Sunday, December 26, 2010

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas We are at home putting together toys see you next year!

Monday, December 20, 2010

200th Post

I have been thinking what to write about since 200 seems like such and important number. So here are 200 things I love:
  1. I love God
  2. I love my family.
  3. I love chronicling our experiences as we home school.
  4. I love to read.
  5. I love to train horses.
  6. I love the smell of leather.
  7. I love coaching an equestrian team.
  8. I love teaching the kids.
  9. I love being a nurse.
  10. I love honey in the comb.
  11. I love fresh venison.
  12. I love my new nativity set.
  13. I love my high school class ring
  14. I love Reading books to my kids at bedtime all snuggled together in bed.
  15. I love when my phone rings and it's Aarons ring tone.
  16. I love having all my kids home together (like we almost had this year)for holidays.
  17. I love being snuggled up in bed next to Aaron in the morning and realizing it's my day off and I don't have to get out of bed.
  18. I love when the flowers are in bloom in my yard.
  19. I love the rose bush Aaron planted for me.
  20. I love the sound of Sawyer's laugh.
  21. I love when Lizzi's smile reaches her eyes.
  22. I love when Jon looks me in the eye or cries for momma.
  23. I love to hear Camryn sing in church.
  24. I love Aimees little skip in her walk when she's really happy.
  25. I love to see Jessi come over.
  26. I love to see Taylor's pride when he shoots a deer.
  27. I love it when Trent Calls me mom.
  28. I love the white orchid Aimee got me for mother's day that amazingly is still alive and blooming.
  29. I love camping with Aaron and our friends Erica and Gary and all the kids.
  30. I love walking around Columbia,SC with Aaron on vacation
  31. I love baklava
  32. I love homemade bread
  33. I love the flag 
  34. I love my country the USA
  35. I love all the men and women who serve in the military to protect our freedom.
  36. I love apple pie.
  37. I love visiting Paris, France
  38. I love getting mail
  39. I love how romantic Aaron is with me
  40. I love good friends
  41. I love signs of spring
  42. I love visiting historical places
  43. I love old cemeteries
  44. I love cheesecake
  45. I love you!
  46. I love rechargeable batteries
  47. I love programmable coffee pots so coffee is ready when I am
  48. I love the still quiet before anyone else is awake
  49. I love balconies
  50. I love palm trees
  51. I love fresh snow first thing in the morning (if it's my day off!)
  52. I love ocean waves
  53. I love singing birds
  54. I love my crock pot and bread machine meal days
  55. I love body pillows
  56. I love spring!
  57. I love seeing the flowers pop up in my yard.
  58. I love it when an old friend calls.
  59. I love all the flowers blooming in my yard in the early summer!
  60. I love fresh picked strawberries.
  61. I love you!
  62. I love lighthouses.
  63. I love days off from work.
  64. I love the sound of the kids laughing as one of the big kids plays with them.
  65. I love finding new ideas on the internet.
  66. I love sunshine.
  67. I love flip flops.
  68. I love birdhouses.
  69. I love hearing the kids learning to play an instrument.
  70. I love how my kids open up and talk to me when we are alone in the car.
  71. I love tracking deer with Aaron in the woods.
  72. I love windy fall days where the leaves fly through the still warm air.
  73. I love blogging it replaces my childhood diary.
  74. I love big cities like Chicago where a museum is just a short walk away from the hotel.
  75. I love Shelby Lynne's voice on stage.
  76. I love how Sawyer sings lullaby baby to his doll with my "only know the first verse" version.
  77. I love Camryn's singing voice.
  78. I love used book store shopping.
  79. I love thrift stores and garage sales.
  80. I love flannel and fleece fabrics.

    Saturday, December 18, 2010

    Christmas break starts now!

    We are following Cam's school schedule for our "breaks".  School is out until january 4th, 2011. Today both Pitty-pat and Tippy-toe worked in their workbooks they wanted "to do some math". I guess I forgot to tell them they were on break too. It didn't matter they wanted to "do school work" anyway. That is the beauty of homeschooling the kids actually like it. No crying, no fussing ...they beg me for more school work and more activites and more crafts. I actually have a hard time keeping up with the demand for work. I am asking santa for more colored ink for the printer. Aaron has been playing christmas music and teaching them to sing songs for the last two weeks. What a joy it is to call home and hear little voices singing along to the computer. I am blessed. Aaron and Tay went ice fishing tonight. Trent is on leave from the service. He came home last night and now is gone out again. It is always good when at least some of my kids are home. We went christmas shopping today everyone is going to be so very happy! I found a great deal on a family present! The boys may never leave the house all christmas break! We usually get one big family present we all can enjoy.

    Tuesday, December 14, 2010

    homemade ornaments

    I found these three recipes for dough ornaments.
    #1
    1 cup flour
    1 cup salt
    1/2 cup water
    2 Tblsp cinnamon
    bake 325 for 45 minuets

    #2
    1 cup applesauce
    1- 11/2 cups cinnnamon
    1/4 cup glue
    dry 2-4 days turning twice a day

    #3
     2 cups flour
    1 cup salt
    5 Tblsp cinnamon
    chill 30 minuets before rolling out, then cut with cookie cutters
    bake 325 for 45-60 minuets
    cool then paint.
    I found a gingerbread cookie cutter at the goodwill so we will be making these late today. I think I will have Cam mix, cut out  and bake then we will all  paint them after they cool down.

    *remember to punch a hole in each for the string to hang the ornaments before baking.

    Monday, December 6, 2010

    peppermint cookie play dough

    I put peppermint extract in this months plain white play dough. They loved it. It occupied them for an hour today after lunch. Little-man really enjoyed this activity. I taught him how to roll snakes. It was so cute! play dough is such good learning fun, practicing both Sensory and motor skills. It also stretches their little imaginations and they work alone on their own dough so pitty-pat isn't bossing tippy-toe. We are really focusing on tippy-toe learning to act on his own not under the force of big sis. She has gotten him in alot of trouble lately making bad choices and telling him to do things he knows is wrong. It was a survival for them but it needs to be nipped in the bud before she pulls him into real trouble and he blindly does her bidding.

    Saturday, December 4, 2010

    Sorry internet down

    sorry my internet was out for a few days

    Sunday, November 28, 2010

    Christmas cookie marathon continues

    We have been baking cookies all day and watching How to Train your Dragon. It's such a cute movie. May be time to study some Viking history. I think I see a lapbook in the making. all for now the oven is buzzing!

    Saturday, November 27, 2010

    Cinderella Saturday

    Another Cinderella Saturday-where we dressing in rags and clean the house together. It's more fun for everyone to pretend to be cinderella and I bark orders like the evil step mother. No one complains if I tell them what to do when it's a game. We moved the living room furniture so we can set up the tree in front of the window. The dust bunnies were plentiful and everywhere. Tippy-toe and Pitty-pat cleaned their rooms. The house is getting back into shape from Thanksgiving break.

    Camryn measured and mixed up dough for Christmas cookies some is in the fridge to bake tommorro and some is baking now. I used up my left over cranberry sauce in a bar cookie recipe which is in the oven now too. I hope to have a nice platter of cookies to take with me to work on Monday. The rest will go in the freezer till Christmas eve. I am out of butter so no more baking till Aaron gets out of the woods and I can go to the store. the house smells so good now.

    I put a roast in the crock pot this morning and bread in the bread machine so dinner is fixing itself tonight[ more time to clean]. Lunch was leftover raw veggies, cheese, and  pumpernickel bread from thanksgiving dinner. Easy peasy.

    Friday, November 26, 2010

    Christmas is coming!

    Tonight after work I set up the creche aka nativity scene. I will add a picture here later tonight. The kids are being buggers tonight and it was a long day at work. I also got out my little heart girl and put her in my nativity scene that why I call it a creche which has more animals and people than the basic nativity scene. I have some pieces of antique wood and hope to slap together a stable to go with my other pieces. If I get real crafty maybe I can make a manger too.

    Thursday, November 25, 2010

    Turkey Day

    Hope everyone is having a great Thanksgiving Day. We ate at noon. Aaron, myself, Jessi,Taylor, Camryn,My sister Carolyn, Aaron's son Scott and his friend Eric were here to eat. We sent platters to Aaron's Mom and David. Aimee called from South Dakota were she is visiting a high school friend Jacob. Trent called from basic training in South Carolina. Yes a chocolate pudding pie is waiting when he gets home and a pumpkin for Aimee too! It was the best holiday ever.

    Sunday, November 21, 2010

    Bubbles, Bubbles and more Bubblesl




    Yesterday while Cam was doing her dishes the sink made these huge blobs of bubbles. We all had so much fun playing with them. Tippy-toe and Pitty-pat rolled theirs on the living room floor. I just had to post the pictures.

    Our 2010 Curriculum

    Inspired by a post I saw at Our Homeschool Fun's blog I finally decided to put our curriculum down in print----well mostly. I have been afraid to put anything in writing because then in black and white the critics will have something to pick at like a flock of chickens. Believe me when you home school there is always a flock of chickens critics. So let me put in a disclaimer this is by no means everything. We deschooled alot the first year. Now the kids beg me to do "school work". I found a lot of unit studies online and fit them in for history and to follow an interest one of the kids has here or there. They enjoy the lapbooks and it fullfills my need to scrapbook as well. We do alot of the same work with Pitty-pat and Tippy-toe together. I set up learning activities and go-alongs in plastic ziplocs to reinforce what we are studying. They can go grab a bag and work indepently while I cook a meal,  care for the baby,etc.
    This year we  have really embraced the Montessori methods and adapted them to home. For example folding napkins becomes folding wash cloths and towels and the work gets done. Tippy-toe feels productive and learns just the same. Pitty-pat color sorts laundry and starts the washer with minimal help measuring the soap. Life skills I never taught my older children till much later. Cam is learning to cook. Something I should've done with my older kids as well. Montessori makes our lives so much easier. The chores are easier if you have always just been taught to do what needs to be done. Even little-man likes his extension of Montessori and will now sweep the floor no need for puff balls etc anymore when we have the real thing to sweep up. Many hands make light work.

    Preschool-2 years old
    Homeschool Creations letter worksheets
    Montessori tray activities
    Reading-BFIAR books, various board books
    ABC's, Numbers,Colors, and Shapes


    K5/1st grade
    Montessori activities
    Nature walks--bring home anything we find and study it
    1. giant water bug
    2. garter snake
    3. tadpoles
    4. leaves spring and fall
    5. bird feeders year round
    Reading-FIAR books
    Math-workbooks, printouts, activities(dominoes,dice),games
    Art-Projects I find online or in books
    Behavior-Good Manners, anger management
    Music-MP3 player
    Computer Time-Starfall
    Bible-Stories and memory verse on fridge

    2nd grade/3rd grade
    Brownie try-its book
    Montessori activities
    Nature walks--Study what we find but also
    1. moon and space
    2. life cycles-make life cycle notebook
    Reading-FIAR books, Little House on the Prairie
    Art-projects I find online, Rotate famous painting I print out and put into 8x10 frame
    Math-online math book,worksheets,manipulatives, games
    Computer time-Starfall
    Behavior-Good manners
    Music-MP3 player
    Bible-Stories and verses, Days of Creation poster

    We get a lot of ideas from Homeschool Share and HSLaunch. A lot of my printouts recently are from Sparklebox.
    *Again I say this is not a complete list just an outline of our plan for our year updated to reflect our areas of study.

    Saturday, November 20, 2010

    Whats on our shelves this week?


    Tippy-toe age 6 years
    cardboard rapunzel castle pieces(homemade from boxes)
    My fairy tales lap book-(they choose the titles you'll notice they are different)



    Pitty-pat age 8 years
    Rapunzel lapbook



    Rapunzel hair to braid-This is just some strings of yellow yarn knotted together at one end for her to practice braiding.
    Littleman age 2 years




    Put the puffballs in the clear juice bottle.(Yes, he still loves these little balls)



    safety scissors and paper strips
    button turkey




    I got this window clings at the dollar store. They work wonderfully on my refrigerator side. The kids can use the magnetic numbers to match and count the with the clings.

    National Adoption Day

    Today I want to celebrate the wonderful thing that happened in my life. As you may have read in my earlier posts Pitty-pat, Tippy-toe and Little-man are all adopted. It was the gauntlet of adoptions. See the highlight words and get your score cards out as we went through every kind of adoption but foreign adoption.
         The kids are all my relatives as my second cousin is their birth mother[relative adoption]. We have an open adoption which means she can see the kids and I send her pictures and there are occasional phone calls (she initiates these contacts). The kids were in foster care when I got them so I had to go through the Pride training to have them until the adoption was final. I was fingerprinted and had a criminal background check as part of the foster care adoption. The adoption was outsourced to an independent agency Bethany Christian Services.[agency adoption] At one time I counted we had 9  caseworkers all at the same time. It was a very difficult and frustrating 3 1/2 years of my life. I gave up all privacy, something that was very important to me. I spent ***everyday off ***for ***3 1/2 YEARS*** with a social worker, therapist or at a doctors appointment when we didn't have a monthly court date set that day. Sometimes we had two or more in one day just to fit them all in. The kids were 4 and 5 when they came to live with me.[older adoption] Then the baby came to live with us when he was just two weeks old.[infant adoption]  My family felt like they were put through hell by DHS. I understand-- but there are ways the process could be improved upon.
         It was worth it. We all love these kids. I would do it all again in a heartbeat. There are a few things they don't tell you about foster care adoption but that's another post in itself.

    If God calls you to adoption do not be afraid. Everything changes when you adopt. It is a life altering experience. It is a roller coaster ride. It is real life. LIVE IT TO THE FULLEST EVERYDAY!

    Friday, November 19, 2010

    {This moment}

    The three littlest kids were all smooshed up on the sofa watching TV when I ran to get my camera/phone as soon as they saw the camera they gave their cheesey grins (except tippy-toe). This picture is so morning around my house. If only they will stay little a while longer.

    Thursday, November 18, 2010

    quote for the day

    Some day you will be old enough to start reading fairy tales again. ---C.S. Lewis

    Wednesday, November 17, 2010

    T.H.I.N.K. Bracelets

    Got our think bracelets back out. We originally made these with ribbon but it didn't hold up. I found these metal bracelets at the Dollar Store and the alphabet beads fit nicely over them.
    T is for thoughtful
    H is for helpful
    I is for intelligent
    N is for nice
    K is for kind
    Think before you speak. If what you are going to say isn't one of these don't say it. I have a link to where I originally saw this idea in one of my earlier blogs about this activity. My girly girl loves her bracelet. It really does help with the name calling, nonsense, and bossyness.

    leonid meteteor shower tonight

    I just saw a yahoo blurb about the best time to see meteteor shower is between moon set and 530 am. I wonder is it worth getting the kids up and bundled and out of the town lights to go see it. And then anywhere far out of town away from lights is going to have hunters with guns. Gotta give this some thought.

    Tuesday, November 16, 2010

    100 things about me

    I don't really talk about myself here because this blog is about homeschooling but I saw a similar post and really liked it--so here goes--hope I can think of 100 things--In no particular order:
    1. My favorite movie is The Princess Bride  followed closely by The Notebook.
    2. I am a closet Kid Rock fan-- well he is from Michigan-- I just like his range of music styles--OK?
    3. I love to cook Thanksgiving dinner especially for people who love to eat but aren't my family.
    4. The last concert I saw was James Taylor in about 1998 the first concert I saw was Bob Seger in 1987 there haven't been a dozen concerts in between.
    5. I love to read especially science fiction and nonfiction.
    6. I have had as pets in my lifetime a cow, horses, 2 llamas, sheep,bunnies, chickens,ducks, geese, guineas,dogs, cats, fish,birds, and rescued 1 baby wild rabbit, 4 baby squirrels, baby birds, and 7 baby skunks.
    7. I have never lived in the country since age 3 years old I have always lived in town.(see number 6 again yes, that's right it's not a typo.)
    8. I had been to every State in the USA except Hawaii and Alaska by the time I was 6 years old.
    9. My vice is caffeine I drink way too much Mt. Dew. 
    10. I can't stand the taste of coffee. I try to hide it with sugar. It's is my warm caffeine.
    11. I want to live in southern Tennessee when I am old.
    12. I have found over five stray dogs and returned them all to their owners. This includes 2 grey hounds on the run. For some reason stray grey hounds run right into me.
    13. My friend's dog once ran way to my house. I found her sitting on my front porch when I opened the door.
    14. I love the smell of leather.
    15. The Valentines number--I wake up every day and thank God for sending Aaron into my life and my kids lives.
    16. We lived in our pickup camper for 3 1/2 years when I was 3 years old until I was 6 years old. We didn't own a house.
    17. I have always said I knew I was going to have seven kids. After number four I had my tubes tied and then a hysterectomy. I am proof God has a sense of humor. I adopted three more. Counting all my "step" kids I am up to 14.
    18. I was raised as an only child. My next closest sister is 17 years older.
    19. Nearly Everyone who knows me well and outside of work calls me "Aunt Tammy". Even if they are otherwise related to me.
    20. I have been a "real" aunt since I was 7 months old.
    21. I love fast cars.
    22. I got an almost perfect score on my Act's. Reading and Verbal which I think verbal means I can read and I have a big mouth right?
    23. I speak and read 3 languages-English, French and a little Spanish. But the French and Spanish are rusty since college. I can find a bathroom and swear in several more.
    24. I turn into another person in the big city. I love exploring big cities alone.
    25. I hate shopping.
    26. My hardest birthday was 25 years old because as a kid 25 was my idea of old. I cried and cried. It was harder than turning 40.
    27. My favorite Era of history is pioneer times. I think I have alot of the skills to survive if I could travel back in time and live back then. I can make soap, cook on wood stove, cut wood, sew, hunt, fish, ride a horse, butcher my own game, make jerky, and can food.
    28. I let my then 12 year old daughter go in a very small cage and pet a tiger. This is after she earned the zoo owners respect for her kangaroo walking abilities. She invented the take the baby kangaroo for a walk on our sheep collar and dog leash idea by the way.Yes! This is absolutely strange but I swear it is true. The zookeeper and his wife still remembered Aimee 5 years later when we saw them again.
    29. I am a cancer survivor since Malignant Melanoma at 16 years old.
    30. The thing that grosses me out the most by dirty dish water.
    31. My favorite restaurant is Clifford Lake Inn.
    32. Two is the number of times I have been married.
    33. Two is also the number of times I have been divorced.
    34. Seven is my favorite number.
    35. Blue is my favorite color.
    36. Garnet is my birth stone.
    37. I always wear my high school class ring.
    38. I graduated in 1985.
    39. I am a tomboy who likes to hunt and fish.
    40. The biggest fish I ever caught was a 32 pound Salmon from Lake Michigan off Ludington.
    41. I don't carry a purse.
    42. I would just forget it somewhere anyway.
    43. I like to iron.
    44. I don't own anything that needs to be ironed.
    45. I have been collecting recipes since before I could could cook.
    46. I love my job.
    47. I have an Associates Degree in Nursing.
    48. I have enough credits for a Bachelors Degree in Community Development
    49. I don't know what to do with a degree in community development.
    50. I have 27 college credits in psychology.
    51. I have taken college classes in education.
    52. I have enough college credits to legally substitute teach in Michigan.
    53. I am a thrift shopper- coupons, sales,consignment,goodwill,salvation army,and garage sales.
    54. I like to camp.
    55. I took singer/song writer Rich Mullens breakfast in bed at summer camp.(awesome god, a few good men) The girls served the guys dorm and nobody else would take Rich his cause he wasn't exactly a morning person.
    56. I have traveled to out of the country to Canada, France, Belgium, and Bermuda.
    57. I was once offered a job as a flower arranger at a wedding chapel.
    58. Aaron is my best friend.
    59. I collect green depression glass.
    60. I don't like the color green.
    61. The bread machine is my favorite kitchen tool followed by the crock pot even better is to have them both going at the same time.
    62. I mostly listen to country music but I have favorites from all kinds of music.
    63. I am  terrible speller.
    64. I once had a job as a travel agent.
    65. I have coached a high school equestrian team. We went to the state finals!
    66. My favorite hymmn is Onward Christian Soldiers.
    67. I was baptised when I was five years old by Rev. Robert Johnson in Tampa Florida. He quized me for an hour after making me wait 3 months before he would agree to baptise me. I was so short that I had to stand on 2 cement blocks to keep from drowning in the baptismal.
    68. I love sunsets. I would love sunrises except they happen early in the morning.
    69. Sleeping in for me is getting up at 6 am instead of 4:30 am for work.
    70. I  hate holidays except Thanksgiving.
    71. My favorite part of the turkey is the giblets and the skin.
    72. I was never suppost to survive to be born according to my mom's doctor. The doctor who said it rocked me for the first time in the hospital nursery.
    73. Everyone in my family dies of heart disease but my bad cholesterol is low and my good cholesterol is high.
    74. I was kissed once by a Vice President of the Unites States of America. I was a cute little baby. We were staying in the same hotel and the secret service told my parents to stand there if they wanted to see him when he came by. I can't prove this one I was too little to remember it myself even.
    75. I can remember things that happened to me before I was two years old. My earliest memory is getting lost on the path in our woods being left behind by my dad and sister because I stopped to pick black eyed susans.
    76. Black eye susans are still my favorite flower.
    77. I once had a job as a bank teller.
    78. I have eaten almost every kind of wild game-alligator,snake,turtle,venison,coon,possum,bear,too many to count.
    79. I love Indian food-tandoori, curry, lassi's and naan bread yummm!
    80. My favorite issue of Mother Earth News is number 5.
    81. I listen to public radio when I am alone in the car.
    82. I don't drink cow's milk but I like goat's milk when I can get it.
    83. I hate my long thick fine hair that tangles into knots when I sleep.
    84. I love it when my six year old cries for mama when he gets hurt--cause it won't be much longer and he'll be all grown up and won't want his mama.
    85. I love it when my 16 year old son wants his mama to help him when he gets a deer because he's too grown up for number 84 anymore.
    86. I have made 27 scrapbook photo albums.
    87. I still have pictures I haven't got into albums.
    88. I collect rocks from places where I travel or special events I attend.
    89. I have a rock in my car right now from the first day of Tippy-toe going hunting with Daddy.
    90. I am ambidexerious I can write with either hand. I used to play school as the teacher with my left hand and student with the right hand.
    91. I learned to read when I was four years old.
    92. I have no desire to make anyones meal look like turkeys, trees, or easter bunnies!
    93. My favorite way to unwind is a long bubble bath with a good book untill the water gets cold.
    94. I am not a good housekeeper remember Matha Stewart has a staff of 100's making her look good.
    95. My favorite ice cream  flavor is blue moon.
    96. I love to travel.
    97. I love to explore caves especially in Bermuda because they don't have bats there.
    98. I was a Sunday School teacher for  twelve years.
    99. God called me to be a missionary in High School, he didn't send me to a foreign country.
    100. I am a child of the King.

    Funny thing happened on the way to....

    Yesterday was a major holiday here in Michigan--Opening Day of Firearm Deer Season. My son got two deer and since nobody in his dad's family eats venison I went up to pick the deer up. On the way up there we saw twenty cars pulled off the side of the road. Finally my 8 year old daughter turned to me and said "Why are all those people broke down today?" She was so worried we would be next. I guess nobody told her it was deer season. She was relieved to know it was just hunters parking along the road. I laughed so hard. Then Tippy-toe spoted a quad on a trailer."My daddy's is faster!",Pitty-pat said. It certainly wasn't boring on the ride up there.

    What are we reading?

    Little-man loves books all of a sudden. He has to carry one around. His night time favorite is Time for Bed by Mem Fox and illustrated by Jane Dyer. He just loves animals. Daddy has been teaching him to say all the animal sounds. I have to watch him though he is rather hard on even the board books.


    Tippy-toe and Pitty-pat enjoy fairy tales and since Tangled the disney movie comes out soon I have been reading this pre Brothers Grim version of Rapunzel. We just lucked into it with the boxes of books we were given.

    Monday, November 15, 2010

    Making Pies Theme


     I have a small pumpkin that is begging me to bake it for a pie. So today is a Making Pies theme. My mom has been gone 1 1/2 years now but I have fond memories of making pumpkin pies from scratch with our own pumpkins right out of the garden at age 5 years old. The picture below is my mothers tattered copy of the Betty Crocker Cook Book and her favorite mixing bowl. The many riped and torn pieces of paper stuffed in are her collected recipes from friends.
    Making pie crust to cool so we can roll it out later.
     
     
    Pitty-pat washing our pumpkin
    If doing this yourself look for the really dark orange small pumpkins. Those are the pie pumpkins.

    Baking our pumpkin in the oven at 350 degrees for 1 hour until golden and soft.

    Letting it stand until it was cool enough to touch was the hardest part.

    Soft and mushy in the inside. Pitty pat refused to touch the insides to scoop them out and throw them away.


    The meaty insides was then scooped and peeled away from the skin and frozen to use in pies next week.














    Activities I found to do while the pumpkin baked
    1. P is for pumpkin bingo marker art-haven't tried this with little-man yet but he loves to paint. These are from here at Homeschool Creations. ( I cut the P is for Penny half of the page off and I am saving it for Presidents Day.)
    2. Cherry Pie Play dough mat from Pre-Kinders.We are using this for a counting activity with red pom-poms.(This activity could also be brought back again for President's Day.)
    3. Paper plate pumpkin pie -I saw this great stArt activity at almost unschoolers. stART is story+art from A Mommy's Adventures I can't wait to see more of these ideas. I just happen to have all the basic supplies for this easy peasy art idea.
    4. Pie fractions felt activity-- I made this a long time ago. It is just different colored circles cut into fractions 1/2,1/3,1/4,and 1/8ths. I have to slip a little math in today. How big a piece of pie do you want?
    5. Pie crust instead of play dough to make into little tarts and bake for dessert today.Mom always had extra for this so I wouldn't get into her pies.

    Sunday, November 14, 2010

    sensory tubs

    Little man loved his new November sensory tub. I just have to watch him close when he explores it.
    November--Thanksgiving
    2 packages of foam turkeys from Rite-Aid for 1.00 each
    yellow and orange feathers
    black pom-poms
    a rock-for Plymouth rock
    a wooden mayflower ship cut out-from the Dollar store pirate cut outs package
    wooden Indian beads
    miniature gourds
    yellow and orange pipe cleaner circles

    Now I see sensory tub materials everywhere I go. I already have two more in the works. I am collecting the items in a large ziplock baggy by theme.

    December--Gingerbread man
    red pipe cleaner swirls
    red glass stones
    red and green pompoms
    gingerbread boy and gingerbread girl felt stickers form JoAnn's $1.00/pkg

    January--Snowman
    silver rick rack
    snowman felt stickers form JoAnn's $1.00/pkg
    white pom-poms
    clear glass stones
    white pipe cleaner swirls
    white and silver ribbons strips recycled from a broken hair tie

    How to draw a turkey!

    I found this link to Art Projects for Kids showing how to draw a turkey. We just had to make a few yesterday. i printed out the turkey then had the kids trace over with tracing paper then they painted them with coffee and sprinkled salt on the turkeys. They all loved this activity! Especially little-man, he often has used brown paint it's his favorite and he got a paintbrush for the first time. Tippy-toe who hates handwriting traced two turkeys no problem, no fuss. And the paint smells so good and I don't have to worry if they taste it. Hurray! I pinned the tracing paper and picture to their cork boards so it would stay put for the work.

    What's on our shelves this week?

     What's going on this week? Well, we are celebrating thanksgiving early since Trent leaves this week for Basic Training. So our theme is  Native Americans!
    Indian corn under investigation. Tippy-toe likes his new magnifying glass. He's a detective. Here he is looking at all the colors of our indian corn under the microscope.

    

    I saw this idea for a dino play mat last week but can't find the paper-- I wrote down on where I saw this idea. If you know where it is from please email me so I can link back to it. Little-man likes to hide the dinos in the pockets I left open under the grass and behind the volcano, which is my twist on this cute mat.. Found the link  I saw it here. Thanks for the great idea.

    These pumpkin life cycle cards are also freebies from Montessori for Everyone. We are watching our Halloween pumpkins decompose still so we are stuck on the whole pumpkin theme.
    These cards are from Montessori for Everyone. They are free printables in the cultural section.Last year we focused on the Pilgrims at Thanksgiving so this year we are studying the Native American Peoples. We are fortunate to live near a reservation with a children's cultural museum and will be making a field trip there this week.




    

    Saturday, November 13, 2010

    November is National Adoption Month

    I would like to give a big Thank You of appreciation to Bethany Christian Services this month for both of our adoption's! Yes, Pitty-pat, tippy-toe and little-man are all half-syblings, my cousins, and my adopted ones. Thank you to R.C. our adoption worker from Bethany  and R.G our social worker from DHS. The kids are all doing great. Bethany Christian Services were wonderful to us all. I know our circumstances were unique since it was a relative adoption and they treated us so nicely. Little-man is my bonus he came to live with us 1 week before the first adoption was final. So we were in the process of adoption for two years non stop. It seemed like it would never be over, but today we are a complete family and I am so thankful to all who helped to keep us together. Family should take care of family. Families should be kept together. I don't like to talk about our adoption here because I feel like it puts a label on the kids. After all they always were my family just recycled from being my little cousins to my little children. Love knows no labels.

    What's on our bookshelf this week?

    With the addition of an entire new library I have decided to do a post on "What's on our book shelf this week" and make it a series of running posts.
    Pitty-pat enjoyed The Starry Sky, The Sun And Moon by Patrick Moore. We are working on a Browny Try-it and this book fits with our phases of the moon theme. Although she couldn't read it herself, she did try then we read it together.
    Tippy-toe got Petrosinella a neopolitan rapunzel by Giambattista Basile for his bedtime story last night. The illustrations by Diane Stanley are wonderful. Since Tangled, a new movie comes out in november I thought a non-disney version of the fairy tale was in order.
    We are really enjoying our new library. Little-man couldn't wait to show me his board books last night when I got home from work. OOK! mama  book. (Which is little-man for Look mom a book.) Someone had given him his books to read so he would leave theirs alone.

    Friday, November 12, 2010

    Veteran's Day

    Today I honor my favorite veteran--the one who raised me to respect the flag --and those who died serving to protect our freedom. My Dad served in WWII in the Philippines, Borneo and south pacific islands. While in the Phillipines he and my Uncle were attacking the same hill from different sides. my Dad served in the Army my Uncle Russell in the marines when their units met at the top of the hill after the battle my Dad met up with his brother in law's unit but my uncle was not with them he had led the way looking for snipers. My dad was the one to find the body and identify my uncle. I honor my Dad who came back to have me and my uncle who died to protect our freedom. My Dad is gone now but I honor his memory especially as tommoro November 13th would be his birthday.

    Wednesday, November 10, 2010

    Books, Books, Books

    Today at work I found out about two local elementary schools that were closed and they were giving all the leftover books away. I brought home 7 boxes of childrens books for my homeschool library. What a blessing! There are so many I can't wait to put them on my shelves. any that didn't get taken were all going to recycling. I love books ---no,  I really love books. I am so sad that we live far from a real book store. My kids will never know the joy of going into a book store and picking out books the way I did as child. but we will have a huge home library now. I can't wait to catelog them. I am going to leave all the library bindings on them. Science books, picture books, art books,story books-Books, books, books! It is a wonderful thing!

    Tuesday, November 9, 2010

    WOW!! I've been nominated for an award!

    Don't forget to vote here I've been nominated for the best new homeschool blog 2010! please vote for me! or here for best nitty gritty! WOW! I can't believe it! I started blogging may 2010 just to keep a record of our homeschool activities in case of any questions about our homeschool activites and as a place to journal my thoughts. I was so excited when a published author commented on one of my post. I am still learning and growing with my blog.

    what are sprouts?

    While making our lap books Pitty-pat asked me what the sprouts were that jesse bear had for lunch. I found this science in a bag idea from http://www.preschoolexpress.com/ that explains how to grow your own sprouts in detail  easy peasy

    SCIENCE IN A BAG
    SPROUTING SPROUTS
    Day 1:
    Take a small zip-lock bag and using a needle, punch a few holes in the bottom seam of the bag.
    Set out a bowl of seeds, and have your child place a teaspoon of seeds in a bag. Alfalfa or mung bean seeds work best.
    Zip the bag closed and have your child place the bag in a bowl of warm water.
    Soak the seeds overnight.
    Day 2:
    The next day, have your child take the bag out of the water and let it drain, then let it sit in indirect sunlight the rest of the day.
    Day 3:
    For the next few days, have your child dunk their bag in water for a few seconds, then drain and again set in indirect light.
    Day 4:
    On the fourth day, have your child set the seeds in the sun.
    Day 5:
    Have children watch the sprouts turn green.
    These sprouts can be eaten by sprinkling them on top of a green salad or on top of cream cheese spread on crackers.
    I am going to try this with Pitty-pat and Tippy-toe. We may not have a book store but we do have  three health food stores in a ten mile radius. I wish we had planned ahead and started this earlier.

    Monday, November 8, 2010

    Jesse Bear What will you Wear?

    We are rowing Jesse Bear what will you wear? This week after a small delay because of the printer and life. I am using some prinouts from homeschool share which has a great lap book for this unit. We also made the bear paper dolls-even little-man. I covered his in contact paper for longer use and because I love everything he colors 'cause he just got to use crayons so each colored picture is so sweet ( especially to this momma who knows he's her last baby and he is growing up too fast!) The kids including Little-man and Cam are really getting into the five in a row. We all really enjoy it. It is much more flexible and fits our multi-age range family better.

    Sunday, November 7, 2010

    Family Movie Night

    With so many kids going out to the movies isn't really an option right now but Pitty-pat has the solution. "Turn all the lights off and eat popcorn, It's like a movie theater in here." So when we buy a new movie we do just that, this time it was Toy Story 3. Everyone sat on the couch together with bags of popcorn in the dark even our nineteen year old couldn't resist and soon joined us. It's alot of fun and worth the price of admission. It is also good practice for when we really do go out--sitting still, not talking during the movie, and everyone go to the bathroom first.

    Saturday, November 6, 2010

    There are many versions of the Coffee Mug Cake out there, but this recipe comes from

    Homemade mamma's website looks like even Aimee could make it hummmm????



    What You Need:
    4 Tbsp. Self-Rising Flour
    4 Tbsp. Sugar
    3 Tbsp. Oil
    3 Tbsp. Milk
    2 Tbsp. Unsweetened Cocoa
    3 Tbsp. Chocolate Chips
    1 Egg
    1 Splash of Vanilla
    1 Large Coffee Mug

    First, mix all your dry ingredients in your mug, then add the egg. Mix well, then add the milk and oil, mixing some more. Stir in the chocolate chips and vanilla. Pop your batter-filled mug into the microwave and let it cook for 2 1/2 to 3 minutes (it will puff up over the top of the mug, so don't be worried when you see that). Once it's done you can eat it right out of the mug...
     thought  of you when I saw this Aimee!

    What's on our shelves?

    I put together these activities  for  little-man  age 2 years:
    1.It is a Gerber snack can with 6 holes punched in the top with my paper punch. These are just the right size for some wooden pickup sticks from the Dollar Daze store to fit through. He loves it! He can even take the lid off and get them back out himself already. I have seen several variations of this same activity on every Montessori blog I have read. It just took me this long to get around to making one myself but it only took 2 minuets to assemble it. Probably kind of young for him considering how easy it was the first time he tried it.
    2. Farm Animals Book with matching  plastic animals.
    3. Pompom balls and sorting cups in three matching colors.


    I put together several activity bags to keep the bigger ones entertained this week.

    For my 8 year old girl--Pitty-pat
    1. Fusion beads
    2. Embroidery hoop with buttons needle and thread
    3. crochet hook and small length of yarn
    4. Beads and pipe cleaners for stringing
    5. numbered index cards and small stickers for counting 11-15
    6. Peg and scraps of fabric to make peg doll


    For my 6 year old boy--Tippy-toe
    1. Fusion beads
    2. Peg and scraps of fabric for  making a peg superhero doll
    3. lego batman and joker toy with batmobile car
    4. small lego blocks
    5. numbered index cards and stickers for counting
    6. funny dice and counting chips
    ( Tippy-toe doesn't have the fine motor coordination to sew or crochet yet.)

    I like to keep each activity in pencil bags I found on clearance after school started this year for $0.25 each. They are clear so they can see which activity to pick and each goes back before they can have another one. It keeps all the little parts away from little-man.


    Thanksgiving resources

    I got this recipe form Pre-K Themes:
    Pumpkin Pie in a Cup
    Ingredients: 1 can Libby’s Pumpkin Pie filling, 2 boxes vanilla instant pudding, milk, 1 container of Cool Whip, graham cracker crumbs, 3 oz size paper or plastic cups OR if you can find the Jell-O instant Pumpkin Pie Pudding use that instead of the pumpkin pie filling and vanilla pudding.
    Prepare the vanilla pudding according to directions and refrigerate.
    Mix the can of Libby’s pumpkin pie filling (not plain pumpkin) with the chilled pudding.
    Fill a 3 oz. cup with a layer of graham cracker crumbs or vanilla wafer crumbs
    Spoon pumpkin/pudding mixture into each cup
    Top each cup with a spoonful of Cool Whip
    I just bought mini graham cracker pie crusts--Yummy and mostly healthy!

    Pre-k themes also has a nice word wall pdf here we are using.

    Postcard geography

    I joined a post card swap and we got our first card this week from amish country in Pennsylvania. The kids are so excited to get mail. I can't wait to see where we get postcards along with the kids. My coworkers have sent the kids postcards from places they have vacationed and the kids can't wait to get out the map. I just checked my email and sent requests for more exchanges, so much fun.

    My answered prayer still

    When I got the kids (Pitty-pat and Tippy-toe) I knew it was going to be hard for us so I prayed that if God was Calling me to do this he would provide for us and I would swallow my pride and take all the help that was provided. It has been interesting to date I have not NEEDED to buy ANY of the kids clothes. Yes we have bought a few new things but for the most part K. and A. from work have given me hand me downs for the three oldest, E. has given us a halloween costume, booster seat for the table, K. and B. have given us books, B.B. has helped with babysitting so I could work on call--many times free,many others have given us clothes for the three littlest,A. gave us christmas one year,KDand DD just gave us clothes, a phonics program and a bedspread;--Once PS gave me a bunch of shoes to big for us and the next week Camryn needed that very size shoe--God knows our needs before we do and provides! Thank you God for all you have given us. And thank You to all who have helped us in the last three years-Do you know how God is using you to help others?
    Updates: 8 Nov 2010 K. gave us  2 bottles of baby wash, juice boxes, gummies left over from her friend's visit- Thank you and God Bless

    Wednesday, November 3, 2010

    hurray computer is back!

    What's on our shelves this week?
    Found these pompom balls in three colors on clearance at Dollar General's halloween bin for $0.50 They match his stacking cups for a color sort  but he just likes pouring them from one cup to another. Still need to work on color recognition.


    Found these funky shaped golf tees at Dunhams couldn't resist buying them for this stick the tee in the foam square activity.

    Sunday, October 31, 2010

    My computer is down

         Sorry I won't be able to blog much this week my computer is down but I will save all my photos and back post some of our activities.
         This week will be doing a unit study on dinosaurs. I printed cards from ABC teach and Montessori Print Shop. I also printed out an alligator life cycle worksheet that I laminated so both kids could use it as an activity from ABC teach.
          In our learning book basket is Fossils, a golden guide; DK pocket Dinosaurs,DK readers Dinosaur's Day by Ruth Thompson, Digging up Dinosaurs by Aliki, The Magic School Bus in the time of the dinosaurs by Joanna Cole, To Get A Dinosaur by Tim Johnson, The Question and Answer Book discovering Fossils, Dinosaur Explorer by Douglas Dixon, The Natural History Museum book of Dinosaurs by Tim Gardom and Dinosaur Dream by Dennis Nolan. I wish I owned the book Paul Strickland commented on for use with this unit. I am waiting for it on paperbackbookswap.com.


    We are reading  the FIAR  book What will You Wear Jesse Bear by Nancy White Carlstrom.

    Friday, October 29, 2010

    Leaf collection

    Last fall we started a leaf collection and added on to it this spring--- so where did it go now that Cam needs to make one for Pathfinder Scouts? Of course we have 60 mile per hour wind gusts all this week so all our Michigan leaves are in Lake Huron by now. But a couple of my coworkers were kind enough to bring her leaves from their yard. So we  have all 35 she needed to identify. She  has started a new scrapbook to keep them in. I hope we don't loose this one. I do love these projects and think the kids learn alot. Now she just needs to to find 35 seeds. We did find this cool osage orange ball at the golf course near our house. I stopped the car and thought it was a black walnut for her to pick up but that thing was huge. Still loooking for that black walnut and leaves from a black walnut tree. Maybe a walk around this halloween eve will find a few leaves left on the trees or seeds.

    Sunday, October 24, 2010

    FIAR-What Will You Wear Jesse Bear?

    I found this book on sale in hard cover this weekend! I remember reading it over and over again to my daughter Jessica who we call "Jessi". She loved how she and the bear had the same name. It doesn't seem like that was over 20 years ago. Who would've thought after 20 years I would still be reading the same book to my 6 and 8 year old children. I can't wait to read it to the kids.At least T.C. still has a decent book store downtown I hope book stores never go the way of other small businesses. Our  town no longer has one and there is only two used ones in the biggest town near us. Now I just need to start looking for the go-togethers for this book. Oh and get ink for the printer.

    Saturday, October 23, 2010

    What's on our school shelves this week?

    I like the style of posts about "what's on our shelves?" So, here is "What's on our school shelves this week?" I am setting up for the week late this time. Aaron and I spent the day up in T. C. for his birthday. I usually set up on Friday night or Saturday Morning because this is when I get organized and am home from work and so I am able to get the most done.
    The kids alll love the apple sort-small, medium, and large--so that will stay a little longer. I found the basket for $0.50 at a garage sale this summer. The apples are from Walmart in the flower arrangement aisle.

    I am also leaving the sand tray for tracing letters but have put a couple of shells and polished stones in with it.  In the style of a zen meditation garden for this week (for Pitty-pat).


    Pumpkin pompom sort. The pumpkins were gifts filled with candy last week.

    Clothes pin color match. The clothes pins are from Dollar tree. We already owned them. I saw this online here in a larger form and thought it would be good scaled down to teach little man his primary colors.

    Little-man also has his orange and yellow leaf sort cups. The cups are from his stacking cup set.

    We bought this book in T.C. this weekend. I am starting a rock collection for the kids and we also found an educational placemat to go along with this on our trip this weekend at the educational toy store.(everyone)

    Rythym instruments (Little-man)

    Tonight I made a big batch of no cook pumpkin play dough so I am setting up a basket with this(everyone).They played for an hour this morning with the play dough.

    I found a mortar for grinding some popcorn.(Pitty-pat and Tippy-toe)

    I made a basket of opening things for little-man.

    The measuring square dowels and ruler are also new.(Tippy-toe is really into measuring)
    .
    And an opposites learning game I found at the dollar store.(Pitty-pat)

    We are reading our FIAR book and reading aloud Little house in the Big Woods.

    “Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.” -- Henry David Thoreau


    Practical life-penny polishing WARNING!!!!!

    I have seen several penny polishing ideas on blogs showing people using vinegar to have kids polish pennies. Vinegar and copper makes chemically  a DEADLY POISON! My mother would put three or four pennies in a  jar with vinegar to make this. It was her home remedy for ring worm. It is absorable through the skin. This means using that seemingly harmless vinegar everyone is going green and cleaning with to clean pennies could POISON YOUR CHILD even if they never put anything in their mouth!!!!!! Please use caution do not do this. My mom always said it was a deadly poison. No I don't recomend putting it on ring worm either thank you.

    Practical Life-Corn grinding

    We found a pestle and mortar for grinding spices for $9.95 plus tax in a small shop this weekend. I can't wait to set up a corn grinding activity for the kids this week as we ease into Thanksgiving time and incorporate a few  American Indian activities. It is a solid white ceramic model which is just the right size for my 6 and 8 year old. I saw a miniature one in an antique shop across the street from where I bought this one for $18.00. It was smaller than a tea cup. It would've worked for spices but not the corn. I am also really looking for the nut cracker that is screw like not like a vise.  As soon as I order one from a Montessori catalog I know I will find a store with one.

    Friday, October 22, 2010

    what to do with those extra square dowels

    I had those square dowels left over from our weather vane project and while cruising around the web I found this page from the packer family that cut the square dowels into 1, 2, 3, 4...8,.and 9 inch lengths for measuring. Tippy-toe is obsessed with the tape measure now so this is a perfect use for those extra pieces of dowel i have been saving. I love finding ways to use what I already have laying around.
    I also liked her idea of spooning marbles on to an egg crate foam piece.

    Thursday, October 21, 2010

    Pumpkin Prayer

    I must confess the whole halloween thing is an issue for me. While I love carving pumpkins, and drying the seeds to eat. The trick or treating is not as fun. My kids love to dress up and meet the neighbors but I don't want to leave God out of our lives.

    I found this little prayer I want to share with you today.

    Dear God,

    As I carve my pumpkin, help me say this prayer:
    Open my mind so I can learn about You; (Cut the top of the pumpkin)
    Take away all my sin and forgive me for the wrong things I do; (Clean out the inside)
    Open my eyes so Your Love I will see; (Cut eyes shaped like hearts)
    I'm sorry for turning up my nose to all You've given me; (Cut a nose in the shape of the cross)
    Open my ears so Your Word I will hear; (Cut ears shaped like the Bible)
    Open my mouth so I can tell others You're near; (Cut mouth in the shape of a fish)
    Let Your Light shine in all I say and do! Amen. (Place a candle and light)

    It is from Homeschool Nature Study

    Fun with Sight Words

    I saw this neat post and followed the link back to The Everyday Homeschool blog where I saw this neat game for sight words. It is a fun way to learn to spell and recognize sight words.
     I have also made 3 ring books for each level of sight words. I bought the 3 ring scrapbooks at the Dollar Tree and put one sight word in black ink on each page. This limits the distractions for my kids. There are no bright colors, pictures or doodads on the page so they can focus on what each word is and the spelling. Pitty-pat can recognize all of them this way but stumbles over them when reading in a book with other print like her Little House book.
    Tippy-toe also is working with the phonics object box I made. He loves to get a drawer out and work with it. This is a very montessori thing.  Montesssori works well for kids with RAD.

    Sunday, October 17, 2010

    continent boxes-just starting to gather ideas from all over

    I found these white boxes on clearance sale at Walmart for $5.00 in the office supply section. I plan to leave them white but color code the labels when I can type them neatly.(Out of printer ink again and toner for the laser printer too)

    Europe - red
    South America - pink
    Asia - Yellow
    Antarctica - white
    Australia (Australasia) - brown
    North America - orange
    Africa - green

    Countries we'd studied so far: China (The Story About Ping,Mulan), America(Little House in the Big Woods),Spain,Guatemala,France(Madeline)

    *Continent Cards from jojoebi 

    *Animals
    animals by continent cards I found here from sporschool
     animal list from montessori candy's blog that I have added more animals on to.I think we have alot of these already. I found our Desert Toob from Safari Ltd that I got on sale at Michael's. In it is an Explorer, Horned Lizard, Saguaro Cactus, Road Runner, Scorpion, Rattle Snake, Coyote, Big Horn Ram, Bobcat, Armadillo, Mountain Lion and Prairie Dog. Some of them have gone missing and I think the teenager's who played with them last are in trouble. The teens like the homeschool activities as much as the little-ones do.They seem to want to test all the activities out for the littles.
    Animals of Africa:
    Aardvark
    African Adult Elephant
    Camel
    African Wild Dog
    Giraffe
    White Rhino
    Cheetah
    Warthog
    Lowland Gorilla Male

    Animals of Asia:
    Brown Bear
    Panda
    Leopard
    Praying Mantis
    Hare
    Orangutan
    Siberian Tiger
    Elephant
    Red Panda
    Arabian Camel

    Arabian Wildcat and Turkish Van Kedi
    Arabian Horse
    Bengal Tiger/White Tiger
    Asian Elephant
    Leopard/Snow Leopard
    Indian Rhinoceros
    Caracal
    Peacock
    Cobra

    Animals of Antarctica:
    Chin Strap Penguin
    Emperor Penguin
    Giant Squid
    Humboldt Penguin
    Humpback Whale
    Rockhopper Penguin
    Sperm Whale
    Walrus
    Polar Bear
    Octopus
    Harp Seal
    Dolphin
    Sailfish

    Animals of Australia:
    Platypus
    Cockatoo
    Kangaroo
    Koala
    Blue Whale
    Octopus
    Crocodile
    Humpback Whale
    White Shark
    Sperm Whale

    Animals of Europe:
    Owl
    Hedgehog
    Brown Bear
    Wild Boar
    German Shepherd
    Border Collie
    Dalmatian
    Frog
    Harp Seal
    Ladybug
    Hermit Crab

    Animals of North America:
    Squirrel
    Beaver
    Anteater
    Deer
    Bald Eagle
    Wolf
    Bison
    Moose

    Animals of South America:
    Llama
    Donkey
    Armadillo
    Alpaca
    Iguana
    Flamingo
    Great Horned Owl
    Honey Bee
    Toucan
    Macaw
    Hermit Crab


    *food lists
    AFRICA
    here is a list of commom african foods and spices I found that I thought would be good to include.
    Common Ingredients for Traditional African Food
    (where available)
    Vegetables
    Yams, Okra, Watermelon, Cassava, Groundnuts, Black-eyed Peas, Cabbage, Maize - corn,Sweet Potatoes Meats
    Chicken,Pork,Beef and Fish of local varieties
    Spices
    Garlic
    Melegueta pepper - West African (substitute use cardamon), cloves, black peppercorns, cardamom,nutmeg, turmeric, pilau mix , curry powder, Lemons,Rice

    ASIA
    middle eastern spices
    cumin,nutmeg,cardamom,tumeric, sumac, caraway,aniseed,allspice,cinnamon
    Indian Spices
    Asofoetida,daal,coriander,curry,cumin,star anise,saffron,tamarind,tumeric

    Other things to include:
    * textiles such as a piece of silk for China, wool tartan plaid for Scotland, cotton and buckskin for North America, alpaca wool  for South America
    * paperdolls showing tradional dress
    *maps
    *money
    *flags
    *stamps and postcards(I have been asking friends and co-workers going on vacation to send the kids postcards from flat stanley. Its my very own version of the flat stanley project! They love seeing where he is now.. but... "How does he know us?"... Pitty-pat asks every time a card comes to our house. I love it because it is the first time she showed stranger recognition and means she is growing out of her RAD (reactive attachment disorder) I love my two little RADishes. So far we have received postcards from South Dakota, Paris, St. Lucia, Arizona, Wyoming, Wisconsin and Minnesota--looking forward to many more soon who knows maybe someday I can afford a vacation and mail a card myself.

    antartica
    I found this great lifecyle of the penguin from Honey to print. It is a link I found at another website while searching for montessori continent box ideas.
    North America
    I got a wildflowers poster at the Michigan visitors center this summer. In fact I have and extra copy for the first person to comment on this blog page.

    o is for owl

    I got his idea from "no time for flash cards's" blog but my computer locks up because of all the bells and whistles found there... so I am not including a link.(and I have high speed internet too lol)
    But here are our owl crafts we made..

    Tippy-toe's owl
    Pitty-pat's

    Cam's

    I think this is Em's (who was visiting us) and made one too.

    pumpkin flour recipe

    I plan to try this with an extra pumpkin. Pumpkin bread with pumpkin flour yummy!
    Pumpkin Flour Recipe from pumpkin's nook.com

    "Description: Pumpkin flour is a great substitute for use in just about any recipe that uses flour. Pumpkin Flour is rich in minerals and vitamins, many of which are believed to have several medicinal benefits (see below).
    Pumpkin Flour most likely originated in Mexico, the origin of pumpkins. It is popular there today.
    Potential and real medical benefits include:
    Aids gastrointestinal ailments
    Cancer avoidance and treatment
    Kidney ailments
    Diabetes- both helps in deterring the onset of Diabetes, as well as treatment.
    Heart ailments.
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Ingredients:
    There's just one ingredient..........one or more pumpkins.
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Preparation Directions:
    Select one or more fresh, ripe pumpkins. Sugar pie variety makes a good, slightly sweet flour.
    Cut open the pumpkin, remove and discard seeds and strings.
    Remove the skin from the pumpkin. Use a sharp knife for hard skins. A potato peeler may work on soft shelled varieties.
    Slice pumpkin into thin slices and set out to dry. A food dehydrator is helpful.
    Allow pumpkin to completely dry.
    Place slices into a food processor and grind into a flour-like texture.
    Place pumpkin flour into an airtight container, and store in a cool, dry place.
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Using Pumpkin Flour:
    Pumpkin Flour can be used in any recipe that calls for flour. Most recipes suggest substituting pumpkin flour for up to 1/4 of the amount of regular flour.
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------"

    apple pizza

    At the 4 c's I found this wonderful recipe to make with the little kids today.

    Apple Pizza


    Apple Topping:

    2 tablespoons butter
    2 large cooking apples
    1/2 cup sugar
    2 tablespoons flour
    1 teaspoon cinnamon

    Peel and slice the apples. Melt butter in skillet, add apples, sugar, flour, and cinnamon. Simmer 15 minutes, then cool.


    Cheese Topping:

    4 ounces cream cheese
    2 tablespoons sugar
    1 tablespoon lemon juice
    1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

    Mix in a bowl and set aside.

    Streusel Topping:

    1/3 cup flour
    1/3 cup sugar
    1/4 cup soft butter

    Mix in a bowl and set aside.

    Crust:

    2 3/4 to 3 cups flour
    1 package dry yeast
    3 tablespoons sugar
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1/2 cup water
    1/4 cup milk
    1/4 cup butter or margarine

    Blend 1 1/2 cup flour, yeast, sugar, and salt in a large mixer bowl. Heat water, milk, and butter until very warm; add to flour mixture and beat three minutes. By hand, stir in enough flour to make a soft dough. Cover and let rise 15 minutes. Pat dough onto a large oiled pizza pan, forming a rim around the edge. Spread on cheese topping, then apple topping over cheese; sprinkle with streusel topping. Cover and let rise for 15 minutes. Bake at 375 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes. Serve warm or cold. Serves 16.

    Harvest Sort-Montessori tray

    This was left over from our scale weights and measures activity so I recycled the corn and beans into a sorting activity. Tippy-toe had fun but he is old enough to not put things in his mouth like this. I wouldn't try this with my 2 year old.

    Saturday, October 16, 2010

    Happy 8th Birthday Pitty-pat

    Today is Pitty-pat's 8th birthday! I have a confetti cake all ready to frost for her. When Cam and Daddy get home today Tippy-toe and I plan to go shopping. She wants some junk off the tv but I hope to get something she will like better longer. I just don't know what yet. I gave my best ideas away already.

    Thursday, October 14, 2010

    Montessori Trays

    Today I set up an apple sort game with small, medium, and large plastic apples to sort. Pitty-pat flew through it. So I put her to work helping Tippy-toe with the sand tray alphabet station I made for him. he was really frustrated he can't make his letters very well and needs practice. I thought this might be a great way to encourage him to practice. One of my co-worker's wives is a Montessori teacher and she suggested a few things I need to work on with him. I found the perfect tray last Saturday for $0.25 at a garage sale. The very white sand was $3.00 from Walmart in the vase and flower area. I saw a post this week about using salt but I know he will touch his eyes and salt will burn. The post this week was to tell me I really need to get on it and set up this activity. I will post pictures as soon as I can load them on the computer.

    Wednesday, October 13, 2010

    Great Place to find books

    I just joined the paperback book swap. I got two free swaps for posting 10 unwanted books--duplicates and old babysitter's club books nobody will read. On the way is a book I need for my FIAR lessons. Not a bad trade. If you sign up give them my info as a referal and I will earn more books please. My nickname is mittenmom. Click on either link to sign up.

    Random Acts of Reading

    Because of all the great Montessori ideas we have enjoyed from mymontessorijourney's blog I have prepared two random acts of reading packs and plan to have the kids leave them at the park today. you can learn about this neat project at Random Acts of Reading. her goal was 2,010 books in 2010 so here is my little contribution of  2 not alot but easy enough. I was working up Goodnight Moon for my FIAR and remembered reading about it on this blog so I just made 3 copies of everything and now we can share 2. I really feel books are important. Our local book store closed and now we only have the public libray which is not nearly as nice (people really aren't friendly who work there). I always want to keep the books way too long--which makes the clerks grouchy! You'd think they would look at the fines that pay their salary as a good thing.

    Fabric letters and numbers

    I found this great idea for fabric letters from counting coconuts (who I follow for great ideas )saw at ohsohappytogether . I plan to make these instead of sandpaper montessori letters. He hates anything rough and loves his fleece. Even at 2 weeeks of age he could tell the difference between the feel of  two fleece blankets. I think all three small ones at my house will love these.

    Tuesday, October 12, 2010

    Weather Station

    I saw this great idea for making a weather station. We are making the weather vane I found at Franklin's forecast . We cut our tail and head out of  a square icecream pail lid that was going to be thrown out (repurposed) I bought the square dowel 12 inches long at michael's. It came in a pack of 8 and I plan on using the rest of them for a math activity as they are in graduating thicknessess. The nail and the metal washer was found in my junk drawer. Now I just need my post and broom handle. I plan on putting a full weather station in my rock garden. I will make a rain guage next. I will paint a snow gauge on the post. Here in Michigan we measure the snow more than the rain. I think we will be able to see it from the kitchen window.

    The Rain
    The rain is raining all around,
    It falls on field and tree,
    It rains on the umbrellas here,
    and on the ships at sea.
    --Robert Louis Stevenson

    Monday, October 11, 2010

    my favorites for children book list

    Corduroy Little-man's favorite at age 2

    The Giving Tree read this in french in high school still love it!

    Go, dog Go! Read this every night for a year to Tippy-toe when he first came to live with me at age 4

    The Mitten  I read it last year to the kids

    I Love you Like Crazy Cakes Great book about adoption love

    Littleman's other age 2 favorite

    Love you Forever This book we own 5 copies-- because my dad would hide them because he cried everytime he read it to my daughter Aim-Everytime he hid one she bought a new one-- this went on for years! She's nineteen and still loves it.

    Little House Series Every girl should read this series.

    Anything illustrated by Eloise Wilkin-I am unable to resist even if I already have a copy.

    The House That Had Enough  my mom thought reading this to my son would make him clean his room.

    A Winkle in time, A Swiftly Tilting Planet and I forget the third bood by Madeline L'Engle

    The Trumpet of the Swan