Sunday, October 31, 2010

Pumpkin Bread {Fall Flavors}!

We spent some time this weekend baking some pumpkin bread and muffins from scratch. We decided to make extra so we could share them with a few of our neighbors. A new family just purchased a home on our street, so we wanted to welcome them to the neighborhood with some freshly baked bread. Plus, we always share our goodies with an elderly, retired couple that lives across from us! I found the recipe for the pumpkin bread here but modified the recipe by using whole wheat flour and reducing the sugar by 1 cup. The pumpkin bread was WONDERFUL and our neighbors came over to thank us and see if we had any more;-). Plus, that is the benefit of sharing, we don't have a lot of extra calories just waiting to be eaten, lol.

I would definitely recommend this recipe--it was fantastic!!


Enjoy the pics--and THANK YOU for reading our blog;) We really appreciate it!


 Yes, I bake in my tiara--if it makes my girls smile--I will gladly do it, LOL!


We are so glad you are here~please poke around a bit at some of the other posts on our blog and leave a quick comment so I know you were here;-)
Thanks!
Aria;)

Are our Kids "Weird" and "Unsocialized"? Bet You're Wondering!!

Our girls get a lot of opportunities during the week for social interaction, but we especially love to get out and about on the weekends when Daddy is around to offer extra hands and eyes!!

They love taking gymnastics, music class, going to the library story times and making new friends wherever we go. Em is really, really social and will just about talk to anyone (like her Mommy;). Elle may take a moment to warm up, but once she does, WATCH OUT, the girl will NOT stop talking, LOL. {(I wonder where she gets that talking thing from;)}.

Here is a nice piece of research I came across as we were deciding whether or not to homeschool our girls. I think it is significant when you factor in the vast amount of church and community involvement/volunteering and learning that can take place by home schooled children. It becomes more of a "lifestyle of learning" as opposed to a separate entity of merely "going to school."

"Research ... reveals a significant advantage in social development for home schooled children. They are socially adept, possess a positive self-image, and are active in areas that develop leadership skills. Thomas Smedley, in a controlled study, concluded: `... the home educated children in this sample were significantly better socialized and more mature than those in public school.'" - Dr Brian Ray, HSLDA (Marching to the beat of their own drum!
A profile of home education research).

Anyway, here are some photos of some of our adventures. I will try to remember to take some at church. We have a wonderful children's church that both of our older girls LOVE going to!!



Elle having a little "Girl Talk" with a new friend;)



Making new friends! Em is very friendly!

Once Elle checks out the scene, she is very friendly, too!




Elle even volunteered to play a part in the story at the library! She did GREAT and shared her animal very nicely with Em (without Mommy even asking;). LOVE that!




 Elle has gone to Vacation Bible School at a church in our town for the past 2 summers. She had absolutely no problem walking right in, making new friends and staying for the whole morning (all alone) for a week!!  
We are certain Em will happily join her this upcoming summer!


 Elle was involved in a summer parade in our town and really enjoyed it!
We jumped in with her after the parade to ride back to our car while 
Daddy walked with the stroller;)


And we always have a good time doing Community Service Projects!!

So, for all of you wondering if our kids will turn out to be "weird" or "unsocialized", don't worry---they get plenty of social interaction and actually probably get MORE interaction from a wide age range of people (with very diverse backgrounds) as opposed to just being influenced by their respective peer groups:-) It's a whole other post talking about what values our country is promoting through socialization right now.

P.S. I AM really looking forward to joining our Christian Co-op at the beginning of the year. The girls will be able to take classes in a structured setting based on their interests and our academic goals and they'll get to learn from someone other than Mom, lol;) It should be lots of fun!!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Ce Ce is iced out now! ;-)

So, to continue our tradition, Ce Ce (5 months old) went and got her ears pierced today! She did really, really well! She only squealed for a minute (I think more because I was holding her still) and then she was back to her normal smiling self. I did get a few pics of it, so enjoy!!


Friday, October 29, 2010

???How to keep up with your favorite blogs???

Since I am new to the whole blogging thing, I am still learning my way around the blogosphere;) My sister recommended this website to me, and it has helped me immensely in getting a quick snapshot of my favorite blogs and their newest blog posts. If you go to www.bloglovin.com, you can add your favorite blogs and easily read the latest and greatest posts all in one place---just be sure you add mine first, lol!!! Do any of you all already use a website like this? Please share!

Blessings,
Aria

What Elle(4.5 yrs old) has been learning!

Because our blog is new, I wanted to add a lot of content in a few posts in order to document what we have been up to over the month of October. Learning is a year-round thing for us (many times 6-7 days per week at the request of our children), so you will see lots of the same pj's (Elle is like her Mom in believing in "comfort over style";), but lots of fun activities as well! We hope we inspired you a bit today!! If you have any questions or comments, PLEASE feel free to leave them below!

Our girls LOVE our anatomy puzzle and even have affectionately named her "Kaylin" LOL.



Elle making an "Itsy Bitsy Spider" minibook for her lapbook. We LOVE lapbooking!!

Elle reciting one of her Bible Verses. We love using the ones from biblestoryprintables.com and Totally Tots!
Elle and Em both made beautiful sun-catchers out of crayon shavings and waxed paper.
Elle's "Brown Bear, Brown Bear" toilet paper roll craft. We also made a lapbook for this book.
Doing some math with her abacus.


Looking at her Noah's Ark Lapbook components. Really nice lesson in counting by two's and classifying animals.
We made bird feeders out of pine cones, but Elle was more interested in measuring it--she LOVES using a ruler to measure things!
Building fine motor skills with marbles on a butterfly mat.
"Polar Bear, Polar Bear" craft and lapbook, too!

I cannot remember where I got this idea, but it is a set of words printed backwards that Elle puts up the mirror to read the words-she thought this was a lot of fun!!
During our morning Circle Time, we check the weather and day of the week here.
Doing some color sorting with various threads. There are lots of different shades, so it was a great way to sort into varying shades of each color as well.
Elle's Solar System mobile-Daddy helped with this;)
Adam and Eve story with hand shaped apple trees. She is about to glue on 
that old, nasty snake, lol.
Lifecycle of a butterfly study. She made a book out of it and focused on the book 
"The Very Hungry Caterpillar" by Eric Carle.
This dice math game was a LOT of fun!
Lifecycle of the butterfly book!
I think I got this from Confessions of a Homeschooler. It is a ladybug game to count the spots and compare more, less or equal.


Can't remember where I found this printable, but it may have been Confessions as well.
Elle LOVES science! We did an experiment where she hypothesized how many pennies she could put in the cup of water until the water would spill over the sides. Then, she had a lot of fun counting to 93 until the water spilled over. She guessed a low number, so she was really surprised that so many pennies would fit in the cup.
Of course, it wouldn't be Pre-K without "Green Eggs and Ham" LOL.
This was a smelling game I made up, I just put some different items in cups and covered them and numbered them. I then let the girls smell them and guess what was inside. Elle drew pictures of her answers and got all but one correct! (I put a banana, peanut butter, pretzel, lemon, and an orange in the cups).
Doing some apple sorting by size. I found that great apple tray at a thrift store for $2!
One nice component of Montessori-style learning is teaching children to respect their environments and care for their things. Cleaning up after themselves is a lesson we have to work on a lot!
This was a really fun Science experiment we did. I had Elle fill the plastic cup with beans and asked her if it was full. She said it was absolutely full and could not hold 1 more bean! Then, I asked her if she thought I could pour anything else into the cup. She said no. Then, I poured in some salt. The girls could not believe it fit! Then, I had Elle pour in the water--she was amazed that it would fit in the cup. It was a great lesson and we were able to have fun discussing how things are not always what they appear to be;)

Comparing and contrasting liquid measurements. She guessed the shorter bowl would hold more and she was right!!



Whew---I am tired, lol. And that was not all of it--it's still only October, lol!
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