Tuesday, May 31

Tribal Flags

Yes this is a bit late.

Last week's parsha was Bamidbar.  As part of studying the parsha, we made tribal flags.  The idea came from Challah Crumb and I can't remember where I actually found the flags. 

First Froggy colored the flags. Then I cut them out for her 

And we placed them on pumpkin muffins and arranged them in the same positions as they would have traveled while carrying the Mishkan. 

Once we arranged them and played with them and even ate our muffins, Froggy took the flags off to play with some more while I put the food away.  She played with them for days, telling stories and having the tribes grumble about their respective position (as they do in one of our parsha renditions) until Moshe comes and settles the dispute.

Sunday, May 29

Menu Planning Monday - 26 Iyyar 5771

Monday - Memorial Day Cookout - Bar-B-Que Chicken, Quinoa Salad, grilled squash and onions and watermelon for dessert.
Tuesday - Pizza and spinach/strawberry salad
Wednesday - First Night of Swim Team - Picnic Dinner there - Broccoli and Chicken Pasta Salad, Confetti Couscous Salad, carrot sticks, melon and cookies
Thursday - Lentil Shepards Pie and a salad with greens from the garden.
Shabbat - No idea yet

Friday, May 27

And Off I Go

Sunday morning bright and early I will head to Baltimore for my first ever Jewish Homeschool conference.  Daddy and Froggy are going to spend the day together at the amusement park while I get to go be in my element. 

There are lots of panels and I have finally chosen which ones I will attend (mostly)
  • Laying a Foundation: Homeschooling the Young Family
  • Nuts and Bolts of Homeschooling: Getting Started
  • The Marvelous Midos Machine – Your Home
  • Children in a Homeschool Environment: Socially Deprived OR Selectively Engaged?
There are two session blocks where I still cannot decide.
I still need to pick between

  •  “Choosing to Homeschool: A second generation perspective”  or ” The Monster in the Mind: Acknowledging and Dealing with Burnout”
  •  “Homeschooled Teen Girls Share – panel discussion or “Jewish Community and Homeschooling in the Internet Age:  Creating Connections, Networks, and Friends”

   There is going to be a vendor fair where I am hoping to choose the curriculum for our Limudei Kodesh.  The choices here are where I struggle the most because I cannot judge them online effectively at all.  The other subjects I can talk to other moms that use them and maybe even see the resource in person.  But for these texts all I have is the online information and I am very excited about being able to see them in person. 

As a super bonus, I get to have dinner after the conference with Adventures in Mamaland before she needs to return to the cold North Country.  

Thursday, May 26

Summer Dress

Froggy now has the first of her new summer dresses.  Every year I make her several of these.  The first one takes a bit of time as I create the new pattern to fit how she has grown but then the rest fly by.  These are her play dresses for the season, super light and comfortable. 
Froggy would not cooperate as a model and ran from the camera so this was the best I could do.

I also made her bike shorts to wear underneath using a great suggestion from Sugar Babies.  I used an old t-shirt that was not wearable as a shirt anymore.  Because I am making dresses rather than skirts I kept the shorts separate.  I also make them longer than the ones pictured.  I can get two pairs of shorts for Froggy out a single adult T-shirt so we will no longer be scrounging for bloomers.  She will have plenty of super comfy ones this year.


Froggy's pick of the week Saving Manatees. It is a "librarian pick" that I grabbed without exploring.  It is not a storybook as I thought but instead an in-depth look at the life and struggles of the manatee. It is written is a wonderfully captivating conversational tone and includes factual information, personal anecdotes, and quotes from the veterinarians and scientists who devote their time and research to studying this endangered species.

This is not your standard picture book and it is not written for little kids. Schoolbook List recommends it for Middle School.  All that being the case Froggy picked it and loves it.  This is the kind of living books that are the way I want Froggy to learn Science and a huge part of why we chose the Charlotte Mason style. We have read it multiple times this week.  It is a slow read as we discuss the information in it.  Maybe I am bias from growing up in Florida and my love for manatees influenced her.  But if a 5 year old can enjoy and learn from this book then anyone up and through Middle School can.

The scientist in me was thrilled with the accuracy and even handness of the information presented.  Many of the books written for school age children focus so heavily on boat collisions to the exclusion of all other threats to the manatee.  This book includes in detail cold-stress which is the most serious and concerning threat.  This book includes accurate modern scientific information. presented in a readable engaging manner. Swinburne has also written Black Bear and Once A Wolf  which appear to be done in a similar style and are on my list to check out.  

Tuesday, May 24

Tadpoles II

Our tadpoles are still alive despite some very dubious care.  We went to check on them and found that one had sprouted teeny tiny legs.  It was amazing how tiny the legs were, so tiny that at first I thought it was a smudge of dirt clinging to him.

Froggy suggested we document the moment in our journals.  So we did.  It was lots of fun watching Froggy making multicolored tadpoles.
Continuing our Frog theme, we completed a fun worksheet from Adventures in Mamaland about the life cycle of the Frog.  Froggy was thrilled with the opportunity to learn the Hebrew names for her current passion. 
To tie everything together we made Froggy's pride and joy - a poster of the life cycle. 
 I drew the shapes which Froggy cut out.
  Then she pasted them next to the appropriate label I had written.
 Then she decorated them.  Complete with googly eyes because "googly eyes make everything better."

Monday, May 23

Menu Planning Monday - 19 Iyyar 5771

Monday - Dinner out with Friends
Tuesday - late -Sloppy Joes, sweet potato fries, peas
Wednesday - Picnic at pool - Tuna sandwiches, baby carrots, apple slices and cookies
Vegan Vursday - Tofu Stirfry, rice and keem
Shabbat Dinner- Challah, chicken soup, Sticky orange roast chicken(KBD-20Something), roasted potatoes, steamed broccoli, desserts yet to be determined
Shabbat Luncheon - carrot bread, potato salad (use half the roasted potatoes), Cold Chicken, broccoli slaw (recipe modified to be parve), fruit salad and desserts

Sunday, May 22

More Fairy Fun

As everyone knows Froggy is obsessed with fairies.  So what do we do?  Go to a Fairy Festival of course.
 At the festival Froggy got to meet a unicorn 

Got captured by Fairy Hunters eager to take home a specimen.
 She greeted an old friend (from last year)
 Who brought a new friend with her.
And then she joined a MayPole parade led by sea serpent. ( the theme this year was mermaids)
See Momma I am here
Together we danced in the May Pole Dance. 
And even made a new friend.
She got her face painted 
And play with a Shrub
I know I never got to play with a shrub as a kid. Or at least not one that played back

13 Planets

Last week, we found 13 Planets at the library and since then Froggy has been fascinated with the planets.  So that is what we have been studying.  I used her fascination with the planets to show her how scientific thinking changes over time.  I pulled out a book we fell in love ages ago, Mother Sun and Her Planet Children.  In this book, there are 9 planets the way I was taught as a child.  I also checked out Eight Spinning Planets, from our library.  We looked at the publication dates and talked out when each book was written.
13 Planets does a good job of explaining the change over time and why scientists think what they currently do.  It also makes it very clear that 13 is not the final number. The current theory is that there are 3 groups of planets, the terrestrial planets which are the inner four; Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars.  There are the Gas Giants - Jupiter, Saturn, Neptune and Uranus.  And then there are the dwarf planets, which according to 13 Planets  are currently listed as Pluto, Ceres, Eris, Haumea and MakeMake. I tried really hard to emphasize to Froggy that these are the dwarf planets we know of at the time.  We are focusing on knowing the terrestrial planets and the Gas Giants and just knowing that the dwarf planets exist. 

It was neat as we were learning about Jupiter's Great Red Spot, Froggy said, "ah ha so that is what they are talking about".  She then ran and got one of her story books, Karen's Nanny  In it, the girls do a project on Jupiter.  It was fun to see her make the connection and see that sometimes the stuff in her story books is real.

Later while gathering supplies for a different project, Froggy announced that she wanted to make a planet poster instead. This idea morphed into a model of the planets.  We pulled out the playdough and dug in.  She did a great job making the planets.  She used the pictures in 13 Planets to show the relative size and built her planet balls accordingly.  She never got around to putting them into a real solar system but did great work and spent lots of time exploring.

Wednesday, May 18

Pretzel Dogs

Froggy and I tried something fun and new in the kitchen this week.  We made pretzel dogs together.  The dough is pretty simple and similar to any other bread dough.  We used this recipe. Once the dough was mixed up,  it rose once in the mixing bowl and then the fun began.    
First we divided the dough into 8 equal parts and turned those parts into ropes.  The recipe called for 12 but I could not make 12 equal parts.  Then we wrapped the ropes around the hot dogs.  We are not really hot dog people so I used organic, uncured all beef hot dogs hoping they would be better. 

 There was some extra dough leftover after we wrapped all the dogs.  So we made regular shaped pretzels. 
 And then came the special pretzel making part - the hot water bath.  Which is all I thought it was before.  Turns out you need to put baking soda into the boiling water before you bathe your pretzels.  The recipe says to leave them in approximately one minute or until they float.  Ours floated right away but we left them in for a minute anyway.
Then we lined them up on the baking stone and into the super hot oven (500) they went. They were not so pretty anymore because some had gotten smooshed and stuck to the wax paper while they waited for their bath.

And here they are out of the oven.  We had to cook them longer than the recipe called for but I suspect that had a fair amount to do with how cold the dogs were when they got wrapped.  Froggy who rarely ever eats a hot dog ate a whole one at dinner and 3/4 of one for lunch the next day.

*Froggy watched me writing this and wanted to read it when it was done.  You have her to thank for the proper grammar since she edited it in two different places.