Monday, October 8, 2012

"Cloud Dough" {Tutorial}

Our children LOVE playing with messy crafts!! 
We usually try to do a Messy Monday craft.

~~Here is a little poem I have posted before and try to keep in mind whenever I have the daunting task of cleaning up after a very "Messy Monday!" LOL.~~

MY MESSY CHILD


As I sit and watch him play
I'm fully there in every way
A pour, a stir, a splish, a splash
I'm witnessing a joyful bash
Mistakes are made, and even praised 
 
He problem solves, my child’s amazed
Through play he learns of his self-worth
Something I’ve instilled since birth
No shame, no correction, just free to discover
The wonders of this world he will uncover
The day is done, his hands are red
There’s sand and shaving cream on his head
A passerby stares in dismay
“Oh Dear, why does he look that way?”
I smile with pride, and the comfort of knowing
That all this “mess” is helping his growing
From blue toenails to purple knees
I smile at my child.....who is so PLEASED.


AK 


This week, we made Cloud Dough again.
It is really simple. 
Cloud Dough
8 cups flour
1 cup Baby Oil (we like the lavender scented kind)
Just mix it together for 5 minutes and, voila!
Messy Monday Funday!

Be a blessing,
Aria:)

Saturday, October 6, 2012

{H.E.E.T} Fall Apple Farm Tour!

My Homeschool Tour Group {H.E.E.T}=Home Educators Exploring Together took a tour
of a nearby Apple Orchard. It is family owned and operated and has been around since 1919. The current apple growers are 7th generation apple growers!! All of the apples are picked, sorted and packed BY HAND!! It was an amazing adventure!

We were able to tour the farm, the orchard, the museum, the packing/sorting area and the warehouse. 
We were also able to pick our own apples to bring home! We also had an informative slideshow presentation in a classroom setting and drank fresh apple cider, too. It was really a neat tour!

We have been to this orchard several times as a family, but it was much more interesting
to view it from the operations end. I have a whole new respect for how hard farmers work!

The girls thoroughly enjoyed themselves and we had an absolutely gorgeous fall day to 
enjoy spending some time outside!
{click on photo to enlarge}
Since it was so beautiful outside, we attempted to have
a picnic lunch at the farm.

Unfortunately, the bees wanted our lunch as much, if not more than, we did!
LOL. 

So, we headed to the minivan and ate there before driving back to town. 

Until next time..be a blessing,
Aria:)

Friday, October 5, 2012

*EASY* Contact Paper Collage!

Ready for a really easy, inexpensive and fun craft?
Well, just pull out some clear contact paper and tissue paper!
That's it!
{No messy glue to contend with either, LOL}

For the younger kids, tearing the tissue paper is a great way to build their fine motor skills (and pre-writing and cutting skills) and for the older ones, cutting the tissue paper is great practice!

The girls really enjoyed this project!
Be a Blessing,
Aria:)

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Math Estimations

I found a really cute idea for a Math Estimation Craft on Pinterest 
{hop on over and follow us there} 
and decided to give it a try!
Our girls love math and love eating, so it was the perfect combinations, LOL;)

First,  just printed off the estimation worksheet and let the girls get the O's going.
We just traced their hands and let the girls estimate how many O's would fit in each.
Em really underestimated hers, but Elle was really close to her actual number!
Definitely a hit and a great follow up to our {H.E.E.T} Apple Cooking Class, where we 
played an Apple Estimation game as well!
Hands-on learning at its finest--so fun!
Be a Blessing!
Aria:)

Monday, October 1, 2012

Art Museum Visit

Our children love going to the local Art Museum.
We have been studying various artists in homeschool (Brueghel, Inness, Bierstadt, Jacob Lawrence and Piet Mondrian, most recently). We have learned about how artists use various mediums to create different pieces of art and also how they use shapes and lines in different ways.

It was really fun to take the girls back to the Art Museum armed with knew knowledge about art. They were really interested in looking at the various creations and also creating some art pieces of their own!
We had a really nice visit and a lively dialogue about the various artists and their work. Practical application, in a hands-on manner, has always been the best part of homeschooling!

 I thoroughly enjoyed seeing the artwork of Elijah Pierce. I was introduced to his work over 20 years ago by a Professional Mentor of mine in college. I was so happy to see a whole gallery of his works at our local museum-what a treat!
They have a really neat kids' area where they can create funny animals, make sculptures out of wooden dowels, create funny faces using metal instruments and play with dishes (and more)!

We even packed a healthy lunch and enjoyed it at the museum!
It was a wonderful family outing and very educational!

Blessings,
Aria:)

Friday, September 28, 2012

Our History/Herstory Timelines

We are using Heart of Dakota's History Curriculum and the girls absolutely L-O-V-E it!
I love it as well. It really allows us to use the Bible as a History book and teaches us to view all of timre from creation forward through the lens of God.

As a part of one of the lessons, the girls made their own personal history/herstory timelines. It was so fun (and bittersweet) to see the girls' baby pictures and their lives all put on paper.
They loved having their own "history" and proudly display them in our home!
Elle had so many years, she had to use 2 papers (sniff, sniff:0).

This was a really fun project for the girls!
Blessings,
Aria:)

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

{H.E.E.T} Kids' Apple Cooking Class

As a part of our Homeschool Curriculum this year, I decided to start teaching Kids' Cooking Classes!
It has been so fun planning all of the various themes and menus for the classes and our girls are having a wonderful time testing the recipes at home!

Cooking is chock full of so many opportunities for learning for children (and adults:). 
We talked about the 3 states of matter, measuring, fractions (parts of a whole), nutrition, food groups, math/estimation, and counting. We even included a Story Time with an apple-related theme and a 
letter A coloring page!

We recently had our very first Kids' Cooking Class and it was a huge hit!
{click on the photo to enlarge it}

Our theme was "Fall into Apple Fun!"
The menu included: Apple Poppers dipped in natural Peanut Butter, 
Chicken Waldorf Sandwich Skewers w/Greek Yogurt Dip
 and Apple Crisp with homemade Whipped Cream.

The kids were so happy to have hands-on lessons and were amazed that they could change cream into homemade "cool whip!" I was energized and inspired by the young kiddos. 
They were so smart, so fun and really great listeners!

I received excellent feedback from the kids and their parents and plan 
on teaching more classes in the future!

Stay tuned!
Be a Blessing,
Aria:)

Monday, September 10, 2012

My SIMPLE Weekly Menu Planning {Sneak Peek}

It's no secret~~~~I LOVE to eat :D!
I also love to cook, so it usually works out pretty well!

With marriage, homeschooling, parenting, working from home and all the other life tasks that overwhelm our schedules, I needed a SIMPLE Menu Planning Process that works for me. I usually plan to have "Taco Tuesday", along with 2 chicken meals and a fish meal each week. We sometimes throw in "Brinner" {breakfast for dinner} if the week is extra hectic.

I love to browse Pinterest for new food ideas!!!! {Hop on over and follow me there!} I also love to look for ideas in cookbooks I check out from the library.
I usually try to put a new recipe or 2 into our rotation as our schedule allows. 
I can usually pretty much plan to cook 5-6 nights per week and do a
 double-batch cooking session on Sunday.

This makes eating healthy foods easy and we also eat the leftovers for lunch during the homeschool week, which simplifies things there as well.


So......here is my "Ever So Elaborate" {not} Menu Planning Process.
~~~~{insert drum roll here}~~~~
 Yes, that is IT!!! A simple notepad from the Dollar Store!!
See.... told you it was SIMPLE :-D. 
So, this is what I do every Sunday-usually while the kids nap. I make a nice cup of tea, gather my cookbooks, pull up my Pinterest food ideas and write out what I want to make each day and make a grocery list for the week.
It really is that SIMPLE!!

What are your menu planning tips?
Please do share them with us!
Be a blessing,
Aria:)

Friday, September 7, 2012

{Messy Monday} Rainbow Spaghetti!

I saw the idea to make Rainbow Colored Spaghetti on Pinterest
{hop on over and follow me there} 
and decided to give it a try!

But....I also wanted to see if we could somehow come up with some mock turkey meatballs:)
First, I used some white craft foam balls and had the girls paint them brownish/red.
{click on photo to enlarge}
 I think they looked more like chocolate, but hey, the girls didn't mind.

While the meatballs dried, we made the colored pasta.
It was really simple to make.
I just used some cheap white spaghetti noodles, placed in boiling water and added food coloring to the water. I cooked it to al dente and let it cool. I then tossed it in some oil once it dried to make sure it didn't stick together. I think adding the oil was a really necessary improvement on the original Pin b/c the spaghetti would've just been a dry, sticky mess otherwise.
*Since trying ours, I have read that you can let the spaghetti soak in the food coloring water to get a more vibrant coloring. We didn't want to wait that long, but may try it next time.*
 The girls had a really, really great time playing with the colored spaghetti!!!
I was SHOCKED at how long this kept them occupied. 
Seriously, they loved it!
And, yes, our silly girls wanted to EAT it, LOL:)
I didn't let them, but it was so hilarious to watch them pretend to eat it!!
I was even able to cook their actual meatball and spaghetti dinner while they happily played with their rainbow spaghetti!!! That NEVER happens!
Whole wheat spaghetti and home made chicken and spinach meatballs---yummy!

Gotta love a cheap, fun and messy craft!
Are you going to make it?
Let us know how it turns out!
Blessings,
Aria:)

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Science Center Visit

We have  a membership to our local Science Museum and LOVE going there!!

I am realizing that it is {finally} getting much easier to venture out with all 3 girls on fun adventures. I can pack a healthy lunch (and not have to worry about nursing a baby/toddler). It is actually becoming enjoyable for me, too LOL.

Can any other Moms relate to this?

Anyway, I digress....

Of course, Elle wanted to watch surgical procedures and child birth videos. 

I had to post this picture separately. I cracked up at Ce Ce telling us what was happening in the video. 
Elle was watching a c-section procedure and Ce Ce, very smartly, showed the baby being taken out of the Mom's belly:)

Silly girl---She cracks me up!!!

Ce Ce's favorite activity was the water table area! She never wants to leave there. I finally started packing a change of clothes for her because she gets totally soaked---and loves it! I guess she is like her Daddy with loving water!
Em always loves anything animal-related and loves playing in the kitchen area.

This visit was very bittersweet for me, though.

Elle is getting too big to play in the kids' play area.
She had to sit on her knees to play in the kitchen--sniff, sniff....
 Fortunately, she still loves playing Doctor with the baby dolls!
 You see, we have had a membership to the Science Museum since Elle was 1 or 2 years old!
This is Elle at age 2. I was pregnant with Em.
This makes me CRY!
Elle has always LOVED playing Doctor.
Maybe she will actually become a Doctor some day.
Maybe not.
No matter what...she will always be my BABY!!

Blessings,
Aria:)

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