Friday, October 17, 2014


We finished our Israel study several months ago, but I am just now finding time to blog about it. There were so many things we learned. One experience is still with us. Learning to blow a shofar! It is not easy and is a learned skill. You should have seen our excitement the first time I squeeked out a sound from the shofar I purchased! We learned about the Jordan River and were surprised at the size. In addition to that we also learned about the size of Israel and it's diversity. In some ways it seemed almost like it was familiar.. Below are some of the videos we watched that started the unit off.

                                                                  Tour of Israel

                                                             Archeology Tour of Israel

                                                                  Culture and History

We also watched a video that taught how to speak Hebrew. The girls and I discovered we would need a lot of practice before we would be able to speak fluently. Below is the video we watched.

                                                                      Hebrew 101

                                      We learned Israel leads the world in science.
                                            Israel has more scientists that any other country!

            I had the girls color a  flag of IsraelThey also completed a map of Israel. 
 Another really cool interactive map can be found here For a craft project they made a matzah cover. There is a link here to a webpage with instructions so you can make your own matzah cover. The girls also made driedels. You can go here to print one out and make one too.

One fun thing we did was learning different ways to tie on headscarves. Oh my word did we find out it isn't something you just do so easily. We had to practice, but we loved the different ways to tie one and how it looked. The girls still like to get them out once in awhile and tie their headscarves on. We used this  webpage to learn how. This page also gave a lot of information about why headscarves are worn.

We used a combination of several unit studies on Israel. They can be found here and here and here.

Passover Seder Game

Israel Currency

Paper Dolls

Hebrew Alphabet


Coloring pages for different Jewish Holidays

Sunday, August 10, 2014


We have had a very  busy time during the last six months. Life has been happening and blogging for me was put on the back burner. I will try to accurately recap what we covered for the end of our 2013-2014 school year. We learned about China and we could have spent many, many weeks learning all the fascinating things about China. However we needed a starting and stopping point.

We learned about the Three Gorges Dam and watched a video on netflix called Wild China. We also watched many youtube videos.

                                                          CRUISING THE YANGTZE

                                                      THE GREAT WALL OF CHINA

                                                 THE TERRA COTTA WARRIORS

                              We learned about the Great Panda's and did some projects.

                                                            GIANT PANDA BEAR

We also read several stories from China. Our favorite was Tikki Tikki Timbo. You can listen to the audio books on youtube.

                                                                  TIKKI TIKKI TIMBO

                                                             THE EMPTY POT

                                                     THE STORY ABOUT PING

          We also read The Seven Chinese Brothers and The Seven Chinese Sisters.
We learned about silk worms and watched a video and did a diagrahm. 

                                                      THE LIFE OF A SILK WORM.

Worksheets we did.

We made a diagrahm of the life cycle of a silk worm. I can't seem to find the link though. It also happens to be something I didn't get pictures of. Sorry about that. We learned about Hua Mulan and watched the movie Mulan. Her story is very interesting and worth the time to learn about.

In addition the girls learned to write numbers and letters in Chinese. They discovered it was not as easy as it looks! I got the idea from here

We made a replica of The Great Wall of China. The girls were fascinated with this project.
                                                     THE GREAT WALL OF CHINA

We also made Chinese hats. The girls weren't as thrilled with this as you can probably tell. McKenna decided to give me a goofy grin. lol 

McLarin had just woke up from a nap when I decided to take these pictures. She is usually a bright and sunny little girl, but she was having none of this silliness that day.



To find more exciting things we did during our unit on China you can go to my pinterest board on China here. Hope these links are a blessing and a help to you in your homeschool journey.

Thursday, March 20, 2014


 We recently finished our unit on Japan. We took  our time and enjoyed ourselves in our study of Japan at a leisurely pace. We learned about everything from kokeshi dolls to Mt Fuji to haiku. Below is the many things we covered and learned about. It made us really desire to travel to Japan one day and see all these things for ourselves! 

                                         Videos about the landscape and history of Japan

                                                                    Wonderful Japan

                                                               Celebrating Mt Fuji

                                                             Travel Guide Japan

                                               Tour of a traditional Japanese house

We also learned about Japanese music and art and watched some videos.

                                        Shamisen- A Japanese three stringed instrument

                                                   Bunraku- Japanese puppet theater

We learned about woodcuts and I made some prints so the girls could paint their own here.

Learned about Haiku.
Practiced writing Japanese letters and symbols
Learned about Japanese kimono dolls
Printed out Japanese paper dolls from Making Friends
Used this map of Japan
The girls made some flying carp
The girls studied Japanese currency from this site
Made printouts from Enchanted Learning to make the Japanese flag and a book on Japan.
 The girls learned to make origami fish using this book.
Kimono coloring pages here.
                             We learned about Japanese lunches called Bento Boxes

Hello Kitty Bento Box

Studied Japanese transportation and watched a video about the Bullet Train

                                                                   Bullet Train

The girls also learned geography terms such as ARCHIPELAGO, ISLAND, MOUNTAIN, VOLCANO, and TSUNAMI.
We studied about volcanoes and The Ring of Fire. We even made our own erupting volcano, which was a huge hit! 

Learned to count in Japanese.

                                                                Counting in Japanese

I Read A Pair of Red Clogs,  Sadako and the Thousand Cranes,  Grandfather's Journey and Tikki Tikki Tembo to the girls.

     We watched a video of the book Tikki Tikki Tembo being read and loved it!

  The girls painted their own kokeshi dolls and had a blast doing it. We used craft paint, empty Danimal bottles for the body and ping pong balls for the head. I had the girls paint the bodies first. Then I glued the ping pong ball heads on with hot glue. Next we used sharpie markers to color in the face and hair of the kokeshi dolls. They turned out so cute and the girls begged to make more!


                                            McLarin's on the left, McKenna's on the right.

 One of the last things we did during our study of Japan was make a miniature Zen Garden.

I used an empty altoids tin and filled it with craft sand. Then we placed a rock or two that we found in the sand and buried it 2/3 of the way . I also made a rake out of a popcicle stick and a toothpick. I left the lid on because I wanted to be able to store it without the sand getting everywhere.  Apparently it doesn't matter with craft sand. It's so fine it still manages to find it's way out of the tin!

                  You can find even more ideas on my pinterest board about Japan



Sunday, February 23, 2014


We have been busy the last few months. After my stint in the hospital over Christmas and medical tests all during January the girls and I have been busy as beavers.We have been learning about Russia for the last week or two. It was so interesting and there was so much to learn.  We are thrilled to share what we learned about Russia with all of you!

       We watched a video of some of the major Russian cities. Many beautiful landmarks were shown.

                                       We learned how to make Blini's or Russian pancakes. Delish!
The girls made a set of Matryoshka dolls out of paper.

Some other resources we used

Flags of Asia wheel 
Map and info about Russia
Quizz about Russia
Map of Russia to label
Russian flag
Russian map to color
Photos of Russian  currency
Corinne Demas  Here you will find info from the author about the book The Littlest Matryoshka.

Books you may like about Russia

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Knocked Out Of The Saddle, But Not Taken Down

I don't know if anyone missed me or wondered where I've been for the past few weeks, but I've been sick. Very sick. A week before Christmas I came down with what I thought was the flu. After a few days and no improvement I knew something was not right. I usually bounce back from the flu in a few days, but I continued to get sicker and sicker. Finally on Christmas Eve with foreboding thoughts I called my oldest son for help. He called his mother-in-law, who is our neighbor and she came to check on me.

I had a fever, hurt and was extremely nauseated and very weak. She loaded the girls and I in her car and took me to the ER. I ended up being admitted and spending almost a week in the hospital and was diagnosed with COPD and Pulmonary Hypertension. I feel better now, but am still feeling weaker than my usual self. Hard to believe just a few weeks ago I was going strong and now I have two very serious diagnosis. I was also septic which at the time had me more concerned.

So first plan of action is to see my pulmonologist and see where we go from here. I see him for asthma which I have suffered from for years. I'm praying it is all a misdiagnosis.I refuse to believe the pronouncement from the PA that took care of me in the hospital that not only did I have COPD, but also Pulmonary Hypertension and that I was dying. As far as I'm concerned that PA does not orchestrate creation nor my appointed days  on earth. I will be called home when the Lord ordains it and not a moment before. I will be here for many years to come God willing.

In the meantime I will be checked out and trust that I am in the hands of the Great Physician. I would appreciate prayers for my family and myself. May the truth of God's sovereign healing be revealed and this time of illness be used to build God's Kingdom.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Christmas Plates: Gift Idea For The Grandparents

We came up with a great and easy idea for gift giving and we want to share it with all of you. It's something the kiddos can do and make by themselves with minimal help. I found some ceramic plates at the thrift store and it got me to thinking. Why not make these into gifts! So we made this super simple and easy craft and the girls loved it. 



1. White ceramic plates from the thrift store or you can buy new
2. Set of Sharpie markers - fine point 
3. Oven

We began this craft by first making sure the plates were clean. Next we got out our set of Sharpie fine point markers and went to work creating. The girls chose to draw on their plates, but I decided to put a Bible verse on mine. After we were finished we put the plates on a cookie sheet and put them in a 250 degree oven for about thirty minutes to set the marker. We then turned the oven off and let the plates cool in the oven. Ta Da, an easy peasy Christmas gift with a personal touch and frugal to boot!

I'm sure you could decorate white cups the same way if you would rather go that route. The baking in the oven is suppose to set the marker so they can be washed. Suppose to, but I will admit we haven't washed ours so I can't attest to whether or not that is fact.     

                                                   Have fun and Happy Crafting!

Monday, December 16, 2013

Giant Stained Glass Sugar Cookies For Christmas


Yesterday was baking day! I tackled a project I had had in mind to do with the girls for awhile. We made giant stained glass sugar cookies. I found a new sugar cookie recipe that doesn't need to be chilled and it is so YUMMY! It's going to be my new, all time favorite sugar cookie recipe!  We had so much fun making and baking these. We will definitely be making these again. 

 Supplies you will need besides the baking supplies and cookie pans and of course the rolling pin are miniature cookie cutters. I also had a cookie cutter with a removable round center piece that I used for the round shapes. To make the giant cookies I used the lid from a large container of baking powder that I bought at Sam's Club. Probably any extra large lid 5 or 6 inches across would work. Also make sure to bake these on a cookie sheet covered with parchment paper so they will be easy to remove.

 credit given to Katrina's Kitchen for this wonderful recipe
Yield: 3 dozen large cookies
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 6-8 minutes
Total Time: 38 minutes

Soft cut out sugar cookie recipe that keeps its shape and dough does not need to be chilled before baking- perfect edges every time!


  • 2 cups of butter, softened
  • 2 cups of granulated white sugar
  • 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon of almond extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 6 cups all purpose flour


  1. Preheat oven to 350° F.
  2. In the bowl of your mixer cream butter and sugar until smooth.
  3. Beat in extracts and eggs.
  4. In a separate bowl combine baking powder with flour and add a little at a time to the wet ingredients. The dough will be very stiff. If it becomes too stiff for your mixer turn out the dough onto a countertop surface. Wet your hands and finish off kneading the dough by hand.
  5. DO NOT CHILL THE DOUGH. Divide into workable batches, roll out onto a floured surface and cut. You want these cookies to be on the thicker side (closer to 1/4 inch rather than 1/8).
  6. Bake at 350 for 6-8 minutes. Let cool on the cookie sheet until firm enough to transfer to a cooling rack.


  • If you must chill the dough just leave it on the countertop for 10 minutes before rolling or work the dough with your hands for a few minutes.
  • I hesitate to put a recipe yield on cut out cookie recipes because the yield varies with the size of cookie cutters being used. This recipe makes a LARGE amount of dough. It can easily be halved to meet your needs.
  • You can omit the almond extract if you do not have it available, however the taste is really fantastic with the hint of almond.

I do want to point out that when you make these it is very important they not be too thin. The dough also needs to have nice clean cut edges so the candy doesn't wick up into the cookie as it melts.  These giant cookies are approximately 5 inches across and at least 1/4 inch thick. Also this is very important. When you make these bake the cookies for 6-7 minutes, then remove them from the oven and add the crushed candy to the cutouts, then return to the oven and bake for another 6-7 minutes or so more. Otherwise the candy melts too much and will either burn or run everywhere. Trust me I know from experience! Also it's hard to tell when the cookies are done. Don't wait too long or they will be too done!  Total baking time for us per pan of cookies was about 12 minutes, but that may vary for you depending on your oven. Also this recipe makes at least a dozen giant cookies. We also baked the cutouts and they made nice size cookies even though we used miniature cookie cutters for the cutouts.

Have fun and enjoy baking and creating with your little ones and older ones too!