Rowing This Week:FI♥AR The Story of Ferdinand

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The Story of Ferdinand
by: Munro Leaf
Drawings by: Robert Lawson

Five in a Row
Resources have been included to help inspire FIAR Homeschool families in their "Rowing' journeys as well.  Enjoy and comment!  We would love to know what you are "rowing' too!

*Note: Five in a Row {FIAR} is made to be a five day curriculum - as we only attend Co-op 3 days per week, I will post what we have done in class and fun resources for that you may want to do at home. (Not REQUIRED homework - just some family fun options.) 

"Rowing" the Week (@ Co-op)
MARCH 19th - 25th, 2012
We were back from Spring Break and the kids were all animated with the joy of Spring.  I was glad to have had a book that added to their joy.  We read The Story of Ferdinand by Munro Leaf.  We were only able to "row" this book for two days while at Co-op, as Tuesday proved much too busy after our Healthy Buddy H-E-B field trip.  

I was excited that the kids almost immeadiately noticed the drawings were done by Robert Lawson, the author of They Were Strong and Good (our row from the week before break).  This is a wonderful book for Spring and the kids enjoyed all the themes and elements in this book.

Here is what we did in class:
Geography: We rowed back to Europe this week from the US, across the Atlantic to Spain.  The kids found the point on their own Map Mats (affiliate link) and then we pinned our story disk on the classroom Rowing Board.

(It is beginning to look quite decorative on that side of the room now.  I'll include some pictures later.)

Art: We illustrated our FIAR Passports.  Here is one that I liked completed by the Horse Lover, she is such a budding artist & writer.  Talent blooms in our classroom!
Science: We discussed the signs of spring and enjoyed a tasty flower snack.  We made flowers using banana slices to be the center and sliced strawberries as our flower petals.

Social Studies:  We discussed traditional flamenco dancing from Spain and watched this clip of traditional flamenco dancers.

Foreign Language: Spanish
We were sure to read and discuss this book just before Spanish today.  We learned some bullfighting terms: Matador, Torro

We tie-dyed some of these cute little Coffee Filter Flowers and attached with a pipe cleaner so all the "lovely ladies" would have "flowers in their hair".
Here is a one such "lovely lady".

Just for fun we took a peek at this classic Bug's Bunny cartoon and discussed the traditional Spanish elements in the bullfighting scenes.  Hey, it was educational . . . between giggles!

Super fun rowing week for all.  Hope you and your family have a great time rowing too!

Happy Homeschooling

The Joyful Socks Mom 
Where we are at:
More Rowing Resources for Ferdinand:


LADIES OF CALVARY: Going the Way of Abraham

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Going the way of Abraham is following the path of faith.  What is the first step?


It is the initial action taken in the life of one willing to sojourn on behalf of Christ.  Abraham cut himself off from hearth and home, separating himself from his country and family, to follow God's calling.

Our's is a call to separation as well.  A splitting.  The parting of ways.  Not physically, but spiritually.  Turning your back on the world and it's morality and values (or lack thereof), to follow Jesus in faith.

This makes us "strangers in a a strange land."

"If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethern, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple."  Luke 14:26 (NKJV)

He wants us to give it all up to follow Him in faith.  Whatever it takes.  Whatever the end result may be.

The road will lead to success, right?  Ultimately yes.  In your lifetime?  Probably not.

Faith of a true disciple will focus and think "generationally".
Noah.  Abraham.  Issac.  Jacob.
They saw with the eyes of faith, knowing not where they were going, but with full faith and love for the One doing the leading.  They pressed forward.  Kept going.  Endured all.

The journey to the promises of God will be character building as He prepares us to receive all He has planned.  *sigh*

The journey, in itself, demands that a disciple must put full reliance on Christ, just in order to not faint whilst walking.  Character that has been built by God's hands, is the end of the faith that has been tested, tried and proved.


Trust, then believe, beyond what you can see with your natural eyes or comprehend with your natural mind.  You can not wrap your mind around how magnificent His plans are!

See with your faith eyes and believe.  Go the way that Abraham went, in faith.

The Joyful Socks Mom  


Yarn Dolls for a Cause + {Giveaway}

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Well, it looks as though I have started something.  You just never truly know exactly what your kids are going to totally go for!  Last week I posted about our {FIAR} Five in a Row "extension" activity at home with just the Bug and myself making Yarn Dolls.  I chose the activity to give her some age-appropriate handicraft work and to have more Civil War period discussions over piles of yarn.

Well . . . She enjoyed making them so much she had to make plenty to play with in her Natural Play area.  I think the grand total was 10 dolls over the week.  
Then, mommy made her an extra special Yarn Doll.  I made a princess hat and lovely locks of braids.  Then I infused the doll with Lavender essential oil.  She has not stopped playing with it yet . . . and yet, she is surprisingly calm. ; )

Then mommy made a mermaid.  She loved this one and built many beautiful seaside scenes in her Natural Play area.

Now, here comes the fun part . . . 

The Bug has been searching for a craft she can create and use to raise support and awareness for Haitian Relief.  (See International Night post)  She had decided she wanted to use the M and M prayer that her Prayer Meeting teacher had taught the class.  She just could not decide how she was going to go about it.  We tried "friendship bracelets", but this was a challenge to her fine more skills she was not trilled about. : )

Light Bulb!  The Yarn Dolls are perfect for her fundraiser for several reasons.
  • She can make them quickly, with little guidance or input from mom.
  • Great hand crafting time for her.
  • The yarn for this project is fairly inexpensive and we had many resources already on-hand.
  • She loves dolls and is passionate about sharing them.  
  • The dolls are unique and beautiful, plus they are raising awareness and support for countries that desperately need the Lord.
Introducing . . . 

The Bug's mission building dolls.  NOT, the official name, Obviously.  More on that later.

Each doll was handmade by the Bug or her older sister, Squeaker.  The dolls' colors represent the country they are "from" and where the funds will go to support missions in that country.  
Example: Red = India, Blue = Orphans, Green = Muslim countries, Yellow = Cuba, Orange = Tibet, Brown = Haiti (YWAM Haiti)

Then she has given each doll a beaded necklace.  These colors represent the prayer that she is challenging others to pray.  One color for each group of un-saved peoples.  Yellow = Un-religious, Orange = Buddhist, Brown = Tribal cultures, Red = Hindu, Green = Muslim

We will be launching her Yarn Dolls next week and a new blog to go with it.  She will be selling them on her blog and we will be toting them around town to help her raise awareness.  She is so excited! 

Her Mission Statement: Promoting Prayer and Hope for the Nations . . . 
Now for a name for the line of Dolls themselves?  How about some help?

Please help us pick out a lovely little name for the Bug's special yarn dolls.  Here are a few ideas we have been throwing around.
  • Prayer for the Nation Dolls
  • Candy Prayer Dolls
  • Missionary Prayer Dolls
We are stumped!  Now, to get some help with names, get the word out and share this fun craft, we will host a giveaway!  I will be giving away a set of my custom Yarn Dolls, made with 100% cotton and infused with essential oils.  Just like this one . . . 

Here's how to enter:
  • Suggest a name for the Bug's new Yarn Doll project (Mandatory entry) by leaving a comment below.
Want more chances to win?  Do one or each of the following and BE SURE to leave a separate comment below indicating you have done so.

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

  • Like The Mac Rak on Facebook + 2 entries
  • Follow our tweets on Twitter + 2 entries
  • Blog about this giveaway + 5 entries 
*** Winner will receive a custom made 100% natural cotton Essential Oil Yarn Doll.***

***THE GRAND PRIZE Winner!  This will be the entry chosen as the actual name for the new
missionary yarn dolls.  The winner will receive a set of 4" Prayer Yarn Dolls!***

Terms and Conditions for this Giveaway
Entries will b closed Midnight CST March 29, 2012
Winner will be announced on March 30, 2012 on our blog.
Winner(s) will be contacted via email with 48 hours of winning announcement.
No purchase is necessary in order to win.
You must be 18 years of age or older to enter.
If the prize winner forfeits or does not claim the aforementioned prize, the prize will be awarded at the owner's discretion.
Void if prohibited by the law in your area.
Giveaway is open to residents living in the continental US only.
Odds of winning are based upon the number of entries received.

The Joyful Socks Mom  

Where we are at:

Giveaway Day


LADIES OF CALVARY: Becoming an Abandoned Disciple

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Abandoned to myself, for God.

Am I abandoned to self for myself alone?  No, I am abandoned to myself for Christ alone.
Not for what I can become, not for what I can get, not even for what He has done for me.
For the love of Christ alone.

The results of following Him, I am willingly leaving up to Him alone.

Go to God for the beauty of Himself and who He is, not what He can do for you.
The heart should not yearn to follow Christ ONLY to be able to boast,
"Look what the Lord has done for me."
To become abandoned to myself and follow God just to say this, is asking and following amiss.
There is nothing of the Holy Ghost in it.

I must prefer Jesus Christ, alone, above all, in order to be His disciple.

True abandonment.  This should be the cry of the disciple's heart.

True abandonment is a test.  A test for you to willingly defy the world, the flesh and all that comes "naturally" to us.

Do I, myself, Mrs. Mac pass this test?
Not usually.
Natural devotion will get in the way of true abandonment to Christ.  Being a disciple will cost me something and it will cost others around me, too.  Natural devotion can keep me from true abandonment.

I must leave it all behind.

Trust Him.  Trust Him to comfort all those who may be hurt by my choice to willingly abandon all for Him.

Follow this road of abandonment.  No matter the cost, nor matter where that road may lead.

Trust Christ.

He followed the road of abandonment before you.  He followed it to the cross!

"Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind." Matthew 22:37 (KJV)

The Joyful Socks Mom 

RAK Mission Scavenger Hunt

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The girls were stuck in the house on Saturday.  Mommy was under the weather and Daddy is gone out for a while.  They had stayed busy the majority of the day crafting, cleaning, reading and then . . . they were DONE!

I mean, D-O-N-E, done!  And the complaining and whining ensued . . .

My girls needed a reminder that we are blessed (I don't do complaining, especially about boredom) and I needed a quick solution for fighting cabin fever.

We love Focus on the Family and their magazine, Thriving Family, which has saved this mom on more than one occasion.  Thank you Dr. Dobson and crew!  We flipped through the magazine and came up with our own spin on a "Cabin Fever" solution that they suggested.

Presenting the R.A.K. (Random Acts of Kindness) Scavenger Hunt.  Here's how it works.  You make a list of items that help your family recall how truly blessed they are, yourself included.  I made a list that could be done that day, without leaving the house.  The list I made for the girls went something like this:

  • Find 4 mismatched socks with holes in the bottom and throw them away.
  • Locate 3 outfits that are nice, but you don't wear anymore.  Place them clean and nicely folded in a big bag to take to a local charity.
  • Take 3 canned goods our of the pantry and put them at top of bag for local food pantry.
  • Clean your sister's side of the room for her.
  • Write a letter to a relative that lives far way.
  • Make your sister laugh, no matter what it takes.
  • Make a card or letter to encourage an elder or someone from a nursing home.
The girls had a blast.  Boredom was busted.  They did some good and Mommy got more healing rest!

HERE is a FREE Download for you!  This is a R.A.K. (Random Act of Kindness) Mission Scavenger Hunt.  You can use this Scavenger Hunt with your family and take up to a week to complete.  Download this challenge and then pass on the kindness to another family to challenge them too!

Come back and let us know how it went.

The Joyful Socks Mom

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Rowing the Week: {FI♥AR} They Were Strong and Good

They Were Strong and Good
by: Robert Lawson


*Note: Five in a Row {FIAR} is made to be a five day curriculum - as we only attend Co-op 3 days per week, I will post what we have done in class and fun resources for that you may want to do at home. (Not REQUIRED homework - just some family fun options.)

Resources have been included to help inspire FIAR Homeschool families in their "Rowing' journeys as well.  Enjoy and comment!  We would love to know what you are "rowing' too!

"Rowing" the Week (@ Co-op)
We completed another great "Rowing" week here at SHAPE Academy!  They Were Strong and Good by: Robert Lawson.  Just to let you know, this is one of Mrs. Mac's favorite books.  Could it have anything to do with the fact that it is a book about the author's ancestral history?  Did you know I LOVE History?  I bet my students a Co-op already knew that . . . they are smart like that.  Here is an overview of what we discussed in class, projects we completed, homework list and fun activities you may want to use to extend this lesson at home.

Social Studies - Ancestry
We discussed our family tree and our ancestors.  The students are working on completing a family tree and returning it after Spring Break to include in their notebook.

I also try to fill our Five in a Row Book Basket with other resources and titles relating to the themes we are covering during "rowing".  When my students complete their work, they can read from this basket.  Here is a picture of our Rowing Book basket this week.

Geography - State of Alabama
We found Alabama on the map of the United States, completed a coloring page and discussed the state bird and flower.  We also pinned our story disk to our wall map.

Handwriting - We completed a copywork handout with a quote from our story.  We used these wonderful FREE Copywork pages from @ All of a Kind Family.  (This is a great FIAR resource blog that I love to use!)

Social Studies - We enjoyed traditional foods from North of the Mason-Dixon line - Whole Wheat Bagels with Cream Cheese.  Hey, we're from the South,  this is as "northern" as it gets.

Here Little Miss is preparing to take her first tasty bite.  She wasn't sure about the cream cheese at first, but my students are encouraging one another in trying new things (I love that about them).  She liked it and ate all of it up.

History - The Civil War
The author's paternal father and grandfather fought for the South during the Civil War.  We discussed the beginnings of the civil war and the Mason-Dixon line which separated the states.  Then we played a game of Civil War Tic-Tac-Toe.

Yankees vs. Rebels (a.k.a. Girls vs. Boys)
History repeats itself!

Art - We documented our illustrations in our Five in a Row Passport.  We use our Passports for every book "row" in the classroom.  The students use each page to illustrate a scene in the book we are "rowing'.
Here Mr. Fix-It is working on his Rowing Passport.

Passport Resource        +        Book Illustrations

*We made simple Paper Bag Books for our Rowing Passports at the beginning of the year - I will post a tutorial later if you want to see how we did ours*

Social Studies - We enjoyed a traditional food from South of the Mason-Dixon line today - Fried Pies!  Then we voted on what Mason-Dixon snack was our favorite.

Here is Mr. Kindness showing off his Fried Pie. . . I think he likes it.

Math - Graphed and discussed observations from everyone's favorite Mason-Dixon food.

The South actually won this battle, no contest.

*Mrs. Mac hand NO VOICE today so it limited some of our "rowing" plans.  It turned out nicely as my students circled up for story time and they read aloud to one another.  I love to see them working as a team.
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Notebooking Pages - During "rowing" of each book we complete a Notebooking page to include in our Homeschool Portfolios.  The students have worked hard on these folders and I am really excited about sending them home with these wonderful memories at the end of the school year from Co-op.

HERE is the link to Homeschool Share, where I found the resources for our Notebooking page for this row.  We used the Alabama Tab Book from HS Share.  Then I printed sections of this Lapbook for our page.  I LOVED this site and all the wonderful history lapbooks - Thank you Dynamic2Moms.  We included the Weapons of the Civil War accordion fold, the War Between the States flap-book, and the Clara Barton mini-book.

The Bug completed her Notebooking page that is due for homework after Spring Break, in order to share with her friends . . . and so we can complete the Civil War lapbook we found on the internet (see below under Resources).

This is her Notebooking page "mostly" put together.  She decorated with foil star stickers and lettering.
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Just The Bug and Mom
Here is a new element I wanted to share.  The Bug and I are trying to extend our "Rowing" at home together after we have spent the week rowing at Co-op.  It gives us alone-together and learning-together time, which we both love.
(This is an old photo I love.  We are at the museum examining an exhibit of traditional Mexican dolls.  Her love of dolls still continues today.)
  • She is learning to sew - sooooo . . .

Here is the Sewing Basket I made for here.  We worked on embroidery this week.  The author's mother learns to embroider at the convent were she is being schooled.  The Bug has lots to choose from in her basket to encourage her handwork.  I included measuring tape, plastic canvas, bandannas, scrap material, felt, thimbles, embroidery hoop, yard, scissors, cross stitch patterns, etc.  She had a jar that I labeled "Use with MOMMY", this had safety pins, straight pins, seam ripper, etc - things I need to show her how to utilize and use.
  • We talked about toys used during the Civil War era and added these little cuties to her Natural Play area.  We were able to discuss the lack of resources that people would have had during the Civil War and how fortunate a child was to receive a toy.  This made her even more grateful for her little Yarn Dolls.
I found these dolls on Pinterest.  They are from Wee Folk Art and you can use this free tutorial to make your own Yarn Dolls. HERE (I love this website too!  They have wonderful FREE patterns and tutorials for some wonderful handicrafts for kids.)
  • We clipped, snipped, constructed and played with these lovely Southern Belle Paper Dolls

After playing with the first doll, Mary Lou, the Bug exclaimed, "Mommy, I think you need to make me a dress like this!  They are so beautiful."  Um, not sure that I am that talented, sorry kid.

Now we will be getting ready for our next row . . . The Story of Ferdinand.

More They Were Strong and Good Resources:
  • The Bug and I will be working on our Civil War paper dolls this weekend.  Here are some that we also liked. - - - - - - - - -- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - >
  • This is a great website to do more great Family Tree activities HERE
  • FR*EE Study Guide for Y is for Yellowhammer: The Alabama Alphabet
  • Here is another great online resource about Alabama
  • We are planning to complete this Lapbook at home during Spring Break LAPBOOK + Plus, just so you know I love the FREE resources on this site.
  • The Bug and I are also planning on completing this CORN HUSK DOLL during Spring Break.  We'll let you know how it turns out.
Here are some more great resources:

The American Civil War     The American Civil War Lapbook   

Happy Homeschooling!
Mrs. Mac says, "Welcome!"

Mrs. Mac

(a.k.a. Joyful Socks Mom) 


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