy....I mean teen.


Tuesday, August 07, 2018

Kid's Day: AT&T (Cowboy's) Stadium tour

We had the opportunity to tour AT&T Stadium (a.k.a where the Cowboy's play) today. The boys and I have never seen the stadium so it was a really neat experience. The place is HUGE. Absolutely massive.

I call it Cowboy's Stadium....it sounds better. 



Locker room. So cool.


With Rowdy, the mascot.

Caleb was quite mesmerized by gigantic screen.

We had to get a photo on the star. 





The letters are huge. You have no clue how big everything is until you actually see it up close and personal. 

Such a fun day!

Hey look! I'm actually in a picture! 

Monday, August 06, 2018

2018-19 Homeschool Curriculum

Well, we are gearing up for another year of homeschool. This will be my 6th year to teach my boys at home! Time flies ya'll, time flies. We will begin our school year next Monday. I'm going to be trying some new things this year, which makes me excited...and nervous. Here's what we will be doing:

Tapestry of Grace Year One



You guys already know how much I love TOG and how I plan TOG. Continuing with TOG was a no-brainer. I'm so excited because this is our first time to repeat a year of TOG. This will be our second time going through Year One but since the boys are older we will be doing our studies at a higher level with different books (same topics). This is also the first year that Caleb is at the Dialectic level (middle school) so his work will be more challenging and (hopefully) thought-provoking. I'm definitely going to push him toward more independent work. TOG is our main curriculum because it covers history (heavily), literature, worldview, and geography.

Speaking of Geography, I bought this HUGE laminated world map on Amazon along with a package of map push pins. I placed a large sheet of cardboard behind the map so that we can use the push pins without damaging the wall.



Outus 100 Pieces Map Flag Push Pins Tacks, Assorted 7 Colors

Rand McNally Classic World Wall Map - Laminated

Math-U-See


No change here. This is the only math curriculum I have used. If it works, it works.


Science in the Beginning

This is new for us. I've always used Noeo Science in the past but just really wanted to try something new. I chose this series because it takes a chronological view of science which works perfectly with the TOG content. It is textbook based with experiments and notebooking ideas. I think it will work well with both boys. 


Institute for Excellence In Writing: Ancient History


This is a completely new writing curriculum for us. I've known about IEW for several years but always found it so overwhelming. I've seen the creator, Andrew Pudewa, at several homeschool conventions and have considered this curriculum many times...but just chickened out. I've tried so many different writing options but have yet to find one that I loved. I feel like writing/composition is still a struggle for both boys so I knew it was time to try something new. I went with the Ancient History lessons since it covers topics that follow along with TOG (it's a perfect fit!). 

All about Learning (Reading and Spelling for Benjamin)



This curriculum is for Benjamin. We've used AAR for over a year now and AAS for a few months. This curriculum has been an absolute life-saver, game-changer for Benjamin. Caleb was a natural with reading and spelling. It just clicked with him and was never a struggle. Not so with Benjamin. Reading and spelling have been incredibly difficult for him. And frustrating. I tried so many things to build his confidence and skills but progress was minimal...until I found All about Reading and All about Spelling. He still has a way to go to be on target with his peers (but who cares, that's why we homeschool) but he is making real progress for the first time. 


Fun Extras

Homeschool in the Woods Timeline

I've always wanted to use a timeline in our homeschool. We've done simple timelines in the past but I really wanted something that would take us from the beginning to the present since our TOG curriculum walks us through all of history. I found this and I'm so excited to use it. I bought the full kit so we have all of the timeline images, a really nice binder with timeline paper and the placement guide. 

Poetry


This is not new. We are continuing this from last year. This is a one time purchase that will last for years. 


So that is our curriculum for the year. The boys will also have our weekly co-op. Caleb is taking Film Making and Robotics. Benjamin will be in Architecture, Crazy Kid Concoctions, and Collage Art. I love that they get to pick fun classes in our co-op. 
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