Rainy day cleanup leads to science fun!

It’s been a looooong time since I have posted to our blog – too long! Things have been busy here as they are in so many households but I am not going to try to backtrack (at least not yet) of what’s been happening here. I’ll just try to post more often because we do love to keep track of our experiences here online.

This morning’s circle time was cut short by rambunctious children. It was one of those times when you admit that it’s not working and it’s time to get outside and shake off the crazies! It was a tad rainy out but that was okay. We were all more than ready to go outside. The boys played some baseball in the yard while I did some clean-up of the dead hosta (so, so many!) and a lot Japanese lantern plants.


The lanterns got the boys wondering what would happen if they were to plant some of the seed pods indoors. We grabbed some pots and the boys filled them with soil and the pods. When they went to water the pods they started talking about a Mythbusters episode where the hosts microwave water and feed it to the plants to see the effects of microwaves on ‘food’. The results were surprising and so we shall see what happens at home. We heated the water and the microwave and added a thermometre to the mug to watch the temperature go down to room temp – fun for the boys!


First, I think we need to do a bit of research on those seed pods because I’m thinking they need to overwinter first if they are going to grow for us! 😉


We’ve been having a great time reading through The Weather Watcher’s Handbook. It has been a slow read because we keep stopping to learn more about the weather and watch some great videos online. Today we learned about wind and air pressure and did a super fun eggsperiment (that’s right) to show the effects of air pressure. Super fun!

We were left wondering how to get the egg out… 😉

eggIf you haven’t picked up a copy of The Weather Watcher’s Handbook yet, I have to ask, “What are you waiting for, Spring?” You may be waiting a while. 😉

Germs germs everywhere!

We’ve been fortunate this winter to be sick-free…until a couple of days ago when Xman got a cold. Ironically enough, in Minecraft Homeschool the assignment this week has to do with germs and this is one if the videos they watch before they build their germs and the hospitals to hold the sick. Glad to know that we’ve taught the kids to cover their sneeze the most effective way…whew!

Here’s a cute one.

Also, if interested in books we have found the Your Body Battles series to be fun and informative. Xman said between sniffles that he wants us to get them from the library again. 🙂

body battles

Make and Listen

Joining Dawn for the second week in a row (pat on the back).

There has been a lot going on this week even with L having a cold. We had some lay low time and watched The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe for the second time as well as Despicable Me for who knows what time (it’s a favourite!).
During our couch time I knit. Remember these socks? They are coming along and I am about to turn the heel – eek! Haha!

Feb0614_Make Listen_06

Also, as always there is much reading in our home as it can always be done when there are sickies around. A couch snuggle is all that is needed and a good book or movie. Still reading The Mysterious Benedict Society. We are enjoying it which is good because it is a big book!

Also, the boys have gotten into mythical creatures again which was inspired this time by the How to Train Your Dragon books and evolved from there…

Feb0614_Make Listen_04Which led to learning to speak Dragonese…

Feb0614_Make Listen_01…and, of course, creating their own creatures…

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Feb0614_Make Listen_02That’s a sneak peak as they aren’t quite done yet. I am loving this polymer clay – wish we’d purchased some years ago! I’ve helped smooth edges a bit and Xman is more of a stickler for making it just right, where Lucas brings his own ideas into it. To each his own and I love it!

This was our art table which is really the dining room table. I had a vision of an art piece while I did my evening reiki and like a bee to honey I went straight to work! Will post more on my work on my art blog a little later as it’s not quite finished and you simply cannot rush art, right? Right. 😉

ArtmakingAs for listening, it’s been The Red Violin soundtrack and yes, Kids Bop in numerous volumes!

It snowed again yesterday and if L wasn’t getting over his cold we be out there tobogganing. Nonetheless, we are truly enjoying this winter and it was so nice to be greeted by sparkly whiteness this morning!
Feb0614_Make Listen_05Have a wonderful day!



Words that stick

Joining along with Write Alm today. I was going to write something on my art blog but then something cute happened this morning that made me switch gears and share here.

Last night after work I went grocery shopping and along with the ‘usuals’ (I wish cucumbers grew in winter!) I bought some frozen waffles. I knew that with getting to bed late I’d want something easy to give the boys for breakfast. Sometimes the guilt of buying processed food kicks in and I put things back on the shelf, more often than not. But not this time. And this morning I popped those waffles into the toaster and it felt good to have something so easy to do. Upon bringing the boys their breakfast, Xman man said to me, “Mommy, did you make these waffles or are they boughten?” We both laughed.

Just yesterday we were reading Farmer Boy, part of the Little House series. At times I explain to the boys how some words we use now are not the same as years ago, ‘boughten’ being one of them, such as when Almanzo got ‘a boughten cap’ for Christmas.

In response to Xman I said with a smile and a laugh, “They are boughten. I guess I can’t tell you that you’re using the wrong word!” “Yep, that’s because it’s an old word”, he said with a smile.

It’s an exhausting job at times, this parenting thing. Making an easy breakfast so I can focus on more important things gives me the wherewithal to do things that I don’t always have the energy for. The immense amount of love in my heart gives me the strength to do it, even though I may just want to take the easy route with more important things. It pays off in simple ways that are so big: boys snuggle, they listen, they say ‘I love you’ out of the blue and give big hugs, they make their own snack and their brother’s as well when they know you need a simple break, they listen even when you aren’t sure they are and the things you say stick (so be careful what you say, Tamara!).

Parenting is a full-time job if you make it so but making it so means the pay-off is priceless.

Have a wonderful day. I am going to go eat some waffles that are boughten. 🙂

love and wonder woman


This week was all about the number six.

We were talking about shapes that had to do with the number six, such as a cube (six sides), a tetrahedron (has six edges), and an octahedron (has six points). The boys made a cube, tetrahedron and octahedron out of their crazy fort pieces.

12Nov13_HAW10_0212Nov13_HAW10_01 12Nov13_HAW10_04

I took this picture of the Octohedron to show the star shape on the inside and the hexagon (six sided) on the inside of that. From there we started talking a bit about mandalas but we will work on that this week.


We also made some six-sided stars. This is a great link for making your own stars. We then flattened the stars under a phone book and forgot about them. We will be hanging them soon!

13Nov13_HAW10_06 13Nov13_HAW10_07L decided to take one of his stars and instead of making the final folds and cut made a dog instead!

From here the boys made their own 3d shapes. I found a site which gives the printouts making it easy for me (paper folding into 3d is not my forte!). The website is so wonderful for showing the shapes in a rotating video to fully understand them in 3d.

This site is great for getting to know a bunch of shapes – very cool! We will be making more!!!


Of course, one could not make these shapes without including this one…


Oh! How we are loving The Weather Watcher’s Handbook! It is taking us forever to get through because it is so interesting!

This time we read about longitude and latitude. We then went to our world map and I called out co-ordinates and the boys took turns finding the country which matched. It was great fun and really helped them to understand the use of these lines that they always see on globes and maps.

We went online and found this fun song on youtube for longitude and latitude:

We also watched some great videos on this youtube site which I have bookmarked for future viewing. These videos are great and so fun – I think they may have been made by students as part of their program…

We learned about the layers of the earth, longitude and latitude, why there are seasons (also in the handbook!) and more.

Then we somehow got onto fractals and the boys were amazed!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XwWyTts06tU Fractals

Homeschool Adventure Week 9

This past week we sent out our nature box to Latvia! We loved being a part of the nature exchange! These are some of the finding we have left over. Hmmm…now where to put them all?

The boys helped as we identified some of our findings. It was hard work and a lot of research and picture comparing but it was a great learning experience. Here are some of the sites we used for our identification:

Rock Identification Guide

Acorn Identification Guide which brought us to this

Oak Leaf Identification Guide

and along the way we found an animal scat guide for all those times you run into something other than dog poo (yay) on the trail.

We found this one for moss and lichen in our area

and this for seaweed.

All packaged up and off it went with one of the leaf prints we made earlier this year and a feather for an added touch.


This week the boys and I made some yummy vegan rice crispy squares! We had found some vegan marshmallows at a local shop (oh so gooood!) and added a few of these even though they weren’t part of the recipe. I did add more dates and almond butter to make it all stick together more – I guess peanut butter must be stickier… Then we put dairy-free chocolate chips melted with a little almond milk on top. So good!


The boys are on their way to painting their five element stones. None of the paint stuck well except for the white so now they are painting them all white and then adding the colours on top. We shall see how it goes!


We watched this super cool video using a VW Beetle for instrumental sounds – watch all three versions, it’s very cool!

I made this super yummy soup originally posted by Dawn on FB but didn’t have enough garlic so we added powdered garlic later and oh, wow, maybe not the freshest thing but still did the job. The boys now love it on noodles too!

By the end of the week, we started to learn about space, again. It often comes back to space and I gotta say, it’s always very cool.

This is a great book and we have borrowed it from the library a multitude of times and really should purchase it at this point. We started from the beginning instead of jumping to where our question would be answered and found out exactly what light years really are and how to pronounce this number: 9,500,000,000,000. Not a good thing to do just before bed though, as there were a ton of questions swimming around in their heads!

I think we need to have a weekly question box blog post. We have a question box for those things that we can’t get to answering right away but somehow never get to it. Yes, a question box weekly blog post should do. 🙂

Today, we will be learning more about the weather, thanks to Mud Puddles ladies Dawn and Annie! Can’t wait!

What did you do last week? Anything cool and interesting that you’ve learned lately?




Homeschool Adventure Week #8 and the Eclipse


It was an unschooling week this time around what with the usual programs and Halloween.

We went to two parties, one of which consisted of finding dragon eggs with much excitement! Inside each egg was a joke instead of candy and I gotta say, I like that lack of candy business.

We also brought along these yummy cookies! You may want to bookmark this site! There is an amazing overnight oatmeal recipe too, I kid you not! But, I digress…food does that…


Hwn2We also tried starting a fire which didn’t work that well as it had rained the day before and we didn’t have much kindling/newspaper as starter at first. Another family arrived who happened to have a bunch of newspaper in their car which proved helpful as some of the kids were very determined to get that fire going. I must say, despite the wet wood, we did manage to make it work eventually. It was fun for them to see the different ways that wood, leaves, and paper burned. I think next time we need to make some of these starters from the summer edition of Alphabet Glue and come prepared!


Hwn4Later in the week I had a big order for a family photo shoot to prepare so the boys sat down to make their own Pokémon cards. There was a lot of drawing, colouring, cutting, and writing. It was quiet  with all of this studiousness. I have to say it was so lovely. Gypsy was curious and hopped up on Xman’s chair to get a little closer to the action.

Poke cards

Yesterday morning, as you may know, was a solar eclipse. It was not only an annular but total eclipse! We were very excited to see if the sky got even a little darker from our wee spot on this earth of ours but with all of the overcast weather we did not see a thing. If we had had a clear sky we would have been able to see some of the eclipse from our area, most likely the annular part. However, the boys had a great idea on how to view the eclipse another way using their Star Walk app on their iPods. It showed them where the moon, sun and the earth (among other celestial bodies) would be at our specific location and exact moment. It was the next best thing I’d say! I know, it looks like the same picture twice but that is because it is! Both boys took a screen shot so they would each have their own record of it and I could show them on the blog. Even Stephen, right?

Ls eclipse

Ls eclipse

There are some pretty incredible images of the eclipse here. Did you see the eclipse in your area? We’d love to hear about it. Feel free to share a link to your pictures if you have any!


Viewing Ursa Major in miniature

My boys love the sky, anytime of year, anytime of day. A while ago we crafted these great star gazer scopes by Alphabet Glue and they now sit on our window sill for easy access.

star scopesThe boys are always in a picture taking mood and yesterday Xman took this photo from the inside of the Ursa Major scope. I felt like I was outside staring up at the sky.


Are you in the mood for some crafts that are not only fun but educational? Pop on over to Alphabet Glue! If you visit the blog you will find the new super-cool-and-amazing Weather Watcher’s ebook!

Homeschool Adventure Week 6&7

During week 6 my cousin from Ontario paid us a pleasant visit. For her is was a time to relax, see family and see the sights. The boys super-enjoyed having her here as did we!
boys-patricia Patricia-boys

Along with visit and reminiscing the boys and I did our circle time and yoga. I must say, I am thrilled with how much the boys love the yoga and even add poses and take turns leading! This is rest time.

2013Oct22_HAW-5+6_01 I like rest time.

Then we did a craft which I found on Pinterest to go with our number four study. We seem to be going through the numbers quite slowly what with everything else going on in our home lately but it has allowed us to see numbers in a different way, not just for math but in shapes and nature. The piece we worked on is called God’s Eye and I thought it worked well with the number four, being four sided and all… it was quite fun to do and easy too!2013Oct22_HAW-5+6_03 It simply consists of a lot of wrapping embroidery thread around popsicle sticks but the fun is in the colours and combinations. 2013Oct22_HAW-5+6_04I told the boys they could be their dream catchers explaining to them that God’s Eye will trap the bad dreams and let the good ones through. The boys hung their dreamcatchers by wands they made onto their bed posts.
2013Oct22_HAW-5+6_05 Xman told me the next morning the dreamcatcher had worked and had captured all his bad dreams. One morning the dreamcatcher didn’t work and seeing as it was a full moon I told him it may be tired of catching dreams and needed to be placed in the light of the moon to recharge just like our crystals. The light of the moon is a wonderful thing!

More stories! This one was from the Grimm Brothers entitled The Duration of Life. The boys used the chalk board door to illustrate as I told the story. I had to take three picture of the door from top to bottom to get all the drawings in.

L drew God as a face with big hands creating the world.


God then asked four animals, a donkey, monkey, dog and a human, how long they wanted to live.


 In the end the human chose to live the length of time God suggested plus those of the other three animals combined. According to the Grimms we should live for 70 years but not without many trials and tribulations that all animals share but I kept that part out of the story. I like to end things on a good note especially with sensitive minds and very big imaginations!2013Oct24_HAW-5+6_11After the number four is the number…? Five! We read this great story called The Five Elements and the Five Coloured Stones about a Chinese Empress who was twenty-five feel tall and her adversary who was even taller who wanted to take over the land. There was a battle with an and army, the Water Devil and even a Fire God. The heavens fell to earth and the sun and moon went on vacation which brought darkness to the land. A magical brew was made which included five coloured stones to make a paste and put the heavens and sky back together. The sun and moon returned all everyone lived in peace.

The boys made the scene with the magic brew from Lego. The Empress is in the back at the top of the castle while one of her helpers mixes in the ingredients for the paste. I think most of these blocks came from our Lego Champion game!

We also stayed busy collecting things for the nature exchange.

2013Oct24_HAW-5+6_08Grammar and writing consisted of one of our circle time poems Parting Blessing from this wonderful book! I find Lucas, being older, can write longer before his hand tires. As well, he copied the work out in the format of the poem which made it easy to read.
2013Oct26_HAW-5+6_12 The first poem Xman wrote out was hard to read for this reason. I had to explain to him why it was good to write the poem as he saw it in verses while skipping lines. He was a bit reluctant at first as this was my idea and not his (I can relate!) but once he finished he agreed it was much easier to read and you could see the rhythm the poem carried by the way it was written.

Since then, L came up with a tune for the poem and they sing it all of the time! 2013Oct26_HAW-5+6_13It has been a busy couple of weeks which makes for a delay in posting. But I did it – eventually! 😉

This week is busy as well with a Discovery Centre program where the boys learn about Rube Goldberg machines (they are super fans!) and two Halloween parties oh my plus the usual programs. Hopefully I will have HAW #8 ready to go on time!

Happy Spooky week to all!