I thought I'd have to rent a pickup and drive out into the Texas desert to see the Alamo. But no. The little Spanish mission was surrounded by big city buildings. The Alamo is smack dab in the middle of San Antonio, Texas.
Shine and I were in Texas for a Christian Film Festival and we had a day to sightsee. We both decided to spend the morning at the Alamo and lunch at a restaurant on the San Antonio River Walk.
Though we arrived at the Alamo early in the morning before 8 a.m., there was already a long line of visitors who wanted to explore the eighteenth century Spanish fort and museum.
It was an emotional experience for both of us, visiting the church and touring the grounds. We were amazed by the bravery of those soldiers who defended the fort down to the very end and saddened by the young lives that were lost: Davy Crockett, Jim Bowie, and William Travis. So many brave men and women, so many heroic tales.
The Alamo is not only the setting of an inspirational story from the past, it is also a lovely little church with gardens. It is a beautiful example of Spanish mission architecture.
Being a lover of art, I was exciting to review The Master and His Apprentice: Art History from a Christian Perspective from The Master and His Apprentice.
Deciding to do five lessons and write my review, my plans changed when I fell in love with the textbook and read almost all of it. I'm still reading and plan on finishing it.
Wow! The Master and His Apprentice is awesome! Readable, engaging, and full of information and insight I have never heard before.
By the time I finished reading the introduction, I was already planning a homeschool co-op class using the curriculum.
You see, the book jumps right into how we are made in the image of the most amazing, magnificent, glorious Creator that ever existed! We see His artwork all around us! We drink in His beauty, glory, and splendor. We create art because we are made in His image! Wow! I'm excited!
I used this course myself and plan to teach it as a homeschool co-op course in the future, so I went through it as a student, but also looking to use the material to teach others.
Pike's Peak is one tall mountain!
My daughter Julianna was taking a semester off work to attend Ellerslie, a Bible college out in Colorado. I decided to fly out with her a few days early so we could see a little of Colorado.
"Let's go to Pike's Peak!" she suggested.
"Hiking?" I asked, shuddering inside. People do hike up and down Pike's Peak, you know.
"No, not hiking," she laughed. "They have a little railroad."
Little railroad, as in tiny railroad, tiny tracks, and big tall mountain?
I was nervous, so I went online to research and discovered:
A friend of mine recently travel from Florida to New York City to represent his company at a trade show. He had a few hours each afternoon for sightseeing and at the top of his wish list for the trip was a visit to the 911 Memorial and the World Trade Center.
This was an important visit for him and he didn’t want to get lost, so he ask the concierge at his Times Square hotel for directions on how to catch the subway to the memorial. He had read that this was the most cost-effective and fastest way to get there. He had very clear instructions. Get on the train at this station on the corner. Get off the train at that station and the memorial will be right there. Badda-bing, badda-boom! Nothing could be simpler. Right? Wrong!!
The problem began when the concierge didn’t say which exit to take out of the station. Our friend apparently took the wrong one. The memorial was not right there. The GPS on his phone seemed very confused and could not tell where he was. He zoomed in. He zoomed out. He thought he found himself on the map and knew which way to walk. Five blocks later he realized he was wrong. He found the Freedom Tower, took a left, walk around some construction sites, and finally found the memorial.
The Solemn Stillness
My friend Gracie helped me to review Hake/Saxon Grammar & Writing 3 from Hake Publishing.
To be honest, she wasn't too excited at first. Grammar? Who enjoys grammar? However, when we started digging into the lesson, she enjoyed it! She was more enthusiastic about later lessons.
Let me tell you about Hake/Saxon Grammar & Writing 3.
I received three books: a grammar workbook, a writing workbook, and a teacher's manual.
We did all of lesson one in both workbooks in a half hour. Now keep in mind that this was Gracie's first introduction to real grammar instruction.
The teacher's manual is very detailed and perfect for any mom who needs step-by-step help in teaching the lesson. Gracie's mom looked through the teachers manual while Gracie and I worked on the lessons. She liked it!
Even if you don't have the teacher's manual, you will not have any problem teaching this material. The workbooks are user-friendly for Mom and student.
We want to grow in our adventure with Jesus and move forward in our faith.
So how do we do that?
Here is something easy to remember that will help you move forward and not backward: Gaze & Graze, but don’t Glaze.
I talk to so many people who want to grow closer to Jesus. They feel like Jesus is so distant and they wonder how they can draw close.
I promise you that walking with Jesus isn’t complicated. After all, Jesus just walked up to people and said, “Follow Me!”
And they did!
So, if you are one of those people who want to move closer to Jesus and know Him, I encourage you to Gaze & Graze, but don’t Glaze.
This is what helps me to stay focused on Jesus and move forward in my walk with Christ.
What do I mean?
Let me explain.
Review of ARTistic Pursuits Art for Children, Building a Visual Vocabulary Full Video Lesson Grade K-3
ARTistic Pursuits, Inc. has an amazing new art curriculum, Art for Children, Building a Visual Vocabulary Full Video Lesson Grade K-3. We got to try it out in our house.
The book, part of the ARTistic Pursuits Art Instruction Books with DVD and Blu-Ray, is beautifully illustrated of course, since this is an art curriculum! A hardbound book with two DVDs inside a plastic cover inside the book, the pages are clearly marked out so that a parent like me can use it. I love that each lesson covers an element of art such as line, shape, form, texture, color, and more. Introducing little ones to this concept early on is such a great idea! The masterpieces included in the book are wholesome works of art that children will enjoy.
Now, let me confess right away: I used this curriculum with a fourth grader and older siblings hopped in to help.
When my young friend Gracie came over to help me review Art for Children, Building a Visual Vocabulary Full Video Lesson Grade K-3, my house was full of kids who wanted to play a game. They were upset that Gracie had to watch this video. But, she loved the video and soon the living room was full of watchers. The lessons we watched together were amazing. I loved the way the teacher walked through everything, demonstrating everything perfectly. The kids quoted from the video as we were working, remembering things the teacher said.
Notice I said kids! Some of the older kids joined in for lesson one. We sketched an object by focusing on LINE, an element of art, and using lines to outline the shapes of our object. Next we colored in using watercolor colored pencils because we didn't have watercolor crayons. Then, using a paint brush, we added water to turn colored pencil coloring into a painting. Super fun!
The Video Lesson
Traveling to Europe was always an unrealistic dream to me.
I dreamed of castles, cathedrals, and picturesque landscapes. All that history!
When I received a small inheritance, I put some money aside to live that dream. I was pleasantly surprised at how easy it is to get to Europe and how many great deals are available.
Here's how we got to Europe on a shoestring budget.
First, we made a list of all the places we wanted to see on our trips. We also made a list of "nice to see, but not necessary places."
We mapped those places out using maps and travel guides. One of my favorite travel guide series is the DK Travel Guides. I have 8 of them!
Then, we started looking for deals. Not for a week or two, but over months, keeping in mind dates that we were available to go.
We also covered our trip in prayer, asking the Lord for deals, His perfect timing, and more.
My daughter Julianna and I looked at hundreds of tours before we found the tour we went on when we traveled to Italy. It was all-inclusive for one week and we were blown away at how cheap it was. When we were there, we found the accommodations were beautiful. It was definitely a good find!
The secret is to look so much that you can recognize a good deal when it comes and snatch it up..
Here are some places I like to check out for great vacation prices.
Gate 1 Travel