Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Virtual Refrigerator-- More Coloring Pages

Alec has been coloring up a storm in his room while listening to books on CD.  He had finished most of his Color Counts Coloring books to try and we were thrilled to find some Mystery Mosaic books.

Thanks for stopping by and joining us again this week as we host another virtual refrigerator arts and crafts link up.

The first two are from the mosaic book:

The rest are from assorted Color Counts books.

He took a few of these books with some markers in the car while we were on vacation too.  

Now without further ado I invite you to grab a "magnet" and link up your arts and crafts posts below and visit some other bloggers to see what they shared on their refrigerators.

Your art project doesn't need to be a stand alone post, nor does it need to be a tutorial.  We love day in the life posts or homeschooling wrap- ups that show art work too!  

So what do you have to share with us?

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Linking Up With: Swing Into Spring

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Love to Learn: Easy and Fun Ways to Learn About Plants and Seeds

My boys and I have studied plants and seeds many times through our homeschooling years.  We always start each unit by reading lots of books and, of course, we try our hand at growing our own plants.

Some of our favorite ways to learn about plants and seeds include:

1. Planted beans in plastic baggies so we could see the plants sprout and take root.  

Overnight I soaked some beans in water.  We pulled one bean each out of the water and compared it with a dry, hard bean.  We opened up the larger, soaked seed and found the baby plant inside.  We planted a few of the soaked beans and a few dry seeds inside a plastic baggie with wet cotton balls.  I did this project with wet paper towels instead of a cotton ball back when I was teaching and thought it was a great low- mess way to grow seeds in the classroom.  It also doesn't take up much room and the kids can really see first hand all the growth that would usually take place under the dirt.  Once they had their baggies of seeds the way they liked we sealed them shut and taped them to the window.

2.  We've planted grass seeds inside clear CD cases; again so we could really see the roots and what happens under the soil. 

3.  We've dissected sunflowers and studied all the parts of the flowers.

4. We've tried planting parts of plants too.  Like the time we planted a mango seed or the time we planted the top of the pineapple plant trying to grow our own bromiliad.

5.  We filled a pumpkin with soil one year and watched the seeds inside sprout.

Of course through the years we've planted seeds of all sorts.  We grew a garden, my oldest son has planted an apple an orange tree he grew from seed, my middle son stored some acorn leaves in a bag on the windowsill and once he saw they were sprouting he planted them outside and we had a small tree growing there in no time.

What types of activities have you done with plants and seeds?

What have you been up to?  I'd love to hear from you either in the comments or by linking up your own blog post!  Please join us!

Love to Learn blog hop | link up | linky | blogging | homeschooling | education | kids activities | kids craft ideas

Welcome to the Love to Learn Blog Hop

A collection of educational activities to instill a life long love of learning in our children.

Enjoy learning through play, nature, crafts, and many other educational activities.

Love to Learn blog hop | link up | linky | blogging | homeschooling | education | kids activities | kids craft ideas

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Linking Up With: Swing Into Spring

June Pinterest Challenge-- Delicious Zucchini Crust Pizza Recipe

Welcome to the May Pinterest Challenge Blog Hop, hosted by My Pinterventures. The purpose of this Pinterest Challenge is to motivate all the participants of this hop (and you too) to not just pin, but to make it happen!

This month, I chose to make zucchini pizza crust following the Pin that led me to this recipe on  The Humble Kitchen's blog.  Of course (as usual!) I did not completely follow the recipe.  First off I knew I would never get my family to eat this so I wanted to halve the recipe  and then I forgot to read the actual instructions and ended up mixing my shredded zucchini right in with the other ingredients.

I figured that by not squeezing all the water out of the zucchini I was going to have a watery crust so I made the decision to go ahead and use the full amount of flour, egg, and cheese called for in the original recipe.  I figured I could just make the pizza, and whatever portion I didn't eat I would freeze for the next time I made the family pizzas.

 I put my crust in the oven to bake according to directions.  It smelled AMAZING!

I did try a bite before adding my toppings and while I could never say it tasted just like pizza crust it was very tasty.

 I love zucchini and had been hoping this would be a healthier alternative to eating traditional pizzas with my family (though that sort of went out the window as I doubled the cheese, flour and egg).   Calorie- wise my pizza was the same but I figured I was getting lots of extra veggies and fiber in my diet so that had to count for something.

I added all my toppings-- sauce, cheese, hamburg (pre- cooked) and some sliced mushrooms.  Then I put the whole thing in the oven for another 15 minutes.

I would definitely make it again.

In January my boys and I made nail polish marbled mugs.
In February we tried out a new recipe for turkey & cornbread pot pie.
In March my boys worked on making a salt dough map.
In April my boys made some glittery mason jar luminaries. 
In May my oldest on and husband made a hand forged key holder

 To join next month's #pinterestchallenge, click here to sign-up ⇒ July Pinterest Challenge.

Now let's see what other things Pinterest inspired! Head over and visit the other hosts to see what they crafted, cooked, built, or tried!

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Monday, June 18, 2018

Indian Echo Caverns

On our recent trip to Hershey Pennsylvania, we arrived at our hotel in the late afternoon and while the boys wanted to go swimming we knew we wanted to go check out some limestone caves too.   We let them swim for a bit while we planned our evening.

We went to Indian Echo Caverns, arriving around 4 pm. It was a bit drizzly and we weren't sure if we were going to be too late to catch a tour.  Thankfully we were just in time for the last tour of the day and we ended up being the only ones who signed up so we had a private tour.  

Our tour guide was a fantastic young college student that grew up in the area and began working at the caverns when he was in high school.  We learned a bit about the area and the nearby river.

Then we entered the cavern.

Some of the pictures have some blurry spots since it was pretty dark inside.  I didn't want to use my flash either because the extra light tended to wash out all the features.

Evan is staring at some cave writing; most of which we learned was 50-100+ years old 

Stalactites (like the one shown above) grow down from the ceiling and grow only .0051 inches per year!   Stalagmites (like the one shown below) grow up from the cave floor and grow at a slightly faster rate but they do tend to spread out more and be thicker. 

There were so many interesting shapes, textures, tunnels, and colors formed by the water and the various minerals found throughout the limestone and soil.

We saw several crystal clear lakes inside too; you'd never know they were extremely deep. 

In some places the limestone flows so that it looks almost like a waterfall.  It glistens and sparkles too; that's how you know it's still alive and thriving.

In this photo you can clearly see a few places there stalactites and stalagmites meet to make columns and
it shows the difference in growth rate between the two
This cavern was once home to a hermit.  William Wilson who lived the last year 18 years of his life in this cave after withdrawing from society.

This was the boys' first time in a limestone cave and they were quite taken with it.

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WW 9 Hostesses Collage May 2018