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Making the World Cuter: September 2009

A blog where one woman is on a mission to make the world cuter, one kid, cupcake or crafty thing at a time.


Cute Belly Pics

I just got done posting some cute belly pics of my sweet friend who I hope will be heading to delivery tonight-she is so ready!


Glowing Already!

Chad started his program at school this Monday.
He is in the Nuclear Medicine program at OIT and is really excited to get in to all of his classes that I can't even pronounce.
He and his classmates have to start sticking eachother with needles next week and will continue to do so for the remainder of the program.
That way by the time he starts working at the hospital he will be a pro...and will also have really sore arms.
Good thing they are so buff! :)
My future degree in web design is looking better and better every day.


Sibling Basket

Here's a fun idea for a baby shower gift for a mom who has other children...
I recently made a basket up for a friend who is having a baby and she has 4 other kids. She is having a little girl, so I made a newborn tutu for her, that turned out super cute, by the way, and then filled the rest of the basket with things for the older siblings. I made each of them a personalized notebook with modge podge, scrapbook paper and my cricut and then they each got a box of m&m's, a box of crayons and a baby bottle wrapped with a piece of curling ribbon.
She already has everything she needs for the baby because she still has young ones, but I thought this was a fun way to make the other kids feel even more excited about their upcoming addition.

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All done with the detox!
I know it's been awhile since I posted, but we finished the detox on Friday and I am super proud of us.
Neither one of us 'cheated' once.
That is will power baby!

A lot of people have asked how to do this.
For this detox-you eat fruits and vegetables.
That's it.
Mostly raw, you can steam some lightly for a change of pace, or bake them to heat them up, but you want to stick to mostly raw.
You can use a little bit of sea salt to season things, but that's about it.

You can make smoothies but with just fruits or vegetables.
The only thing you drink is filtered water or straight fruit juice or veggie juice-not from concentrate or anything else.
So unless you have a juicer, you will mostly drink water.
There are some stores that sell fresh squeezed juices, they are expensive though I'm not going to lie.

As far as expense-I didn't notice much of a difference in our food spending-it about evened out with us not buying meat and dairy.

Our kids lived on mac and cheese, peanut butter and honey and ramen noodles all week with plenty of fruits and veggies to snack on because I didn't feel like making big elaborate meals for those who don't appreciate them.

I didn't lose a lot of weight with this one, but I did lose 4 1/2 inches off of the roundest part of my stomach-getting rid of all back flab and love handles that were present.
That is something to sing about folks!
This is not really a weight loss thing, but it is a great place to start.
It mainly just gets rid of all that sluggishness that never digests properly and just sits there.
Chad on the other hand lost 10 pounds.
He didn't measure before or after, but he lost all of his little gut that he had.
He did work out in the hot sun and worked hard the whole week, so he was also a lot hungrier than I was.

If you are interested in doing a detox, there are lots of different ones on the web, and if you want to do the Master Cleanse (the lemonade diet) then I suggest you either purchase the book or check it out, so that you get the right information, and that way you can really understand what it is that the cleanse is doing. It will help you get through it.

About the basket above, we came home one night and found this on our porch from our sweet friends with a note that said "Happy Detoxing." All fresh yumminess from their garden-the tomatoes were to die for! With yummy foods to eat like these, I didn't mind this detox at all.
In fact it's been 4 days now, and I am still eating mostly fruits and veggies during the day and just watching my portions at night. Still feeling great!


Things that will make you HA HA!

My kids say H.I.L.A.R.I.O.U.S. things all the time, but I always forget to write them down...but these are my 2 new favorites from this past week.

Mom: Topher can you come down and help me for a minute?
Christopher: Yes mom, but do you want Christopher or Super-fer?

At this point, I am thinking this kid is super clever for coming up with that, but then this happens...

While at the park the other day for the primary activity an older girl is playing Simon Says with the kids and Topher is just not playing, so the girl is saying "Simon says touch your nose Christopher"...and still he just sits there with a blank look on his face. Bekah goes up to the girl and pats her on the arm real sympathetic like and says;

Bekah: That's okay, he goes to homeschool, he doesn't know anything yet.

Real confidence booster as a homeschool mom for me eh?

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Tom, Huck & the Gang

I love being in my primary presidency at church.
We get to do all the fun activities with the wee ones.
This one was no exception!
We had a Tom Sawyer day at the park on Saturday (the last warm day of the year most likely, it was freezing today!).
The kids dressed up as Tom, Huck,Becky and the other characters from the book-and we played all sorts of things like a pie eating contest, white washing a fence, fishing, tug of war, thumb wrestling, sack races and a whole lot more.
I forgot to bring my camera and I had all 3 of my kids dressed up and having fun, so I stole some of these from my friend Jaime's blog and she gave a couple more.
I don't have any pics of Porter that are not in the group setting, so I will need to put him in his cute little outfit again and have a photo shoot-as soon as it's not so blasted cold!


Feel Good-Help a Teacher

We had a little playdate for a good cause today.

We all brought school supplies to donate to a teacher in the area, and then voted on one teacher to get the loot. We are going to bring it to them in the next week or so after all those who couldn't make it, bring the rest of their supplies.

I know I homeschool my own children-but I am a supporter of public education and the efforts that the teachers and school systems make to help raise kids with a good knowledge of the world around them. I went to public school and there are many teachers who stand out in my mind that truly made a difference. I gladly raided my closet of fresh school supplies for someone else who can appreciate the smell of a new box of crayons!

We also got a gift bag from Office Max with some fun stuff inside to say thanks for supporting teachers. It was a lot of fun to get the kids together and do a little bit of service while we were at it...and I LOVE getting office supplies. Did you know that teachers spend an average of $1200 of their own money in their classrooms each year?

I didn't, but it doesn't surprise me all that much. The teachers that made a real difference in my life were dedicated and you could tell that they really wanted to make that difference.

Office Max and Adopt a Classroom are doing something really great and giving $1000 worth of supplies to 1000 different teachers this next month!

My friend Carissa at Good n Crazy is a Max Mom and is giving away a $100 gift certificate to a deserving teacher.

Do you know a teacher who is dedicated, hard working, loves what they do and who could use a little extra help? $100 can go a long way in school supplies!

All you have to do is go to her blog-read the post and leave a comment with who you would like to see win the gift certificate and why.

It will make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside if your teacher gets the card and finds out what you think of them, wouldn't it?

Now clickety on


My Homeschool Corner

This is our little corner.I love it.
I don't have an extra room in the house that I can dedicate to school so we do it in the dining room which is attached to the living room and also has the opposite corner filled with my big desk and the computer that I am typing this on.
I am okay with this-I mean there are times during the year that I have 5 count them F-I-V-E kids living here. A house with enough rooms to sleep them all in...even if some have to exactly what I need and have, and I can't get too greedy asking for more while we are both in school with a very tight income.
So we have this corner, with a book shelf, and a handmade chalkboard (that I love), hanging files for all of our day to day needs, a place to put our pencils, scissors and glue and wallspace for the necessities of our school day.
It gets the job done.
Plus I have a place for my antique school desk to look at home in.
And that's all that really matters.


Bouncing Raw Eggs?

This weeks science experiment-we decided to try this wierd thing out.
You start with an egg and you put it in a glass of white vinegar.
Then after 24 hours you come back and they look like this.
Then you either bounce them in the sink or do what Christopher did and just pour his out.They will actually bounce once or twice before it breaks but then look what happens...
Check out the shell!
It's all rubbery and very odd.
The kids thought this was amazing.
Why did it happen?
Eggs contain something called "calcium carbonate".
This is what makes them hard.
Vinegar is an acid known as acetic acid.
When calcium carbonate (the egg) and acetic acid (the vinegar) combine, a chemical reaction takes place and carbon dioxide (a gas) is released. This is what the bubbles are made of.
The chemical reaction keeps happening until all of the carbon in the egg is used up -- it takes about a day.
When you take the egg out of the vinegar it's soft because all of the carbon floated out of the egg in those little bubbles.
I was researching why it did this so that I could post about it and use the correct wording and found something interesting that I wish I would have known earlier-we might have to do it again now!
If you leave the soft egg out on the counter, it will harden up again!
Because the carbon left in the egg shell steals the carbon from the air that we breathe out and makes it hard again.
Also if you put the soft egg in water, it will absorb and expand via osmosis until it finally bursts.
So much you can do with vinegar and an egg besides just dying them for Easter!

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'...Don't you know that you're toxic?"

A lot of people have asked, "WHY?!???" are we doing a cleanse.

Is it just for weight loss?


And it's not to torture ourselves either.
We put so much processed and unnatural foods in our bodies, that our bodies just don't know how to handle the toxins, so it results in weight gain, fatigue, aches and all sorts of problems.

I am not a health food nut or anything, I enjoy myself a good cheeseburger, chocolate chip cookie and any other number of delicious treats-just check out my recipe blog if you don't believe me!

I do try and choose the healthiest options I can though, without compromising flavor.

I found that a detox just really boosts my overall health and makes me want to be better.

I think the main benefit in these for me besides the inches of yuck that whittle away so quickly, is the amount of discipline it proves that I really have.

If I can drink lemonade and no food for 10 days and nothing but fruit and vegetables for another 7, then I most definitely can eat just one cookie after dinner, and not stop and get that soda on the way home from grocery shopping.

Besides, once I'm done detoxing, those things aren't as appealing anyway.
Your body remembers what it is supposed to fuel itself with, and it is not a Jr Bacon Cheeseburger from Wendy's.

So you begin to crave healthier options, and the junk food that you do eat, you seriously can't eat that much of, because you can only handle so much.

Ask Chad about that one, he is still mad that fast food doesn't taste good like it once did after the last detox. I am not complaining, lots easier to say no, if it doesn't sound good!

Anyway, I know a lot of you have done a lot of different detox diets, and from what I've heard from you, they all work the way they are supposed to.

I know a lot of you think I am crazy as I sit here with my carrot sticks, and you are munching on a delicious cupcake or something...mmmm cupcakes....

There may be some that are thinking that you might want to detox though, and for you, I found a little test that will let you know if you are toxic or not, and if a cleanse would be good for you.

If you answer yes to 2 or more of these questions, then a cleanse might be something to look into.

  1. Are you overweight?
  2. Do you find it hard to think clearly, or do you feel foggy?
  3. Is your stomach bulging or look bloated?
  4. Do you eat a lot of high carbohydrate foods, such as pizza, sweets, breads and junk food?
  5. Do you have to eat snacks or drink soda or coffee to get through the day?
  6. Do you have trouble focusing and keeping your attention on things you need to do?
  7. Are you depressed or filled with anxiety?
  8. Have you lost your zest for living?
  9. Is your tongue coated with a film?
  10. Are you constipated, and/or suffer from gas or indegestion? (wow, getting a little personal aren't we? I don't want to know the answer by the way.)
  11. Do you have trouble sleeping, or wake up feeling tired or don't want to get up in the morning?
  12. Do you feel moody, and are your emotions often out of control?
  13. Do you crave unhealthy foods and want them every day?
  14. Is your sex drive reduced or non-existant? (Chad would say this is why I need to do a detox no matter what)
  15. Are your eyes bloodshot or do you have bags under your eyes?

Anyway we are on day 4, only 3 more days to go, and I will tell you that although we get to eat in this one, constantly I might add, we are finding ourselves more hungry than we did with the Master Cleanse, Chad more than I.

I am doing okay, especially since I can see the results already in the mirror. Not so much on the scale, but I would rather see the difference anyway. I'm not overweight, but I have some yuckishness leftover from having Mr. Porter that is getting smaller and smaller each day.

So worth it.


Where's the Beef?

...and the bread and the dairy, and the delicious treats?
They are not to be found on mine or Chad's plates this week.
That's right it's time for another detox.

You may remember a couple years ago, (in July of 07, if you want to look up the archives) that we did the Master Cleanse (aka the lemonade diet) and although horrendous and long, it worked great and did exactly what it was supposed to.
When I brought up to Chad that we should do another detox, he said something to the effect of,
"There is no way in heck I am drinking anymore of that dang lemonade."
Words have been changed to protect the eyes of my readers.
He felt pretty strongly about that to say the least.

Not that I could blame him, I don't think I could swallow one more sip of that stuff myself.
When doing that cleanse we read about doing one that allowed you to eat all fruits and vegetables and that's it.
We both thought that sounded much better!

We've been talking about doing this all summer, and kept putting it off for one more week, because we had this or that to do that week, and we didn't want to miss out on eating something delicious.

Well we finally just jumped in and started, and I'll be missing out on eating delicious treats at book club and at a girls night/baby shower at Wingers this week. Chad went fishing today and had to eat carrot sticks while his friends ate junk food. :(

Day 2 into this thing and we are both hungry and a little irritable.
At least 5 more days to go...
We committed to doing it for at least a week.
We got through the lemonade-I know we can do this too.

But if I come across a little more snappy than usual this week...
You'll know why.
I'm getting on that tutorial for the back off!
I apologize...
It's the lack of protein, I swear.


Hang your Books Up

So today, I hung up my favorite book shelf again.
These shelves (I have a few of the same ones) have made it through several moves and just make me super happy when they are up.
I don't know why I am just now getting to them I've lived here for over a year...
Oh yeah, I bought them for like 3 bucks about 3 years ago.
At Home Depot.
They still have them.
They are in the rain gutter section.
Vinyl rain gutters!
Isn't that fantastic?
They wipe clean.
They are cheap.
And they are perfect for a kids bookshelf.
My favorite part is that I don't have to have a bookshelf on the floor and take up more floor space.
You can buy the caps for them to close off the ends, but I haven't ever done it.
I have seen it done though-my friend Amy made some for her kids rooms and that's where I first saw these, I think she said she saw it in some magazine or something, anyway the caps look really great and give it a more finished look.
I just haven't done it, because I think they look great without them too.
I had Chad cut the ones I bought so I could have several smaller ones, but I put a long one in my sisters baby's nursery when I went and designed it for her a while back, and it covered a whole wall. It looked really great...I grabbed this off her blog, it's not a fantastic picture, but it gives you the idea anyway.

If you are looking for a bookshelf, or small stuffed animal holder for your kids room, or even a ledge to put some big canvas prints in-these look great and are so inexpensive, you could run them around the entire room!

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Chalkboard Block & Frame

My friend Suzanne was in charge of a women's retreat this past weekend and asked if I could help her come up with some craft ideas.
So I searched around a bit, and found something similar to this.It's a chalkboard block of wood, a 2x8 cut to 12 inches.
I sanded it down and then painted the front and short sides with chalkboard paint.
Then I just modge podged a 12x12 piece of scrapbook paper around the back and over the top and bottom to make a border.
Really easy and super cute sitting in my home school corner.
My friend Rachel had the idea of writing the date on it, because she works in a school library and the kids are always asking her the date.
I loved that and thought it would be great for Bekah to start learning that as well.
Love it!
Then we took those $1 frames from Michaels and modge podged paper and embellishments on them.
I did those for girls camp, and although I really like the end result, I was having too much fun talking with my friends and didn't want to concentrate that hard on my craft so I painted it with chalkboard paint too.

I love it more than the paper ones!
I have it hanging on my wall by my desk right now, but I had the idea to put it next to our bed with a picture of Chad and I in it.
Then with chalk I could write...
Not tonight.
Maybe tonight.
Or Hey baby....
You get the idea.
Yes I share too much.
But wouldn't that be a fun (and kinda naughty) wedding gift to give?
I love gifts that are fun (and kinda naughty) and cheap to make!
For now though I just have a little message/shout out to some of my family...
These big stinkers are on a plane to Maui right now.
Sometimes it pays to still live at home with mom, or have a husband serving in the military and so you move back in with mom. (Although I'd rather have my hubby home than be in Hawaii while he's in Iraq. But if he had to be in Iraq, then I would need to be in Hawaii to take my mind off of how crazy much I missed him and all of that!).
The lucky ducks!
Meanwhile I will be putting on a pair of warm socks and drinking a mug of hot cocoa here in the definately getting to be fall weather here in Southern Oregon.

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Nativity Blocks

I know it's early to start thinking about Christmas, but I'm a control freak, and I like to have everything planned out as much as possible.
I made these last year at a church activity, cutened them up a bit of course and gave them to my kids.
They LOVE these things.
They play with them at least weekly, since I just leave them in a bucket on their toy shelves.
They still look good as new.
I will be making some more of these for the kids on my list this year-not all Nativity ones though. I think I will do some dinosaurs, fairy princesses, some cars and anything else I can find in my sticker collection that would make a fun set.
When I get on these in the next little bit, I'll post an easy tutorial for those of you who don't know how they're made.
Super easy, durable and they get a lot of use!
The Nativity ones are great too, if you want to let your kids play with this set and not your nice set that you get out for the Holidays.



Grease Monkey

I looked out my bathroom window today which usually has a lovely view of Chad's toolboxes in the dirt floor garage.
Today I got a special treat though.
My one year old's backside covered in dirt. His front side wasn't much cleaner.This kid loves to go through daddy's toolboxes while Chad is out working on the cars that we always seem to have a plethera of in our driveway.
Here he is searching for the perfect tool.
Hey dad! You need a screwdriver?
No, How about a BIG screwdriver?
OOOOOOO! Nope, I found it dad-these are the coolest!
Then Chad and baby both do their Tim the Tool Man Taylor grunts and get back to work.
I'll never understand the appeal of all those nasty tools, dirt, grease, and everything else.
But from a very young age, my boys seem to know that it is really really cool.


Where's the La La's?

I have gone back and forth on this a lot.
I know it's just a blog and I shouldn't put so much stress on myself about it.
The music.
I get annoyed at most other blogs when I open them and they have music, (mostly just because it plays on top of my playlist which I always have open!).
I get so many people telling me though that they love my playlist.
I have decided to just turn off the auto start, but leave it on my side bar for your listening pleasure.
If it pleases you.
If not, enjoy the silence.

Get a playlist! Standalone player Get Ringtones

You can also click play here, if that pleases you.
I am all about pleasing you.
In a strictly platonic sort of way, of course.

Yearnin for some Learnin...

This little fella started preschool today.
He was so cute and excited about it, and getting to wear his back pack and get the mandatory picture and putting on his new school clothes (courtesy of Grandma-Thanks!)

It's actually a homeschool, preschool group.
We all take turns having the kids at our house and teaching them.
It's only one day a week, but I think it will be great for his attention skills, and social skills as well since he doesn't get much of it outside of the home.
Not that's there's anything wrong with that his age.

She's doing it too, but it is obviously geared towards the pre-school set, but she loves to get out and do stuff. She also needed her picture taken in her cute new clothes, never one to miss an opportunity such as this!

I have no worries whatsoever about her social skills!

This kid, just climbed onto the porch and looked expectantly at the camera after I finished with the other kids. He will not be attending pre-school.

He is however very cute.

So I complied and clicked one out for him as well.



Long Weekend

I have been off the blogging scene for about a week now on account of our long weekend.

My mom moved out of her house, into a new house, in a different town last week and asked if we could come up to Portland over Labor Day and help get everything unpacked and if Chad could do some of the manly putting together stuff that my 16 year old brother couldn't handle by himself.

We of course did, and so I was away from the internet until Tuesday since hers hadn't been hooked up yet. I felt like one of my limbs was missing.

Not only no internet, but I was so busy unpacking, and shopping for more stuff to fill her house with, that I didn't take a single picture the whole weekend.

Then Tuesday gets here way too soon after our 5 hour drive home the night before and Bekah started ballet and tap that afternoon. I am volunteering one day a month at the studio to help out with Bekah's tuition and that day happened to be yesterday. So I didn't even get to watch her or take a single photo of that.

I am feeling very unlike myself.

School started back up for me on Tuesday as well, and let me tell you...these two classes are not a walk in the park on any level. One is Information Literacy and Technology and the other is Video and Audio for the Web. I thought the second one sounded kind of cool, until I find out that I have to put on a whole production with cast, lighting, scripts, storyboards...the whole shibang. Fun? Maybe. Lots of time involved? For sure.

Homeschool is going well, just trying to find our groove again after our short little break-we took Friday and Monday off, and it's been a little slow going in the morning coming off the sugar highs, and no structure from Grandma's house.

Topher starts a little preschool group tomorrow that will be fun, but just add that to my schedule.

Porter has a doctor's appointment to follow up on his nasty ear infections tomorrow right after preschool.

I have a women's retreat this weekend up at the lake that I am helping at...I am just glad I am not in charge of it!

I am feeling a little overwhelmed.

I will continue the photography discussions when I don't have so much on my plate.

I will still try to blog the regular day to day stuff though, and throw in a recipe and some photos in their appropriate places along the way.



Do you "shutter" at ISO?

Thanks to everyone who has joined in the discussion so far-I've already learned more! Check out the comments on the previous post to see what others had to say about aperture and f/stops.

I think the hardest part of dealing with aperture, ISO and shutter speed is learning to set the f/stop to where you need it, so if you are feeling more comfortable with that, then this next part should be a breeze!
Once again, not claiming to be an expert, but I know enough to get me by, and would love your input and expertise on the subject!

ISO refers to your film speed and determines how fast an image will be captured by your digital sensor (or film if you like to kick it old school!).

Easy-the higher the ISO the quicker the image will be captured=less light required.
The lower the ISO the longer it takes for that image to be captured=more light required.

Here is a little guide to know what ISO to use in what situations that I have found helpful...

  • Outdoors, Bright Light 100-200
  • Perfect lighting situations, ie; outdoors, in the shade or overcast or indoors with good light stay close to about 400
  • Indoors with low-light or when you are shooting sports or action 800-1600

Now every lens and camera is different, so you will have to play around a bit with these numbers, maybe write down what ISO's work best in each lighting situation for your particular lenses and keep it with your camera bag for easy reference until you have it all figured out.

Why not just shoot in high ISO all the time and not worry about lighting? Well the higher the ISO the more "noise" you will get in your picture. You want to keep it below 800 if possible to not get any "noise", unless you have a really fantastic lens and camera that will keep the "noise" to a minimum. But even then, as I understand it, you still only want to use a really high setting in action shots or in terrible lighting conditions.

Now shutter speed is the next thing to consider. Shutter speed is how quickly your shutter opens over your image sensor, (or film for you retro's).

  • Faster the shutter=the more frozen that image is.
  • Slower shutter=can cause blur or just be blurry.

The numbers when changing your shutter speed represent a fraction of a second. So if you have your shutter speed set at 1250, your shutter is opening at 1/1250th of a second. Fast huh?

Then there are also shutter speeds in seconds that have ("). So if your display on your shutter speed says 30", your shutter is going to stay open for 30 seconds! *Not a lot of instances I see using that speed, you? But I'm sure there are-enlighten us!

Here is another little reference guide for you, once again, play around with these and figure out what numbers work best for you and your particular lenses and camera and shot-these are totally general.

  • Action shots, you want it at 1/1000 of a second or higher to freeze your subject.
  • If you are holding your camera, steady yourself as much as possible and start your your shutter speed at 60 or faster. If you are not steady or you are taking pictures of squirmy kids you probably want to increase your shutter speed to accommodate and not get a blurry photo.
  • For still shots, or when using your tripod or another stable surface you want a shutter speed around 50. In fact this is probably the only time you want to use a shutter speed this slow or slower, unless you really want to portray something blurry.

So those who haven't done this before, try shooting in Shutter priority for the next day or two-it is usually an S or Tv on your dial. See what you come up with and what you've learned then come back and share with us, so we can all learn.

Here are the shots I took using different shutter speeds...

This was shot at 40, or 1/40th of a second. Notice the water.This one I turned up the shutter speed to 60, do you see the difference in the water yet?This I shot at 1", or one second shutter speed. Shutter speed very slow and the picture, very blurred, but I kind of like how you can see the lines in the water...interesting.This was shot at 1250-now notice what is happening with the water.This one I shot at 4000 shutter speed. Very fast-check out the bubbles from the water and the splashes of water on the grass blades.FYI: The very top photo I shot at 1000 shutter speed and turned my ISO clear up to 1600 so you could see the "noise."

*So play around a bit with this, here is something I learned when researching a bit further on the subject...

  • Using a very slow shutter speed-sometimes you may want to use the full second marks when you want to show the motion of an object within it's background. Such as traffic against a city scape. That way the cars would be blurred, and the background of the building would still be in focus, if you use a higher f/stop of course. You probably want to use a tripod or flat surface to set your camera on for these kind of shots though.

Next time I want to discuss how they all work together to determine exposure, depth of field (aperture) and motion (shutter speed) of the photo. Also we might talk a little bit about light as well, because it's really all about the light!



Toss the Beanbag Review...

A fun way to review what we have learned, especially in subjects like social studies where we don't go over it a lot is the toss the beanbag game. My kids LOVE beanbags. It started in nursery at church when the music lady would bring them and sing a super silly song with them, and the kids haven't stopped thinking they were the coolest.
I have a ton made up from old clothing, and my mother in law makes them all the time too, so we are in no short supply.

I just toss the kids a beanbag, and depending on who catches it, I ask them a question that is age and knowledge appropriate. After reviewing our lessons, I usually start the A says? and whoever catches it gets to say the sound the letter makes.
They think this is so fun.
Then about then, Topher starts hoarding bean bags so Bekah and I continue with things like rhyming words, spelling and simple math problems. It keeps it more than being a drill, and the kids are getting to be pretty good little aimers (it always turns into the beanbag equivalent of a snowball fight!).


You don't know beans

With our trusty recycle bucket still out, I pulled out the magic beans.
My kids are still playing with them, and I got them out 2 hours ago.
They use the supplies in the bucket to make make-shift funnels, scoops, containers and move them from place to place.
They learn a lot from doing this simple act of playing. Such as less and more concepts, volume, hand-eye coordination, measuring, why beans go through some holes easier than others, things stand up in beans when they wouldn't in the jar.
It opens up discussions about these things and creates many teaching moments while the kids are playing.


Introducing the Recycle Bucket

This is our Recycle Bucket.
It is a big massive bucket, that I have on top of my pantry.
It is filled with, well, trash.
This trash is some of my kids' favorite treasures.
This is one place we go all the time during homeschool time.
We build towers, use stuff in it for science experiments, math concepts and everything else. Today, while learning about the Eiffel Tower, in our Europe lesson, Bekah wanted to try to rebuild it with the recycle bucket contents. I didn't get a picture of the final product, but it had some similarities...
Like they were both tall.
Okay, maybe that's all the similarities, but it got her looking at the pictures, trying to see how the thing was put together, and the Eiffel Tower is now ingrained in her head.
Next up, field trip to see the actual thing.
That's the kind of thing you get to do when you homeschool....
...when you're a Trump.