Monday, November 24, 2008

We are now 11 weeks into Helen's kindergarten year. Wow! We are having a great time. Even before we moved to Thailand I longed to home school. Now, it is nearly a necessity. I do think that I might be just a bit more excited about it all than Helen. Daniel hangs out with us for as long as his interest lasts. He's only 3 1/2 so some days that's not long at all.

Here is a typical day for us:

* Bible story, one hymn (we usually spend about 3 weeks working on the first verse of a well known hymn), and Bible verse for the week

* Read Alouds: this usually includes a Mother Goose poem and a fable or another short story

* Either a Science or a Social Studies read aloud. We are currently reading from a Berenstein Bears Science book, and an Usborne book about different kinds of jobs people do

* An early learning worksheet

* And occasionally, a fun hands on project/game

This lasts anywhere from 30-90 minutes, depending on the interest level.

After lunch when Sam and Daniel take naps Helen and I work on:







*Memorizing Poetry

Though it looks like a lot, we don't usually spend more than 10-15 minutes on any one thing and we certainly don't tackle everything everyday! Our afternoon session is about an hour.

We are using Sonlight and though at first I had other plans for home school, this has turned out to be a great fit for us now. It is a literature based history program, meaning that history is the base of the curriculum with lots of period literature added in. For the most part "living books" (books written by one author who is knowledgeable and writes from his love/interest on the subject) are used instead of textbooks. Also, it does a great job with world cultures and missions. It is a curriculum well known for its excellent choice in books. If you love to read to your children, the Sonlight catalog is a great resource for finding books worth reading.

Bonnie and Clyde

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

My One Year Old

One tired little boy...

One adorable lady bug birthday cake filled with chocolate chips inside...

One fat little belly from a day full of eating...

Happy Birthday to my One Year Old!

Friday, November 14, 2008

September, October, November

These are the months that I am the most homesick for Utah. Living in the tropics. fall colors, no snow. For a few brief days, we get some cool weather. Those days came early this year. And when they hit, I felt like a new woman! I was energized and ready to take on all kinds of projects. I was baking and cleaning and creating! Well, the temperature is spiking unfortunately, but I have hopes it will drop again.

When the fall months hit, I get this silly desire to bake apples and light candles and pretend it is cold out, even if is 90 degrees and 70% humidity. When the coolness came last week we didn't have to pretend so much as we sipped our apple cider. I found this Starbuck's knock-off recipe and it was a hit with my kids and even Pun!

Caramel is scarce here so we boiled some sweetened condensed milk in the can for a few hours, and wa-la! Something like caramel pours out. The whole experience was yummy and quite nostalgic for me.

Starbuck's Caramel Apple Cider (as copied straight from the web)

For one mug:

Fill a mug nearly to the top with apple cider/juice. Add 1/2 stick cinnamon. Put mug in microwave for 2 minutes and walk away.

Ten minutes later, remember there is a mug in the microwave. Remove cinnamon stick and decide cider isn't warm enough. Microwave 1 minute more. (You could be less distracted than I am, but then your cinnamon wouldn't have a chance to steep into your cider. Perhaps you could warm it on the stove?)

Add a nice squeeze of Smucker's Caramel Sundae Topping (conveniently packaged in an upside down squeeze bottle)--I add 1 to 1 1/2 TBSP. Stir briskly. Top with canned whipped cream and sprinkles if desired.

A bottle of apple juice and the caramel topping cost less than a grande from Starbucks!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Healthy Snacks

I have one child who would prefer to eat only fruits and vegetables. She tells me after a few bites of ice cream that she has had enough. She would agree that sugar is not good for you. I know. She really can't be mine. This child definitely belongs to Pun.

Then I have another child. He's a sweet boy. He wakes up in the morning with a silly grin thinking about candy. He will warn me not to eat all of the cookies (ice cream, cake, candy, ...) so there will more for him later. For him, there is only one food group--sugar. The rest is complimentary. Now, this is my child.

Children in Thailand typically do not eat sweet things. Or at least they do not crave them the way my son does. They eat things like seaweed chips or squid-on-a-stick as seen being sold by this lady.

Just seconds before I took this next picture, the little boy behind the girl in a pink dress was tearing into his squid stick. Seriously, I thought he was going to growl. My kids watched in shock, not convinced that it was as delicious as these children made it look.

So imagine my surprise when my children (both the responsible one and the one like me) began eating Taro. What is Taro?

Well, it is made of flour and fish and pressed into long, thin, dry strips. It tastes fishy. Apparently, this package is Bar-B-Q flavor. My kids don't like fish, they tell me. But they love this stuff. I think some of it is made from squid. These days it is not uncommon for me to hear:

"Mom, do we have any 'quid'?"
"Oh, good!"

I watch him tear into it with a big sweet smile, but I am not so convinced that is as delicious as he makes it look.

Dear Grandma and Grandpa

I can walk!

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