What is a Betty?

Betty is the term used to describe an amazing person who you can depend on. Betty is also a term for "sweet and loving girl." The more you get to know her, the more you love being around her. She has a good sense of humor and has a cute laugh. She's chill yet hard working as well as kind and considerate. Betty lights up the room and lights up my life. She's always happy and cheerful. She's also cuddly, independent and smart. She appreciates the simple things in life and can make anything good out of a bad situation. -Urban Dictionary

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Olympics 2012 Learning-

A shout out to all you Summer Olympics fans!  The Betties are looking forward to settling into the next 2 weeks with our families to watch the games.  Some or most kids in this region are back to school...I know I know.  A little early for most, but what are you seriously going to do when the temps are 110 degrees?  Most Zonies (folks from AZ) would agree that they would rather have their kids busy learning in a nicely air conditioned room than trying to find something to do in the heat.  AND we get a week or two off in the fall when the temps reach the 80's.  We are good with it!

So, we should expect most teachers to capitalize on the Olympic games as they start the school year. If however your kids don't go back until the games are over, here are a few suggestions to keep the dog days of summer at bay. Or for one homeschooling Betty a unit study on the Olympic games is our kick off curriculum for the next two weeks as we review some concepts and have fun at the same time!  Thank you to projectbritain.com for condensing the ideas into a one stop website!

2012 Olympics
Write rules for one of the sporting Events.
Write a newspaper report on an event
Find out about the rings and what they represent. (worksheet) (website) (image)
Write and perform a speech after winning a gold medal in an event
Write a biography of an athlete attending the Games (TEAM USA Website)

Draw a bar chart of the medals won and work out what percentage of medals were won by each country.
How much will it cost you to travel to the Games? ( website to workout milage )
Maths Worksheets on an Olympic Theme

Ancient Greece ( website )
Olympics Timeline ( website )
The ancient Olympic Games ( BBC website

Where is Londonwebsite ) 

How far is London from you? ( website )
Country report on Great Britain ( website )
Track and compare the Weather in London with where you live (website)
What type of land features support the Olympics?
Identify on a map where past Olympics have been held. ( map )
Draw the flags and find a fact about each country taking part. (flags)


Investigate how to keep an athlete cool during the Games.
Investigate the best trainer shoe

Art and Design
Design a new logo for the London Olympics
What symbols and signs can you identify?
Olympic and Paralympic pictograms,

              Central London map (pdf) | Bus map of Central London

Make a spreadsheet on medals won by each country
Multimedia presentation on London
Create a London travel brochure in Photoshop


Wednesday, July 25, 2012

VBS- Summer Fun!

We really feel it is important that our kids grow up hearing God's word and being involved in church. Every summer Central Christian Church puts on a great Vacation Bible School, including crafts, games and a slime tank. The kids have so much fun singing and worshiping together! There were over 1300 children at the Gilbert campus alone and 475 leaders! Stacie had the oppurtunity of leading a small group and her oldest daughter got to help with another group. They both really enjoyed the week working with the kids and seeing them light up when they would slime one of the leaders (depending on if the boys or girls won the game :) It makes for a long week, but worth well worth it! Here are a couple of pictures that showcase the fun!

The kids memorized a verse each night and this was their 
favorite.  Perhaps a good printable to frame and put in their rooms as they approach 
the upcoming school year.

What a great experience and a privilege to be involved ministering to these amazing kids!

Enjoy the last days of summer with your precious kids!
-The Betties

Monday, July 23, 2012

Sweet Tea

A summertime must.  Sweetened iced tea.  Did you know there is a science to it?
If you are from the south you know what I'm talking about.  Filling a glass up with iced tea and adding sugar to it is one way...but dare I say it's not the right way?  So today let's talk about the proper way; southern style.

Aunt B's Sweet Tea

4 quarts of hot water (Aunt B uses Distilled Water to keep the tea clear)
3 family size Lipton tea bags or 7 regular size tea bags
Let tea bags sit in hot water for at least 30 minutes
Throw out tea bags and add 1 cup of sugar while it's still hot.
Stir to mix and dissolve sugar
Add 2 quarts of cold distilled water into a large serving container
Add sweetened tea
Now add store bought ice until the tea is ice cold
(store bought ice keeps the tea clear and pretty...no cloudiness here!)

This recipe will serve an army of guests depending on the temperature outside and the length of their visit!  Cut the recipe in half if your aren't expecting anyone and store in the fridge for up to 3 days. Of course the amount of sugar can be limited or not added at all if your dietary needs require.  If you would like an even sweeter tea, keep adding sugar until it suits your tastebuds while the tea is still hot.


A great way to repurpose and reuse...Dana's Aunt B uses a large container that pretzels or candy come packaged in from Costco or Sam's Club.  Find a fancy lid from an existing pot or pan, add a ladle and viola!!  A beautiful way to serve iced tea (make sure the opening is large enough to fit the ladle)! Make sure your tea is cool and not hot before pouring it in.  These plastic containers are not meant for hot liquids.  It's lightweight and won't break!
Plus no drippy nozzle at the bottom to contend with.

-The Betties

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Cucumber and Onion Salad

On a recent trip to Perini's Steakhouse in Buffalo Gap Texas (population 499);  home of real cowboy cooking, Dana came across this great summertime salad.  These cucumbers are tangy and sweet; treated almost as a condiment... like relish.  Alongside a green salad it makes the perfect accompaniment with the main dish.  And if you ever find yourself in Buffalo Gap...stop by the restaurant.  You will not be disappointed!  Enjoy!

Cucumber and Onion Salad

2 pounds slender cucumbers with skins, sliced 1/4 inch thick
1 large Texas sweet onion, thinly sliced
2 cups vinegar
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons of salt
2 cups ice cubes
Parsley and cilantro, to taste (optional)

Combine the vinegar, sugar, and salt, and add ice cubes.  Stir in herbs.  Toss cucumbers and onions in dressing and refrigerate.  Let sit in refrigerator at least 30 minutes before serving time.  Serves 8-10

Perini Steakhouse Cookbook at Amazon

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Homeschooling - A Choice

As we mentioned in our introduction post Dana has homeschooled her boys for a few years now.  Her choice to homeschool was an easy one, as many dear friends and family members had paved the way, setting a great example of what could be done at home.  The main reason she chose this path was a simple one;  education tailored specifically for her kids (which could be an entire blog post by itself).  However, she stepped on the brakes upon finding out she was expecting twins when her oldest was to start Kindergarten and her 2nd son was to start preschool in '06.  "The thought of caring for twins AND educating at home full time for the FIRST time was extremely overwhelming and I knew I needed help.  I didn't want to give up on my hopes of home education but sleep deprivation and the survival mode mentality that kicked in did not make for the ideal learning environment.  I knew my limits and I couldn't do it all."  She took to researching a school she had heard about years prior to her son actually starting Kindergarten.  HOPE Christian Acadamy ( http://www.hope-eagles.com/ ) in Chandler-Home of Partnered Education. This school was exactly what her and her husband needed at that time. HOPE gave them a smooth introduction into the world of home based learning while transitioning into life with four boys under the age of 5.

With a unique model of partnering with teachers 3 days a week in a traditional classroom setting; parents take over the role at home the remaining two days a week.  This is a private Christian school that required some budgeting and planning but most of their kid's tuition was covered through a program called Arizona Christian School Tuition Organization http://www.acsto.org/.  Arizona provides a unique opportunity to receive scholarship money donated by Arizona taxpayers.  Folks donating to the program receive a dollar-for-dollar credit against their Arizona state income tax. Private Christian education was affordable with this program.

Hope Christian Academy was a very positive experience.  A loving community of like-minded parents and staff with small classroom sizes.  The school provided all of the curriculum and lesson plans were given by teachers with step-by-step instruction for home-based learning days.  When they were at school they attended Chapel, PE, music and even spanish.  "We met great friends and really got plugged in."  However with 4 boys to consider, the hefty tuition started adding up and the downturn in the economy made it harder to raise support for scholarship money.  This made for the perfect opportunity to homeschool full time, spending a fraction of tuition money on curriculum that Dana could use over and over with the younger kids at home.  "I was really looking forward to having my kids on the same page rather than us all going in different directions.  With the twins getting older and a little confidence under my belt I could finally dive into homeschooling 100%."

If you are considering homeschooling there are so many resources!  Attend a convention (Arizona Homeschool Convention link)  and speak with other homeschooling families. Also, Dana's go-to book when she started homeschooling was and still is the Well Trained Mind by Susan Wise Bauer.  Detailed instruction on how to get started if a classical education is something you are drawn to.  Dana has implemented many of the suggestions in this book and it was a great foundation to build upon.

Also, what legally do you need to do to get started homeschooling?  Well, every state is different so look into your local state laws.  A homeschool affidavit was filled out and sent into the county school superintendent for each of the kids.  AZ laws are listed here at http://www.afhe.org/az_law.html .
Also, a "getting started fact sheet" is provided here at http://www.afhe.org/getting_started_faq.html .
Both of these resources are provided through AFHE (Arizona Families for Home Education).

A great article here at azcentral.com also gives a bit more information about homeschooling and the gaining popularity.  We are seeing 2nd and 3rd generations homeschooling in Arizona and this is so exciting to see!  The bottom line is nobody knows your kids like you do.  You know what's best. Obviously the choice to homeschool is not for everyone.  If you are considering it, you will not regret it; although there will be hard days.  If you think this Betty is crazy for even trying, that's okay too.  Dana and Stacie really have one thing in common that keeps their friendship strong and it's not homeschooling.  Living by our own convictions and supporting one another as best as we can is really the key.  Our faith is the common thread, not our choice in schools.  Live free in Christ, follow YOUR convictions and the rest will fall into place.

Dana will keep you up to date on the happenings of homeschooling this fall...lots of fun stuff planned!

Happy Schooling-whatever choice you make!