Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Neighborhood Nature Walk 5/11

I have to be honest. I have been having Nature Study Guilt.

I get a tad giddy while reading blog posts featuring families who faithfully keep and draw in nature journals and I admire the beautiful sights they see as they tramp off into the wilds near where they live almost daily.

Me? We take walks around the block in our suburban neighborhood as I dutifully push our double jogging stroller, which is always full to the brim with children...or visit a local park and playground to burn off the kids' excess energy. We do spend at least a few times outdoors during the week, especially when the weather is cooler. Our yards (front or back) are the next best choice when someone is napping and we can't all go out together. We've caught bugs and dug weeds and sat in the nice cool air. When we are really fortunate, we venture to the nearby desert and take a hike or have a picnic, thanks to the efforts of my desert-loving husband.

Having admitted that, I feel a bit lighter! Now, I can say with acceptance and delight: Our nature studies have been mostly in the nature we find on our walks about the neighborhood lately or near our home. It's not too exciting, and we don't stop to sketch what we see, but it is enough for now and enjoyable. I just have to remind myself to relax and enjoy this life stage sometimes :-)

 It has been fun to discover and delight in some simple finds, like the grapevines heavy with bunches of tiny grapes in the alley near our street.

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Monday, May 23, 2011

Socialization in Homeschool

I thought Joyce Kinmont covered this topic well in this short video below. It's always validating to hear from someone who knows what they are talking about that there is nothing to fear about this topic as homeschoolers. I like how she said, "neither homeschooling, nor the absence of public schooling, causes children to be awkward or socially inept....to accept such a premise is to say that families are actually bad for children and that the state is the better parent."

What do you think?


{Visit the blog to view the video if you are reading this as an e-mail/reader}




Joyce Kinmont of ldshea.org speaks about homeschool and socialization
through an LDS perspective. An article on this topic that she wrote can be found HERE.
More videos on their YouTube channel is HERE.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Grasshopper

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She was laughing at me chase this bug around the yard, while I was trying to catch it. Silly Mom!

I love this photo with her chubby arms and hands (awww!!) and how she's intently staring at 'that hoppy thing' in the container.

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Saturday, May 14, 2011

Bein' Silly :-)

Zombie hat...
"braaaiiiinnnnsssss!"

{Or 'how zombies suck out your brains'}


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Aren't these guys funny? Love 'em--they just make me laugh!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Australia was Awesome!

Sunrise in Sydney, the harbor view from our room. The neat castle-like building is the music conservatory.

Having never been to Australia before, I was not quite sure what to expect. I have been to cities in Spain, Peru, Mexico, and to cities like L.A., Seattle, Portland and San Francisco on the West Coast. But Sydney was different from them all!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Mother, You are Magnificent!

 I am linking up with A Wise Woman Builds Her Home today to celebrate our efforts as mothers in honor of Mother's Day. I think of all the women who give and love so much and thank you for your examples to me, especially my own mother and the special mother who raised my husband.

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I wrote this poem in response to the brief insights I get in between folding laundry, nursing my babies, and cooking lunch. I love being a mother, and when it's hard, I read this to remind myself that everything counts and the good days always make up for the bad ones.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

What's gooey on the inside and crispy on the outside?

introducing....Ham and Cheese Thingy!

Uh...couldn't really think of a great name for this invention.

But it was goooooood. My son, in this photo, said we should have these at a party!
I agree. They remind of me of 'hot pockets', only they tasted much better.

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I don't think these would make the 'healthy foods' list, but they are fun to make! And to eat. It all started with some egg roll wrappers in a package in the fridge I needed to use up. I didn't want to just throw them away. (They were nearing the expiration date)

So, I chopped up some cooked ham, putting a small amount on a wrapper and then sprinkled on some shredded cheddar cheese and rolled it up. I fried them in about 1/2" of canola oil in a cast iron skillet on high heat for about 1 minute and then turned them so they browned on both sides. After cooling a bit, my son and I bit into one a piece, looked at each other, and then grabbed another to munch on. Yum!


Lessons in Mud and Water

Some of the best lessons (and childhood memories) are free and freely discovered...

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The kids are busy building dams and then flooding them in the backyard.


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Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Do Your Own 'Generations Project'!

Have you noticed the theme of family history in a couple shows lately?

There's "Who Do You Think You Are" on NBC, which features a celebrity in each episode and takes the viewer along on that person's discovery of a branch of their family tree, with the help of genealogy experts.

Some of the celebs include Matthew Broderick, Lisa Kudrow, Gwyneth Paltrow, Ashley Judd, Emmett  Smith, Spike Lee, Sarah Jessica Parker, Brooke Shields, and Tim McGraw, to name a few. If you haven't seen these episodes, they are completely fascinating! Season 1 and 2 are available to watch online. I need to catch up on Season 2!

The Sensitive Side of Boys

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The family is all tucked in and 'sleeping' for the night.

Ever since our eldest son was about 3 or 4 years old, he has played a version of a game he calls "family". It is a lot like 'playing house'. At that age, he would recruit anyone who came to our home to play this game with him. Now, he has lots of built-in friends, also known as younger siblings, to share this game with.

He and his little brothers have stuffed animals 'be' family members, like Mom, Dad, brother, sister, and family pets. Usually the Mom is pregnant and expecting a new "baby" :-) Sometimes the boys like to play midwife and "help" the baby out and then take care of the Mommy toy and baby toy and tuck them into bed. It's very sweet and so genuinely innocent.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Pizza!



Mmmmmmmm!

This was the first pizza recipe I have made (and there have been several over the years!) that all my kids ate and really, really liked. In fact, when I was telling my oldest son that I was considering including this recipe in our family collection of recipes, he agreed it was a good idea...and then tentatively asked, "Can you erase the other pizza recipes?" Hahahaha...why, yes. Yes, I can...because this one is definitely a keeper!

I love this recipe because, for the dough, you only need a few ingredients: flour, salt, yeast, and warm water. That's it!