Showing posts from 2013

Building Blood

As we continued our anatomy study, we moved from breathing to blood.  Froggy built this model of blood as
a method of telling back but also an opportunity for Froggy to teach her friend J.(roughly the same age) in a way both of them enjoyed.

Our model only had four ingredients like blood only has four main components.  The plasma is made from corn syrup.  We used about a cup.  The color is similar to plasma.  It took some convincing before J would believe that the majority of blood is really that color.

We used red hots for the red blood cells.  As you can see in the picture they share their color with the entire mixture as real red blood cells do. White jelly beans represented the white blood cells and gave the children a chance to see the relative proportions.  Sprinkles were added for the platelets.  Ours were bigger than they really should have been but close enough.  Froggy even demonstrated how they work by mashing them up against the side of the container over a…

Menu Planning Monday - 27 Tevet

Sunday - Pasta, Salad, Garlic Bread
Monday - Pulled Chicken, Peas,potato wedges
Tuesday - NYE - out with friends Wednesday -fish ala jenn, broccoli and rice and ginger pears cookies for Rosh Chodesh
Thursday -leftovers
Shabbat - Challah, Gefilte Fish Loaf, Matza ball soup, Apricot chicken, green beans, a bagged salad mix, roasted root veggies, and moo-less chocolate cream pie


Froggy has been taking Parkour this semester.  It is the perfect program for her.  A really small class with coaches that work one on one with each kid enouraging and pushing them but not forcing. 
She has to overcome her fears And use all her motor planning skills. She also gets to work on building her upper body strength hanging from bars and playing monkey.

Visiting friends

We have spent the last two weeks up in the frozen North I love being up here because everything is walking distance so I don't get cabin fever even when it snows.  Froggy turned even the most mundane outing into an adventure by tromping through the snow.  She became a variety of characters as she climbed and tumbled over the giant mounds of snow.  
This is moonrise over the hill where all the kids went sledding.  It was a gorgeous afternoon.  But ended too early for me. Sunset is 3:30ish in the frozen north.  It makes for a very short afternoon.  The kids kept playing long past sunset till it was too dark to climb back up the hill.

Lungs and Breathing

Our anatomy book is very very detailed provided more information than many middle school texts.  I don't know if it is Froggy's interest, the way the book presents the material or what but Froggy is thrilled with this book.

Friday was supposed to be a "vacation" day with no "school work"  Froggy was thrilled and decreed "it can be free play as soon as we do Parsha and Anatomy" You know something is working right when the kid asks for a given subject on their day off.

 This week in our anatomy work we looked at the respiratory system.  We discussed the structure of the respiratory system and Froggy drew her impression of what it looks like. She calls them upside down trees. Then we built a model of the lung with a working diaphragm.   The bottle is the chest cavity and blue balloon is the diaphragm.   The red balloon is the lung itself.  It actually inflates when the diaphragm is pulled.  

Science - Should I drink Soda

We are having so much fun with our anatomy study.  We are not doing all of the experiments listed but we are doing some of them.  This one was tons of fun.  We looked at how soda effects tooth enamel.

The basic experiment suggested placing a hard boiled egg in cola to see what happens since the shell of an egg is very similar to the enamel on our teeth.  We went farther. We wanted to see specifically what in the soda might be hurting the enamel, the sugar, the carbonation or the carmel coloring.

We put one egg each in regular Coke, Diet coke, and seltzer. We watched them and tested them every few days over the course of two weeks.  The final results were very surprising.  The cola colored the eggs as expected but the seltzer totally ate through the shell.  So the results showed Froggy that even without sugar or carmel coloring, carbonation is bad for your teeth.

Snow Day!!

This is what a snow day looks like at the Landing.  We did a full day of school including starting a new parsha in our Chumash study. Froggy and I had a snowball while Abba worked. First, she warmed up against the tree while I cleared our paths.  Then we battled it out until we got tired of being competitive and ganged up on the tree.  Then we ganged up on Abba when he came out.

We finally got enough snow to try out the sledding hill at the new house.  This is our third winter here and our first on the hill.
  And this is what it looks like when Froggy does it on her own.


This year we made hot cocoa jars for some of the special adults at religious school.   
 We made decorated cut out cookies for our Hanukkah party.  We also shared them with our special friends on our Meals to Wheels route. 

 I was really pleased with how they turned out.  This is the first time I have ever gotten the piping to look pretty.
We did not make any new permanent holiday decorations but we put up fun paper stars as well as "stained glass" stars.

Divving Up the Books

We are finishing up the first term of Year 3 with Ambleside.  As I mentioned before, we have struggled this term.  I have been  revising our schedule for next term with the knowledge I have gained from our stumblings. 

One of the major advantages in planning this term is knowing the books and the length and difficulty of the readings.  As a student grows within the Charlotte Mason philosophy, they are expected to slowly take on more of the responsibility of learning themselves. 

To that end, I get to divvy up.  We will have two books that I read to Froggy and she narrates back.  We have two books I will read to her and we will also have activities that accompany the material.  As usual, we will have one book we will be listening to in the car. And then we have two books that Froggy will read.  One she will read aloud to me and the other (our biography), she will read to herself and narrate.

Menu Planning Monday - 29 Kislev

This is a crazy busy week at the landing.  We have Rosh Chodesh and Hanukkah to celebrate.  If that was not enough it is our last week at home before our long winter trip.  That means I need to do extra cooking for the freezer so that Abba can eat while Froggy and I are gallivanting around the wiles of Boston. The Menu  Sunday - Hanukkah Party - Turkey Noodle Soup, Tomato Spinach Soup and Sufganyiot Monday -Chicken Black Bean Soup and chips Tuesday - Latkes, veggie sticks and sufganyiot for our last festive night of Hanukkah since I am not with the family on the last night. Wednesday - turkey fried rice Thursday - Pasta Salad and garlic bread Shabbat - This is what I am starting to call my "I don't want to think menu"  - Challah, Gefilte Fish Loaf, Matza ball soup, Apricot chicken, green beans, the mix salad from the store if I can still find it.  acorn squash, and a chocolate experiment dessert.
For the Freezer Lasagna
Baking pumpkin bread molasses cookies gingerbrea…

Tiger Cubs

Over the summer, tiger cubs were born at our zoo.  They recently made their public debut and we got to see them. So cute.

Even though our reason for going was to see these new cubs, we visited the rest of the zoo and were very glad we did.  The animals were in amazing form.  We got to watch the orangutangs climb the O-line

And we got to see the panda having what she appeared to think was a very yummy snack.  We saw Dad eating hsi snack to but he wanted to hide his snack so we only got to see his bottom. These animals came with us and I think they are the cutest of all even if we can't get them to look at us at the same time.

Menu Planning Monday - Hanukkah Edition

Everyone else is getting ready for Thanksgiving.  While we do celebrate Thanksgiving, my big focus right now is Hanukkah.

Sunday - Tacos, rice and beans
Monday - Anniversary dinner out
Tuesday - TofuCurry, rice and peas
Wednesday - First Candle - Dill Salmon, this new latke recipe, broccoli and sufganyiot.
Thursday - Thanksgiving at Aunt Petal's - I am bringing pecan pie and making latkes there.
Friday - Thanksgivukah Shabbos - Challah, gefilte fish, tomato spinach soup, mixed greens salad, roast turkey, mashed potatoes, peas, stuffing, and Hanukkah surprise cake for dessert.


We took a break from board games as our family fun time.  Instead we worked on one of the puzzles from my youth.  It took us quite a while but we finally finished it. 

Rocks and Minerals

We took a field trip to the Natural History Museum with another homeschooling family.  Since we were with friends, we visited rooms we would not have otherwise namely the rock and mineral collection.  Our two little princesses were immediately captivated by the tiaras.  The other jewelry was intriguing as well.  The girls took pictures on their own in additions to the ones by the grown ups. 
 They even chose to stand in line to view the Hope diamond.  Eventually we made it through the gems to minerals.  This fuzzy one was a favorite with the little people
 Personally my favorite was the rainbow of minerals.  I love how it shows the beautiful variety of HaShem's creation.
 Purple is a favorite color with both girls and they asked for this picture especially.  There were even a few specimens that the kids could touch. And then we moved into plate tectonics.  We looked at the Ring of Fire.  And the best part was they got to make their own earthquakes

Menu Planning Monday - 15 Kislev

This is my last busy week until the middle of January.  I only work three more night before the winter break and then nothing again until mid-January. And with winter break, my class is over freeing up yet another night.

Sunday -  Pasta, salad and garlic bread
Monday - Pulled Chicken, tator tots, peas
Tuesday - red beans and rice
Wednesday - Fish ala jenn rice and broccoli
Thursday - Pizza and salad
Shabbat - Out!!!


Our narrations got off to a real rough start this year.  Froggy took a huge leap backwards in her willingness / ability to narrate.  Schooling became a nightmare and each day a battle.  Our grand conversations completely disappeared. 

Our books this year are harder particularly Marco Polo which I believe is the root of all the problems.  The initial book was written in a style so different from the other books we have used.  Froggy could not keep all the information from even a short section in her head.  It shook her confidence in all her narrations.

We finally switched Marco Polo books.  I modeled narrations from this new book.  We took our readings down to sections smaller than when we were in Year 1.  And we started over.  We provided a carrot and a stick not for the quality of the narration but for the effort and willingness to narrate. 

And we moved forward. 

Froggy is narrating again.  The battle is over with most books now.  And we finally are having the grand conversations ab…


Hannukah is coming soon.  Yes everyone around is talking about Thanksgivukkah but I am not mixing the two anymore than circumstances dictate.  We are not putting out lots of Thanksgiving decorations like we normally do.  Instead we are surplanting those with our Hannukah decorations and preparing for our Hanukkah party. 

Playing on Pinterest, I found this lovely recipe I am thinking of serving as a "grownup" beverage

We are making these this week to give to Froggy's teachers and other special people in her life.  I am not sure we are going to go with traditional cocoa or fill it with this instead.

I want to make these just because they sound so yummy.  But I cannot think of a way to make them and change it to fit Hanukkah. 

This post was written and posted motzi Shabbos.

Menu Planning Monday - 8 Kislev

I am still trying to figure out cooking and dinners when I am not home in the evening.  This past week I had evening events every night expect Shabbos.  That does not make for easy meal planning

Sunday - Pizza (sauce is already made) and salad
Monday - Shepards Pie and salad
Tuesday - leftovers
Wednesday - fish ala jenn rice and peas
Thursday- Gumbo and bread
Shabbat - Challah, gefilte fish loaf, tomato spinach soup, pot roast, root vegetable au gratin, green beans, mocha almond torte or chocolate peppermint brownies

I am also adding more packable lunches to our menu since I basically have to pack two meals for myself on days that I work. 

bean and cheese burritos


It took us a while this year but we finally got in the spirit and decorated for Halloween.   We used the placecard pumpkins from our Sukkot celebration  to make bat-o-lanterns.  Froggy painted all the pumpkins while Abba and I cut out the wings and eyes.  We hung them all over the yard. 
 And Abba decorated our family of pumpkins so we could all "Hop on Pop"
  And the crowning glory in the decoration as far as I am concerned was the simplest of all
 We made four lanterns out of recycled milk jugs.   We drew Sharpie faces on them and put in battery operated lanterns to light them up. They got lots of compliments from our visiting ghosts and goblins.  Froggy was Merida for Halloween and she used her new quiver as her trick or treat bag. She had fun pretending to shoot Abba before they headed out.  Abba agreed and it is the only time she is ever allowed to point her bow at anyone.