Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Homemade Oreos

I reviewed this really cool cookbook a few weeks ago and finally got around to trying out one of the recipes- Homemade Oreos. I'm cooking up a meal for a woman at my church who is going through a dark time, and she has little ones so I thought- why not add a few of these in for a treat?

This recipe comes almost right from Treat Yourself: 70 Classic Snacks You Loved as a Kid (and Still Love Today) by Jennifer Steinhauer.

Monday, July 21, 2014

DIY Sidewalk Paint

After months of being cooped up inside, we try to spend time outside every day that the weather allows. But sometimes, things can get a little monotonous, even while outside, so every now and then, I like to shake things up with a different variation of a beloved classic.

Today, we did sidewalk chalk paint.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Flowers and Faith - A lesson for Children Dealing with Fear

Our children feel scared sometimes.  It's just a fact of life.  If we're honest, it's not something that really changes that much when we grow up.  We are still scared of things, they're just different (please note, I have never heard my kids say they are scared they won't have enough money for their retirement...).  Last week my oldest son had an audition for something and he was feeling nervous about it.  I couldn't blame him!  I was nervous on his behalf. But, I thought it would be helpful to do something that would be a visual reminder for him of the strength and peace that God could give him.

I cut some daisies from my garden and put them in a vase of water.  We talked about how we depend on God just like the daisies need water to stay alive.  God is with us and helping us all the time, even when we don't notice it or think about it.  In order to see a little more clearly how the daisies are depending on the water in the vase, we put some blue food coloring into the water (about 25 drops).  Slowly over the course of the next 24 hours, the daisies sucked up the water and their petals became spotted with blue (I admit I was hoping for something a little more dramatic - it makes me wonder how they turn the daisies blue that they sell at the market).  My son and I talked about how we can depend on God when we feel scared, and we can have peace knowing that God's Holy Spirit is inside of us giving us strength.

Monday, July 14, 2014

A Simple Minecraft Math Activity- Perimeter and Area

I'm not sure if Minecraft is still popular at your house, but it definitely is here! The kids just saved up enough money to buy Minecraft computer version, and they have been really excited to play together during their daily allotted screen time. Of course, that time always ends too soon for their liking, so I thought up a Minecraft themed activity to do with afterwards.

First, print out some grid paper. I used .75 inch paper for this particular example (see for a wide variety).

Next, I made a creeper.

Then, I made another.

After the buzzer when off and it was time for them to get off the computer, I invited them to the table for some fun Minecraft drawing.

On the table was a stack of blank grid paper, some crayons and makers. I also put out my two creepers for them to look at ("hey mom, those are cool!"). As the girls got to drawing, I asked Asante a few questions about the creeper.

"Asante, do you remember talking about perimeter in your class? (He did). Can you tell me what the perimeter of this creeper is? What about the area?" We then did the same for the second creeper I drew. Finally, I asked if he could create a creeper with a different perimeter and a different area from the ones I drew, and told him I would find the perimeter and area of his (fun for the momma to be the student and him to be the "teacher").

After our "impromptu" math activity, I continued coloring with all of them and Asante worked on making his own characters. An easy way to "sneak" in some math terms to keep them fresh over these long 3 summer months! :)

Friday, July 11, 2014

Are We Blessing or Cursing Our Children?

Some parenting seasons are just…well, hard. The ages and stages of our kids are constantly in flux. Sometimes the seasons are oh so sweet, and sometimes they are more like "grin and bear it" :). I'm currently in a tough season, and while I've been trying to have a positive attitude (I really have!), some days are hard and I allow my attitude to be totally affected by my current parenting circumstances. When that happens, my words become pointy, my eyes lose their shine, and my brows seem to be in a constant state of furrowed. It's at this point that I'm just wishing my kids would be GOOD for 90 seconds-- that no one would cry, scream, or argue with one another. So many needs, but I'm just one mama.

Sometimes unknowingly, and sometimes very consciously, I curse them.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Carrot Chips

I love vegetables (for the most raw onions here!), but I find it is often hard to eat them as much as I should. Especially in the middle of the day. There's only so many cucumber slices and celery sticks you can eat. And so when I found this recipe for carrot chips, I was intrigued.

Chips made of carrots? Now that sounds like a snack I could get behind.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Summer Passport: South America

Summer is a great time to sneak in some extra learning, and kids are naturally so curious about other parts of the world.  I chose to do some research about South America, and while it's obvious that each country (and even region!) has it's own culture, I wanted to provide a general introduction to the continent and countries.  So come with me, as we travel to South America!

Resources for learning about geography and countries in South America

Ducksters has maps and fast facts about all the countries in South America.

Ducksters Map