Review of 2012 (Part 1)

December 22, 2012

As 2012 comes to a close, I thought I’d do a review of the past year.

Partially, just to look back.

Partially, because I’m awful at keeping up to date on my blog here.

So…

Here…

We…

Go!

January:

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Handsome Hubby got a new phone with a camera on it, so we were trying it out.

February:

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We got a mongo snow storm.  This was just before we went to our neighborhood huge hill to go sledding… on a school day… while school was in session.  (I love homeschooling!)

March:

2012-03-18 13.02.08Ok, so.  Year of the crazy weather.  About a month after the mongo snow storm it was so nice, we went to church in shorts!

April:

2012-04-28 12.23.00Every year (or there about) we go to the Civil War Reenactment in Keokuk, IA.  This nice gentleman offered to introduce E-Man to the horses since he REALLY wanted to pet them.  It was so cool!  He told the white one on the right, “Now, this is just a baby!”  Loved that guy!

Civil War Ball 2012 1

Another tradition (as of 2011) is that we get to go to the Civil War Ball.  The first year, I borrowed a dress.  This year, my fabulously talented friend (sister in my heart!) made this dress for me.  She also made the green one on the left!  Aren’t they gorgeous?!!!  (Thank you, Laurissa!!!!)

May:

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This month we went on Vacation!

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Saw the sights…

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Made memories…

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Took pictures of my brother renewing his vows to his WONDERFUL wife.  🙂

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Made more memories…

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It was fabulous…

June:

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We made “About My Dad” papers.  This is C.J. “reading” his.  He was very proud to read it.  My favorite on his?  My dad is 5 years old.

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This was C.J.’s first year going to Day Camp.  He was super excited.  (No idea why he had the rubix cube…)

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We celebrated Handsome Hubby’s 32nd Birthday with a Watermelon Cake.  Quite fitting since he can consume an entire watermelon in 1 sitting.   He loves, loves, loves watermelon.

 

I’ll be posting Review of 2012 (Part 2) later… no worries!

May God bless your socks off!

Rachel

 

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Nervous, Respiratory & Circulatory Systems

December 20, 2012

This month we are studying our bodies.

We’ve already talked about the Skeletal System.  You can read about it in this post: Skeletal System.

The first thing we did was watch School House Rock’s Telegraph Line.  We watched on YouTube and you can buy it on Amazon too here.  It was very helpful in explaining the brain’s job and how the Nervous System works.

Then we played the telegraph game.  You sit in a circle and hold hands.  Then the start person squeezes the hand of the person to their right and so on.  Count the seconds until the start person feels their hand squeezed.  Since there are only 4 of us, this game only lasted a couple minutes, even though we played it several times.  It was also good that I decided to include Ethan, even though I had to tell him to squeeze my hand.  It was a good example of how sometimes the signals in a person’s body can be slow because of a variety of reasons.  We also talked about how a person can hurt their back and lose the use of their legs because the signal from their brain can’t reach their legs.

Finally I had them draw brains for their person.

On to the Respiratory System!

First we watched this:

You’ll need to fast forward it about 2 minutes to get to the information.

We also watched this one: 

Then we made a lung.  (I got the idea from here)

The lung deflated.

The lung deflated.

The lung inflated.

The lung inflated.

This one is pretty easy to make.  Cut a 2 litter bottle in half.  Insert the balloon as shown.  The directions stated to use a rubber band to make sure the balloon part on the lid of the bottle stays still, but I didn’t have any.  It worked ok without.  Then use a plastic grocery bag for the diaphram.  Cut a large circle in the bag.  Tie a small knot in the middle of the circle; this is your handle.  Making the handle the middle of the “diaphram” tape or use a rubber band to attach the sack to the bottle.  Again, I didn’t have any rubber bands, so I used the tape.

Finally, we used bubble wrap for the lungs on our person.

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Hannah's body, thus far.

Hannah’s body with brain & lungs added.

Caleb's body with brain & lungs added.

Caleb’s body with brain & lungs added.

 

Finally, we studied about the heart.  We learned about the different parts of the blood and what their jobs are.

We watched School House Rock: Do the Circulation.  (I’m learning to love School House Rock!)

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Then we made a blood model.

First we started out with yellow water (Yes, water with yellow food coloring.  Urine is with digestion ;)) which represented plasma.

Next we added salt because our blood contains salt and other chemicals.

Then we added the fruit loops (cause I didn’t have any cheerios) which represent the red blood cells.  It’s the red blood cells that carry oxygen that in in turn makes the blood red.  This is when I added red food coloring.

The ice cream cone marshmallows (I didn’t have any regular small marshmallows) represent the white blood cells.

Finally, we added white puff balls to represent platelets.  According to the author of My Montessori Journey, platelets are purplish and spiky under the microscope.  Next time I’ll use purple ones as the white ones quickly turned red and are kinda hard to see.

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We also played a game of sorts.  One of the kids was the red blood cell and I was the oxygen.  We walked in a circle and at about half way through I let go of their hand to represent how the red blood cells lose oxygen and has to go back to the lungs to get more.  One of the other kids were waiting for them at the “lungs” to start the process over again.  When they pick up their sibling as the “oxygen”, I went back to the lungs, the other “oxygen” left the blood and we started again.

Finally we added our heart to our person.

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I used these blogs for my ideas for our circulatory system:

http://mymontessorijourney.typepad.com/my_montessori_journey/2009/03/parts-of-the-blood.html

and

http://www.spelloutloud.com/2012/03/human-body-learning-about-heart.html

Next we’re studying the digestive system & nutrition and Hannah & I will talk LOOSELY on the reproductive system.

May God bless your socks off!

Rachel


It’s starting to taste a lot like Christmas!

December 12, 2012

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Everyone has some food item that just makes a holiday, the holiday.

Some food item that brings back nice memories.

For me at Christmas, that thing is what we called Layer Cookies.

Lots of people call them Layer bars or 7 Layer bars.  (Probably because there is 7 layers.)

There are lots of ways to mix up the layers, and other than the crust, it really doesn’t matter how you layer the ingredients.

You’ll need: 1 package of graham crackers (or more if you’d like a thicker crust), 1/2 c melted butter, 1 package of shredded coconut, 1 package of chocolate chips (I chose semi-sweet), 1 package of butterscotch chips, 1-2 c walnuts or pecans (whole or chopped, whichever suits your fancy), and 1 small can of sweetened condensed milk.

This is how we make them.

First you take a package of graham crackers & smush them the smithereens.  How you do it is up to you.

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Caleb chose to use Hannah’s shoe to help him.

 

Then you have a few choices:

1. You could drizzle the butter into a 9×13 pan or 9×9 pan and then sprinkle the graham crackers on top.

2. You could do what I did and sprinkle the graham crackers into a 9×13 or 9×9 pan & then drizzle the butter on top.

3. You could mix the graham crackers & butter together and then pat into a 9×13 or 9×9 pan.

One of the reasons I like this recipe is because it’s so forgiving.

 

Next dump the coconut into the pan and then even it out so it’s all over.

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As you can see, I hadn’t done that yet, I waiting for my manual labor to come back from washing their hands. 😉

Then dump the chocolate chips and spread them out.

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Then dump the butterscotch chips out.

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(I’d like to note that Caleb was happy to be helping; he was posing in this shot…)

Then add the nuts.

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Finally, open the can of sweetened condensed milk and drizzle it all over everything.

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I promise, it won’t stay looking like this.

Finally pop it in the oven (350 degrees) for 20 – 30 minutes or until the edges start browning.

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Tada!

While it does taste good warm, it’s even better after it’s cooled.

Then enjoy a piece.

A small one, if you like my handsome hubby & who figured out that even a small one is probably like 400 calories.

Or, a big piece, if you’re like me.

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You can use substitute dark, milk or white chocolate chips for the semi-sweet chocolate chips.

Substitute peanut butter chips, resese pieces, M&M’s or more chocolate for the butterscotch chips.

Replace cashews or almonds,  for the pecans or walnuts or just leave them off.

 

Don’t be afraid to adapt the amounts.

A full package of coconut too much for you?

Try only using half a package.

Not enough chocolate?

Try adding another half of a package.

Want more variety?

Use half a package of four different types.

 

Merry Christmas to your taste buds!

May God bless your socks off!

Rachel

 

 


Happy Birthday Princess!

December 10, 2012

Ok, I realize this is a bit late.

Princess’s birthday is really right around Thanksgiving.

But hey, I’ve gotten in the mood to write lately, so y’all get to benefit.  🙂

We have a tradition to start the kids birthdays with cinnamon rolls.  Then, so we’re able to celebrate all day, I put a candle in one of the cinnamon rolls and have them blow out the candle.  Then their birthday day has officially started.  Usually they get regular candles, but I happened to have a number 7.

Hannah's Birthday morning

Princess’s Birthday morning

They get to choose things through the day: the movie we’re going to watch, the game we play, that sort of thing. Then they get to pick what we have for supper, complete with their birthday dessert.  This year Princess chose  to be a pilgrim  and have hasty pudding (which she made entirely by herself), carrots and fried potatoes.

Then we had her open her present… or one of them, anyway.

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Her very own Bible!

Her very own Bible!

That’s right, she got her very own Bible.

(She ended up taking it back and getting a lavender colored one with dark purple flowers on it.  Much more feminine and yet it should grow with her.)

I was nervous giving it to her, as she’d just come home from getting all kinds of toys from extended family.  I shouldn’t have been.  She was excited to get it.  I mean, really, excited.

Then we had her birthday dessert.

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Really, she wanted ice cream, but I forgot to ask what she wanted and go to the store before dinner.  Bad planning on my part.  But we still sang “Happy Birthday”.

A couple days later, we were able to give her the other part of her gift.

Showing off her manicure/pedicure.

Showing off her manicure/pedicure.

I took Princess to get her a manicure and pedicure.  Afterwords we went out for supper and just talked.  It was a fun Mommy/daughter date.

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My baby girl is officially not a baby anymore.  (Perhaps I say this every year.)

She’s an elementary student and in the 2nd grade.  She wants to be a baker when she grows up.  And she loves the color pink.  (Like almost any other girl her age.)  🙂

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This is Princess a couple weeks old at Christmas time.

Hannah October 2012

And this is Princess now.

I know, I know… It either makes me want to cry or burst with pride.  I love her so much.  She is an awesome help and a great big sister.

May God bless your socks off as He has mine!

Rachel


Annual Christmas Program

December 9, 2012

I’m sitting here trying to rest as I am wishing I could be at church today.  Alas, I chose to not spread my germs to all the babies in the nursery today as it was my week.

Your welcome.

So, I thought I’d share pictures from our Annual Christmas Program at church.

Angel Ethan

Angel Ethan

So… first came the angels.  The angels were all the 2 & 3 year olds.  Consequently, Ethan is the only one thus far that’s gotten to be an angel.  Caleb almost got to be, but we came too late for him to get his costume on.  I think the year that I could have had Hannah be an angel, they weren’t doing it that year.

All the little angels

All the little angels

 

"The little Lord Jesus asleep on the hay"

“The little Lord Jesus asleep on the hay”

 

After the angels they did a short play.  (Sorry, didn’t get any pictures of that.)

Then the big kids sang their songs.

Caleb, while getting set up to sing.

Caleb, while getting set up to sing.

 

Hannah & Caleb singing "Jesus is born".

Hannah & Caleb singing “Jesus is born”.

 

(During the above song, Caleb high-fived one of the little girls in front of him in the eye.  He felt terrible and didn’t sing quite as well after.  He later apologized to her and thankfully all involved understood it was an accident and so all left with smiles.)

Afterwords, we went and had a birthday party for Jesus with juice, games, & prizes.  Overall it was a fun night.  Even with it’s pitfalls.

I hope God knocks your socks off as he has mine!

Rachel


The Skeletal System

December 7, 2012

The last few months, Hannah has been all about science.  (Probably because it’s not something we do regularly.)  We regularly take December as our “off month”.  We still do school, it just looks different.  So this month, we’ve added science to our Christmas plans.

Because you know, science and Christmas go hand and hand.

(Get it?  Skeletal System… hand in hand?  I KNOW you’re rolling on the floor laughing right now…)

I suppose we could have studied the stars, since the wise men were led to Jesus by a star.  (Oh, yeah!  Stars are science!)

But alas, I didn’t even think of that until just now.

Nope.

This month, we’re studying our bodies.

First, I got a large sheet of paper & drew an outline of the kids on it.  THEN we went over the pencil with marker.  I really was going to get a picture of this part, but I totally forgot .  Oops!  Use your imagination, I guess…  This represented our skin that holds everything inside our bodies.

Then we studied is our skeletons.

Hand-y Hannah

Hand-y Hannah

The first thing I did was to explain: What is the job of the skeleton?

The hand on the left represents what our body would be like without bones.  (Kind of floppy, huh?)

The hand on the right represents what our body is like with bones.  (Pretty colorful, I’d say!)

-To make these, I just used 2 plastic gloves and filled one with flour and one with craft sticks.  Make sure to tie tightly or use a rubber band.  Don’t fill the flour one too full.  You want it to be floppy.

Then we added “bones” to our body outlined bodies.

Hannah adding bones to her person.

Hannah adding bones to her person.

Masking tape was the big bones.

Caleb's project.

Caleb’s project.

For the carpels, meta-carpels, tarsals, meta-tarsals & phalanges, we used cotton swabs.  They were better for the fine bones.

Tarsals, meta-tarsals & phalanges in Caleb's hand.

Tarsals, meta-tarsals & phalanges in Caleb’s hand.

Turned out pretty good.  If I do say so myself.

This is our first step.

Next we’re doing the Nervous system, Respiratory & Circulatory systems.

Until next time, may God bless your socks off!

Rachel