Thursday, November 13, 2014

Clara's Kitchen Book Review


I checked out a delightful book at the library last week called Clara's Kitchen by Clara Cannucciari and her grandson Christopher. It is part cookbook, part history book, part autobiography. Clara was a grandmother that lived through the Great Depression, and she shares her recipes and her stories in this book. She has passed away now, but she left a great gift. Her grandson started videotaping her cooking recipes like her mother cooked when she was a child. You can view the videos on YouTube, Depression Cooking. There was not a lot of food during the Great Depression, yet they didn't go hungry. Clara's mother was a great cook, feeding her family from their vegetable garden. People were very resourceful and frugal during that time, good qualities for anyone today as well. I think I enjoyed this book so much because Clara was only 1 year older than my grandmother, who also grew up in Chicago.


I tried her recipe for Pasta with Escarole, although I used Kale instead because that's what was ready in our garden. I have made this dish twice for lunch, I think it's great with a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese!



I did not receive any compensation for this review, I just liked the book!

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Canada - MFW ECC & 1st, Weeks 7 & 8


We enjoyed our study of Canada! Above are soap carvings that the kids did.  The Ivory soap was really easy to carve with a toothpick, but the legs and ears were easy to break off...  Have a few extra bars of soap if you do this!  Rebekah's whale had to be wet and stuck back together, and I had to help her with the tail.  They thought it was great fun though and want to do it again.


We had a lot of fun trying new recipes from Canada to go with our study. I have a few friends that are from Canada, so I asked them for recipes. Below are pictures of our pate chinois and poutine, (click on the links for the recipes). Everyone loved both of them,


We also made blueberry pancakes with real maple syrup, and below they are enjoying puffed wheat squares, very good! Then, we solved a family mystery too! My husbands grandma was famous for making a desert for Christmas. Kevin loved these bars, but we never knew what they were. His grandma passed away a few years ago, and while I'm sure some of his Aunts have the recipe, we did not. I was surprised when I clicked on this recipe that was recommended for Canada:  Nanimo Bars. This is what his grandma always made! I wonder where she got the recipe? We do live in the upper midwest, but still a few hours away from Canada. I did not make these though because Rebekah is allergic to dairy, and that wouldn't be fair to make a "school" desert she can't have. I am going to make them at Christmas though for my husband, then there will be plenty of other deserts for Rebekah.



Here are some of the geography pages we worked on. The ones shown are Caleb's, Rebekah also did the same ones.



For science, we continued to study trees and plants. We did a fun experiment with celery. First, we learned what xylem and phloem were, then we peeled the xylem off of two sticks of celery. In each cup, there is one stick with the xylem on, and one without. They guessed what would happen, and then we waited a few days to see if they were correct. They were!



And we read a little about life cycles, then made a notebook page:


We got outside to enjoy the beautiful fall weather several times. Canada has an abundance of maple trees, and so does our neighbor! We tried to make maple leaf stamps, but it didn't work well, so instead we painted the outline. I love how Caleb's paper turned out.



We've been reading through the book of Matthew for our bible time. I read a blog article by a fellow My Father's World user about copywork and dictation, that I found very helpful at Christephi.com. I have been doing copywork and dictation with Caleb, but I think I was focusing on the wrong things, and making it more stressful for him. This week went much better. I decided to use Mama Jenn's copywork pages because they have the verse written at the top of the page. Caleb was getting stressed out by having to copy it out of the bible. He'd loose his place, or be overwhelmed by how long it was. Even though it's the same length on this paper, it didn't bother him at all.  



Caleb is not a fan of writing, but I discovered a trick that has worked really well lately. I set a timer for 10 minutes, and then tell him he doesn't have to finish what he's writing, he only has to work diligently for that time. It works! Below was an English assignment to write an autobiography. There were a lot of questions that overwhelmed him at first. Once I told him he didn't have to do them all, just do his best for 10 minutes, he happily started writing and completed all but one of the questions!


It also worked a few days later when he had to write a play! No more asking if how many sentences he had to write and then trying to come up with the shortest ones possible!


And then we got to an easy assignment that turned into a battle...  Below is a poem that was in our book. He was supposed to memorize it, but since he memorizes bible verses through church, I only asked him to read it aloud to me. He didn't want to do it, and it turned into a big fit. When daddy came home, daddy decided he would have to memorize it after all. Once he quit having a fit (a very long one), he was able to memorize it fairly quickly. The next two days were spent copying it, and he did a great job.


For read alouds, we finished our missionary story from Mexico, Cameron Townsend. Then we read a funny book that the kids just loved called Owls in the Family.  I wanted to read Anne of Green Gables with them because it is set on Prince Edward Island, but we ended up just watching the movie instead due to time.


Rebekah made this adorable book in her 1st grade lessons. She copied each sentence from her workbook. I had to share each page:







She really loves math. We started addition by having a store and a restaurant.




Above, there is a picture of a modified game of candy land. Before she could pick a card, she had to read a word card. And below is a picture of Matthew's new favorite past time. Dumping!


That was our trip to Canada. Next stop, Brazil!

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Hunting Vest - Blaze Orange


My father-in-law was planning a trip to Colorado for elk hunting recently.  When he realized that the temperatures were going to be rather warm, he decided he needed something different than his big thick winter hunting coat!  He tried to find a vest at the local sporting goods stores, but they didn't carry have his size in stock.  Daughter-in-law to the rescue!  I made this the day before they left for their trip!  My mother-in-law went to the craft store and bought 2 yards of bright orange denim and a zipper.  I used his hunting coat for my patter.  I wanted the vest to be the same size as the coat, but a little shorter.  I traced around the coat bottom, and the top of the shoulder.  I drew in the arc for the arm hole free hand, but only for one side.  Then, I cut out that half of the vest and folded it in half to trace the other arm hole.  I wanted them to be the same!


Here are my pieces.  To get the front pieces, I folded the back piece in half, and traced it adding an inch to the folded seam for the zipper.




Once I was ready to sew, the first thing I did was zig zag stitch all the way around all the pieces. Denim is bulky fabric, and I didn't want to double roll the hems. Next, put the zipper in.  There are plenty of tutorials online if you need help with zippers. My only advice is get a zipper foot for your machine!


I also stitched on each side of the zipper to finish it a little more.


Once the zipper is in, sew the pieces together starting with the shoulders, then the sides. Lastly, hem the neck, arm and waist. The zipper I had was actually a bit too long, so I ended up folding it down a bit (see pictures below).




Here it is finished:


Good luck hunting in Colorado!

Friday, October 24, 2014

Monster Truck Birthday Cake


Happy 8th Birthday to my firstborn son! He chose a monster truck cake for this birthday. I think he was hoping I'd put real trucks on that he could keep, and I did! I found them at Dollar Tree, so it wasn't too pricey! The bottom layer was chocolate and the top layer was vanilla, per Caleb's request. It's covered in chocolate frosting and chocolate cake "mud". It was very simple! Below is a picture of Caleb helping his little brother bowl during his birthday party. He is growing up and I am so proud of him!


Saturday, October 11, 2014

Mexico - MFW ECC & 1st, Weeks 5 & 6


We studied Mexico this week!  The kids were excited to get their "passports" and some Mexican money!  They took a "train" around the driveway, and then entered Mexico!  They had to use their pesos to buy their snacks.  We tried Mexican soda, crackers, cookies, marzipan, chips and salsa, and lots of other homemade food.




The kids worked on several notebook pages. We listened to some Spanish worship songs on Youtube and tried to learn a few words in Spanish. I also found a few videos of some traditional dances. Rebekah is awe of some of the ladies dresses! The library had a few documentaries the kids enjoyed as well.



Below is a picture of us playing the Geography Game for North America. This game is part of our curriculum. It's very simple, but it really does help you remember where the countries are! The first time we played we were getting all the Central American countries wrong, but now I think we all know them, even Rebekah!


Here are a few books the kids really enjoyed:


We did a few art projects too. They really enjoyed making yarn art!




In the picture below you can see their yarn arts on the bottom. We also did some paper cut outs, and made a banner with them too. I'm really excited about the poster you see here too! It's of all the missionary kids that are part of the United Pentecostal Church. We also were able to write to one of them in Bolivia!



You can't study Mexico without a pinata! Unfortunately, it wasn't dry in time for our fiesta, so we improvised with a paper bag! It worked great though! I filled it with suckers, dollar store toys, pencils, and peanuts. One of our books mentioned that they filled them with peanuts and oranges as well as candy.




While in Mexico, our science topic was deserts! Since we don't live anywhere near a desert, we had to watch a documentary.



I've been reading a biography of Cameron Townsend during our read aloud time. We're really enjoying it, although sometimes it's a bit boring for Rebekah. Below is a sample of Caleb's bible time. We've been reading the book of Matthew, and this was one of his memory verses.  I don't make him memorize it because we'll be starting bible quizzing though our church soon, so he'll be memorizing those verses instead. The top is his copywork, and the bottom is the same verse, but I dictated it to him instead. If you're interested in learning more about copywork and dictation, here's a great blog post about it from a fellow MFW user:  christephi.com.


Here is a poem he copied during our English time.  His handwriting is really getting better!


Caleb has started learning multiplication with the 2s and 3s. It was VERY rough going for a few days, but then it must have "clicked". He earned himself a few stickers!


Rebekah is cruising right along with her reading! She learned the sounds for sh, ch, th, ng, and now is on long vowels. It's so easy to teach her since she really wants to learn. She's such a different student than Caleb!


Here's a fun reading review game!


She loves to do her copywork of some Proverbs.


Her math has been easy with shapes and basic numbers, but we just started addition!


 That was a long post, two weeks worth!  Our next county is Canada, come back and follow us around the world!

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