Thursday, December 30, 2010

Chai Tea

Before we bought a house we lived in a town home, and right next door to us was a nice couple from India.  Sushma and I became pretty close friends and we would pop in on each other nearly every day to chat.  I miss having a neighbor like that!  Sushma made me chai tea several times and taught me how to make it, too!

It's quite simple to make.  All you need are these ingredients:

  • Milk (whole is best).  I just fill the mug I'm using, and then pour it in the sauce pan.  
  • Loose Tea: A good heaping tablespoon or so.  You'll probably have to experiment a little to see what strength you like your tea.
  • Sugar: A teaspoon or tablespoon, depending on how sweet you want it.

Put your milk, tea, and sugar on medium-high heat.  Your goal is not to boil it, because you want to give the tea time to brew while the milk heats up.  Stir frequently.

After a few minutes, it starts to turn a nice caramel color and that means it's done!  Now, just pour it through a fine mesh strainer and into your mug.

See how yummy that looks? Easy, huh?!  Other spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, etc.) may be added if you like, but it's great just like this as well!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Day 80: Exploration Day-Experimenting with Water

Today we are on Day 80 of My Father's World 1st Grade for home school.  We have finished Usborne's "Things Outdoors" for Science, and today we began "Science with Water."
Science With Water (Science Activities)

Today, we read pages 2-3, "Experimenting with Water."  I'm letting Davin narrate the pictures below, so he'll tell you what we did!

First, I put a jar of water on the table to see that the top of the water goes in a straight line, just like the table top.  
 Next, I sloped the bottle and the top still went in a straight line!
 Then, I looked at the bottle with a magnifying glass and saw that there tiny, white bubbles in the water.
 Still playing with magnifying glass....
 Then, I put water in a glass pan and saw that it extends to cover the entire pan.
 Lastly, I put 2 cups of water in 3 different jars.  I thought the one on the left looked like it had more water, but all of them had the same amount!
I learned that water takes any shape!  I liked doing these experiments a lot!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

A (Barely) Snowy Day, Hot Cocoa, & a Cuneiform Tablet

We had some snow flurries today; just enough to bundle up the boys and send them outside to play.  I'll admit I get just as excited as the kids about it!  I know that snow and I will not be friends in a few months, but for now I welcome it :)

Here's Davin trying to catch snowflakes on his tongue:

Going down the slide:

Dorian sliding:


Enjoying some hot cocoa after playing outside.  Daving proclaimed this "the best day ever" while working on his superhero puzzle:


I love how Dori is holding his little cup:

During our school time today, we were studying "The First Writing": cuneiform (Sumerians) and hieroglyphics (Egyptians).  We made some clay a few weeks ago using this recipe and it held up very nicely in the refrigerator:

Modeling Clay:
  • Mix together
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup salt
  • Food coloring, optional
  • Store in refrigerator.

Here's what the Cuneiform Alphabet looks like:

Here's Davin using a screwdriver to carve the wedges to spell out his name:

The end result, with a hole that can be used to hang it up once it dries:

(The books we're using for history are Story of the World: Ancient Times by Susan Wise Bauer, along with the student activity book.  We have really enjoyed these books and Davin is not only learning a lot, but retaining it and having fun!)

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Advent with the Jesus Storybook Bible

I came across this wonderful blog post about using the Jesus Storybook Bible for advent readings. We are huge fans of this book and I'm excited to use the readings each day leading up to Christmas!

Advent with the Jesus Storybook Bible

I printed out the schedule of readings and put them in our cute wooden Christmas Tree advent calendar (a gift from my mother-in-law!).  I also put two pieces of candy or chocolate inside each little door so the boys can enjoy a special treat while I read them the story each day.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Thanksgiving Story

I was reading "The Thanksgiving Story" by Alice Dagliesh to the boys and we were talking about what it would have been like to be a family traveling to a far-off place to make their home.

"Imagine if Daddy and Mommy said that we were going on a journey to a new country," I said.  
"What country?" asked Davin.
"Hmm...It's called Atlantis," I replied (just saying the first thing that popped into my head!)
"Actually, Atlantis is a lost underwater city," Davin informed me.

Thank you, little encyclopedia, for making Mommy feel terribly silly for suggesting such a preposterous location! 

Monday, November 22, 2010

Mini Pumpkin Pudding Pies

The boys had fun making our dessert today: mini pumpkin pudding pies!

They mixed up the pumpkin pudding and had fun scooping it into mini graham cracker crusts (and they had fun eating some pudding in the process!). It was a fun, easy dessert and really yummy with a little dollop of whipped cream on top :) It's fun having such good little helpers!

Thanksgiving Week: Homeschool

This week we're going to take a break from our normal homeschool subjects so that we can focus on Thanksgiving!

We will read lots of books, do some activities, crafts, games, writing, science, sing some hymns, do a little bit of cooking, and have a lot of fun!  A lot of theses ideas come from the Adventures in My Father's World teacher's guide.

Here's some books from our collection that we will read:

Here's some books from the library we will read:

We participated in the virtual field trip to Plimoth Plantation last week on this website:

and also took a virtual tour of the Mayflower.

Some of the Crafts we'll do:

  • Make woven placemats

  • Make an Indian vest

  • Make a hand turkey

  • Make a hand and shoe turkey

For Science, we will use some of our squash for these activities:

  • Will it float? experiment

  • Predicting the weight by comparing it to pantry items with the weight on it, then weighing them.

  • Predicting and measuring the distance around the middle of the squash.

  • How many seeds? activity

Some of the hymns we will sing.  I just love singing hymns!:

  • We Gather Together

  • Count Your Many Blessings

  • Praise God From Whom All Blessings Flow

  • For the Beauty of the Earth

  • Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing

For writing, we will write about everything we are thankful for, of course!

For Cooking, we will make some cornbread like the pilgrims made and make mini pumpkin pies with pumpkin pudding and mini graham cracker crusts.

Some Indian games we will play:

  • Twig Toss

  • Almond Toss

  • Spearing Game (not as dangerous as it sounds!)

Also, Scripture Adventures has a FREE Thanksgiving guide with TONS of neat things to do!  I'm planning to use it a lot this week, especially for the writing activities.

Just enter "moneysavingmom" at the checkout to get it for FREE!

It should be a very fun week!!!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Lorie Line Concert

My mom and I went to our annual mother/daughter Lorie Line holiday concert today. We've been going for over 10 years, I believe! We always have such a lovely time :) Thanks Mom, I love you!!

Oh, and thank you to my dear husband for watching the kids during the show. You're the best!

I'm afraid the pictures are pretty blurry :(

Time to go play from my two new piano books!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Cold Fall Day

Dori helping Daddy rake their winter coats. It was cold out today!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Swamp Creature

My husband adored Ed Emberley drawing books when he was younger and introduced Davin to them when he started to show an interest in drawing a few years ago. We own a few of the books, but they are also at the library and have been checked out multiple times by us.  We highly recommend them!
This step-by-step instructions for this drawing is from Ed Emberley's Big Purple Drawing Book.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Calling all LOST fans!

I happen to have the most talented husband in the world!  I may be just a bit biased, but his work speaks for itself.  Right now, he has some LOST posters for sale on Imagekind.  Click the link or picture below to take a look!  Oh, and they are having a sale until midnight tonight, 22% off of everything!  Just enter the code THXGIVING at the checkout.  We have one of these prints and are very impressed with the print quality.  I am such a proud wife!!

LOST: The Animated Series Poster by Michael Myers in Lost on Drawsgood Posters at Imagekind.

LOST: The Animated Series Poster by Michael Myers
LOST: The Animated Series Poster by Michael Myers

Pumpkin Dessert

I made this to take to my women's Bible study at church a few days ago.  It was very easy to make and filled the house with that wondrous-fall-pumpkin-spice-goodness!

Pumpkin Dessert

1 can pumpkin

3 eggs, beaten

1 1/2 c. sugar

2 tsp. cinnamon

1/2 tsp. ginger

1/4 tsp. nutmeg

1/4 tsp. cloves

1/4 tsp. salt

3/4 c. evaporated milk

1 yellow cake mix

1 c. chopped walnuts

1 c. butter

whipped topping

Mix pumpkin, eggs, sugar, spices and evaporated milk together. Put in sprayed 9 x 13 pan. Sprinkle cake mix over pumpkin. Sprinkle walnuts over cake mix. Drizzle melted butter over the top. Bake 350 degrees for 55 minutes (until knife comes out clean). Cool. Serve with whipped topping. Enjoy!!

I should've checked it before the timer went off, because it looks a little overdone, right?  It still tasted good, at least!

Monday, November 15, 2010

The Chronicle of the Earth: Story of the World Lapbook for Volume One

I just found this great resource from Chronicle of the Earth if you're using Story of the World for history.  It's a free lapbook download!  How neat!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Goodbye Homeschool Co-op

I'm a bit sad that it looks like we cannot continue going to our homeschool co-op.  Unfortunately, it is in the afternoon from 1:00-3:00, right during my little ones' nap time.  We struggled through several weeks of crankiness because Davin enjoyed it and I wanted him to have the chance to be around other kids and participate in the classes: Gym, Water Creatures, and Water Creature Crafts.  I thought my husband had the flexibility at work to come home and stay with the little ones while I just went with Davin, but that's not an option.  The main problem is there is a gymnasium in the church where the co-op takes place, and my little athlete, Dori, wants so badly to play in there, but that is where classes take place so we can't.  The nursery has a window looking down into the gym, so after he'd finally calm down it wasn't long before he would look down and get all upset again!  So, I guess it's adieu, homeschool co-op.  We'll be back some day I hope!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Making the Mundane Holy

It's easy to be discouraged by the endless amount of seemingly mundane tasks that a mother needs to perform each day.  Another diaper to change, another load of laundry to wash, dry, fold, put away; another load of dishes to do, meal to cook, bed to make, toys to pick up, and the list could go on.  It is no small task to manage a household!  One thing that really encourages me throughout the day is listening to a Christian radio station.  The station I most often listen to plays not only great music, but has wonderful teaching throughout the day (Nancy Leigh DeMoss, James McDonald, Dennis Rainey, etc.) and a great news program in the evening (In the Market with Janet Parshall).

I was listening to the radio last night while doing the dishes (yes, I didn't wake up to dirty dishes this morning!) and love how God turned a task I typically don't enjoy into an opportunity to praise him instead.  I just love this song!

"Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord God almighty, Who was and is and is to come!" Rev. 4:8


That's one of the ways that helps me, so how do you stay encouraged throughout the day?

Friday, October 29, 2010

My Darling Little Ones

You may have noticed that a lot of the posts are focused on my oldest, school-aged child, Davin.  I started this blog with the intent to record our homeschooling year, a "scrapbook" of sorts (since real scrapbooking is way beyond my scope of talent!)  Since beginning the blog, I realized that I just can't  leave the rest of my family out of it, since our days are all intertwined together.  Therefore, this "school" blog has turned into a "family" blog.

Davin is at Grandma and Grandpa's house for a few days (another benefit of homeschooling: being able to travel and not worry about a school schedule!)  Though I miss him so, I'm taking the opportunity to soak up this time with my little ones and think of a few things I love about them.

Dorian (age 2), I love:

  • that you are the most joyful member of our family.  Even when you have tears streaming down your face after getting an owie and I ask if you're sad, you say, "No, happy."

  • how cuddly you are.  I hope you never outgrow your wonderful snuggliness!

  • your sweet voice.  The way you say "thank you, Mama", "Wuv you, mama", or "Saw-wee, Mama" (sorry).  Just hearing you talk melts my heart every time.

  • how much you love sports.  You are such a contrast from your older brother and I love that you're making my job of motherhood interesting, as it'd be boring if all my children liked exactly the same things.  I'm sure before long I'll be taking you to soccer practice, tee-ball, tae-kwan-do, etc.  What a joy that will be!  We knew from when you were quite young that you are a very coordinated little boy and have a natural gift for athletics.  We can't wait to see your gifts develop!

  • how friendly and outgoing you are.  You love being around other people and making them smile.  I remember at the 4th of July band concert this past summer during the children's marching parade, how you were giggling and beaming ear to ear as we marched through the crowd.  It was mostly elderly people, and you sure put a smile on their faces :)

  • your curiosity.  You sure kept Mama on her toes when you were younger, as you got into everything! You're still quite curious, but it doesn't make me nervous anymore :)

Quinnlyn (age 7 months), I love:

  • that you are my baby girl!  I've always wanted a little girl and hope that our relationship will be as special and close as my relationship with my mom.

  • your chubbiness, dimples, and grins.  You are such a cute baby!  I love how every time I look at you, I can't believe how precious you are.  I love how when you smile, your eyes get all squinty, your dimples on your cheeks appear, and you look just like your great-grandma, my dad's mom.

  • your laugh.  You have the sweetest laugh, and I love seeing your brothers make you laugh, especially.

  • nursing you.  Breastfeeding creates such a special bond between a mother and her baby, and I just marvel every time that I'm able to provide you the nutrients you need to grow healthy and strong every day.  Even though you get up twice a night still, I don't resent it because the time nursing you is special and will not last forever.

  • watching you dance.  Whenever you hear music, you just can't help but rock to the beat.  It is just darling! Seeing Davin play the piano and you smiling and rocking along to the music is so precious.

  • watching you grow and move.  You are growing up too fast, little girl!  You're just speeding through these milestones.  You started crawling at six months and at six months and 1 week you were speed crawling.  I love watching you crawl around and love that you can crawl right to me and into my lap for some cuddles.  I love how you say "Mamama" when I'm in a different room and crawl to come and find me.

These are just a few things I love about my darling little ones.  What I love most of all is that they gave me the most important job I can think of: motherhood!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Davin's (and my) Thoughts on Home School

He came up to me smiling and said, "Mama, I don't think homeschool's a waste of time anymore!"  "Oh, why is that?" I asked.  "Well, I actually like the books and workbooks, and even the narrations!" he said.

I wasn't aware that he thought it was a waste of time, but at least he's honest I guess!  He just likes having a lot of time for drawing, reading, Legos, pretending, playing, etc., and the interruption to do school work is not always warmly welcomed.  Today, I was very happy about his cheerful attitude when I told him we'd begin our school work.  The great thing about childhood is that kids are always learning: through play, from parents and other siblings, through reading, pretending....everything contributes to educating a child!  So, I pray that my influence as a wholehearted mother is positive and godly; that my children will grow to love the Lord.  It is a tall order and sometimes seems like an insurmountable task, but also a wonderful privilege.

Here's another story from today.

"Wanna see something?" He said as if telling me something you couldn't imagine, like (....okay, I seriously tried to think of such an instance) and he pulled out some off-brand crayons from a bag (We are usually faithful to Crayola).
"Cranberry looks like Brick Red," he says while drawing a line on a piece of paper for me to see, proving this discrepancy. "And Red looks like Cranberry!" he concluded triumphantly.

Now, this is probably only amusing to me, because ever since Davin was 2, he was adamant about me telling him the "correct" name of crayon colors. He did not believe me if I said sky blue was just "blue", for instance. We were at a little Christmas party last year and the kids were coloring a picture of the nativity scene. Davin asked the kids at the table: "Does anyone have burnt sienna that I could borrow?" The kids looked at him bewildered and the moms looked at me like, "He did *not* just say that!!"  (I agree, Davin, that you wouldn't want all the wise men to have brown beards!  A little variety really spices up the picture!)

Three Ways to Home School video from CBS News

Click on the link below:

Three Ways to Home School