Thursday, May 15, 2008

Jelly's Family Night of Light

We've always done fairly well with Family Home Evening, but I will be the first to admit that we're MUCH better at family activities than we are at lesson nights. I am also prilled (pleased and thrilled, NOT proud, thank you, Chapmans) to tell you that we've been improving steadily on the lesson front.

So when Jelly asked last week if she could do Family Home Evening for this week, I said, "Sure, sweetie!" because I knew she could. Then, in true Jelly style, she promptly got involved in something and forgot about her plan. When I asked her early on Monday how things were going for Family Night, she said something like, "Oh, great! I just need to go find a Friend!" Translation: Forgot all about it, but no worries!

Jelly is the keeper of the back issues of the Friend magazine at the Woody hacienda, so I don't know how many she looked through. Soon she came out of her room with the February 2006 issue. She had it open to the Family Home Evening Ideas inside the back cover. "Mama," she asked, "do you think this will work?" And she pointed to idea number one.

Now, anyone who knows me or who has just peeked into our living room from the vantage point of the front door knows how I (and by extension, ALL the Woodys) feel about lighthouses. 'Nuff said for now.

I read the idea, and told her that I was sure she would make it a wonderful Family Home Evening. She said, "I can do that! But I need a game." I quickly fished around in the game closet in my brain and came up with, "How about a flashlight game?"

In case you're in a hurry, let me just say that she did a truly outstanding job! My mama heart just about burst with joy!

If you have a bit more time for blog reading, here is a transcript of Jelly's agenda for our Family Home Evening, held at 7:30 p.m. on Monday, 12 May 2008.

Family Night
Opening Prayer: Doodle
Song: I Have a Family Here on Earth (p.188) (directed by Jelly)
Read "The Lighthouse" (p.2) (Daddy)
Read "Lost in a Cave" (p.42) (Mama)
Do Treasure Puzzle Hunt.*

* Turn ALL the lights off after this story.(An arrow points to "Lost in a Cave.")

Song: A Happy Family (pp.198) (directed by Doodle) (Note: Jelly had us substitute our own family names to personalize the song.)
Closing Prayer: Jelly

Dessert: Goldfish (because they swim in the ocean near lighthouses, of course)


To prepare for the Treasure Puzzle Hunt, Jelly drew a picture of our happy family inside a circle of light surrounded by darkness. She made the clothes we were wearing match what we were actually wearing that day (down to the colonial girl costume donned by Doodle just because she felt like it). She cut the picture into puzzle pieces, and then hid them, with clues leading from one to the next in true treasure-hunt style. "And some of the clues even rhyme, Mama! And Doodle loves puzzles!" I wish I had a picture of Jelly's ear-to-ear grin to post here!!

It was an excellent night! Our discussion about the light of Christ and the light of His gospel was fabulous, Doodle had wonderful fun (trailed by Jelly, just in case she needed help) on her flashlight treasure puzzle hunt, and the goldfish ended up swimming in an ocean of chicken noodle soup that was enjoyed by all.

The Doodle wants a turn to plan next week's Family Home Evening. I can't wait! :o)

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Cinderella Silliness

We're still in the midst of our Cinderella Stories Around the World unit study, but I thought I'd give you a preview of some of the fun we're having.

Part of our regular activities include a poetry mini unit. We've written quinzaines, tongue twisters, acrostics, and cinquains so far. Today, as part of our adventures with Irish Cinderellas, we studied the formula for, read, and wrote limericks.

No one knows for sure why or how the name of an Irish city became associated with the short, nonsensical, often not-so-nice verses we know as limericks. Some believe it originated with a school of poets who lived in the town of Croom, in County Limerick, in the 19th century, whose specialization was satiric verse. We may never know for sure, but it is documented that the genre became popular during the Victorian era due mainly to the nonsense verses of Edward Lear.

In any case, as long as you stay away from the bawdy ones, limericks can really be a ton of fun -- whether you're reading or writing them. There are lots of concepts to be learned as you write them, too. Here at Wonderwood Academy, we feel strongly that laughter is an important part of a balanced education. ;o) Just don't laugh TOO much while you're balancing on one leg... you could tip over!! lol

Here are our contributions to the legacy of the limerick. Hopefully they'll make you laugh, or at least smile real big!

Cinderella Limericks
by the Woody Family

There once was a girl, Cinderella,
Who wanted to sing a capella.
She worked as she sang.
The clock chimed and rang.
At her wedding she sang a capella.


There once was a girl, Cinderella,
Who had a nice friend, name of Bella.
The girls had to work hard.
They worked hard in their yard.
Until they each met a nice fella.


There once was a girl, Cinderella,
Who wanted to sing a capella.
Her step-mother brayed.
Her godmother played.
So it wasn't quite true a capella.

More Cinderella stories soon. :o)

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