Istanbul Holidays

We have Istanbul airport after a long flight. hostesses were very nice and polite and courteous and they offered us unlimited tea and coffee. We went by private vehicle special boutique hotel in Old City Sultanahmet. Very spacious and had a spacious room. The hotel had a great view of the sea and the Bosphorus. In the morning we did here was very relaxing and nice jacuzzi and a massage. We make all natural and organic breakfast and a morning tea and coffee we drank. We met our tour guide at the hotel lobby in the morning. Together we went to Sultanahmet square and private istanbul tours began. Only a portion of the city is part of the European continent asia Istanbul. tanbul Has been the capital of culture in 2010 dnya.

Istanbul is divided into the Roman Empire and became the capital of the eastern Roman empire. East King Constantine of Rome made ​​a city with its own name. Istanbul environment surrounded by huge walls and sheltered. Istanbul are decorated with a king-way ranging aksaray first made ​​of marble statues and pillars in Sultanahmet Square. Timely Kosntant is made Hippodrome. Hippodrome and the Snake Shot 2 obelisk brought from Egypt and was used as the arena here. Hippodrome had been made on behalf of Sultan ahmet 1609 Blue mosque is made with classical Ottoman architecture. 6 very slender minarets and a huge dome. Finally, the fountain was built by the Ottoman sultan gift of getting the German emperor.

A gift humbling, honoring and happy. At dance today we prayed with fervor, we stepped into scripture and let it cover us. Speaking out loud in prayer is a humbling gift. Speaking words from the heart, making fears known, asking for help, those are things that should humble you. A gift of honor was that we got to worship with dance. We took steps and gave them to Jesus, we sang with our feet and praised with our bodies. A gift that made me happy was this time, this small piece of day that is mine to learn and sing and dance.

Fun Friday {Sherpa house and Fall leaves}

We had to make a morning visit to the ortho to fix one of Bethany’s brackets, they weren’t open when we arrived, so we went back home and did some school. Bethany had just enough time to finish one Biology assignment. The ortho didn’t take too long, then it was back home for a Geometry test. Grace and Hannah worked on Lit and some other things. We left the house and went to Golden to meet James for lunch at Sherpa house. Their buffet and chai are so good, we’re always willing to take a lunch break there. We sat outside, it was cloudy and the temp was cool, but nice. After lunch we went back home to finish up school. Then Grace went with me to Daniel’s park to check out the scrub oak. My camera ran out of batteries after just 2 pics, I knew I should have packed more.

We walked around a bit, then headed to the store to get dinner stuff. Grace is making a dessert from a book she got titled ‘Red Velvet Cupcake Murder’, it’s a mystery book and has recipes placed here and there. She’s making Blackberry brownies.

Black berry brownies

Brownie mix
1/2 c blackberry jam
1/2 c salted butter
1 c sugar
1/3 c cream
1/2 c chocolate chips
1 tsp vanilla

Make brownie mix according to directions. Cool on stove for 10 min. Heat jam in microwave for 30 seconds, pour over top of brownie and spread out with spatula. Place in fridge for 30 minutes. Make frosting by mixing butter, sugar and cream to a boil, then lower to medium and cook for 2 min. Add in the chocolate chips, stir, then remove pan from heat and stir in vanilla extract. Pour the frosting over brownie and stick back into fridge for 30 min. Serve after that.

Hannah is making lemon chicken with lemon cream pasta.

Lemon chicken

4 skinned and boned chicken breasts (about 1 1/2 lb.) $
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/3 cup all-purpose flour $
4 tablespoons butter, divided $
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided $
1/4 cup chicken broth $
1/4 cup lemon juice
8 lemon slices
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley (or rosemary)
Garnish: lemon slices

1. Cut each chicken breast in half lengthwise. Place chicken between 2 sheets of heavy-duty plastic wrap; flatten to 1/4-inch thickness, using a rolling pin or flat side of a meat mallet. Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper. Lightly dredge chicken in flour, shaking off excess.

2. Melt 1 Tbsp. butter with 1 Tbsp. olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Cook half of chicken in skillet 2 to 3 minutes on each side or until golden brown and done. Transfer chicken to a serving platter, and keep warm. Repeat procedure with 1 Tbsp. butter and remaining olive oil and chicken.

3. Add broth and lemon juice to skillet, and cook 1 to 2 minutes or until sauce is slightly thickened, stirring to loosen particles from bottom of skillet. Add 8 lemon slices.

4. Remove skillet from heat; add parsley and remaining 2 Tbsp. butter, and stir until butter melts. Pour sauce over chicken. Serve immediately. Garnish, if desired.

Lemon cream pasta

Coarse salt and ground pepper
1 pound thin spaghetti
1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 shallots, minced
1 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest, plus 2 tablespoons lemon juice (from 1 lemon)

In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta according to package instructions. Reserve 1 cup pasta water; drain pasta and return to pot. Meanwhile, in a small pot, heat oil over medium. Add shallots, season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring, until tender, 4 minutes. Add cream and lemon zest. Bring to a boil and cook until slightly thickened, 8 minutes. Add lemon juice and season to taste with salt and pepper. Pour cream sauce over pasta and toss, adding enough pasta water to create a thin sauce that coats pasta.

Back at home we went on a leaf walk, here are the leaves on our street.

Kids Say The Darndest Things

This blog will have some foul language, be warned!

Ya know, I am certainly not a perfect mother…far from it, in fact!  I try the very best I can, but I make mistakes.  One of those mistakes *may* be my potty mouth.  (I promise, I am working on it.)

Last year, my husband and I took Abrianna and Charlotte to a college football game.  On our way to the game my husband and I had a mild dispute about what lane he should be in to park (I was right by the way ;) ).  Abrianna chimed in from the backseat and said, “Don’t worry, mommy, we can leave daddy here while we go to the game”.  My husband asked her why we would leave him, to which she replied, “Because you are being an asshole”.

Yup!  That one is my fault.  I definitely recall calling him that a time or two.  Oops!  Thank goodness my husband is a super patient person and puts up with my shenanigans.

Let us all fast forward to today.  For the most part Abrianna and Charlotte get along extremely well, but they are 2 and 4 and occasionally have screaming matches.  One of those disputes happened today.

Today Charlotte called Abrianna a “stinker head”.  I told her to please stop calling Abrianna a “stinker head”.  In all seriousness, she turns to me and says, “I called her a stinker head, not a fucker head.  Mommy, you are a fucker head”.

WHAT?!?!?!?  This one is NOT me!  I SWEAR!

You know, at two, this is amusing…funny, in fact.  I better change my ways real quick, because it won’t be so amusing for long.

What have your children said to make you laugh and cringe?

Thanks for following!

-Nikki

Fall Homeschooling

Fall is, without a doubt, my favorite time of year.  Bonfires, hoodies, pumpkin patches, football, and the beautiful scenery from the leaves changing colors are some of my very favorite things.  It is also my favorite season educationally.  It seems there is a new learning opportunity around every corner.

Believe me, we have taken full advantage of all the opportunities.  AND Pinterest has allowed us even more opportunities than we could imagine.  I like to think of myself as a (somewhat) creative person, but who needs to be creative when you have Pinterest…where was this site when I was getting married? Oh well, that’s another topic.

I decided to take the entire month of October and fully devote our curriculum to Fall and Halloween activities.  The ideas are endless!!!

One thing I am especially loving about homeschooling is the flexibility.  Yesterday was a beautiful day, so instead of sitting inside, we headed to the zoo.  Since we frequent the zoo, and are familiar with most of the animals, I decided to change up our routine.

Our first stop was Rio 2 in 4D.  CAVEAT: Do NOT take two 4 year olds and a 2 year old to see a 4D movie by yourself.  The physical effects WILL scare them!  :)

Luckily, it only lasted 15-20 minutes and we were able to run out of the theatre as quickly as possible.  Our next stop was the bird show!  The actual show is closed for the season, but my cousin works with the birds and gave us a behind the scene tour.

This is Charlie, isn’t he the cutest?!  My girls are familiar with Charlie because he is in the actual bird show; they were very excited and absolutely loved meeting him.  You could tell Charlie loved the attention just as much.

If you live in the Cincinnati area, you need to visit the Cincinnati Zoo and the Bird Show.  We are lucky to have such an incredible zoo so close to home.

Today we had another day packed full of activities.  I found these next two math ideas on Pinterest.  The Paint By Number activity (mominspiredlife.com) fit perfectly into our current curriculum.  Abriannna is working on identifying numbers 11-20 and Charlotte is working on identifying numbers 1-10.  They used a Q-tip to paint each number a different color.

Thehomeschoolden.BlogSpot.com had a similar activity to the popcorn activity below; I changed it up, and Abrianna chose a number and wrote it on bottom of the paper. I wrote the numbers in for Charlotte and she traced over them. Next, they counted out that many pieces of popcorn to glue on the paper.  This was a spur of the moment activity.  You could really add a lot more to it. It was also a tasty snack. :)

I originally made this work for Charlotte, but Abrianna enjoyed it so much I made it for her too.  I simply wrote each letter of their name on a pumpkin, and I also wrote their names on a piece of paper, so they had a visual to follow.  Charlotte is still working on spelling her name, so she needs the visual, but to make the work more challenging for older children you can simply remove it and let them practice putting the letters in order by memory.

Charlotte was sleeping when I put our Halloween sensory work together.  I am going to leave it out the remainder of the month because sensory is always popular in this house.  Everything in the bowls was from the Dollar Tree.  I added some plastic bugs, skeletons, skulls, pumpkin window stickers and paper ”worms”.  Abrianna sorted the black items from the white and also practiced scooping the items from one bowl to the other.

We made these cute little monsters out of pom-poms.  I think they turned out really cute.A couple weeks ago we visited a pumpkin patch and found Indian corn.  I thought it would be great for removing kernels with tweezers for fine motor skills and they could also sort the kernels by color.  The idea may have been good, but those little kernels were stuck in there like nothing else.  The girls were annoyed after several minutes of trying and eventually resorted to using their fingers.  Last, but certainly not least was our PUMPKIN INVESTIGATION.  This was another Pinterest find from preschoollessonplans.info (I was unable to click on the actual link.  A “suspicious link” warning popped up when I tried).  We had so much fun doing this activity.

The girls picked their pumpkin at the same pumpkin patch where we purchased the corn and were anxious to turn it in to a jack-o-lantern.  They started by washing off all the dirt.  We had several water spills during this process!  Messiness is a sign of learning…:)!

We used descriptive words to discuss the outside of the pumpkin and, later, the inside of the pumpkin.  The girls made their best guesses on how many seeds their pumpkin would have, and then we counted (each and every :/) seed to see how close their guesses came to the actual number. 

At the end they each drew the face of their choice on the pumpkin.  I was not prepared, and did not have pumpkin carving utensils, so Mama had to carve the pumpkin with a steak knife…whatever works, right?!This was the finished product!

What is your favorite fall activity or tradition?

Thank you so much for following!

Nikki

First Week Homeschooling

If you asked me a couple years ago if we would be a homeschooling family, my answer would have been NO!  I honestly never believed that it would even be an option for us.
Abrianna started a Montessori toddler program when she was two years old.  Although, she had separation anxiety and cried EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. when she had to get out of the car, it was the perfect fit for her.  She thrived having the freedom of choice, movement and independence that most Montessori schools offer.  She walked out of school every day with a smile on her face and an abundance of stories about her day.

She continued the next year at the same Montessori school, and this experience was even better than the last year.  I can, honestly, not say one negative thing about the year.  My daughter ended the school year a confident, independent and well adjusted child.

Unfortunately, we were driving quite a distance to send her to school every day and tuition was beyond our means.  Financially, we were unable to send her back another year.  I researched and observed many local Montessori schools and decided on a small Preschool/Kindergarten program close to our house.

You know the saying “everything happens for a reason”?!  I truly believe that quote is true in most situations.  This summer I rearranged our downstairs basement so I could work with my two year old, Charlotte, at home since this new school did not offer a toddler program.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The girls both  begged me to go down to “school” during the summer.  Even still, homeschooling never entered my mind, until I happened upon a homeschooling blog while looking for activities to do with the girls.

It was almost like a light went off in my head…a calling.  I tend to over think and question the decisions in my life, but I delved into researching this idea.  Homeschooling was everything I wanted for my family (I will get into the reasons later), and to my overwhelming relief, my husband, Rob, was also supportive.

As I mentioned earlier, I like to overthink my decisions, so we decided to see how the homeschooling year went with Charlotte before we made any rash decisions.  That would give me enough time to gather all my thoughts and resources and allow Abrianna to finish preschool in a Montessori environment.

Our excitement for her new school came to a screeching halt when we noticed our easy going, well adjusted child’s personality changing.  She was an emotional wreck every afternoon once school started.  Without getting into too much detail, it was not what we were accustomed to.  After two months we decided it was time to remove her from the situation.

Almost immediately after removing her, her attitude changed back to the sweet, bubbly little girl that we were missing for two months.  I still was not convinced that I would homeschool both children this year.  I observed several more schools, but ultimately decided that homeschool was the most ideal situation for all of us.

We have only been homeschooling for a week, but it was an incredible week.  I am well aware that not every week will be this fantastic…we will have our struggles, but I am so happy that I put my inner fears aside to start this journey.  If for some reason homeschooling does not work for us, I can look back and say we gave it a shot.

Thankfully, our homeschool room was already organized and had a sufficient amount of works, so the girls could begin learning while I further prepared.  I ordered Hooked On Phonics and Everyday Mathematics for Abrianna, but plan on building my own curriculum for most of the subjects (I will get into more detail in a future blog).

Thank you so much for reading my very first blog post.  I hope you stick around to see what adventures we get ourselves in to.  I will leave you with some pictures of our first week of homeschool:

 

 

 

 

 

(Sorry for the poor photo quality…)

October

free days, fests and events are up under the ‘Things to do in Denver’ page.

Monday

I always feel rushed on Monday’s now that dance starts at 1. We should be done with school by 12, have lunch and be out the door by 12:40, but I’ve been having trouble doing that. Our on-line school was off and on this morning, but it’s always like that during count week (when the kids who are on-line are counted for attendance purposes.) It gets worse on 10/1, the actual count day and I heard a theory that people who don’t like on-line schools are flooding the servers bringing them down, but I think that’s just a theory. More likely is the fact that every kid using K12 is actually logging on and doing their work on-line, thus overloading the server (because not all of the work is on-line, but during count week you need to be on-line doing items that are only found on-line…if that makes sense.)

Our homework from last week for dance was to look at the old and new covenant from 2 Corinthians 3. In the old covenant the letter of the law was written in stone, the glory from the Lord was fleeting and mortal, a veil was put over the heart, there was death at the end. In the new covenant the Spirit of Christ is written on our hearts, the glory is eternal, a veil is lifted and there if life at the end. This week we were talking about the tearing of the veil at the temple when Jesus died. It is no coincidence that the hours of darkness that filled the earth were the same hours the the priest was preparing the lamb for the sacrifice on the day of atonement. When the priest was ready to slaughter the lamb, Jesus cried, ‘It is finished’ and the veil at the temple separating the Holy of Holies was torn in two. There was no more need for a sacrifice to cover sins, it was done.

We got started on our dances this week, my class has ‘Blessed Redeemer’ by Casting Crowns. Hannah’s song is called ‘Day after Day’ and Grace doesn’t know the name of her song. We were going to play tennis after dance, but a storm rolled in and it rained hard. Streets were flooding and the pond by the dog park was way over its banks, that’s what happens here when we get a lot of rain in a short amount of time. It continued to rain all evening, we went to the gym to swim and it was raining when we got out. I don’t mind the rain, I hope it rains all night so that it is sunny tomorrow for the park.

Dance day

Back to school. Bethany was doing English today, lots of writing. Grace was doing Math and History. Hannah was reading and did some Math. We tried on ballet shoes and found that Hannah needed to wear Grace’s and Grace needs new ones, but for today she was wearing Bethany’s old ones. Our dance times moved, so now we need to be there at 1 and 2 instead of 3 and 4.

I had class first, there were 3 other ladies in it. So, a really small class. I think the date came faster than people were expecting, so maybe we will have a few more people by next week. Grace’s class is huge, 13 kids, I think a few of them might get moved to another class because of their age. Hannah’s class has 11, which is also pretty big. The theme of this session is ‘knowing truth’. We were talking today about two truths of God, that He is infinitely awesome and that He is intimately approachable. We started with Romans 8:31-32 Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. 32 Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” Our homework is to list who God is and what He has done, so that’s going to be a long list.

(Can’t read her shirt? It says, ‘I am currently unsupervised. I know, it freaks me out too. But the possibilities are endless!’)

Hannah’s homework was to make a poem about who God is, so far she’s been writing down things she knows about God like: He never lies, He is bigger than the mountains, He doesn’t have to stretch or do the splits (I’m guessing she doesn’t like the new stretches and splits she’s doing in class.) I’m thinking the ‘never has to stretch’ isn’t going to make it into the poem…mainly because I’m pretty sure that Jesus stretched when he woke up in the morning.

Grace has to find a verse on who God is, that is a pretty easy task.

Bethany had an ortho appointment and I went by to get the oil changed in the car. They thought I was back too early, but we did just travel about 3,000 miles, so I thought the car might like a new air filter, new wipers and new oil.

It was TNO tonight, so I had dinner at Whole foods while James took the girls to the mall. Some plans for the week: park day, a visit to the botanic gardens, scientific illustrating with professors as guides at CU and for the weekend maybe an Oktoberfest or a sugar beet fest.

Sunday

We went to church, then took a picnic lunch to Flyin’ B park. The water was so clear we could see the fish. Most of them were small, but we did see one big fish that was a little wary of the bread we were throwing in. I think that’s because it’s a catch and release pond, so who knows how many times he got caught that day. We went on the other side of the pond to see if there were any bullfrogs, there were and he heard us coming and splashed into the pond. The crabapple trees were so full they were bending over and the bottom limbs were touching the ground. My jelly turned out good, so I don’t need to make any more, but it was tempting. Really though, how much crabapple jelly does one need?

I took a nap in the afternoon, James made tacos for dinner, we watched a Charlie Brown movie and called it a night.