Friday, 30 September 2016

Weekly Wrap up 9/30/16 The week family came to visit

My Dad and Mom drove up our way on their way to my Father's 50th High school reunion.  We had a great visit and I already miss them and they just left yesterday!  I so wished we lived closer to them but alas that is not going to happen anytime soon with my husband's job.  The kids are at the age when I can actually leave them at the house and (they will get most of their work done) go touring around with my parents.

I took my parents to a quaint little town not too far away called Kimmswick and we enjoyed shopping and eating lunch at the famous Blue Owl Restaurant.  My Mothered tried their famous Levee high apple pie!  She was very pleased when my husband told her theirs was good but her apple pie was still hands down the best to him:) 
My Mother and I got started on making our English Christmas cakes.  We do this every year so she can take one home with her.

We walked around the town off St Charles which is one of my favorite little historic streets:)

My parents showed my kid their high school reunion costumes.  1950's fashion, my kids thought they looked hilarious!
My parents even drove to the reunion in a 1959 Chevy:)  

Our book club at coop this week focused on chapter 11-20 on Farmer boy and we chose the following activities for the boys to do.
We had the boys make homemade butter and discussed this process in the book!

You can find simple recipes online.  Here our whipping cream is about half way to butter

butter!  We Moms did have the help with the shaking  as the boys got tired:)

Of course then you must try it on some fresh bread:)

Next we tried some tin punching activities since the books talked about the tin peddler stopping by the farm.

Each boy planted some seeds and this week they will be recording the seeds progress and see which seeds sprout the fastest.  
In order to keep the mess down I had the boys use soil pellets that had to be soaked in water.

Lastly we had the boys make homemade vanilla ice cream--luckily the coop has an ice machine so that was nice for us.

boys did all the shaking this time but we did have one bag break but luckily we quickly found another bag and kept the water mess to a minimum.

Ice cream in a bag-- again you can find simple homemade recipes on the web.

Another snack for the boys to enjoy:)

Next week we will be completing Farmer boy reading and  activities.  Once again we were able to keep the boys engaged and we had no complaints or requests for video games.

Friday, 23 September 2016

Weekly Wrap up -- Japanese Festival 9/23/16

My family is visiting this week so I am posting an activity we did earlier this month so I can spend time with my parents.  I will post more on that next week:)!

Every year the St Louis Botanical Gardens hosts a Japanese festival.  It is one of the largest in the country according to the website.  The Japanese Festival was started 40 years ago by Japanese intermit refugees who moved here after WWII.  We go to the festival every year and each time we see different cultural events.  Now that our daughter is taking Japanese lesson it was even more special to us.
I love the Bonsai and Ikebana exhibits which they have every year:)

We watched the opening ceremony and listened to a speech by our Mayor.

Watched the dragon dance and the drums

Plenty of activities for kids to do like make origami monkeys:) play with Japanese tops and other children toys.

Plenty of Japanese food vans for lunch

lots of cosplay characters from Japanese Anime --  I can't identify them but my kids can

There were many demonstrations of various Japanese Martial Arts.  I believe this was Kendo which is sword fighting.

Lots of Japanese dancing

The Omikoshi --A Shinto shrine carried during the opening parade at the festival

After spending several hours there we went home exhausted and my husband was willing to go back that evening to take my daughter to see the Japanese film at the Gardens that night.  My daughter just had to see this movie!  

The only downside about this great festival is the crowds:)!   The festival runs for three days but we only attended the first day:)  We always see and learn new things about Japan by attending this fantastic festival.

Friday, 16 September 2016

Weekly Wrap up 9-16-16 Coop begins

This week was super busy, Coop begins and we still do not have a CAR!!  It made for a difficult week being a one car family as we had to get my husband off to work (which meant I had to get up extra, extra early and take him to work) then rush home to wake the kids and get them to coop in time for their morning classes. Then after classes we had to go pick up my husband from work.  It was truly exhausting for me as I was the main chauffeur and I am not an early morning person:(.  So the 5 am wake ups nearly did me in this week:(

Since I had to drive my husband into work I run thru Krispy Kreme and surprised the kids for breakfast as a treat for the first day of class

Heading to classes

There is a large break (120 min) for MarioFan at Coop between classes so we are getting together with another friend and we are working on a book club for the boys.  Trying to get them to work together and do something other than talking or watching video games which is an obsession for both boys:(  We are using Homeshare Farmer boy unit study and lap book for our guide.  These are free on the webpage. There are tons of suggestions and experiments to do to make the book come alive.  Both boys are really reading above this level but we thought it had enough fun things to do that it would make a great start for our little book club and get the boys interested in working together without too much complaining that they are losing their free time between classes to talk about video games.  Who know we may even do a book about video games in the future;)
We worked on reading just the first ten chapters this week and while at Coop the boys did the following activities.  The free unit study has many more activities to chose from but these were the ones we chose to do with the boys.
In the second chapter of the book is a description of the Wilder Farm.  We read the section outlaid and then and we ask the boys to work together to draw the barnyard and label it using the book as a guide.

Each boy worked on a section of the farm layout.  

My friend came up with a computer scavenger hunt about the state of New York where the Wilder's live.

She even include a few pokemon questions which the boys were thrilled about
The boys working together to get the computer scavenger hunt completed.

Another experiment was the milk, bread and popcorn experiment.  In the book it says Almanzo could add popcorn to his milk cup, as much as he wants, without spilling any milk.  This can not be done with any other substance and we asked the boys to theorized why this might be.  And then we tried it!

We added about half a cup of popcorn to the cup and it never changed the milk level or overspilled;)

Next we did the ice experiment recommended by the unit study and made hypothesis on which material would work best at keeping the ice from melting.   We were all wrong about our choices which surprised us!

We actually had a few more activities planned but ran out of time:)  The boys were excited and did not once ask for their video games, yay!! mission accomplished:)

Kids are continuing to cook dinner once a week which is wonderful
Firedrake chose to cook Chicken Parmesan 

She found this recipe in a cookbook and it is something I have never done before.

It turned out wonderful!
MarioFan is learning to cook some regular family recipes as he still needs a bit of guidance.  He hates touching meat  as you can see here:)  He got this from me:)
This week he learned how to use the crock pot and make Pork Carnitas.  He also learned how to make steam rice in the steamer.  
Over the weekend my daughter and I had a Mother daughter painting class.
I saw this Raising Phoenix painting and knew my daughter would love to do it, so I surprised her with a class.

stage one painting out the bird

Filling in the back ground

Our completed works.  We had a nice afternoon together which is always nice 

ON a side note Firedrake found a snake in our yard and without skipping a beat picked it up to show me, yuck:)
She released it further down our yard.  We think it was a Gardner snake but not sure.  I did have to remind her that our state has poisonous snakes so not really wise to pick up a snake if you don't know what it is!

That is our very busy week in a nut shell!  It won't slow down until Christmas break. Next week my parents are coming for a visit:)!