Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The science of making bread

Today the kids and I tried a fun experiment using yeast, sugar, warm water, a pop bottle and a balloon.

First you need 1 cup of warm water in a dish. To this you add 2T sugar and a packet of active dry yeast. Once it is dissolved, you pour the mixture in the pop bottle, we made a funnel out of a piece of paper to do this. Once it is in the bottle, stretch a balloon over the top of the bottle. Now, you are going to want a larger balloon and you may want to blow it up a couple time ahead of time so it is stretched good. Then just sit back and watch the balloon blow up. The yeast feeds off the sugar and releases carbon dioxide which is blowing up the balloon. Now, see if your little ones can tell you why bread is so light and airy. Now, I must tell you, I did mess up a bit on ours. I don't get my yeast by the packets, I get it in bulk from our natural foods store, so I measured out a packet worth, I believe 2 1/2t. Well......I used a tablespoon by accident. So our yeast mixture also filled up our balloon. You can imagine how eager the kids were to take that outside to pop it!! If you are interested in experiments like this, I would recomend this website to you. It's called the science of cooking, and it is full of lots of fun experiments related to cooking.

Friday, October 23, 2009

What a Beautiful Week

This week was such a perfect fall week. No rain, mild days, beautiful leaves, good friends and pumpkins!! How wonderful are weeks like that. Some of the kid's friends had a couple days off from school so they joined us on our nature walk Tues. We made the comment about this is our phys ed, now they want to come to our phy ed all the time :). We truly are blessed in the manner in which we are able to have school. We spent Wed. at Pumpkinville, a local fall attraction. The kids watched cider being made, went though a corn maze, shot a corn cannon, and had lots of fun. Add that to impromtu puppet shows, real life bussiness math lessons, and lots of crafting, we had a really nice week. Hope yours was equally as blessed.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Fall Days

Today was such a beautiful fall kinda day. We never got to any "real" schoolwork. We made a batch of elderberry elixir and elderberry syrup, for the upcoming flu season. I love the idea of making our own medicines. It is so empowering to feel that we can take care of ourselves, nature provides us with the remedies. I love giving my kids the opportunity to be able to be part of that too. The days they are not feeling so well, they know that they had a hand in making that that is going to help them feel better. Of course we got enough elderberries to make a couple batches of jelly too :). That is a must for the rest of the days we already feel good and are ready to start the day with homemade goodness.
On our nature walk today, we notice the subtle smell of fall in the air. Since Fall is by far my favorite season, I must say, this smell does wonders for my spirit. Soon the hills we be ablaze with fiery reds and oranges and yellows. I didn't take my camera along with me today, but I am going to leave you with a picture of my oldest son's bees. He is very enthusiastic about his bee keeping and he is now also starting his own blog, Bee boy's 6th grade adventure. I am having him keep it to journal his school this year. Stop by and leave him a comment, that will make his day :)

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Getting back in the swing of things

I must say, I have had such a sad attempt at this blogging stuff, but I really need to get into it, so we can have a nice visual of our homeschooling experiences and day to day living. I really enjoy sharing our love of homeschooling with people. I have fallen in love with Waldorf education. I am trying to switch to that way of teaching my children and living. It makes me sad that I didn't discover this when my oldest was younger, but he is still young enough for it to appeal to him too. We just love nature and to be outdoors. Here are some pictures from todays outside schooling. We went ontop of a local landmark, a hill called Old Baldy( it was bare for many years after a fire, thus earning it's name) What a view! My DH does some seasonal work in a stone quary on the hill side, so he was giving the kids some lessons on rocks and minerals.

Thursday, February 12, 2009


Valentines!!Lots and lots of valentines. My kids and I found a valentine exchange on a post in one of the yahoo groups I belong to so we decided it would be fun to participate. Fun it is. We loved getting the list of names and seeing where we would be sending them out to. One was to China, so exciting. But then, yesterday they started coming in and oh my goodness, the excitement hasn't stopped. Kalamazoo, 2 from MA, LA. The really cool thing is we all put a little something about where we live in with the valentines, and It is so much fun learning about so many places. My 2 older boys went to school for the 2nd half of last year because I was having blood pressure issues with my pregnancy and was on bed rest. We got nervous they would fall behind (know better now, wouldn't really have been the case) but they got to participate in the school valentine exchange and today said, "this is so much better! We know all the kids we got them from last year, but this time, we learn about new kids and places." If you homeschool, I would deffinatly recomend looking for a valentine exchange like this next year. It is so much fun.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Kanin turns 1

My youngest had his first birthday this past week.I thought I would share some pictures from his celebration.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

CPSIA must be revised!!

As parents and concerned citizens I’m sure most of us at one time or another have been confronted with the question of lead poisoning. But have you asked yourself what your government is doing to protect your children from lead contained in toys? The answer? They're banning toys, taking books from schools and libraries, hurting low income families, killing entrepreneurial spirit and risking putting the economy in an even greater depression than we've seen in decades. I'd like to introduce you to their solution: the CPSIA.

Do you know about the CPSIA? No? Then I ask you to take a few minutes to find out about it.

The CPSIA stands for Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act, a new set of laws that will come into effect on 10 February, 2009 and will impact many, many people in a negative way. Make no mistake, this is very real. View it for yourself. If Forbes, the American Library Association and numerous other media are paying attention, perhaps you should too.

How will these new laws affect you? Well, here are a few examples:

To the Parents of Young Students:
Due to the new law, expect to see the cost of school supplies sky rocket. While those paper clips weren't originally intended for your student to use, they will need to be tested now that your 11-year-old needs them for his school project. This law applies to any and all school supplies (textbooks, pencils, crayons, paper, etc.) being used by children under 12.

To the Avid Reader:
Due to the new law, all children's books will be pulled from library and school shelves, as there is no exemption for them. That’s okay though, there's always television. Our children don’t need to learn the love of reading after all.
Article from the American Library Association

To the Lover of All Things Handmade:
Due to the new law, you will now be given a cotton ball and an instruction manual so you can make it yourself since that blanket you originally had your eye on for $50 will now cost you around $1,000 after it's passed testing. It won't even be the one-of-a-kind blanket you were hoping for. Items are destroyed in the testing process making one-of-a-kind items virtually impossible. So that gorgeous hand-knit hat you bought your child this past winter won’t be available next winter.

To the Environmentalist:
Due to the new law, all items in non-compliance will now be dumped into our already overflowing landfills. Imagine not just products from the small business owners, but the Big Box Stores as well. You can't sell it so you must toss it. Or be potentially sued for selling it. You can't even give them away. If you are caught, it is still a violation.

To the Second-Hand Shopper:
Due to the new law, you will now need to spend $20 for that brand new pair of jeans for your 2-year old, rather than shop at the Goodwill for second hand. Many resale shops are eliminating children's items all together to avoid future lawsuits.

To the Entrepreneur:
Due to this new law, you will be forced to adhere to strict testing of your unique products or discontinue to make and/or sell them. Small businesses will be likely to be unable to afford the cost of testing and be forced to close up shop. Due to the current economic state, you'll have to hope for the best when it comes to finding a new job in Corporate America.

To the Antique Toy Collector:
Due to the new law, you'd better start buying now because it's all going to private collection and will no longer be available to purchase. “Because the new rules apply retroactively, toys and clothes already on the shelf will have to be thrown out if they aren't certified as safe.”

To the American Economy:
Already struggling under an economy that hasn’t been this weak in decades, the American economy will be hit harder with the inevitable loss of jobs and revenues from suppliers, small businesses and consumers. The required testing is far too costly and restrictive for small businesses or individuals to undertake.

To the Worldwide Economy:
Due to this new law, many foreign manufacturers have already pulled out of the US market. You can imagine the impact of this on their businesses.

If you think this is exaggerating, here is a recent article from Forbes

And for those of you prepared to be stupefied and boggled, The New Law

Did you know? If this upsets or alarms you, please react.

Friday, January 23, 2009

He's Walking!!

I am so excited!! My littlest guy is now a walker! 12 days to go before his first birthday, and now he is also walking. I am really cherishing this, since we won't be having any more I realize that this is the last time I wil be witnesing this milestone.Ahhh, bitter sweetness. So many more milestones to go, for all of them, just savoring his excitement in this one though for now:)

Monday, January 19, 2009

Sleep deprived

Ok, so I am going crazy here. I have been up since 3:50 this morning with my 2 youngest, it is now 10:00pm and I am waiting to wake my DH in a half hour so my head can finally hit the pillow. But, my 2 little dears that were responsible for my early mornings these last few days, have been sleeping since 6, so I ahve a feeling we are on a new sleeping pattern, one that doesn't involve sleep for me!! Bright side though, I was so grouchy this morning by the time the older 2 woke up, that I think they were scared not to do their studies for me afraid I might snap or something, lol. I seriously have not had them do their school work so easily. Maybe the crazy sleep deprived look does wonders for me:)

Well, for some reason I decided to use today as the day I try out sewing Barbie doll clothes. What the heck I am thinking I don't know. The pieces are so small and tedious to work with. Not a project to undertake when you are tiered but jittery from all the caffine to keep you awake. I hope these clothes work out for me though. I hate The clothes made for Barbie by Mattel. I have issues getting her hands through the shirt sleeves, so of course my little lady has issues doing it too, and since Barbie has to have many wardrobe changes in a day, I hope to create a wardrobe easy to put on and off, so that I don't have to do it all the time. Not to mention I don't want to buy toys/ clothes ect. made by big business anymore. I am so very outraged by the new CPSIA laws. Just another way to make big business bigger, and those trying to follow a dream a kick right back down. If you don't know about this, here are some links to familiarize yourself.
"The damage comes from new rules governing lead in children’s products. After last year’s scare over contaminated toys made in China, Congress leapt in to require all products aimed at children under 12 years old to be certified as safe and virtually lead-free by independent testing. The burden may be manageable for big manufacturers and retailers that can absorb the costs of discarded inventory and afford to hire more lawyers. Less likely to survive are hundreds of small businesses and craftspeople getting hit with new costs in a down economy.

Because the new rules apply retroactively, toys and clothes already on the shelf will have to be thrown out if they aren’t certified as safe. When Congress passed the legislation in August, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi boasted that “With this legislation, we will not only be recalling, we will be removing those products from the shelves.” Yeehaw. While large retailers may ask manufacturers to take back uncertified products, independent stores may be stuck with inventory that is suddenly illegal to sell." , ,