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.
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

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 that explains how to grow your own sprouts in detail  easy peasy

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.