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Friday, October 18, 2013

Trash to Treasure

Lillian is into jewelry lately and is making all kinds of necklaces. So, during school work time today I got a excellent brainwave to make a necklace out of a TP roll and yarn!
I cut each roll into four pieces and let her watercolor paint and draw on them with markers. You could also add stickers and glitter.
Then once she had made her "beads" she strung them on the yarn.
Super easy, fun and a great way to entertain her during our lesson time.
Yippy for toilet paper rolls, they never let me down!

Monday, October 7, 2013

Classical conversations

We are embarking on our Classical Conversations journey this school year!
So far we are really enjoying it and James seems to be responding to the curriculum very well.

If you are unfamiliar with Classical Conversations, it is based heavily on memorization and the classical model of learning. (the classical in Classical Conversations) ;)

I am really loving it because it is very paperwork light! We go over our memory work with the aid of maps and songs, we read literature about a time period or idea, watch videos and do projects to reinforce the memorized work.

We still have to do our own math and reading work, but even that is just books and an online program Explode the Code.

All in all we are having fun so far this year!

Here is a smattering of what we have been up to...

Visiting the AWESOME replicas of the Nina and Pinta at the Florence Harbor  

Making a Medieval castle 
Our representation of the water cycle
Saturday, September 14, 2013

Huntsville Botanical Gardens

Trip to the botanical gardens in Huntsville.
James and Lillian when to a class about Dinos, then we walked the gardens.
They aren't the biggest botanical gardens I have been to, but the children's garden is the bomb! (Pardon my 90's expression)
It is fairy tale themed and super cute. It has lots of fun things like mazes, paths, a rainbow section, water play areas, and a butterfly garden.
I got in some trouble with the kids because I didn't know about the afore mentioned water play areas and didn't have our suits.
Next time!!

Monday, June 10, 2013

South Africa

We are having so much fun learning about different cultures!
Last week James and I spent probably 20 minutes on YouTube looking at Chinese dances, and he really enjoyed comparing a picture of a rooster and a picture of China and pointing out the similarities.

This week is South Africa!

South africa is located on the southern most tip of the continent of Africa. 
The largest city is Johannesburg which started as a gold rush tent city. Another famous city is Cape Town. It is known as the mother city and was the first western city in South Africa.

  • South Africa has 11 official languages Afrikaans, English, Ndebele, Xhosa, Zulu, Sesotho (Southern Sotho), Sesotho sa Leboa (Northern Sotho), Setswana, Swati, Tshivenda, and Xitsonga  
  • English, afrikaans and Xhosa are the most widely used. 
  • Here is some Afrikaans to try out!
  • Good day - Goeie dag

  • My name is ... - My naam is ( sounds like: may narm is...)

  • Mom - ma

  • Dad - pa

  • Teacher - juffrou (yifrow)

  • Food - kos

  • I am hungry - ek is honger

  • Thank you - dankie

  • Yes - ja

  • No - nee

    Chalk South African Map

    Fun African Folk Tales

    South African Foods
    Biltong - Jerky
    Rusks - crisp type of convectionery often eaten with coffee and given to teething children
    Bovril - beef extract spread for bread
    Ptjiekos - a casserole prepared on a three-legged pot over an open fire
    Braai - chops and sausage on an open fire
    Melktert - milk tart
    Easy Buttermilk Rusks (kids can help with this)
    1,5kg self-raising flour
    375ml sugar
    a pinch of salt
    500g margarine/butter
    500ml sour milk*
    1. Pre-heat oven to 180oC.
    2. Mix all dry ingredients together.
    3. Rub in the margarine.
    4. Add sour milk and mix thoroughly.
    5. Roll into balls and place in greased bread pans.
    6. Bake for about an hour. Remove from pan and break or cut into pieces.
    7. Place on a rack to dry in a ‘cool’ oven.
    *Add a table spoon of lemon juice or vinegar to fresh milk if it is not sour.

    Tuesday, June 4, 2013

    EXTERMINATE!! Dalek Bag

    New at the My Crafty Momma Etsy store, Dalek extermination canvas bag!
    Love, love, love this bag!

    See this and more at My Crafty Momma

    Friday, May 31, 2013

    Around the World this Summer - Lesson One China

    This summer we are going to be learning about a new country every week. This week we will be studying China!
    Follow along and have fun with us.
    Feel free to comment your ideas for learning about China!!


    Find China on a mag or better yet a globe.
    Notice how it looks like a rooter! The northeastern tip being the head and the western side being the tail feathers.

    Google pictures and videos of elements of Chinese culture; Chinese New Year, dragons, The Great Wall, cultural dances and The Forbidden City.

    Capital: Beijing
    Fourth Largest country (after Russia, USA and Canada)
    Flag craft!


    -mod podge
    -red tissue or construction paper (or both)
    -gold paint

    Yummy Chinese food!

    Hit up your local Chinese restaurant or try your hand at a dish together!

    Easy Chinese Moon Cakes
     • 1/4 cup sugar
     • 2 egg yolks
     • 1/2 cup salted butter
     • 1 cup all-purpose flour
     • 1 cup strawberry (or your favorite) jam
       (traditionally red bean paste is used so
       if you want a more authentic version,
       you can use a can of red bean paste
       instead of the jam).
     1.  Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
     2.  Combine the butter, sugar and 1 egg yolk
         and stir.
     3.  Mix in the flour.
     4.  Form the dough into one large ball and
         wrap it in plastic wrap.
     5.  Refrigerate dough for half an hour.
     6.  Unwrap the chilled dough and form small
         balls in the palms of your hand.
     7.  Make a hole with your thumb in the center of each mooncake and fill with about half a teaspoon of jam.
     8.  Brush each cake with the other beaten egg yolk and place on a cookie sheet. (We didn't have a brush to
         do this, so skipped the brushing step)
     9.  Bake for about 20 minutes or just until the outside edges are slightly brown
     10. Makes 24


    Make a Chinese Lantern

    You will need
    • A4 size card or paper
    • pencil
    • glue
    • scissors
    • sticky tape
    • 1. Fold the card in half lengthwise.
    • 2. Starting at the folded side, draw pencil lines across it, not all the way across, on which to cut. Make sure the lines are equal in length and evenly spaced.
    • 3. Cut along the lines carefully.
    • 4. Unfold the card.
    • 5. Take the top and bottom ends of the card, overlap them and paste them together to make a cylinder.
    • 6. Cut a strip of paper and attach it to make the handle.
    • 7. If you make more than one lantern, hand them on a string across the room.
    • 1. Decorate the card with crayons, glitter, sequins, etc before making the lantern.
    • 2. Alternatively, paste cellophane paper onto the inside of the card after cutting the slits. This will create a colorful effect when the sun shines on the lanterns.

    Write some Chinese characters

    Books to Check Out

    My favorite part of learning is always reading, a new book can give great understanding into subject. Especially when you are learning about a new culture. Seeing pictures and your child seeing a country from the familiar perspective of a child can really cement his understanding of the place.

    Here are some books worth a look...

    Follow this link for even more books featuring Chinese culture. 

    Baby News!

    We are expecting!
    I am so excited that we are going to be welcoming another Baby Caldwell into our home.

    Wednesday, May 8, 2013

    First Building Project

    My dad is a handy handy handy man and I like to build things here and there, so I am glad to get James into making things too!
    I got this little building kit at Lowes and it is super cute and fun. He needed a little help getting the nails started but other than that he did it on his own.
    Once he had it built he painted it and put the stickers on.
    The best part (for me at least) was the fun track they drew!

    Monday, May 6, 2013

    LaGrange Civil War Reenactment

    We had a fun Saturday at the LaGrange College Park.
    There were venders, folks dressed up and neat learning opportunities for my crew!
    All in all fun ^_^

    Thursday, May 2, 2013

    Mary, Mary, How Does Your Garden Grow?

    My garden grows in egg cartons,

    Upcycled deck wood flower boxed,

    My garden grows in my great grandfathers canisters,

    And my garden has an 80 year olds love for garden gnomes....don't be a hater they are awesome!
    Friday, April 26, 2013

    Spring Wreaths

    My parents just moved closer to us *insert happy dance* and I wanted to get my mom something fun for a house warming gift. After much consideration I landed on a fun spring wreath with navy blue, that is her favorite color.
    After a search on old faithful Pinterest and a trip to The Mother Ship (hobby lobby), I came up with two wreaths for her to pick from.
    What do you think? She chose the navy striped one and the other fab wreath is up in the etsy store!