Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Homeschool Memoirs #11 

We do not do many field trips day in and day out, but we do plan our trip/vacations to be educational.  We love to go to new and exciting places.  My children love art museums, especially ones that have hands-on activities.  They also enjoy zoos, science museums and nature centers.  We always try to fit these in when we travel.  We also try to do anything that is historical in the area.  We were blessed with several opportunities to travel this year.  This past year we went to Montgomery, AL; Washington, D.C.; Raleigh, NC; and Nashville, TN.  Here is a slide show of some of the great events.

 Blessings, Dawn

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Tightwad Tuesday ~ Apple Butter

Canadagirl hosts Tightwad Tuesday.  To get some great ideas on saving money, hurry on over to her blog.

This week I got  two bushels of apples for $28 from the farmers' market.  So far, I have made five pies, an apple crisp and apple butter.  There are tons of apples left for apple sauce, eating, pies, cakes and apple pancakes.  Hmm!  Just imagine all the things I can make!  The below picture is my crock pot apple butter.  It only needs a few more hours of simmering.

Apple Butter -- Fill the crock pot to the top with apples.  Cook overnight.  Add 2 teaspoons cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon cloves, and 1 1/2 cups sugar.  Cook for 10 more hours.

I also needed some containers to hold all the mittens and hats.  I had the kids paint two boxes with tempera paint.  The paint makes the boxes stronger and prettier.  They will last the season and only cost me pennies.  Also, they are much friendlier on the environment.

Lastly, this photo has nothing to do with being a tightwad.  The weather man says we are in for a hard winter here in NC.  Maybe he is right.  It is snowing in October!!  I haven't seen this in the 10 years I have lived in NC.

Blessings, Dawn

Monday, October 27, 2008

Tag and Award


My sweet friend Michele over at special6mom gave me the above award.  I so enjoy her blog as well.  Thanks so much.

Also, I have been tagged by Lisa.

Here are the rules:

1. Link to the person that tagged you and put the rules on your blog...

2. Share 7 weird or random facts about yourself...

3. Tag 7 random people at the end of your post and link to their blog...

4. Let each person know they have been tagged by leaving a note on their blog...

My seven weird facts:

1. I don't follow recipes hardly ever.  My husband says he never gets served exactly the same meal twice. 

2.  I have created my own disorder called "Only Child Syndrome". 

3.  I don't get sibling rivalry ~ that's because of my Only Child Syndrome.

4.  I could eat breakfast for every meal, 7 days a week.

5.  I love having a clean house that looks like a magazine photo but hate to clean.

6.  I am the Cancer sign so I am supposed to love being at home, but I have trouble staying home for more than 24 hours at a time.

7.  I am so bad at sports that my own 5 year old dd will not let me pitch softballs to her, because she is tired of me hitting her with the ball.

Wow! I am done already.  Sorry, I am not tagging anyone.

Blessings, Dawn

Friday, October 24, 2008

Show and Tell Friday ~ Christmas in October?

To see more great show and tell entries go to Canadagirl.

I know it is October and this entry is a bit ahead of time, BUT I need some advice.  I was at the used book store the other day and found some nice Christmas books to add to our collection.  I want to have 24 Christmas books by December 1 so that I can wrap them,  and we can open one each night to until Christmas day.  It sounds like a really fun Advent calendar of sorts.  I saw this great idea on someone's blog last year and I have looked forward all year to using it.  So what I need from all of you are any book ideas that you feel are "must haves" in a Christmas book collection.  I currently have 18 books but some of them are twaddle, so I need at least 6 more.  The kids sit well for about 30 minutes of story time at night.  Also, we do not do Santa so I'd prefer no books about Santa.  Here is what we have so far...

The Christmas Story~Carol Heyer

The Fright Before Christmas~James Howe

The Dog Who Found Christmas~Linda Jennings

The Steadfast Tin Soldier~Hans Christian Andersen

The Christmas Day Kitten~James Herriot

The First Christmas According to Luke

A Pussycat Christmas~Margaret Brown

Woodland Christmas~Frances Tyrrell

The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey~Susan Wojciehowski

The Chanukkah Guest~Eric A. Kimmel

The Gift of the Magi~O. Henry

The Legend of the Poinsettia~Tomie dePaola

The Crippled Lamb~Max Lucado

Grandfather's Christmas Camp~Marc McCutcheon

The Christmas Candle~Richard Paul Evans

The Biggest Snowman Ever~Steven Kroll

Merry Christmas Strega Nona~Tomie dePaola

Jingle the Christmas Clown~Tomie dePaola

I would love to have your ideas!  Now I better get onto October activities.  I have five apple pies to make.

Blessings, Dawn

Monday, October 20, 2008

Day 3 on Vacation...

Our third day in Nashville found us at the Frist Center,  This is a wonderful art museum that has a great hands-on section for kids.  We enjoyed the George Eastman exhibit and the Rodin exhibit.  The kids were especially interested in the silent movies in the George Eastman exhibit.  We then went to the hands-on area.  The kids tried out printmaking, collage, painting, sculpting, and lots of other great activities.  We spent just over 3 hours in this musuem.  I highly recommend it to anyone who has an artistic child.

After a nice lunch at Jack's BBQ, we went to the Stingray reef at the Opryland Mall.   What a cool mall.  I have gotten used to such a tiny mall here at home.  It was fun to go to such a big one.  Everyone but Goldilocks really enjoyed the Stingray Bay.  We fed them shrimp and pet them as they swam by.  Goldilocks had a mild meltdown.  Even being in the place was too much for her.  I love the photo of the shark with my dh, children and Mother.

The next day we went to the Opryland Resort.  They have an amazing 10 acres of indoor gardens with restaurants and shops.  We had pizza for lunch at one of the outdoor/indoor cafes and walked around the gardens.  All of the pictures below are actually inside because they have a greenhouse roof overhead.  It is amazing!

We spent the afternoon at the Adventure Science Musuem in Nashville.  The kids loved seeing the planetarium show.  It was the first time the three little ones got to see a planetarium.  I was really being grilled afterwards about the galaxy and universe.  We all found that I really didn't know much.  Don't worry!  I bought two great books already!   They also loved the bodywork area and lifting a car with pulley and lever system.  The big teen got to do some moon walking, which was fun.

On our final morning, we went to the Parthenon in Nashville.  It is a life-size replica of the original one in Greece.  It was built for the world's fair.  Unfortunately, my pictures did not come out very well.  I did get some great things from their gift shop for when we study ancient Greece.

We had a wonderful time, but it is nice to be home and settled into our normal routine again.

Blessings, Dawn

Friday, October 17, 2008

Show and Tell Friday ~ Our Trip Part I

Happy Friday Show and Tell! To see more Show and Tells, go to Canadagirl .

Well, we have returned from our lovely trip.  We were so blessed by Sunshine Foundation.  They gave our son $1,200 to go on a trip and complete his wish.  We considered many places and finally decided on Nashville, TN.  We had planned on going farther and covering the difference in cost of the trip, but with the economy crashing, we decided to stay closer to home.  We were also able to take my Mother along, which was great.  She has not had the opportunity to travel much, and we enjoy her company.  Nashville was still a great choice because it has a science museum, a hands-on art museum, large zoo, and several places that, when combined, were similar to visiting an aquarium.  Our youngest son was delighted with all the oppotunities to see animals, and as our budding artist, he loved the art museum.

On night one we went to the Rainforest Cafe.  The kids were amazed by all the mechanical animals.  It was also our youngest dd's birthday so we had the Volcano Cake that the Rainforest Cafe is famous for.  It was very good!  If you ever get the chance to eat at the Rainforest Cafe, it is worth the money!  We had a blast.

The next morning found us at the Nashville Zoo.  This zoo is really nice.  Frankly, I liked it better than the Washington, D.C. National Zoo where I grew up.  It didn't have rhinos or lions, but the habitats were so much nicer and you could really see the animals.  Plus, they had my favorite -- giraffes.  Tom Sawyer really loved the red panda and the meerkats!  They also had a cute petting zoo and awesome carousel that everyone enjoyed. There was also a water fountain area that kids could run through.  Goldilocks just stood there and got soaked.

We were not so impressed with the playground that is supposed to be a highlight of the zoo.  My dh and I are not the type of parents who can just sit on a bench and trust that our kids will be okay up in all those tunnels.  So we attempted to follow the kids and all of us got one boo-boo or another.  I prefer the playgrounds where all the slides and entrances end at the same place, not all over the place.  So if you are like me, this playground is not for you.

Well, other matters are pressing.  I might load a second entry of our trip with Mary's Show and Tell later today.  If not, check back next week for more fun.

Blessings, Dawn

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Show and Tell -- Guess Where?

Guess where we are going to!  Our youngest son (6) was granted a wish through the Sunshine Foundation.  This is a wonderful organization that helps adopted and foster children who are still affected by the abuse they received in their birth homes.  When first asked by the Foundation what he wanted for his wish, he said that he wanted to meet God and see all of the animals in His Kingdom.  That wish was a little out of their domain!  However, we worked out a great trip and the day has come.  With the TV reporting the news of economic collapse in the background, I have to admit that it feels a little crazy going on vacation right now.  However, this is when the wish is being granted, so off we go....  The question is where are we going?

Could it be a lovely island with waves lapping against the sand?  One of the music capitals of the country?  Perhaps, an animal safari?

Tune in next week to find out where we went and all about our adventures!  Now where is that To Do List?  Is the list complete, little ones?  Is everything packed?  We are out of here!  Have a great weekend everybody!

To see more great Show and Tells, go to Canadagirl.

Blessings, Dawn

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Homeschool Memoirs #8 ~ Our Study Spot

THEME: This week share your favorite spot to study with your kids. There are many places you can sit down to teach, learn, and work, but where do you prefer and why? You’re welcome to include a photo of your study spot! Looking forward to seeing everyone’s!
Our favorite place to do school is the dining room table.  We got a new to us table a month or so ago, and it is proving to be even more of a blessing than I had hoped.  We school all over the house but do most art, history, tea time (during which Mom reads aloud), math, science, circle time, writing and board games at the table.  My husband says that we eat in the library, since our dining room has more books than anything else in it.  I like that most of the books we are currently using are within my reach, without having to leave the room.  I also love that my table time cabinet is at arm's length, and I can quickly get a little one busy with an activity without leaving an older one's side.  Here are a few photos of our favorite study spot:

Our "table time" cabinet.

To see more great homeschool memoirs, go here.

Blessings, Dawn

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Friday Show and Tell ~ International Night

To see more great Show and Tells, get on over to Canadagirl.

We really enjoyed our unit study on Italy.  The kids worked very hard to get all of their projects done and complete their book reports for Homeschool International Night.  There were about 15 families present from our homeschool support group and lots of great countries to learn about. 

The kids studied Masquerade masks which originated in Venice.  They decided to dress up like Venetians during Carnival with their own homemade masks.  Even dh (far right) wore an extra mask.

The display table came out nice.  I was a little worried that everything would not fit.

In the third photo is a close up view of Flat Stanley (lower right), who made it all the way to Italy and back with my Dad and Stepmother.  My dad took some great shots of Flat Stanley all around Italy.  He even got a bit silly and put poor Stanley in a police car. LOL!

The kids made a model of Venice.  Their favorite fact about Venice is that there is no sewer system.  The waste just goes into the canals and is washed out to sea with the tides.  Yuck!

Here are many of the books we used!  Tom Sawyer did a book report on The Clown of God, and Goldilocks did a book report of Papa Piccolo.  The big teen studied The Prince  and Leonardo Da Vinci's life.

We served Italian meatballs and Italian soft candy as our food contribution.

It was a great night.  There were lots of great foods to taste and fun fellowship.  I was pleased to see how much my kiddos had retained and were able to tell others.  The surprise of the night for us was to learn that our Little Red Ridinghood was the social bug of our family!  She stood at the table much of the night showing off our display.

Blessings, Dawn