Wordful Wednesday

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

My daughter has taken to playing with Photo Booth lately...these are some of her recent works of art. Yes, we are thankful for our iMac, it provides endless hours of entertainment and open-ended creativity.

More on Thanksgiving

Monday, November 24, 2008


Twas the night of Thanksgiving, but I just couldn't sleep
I tried counting backwards, I tried counting sheep.

The leftovers beckoned-- the dark meat and white,
but I fought the temptation with all of my might.

Tossing and turning with anticipation,
the thought of a snack became infatuation.

So, I raced to the kitchen, flung open the door
and gazed at the fridge, full of goodies galore.

I gobbled up turkey and buttered potatoes,
pickles and carrots, beans and tomatoes.

I felt myself swelling so plump and so round,
till all of a sudden, I rose off the ground.

I crashed through the ceiling, floating into the sky
With a mouthful of pudding and a handful of pie

But, I managed to yell as I soared past the trees.......
happy eating to all---pass the cranberries, please!
~Author Unknown

Check out these great Thanksgiving links:
Bethany Roberts
Thanksgiving for Kids

Thanksgiving Jokes and Riddles from Kaboose

Audio Books Online

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Like most homeschoolers, we often listen to books while riding in the car. I usually check them out from the library, but I recently discovered AudibleKids.com where you can download audio books for kids and just like you would download music to your ipod. There are over a thousand titles to choose from and they seem very reasonably priced. There are 122 selections for 99 cents. They offer a great selection too, with many award winning titles, classic fairy tales and fables, and some favorite series like Magic Tree House and Junie B. Jones. And they are easy to browse by age, grade level, length, author, etc. The site has an enhanced Beta version that, for some titles, allows you to see the book's original illustrations as you listen on a computer with itunes or an ipod.
The site even has an online community where you can meet other people with children of a similar age or with similar interests, write reviews, share reading lists and more. And, you can set up and account for your child with an allowance and let them browse and choose books on their own if you wish.

If your kids like audio books, or even if you've never tried them, it's worth a look. You can listen to excepts online before purchasing anything, and signing up for an account is free. When you do sign up you'll get one free download.

P.S. If you haven't already, be sure to check out Tumble Books, it is listed as a link in my side bar because we love it so. While a subscription is quite pricey, many libraries carry one and you can access it for free through one that does.

How to Make an Apple Doll

Friday, November 21, 2008

We came across the book, The Apple Doll, by Elisa Kleven, at the library last week and have enjoyed reading it together. I recall having an apple doll years ago that my grandparents had given my sister and I as a gift. I was always intrigued by the squishy face and the sweet smell. But, it never occurred to me to make my own. After reading the book several times, we decided to make our own apple dolls. It's a great project for young kids, and really quite easy to do.
You can find instructions here. However, if you find the book there are instructions after the story.
Find examples of finished dolls here.

I'll post pictures of our finished dolls when they are done. Right now we're still shrinking heads ;P

Wordful Wednesday

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

These photos were taken at one of our favorite spots in Colonial Williamsburg. This is the coolest old tree, still living and split right down the middle. The kids were have a great time, obviously, and I couldn't help but wonder about the fascinating history that that old tree must have been witness to.

For more Wordful Wednesday click here. For Wordless Wednesday click here. And whether you are wordy or wordless, have a wonderful Wednesday.

Thanksgiving Fun

Monday, November 17, 2008

Ok, I admit I've been a little preoccupied lately with a couple of projects (fun, but time consuming), work (not so much fun, but thankful to have it) and a couple of snuffly kids (who have passed the sniffles on to me ~ I'll try not to sneeze on you). I apologize for slacking on the posts. I will try to get back on track here, I promise. Seriously, I think Congress should pass a Mom-Sanity-Savings bill that adds an extra hour per day from Halloween through New Year's. I'll get right on that.

In the meantime, we've got to get moving on Thanksgiving! I've got some great crafts, recipes and books to share to keep the kiddos busy. Try them out and let me know what you think.
Tip Junkie has a great post with lots of fun Thanksgiving ideas. I love the pilgrim hat cookies. They certainly aren't health food, but they are very cute. The fruit gobbler is a healthier option, and a cute idea for your holiday table. If you have company coming, this could be fun for the kids to make while the grown ups prepare the feast and watch football.
Family Fun has directions for everything from place cards, to chair covers and pinatas. Lots of great ideas here. In particular, I found Spuds McTurkey a hoot. We may try the chair covers using pillow cases.

Here's an online Turkey Match game. And a Thanksgiving Story for young ones. And some print and play turkey mazes. Thanksgiving coloring pages. Make a thankful wreath (also can be make by tracing and cutting child's hand prints and writing something they are thankful for on each hand). Make a wild turkey.
Funschool has some cool online games and activity pages.

Find Thanksgiving poems here. And more poems and songs here.

Macy's Day Parade info and history. Scholastic's First Thanksgiving page.

Thanksgiving related lesson plans can be found here. Why leaves change color. Plus, Thanksgiving history from The History Channel.

Some of our favorite books on the subject are:
In November, by Cynthia Rylant
Over the River and Through the Woods
The Night Before Thanksgiving, by Natasha Wing
Thanksgiving on Thursday, by Mary Pope Osbourne
Thanksgiving Is, by Gail Gibbons
And, since you are reading...why not make a bookmark or two?

Holiday Shopping Blues

Friday, November 14, 2008

If you are in the same boat as most Americans these days, the holidays will be a little leaner this year. It seems we are all having to cut back as much as we can. Our budget has shrunk for gifts this season and I've been looking for creative ways to give nice gifts without breaking the bank. I have come across a few of deals that I wanted to share with you...
Photoworks currently has a special for 44% off their holiday photo cards. Use coupon code EARLYBIRDCARDS. Their photo gifts are also on sale for 30% off.
Or, you can get 2 photo books for $29.99 from My Publisher if you are a new customer. Just submit your email for a coupon code (it says FREE book, but it's actually a buy one get one). And, if you'd like a third, try Artscow. It's not free, but practically...only $6.99!
Now go put all of those digital photos on you memory card to good use!
You may also like the deal from Identity Direct for a personalized children's Christmas book for 1 cent.
And lastly, there are some great books on sale on my Usborne site. Be sure to check out the Internet Specials. I have purchased several of the Mini Christmas Treasury books as gifts for my friends' kids. It is a lovely, small hardcover book that includes several traditional Christmas stories, poems and songs. It makes a great stocking stuffer too. And, at $2.40 it's a steal!
*Update* Just found out about another sale. Visit snapfish.com for photocards for 1 cent! Through November 23rd, use coupon code CARD08 and get 20 cards for 20 cents, plus shipping.
If you come across any great deals please let me know and I'll post them here!

Wordful Wednesday

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

My, what big shoulders you have! Aiden loves to get decked out in his gear (either fire fighting, helicopter piloting, or football playing) and play pretend. He'll do this for hours and change several times each day. Since he was lacking shoulder pads for his "big game" he decided to use his sister's soccer shin guards. He strapped them on under his jersey and voila! instant muscles, LOL.

For more WW fun visit these sites:
5 Minutes for Mom
Wordless Wednesday
7 Clown Circus

Veterans Day

Monday, November 10, 2008

The Pride of Our Country

by Roger Robicheau

Today as before, our brave do fight
For a land they love, a flag so right

The pride of our country, yes they are
The strength of our nation, best by far

Just as our brave from each war gone by
They march for us proudly, flag held high

From all over this land they come to serve
They’re taught by the best, this they deserve

When troops give their all, the world does see
Whether serving on land, in the air, or at sea

The pride from this country, march through war
With home drawn strength, held deep in their core

Our best are so awesome, their loved ones well know
May God guide their journey where they - for us - go

What these brave must have is support from their own
The love from their people, firm thankfulness shown

Our greatest achievement is that we’re still free
Please take time and ponder who caused this to be

©2005 Roger J. Robicheau

Veterans Day Celebration Ideas to share with the family:
Veterans Day Lapbook
Lesson Ideas
Veterans Affairs Kids Pages
Veterans Affairs Veteran's Day Page
Library of Congress Veterans History Project
Crafts, Poetry, Songs, Worksheets and more for Veterans Day
A Very Comprehensive Site with Links for Veterans Day

A Favorite Fall Recipe

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Mmmmm...sweet...gingery goodness. And so much fun to make with kids! This recipe is great fun with cutters of all shapes. We've used letters, numbers, leaves, pumpkins, turkeys, and of course ginger girls and boys. The kids love 'em and so do I. I hope you enjoy them too!

Gingerbread Cut-Out Cookies:

* 4 cups all-purpose flour
* 1 tbsp ground ginger
* 1 tsp ground cinnamon
* 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
* 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 1 tsp baking soda
* 1 cup butter (2 sticks), softened
* 1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
* 1 cup molasses (not Blackstrap)
* 2 large eggs

What to do:

1. Combine flour, spices, salt, and baking soda in a bowl. Set aside.

2. In a separate bowl, with an electric mixer on high, beat together butter, sugar, and molasses until creamy. Add eggs one at a time, and beat until fluffy.

3. Add flour mixture to butter mixture a little at a time, and beat until just combined. Dough will be stiff.

4. Divide dough in half, flatten into disks, wrap in plastic wrap, and chill for 1 hour or until firm. Cookies hold their shape better when baking if the dough starts very chilled or frozen.

5. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.

6. On a floured surface, roll one dough disc at a time to 1/4" thick. Cut into gingerbread-man shapes by hand or with cookie cutters. Transfer to parchment-lined baking sheet, and bake 10 minutes or until cookies are light brown around the edges.

7. Allow cookies to cool on racks and decorate as desired (use tinted icing, small candies, raisins, etc.). Makes about 2 dozen (depending on size).

A Sea of Blue

Saturday was the hubinator's birthday, so we headed to NC for the weekend, to visit his family and attend a Tarheel football game. Boy, was he in heaven! It was a beautiful warm fall day. The trees were bursting with color, the sun was shining, and the Heels beat the tar out of Georgia Tech. We had great seats, great company and a fabulous time. Afterward, DH went on to a pre-season Tarheel basketball game with our oldest (who was even more excited than his daddy), and I headed back to the In-Laws with our younger two. Unfortunately, I forgot to leave the camera with DH, so we didn't get any pics from the basketball game, but here are a few from the football game.

Colonial Williamsburg Homeschool Day

Friday, November 7, 2008

We took a field trip this week to Colonial Williamsburg and had a great day. I love it up there in the fall. It is just so beautiful. We were able to do some of our favorite things. We stopped in the bakery for ginger cakes and hot apple cider, we wandered the gardens and maze at the Governor's Palace, played with hand made colonial toys, and, of course, visited the book store and candy shop. Unfortunately we didn't have time to tour all of the buildings we had hoped to see. We were on a limited time schedule, but there's always next time. We'll be heading back when the holiday decorations are up.

If you've never been, Colonial Williamsburg, in my opinion, is one of the very best field trips you can take. It is a don't miss! The authentic characters and setting allow you to step back into history. You can even rent period costumes for kids during your visit, take a carriage ride, and witness re-enactments of actual events. It's magical, in a much different way than Disney World.

WW Potty

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

After talking about storms, my kids took it upon themselves to photograph all of our precious valuables, "just in case." So I ended up with a memory card full of gems like this. Now, I doubt I'd be forlorn for any toilet if my house was blown away, but I have a particular gripe with this baby. It is probably the oldest and worst toilet in the world, and I have long dreamed of the remodeling day when I can take a sledgehammer to it and bludgeon it to bits. (bitter? who, me???)

Brain Pop Election Lesson Winners

Monday, November 3, 2008

Election Education News:
If you use Brain Pop, good on ya. If you don't you should seriously check it out. We love it here at our house. And, you can register for free for the BrainPop Educators newsletter. They recently announced the winners of the Election Lessons contest, and wouldn't ya know it, a homeschooler won the Brain Pop Jr. first prize! Whooohoo! Be sure to check out all the winners and the free access to their election lesson plans and learning resources. Cool beans.

Election 2008 - Get out the Vote!

I know the polls will be crazy tomorrow, and it is supposed to rain here all day...not my idea of a good time. But, because it is so important and such a privelidge, I will be dragging myself out of bed at 5:25 AM to schlep to the polling place where I am registered and claim my soggy cold spot in line. The good news though, is that Starbucks is offering a FREE tall coffee to all those who vote. So get out there, have your say, and then have your FREE cuppa joe.

P.S. If all that hole punching (or touch-screening) makes you hungry, stop by Krispy Kreme for a FREE donut, or Ben and Jerry's for some FREE scoops. Yum-O! For a list of all freebies, click here.
Hmmm, all the more reason to covet that "I voted" sticker and display it proudly.

Bloggy Giveaways Carnival Winners!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Bloggy Giveaways Quarterly Carnival Button

Congratulations to the two lucky winners of my Bloggy Giveaways Carnival drawing!
Piece of Me won Usborne's That's Not My Reindeer and a $10 Starbucks Gift Card, and Kamewh won Usborne's 100 Science Experiments and a $10 Starbucks Gift Card.
I had such a great time meeting so many new friends through this giveaway and would like to that everyone who participated. If you didn't win you can still enter to win $50 in books in our monthly drawing. Just click here.
Be sure to subscribe to my feed so you won't miss the next great giveaway!

Note: Each winner has three days to claim their prizes or another winner will be chosen.


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