Monday, December 7, 2009


We had so much fun visiting the water treatment facility today.  Big Hugaboo was very shy at first and even though the guide was extremely kid-friendly and nice X kept giving him the cold shoulder.  By the time we were done I think X had asked more questions than any other kid.  It was really fun when we went in the lab and got to see them test the water and watch it change colors with different chemicals.  I told him Uncle Mat does stuff like that and he was really impressed!

Trying something different to put multiple pictures in… its as a slide show.  Click on the picture below to see the rest.

All I Want For Christmas is My Two Front Teeth

Yup, I think that’s what one little boy will be asking for this year.  One out, one to go.  Here’s a picture before it fell out this morning as well as after.  The little tooth pillow I made on a whim at 2am day before yesterday (for the record, I knit much better than I sew!)

Came out quickly.  He was at a church party on Friday night and was playing a cracker eating contest when he realized it was loose.  And here it is Monday with my baby all grown up!

Almost out…

And its gone…

Christmas Candy

Multiple posts today with various topics :)  Here’s a sneak peek of Christmas candy that’ll be given as gifts this year as part of our handmade holidays.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Doing Good

This past Tuesday Big Hugaboo and I rang the bells for the Salvation Army Kettle drive at a local grocery store for 2 1/2 hours.  It was fun to see him learning that he could help other people and that there are people he doesn’t even know that need his help.  He was fascinated to see that when we did a little “smile experiment” it did in fact work- when we smiled at people they always smiled back!  He very much enjoyed telling everyone who came in or out of the store “Merry Christmas!”

When we were done he asked me if Santa would bring him an extra present for doing such a good job.  I told him I didn’t think so, but that he would definitely have extra treasure in Heaven.  He was totally cool with that!

Monday, November 23, 2009


So the month is almost over and I totally forgot that November was National Novel Writing Month.  So, we are going to do ours in December instead.  We’ll be putting down some of our regular work and focus on writing a (short) novel and holiday activities.  On the young writer’s program site they have a workbook to help kids write their own novel.  I’m not going to set a word count goal for us this year, instead we’ll focus on just getting a story written, illustrated, and self-published.  The recommendation for 1st grade is 300-3,000 words.

We recently found the website Kerproof which has really caught X’s attention.  So I am hoping we can use that as a tool also.  I’m really excited that he’s interested in this.  He has such a creative mind, always coming up with ideas for cool futuristic inventions- I just know this is going to be a fun project!  We’ll keep you posted as we make progress.  No more school this week for Thanksgiving break!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Granola Bars

I had a number of requests for the recipe for the granola bars we made yesterday so I will attempt to write it here for you.  The original recipe is from The Freezer Cooking Manual which actually lists it out in number of batches.  I did approximately a 2 batch, but it all fit into one pan and are thick like a “bar” not a store bought granola bar.  I also improvised a LOT so below is with my improvisations, but you can always borrow the book from me to see the specifics.

The book is great because it lists the ingredients in the order that you should add them!  This says its for 32 bars, but I put it in one cake pan.

Vegetable Oil     2/3 C

Brown Sugar     1 1/2 C (doesn’t say to pack or not so I didn’t and it was plenty)

Honey               1/4 C (I did NOT measure this, just eye balled it as I poured)

Vanilla                2 t.

Eggs                  4

Flour                  2 C (I used whole wheat but book says white is fine)

Cinnamon           2 t.

Baking powder    1 t.

Salt                     1/2 t (I used kosher)

Oats                   3 1/2-4 C (ummm, not quite sure I just dumped it in)

Accessories         2 C  (I used raisins, cranberries, chopped pecans, slivered almonds

                                   flax seeds, chocolate chips, peanut butter chips, and m&m’s)


Put in sprayed cake pan and bake at 350 for 25 min.  Says do 300 for 50 min to make them crunchy but either way to trust the timer and take out on time.

The original recipe calls for adding 4C rice krispies cereal in addition to the oats, I think this is why mine are more like cookies than bars and only made one batch vs two ;)  I also only put the pb ones on one side of the pan and chocolate on the other side so we have two different types of bars. Made this before with sunflower seeds and more nuts as well.  I think it would be good with more fruit pieces.  Next time I will also put in finely grated carrots.

A Little Holiday Fun

So I went a little overboard today at Michaels.  I went in to buy an ink pad for stamping and some cork for a project then walked out with enough project supplies to rival Martha Stewart herself.  Family members shouldn’t be surprised if they get hot glued Christmas trees with glitter on them.

So then of course I came across this website to bring you even more holiday cheer.  Its shared on Facebook already, but I know not all the grandparents are on there yet ;)  Enjoy!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Fieldtrip & Cooking

Today we went to Ice Crystal Engineering which was pretty fun.  MY kids didn’t seem to enjoy it as much as I think they should have (Big X wanted to get back to the car to play video games…) but it was cool.  The essentially make fireworks that help to make it rain and others that help breakup/prevent hail.  The guy who gave us the tour actually is a pyrotechnics guy!  Anyway, here’s a few pictures.

While A was at music tonight X and I made homemade granola bars and snack mix.  Mmmm.  BTW- yes these pictures today are all brought to you courtesy of my phone camera hence the blur and weird color.  We'll pretend thats why the kitchen looks cluttered and messy.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Invention Blueprints

Big Hugaboo has LOTS of ideas for inventions.  Of course he does, he’s going to be an inventor when he grows up, of course.  So I told him he needed to start drawing up his blueprints so he doesn’t forget his ideas.  I gave him a huge piece of paper & some markers and away he went.  Note that many of the things coming out of the robot are booby traps so please be careful around this bad guy. And the little people drawn inside of it were trapped in bags and other various traps that didn’t get labeled. I did help him spell a few of the words, but not much at all.  I was super impressed with how much he did on his own.  However, for your sake I will translate…

Upper Left title:  Cowboy Badguy (notice the cowboy hat!)
Middle Left: Laser (spelled Lazer)
Lower Left in yellow:  Fishing Pole (spelled Fishen Pol)- we can thank Grandpa Bill for this idea of course.
Right Corner:  Whip, Bomb (spelled Bom), Rocket, and signed his name Xander

Friday, November 13, 2009


I’m testing out Windows Live Writer for posting to the blog.  Seems pretty cool ;)  Just wish my computer hadn’t crashed last week.  I’ll try to get to more updates soon!!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

A Typical Thursday

I haven't posted in a while and have had several requests to do so (thank you, grandparents!)  Also thought you might be interested in seeing what type of work we do in a typical day.  We started out reading a book (usually he reads to me, but this was a more difficult book so this time I had him read with me instead.)  Then we did some word family cards We're reviewing TouchMath addition.  I learned math this way and still add with the touchpoints LOL. Then we did a few phonics worksheets, focusing on the long A sound.   He did some journalling and finished up with some fingerprint art.  As I type the kids are wearing blanket capes and pretending to be superheros.  After lunch he will read another short book to me and practice his Bible verses for Awana he's been memorizing about three verses a week.  Then we will go to a homeschool fitness class at the YMCA this afternoon.  This evening little A will go to Kindermusik.  Yes, we keep VERY busy!  No wonder my house is never clean!!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

I wonder...

I wonder if the kid who put this sign up was homeschooled??  Proloblie not.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

More Camp Photos

I was very proud of my guy today when I asked him in Spanish if he was hungry and he responded appropriately!  Then I asked him point blank if he could tell me in Spanish his name, sure enough "Me llamo Manuel."  YAY!  He's getting it :)  Waiting to hear back from CLV about a possible reference for a tutor. While there the director told me she knew someone that lives near us who had worked there previously and was going to check to see if he would want to help out, yippee!

AND when I asked little hugaboo this morning in Spanish her name she did answer "Alicia"  very validating.

Sooo, here's a few more pics!

A- wearing a dress my parents got for her in Mexico.

With Baby, of course.

Yes, my child is the one person in this photo facing the wrong way for the dance LOL

He got the "Super Espanol" nametag to wear for the day for doing a good job speaking Spanish and as a reminder for himself and others to speak it all day :)

And here's where the cure is almost worse than the disease.  The medicine used to remove his warts is slowly burning off his skin :(  I have been keeping ointment on it so it itches less and the bandaid is from an open sore.  Poor guy.  But you can see in the part beneath the bandaid are all warts that we'll treat next.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Spanish Camp

I will probably post more about camp later as right now I'm quite worn out! It was a great experience for all. Manuel & Alicia liked it a lot and my adult class was really fun. I told them I didn't really want to learn new things and preferred to review/practice so they put me in an easier class than last time. MUCH better experience! Both kids seemed to pick up a lot of new vocabulary as did I. Lots of singing, dancing, games, crafts, cooking, eating, skits, & campfires. The weather could have been better, but it didn't really slow us down much! Here are a few pictures from the weekend :)



Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Everything is an experiment

Conversation at bedtime with X trying to delay...

X: Mom, can I have some cabbage as a snack tonight?

Me: We don't have any cabbage, how about spinach?

X: Can I have chocolate on it?

Me: Sure, why not?
Might I also mention he's NEVER eaten either cabbage or spinach in his life before.

Roller skating

The kids got to go roller skating for the first time today!  I definately should have only brought one of them at a time out for the first time LOL  An almost 3 yr old and 5 yr old can squeeze your hands awefully tight when they don't quite have their balance ha ha ha.  We went with a local homeschooling group so it was nice to get to meet a couple of the moms.  This was our first HS group activity for the year.  We'd gone to a couple plays last year, but nothing really "social" like this.  Can't wait until next time!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

YAY! A Spanish Name for Little A.

So we are going to Spanish langauge camp in a week and a half and its been so hard to pick a name for her to use when we get there.  Last spring Big X chose the name Manuel from a movie and I already had my name from high school (Beatriz) bur since A is coming with us this time we needed a name for her.  We'll start practicing this week speaking more Spanish around the house and I want her to get used to this pretend name so she's recognize it when we go.  So without further ado... Alicia!  It should have been really easy to come up with that since it is so close to her real name LOL.  Plus, its the name of Diego's sister on the show so clearly its a no-brainer.  She already likes to pretend with that name so hopefully its not already taken when we go there!!!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Grade K Helpful Sites

Just got an email from a client of mine who is a kindergarten teacher in our district.  Here's what she said about what skills are needed for reading/writing as well as some websites.  Thanks, Erin!

We practice handwriting everyday and journal every morning. Right now we are drawing pictures and trying to label what the pictures are. By Christmas time students should be writing simple sentences using some sight words. By the end of the year students should be able to write a few sentences, with good finger spaces, sight words and other words spelt correctly. Let me know if you need anything else…I am more than happy to help!

Egypt Unit Study

We've been having fun studying Egypt the last few school days.  We've added in stories about Moses (several versions) as well.  In our history book the next section is about Sumer and the story of Sargon is told, so I wanted the kids to have the stories about Moses fresh in their minds before we read that so we can compare and contrast.  For those who aren't familiar, the story of Sargon as a baby is VERY similar (like almost exactly) the same as Moses being put into a basket.  Here's what we've been doing for this unit:

  • Big Hugaboo really likes looking different maps and tracing the Nile river then drawing in pyramids.
  • Right now the kids are watching a documentry from the library about ancient Egypt as I try to get them to rest before naptime. 
  • We opted out of mummifying a real chicken. 
  • We also wrote his name in hieroglyphics on clay. 
  • He's journaled about putting treasure in his own pyramid and made a map with all the booby traps!
  • Read a number of different nonfiction books and looked at lots of pictures.

He is VERY insistant that he wants to take a trip to Egypt so he can research the writing on the pyramids to see if real people did write inside them long ago.  He wants to see it for himself. I told him that when he's 10 if he still wants to go there we can go together.  I think that sounds like fun!

Monday, September 21, 2009


We only had one sunflower come up in our garden this year (I was hoping for a couple varieties of them) but boy was it fun to dissect the one we had!  First we cut the stalk down, then chopped off the head.  It was really fun picking the seeds out (we didn't let them dry first) so we could see where the seeds were living underneath the little "pollen" flowers.  Layer by layer we looked at everything.  Inside there is a cottony layer of cellulose where the flower was "drinking" from the stem like a straw!  Right in the center it was hollow.  And we really lucked out that there was even one spot that a worm had tunneled in and made a home!!!  That was really cool to observe as well.  We are going to let the seeds dry out for a day or two, then we will give them to the birds in our birdfeeder.  Oh, and he's doing experiments on the seeds now (in and out of the shell) - did you know that sunflower seeds float? 

If you haven't grown your own sunflower before you really should.  Next year buy a packet of seeds and plant a couple.  They are really cool!

Saturday, September 19, 2009


Just had to share this from Thursday's playtime.  Big Hugaboo had made a fort in the kitchen with the doors and drawers to the cupboards.  He then put up a sign.  I asked what it said and of course to him it was completely obvious as he sounded it out for me "C, el, us, Z, D"  Oh, "closed" I said.  Yep, thats what it says. Clearly.  Oh and the two signs hung up next to that one are images of "no girls allowed".  Nice.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

working working working

We've been plugging away on lots of differnt things.  I'm really liking the Story of the World history curriculum we got.  We do have a "social studies" curriculum as well, but I plan to use that as a suppliment here and there and save it for next year most likely.  Its just not as fun!  Big Hugaboo (which I may just start calling Big X since its shorter LOL) is really doing well.  He's not challenging my authority as much if any compared to last year when it comes to school work.  I honestly saw a day and night change when we started using a quasi-workbox method.  He needs that definative "we will do A B and C take a break then D and E" and he can see into the boxes and knows generally what we're going to do for each of those. We're also getting into a more settled rhythem of waking up and doing morning stuff then getting down to the school room to get it done.  They know if they get work done fast they can go to play fast.  And that policy stands well with me as long as the work they are doing is of good quality, I don't see a point in pushing quantity just to fill up "school" hours.

My biggest challenge right now is finding time to occupy little hugaboo when the big one needs hands on help.  I try to keep her busy, but she needs a lot of assistance too.  I'm trying to get a better balance of this and schedule his help work when she can be doing something on her own, but my heart feels like she's getting the short end of the stick in the morning during school time as I'm often just pushing her out of the way with a jar of playdough and legos when she'd really rather be painting or dancing with me as her instructor.  Sigh, that'll get easier as we keep going I'm sure.  And next year she'll go to Small Wonders like Big X did which will work out well as he moves to second grade and more intense work next year.

Ok, enough of my ramblings for now.  Exicited for tomorrow, we'll be making clay tablets and using handmade paper to write things in cuniform and hyroglyphics then a science experiement to see which will erode or wear out faster.  Hence helping us understand about how information was shared in early history and why they changed from things like clay vs paper as well as the different writing forms that were used.  He's also doing map work and will get to see the Nile river from a different view tomorrow than today, so I'm curious about how he will perceive that when he sees the map that is zoomed much further out showing other bodies of water and land.

And one more thing as a teaser.  I am working on a lapbook for the story Stone Soup.  I'm hoping in the next couple weeks.  This weekend I have a wedding, but the kids will be gone so once I get home if I'm not exhausted I may have extra time to get more planning done.  So far its looking really exciting :)

Monday, September 14, 2009

math fun

Just a typical day around here!  Thought I'd just share an example of some math work we're doing.  Just dumped a bunch of dice on the table and then put them onto a chart.  Next time we're gonna do it in two's to practice skip counting by 2.
I wonder what she's thinking about?

Friday, September 11, 2009

quite an adventure

So Fridays are intended to be our go out and do it type things.  Fieldtrips or whatever.  This week we took the public bus to the downtown library.  I thought it would be a great opporunity to have Big X count money so we could have exact change.  Help plan our route (used the map online) and also he could determine where to go.  It was decided by me that taking bus 16 would be a good choice.  We could drop off the car at the mall then take the whole route around (library is the last stop) and it would be loads of fun.  We got on in the nick of time just has they were starting to close the doors.  The kids clung closesly to me as I explained the different parts of the bus and pointed out things outside that perhaps they hadn't notice from this new perspective. Big X got to pull the cord when it was time to stop.  We get out and there is some sort of "issue" arising on the steps of the main enterance of the library.  A women was chaced up not the steps by a number of police officers and several do-gooders standing around incase she tried to run again.  So we decided to go for a hot chocolate down the road and come back a half hour later.  So we go back, cops still there, but they allowed us to pass to go inside.  We wait.  Lots of people come in and wait too.  They keep checking the doors.  More kids arrive and wait.  Finally someone states that there is a small sign on the outer door saying on Friday's the library opens late at 11am!!!!!!!!!!!  So here's something like 30 people waiting at 10am and its the one day they open late.  The one day we take the bus.   Rather than wait an hour for the next bus to come get us, we talked the four blocks to the bus station and waited a while there finding a bus that would get us back to our vehicle.  I like having a car.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

cub scout!

Ok, so not school related, but I just can't resist sharing.  My little guy looks so big!  He's officially a cub scout today.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

legos and soup

Well we're all in the recovering phase from influenza that has been at our house for the last week and a half so figured today would be a pretty light day, but we actually got a lot accomplished.  Started out playing with Legos which is always fun for a five year old :)  After he built his creation he'd take it apart one block at a time and made a chart for each color used.  This was a fun activity because he could use his creativity to build then math and charting skills to count and make the chart.  Then we did it again and he had to only read the chart to me (vs counting each block- he had to actually look at it and find that it was colored to line 8 for white, therefore there were 8 blocks.) 

We also talked about nomads for history and made a "cave painting".  We used only brown paint and a giant piece of paper.  Um, his cave painting consisted of "an octopus stuck in mud trying to squirt ink" at something not even on the page.  Not sure if he entirely understood the concept of cave painting that I was trying to convey!

After all the other regular stuff we trekked out to gymnastics since today was the first day of this session- and I figured it would be good for them to get out since we were inside ALL weekend sick.  The little one moved up to the big girl class so it was pretty exciting for her especially!!

We bought some groceries afterwards and decided to make soup.  Pasta e Fagoli and all sorts of extra veggies.  I didn't think about it until after the fact but we should have gotten stuff to make stone soup, so we'll do that next time :)  The kids had never been involved with soup making before and it was pretty fun for them to help cut the carrots, "squish" the garlic (with the press of course!) and add all the different types of beans and lentils.  But alas, it wasn't done in time for supper (beans weren't ready yet) so we'll have it tomorrow instead. 

Oh, and BIG news!  Frankies moved into a new shell.  We had stopped this afternoon at a mom & pop fish shop that we'd not been in before and I figured I should buy SOMETHING so we got several new shells at a whopping 25 cents a pop LOL  A few hours later I discovered that Frankie was in a new shell :)  The kids are so excited, but then again, so am I.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Knights Lapbook

This was such a fun project!  We all enjoyed it a lot.  Oh, and that is a griffin drawn on his coat of arms/ shield btw :)