Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Jesse Tree

This year in a big push to put CHRIST back in CHRISTmas I am doing a Jesse tree. I found a geat explaination at Ramblings of a Crazy Woman . I am using some of her great ideas to make ornaments with the kids. So we will have four of each on our Jesse Tree I needed a rather large tree branch. I am headed to Michals to get the wooden pieces we will need.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Waldorf window star

I so have been wanting to make a Waldorf window star and here is a tutorial with pictures that even I can follow here. I am looking for kite paper locally. I think the craft store in the next town might have some.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

To do list is done

Now I can give thanks, my clean up is done and the turkey is in three gallon ziploc bags---one bag of turkey breast and stuffing in the freezer as a meal ready for another day, one of dark meat in the freezer for turkey and noodles, and one of meat for sandwiches in the fridge for this week,the mashed potatoes and corn are in baggies to make a Shepherd's pie to freeze for another night, one bag of gravy in the freezer for supper another day, turkey carcass is in the pot boiling with pepper, salt,celery,onions, and carrots for stock to make turkey and noodles. (I cut the celery,carrots, and onions when I did the relish tray veggies and bagged them in the fridge --left over relish tray fixings works great for this too.) I wish I had a pressure canner small enough to fit under the hood of my stove. I would can my broth stock for easy storage and use. Our freezer is full of venison and I even sent some home with my daughter Jessica when she was here. We always had home canned venison stew when I was growing up. It tastes great over noodles.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Pumpkin Dump Cake

Pumpkin Dump Cake
15 oz pumpkin
1 cup evaporated milk
3 large eggs
1 1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
Mix and put in greased 9 x 13 pan
Sprinkle dry yellow cake mix on top
Spread on pecans
drizzle on 1 cup melted butter
Bake 350 degrees for 50-55 minuets or until golden brown.

So easy and tastes like pumpkin pie.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

November is National Adoption Month

I counted my kids the other day. Sounds weird to have to count them to know how many you have but..I have given birth to four, I have 1 step daughter from my first marriage, 1 stepdaughter and 1 stepson from my second marriage, 1 "step"daughter and 1 "step" son from my 11+ relationship with Camryn's biological father, 2 "stepsons" from my relationship with Aaron the love of my life. I don't need a piece of paper to love my "step" children. I have legally adopted 3 children. And there is another young girl I have adopted without any paperwork that Aaron and I call our "other daughter". I have 1 son-n-law that has been one of my kids since he was in high school. That's around sixteen by my count. I love my kids ALL my kids no matter the paper work or not! No we are not the Duggar's by any means but who am I to criticize them for their lifesyle. I was raised as an only child with 2 grown brothers and 1 grown sister when my parents oopsed and had me. I always said I would have 7 children and the youngest would be a son. Well, God has blessed me with more than I dreamed of having. The other day Aaron talked about another. I told him to be careful what he wished for because things like that seem to have a way of happening to me. November is national adoption month you know. Families are created all different ways. And I want to leave you with my quote for the day "Friends are Family you choose for yourself"

Monday, November 21, 2011

Blessings in disguise

I saw a similar post and thought I should do one just like that because so many of my blessings come in disguise too. So here is what I am thankful for...
Today, I'm thankful for:

1.  The Chaos and Noise in My House:  It means that I am surrounded by my four youngest happy children.

2.  The Mess That Takes Over the house:  It means that we've had a fun day filled with learning and crafty activities.

3.  The Piles of Dishes:  It means that we've had plenty of food to eat.

4.  The Never-ending Laundry:  That giant pile in the middle of the family room waiting to be folded means that we have clothes to wear, sheets on our beds, and towels for bathing.

5.  The Lack of Sleep:  It means that my children feel safe enough to call out for me, and that they trust me enough to know that I'll come to them when they're scared, or hungry, or in pain.

6.  The Bills - It means we've had running water, electricity, and a roof over our heads.

7.  My Hectic Schedule - It means I have a wonderful family, great friends, and an active rich life.

8.  My  commute - It means I have a job to pay the bills and health insurance for our whole family.

9.  My Phone- It means people care enough to call me and tell me about the things going on in their lives.

10.    The Little Trials In My Life - It means that God's not through teaching me and molding me to be the wife, mother, and woman that he wants me to be. I have more potential.

Christmas count down

I know its barely almost Thanksgiving and already I am thinking about Christmas right? Well not really because I am cleaning for Thanksgiving this weekend. I had to move a bookshelf in my living room to rearrange the furniture for company on Thursday. Jessica my oldest is bringing a BOY home from graduate school! I want a clean living room. Notice there is no hope for  an entire clean house. We have had sore throats ans ear aches, myself included, all weekend. I have dreams of getting the furniture moved but Aaron won't help me and it is too awkward to move alone. I will not let cleaning stress me out. OK maybe I am a little crazy stressed. Everything I have organized Aaron has come along and moved back or taken the table I was putting stuff on until I could find it a home!!! So I am a little irritated right now. It is Monday and I feel sabotaged right now. I  have to work Tuesday and Wednesday. I AM STRESSED! Anyway while moving the book case out of the living room into the kids playroom-homeschool room I pulled out all the Christmas books. Every year for about seventeen years now I have made a basket of Christmas books to read a different one each day in December to the kids since Taylor was a baby. I see posts where people wrap them like presents but there is no need to waste paper wrapping them. We just love reading them and rarely can we stick to just one! Back to stressing out cleaning today. No fun computer time for mamma today.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

native american studies

I found the pattern to make these medicine bags. I think it will fit with our Native American emphasis this year. I found it here. I think it will be great for our nature walks to keep things we find in. I also grow sage which I will dry and put in each of the bags for the kids. Native Americans used sage for many things and it might have been found in a medicine bag. Last year we studied Pilgrims and found out one of my ancestors came over on the Mayflower. This year we are taking a closer look at our Native American Heritage. One of my ancestors is Phillip Ream founder of Reamstown, PA and I believe there might be a link to our Indian heritage there. A mention is made that they lived with the Indians on the land that he bought. My mom looked Native American and was always asked what tribe she was from not to mention that from the day she was born she was nicknamed the papoose. We suspect but have no way to prove it.It's just fun exploring family history. Three of my children may have a little Cherokee in them as well. So it is fun to study our history.

How do I "do" geography?

I found this sight doing the great little map idea and children of the world printables. I just had to share the idea before I lost where I found it at  .
I love how they did the map i want one for my post cards but not up on the wall all the time this is perfect it folds up when not in use. Time to head to the store to make this map.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

crock pot recipes

Tammy's Crock Pot Potato Soup

Peel and Cube about  7 large  potatoes or 15 small ones (any variety)
1 box of chicken stock 
Salt and pepper to taste
1-2 T dried Parsley 
1 sprig fresh Thyme or 1/4 tsp dried
1 to 2 tsp. Poultry Seasoning (This is my secret ingredient)
1 1/2 cups of whole milk (or milk and whipping cream mixed)
4 tablespoons of butter

Add the potatoes, broth & seasonings, to your crock pot, along with more broth to bring liquid almost to the top of veggies. Set crock pot on high and cook for 6-8 hours until potatoes are cooked through. When the potatoes are cooked, I like to add potato flakes instead of mashing some of the potato soup. It makes a bigger batch of soup for our large family. While still having chunks of potato and creamy soup. See below for instructions on adding the potato flakes.

About half an hour before you serve the soup, scoop out about a cup of the hot soup broth and put it in a sauce pan, along with 1 1/2 cups of milk and 4 Tablespoons of butter, heat on medium high, stirring often until butter is mostly melted and milk is fairly warm. Then add the milky mixture to the soup and stir until incorporated. It is important at this point to turn down your crock pot, because you don't want the soup to boil after the milk has been added.(It might curdle)

If your soup is too thin you can add about 1/4 cup of instant mashed potatoes. This acts as a  thickener instead of flour. I always add more potato flakes.

I like to use any leftover Thanksgiving or Christmas Dinner  mashed potatoes and whipping cream to make a left over potato soup. the cream makes it thicker and richer. Sometimes I make extra just to do this soup. To do this I just add hot broth to desired soup consistency and stir in my spices. And heat up on low. Everything else is already in my left -over mashed potatoes-butter, milk, cream, potatoes.

I also double the recipe for our family. Leftovers make good lunches for work.

I found a crock pot recipe here andit inspired me to make over my old stove top version for the crock pot using her directions to see how it turned out. So the above recipe is a combo of my stove top recipe and the post I found.

Friday, November 18, 2011

30 days of giving

I found another blog doing a linky also about 30 days of giving so I linked up. Here are some ideas I found for our 30 days of giving between Nov. and Dec for us here in the middle of the mitten.
1. Donate old books and videos to the library.
2. Salvation Army Angel Tree hats and mittens
3. Feed the Need, through Christ for Youth donated crackers for food baskets
4. Operation Christmas Child Boxes, Samaritans Purse, We made 2 boxes this year
5.We gave 4 sets of hats and gloves to S.A. for her secret Santa project
6. Pet shelter make toys and drop them off
7. Send out the money we have collected for Houses for Haiti
8.Send Care packages to our older kids
9.Send a soldier a care package
10. Threw a baby shower for a new mom to be, my daughter Aimee
11.Made a baby quilt for a baby in the hospital, pray for Christopher
12.Gave homemade apple butter to old friends and new friends
13.Gave the kids my time this month by taking my vacation day time to be with them
14.Processed a Deer for someone who couldn't do their own so he could have venison in his freezer too.

As you can see we are still looking for ways to give! Please post any ideas you have into the comments thank you.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Basic Layette for baby

We are expecting a new grandson in February. Our first grandchild so I looked up the basic layette so I know what Aimee will need for Alijah. I love lists, as you know if you read my blog very often. I just wish there were a few more sales of baby stuff. this is all one NEEDS for a baby.

 Baby Needs: Clothing and Layette
  • 5-10 onesies or kimono style t-shirts
  • 5-7 baby sleepers or nightgowns  (these are the best for small babies)
  • 1 cold weather sleeper if necessary
  • 5-7 pairs of baby socks
  • 1-2 newborn hats,babies loose heat through their heads keep 'em covered
Baby Needs: Diapers and Bath Items
  • 2 packs of disposable diapers or enough cloth diapers for at least two days. Newborns can soil up to 10 diapers per day. One estimate is babies need 350 disposable diapers in the first month!
  • 1 pack of disposable wipes or 10 cloth wipes
  • Waterproof pad for diaper changes (In my family a blanket on the table or floor works just as well.)
  • 3-5 baby washcloths
  • 1-2 hooded towels, if desired. Regular towels will work, too.
  • Baby nail clippers
  • Digital thermometer
  • No Tears Shampoo
  • Baby Wash
Baby Needs: Bedding and Feeding

  • 3-4 fitted sheets for crib, cradle, bassinet, or traditional bassinet
  • 5-7 lightweight blankets
  • 1-2 heavier blankets, depending on climate
  • 10 burp cloths
  • 5-8 bottles, if you're bottle feeding
  • 8-10 bibs (I never really used these)
  • Breastfeeding pillow, Boppy is a great one!
  • Binky, pacifier,plug what ever you call it you will need 3 if using these
Baby Needs: Gear and Furniture
  • Car seat
  • Crib, Cradle, Bassinet, Co-Sleeper or other safe sleep space for baby to sleep
A special homecoming Outfit

Quote for the day

"The woods are lovely,
Dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep.
And miles to go before I sleep."
- Robert Frost

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

November 15th

In our family growing up we celebrated Deer Season. Yes CELEBRATED it! Thanksgiving as you know comes right in the middle of it and is just a bother anyway. (As an adult I love thanksgiving but that's another post). I always went hunting with my dad saw a few deer, once in 20 years shot one when I was with him. He shot many every year just not when I was with him. I have a tender heart you know. My kids are also learning the joy of being in the woods and hunting our winter food. Shocking but food doesn't come in plastic from the store.The last two years I have taken time off to process our deer myself and put it in the freezer for winter. I really enjoy this and can't wait to show the kids the deer. The antlers, the hide, the meat. Nothing tastes as good as fresh venison tenderloin fried in a little butter after being rolled in flour, sprinkled with salt and pepper. We appreciate the whole animal and the meat it provides. This year during early youth hunt my daughter got her first deer. We are so proud of her. She has the skills to provide for her family in the future.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

"rowing" Boxes for Katje

Tonight we made boiled dinner in the crock pot. To go along with the book we made cabbage and potatoes (with carrots and venison and spices). Did I mention I cannot stand the odor of cooking cabbage. I can eat it if I don't have to smell it! AUGGGHHH! It was an aweful smell. But I never let the kids see my face.  Tippy-toe is like me. I will reheat it tommorro for dinner. We were gone today so it was a good day to cook a meal ahead. Boiled dinner is always better heated up anyway.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Quote for the day

May the raindrops fall lightly on your brow.
May the soft winds freshen your spirit.
May the sunshine brighten your heart
May the burdens of the day rest lightly upon you.
And may God enfold you in the mantle of His love.
- Traditional Irish Blessing

Sunday, November 13, 2011

How do we "do" gym?

Sunday our local bowling alley had all you can bowl for $5.00 each. We bowled for 5 hours total. We ate 3 pizzas. Our Friends Gary and Erica brought their three kids including new baby R. Everyone loved seeing the tiny baby. I guess this is called socialization too isn't it? Tippy-toe made friends with the boy his age bowling on the lane beside us. It was a good time. All our right arms are sore. Mine are just from holding baby R. I really did enjoy her. Then the kids came home and put in a kids exercise video. I wish I had their energy. I must say I wasn't up to doing an exercise video after bowling for 5 hours.

Artist Study-Henri Matisse

With our "rowing" of Boxes for Katje we are studying artist Henri Matisse. We looked at several of his collages and compared them to the illustrations in our book.  Then we used my scrapbooking paper stash to make some collages. I also found this coloring page here.

How do we study art? Well it may sound crazy but I bought a calender of art and scanned it into my computer. I downloaded the pictures to a digital photo album that I hung in the playroom. I call this "subliminal art learning". I have been dying to try this since we bought a digital photo frame for Grandma last Christmas. I knew it would be a great way to introduce some art images to the kids with little effort on both our parts. I change the photos in it monthly. Think of it like a slow flashing bulletin board. The bonus is it takes up less room than a wall of art all hung in individual frames. We focus on just one artist at a time. Please realized that I have my copy right on this original idea and if I see it on a page without a link back to me I will enforce copyright infringement! [You know who you are--- cause you stole from me once already----- "mama" (name changed to protect the guilty) Don't think you can dare steal another idea from me just because your blog is bigger! Take notice my oldest is in law school now!] That is why I try to link everything I use that I find on somewhere else back to the original place I saw it. Anyone else also hesitate to share great ideas because you saw your idea posted on a bigger blog the same week as your post with no link back and a claim that it was their idea? Sorry for the soap box, getting off the box and back on topic again. No pun intended since this is boxes of soap for Katje not soap boxes for Mitten Mom.

A Short Biography
Henri Matisse was born in France in 1869. He first studied Law. At age 20 he underwent surgery on his appendix. During his recovery his mother gave him a paint box. Matisse discovered a love of painting and became an artist. He is know for his use of bright colors. After he became wheelchair bound in his old age, he did collages with paint backgrounds and cut paper.  This is called drawing with scissors. Source-More about Matisse

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Thrifting again

I made another trip to the thrift shop again I found a little wicker turkey for us to put our thanksgiving "what we are thankful for" notes in on our nature table. The little wicker gobbler cost only 39 cents but then he was half off making him only 20 cents and a real deal! I also got this little acorn shaped wooded box for only 49 cents and it was half off making him a quarter, another great deal.  The box looks like something little-man could use for an open close activity tray. We haven't done one of those in a while for little-man. I love my thrift shop bargain hunting but no more baskets for me. I am out of places to store my Montessori tray collection of things.

Friday, November 11, 2011

St Martin of Tours

I am not Catholic but for certain reasons this Saint has appealed to me this year. It may be because he fits into our giving theme this year. Giving to the poor who need it more than we do. I too have heard God speak to me. I also did as God Commanded. I visited Tours and yet I don't remember running in to St. Martin although I saw so much in such a little time I must have made his acquaintance in my week I spent sight seeing. I do remember visiting the monastery where he is buried. So today on his feast day I will tell the kids his story as I have found it written online. I have also found a couple paintings depicting him to show the kids.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Mashed Potatoes

 Mashed Potatoes
1 10# bag potatoes, peel and cut into pieces, boil and drain
1 stick butter
1 cup sour cream
pinch of salt and pepper to taste
Mash and blend together adding milk until smooth. (Can be made the day ahead, refrigerated, and reheated in the crock pot.)

Grape Salad
1/4# seedless grapes (about 3 cups) various colors make it prettier
1 cup sour cream ( I omit this)
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup cream cheese
Toss grapes with sour cream slowly add in sugar and melted cream cheese. Chill. Can be made a day or two ahead and refrigerated until serving.

Cherry Jello Mousse
3 cups boiling water
1 pkg jello ( we like cherry)
1 tub cool whip
Mix, chill until firm, may also make this a day or two ahead and store in refrigerator until serving.

Green Bean Casserole
2 cans green beans
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can mushrooms chopped
Mix together. Top with 1 can french fried onions
Bake at 350 degrees until browned.

Christmas punch recipe

This is part of a small series of recipes for my daughter Aimee who is planning her first Thanksgiving Dinner.

Christmas Punch
1 cup sugar disolved in
6 oz lemonade and add to
1 qt cranberry juice,
2 cups apple juice,
1 cup orange juice
Chill until ready to serve then add 1 liter 7 up
Freeze more apple and cranberry juice to make and ice ring. Aimee you could use a small bowl if you don't have a jello mold for the ring.

My scalloped corn casserole

I am doing a series of recipe posts for my daughter who is planning her first Thanksgiving Dinner.
Scalloped  corn
2 cans corn drained
1 tsp dried mustard
about 1 cup milk
1/2 a stick of butter
Mix  in small baking dish. Top with crushed ritz crackers. Bake at 350 degrees until golden brown about 40 minuets.

Grandma's Stuffing

Bread Stuffing
Save all the crusts and heels of bread. Set out to dry or toast in the oven. Stale bread from the outlet works great for this.
4 cups dry bread cubes
3 Tblsp chopped sweet onion
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp poultry seasoning
2 to 3 dried sage leaves
1/3 cup melted butter or margarine
1 cup chopped celery
About 1 cup chicken broth to moisten bread
Mix together add broth last enough to moisten. Bake at 350 degrees until top is browned. About 30 minuets to an hour.
Aimee for the number of people you are talking about I would double this recipe. You can use stove top in place of the bread and spices and adjust the recipe a bit to follow the directions on the box. For example use broth instead of water and add celery and stale bread crusts on hand to make it go farther.

Turkey Basting
1 stick melted butter
1 tsp poultry seasoning
1/2 tsp fresh thyme leaves
Brush lightly with butter mix frequently during roasting.

Tammy's Own Chocolate Pie
1 precooked bottom pie crust or graham cracker crust, put 1 cup marshmallows, and 1 cup chocolate chips in bottom.
cook 1 pkg instant chocolate pudding with milk following pkg instructions,
pour hot pudding into pie crust.
You can make the day before and chill until serving.

Grandma's Pie crust

No one usually asks for my pie crust recipe since the one time I cheated and used premade ones from the store and didn't know to take the wax paper out. My family was picking paper out of a very soggy apple pie. That being said my daughter and her husband are hosting friends for Thanksgiving and she is asking for some recipes. So here goes my mother's pie crust recipe.
Pie crust
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup crisco shortening
4 to 5 Tblsp cold water
sift dry ingredients together. Cut in shortening until pea sized pieces form. Sprinkle water a Tblsp at a time mix gently repeat until all is moistened. Roll into a ball. Let rest several minuets. Divide dough in half. Roll out into a round shape. Always roll from the center out. Roll up onto rolling pin and tranfer to pie pan.

For top of crust just before baking brush with milk and sprinkle with sugar.

Apple Pie filling
5-7 large tart apples (mixed varieties work best)
1 cup sugar
2 Tablespoons flour
pinch of salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
2 Tablespoons butter
pare apples and slice, mix sugar, flour, salt,spices pour over apples and mix to coat. Fill pie pan, dot with butter, top with crust. Freeze if making ahead. Take out of freezer and brush crust and sprinkle sugar. Bake fresh or  frozen pie at 400 degrees 50 minuets. Until golden brown and bubbling.

tip: put cookie sheet under pies to keep them from dripping in oven and smoking.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

How do I "do" geography?

We have found a great way to "do" our geography. It is kind of a variation of Flat Stanley Project with my own twist. I joined one of those postcard club sites but it just flooded my in box with email. So now when ever a coworker or family member is going on vacation I beg ask them to sent the kids a postcard addressed from Flat Stanley. We have received post cards for many US States, Rome, Paris, and various Caribbean Islands. Flat Stanley really is quite the world traveler and the kids love getting the mail. We look on the map to see where Flat Stanley is now. We post the card on the bulletin board. We look up the state or country and study a little about it. It takes us many places and costs us very little. After we are done with each card we place it in order in a small photo album that cost me just a dollar at Walmart. Then we can pull cards out later if we are studying the same place again. I also bought a box of old postcards at an auction sale and have included these in the book as we study those states with Flat Stanley. The kids love looking at the cards and getting mail. Best of all no flood of emails! No strangers with my mailing address! And if we get the same place twice no worries we just get a new card and call it review time. This has really been fun for everyone envolved. My coworkers love being part of the kids education and enjoy hearing my Flat Stanley stories about how amazed the kids are the Flat Stanley took another trip.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

November is National Adoption Month

November is National Adoption Month. Adoption is a subject close to my heart. It runs in my family you might say. My great-grandfather McNeill adopted two boys. One of those boys later took in my dad when he was a 10 year old boy. I have several cousins who are adopted (too many to count). My brother Jim and his wife Carolann adopted four kids from foster care. My other brother David and his wife Patti has adopted a cousins baby boy by direct adoption. I adopted my last three children from kinship foster care.  We helped my second cousin's birth mother get to the hospital for his delivery and she stayed with my parents for two weeks prior in case she went into labor without a phone. My cousin Denise and her husband Phil have adopted all three of their kids using agency adoption. As I was walking out of a program for my older daughter I was given just minuets to witness to a man, he and his wife were thinking of adoption. I often get asked about my adoption. Usually because these people are thinking about adoption but don't know where to start. I recommend Bethany Christian Services who helped us with our last adoption. There are also several state websites that show kids who available for adoption from foster care. Adoption is a great way to make your family complete. If you are thinking about adoption just ask the good people at Bethany Christian Services here in Michigan.

Sunday, November 6, 2011


 I have two plates hanging on the wall in the dining room where we do school that are blue delft. They depict windmills in the Netherlands.  Near where we live giant modern windmills for wind farming have popped up almost overnight so we have taken the kids to see them. It is kind of a weird looking thing all these wind towers. We also have an old style giant windmill near us north of St. Johns, Michigan. I couldn't resist taking the kids so they could see the difference. We also made our own  pinwheels. This led us naturally into a study on the wind and weather. We are really enjoying "rowing" Boxes for Katje by Candace Fleming. The "rowing" style of reading a book seems to be really working for us. We plan on doing the Homeschool Share lapbook to go with this book too and I have printed out all the pieces and put them in folder for the kids to lapbook on the last day of this book. They enjoy coloring and using their lapbooks to remember all the things we did while reading each book.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Started "rowing" Boxes for Katje today

We started rowing "Boxes for Katje" today even though I haven't got the book yet (It's on order). We read the intro on line then found a video of teens interpretive reading/acting out the book that we watched. Pitty-pat the anti-reader was fascinated. Then I watch a Samaritans purse video with them on how to pack our shoe boxes. While I was out today I bought plastic shoe boxes and some more things to fill them it cost me $20.00 but I got enough for 2 boxes. If all goes well we will fill 2 boxes. One for a boy age 7 and one for a girl age 9. Today for our boxes I bought toothpaste, hairbrush and comb set, washcloths, peppermint candy, Ziploc bags, 2 plastic shoe boxes, pencil sharpeners,erasers,matchbox cars, rubber balls, spinner tops. I also got scarfs for the girls in our other giving project. I did good for $20. I will look tomorrow at the dollar store in Midland while I am on call for a few more small toys. The boxes need to be done November 14th since that is my day off to drop them off.

30 days of giving

Camryn took crackers to her Youth For Christ meeting Thursday night for  Feed The Need a program through the Salvation Army they are filling 40 bags of food for the hungry in our area. I am counting this for one of our 30 days of giving.

Another book list

As you know I am really into books and so I am once again comparing my home library to a recommended reading book list this time it is Charlotte Mason. I wonder how many of these books we already own. After all another trip to the used book store is in my future this Sunday! I found the list here.
3 Years Old 4 Years Old 5 Years Old
Good Dog, Carl;
Carl’s Afternoon in the Park;
Carl’s Masquerade;
Carl Goes Shopping;
Carl’s Birthday;
Carl’s Sleepy Afternoon;
Stranger in the Woods;
Lost in the Woods;
Millions of Cats;
Caps for Sale;
The Very Hungry Caterpillar (and others by Eric Carle);
The Very Best Home for Me;
A Pocket for Corduroy;
Harry the Dirty Dog;
Harry by the Sea;
No Roses for Harry;
Little Book of Poems (poetry);
Billy’s Picture;
Harold and the Purple Crayon;
Home for a Bunny;
Katy No-Pocket;
Kitty’s New Doll;
McDuff Moves In;
McDuff Comes Home;
McDuff and the Baby;
McDuff’s Wild Romp;
The Poky Little Puppy;
Polite Elephant;
The Saggy, Baggy Elephant;
The Shy Little Kitten
Whistle for Willie;
The Little House;
Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel;
Norman the Doorman;
Pet of the Met;
The Ox-Cart Man;
Make Way for Ducklings;
Burt Down, Deep-Water Man;
Blueberries for Sal;
One Morning in Maine;
Time of Wonder;
The Story of Ferdinand;
A New Coat for Anna;
When We Were Very Young (poetry);
Jeremy: The Tale of an Honest Bunny;
Chester the Worldly Pig;
The Giving Tree;
Gregory’s Shadow;
Little Toot;
Raggedy Ann Stories;
Raggedy Andy Stories;
The Ugly Duckling;
The Taxi That Hurried;
Tale of Peter Rabbit (and others by Beatrix Potter);
God’s Wisdom for Little Girls OR
God’s Wisdom for Little Boys
Miss Rumphius;
James Herriot’s Treasury for Children;
Katie Meets the Impressionists;
Katie and the Mona Lisa;
Katie and the Sunflowers;
The Biggest Bear;
Thy Friend, Obadiah;
Imogene’s Antlers;
Now We Are Six (poetry);
The Magic Hill;
Little House in the Big Woods;
Little House on the Prairie;
Farmer Boy;
On the Banks of Plum Creek;
By the Shores of Silver Lake;
The Long Winter;
Little Town on the Prairie;
These Happy Golden Years

Friday, November 4, 2011

thrift store trip

I spent $21.00 at Goodwill but found some real treasures new maternity jeans, maternity shorts and 2 maternity tops for Aimee all brand new, Now to send out a box. A wooden sheep wrapped in fuzzy wool for  25 cents. Several books, including a hardcover Aesops Fables Illustrated by Brad Sneed, A Child's Goodnight Prayer by Grace Maccarone, Great Grandfather's House by Rumer Godden in hardcover, Stone Soup by Ann McGovern (I think we already have a copy of this but it will make a great book to drop.) Animals,Animals by Eric Carle. I have really learned to like this artist/aurthor and can't resist buying copies of his books. These books will fit what we are doing and no library fines! The little sheep has made it to our nature table along with the new books into the book basket.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Boxes for Katje

Homeschool share has a great lapbook here for Boxes for Katje which goes along with our Samaritans purse giving activity we are doing this month. We have been assembling the boxes for the deadline. I am so excited for the kids to have 30 days of giving this month.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Samaritans Purse shoe boxes

In order to teach the kids gratitude I think we will do shoe boxes for Samaritans Purse this week.We started to make shoe boxes last year and missed the drop off deadline ( I had to work) so this year when I saw an announcement about the program I went around the house and found these things to try to do at least one box right away. We had just went to a hotel so small soaps made the box, 2 pairs of brand new boys white socks, a new toothbrush, small packages of hard candy [from our Halloween stash],a boy's t-shirt( new) from our school shopping trip, four brand new number 2 pencils. Ok that's a start. This year there is a local drop off in my hometown. Having a drop off close will be a blessing, as it was too hard to get to a drop off last year. I would like to do 3 boxes this year one for Sawyer/Cam to share, one for a boy Tippy-toe's age and one for a girl Pitty-pat's same age. The one for a boy Tippy-toe's age is well on it's way. The cost to send on box is $7.00 maybe the kids could help earn some of the money by helping me return our pop bottles to send and track them. I want to know which country our box goes to as part of our geography study. They should be grateful for what blessings we have there are so many kids in the world that don't have a Christmas because of poverty.

November's goals

Since I am planning a trip to Chicago for the kids in spring I want to  shift our focus to things we will be seeing in the Field Museum and Shedd Aquarium in order to maximize our learning experience. While on a weekend there Aaron and I went to the museum for some recon.
  • They have a wonderful rock and mineral collection on display that fits with our collecting and studying we have already been doing this summer. Earth Science is one of my favorite topics. 
  • We were amazed by the Ancient Egyptian artifacts but since this year we are studying Native American cultures I will stick to that area as they also have a wonderful Native American exhibits too. History is right on track.
  • We will log our trip on a map as this will meet the math requirements for our trip. How many miles, grid map reading, coordinates, reading  graphs, how much money do we spend, ect. that is how our math is taken care of too. 
  • The English is harder but sign reading, and books about places we will see and travel brochures will help with our English component. Field trips are educational in so many ways! 
  • We will also be studying the ocean habitat and fish in our science so they will recognize some of the fish they will be seeing at the aquarium. 
Now off to the internet to find tried and true ways other people have home schooled on these topics. Having goals and an outline is the first step to a successful learning vacation!

Update on baby christopher

The little baby Christopher that I have been telling you about has been transferred to a rehab hospital and is doing good. Please keep him and his mom in your prayers as it will be a long recovery for him.