Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Recycle, Reuse and LEARN!!

I was browsing the TED talks one night and found Arvind Gupta. What an amazing guy!!

He turns trash into toys. Go listen to him talk and explain how recycling trash he is giving children in India the joy of playing and learning about science. 

I found his website HERE complete with a list of toys and photos explaining how to make each one of them.

Now, that is some cheap fun that can last a whole summer!!


PS: Christina Pilkington wrote an amazing post about out-of-the-ordinary Spring Activities to do with your kids.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Sneak Peek of ANDREW scrapbook album

ARe you tired of my homeschooling posts? Or maybe have no interest in my homemade cooking? Did you subscribe to see my scrapbook creations and you haven't in a while? Look up! Here is a sneak peek of my latest custom order.

The Andrew Scrapbook album... a return customer asked me to create this beautiful keepsake for the first baby of a family she knows... Here are some of the first pages...

I hope you enjoyed!

I will post more photos when I am finished with the album. If you have seen my BIKAS video tutorials on YoUTube you know there are many stages to this whole process. I am at the final stage. Embellishing and putting the finishing touches to the album: adding the bows, the buttons and other small details that make this a precious keepsake. So be sure to come back to see it all complete!


The Way of the Peaceful Parent

Just what I needed today.


Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Home birth is a beautiful option!

" I don't want to minimize this experience,
 I want to EXPERIENCE it."
 by Ina May Gaskin

That was the reason why I wanted to have a home birth after delivering 2 babies at a hospital. Both births were normal vaginal deliveries with epidurals, BUT there were so many interventions and so little freedom that although my babies were healthy I felt robbed.

If you ever thought of having a natural delivery, with no interventions, or white jacketed personnel around you, or maybe in the security of your home, listen to yourself. Research your dream, your desire, don't discard it just because 80% of births today happen in a hospital! It wasn't always like that. It doesn't have to be that way.

Below Ina May Gaskin, the midwife who helped women, who did not want to believe the lie that birth is unsafe, pursue the experience of it. Enjoy!


Saturday, March 17, 2012

Seeds of Worship

A few years back I bought a couple of CDs of Seeds of Worship. 
Songs based on Scripture with captivating melodies, 
the children and I love them. 
Our CDs are always playing in our car.

I love that we hear the songs and learn the Scriptures without having to make a purchase if we so choose.
 The cool thing is that you can preview the albums and decide which ones you really want.


Monday, March 12, 2012

Cleaning my Studio: Stamps for sale

Hi Everybody,

I am already Spring Cleaning and have some Scrapbook and Card making items for sale. These are clear stamps and a couple of rubber stamps already mounted on wooden blocks. All of them are BRAND NEW and have never been used!! Prices and description will be below each item.

If you are interested, email me with the items you want and I will send you a Paypal invoice.
Otherwise shipping will be actual cost. No handling or packaging fees!

The Stamps are adorable but I have way too many things.
Don't let this opportunity pass you by!

$ 3.00 - Hampton Art - Celebrate.

$3.00 - STampabilities - urge to Exercise

A kiss for Chloe - $5.00 - Brand new

Angels Rejoice- $5.00 - Brand new
Puppy Love - $5.00 - Brand New

Time for Apple Pie - $5.00 - Brand New

Country Girl - $5.00 - Brand NEw

Orbit Collection - Crate Paper - $3.00

$3.00 - Stampabilities - Rejoice

If you buy them all you can have them for $30.00 
shipping if FREE!! 

Thanks and be blessed,


Friday, March 9, 2012

A Nature Walk

Frog Eggs

Where are all the children?


Pretty Lichens

More pretty lichens

Can you name the mushrooms that look like butterflies?

amazing, huh?

Moss and butterflies??

Perfect hiding place.

Miniature pine cones!!! so cute.

Look at those just born Tadpoles.

More frog eggs


Hatched frog eggs

That's all folks!!


Tuesday, March 6, 2012

The Path of Unschooling

ok, so I am slave driving my family and I am trying to figure this out...

Here is an eye opening article on how children learn Math on their own.

I have my own stories to tell.,,

My DD4.5 is counting her fingers and adding and subtracting. During supper she teaches us how to manipulate numbers and find out the answers to her additions and subtractions. Even DD2 is counting her fingers because she sees her sister do it.

DS6.5 tells me his discoveries when I make him do a worksheet with 20 problems. He adds the tens first instead of the ones. Still he solves them all correctly in 10 minutes, although he still writes some of his numbers on reverse. Most of the time, he does mental math when solving story problems instead of writing the equation down.

DD9 fights me tooth and nail when I make her do Math but she is great at it, when I finally bribe her into actually doing it. Sometimes we fight for 3 hours and then she will finally do her work in 10 minutes!! it frustrates me so.

That happened here at home until 4 weeks ago, now I am done forcing Math down their throats. I am just going to let them learn by themselves and enjoy it!!

 Learning math school style is the way children learn (or don't learn!) a foreign language in school. It's memorization without needing something.

The above statement was another confirmation to this new route. You see, I learned 2 foreign languages without school. I can read, write and speak 2 foreign languages and I never went to school to learn them. I just lived life and learned them. And (gasp) both of them within 6 months!!! and at different times of my life. The first one I was 12 years old and the other when I was 27 years old. So yeah, I think one can learn anything they want, when they want it or need it!!!

So there! Perfect LOVE casts out FEAR!!!


PS some fun links below!!! Enjoy!

The Happy Hoop

Walk Slowly Live Wildly - Uschooling: Life of Freedom

SuperHooper dot org 

Real cool Videos of People Hooping

Sunday, March 4, 2012

5 minute Artisan Bread

A while back trying to make my own homemade bread, I tried the 5 minute Artisan Bread.
No, I didn't buy the book.
I just watched a few videos and
read a few blogs and recipes.
Just Google it and you will find so many links 
you won't know where to start.

Here is my round bread before going into the oven:

Fresh out of the oven!! Brown crust and hearty taste!

Check out the flax seeds I added to the dough.

We have settled on my Easy Homemade Bread instead of the 5 minute Artisan Bread.
 I found that the Artisan Bread like white French bread 
(the authentic one, not the one you buy at Walmart!)
 can be hard on soft gums and babies mouths.

How about you? Do you bake at home? What is your favorite bread?


Thursday, March 1, 2012

Learning Log for February 2012

Hey everybody,

how did the month of February treat you?

Following Christina Pilkington's lead I decide to change the way I keep a record on my children's learning. Instead of just writing down the books they read, I decide to compile a log of all the activities they do every month. As eclectic learners, unschoolers or relaxed homeschoolers (whatever you would like to call us) we do our learning in many different ways. We do very little desk work, you know, copy work, worksheets or repetitive work, that most time benefits the teacher but not the student. Whatever desk work my children do is mostly initiated by them and there are no rules or time limit to it.

My children's age go from 9 to 2 years old. Two are independent readers but I still read to them all every day for at least an hour. I will add some links to the books or DVDs/ videos I thought most interesting. But the ones that don't have a link you can find them just by Googling the name provided. If you have questions, feel free to email or leave me a comment. So here is a log of what we did during the month of February:


The Titanic Attraction to celebrate the anniversary of 100 years of the sinking of the Titanic.
Moneyville Teaches about money, earning and saving money. Interactive website, children can create their own families and vacations destinations and more.
Cool Math Games -

Audio Files

Your Story Hour
Jonathan Park Fiction audio dramas that teaches science from a creationist point of view. It presents the Evolutionist point of view also and the difference between both. Lots of Bible verses and the main families involved are homeschooling families. My children listen to these and music every night before they fall asleep.
Story Nory Fairy Tales and original stories in audio files for children.

(most of these were checked out of our Public library.)
Otis and the Tornado by Loren Long 
Titanic - Disaster at Sea by Martin Jenkins and Brian Sanders
The Turkey Girl - A Zuni Cinderella Story by Penny Pollock
Muggie Maggie by Beverly Cleary
Growing Things by Angela Wilkes (I liked this book so much I got it at Paperbackswap for our home library)
Adding It Up by Rosemary Wells - great books for teaching Math to 4-5 year olds.
Ask me Why Which animal plays the trumpet? Mammals
Ask me Why - Do I have bendy bones? Human Body
Ask me why - Can I see my house from space? Space
Ask me why - Which lizard disappears? Reptiles and Birds
Miss Brooks loves Books! (and I don't) by Barbara Bottner
The Story Tree - tales to read aloud by (retold) Hugh Lupton
Martha doesn't say sorry! by Samantha Berger
Brian Wildsmith's Puzzles
The Wishing Club - a story about fractions by Donna Jo Napoli
The Hello, Goodbye Window by Norton Juster
Don't bug me! written and illustrated by Gillian McHale
Timelines Cities - Citizens & Civilizations by Fiona MacDonald
Stars by Mary Lyn Ray and Marla Frazee
Freedom Walkers - the Story of the Montgomery Bus Boycott by Russel Freedman
Making Memories by Janette Oke
Kingfisher Knowledge Human Body by Richard Walker (DD9 browsed this book intently. I don't think she read it all but gleaned information here and there.)
Mr Lincoln's Way by Patricia Polacco - such a sweet story
Dancing with the Dinosaurs by Jane Clarke - colorful, beautiful illustrations.

Read by DD9 independently: (can you tell she got a thing for Magic Tree House books?)

Mummies in the Morning - magic tree house #3
Sunset of the Sabertooth - magic tree house #7 by M.P. Osborne
Midnight on the Moon - magic tree house #8 by M.P. Osborne
Dolphins at Daybreak - magic tree house #9 by M.P. Osborne
Lions at Lunchtime - magic tree house #11
 Polar Bears Past Bedtime - magic tree house #12
Vacation Under the Volcano - magic tree house #13
Day of the Dragon King - magic tree house #14
Vikings Ships at Sunrise - magic tree house # 15
Hour of the Olympics - magic tree house # 16
 Tonight on the Titanic - magic tree house #17 by Mary Pope Osborne
Buffalo Before Breakfast - magic tree house # 18
Tigers at Twilight - magic tree house # 19
Dingoes at Dinnertime - magic tree house #20
Civil War on Sunday - magic tree house #21
Revolutionary War on Wednesday - magic tree house #22
Twister on Tuesday - magic tree house #23
Earthquake in the Early Morning - magic tree house #24
Stage Fright on a Summer night - magic tree house # 25
Good morning, Gorillas - magic tree house # 26
High Tide in Hawaii - magic tree house # 28
Haunted Castle on Hallows Eve - magic tree house #30
Carnival at Candlelight -  magic tree house #33
Dragon of the Red Dawn - magic tree house #37
Monday with a Mad Genius - magic tree house #38
Dark Day in the Deep Sea - magic tree house #39
Eve of the Emperor Penguin - magic tree house #40
Moonlight on the Magic Flute - magic tree house #41
A Good Night for Ghosts - magic tree house #42
Leprechaun in Late Winter - magic tree house #43
The Ghost Tale for Christmas Time - magic tree house #44
Christmas in Camelot - magic tree house
Abe Lincoln at Last! - magic tree house # 47
Follow the Drinking Gourd - by Jeanette Winter
The Adventures of Robinson Crusoe - Calico illustrated Classics
Moby Dick by Herman Melville - Troll Illustrated Classics
The Toothpaste Millionaire by Jean Merrill
Cecily Parsley's Nursery rhymes by Beatrix Potter
The Tale of Johnny Town-Mouse by Beatrix Potter
The Story of a Fierce Bad Rabbit by Beatrix Potter

Knights in Shining Armor by Gail Gibbons
Camilla the Cupcake Fairy by Tim Bugbird and Lara Ede
Watch me Grow - Duckling
Jack and the DreamSack by Laurence Anholt
Aliens are Coming! by Meghan McCarthy
Drive by Nathan Clement
Cousin Ruth's Tooth by Amy MacDonald
Don't Grown-Ups Even Have Fun? by Jamie Harper
My Monster Mama Loves Me So by Laura Leuck
The Other Side by Jacqueline Woodson

Movies/ TV Shows and Programs/ Videos 

Spider Man animated series
The Story of 1 
Karate Kid animated series
Strawberry Short Cake
Angelina Ballerina
Courageous  We watched this movie at our church one Sunday evening and then we borrowed it from our library the next day. So we watched it again. It was so fun and timely because I was able to show the children how through stunts and editing most of the scenes were made. We watched all the extra scenes and special features. DS6 loved the movie and the funny scenes.
Invasion of the Giant Pythons - PBS Nature program
Cars 2
Olivia takes Ballet
Anna and the King
Babies - My DD2 and DD4 looooove this movie. They have watched it half a dozen times.
Molecules in Solids, Liquids and Gases - YouTube video
Cave People of the Himalaya - PBS video
How to make maple syrup - homemade style
How it's made - How to make maple syrup - factory style
PBS - the children love Martha Speaks, Curious George, CyberChase, Wild Krats and Word Girl.  

Activities/ Field Trips/ In Home play

* Circus - the children created shows based on a recent visit to the Ringling Brothers circus.
* We watched machines dig and fill up the foundation to build a new house behind our house.
* Wee Sing Sing-Alongs
* Wee Sing and Play
* My oldest children, DD9 and DS6 took 2 Introductory KARATE classes. Each class lasted about 30 minutes and they had to memorize student pledges. They learned new vocabulary, stances, kicks and defense movements. They loved it!! So they are now taking Karate classes twice a week.
* Ballet classes once a week.
* Art class - we learned about primary, second and tertiary colors by creating a color wheel. We also investigated unusual colors by using crayons and coloring pencils.
* I perused a Unit Study called Basic Physical Science (it was free!) from CurrClick WEbsite to introduce Chemisty to my children. What my surprise when they already knew and could explain to me about Matter, physical and chemical changes, physical states, elements and atoms. Now, where did my DD9 and DS6 learned about all that if I didn't teach it to them?
* We made pineapple juice simple syrup at home. We watched how maple syrup was made in a video and then I came up with my own recipe and we made a syrup with pineapple juice, water, brown sugar and Cinnamon sticks. The children filmed the experience. We talked about chemical reactions, physical changes, molecules and more.
* Drawing, coloring, sketching;
* pretending to be a pack of wolves; or horses, or bumpers cars using their Jumping Balls.
* RV show - My DH and I took our children to a RV show an hour away. For 2 hours we went in and out of trailers, Fifth wheels and RVs and dreamed about what our life would be like living in one of them. It was an interesting time and we are still dreaming. Who knows what our future will hold?
* Nature Walk at our local park - It included a picnic, playing in the rain and jumping in mud puddles, observing trees, frog eggs and  birds. More coming on this.

Mom's Eclectic Reading List

Last Child in the Woods by Richard Louv
Seven from Heaven - the miracle of the McCaughey Septuplets by Kenny and Bobbi McCaughey
A Love that Multiplies by Michelle and Jim Bob Duggar- still reading it and enjoying it very much.
Hinds' Feet on high Places - I began reading this one but I just didn't have the patience for all the symbolism. Maybe if the author had written her story without the allegory it might have held my attention. 

Here is  a little about the author:

Hannah Hurnard suffered from many fears and phobias. She even developed a stuttering problem that got worse when she had to speak in front of strangers. By the time she was 19, Hannah was deeply depressed. She even considered suicide, but her fears prevented her. God received the sacrifice of Hannah’s speech problem and used it for His glory. He took away her stuttering, so that she was able to share the gospel with others clearly. The Bible became a treasure and a delight even though she continued to wrestle with a spirit of fear. Over time, however, Hannah found deliverance as she continued to follow the Lord in obedience. Later, she was to write the best selling Hinds' Feet on High Places as a result of her experiences with the Lord. She went to Israel as a missionary to the Jews in 1932, and lived there through the war for independence in 1948. In Israel, she served as a housekeeper in a hospital—a kind of work she had detested before her surrender, but now loved.

Happier than a Billionaire: Quitting My Job, Moving to Costa Rica and Living the Zero Hour Work Week Funny, funny, funny!!! A must read to lift up your spirits!!!

I think that's all for this month, y'all!!!