Sunday, October 2, 2011

Apple Sandwiches

Thanks to Pinterest, I found a very yummy looking apple snack, I knew we had to try after apple picking this year.

It was a hit with all the kiddos, and my sister and I loved it as well!

Simply top an apple slice with peanut butter, granola, chocolate chips or raisins, another apple slice and enjoy!

Apple Picking

We had a burst of sunny, warm weather early last week and went apple picking with my sister and niece!

(Photo by my sister).

Apple picking has become our tradition for Michaelmas week. This farm was very child-friendly: special bags just for the kids (labeled with their names!), animals, a corn maze, and a country store with many enticing treats!

Best for us, it's only ten minutes from our new house. We came come for a delicious apple treat (post to follow!) and playtime for the cousins.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Apple Cake

Autumn is our favorite season!

We've been enjoying apples and apple activities over the past week.

To start us off, we read Apple Cake, and tried the recipe from the book.

It came out very well, but it's more like bread than cake. Still, the kids loved it!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011


Tuesday is craft day in our house!

Big Brother has been asking to make candles since last spring when he saw the homesteading class at co-op make them. Yesterday, we finally did it!

All you need is beeswax, small wax-lined paper cups, a wick, and a way to melt the wax (we used our double boiler). We also added a little apple spice to our candles...perfect for fall! The beeswax is wonderful on its own too, however.

This is a very quick project, and great for gift giving. We'll be doing this a lot this season!

Our new mealtime blessing candle!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Our Hurricane

Living in the heart of Central New York, we escaped the worst of Irene. We had a cool, rainy, and windy day.

We spent some time in search of puddles!

"Can we sit in the road, Mom?"

We've been reading Charlotte's Web this weekend, and we finished out blustery day with hot chocolate and a few rounds of our favorite games: Snail's Pace Race, Orchard, and Harvest Time.

Monday, August 8, 2011


The new addition to our schoolroom this summer is Magnatiles.

Please excuse the photo quality! I snapped this with my phone on the fly.

The boys are completely enamored with the possibilities, and Big Brother and Little Brother have made some incredible creations, from "Wegmans" to trucks and they're learning quite a bit along the way!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Breakfast Pizza

When Big Brother asked for pizza for breakfast on Friday morning, I remembered this yummy treat we haven't had in a year or more!

Add what sounds good to you to a biscuit crust, bake and enjoy! Since this was a last minute choice and it was Friday, we just used scrambled eggs and three cheeses (Monterey Jack, cheddar, and provolone). It's also yummy with veggies, bacon, or sausage!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

The Climber

Baby Brother keeps conquering new heights and generally keeping me on my toes!

He managed this yesterday, among several other minor feats (climbing the stove, a stool, the easel).

Then once I'd removed him several times, he discovered this:

He maneuvered under a green chair and squeezed past the gate around the stairs (also in place to keep him from crawling under them), climbed the steps then stood holding on to the chair arms and lifted one leg around and up. Once he had one leg on the chairs, he pulled the rest of himself up and around.

I removed him and re-secured the area. Then he did it again.

I read this article last week, and generally agreed with it. With Baby Brother, I suspect it's going to be a necessity to provide him with lots of physical (and risky!) outlets.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Are You Pinning?

A month or two ago, my sister introduced me to Pinterest. Where has this been all my life?

Pinterest is a place to collect, organize, and share all of the inspiration you find on the internet.

I've been using Pinterest to organize ideas for homeschooling, crafts, home inspiration, and meal/snack ideas.

My pinboards:

Feel free to follow along! Warning: it's addicting!

Monday, August 1, 2011


Friday was Little Brother's third birthday! He requested chocolate cupcakes, chocolate sprinkles, and chocolate ice cream.

Happy Birthday to our sweet and spirited boy!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Close Call

A precocious baby...

A cat door...

The steep basement stairs...

Turns out, my mother was right and Baby Brother can fit through the cat door.

I went downstairs to grab laundry and as I was down there, the crying from above got very loud. I came around the corner to reassure him that yes, I was coming, when I saw Baby Brother completely through the cat door with his hands on the first gray step. In other words, he had already gone down one step, and he was head first and ready to roll. Fortunately, in the moment it took me to leap up to him, he didn't let go.

It makes me sick even 24 hours later to think what could have happened. The cat door is locked now and this weekend some changes will be made!

Thank God and Baby Brother's guardian angel (although I think this kid might need more than one)!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Birthday Party

On Saturday we had friends and family over to celebrate the boys' fifth and third birthdays. Despite the heat, it was a very fun day!

The highlight was LEGO cupcakes, made by a very talented local baker:

They tasted as good as they look!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Intro to Science

I've had my eye on Elemental Science's early years programs this spring, and a friend recently gave me her copies of the teacher guide and student pages for Intro to Science.

This program is a very gentle introdcution to science for preschool and early elementary students. It uses THe Handbook of Nature Study as well as More Mudpies to Magnets (both of which I already owned) and library books. A little push to actually get going with science play and nature study was what I needed and so far, I'm loving it!

The boys are having so much fun, and the concepts are illustrated in such a way that Little Brother can easily follow along (and he wants his own student pages to complete).

We just completed week one: solids and liquids. We read several books on matter and also completed these fun activities:

Making popsicles to demonstrate changing a liquid into a solid (and noticing that if we didn't eat fast, they became liquid again!).

(Note: these are pureed watermelon and splash of pomegranate juice. Delicious!)

A solid became a liquid when heated and then a solid again when cooled when we made crayon cookies:

A solid (baking soda) and a liquid (vinegar) combined to create a gas (carbon dioxide) and blow up a balloon!

We also melted ice in a saucepan and watched it change into water then water vapor.

Next week we'll be learning about solution and dilution and making lemonade (among other things)!

Monday, July 4, 2011


"Motherhood is about raising and celebrating the child you have, not the child you thought you would have. It's about understanding that he is exactly the person he is supposed to be. And that, if you're lucky, he just might be the teacher that turns you into the person you are supposed to be." -- Joan Ryan

Play at Home Mom is one of my new finds. Much inspiration to be found!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Around the World Introduction

We started our summer study with two weeks (not working every day) with an introduction to maps and mapping.

The "spine" for the first part of our study was Evan-Moor's Beginning Geography. Big Brother is still essentially a pre-writer, but we completed the first 16 pages of map skills as it's mostly coloring, drawing lines, arrows, etc. Little Brother was very interested too and "helped" with some of the pages.

After we had learned a little bit about the four directions, we labeled them on our wall map then went outside to try out our compass.

We walked around our backyard and mapped the four directions. We learned that there's a tree in the north corner, the swing set to the south, the porch to the east, and the sandbox to the west. After that we took a walk around the block and took note of the direction we walk.

Another day we labeled continents and oceans on our map. A bit later I plan to return to Beginning Geography to do more with continents and oceans. I also printed the World Map Kit from Montessori for Everyone and we're going to color and label continents, oceans, and directions on those.

We read parts of Maps & Globes and Geography from A to Z. We'll revisit these as we continue. I also pulled out one of our favorites- Katy and the Big Snow- as it also provides a fun introduction to directions and maps. The boys love to examine the city map in it and trace Katy's path through the city.

I have two more activities planned for this week before we move on to our first country: we are going to draw a map of our backyard highlighting the landmarks mentioned above and create passports for our trip around the world. Then it's on to China!

New Arrival

I love having the house ring with music!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Around the World!

In addition to continuing work on the 3Rs this summer, I thought it might be fun to do a geography/culture study. Big Brother has developed quite an interest in history and "other places."

My plan is to do this every summer and visit different countries each year. My original idea was to hit every continent once a year, focusing on a different country each time, but I'm having so much trouble narrowing down my ideas, that we're going to spend a few weeks in each place and stick to three continents/countries. This summer we are heading to China, France, and Australia!

I'm pulling ideas from several sources. I'll share our plans, and perhaps you'd like to come along!

Here are the core materials we're using (this list is subject to change):

Introductory plans coming this weekend!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011


Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Simple Woman's Day Book ~ June 22

FOR TODAY... June 22

Outside my window... Early morning thunderstorm and rain all day.

I am thinking... breakfast. I think there's enough time this morning for waffles with strawberries!

I am thankful for... nothing to do today but spend time with my boys.

From the learning rooms... I'm working on a summer learning plan. Besides lots of nature walks, field trips, and time outside I'm thinking we'll do some "Around the World."

From the kitchen... Those waffles are calling me! I also need to do some work on my cookbook collection. Recipes printed from here and there are in disarray.

I am wearing... still in pajamas, but getting going soon!

I am creating... space. A new arrival this weekend! More to come on that!

I am going...Nowhere planned. If it the rain stops a bike ride may be in order.

I am reading... The Domestic Church: Room by Room.

I am hoping... for naps this afternoon!

I am hearing... baby brother chatter to himself and the fan.

Around the house... things are in good shape. But it's only 6:19 AM.

One of my favorite things... waking up to a thunderstorm.

A few plans for the rest of the week: I don't think we have any! The calm before summer activities start next week.

Here is picture for thought I am sharing... We've mastered the stairs. Yikes!

Add your daybook here!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Trinity Sunday

In preparation for Trinity Sunday, we spent some time talking and reading about the Trinity yesterday.

It's a difficult idea to explain and understand (three Persons, one God), but Big Brother assured me that he did understand! When I shared this story with his godmother, she said that it's her belief that kids do understand these mysteries better than adults due to their innocence and pureness of heart.

Whatever the reason-- innocence or immaturity-- it warmed my heart that such a big idea was so readily accepted and embraced!

We made these simple mobiles as the final part of the discussion:

When we played outside, we found many clovers in the yard. The boys seemed to find a great deal of pleasure from such a simple plant representing a BIG person-- God!

This morning we made rolls in the shape of clovers as well.

I wanted to note that the mobile pattern came from the Who Am I? series at Catholic Heritage Curricula. We are picking and choosing from several resources for religion this year (with an emphasis on living the liturgical year), and what I like about this program is that the same content is adapted for a span of ages.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Daybook ~ June 14

FOR TODAY... June 14

Outside my window... Gray, damp, and cool

I am thinking... about our plans for the rest of the day.

I am thankful for... the gray, damp, and cool weather. I am not a summer person.

From the learning rooms... Still clearing the shelves and getting ready to start kindergarten!

From the kitchen... Breakfast soon, and I need to check dinner plans. They're posted, but my brain is like a sieve these days!

I am wearing... Jammies, and thinking about my red, white, and blue for Flag Day.

I am creating... order. Still working on this; trying to streamline our lives!

I am going... to the zoo. The cool weather is perfect for a zoo trip. It will be overrun with school groups, but we're going anyway!

I am reading... Nothing this morning. I just finished two books, and I'm deciding where to go next. I'll probably finish Franklin and Eleanor: An Extraordinary Marriage.

I am hoping... for a good day and a productive week.

I am hearing... the boys as they talk to their dad.

Around the house... a leaky pipe was just discovered and half-fixed. A stop at the store for a new pipe, and all will be well!

One of my favorite things... little boys in panda and tiger masks. They are ready for our outing!

A few plans for the rest of the week:

Here is picture for thought I am sharing...

This beautiful flowering bush is in the front garden. I don't know what it is! The joy of the growing season in a new house: garden of mysteries!

Add your daybook here!