Friday, October 02, 2015

Creative learning with shaving cream

One of the beauties of homeschooling is having kindergarten-type activities whenever you want/need them.

My children thrive with multi-sensory learning.  
Sometimes we practice letters and spelling.
Sometimes we just have (messy) fingerpainting fun!
Hearing them talk about shaving cream storms taking over Africa and South America when we aren't even focused on geography, makes my momma heart happy.

•  Art 
•  Geography
•  Reading/language arts 
•  Spelling /Handwriting 


Thursday, October 01, 2015

Duct tape book bags

My Capri Sun bag was on its last leg.  So I've been experimenting making no-sew duct tape book bags for the kids to see if I want to make a bag for me.
First one I made was this gallon size ziploc bag with gummy bear duct tape.

It was super easy using a bag as a guide.  I liked it being see-thru on one side.

Next I made a Minion book bag for Hammy from a one gallon ziploc.
It's black duct tape and Minion duct tape on one side and just Minions on the other.
His bag doesn't have a see-thru space.

When I was done with his bag, about 376 kids were lined up with ziploc bags of varying sizes placing their order for a book bag.

This little cutie (coated in pomegranate juice) handed me a quart-size bag and requested gummy bear tape.

She was disappointed when I was done and she realized it was way smaller than Hammy's.

But I sold her on its awesomeness by putting a mini notepad in it, a board book, and some scissors.  Plus she likes that hers is also see-thru.

While making the 4 year old a bag, the oldest made himself a tie-dye duct tape candy bag.  
My new no-sew Capri Sun/duct tape bag.

Next on the crafting list:  make a wallet/clutch (not the bi-fold kind).

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Our sugar-filled field trip

Today Caelestis Valores Academy (our homeschool) went on a field trip of a delicious sort!  It's our first of 3 field trips planned for this week.  

We toured the Jelly Belly® factory and brought along a homeschooling friend.  Everyone loved the 40 minute tour.

•  Everyone gets a hat and must wear it throughout the tour.  If you have an unusually large head, they provide hairnets.

•  Did you know it takes 7-10 days from start to finish to make a Jelly Belly® jelly bean?  

•  Imagine the overpowering sweet aroma of the flavor room being prepped in these 3 flavors:

Sour apple

Yes, Toothpaste!  That's one of the new bean boozled flavors.

•  This jelly bean mosaic of President Ronald Reagan took between 10,000 and 15,000 jelly beans!  He was my favorite mosaic.  The oldest girl was most impressed with the Elvis mosaic.

At the sample bar you can try 3 different beans at a time.  (If you want to try more, just get back in line again.)

•  Guess what they do with the beans that fall on the floor any point during the process.  FEED THEM TO THE PIGS!  They contact the local farmers who come get the beans to feed their pigs.

•  The section where the beans are tumbled to a beautiful shine was too much noise for my more sensitive children and they covered their ears until we passed that section.  It sounded like a rock tumbling machine polishing thousands of rocks at a time.  The employees had protective ear wear. 

I asked the kids what their favorite part about today's field trip was.  Here are their replies:  

13 year old:  I think what was most interesting was the tour showing how the jelly beans were made.

11 year old:  What I liked most was learning about the bean boozled beans like baby wipes and stinky socks.

10 year old:  What I like most was the history of the family of the Jelly Belly® makers.

8 year old:  I liked that now I know that jelly beans were so popular back then.  Well, basically I liked it all!

6 year old (Tater):  I liked the little guy in the big balloon.

6 year old (Squdge):  I liked the big jelly bean guy, the HUGE one!

4 year old:  I liked the free bags!  (Sample at end of tour)

3 year old:   Jelly Belly® Beans!

And last but not least, if you are curious about favorites, the top 3 favorites of Jelly Belly® jelly beans are:

1.  Very Cherry 
2.  Buttered Popcorn 
3.  Black Licorice 

Thursday, September 03, 2015

How to juice a pomegranate when you don't feel like washing all the pieces of a juicer

Choose your pomegranate.

Remove seeds.  I removed them in a dish of water and then strained them.

Put them in zippered bag and squeeze out as much air as possible.

Use a rolling pin to gently juice the pips.

Or pop them!  This was actually really fun and surprisingly gratifying.

Drink the juice.  I almost forgot to take a photo before drinking it all!

Soooo tasty!

Thursday, August 13, 2015


As part of our #notbacktoschool day, we took a walk around our new neighborhood and observed many fruit trees including: 

Red peppercorn
And several varieties of apple 

We enjoyed playing at this quiet playground and relaxing in the cool of the shade.

We are so fortunate to live here.  

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

An afternoon mystery solved

I took a mini-nap this afternoon to help shake off some ill health I've had this week.

When I woke up, the house was quiet.

Surely hours hadn't passed??

Nope, it was only about 20 minutes.

Did they go run errands without me?

I text Danny.  "Wassup?"

No reply.

The air conditioning was going full-blast and not a soul to be seen.

On the television was a Pandora song on pause, toys littered the living room floor, and the backdoor was wide open.

It must have been recent, or the t.v. screen would go to screensaver.

I spied them.  Apparently they were having a pomegranate pow-wow.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

An entrepreneurial birthday Biscuit

Biscuit:  I need socks.  It's cold!

Nikki:  It's going to be really hot today.  Let's just go barefoot.

Biscuit:  I need socks!  

**Runs and gets socks, opens the freezer, stuffs a popsicle into a sock, looks satisfied.**

Happy 3rd Birthday to my Biscuit!!! 

She knows what she wants.  She lives life to the fullest.  She is a fierce and fiery little ball of energy.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

He was born as blue as my jeans

He was born as blue as my jeans and with the cord wrapped around his neck.  The OB said he had black hair before rushing him off to the NICU.  He was in the NICU for 16 days for under-developed lungs-- intubated for 8 of them.  

I wouldn't let them bottle feed him.  He nursed when I was there and he tube-fed when I wasn't.

The day I took him home the doctor tried to convince me that he wouldn't gain weight and it wasn't normal for him to be nursing every 2 hours like he had in his final 24 hours there.  He said he should feed every 3-4 hours.  This neonatologist also said I wouldn't be able to keep up with that frequent of nursing having a 21 month old and a 3 year old at home too.

I lectured him on what the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends and then quoted several breastfeeding statistics and recommendations from the World Health Organization.  The nurses watched in stunned silence.  I assured the doc that even if he wanted to nurse every half hour, I would.  If I had any worry about his weight, I knew how to contact the pediatrician.

And then I left.  He thrived.  He was the first of my children to actually be on the growth charts.

As a baby we called him Chubba Bun,  Chubbalicious, or Bun Bun the Great.

I am so grateful Heavenly Father saw fit to let me be his mother.  He is full of kindness, friendship, integrity, and service.

Happy Birthday Bun!

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Toddlerhood is tiring

Biscuit had an outbreak of hives on her hips-- we don't know what from.  

So I gave her Benadryl.  Turns out she's one of the special group that gets wired on it.  

She watched Dora and had a splashing good time in the bath with her bestest curly-haired buddy (while I scrubbed the bathroom sinks).  

They had a bedtime milkshake and a wild dance party to juiced up primary songs and then were still up when the scouts came home with a cupcake for them.  

Biscuit licked the 1-inch layer of pink frosting off the top and spread it on her chair and face and hands and then continued her dance party.  

Then she played in the boxes and went splat.  

Having a toddler is tiring.  


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