Thursday, March 21, 2013

PyCraft - Programming with Minecraft

George here.  I've started a blog, about a recently begun experiment with teaching computer programming to our kids.  A couple years ago, I taught Levi and Natalie a little bit, but at some point they stopped asking me to do it with them, and you know how things go.  Now that Sam is reading, I thought it would be fun to try with him.  I was trying to think of a way to make it fun, and it dawned on me that if I could tie it in with Minecraft somehow, that would be pretty motivating.

We've done one lesson now, and he loved it, and all the other kids present wanted their turn as well.  What I've set up lets them interact with the game by writing programs.  They can make lightning strike, build a tower, make an explosion, write a message, and force the time of day to change.  I'll add more as the lessons go on, but this is a start.  So I thought I'd start a blog so people can read about how to get it all set up for themselves.  I'll post the lessons there as well as I get them written, I just haven't done that yet.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Random Pictures:)

 Pumpkins at Halloween, kids a little dressed up.

 Natalie holding Brigham

 Seth says "Happy Halloween"

 Natalie says "All I Want for Christmas is My Two Front Teeth"

 Seth with Daddy

SIL- Megan with Kenzie, SISTER- Liz with Caleb
 Lyon cousins...just missing Noa!

 Game night with the uncles

 Grandpa Lyon

 Grandma Lyon (someone once nicknamed her "Mrs. Happy Face" and this is why:)

 My brother, Matt, with some serious hair growth!

 Levi, age 9.5

 Jones cousins!!

 Daddy with Natalie on her baptism day

 Seth with Santa...this is serious stuff..."I want the new version of the Batcave!"

 Sam was our doubter this year, but he was convinced after Santa came in on a helicopter:)

 Natalie chatted with Santa for a good, long while.

 The elves helped me keep my kiddos under control...I think that's why Seth ended up with so many extra toys and treats:)

Levi-he's just getting so big!!!

Hello, January!

I hate that I go so long inbetween posts that I feel like the best thing to do is just make a random list of things that sum up the past few months.  I will try to make this one more like a chronological story:)

We had an awesome holiday season.  Kicked it off with my brother and sister and their families coming from Cincinnati and Baltimore and staying here at Thanksgiving.  We had a wonderful time.  Natalie got baptized on her birthday this year and that was an awesome experience.  Lots of out-of-town family came and that made it so special. 

In between Thanksgiving and Christmas was a whirlwind of activity and I tried to stay on top of school.  It's always a struggle, but we did ok this year.  We were doing a Space Unit Study and that kept us going.  We were able to do some service, spend lots of time with wonderful people, meet Santa (who arrived in a helicopter:), and do lots of shopping.  We enjoyed the usual Christmas goodies though most of them were given away this year.  My one problem was I decided to make fudge just to try to get it know, no pressure.  I made it in early January so I was not going to give it away.  It was the best fudge I have ever made, all smooth and creamy, and I ate almost all of it.  Sigh.  I am not sure why I thought that was good idea!

We spent the New Year holiday with George's brother in Chicago and had a blast.  We always enjoy going up there and being with all the cousins.  They are all growing up SO FAST now.  It's amazing to think that the oldest is off to college in the fall. 

We took 2 weeks off school and are now back in.  We did a unit on George Washington and we are on our second week of Deserts.  I need some good units coming up...this is another time that I get easily burned out.  We are switching up our schedule a bit and hope that helps.  The kids were having problems starting after having a week off, so we are lengthening our time in school.  I think we will do 7 weeks on, 2 weeks off.  That should make the end of the school year come quickly!  And less with the stopping and starting. 

I am in week 2 of a weight loss challenge.  It's going well, so far!  I am hoping I have enough motivation to see it to the end.  The prize is $80!  That's a pile of money!  I am focusing on healthy eating more than "dieting" and also including lots of exercise (which is why I hurt right now!)  FYI: I have quit running.  I am walking and doing the elliptical.  I am sad because I love the idea of being a Runner, but it hurts my knees and back too much.  It was a good year though.  I was very happy that I had committed to running 6 miles and did it! 

I have plans to go out to Seattle soon to help my brother and sister-in-law with their new baby.  So excited about that!  The kids are staying with Grandma and Grandpa and are excited as well!  Another trip out to Oregon is planned to see my grandmother in April and I also plan on attending the next Midwest Homeschool Convention.  This will make for a busy spring, though these will both fall in the same week, so really, it will just be an extremely busy week:) 

Life is good.  I would like to say I will get better at blogging, but I am pretty sure that would be a lie.  But I will try!  Thanks for reading!