Sunday, November 18, 2018

Fall Bucket List-- How We Did

I know fall isn't technically over yet but with Thanksgiving this week we soon turn our thoughts to Christmas and all that winter fun.  I figured this was the perfect time to look back at our fall bucket list and see how we did!

1.  Make pumpkin or apple cider donuts using our new donut pans.  I'm dying to try this recipe!-- Check!!  We made some absolutely delicious pumpkin donuts.

2.  Go apple picking!-- Check!! - We actually went a few times!

3. Make our apple pies and a couple other apple recipes-- Check and Check! - We made Jolly Rancher candy apples, apple pies, and apple butter; just to name a few!

4.  Tour the cider mill in Mystic-- Check!  We went one weekend to watch their cider making demonstrations.

5.  Go hiking a few times to notice all the changing fall colors and try out a few new hiking trails-- Check!  I even wrote this post with all our photos from a woodland walk in fall.

6.  Get that bike rack mounted on the car and try out a few bike trails-- sadly Alec's bike broke and we still have not gotten around to repairing it so this was not an option.

7.  Decorate the house for fall--Check!  I was actually quite proud of how much I decorated this year!  I decorated a bit inside and out; even making my own double sided porch sign!

After this photo was taken we added a 1/2 dozen pumpkins scattered around too

8.  Take the boys annual photos-- Check! I do this each fall as Christmas gifts for the grandparents so I can only share the not so good photos here...

9.  Visit Pumpkintown-- The boys took one look at the photos online and told me they thought it was meant for much younger kids.  We decided to meet up with some friends at the zoo for their Zoo Boo days instead.--- So I'd still land this in the Check column as our goal was to get out for some old fashioned fall fun.

10.  Make Twix Cheesecake cupcakes--Check!- Evan actually ended up requesting these for his birthday party and I was so glad to have an excuse to make them!

11.  Try out at least two new fall art projects like leaf print painting-- We made watercolor leaf resist paintings and leaf prints too.

12.  Make either this harvest caramel corn recipe or a fall Chex mix blend-- Check! and Check!-- We loved this caramel corn recipe that reminded us of our favorite winter treat- Christmas Crack! I made up our own apple butter & maple Chex mix that was just amazing!

13.  Go to Mystic Village-- Check!  We spent a delightful afternoon wandering this area of cute shops and enjoying some really yummy pizza for lunch. You can read all about our day here.

14.  Make a fall wreath-- Check!- I made this beautiful new wreath; If I do say so myself!

15.  Go letter boxing. Check!  We found one trail that had 9 letterboxes hidden alongside and it managed to find 8 of them.  We're definitely going to try more letterboxing whenever the weather allows.

16.  Check out an old cemetery and try to make a few rubbings of old gravestones.-- After reading more about gravestone rubbings we discovered that it is illegal in many states (and while I could not quite figure out if it was indeed illegal in our state it didn't seem the worth the risk to try!).

17. Make yarn pumpkins using balloons-- Check!  Alec and I tried this craft one afternoon and Alec just LOVED how his pumpkin turned out.  I could not believe how messy it was.

18.  Bring watercolors outside and paint the fall foliage we see-- Check!  Alec actually wanted to bring our acrylic paints outside and paint some fall foliage.  We weren't able to finish our paintings in one day since acrylic paints take a bit longer to dry but we did have fun (even if it was pretty cold outside!).

19.  Make some homemade pretzels-- Check!-- Boy were they tasty!

20.  Make an exploding pumpkin with baking soda and vinegar and paint--Check!--  We decided to make Oozing pumpkins instead using elephant toothpaste and liquid watercolors.

18 out of 20!  I'm pretty proud of that.

Did you have a fall bucket list?  How did you do?

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Saturday, November 17, 2018

Weekly Wrap- Up: One Day Late!

I'm sharing my weekly wrap-up a day later than usual since I had two other blog posts to share yesterday for the Happy Holidays Link Party.  I hope you all had a fabulous week.  We had a pretty quite one and our very first snow storm of the season.

We made it out for a nice long hike on Friday before the rains came through.  We headed out letterboxing but soon realized we forgot our ink pad!  Ooops!  We still had fun finding most of the stamps and it got us out in the woods.  We also tackled our schoolwork too: finishing up a few pages in math, reading a chapter, and worked on writing.  Evan finished up his spelling book and both Alec and Ian worked for another 15 minutes or so on Duolingo.  We read a few books together for science and Ian watched more of The Men Who Built America for history.  All in all it was a great homeschooling day.  After dinner Alec decided he was going to make chocolate chip cookies and made up a good 5 dozen cookies on his own following the instructions on the package.  They were so yummy too!

The younger boys and I spent our day at home on Saturday.  Ian went with his father to work at the hydro and then they spent the afternoon digging holes in the campground.  I'm pretty sure the younger two spent the whole day playing video games and reading.  I worked on going through all the photos I had ordered in the mail; many had developing mistakes and I had to pick out those that needed to be re-ordered.  I also hung the boys new fall photos in our hallway and did lots and lots of laundry.

I was determined to begin working on a few more Christmas gifts on Sunday.  I'm pretty much done all the shopping for everyone but my 3 boys and I have a few gifts I want to make or add embellishments to.  After getting just one project done I put the Cricut away and went with my husband to work at the hydro plant.  This time of year the grates need to be raked just about daily to clear out all the leaves.  We finished our night watching Incredibles 2 and enjoying some yummy homemade fettuccine Alfredo with shrimp and broccoli.

Alec had an orthodontist appointment on Monday but the boys still managed to gets lots of schoolwork done.  They all worked on math, reading, writing, spelling/duolingo, and science.  It was a beautiful day and Alec's appointment was over with quite quickly so we went on a nice long hour walk after lunch.  We found a new trail to check out and though it was muddy we had fun.

We had another day of pouring rain on Tuesday.  Alec had his karate class and Ian was heading off to work for the day with his grandfather so the boys had a very light day of schooling.  They each worked on math, reading and writing before we headed out. We had lunch with my mother in law at Dunkin Donuts then stopped at the library.  I spent the rest of my afternoon wrapping gifts and addressing all our Christmas cards. Once my husband came home and we had all the dinner dishes cleaned up we decided to re-watch Lego Batman.  That movie never fails to make me laugh.

I was up bright and early on Wednesday to go grocery shopping.  The boys worked on some math, reading, writing. and spelling/duolingo while I puttered around in the kitchen prepping food for the week.  Ian watched some more of his history show during lunch and then we all braved the elements for a brisk 30 minute walk.  The temperatures are now quite cold and we even had flurries!  After our walk we all warmed up with another 20 minute workout at home.  Alec made an adorable peacock using his clay (sadly it burned while he was baking the clay in the oven) and Ian tried to finish up his model car.

Ian was heading out on Thursday with his grandfather to pick up a new tractor so we didn't plan a ton of schoolwork.  Each of the boys worked on their math, reading, writing, and the older two boys worked on their foreign languages a bit.  They all found time to work out for an hour in the basement but I'll fully admit the day just got away from me and I did not.  Alec re-made his clay peacock and decided to make a cute little turtle to go with it.  This time we looked up cooking instructions online and went with the lower temperature; checking it every 5 minutes.  He then coated parts of them with his shiny top coat and set them aside to dry.  Evan and I made a quick run to the library and the apple orchard hoping the snow would hold off until we got home.

We woke Friday morning to snow! I knew that meant Ian would be gone a good portion of the day plowing and shoveling.  I also had an appointment for a dental cleaning so, once again, we planned to just get the basics done.  I set out math, writing, and reading work for the boys.  I also hoped we'd have time for spelling/ Duolingo and a bit of science.

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Homeschool Coffee Break