Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Martial Arts -- Wordless Wednesday

Little Man completing his first test in Martial Arts.

Princess completing her first test in Martial Arts. We are still waiting for her uniform to come in.

Please consider joining in the following 2 hops and see what everyone is talking about!!

Monday, 29 August 2011

Need some work done?

My very good bloggy friend Lynda from My Heart's Desire has started up her own business helping those of us more technically challenge to improve or dress up our blog sites. Lynda has created and designed the blog banner for both Life's Adventures and The Field Trip hop. Lynda also created the buttons for both my sites. If you want to see more of Lynda's great work check out NOBH as Lynda has made all the buttons and banners for the hop since it started. I just love her creativity and think she does a fantastic job! If Lynda hadn't helped me I would still not have buttons or banners as I find that sort of thing beyond my technical expertise. I just recently asked her to help create a signature tag to add to my posts. You can find it at the end of this post!

If you are like me and love to blog but don't have time to create buttons, banners, signature tags or anything else that you want to have on your blog. Then I encourage you to talk to Lynda. Her prices are very reasonable and she is a pleasure to work with:) She listens to what you want and will go above and beyond! You won't be disappointed! Lynda is who I go to when I need work done to spiff up my sites. You can find her new business site at

If you haven't discovered these two hops look at them today. Lots of link ups and fun!

Thursday, 25 August 2011

A day in the life

This is the last week to participate in the not back to school Blog hop and the topic is: Day in the life

Not Back to School Blog Hop

Well this will be a tough one as there are no two day the same in my house! So I will give rough estimates of when things should be getting done:)!

I awake any where from 6:30 to 8 am. I am not a great morning person so I snooze until the children clamor into my bed. My oldest doesn't do this very much anymore preferring to read in her bed until I tell her to get up and get dress. My youngest still demands his cuddle time in the morning. Sometimes we just talk, play games, or he (or I) will read a story.

8am I do try my best to get both kids up, dressed, brush teeth and hair. In no particular order and how long this take depends on the day. During this time I get my shower in:)

9am I am downstairs and shouting, uh, no, I mean encouraging the children to hurry up and come down stairs. I begin to fix breakfast. I keep it simple here frozen pancakes, waffles, oatmeal or cereal for the kids. Large cuppa tea and 2 fiber bars for me:)

9-9:30 the kids eat breakfast and I am usually logging on to the computer to quickly check e-mail.

School starts between 9:30 and 10 depends on the day and the activities we are doing. I would say about 3X a week we do actual school work the other days we are doing field trips or play dates or something else entirely. It really depends. On a great school day we can accomplish 4-5 different school topics by lunch time. On a not so good day I am lucky if we accomplish 2 activities.

12-1pm Sometime during this period we stop for lunch. While I am cooking lunch the children are emptying and loading the dish washer and tidying up a little (emphasize LITTLE)

Lunch and free time is between 1230 and 2 Kids can read, play, go outside, draw what ever they like during this time. Electronic devices for the kids are off limits. I do a few chores and then spend a little more time on the computer

3 days a week we have outside activities in the afternoon piano lesson, horse back riding lesson and martial arts. I am hoping to add swimming lesson but haven't found a private teacher yet.

If we don't have any outside activities then I do resume school around 2 for one more hour. We can usually squeeze in 2 additional activity but usually much lighter like music, art, typing, reading etc.

Most days we are finished with school by 3 pm on a not so good day I will go til 4 pm but after that I am wiped out and even I can't concentrate anymore:) and I start to yell and I really hate yelling. That said according to my children I am a very good yeller :(

Free time for the kids between 3-5:30 They can do as they please but there are no electronic devices allowed. This doesn't stop them from asking nearly every day. This is when I do a load of laundry (maybe) and start contemplating what we are going to have for dinner. This is also a time to look over the days work and consider my strategy for the next day. Sometimes I get back on the computer. I am beginning to think I am on the computer too much!!!

530 to 630 Begin cooking dinner if I remembered to thaw out meat. If not we have been known to go out to dinner at least once a week. A very bad habit I am trying to break us from:)

Our dining room table is where we do our school work and most days it is a mess with art supplies, half finished projects we are working on, books, papers etc. I have given up on cleaning it off every single evening so we can have a evening meal at the table. So I have a HUGE confession to make. As a family we eat in the living room. The kids have a blanket they spread out on the floor and my husband and I sit on the couch. I know this is very, very bad and I promise when we move back to the states and have a dedicated school room we will break ourselves of this incredibly bad habit but for now it is what works.

6:30 to 8:00 eat dinner and watch educational show. The kids love Myth busters, How It's Made, wild life shows, dinosaur shows and How the Earth Was Made show. Pretty much anything on the Discovery Channel we watch. On a rare night I might let the kids watch a movie usually about something we are studying but still fun. Tonight for example the kids are watching "Free Willy" because we have been learning about Killer whales and we learned quite a bit about Kieko and his rescue.

8:00 Bath time or showers for the children. The plan is for the kids to be in their bed by 8:30 again it is hit or miss. The kids can read until 9PM and then it is lights out this time has been known to creep up to 9:30 but then I am very serious and it is lights out!!!!

9:00 the adults tend to wonder up to bed to read themselves to sleep.

And that in a nutshell is our day. Looking forward to reading how every one else is managing their day.

Please join in the Field Trip Hop

Also check out NOBH

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Shuttleworth Air show

On Saturday, my family went to a Air show in old Warden. The Shuttleworth collection contains some of the oldest and rarest air craft in the world that are still flying today. It was my husbands dream field trip:) In addition to walking around the air plane hangers, we enjoyed a wonderful air show, concert by the National Symphony Orchestra and a fire work display. We brought our own picnic but soon found out that our idea of a simple picnic is not quite the same as the British.

This is our way of having a picnic, blanket on the ground small cooler, sandwiches, cookies and fruit. Nothing fancy. But after watching the other families come in we began to feel out of place!

I watched this family carry a wooden table into place add a table cloth, set up their chairs and lay out real plates, glasses and silverware. I know this because I was so curious I walked by them several times as they were unloading their 5 wicker basket. They must have made 6 trips to the car. I was amazed at what they brought with them to have a simple picnic at the air show.

Another example, the British love their privacy. They had a privacy screen around them. Yes I know it can be used for wind break but honestly this day had very little wind. This was early in the day there were many of these privacy screens

Nearly every picnic site had these little lanterns or real candles either on the table, or on hooks placed in the ground. Once it got dark all the lanterns where lite up. One table I saw even had a vase of flowers on it. There were British, English, Wales, Scottish and one lone USA flags every where you looked.

I was feeling very bad for my family when I watch the type of food come out of these baskets, no sandwiches here, these were full meals being served up often on real plates. My husband and I felt so out of place surrounded by such luxury picnickers.

Some spectators arrived in Ultra lights

Wearing Tuxes!!! We saw several ladies in complete evening dresses. They had hired tent gazebos and had a little party going on during the air show.

My husband was able to ride a Tiger Moth. The kids were very disappointed that they could not ride the plane too.
He had about 20 minutes in the air and the pilot even let him take control for a few minutes since my husband has done a little flying. He was grinning ear to ear when he got off his flight. Happy hubby!!!

There were many planes that flew and I am afraid I don't know the names of them all.

These were my favorite to watch fly. It was like looking back in time

This one is the called the Bristol Boxkite 1910 (replica)

This one is the Avro Triplane 1910 (replica)

Throughout the show the National Symphony played and I was very please my kids recognized many of the tunes:)

After the air show there was a fire work display, of which for some reason I have no pictures:( It was at this point I realized there was one advantage to bringing so very little to our picnic we had little to pack up and where able to beat the crowds to the car! YAY!!!!

I am linking up to the Field Trip Hop, if you haven't been by you should check it out!

Also join in the NOBH lots of categories to link up too and spread the word about your blog!

Friday, 19 August 2011

Geography lesson on Brazil

I purchased Little Passports this summer for the kids and I to do a bit more geography around the world. Up to now we have really only concentrated on Europe and our travels. I thought it was time to get a bit more structured. Little Passports gave me the structure I needed to at least do 12 countries this school session. We have to option of adding an additional 12 more countries in the future should we chose to continue with this program.

First up was the country Brazil. With all the traveling I have done I have never been to South America! My husband has been but not I so we will have to find a way to go there together one day:) Little Passports provides you with a world map and a passport and a letter from two travelers (Sam and Sofia) and a small item from that country to get you started. There is also a puzzle sheet and a few simple computer games to get you get you excited about the country you are going to be studying. We have spent several weeks working on learning all we can about Brazil, the people and the culture. I know I did a fairly good job when my youngest announced he wants to go live there next:)

From there I, as I always do, decided to take it a bit further. I found tons of books at the library to enhance our study of the country. Books about Pele, the landscape, and family life in the Amazon to give us a better understanding of the lives there. We watched several You Tube videos that also reinforced what we read. Seeing Pele doing that backward kick is pretty amazing. Although I do recommend screening anything relating to Mardi Gras parade; I didn't think that one through clearly enough:)!! This oversight might have something to do with my son wanting to go live there next LOL:) I also found a great DVD in the library called Atlas which had a one hour show on the country Brazil (and several countries are featured) which reinforced all the reading we had done in the last several weeks. The kids also did a few notebook pages on Brazil. I found some great printables from Home school creations on Brazil which the children completed. We are working on putting together a geography portfolio this year.

For activities, we planned a traditional Brazilian meal which the children helped to cook. We made Brazilian stew Feijoada. You can find many varying recipes on the web. The children also made Brigadeiros truffles, I got this idea from Chestnut Grove Academy who got it from someone else (just how far back are you suppose to credit ideas from other bloggers--is there a rule of thumb that I should know). These are very, very sweet. The stew is often served with kale and orange slices.

Stew can be put beside the rice or on top of the rice. My husband and I thought it was pretty good. Even my children ate it :)

Chocolate Brigadeiros

For our art project I really wanted to make a diorama of the rain forest with shoe boxes that I have seen on Confessions of a Homeschooler. But my children had other plans. They wanted to create a large wall mural. Which I think turned out fantastic and is now hanging in our stairwell. Over the last 3 years my children have created 4 of these huge murals and we are running out of wall space to hang them:)
First we created a Amazon forest complete with river and the 4 layers of the jungle; the forest floor, understory, canopy and emergent layer.

We did not have animal pictures to scale nor to accurate colors and in some cases the animals are in the wrong level of the jungle as I allowed the children to have control over the project with a bit of input from me:)!

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Tuesday, 16 August 2011

My 2nd and 4th grader

Not Back to School Blog Hop

It is hard to believe I am in my 3rd year of home schooling! We school year round taking breaks whenever the need or mood arises. I never considered taking pictures of the kids as they enter their new "grade" until I saw this blog hop, I thought it was a good idea and so here are my two precious darlings and the signs they made announcing the grade they would be in if they were in school:)! We are now going to do this every year! Each of them made their own signs:)

His dream is to be an astronaut:) at least that is what he said today:)!!

Her goal is to become a world famous movie maker:)!!

Happy Schooling!!!

Check out these two great blog hops