Monday, November 29

Menu Planning Monday

Sunday - dinner out
Monday - Sloppy Joes, sweet potato fries and peas
Tuesday - Fish ala Jenn, rice and green beans.
Wednesday  - turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, latkes, donuts, brocolli
Thursday - leftover buffet
Shabbat - Hanukkah dinner at shul

Tuesday, November 23

Tiny Talk Tuesday

Conversation had on the way to the restroom during dinner out one evening recently

Froggy - I want Daddy
Me - I am sorry kiddo but 5yr old little girls do not get to go potty with their daddies.
Froggy - but 5yr old boys can
Me - yes because little boys have the same parts as daddies and little girls have the same parts as mommies
Froggy -(after a pause)  I wish I was a boy
Me - Why on earth do you want that?
Froggy - because then I could go potty with Daddy.

I am very sure that the entire lobby waiting to be seated got a good laugh at our conversation.  Similar conversations are played over and over again at the Landing because Froggy wants nothing more than to be with her Daddy all the time no matter what.

I am linking this to Tiny Talk Tuesday hosted by Not Before 7. 

Monday, November 22

Menu Monday - Thanksgiving Week

 

The fondue was a great hit last weekend. Thanks to my sister, we seem to be on a roll of yummy easy chocolate desserts.  I made the fondue right before Shabbat and put it in an already warm crockpot which I kept on until candle lighting then unplugged so that I could bring it to the table at dessert time.  The fondue was not burning hot but plenty warm and perfect given that little people were doing the dipping. 
Sunday - Sloppy Joes (made from leftover potroast), sweet potato fries and salad.
Monday -GirlScouts then dinner out.
Tuesday -Pasta with homemade sauce, garlic bread and salad.
Wednesday - No School - Fish ala Jenn, rice and peas
Thanksgiving - Dinner at a friends.  I am bringing Maple Pumpkin Cannoli I will not be making my only cannoli shells but I will make my own ricotta so that it is parve.
 Friday - Challah, Maple Sugar Salmon, rice, keem, asparagus, brownies and pumpkin cookies for dessert.

Sunday, November 21

Circle Time


Froggy and I have been studying Hebrew together for awhile now and I have found that it works best when presented repeatedly in multiple formats but also if it is relevant to her everyday life.  We do "vocabulary words" that go with her letter of the week but these do not stay with her past the week for the most part.

What does work is when we use those words regularly.  She knows her colors and most body parts and family because we use those words.  So now we have started with the days of week, the months of the year and a few weather terms.  The way we do this is very "preschool" style with circle time and lots of singing and a big wall calendar and weather station.  And Froggy is having a blast.  And we are both learning.

Friday, November 19

Poetry



We went to a really neat poetry workshop for children this past weekend.  Debbie Levy, author of Maybe I'll Sleep in the Bathtub Tonight and Other Funny Bedtime Poems, did a fun program with the children to enable them to discover the joy of poetry.  She read some of her poems, played games and at the same time helped the group write their own poems.

We bought her book at the event which meant we even got her to sign it.  It has been a favorite since the event.  Froggy loves the language and it is special to her because she met the author.  Ms. Levy gave each of the children a duck as a prop during the event and Froggy reads the poems to the duck often.

We are also enjoying another poetry book this week, Stella Unleashed, Notes From the Doghouse.  It is a series of cute poems written from the dog's perspective.  It is a wonderful contrast to Maybe I'll Sleep in the Bathtub Tonight and Other Funny Bedtime Poems.   In the Bedtime book, all the poems rhyme and follow a very predictable meter. In Stella, the poems are more varied length, meter, and rhyming pattern. The content is more appealing as well.  The poems made me smile one and all.
We also  read I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed A Pie, based on a suggestion from Almost Unschoolers.  We even made the old lady puppet and fed her as we read the poem.  Froggy was thrilled with the project and continued to feed her puppet even after we finished reading the poem.  Unfortunately she made off with the puppet before I could take pictures and now neither one of us can find it. 

Come join the reading blog hop over at ReadAloud Thursday ,Feed Me Books Friday and Mouse Grows Mouse Learns,

Wednesday, November 17

Abraham Lincoln

 
Each week at the library, I try to choose at least one or two non-fiction books in addition to all our story books.  Sometimes they just sit in the basket and never get read.  Sometimes they are a big hit.

This week we read A Picture Book of Abraham Lincoln.  Froggy asked for it several times. Froggy knows some about the Civil War from Civil War on Sunday.   But I figured it was time for some fact and background to counteract the glamorization of the Magic Treehouse.  This book is a good simple introduction to Abraham Lincoln, the legislative process, and the Civil War.

We talked about being President and the electoral process which was great timing since we had just gone to vote.  We traced the path of Lincoln's life from Kentucy to Illinois on our map.  We put the important dates (conveniently gathered in endnotes) into her book of centuries.  And we talked about slavery in very simplistic five year old terms.  Froggy has some familiarity with the concept from Peseach so that helped.  It also helped her to know that slavery happened not only in Bible times and not only to the Jewish people and that it is wrong at all times.

Come and share your adventures in time and space at History/Geography Exchange at Children Grow, Children Explore, Children Learn.

Tuesday, November 16

Lions Roar!

The second animal in our zoo series is Lions. (For those who missed it, our first was elephants) The National Zoo recently had two different sets of lion cubs.  They are not yet on exhibit but the public can still get a glimpse of them via webcam

We pulled out again on of our favorite picture books, Would They Love A Lion.  In the book, the little girl spends the day imagination and acting out being all kinds of different animals.  We first discovered this story when Froggy was not yet two and we still love it. Froggy will occasionally try being other animals but always comes back to the lion.
I tried something a bit different this time with the drawing.  I took the instructions from the book and put them step by step on Froggy's drawing paper so the copying was closer.  She did the entire lion all by herself.   Looking at the shapes and analyzing how they work together to form the overall picture is a neat process in Froggy's brain.

We also made a paper plate lion.  Froggy lost interest in finishing the lacing (she has never enjoyed lacing) but it was fun to paint and work on the lacing together for even a bit.

Monday, November 15

Math Monday


It has been awhile since I posted an update on Math at the Landing.  We have almost finished the Lollipop Logic book.  This week we start the final section entitled, "Inferences".  To me it is picture matching and very basic and simple but we shall see.  Froggy completely surpassed my expectations with the deductive reasoning section.  When we started it, I read the story and then gave her "wait time" as any good educator would so that I could best judge how to explain the steps based on the questions or comments she made.  There were no questions. She just jumped right to answering it correctly.  I have no idea what her thought process was all I know is that she loved them.  I am currently looking for more on a similar/ slightly harder level.  These had only three short sentences as clues and only four options to arrange.  We are looking into this book but I really want  the thoughts of someone who has used it before purchasing.

We are once again playing Dreambox after a serious break.  Froggy hit a section that she felt she could not do and all the adventures kept presenting only that style game.  She stopped wanting to play.  So we took a break.  Upon returning I found a game that used the same concept as the game Froggy hated but without the flashcard element.  Seeing that she could do that gave her faith in herself to try the flashcard version.  She did great and is willing to play again. 
We are also still working our way through our Singapore Math book.

For other neat math ideas come visit the blog hop at Joyful Learning

Tom Turkey

This is what Froggy woke up to for breakfast this morning.  Thank you Almost Unschoolers for sharing the great idea.  And thus officially begins Thanksgiving Day learning and prep and the Landing

Menu Planning Monday - 9 Kislev 5771

Shabbat dessert, Chocolate Cream Pie, was a huge hit with the whole family.  Acorn complained mightily when we took away her plate without letting her lick it clean after her second helping.  Froggy was thrilled because as she said, "it is all frosting" And my favorite part was that the whole thing took less than five minutes to make and is completely parve.

So here is the "recipe" if you can even call it that. It has three ingredients
  1. a single large box instant pudding mix (we used chocolate but you can do any flavor)
  2. 1 carton Rich's Non-Dairy Whip Topping.  (you can use CoolWhip but then it isn't parve)
  3. Ready made Graham Cracker Crust.
Whip the cream.  Make the pudding with only 2 cups of milk (we use coconut milk but any non-dairy milk will work) even though the package calls for 3.   Mix the two together. Pour into pie shell and chill.  That easy.  Thank you Lisa for the wonderful suggestion.

Now for this week. 
Sunday  - Tofu Stirfy, rice and keem
Monday - Late dinner after scouts  - Chili (already in the freezer), mini cornbread muffins and salad.
Tuesday -Baked Teryaki chicken, acorn squash, green beans
Wednesday - sloppy joes, sweet potato fries and peas
Thursday - Leftover Buffet
Friday - Challah, Pot Roast, baby potatoes, glazed carrots, chocolate fondue

Friday, November 12

What We Are Reading



The biggest hit of the week came from one of the most unexpected places.  The third grade teacher at Hebrew School brought in a  Thanksgiving book to share with her class.  I asked why a book about Thanksgiving was part of her curriculum.  And she shared the book.  It is an amanzingly wonderful book called Molly's Pilgrim in which a third grade girl new to America learns the meaning of  Thanksgiving and what a pilgrim is. Each child in the class is instructed to make a Pilgrim doll.  Molly talks to her mom about what a pilgrim is and in the end creates a doll that resembles her Russian mother rather than the traditional pilgrim explaining that her mother is her Pilgrim hero.

The next win of the week is a piece of my past.  Growing up on near the space coast of Florida, the sea turtles hold a special place in my heart.  Turtle, Turtle Watch Out  is a wonderful book just recently back in print that tells the story of  some kind people who help baby turtles make it to the water. Once I was old enough I  was allowed to out on "turtle watches"  to help ensure that as many babies as possible make it all the way to the ocean. We would bring flashlights to help redirect any turtles that get confused just like they do in the story.  It was so much fun sharing this book with Froggy and alternating it with the stories of my own personal experiences.


The final win of the week is The Midnight Unicorn.  Froggy is thrilled by all things magical.  She loves fairies and unicorns so this book was perfect for her.  The unicorn statue in the park comes to life and takes the little girl on fantastic adventures all over the world.  Finally the end their adventures in the unicorn grove where she meets all the other unicorns.  The book is large and the drawings are lovely and vivid without being cartoony.

Come join the reading blog hop over at ReadAloud Thursday ,Feed Me Books Friday and Mouse Grows Mouse Learns,

Thursday, November 11

Veteran's Day

 

Sometimes the American holidays get overlooked in our teaching. With so many military families in our circle of friends I feel it is important to honor and teach about Veterans Day.  We talked about all our friends who have Daddy's who are in the military and what it means to be a soldier.  With all our recent readings about the Revolutionary War and the Civil War, the discussions are much more meaningful this year than in the past.  We checked out the only decent book on the topic at the library.  I was very disappointed at the books I could find.  This one does at least give some of the history of the holiday and how the name and the ways of observing have changed over time. 

Acorn has the day off of school.  We are making construction paper flags and thank you cards to deliver tomorrow to all the Veterans and active duty military we know.  I think this is the part that really helped bring it home for Froggy this year. It will be fun seeing the faces of the friends as we make our deliveries. 

ps.  I know the blog is lacking in pictures lately.  We are working on some camera issues.  Hope to fix it soon.  

Saturday, November 6

What We Are Reading

With a change in scheduling we ended up at a different branch of our library system recently. I enjoyed it immensely because it meant that we got to see a completely different collection of "Librarian Picks". We brought home lots and lots of books which Froggy checked out on her very own brand new library card.  She is so proud of being able to check out books her own books now. We are still reading our chapter book and Froggy still loves her Magic Treehouse books but lately all the bedtime reading has been picture books again. 

While we did get many Thanksgiving/harvest books, they were not the favorites.  The top winner for Froggy is  The Tooth Fairy Meets El Raton PerezFor some reason Froggy seems to gravitate to books that are presented in both Spanish and English.  Unlike Drum Chavi Drum this one does not present the same text in both languages. Instead each character speaks in the appropriate language.  One has to either know Spanish or get the meaning from context.  Froggy read the book to herself several times before I got my hands on it.  It was fun to see how much of the Spanish she was actually able to get from context.

Another big hit is The Pumpkin Runner, a fun piece of historical fiction based loosely on Cliff Young, an Australian farmer/runner.  I loved the unrealistic swirly stylistic illustrations and simplistic way the main character speaks when compared with the other characters.  This book prompted some great conversations about Australia, work and sharing.  
 
The final book I want to share for this week is Adventure Annie Goes To Work.   Annie and her mom have a special ritual in which they go on adventures together each Saturday.  Unfortunately this Saturday, mom needs to go to work.  "Adventure" Annie goes with and the story ensues. The story is straightforward and the illustrations are the typical brightly colored illustrations and we liked the story.  It is a nice lesson of making the best of a bad situation happily and looking on the bright side.  I like that it presents the lesson without being preachy.

Thursday, November 4

Drawing Elephants

About six to eight months ago, I stumbled across what I thought would be a terrific book, Sing Play Create to use with Froggy at the library.  I brought it home and tried valiantly to entice her into the activities.  No joy.  She just was not ready for it.  So back to the library it went.

Flash forward to present and Froggy is trying to draw more and actively interested in writing.  We went back to the library and checked out the book again. This time it was a huge hit.  For our first activity, I started with the zoo section since we are planning a trip to the zoo this weekend.  We read The Saggy Baggy Elephant  which we enjoyed mostly because it was a story I remember reading as very little person rather than for the story itself.


And then Froggy drew her very own elephant on the brand new story book paper she received for her birthday from Grandma and Grandpa following the step by step guide in Sing Play Create. We also played trunk push(again from Sing Play Create) but instead of their suggested song, we did a song from Adventures in MamaLand which helps practice our Hebrew counting.  Of course our zoo does not have elephants at this time but that does not matter. It was still a fun activity with lots of learning mixed in.

Monday, November 1

Menu Planning Monday

 Last week I posted how much we loved the Lamb Tagine but not the recipe.  It is below our menu for this week.

Sunday-  vegetarian potpie at a friend's hous
Tuesday - Bean and barley soup in bread bowls.
Wednesday - Homemade pasta sauce salad and garlic bread
Thursday - Fish ala Jenn,couscous, and peas
Friday - Challah, Roast Chicken, squash, peas, and a decadent chocolate dessert.


LAMB TAGINE - Adapted from Autumn Gatherings

4tbs EVOO divided
1 1/2 lbs boneless leg of lamb
1/2 tsp salt
2c chicken broth -preferably homemade
1 large onion chopped
2 carrots sliced into thin rounds
2 cloves garlic freshly chopped.
1 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp hot red pepper
1 28 oz can diced tomatoes
1 can garbanzo beans

Sautee onions and carrots.  Remove and set aside.  Lightly brown the lamb in batchs.  Remove to plate.  Add the broth to the pot and bring to a boil  Add vegetables back in.  Add remaining ingredients.  Simmer gently approximately 30 minutes.  Serve with couscous.

 In Autumn Gatherings they serve it in a roasted pumpkin and recommend eating the pumpkin with the tagine.  Serving in the pumpkin makes for a beautiful presentation but we did not actually eat the pumpkin.