Friday, January 6, 2012

Winter Chillin': December 17 - January 6

In My Life Over Winter Break
Family, fun and exhaustion! Isn't that the usual with Christmas and welcoming in the new year? (Wow! 2011 went by QUICKLY, huh?) Oh, and I turned ((gulp)) 4-0!

So, who made NEW YEAR RESOLUTIONS? Wanna share? I'd share mine, but I, um, didn't make any! I NEVER seem to stick with them! Ha! Ha!

We hit the trails for what Sugar Maple calls our "Winter Wanderings"! Wanna see some December nature? Click here!

Oh, and I decided to join Pinterest. There's not enough hours in the day for pinning! LOL

And some snow fell! But would you believe it - it's all melted away again! I'm still not complaining, but we've been having some weird weather!

What'cha Makin' Wednesday!
Chocolate-dipped Coconut Macaroons from our favorite cookie cookbook!

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Mix together 1 package of flaked, sweetened coconut, 2/3 c white sugar, 6 T all-purpose flour, and 1/4 t salt then stir in 4 egg whites and 1 t almond extract. Place heaping teaspoonfuls onto a greased cookie sheet. Bake about 10-12 minutes or until the edges are golden brown. Remove cookies and cool on wire racks immediately. Melt 1/2 bag of milk chocolate chips in the microwave, stopping every 10-12 seconds to stir. Drizzle over the tops of cookies or dip one side of the cookies into the chocolate (which is what we prefer because it's MORE chocolate).

Don't these look great?

Homeschool Happenings
Let the 2nd half of our year begin! If we stay on track we should finish our 175 days by the end of April! Exciting!

White Pine studied land weathering and erosion in Earth Science, creating a really cool diagram to explain the types. His Earth Science Notebook is looking fantastic!

Weathering and Erosion Flow Chart
Click to Enlarge

Sugar Maple and Balsam Fir began their US Geography studies. Maple is using Teacher Created Materials US Geography and Fir is creating a State Notebook, but they're BOTH using the same books, card games, "How the States got their Shapes" TV shows, and Sheppard Software on-line games.

Fir's Alabama Notebook Page - Front

Fir's Alabama Notebook Page - Back

Sugar Maple's Southeast States
unscramble worksheet

Oh, and Sugar Maple received a fabulous sewing machine and book for Christmas and has been learning to sew.

Sugar Maple practiced stitching and pivoting without thread
to paper

Helpful Homeschool Hint
Have you seen Lunchables at the grocery store? I don't know about your kids, but my younger two seem to gravitate towards them, but have you read the ingredient list? Eek! So, for school-on-the-road or school-at-the-park, make your own lunches in divided plastic containers! I bought our containers at Walmart and fill them with more nutritious choices, a special sweet treat (to make them more Lunchable-ish) and water. Healthier, more convenient and less expensive!

Ham and cheese slices with Wheat Thins, celery sticks with
peanut butter, a chocolate granola bar, baby peeled carrots,
and tin-foil covered sunflower seeds

Here, There, Everywhere
❄ Hangin' out with S_, C_ and X_ ❄ Decorating cookies with Mimi and Pop ❄ Girl Scouts ❄ Visiting Nannie and Grandpa, Aunts and Uncle and cousin Noodle ❄ Playin' with cousins O_ and J_ ❄ Library Lego Club ❄ Scout Camp-in for White Pine  ❄ Basketball ❄

One of My Favorite Things

Even an ALMOST teenager can enjoy a
playground even if he won't admit it. LOL

So starts the time of year where I start REALLY looking into next year's curriculum. Have you started? I'll have a HIGH SCHOOLER next fall! And a 5th and 2nd grader. Most of my choices are made but I'm still thinking about 9th grade English. Do you suppose the perfect literature-based, writing, vocabulary-building, grammar all-in-one curriculum is out there?

A Photo, Video, Quote, or Link to Share
I snagged this from Facebook:

Joining These Awesome Blog Hops
The Homeschool Mother's JournalWeird Unsocialized HomeschoolersHip Homeschool Moms ButtonTots and Me
Chestnut Grove AcademyClassified: Mom        Magical Mouse Schoolhouse


  1. Maccaroons look awesome, going to have to make those! :)

    I love the lunchable idea. (my kids always go towards them too, and I HATE them) Love the muffin paper idea to, to help the peanut butter!!!

    Looks like you had fun! Love the pictures!

  2. WOW ... LOVE your snow photos! :) And SO CUTE that your "almost" teenager can enjoy the playground.. nothing wrong wit that at ALL! :) I think we all should find a playful sense about life and be able to "play" ... Love your homeschool stuff!!!!! I love to learn .. im looking forward to things evolving :D and LOVE LOVE LOVE your homemade lunchables! EEK is right about the ones in the store! LOL ... I always say why buy something pre-packaged if you can make everything that is in it LOL yourself! Hugs! Have a blessed New YEAR!

  3. I like those "Lunchable" containers. I need to look for some because my girls are not huge sandwich lovers and would prefer that kind of lunch when we're on the go.

  4. Great pictures! I'll be checking out you Pinterest this weekend I hope. As for the lunchables... my kids LOVE making their own. They also enjoy making their own subway sandwiches using hot dog buns. Homemade is 100 times better!

  5. Ah-ha!! the muffin paper is genius!

    You make living in Maine look fun.. very talented you are!! LOL

  6. Oh, the muffin "papers" are actually SILICONE muffin "papers". Blue Spruce found them CHEAP at Walmart a year ago and they've been GREAT for a lot of different things. They make wonderful FLEXIBLE dividers for their plastic lunch boxes!

  7. Great wrap-up. I am a Pinterest convert too- it took me a little while to figure out how great it is. My "big boy" can also be found enjoying such things. Thank goodness! I love the lunch!

  8. Mmm... those Macroons look to die for! Your pictures are just BEAUTIFUL too! It has been a very bizarre winter here, too. Yesterday it was over 70*!! Loving it, though!

  9. The macaroons look and sound delicious! :-)

    Your snow pictures are absolutely breathtaking! They look like postcards. :-)

    Your children's work is always well done and quite impressive-- good for them.

    I love the "Think."

    Have a great weekend!

  10. Your snow pics look pretty. I don't know what is wrong with me, but I am just not looking forward to winter this year :-/ Our family loves snow, me included, but this year I just wish I could have stayed in Florida..

  11. Great pictures! Makes me want snow even more! Also love the homemade lunchable idea!

  12. The winter photos are breath-taking! Our winter photos look like our spring and fall photos. That is the hazards of Southern California I guess. *shrug*

    LOVE the lunchable idea! My son always wants them and I can't justify spending that much money on a handful of junk with lots of extra ingredients (ie. sugars and preservatives). I will have to do that one!

    Your Macaroons look delicious! I also have spent a lot of time pinning on pinterest. Love the ideas I can get. The egg muffin idea I got there. In answer to your question: The recipe calls for you to lightly oil the muffin cups before you put the egg in. I sprayed it with my pump sprayer full of olive oil. It is like Pam without the extras. The eggs popped right out. I would add more cheese next time since they were slightly dry. Other than that they are a hit.

    Stopping by from THMJ

  13. What is it with those lunchables? My kids always beg me for them, but NOWAYthey are full of icky stuff.

    The. Weird weather is defintaly that, WEIRD, we have had almost no snow and we live far north.

    Great week!

  14. Your cookies look divine! My son too gravitates toward the lunchables. I don't like getting them and tried making my own but didn't have the nifty little containers. I think I'll have to get some! Those look awesome !:) Thanks for sharing!

  15. I make lunchables in divided containers also. Plus, they lie flat on the lap and are pretty spill proof.

  16. Love the "lunchables"! I didn't even think to look for divided containers at walmart. I'll have to hop to that. Those look great :)

  17. Love your "lunchable." And your great photo captures. What is it with the big kids always pretending they are too big to have fun?

  18. I <3 my divider trays and use them all the time for Trevy! I've thought about using them with the big kids too...I just haven't done it. Which is why I don't do resolutions either! ;)

    I'd say I'm jealous that you guys got snow and we didn't. But then I'd be lying. And well... ;)

    xo from down south(ish)!


  19. Oh I love THINK!! One of the families from church uses it and I must adopt it!

    We want snow too, but I find it amazing that you have none yet... where are they hiding it??

    I can't wait to read about your curriculum for a high schooler. I am so nervous about that age. Please share all your info!!!

    Divider trays are great! 2 of my kiddos got lunch boxes for Christmas and they are just itching to take them someplace!!

  20. Your snow picture is BEAUTIFUL!!! Seriously stunning. Thanks for linking up to TGIF! Have a great weekend,
    Beth =-)

  21. Love your coconut macaroons!

    Did you know that moms love that part of the playground too? I feel like I'm catching up on my childhood when such things did not exist. LOL

    Happy 40s to you. It's not a bad decade!

  22. Thanks for stopping by my the winter pics, just beautiful! Yes, I am starting to make mental notes about next year's the planning phase!

  23. Oh your quoate on THINK is excellent. I will be putting that up around here somewhere. Excellent.

    Those photo's of the snow are gorgeous. I love the red contrast of the berries.

    Well done for keeping on track with your goals.


  24. Your photos of the snow are AMAZING! It makes me wish we lived where it snows...kind of.

    We are getting ready to start Alabama next week, so it was neat to see your notebook pages.

    And, your quote: LOVE it!

  25. We make our own lunchables too. Cheaper and yummier. I refuse to believe you'll have a high schooler next year. Where does the time go?

  26. I LOVE your lunchables substitutes!!! Are those paper muffin cups or silicon?? I don't like plastic containers (have finally whittled down our collection to almost *none* but still have a few) so I might look for something like this instead: Set of3 glass lid locking rectangle containers
    They are heavier of course. Oh's still an awesome idea...I like it! My kids always want lunchables and I never buy them. I'm such a mean mom ;)
    And I found you on pinterest :) I'm "nlhome" on there I think lol

  27. I'll have a 9th grader next year too, but he's my last. I'll have to come back and see what your high schooler is doing.

  28. Thanks for linking up with Brag Time Thursday! I love the snow photos (the best way to enjoy snow is in a photo)! lol ;) I love the sewing and "lunchables" photo! Have a great week!

  29. Wow! So much goodness in this post!! I love your snow pictures. We are still waiting and looking for snow. I also love your states pages! They look just perfect for state study. I love your son's erosion page so very much. Wonderful job. Thank you so much for linking to All Things Beautiful.

  30. we like to make our own lunchables too! Love those snow pictures, beautiful! Thanks for linking up at BTT!!

  31. Stopping by again. This time from Phyllis' geography link-up. The state pages are great. I especially like that the bordering states are listed on the one page.


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