Monday, January 31, 2011

Valentine Doily Art

Thanks to The Artful Parent for this fun doily art.  I wasn't interested in making t-shirts, but had these stretched canvas frames on hand.  Last week I picked up two packs of paper heart doilies "just in case" for any Valentine inspired artwork.
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First we painted the doily with craft paint using a flat paintbrush.  We placed it paint side down on the canvas, covered with a sheet of clean paper and rubbed on it to help transfer as much paint as possible.  Sam had the idea of sprinkling glitter on the wet paint.  Once dry (it only took a few minutes) we each traced the heart we made using metallic sharpies and wrote conversation heart phrases in the white space.  Hung it on the wall and Voila! we just decorated for Valentine's Day.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Safety First

     We've had a big weekend with birthday celebrations and safety classes.  Friday we celebrated Nick's 12th birthday with an at home fish fry, homemade cheese fries, pickles, cantaloupe, and blueberries.  And he requested Emily make him Black Magic Cake which she did and I am forever grateful.  Remember when I talked about kids becoming an ally.  That's the sort of thing I'm talking about.  Emily just made the cake, no hand holding from me.  It was made on time and very tasty.  She was on my side and that was a good thing.  We took the cake down to grandpa's and Uncle R and Aunt J and the boys came, too.  Nick got a socket wrench set which he was ecstatic about.
     Saturday morning Sam had violin repertoire and then a friend's birthday party.  Emily and Nick headed out bright and early for the first of a two day snowmobiling/ATV safety certification class:  8-3:30 and 9-3:30.  Then it was off to our annual BBQ supper and pie sale.  Then mass.  And even though we weren't home much Sat. the house needed a good tidying up so Warren and I did that while Emily and Nick studied for their safety tests.  Amber and Sam tired from the birthday party fell asleep on the living room floor.
     Here we are Sunday morning with lots of sunshine.  Warren took the older kids to class and now has to help Amber study for her hunter safety class and test.  Tomorrow's the test and then Thursday they get their certificate (if they pass) and have a venison feed.  I'm baking bread with the 2nd graders at church this morning as they prepare for First Reconciliation and First Holy Communion.  I did this last year with Amber's group at the retreat and enjoyed it so much.  Today I'll have a small group of only 5 kiddos.  After the morning activities we plan on snowshoeing and I'd really like to make a big pot of chili for supper.
     I titled this post Safety First and I'm wasn't kidding.  Tomorrow night Emily and Nick start a 6 week Boating Safety and Certification class.  It meets every Monday evening for 2 hours.  Once that's done they'll be certified to do every outdoor activity Wisconsin has to offer.
     I hope you all are having a great weekend.  If it's sunny by you enjoy it!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Happy Birthday Nicholas

So I have a 12 year old.  Birthdays are always bittersweet.  On one hand each birthday means another year has passed.  What happened and what didn't happened, the good parenting moments, the bad parenting moments...they are all gone.  Watching my kids grow up means that one day they will indeed be grownups living a life not quite as connected to me as it is during childhood.  And that's a good thing. Afterall my goal is to create independent Americans who can prosper on their own without me making all the decisions.  Each year that passes I see tangible signs of our children taking steps in the right direction.  Each year brings a child who is less and less dependent and more and more an ally.  I get to enjoy new experiences with older kids without the hassle of constant hand-holding. 

Nick enjoyed opening gifts bright and early in the morning with brothers looking on.
The loot:  treestand, Harry Potter DVDs, wool socks, long underwear, socks, bird hunting vest, winter gloves, leather work gloves, .22 Bore snake and Mythbusters science kit.

Posted by PicasaAnother birthday joy - being 12 and helping dad cut wood
My boy, now 12, had to write a gratitude list for spelling this week and here's his list.
airsoft guns
And that pretty much sums him up.  Happy Birthday, Nick!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Tender Pork Chops

I picked up a copy of Taste of Home's Summer Slow Cooker Meals back in 2008.  I marked a number of recipes to try.  Well time passed and the magazine sat on the shelf with the other 206 cooking magazines I can't seem to get rid of.  Enough is enough I told myself and started making the summer meals in the dead of winter.  Quite defiant I am.  A couple weeks ago I made this pork chop dish and it was delish so I'm sharing.

Tender Pork Chops
1/2 c. flour
1 1/2 t. ground mustard
1 t. seasoned salt
1/2 t. garlic powder
6 bone-in pork chops (1 inch thick) *I used 8
2 T. oil
1 can (10-1/2 ounces) condensed chicken with rice soup, undiluted *I used 2 cans

In a large resealable plastic bag combine the flour and seasonings.  Add pork chops and shake to coat.  In a large skillet, brown chops in oil.  I used more than 2 T.  Place in a 3-qt. or a bit larger slow cooker (crockpot).  Pour soup over pork.  Cover and cook on low for 6-7 hours or until tender.  These cooked up ultra moist and delicious.  The whole family liked them.

Today I'm making Creamy Celery Beef Stroganoff over egg noodles.  It looks good and so far smells yummy.  I'm serving it with salad and the last jar of homemade applesauce from the canning shelf.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

It's Library Day

And this is top on my list:

Monday, January 24, 2011

Homeschool Happenings

As the title Camp Homeschool implies this space is supposed to highlight our day to day life of homeschooling.  As of late it's been nothing more than another neglected blog.  I'm ready to change that and have decided to commit to regular blogging again.

We started up in January with a renewed interest in science.  I thought it would be fun to take a look at cells so we used a Scholastic Human Body reproducible book and made cell mobiles.  Amber and Sam enjoyed the coloring, cutting, yarn and stapling.  For Emily and Nick I pulled out my college Biology text and we looked at drawings and microscopic photos of human body cells:  epithelial, skeletal muscle, smooth muscle, etc.

I thought this would be a good time to introduce the use of a microscope.  Our mini microscopes were both hand-me-downs.  They certainly aren't top quality, but they magnify and focus.  I introduced the use of a microscope to Emily and Nick using a few free printable worksheets.  You can see them filling in the parts of a microscope below.  I explained the focusing process and they both immediately realized that using my method actually worked.  They began using prepared slides to practice their new skill.
I ordered a few supplies from The Science Company for growing bacteria, testing pH and staining cells. 
Nick and I prepared the streak plates for growing bacteria.  I'll share more about this another time.
And Joseph, he doesn't have anything to do with our renewed interest in science, but he's cute so I'm including a couple of pics of him.  Here he's enjoying a Christmas gift from his Godparents - he loves pushing the buttons and listening to the music.
And cookies, he loves his cookies.
Amber built a barbie house out of the stroller box.  It's quite a mansion with a cardboard chandelier, carpeting and three levels.
It's been fun highlighting a bit of our homeschool and life.  Hope you enjoyed it.
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