Friday, July 31, 2009


"Learning is a treasure that will follow its owner everywhere"
~Chinese proverb

monster toast

magic mailbox
crafting mixed media map of our farm
making monster toast
"M" mosaic
......Sorry about the total randomness of the order of my pictures, but as I have mentioned in previous posts, my computer is on the fritz.....

Our last Five in a Row unit was on Madeline, and the letter of the week (more like two weeks) was "M."We did a lot of fun activities. In addition to reading Madeline, Madeline's Rescue, and studying about France we did a bunch of "M activities."
Violet really got into making a "M"ixed "M"edia "M"ap of our farm. We used a big piece of butcher paper for the base. I cut out a bunch of different house, tree, etc shapes out of paper and magazine scraps. She used crayons, colored pencils and markers as well. We talked about the meaning of mixed media art.
In keeping with the "M" theme, we read Magic Mailbox. Then we crafted the mailbox out of a shoe box. I cut a door in the front, poked a couple of holes, and threaded a ribbon for a handle. We attached the flag to the side of the box with a brad. Then Violet added a bunch of stickers to jazz it up. We had to follow it up by writing a letter to Mimi (great way to practice those "M"s) and Grand Daddy. I can see that is going to be a part of a lot of imaginative play.

On Thursday we had a "M"onster day. We read Lamont the Lonely Monster. When I was in school, I remember that my teacher read it too us. It is the sweetest book. I loved it so much that Mimi (my mama) took me down to the local Hallmark store and bought it for me. Violet really loves it too. We followed the book up by making "m"onster toast. This recipe came out of an awesome book called Kinder Krunchies. This was first introduced to me as a child by Mimi. It is really a simple recipe.
Monster Toast
Add a few drops of food coloring to a little milk. We chose three colors. It is a good idea to make the colors really bright so that they show up on the toast.

Paint the monster face on one side of the white or wheat bread. We used wheat. You can also make the letter M on the back side of the bread.
Toast and spread lightly with butter. We made ours into monster toast peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. I have to say they were quite a hit.
Tomorrow it is supposed to rain all day and we have vowed to stay home and have a family day. We are going to experiment a bit with French Food. I see some pain perdu (basically french toast) and crepes in our future. Yum! Have a great weekend!

Thursday, July 9, 2009


"Education is not the filling of a pail, but a lighting of a fire."
~William Butler Yeats

The "D" Bag

contents of the "D" bag: duck, doll, dog, dress-up, doctor

Violet making the "wise eyed boat"

recording what we learned about China in learning journal

Loading Pings 42 cousins, 11 aunts, 7 uncles, 3 brothers,
2 sisters, his mother, and father into the wise eyed boat

This was our first week of home school. I have to say it was quite successful. We are using the Five in a Row and Saxon Math Kindergarten curriculum as the foundation of our learning. We started with The Story of Ping. This was the cornerstone of our lessons throughout the week.

Since Ping the duck, lives along the Yangtze River in China, our learning revolved around China, and ducks.

Five in a Row includes story disks in their curriculum so that you can label locations of character in the books. We placed Ping on the map and made one to label our home.

We also had a tea party with the tea set my mom and dad brought back from China town. Violet thought this was very cool.

We read about ducklings, sang six little ducks, made "D" ducks,

did experiments to find out what sinks and floats, read Duck at the Door, and Daisy Comes Home (the sweetest little book about a girl who lives in China).

To conduct your own float/sink experiment:

Our experiment was based on one from a really cool book called Science Play!

1. Fill a large bowl, tupper or bucket with water

2. Go around the house and gather things that you think will float or sink.

3. Get out your learning journal and hypothesise (make guesses) the items that you think will float or sink. Write or draw those in your journal.

4. Drop the objects into the bowl one by one.

Record your findings in your journal. Since Violet is just now learning how to write her ABCs and spell words we made a key of the colors we used to denote whether the object sinks, floats, or floats and then sinks. Then we circled each object with the appropriate color.

Have fun!

Also, check out the Magic School Bus Ups and Downs: A Book About Floating and Sinking. It is a cute story and has another fun float/sink experiment in the back that you can do.

On Friday we had our first official movie night and watched Big Bird Goes to China. I think we are going to try and do this every other week it was a lot of fun. We made noodles and ate with chopsticks. Earlier that day Violet and I read Food from China. In this book they talk about Moon Cakes, a traditional food served at the Moon Festival. I had every intention of making them from this recipe. My computer would not cooperate (it has been on the fritz) so we improvised and made the cardamom carrot cupcakes from a book that Mimi gave us. They were delicious. All in all a great week.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009


"More grows in the garden than the gardener sows"
~ Old Spanish Proverb

Violet and Gammer

Hopa Crab apples

Today we harvested a huge mound of elephant garlic from the garden. It is so fun digging in the soil and plucking these huge heads of garlic from the earth.
We also harvested a handful of Cubanelle peppers and a bit of strawberries.
It wont be long before we will have baskets of peppers. Cubanelles have a wonderful flavor. It is kind of a cross between a green bell pepper and a chillie. We are putting a seed order in from Pinetree Garden Seeds for a few varieties that are ready to harvest in under 40 days ad are heat tolerant. I am excited. I have been working on preparing beds for the coming seedlings.

It was also fitting that I got my new Mary Jane's Farm magazine in the mail this week, and it has an article about putting up the harvest. Oh, how I love this magazine. If you want to see a cool video of her farm hands harvesting garlic on her farm click here.


"To me a lush carpet of pine needles or spongy grass is more welcome than the most luxurious Persian rug."
~ Hellen Keller

We had a nice Fourth of July weekend. We had fun lighting fireworks. I had to light a happiness fountain for good luck. Sunday we snuck down to the waterhole at Blanchard Springs for a soak. It is so beautiful down there. Kalin and I found this particular spot it on my Mother's Day hike.

For some reason I thought that I had blogged about my Mother's Day hike, but when I went back to the archives that post was not there. Must have been a figment of my imagination. So here are a few pictures of the hike

You can get down to the waterhole but taking a short jaunt on a lower trail. It is a great spot. It stays pretty secluded, as not many people know about it.