Saturday, February 27, 2010

What My Children are Reading: WATER by--Tara

We recently had the great excitement of winning this unique book from a giveaway at Live, Learn, Love.
Tara has a series of books that came about from the fact that she has a son with autism. These books, with their simple subject matter and beautiful, glossy 8x10 photographs, are perfect for encouraging verbal practice with our youngest learners.
Even if your toddlers and preschoolers have no learning difficulty, these books get your child talking and discussing the wonderful photos and subject matter.
The book Water begins with a lovely poem. Even my older children enjoyed this.
The poem is full of adjectives, which we talked about with my early elementary aged kids. (since we are learning about this in our homeschool work)
Also with my older kids, we discussed which adjectives described the different pictures, and also thought of other adjectives that could be used to describe water.
After enjoying our new book, we had some fun with some "magic" water tricks.
Of course, for the school kids, these could be science lessons, but I decided to concentrate on the littles, and just enjoyed the mystery and surprise of these activities.
The first activity was the magic pepper in water trick.
Simple fill a white bowl halfway with water and then liberally shake pepper on top of the water.
Give your child a toothpick which has been dipped into dishwashing liquid.
When the toothpick touches the center of the pepper, the pepper "magically" repels away from the toothpick.
This experiment has a big WOW factor for little ones. (Make sure you have a lot of pepper , because this is done over and over again--if your kids are anything like mine--especially is big kids notice. Even my teenagers had to give it a try. Make sure to rinse out the bowl before trying this a second time to remove any dish detergent residue.)
At the bottom of this post you can see a little video of this.
Our next magically trick was to try and pick up an ice cube with a piece of string.
Again, fill a bowl halfway with water and then add some ice cubes.
This also served as a time to discuss the different states of water.
Try as they may, Kimmy, Gracie and Luke could NOT pick up the ice cubes with string.
And then, it was time for the "magic" ingredient.
I took regular table salt and shook it over the ice cubes and strings.
Make sure the strings are laying across the ice as you add the salt.
TA-DA!! It worked. "Magic" worked again. You will notice that Luke brought up TWO ice cubes. One of those cubes were Kimmy's.
This caused problems! Loud--problems!!

So, Kimmy got to try again. We got her a new ice cube, placed her string perfectly on top of the cube, and then Luke poured a generous amount of salt onto the ice cube.

Kimmy added a little more salt for good luck.

Was she a proud and excited girl!!

Don't miss our great pepper experiment video!
Also don't miss checking out Books By Tara--you will be glad you did!!
You can check out many of our other water experiments that we have done in the past by clicking on this link.
Head on over to Mouse Grows, Mouse Learns for my What my Child is Reading posts.

Friday, February 26, 2010

God always sends sunshine after the storm.....

Almost 2 and 1/2 feet of snow fell over the last 24 hours.
What a beautiful, winter wonderland!!
God is Good!!
And then another blessing was sent our way----
the sun began to shine and the temperature reach 40 degrees.

A perfect afternoon for kids to head outside and blow the germs off their little bodies!!

The perfect day for snowmen and snowcaves.

"You can make it through, Mark!!! Keep digging."

Luke waged a snowy war. His most popular past-time lately.

Pretty, sun kissed Gracie.

We really need to get some sleds!!
We do live in the north afterall!
Rolling down the hill just isn't the same as sledding.

Mark is beginning to look soooo old to me! Ten years old--it is hard to believe.

Glorious sunshine on pure-white snow!!

"Help warm up Kimmy's cheeks, Laura!"

Happy Snowday every one!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Awakening: by Claudia Cangilla McAdam: a review of a remarkable book

If you are looking for the perfect book for your teenage daughter to read during this Lenten season, I have found it.

Awakening by Claudia Cangilla McAdam is the story of a teenage girl, transformed, during an illness, back into the time of Jesus, on the Wednesday of Holy Week.

In the present time, the main character, Ronnie, has faced a devastating lose and is questioning the reasons for sacrifice and death. When she awakens in the year 33 AD she realizes it is her chance to stop the Crucifixtion of Christ. She can not make sense out of the fact that there is any reason for suffering and self-sacrifice, but as she accompanies Jesus on His path throughout Holy Week, she begins to realize why Jesus had to die.

This book is an easy read for a teenager, and is a real page turner. I read it in just a couple of sittings and thoroughly enjoyed it. It would make a perfect Holy Week read aloud to enjoy as a family. Even children as young as 9 or 10 can get a lot out of this book, especially as a read aloud. Because the book follows Scripture closely, there are many aspects of the Passion to talk about as you read it as a family.

This review was written as part of the Catholic Book Reviewer program from the Catholic Company. Visit the Catholic Company to find more information on Awakening.

Monday, February 22, 2010

2010 Winter Olympic Lapbook: It's Growing....

We have actually had to add another file folder to our totally awesome Winter Olympic lapbook. I have found so many extra items around the internet that we were running out of Olympic room! Above, Gracie is making a little booklet of the Canadian flag. I have added quite a bit about Canada to our lapbook from the HomeschoolShare Olympic elements.

If you don't have a paper cutter, they make lapbooking sooooo much easier, and the kids love using it!

Luke is working on an Olympic word wheel I found at Enchanted Learning.
This word wheel is a perfect addition to the lapbook.
Our word wheel and Canadian flag fold.
Tomorrow we begin to add the gold medal winning countries to our event's fold.
We are going to draw the flags of the winning countries into these elements.
I have devoted a lot of space to the study of Canada.
These were also found on Homeschool Share.
Here is the link to some Canadian animal and definition cards.
We used my I-pod to listen to Mark and Grace's names in French.
The printables for the French name and favorite sport are here.
Becky was over today and made a printable of all of our names in Greek.
I love this addition to the lapbook.
And as I do with all our lapbooks, I add some of our photos right into the book.
This makes it especially fun to look back on the fun we had enjoying our latest subject.
Check out our previous Olympic posts

Sunday, February 21, 2010

New Lego fun--Makes My Monday

Quiet Sunday afternoons Make My Mondays---but I think kids playing quietly on Sunday afternoon make my whole week!!

I ran to the store this afternoon and saw the cutest Legos ever!! Little Toy Story army men and a jeep. They have other Toy Story Legos out their now, but I think these are the best.

These are the best, most sturdy army men my boys have ever had---even 4 year old Luke could put them together by himself.

Now all the Lego people have to do is sell them by the 100 pack!!

I didn't want to leave the little princess out of the fun, and it just happened there was a bucket of pink legos--perfect for the princess in the house.

Kimmy even dressed for the occasion!!

What's Makes Your Monday? Visit Twinfatuation and share in the fun!!

A Blast From the Past--Old Forge-1996

The four oldest: from left-Matt, Patrick, Daniel and Rebecca.
On the "big rock" in the yard of the family camp in Old Forge, New York-1996.
What wonderful days gone by, and now wonderful memories!!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Olympic Rings chocolate chip cookie brownies

I made a double batch of chocolate chip cookie dough this afternoon , and since this is Olympic week, we decorated our giant cookie with the Olympic rings.
Kim and Luke seperated the colors and then got to eat the orange, since there is no orange in the Olympic Rings.
Before baking.
This is my regular Nestle toll house cookie recipe from the back of the chocolate chip package.
I doubled it, used a bag of semi sweet choc. chips and milk choc. chips, baked it in a double sized cake pan at 375 degrees for about 35 minutes.
Make sure you don't push the M&M's into the cookie dough. If you do, they seem to disappear into the dough when it cooks. Just lightly place the M&M's onto the top of the dough.
That's one heavy, giant cookie brownie!!!
Here, Kim and Luke were taking it to show Daddy.
We are loving the Olympics.
Check out some of our other activities:
Silly Kimmy is here
preschool crafts and book are here
Silly fun is here
Our lapbook part 1 is here