Saturday, October 30, 2010

Swiss Family Robinson

Kaleb has been working on this tree house while he and I have been reading the Swiss Family Robinson by Johann Wyss. Both the book and the tree house have taken him on quite an adventure. The author had written the book originally as bedtime stories for his four boys. So the characters were modeled after his own family. It is a great book to read aloud. It can be very detailed at times but well written. Though we aren't quite sure how it is possible for penguins, flamingoes and bison to be all on the same tropical island. And every animal that they came across they shot and killed it without struggle or caught and tamed it. Kaleb kept a journal of all the plants and animals that they encountered while they were shipwrecked on this island for 10 years. He researched them and drew diagrams.We collected the branches and bark supplies on our camping trip in July.
Every tree house needs a rock climbing wall to reach the hammocks. We decided that if any little person were to actually live in this model tree house they would have to be able to fly. We all chose our favorite spots. I liked the very top where the hammock was knowing that I don't like heights. But then like what Kaleb said, I wouldn't be afraid of the height because I could fly. Sounds good to me.He even made a working elevator and learned about levers and pullys.
What a great way to learn.
Build a tree house. These are some pretty big carrots. He even planted little flowers in a flower box. And gauze curtains hanging in the window. This was a fun project. It spent many weeks on the island in our kitchen.
Now the question is, where do we put it?

Birthday Girls

6+18= many white hairs!Kirk's white hairs that is...
Kirk's beard is showing much wear and tear from these girls. I could count the ways but it is their birthday after all. We celebrate them together being that their birthdays are five days apart...Oct 20th for Victoria and Oct. 25th for Daphne. We tried celebrating their birthdays separate and decided that it was just too much cake. So we made a special tiered cake this year that the girls decorated themselves. I think it was more special that way then me coming up with a fancy cake. They enjoy baking together.I turned around in time to see Sammy eyeballing the pretzel sticks. He was really trying hard to see if his tongue could reach one. When it didn't he decided to lick the counter in case there was some tiny crumb lying beside it. Then Henry comes up and it looked like Sammy was watching to see if Henry could reach one. HA...can't! Better luck next time buddy! I know just how long those tongues can reach. I have learned my lesson with an entire plate of banana bread. All food products need to be a tongues distance away.
What is a birthday without the cat licking the cake or the dogs trying to reach a treat.

Thursday, October 14, 2010


I love this time of year. Victoria learned almost everything there is to know about pumpkins. The big kids helped in measuring & weighing the pumpkins. She was very excited and surprised that pumpkins really float! She is also determined to make homemade pumpkin soup. I told her that the deal is that we will make it but she has to actually eat it. She says that she will...and with a smile on her face. We'll see. I'll be sure to let you know on that one. We plan on baking pumpkin muffins using Aunt Kathy's Pumpkin bread recipe tomorrow. She claims that she has never had it before in her almost 6 years of life. There is always a first. Happy Hot Fall!

Pride and Prejudice Ball

Daphne and our friends Rachelle and Emily attended the Pride and Prejudice Ball again. They had a wonderful time dressed in the time period. The dances were all according to the time period as well. Daphne always enjoys the Pumpkin dance. She said that the boys were dancing more this year. Our friends Steve and Chrissy attended. One of these days Kirk and I are planning on going. The time always sneaks up on us with October being an extremely busy month for us.

Witchie Poo

Daphne painted this little wooden witch...I think for herself but I claimed it. A right of motherhood. It is adorable. And the painting is excellent. Done by a true artist.

Bad Dogs!

Victoria really wants the dogs to dress up for Halloween this year. She was browsing through $10 or so "dog outfits"the other day. Knowing that that wasn't going to happen ,I talked her into a 99cent red pillowcase to sew devil wings. It was more appropriate to see devil wings on these partners in crime than something cute like a hot dog outfit or a King's costume. We considered making one an angel and the other a devil but we knew for sure that Henry could never be an angel. And Sam...well he's too sneaky to be an angel. I mean, look at Henry...doesn't he already look guilty for something? And Sammy has the look of...It wasn't me Mom. Either way they look cute and Victoria is very satisfied and Daphne did a great job of turning the wings and stuffing them for me.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

You know you homeschool when...

you find fuzz in the pack of strawberries and keep it to observe under the microscope!


To get into the spirit of Autumn (in record heat in Phoenix) we set out collecting different types of leaves to study. Due to the fact that most tree leaves in Arizona are no bigger than your pinkie nail we had to search pretty hard. We drove down Central where all of the old houses stand and sure enough we found a variety of leaves. Kaleb was a good sport in escorting his sister in her adventure. They loved being outdoors and even played "piggly sticks" like Pooh bear does in the little water ditch that flows in front of the houses.There are so many cute books about the season. It was hard to decide which books to bring home from the library. Of course "Leaf Man" is always a favorite. We piped our own fall trees with leaf sprinkles. These turned out extremely cute. Instead of cupcakes we made cinnamon muffins. It looked more natural but I am sure it had the same sugar content as a frosting cupcake. Oh well. We tried a glue batik of leaves that I saw on That Artist Woman's blog. Daphne and I traced leaves onto muslin. I poured gel glue over the lines and let it dry overnight. Then got everyone to paint the leaves with acrylic paint watered down. It turned out beautiful. I think we might use it on our table as a runner for Thanksgiving. The really cool part about the project is that all of us were successfull. Victoria even did an awesome painting job. It is amazeing what you can do with just a little direction. I didn't even think to be a control freak with this project. Though we did have to run to Michaels and get more green paint.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Crawling the Walls

Victoria is driving us insane...! She has an enormous amount of energy that I wish I could bottle on a daily basis for myself! Anyway, she was telling me something which I cannot even remember what she was saying because as she was talking she was moving higher and higher up the wall. I was just watching her wondering just how high she was going to go? I am not even sure she was aware that she was doing it until she read it on my face and we were practically eye level. She managed to keep herself put long enough for me to grab the camera. She is one busy little girl. Kirk and I often think about what it will be like when she is 16 and we will be in our mid 50's!!!!! I shutter at the thought!

Learning about Pizza!

I love Kindergarten! It must be the 4th time that we have learned about pizza in our house. So this week we read stories about pizza. We baked our own pizza from scratch. We were all happy to eat it.
Everyone got to make their own personal pizza. That always goes over really well here. Daphne only likes cheese on hers while Kirk and Jared like the works on theirs.
This was an experiment with how yeast works and puffs up the dough in the oven. Victoria is really in to experiments lately. So she really liked this one. Kaleb did a good job of shaking the bottle every time he passed it which ended up making the balloon grow even more. It was Victoria's idea to add the face.

Here is the lapbook that she put together. Even though pizza actually comes from ancient Greece it was too confusing for a kindergartener. So I left it with Italy which had adopted the peasant pie later by Queen Margharita in the early 1900's. We found a box that curriculum had come in long ago that was kind of like a pizza box. She dug out her felt pizza that I sewed her last year. It fit perfect. She set out to be a pizza delivery girl delivering pizza to the kids doorways over the course of an hour or so. She even drew up receipts. Her pizzas cost only $2. I would love to only pay $2 for a whole pizza. What a deal. To top off the week, while I was at work on Fri. Daphne and Victoria baked Daphne's famous Giant Pizza Cookie. It never lasts very long because it is so good. The crust is a chocolate chip cookie. The sauce is raspberry jelly. The toppings are grated white chocolate with peanut butter chips and chocolate chips.


Victoria has been stir crazy with the weather still hot. She was pretty much done with school by 10 a.m. and was practically crawling the walls. I have to think fast with this girl. I had to think of something that she could do outside, out of the house, away from us (she was way too distracting for the rest of the kids doing school). I remember washing doll clothes when I was little so I set her up outside with a basin of water and a little clothes line. She was very content and happy to be doing something different. And all of her doll clothes and blankets actually came out clean. The water was pretty dirty. She was very proud of herself. This kept her busy for well over an hour and cooled off too.