Archive for September, 2014

Week In The Life (Diggin’ Up Bones)

September 21, 2014

Well besides a few bumps, all on my part, our first week back was a productive one. We are slowly getting back into our routine.

Our garden is winding its way down. I am keeping my fingers crossed temperatures don’t hit below freezing before our sweet potatoes are ready to harvest. They are doing really good but are not yet ready. So next year plant all potatoes at the same time. Next weekend we plan to pull the rest of our tomatoes and get our soil ready for planting garlic.

Not a whole lot coming out of the kitchen this week. No tomatoes for sauce, however, walks in the park brought in another batch of apples and the first apple crisp of the season was made (thanks to cooler temps).

From the study: I am incorporating a few new ideas into our days focusing on note-taking techniques, starting with a timeline of Earth’s evolution.


(Little Sis)

I am hoping Sky will break off from here working more on essay writing.

Papa also added a dry erase board to our refrigerator where I am writing the girls assignments for each day encouraging more independent work.

Language Arts: Little Sis read Magic Tree House Dinosaurs Before Dark and her word of the week was, soar. Sky worked on newspaper jargon.

Mathematics: Miss Sky reviewed long multiplication with worksheets from Math Is Fun. Little Sis reviewed her time’s tables playing the multiplication tree game online.

Science: Besides getting our timeline caught up with everything we learned about our universe while on break,


we also talked about the geological column working our way up to the Mesozoic Era. I read the Magic Tree House Dinosaurs Research Guide, we watched Bill Nye’s episodes on Dinosaurs and Fossils, had discussions about paleontologists, extinction, and the fossil fuels coal and crude oil.

We watched the BBC movie Creation about Charles Darwin as a family and watched the Crash Course videos on Natural Selection and Evolution. Being the girls were already familiar with these topics watching the movie first worked for us. The movie is more about Darwin’s life and his struggles with writing The Origin of Species. If your children don’t already understand evolution I would watch the Crash Course videos first then the movie.

Lots of discussion from this movie, especially how difficult it was to write about science during the Victorian Period.

We also watched the movie Jurassic Park as well as the Nostalgia Critic’s Jurassic Park movie reviews (warning he does use profanity and may not be suitable for all families).


P.E. Continuing our walks around the block.

Peace for the journey.




Week(s) In The Life (Look, A Cave Troll)

September 13, 2014

Falling behind again. It is however beginning to become clear to me that it must be a seasonal thing. The weather changes and I get busier. In this case Autumn is near with it’s cooler temps and outdoor walking becomes much more appealing. So instead of marching in place “Walking Away the Pounds” to a video, walks around the block and at the park have become a regular part of P.E.

From the garden: Our tomato crop started booming with the brief warm up we’ve had these past couple of weeks including more buds and growth. This week however cooler temperatures have slowed growth down and I don’t think we will get much more. I can’t complain though we yielded a pretty good crop this year even with all the pests.

Our radishes are about ready for harvest. We are planting more for sure next year as we enlarge our garden.

From the kitchen: Two more jars of tomato sauce. With the cooler temps and apples coming into season the oven is ready to be fired up for apple crisp. For now I have been enjoying snacking on sliced apples with peanut butter dip.

I mentioned previously how I have pretty much kicked the sugar habit. I still use real maple syrup and coconut sugar as my sweeteners and of course the sugar that’s naturally already in foods but cane sugars and corn syrup are a thing of my past. I can honestly say the less sweets I eat the less I crave sweetened goods like cookies. Then again I am eating lots more fresh fruits and vegetables than before. I don’t feel deprived at all and my palate has majorly changed since making the switch. I tried eating canned fruit and the texture was disgusting. I am really glad for all the berries I froze to get me through the winter.

From the study: Which brings me to the movie Fed Up.

We watched it as a family and had lots of discussion. Both girls mentioned how glad they were not having to eat school lunches. Little Sis can’t even eat store bought meat. I am thankful to live in a farming state with fresh foods readily available at our fingertips.

I do however feel I can’t move on before mentioning we *do not* shame the girls for foods they like to eat in any way. I do not stand over them policing or cringe if they want to eat a Twinkie. Both girls are allowed to add to the grocery cart whatever foods they want. I want them to have a healthy relationship with food and come to their own conclusions. And you know what? They do.

We also finished How the Universe Works with the episode Supernovas.

Papa replaced our wooden fence over the summer and after being inspired by our park walks decided to repurpose our old fencing into simple birdhouses that even the girls could build.


Let’s see, we had the usual games and read Pippi in the South Seas.


I am glad we read the Pippi series as I had never read it before. I can see why it is recommended on most “girl power” lists, especially for the time period it was written. I will even say Pippi’s personality does grow on you after awhile. The girls however thought it was just “okay”. I think maybe because they have been exposed to lots of “girl power” stories already. Besides it’s really hard to beat Ramona in Little Sis’s opinion. So far the Ramona series, Coraline, and the Phantom of the Opera remain the girls favorite read alouds this year.

Next week we start back to our more regular schedule. The break did us all good. After learning about how the universe works and our galaxy, the milky way, we will be moving on to how Earth itself is still a living evolving planet starting with a little geology. Perfect timing to do a little cave exploring with a road trip to Marengo Caves in Marengo Indiana. Being from Missouri I have been in several caves growing up but this was Papa and the girls first time.

The cave was discovered by a sister and brother exploring a small sink hole in 1883.


(The original cave entrance is right under the tree on the left.)

What they found inside brought many visitors just a week later. We learned about the caves sodastraw formations, helicites, and totem pole stalagmites.


We even caught a glimpse of life.


(A salamander)

The cave has a music hall where they held concerts and plays and even a pulpit rock where they held church.


The cave stays 52 degrees all year long making it perfect to visit anytime of year. I definitely see more cave exploring in our future.

Peace for the journey.

Week In The Life (Insectmania)

September 1, 2014

Welcome September! And Happy Labor Day.

I think I am beginning to except the reality that Autumn is near. So that means walks in the park and apple cider slushies’ .


2.7 mile walks to be exact. I love watching the leaves turn colors, not to mention all the wildlife we spot along the way.


In my opinion nothing welcomes fall better than having fresh apples just waiting to be devoured, and devoured they quickly become.

From the garden: I tried planting carrots in containers this year. This is what I got.


Not bad for my first try. Next year I plan to do things a bit differently when planting the seeds. We shall see.

I spotted the first praying mantis so far this year, finally.


Fingers crossed there are more hiding about. Our garden spider continues to do well,


(It is tucked nicely away in the little tunnel) and why not there are plenty of crickets to make a meal of. Oh and there is more (besides the stink bugs). While picking tomatoes I found what has been nibbling my Roma tomatoes, a huge grasshopper.


It has been relocated far away from our garden. Speaking of tomatoes,

From the kitchen: 3 more jars of tomato sauce and 8 jars of salsa.


(Another one of my favorite sounds is hearing the lid seal on a Ball Jar) The only veggie I needed to purchase was the bell peppers as our plants didn’t do that great this year (I think due to a rabbit family living nearby). Though now they are beginning to take off with the warm front we’ve had. Who knows maybe a late harvest.

From the study: Little Sis requested a trip to the library where she discovered a new series she loves. Whatever After by Sarah Mlynowski. “It is like a girl version of Kingdom Hearts.” She is over halfway done.


Let’s see, Walk Away the Pounds, games, starting Pippi Goes On Board. Finishing the Back to the Future series, continuing Yu-Gi-Oh!, and Sky requesting What Would Jesus Buy.

 I always mention that this is the movie that changed my life. Both girls, while watching it themselves for the first time, seeing Reverend Billy take the screen both looked over at me and replied “Really mom?”. Yes, really. After finishing the movie Sky understood.

It was after viewing this movie that Papa and I cut up our credit cards and started our journey toward a more simple life. It was this movie that started us supporting local business and farmers. It was this movie that brought my focus back to traditions and making memories instead of constantly consuming. It was my “awaking”, when I began to finally think for myself. 

I have learned A LOT since then, that alone could be an entire post itself. 🙂 The short version, the girls have learned to be better consumers by Papa and my examples. I didn’t need to force or shame them for what they chose to spend *their* money on. They came to these conclusions themselves. 

Both girls have much more an understanding of how the world works than I did at their age. I truly do believe because they have not been separated from “the real world” to be trained on how to live in the real world. The longer I homeschool the more clear it becomes.

Peace for the journey.