Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Don't Forget to Eat Your Math!!

Anyone who knows me, knows I am not a numbers person. I've never been very good at math, but I can learn. Math is not a favorite subject for Pie Pie either. I didn't want her to get too rusty this Summer, so we found M and M's Math  by Barbara Barbieri McGrath.

The library had Addition, Subtraction and Multiplication and Division. The Multiplication and Division was a little too advanced for us, but there was some sorting the girls enjoyed in the book.

These books are great for Summer or if you just want to take a break from the textbooks and have a little fun. The best part is, you get to eat the M and M's when you are done!

Math never tasted so good!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Creative Writing

The Bird
By: Pie Pie Edgar
Age: 7

Mars was taking a walk as usual. Then something unusual happened. A wizard granted him 3 wishes. His first wish was to get an ice cream bar from Nanny. His second wish was a lot of sticks for his nest. His third wish was to have a Baby Zhu-Zhu Pet. The end.

As soon as Pie Pie was done writing this she said I had to post it on our blog for Nanny to see!  This post is definitely dedicated to you! We love you Nanny! 

Saturday, August 27, 2011

School Spirit!

We, like everybody else, are getting ready for school. We've been doing projects for Science and History this Summer, but now it is time to break out the Math and Language Arts.  That is "school" for Pie Pie! I'm not sure what she considers what we have been doing this last two months. I think I might have have heard her say "Fun!", I have to agree!
Anyway, here is Pie Pie's School Line-up for this year:
Language Arts
We are using a new English book this year and continuing to use the Follow-the-Directions book. I discovered the second book last year when Pie Pie was unhappy with creative writing.  She likes this book because she gets to draw first and then write.

We are using Math-U-See again this year.  We really like this program.  It has a DVD that teaches Pie Pie and me the lessons.  It also uses blocks so we can see how math works. We are just about done with the Alpha book and are planning to finish Beta this year.

We are using an assortment of Bible products. I'm using a couple of workbooks from Lifepac, which we used last year and liked. We also participate in SPARKS.  The girls learn Bible verses every week with a Bible lesson. We are also using The Message Bible study book.

We are going to be studying a variety of topics. Some of them are simple machines, electricity, the water cycle, and magnets.

We are working through American History this year.  We are making a timeline and doing various projects.

We are learning about the United States!  We are working on workbooks and reading lots of books.  We are also collecting postcards from all the states.

Pants is going along for the ride. She is 3 going on 4 so we are going to be doing some simpler things. I want her to develop a love of learning. We are going to have fun learning the basics.  We are also going to read a lot. I'm trying to keep her frustration and mine to a minimum.

I hope everyone has a great school year! Don't forget the number one rule: Have Fun!!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

In What Direction Are You Headed?

This past week has been a little difficult at our house. God blessed us with a lot of rain last weekend, which caused sewage to back up into our basement. This has actually happened to us before, but it has never crept it's way across the entire basement floor. We, unfortunately, did lose a couple of items. Our poor little worms were one of the casualties. There are many items that did survive which is actually what caused all the difficulty of the week. We had to empty the basement so they could clean and sanitize the entire space. The basement was our main storage area so we are living among boxes. Our house is on the smaller side so it has been cramped quarters!

This is our dining room.

This is our playroom.
I have also made the decision that the boxes are not going back down to the basement. These boxes hold mainly baby necessities. I have been holding onto them just in case we have another baby. It is hard to let go of these items, but I feel it is time. This is not to say we will not have another baby, that is up to God, we will just  have to replace things. I just can't risk putting all of those items back downstairs and have them ruined too. I want them used by someone who needs them. I am happily gifting the clothes to my niece, a friend's daughter, and a soon-to-be-born baby. The crib and some other baby items are also going to that new momma!
Even though our dining room, where we usually do school, is covered with boxes and bags. I have still been doing school with Pie Pie and Pants. We found a way using clipboards and a travel writing desk. We spent two days learning about Christopher Columbus. The second day of our study I gave Pie Pie a compass to decorate. This was just a little project I thought she would do in a few minutes. She actually got into it and spent a fair amount of time on it. I was fixing lunch and she kept asking me how to spell different words. I started to get excited to see her finished project. She turned it into a Compass/Map. So neat! Never thought a little project would make my day brighter.

I can't leave out Pants! She came over to me and sang The B-I-B-L-E! Which prompted me to sing back to her. Smiles all around!
So even though the events weren't the plans or the direction I would have chose for my week the Lord reminds me His way is best. We need to find Joy and Happiness in any and every situation!
"A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones." Proverbs 17:22

P.S. I'm off to Squirmsville!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Native American Indians Part 2

Our Study

We continued our Summer Study on The Native American Indians and we are finally finished! We had a lot of fun learning and hope you enjoy seeing what we accomplished!

Pueblo Village
They formed their houses out of adobe mud and used logs and beams for the ceiling.  When the first layer was dry they would build the second level and then possibly even a third level. Each level had many rooms. Different families would live on each level. On the first level there were no doors. Those who lived on the first level climbed a ladder and went through a hole in the roof. When enemies were coming they would pull the ladders inside so they were protected.
For this craft we picked three boxes and painted them brown. We added cornstarch to look like sand. Then we made some doors and ladders. You can find this craft in More Than Moccasins by Laurie Carlson.

Wigwam-type houses were built by Indians in many areas across the country. This craft was fashioned out of coffee filters, paper bags and glue. It was a little difficult, but if you like to get messy go for it! This craft was also from More Than Moccasins by Laurie Carlson.

Our last craft was weaving. The Native Americans weaved baskets for many different reasons. They were used for food storage or to carry water. They were made out of different plant materials. We cheated on ours and used paper. The paper was cut with slits and then we wove paper strips in between. Pie Pie had the idea to staple the rectangle of paper into a basket. They ended up coming out really neat!

List of Some of the Books We Read:
Welcome to Kaya's World American Girls Collection
Native American History for Kids:With 21 Activities by Janis Herbert
The Indian in the Cupboard (we watched the movie)
Tapenum's Day-A Wampanoag Indian Boy in Pilgrim Times by Kate Walters
Mud Pony by Carson Lee Cohen
The Gift of Sacred Dog
The Girl Who Loved Wild Horses
The Girls With Seven Brothers
all 3 by Paul Goble
Kaya and Lone Dog by Janet Shaw
Corn in Maize:The Gift of the Indians by Aliki

Well, we are done with Native Americans for this year! Now it's off to study Explorers! We are starting with Christopher Columbus! Time to pull up the anchor and set sail! Poor man never even knew what he had discovered! Hopefully no one falls overboard!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Flavorful Friday

Triple Flavor Big Batch Cookies


3 cups of flour
2 cups of oatmeal
2 Tablespoons of cocoa
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon of salt
2 cups butter or margarine--softened
1 cup of peanut butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
3 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips
1 1/2 cups M&Ms plain chocolate candies

1. Stir together flour, oats, cocoa, baking soda and salt.
2. Combine butter, peanut butter and sugars.
3. Mix well.
4. Add eggs, and vanilla
5. Mix well.
6. Add dry ingredients.
7. Mix until combined.
8. Stir in chocolate chips and M&M candies.
9. Drop by generous spoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheet.
10. Bake at 350 degrees for 12-14 minutes.
11. Cool 1 minute before removing from cookie sheet to cooling rack.
12. Enjoy!! :o)

This is a very yummy recipe I begged to have from my friend Stephanie!
I usually halve the recipe because it makes so many, but I'm sure you won't have any trouble eating them all!!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Pie Pie Builds

Pie Pie the builder,
can she build it?
Pie Pie the builder,
Yes she can!

This coming school year we are going to be learning about Simple Machines. At the end of the last school year while I was preparing for the next school year I noticed that our co-op had K'NEX. These kits are highly recommended when learning about this topic. They had three sets especially for education.The sets were Levers and Pulleys, Wheels and Ramps and Gears and Cranks. We had to borrow them.

When I first brought them home I wasn't sure how Pie Pie would feel about the kits. So, I just put them in the playroom. She pulled them out one day and asked me for help. I was not actually that much help! I've never been very good at building projects like these. I don't have enough patience. We persevered anyway. We followed the directions, made mistakes and corrected the mistakes. When we finally finished the first one I was quite proud of us! After the first project was finished Pie Pie was ready to fly solo. I help her here and there, but she gets the job done. I am so happy she has the patience to follow the directions and put the different items together herself.

These kits are a lot of fun and I would personally recommend them to anyone!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Native American Indians

Our Study
Part One
This Summer we got a head start on American History by learning about Native American Indians. We read many books and did some fun projects.

 This first one is a Pictograph. Pictographs are symbols or pictures that describe an event. Pie Pie decided to draw a pool because it is one of her favorite things to do in the Summer.
Totem Poles
 This project is a Totem Pole. A Totem Pole told the village who lived in the home behind it. They served as address markers. It usually also told a history of the family. Pie Pie decorated hers with things that she likes. There is a cat, bunny, horse, pizza and a mozzarella stick!

These projects can be found in the book: Native American History for Kids: with 21 Activities by Janis Herbert.

Fry Bread
We made some Fry Bread which is still a very popular food. You can cover it with powdered sugar, honey, hot chili or salsa. They are kind of like donuts. There were very many "Yums!" from my girls because we put powdered sugar on ours.

Here is the recipe if you are interested.
2 cups of flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. of salt
1Tbsp. oil
3/4 cup of water
cooking oil
Mix dry ingredients in bowl. Add the oil and water. Dust your hands with flour to keep from getting sticky. Knead the dough until it is stretchy. Pull off a clump the size of a plum and roll it into a ball with hands. Pat dough with hands until it is flat, like a thin and flat pancake. Punch a hole in the center with your thumb. Fry the bread in a few inches of hot cooking oil. When one side turns brown, turn it over with two forks and cook the other side.

The Navajos used special sandpaintings for curing diseases or praying. Sand, flower pollen or charcoal was trickled onto smooth sand. We made sand out of cornmeal and food coloring. We made the designs with glue and sprinkled the sand on.
The last two projects are from the book More than Moccasins by Laurie Carlson.
This is just Part One of the projects from our study about the Native American Indians. You'll have to be patient and wait for the rest!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

What's in a Name?

I've been meaning to do this, but I never did. I admit it, I'm pretty lazy. I LOVE to sleep! Anyway, back to the point. Some people have asked me what is with my girls' names on my blog?! Originally I used their actual names. Most people who read this blog know my girls real names, but then as I was reading other blogs I realized some people do not use their kids real names. So I, who prefer to be a follower, decided to use nicknames as well. I also wanted to give my kids a little privacy in our very public world.
For my oldest her name is Pie Pie. When she was a baby I always called her by her name with Pie Pie on the end. I don't shorten names, I lengthen them.
Pie Pie
My youngest is named Pants. This name came from my sister-in-law who had a friend that added pants to everything. So she called her by her name than pants. Pants likes her name. She tells me Pie Pie made a pie and Pants made cupcakes.

So that's your answer to the unusual names of my girls. We love them and actually use them! Unfortunately you have to love them too!

P.S. This is for anyone who might have thought that Pie Pie and Pants were my childrens' actual names. I would like to give you some love for thinking I have that much confidence to give my kids such crazy names!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Pure Whimsy

Since I posted about Pie Pie's creative writing I had to post about Pants too!
Her drawings and letters are so neat I had to share them!

We are all so proud! Pants wrote her name for the first time on Sunday all by herself!

This is a jellybean guy thinking about picking flowers. Do you see the thought bubbles?!

This is a whole jellybean family.

She wrote Nanners all by herself too!

This one is a thank you note she wrote to Pop Pop. It says Thank You for the hot dogs!

We all hope you are having a great week!
Much Love from us to you!!