Wednesday, March 30, 2016

St. Patrick's Day 2016

Happy St. Patrick's Day

So obviously this post is a little late, but I wanted to try to get it on here, nonetheless!

We kept this fun holiday to a minimum this year.  We started our morning with a favorite "green" breakfast, consisting of a spinach crustless quiche.  Essentially I sautéed one diced onion and 3 minced garlic cloves, until tender.  I then added a container of fresh spinach, until wilted.  To that I added an 8 oz block of cream cheese, until melted and well incorporated.  I turned it off and set it off to the side.  Then in a large bowl, I whisked 12 eggs with salt, pepper, and two cups of shredded mozzarella cheese.  I added the spinach mixture into the eggs, then poured it into a 13x9.  I put it in a preheated 375 degree oven and baked it for 1 hr 15 minutes, and it was set.  We served it with salsa - yum! (But sadly no picture!)

During the day we read a book telling the story of Saint Patrick.  It was extremely informative and a great read!  It was called Let Me Die in Ireland, the True Story of Patrick.  

For lunch, L9 took the lead.  He made homemade pizza - including crust from scratch, and put green peppers on it :)  Unfortunately, on our last pizza, we ran out of mozzarella cheese ;)  We also had some punch, made from lime sherbet and 7-Up.


Dinner consisted of Irish food... we had Shepherd's Pie with Irish Soda Bread, using Einkorn flour., and homemade butter.  So de-lish!!!  Dessert was a creme de mint pie!

Hope your day was enjoyable as well!

Monday, March 28, 2016

FIAR - How to Make an Apple Pie and See the World - Week 1

I have been really struggling this year to find a structured routine for my younger children.  B4 and A2 therefore gets into A LOT of mischief!  In an effort to help their day be more productive (who am I kidding - and less destructive!), I have started doing FIAR with them again.  I am attempting to keep within the themes they are learning in other subjects, especially geography.  Right now we are doing an introduction to geography, so we started in FIAR with How to Make An Apple Pie and See the World, by Marjorie Priceman.

This book is an absolute delight to read, and one of our favorites.  It is about a little girl that desires to make an apple pie... but her market is closed.  She therefore travels around the world to get the ingredients she needs to bake her pie.

While the precedent of FIAR is to read the same book for five days, I always do them for two weeks... it just seems to work better for us, with everything else we are doing.  Everyday we read the book, along with other books.  Our focus this first week was on apples!  The extra books we read included:
Apple Valley Tree by Ann Turner
Ten Red Apples by Pat Hutchins
Apples by Gail Gibbons
How Do Apples Grow by Betsy Maestro
The Apple Pie Tree by Zoe Hall
Johnny Appleseed, My Story, by David L. Harrison
Johnny Appleseed by Steven Kellogg
Johnny Appleseed by Jodie Shepherd

Our activities included:

  • looking at various measuring instruments used in cooking, including measuring spoons, cups, and scales, 
  • making apple crisp, 

  • colored "Apple Parts" worksheet (I types in "apple parts worksheet" into google and pulled up images)

  • completed a "Keep Apples from Turning Brown" experiment
For the experiment, I cut an apple into 8 slices.  We kept one slice as our "constant" and then put different substances on each apple slice to see if it would keep the apple slice from turning brown.  My children chose apple cider vinegar, white vinegar, baking soda, sugar, salt, lemon juice, and raw milk.  We checked on the slices every ten to fifteen minutes, and then again in the morning.

Original set up:

After 15 minutes:

After 30 minutes:

After 45 minutes:

After an hour:

An hour and a half:

Next morning:

Amazingly, the lemon juice (which we knew would keep the apple from turning brown) and the raw milk (!?!?) kept the apple from turning brown.  The baking soda actually "ate" the apple, turning it meaning and as my children described "nasty and grainy."  The salt actually did a decent job as well, though not as efficient.  

Looking forward to week 2!!!

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Above and Beyond Exhibit - Field Trip

In February we were fortunate enough to go to the Above and Beyond Exhibit with some friends.  This exhibit is actually a traveling exhibit, that focuses on flight and aerospace in a hands-on, interactive way.

When we first went in, we watched a short video on the history of air travel, including by balloons for the Civil War, airplanes, and spaceships.  Our group seemed like a true school group in some ways... with 4 adults and 13 kiddos!

Then it was off to an open room with LOTS of hands on mini-exhibits.  One area was almost like a Wii game, where you could be a bird and use your arms as the wings.  Almost all of the children in our group wanted to do that one!  There was also an area where you could learn about the different aspects of airplanes, and then use that knowledge to "build" your own, on the computer.  Once built, you could take it for a test flight, and see how it did as far as speed and maneuverability.  And of course, there were lots of models of airplanes - past, present, and future.

Being birds...

Test-flying our airplanes...

Overall it was a fun field trip.  For those interested, in will be in St. Louis MO until May 8th, Charleston SC until March 13th, and in Seattle WA from May 28th until September 10th.