Friday, April 30, 2010

Homemade butter and cornbread-prairie fun continues

We shook and shook heavy cream this morning, and turned it into delicious butter.
It has been a few years since we had done this, and boy, I don't know how I can forget how much shaking it actually takes to make the transformation into butter.
But, we persevered, and finally the butter appeared.
We did learn that during westward expansion, during the wagon trains, the pioneers would simply hang the cream in a bucket inside the wagon, and the bouncing and bumping from the rough terrain would turn the cream into butter by the end of the day---now "that is SMART"---as Gracie stated after shaking and shaking and shaking!
The butter and buttermilk we got from 16 ounces of heavy cream.
Gracie learned that she LOVES buttermilk---Mark tried and disliked it, which made the littler kids not even want to try it.
After making the butter, we moved on to another prairie favorite--corn bread.

Some loved it!!!
Some did not!!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Monday, April 26, 2010

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Father and Son--Makes My Monday

It was the great spring clean-up at Grandma and Grandpa's house this past weekend.
The perfect time for Dad to teach Mark how to drive the riding lawnmower.

These two fellows sure Make My Monday.
Come share at Twinfatuation.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Little Duckie Duddle

Inspired by the cousins' new ducklings, which you can see here, is Grandpa H. singing Little Duckie Duddle, while Grandma provides backup dancing!!

Only the best Grandparents would perform for the kids like this!!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Prairie Sunbonnets

The little girls are all ready to tackle the prairie!!

Lessons From Little House on the Prairie

We are traveling westward as we learn about the pioneers, and our main "lesson book" is Little House on the Prairie.
I had visions of sweet lessons and outdoor learning and the strengthening of family ties.
I didn't realize what the favorite "lesson" would be. As the kids played "Little House" outdoors, they built fires, explored the "prairie" and yes, Luke, portraying Mr. Edwards, taught Kimmy how to spit.
He was so proud to show his exceptional skills!
"This is how you do it, Kim!"
I think Kimmy's little person knows how to spit now also!!
I wonder what the next "favorite" activity the kids will discover?

Wordless Wednesday

A trout lily on Mt. Hope

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Mark's one match "Little House" campfire

"When the space was clear of grass, Pa laid a handful of dry grass in its center.
From the creek bottoms he brought an armful of twigs and dead wood.
He laid small twigs and larger twigs and then the wood on the handful of dry grass, and he lighted the grass.
The fire crackled merrily inside the ring of bare ground that it couldn't get out of."
from Little House on the Prairie

"Dad, did you hear that?"

A Carnation Rainbow

Our liquid rainbow in jars.

I just love how this looks!
Add white carnations.
Wait about a week, and voia!!
A carnation rainbow (I wish our orange came out orange---but we are happy!)

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Makes My Monday--Heading West!!

Can you tell what we are beginning to study?
Yep, we're "heading west" this week!
Wishing ourselves happy trails and happy learning.
Join us with sharing "Makes My Monday" at Twinfatuation.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Looking at the sky on Friday

Luke (4) yelled when we were outside yesterday, "Look at that jet!! Take its picture!!"
I did-and I love the results!
Check out more sky photos at CrazyWorkingMom.

Forget Me Not--a book review

Forget Me Not--by Vicki Hinze

A mother who cannot face her future.

Crossroads Crisis Center owner Benjamin Brandt was a content man—in his faith, his work, and his family. Then in a flash, everything he loved was snatched away. His wife and son were murdered, and grief-stricken Ben lost faith. Determination to find their killers keeps him going, but after three years of dead ends and torment, his hope is dying too. Why had he survived? He’d failed to protect his family.

Now, a mysterious woman appears at Crossroads seeking answers and help—a victim who eerily resembles Ben’s deceased wife, Susan. A woman robbed of her identity, her life, of everything except her faith—and Susan’s necklace.

The connections between the two women mount, exceeding coincidence, and to keep the truth hidden, someone is willing to kill. Finding out who and why turns Ben and the mystery woman’s situation from dangerous to deadly. Their only hope for survival is to work together, trust each other, and face whatever they discover head on, no matter how painful. But will that be enough to save their lives and heal their tattered hearts

Vicki Hinze is an award-winning author of twenty-three novels, three nonfiction books, and hundreds of articles. Selected for Who’s Who in America in 2004 as a writer and educator, Hinze is active in Romance Writers of America and serves as a Vice President on the International Thriller Writers Board of Directors. Vicki lives in Florida with her artist husband, a retired Air Force Lieutenant Colonel. Visit to learn more about Vicki’s books, blogs, and writing programs.

I just loved this book---it kept me up for quite a few nights in a row when I would say to myself, "I am going to read just one more page!"
This page turner is for anyone who loves a mystery!
Forget Me Not was provided to me at no charge from Waterbrook Multnomah.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Sunshine + Crayons + Magnifying Glasses = Fun!!

After I discovered Grace and Mark with magnifying glasses outside trying to set leaves on fire, I channeled their enegry (and the sun's energy) into a art/science project.
The temperature was only in the 50's today, but the sun was strong enough to melt some crayons.
We usually do this activity on rocks, but since we have't collected smooth Lake Ontario rocks yet this year, I resorted to giving the kids paper, knowing full well the excitement the anticipated smoke would cause.
I just love the shadow in this photo.
Yes, this is my only grater---my favorite grater---an exceptionally wonderful grater---but it gave its life in the name of homeschooling fun. (But, I do believe there is a chance that if I put it in the oven at about 200 degrees, the crayon with melt and be able to be wiped right off)
Again, I love this shadow!!
YES!!! Luke melted some crayon and made some smoke--- a 4 year old's idea of perfect science class!!
Say cheese, Kim!!