Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Visiting Mr. Peanut

One day in July I went grocery shopping and Mr. Peanut was there. After I was done shopping I mentioned that to the Lambs and they wanted to go see Mr. Peanut. So we went back. The Lambs loved the free peanuts and I liked the coupons!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Finally Frozen Custard!

When I was in college years ago before the area around my college was built up like today, there were no pizza places that made deliveries to our campus. It was a little drive into town to go out to eat or get a treat. One of our favorite places to go was Freddys frozen custard. My classmates and I all have memories of college tied to Freddys. Oh, my memories of flavor of the day and of their shakes! Freddys is no longer there and it was a sad day to go back and visit a few years ago and not be able to take the Lambs there. I do not think Freddys from my college town was a part of the franchise Freddy's all over the country today.

My hometown opened several frozen custard stores in the area when I was teaching. Now frozen custard is one of my parents favorite places to go for a treat or go out to eat.

Our area has a lot of frozen yogurt shops where you pay by the ounce with whatever toppings you choose.

Recently a Freddys opened here. This is the first frozen custard place in our area. We took the Lambs on the grand opening day. They didn't give anything away like Chick-Fil-A does at grand openings. But the place was packed. I did my duty and introduced the Lambs to frozen custard even though we haven't been able to take a vacation back East for a few years. They want to go back again soon! We would welcome any other frozen custard places that want to come to Idaho!

Monday, October 20, 2014

September and October Composer Study

The Martin Looper that gave the idea about studying other subjects with a Five in a Row approach suggested music study with this approach. We have read a lot about composers and listened to a lot of classical music in our homeschool. I decided this year to try the Five in a Row approach by focusing on one composer each month and listening to one piece of music from that composer for about a week.

In September we studied Bach. We have listened to and read about Bach before, but I wanted to review Bach with the Lambs and Bach is one of their favorites so they didn't complain. The review was good for them and they all learned new things about Bach that they didn't remember from reading about him a few years ago.

We read these books about Bach:
Sebastian Bach the Boy from Thuringia by Wheeler
(We also listened to all the music excerpts from this book on CD and Lamb 1 played some of the excerpts on the piano for us.)
Johann Sebastian Bach by Venzia
Sebastian a Book about Bach by Winter
Bach's Goldberg Variations by Celenza
First Discovery Music Bach-also listened to the CD with the book
Bach's Big Adventure by Ketcham
I would like to listen to some more of Bach's music either CDs that we own or from the Internet, but I am satisfied that the boys learned a lot about Bach in all the readings we did about him in September.

In October we studied Handel. We have not finished our study of Handel and we will not finish with all our fall activities planned. So we will continue to study Handel in November.

We read these books about Handel:
Handel at the Court of Kings by Wheeler
(Again we listened to all the music excerpts from this book on CD.)
Handel Who Knew What he Liked by Anderson
These were both books that we owned and I wasn't interested in other Handel biographies that our library owned. I think we will do more listening to Handel than reading about him. Both of these biographies that we did read were very informative.

Next I plan to study Haydn with the Lambs. With our schedule that may need to wait until after Christmas. We just plug along and fit composer study in when we can. The Opal Wheeler books about composers are interesting and we have all learned a lot about composers from them. I will try to make listening to this music a priority after Christmas and truly do the Five in a Row approach with it.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Our Weekend

Friday we went to an apple orchard and picked a bunch of apples. The first orchard was free all you can eat in the orchard and I'm not sure if the Lambs ate more in the orchard or picked more to bring home. Then we went to an orchard next door to that orchard and picked even more apples for applesauce and baking.
Then we met a fellow Martin Looper and learned about essential oils and made our first purchase. It was nice to have some time to chat together.
Then we picked up new glasses for Ram and Ewe. Ewe only wears hers for night time driving. Ram looks really different, I'll post pictures soon.
On Friday we also received a phone call that Lamb 2 won a $100 savings bond from a local garden center. Many people attended their harvest festival the weekend before and I was shocked that one of our Lambs won.
We splurged from our diet and made homemade macaroni and cheese for supper. Yum!
After supper we went to Target and purchased the first new Halloween costumes for our 3 Lambs ever. They all have outgrown the Winnie the Pooh costumes and Lamb 1 and 2 have outgrown most of our other dress up clothes like fireman costumes. I had intended to make their costumes this year but ran out of time. I'll blog pictures at Halloween time.

Saturday Ewe ran a few errands and then Ram ran a few errands. We had our sprinklers blown out. The Lambs played outside with the neighbors ALL DAY. We got a lot of items crossed off our to do list both inside and outside our house. We had carmel apple nachos for dessert.

Sunday After church and Sunday School we went to turn in fundraiser $ for Cub Scouts. Then we went to two different Michaels in order to get some Halloween items the Lambs requested since last Halloween. I'll post pictures of that soon. The first Michaels was sold out of most Halloween stuff. Then we went to the grocery store and let the Lambs pick out pumpkins. I feel like a bad mom to not take them to a pumpkin patch but we are just too busy this time of year. We'll have to plan for it next year. The Lambs and Ram did some clean up outside before winter. It was beautiful weather today! For supper we made homemade gluten free pizza.

This week I need to work on some more crafts for our church bazaar; also can and bake with the apples we got on Friday; Ram plans to finish our car shopping; and this is the last week of cross country with a meet on Saturday. The following week I plan to do a lot of baking for our bazaar in addition to all of our Halloween activities.

Hopefully I'll blog about some of this in more detail with pictures soon. It will probably be after the bazaar so I figured I would post this fast update now.

Friday, October 17, 2014

September and October Artists Study

One of the Loopers gave the idea to study other subjects besides literature using the Five in a Row approach. I thought this was an excellent idea. My idea for artist study was to begin with a set of cards of 30 famous paintings from Usborne. I planned to read about the artist of the week, look at paintings and other art from that artist, and read the information on the card each day for about a week. I expected that we would soon be adding another card while we were still reading about a previous artist, but with the goal to learn an artist each week.

The Lambs had other ideas. They wanted to learn all the cards as quickly as possible while still reading about the artists. It wasn't exactly the 5 in a Row approach that I expected but it worked even better than I planned!

So far the Lambs know the names and artists for these paintings. They learned them in approximate chronological order-many times artists were alive at the same time. Lamb 1 and 2 know all of these, Lamb 3 knows most of these.

The Arnolfini Portrait by Jan van Eyck
Primavera by Sandro Botticelli
Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci
The Creation of Adam by Michelangelo Buonarroti
Hunters in the Snow by Pieter Brueghel
Supper at Emmaus by Caravaggio
The Maids of Honor by Diego Velazquez
Self Portrait by Rembrandt
Girl with a Pearl Earring by Jan Vermeer
The Great Wave by Katsushika Hokusai
The Fighting Temeraire by Joseph Turner
Ophelia by John Millais
Dance at the Moulin de la Galette by Renoir

We owned a few biographies about da Vinci, Michelangelo, and Rembrandt and we have been reading those. My new plan is to try to have them learn the names and artists for all 30 paintings before Christmas. Then we will go back and study some of the artists in more detail after Christmas. After Christmas we can go back to the Five in a Row approach and look at art from one artist each week. We can also get more books from the library about these artists after we read what we already own in our home library.

I am very pleased with how this art study has gone. Lamb 3 gets so excited when he knows both the name of the painting and the artist! We have only spent a few minutes most school days and they already know 13 out of 30. I bought these cards a few years ago and I had no idea then that we would only need to spend a few minutes a day and it would work so well.

One reason this has been successful is Lamb 1 is a visual learner and Lamb 2 is an auditory learner. Lamb 1 learns it by looking closely at the paintings. Lamb 2 learns it by listening as we talk about the painting. I don't know how Lamb 3 learns yet, but this is much more difficult for him than it is for the other two Lambs. So we try to help him by not shouting out who the artist is right away, giving him time to think and answer when he is able to. I think that doing it daily is going to be how he learns it. That part of this artist study has been interesting to me. Also Lamb 1 and 2 are very competitive and this is something that they can compete against each other to learn unlike other subjects with a lot of reading that Lamb 2 couldn't keep up.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

One lesson I think you should teach your daughter...

When the girls came to my house for a tea party, I had made some of the food before they came. I made small plain scones. I bought lemon curd and other toppings such as Nutella and cream cheese. I opened a jar of homemade jam. I figured they could all choose what they liked and have several scones with different toppings since they were small.

I had planned to make mock clotted cream but at the last minute I decided to just have the girls make regular whipped cream and keep it simpler. It turned out that none of them had ever made whipped cream before. Even knowing that we only have whipped cream as a very special dessert, I was shocked that they hadn't even watched whipped cream being made before. I was so glad I chose to have them make whipped cream.

It ended up that they were so fascinated with the whipped cream that I didn't care that the 5 year old licked the beaters right there and they all tried some whipped cream from the bowl with their fingers. Hey, their fingers were clean for them to cook!

If you have a daughter, please show her how to make whipped cream for a special holiday or special occasion! We don't have dairy often, but my Lambs have watched me make whipped cream before. Lamb 1 won't eat it, but he knows how to make it.

I taught this important lesson to these four girls. Now they know so it is one less thing for their moms to teach them. And we really enjoyed our scones with toppings and real whipped cream.

(Note in case you don't know how-Whip heavy cream on high speed in mixer until peaks form, add sugar or honey, and vanilla. It is recommended to chill the bowl and beaters but when making regular whipped cream I don't and it still works. I do need to chill the bowl when I make whipped cream out of coconut milk though.

Second note-Even though I was surprised that they didn't know how to make whipped cream, I do get that most Americans just use Cool Whip or Reddi-wip. When I was little my Aunt Pauline would make homemade pie and whipped cream and I preferred Cool Whip then. But then I grew up and tried whipped cream and will never go back to Cool Whip unless it is the only topping offered. Add in that we had to eat non-dairy and non-soy for a few years for Lamb 1 which meant no Cool Whip or real whipped cream, and I'm going to choose real whipped cream or coconut milk whipped cream now.

Third note-I realize there are more important lessons to teach your daughters, and I'm not criticizing their moms. Also I realize they are still young and just beginning to learn to cook.)

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Ewe's Random Thoughts Today

1. When I took Lamb 2 to therapy yesterday I noticed that the local newspaper was printed on pink paper in honor of breast cancer awareness. The front page story was about same sex marriage.
2. My hometown is known as the city of churches but there are a lot of businesses and restaurants there that are not respectful of women. One of these local restaurants closed here in Boise. There are still a few of these restaurants and businesses here, but no where near the number in my hometown. Guess what they are building in the spot of that closed restaurant here? Chick-Fil-A. Hooray for another Chick-Fil-A!
3. Ram went to the doctor today because his throat is still scratchy. Neither one of us are very good about knowing when we are sick enough to need to go to the doctor. We figured this has gone on long enough that it was time to go. A pastor needs to sound healthy and be able to talk! Of course it was no antibiotics needed, just keep doing the home remedies that he has been doing. I'm still glad he went so we know he doesn't have something contagious.
4. We have been reading aloud a lot of different kinds of books recently. With Ram's sore throat Ewe has been doing all the reading. I plan to blog about some of the books we have recently read.
5. I was feeling guilty that Lamb 1 is in 5th grade and we haven't done any formal grammar study. That is the subject that has been put off during Lamb 2's therapy. I decided to read some books about each part of speech to begin. I picked up A Mink, a Fink, a Skating Rink-What is a Noun? by Brian Cleary. The Lambs told me they already knew what a noun was and we didn't need to read the book. How did they know what a noun was? From watching Martha Speaks on PBS. We read the book but as they said they all already knew what a noun was. I'm not nearly as worried about Lamb 1 taking his first standardized test in the spring as I was before. Between the Lambs watching Wild Kratts (Science), Cyberchase (Math and Logic), Martha Speaks (Grammar and vocabulary), and Curious George (STEM? sort of a hodgepodge of topics) I think he'll do fine. Yes, the mom the gave up TV for a few years is saying this!