Book Study – Little House On The Prairie -Intro

Little House Title

I am sure most of you have already read The Little House Series, I have too. And I have absolutely loved reading each book in this series. Including Farm Boy, Little Town on the Prairie, The First Four Years, and These Happy Golden Years. This is one of those series I just can’t sit and read-out-loud to my kids nor is it a series I want my kids to read quietly to themselves. I feel this is a series is about falling into the lives of this family and experiencing a little of what their life was like. So, if you have not read this book series and are planning on reading it next school year, then I invite you to join our family in experiencing these stories.

I will be chronicling our homeschool adventure of this classic book series here on my blog. I will be posting tutorials and patterns of the things we make. I will be preparing with my kiddos a lot of the recipes that the Ingall’s made by following The Little House Cookbook for baked beans and everything else we read about. We will also be learning about eating nutritious foods and how to make food from scratch. So cheese making will be fun and so will butter. We will be sewing bonnets, making a 9 square quilt, corn husk dolls, and hand sewing dresses for our hand sewn dolls.

We will also enjoy this next winter season with the electricity off and enjoy being warmed by the fire while reading Bible stories instead of watching a movie. Since we don’t play any instruments, we may sing some silly old kid songs or read more of Laura Ingall’s adventures.

My handsome hubby will begin hunting this year so that will be added to our adventure too. I will be learning many wonderful things with my kids. After all isn’t that what homeschooling all about.

This next school year will be nothing short but an experience we all remember.

Rosalia

I will also be using Little House In The Classroom as a supplement.

Our Family’s Top 10 Easter Traditions

Easter 1title 2014

Another exciting holiday is upon us, Easter!

Easter is one of our family’s favorite holidays. So I am excited to share our top 10 favorite Easter Traditions with you. We begin our celebration with Palm Sunday, and every day we read from the Bible leading up to Easter. You can say this is our Easter count down.

1.) So her it is our Bible Count Down to Easter:

Palm Sunday– As a family, re-enact Jesus’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem. Read Mark 11:1-11 and Luke 18:29-28.

Monday – Read Mark 11:15-18, and discuss what happened in the temple that day. Why was Jesus so upset? What can we do to keep the church a meaningful, worshipful place? Discuss I Cor 3:16, 6:18, 2 Cor 6:16. Our bodies are a temple, too, because Christ dwells within us. What are some ways that we use our bodies to glorify God? In contrast, what are some ways that we might treat our bodies that are not pleasing to Him?

Tuesday – This is a good time to talk about Jesus teaching in the temple, specifically discussing Mark 12:28-34. This is the passage where Jesus was asked, “Of all the commandments which one is the most important?” To which Jesus replied, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these.” What does it mean to love God with all of your heart, soul, mind, and strength? Plan a way to help a neighbor this week.

Wednesday – Watch a children’s video together relaying the meaning of Easter, such as The Greatest Adventure Stories From the Bible: The Easter Story. Discuss the video and compare/contrast with what you read in Scripture.

Thursday – Set aside time for foot washing, just as Jesus washed the feet of his disciples on this day, and talk about the importance of serving others. What can we do to encourage serving others in our daily life? This was also the day that Jesus ate his famous last supper with his disciples, calling it their Passover meal together (Mt. 26:17-20). Have communion together as a family.

Good Friday– Recount the Passover and last supper. In lieu of spreading blood on the door (!) hang red fabric on the door and discuss what it means. What was is like for the Israelites on the night of Passover? What was the crucifixion like? Discuss the pain Jesus felt and why it was necessary for Him to die (Hebrews 9:22 and 1 Peter 3:18 )

Saturday – Meditate on Jesus being in the tomb. Young children may enjoy being wrapped up as mummies (in toilet paper) as you talk about burial customs of that time. Older children might write a “thank you” note to Jesus, the Son of God.

Easter Sunday – Celebrate that Jesus is risen and read Luke 24:1-9. For further discussion, talk about the day of Pentecost and the Holy Spirit coming in Acts 2 as part of the beauty of the resurrection. He came, died, and rose again because He loved us and wanted us to have new life in Him!

2.) Every year I go out and buy coordinating outfits for the kids to wear. Then on Easter when everyone is all dresses up, I do a little mini photo shoot. The cousins usually join in.

Easter 2014

Our silly little bunnies!

Bro & Sis

Big Sister and brother.

Daw & Ry

These two are 2 peas in a pod for sure.

Sisters Easter 2014

Sisterly Love.

3.)  Sugar cookies, we always make a special Easter batch of spring cookies

4.) We go to our church Eggstravaganza. After all going to a big Easter Egg Hunt is always fun! Between the crafts, games and face paint and food it is always a good time.

5.) We dye Easter Eggs! We make our own egg dye by using gel food coloring instead the color tablets. We even grabbed some paint brushes and squirt some food color gel on a paper plate to hand paint some of our eggs. Simple but fun.

Easter eggs

I just love the creativity here.

Dawson hand painting eggs

Little D is painting his orange egg to look like a leopard.

6.) One of our favorite activities is making Resurrection bread. I am not sure if you have heard of this but you make a simple yeasted dough. You roll out baseball size pieces of dough and brush melted butter in it. Then you wrap a jumbo marshmallow in it with cinnamon and sugar. Once it is wrapped you brush the outside with butter and cinnamon and sugar the outside too. I will post the our recipe tomorrow. We generally make this on Good Friday.

Ressurection bread

These are so good you want to eat more than just one.

7.) After having our first born, we have not made it to a Sunrise service. But time with family and remembering the reason for Easter is very important to us. So we started hosting a family brunch with fresh squeezed orange juice, quiche, blueberry stuffed french toast, bacon, scones, fruit salad, coffee and anything else that sounds good that year.

8.) My husbands family started a tradition that we adopted with our first born child and have continued on through today. And we will probably continue until our children have children of there own. It is the simplest tradition we have, we use the kids first Easter basket every year. Our children are always excited to see them. They are always telling each other, “I had this basket when I was a baby.”

9.) This tradition fits with number 8. We place those well loved Easter baskets out on the front porch the night before Easter to invite the Easter Bunny to share in our holiday. The kids are always excited to see what little treasures the Bunny will leave for them.

Easter Baskets

10.) Last but not least, we have a family BBQ and Easter Egg Hunt for all the kids in the family. We enjoy a family feast that seams to change every year. But the company is always the same and so is the joy of a Risen Jesus!

I hope you enjoy my list of family traditions, I would love to hear some of yours!

Rosalia

Father’s & Daughters

father &daughters

Fathers and daughters, have a special bond, there is no denying that.  I see it every time my daughter looks at her father, and like wise, when my husband looks at his daughter. It’s those sweet moments when she shares an exciting part of her day with him. And I notice the proud papa glow in my husbands eyes, when he is just enjoying listening to her. He is completely present and in that moment, he is sharing in her joy. Letting her know what a great job she did. The beams that then radiate from her face are simply priceless.

This indeed is one of those relationships that needs to be protected and respected. Our daughters are fragile little ladies that are innocent and need to be shown love, respect and worth. To learn that she has value because she is a child of God, and is here to serve His purpose. Not because of anything she did or anything she should do. Who better than their Christian father (or uncle)  to teach such a lesson. Part of this lesson in my opinion, is a father (or uncle) taking his little lady (or ladies) out on a special date to show her, how a lady is to be treated by a man; with dignity and grace.

In order to celebrate this beautiful bond, and encourage healthy relationships. I felt the church we attend should have a Daddy Daughter Dance for daughters from as young as 2, all the way up to 18 year old teenagers. I was very happy to hear that a few fathers did take their 2 year old daughters out for this special night. What a blessing.

Now, I know lots of churches do this, but I had my vision of what I wanted this night to be. So thanks to my church and all the hard working hands, we were able to make this happen. What a blessing this night was to all the little girls that went.

I am happy to say, we have decided to make this an annual event for Daddy’s and Daughters.

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Here is my little Cupcake getting ready for her big night!

 When I first mentioned this event to my oldest daughter. She was super excited! She was telling everyone about the dance. “When we get there, all the girls will have a crown put on their head!” She would gladly announce to everyone who would listen. Tis’ true that was the plan. The idea behind the crown was, ” I am a princess, not because I have a prince, but because my Father is the King.” Yes, the Lord our God.

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This was a special time for me too. Getting my daughter all fancy for a night out with dad. Honestly, my oldest isn’t really into being fancy on any given day. She is all about her jersey shirt and stretchy pants. But for this night, she wanted it all; nails polished, hair done, blush for cotton candy pink cheeks, and of course pink lip gloss.

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I did my best with her hair and she was very happy to be pampered.

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My sweet little Cupcake.

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Peanut was happy to get dressed up and go through my jewelry box. She is our little ham who is all about being girly.

The cherry on top of all this excitement (for me), was that my husband left work early and went shopping. He picked out a whole new suit to wear for this event. I must say, I think my husband looks super handsome. He was a true gentlemen. He rang the door bell and gave them each a gift of See’s chocolate, because the girls love chocolate. Then off they went, to dance the night away.

They were most certainly crowned princesses that night, they got a picture taken with dad, enjoyed a light dinner, decorated a frame for their special photo, made jewelry, enjoyed a dessert bar, and danced and danced and danced. It was a full night of fun.

I look forward to next years Daddy Daughter Dance.

We will be planning a masquerade theme.

Family Favorite Recipe – Homemade Pancakes

strawberry pancakes

Every family seems to have their own favorite pancake recipe, if not, they have their favorite brand of pancake mix. Since our family is moving away from eating any processed food, a box mix of pancakes is something we no longer do. So I have perfected (in my opinion) our family pancake recipe. It’s really easy to make, and the best part is, we almost always have all the ingredients on hand.

So here is our family recipe:_DSC0100

Sift together;

1 1/2 cups of Unbleached all purpose flour

3 Tablespoons of organic sugar

1 Tablespoon of aluminum free baking powder

1 teaspoon of Kosher salt

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Then add,1 egg,1 1/4 cup of milk.

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Finally, add 1 tablespoon of melted butter, mix with a whisk until blended. Then cook on your griddle.

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The simplest way to slice beautiful fresh strawberries, is by using an egg slicer. It’s quick, easy, and every piece is evenly sliced. 

I will admit, my favorite way to have pancakes is with fresh fruit. Today, I will enjoy freshly sliced strawberries on our pancakes.

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Serve with maple syrup!  And there you go! _DSC0197

YUMM!!!!

This recipe makes 9-10, 6 inch pancakes. Feel free to double it for your family.

If you are like me, and love having family meals together. Put an oven safe plate or baking sheet in your warm oven. (I heat mine to 200 degrees.) Then as my pancakes are cooked, I put them on the plate in the oven to keep warm until all our pancakes are cooked. Then I serve everyone at the same time and we get to enjoy breakfast together.

I hope you enjoy my pancake recipe!

Rosalia

Toddler Craft : T- Is For Tomato

tomato tile

Here is another really simple craft for your busy little toddler. All you need is paint, paint brushes, paper plates and green felt. While Peanut was reviewing the letter “T”. I though it would be fun for her to explore a book with a variety of heirloom tomatoes. That way, she can discover all the beautiful colors of tomatoes. After all, we will be planting some heirloom tomatoes, and she will taste some off the vine soon enough.

Here is the book we used, but any Tomato book will do as long as it has large beautiful pictures of real tomatoes.

The gardening section of your local library should have a nice selection.

Tomato books

My little  Peanut loved studying the pictures of the tomatoes. _DSC0247

She loved looking at the yellow tomatoes.

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She observed the different shapes and sizes.

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She is looking forward to tasting some if these in September.

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I set the art table for my little one, to paint her favorite variety of tomatoes!

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As much as I love all the colors of tomatoes, I can’t help but favor the deep red tomatoes the best.

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Here, Little D is making his own Cherokee Purple Tomatoes.

Even though this craft was for my toddler, my other children wanted to join in the fun.

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Next, I take some green felt scraps and make the stem top.

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While the paint is still wet you can stick on  your felt stem.

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And there you have it!!! A tomato!!!

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Super easy and a simple way to keep toddlers busy!

Thanks for stopping by!

Rosalia

Our First DIY Tile Floor

flooring feet

So, this is how my Hubby and I spent our Saturday. Tiling our first DIY project.

There is no surprise, my hubby is the one who is heading up this project, with me as his loyal (but accident prone wife) as his side kick. Thanks to YouTube, we were able to watch some tile contractors in action to better understand what we were getting ready to tackle.

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We decided on using VersaBond Gray 50lb. Fortified Thin-set Mortar and mixed it to the constancy of peanut butter.

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So, here we go!!!!

Last Saturday we spent the afternoon measuring and cutting tile. We basically did a dry run of laying all the tile just they way we wanted, then came up with a plan of how we were going to do this. I must admit I was a little worried. This is a project that can easily go wrong, so I knew we both had to be really good a communicating.

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With the plan we had set, 1 bag of mortar was all we needed. Until we saw this video on YouTube and decided to back butter our tiles. You can watch it here. As new DIY’ers we had no idea what a mess and how much we would end up needing.

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So everything was going great! We were moving, we getting it done!

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We were about 3/4 done when I had to make a call. Yes, The back butter method is great, and we should have bought 1 more bag before we started. Thankfully my father-in-law was able to stop by Home Depot to pick up 1 more bag. We really only need 2 quarts of mortar to finish, so close, only 2 pieces of tile need mortar. After a mad dash outside to mix more mortar we were done!

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Totally not professional, but we did it! Thanks to my father-in-laws willingness to dash to Home Depot, it went stress free (for the most part).

Tomorrow we will grout!

Can’t wait so share the next phase of this bathroom remodel.

Rosalia

Family Favorite – Read-Out-Loud Series for Toddlers Or New Readers

Burgess Books

As many of you will soon learn, if you don’t already know, is my love of reading. I just LOVE books, old books, new books, but especially books that hold stories from 100 years ago.  I love reading all kinds of stories; fantasy, american romance, mystery, historical novels, biographies, christian living, fiction, etc… you get the idea. I just LOVE books.

My evening down time is spent reading books, not watching television. We don’t even have cable in hour house. Now, to be perfectly honest with you, I use to hate reading. I never did start out as a child who loved to read. That came later in life. It was in high school that I learned to appreciate reading, it begin with: To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee I devoured this book. Then began my hunt for good books. To be able to enter the life of someone else and use my imagination to create the pictures, the the place, the time, the characters. History became a love for me too. A world that existed before me. My desire to learn more grew from here. My grades that once were shameful where straight A’s. It was a change that seemed to happened overnight. My public school teachers where surprised.

Now, I believe a child’s love of reading shouldn’t have to blossom in high school (obviously). It can start now, with read-out-louds. I have absolutely loved this time with my kids. We curl up on our sectional sofa with our blankets and favorite stuffie and dive into stories. Sometimes, I break out some special coloring pages for this time.

I will admit, I love hearing them beg for another chapter to be read.

bunny:books

The best part, is seeing them feel that same sadness I experience, that comes from finishing a really great book. I know that sounds weird, but if you have read a really good book, you will understand what I mean. It almost feels like the loss of a good friend. You almost wish the story could go on forever, with you in the shadows. These are the books that become a part of my permanent library.

Then I take a big gulp and dive into the next book.

This list is also great for new reader who are just getting into chapter books. Fun, sweet, and easy to read adventures.

Okay, I won’t make you wait any longer, here is our Families Favorite Pre-school series of read-out-louds:

The Adventures of Reddy Rox, by Thornton W. Burgess

The Adventures of Happy Jack, by Thornton W. Burgess

The Adventures of Peter Cottontail, by Thornton W. Burgess

The Adventures of Buster Bear, by Thornton W. Burgess

The Adventure of Danny Meadow Mouse, by Thornton W. Burgess

The Adventures of Chatterer The Red Squirrel, by Thornton W. Burgess

The Adventures of Grandfather Frog, by Thornton W. Burgess

Old Mother West Wind, by Thornton W. Burgess

Blacky The Crow, by Thornton W. Burgess

The Adventures of Patty The Beaver, by Thornton W. Burgess

The Adventures of Johnny Chuck, by Thornton Burgess

The Adventures of unc’ Billy Possum, by Thornton W. Burgess

Old Granny Fox, by Thornton W. Burgess

There are more of these adventures that I didn’t list here, all by the same author and are so much fun to read. The characters in these stories share a community in the Green Forest  and the Green Meadows. That’s what makes these stories so entertaining, familiar characters show up in different books. It allow the stories to really come alive and your child will enjoy a revisit from a character they already read about. I know we have.

The icing on the cake for me is that they are thrifty books, I have bought many of these books for just a dollar.

Happy reading and I hope you add some of these books to your library.

Rosalia