Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Turkey Time!

We had a fun Thanksgiving play date today with our buddies, Leah and Lucy, and made a couple of super cute crafts and snacked on some yummy, sweet birds!  Check it out ...

For our first craft, we made the 'Finger Stamp Place Cards' as seen in Family Fun magazine, November 2007, page 66, using card stock, stamp pads, googly eyes, glue, scissors, and markers.  Before starting, cut and fold your card stock into place card-sized pieces.  Next, using your stamp pads, stamp your thumb or index finger into the ink and make arcs of color, like below, for your turkey's feathers.  Make one large print (the thumb would be best for this part) in the center for your turkey's body.  
Glue on googly eyes, add a paper beak, and using your markers, draw in feet and the name of the person you're making it for.  (Here, Anna is helping Leah with her glue.)
Lucy, showing off her colorful thumb!  :)
Maggie's place card!
Leah's place card for her Daddy.  (So cute!)  :)
All of our turkey place cards!  They were adorable!
We also enjoyed a few turkeys for snack, 'Bite-Size Birds,' to be exact, as per last year's issue of Publix: Family Style magazine.  To make them, you need vanilla wafers, miniature peanut butter cups, vanilla frosting, candy corn, and caramels (or, when you can't find caramels at the store, like me today, something similar to hold your turkeys propped up at the back).  For each one, frost the flat part of your wafer and attach a peanut butter cup at the bottom.  Arrange your candy corn above your peanut butter cup, like below, for your turkey's feathers.  (I was able to get 5 on.)
Once the frosting has set a bit, you can prop your cookie up in the back using your caramel or other candy, and a bit of frosting for 'glue.'  Finally, attach another piece of candy corn on the top of your peanut butter cup for your turkey's head.  
So cute!
And quite tasty!  :)
Leah approved!  :)
And for our second craft today, we made the 'Turkey Luminarias' as seen in a past issue of Family Fun magazine, using a brown paper lunch bag, white, yellow, orange, and red tissue paper, scissors, a glue stick, and an LED tea light.  (You can find these in packs of 3 at the Dollar Tree.)  To start, cut a hole in the center of the seamless side of your bag.
Once the hole is cut, cut a slightly larger circle out of your white tissue paper.  This will be the base for your tissue paper turkey.  Next, cut skinny triangles of red, orange, and yellow tissue paper for your feathers, using a glue stick to affix them onto your white circle, points towards the center, in an arc like you did for the fingerprint turkeys.  Once your arc of triangles is adhered to your white circle, use the brown circle that you cut from your bag to cut out the silhouette of a turkey body and head.  (Scroll down two photos to see mine.)  Glue the silhouette onto the center of your feathers and white circle.
Finally, glue around your open hole in your bag and place your white circle down onto it, colorful side out.
This is what your bag should look like.  
Put something heavy in the bottom of your bag, place your LED tea light on top, and let her glow!  (We found that a Campbell's soup can was the perfect height for our tea light!)
Very pretty!

Thanks for peeking in on us! We wish everyone a wonderful Thanksgiving! See you next week!

Rachel and Mags  :)

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Happy Homemade Bread Day!

Happy Homemade Bread Day!  We spent the first half of the day running errands, doing most of our Thanksgiving meal shopping, getting gas, and hitting the craft store for some needed items.  Later, though, we did get some work done, today, focusing on honoring Homemade Bread Day (lots of cooking today, no crafts).  First, though, I must tell you that we woke to find our 'Turkey Trap' from yesterday had been sprung!  Mags was so excited, but cautious, to look inside ...
... no turkey, but what's this?  Feathers?
A note, a few feathers, and some M&Ms ...
Look's like we'll have to try again another time!  :)
In honor of Homemade Bread Day, we read some great books, all of which I'd recommend if you're studying this dietary staple:  
1. Bread, Bread, Bread by Ann Morris;
2. Bread Comes to Life: A Garden of Wheat and a Loaf to Eat by George Levenson;
3. Everybody Bakes Bread by Norah Dooley;
4. Monsieur Saguette and his Baguette by Frank Asch; and 
5. Bread is for Eating by David and Phillis Gershator.
We also watched the Reading Rainbow: Bread is for Eating DVD that we borrowed from the library, another great resource!
Later, of course, we made bread together, using the recipe for the Italian bread out of the Everybody Bakes Bread book.  For the same, you'll need:
1 tablespoon active dry yeast
1 teaspoon sugar
2 cups warm water 
7 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons plus 2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup cornmeal
(And it wasn't suggested, nor did I use it, but I would recommend something to add more flavor to the bread, like rosemary.)

To start your bread, in a large bowl, combine yeast, sugar, and 1/4 cup warm water and stir.  Let sit for 5 minutes.  Add remaining water.  Then, add 3 cups of flour and mix well (about 300 strokes).  Stir in 2 teaspoons olive oil and salt.  Continue to stir in flour little by little until dough begins to form a ball.  Place dough on a floured surface and knead in flour until your dough is smooth and stretchy.  (You may have some flour left over.)
 Coat the inside of a large bowl with your remaining olive oil.  Place the dough in the bowl and cover with a towel.  Let rise in a warm place for about 1 hour or until doubles in size.  (This is our dough, with about 20 minutes left to go.)
 After an hour, punch down dough and place on floured surface again.  Knead for about five minutes.  Divide your dough in half and form each half so that it makes a flat 10-inch long loaf.  Slice each loaf into 3 long strips.  Place your three strips of dough side by side and braid them, tucking the ends under.  Repeat with your other three strips so that you have 2 braided loaves.  Sprinkle 2 cookie sheets with the cornmeal (this is a GREAT non-stick trick I learned with this recipe!) and place each loaf on a cookie sheet, like below.  Cover with a towel and let rise another 20 minutes.
 Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Bake for 5 minutes, then reduce the heat to 325 degrees, baking for another 30 minutes.  These are our two loaves, baked and smelling divine!
YUM!  And they were quite good, but next time, like I said, I'll be adding a bit of rosemary to make them extra flavorful!  Our first attempt at baking bread together was a success!
 For today's journal entry, I asked her, 'What's your favorite kind of bread?'  She answered, 'Strawberry bread.'
Later, to go with dinner, we made the 'Old English "Sallet"' (today, known as 'salad') as seen in our Happy Thanksgiving! Things to Make and Do book by Judith Conaway, pages 36-37.  According to the same, this recipe 'comes from a very old book, widely read by the Pilgrims.'  Instead of typing out another recipe for you, I'll just post photos of it.  To make it large enough to read, just click on the picture.  Page 36 ...
 ... and page 37.
 Our greens (spinach, lettuce, and green cabbage), mixed together.  So pretty!
 Adding the raisins ...
 And tossing it all together!  (We omitted the onions from our recipe, not because I don't like them, but because Mags sometimes protests them!)
Beautiful!  I love a clear glass bowl for salads!  (I got this one at IKEA for only $3!)
Today, we also:
Daily (Calendar/Weather):
1.  We completed our calendar activities, putting today's date up on the calendar, and discussing the month, what day of the week it is, what season, and what kind of weather we're having.
Bible Study:
1.  We completed the daily devotion out of out God and Me book for today's date, 'Helping Mom,' about the importance of helping others.  Then, we read Genesis 18:1-9 together.
Geography Awareness Week:
1.  We read Blast Off to Earth: A Look at Geography by Loreen Leedy.
1.  We read A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving by Charles M. Schulz.
2.  We read It's Thanksgiving by Jack Prelutsky.
3.  We read Thanksgiving Day at Our House: Thanksgiving Poems for the Very Young by Nancy White Carlstrom.
4.  We read 'Twas the Night Before Thanksgiving by Dav Pilkey.
5.  We read What is Thanksgiving? by Harriet Ziefert.
6.  We read Thanksgiving is for Giving Thanks by Margaret Sutherland.
7.  We watched our A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving DVD.
Letter Ii Review:
1.  We completed page 10 of our Mickey Mouse Clubhouse: Alphabet Learning Workbook, which required her to practice writing both uppercase I and lowercase i, to write an i to complete a word, and to distinguish between the uppercase I’s and lowercase i’s in a picture.
2.  We completed page 23 of our Alphabet and Counting workbook, which required her to listen to an I tongue twister, then practice writing uppercase I and lowercase i.

See you soon!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Stars and Stripes

What a rainy day!  I was glad we didn't have any social events today, because the storms were downright torrential and it was nice to have plenty to do inside.  Here are some photos from today:

In honor of Geography Awareness Week, today, we studied our country.  After some reading, we looked at and discussed a map of the United States, counting the states, and pointing out all its bodies of water and mountains.  
 Then, using an online printout of the US, she colored her home state in green and the other states she has visited in red.
 Four states for four years!  We then discussed an idea that Daddy and I had for an ongoing homeschooling lesson ...
Al bought me this book years ago for Christmas, when Maggie was only an infant, and we're using it as a basis for our future travels.  We got the idea for an ongoing homeschooling project, and as a treat to ourselves, that we would learn about, then visit, every state in our country, being sure not to miss the suggestions laid out in this book by Frommer's.  It will give us an opportunity to see our whole country ourselves, to share that gift with Maggie, and to keep her learning all at the same time!  We plan on learning about each state weeks prior to our visit, then keeping our travels in a scrapbook so that when she's older and leaves our home, she has a record of her journeys.  Once we've satisfied the states goal, we'll look to do some travelling abroad.  We've already started planning our first voyage ... an early Spring trip to South Carolina!  We'll keep you posted!  (I'm thinking a reading of Flat Stanley before our journey commences might be in order!)
We then went on to learn about our country's flag, and colored the same, being sure to discuss how each of the fifty stars represents each of the fifty states.
(Her coloring is getting so good!)  :)
Then, we made the 'Handprint American Flag' as seen at http://michellesjournalcorner.blogspot.com/2009/06/kid-craft-handprint-american-flag.html, using white paper, red, blue, and white paint, a paintbrush, scissors, silver star stickers, and a wooden skewer, sharp point removed.  (The site, however, used a Popsicle stick, which may be easier for small hands.)
Using your paint and brush, paint your child's hand like below, making the palm blue, and the fingers red and white, alternatively, for your flag's stripes.  Leave the thumb unpainted.
 Press onto your paper.
Once dry, add your star stickers to the blue portion of your 'flag,' then cut out.  
Adhere to your skewer or Popsicle stick with a small piece of tape.  Very cute.
Later, for her journal entry, I asked her, 'What state do you most want to visit and why?'  Her answer?  'Alabama, because Grandma and Grandpop live there.'  (So sweet.)  This is her picture of my Dad and Mom, with her version of the state of Alabama in orange between them.  (Yes, Dad, she failed to give you hair!)
For a Thanksgiving craft, we made the 'Pilgrim-Indian Chain' out of our Happy Thanksgiving! Things to Make and Do book by Judith Conaway, pages 28-31, by scanning the book's pictures of the Pilgrims and Native Americans onto my computer and printing out the same.  Once printed, we cut them out, linked their arms, and hung them over our door.
And in our study of the letter Ii this week, we made an uppercase I and lowercase i with ice.
And for our last project of the day, as suggested by my trusty The Everything Toddler Activities Book by Joni Levine, M.Ed., we set a 'Turkey Trap,' using a cardboard box, a stick, and some kernels of corn (page 256).  You'll have to peek in on us tomorrow afternoon to see what we caught!  

Today, we also:
Daily (Calendar/Weather):
1.  We completed our calendar activities, putting today's date up on the calendar, and discussing the month, what day of the week it is, what season, and what kind of weather we're having.
Bible Study:
1.  We completed the daily devotion out of out God and Me book for today's date, 'Cooking,' about being thankful to God for our many foods and the many ways we can prepare them.  Then, we read Luke 22:7-13 together.
Geography Awareness Week:
1.  We read In My Country by Heather Adamson.
1.  We read The Very First Thanksgiving Day by Rhonda Gowler Greene.
2.  We read Thanksgiving Wish by Michael J. Rosen.
3.  We read Thanksgiving in the White House by Gary Hines.
4.  We read The Peterkin's Thanksgiving by Elizabeth Spurr.
5.  We read The Thanksgiving Door by Debby Atwell.
6.  We read A Midwestern Corn Festival: Ears Everywhere by Lisa Gabbert.
Letter Ii Review:
1.  We read Short i and Long i Play a Game by Jane Belk Moncure.
2.  We read Phonics Tales! The Little Pink Pig by Liza Charlesworth.
3.  We completed pages 110-111 of our Getting Your Preschooler Ready to Read workbook, which requires her to identify objects that begin with the i sound and identify the difference between the long and short sounds of i.
4.  We completed pages 46-47 of our Getting Your Preschooler Ready to Read workbook, which requires her to recognize and write lowercase letters g, h, and i, and match the uppercase letters G, H, and I to their lowercase partners.
5.  We completed page 9 of our Rain Forest workbook, which requires her to write both uppercase I and lowercase i, and identify the pictures that have an i in the spelling of that picture.
6.  We practiced writing lowercase i on page 4 of our Learn with Dick and Jane: lowercase letters workbook.