Monday, October 29, 2012

5th Grade Update

I think another update is in order--this time on E.  E is in fifth grade, where does the time go?  I remember fifth grade so clearly and here I am with my very own daughter in that same grade.  I could not be any more pleased with E's academic progress. Each school day she has an eager attitude to do her work and does it well.  E reads like crazy and has made great improvements with both her penmanship and writing.  Let's take a look:

 The Academics:

A little geometry review before we moved on to studying polygons and closed curves.

The Montessori Geometry Sticks have added a new appeal to our geometry studies.  Here E is helping K form some polygons.  I hope to finish up polygons this week and switch to fraction work for the month of November.

On Wednesdays we do our lessons with file folder games.  This has allowed us to review old topics and introduce new information.  Here E is working on a science folder focusing on the Layers of the Earth.  This folder is from Lakeshore Learning.

A little word study focusing on the suffix---ful.        
Trying to build a vertical figure from forks, knives and spoons.

Another building challenge with straws and tape.  The building challenges are from here.
Nature Girl: Here is a look at how E has been enjoying herself in our beautiful mountains this fall.

Enjoying the park and the attention of the camera.

Down by the river looking for crawdads and teasing ducks.

First time on a slack line.

Catching butterflies.

Butterflies--enjoying the beauty of God's creation.

Jumping 18 feet into Crater Lake.  E is most assuredly her father's daughter.  I was stunned, amazed and proud of her self-propelling courage.
Enjoying Life:

My mom sent E a recipe and ingredients for pumpkin muffins.  E made the muffins and shared them with her soccer team.

All dressed for a 50's birthday party.  My girl was so adorable.

So, there's our look into the life of a 5th grader living in the mountains, learning at home and just loving life.  Have a great week.

I'm linking up with Montessori Monday.

Monday, October 22, 2012

A Quick Look at Preschool

It has been awhile since I have reviewed what the children have been working on, so today I will show you what B has been enjoying.  B just turned 4.

B can count all the way to 13 before getting confused but is still working on one to one correspondence.

He is loving Automoblox.

There is no end to the fun of these automobile 3 piece puzzle cards.  I got them years ago at the Dollar Tree.

Working with a stencil.
A bit of play.........

Fall has been absolutely beautiful, so there has been a lot of outdoor time.....

Swinging--he can almost pump himself.

Down by the river, throwing rocks.

Sliding--we visited a new park and all the children had fun and played non-stop.
Today is Montessori Monday and I'm linking up.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

The Ultimate Reset--Likes and Dislikes

We have just started week 2 of the Ultimate Reset and it is going very well.  I have felt great everyday so far and have dropped a few pounds.  I wanted to share a few more of the meals we have been eating as well as what I am enjoying about the Reset and what I don't like.  So first the food:

This was a dinner that WE DID NOT LIKE; nori roll, miso soup and a cucumber salad.  The meal was just way to many foreign flavors all at once and everything was doused in seaweed.  We do not like seaweed, I mean a little in some sushi is fine, but not slathered over an entire meal.  This night evoked a lot of anger in me because I was so looking forward to eating and it was completely unsatisfying.  All the foods on the Reset are a choice but I felt so mad at having to eat this yuckiness, if that makes any sense.

Breakfast--berries, toast and yoghurt sweetened with maple syrup.  I liked it and would eat it over and over again.

Lunch--salad, nori roll and lentil salad.  I did not care for the lentil salad, the texture was strange and I didn't like the lime in the dish.  The Nori roll was to soon, after the previously mentioned seaweed fest, to enjoy.

Lunch--hummus, veggies and quinoa salad.  I would eat this again.  Do you make your own hummus?  It is so easy.

This was an interesting breakfast, not horrible but just different.  The meal was baked tempeh, kale, toast and avocado. There are several breakfast on the Reset that are kind of different, not bad but new to us and probably won't be sticking around when we are done.  Jay and I agree that we just like certain foods for breakfast and others, well, not for breakfast.
What I like about the Reset:
  1. All the veggies
  2. The big bowl of fruit for breakfast.
  3. Rice & quinoa
  4. Having a set program and accomplishing it day by day.
  5. Some veggies taste sweeter than before because of my decreased sugar intake.
  6. Drinking a lot of water.
  7. Salad
  8. Making a real lunch instead of a smoothie.
  9. Walks
  10. Slimming down
  11. Most of the meals are a good size.
  12. I don't really feel hungry.
What I don't like about the Reset:
  1. The supplements taste yuckie.  Are we really suppose to ingest something that tastes so bad? Aren't bad tasking plants the way God made us not want to eat them because they are poisonous?
  2. Making a new recipe at almost every meal.
  3. The regimentation of having to eat certain foods whether I feel like it or not.
  4. In the recipes, sometimes a serving size is called out and sometimes it is not.
  5. Not having an explanation on what all the different colored miso pastes are for.  Tip:if you are just starting out with miso, go for the white miso.  The darker the color the stronger the taste and you don't want that, trust me on this one.
  6. Feeling lead to eat a much more plant based diet and wondering what that will look like on the plate and on the budget.
There you have it, my likes and dislikes at the start of week 2.  Let me know if you have any questions, I am happy to help.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Shrinkie Dinks

 Today we start back to lessons.  Back to focusing on more structured mornings, routines and traditional academics but before we begin our fall term I want to share one more fun thing we did during our break.  We made Shrinkie Dinks.  It all began when I purchased two Shrinkie Dink kits from Amazon and then saw this post about a DIY Shrinkie Dink project.  We had a full morning of coloring, creating and amazement.  Enjoy and try it with your own dear ones soon.  Sometimes creativity is the resetting break we all need.

I bought one girlie Shrinkie Dink kit

and one boy Shrinkie Dink kit.

One sibling helping another is always a great thing.
Once the store bought kits were all used up we began making our own shapes and designs.  Now, don't be afraid to try this, there was no mess and no smell coming out of the oven, it was perfectly easy. Look here for directions.

E made a flower.  This is the flower before some time in the oven.

And this is E's flower after the oven.

I made this little heart and it is still sitting on our island as a reminder to take a break, get creative and just enjoy being together with my lovies.

It is Montessori Monday and I am linking up!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

The Ultimate Reset--Saving Money and Time

Monday hubs and I started Beachbody's Ultimate Reset.  The Reset is a 21 day body detox and cleansing program. 

These are wrist bands to remind us of our commitment to the 21 day Reset.

 The Reset package includes menu plans, recipes and supplements to reestablish our body's Ph and metabolism.  We are currently beginning day 3 and I thought I would share a few of the yummie meals we have eaten and a few tips for saving time and money for healthy eating.

Day 1& 3 breakfast--toast, steamed kale with pine nuts and 2 eggs.

Lunch--spinach, shredded carrots, cucumber, tomato, red peppers and pumpkin seeds all topped with a creamy garlic dressing.

Day 2 breakfast--steel cut oats with blueberries and a side of yogurt sweetened with maple syrup.

Now, lets talk about baby carrots, they are part of the Reset shopping list and a great snack with hummus or as a stand alone.  Our 2 littles are frequently found in the kitchen peeling and cutting their own carrots for a snack. So, save yourself some money and don't buy them, buy the giant 10 pound bag of carrots instead.  Yes, baby carrots are convenient but are they really the cute little babies we think they are?  I once read that baby carrots are really just regular carrots cut into their cute little shape by a machine.  Think about it, if you have ever grown carrots you know they do not come out of the ground all cute and perfectly shaped but rather very misshapen and narly.  A 10 pound bag of carrots is just under $5 and then put your children to work peeling, slicing and shredding. We keep containers for slice carrots and shredded carrots in the frig.  So whether it is a snack or a salad I am making, we are ready to go.

Our blender is the most used appliance in the house.  We make a lot of smoothies but we use it beyond that for pureeing soup, emulsifying salad dressing or making marinades.  Sure a dressing or marinade can be made in jar or bowl but put it in the blender and the whole texture changes to smooth and creamy.

We also have a food processor that gets a lot of use but the blender comes out more often because it is faster and easier to clean.

I hope to keep everyone updated on our Reset progress and give a few money saving and healthy eating tips along the way.

Thanks for visiting.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Practical Life--Cake Decorating

B recently turned 4 and Birthday cakes are a big part of the celebration here at The Middle of Somewhere. 

It always seems that the birthday child has a fantasy cake in mind that I am to reproduce from their brain to the plate.  I use to make the cake in private and keep it all a secret but over time I have started letting the birthday child take part in the cake making and decorating.  So a few afternoons ago when B was complaining that there was "nofing to do," I suggested that he help me make his cake.  This year his main request was that the cake be chocolate with red frosting.  In 10 years of parenting this was my first ever request for a chocolate cake, I know amazing!  Last year green was the demanded icing color, so I can't wait until next year's color of choice.

 I was so glad B helped because him with frosting all of his face was adorable and we found a new practical life activity.

Do you have a cake decorating set of tips and such hiding in the dark corner of a cabinet?

 Well, pull it out and put it on a tray and watch the fine motor practice happen as your little one removes, explores and puts back the tips or twists and turns the couplers.

 So much fun and interest was right under our noses and I didn't even know it.

Today is Montessori Monday, stop over for a visit to see more Montessori in action.