November 23, 2009

School Week

We've taken a bit of a sabbatical from school. Last week we jumped back in full-swing and it's gone very well.

This week I need to accomplish:


Joshua needs a "math meeting". He's almost done with his book. I have a few things to accomplish with him before graduating him to the next. There are a few concepts he needs to work on, otherwise he's moving along very quickly.

Kelsea and Ishmael both have 2 tests to take this week. The one we missed while we were sick, and the one that is coming up.

History: I've decided to take history one lesson at a time. I need to find us a sewing board to make a new timeline wall. We are in the 2nd quarter of our book and have a very large stack of people that need to be placed.

Science: We've been doing a lot of nature type of science. I would like to get into microbiology a bit with the kids. I might have to wait until the new year though.

Latin: We took some time off and did a lot of review. We went over regular verbs v/s irregular. This week we are ready to move on. The kids are getting really good at spotting derivatives.

Art: So far we have made a landscape, a simple creature drawing (bugs), went over the color wheel and mixed primary colors, and we've created with clay. This week we need to make a self portrait and maybe touch on some graphic design if I can find a good t-square.

Geography: We behind on labeling our map. I need to catch us up on that so we can read the next lesson.


Jeremiah: Still reading Little Bear.

Kelsea: Still working her way through Jane Eyre. We did take a break to read Mrs. Mike. Loved that book. Now it's back to Jane Eyre with the "weird Mr. Rochester" as Kelsea calls him.

Ishmael: is between books right now. He reads anything he can get his hands on, though he prefers non-fiction. His favorite book is The Dangerous Book for Boys. He has practically memorized the book.

Joshua: is reading Henry and the Paper Route.


November 12, 2009



My friend Jerald identified him as a red-shouldered hawk. He knows a lot about birds. You can check out his blog by clicking on his name.

My pictures aren't great. It was raining and he kept moving his head. So I had to set my iso really high and take it through the window.

He did let me get pretty close. I braved the rain but I still set my iso pretty high. In hindsight I wish I would have set it just a little lower. I was afraid he would fly away.


After he looked at me like that I ran back in the house. I'm a chicken. He's a hawk. No need for me to do the math for you is there?

November 9, 2009

Spur of the Moment

Sometimes we'll jump in the car (or head out on foot) on a whim and go exploring. It doesn't happen as often as we'd like, but it does happen.

Today was one of those days. We've been learning a little bit about art and needed to make a landscape drawing.

So we hopped on over to a local fishing spot at Falls Lake. This is not a state park and there was litter everywhere (so sad). But the view was gorgeous and the weather could not have been any more perfect.





We were also able to do some tracking.

Possibly Possum:
Possible Possum


I'm leaning more toward domestic dog:
dmestic dog

Domestic dog chasing deer?
dog chased deer?

Domestic dog would not be complete without domestic cat:
domestic cat

Then Jeremiah and I drew our names in the sand. (Neither one of us has the attention span to sit outside and draw a landscape).




Happy Birthday Leon

Leon's Birthday

His birthday dinner was country fried steak w/gravy, mashed potatoes, peas, and corn.

And his favorite for dessert:
Leon's Birthday
Chocolate on chocolate on chocolate cake with vanilla ice cream.

November 2, 2009

Pumpkins and Cardamom Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

Last week I baked pumpkins and froze the pulp for pumpkin pie.

I prefer baking my pumpkin rather than boiling. I think boiled pumpkin loses a lot of flavor in the water. It has been a few years since I baked a pumpkin (I've been using the canned stuff for convenience).

I've only ever done it one way: cut in half and baked with the seeds and goo still inside. I've done it because I read that it makes the insides easier to scoop out. So this time I asked myself, "Is this way really better? Or am I just doing it because it's what I've always done?" So I decided to experiment.

I cut my first pumpkin in half and the kids and I scooped out the goo inside. Then I baked them cut half down until I could insert a fork through the skin. Scooping out the goo was messy. And we pulled out a bunch of valuable pumpkin in our zeal to get it all out. (I did not think to take pictures of the first pumpkin.

I decided to make the Curry Coconut Pumpkin Soup a few days ago and only needed half the pumpkin. So I baked the half I didn't need, this time with the seeds and goo still inside.

Pumpkin Soup

The difference was astounding. The goo came out with so little effort.


Not only that but the seeds roasted much faster and were very yummy. The seeds from the first pumpkin took longer and absorbed more of the oil in the pan.


Cardamom Roasted Pumpkin Seeds:
  • pumpkin seeds 
  • oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cardamom (you can use cinnamon instead)
  • 1 tsp sugar
  1. Spray seeds with olive oil and spread evenly in the pan. 
  2. dust with salt, sugar, and cardamom
  3. cook in a 400 deg oven until golden in color (5-10 min)

Manic Monday

I wish it were Sunday, cause that's my funday.

Latin: We are off to a good start for the week. We took last week off from Latin. This week we will jump back in gear.

I have all the kids set, but Joshua. I need to have another math meeting with him today and review some concepts.

History: We are moving along right nicely. I still need to locate a copy of The Door in the Wall for our History related literature book.

Art: Last week we did some drawing. I did not have them do a self portrait, we just didn't have time. So this week I'll do two art projects with them.

We are just a tad bit off schedule. If we pick our pace back up we can still finish on time.

Spelling: Going great. LOVE Sequential Spelling.

Still the same as last week. Kelsea and I are reading Jany Eyre. Ishmael and Joshua are reading Kenny and the Dragon. Jeremiah is reading The Little Bear Treasury.

Geography: is going quite well.