Thursday, March 31, 2011

Look What We Got

Last night hubby put this together for us in anticipation of.......
These little cuties. Today we purchased 6 Buff Orpington hens to Grace to raise. They will go into a different coop and run than the hens and rooster we already own. We acquired our last flock at 4 mths of age and they immediately went outside to their coop. This time Grace will be able to see the whole process. These girls are just 5 days old. After we finish our gardening unit for science in a couple of weeks the remainder of the school year will be taken up with raising chickens and butterflies. Grace will be recording their growth for her science. Looking forward to eggs maybe in September before time changes right about the time the other flock will stop laying due to molting.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Pizza Dough Recipe

I was asked by a couple of readers to post my recipe for our home made pizzas. This dough is not mine originally, but I don't remember where I got it.

  • 1 packet yeast

  • 1/4 cup lukewarm water

  • 1 teaspoon sugar

  • 1 cup lukewarm water

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 3 1/2 - 4 1/2 cups unbleached white flour

1. Place yeast in 1/4 cup lukewarm water and sugar in a bowl. Stir to dissolve yeast. Add 1 cup lukewarm water, the olive oil, salt, and 3 1/2 cups flour a little at a time until easy to handle.

2. Knead dough in bowl about 10 minutes or until smooth, elastic and easy to handle. Shape into a ball.

3. Spread a little olive oil on bottom and sides of bowl. Add the ball then turn over oiled side up. Cover and set in warm spot for one hour. Lightly sprinkle 2 12inch pizza pans with cornmeal and set aside.

4. Punch down dough, cut in half and form each half into a ball. On floured board pat or roll out each ball of dough into a circle. Place circle over knuckles and gently stretch to just about the size of pan.

5. Place the rounds in pans and flatten center with your hands leaving a raised edge around the rim.

6. Add toppings of choice then place in 500 degree oven and bake 10-15 minutes.

Guess What We Are Getting Tomorrow

Something I've been wanting for a while. Will tell tomorrow with pictures.

Garden Progress

The lettuce seems to plugging along.
Red potatoes started coming up this week. The white potatoes are still in the warm underground home with no leaves present. I have been a little worried this week. Rain almost every day and not a ray of sunshine since Friday. That is 4 days if anyone is counting. I don't want my potatoes to rot in the ground from so much rain. The weather predicts this kind of weather until Saturday. Hubby went down to the garden yesterday and reported that the marigolds are not looking good and not sure why. He did plant some zinnia seeds while down there. Hopefully next week I will be able to show some more progress, if we get some sun. I know it is just the end of March, but I'm anxious.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Thoughts of Summer Schooling

About two years ago I had discussed with Grace and hubby about trying to work toward a year around school. Of course that didn't go over to well with Grace. There are so many things that I want to teach her that the regular school year just doesn't seem like enough time, especially when you already have an individual who has problems in math and spelling. But as this summer rolls around I also feel that I need a break from teaching. I have been racking my brain for a compromise. Something popped into my head today while folding laundry. I have told Grace yet, but she will just have to play along. I am the adult here. On days off from school Grace tends to gravitate to anything electronic. Computer, DS, Video games, TV with other things thrown in like drawing, reading and playing with friends. Here my idea on incorporating some school during the summer without her really thinking much about it. I will create a list of activities for her to choose from each day before being allowed electronic time. She will need to pick three activities each day. Of course if we have fun plans to go somewhere or hang out with friends, it will not apply. I should also mention that she cannot pick the same three activities each day with the exception of one can always be reading or listening to an audio book, everything else will need to be different each day. I plan on picking up a couple of fun things at the convention in May to keep her occupied over the summer to add to this list. She will also be attending a couple of summer day camps (anime and arts camps). So far this is my list:

  • Listen to audio book 30 minutes

  • Read for 30 minutes

  • Work in garden

  • Draw 30 minutes something other than anime

  • paint with watercolors

  • Listen to mom read aloud for 30 minutes

  • Go to library and find a subject to research and read about

  • Crafts, jewelry making, etc.

  • Work on a puzzle

  • Play a boardgame

  • Go through review cards

  • Go on a walk

  • Go on a Hike

  • Go to river and swim

  • Create with legos for 30 minutes

  • Watch a documentary with mom or dad

  • Home Ec activity
I am hoping this will cut down on some of the vegging in front of the television time. If anyone out there has more ideas to add to the list, please let me know.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

The Study of Food

To continue our study of gardening and food, I picked up a few new books about food from the library. The book we will add first is The History of Food. This book has five chapters consisting of canning, pasteurization, refrigeration, supermarkets, and genetically modified foods. I will have her read a chapter then write a couple of paragraphs in her Science notebook of what she learned.
Got this book because Grace just loves looking through it. What The World Eats is broken down into various countries around the world. Each entry starts with a picture of a family from that country with all the food on their table that they will eat in a week. The next page breaks down the costs, what types of food are eaten, what condiments are used, fast food, etc. Some of the countries included are Turkey, Poland, Mongolia, Mexico, Egypt, Ecuador, Great Britain, and so many more.
The last book I am adding to our study is Food For Thought The Stories Behind The Things We Eat. This book is in chapters about a handful of fruits and vegetables, their origins and how they came to be. Again I will have Grace read a chapter and then write a couple of paragraphs in her Science journal.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Stocking the Freezer

This morning was a baking morning. I love anything sweet for breakfast. I like to eat breakfast when my feet hit the floor. I do not like making muffins and such at 7 in the morning. So this morning I decided to get up and bake to stock the freezer with a variety of muffins and breakfast bars to the next week or so. The baking frenzy started out with choc. chip muffins made from scratch. These are the favorites of my kids.
These are a new recipe I found in Hodgson Mill Whole Grain Baking cookbook. If they taste as good as they look I will share the recipe this week. This is Banana Wheat Germ muffins for me and hubby. I have one more recipe to try which is a breakfast bar made with apples and cranberries which I need to get from the store. I included this last picture because we love pizza and only home made will do now. The others you purchase just can't come close. Last night was pizza night and I wanted to show how great they came out. Grace will be eating seconds today for lunch.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Classes Outside of the Home

Grace mentioned to me today that she would like to be a part of some classes that don't involve me being around. I could get my feelings hurt, but she is growing up and wants some independence. Next year we are considering alot of classes/activities outside of the home that I would not teach. She will continue with drama and will be moving up into the high school drama class for 7th grade and up. Unfortunately I am a co-teacher in the drama classes so she is just stuck with me. But there are some other choices on the horizon. Actually so many choices that I wander if I will be over scheduling her. Grace's head drama teacher also teaches classes out of her home. This year some interesting stuff is being offered. I really wanted her to take the conversational Spanish class that would take place two mornings a week and a tone chimes/music class once a week in the afternoon. Last year a Grace took a pottery class that she enjoyed at the same location but mainly they did pottery that they built. This year a new pottery class will include working on the wheel and I know she doesn't want to miss out on that. Now to add to the mix is a possible drawing class that will be available two days a month. All of these above mentioned classes Grace would be on her own without me around. So the run down looks like this:

Drama one afternoon a week
Conversational Spanish two mornings a week
Drawing Class one afternoon every other week (twice a month)
Tone Chimes/Music one afternoon a week
Pottery one afternoon a week but will only be for a certain length of time like 8 weeks

After fitting in all of these classes I then have to fit in her work at home for History, Science, Language Arts, Math, Bible and a possibly Geography.

Lots Accomplished Today

Spent most of the day off with a great friend and her kids. Went to the big library and got some great books for me and Grace. Will share a list soon when I do a what's on my nightstand to read kind of post. Right now I will tell you that I am reading Animal, Vegetable, Miracle and throughly enjoying it. Some of the other stops along the way were Goodwill, lunch at Chickfila, Kohl's, and Sams. Couldn't find much at Goodwill except a pair of jeans shorts for Grace. Visited Kohl's for white tights for Grace's Alice costume. Sams was a trip me and my friend planned for a while to stock up on some items for the pantry. When I got there I was pretty shell shocked, could only find about 10 items that we would really use. I was hoping to find flour, sugar, etc. in 25 - 50 lb bags. I did find it but it was all bleached flour. Haven't used that in a long time. Probably going to have to purchase from some company online. Any recommendations of companies would be welcomed. Also went to the produce store this afternoon. Once we got home had to get the dough rising for dinner to make homemade pizza. Also noticed that I received an email for a used book sale I will be involved with in May and they sent me a bar code reader download to make everything work faster. Boy did it. Last year it took me forever to get everything together for the used book sale, this time 45 minutes. Print the bar code and tape to the item. Pretty great. Now my engine is running low and can't wait to go to bed. Another early morning tommorrow to help at church for a community breakfast.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Around Our Homestead

In the Garden - Hubby went down to the big garden and planted onions, peppers, sunflowers, and peas. It is kind of a community garden down there and all the families except one were there also doing their planting. Once we put in our cucumbers, melons, and tomatoes I think our space will be used up.

With the Chickens - After all the praising I did about the plastic eggs in the nesting boxes and how great they worked ... well, two days ago someone started laying eggs again up in the roosting area. Also Mr. Rooster decided to try and attack my last night when I was replacing the water.

Playtime - Went to a friend's house today for a playdate. Kids spent the day outside and us moms stayed inside to talk and catch up. Much fun was had by all.

School - Good school day. In math we started learning about adding and subtracting integers. Grace is actually understanding this more than fractions, decimals and long division. Go figure.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Victory Garden Poster

Over the past couple of weeks we have been working through a garden unit study by Amanda Bennett. Monday's activity was to research Victory Gardens. What were they? When were they used? Were they successful? The activity assigned to Grace was to design her own poster to promote why it is good to grow your own food. She focused on food with no pesticides, being able to feed yourself in times of trouble, and being healthy. Of course she had to include an anime character as a personal touch. This unit study has been very informative on so many levels, but I would say the best and most important part is the way it has influenced Grace's eating habits and views on organic food.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Curriculum Thoughts For Next Year

Most homeschooling moms are planning for the next school year every Spring. I am no different. I really want to incorporate some new things for next year for multiple reasons. Grace needs some new different items to jump start a love for learning again. Most of the next thoughts are going to be jumbled because I still haven't figured it all out. In May my family will be attending the GHEA convention for three days. Hoping for lots of inspiration and more research on some of the items I am considering. What we will keep: The Story of the World - Really love this program. Grace can do it on her own, she enjoys the chapters and does well with test booklet that goes with the program. We will be moving in to Vol. 3. Spelling Through Copywork - This program from Queenhomeschool is also a keeper. This year we worked through the first 12 lessons and have 15 more for next year. I stretched it out because we do not do spelling every day. Easy Grammar - Love, love, love this program. By the way, did I mention I love this program. Worked halfway through with the remaining half for 7th grade. Again we don't do grammar every day. What I already have on hand and will be using next year: The Usborne Introduction To Art(Internet-Linked) - I have had this book for a couple of years but wasn't real sure how to incorporate it in to our schedule or how to use it. We are dropping Grace's private art lessons so I think I will have her read through this book a couple of times a week and follow some of the Internet links. Masterpieces Coloring Book - Got this at a used book store recently. For each artist there is a short bio and coloring page of a famous painting. Will also ask Grace to sketch some of the paintings. Wordly Wise Book 7 - Vocabulary Writing Poems by Remedia Publications - This will be the first year that we are diving in to poetry. This book has simplified exercises for learning how to write: rhymes, couplets, triplets, quatrains, haikus and free verse. What I want to see at the convention before buying: Science - Science is a tough one for us. Last week I had started working on putting my own science curriculum together with geology, meteorology, volcanoes, earthquakes, some physical science, and nature studies. But I think it will be alot cheaper to just purchase one of the Jeannie Fulbright books (more than likely Zoology - Marine animals) but I know Grace is also interested in the Astronomy book. Queenhomeschool also has three new nature study books that I am interested in seeing. Grace is at the top end of the age for those. History - A Living History of Our World is also from Queenhomeschool. This is a narrative spine that covers American History in two or three separate volumes. May decide to do history classically with studying World History through The Story of the World and American History through A Living History of Our World simultaneously. Bible - Obviously will continue to read the Bible but something from Doorposts also interests me. Beauty and the Pig which is a Bible study through the book of Ruth. Language Arts - I am still interested in looking at Secondary Language Lessons from Queenhomeschool. We did this program a couple of years ago and enjoyed it's very easy going manner. This particular volume has lots of study about poetry which would tie in nicely the the poetry workbook we already have. Geography - I love geography and Grace has great memorization skills for map drills. Looking at Expedition Earth from Knowledge Quest. Art - Hoping to see something that catches my eye at the convention. Maybe something dvd based to help Grace progress in her drawing skills. Math - Grace's arch nemesis. Unless I see something really great at the convention I am handing math over to the computer and teaching textbooks. So probably 3/4 of our curriculum will be changed up a bit. Looking forward to a great convention with lots of great products to look through.

Monday, March 21, 2011

First Signs of Life in the Garden

Lettuce peeking through. Today hubby went down to the garden to plant the marigolds and strawberries. Also did a little weeding, not much growing yet. I didn't go down the the garden today, went to the doctor instead. Very sore throat for 3-4 days. Tested for strep but negative. I have suffered from acid reflux for the past five years and looks like it may be the culprit. Switched to a new medication, may take up to a month to take effect. Off to a three hour drama practice. Only two weeks until Alice in Wonderland performance.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

A Little Bit of Gardening Anyone?

Here are marigolds and 4 strawberry plants that we will take down to the big garden on Monday morning to plant.
Impatiens are my favorite flower. This past Fall we moved all the containers to the back of the house and they are a little heavy. Will need hubby to help move them and we need to take down the other chicken pen to make more room for them.
Here are strawberry plants coming back from last year. I had alot of trouble last year with the squirrels eating my strawberries right when it was time to pick them. We live surrounded by woods with lots of squirrels. These plants will be transplanted down in the big garden on Monday also. I am hoping that being in a big open field the squirrels will leave them alone for fear of hawks swooping down to get them. But we will have to worry about the bears, raccoons, etc. trying to eat them.
Last but not least Grace would not let me leave the nursery without her picking out two plants for herself to take care of on the front deck. One is a gerber daisy and the other I am having trouble remembering.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Grace's New Anime Characters

Grace is still deeply entrenched in the whole manga/anime world. She is currently using her writing time each day to write a story and feverishly illustrating characters both for the book and just for fun.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Eat Your Fruits and Veggies

Since we watched "What's on Your Plate" last week Grace has turned into a brand new person as far as her diet goes. I have had to purchase produce twice in 10 days and about to go back for more tomorrow. Of course there are three other people in the house eating it too. I am so proud of her. Instead of eating chips and crackers, etc. for snacks and with her lunch she now picks carrots, apples, pears, nuts, mandarin oranges, and cantaloupe. She even looked at all the labels of the items we purchased at the last grocery trip and was disgusted at the long list of ingredients. As each week goes by we are trying to change some things about our diet. The local produce store we have is small and doesn't really carry organic items. I do purchase nuts and honey from this store too. On the list tomorrow to purchase will be apples, bananas, pears, strawberries, cantaloupe, nuts and honey.

Random Homesteading Thoughts

  • I received a catalog in the mail yesterday from Cackle Hatchery. Seriously thinking about acquiring some bantams in the near future. Of course hubby needs to build another coop first. We are looking at maybe 3-5 bantams to replaced our beloved Bella that we lost a few weeks ago. Can't put them with the other chickens. Lesson learned. The 5 hens that we have now will start slowing down in egg production in the next couple of years so I know if we want to continue getting farm fresh eggs I will need to continue to add to our flock. So maybe bantams aren't the way to go because their eggs will be small. So many decisions. All of this probably won't come to fruition for another couple of months. Would love to get chicks and let Grace experience it, but all the hatcheries will only ship a min. of 15 chicks, which we do not have the room to accommodate.

  • This weekend will be purchasing strawberries to plant as well as marigolds and zinnias to outline our garden to help with pollination and insects. I also need to get something planted in the back soon for the chickens to eat.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

All About Germination

Today's hands on activity for science was put together with some friends. We chose a bean seed germination experiment. Five jars are involved:

  • Jar 1 - we placed a couple of moist paper towels loosely in the jar with three bean seeds which was placed in the windowsill for warmth.

  • Jar 2 - This jar was prepared the same as jar one but placed in the refrigerator.

  • Jar 3 - This jar was prepared the same as jar one but with dry paper towels.

  • Jar 4 - This jar was prepared the same as jar one but steel wool was placed inside the jar to absorb all the oxygen.

  • Jar 5 - This jar was also prepared the same as jar one but with black construction paper to block out light.

We have a data sheet to record our progress for the next 10 days. Each jar has one source it needs taken away from it - oxygen, light, or water. We will report by in 10 days with the winner.

The Adventures of Robin Hood

Last night as a family we sat down to watch the 1938 version of The Adventures of Robin Hood. In The Story of the World Grace has been reading about Richard the Lionheart and the middle ages. I thought it would be good to watch a family friendly movie that depicted alot about what she was reading. Obviously Hollywood took some advantages with the movie but all in all it was a very good movie. The plot was basically about the tensions between the Normans and the Anglo Saxons as well as Prince John trying to take the throne from King Richard. At the end all was well. King Richard returned from The Crusades to keep his throne and Robin Hood and Maid Marian went off to live a happily ever kind of life together. The action scenes were really good for a movie made in 1938.

Next up will be The Crusades by Cecil B Demille also produced in the 1930s. This will help illustrate some of Grace's readings of The Crusades in her history book. It is a real shame that you have to go back to the 1930's to find family friendly films to watch. Netflix has openned up a whole new world as far as different types of films. I have made a whole list of documenteries and historical films for us to watch as a family. Maybe one or two a week and definitely more during the summer when school isn't in session. But little will Grace know that she is still learning by watching all these films. Kind of underhanded isn't it. lol. Just trying to broaden her horizons and well as mine.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Tricks of the Trade

We have had problems from day one with our chickens roosting int he nesting boxes. Then we got that problem fixed and had to contend with the problem of all the hens wanting to lay their eggs in the dirty nesting box. I did some research and learned that you can put a plastic or wooden egg in each nesting box to attract the hens to lay. From day one the hens have laid beside that plastic egg. No more dirty eggs from the roosting box. No more agitated hens fighting over space to lay in the roosting box. Everyone is happy and lay more eggs than before. I would recommend this to anyone. Definitely one of the tricks of the chicken business.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Progress in the Garden

With rain in the forecast for tomorrow we knew it was now or almost never to get some veggies planted in the garden. This after the three of us rode down to the garden with garden business on the brain. The pictures don't show all the rows because hubby went back after dinner to finish up. All rows are 28 ft long. Today we planted 4 rows of red potatoes, 2 1/2 of white potatoes, 1 row each of iceburg lettuce, black seeded lettuce, baby spinach, romaine and bibb lettuce. I will still plant more lettuce in about a week. Need lots for us and the chickens. As I mentioned before I also have two varieties of tomatoes, 32 each, started at a friends greenhouse.

Home Ec and Science In One

In Science today with our gardening unit we watched a video about George Washington Carver from Franklin Springs. I won this dvd about two weeks ago in a blog giveaway. It came at just the right time for our study. This dvd was great and so was George Washington Carver. His life was absolutely astounding. He accomplished so much from the background he was born in to. I learned something new - didn't know that painted and invented over 300 products made out of peanuts.
After lunch we needed to cut open an avocado to get the seed to start soaking to hopefully get it to sprout. We have high aspirations of it growing into an avocado tree that we keep inside. This in turn sprouted an idea in my husband's brain about using a corner of our kitchen to build an indoor greenhouse to grow greens during the fall and winter months. Anyway we had two avocados that we need to do something with, Grace loves guacamole, so that is what got made. Easy recipe and according to Grace and hubby very delicious.
2 ripe avocados
1 teaspoon lemon or lime juice
1 tablespoon mayonnaise
1 tablespoon salsa
We had a great Home Ec/Science day.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

What a Great Night

Today was all about preparing for a game night at our house for middle and high school girls from our homeschool group. Two of Grace's friends were unable to make it due to illness. But we still had 7 girls in attendance. To start the night off right we had home made pizza and dessert. Boy those girls could really put the food away. After dinner we dove right in to the games. Grace and two other girls played a few hands of UNO and then Herd Your Horses. I was roped in to playing Apples to Apples with the remainder of the girls. Once we had played a couple of rounds with all the laughter going on the other group decided they wanted to play too. Grace's group couldn't stand it a moment longer, they wanted to get in on the fun. So for three hours I had 8 preteen and teen girls in my home for dinner and games. It all went really well and Grace had a great time. We are planning on this being a monthly event.

Decisions About History For Next Year

I am in a real pickle about what to use for history next year. We worked through the first two volumes of The Story of the World this year and have really enjoyed them. I think Grace is getting alot from them. But we also wanted to start using the Ancient Egypt recommendations from Simply Charlotte Mason, otherwise we might night make it through the 6 year rotation. The plan was one week do a couple of chapters from The Story of the World and the next week work through our materials for Ancient Egypt. Well, now a third group of materials have entered the arena to consider. The top picture is of a series being carried by A Living History of Our World looks like a perfect CM friendly study of American History. There is a student journal that can be purchased separately for narration writings, vocabulary, geography, etc. Now I am thinking maybe to use The Story of the World Volume 3 and A Living History of Our World Volume 1 (American History) one week of each for 7th grade. Then in 8th grade I can do half a year of Ancient Egypt and half a year of Ancient Greece which will keep us on the 6 year history rotation. If anyone has any thoughts about this, I would appreciate your point of view. The Story of the World photo is credited to A Living History of Our World is credited to

Friday, March 11, 2011

Movie From Netflix - What's on your Plate

Grace and myself watched a live streaming documentary from Netflix today that we enjoyed. In Science as many of you already know we are studying gardening/plants. The movie I chose for us to watch today, "What's On Your Plate", was created by a couple of middle school girls with their families. The girls live in one of the inner cities of New York. One of the girls went on vacation in Ohio and tasted a cherry tomato from a farm and couldn't believe how wonderful it tasted. The thought process started about why the tomatoes she ate at home didn't taste as good. This kickstarted an entire process of learning about how food is transported, eating locally, obesity, organic gardening, CSAs, what ingredients are in our foods, etc. I thought the documentary was well thought out and enjoyable to watch. After viewing the film Grace's mindset was really changed about what food she put in her mouth. This afternoon it prompted a visit to the local produce store to purchase grapes, pears, apples, bananas, carrots, avocados, and baby spinach. She has already eaten a carrot and apple and plans on a pear for snack tonight. I hope this continues. I told her after the movie that I wished we had a local CSA or farmer's market to attend. Then I stopped myself and remembered in a couple of months our garden will be our very own farmer's market, it just won't cost us anything.

Science with Friends

This afternoon we went to a friend's house to do a little science. Today was all about the seed. I also started about 50 tomato plants and placed them in my friend's greenhouse. Looking forward to lots of tomatoes to try and make some sauce. Also finished up my last skirt.
We dissected a corn seed and bean seed. Learned the difference between monocots and dicots as well as the different parts of the seed.
Grace's favorite part was using the microscope to view a monocot and a dicot plant. Next week we will all meet together to do a hands on experiment about germination.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

This Week's Happenings

Monday and Tuesday - Mostly school and drama practice. Drama practice is becoming more intense, we only have 6 more practices before performance of Alice in Wonderland.

Wednesday - Rain. Lots of rain. I think it was predicted that we would recieve 2-3 inches of rain, and it certainly felt like it. Despite the bad weather we still went to Gainesville with my mother for lunch and a little shopping. Twice a year my mother likes to buy each grand child a few pieces of clothing for the new season. Grace decided to take the day off from school and make it up on Saturday. Saturday we will be doing school so we won't lose a day for the week.Had a great lunch out and a trip to game stop where Grace purchased a 6 dollar game with her money for the playstation 2. She is all about Sonic right now. We also visited Michaels to purchase something for the chickens. Chickens you say, what in the world would you need from a craft store to purchase for the chickens. We have had problems with the chickens not wanting to lay their eggs in the nesting boxes. I read in multiple locations that if you put one wooden or plastic egg in each nesting box it will entice the hens to lay in the box. Sure enough one hen laid in the box yesterday and a different hen laid in the box this morning. Isn't that cool.

Thursday - Today was all about school. History (more medieval history), Science (continue garden unit), Literature (started a new book - Ella Enchanted), Math (learned a new concept with dividing decimals), Bible (read a story about missionaries of the past, Bible Study about the followers of Jesus, read two Bible stories from her action Bible), more test practice, and Greek. For me today was all about batch baking. Baked a pound cake which half was given to a neighbor for helping me with the dogs one day, granola bars - freezing half for a later date. Thinking about also baking some blondies just because they are my son's favorite. Still need to go out and clean the chicken coop and exercise tonight.

Things to look forward to this weekend: On Friday going to a friend's house to do a little co-op session about seeds, starting some tomato seeds to put in her green house and finishing up the last skirt we are sewing. Grace is looking so forward to Saturday even though she will have to do school in the morning. We invited about 10 girls from our homeschool group to come over for a game night and eat pizza. I of course will blog about all the above weekend events as they transpire.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Free Bible/Geography Curriculum

I have wanted to visit for a long time and see what they had available for kids. I was pleasantly surprised at just how much they had. On the front page of there is a link to . On kids of courage I found about 20 downloads of different areas in the world that deal with Christian persecution. Each download ranges in size from 60 pages and up. In each download that you can print free of charge you will find: facts and information about the country, people's stories of persecution and hands on activities. I printed up the unit below to start next week. What is so wonderful about these units is that your child will not only be learning about a particular region of the world and their culture, but also about how God is moving in that region and the Christians that are being persecuted.
Image borrowed from

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Medieval History

A couple of chapters ago Grace started learning about the Middle Ages with The Story of the World. Today we built a castle and tried to build the catapult. Waited until big brother got home from work and he finished it for us.
Also put together this chart about knights and their armor. The small guide book that came with the activities taught us some information about heraldry and castles. This weekend we plan on finishing the remainder of the activities.

Monday, March 7, 2011

It Worked

A couple of weeks ago we created a small compost bin for a science project. Everything I had read since putting it together informed me that regular earthworms out of your yard would not work in breaking down the garbage. Guess what? They sure did. Just about every piece of veggie material was eaten and turned in to soil. Grace was so excited to see what the earthworms had actually done. I took the photo of the earthworm to show you just how big they had become. Originally about three dozen earthworms were placed in the bin and they were probably 1/4 the size they are now. Great experiment. Grace loved it.

Wildlife Aplenty

I love watching all the wildlife, especially birds out my front windowns. Actually most of our cabin is nothing but windows wo we have a great view just about everywhere we go. I captured a few pictures today out the front door while eating lunch.