Friday, January 20, 2012

Brrrr! Winter Chill Sets In: January 14 - 20

In My Life This Week
C-C-C-OLD! We had several days of REALLY frigid temperatures! NEGATIVE DIGITS! We worried about our hens in their coop, but they did just fine. (Our lil' coop doesn't have electricity.) Perfect days for hot cocoa and reading under cozy blankets on the couch! (I just wish we hadn't run out of hot cocoa mix!)

Whatcha Makin'!
Be Cool Peppermint Parfaits from The Magic Kitchen Cookbook! Chocolate-peppermint pudding with whipped topping and crushed candy cane sprinkles! Use instant chocolate pudding and peppermint extract. Quick and yummy!

Homeschool Happenings
Writing issues! Sugar Maple spent a LONG, LONG time copying and recopying her creative story onto paper Monday. It was a HUGE struggle for both of us, but I think she finally realized that she CAN write neatly with few errors if she slows down and focuses.

Sugar Maple, Balsam Fir and I started Apologia Astronomy again per Sugar Maple's request, so our couple of weeks of  Science unschooling has come to an end. This week we studied Mars and Space Rocks.

White Pine has taken over planning as well as doing his Earth Science (with a few guidelines from ME of course). It seems to be going well thus far, but we'll see what he scores on his first test! ((wink))

Art! Yep, it's been a while. Again. We studied warm and cool colors this week and made collages from old magazines.

We're SUPER excited to have gotten a family pass through May at an educational and working farm near by. We attended our first family program this week: making butter from fresh cream! We got to feed the Holsteins too!

A view of one of the farm buildings.
Sugar Maple feeding Fiona some hay.
See the cloud? That's from the cow's breathing
in VERY nippy barn! Brrr!

Off the Bookshelf
Do you read aloud daily to your kids? I've been finding it very hard to read to the kids before bedtime. Perhaps I'm just too tired at the end of the day to keep it up? But benefits of shared reading are great, so I'm trying again. I pulled The Children's Book of America off the shelf and am happy to say we snuggled and read on the couch most nights this week!

Here, There and Everywhere!
❄ Boy Scouts ❄ Basketball ❄ Clarinet ❄ Butter Making at the Farm ❄ Girl Scouts Polar Bear Camping ❄ S, C and X hung out ❄ Wii with Friends at the Rec Center ❄

One of My Favorite Things
Balsam Fir was SUPER excited when I mentioned that we had a kit to build a working engine model. On Saturday, he helped his Dad put it together. He's QUITE fascinated with the inner-working of, well, anything, so this has been a WONDERFUL project for him! I LOVED seeing the his focus and excitement! Future mechanic here! (And yeah, I missed the focus on ALL the photos! Grrrr!)

Balsam Fir holds a piece while Blue Spruce screws
another piece onto it. I'm sure THEY could tell you
the exact parts, but I can't! LOL
Watching Dad intently as he gets closer to finishing
the motor.
All finished and ready for a test
TOTALLY focused on the motor parts moving!

So, my 12-year-old is better at U.S. Geography than I am! We've been having "tournaments" to get the highest percentage on level 4 U.S. Geography on Shepard Software. Is this a bad thing? LOL I did edge out my 9-year-old though! Phew!

A Photo, Video, Link, or Quote to Share
"Always go forward and never turn back."
 Father Junipero Serra, a Spanish explorer of the mid-1700s who helped settled land for Mexico in California and never stopped even when he was sick, hurt and starving.

Oh, and I found this on Facebook.

Joining up With These AWESOME Blog Hops:
The Homeschool Mother's JournalTots and MeClassified: Mom
Hip Homeschool Hop ButtonMagical Mouse SchoolhouseChestnut Grove Academy


  1. Beautiful farm!! Oh, how I wish!

    We always start our day with a read-a-loud. It's a great way to ease Dawson (my NOT early riser) into the day. I tell him he is getting an "A" in "Lay on the Couch in Your PJs While Your Mom Reads to You 101". Our book is always a Living Book to go with the unit we are studying in history. It's my favorite thing we do all day. We have read some great books this year, including some classics I've always wanted to read.

    1. That's a GREAT idea, Nicole! Why didn't I think about that?! LOL My oldest watched his America: A Story of Us video to start his day today...while in his PJs and under blankets, lying on the sofa. LOL

  2. Sounds like a great week, glad your hens did okay in the cold.

    I LOVE that video it has been floating around on FB for all week.

  3. I like to do our read-alouds after lunch. Trevy is usually snoozing and Toby and Bri are ready for some snuggle time. It works for us. Except this week...I'm sick and just want to hop in the shower for that precious hour of Trevy resting!

    Oh...and we're just now on the moon. Yikes. I've been slacking!


  4. COOOOOLD! ahhhh ive seen that on almost every blog ive visited today! LOL Hey its cold in the Bahamas.. (well HOT to you guys... but pretty COOL for me) .... I love reading to my son! :) I love your farm pic! BEAUTIFUL! So glad your hens did ok! have a great weekend!

  5. Love the snow pictures. I have had to tell myself several times this week..."I will not turn the air conditioner on in January." So, while I don't want to have too much of your cold weather, I wouldn't mind a little. I also posted the Messy Mondays video today. It is so true and so funny!

  6. When did S get so big??? It must be the haircut. He looks so happy building with dad.

  7. Wow! Seeing the pictures of your son building the engine has brought back so many memories! My oldest son was about 8 or so when we bought him one for Christmas. Loved watching him put it together and then watching it work! He is now in college and going for his Electrical Engineer Degree. Still loves to see how things are built and working! :)

    1. That's Balsam Fir! I can't imagine him doing anything else when he's older than designing, building and constructing something that RUNS. LOL

  8. The farm photo is just beautiful!! I can't believe how cold it is for y'all right!

    Great photos of your husband and son working together. My girls call projects like that "daddy school"- I think it's so sweet to see them learning alongside their daddy:)

    We used to just read aloud at bedtime, but that doesn't always work for us. Now I read out loud whenever we have a chance throughout the day. Sometimes it's when everyone just woke up and is still kind of quiet or while the girls eat lunch, or even right after we all eat supper together. I still try to read at bedtime, but I don't feel bad if we skip the bedtime story because we made time earlier in the day. Oh yeah, books on cd in the car work great for us too!!

  9. You know, we don't actually read aloud at bedtime. I figure this is fine since we have already read several hours during the day! Ha! But I do tell stories in bed, so I think that might count, too.

  10. Sounds like a great (but cold) week! Glad your chickens are ok. :-)

    Your treats look SO yummy!

    The farm activities look like so much fun. What a great experience for your kids, as well as your son working with his dad-just priceless!

    As for our read-alouds, we do them after lunch snuggled up on the couch. You're right, we're all just too tired at night and after prayers, they are just ready to climb into bed.

    Hope you keep warm this weekend!
    Many blessings,

  11. What an amazing week you had! Those parfaits look delicious!! I've got to get my hands on that cookbook.

  12. Love that you built a working engine model - that is so cool!! And what a fun project to involve Dad in!! Thanks for linking up to TGIF! Have a great week,
    Beth =-)

  13. That pudding looks yummy! Thanks for the link to the cookbook! Sounds like a great week!

  14. Sounds like bisy times at your house! we've neen busy here too. Cold as well!

  15. Stopping by from the Watcha Making Wednesdays linky. That pudding looks yummy! I'll have to check out that cookbook.

  16. I've been having the same bedtime read aloud issues here as well. It's hard to get the baby down and then still have time for reading with the boys. Sometimes we read during lunch and the suggestion of first thing in the morning by one of your commenters seems like a great idea too. I guess we do whatever works at the time and always stay ready to change as we go. ;)
    That pudding sounds yummy! Love chocolate and mint.
    Hanging on for another storm tomorrow?
    Have a great weekend!

    1. Noooo! LOL I guess we can't really complain though about snow this year! ;)

  17. I laughed so hare when I watched that video.


  18. I love that motor! There is so many interesting learning activities going on at your house.

  19. Looks like you all had a great week! And the engine would have been a lot of fun to make. And thanks for linking your Peppermint Parfaits up - they look easy and yummy!

  20. YUM! That Choc parfait looks delich! I just recently did some choc/peppermint type recipes on my fav flavor combo!! The motor looks cool as well, and I've seen that video, that guys is pretty funny, and has some great messages in his videos! Thanks for linking up to BTT!

  21. Wow, beautiful snow covered property! Just breathtaking! And great invention by your son! PS I loved that messy monday video :D so hilarious!


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