Tuesday, November 18, 2008

fun with food and other things.

This month we have been learning about Thanksgiving, of course. Lots of fun facts about the Mayflower, Pilgrims and Indians. It's been fun. I had planned to do a lapbook but opted not to at the last minute. Instead we have been reading some books and doing sporadic activities and worksheets. On Monday and Tuesday we will have two fun filled of Thanksgiving crafts and food making. In fact we have been doing lots of food making already. It hasn't been related to our study of Thanksgiving, we have just done things with food.

One day last week we had baked potatoes for lunch. I let the kids each choose, wash and poke their own potato. You would have thought I had planned the best craft of the year. The had so much fun. Who knew a potato and a fork could be so exciting

We also made yogurt last week. Actually, there isn't much to do in yogurt making, we just waited for it to become yogurt, which happens overnight. I made it in my crockpot from the recipe on this blog . It came out very tasty but thin. We used it for smoothies and it was so so so yummy! I tried it again this week and it came out a little thicker. Still thin compared with store bought but definitely tastier in my humble opinion.
It was Seven's birthday last week too and we made a cake. Seven and her husband are opening a coffee shop soon so I thought it appropriate to make her a coffee cake.

One morning after watching Sid the Science Kid, Isaac suggested excitedly that we make fruit popsicles. Funny thing to do since it was about 20 degrees that morning but whatever. Sid used bananas to hold the pop sticks in place and then added juice. We had no bananas so we used kiwis. They were actually very yummy pops. I got to eat every one's left overs (as usual).
Our last two food excursions worth mentioning were making stone ground corn bread with honey like Native Americans might have made (minus the baking soda and baking powder I suppose) and making sourdough bread. My friend Nancy gave me a sourdough starter and I tried it out today. My plan is to make most of my own bread from now on b/c I am so sick of buying it. We go through a lot and it's expensive to get it w/o high fructose nastiness in it. Anyway, I have a little experimenting to do before I'll be making most of our own bread. It came out pretty good (I love sourdough) but it was a little too dense and didn't rise as much as it should have to make sandwich sized bread. I'll keep trying. It won't go to waste. Sourdough toast w/ peanut butter and homemade yogurt for breakfast tomorrow!
We had pajama day last week. It was fun. Being homeschoolers we could actually have pajama day any day we want but we get dressed most days. This particular day we didn't get dressed, didn't go anywhere and went back to bed in the same jammies! Talk about lazy bums! It was great.
We had book club at Nancy's last week too. We read "Attaboy Sam." It was a cute book about a boy who tried to make perfume for his mom for her birthday. For an activity we had to identify smells. It was fun. The kids had a great time, we love going to Nancy's house.
The kids have been doing lots of building lately. They took some pictures of their favorite accomplishments. I love to see how creative they can be!

We did a special thing for Veteran's Day at our church. The kids at TLC Academy were commissioned to sing on Sunday as we honored the veterans at our church. The kids sang My Country Tis of Thee (which is actually called America) and America the beautiful. They did such a great job. (no pix b/c I was singing w/ them) It was really a great thing to be a part of. I feel it is so important that we make sure that our children have patriotism and respect our amazing country. We pledge the flag every morning that we have school together and sing patriotic songs. God has blessed this country immeasurably and the freedoms that we have, we can't take for granted. We also can't forget that our freedoms were and are won with a price paid by men and women willing to lay their lives down for us. It was a privilege to lead the children as they sang to honor our veterans.
On a much sillier note, we pretended to be baby kitties at snack time on Tuesday. I lined up the kids snack bowls on the floor (it was pretty clean) and gave them all kitty names (snuggles, darling, rainbow, pinky, milo and boots). I poured cat food (goldfish) in their bowls and they happily mewed and ate on all fours.

Yesterday I took just my kid to the local museum. We had fun. We hadn't been since around last year at this time. We went through the dinosaur exhibit (by the way they are not allowed to climb on the excavation exhibit. It's posted in one spot in tiny tiny letters, we hadn't noticed any of the times we had been there but it was very specifically pointed out to us this time!) and the room of "stuffed things" where we posed with Tom Turkey in honor of the season. The room of rocks and minerals was glossed over rather quickly but they did like to see the glow in the dark ones and the pretty ones. Down stairs there is a small aquarium and a little area to handle starfish, hermit crabs, horseshoe crabs etc. Sadly we didn't get to see the ancient civilizations, which is what they were looking most forward to, because they were upstairs and we weren't allowed upstairs w/ our library pass unless we paid extra to see the festival of trees. No big deal though, just another reason to go back after the holidays.

Ian listening to different bird calls on the phone.
Bella, Isaac and Tom Turkey. Isaac really liked his beard.

This is the kids before we were told we were being a little too hands on w/ the hands on exhibit.
Today we made toilet paper roll turkeys for art class. It was fun. The turkeys came out pretty cute and aside from the stapling, they were able to do most of it themselves. This one is Ian's

I'm looking forward to next week when we do lots of fun Thanksgiving stuff! I love Thanksgiving, I just have so much to be thankful for! God is so good!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

creation celebration

My accomplishment of the week was making my own salsa and canning it. It is the first thing I have ever "preserved." I was very happy with myself. I don't have all of the proper apparatus but I figured out a way to get it done and it worked. My salsa is pretty yummy and more important, it can sit in the cupboard for as long as I want it to. Now I will be a canning fool. Applesauce is next. Christmas presents galore.
When I ended the last blog, it was snowing here. It snowed a lot for October. We had 3 or 4 inches. It lasted 2 or 3 days. It was awful. I tried to make the best of it. The kids were elated. They loved going out for recess in the snow. I had to go out too. I made a snowman. I decorated it with flowers from my mum and other fall items like seedpods. I was trying to embrace the awfulness of measurable snow in October. I think the worst thing about winter is dressing small children. I don't know why that is such a thorn in my side but it is. When the deed is finally done, they sure do look cute in all of their marshmallow type clothes. They were exceptionally excited to get out side and see icicles within reach. They were thrilled to have them for a "recess snack."

They worked on snowmen all day too. They never quite finished one but it kept them busy. They were all pretty much melted by the next day. I was glad. They were not. They got over it.

On Friday we had a Creation Celebration. We dressed up as things or people that God created and went to the church for games, activities and pizza. It was a blast. Pastor Don talked to the kids about shining their light for Jesus in the darkness. It was really great. Everyone was so cute. Mika in her affection for costumes was particularly excited to see everyone dressed up.
Isaac was a crab. Isabella was Ruth (from the Bible) and Ian was Samson (also from the Bible). Ruth is Isabella's favorite book of the Bible. It is about a young widow who pledges her devotion to her mother in law Naomi. Bella's favorite quote is when Ruth says "Your people will be my people, your God, my God." God blesses her for her faithfulness and she marries a man named Boaz. There is a lot more too it, as is the case with all of God's Word, but that's a basic summary. Samson is the strong man in the Bible. His strength lies in his vow to follow God and he demonstrates his vow by never cutting his hair. There is a lot more to that story too but essentially, Ian was a very strong, very hairy man. He was adorable. Isaac chose to be a crab because he loves anything that has to do with the ocean or fishing and it was easier than making him a striped bass. Nova and Mika came as a family of butterflies with mom, dad and grandpa. Amira outdid herself on the sewing machine making Hannah an adorable sheep costume. Don was her shepherd (how appropriate). We had some other friends who joined us as well. Ben was a musk ox, his sister Emma, a bumble bee. Also, Michaela came as a tree, her brother Elijah was the prophet Elijah, their little brother Jacob was the cutest little mouse you ever did see and baby Elizabeth was a sweet little pumpkin. I dressed up as a leopard (wearing a leopard coat I wear all the time anyway lol). Overall, it was a great time.

We will be wrapping up our study of China this week. Isabella and Hannah both had to read chapter books that took place in China. They each gave an oral report today. Hannah read "Little Pear" and Bella read "Li Lun Lad of Courage." They were both challenged by the assignment but did very well. Their oral reports were very informative and interesting. I'm so proud of all of the work they are accomplishing each week. Isaac and Nova are continuing to fly through their phonics work. They can both sound out simple three letter words and will be reading in no time. I need to get them so really simple easy reader books. (Like The cat is fat etc. ) If anyone has any suggestions I would love them.
We'll be taking a break from our world travels and be studying the pilgrims and Native Americans for November. I'm looking forward to the traditional Thanksgiving lessons and crafts like place mats and turkeys but I'm hoping to throw in a few non traditional things too. Again, if anyone has any Thanksgiving crafts or activities ideas, I would love suggestions.