Friday, December 14, 2012

A Word is Worth a Thousand Pictures

Can I help?
We had a wonderful time at Villa Marie nursing home for this quarter's service project on December 5.  Ten students from six families spent time with about a dozen residents, getting to know each other and also getting creative with card making. Paige Doyle-Barker took charge of instruction and also making sure everyone had the supplies they needed to make their perfect cards. Everyone made cards to send throughout the year to each other. Some kids will send long letters, some just cards, but everyone will be blessed by the exchange of mail. We were asked to not take pictures of the residents, but here is Paige preparing for a fun project. I can't wait to see these new relationships take shape

--by Kolbi W.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Paleontology Badge

Will I become a fossil?
Twelve Quest Club members met yesterday to work on their Paleontology Badge. (Paleontology is the science of the forms of life existing in former geologic periods, as represented by fossil animals and plants.) They participated in three activities: the Fossilization Game, extracting "fossils," and learning about the Mesozoic Era.

In the Fossilization Game, students pretended to be an animal or plant of his/her choosing. After acting this out, they pretended to die. A slip of paper drawn from a box told them how they died and if they became a fossil. Some animals were washed away by the current, eaten by an alligator or covered in a mudslide. Two students became fossils during the first round of this game and one during the second. The game is designed to show that not all animals or plants turn into fossils.

Fossil extraction.
Then students practiced their extraction skills on chocolate chip cookies. The chocolate chips in the cookies represented fossils and the toothpicks they used to dig them out represented the various tools paleontologists might use to extract a fossil from the ground. The goal was to extract the chips from one hard cookie and one soft cookie without damaging them. The students experienced the precise detail work that successful fossil extraction requires.

Sorting Mezosoic flora and fauna.
The last section of the badge work involved sorting various flora and fauna into their appropriate period of the Mesozoic Era: Triassic, Jurassic, or Cretaceous.

Our next meeting will be in January, when we will work on our Snow Badge.

Painted Story Quilts

DJ Nash tells about Faith Ringgold.
We had the opportunity to participate in the Art in a Suitcase program at the Capital Arts building on Wednesday. We had 13 students (aged 7 and up) who learned about the artist Faith Ringgold. She is known for her "painted story quilts."  She is also an award-winning author-illustrator of children's books. The instructor, DJ Nash, showed pictures of the story quilts and then read Faith Ringgold's book Tar Beach to the group. She asked the kids what their dreams were for the future. They were each then given a quilt square to design using crayons.

The process.

The younger siblings got to stretch their artistic talents, as well, in the Imagination Station. 
The product.

Everyone had a great time and we are looking forward to more of these programs.

Thank you Capital Arts and DJ Nash!

Meanwhile, at Imagination Station . . .

--by Evie M.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Fischer Farms

Hear me roar.
On November 2, 2012, members of JCSHG met at Fischer Farms to enjoy a hayride, pick various pumpkins and gourds, and enjoy the farm animals, hay maze, hay forts, stray teepees, and a very entertaining corn box. We met at noon for the hayride where we picked pumpkins and gourds of various sizes to take home. Then the kids all played all around the farm on their various other attractions. It was a nice fall day for a wonderful get together. I saw smiles on everyone's face. Thank you for a great time everyone!

Climbing in.
--by Amanda M.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Music and Movement Class Wrapup

Duck, duck, goose.
JCSHG offered a music class from late August to October this year. The class was divided into two age groups. One class consisted of ages 7 and up, the other was for those 6 and under. Both groups of children had a wonderful time learning about instruments, rhythm, and moving to music through fun activities and dances.

Rhythm sticks.
For the younger students--
During the five-week session the younger group "shook it up" by dancing like animals, making homemade shakers, and learning about the beat of music using rhythm sticks. However, the one thing that didn't change was ending each class with a fun game of "Wind the Bobbin." Each child enjoyed having a turn as the bobbin. Everyone had a great time and we look forward to the new classes starting after the first of the year.

--by Billie S.
--photos by Jeannette F.

For the older students--
Swing your partner.
Do you know the song "Oh Belinda" or what it means to "honor your partner"? Our older children's music and movement participants do. We had a swinging good time learning some basics of square dancing. We probably need to admit that it was our favorite part. "Oh Belinda" was a favorite to dance to. It was also nice that we were able to teach this dance to the younger class and all do it together when we had some students missing. We did lots of swinging our partners and other fun moves. It wasn't uncommon for everyone to be worn out after some fast-paced square dancing.

Rhythm sticks are another fun way to wear out a group of kids. We did actions with rhythm sticks to the theme songs to "Fame" and "The Smurfs" along with some other songs. Rhythm sticks focus on keeping accurate rhythm with the music while adding in other motions. It could get tricky at times.

In addition to our movement fun, we learned about famous composers and listened to some short pieces of their compositions. Handel was probably the most recognized with his piece entitled "Messiah" which can be heard in commercials, cartoons, and many other TV venues.

Playing a song on the Boomwhackers.
We took on a new challenge during our last class and played songs such as "Old McDonald" on Boomwhackers. Boomwhackers are actual instruments that are tuned plastic tubes. It was a boomwhacking good time.

--by Marie S.
--photos by Evie M. and Jeannette F.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

First Fall Bake Sale

Which cookies to buy?
Two day's after the Fall Hayride, the weather had turned much cooler and our volunteers braved the cold and the breezes to sell baked goods in front of Walmart for five hours on Friday, Oct. 26. Our Spring Bake Sale saw us begin with $200 worth of baked goods and sell them out by 5:30 p.m. (The sale had been scheduled to last till 7 p.m.) So, our goal this time was to either not run out of baked goods or at least not until closer to the scheduled end of the sale. With almost $300 worth of baked goods, we ran out about 15 minutes before the scheduled end of the sale. Donations put our total take-in for the sale at $358.47. This money will be used to provide free and low-cost programs for area homeschooling families. Thank you to all our volunteers for their hard work and to the people of Jefferson City for their generosity!

During a break in the action.

Fall Hayride

It was a very warm day, but that didn't stop us from enjoying a hayride and bonfire at Binder Park. As we rode down in a haywagon to the bonfire sight we saw lots of wildlife in the fields. Once we arrived, the little ones jumped off and immediately began playing and having fun. Of course as soon as we could unpack the food we were all about roasting our hot dogs. It was a lovely picnic lunch which included hot dogs, chips, veggies, and--of course--smores.  We even got in a short science lesson when the driver answered questions about the hydraulics on the tractor and let some of the younger ones pretend to drive. After we were all done eating, it was time to pack up and head back. On the ride back to our cars, we spotted a bald eagle flying over the lake and a pelican setting on a pole sticking up out of the water. Although it was warm, it was a gorgeous day for a hayride. Thanks to all of you were able to attend.

--by Melanie B.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Teamwork Badge

No one's falling off yet!
What do Wobblyballoons, Knots, Iceberg, and The Line Forms Here all have in common? Teamwork!

Our Quest Club met last week to work on the Teamwork Badge and played these four team-building games. Wobblyballoons involved team members each hitting the balloon with a marble inside of it one time before it fell to the ground. Knots involved each member grabbing two other members' hands, thus forming a big knot, and then unknotting the knot. Iceberg was played on a bedsheet that is getting smaller (melting) with the goal of not letting any one fall off the iceberg into the freezing water. And The Line Forms Here required members to line themselves up in a particular order--age, height, birthday, alphabetically by first and then middle name.

After the games the members discussed what teamwork is, why it is important, and what it requires.

Next month: Paleontology Badge. Join our Yahoo! group to learn more.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Take 'N' Bake

Working the line.
On September 25, our group visited Papa Murphy's in Jefferson City. We had an amazing turnout. So many families showed a great interest. The older children were put on the pizza line and were each given a job to do, just as if they were working there. Then all the children were allowed to make their very own pizza to take home.
Making their pizzas to take.
After that we all squeezed in the cooler where all the ingredients are stored. We saw the machine in action that mixes the dough, the machine that cuts the dough into individual balls for the pizza, and the machine that flattens the pizza dough. The kids were excited and loved taking home their very own pizza to cook and eat later. Thank you to all who participated.
The entire gang.
--by Amanda M.
--photos by Amanda M. and Jennifer H.

Fall Service Project

Decorating bags.
We had a great turnout, and an absolutely beautiful day, for our fall service project.  A group of approximately seven families met at Sno Biz to make gift bags for people who will spend long hours or days in the ICU waiting room at St. Mary's Hospital. The kids had a fantastic time painting the canvas bags and making cards that will be a tremendous blessing to families with loved ones in ICU. Each family also donated supplies to fill the bags with toiletries and coloring books and other things to help families pass the time more enjoyably. We hope to continue the relationship with St. Mary's by volunteering with its fundraising mailings and other activities. I was so proud to drop off the beautiful bags filled with goodies!

Making cards.
More bags.

--by Kolbi W.
A few days later--
A thank you card from St. Mary's staff.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Magnetism Badge

Corralling rice with a magnet.
Our Quest Club members had the opportunity to learn more about magnets last Thursday at our monthly Quest Club meeting by working on the Magnetism Badge. Members made a compass out of a needle they magnetized, stuck through a marshmallow, and set to float in a bowl of water. Members also corraled rice on a piece of paper by using a magnet under the paper and a staple above. And they explored different magnets, how they interact with each other and how they interact with some magnetic and some non-magnetic materials.

Magnetizing needles for a compass.

We also had our second badge-pinning ceremony. The following badges were announced:

First Aid: Joey A., Ethan M., Hayden M.
Drawing: Eileen S., Audrey F.
American Girl Doll: Eileen S.
Camping: Hayden M., Ethan M.
Chef: Joey A.
Civil War: Joey A.
Dance (ballet): Audrey F.
Fantasy: Zoe S.
Fire Safety: Ethan M., Hayden M.
Lego: Luke F.
Map Reading: Morgan S., Alexis S.
Sewing: Eileen S.
Worms: Ava S.

Next month we will work on our Teamwork Badge.
Badge recipients.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Welcome to Chess Club

Everyone grab your chess boards and come join us for some fun!
Starting in September, we will be meeting the first Thursday of every month from 10 until 11:30 a.m. in Apache Flats. (See our Yahoo! group for the exact address.)
Everyone is welcome. Don't know how to play? Want to learn? We will have a few children willing to teach anyone wanting to learn.
Siblings not wanting to play chess are encouraged to bring their favorite games to play. It should be fun for everyone.
Hope to see you there!
--Sue B., Chess Club Coordinator


Tuesday, August 28, 2012

First Annual Family Picnic

September 1 marks the one-year anniversary of our group's founding. In celebration of this we held a family picnic on Sunday at a local park. It was raining when the picnic started but cleared up shortly thereafter. Approximately 60 people attended--moms, dads, kids, and grandparents. After a potluck lunch some played baseball or participated in several games. Others fellowshipped in the pavillion. It was great to meet new people and get to know others better. Thanks to all who came out to celebrate with us. We look forward to next year's picnic!

--photos by Evie and Matthew M.

Enjoying a potluck lunch.

A dinosaur visitor courtesy of Kaylee H.

Water relay.

Son hits as his dad looks on.

Duck, duck, goose--with a twist.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Ice Cream Badge

Last Thursday our Quest Club met to work on the Ice Cream Badge. Twenty-nine children were in attendance, making it our most attended meeting to date.
Learning the history of ice cream.
At the beginning of the meeting we took roll call and welcomed new members. Then we voted on next month's group badge. It was a close call between the Pirates and Magnetism badges, with the Magnetism Badge winning by just a few votes. Next we kicked off the Ice Cream badge by watching a demonstration of making ice cream with dry ice.

Making ice cream with solid carbon dioxide.

After learning a short history of ice cream we split into groups. The children fulfilled several requirements to earn the Ice Cream Badge. We tasted chocolate and strawberry ice creams and made lists of creative ice cream flavors we would like to try. We learned about the science of making homemade ice cream by attempting to make ice cream in a baggie. Then we learned that making ice cream in a baggie takes a really, really long time. Thankfully, cold sweet milk is yummy too.
Making ice cream in a small plastic bag.
Lastly, we came back together at the end of the meeting to share our ice cream flavor ideas and discuss some of the things we learned. We ended the meeting by yelling our motto; "Ask anything; explore everything!"

--text by Billie
--photos by Tracey

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Drawing Badge

Last Thursday we met at a local church for our monthly Quest Club meeting. We worked on completing the Drawing Badge, specifically the following badge requirements:

Colored and graphite pencil learning station.
1. Make an original pencil, ink, crayon, charcoal, or chalk drawing.
2. Look at at least 10 different drawings in at least three styles. These can be cartoons, line drawings, value drawings, sketches, etc.
3. Learn about three different types of art erasers: kneadable, white plastic, and art gum. Test each one.

Club members broke into small groups and worked their way through six learning stations. There they learned about and used graphite pencils, compressed charcoal, drawing chalk and three different art erasers. They also looked at numerous drawings in four different art books.

The remainder of the meeting was spent making an original drawing. Some members chose to use fixative spray on their completed drawing.

Making a compressed charcoal drawing.
Next month we will be working on the Ice Cream Badge. Join our Yahoo! group to find out when and where.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

On the Farm

Domingo the foal

On July 11 at 10 a.m. our group took a field trip to B & B Farms. We couldn't have asked for better weather. Ms. Schellie showed us her new chickens and her adorable cats, which the kids couldn't get enough of. Then we were allowed into the fenced area to see her horses and this is where we learned about the age of horses, the types of horses and various other information. Next we met a miniature horse and were allowed to pet her. We also watched her jump over a hurdle. After petting the horse we moved over to the barn and learned all about the stables, the different equipment used for and with horses, and we even went inside one of the stalls. Finally we ventured out into the ring where the horses are trained. We were able to catch a glimpse of a new foal and her mommy. What a great trip based around horses.

Petting the miniature horse

--text and photos by Amanda

Friday, June 22, 2012

Tie Dye Badge and Badge-Pinning Ceremony

We met at a park for our monthly Quest Club meeting on Tuesday. Nine families participated--29 people including two guests--in two tie dye projects and our first quarterly badge-pinning ceremony.

Badge recipients.
After chanting the club's motto ("Ask anything, explore everything!") and roll call, we conducted the badge-pinning ceremony. Donning homemade sashes, members filed up to have their earned badges pinned to sashes of a variety of colors. Here are the badges they earned: (Not all members were present to receive their badges.)

Paper crafting: Bella, Savannah, Jonathan, Rebecca, Ethan, Hayden, Eileen, Noah, Audrey F., Luke, Haley, and Brandon.

Map reading: Ethan, Hayden, Eileen, Joey, Rebecca, Jonathan, Savannah, Noah, Brandon, Haley, Luke, and Audrey F.

American Girl dolls:  Lydia.

Archery: Noah.

Barbie: Haley.

Beading: Haley.

Cooking: Audrey H.

Cowgirl: Morgan.

Crafts: Brandon and Haley.

Dinosaurs: Brandon.

Disney: Davis, Lydia, Haley, and Brandon.

Dogs: Zoe.

Fantasy: Davis, Audrey H., and Lydia.

Horses: Morgan and Alexis.

Human body: Audrey H.

Instrumental music--Violin: Davis and Lydia.

Lego: Brandon and Noah.

Microscope: Eileen.

Yoga: Alexis.

Congratulations to all our badge earners! Our next badge-pinning ceremony will be at our September meeting.

Tie dying.
Then members began working on their tie dye badge. They were able to tie dye an item they brought with us or "tie dye" coffee filters. This is done by laying a paper coffee filter flat, decorating it with washable markers, spritzing it with a few sprays of water and letting it dry. The water made the ink run and created an effect similar to tie dying. It was windy, so they used rocks to hold down the coffee filters.

Our next meeting will be Thursday, July 19, and we will be working on our Drawing Badge.

Coffee filter "tie dying."

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Serving at the Samaritan Center

Carry out!

Packaging ketchup
Soggy volunteers
This Monday and Tuesday, seven of our families--23 kids and parents--volunteered at the Samaritan Center for a total of about 46 man-hours. We helped carry food to clients' cars, packaged ketchup, and took sales labels off flags the center is giving away on Flag Day. Trivia: we packaged 5,000 individual packets of ketchup on Tuesday alone. Thanks to Carlos and Shane of the Samaritan Center for letting us help out. We look forward to serving there again!
Flag day . . . two days early.


--some photos courtesy of Carla