Saturday, December 24, 2011

Legend of the Bluebonnets unit

Miss K noticed that I had added some of the lapbooks and asked me to add a reading study we had done on The legend of the bluebonnet. We read and reread this story during the study, it seemed to really resonate with Miss K. It also led to a continuation of the study into the meaning of sacrifice and how it relates to some of the bible stories we had been reading. It was great to watch her interest and her taking the lead in her learning. Mini Piwi really liked the drawings of the doll and making bluebonnets....

We used the following resources:
 Lapbook templates for story outlines & character study

Sacrifices flap book @ +Homeschool Share

How I can help others circle, verse and sacrifice accordion book  @lapbook lessons

The story of a little girl's sacrifice for her people prompted a study on Sacrifice and needs vs. wants

A character comparsion
Story retelling, Plot outline

Ideas to help others and God's Sacrifice to us

Friday, December 23, 2011

Math fact challenge

About a month ago I challenged Miss K to learn all her addition facts up to 12 + 12. She was up for the challenge and negotiated a reward as only Miss K can.
I found a folder file/lapbook which she uses to practice with and then I quiz her. When she knows the fact it gets a sticker...not too long now and Miss K will be heading for a tea party in Grapevine. There is a subtraction version waiting for the next challenge.

Christmas Lapbook

This week we are technically on winter vacation but if I learnt anything from summer, it was that we need to be busy with something. If we stop everything it is very hard to get the momentum going again. The kids love all things art and craft so the lapbooks are a great way to learn and create at the same time. This week we made a fun Christmas themed lapbook. It was also a great chance to use lots of the Christmas books, stickers and goodies Kiwi Grandma sent!
Folded out

Favorite Song, What I love about Christmas, Other names for Christmas

The Nativity, the best present ever, what Jesus wants for Christmas

Title Page

Wish list and 'If I had a reindeer'
Writing numbers in Spanish

More awesome Christmas printables can be found at
My Favorite unit studies

E-book and printables

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Adventures in Mommydom

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Meet Perry

We have welcomed a new member of the family. Nearly two months ago we adopted a very handsome Siamese kitty from one of the most amazing rescue groups Texas Siamese rescue.
I was a bit concerned that the cats would be wary of a toddler however, it was Sunbeam that choose Mini piwi. Miss K had decided long ago that any cat we had would be called Perry (After Perry the Platypus) so Sunbeam became Perry.

The Stages of Perry
The I'm staying right here stage

The I will just sit here and watch you but I'm not coming out stage

Getting comfortable in the bathroom but still wary stage

I like the kitchen now but don't look at me stage

The this chair is now mine stage (coincidentally this is the same stage Mini Piwi is in)

The first time Perry has ever slept on a bed

The you are lucky I am sharing MY chair stage
It took alot of patience on our part and alot of trust from Perry but he is now alot more comfortable and content to hang out with us. He and Mini piwi are like a couple of  toddlers playing and he likes to watch TV and sleep next to Miss K when he sneaks into her room. In the evenings when everyone else is asleep he can usually be found on my lap or on chair somewhere. He has come along way since the days he wouldn't even leave his cat carrier! Welcome home Perry!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Thanksgiving texture collage

Monday, August 22, 2011

Piwi Classroom

Here what I came up with for this years workspace...I had some of it in place last week but then surprised the kids by completing after they went to bed the night before we began the semester. Miss K especially was thrilled. It is all centered around the dining room table.
Schedule and Work folders. . Each lesson for the day has it's own folder containing everything Miss K needs (except for the Laptop).  It is working well. Miss K can see how much has been completed and what still needs to be done before the end of her 'school day'.
The 'little table' for lessons we are all doing together like art, calender and circle time. Mini Piwi and I tend to do her activities here or on the floor (unless of course she is in the middle of the action where Miss K is).

Calender time board, Art gallery, Portable Whiteboard
This is where a giant bulletin board is going to be when Daddy finds the electric drill.
Resources and the secret stash of activities that Mini Piwi only gets to see during our lessons AKA the 'mo mo box of fun' . Mo mo being an nickname Miss K begin calling Mini Piwi when she was tiny.

Friday, August 19, 2011

The before pics...workspace disaster zone

The plan was to create a working space for us Girls to do our lessons in. I had it (sort of) under control until the delivery of the curriculum. Miss K decided to open it and take a look and this is what it ended up looking like...
Thankfully after several late nights I got it looking better and with a bit of rearranging we got close to what we need. See the finished product here......

Friday, July 29, 2011

Big sister reads...Calm down Boris!

While I made grilled cheese I saw Mini Piwi give her (current) favorite book to her big sister. What happened next made me quickly and quietly grab my phone to record the moment. Miss K got the little chairs and gave Mini Piwi and her 'baby' an impromptu story time.
The book she is reading is Calm down Boris! by Sam Lloyd. New Zealand Grandma and Grandpa sent it over a couple of years ago for Miss K. We rotate our small library of kids books to keep them more interesting. Mini Piwi took a shine to it after seeing it when it came out a storage box. She thinks the star of the book, a little monster puppet (Boris) is hilarious. The story is very cute and all about a monster who loves to give tickley kisses and nibble fingers. Unfortunately everyone thinks he needs to calm down, that is until one day Boris can save the day with his energy.

Today we saw a big Caterpillar

The Caterpillar was 10 cm long, black, red and spikey. Daddy had to be careful not to squash it with the car.

Monster Cookies and Apple Turnovers for a Pool party

Tomorrow Miss K and I are off to a 'school' pool party. She was so excited to show off her new swimming skills and to meet some of the kids she will be attending feildtrips and classes with this year. How excited was she? is a potluck lunch so I asked Miss K what she thought we could take. In hindsight I should not have asked the party planner in training. As with any party (or potential for one) she had thought a lot about this and had a long list of ideas ready for me. With some negotiation I got off 'lightly' with Cookies,  Apple turn overs and lemonade. If Miss K had her way I would have also baked several varieties of pie and Lemon bars.


The Apple turnovers or empanadas were made using store bought empanada wrappers (I used the Goya brand found in the freezers of most grocery stores).
The filling for each turnover was1 teaspoon apple butter and 2 Tablespoons diced granny smith apple. Fold the wrapper, crimp the edges with a fork and brush with an egg wash. The kids can never get enough of this part. Follow the cooking instructions on the back of the pack and you end up with a impressive looking pastry that tastes great!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Afternoon painting

Mini Piwi got to play with big kid paint for the first time...Miss K showed her how to paint a rainbow!

Wuggle Pet Review

After weeks of watching the commercials, and earning enough on their reward chart, the Piwis placed their order for The Wuggles. They took 3 weeks to arrive but that was the only negative thing the kids had to say about the Wuggles. Miss K made them using the cute little filler tool and added their 'personality' (a small piece of card with a personality type on it and some glitter). They were a little smaller than I had pictured but when I watched the commercial again I realised that they were shown as little backpack clip ons. Here is a picture of the Wuggle makers (in amongst all the junk on the table). 

Monday, July 25, 2011

handwriting in the kitchen

For change of scenery we moved handwriting practice to the kitchen with the new expo markers we got this week...

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Piwi approved Candy Apple pork

I adapted a recipe from the clean eating Magazine (Sept 09) Here is the original, I just took out the garlic , used honey instead of agave and doubled the recipe so it lasted for a couple of meals. The kids both loved it with brown rice and veges. It is not difficult to sell a food that has Candy apple in it's name! In fact that was what caught my eye in the first place! This will definately become a regular on our menu.

1/2 cup unsweetened apple butter
2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
1 Tbsp. Honey
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
2 lb. pork tenderloin
1 tsp. olive oil
1/2 cup toasted, unsalted almonds, chopped or Panko breadcrumbs

Preheat oven to 400. Heat oil in a non stick pan on the stovetop. Season pork buy rubbing it with the oil, salt & pepper. Sear pork until light brown on each side. In the meantime, mix apple butter, vinegar, garlic and cinnamon in a dish. When pork is seared coat it with apple butter mixture. Place tenderloin on cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake the pork for 15 min. or until done (a meat thermometer is the best tool to get it right). Remove pork from the oven. Roll the pork in toasted almonds or just sprinkle almonds on top. I used Panko bread crumbs for the Piwi's meat as they aren't too keen on nuts unless it's peanut or almond butter!).

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working at the car wash...

'Blue Car' was in desperate need of a clean. I swear the Texas dust and pollens were about an inch thick. Miss K has always loved going through the car wash machine, Mini Piwi is not so keen. Since it was just Miss K and I shopping today, we called into our usual drive thru wash and. We even spent the extra $2 to get a seal coat (whatever that it). On a whim we decided to give the free vacuums a go. I was surprised at how much fun we had using the VERY high powered vacuums to get the backseat cleaner than it has been in years! The highlight for Miss K was a mat cleaning machine. You feed a dirty old car mat into it, there is a lot of shaking and whirring, and the machine spits out your nearly new looking mat.

Once again I was reminded that even what I might consider a routine 'chore' may be something the kids will have fun helping with and might even learn a thing or two!

It took a car wash to remind me to see things through my Piwis' eyes!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Music lessons

This week we purchased three recorders in anticipation of starting Mummy led music lessons. I have not picked up a recorder in 15 years so I hoped it would come back to me. Armed with an instruction book I gave the Piwis their first lesson.
We started by learning the parts of the recorder, how to hold it correctly and how to make a sound. I am proud to say I heard some great 'b' notes from Miss K. Even Mini Piwi gave it a good try. Although the recorder looked nearly bigger than she was. There was no way, as expected, she was going to be left out of music lessons.

We chose to begin with the recorder because of portability and ease of use. The idea is to get the Piwis aware of musical timing and for Miss K to learn to begin sight reading a few notes. As she gets more confident she may want to choose another instrument. Currently she thinks she wants to try the flute and the least they are more portable than a piano!

Absolutely Lucy Review by Miss K

I liked this book because I love dogs. Mum and I took turns reading it because the words are just right for me. The pictures were cute. The boy in the book named Andy is very shy. Sometimes I am shy to meet people so I was happy he made new friends.