Winter is blowing by… Part 1

January went by fast…

we had spent the month enjoying our Winter Theme.



Our nature tree was as naked as the trees outside,
so we added our winter mitten craft to add some color.
We included some mitten games while we were at it.


as well as having had enjoyed some hot cocoa days.
Need an easy hot cocoa recipe?
Here’s one from my daughter; enjoy
Easy Hot Cocoa Recipe


Books and winter activities were a blast,

as we were teased by a few dustings of snow.

IMG_0088[1] IMG_0087[1]

Outside we adventured a few nature walks in the brisk air.


Inside we enjoyed circle time with our preschool friends,
as well as some table time activities.


Indeed, none of these littles are mine.
I’m not sure when it happened,
but my “littles” are no longer little.  *sigh*


The older kids entertain themselves well.
(The two on the left are my “littles”,
see what I mean?

I’m so grateful to spend my days with all these people;
littles, bigs, and the handful of moms I get to enjoy each week!

“Winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth,
for the touch of a friendly hand and for a talk beside the fire:
it is the time for home.”       ― Edith Sitwell


A Fresh Start to Nature Walks

Fun Friday is our Nature Study
which includes a nature walk…


It is always fun to explore a new area,
and since we recently moved,
our neighborhood, as well as our very own backyard,
is an excellent place to begin again.

Our Neighborhood

Week 1


Andrew and Bryson lead the way while Adelaide and her mommy joined us.


We found bees, grasshoppers, snakes, butterflies,
as well as some lovely flowers, lots of plum trees,
and some pretty cool succulents.

Week 2


Daddy and the puppy are joining us this time!


we observed some random plants…


and the weather has been delightful thus far…


which makes for a good outing.

Week 3

Some weeks are just plain busy, and you forget pics, right?

Last week was a bit of a crazy nature walk.
I have a friend who has begun to bring her homeschooled son (and infant daughter) over on Friday afternoons for some fun science activities, a speech presentation, and our nature walks.  On this day I tried to mulit-task by going for our nature walk at the same time as heading down to pick up one child for afterschool care (I do not have the 3 sibling on Fridays, so this was a random drop in care).  As this one child got off the bus, another child joined us as we ventured through the neighborhood.  This round of adventure was about our local deciduous trees, so we took samplings of leaves, seeds, and bark as the opportunities allowed.

Week 4


This round of a nature walk was in our very own backyard.


We, again, took samplings of the trees;
a piece of bark, a seed, and a leaf.


…then explored our findings!

Next month we will start our nature journals to our fun list as well.

Does your family stop to take a look at nature within the busyness of life?
Do you see the ever so small changes that take place around you?
Autumn is an excellent time to see God’s beautiful artwork!




Our Nature Tree

Fun For the Classroom!!


This lovely lady painted me a “nature tree”.
Over the years I have used a paper one that is old and worn.
Now, at our new house, the tree is on the wall,
and we are ready to explore our seasons and all things nature.


Didn’t it turn out cute? 

and because she knows me so well,
she signed her sketch of the project
and left it for me.  “love” it!


Just sharing a little joy in my days…

It’s a Jungle Out There…

with a splash of Brazilian knowledge too!

So going through a BIOME each week has proven to be fun!
In all honesty, it is actually my class I teach at our Tuesday Science Co op,
along with my co-teachers discussing a country  per week,
thus we compliment each others activities well!!

This Week:  The Amazon Rain Forest & Brazil


We opened up class discussing the 4 layers of the Rain Forest,
and what animals lived in each level.
I was fortunate that my co-teacher can draw!

I then passed out a small picture of each animal to the students
where they had to act out that animal for the rest of the class to guess which one it was.
Sometimes the most simple game ends up being the most fun.  This was one of them!

We then moved on to the map to show where Brazil was…



Story time covered details about Brazil;
Although the Amazon River runs through Brazil, there is no bridges to cross it.
The cacao plant aka the cocoa tree is a small evergreen tree where we get cocoa beans,
yep, those beans that are used for cocoa powder and chocolate!  Mmmm….
The Rubber tree can be tapped for latex once it matures to 6 yrs of age,
which is much like tapping a maple tree.    Fascinating, huh?

The fun part of participating in a Homeschool Co op
is that you get to take home the lessons to live out loud for the week!

We all know that our family’s core studies (via Robinson Curriculum style) is reading, writing, and doing some math, independently in most cases.  However, I find that doing group activities as a family in the afternoons adds some fun to our day.  All ages included.



Katie-girl began by making all the leaves…

Then TJ put together the base of the project;
tree trunk, branches, and layers of the rainforest.


Next, the boys (Andrew & Bryson) made snakes…


and birds.


I, the least creative of the bunch, simply cut out monkeys.


Katie-girl worked on a Cheetah…


then added the finishing touch of a Red-eyed Tree Frog…

tree frog

and low and behold,
A Rain Forest!


Other Rain Forest activities included watching a couple of videos on Netflex;
2 episodes on Wild Kratts, and 1 episode on The Magic School Bus.
This gave us the extra details to explore further on,
such as learning about the peccary, spider monkeys, and sloths.

If you would like to know the details of how to do these crafts,
Please visit Katie-girl’s DIY blog:

Concealed Foundation


It’s a bit wild to be a homeschooler!

Weathering the Autumn Air


Some folks head to the tropics,
others will will take a cruise,
for some, Disneyland is the hot topic,
for us?  A quaint beach house in the off-season is what we choose!

In all actuality, my husband and I share an Equinox birthday.
A day to greet the new fall season!
What better way to celebrate than to go explore the seasonal changes on the coast?
with our kids?  and our pets?
and treasure all the gifts that the Good Lord has provided us with!


5 (of our 6) kids came on the adventure with us!


The first few days we weathered the storms…


… yet, as always, we found things to do.
We looked at shells, observed small, smooth stones,
and batted rocks into the ocean.

Wild Life:


We researched Sanderlings, the small groups of sea birds,
that flock inches over the shore line,
following the wave lines as they stroll in.

Jellyfish, snails, and deer were also easy access to view



Our afternoons were filled with beach activities!


(Each day the weather cleared up just a little more.)
Walks along the shore.
Flying kites.
Playing baseball.



We spent our evenings playing games!
Skip bo, Sorry, Trouble, Rummy, Yahtzee,
and a Twister Tournament!


Our favorite game, by far, was…
Hide-n-Go Seek in-the-dark.
Admittedly, I was pretty good at it.  *hee*

Our Last Night:


Life doesn’t get much better than this!
Family, joy, peace, love, hope,
a God who loves us beyond our flaws and blesses us with His Glory.


L.I.F.E. Academy~ 1st Day of 2014-15



I decided to keep things simple this year.  We always have something fun cooked up on our first days of school.  So I tried to be creative, yet keep things easy.

I served them pancakes/German pancakes, some w/ chocolate chips, some plain.
My “hint” was on the board… they didn’t know it.



We opened up our day talking about the Fruits of the Spirit.
I decided since we’ve had a few attitude-ish moments the last few months, that a lesson on each of the characters would be beneficial.  We had some flat rocks from a previous beach vacation, so I thought using them as “faith” rocks would be fun.  I was hoping for a tool to engrave the small stones, but that didn’t happen, so the kids just wrote on the rocks with markers.


As a service of good deeds the kids went outside to do some outdoor chores; sweeping the deck and driveway (we live in the woods, it’s daily task, lol), stack wood, scoop poop (aren’t puppies cute, ha), and rake tree debris.



We ran down to the local park and played for 30 min.
Tag always seems to be the game of choice.


When we got back to the house, I led my kids on a treasure hunt.  The clues let them discover things about our property that had gone unnoticed… an apple tree, grape vines, and a pear tree.  They also got led down around the the trail to the (now very little) creek, which led to our fire pit, where I thought it was brilliant to have hotdogs and s’mores for lunch!  I mean, how cool is that, right?  Mmm, it was nice idea, but the reality was a little bumpier than that.  After sending TJ up the ravine a few time for matches, plates, etc… and me not totally prepared; can’t ya just grab a stick and slap the hotdog on?  uh, no, one must carve the tip off with the knife that is in the house which leads to another trip up the ravine!  Did I mention it was 90 degrees?  *giggle, snort*  Of course it was TJ, who carried the puppy down, ran up and down the hill 3 times, and now I am asking him to build a (small) fire.  Can I admit he wasn’t thrilled?  (oopsies).


The younger boys loved their lunch, Katie enjoyed it alright… and once the fire was going and the sticks were whittled, and things calmed down… the most priceless gift came from this senior student of mine… that quiet still moment followed by…

“thanks Mom”.

All about Birds


Nature Study- We are loving our Reading & Nature Nook.

We sit, we watch, we listen.
So many sounds to hear!

wuk wuk wuk wuk (Red-breasted Sapsucker aka woodpecker)
a rapid tweet tweet tweet (a chestnut backed chickadee)
who-who-who (dove – ok, so it’s said that they ‘coo’, but it sounds more like a hyper owl to me)
a rapid cheep cheep cheep cheep (Stellar Jay)
cheer up-cheer up-cheer up (American Robin)
chitter, chirp, chirp, chirp (a female Allen’s hummingbird)



We explore.

We took the time to check our wee part of the woods for nettles and poison oak.
We look to be all clear!  Yay!



Katie-girl is beginning her nature photo journalist hobby.  *smile*


Think maybe it’s time to buy a lawnmower?
I think spring sprung on us!