Showing posts from 2013

{Book Review} Antiques Chop by Barbara Allen

Antiques Chop by Barbara Allan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This series cracks me up. Although a lot of people get offended because the authors poke fun at mental illness, I (coming from a family with bi-polar and members on anti depressants) can say that sometimes we do make fun of ourselves and each other. Is it right? Probably not, but let's face it, the world isn't right and some families deal with stuff this way. If you are overly sensitive to this type of thing, stay away from this series.

All that aside, I found this book a wonderfully quick (two day) read. The writing, as always, flows very well and makes it hard to put down. Of course, I rarely come across a cozy I don't like! All in all, a good series and book.

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COSI Field Trip

We are visiting family in Ohio for Thanksgiving. We came up a little early, since everyone is still in school (so are we), we decided to take a field trip today to the Center of Science and Industry in Columbus - AKA COSI. This is a perfect field trip for us because science is Zach's favorite and spending hours upon hours doing nothing but science stuff makes not only a great school day but a fantastic family day!

And Oh My Goodness what a fun day it was! Yes, many pictures are coming your way! I linked their page above, so you can get some idea of what we were heading into today. Ocean and Life and Space oh my! Bonus, we finally got our hands on a Newton's Cradle too! Do you know how hard it's been to find one of those? Holy Cow!

These last three were a step into social studies. It was called Progress and it went from Colonial Times to the 1960's. It was extremely cool!
All in all a really great day!

More Unit Studies

We have mostly drifted away from our regular curriculum and now are doing unit studies. At least for the time being - everything is subject to change around this house!

Math is still Teaching Textbooks. Although it's starting to annoy Zach (he hates the reviewing stuff in every lesson), I told him when he can get 100 every time on every single thing he's reviewing I'll switch his math. Yep - holding on to TT still. Also, unless we are doing a science unit, we work out of our science every day.

We worked on a Veterans Day unit study. It took us until just past Veterans Day, but that's ok. I got it from Amanda Bennett many many moons ago. With our limited library (and short notice) I did have some trouble finding books about the people in the unit, but we managed to substitute some other interesting Veterans in their place. When all was said and done he decided he liked learning about Theodore Roosevelt and Arlington the best. And even though it's been discussed plenty…

All is Well

We have been doing school - I swear! I'm just being uber-lame about my blogs these days. I guess because we aren't doing super fantastic wonderful things I figure "why write about it?". But I'm going to anyway :)

We've made our way through Early Explorers and are now working on Colonial Times and the beginnings of the American Revolution. Zach's math is getting more complicated, so I've been reading up on some of that so I can help when there are questions (and there are always questions!). But I've been losing him. So I decided to write my own unit study.

Was it about the American Revolution? The Incan Empire? Taking a trip on the Mayflower? Nope - it wasn't about any of those things at all. When the eyes glaze over you know it's time to do something else - so I chose one of his favorite interests - Pokemon!

I took about a week and made up some math, science, geography, and history questions all related to Pokemon. We learned how to make exc…

{Whatcha Doin'}

I know, after a month and a half you'd think I'm going to jam pack this post with all kinds of excitement and goodies. You are, aren't you? Um, ya - sorry about that.

What have we been up to? Well, school (of course), and baking, and learning how to make homemade things like stock and applesauce. Which is a lot of fun, but really makes me want to get a canner. Or at least a rack for my big ol' pot so I can do water bath canning on some stuff. Then I could save my pennies for a pressure canner.

I've learned how to make homemade rice a roni too. Yep, because we are rice a roni freaks in this house! And I'm going to be honest, I didn't think it would make that much a difference in taste. Goodness I was wrong! I am going to make up a whole slew of them and keep them in my cabinet to use whenever. I don't mind making it as needed - but having the convenient, all ready made up ones would suit me so much better (and keep me from getting lazy and buying the nas…

{Making Soap}

Today I'm linking up with the Hip Homeschool Hop.

This week we tried our hand at making soap. I've been wanting to try making soap for a while, but while reading our latest book about Ben Franklin they have soap and candle making activities. Doing a "requirement" for school is definitely a reason to make it happen! We are going to tackle candle making later this week - but for now it's soap making.

I know young Ben didn't make soap with a melt and pour goats milk base, and I know they didn't add color (or probably fragrance), but that's how we did ours. Bonus points - I'm counting it as this week's art project too. Little man did all the coloring and swirling so he gets credit for that.

He really did all of it - I just supervised and gave him direction. That's the good thing about melt and pour instead of cold process - no lye. Poor young Ben, what a nasty job that must have been!

It was fun and my hates-to-take-a-shower tween boy is so excite…

{Baking Binge}

Yes, I've been on a baking binge lately. It's kind of in line with my (trying) to go crunchy theme, but it does hinge more on I'm sick of paying $3 for a loaf of bread. Ugh. You can call it frugal or cheap, but you have to call it delicious!

Last week I tried my hand at dinner rolls and hamburger buns. They were the exact same recipe, just divided and shaped differently. They came out so good. I didn't take pictures of those, but trust me they were good!

So this week I decided to try my hand at a few things.

First - pumpkin spice creamer. No, this isn't baking but it did lead to baking so I'm counting it! My niece gave me the idea and I followed the recipe found on Mrs. Happy Homemaker. For the base I used the sweetened condensed milk and (organic) half and half. It tastes so good. But you must remember to shake it every time you use it. My husband also suggests stirring your coffee a lot because it does settle. I say it's super good and much more frugal th…

{USS Yorktown}

Today we played tourists. We went to Charleston and after a brief stint in downtown (very brief - it was crowded!) we went to the USS Yorktown. We wanted to go to Fort Sumter but we missed the last boat out. Now we know. That is going to be another trip because of our history studies this year. Maybe a during the week trip though, when it's not so packed with people who are really tourists or people just acting like them!

The Yorktown is moored with a destroyer and a submarine. Miss Claustrophobic almost didn't make it through the submarine, but I held my panic in check (barely) and survived. I'm going to be honest if I had to live on one of those people would be dead. Or I would die trying to blow a hole in the side to get out!

It really was a fun time. We did three of the five tours (self guided) through the Yorktown, walked the destroyer (the USS Laffey - named after a Civil War Medal of Honor recipient), and walked through the USS Clamagore (the sub). The best part tho…

{Art & PE}

My effort in include art and PE this year has been hit or miss. That, sadly, is nothing unusual in this house! PE especially has taken the back burner ~ it usually does. I know I'm not teaching my son good, healthy habits by not doing something everyday. I hope that we can start making changes in that area.

On the other hand art has been going much better. We've completed a few projects (which is a few more than last year). I get our ideas from pintrest or this book

We've had this book since 2nd grade - it only took us 5 years to use it...
It has lots of good ideas and we decided on Squares with Concentric Circles by Vassily Kandinsky. It was one of the easier projects :) That's how we roll around here!

Zach enjoyed working on it, choosing his own colors and and how dark he wanted to paint each section. I had him make all the choices, did it need another coat of watercolor? How dark did he want the wax circles to be?

Since including Art this year I've loved spending thi…