Friday, May 13, 2011

In the Kitchen

One of my favorite things about cooking something big is when I put on an apron. My aprons were all sewn by my great, great grandmother. I love the history and feeling of interconnectedness of wearing her things.

Today I have found a new recipe for marshmallow fondant, will be making some of that and gumpaste. My little girl will be 9 this week and I have promised her a Pippi Longstocking cake.

Here are a couple of sites that helped me a lot in this quest:

And here is a picture of the cake that  is acting as my inspiration:

I will share more as the journey progresses!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Science - Fish

Exploring Creation With Zoology pages 87 - 92, Bony Fish

Types of Bony Fish Print out

Label the Fish Anatomy

FIELD TRIP: Take your kids to the local aquarium. If your city does not have one a fun and free alternative that we used was to go to the local Cabella's, Bass Pro Shop, or other major hunting and Fishing supply store. It is popular for these stores to have aquariums inside of them for people to walk through for free!

Exploring Creation With Zoology pages 93 - 96 - Fish Defenses

Exploring Creation With Zoology pages 97 - 100, Spawning

Salmon Life Cycle

Salmon Lapbook

Thursday, April 14, 2011

walk. Really?


This blog is funny, in general, but it is also kind of mean. I laughed a couple of times, but I also got a little angry. First of all the author doesn't know the story of why those kids are in strollers or if this is an everyday practice of an exception. The author says "When I have a baby of my own it will be strapped to me, as an infant and then it will be walking. No middle ground." While that is noble in concept, that isn't always practical. Once the author actually has a child, she might find that there are times when some sort of portable transportation is necessary for her child of walking age. Who gets to decide whether it is meaner to put a child in a stroller (because why, it makes them lazy?) or force them to walk the entire day at the zoo or amusement park, outdoor festival, etc.?

I personally do not put my 3 year-old in a stroller normally, but if we are somewhere that he might get tired then I bring the stroller. If a place is way too crowded for me to feel safe I have been known to use a leash because in the past I have suffered from foot problems that made me unable to catch him should he get away from me. Now that my foot has recovered I use the stroller if I want to take a walk for exercise, otherwise my 3 year old can't walk fast or long enough for me to burn any calories and I have my kids with me at all times. At other times I take family walks where he just runs along at his own pace and we do not go very far, so that he can still enjoy the pleasures of walking and being out in nature.

The decision to use a stroller, a leash, or neither, is a personal one. It isn't a decision that is really going to change who your kid is as a person. A child put in a stroller will not automatically turn into a sociopath, nor will one who is kept from strollers become the next president. So why do we feel so smug about our decisions as parents? If you feel that you are making the best decision for your child, then more power to you. But do you really need to make someone else feel bad about theirs if it isn't harmful? Also, I would step back a minute and realize sometimes the decisions you make before you even have kids don't end up being the ones you actually follow through with once the little bundle of joy is running towards a street screaming as you hobble after it, 6 months pregnant, trying to catch up to keep your little one safe.

Little House In The Big Woods - Chapter 9

Language Arts:






1. Could you imagine what it would be like to have never seen a store?

2. The town was 7 miles away. At the time that this story took place 7 miles was a long journey, but now we have cars and can travel much further distances in shorter times. What is the furthest that you haver ever gone in a car?

3. What details in the story lead you to believe that Laura is jealous of Mary?


 Chicken lapbook

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Little House In The Big Woods - Chapter 8

Language Arts:






1. Laura couldn't decide whether to be scared of her wild Uncle George or not. How would you feel?

2. What did the two Laura's argue about?

3. Why do you think this was so important?


 Pig lapbook


Do a Square dance! Square Dance Lesson on YouTube

Home Ec:

Eat pancakes and maple syrup for breakfast! (Yum!)

Make Hasty pudding! Chocolate Hasty Pudding

Make a clove apple! Ma Ingal's Clove Apple

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Monday, April 11, 2011

Little House In The Big Woods - Chapter 7

Language Arts






1. Why did you first think that Pa called the snow a sugar snow?

2. Grandpa go maple syrup from the trees, can you think of something else we get from trees?

3. Why do you think ma never wore her delaine dress?

4. Could you imagine going from store bough dresses and living in town to living in the big woods?


Imagine how ma and pa must have met. Write the story.


Locate Wisconsin on a map.


Sugaring Season: Making Maple Sugar

Squirrels (My Big Backyard)

Squirrel Printout

Home Ec:

Home made maple candy

Friday, April 8, 2011

Geography - China

We went to China for our geography last week and we really enjoyed it!

We used the Expedition Earth curriculum from Jen over at coahbutton

It is an awesome curriculum. With her curriculum we learned some geography, a little bit about the culture, did a couple of crafts, and learned a little bit of the language.

One of the fun crafts we did with the curriculum was to make a Chinese fan.

In addition to the curriculum we bought a kit to decorate Chinese lanterns. We made the paper lanterns as well, but I really enjoyed decorating these so that Bella could use them to decorate her bedroom.

At the end of the week we had crab Rangoon and orange chicken for dinner. It was delicious.

Asian Orange Chicken at

Crab Rangoon at

I also add garlic salt to my Crab Rangoon mix and I deep fry them, not bake them. They get nothing but rave reviews every time I make them! Try using this recipe and deep frying them and I promise you will be so happy with it that you will never even want to eat Crab Rangoon from a restaurant again!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Little House In The Big Woods - Chapter 6

Language Arts:




What sort of things do you hope for when your parents make a trip to the store?

What sort of things might you hope for if you had lived in the same time as Laura?

Do you think the girls were frightened waiting for their father to come home? Why or why not?

Father and mother each had funny stories about trying to fight a bear. Who do you think was braver? Why?


River Otter Print Out

Rabbit Lapbook


Make tin can lanterns:

1. Fill an old can (family size soup cans work best) with water and put it in the freezer.

2. Have your child draw a simplistic drawing of something they would like to have on their lantern. You really only want a silhouette so that it will be recognizable once you make the design.

3. Use a rubber band to hold the paper with the drawing on it onto the tin can.

4. Take a hammer and nail and make holes at regular intervals all around the outline of your drawing so that you end up with wholes in the shape of your drawing when the paper is removed.

5. Run hot water over the can to remove the ice, dry the can.

6. Paint the can with acrylic paints.

7. Put a candle inside and enjoy!!!!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Makeup Monday

Instead of menu Monday I thought I would try something different this week. I thought it would be fun to share my current favorite makeup or beauty product, since a lot of my friends consider me somewhat of a go-to girl in this area.

First of all, let me tell you that I love love love makeup! I have spent a ton of money on makeup products, and there isn't much out there I haven't tried. I am a card holder at Sephora and Ulta, and visit them both at least a couple of times a month so that I can at least browse what new products are out there. Sephora is fun because if you have a points card there they even give you a free gift on your birthday!

This week I decided to talk about foundation. Foundation has been the hardest thing to find for me. I have probably tried 50 different foundations (or more) searching for one that made me happy with the way I look. I finally decided to give in, spend the money, and try Bare Minerals after a couple of friends told me it would be worth it. They were completely right. I have never been so happy with the way my skin looks in my life as I have been since I started using this foundation. If I get a pimple or something I don't worry as much as I used to because it is easy to cover without looking caked-on.

A few tips:

1. Go in store to have someone match your complexion when picking out the foundation. You might really be surprised by the color that they pick for you (I was, and so was at least one of my friends!)

2. Make sure you apply the concealer BEFORE the foundation or it will not look right.

3. Go light on their bronzer, if you get it.  I think it is way too dark (of course I am an extremely pale girl).

4. Have fun with it! Makeup is supposed to be fun, not a chore. Bringing out your natural beauty is an art. If you find yourself overwhelmed there are tons of books to help you learn how to apply makeup in the most flattering way, try it out! Just like any other talent, the art of makeup application must be learned! I read books about it and then just play with my makeup trying different things to see what works best with my bone structure and coloring.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Little House In The Big Woods - Chapter 5






What are the white bears Pa talks about in this chapter, do you know?

Why do you think the girls weren't allowed to play in certain ways on Sundays?

In the bible the day of rest also began at sundown the night before and this Day of the Lord had a special name. Do you know what that name was?

Did you know what naughty thing grandpa and his brothers were going to do even before it happened? How did you know?

Word Search


Go sledding (Weather permitting)


Stitch a sampler. I got a cheap cross stitch kit from JoAnn's to teach my little girl with.

Make a doll dress. 18' Doll Dress pattern


River Otter Printout

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Science - Week 4 - Oceans and Whales

Activities to go with Pages 31 - 34:

Orca print out

Orca Connect the Dots

Beluga Whale Print Out

Beluga Whale Connect the Dots

Narwhal Print Out

Narwhal Connect the Dots

Sperm Whale Print Out

Activities to go with pages 35-38:

Krill print out

Gray Whale print out

Right Whale print out

Humpback whale print out

Humpback whale word search

We also visited this website with fun interactive pictures and information about the ocean and creatures that live in it: Deep Sea Strangers

Thematic Units

I am so excited! I am working on so many thematic units right now, and I can't wait to share with everyone. I am working on a thematic unit about gardens for grade 3, a unit on rainbows for K-1st grade, and I have finished up (on paper) my Little House in the Big Woods unit and Science units so now we just have to physically do the activities so we have pictures and post them on here! Exciting, isn't it?

I thought I would post some book lists so that you can go ahead and get the books you need for the units you are interested in (Especially for you library-goers, those waiting lists can be killer!)

Books for Little House in the Big Woods:

Sugaring Season: Making Maple Syrup (Photo Books) for Chapter 7

for Chapter 8

Chickens on a Farm by Abbie Mercer

Pigs on a Farm by Abbier Mercer

Farm Animals. Pigs. by Cicilia Minden

for Chapter 9

for Chapter 10

for Chapter 11

Books Needed for the Science


Books Needed for the Garden Unit Study:
(I may still add to this one)

for art, language arts, math, etc.

For science:

The Books for the Rainbow Unit Study:
(I haven't decided on my LA book for this unit yet, so I will definitely be adding more to this one as I progress)


For the last 3 books I am only using a few pages of each book. There is a lot more about rainbows out there then I had imagined!

for math, and I am considering whether or not the following book would be age (and topic) appropriate for social studies and haven't really decided yet. 

Thursday, March 17, 2011

It's Just Another Day in the Park

Well it has been one crazy week! Our laptop's hard drive crashed and I lost all of my homeschool books, documents, resources, and all of my pictures. It was a little rough, and I am just now starting to be able to regroup.

This week is my spring break, so we have done a few fun things in addition to our regular school work. Although it was snowing on Monday, by today it was 80 degrees (crazy weather we have here) so we managed to go to the park and the zoo this week, in addition to visiting Chuck E Cheese for a cousin's birthday and competing in our last JBQ match of the season.  Here are a few highlights from our week:

Isabella won 6th place in bible quiz!

My niece, Aubrey, on the swing!

At the park (Alex loves the penguins!)

The new polar bear at our local zoo!

Isabella eating pizza at her cousin's birthday party.

Alex could hardly eat because they had a show on the stage and he wanted to hug Chuck E Cheese!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Art- Sewing Purses!

I have been teaching a sewing class at our homeschool co-op for weeks now and yesterday we finally finished our purses! I am so proud to share what these girls have done with you! We got the patterns from a book called I made it Myself which has tons of cute craft ideas for young girls and teenagers...


Aren't they all so adorable? Most of these girls are around 8 years old, they did a great job!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Review - Dr. Seuss' Super Stretchy ABC Game

This game is fantastic! If you do not own it you need to buy it, now! My kids both love to play it, and beg for it to be in their workboxes frequently!

The concept is like the game Twister, but you use the ABCs with corresponding "right hand, left hand, right foot, left foot, ear, etc." It gets pretty crazy! In addition to the ABC's the game will use things that start with the letters so that you learn your beginning letter sounds.

This game is great for reinforcing ABC and beginning letter sound concepts, I love it! Also, who wins the game is actually decided by chance, which I always find to be a nice thing with young children. All in all, this is my favorite game that I have purchased for my kids!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Little House In The Big Woods - Chapter 4

Language Arts:















What special gift does Laura’s sister get for Christmas?

What does Ma get from Pa?

What do the other children get?

What form of transportation does the family use during the winter?

What did they put by their feet to keep them warm on the journey home?

How is the way this family celebrated Christmas the same as the way your family does?

How is it different?



A Chipmunk's Inside Outside World

Physical Education:

Make pictures (snow angels) in the snow!

Home Ec:

Try your hand at a woodworking project? They have kits at wal-mart and craft stores. It might be fun to make your own wood gifts like Pa did!


And as always, 
Have a great time!!!