Fun Friday {cafe’ and MOA}

Some of this might not be fun, but here is what we’re up to in school: Hannah is reading a story about George Washington, working on vocabulary, predicate adjectives and simple predicates, multiplication and division and is reading about explorers for History. Grace is working on linear equations and graphing, reading short stories from O. Henry and the like, doing grammar, vocabulary and reading about South America for Social Studies. Bethany is working on kites, rhombi, and squares in Geometry, has a project for Music, is looking at the economy for Government, she only has one more item in English before the semester final and there isn’t much left to do in her other courses before finals.

For lunch we went to the cafe’ and they had jambalaya soup, so good. They did not have the meatball sandwich today, so Hannah had to choose something else to eat (she picked the turkey wrap.) All the food is good there and you get to help out someone else when you donate for your meal, so it’s a win-win. After that we went to the MOA to see the Mute Earth exhibit. The artist contemplated what sound the earth makes, what does rain sound like, how can you describe wind if you can’t hear it or feel it? So, here are some of the sculptures.

The girls liked the Forest room, they tried to sneak past the wires without moving them.

Most of the stuff that ends up here is abstract, but we thought this exhibit was very interesting.

Rewind {Ft. Lauderdale}

One thing that stinks about trying to arrange a flight after the cruise ship comes in is that you have two choices – make a mad dash from the ship and try to catch the early flight, or spend the whole day waiting on an evening flight. We decided to do the latter, but we got a hotel room near the beach. This way we had a place to eat lunch, shower, swim and rest. As soon as we got checked in we headed to the beach.

The water was pretty calm as we waded closer and closer to this pelican.

We found some shells and then headed back to the hotel pool.

The water there was nice and warm and we had a good time floating around until lunch. The restaurant attached to the hotel had an outdoor area and they were cool with you eating there with swimsuits on, so we did that. Then we went back to the room to change and watch TV. Pretty soon it was time to head to the airport, which was packed. We found some seats and waited for our flight. The flight was delayed because it needed to refuel, but I’d rather be on a plane that has enough fuel. I had finally managed to download some books onto my Nook before we left, so I had 2 books and 2 audio books ready for the flight. I think I fell asleep at some point. We arrived home at 1 am and after checking on Cutie, everyone went to bed.

When we woke up in the morning we went to pick up Maisy. Heather, the lady watching her, said that Maisy had started to chill by day two, which means that it only took Maisy 2 days to forget us. It took her about 4 seconds to recognize us when we came to pick her up. She looked at us and then finally a small spark went off in her brain and you could see her eyes light up – my people! My people have come back for me! She would not stop jumping up and licking us for the next few minutes. Crazy dog. Back at home Maisy ran around like a fruit loop, ran outside and chased her squirrel and then came in and made the cat hiss….all was right with the world. We spent the morning unpacking, doing laundry and figuring out dinner. So far we’ve only had a little bit of the room spinning (which we call cruise withdrawal), I suspect that it might take another day for us to start feeling that again, or maybe it’s true what people have said and the more you cruise the less likely you are to feel that after effect.

Now we’re ready for some snow!

The Cay

The best part of the trip, an island with nothing to do but swim.

New island

Today we’ll be on Grand Bahama island, looking forward to the beach and Grum ma’s house.

Happy Reformation Day!

“If you want to change the world, pick up your pen and write.”
― Martin Luther


But seriously, without Martin Luther tacking his theses to the door that day, we’d have no Protestant reformation. The Bible would have taken longer to get into the people’s hands (I’m sure that it would have happened anyway, but his translation of the Bible into German set the stage for the common people to be able to read the scriptures themselves.) We’d still be talking Latin in church. We’d be held to tradition instead of what is Biblical. We’d think that it’s by good works rather than grace that we are able to attain salvation.

Did you know that he wrote hymns? Here is just one of them (and just the first verse.)

A mighty fortress is our God

A mighty fortress is our God,
a bulwark never failing;
our helper he amid the flood
of mortal ills prevaling.
For still our ancient foe
doth seek to work us woe;
his craft and power are great,
and armed with cruel hate,
on earth is not his equal.

The Reformation didn’t happen overnight, it didn’t happen without struggle and pain, it happened through perseverance and sacrifice.

“The heart overflows with gladness, and leaps and dances for the joy it has found in God. In this experience the Holy Spirit is active, and has taught us in the flash of a moment the deep secret of joy. You will have as much joy and laughter in life as you have faith in God.”
― Martin Luther

So, thank you Martin Luther for having the boldness to speak up and defend scripture.

“One thing, and only one thing, is necessary for Christian life, righteousness, and freedom. That one thing is the most holy Word of God, the gospel of Christ.”
― Martin Luther, On Christian Liberty

A schoolish day

Bethany did the rest of her math unit today. Why so much math? She was just doing everything else and put it off. But, now she’s through horrible triangle proofs. We did find some sites that really helped, here is one, here is another. She also finished up a musical presentation, I really like Moovly. Enjoy listening to and learning about Skillet.

Let’s see….tomorrow we have lunch out, laundry to do, school to finish and I’m listing out things that need to get packed.

Joy dare

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!


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 ( 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. 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 (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!