Monday, March 31, 2014

Passport to the world: The Netherlands

This is week four of our one country a week "travels" I must say that I expected to start to feel some burn out at this point but we are loving this study unit. I have even thought about adding to it during the summer to study a few more countries that we had not planned on. 
This week we found ourselves in The Netherlands. It ended up being a much more interesting country than I thought it would be.

Here are the highlights.
Coloring page from our workbook. She found it particularly funny that the boys name was Hans.

 Our weekly flag picture

We found the pictures of Holland fascinating. Especially the aerial photos of the tulip fields. So beautiful. You should really check it out!

We talked about why windmills are important to The Netherlands, and what they do. This was a great video about windmills. 

To go along with this lesson we made this windmill craft out of a toilet paper roll.

Color and cut

 Glue, the paper clips help keep things in place until it dries.

I found that we needed to punch a hole in the blade to help it turn better.

We used a brad and the project was complete, her own working windmill!

We also did a quick paint project that both girls were able to do together. It is nice when Emily can join us for one of our projects.

These are plastic fork tulip paintings. We just dipped a plastic fork in paint and pressed it on the paper. Even Emily was able to do this with little assistance.

We let them dry and added leaves the next day.

Cute, simple, quick project for The Netherlands or spring!

Holland was honestly my favorite country we have done so far. I really felt like Marissa and I both learned a lot.

Before we wrap up all things Dutch, we need to do some baking. I found a recipe for a traditional dutch dessert that ended up having a name that was as fun to say, as it was to eat. 

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Friday, March 28, 2014

Five on Friday

Friday!!!! Man I love Fridays. The days are home-school co-op in the morning and the afternoon are spent off school. Then Dad comes home and the weekend is officially in full swing. Weekend plans include: a possible date night, church and a 9 mile run. Outside of that NOTHING. And that makes me happy. 

Well, let's get to it My 5 for this week...

1- Runtastic Pro 

As a runner this is a question I see, hear, and get all the time. "What running app is best?" Well, I think the answer to that question is very different for everyone. The ones I hear the most are Runkeeper, Map My Run, Nike, and Runtastic. 

I like Runtastic Pro the most and they JUST updated (yesterday) and added some really cool new features. I think it combines my favorite features from Runkeeper and Map my run and it gives me options that Nike didn't Ex: manual entry for treadmill or track runs. But, when I say the answer varies I mean it. My recommendation is to always try out the free versions of multiple apps to see what works best for you. Then you can upgrade to the pro-version of the app if you see the need to.

2- This dress

I love this dress, like I love it so much I wish it came in a size that would fit me. If you didn't see my post from earlier this week this is Marissa's Easter dress. After a long shopping trip we decided to take a chance and order a dress that we saw online.

And it should be here TODAY!!!

I haven't told her yet, she is going to be so excited when the mail arrives.

3- Comparison

This is something that I struggle with so, so often. If it is not with others, or something I saw, it can even be with myself.

Comparison is often a stumbling block to sin, and definitely a joy thief.

I need to read this EVERYDAY!

4- Easter

I am thinking Easter readings, Easter crafts, Easter decorations and not the ones that point you to a bunny and a chick but ones that give the true message of Easter, the cross! Here are a few sites I have been eyeballing lately. 

I look forward to posting about some things we do from these links in the near future!

5- Running shoes

Oh the great debate in my head. It was time for me to look into getting my 3rd pair. I have spent a lot of the week trying to decide if I want to go with Brooks again or venture out and try some Mizunos

Decisions, decisions. If only it was as easy as picking a pair because you liked the way they look the most. Sadly, there is MUCH more to it than that. Ultimately it came down to fit. When I went to try them on I loved the Brooks the most. They just felt right and when I say felt right I mean I almost don't even feel them. The Mizunos seemed awkward on my foot.

So I ordered these, Brooks Ghost 6, they will be here next week!

Have a great weekend!



Thursday, March 27, 2014

England part 2: A tea party for three!

England has been so much fun. Talk of kings, queens, castles and princesses. For our last and final celebration the only suitable thing that we could do is have a royal tea party of course!
 And what royal tea party would be complete without some pretty clothes, jewelry and of course some kind of delicious English pastry!

Cinnamon Glazed Scones

2 Cups flour (I use unbleached)
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup softened unsalted butter
1 egg, separated
3 T honey
1/3 Cup buttermilk
1-2 T sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon

1 Cup powder sugar
1-3 tsp milk
1/2 tsp vanilla

1. Preheat oven to 400F

2. Combine flour, baking powder, soda and salt. Cut in butter until mixture is crumbly.

3. Separate the egg white and yolk set the egg white aside.

4. In separate bowl mix the egg yolk, honey and buttermilk. Add to the dry ingredients and stir just until combined.

5. Form dough into a ball on a lightly floured surface. Roll out or pat until 1/2" in thickness and 8" in diameter. Cut into 8 equally sized pieces.

6. Transfer to greased baking sheet. Whisk the egg white until froth forms and brush over the top of the scones. Combine cinnamon and sugar and sprinkle over the egg white topped scones. 

7. Bake at 400F for 10-12 minutes

8. Mix together powdered milk vanilla and sugar until a glaze forms. Drizzle over scones after they bake. We aren't big glaze fans so I only made and used half of the glaze recipe.

After making these scones I thought two things. The first, and most obvious YUM! The second, Why have I never made scones before?! I will DEFINITELY be making this recipe again and I look forward to trying more scone recipes to.

We had a great time studying England and enjoying our English treats.

Even if we weren't proper princesses, with our elbow on the table and straws in our "tea".

That wraps up England, where will we head off to next!

Original recipe found on

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Passport to the world, England part 1

Well for week three we crossed the ocean and arrived in England. Learning about England has bee especially fun seeing Russ' Grandfather is in fact English, accent and all. We even still have distant relatives there. She did find England particularly fascinating to. Her ears perked and her eyes lit up as soon as I said that England has a Queen. She immediately yelled "like Elsa?!?!" I then explained that the queen wasn't quite like Elsa, nor did she posses magical ice powers. She seemed slightly disappointed at that news. 

My plans for these lessons will be to:
Learn to find the country on the map
Learn the countries capital
Learn to say Hello in that countries native language
Color a picture of that countries flag
Google search images of that country
Look at the language in a simple way (colors or numbers)
Listen to that countries national anthem
Prepare a traditional meal and/or dessert
Make a craft that represents that country

Our craft for this week was to make a Britsh Bobby (police officer). I found the template here. All we had to do was print it off, color, cut and glue. The only odd supply you need to make one is an empty toilet paper roll. And wouldn't you know the one time I needed one all of the toilet paper rolls were full! We did manage to locate one though. 



Glue. We found the paper clips helpful while waiting for the glue to dry.



To finish up England we talked about The Tower Bridge and browsed Google images to look around the countryside, castles and the city. Our curriculum book came with this nifty little cut-out so we could make our own Tower Bridge. 

Now all that is left is celebrating England in the best way I could thin of, a royal tea party!

Won't you join us for tea?