Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Peachy Bread Pudding

I made the most fabulous bread pudding yesterday with King's Hawaiian Bread. 

Here is the recipe!

One loaf King's Hawaiian Bread, torn into chunks
1 regular sized can of peaches in syrup, drained and crushed by hand
2 cups half and half
1/3 c brown sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp each almond extract and rum flavoring
1 tablespoon butter, melted

Place chunks of bread into an 8x8 buttered baking dish.  Mix the rest of the ingredients in a mixing bowl and pour over bread.  Push any dry bread chunks down into the half and half mixture. Let sit about 10 minutes.  Place baking dish inside a 9x13 pan and fill the larger pan with 1 inch of water.  Bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes, or until top looks dry and 'set'.

Glaze for top:

2 tbsp butter
1/2 cup white sugar
splash of milk

Heat in sauce pan just until sugar dissolves.  Pour over hot bread pudding and let cool.

Tastes like the most succulent peach cobbler known to man.


Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Home Summer Day Camp 2012

You may be asking yourself..."Self? What do homeschoolers do for summer camp?  Homeschoolers with frugal mommas?" 

I'm so glad  you asked.

While I am sure my kids would love day camp, I can't justify the expense.  So, here is my plan for one week this Summer...Day Camp At Home.  After morning devotions and a trip to the 'mess hall', we have a schedule for the week.

Monday:  Swimming Day.  Plan a day at the local pool/lake, complete with picnic lunch.  Try out some new swimming techniques.  If I can talk my brother into it, a kayaking lesson may be in the works.

Tuesday:  Board Game Day!  Get out all those board games and have a ball playing them. Card games also. 

Wednesday:  Cooking Day!  They will learn all about different cooking techniques and I will have all the ingredients for breakfast, lunch, and dinner for camp style cooking..and guess who will be doing the cooking?  Yep.  My little campers! 

Thursday:  Hiking/ Nature Journal Day.  Cruise to a local state park with our nature journals and colored pencils, magnifying glasses and a camera.

Friday:  Messy Science Day. I have a few science kits stocked away for a rainy day.  We will get those out and have fun with them, along with some messy science experiments from the Internetz.

Each evening will end with a camp fire and family time.

What about you?  Ever done a Day Camp at home? Any ideas to share?

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

I Give Up.

During my son's piano lessons my daughter and I usually watch television in the den of the instructors home.  That is where we got hooked on 'The Chew'.  I have to say...I love this show.

Anyway, the theme this week was Mother's Day, and in accordance with that, Clinton Kelly pulled three moms from the audience to perform style 'Mom Makeovers'.

As with all makeovers, there is the depressing 'before' shot. 

One mom was dressed in a sweatshirt and jeans.  "This is a look that says 'I GIVE UP.'" spouts Clinton.

I looked down at what I was wearing.  Teeshirt and cut off jeans, flip flops to round out the whole ensemble.

Then the big reveal.  Mom comes out looking faboo in some cute wedge shoes and a colorful frock.

Me: "Well Lauren...does my look say "I give up?"

Lauren: (rolling her eyes) "She's a MOM.  Why does she need to look all 'fancy' when she is cleaning toilets?"

Me: (Thinking to goodness she is soooo my child..) "I like the way you think.  I think I'll keep you around."

Still...part of me longs for those cute clothes.  Even if only the Tidy Bowl Man can appreciate it.

Friday, May 4, 2012


(Warning: Shameless Mama bragging to ensue...)

That moment in homeschooling that I have dreaded has son is smarter than me.  Or at least better in math than I am.

The following conversation occured during our math lesson a few days ago:

Me: Okay...there are three steps to solving this problem.  First you...

Will:  240!

ME: Heh, it's not 240.  See, first you have to multiply this. Then you...

Will:  It's 240 Mom.

Me: Okay, it's not 240.  When you multiply this by this, add the square root of this and divide by this and this (not the actual problem, but you get the picture)...the answer is....well...240.

Will: I told you!

Me: Yes you did, didn't you? (Thinking the whole time 'how in the heck did he do that in his HEAD? He is his father's child. )

Then we had the discussion about why it is important to work algebra problems step by step and SHOW YOUR WORK.  To which he rolled his eyes.

 I know son...I know.

*Forgot to mention this tidbit...this is my kid who struggled in math in public school for 4 years.  Homeschooling rocks!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

History Reading List 2012-2013 : Lewis and Clark

I am so excited about studying Lewis and Clark next year!  Such an adventure. 

"The Captains' Dog" is written from the point of view of the dog that accompanied them on their journey.  I think it will be an interesting twist.

Of course, we will take time to read up on Sacagewea...

We love us some National Geographic in our house.  What better than a DVD all about the expedition?

We also have the DVD "America: The Story of Us" that we will watch.

For science, what better than to focus on a nature study of sorts?  I think it meshes nicely with the history lesson.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

What We're Reading...

Right now in our history studies we are focused on the 1780's-1790's.  We learned about the French Revolution, the Haitian Revolt, Napoleon, etc.   I found this book at the used book store and thought "Oh! This will be right up our alley!"  So I bought it.

"Fever 1793" is  a fictional tale of a very real historical event:  the yellow fever epidemic of 1793 in Philadelphia.  The central character is Mattie Cook, a tween aged girl who, in the beginning, is a little on the lazy side.  Of course, as the yellow fever begins its' march through all of the families of Philadelphia, she learns quickly that in order to survive she needs to be strong and have faith.

I can't tell you much more because I don't want to give anything away! 

Several of the characters in the story were real people at the time of the epidemic, and in the back of the book the author gives a brief history of each person. The author does a wonderful job weaving together the fictional and non-fictional to provide an exciting, interesting, educational tale.

My kids are really enjoying this book.  I am using it as a read aloud and having discussion questions after each session.  There is so much thought-provoking material to be discussed.

I will add that there are a few instances that are a bit 'bloody' and death, of course is prevalent.  My children have not had an issue with either, and they tend to be sensitive, so while it is mild, it is there.

And.of course, like any good homeschooling mother I threw in a mosquito and yellow fever study just to be sure we had a well rounded experience. ;)

I recommend "Fever 1793" highly if your students are covering this period in history!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Nothing Says "Spring" Like Next Year's Curriculum!

It's that time of year again, when homeschooling moms start getting excited over all of the curriculum choices for next year.  Or confused.  Or overwhelmed. 

I had a brief fling with the notion of online school...which I just couldn't do.  Maybe in a year or two, but not yet.

Ever since I started homeschooling 4 years ago I have longed for a 'boxed' curriculum-one that had everything in it from A to Z that I loved and my kids loved and didn't cost a fortune.  Anyone found that yet? Yeah, me neither. 

So, I want to change stuff up for next year.  I feel like we are in a rut. 

I have always been an admirer of Sonlight, but felt it was so darn expensive.  And the fact that they use so much fiction.  I wanted more non-fiction.  Cue Winter Promise!    They have great non-ficiton books on their booklist that mesh wonderfully with Sonlights fiction selections.  That, along with our local used bookstore and, have been the determining factor for next years curriculum.

Next year will be the 1850's- Modern Era.  So we will be pulling selections from Sonlight's Core E for fiction and WinterPromise's Later American History and Culture  for non-fiction.  What drew me to Winter Promise is the fact there are plenty of books they use that have tons of hands on projects, which we love.

Math will remain Saxon.  My kids love it, it's affordable and has tons of review. What's not to love?

Science will be a mixed bag, as always.  Since we will be studying Thomas Edison, electricity will be a focus, along with physics and technology, as technology had a boom in the modern era. Also, since Charles Darwin will be in there as well, genetics ,evolution and intelligent design will be studied as well.

Art will focus on modern artists...Mondrian, Warhol, Kandinsky, Grant Wood and Wyeth, as well as photographers such as Ansel Adams and architects as well.

Music this year will include a study on opera  which excites me to no end! 

Language Arts will include Spelling Power, Latin and Greek root words for vocabulary, and possibly Growing With Grammar for grammar. 

Writing stumps me.  Anyone have a writing curriculum they love? 

What about you?  Are you changing things up next year or sticking to the tried and true? I'd love to hear your plans for next year!