Saturday, April 30, 2011

Surprise, we've been nominated..

In case you missed it on facebook I received an anonymous email a couple of days ago telling me I'd been nominated for the top 25 Homeschooling Blog Awards. Goodness me, there's a whole lot of amazing blogs over there. In fact, I was heavily distracted by quite a few that shared the same methods of homeschooling, or just had some brilliant ideas.

If you're looking for some fun new blogs to check out you really should pop on over and take a peek.  Living & Learning was one of the new blogs I discovered that really made me smile, as well as Here We Are Together. I was also tickled pink to see Nadene from Practical Pages, I love her blog. So many terrific ideas & such sound wisdom!

If you're interested in voting you can do so once a day from now {or whenever it started} until May 11th. {I presume that's US time.} As for our anonymous blog reader, how sweet of you!

Friday, April 29, 2011

Free Nature Journal Pages

You can find this nature journal page, & 3 more over at Always Outside today if you're interested. Can you tell what we'll be studying this week for nature? Silverfish, while terribly obnoxious little pests, especially to us book lovers, are really quite unique and interesting. Enjoy!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

ANZAC In Pictures

ANZAC Memorial in town 
Morgan with his very large sprig of Rosemary; no idea what he's doing with his mouth
Part of our Rosemary laid on the memorial; the boys divided it up and left some on each side
New addition this year; we're not sure as we didn't attend the service but we believe each color stands for the war the fallen solider fought in. We also suspect these might be newly "fallen" soldiers.  Or Soldiers who died on home turf.
Another new addition this year; representing those fallen in WW II & the Korean war.
The water clock is always a fun distraction after our moments of sombreness 
Morgan, reading the time; Jayden assessing how it probably works
Can you see the shadow? That's how you know what time it is!
Home again, home again to make our ANZAC biscuits. 
Notes: Incase you missed it on the Facebook page. There's a typo on the recipe card. It should read 1 cup of dates not 11! 

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Project 365: Week Sixteen

Monday, April 18 --  I opened the fridge to pull out veggies for dinner and found that plate in there with one, yes one!, lone cucumber on it. Did you notice there are 2 spoons on the plate as well? When I quizzed the kids about it Jayden informed me he'd been too full to eat his last cucumber so he'd stashed it in there for later.

Tuesday, April 19 --  School supplies stacked on the table for Bible, our first subject of the day. I succumbed to a cup of cranberry, strawberry, raspberry herbal tea because  I was ridiculously cold.

Wednesday, April 20 --  Afternoon snack time was an "empty tomb". The idea came from here, but we subbed different ingredients. Wheat biscuits topped with nutella, and a bit of lamington roll hollowed out for the actual tomb. The boys were a bit leery to taste the nutella after Mr S tricked them with some Vegemite many years ago..

Thursday, April 21 --  Some game playing before bed. Have you ever played Yahtzee Free For All? It's a bit different from regular Yahtzee in the fact that you can only "go for" something on the three cards laid on the board, unless you get a Yahtzee! This is always a favorite, and we love that six people can play at once!

Friday, April 22 --  The boys practicing typing for the day. We're using Dance Mat Typing, for free, over on the BBC website. I find it a bit corny, but the boys enjoy it and it does teach them hand placement and encourages their speed as well. Am I the only one noticing they both plugged their ipods in to charge while they were typing?

Saturday, April 23 -- Mr S's birthday gift from some friends. My first question when he showed it to us was, "will it really grow figs?" He didn't know. He also didn't know what he was going to do with it or how to make it Bonsai. Let's just hope this poor little plant has a more fulfilling life then the cactus he got two years ago for Christmas. The boys "helped" water that and well.. it is no more.

Sunday, April 24 --  Lemons stacked up on the counter after I made lemon curd to go in our Easter cake. I turned around and saw them stacked up and couldn't resist taking a photo. Mr S dubbed it "artistic", but then again he said that while laughing..

Monday, April 25, 2011

Glimpses of Easter

Sponge Cake; We layered lemon curd between the layers
pan prepared for our chocolate crown of thorns
chocolate melting
chocolate covered pretzels; a novelty for some
Who licked the chocolate bowl?
Easter Cake covered in whipped cream with our chocolate crown of thorns atop
Easter Goodies
Annual reading of Benjamin's Box & opening of Resurrection eggs
More Easter goodies..
even more Easter goodies..
extra mini pouches {I made them even smaller then the instructions} for storing Easter goodies
I love those cowboys, don't you?
Hot Cross Bun dough
the carnage begins..
Morgan's stamp kit from Christmas for some special Easter wrapping
Morgan's bunny wrap for Nana's Chocolate
Hot Cross Buns, finally.. only three hours later then expected!
Even more goodies
Eating easter goodies while Nana continued the search for her own hidden chocolates...
Narrowed it down to the garage.. 
The only thing I found in there was a Huntsman.. moments before I ran screaming from the garage..
lots of Mighty Beanz playing happening.. before we decided to weigh them and compare sizes/weights...
One cheeky chocolatey grin!

Shop Open: Nature Game Sale

Sale has ended..

It's finally here! The Nature Game Starter Pack is finally finished and ready for purchase. Unfortunately due to the issue of obtaining blank game boards (and a few other snags) we're only offering the playing cards, full instructions on how to play the game, and instructions on how to create a game board just like ours! 

Download the 14 pages of cards plus more for $5 for a limited time!

What are you getting in The Nature Game Starter Pack?

  • Inside this printable you'll be getting simple instructions (with picture) to guide you through making your own game board. I've even included links and specifics on the graphics we used. 
  • You'll also receive the very simplistic instructions for playing The Nature Game. Once you have the supplies on hand making the game board shouldn't take you more then 30 minutes!
  • You will also receive 56 Nature Game Cards. These cards include challenges which help you collect acorns as you move around the board. While the biggest object of the game, is of course, to have fun and get out and explore the idea of the game is to collect acorns as you travel around the game board. Most of the cards in the starter pack include small challenges like identifying insects, flowers, trees, feathers, and more. While some of them are less challenging like looking at the clouds and calling out what shapes or images you can see. Players collect acorns for identifying things with or without the aid of field guides. There are also bonus cards which allow a player to gain or lose acorns for theoretical situations.
  • Example: "You remembered to wear sunscreen and shared it with the rest of the group! Collect 2 acorns and take another turn."  "Oh no! You disturbed a nest of bees. Lose one acorn and move back to the nearest yellow marker on the board."  
  • The idea of the bonus cards, as I'm sure you've guessed, is to encourage doing the right thing while out on Nature Walks, group hikes, etc. 

Why it is called a Starter Pack? The idea is that we have hopes of making booster packs of cards based on specific habitats or places one might normally hike, explore, or in general be involved with nature. Meaning that we hope to share the subsequent booster packs with you as we create them. They would, of course, be sold at a lesser price as you'd only be obtaining more cards for game play.

How many people can play this game? We've played with as few as 3 and as many 12. The game was originally created with our small family of four in mind. However, it's quite easily adaptable and that's included in the instructions/rules of the game. When we played with more people we had a few teams of 2 going around the board. 

Do I need anything Special to get printing? No! You can print your game cards on regular paper or card stock. We printed our first test batch on red card stock (scrapbooking paper cut to fit in the printer) and our final play batch was printed on a lovely tan card stock. Once we printed on both sides of our paper (challenges on one side, Nature Game on the other side) we laminated the cards before cutting them apart.

How do you store your game? We store our's in an empty flour sack, mostly because we have an excess supply of them. A simple plastic shoe style box would work too if your box is big enough to fit the game board. We keep our cards rubber banded together and our little acorn/beads stored in a small drawstring bag. Use whatever works for you! We may be selling the bags for storage down the tracks, as well as premade game boards.. time will tell.

Is The Nature Game region specific? No, we created the game while living in Tasmania and we use it freely here, but it isn't specific to our region. If you have trees, lizards, rocks, logs, toads, frogs, spiders, birds, and a general curiosity about you then you'll have no trouble using the game. We do use our own field guides which are region specific, but clearly you'd use your own which would be specific to the area in which you reside.

Please Note: All files are PDF format and you can use Adobe Reader to view them with, which is free. Unless otherwise specified all files can be printed on A4 o US sized paper.

Some files (like this one) are compressed ZIP files, so you will need to extract them before you can view them. You can find free extractors online if you don't all ready own one, just try a simple Google search.

Purchase now at Currclick.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Anzac Day

Our remembrance will be sombre and small this year as I have more sick people then healthy people in the house right now. Anzac biscuits are in the plans, if we have the supplies. We'll be reading our traditional Anzac stories, & this year we'll be using another book I picked up for half price at a local book shop. It's loaded with puzzles, historical information, and more. The boys are eager beavers to break it in. We'll also take a few extra minutes to pray for two soliders in our own family who are serving and apart from their own little families right now. It isn't what we do that matters as much that we remember, and remember we do. We are grateful for those who choose to serve.