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Showing posts from January, 2015

Protect Our Nestlings

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This short video packs a powerful message. Our most important eternal work is within the walls of our own homes. I pray all mothers and fathers will remember this. (Remember to pause my video player before watching this.)


Roll Back Can

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Another fun Steve Spangler science experiment- the magic roll back can. Marcus had to improvise a bit because I gave away (not threw away) the only screwdriver we owned here in Peru and I also gave away our only hammer (We are preparing to move back to the states so I've been giving away things we don't need to bring back in our shipment and I guess I gave away some things a little too soon!).

Marcus used a wide nut can for this experiment, a 9-volt battery, duct tape, 2 paper clips and a thick rubber band. He used a nail and his make-shift hammer to make the hole in the can. It's best to make the hole in both the lid and the bottom of the can at the same time by placing the lid over the bottom of the can and then hammering the nail into the middle of the can. That way the two holes line up to thread the rubber band through.

Marcus' make-shift hammer- Marcus demonstrates his roll back can-

Touring Around Cusco- Part 3

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In a little town called, Chincheros, we enjoyed a fun knitting demonstration. Natural dyes are created from native berries, seeds and plants.
As we relaxed, we were entertained with a Quechuan song.
Afterwards we went outside and dressed up in native Andean clothing.
We bid farewell and made our way to our next stop...
the salt mines of Maras.
These mines have been worked since way back when the Incas were around.
This warm, salty stream flows directly into the salt ponds.
As the sun evaporates the water, salt crystals are left on top. (That's the nutshell version!)
Would you believe there are at least 3,000 salt ponds?
Our tour continued in Moray, the site of an ancient Inca agricultural center.
Each terrace is a slightly different temperature. Do you think it gets warmer or cooler as you near the bottom?
Marissa and Marcus were the only ones with enough energy to walk down to find out.
Aren't they cute? So, that was another day of touring around …

Sunday Thoughts- Prayer

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Prayer is our communication-line directly to our Father in Heaven. We have been counseled to pray often. Not only should we pray individually, but also as families. In my family we started a new practice last year: before our nightly family prayer, we ask each member of the family if they know of anyone who needs our prayers.


President Ezra Taft Benson remembered this poem he learned when he was a boy:
I know not by what methods rare,
But this I know, God answers prayer. I know that He has given His Word, Which tells me prayer is always heard, And will be answered, soon or late. And so I pray and calmly wait. I know not if the blessing sought Will come in just the way I thought; But leave my prayers with Him alone, Whose will is wiser than my own, Assured that He will grant my quest, Or send some answer far more blest.

Ask, and it shall be given unto you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.
For every one that asketh, receiveth; and he that seeketh, findeth; and to him …

January Devotionals

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I thought these 3 devotionals turned out extra cute so I wanted to share them with you here. Do you know how Marcus creates his devotionals? We usually take our own pictures with my camera and then after I've uploaded them onto my laptop, Marcus uses PicMonkey which is a free online photo editor. If you've never tried it before, give it a whirl! It's a lot of fun! By the way, we bought these adorable mini books here in Lima, Peru, at the Inca market. The collection of owls belong to Marissa who loves owls.


Touring Around Cusco- Part 2

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After visiting Koricancha and the Santo Domingo convent, we visited an archeological site named, Kenko (also spelled Qenqo).

The Quechua translation of Kenko is, "labyrinth".
We wound our way through the stone slabs...

And came upon the entrance of a small cave-like room.  This was believed to have been a ritual table where sacrifices were made to the Inca goddess of the moon, Killa.

Afterwards we headed back to our tour van so we could move onto the next tourist stop.

Before we left Kenko, our tour guide took another family picture of us. 
Tambomachay or Tampumach’ay is mostly one long path. Tampu means, "collective lodging" and Mach’ay means, "resting place". 
Although you cannot see it, the Tambomachay river runs along one side of the path (the side the children are walking on).
Notice the terraced ledges to the other side of the path. Incas were excellent terrace farmers.  This picture gives you an idea of the surrounding landscape. Tambomac…

The Gift of Flexible Time

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Marissa created this adorable picture to portray the blessing of FLEXIBLE TIME that homeschooling gives our family to pursue our individual hobbies and interests.


When my children were in public school, they still played team soccer in the summers and they still participated in other activities after school such as piano and dance lessons.

However, homeschooling takes up only one-third of the daily time public school takes up for my children to study and learn the core academic subjects (English/language arts, math, science, social studies/geography), freeing us with a lot more time to read for pleasure or create an imaginative work of art.

I never liked those reading calendars that teachers sent home to force parents to force their children to read more. Just free up their time and they will naturally want to read more. Not only that, but their love for reading will grow when they are free to choose the subject matter they read.  Homeschooling allows that. Public school, not so muc…

Time to Pursue Passions

Homeschooling has truly been a blessing to us because of the TIME it gives us. Time that truly belongs to us. It is so freeing!

One way we take advantage of this wonderful time is pursuing individual passions.

Marcus' true passion is all-things-science. He especially loves science experiments like the one below. This is another great Steve Spangler experiment. It definitely requires adult supervision.

 (Remember to pause my music player before watching.)


Touring Around Cusco- Part 1

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There was a lot to see and do around Cusco. First we visited Koricancha and the Santo Domingo convent.
Koricancha was an Inca temple dedicated to the worship of the sun god, Inti. Koricancha translates in Quechua to "courtyard of gold". So I guess a lot of gold was there at one time, but then the Spaniards came and seized all of the gold before building a convent over the original structure.
Notice how much the Incas loved the trapezoidal shape. Their doorways and windows were usually trapezoids. Also notice the perfect fit of each granite stone. The Incas did not use mortar but carved each stone intricately so that they fit neatly together and their work has held up all this time despite centuries of earthquakes.

The convent and Koricancha make an interesting blend of 2 different architectures.

Did you know that when the Incas looked up at the milky way constellations they saw a flowing river with animals drinking from the river?  I don't have a photo of the wall ha…