Tuesday, November 22, 2011


I'm enjoying Kindergarten with my girl, I just wish I had more time to dedicate to it.  Here's a look at what we have been enjoying.

Even though her cutting skills have progressed beyond simple snipping, Kensley always loves this activity.

Working with our homemade Montessori Teen Boards and our version of  Montessori Golden Bead Materials to learn numbers 11-19

Melissa and Doug Spelling Boards.

A living & non-living sort from a Take is to Your Seat Science book.

Water color resist painting.

Working on prewriting skills by coloring and drawing lines.

Tracing window clings to work on pencil control.

Tracing Letters

Puzzle Art.  The first time Kensley tried this activity she got tired and wanted to stop but with encouragement she continued and then couldn't stop.

Working on table setting skills with a matching mat.

More prewriting and pencil control practice using this fun stencil.  The stencil is part of a book called Shape Builders.  The book comes with a stencil and patterns for making bugs, houses, ect.  This has been a favorite of all the children.

Ya know potato stamping, well we did fruit and veggie stamping after reading the book From Tops to Bottoms.  It was a fun and creative extension to painting.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Hands on Preschool

Brady has really taken an interest in hands on activities and will do one right after the other.  Several times a week I try to designate a time to sit with him and encourage exploration of the prepared activities.  I also try to make time for daily reading, he really enjoys non-fiction car and truck books (go figure.)

Using watercolors over crayons.  

Playing with window clings from the Target $ Spot.

Exploring the Open & Close Basket.  Brady really enjoyed this activity and did it all the time.  I hid letters in each item, right now we have numbers in each.

Brady also really liked this activity--fall punches.  I had to help him but it was fun to see him try so earnestly.

I found this great 2 piece puzzle set at Ring Around the Rosie and it has been used often.

farm animal matching

tonging golf balls   

tweezing and transfer leaves  

Pouring corn or beads--he absolutely loved this activity.

This is a wonderful fine motor activity--balancing marbles on golf tees.

Sorting forks by color--white, clear & silver.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Fantastic Fall!!

A glimpse into our fall fun.

Happy Birthday!
Brady turned 3 and all he wanted was a "green cake."


Emry played soccer for the first time.  She played both goalie and sweeper.
Jay (in the background) was the assistant coach for Emry's team, Blue Crush.

We went on a family camping trip to Yosemite.  You can't tell by the picture but it rained every day and Jay and Brady had the intestinal flu. Despite all that went wrong we hope to go back next year for even more days.

Fall Break
Our homeschooling has moved to a year round routine so as most children headed back to school we took a break and headed to the beach.  We spent one day at Donner Lake playing in the water, feeding chipmunks and eating popcorn.

Paige Meadows

Apple Picking
(Note to self:  apple picking is fun but most of the apples that get picked by children also get bruised by children.)

Another Birthday!

Kensley turned 5.  We celebrated with a trip to Sacramento for the zoo, Fairytale Town and the Cheesecake Factory.  

As you can see fall has been a flourish of activity topped off by 2 snowfalls.  The children are eager to sled and have already been enjoying hot coco and Christmas music.  The short days lend themselves to warm fires, cozy blankets and good books.  Bless you all!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Pumpkin Oatmeal

Wow, how it really been since April, I could not believe my eyes when I saw my last post date.  I knew it was time to resurrect the blog but I didn't know it was that bad.  So, here is my first post in along time.

Pumpkin Oatmeal

This is a great recipe by Aarti Sequeira, winner of the Next Food Network Star.  I am not a oatmeal fan in the least but this recipe is wonderful and eaten at our house once a week.  We use steel cut oats instead of quick oats because they are the healthier, roast pecans instead of pepitas, maple syrup instead of honey and no cream, we have even used almond milk in place of regular milk.  This is a delicious and healthy breakfast--Enjoy!

  • 1 (14-ounce) can pumpkin puree (the unseasoned kind)
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups unsweetened almond milk, or water
  • 2 tablespoons raisins (golden or regular)
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice OR 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon plus 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom plus 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2 cups quick cooking oatmeal (not the instant kind)
  • 1/4 cup pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
  • Honey or maple sugar, for serving
  • Heavy cream, for serving
In large saucepan over high heat, combine the pumpkin puree, water, milk, raisins, salt, and pumpkin pie spice (alternative spices). Bring to a boil.

Add the oatmeal. Turn the heat down and cook according to your oatmeal instructions; mine usually takes about 15 minutes. Stir often.

Meanwhile, in a small cast iron skillet over medium heat, toast the pepitas until they're fragrant and a gentle golden brown, about 10 minutes.

Once the oatmeal is cooked (each grain should be tender), serve with honey or maple sugar on the side, pepitas to sprinkle on top, and cream if people like it more like porridge