Friday, January 30, 2015

Thomas Cake - Again!

This is my best Thomas cake yet!  Last year, I made the same one for Joshua, and I've also made it for Caleb's 4th and 5th birthday.  With one more boy coming behind Joshua, I have a feeling this pan will be used again!  Thanks to my cousin Whitney for the pan!

And then we celebrated at Chuck E Cheese!  Happy Birthday Joshua!

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Germany - MFW ECC & 1st, Weeks 16 & 17

Germany has been on of our favorite countries so far. The kids loved reading Grimm's Fairy Tales and we tried some food from Germany. Above are their pages of German stamps from Stamps Teach, which you can read about in my previous post here. Germany has a lot of really neat stamps! Below is a picture of our German feast: homemade venison sausage, potato pancakes with homemade applesauce and rye bread with butter! It was very good!

My husband was our expert chef!

For dessert, the kids made German Plum Cake, which basically is prune pie! It was really good too! We got the recipes for the cake and the potato pancakes from A Trip Around the World.

School can't be all fun and food, right? They did a few pages about Germany and we read lots of books! As I mentioned before, they loved all the fairy tales. 

Below is a picture of Caleb's imaginary world. We read about map makers in Germany, and then they both drew their own maps.

Germany has a lot of castles! Caleb especially enjoyed this book I found at the library, Castles.  He copied several of the sheilds from the book. The coloring page of Neuschwanstein Castle came from here, there are several other castles from around Europe to color and study as well.

Our science topic for these weeks was lakes and rivers. We did an experiment with salt water and fresh water, to see what would happen when it freezes. It was interesting to see the difference, and we talked about why salt is used on roads during winter. Maybe one of these years I should buy a real thermometer instead of using our meat thermometer!

After reading about several plants and animals that live in lakes and rivers, Caleb did a notebook page about beavers. I asked for 2 facts... I got lodges and dams... Next time I will specify 2 complete sentences! He's definitely figured out how to do the least amount of work possible! Since he did it with a good attitude and no whining, I let him win this round.

More lake sheets. Getting Caleb to write is still really hard!

We took a field trip to a local nature center to learn about winter adaptations and then take a guided hike in the woods along the river. It was a beautiful day!

After the field trip they both did a nature journal page. Caleb's is on top. We saw 3 bald eagles, so I let them cut out a picture from a flyer! I gave them a list of words to look up in the dictionary too, and then give me an example. I think they did a good job. I love Rebekah's pictures.

Here are a few English papers of Caleb's. The first one was a dictation. We were learning about quotation marks, so I only corrected that, not his spelling. But wow, his spelling is terrible!

This one I had to show you because it was so funny! Caleb hates writing anything that he has to make up himself. This assignment was to look at a picture of 3 girls playing with soap bubbles and write a short story about it. He was supposed to include their names and ages. He had a melt down because he didn't know what to call them, and I refused to help him. Well, he figured it out on his own, can you see the girls names? Joy, Seru (Sarah), and Beans! Ha!!!

Rebekah is still doing wonderfully with 1st grade! Her handwriting is beautiful already. Below a Proverb that she copied.

She loves her bible reader and has been learning quickly! Here are her most recent bible journal pages:

We found this book at the library and love it! It's a princess that loves God, and she can read it herself! I'm going to try and find more of them!

Here's Joshua playing with one of the preschool toys from My Father's World. He loves puzzles and often does them over and over again.

We also took a field trip to the children's museum in our area. We took a class about our senses, and then played in the museum. I was surprised how much Joshua loved this sorting activity.

And painting!

And Matthew was just too cute when he fell asleep!

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

France - MFW ECC & 1st, Weeks 14 & 15

We had a great time learning about France, but it was a bit scattered and seemed to take forever due to the holiday's falling right in the middle of our unit! My pastor's wife lent us some very nice books about France, we loved looking at the pictures of the castle! Both kids made a model of the Eiffel Tower. Rebekah's is shown above, Caleb's is below the next picture. The paper model can be found at Paper Toys.

Caleb was so proud of his model.

We did a few pages to add to our geography notebook:

We also learned a new way to play our geography game. Now, we can roll a dice and travel to the different countries on our cards. The kids love this new way much better!

One thing France is famous for is Impressionism. Here are our impressionist paintings. The first one is Caleb's, second is Rebekah's, and the last one is mine. I enjoyed painting with the kids, something I usually can't do. I was very impressed with both kids. Last year, art was always a struggle because they never followed the directions. We watched a documentary about Monet from the library, as well as paging through a few books.

Of course, we couldn't study France without having some food! I made homemade French bread dough in the bread maker and then baked it on a baking sheet. It was really good! One thing I loved when I was in French class, way back in high school, was Nutella. Sadly, it has milk in it, so we couldn't try some. Instead, I made our own version, with a little butter, dairy free chocolate chips and peanut butter. It might not have been authentic, but it was yummy! Rebekah has a dairy allergy, but strangely enough, can have butter. Her allergy also prevented us from trying any cheese, which was a bit disappointing for Caleb...

Here's Caleb eating French bread with our fake "Nutella".

Lastly, we had to make crepes! I thought they would be harder to make, but they were very easy! We all liked them and will probably make them again.

I mixed blueberries, bananas and pineapple to make a simple fruit filling. We had some leftover strawberry butter and I also made more fake "Nutella". I LOVED the fruit one!

Our read aloud has been about George Mueller. Wow, amazing story!  His life was so inspiring. He completely trusted God for everything, and ended up caring for 10,000 orphans in England during the 1800s. I highly recommend this book for anyone, whether homeschooling or not!

We covered several topics in science, including animal adaptations, classification, and caves. Below is a journal page about bats. The bat is in a dark cave, of course!

And this page was actually an English assignment to use a chart to compare butterflies and moths. I expected him to write the answers, but he chose to draw pictures instead. His pictures impressed me, so he got a free pass on the writing this time.

Rebekah is thoroughly enjoying her bible reader! She is blowing my mind with how fast she is picking up on reading! She likes to read to Kevin in the evenings, and often she'll read the next story we haven't gone over yet. I just love her Adam and Ever picture.  

I took her to the book store with me and we found a set of Fancy Nancy phonics readers. She LOVES them! She's read up to book 6 already. She needs help with some words, because Fancy Nancy is still fancy, even in phonics readers! (I was surprised to see the word "brilliant".) But they are fun, and she's excited to read them! There was also this Bernstein Bear set that I wanted to get but didn't, maybe next time.

That was our trip to France, thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Nightgown Up-cycled from a Knit Sheet

Rebekah was given a hand me down nightgown that she just loves. Since she loves it so much, I thought she'd like another one made the same way. This was a much bigger hit than the knit dress I made her and her doll. But remember that I used a pink knit bedsheet for the sash on that dress? Well, here's what I did with more of that sheet! I bought the sheet at a thrift store a couple years ago. The sleeves were from the scraps of the dress as well, so this was a very cheap project. I literally laid the old nightgown on top of the sheet and cut around it, leaving about an inch seam allowance.  The ruffle is just a straight piece that is gathered at the top.

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