Monday, February 28, 2011

Mud is here….Spring is near!

We have recently moved to a new town.  Which is a much smaller town then we were used to living in.  It is also much much colder here.  We went from being used to lows in the 20’s to lows in the       –20’s.  It has been so cold and snowy here that we are beginning to get that cooped up feeling.  Sunday was warmer, reaching 39 degrees F.  We decided to do some exploring in our town. 

I had heard from some “locals” that there were some really neat Petroglyphs in Dry Fork Canyon, which is right near us.   

We took a Sunday family drive to go and check them out.  We went through one of the most beautiful canyons I have seen.  I was so in awe that I forgot to take pictures. 

We arrived at the McConkie Ranch, followed the easily marked trail signs. Went on an amazing short hike.  Which was easy enough, but we were NOT prepared for the mud. 
I guess I thought the ground would still be frozen, since it did just snow 6” on Friday.
The kids all enjoyed the hike.  Everyone thought the petroglyphs were amazing.
S3010521 S3010523
Here is Emily explaining what she thought this one was.  Tyler was done being in the Moby, so we let him out to hike around on his own when the ground wasn’t to bad. 
The worst part was heading down the trail.  It was a loop.  Once we started heading back down the mountain it was like skiing on mud. 

We then decided to drive up the canyon further and it was so amazing. 
S3010528 S3010529

We decided to turn around, since the entire canyon loop is a 3 hour drive, in good weather.  The whole day was so much fun.  On the way home the kids were all talking about how much fun they had and how they can’t wait to come back and hike the other trails.  (We only took one short trail.)  They are already planning on packing a picnic lunch and picnicking at one of the many picnic sites we saw.  

So, even though the mud was a huge pain for us hiking, and got all our shoes and pants dirty.  I am glad it is muddy, because that means Spring is near! 

Stay tuned for many more of our adventures right in our own backyard.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Mathrider~A quest through Mathland!

Mathrider is a fun math drill game.  You ride a horse through Mathland, answering math facts to overcome hurdles.  The faster you jump the hurdle (answer the question), the faster the next question will come. 

Mathrider for us was great for all math drills, addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division.


One thing I really liked about this game was the theme of the game.  It would be really great for children who like horses, or quests!  The quests entailed getting a secret flower to help your mother get well, and rescuing a princess, for examples. 

There is a practice section, and then the quest section.  So you can practice the facts before you go on the quest. 

At the end of your 30 question quest, you can see a status bar of the answers you got right, and how fast, or well you know the facts.  This way your child can immediately see which facts they need to work on more.  There is also a progress report that the you and your child both have access to.   What happens if you got the answer wrong, you ask?  Well then the entire math fact is recited back to the child.  As well as that fact will come up more often. 

One thing I feel that I should mention it that it does not allow you to work on two different sets of facts at once.  For example, you cannot work on addition and subtraction at the same time.  However I think the way around that would be to set up more than one profile, ie: Tommy multiply, Tommy divide.  You can set up to 10 profiles. 

Mathrider is priced at $37 on sale for a downloadable version of it. 

Check out what other TOS Reviewers said about Mathrider HERE.


Katey is………….6!


Katey turned 6.  We just did a fun small family party, her bigger family party will be this weekend. 


We did have yummy store bought Oreo ice cream cake and store bought mini cupcakes.



She also got to choose our meal for the night.  She chose steak with corn on the cob and salad, along with potatoes and onions.  Yummy!


Happy Birthday Katey!  We love you so much!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

3rd Place in State Championship Qualifier!!!

Emily got 3rd Place in the Qualifier this past weekend.  We are so proud of her, she worked and trained really hard for this!

 Emily is in the pink.

Tommy raced his hardest, he hadn’t raced in a while.  Good thing there are 4 more chances to make it into the State Championship race in September. 
Tommy is in the red.

Katey made it to the semifinals, but did not make it to the main event this time.  Katey is less competitive about it and just does it for fun.

 Katey is in the lead, with the green helmet. 

Friday, February 18, 2011

Kids Scoop~ Chock full of reading!

Does your child resist sitting down and reading an book?   Are they still looking for what type of reading they would like to do? (fantasy, history, biography, fiction, non-fiction, etc)
If this sounds like your child, I would highly suggest looking into Kid Scoop.  They have a program for reluctant readers.  It basically consists of tons and tons of themes in a digital newspaper format for $97.  You select one, be it one of the few they suggest for that month, or one you think your child may find interest in.  I printed them out for my children, and stapled them in packet form.  Emily (4th) did Tadpoles, and Tommy (6th) did Hockey. 
Each packet has some reading and a variety of other activities.
Emily’s (Tadpoles) had
  • Reading about tadpoles
  • Proof reading page, where she had to correct the mistakes
  • Find the difference pictures
  • Vocabulary word
  • An enrichment activity (such as look in the classifieds of the newspaper for abbreviations)
  • Riddle writing. It gave a riddle and then she had to write her own similar.
  • Jokes
  • Word search
  • A maze with frog facts that you have to pass
  • A math area – she had to find different answers in a game called Lilly Pad Leap
  • Another writing activity.  - Read the classified ad selling a house.  Write your own classified ad selling a frog the perfect habitat.

Tommy’s (Hockey) had
  • Reading about hockey
  • Find the silly things picture
  • Fill in the missing letters
  • Unscramble the word
  • Zamboni dot to dot
  • Enrichment activity – put hockey words you know or find in ABC order
  • A proof reading page
  • Vocabulary word
  • A character cartoon about goo sportsmanship
  • An ice skater pattern puzzle
  • Write an alliteration about hockey
  • Joke
  • Word Search

I mean wow!  My children didn’t even think about this as being work.  It was more of an activity book in their eyes.  It is also an activity book in my eyes, but a very educational one.  I can see me printing off a few of these when we go on car trips.  Or when I am theme teaching I will print off ones that go with the theme I am teaching.  (IE. St. Patrick’s Day- The Blarney Stone)

This is not all you get from Kid Scoop.
They have something absolutely free!  That’s right for free you can get 30 days of great fun reading ideas delivered right to your inbox.  We did some of these as well. 
Tommy had to create a nutritious dinner for one of his favorite athletes, using the grocery store advertisements.  He also had to price out how much this meal would cost him to make.   
Emily had to do some research on our new town.  She had to find things out, like who is our Mayor, Who would you call if you found a lost dog (along with the phone number, where would you go to find out about special events your community was holding, and many more.  These things were all perfect since we had just moved to a brand new town. 

You get an idea like that every day for 30 days for free.  So go sign up for that HERE, and then come back and finish reading what else they offer.

Ok, so far we have covered that Kid Scoop offers you an amazing digital newspapers to download chock full of reading activities for $97  We have also covered that they offer 30 days of fun reading ideas sent right to you for free!

What we haven’t covered yet is the Kid Scoop website.  The website has many free resources such as recipes, great ideas, jokes, games, a pop quiz section, a weird facts section, talking points section- great ideas for dinner table talk, and the list just goes on and on.  Go check out their website and search around for a while.  The website also has a full color digital newspaper for children.  They even have a special one called My Kid Scoop, geared toward little learners.   
You can get the activity packets individual for $2.99 each. 

We really enjoy Kid Scoop.  It has really made reading so fun in our house.

{I received this product free of charge in exchange for a candid honest review.}

Check out what my other crewmates said here.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Quick Valentines for your kids!

I was at the store looking for some Valentines for my children.   I saw boxes of heart shaped candies for $1 and I contemplated buying those, but they are full of candies that my children don't even really like.    I opted for another route. 

I went down the regular candy isle and picked out a box of their favorite candies for only $1 each.

They I just taped them to a piece of paper and wrote a cute saying on them. 

Tommy and Tyler's favorite candy is Reeses Pieces. 
Tommy's says
You don't just have "PIECES" of our hearts, you have all of it.

Tyler's says,
We fall to "PIECES" over you.

Emily likes nerds.
Even if sometimes you are "NERDY" We love you just the way you are!  (I wrote a "Y" over the "S")

Katey likes Junior Mints
Your no "JUNIOR" Valentine in our book

I also made some for Paul and I.

They are fun, cheap and easy.  In a little while we will be doing a scavenger hunt to find them. 


love is in the air

Friday, February 11, 2011

Quicksand! So much to learn.


Do your kids think quicksand is so cool?  Do you think it’s so cool when you can teach multiple subjects at once, using something your kids think is so cool?

If all that made sense to you,  and you answered “YES!”   Then you should read about our week.

PhotobucketWe have been using a quicksand unit study from amp;cPath=191_459" target="_blank">The Old Schoolhouse Curiosity Files Series.  Heidi Strawser is the project manager for this particular one, and possibly many more.  She is a normal homeschooling mom, who I think is super.  Many crew members are research assistants on this project as well. 

There is reading, math, spelling, vocabulary, writing, copywork, bible, and of course science.  Complete with experiments, on how to make your own quicksand.  Which for us really drove the lessons home.  

We learned quicksand safety, we learned some truths about quicksand and also some myths.  We also learned how not everything you see or hear isn’t true. 

This Quicksand came into our homeschool at such a great time.  We were falling into a rut.  A boring one.   We took a few days off from our routine and cured our curiosity about quicksand. 

S3010482The Curiosity Files are a fun change of pace for our homeschool and they could be for yours too.  They are also easily added to a homeschool day.


I love The Old Schoolhouse Store.  They have so many amazing reasonably price resources.  They even have a dollar section. (Where some of The Curiosity Files are on sale NOW!)

The Quicksand study right now is just $6.95.

You can purchase all of the Curiosity Files in CD-Rom form for $49.00 and have an entire year of fun science curriculum.

{I received The Curiosity Files Quicksand Study for free in order to write this honest review.  No other compensation was received.}

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Monstrous Valentine holder


Emily had been wanting to make a Valentine card holder for years now.  With Valentine’s Day right around the corner.  We made one for her to put all her Valentines in! 




She knew what she wanted.  She wanted the Valentines to go in through the mouth.


She is so happy with this and it was easier than I had thought it would be. 

Monday, February 7, 2011

Muffin Tin Monday – Vegetarian Style

Muffin Tin Monday at Her Cup Overfloweth

I just feel like clarifying:

We are not vegetarians, but that doesn’t mean we need to eat meat at every meal, or even every day. 

Left to right, top to bottom:
Orange Juice, Fork, Avocado slices, goldfish crackers, grits (butter flavored), peanut butter celery, peaches with whip cream, cream cheese celery.  

S3010431This was also Tyler’s very first time joining us in a Muffin Tin Meal.   These were all foods he had before, just the way it was served to it was new for him.  He seemed to really enjoy it being the same as the other kids.  He was smiling for this picture, I just must have not snapped it quick enough.

This week there is no theme over at Muffin Tin Mom, so be sure to go check out all the cool ideas other Muffin Tin Munchers came up with!

Menu Plan Monday

Ok, so our second week in our new house I still wasn’t able to order from the food co-op this week.  I am still figuring all that out.  I was able to plan the menu completely on my own as far as vegetables. (With the food co-op you don’t get to choose your fruits and veggies)

Monday- Lemon Mediterranean Chicken & Veggies, Garlic Bread

Tuesday- Salisbury Steak, Mashed Pots and Green Beans

Wednesday- Caribbean Pork Roast, Pasta salad.

Thursday- Paradise Pita Pockets (made with left over pork roast), Sweet Potato chips

Friday- Navajo Tacos

Saturday- Steaks with Potatoes and Onions, Green salad

Sunday- Roast Turkey and veggies, cornbread

Monday- Turkey Hash (made with leftover turkey)

This is my simple menu for this week!

To see what other people are planning on eating this week check out Menu Plan Monday over at

Our new school area!

One of the best things about our new house is all the storage it came with.  It’s convenient to get stuff in and out of, along with being located well throughout the house. 

 Here is our school closet.  It is a huge double door closet that fits everything.  

I set up our workboxes in there. 


We are still doing them the same, where I put both kids numbers on shared boxes.  Anything bigger they need for the day will go on top of the workbox.

  Katey’s circle time stuff will go on top of hers.  Right now we are working on memorizing The Pledge of Allegiance, by reading this book every morning.

Then we do our “Tell Me About Today” chart.

I love being able to store the books and activities right next to the workboxes.  This really enables me to set up school quickly. 


Another fun thing about this closet is that it is adjoined to a small loft area.  So the kids can set up bean bags and clipboards to work or read, if they don’t want to go down to the table or counter.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Tot school

Tot School

This past week I have felt so organized and like we are really accomplishing a lot.  While I wasn’t camera ready all of the time.  I was able to snap a few pictures. 
We have done lots and lots of reading this past little while.  I keep catching Tyler taking books of the book shelf and out of the library basket and reading them on his own.  I am grateful for his love of books at this young age and I hope I can continue to help his love for reading grow. 

Tyler also really likes to color.  I got a big coloring book for him.  That way the crayon is less likely to leave the page (that’s the plan anyway).  He likes to work right along side the older kids as they are working on school work.   

To see how other tots are learning check out Tot School over at 1+1+1=1

Our first meal in our new house.

For our first meal in our new house, since we were still unpacking I made some quick Chinese food from the freezer section of the grocery store. 


Saturday, February 5, 2011

Our skin….a preschool science experiment.

We have been reading in My Silly Body and Book.  Which I got when I won a drawing over at Our Homeschool Fun.  We got to the part about skin.  We learned that our skin has many layers.  We learned that it is how we feel things.  That way we call tell if things are hot or cold, sharp or dull, soft or hard. 

We learned about tickling, we did an experiment with a feather to see how we are ticklish when someone else tickles us.

We tried tickling ourselves with the same feather in the same place on our body. 

We discovered that we are not as ticklish when tickling ourselves!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Can you dig it?

For Christmas my two older kids got metal detectors.  They have been outside searching with them often.  They have not been able to dig things up, because the ground is so frozen.  They have been digging still, only virtually, with a new game “Roman Town” by Dig It Games.

Roman Town begins with  a lot of reading.  It gives you a comic strip type background story of who, what, where and why about the dig you will be working on.  The very first time my 10 year old attempted to play it, she said it didn’t feel much like a game to her, there was just too much reading.  Then she just didn’t want to play it.  A few days later she asked me if she could try it again.  She mentioned that she wished she could skip the intro about the background of the dig.  She could “click” through it.  That way she could get to the dig faster. 
When you are digging you set down marking flags and choose workers, along with what type of tools they will be using.  (Although, it didn’t seem to matter, you find the artifacts either way.)  Once you find an artifact you put it together, meaning you do some type of puzzle.  You learn what each artifact was used for.  After you finish a room in the 6 room house you are uncovering.  You complete a “fill in the blank” type report.  I noticed Emily often needing help with these, which lead me to belief she did not actually absorb the information about all the artifacts.  (Maybe it was information overload, or maybe it was her just clicking through the reading to play the game.)

This has been a nice indoor activity during the winter.  I would recommend this if you were learning about ancient Rome in your history as a supplement.   This would also be a fun way to introduce Roman History or archeology into your curriculum. 

Also if you kids are really into archeology and computer games.  They would enjoy this.  Part of my problem with Emily is that I set her expectations of it being a “no brainer” game, which it is not.  If I would have told her upfront that there was some reading to go along with it, and some digital reports, she may have had a different attitude about it, and paid more attention to the reading that had to do with the artifacts. 

If you think Roman Town is something you would like, you can get it for $39.95.  They are offering my readers a special limited time discount if you use code TOS2011 before Feb. 21st you will get the game for just $19.96.  That almost $20.00 in savings. 

To see what others though of this check out this post on our crew blog.

{I received Roman Town for free for review purposes.  Everything in this blog, including this review is my very own opinion and has not been influenced in any way}

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Our last days

in our old house.   I know this is a little late but we have been busy, well ya know, moving!

I had planned out a short school days for the Monday and Tuesday of “moving week.”  Wednesday was truck loading day so everything had to be gone that day.  Thursday was driving day, and move in day.  The weekend was for unpacking!
These are the last of the workboxes.   I just wrapped them in saran wrap.  I left the books in them, I know it’s a little wear and tear on the boxes, but I wanted the kids to be able to continue with their schoolwork while I was unpacking.

Katey went missing for a while and I found her in her closet box spying on us packing.  We have been reading aloud Junie B. Jones and Some Sneaky Peeky Spying .  She has really been into spying lately. 
One other thing I did is pack a special tote full of lactivities for Tyler and Katey.  It had a small TV with a movie.  Coloring books and crayons and picture books, some puzzles and snacks.  While I would always be close by as well as other adults.  It very much helped keep these two busy and out of the way. 

Now I am proud to report that we are completely unpacked and life is back to normal now.  Stay tuned to see how our new “school closet” is organized. And what we have been up to living in a brand new city 200 miles away from anyone or anything we ever knew.

Also the temperature here this morning was 13 below!  Brrrrr.


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