random notes and chit chat from the insanity of our life

Peek into our life and see how crazy it can get with 6 kids, homeschooling, sewing, and now farming. We're in our first year on the land, and entertaining the world with what we don't know. By the grace of God, we're learning, day by day, so pull up a chair and laugh with us!

Friday, January 20, 2012

popping in for a minute

Well, as usual, I'm neglecting the blog.  Poor blog.  But I've been getting so much done around here that by evening, my brain is done.  SO, if this sounds like the ramblings of an idiot...it probably is.
I came up with a new assignment/tracking sheet type thing for the kids.  Megan has one, for a week at a time.  The other kids have one for all 3 of them, for a day at a time.  It's got a chart, and lists everything I *want* to do in a day, and I fill in as we get to them.  We're actually getting a lot done every day, but not everything ever, lol.
Some highlights of our week...
*we studied biomes in science.  We are using Exploring Creation through Zoology:Flying Creatures of the 5th day.  And for the first time in the 6 years since I bought it, we're actually USING it.  We usually start, then get distracted.  Tomorrow, hopefully, I can get more pages set up in their notebooks for both this and "little house in the big woods" (more on that later).  Anyhow, so we studied biomes...which reminded me that I have 11 episodes recorded of "Planet Earth".  So, we watched one last night.  The Great Plains.  LOVED it.  even Lee managed to sit and watch it all, and that's pretty impressive for him by evening.  tonight, we watched the Ice Worlds episode,  since Lee LOVES penguins.  Another hit.  Looking forward to an ocean one next, I think.  Or maybe caves...  But it seemed to tie into the biomes/habitats stuff quite we..
*for language arts, besides all the other stuff (both girls have spelling workbooks, grammar workbooks, required reading), we are making a big parts of speech poster.  The girls know them, so it's review for them.  Lee is just learning them.  They are all enjoying that, too.  Next week, we'll start with sentences.  Will move the girls up to paragraphs pretty quickly, but the review never hurts.  And we'll add in more parts of speech.  Need a new poster, as we filled our first up.  Did nouns (including a section on pronouns and one on proper nouns), verbs (including a list of all the helping verbs), adjectives and adverbs.  Next poster will have conjunctions, prepositions....what else....  And, as usual, Sasha aced her spelling test, so got to skip the weekly assignments. 
*math...Mariah struggles here some.  She's still working on multiplication, but it's finally clicked.  she really clicked this week on multiplication with carrying (they call it regrouping now).  We've been moving slowly here, because she NEEDS to get this block to add on the block called division, kwim?  Sasha is about ready to start multiplication.  And Lee jumped from Primer to Alpha (we use Math U See) and I'm testing him to see where to start.  So far, he blew away test 1 and 2...
*history, we are using a few things.  We are reading Story of the World vol 3 a few times a week.  Enjoying that.  Then we are also reading Little House in the Big Woods, and using the project pack from HandsofaChild.com for that.  Instead of using file folders, I'm using a bare book (from treetoppublishing.com, I think).  LOVE those!  Worth every penny.  I also have the Prairie Primer, so will add in stuff from there.  And I have the little House cookbook, so will probably do some of that. 
*Bible.  Our #1 priority.  we are using Step Into the Bible by Ruth Graham first.  We read the step of the day, and work on the memory verse.  Even Tony recites it, though he hasn't memorized it yet.  He's trying.  And he answers questions about the reading, which is adorable.  Then, we are using a catechism, and memorizing that.  Something new for me, but I love it.  And again, it's so cute to see the kids, especially the boys, reciting their answers.  I really love hearing "God" in Tonys little voice, when he's asked "Who is the first and the best of beings?"  They also work on copywork with their memory verses, with another bare book.  We use a LOT of bare books.
*family read aloud currently is Peter and the Starcatchers.  interesting book.  First time reading it for me, too.
i know there's more, but I'm wandering off mentally, so that'll do.  Just a little peek into our week.  Enjoy your week, and I'll be back soon, I hope!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Pretzel bark

so, today I decided to make a batch of pretzel bark, at Megans request.  Not that I didn't want it too, lol, just hadn't thought of it.  Yum, it's good stuff.  Thought I'd take some pics and post the instructions in case anyone wants to try it.  It's awfully easy, but you do need a candy thermometer and some basic candy know how.
First, you set up a cookie sheet with a single layer of pretzels.  Mine were unsalted (ick!) so I sprinkled some kosher salt around.  Could use sea salt, but all I have is Kosher, lol.

then melt 1 cup of butter in a pot.  Add one cup brown sugar, packed well.  Stir till it gets to light crack (290 thereabouts, better a couple degrees high than low).

pour it over the pretzels, moving the pot around so as to get it all over, as much as you can.  it will start to cool and set up quickly.  Fast, sprinkle on 1 cup chocolate chips, trying to get it pretty well spread around on there. 

The heat from the toffee will melt the chocolate.  Then spread it around with a rubber spatula, and sprinkle on some salt.  Stick it in the fridge to cool and harden and munch away.  Better a day or two later, though.  Yum!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

sewing WIN!

Got out to the sewing studio yesterday!  spent an hour or so cleaning it up, putting fabric away and such, then moved on to sewing.  Megan had designed a shirt she wanted, so I made it, and it turned out exactly as she had wanted.
I took an old tee of hers, and cut it up as a pattern.  Turned the short sleeves into long sleeves, lengthened the body, and presto!  Exactly what she had seen in her head, it seems.
am going to try something new here and try to add pics.  Wish me luck!