Saturday, January 26, 2013

Brrrrrr. It’s cold in here. Our Winter Studies.


With us living in such a cold climate many days in the winter we don't make it above 0° F.   A few days this winter our HIGH has been –7° F. (that’s a negative people).  I am talking about snot freezing cold. 
Living in a climate like this means that I have to get creative on our winter lessons all around. 
This year I took the lazy way out.  I am using Winter Wonders by Amanda Bennett.  It is a Download and Go unit.   P1081050

We have used the Download and Go Unit Studies before and they are said that they can be done in a week.  I have never been able to make that happen.  We have much more fun using them over an entire month, or even more. 
We have been working through the Winter one for a few weeks already.  Some fun things we have done are:
We did this neat experiment about how hot water will turn to water vapor in the cold.  We microwaved a cup of water for 2 minutes and took it outside and threw it in the air. P1040999
You can see it evaporate right before your eyes. 
I don’t know how cold it has to be for this to work.  It was –13° F   that day.
We did a really neat density experiment.  We started out the same old, colored water and oil. 
What we did different this time was freeze it.  Then watch it thaw.  As it thawed the ice (water) moved up to the top. 
P1231096That showed us that ice is less dense then even the oil.
  As it thawed the water went back down to the bottom.
And we do get outside in the winter sometimes. 
We went sledding.
In our yard.

We went ice fishing.P1161065
We have done some inside things too.
We had front row tickets to Katey’s concert! 
Let me just say, it was AHHH- Mazing!
We drew snowmen.  (Tyler was learning his circles).
And we made snowmen.  Indoors.
We tried all sorts of flavors of hot chocolate. PA240071

Of course we read a lot of winter books too.

Find out what other’s do for school in the winter by clicking on the Blog Cruise picture above. 
What kinds of things do you do in the winter?  Is it cold where you live?

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Simple Machines Unit

We did a fun 2 week long simple machines unit that I put together using books from our library and simple machine projects I found from around the web. The first day we did an overview of all the different simple machines. Then each day we chose a different machine to learn about. Then we had a review day, followed by a compound machine day. And we finished it up by creating our own compound machines.

Here are some highlights.


Here we are making a lever to lift heavy objects.


We made an Archimedes’ screw. PA220030

We learned why a wedge is so helpful by trying to hammer a bolt vs. a nail. PA220031

We had a pulley tug of war.  Two people vs. one.  It was neat to see Katey overpower both the older kids. 


We had a build your own compound machine day. PA240075

I saved up supplies for two weeks to be able to have a good variety of items. PA240074

Emily made a cereal shooter.  PA240076

She used our catapult and made a pulley system to move the bowl as well as a wheel and axle.

Tommy made a quite complex bird feeder.


Katey made a really simple bird feeder.


This was such a fun unit for us.

Most, if not all, resources that we used can be found on my Prairie Primer Pinterest Board.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

The 5 Money Personalities {GIVEAWAY}


Which money language do you speak? 

What about your spouse or other members of your family?

It’s been said that many people divorce over money problems.  Because they don’t agree with each other over money.  They don’t understand where the other is coming from when it comes to money. 

To be on the same page or even in the same book as far as money goes is crucial to relationships.

The 5 Money Personalities is a book written by Scott and Bethany Palmer. 

How do they know what they are talking about?

Between the two of them they have 38 years of financial planning experience.  They saw couples with even the best of plans who's marriages failed due to money problems.  That is when they realized how important it is for couples to have a good money relationship with each other .

Since launching The Money Couple tens of thousands of people have adopted the methods they recommend and have a good relationship with money as well as with each other. 

Do you know which money personality you are?  Find out here.

About the book.

The 5 Money Personalities has 3 parts.

  • Part 1: It’s All About the Money Personalities
  • Part 2: The Heart of the Matter
  • Part 3: Reclaiming Your Marriage
  • There is also The 5 Money Personalities Survival Guide

The book will help you find your money personality and help your spouse find theirs. No money personality is the right one and no money personality is the wrong one. 

You use this book as a tool to understand each other and get on the same page financially.

This book is not a how to budget, or where to invest type book.  It truly is all about your relationship with money! 

A few things I want to mention. 

I actually have a great marriage and we were able to take things from this book that we feel will help us.


The best part?  I get to give away a copy of this amazing book to one very lucky reader!! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Let the good times slide…..


….. right down the hill! 


We took our family sledding to some hills near us.  We had a blast. 


Paul went down face first.  YEEE HAW!!


Na na na na na na na na Wipeout!


It was quite the hike up the hill. In fact, one of the kids that was with us said he thought he was going to die on the way down.  I said that I thought I was going to die on the way up. 

My Album 2-033

Tommy and Emily rode down together.

oh and crashed.

Emily landed on top of Tommy.

Everyone was fine.

And it was hilarious!!!

Happy Winter, Ya’ll

Friday, January 11, 2013

All Those Secrets of the World

It’s been a few weeks since we finished up this book, so I will be doing my best to remember some of the things we did. 

We centered much of our learning around discussions.  The FIAR manual gave many suggestions.  My Album 2-023

We learned about Ration books, the state of Virginia, we did water color paintings for art and our science was ocean centered.  We learned a little bit about WWII and the hardships people felt and how hard it may have been.PC040748 

Katey made the cutest “porthole” craft as well as we made a homemade “lava lamp”.  We saw how soap helped clean oil off our dishes just like it helped clean the oil off of the children.

We learned about ocean currents, did some fun simple fish measuring.  We also learned about floating and sinking in salt water vs. fresh water.

My Album 2-024

Of course we had to have ice cream cones with “jimmies” on them.  Katey was also very interested in the depth perception exercises we did.  She used it with her thumb often to figure out about how far away some things she saw were. 

My Album 2-025

My favorite resources for this book were:

The Five in A Row Manual.  - they have a great new website, check it out.  You can get all the fold and learns for free just for subscribing.

Homeschool Share

Many ideas can be found on my Pinterest Page as well. 


This post is linked up to:

Disclaimer: There are affiliate links in this post. There are also freebies. There are also just links to products without affiliate links. I'm trying to show what we did and where you can find it, not to sell you a product...although if you decide to buy one of them, please feel free to use the links and support a fellow homeschooler.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

How to make a jewelry holder on the cheap.

First you get any old frame (no glass or any insides needed).P1010789
You paint it any color you want.  We had left over paint in the garage from painting our chicken coop so naturally, I chose that color.
You use some screen fabric, you could use tulle or lace, even just regular fabric you poke holes in.

We tried stapling in with a staple gun and the screen wouldn’t stay flat.  I opted to hot glue it in to place.
You get those teeny tiny hooks and have someone else screw them in.  It is easier if you drill a guide hole first.
Then you hang it on your wall.  I used three Command Strips so I knew it would hold all my jewelry.

Oh yes, I purposely did it crooked so it would hold more necklaces, since that is the bulk of my jewelry collection.

This is linked to Works For Me Wednesday over at We are THAT Family.

This has been part of the Blog Cruise.  Check it out to learn How To do lots of other things! 

Sunday, January 6, 2013

My year. My word.



Well, I have never!!!

I mean, I have never chosen a word for the year.

I decided to jump on the bandwagon this year. 

I was thinking I could choose a word like



or maybe


(okay, 2 words but you get the idea.)

Anyways, I was thinking words like this are things I already am and isn’t the point of this to choose a word of something you want to be?

Then I was thinking words like




As great as all those words are, none of them fit what I was trying to get at.

I ended up having to go with a phrase!

So without further ado my phrase for 2013 is:

My Album 2-034

Yep, that’s it, I am going to make things happen in 2013.

Here we go!



Friday, January 4, 2013

The day we went hunting for a Christmas Tree.



Where to begin? 

Oh, wait,  I know.  The beginning. 

First we went to purchase a permit.  I quickly learned that there are 2 types of Christmas Tree permits.  You can buy one from the BLM (Bureau of Land Management) or from the US Forest Service.  After looking at the maps, we chose to get a forest service permit. 


We waited a few weeks to go out hunting for it.


When we finally went we made a day of it.  We left early in the morning, and made many stops and hiked around in the snow looking for the right one. 


The entire family got along and we all agreed that everyone had to agree on the tree. 


Sometimes we took a break to do something fun! 


Finally!  We found the tree. I think we were all just getting hungry for lunch.  So we chose the best one we could see. 


We thought it was the perfect. and then…….


We got it in the truck then we realized we might have went a little “Clark Griswold”. 


We took the kids out to eat for lunch.  Which is hugely rare around here.  We rarely go out to dinner, let alone lunch.  We went to one of our favorite restaurants up in the mountains.   Everyone in there made comments about how big our tree was and how we were going to fit it in our house.


Getting to that…..

We had to practically cut it in half to fit it in our house. 

Once we got it in and decorated it it looks perfect, a little quirky, but perfect!


Here are a few of our favorite ornaments apart from the little red spiders we keep finding in it. 


This one is from the Capital Christmas Tree tour we took when they cut it down right near us. PC070779

This one has been one of my favorites for some time. My heritage is Scandinavian.  Painted eggs are a popular tradition of that.  This ornament is an actual egg decorated.  I store it very carefully and I am the only one allowed to put it on the tree.


This is our Santa Key, my mom purchased for the kids, since we don’t have a chimney. This is how Santa gets in.


I love the actual pinecones.


I also left our tree permit around the trunk as a decoration. 


This has been one of the more memorable things we have done seeing as it is also our first time ever using a real tree.

The kids have been really great about watering it too! 

As of now we are hoping to make this a tradition.

I even saved a slice of the trunk to make an ornament out of.  That will be our tradition, every time we cut a Christmas Tree down, we will take a slice of the trunk and create an ornament. 



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