Thursday, March 28, 2013

Katy No Pocket, Australia {BFIAR}

As soon as the book was over Duck and Owl wanted to do a "jump like a kangaroo race"  just like they did at the beginning of the story. We jumped all over the house.

Next we measured just how far we could jump.

A favorite project was making Australia cookies. I used this gluten free recipe and used sugar instead of agave. I placed  parchment paper over the map and let the kids push down the dough over Australia  to fill in the shape, they did pretty good. Then we added chocolate chips where  all the mountain ranges were and used colored candies to make major cities. The kids LOVED this and it only took 30 min to do.
Robin working on adding her capitols.
All 4 finished countries, the little broken cookie at the lower right is Tasmania.

Robin did some research on things she loved about Australia..She wrote out all  about what a biliby is and that Australia's major export is cattle.

Falcon wrote a short report on the government and how Tasmania is part of the commonwealth of Australia 


            Tasmania has a population of 507,626. It is part of the Commonwealth of Australia, and although Tasmania is technically part of the commonwealth it still retains its own laws and customs.
            A commonwealth is a group of colonies or states that are bound together for common well being. There are six colonies that make up the Commonwealth of Australia.                                      
Each state is represented at a federal level by a Governor-General. Governor-Generals are appointed by the king/queen that is in office.
            The current queen is Queen Elizabeth II. The queen has very little actual power but plays a more ceremonial/symbolic role in the country.  Governor-Generals on the other hand, have the ability to summon parliament, call elections, and appoint the prime minister, Governor-Generals also have the ability to appoint officials such as high court justices.  

See older kids can learn from  FIAR books too! I usually have my oldest child read the story to the little ones once ( he usually likes the stories) and then have him do a bit of research on a topic involved in the book. For Katy No Pocket he choose to write a little on the country mainly because I thought Tasmania was it's own country! So see I even learned  something new!.

Duck did a lot of activities from this resource

We were studying  Tasmania this month with our homeschool geography group so I choose to row Katy No Pocket to go right along with our studies.

We also  read 

We watched 
 Fiction  movie based in Australia, I watched this with my older kids 12 and 6. 
All 4 of the kids watched this one.

Did you know that Inspector Gadget has a field trip series? We  found it on accident when requesting something else in at the library. Here is one on Australia that I found on youtube..

We love this series and we just checked out the one for Spain and Italy for next week when we row Ferdinand.
Want to see how others are using Five in A Row check that out here.

Nationals here we come!

Falcon is a state champ!  He won Gold in sparrring and  in forms at States and will be going off to nationals in Chicago!

I am such a proud mama!  We have been going to specialists to have his sports injury looked at and see how long he needs to be off until he can jump back in. Hopefully he will be back to sparring practice this weekend!

Yay for spring and sunshine. I have recently realized that I have a case of the winter blues so I am looking forward to warmer days and spending more time outside. I may even give the kids the summer off school  (or maybe just a month) instead of following our usual  6 weeks on 1 week off. I haven't fully decided yet.

The weather was 30-50 this week so we got outside and filled up our bike tires after a winter of sitting in the leaky garage.

We had some windy nights and this blow off our neighbors house. As soon as I saw it, I stepped on it, ( my fear of bees over taking me!) Luckily, the bees make these homes extremely resilient to  being stomped on by big giant home wreckers like me. There were no bees harmed, this home was vacant. Now we have another specimen to add to our nature shelf.

In the insect family we have a monarch butterfly that we mounted last spring, a bumblebee, a honey bee,  a Cicada killer wasp ( those suckers are HUGE!) and now this hive!

Girl Scouts
Robin is doing a Girl Scout project  for the State fair for  bees, ladybugs and crickets so finding this hive was great!

We had a girl scout movie day and went to the theater to see The Croods, It was a great show. Then  half of us went to lunch together then off homeschool gym, it was a great afternoon.

We are working on  the Brownie Making Friends badge. Robin's best friend has  found herself a new best friend which is leaving Robin feeling left out. This was her very first close friend so it's been hard for her to understand. So we are trying to build relationships with other girls.   It's hard to see your child hurting though, but life hurts sometimes!

We have had two very  busy weeks with doctors appts. and homeschool events on each and everday.

In our free moments all the kids have been working on their book dioramas for our book festival on Monday.

We went on  a tour through  the oldest theater in our town, it was built in  the late 1800's.  This worked out great since Robin's book dioroma is Stage Fright on a Summer Night, so we got to see the stage up close and personal.

Duck and Owl looking over the edge of the stage!

Watching maple syrup being made.

Need a book for your young adult? I found this website from some papers left in one of Falcon's  recent books.

Falcon read How Sugar Changed the World which was a finalist in 2012 for non fiction.

Here is the booklist link for 2013 

Falcon is going to start reading BOMB! which  is  the 2013 non fiction winner. I think I may read this one as well.

I am reading:

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Winter, or should I say Spring blues!

I have a case of the blah's....

 I think I just need some good ole sunshine.  I love winter, I love snow, I love being outdoors but this year  I have been home bound. I  usually go outside with the kids  EVERYDAY no matter the weather, but this year... not so much!

It started in November the kids started getting sick, usually I still take them outside to get fresh air but this year I seem to have stayed in much more. Over the last month I have been very drawn to the colors yellow and orange I have been trying to figure out why I have this sudden urge to have everything around me yellow or orange. Finally, it dawned on me, I just  need some healing rays of the sun on  my skin and face. I also then realized that I have not been taking my D3 regularly either.

Kinda of odd that I come to this theory just after spring has sprung. So I have organized  the house today, hung up some beach art that the kids made last year,  hung up some other pictures I bought at Goodwill but never got around to hanging up. and  de -cluttered some of the winter mess.
I cleaned off the top of my dresser so that  I could actually see my books, instead of the leaning tower of crap that I had piled up about a foot high. The pictures above  the mirror I bought at Goodwill 75 cents, I love them though. They  were just sitting on my dresser for the last  8 months or so. My jar full of  glass beads is my bookend so my books won't topple to the floor!

I took my mom's  ashes to Writesville beach last May and placed her in her final resting place under the light of a full moon. The kids collected sand and shells from that beach and we made these.

I used a mix of plaster, sand and seawater ( I  saved 2 bottles of it to bring back with us).
I poured the mix into molds ( I used yogurt and oatmeal containers)
After the firmed up a bit the kids gently pushed in the seashells they chose then sprinkled with sand.
After it hardened I hot glued ribbon around the edge.
Then hung up on the wall ( almost a year late) Yikes!
Not bad since it took my 3 years to get my mom ashes to the beach she wanted during a full moon!
Now we have a part of her on the wall always!

Hanging these up today did put me in a much better mood.

I got my butt outside as well and filled up most of the bicycle tires except mine because I ran out of juice in my air compressor. I will fill them up tomorrow since I have promised one of my 4 rays of light that I would take a bike ride with  her a few times around the block. I am excited to get back into riding my bike each night now that it should be getting warmer.

Next week will be a busy one we have homeschool events, and doctors appts. everyday of the week but I am determined to get out to the park and get back into nature with the kids flipping over logs and stomping in the mud ( well maybe no stomping in the mud,  the high will only be 40!).

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Molten Glass and a Winning GOLD Medal.

All about glass, we went to the Art museum to learn all about pieces of art made with glass. Then we got to watch a glass blowing demonstration. My father joined us on this tour, it was so nice to see him up and walking (with a walker) after his 3rd scare with cancer.
 The glass dress was a favorite of Robin's
 The glass bench was fun to sit on
 The oldest art piece that our museum has it is 35,000 years old! We have been trying to track this one down in our museum for months but no one knew what I was talking about. Luckily this Docent knew exactly what I as talking about.
 A beautiful piece that the kids were admiring!
The 1950's diner was a favorite of mine.
 In the hot shop, with very hot molten glass. All the kids were ooohing and ahhhhing.
The girls were excited he was making a pink piece of glass.

We read some great books.

Elena's Serenade

Did you know that this book is based off of a true story, Grandma Prisbrey actually made a whole village from glass bottles from the dump in 1956. Very cool! Check out pictures of  her village here .

I just found this activity on pinterest this week and will be doing it next week with the kids.

Falcon went to his first Taekwondo tournament of the season and he did very well. He got first place in sparring and 2nd place in forms.  This is the first year that electronic gear will be used to assist in scoring, we had to buy our electronic socks to work on the sparring  gear. Those sure did cost a pretty penny, $75! You have to kick HARD to get those things to register too! Falcon won his last match in a sudden death round scoring the  winning blow with the most beautiful jumping back kick I have ever seen, All the couches and spectators were blown away. I yelled so loud when he got that last point, and of course this was the only tournament I did not video tape. It was an intense match I couldn't  keep my eyes off the mat. When he won he held up his medal and said to me " I won this medal with blood, sweat, and tears!" He got kicked in the nose  right before he won the match and was quite shaken up by it.

This weekend we will be heading to States to compete, It's very exciting that we are competing in an Olympic event! We will be heading to Detroit in July to compete in Jr. Olympics as long as he qualifies  which I am sure he will.

Falcon is in blue, the other kid got a pretty good shot at him knocking him down you can see the other kids coach on the chair with a big smile on his face. He was a tough competitor but this was the kid
 Falcon beat out for first!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Good news, bad news and sick kids.

Bad news first:  We lost  almost a full side of beef due  to a loss of power. We have our deep freezer at the office bldg. we own because it will not fit in our house. The renters upstairs cut the power for over a week to the room to fix some electrical, no one noticed that the deep freezer was no longer on for over a week. The smell was awful, there was so much blood at the  bottom. I was beyond upset when I found this out. Our farmer usually has a 4 month wait  to get more meat.

Now the good news: The renters will be paying us 990 dollars to replace the meat loss. After a desperate plea to our farmers they were able to part with a quarter of beef . Its not the cuts that we would usually get but it's better that factory farmed cow, I will deal! After finishing up our juice fast last week Papabird watched quite a few documentaries on healthy eating and he was appalled to find out how unhealthy store bought  chicken eggs really are, so now he is finally on board for backyard chickens....Yay! I am so excited I have been trying for 3 years to get him on board with that.
 Earlier this week  at Goodwill  I came cross this cute porcelain chicken. I am not sure what it is even supposed to be used for but I thought it would look cute on my window sill. I always seem to collect small things  like screws, batteries, toy handcuff keys,( notice the toy key still sitting next to my chicken) nails etc. on my windowsill and thought this would be a cute place to hide them. As I was washing  dishes that night I thought to myself I will just keep this chicken here as reminder  that one day I will have my own chickens.  This thrift find must be a lucky chicken because now we are getting chickens. The chicken now has a name,..... Lucky!
Here is the inside, maybe  the top part is a salt shaker? There is a small hole in the head and you can take out this yellow plug so you could fill the inside.

Off to the library this week to pick up some chicken books

 I will be reading these  in my spare moments. Although I really want to finish Water for Elephants  I just picked up the movie from the library and I am half tempted to watch the movie before I finish the book so I can move on to my chicken research.

So  3 out of 4  kids are sick this week so we didn't really get to much done that I had planned. We did finally narrow down the books we will be turning into a   shoe box diorama  for our book festival.
Owl will be  doing  The Very Hungry Caterpillar
Duck will be doing The Pizza Place Ghost
Robin will be doing Stage Fright on a Summer Night
Falcon will be doing  Eregon
So we brainstormed ideas on what our projects will look like.

I bought the Wreck it Ralph DVD for the kids this week. They have been waiting for  it to come out on DVD since we saw it in the theater on a Christmas Eve.  They must have watched it more than a dozen times this week, which was fine since they were sick and I wanted them all laying down resting.

We also made some home decor   Inspired by the BFIAR book Jesse Bear. You can see the whole blog post about it here. I LOVE them and may make more next week.

We are cooking .....
Spaghetti squash

Lettuces wrapped chicken avocado  salad
Lemon Basil chicken
Chocolate cinnamon ice cream

Sweet potato fries ( I put them on top of my salad today and it was so good, I will try that again)

My kitchen has been a wreck all week and laundry behind, In fact my 2 little boys ran out of clean underwear on Thursday night. They were not happy about not wearing underwear, although at least 1 day out of the week they do not  have underwear on anyhow, go figure. Most of my emails  have been up to date though! This may not look like a mess but I have a small kitchen so I am non stop washing dishes ( by hand) just free more counter space to move on to the next thing.

Trying to convert to a more paleo  diet has lead us to try some new interesting foods, all of which I have enjoyed, some more than others.

We are heading out to Falcons first Taekwondo sparring match of the season this weekned and gearing up for Jr. Olympics in July.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Home Decor brought to you by Goodwill and my kids.

So I have been really wanting to add more yellows and oranges into our home decor. While reading the Before Five In A Row book Jesse Bear I came up with the idea to have the kids paint 5x7 pictures of water animals ( They point out in the story  Jesse Bear that water animals are used as home decor in the bathroom.)

Robin and Duck got out some ocean books and decided what the wanted to paint.
Duck working on his shark.

Then we went to Goodwill to pick out some neat looking  5x7 frames we could paint. They didn't have any really neat ones with the  molding on the side like I wanted so we got  some plan old wooden 5x7 frames for .75 cent each.
I was hoping to find frames like this, but no luck. I will keep my eyes open for future projects.

I decided on yellow  for the frames

Duck painting, notice his bright orange gun? You never know when you might need to defend yourself.

Speed drying the frames with the blow dryer, notice Duck brought his gun with him?

Duck needed 3 coats of paint, Robin 4 because hers was a darker wood.

It took about 1 hour to  paint 3-4 coats blow drying in between.

What I loved most about using the dryer was being able to have them hung up on the wall in just under 2 hours for the whole project. It was a great project  to do on a day the kids were feeling icky with a cold.

Here are the finished pictures on our bathroom wall. I think I want to add 1 or 2 more pictures above those two. As an extra added educational bonus I had the kids add a fact about the animal they chose and I wrote it out on their picture.

Close up 
I really tried to convince one one the kids to do a bright yellow goldfish, but neither was interested, that way I would have had my orange and yellow.