The First Tooth Fairy Visit


wp-1454348156316.jpegBella lost her first tooth Sunday evening… with Danny’s help. It had been loose for a very long time. She talked all day, every day about having him pull it after supper; however, after supper, she would promptly vanish or have a ready excuse why it couldn’t be done. Continue reading

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Watershed Demonstration

Demonstrating a Water Shed Feature ImageWe are currently studying bodies of water in our nature study. To begin the study, I asked my children the question, “Where do creeks, rivers, lakes, and ponds come from?” Bella had a decent grasp of this idea, as we have been camping in the mountains many times and have shown her how those small rivulets turn into creeks. However, seeing this in person does not help a child to picture the entire system, so we put together an easily understood hands-on demonstration of a watershed.  I called this a “water tree,” as we saw the tree shape of the water system at the end! Continue reading

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Spoonfuls of Sugar

In the time it took for me to walk upstairs, change Nikolai’s diaper, and come back down, Charlie went from normal morning grouches to over-the-top craziness. While fixing breakfast, I discovered the source of her attitude change.IMG_2172

That white bowl had about 1/4 cup of leftover cinnamon sugar mixture from making cookies for the neighbors. Apparently, the apple wasn’t good enough for her. Continue reading

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Handling a Large Curriculum

I absolutely adore the Charlotte Mason style teaching and learning. The stories grab me and take me on adventures right along with my children! Sometimes, though, I forget what we’re learning. 

Handle a Large Curriculum

When there are 11 books to read (all with different stories), poems, verses, songs, paintings, and the three R’s, I can’t remember it all.  I could spend all day looking at lesson plans or through books and papers to find it all, but I don’t. I have a “currently learning” board. Continue reading

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Squeaking and Creaking

Creaky Bed Pic

Imagine: the baby is finally asleep. Mommy is attempting to ever so quietly slip back into bed with heavy eyes and weary limbs while repeating, “Please stay asleep. Please stay asleep. Please stay asleep…” Continue reading

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Nature Study

 Nature Study Curriculum Pinterest Pic

One of the most enjoyable parts of our schooling is nature study. So often, our study is spur of the moment. A salamander is found, and questions are asked: what does it eat, where does it live, how does it breathe? A fungus is seen on a tree: is it edible? Why does the water get bubbly over the rapids in the river? These lessons very often take all day or week to process, and it becomes similar to our impromptu Pancakes and Symmetry study. I have printables that I created for Bella that include sketching the object or animal in question, writing a bit about it, and telling what she found most interesting. This, however, would never give us a broad enough science curriculum.

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Pizza Topped Sweet Potatoes

I love Thursday suppers. Thursday’s are for “meatless” suppers. If I have leftover meat, it may get thrown into or onto our food, but I don’t cook meat for the meal. Tonight, I had a thought, and a quick Google search told me that Pizza Topped Sweet Potatoes weren’t original, but also weren’t crazy.

These are good. They are rich and buttery. Cheesy and spicy. Filling and healthy. Danny has made a suggestion for improvement, and that will come at a later time. For now, just as these are, try them. It’s worth the experimentation.  I promise, they are MUCH better than stuffed squash. Continue reading

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Stuffed Butternut Squash: Failure with a Recipe

I went to bed excited about my plans for breakfast. Our neighbor had given us a bag full of personal sized butternut squash, and I was going to wow my kids by stuffing them. Everything I had read equated butternut squash with sweet potatoes; I had made butternut squash sauce for pasta and soup and we loved it. Stuffing seemed the logical next step.

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Homemade Catalina French Dressing: Recipe

When I wrote about how to stretch out the meat in Taco Salad, I mentioned my homemade dressing. I found this recipe in a 1961 cookbook under the title “Janet Spencer’s Oil Dressing.” A quick glance at the ingredients made me react with “ewww! Ketchup in salad dressing?” Then I realized that the only homemade dressings I had were vinaigrettes and a mayo dressing; we needed some variety!


A few minutes later, I dipped a carrot into this seemingly strange concoction. It was good. Who would have thought that a published recipe would taste good, right? 🙂 I tweaked it a bit, and this is our go-to recipe for Catalina meets French dressing. The kiddos have renamed this dressing “Ketchup Dressing.” They like to keep things short, sweet, and obvious.

The ingredients are simple:

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Leaf Rubbings: Going Beyond the Plain Paper

Leaf rubbings are one of the best and easiest nature activities. Gathering the leaves expels energy and encourages discrimination. (Is this leaf sturdy enough? What other sizes and types can be found? Does the color of the leaf make a difference in the rubbing?) Preparing crayons for the rubbings fulfills the ever-present desire to tear all of the paper off of the crayons. Making the impression takes fine motor skills and an artistic flare.

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