Wednesday, April 30, 2014

The Great Pyramid

This week we are studying Northern Africa and focusing on Egypt.  Yesterday we read about the pyramids, then decided to try our luck at making one out of rice krispie treats.  I had seen an idea to make pyramids from rice krispie treats, but it used a pyramid mold.  I do not own a pyramid mold (does anyone own a pyramid mold??).  So we used waxed paper and hoped for the best.  And it came out great! Well, great enough that a 7 and 4 year old were super excited about it anyway.  I always hope when we do fun activities like this that some of the actual lesson will stick.  I guess only time will tell.  In the mean time, we had fun!

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Happy Birthday Kaiya!!

Having cupcakes with her friends


My rainbow cake and Patrick's awesome balloon rainbow

The birthday girl!
Wow! My oldest became yet another year older last week.  Seven years have gone by quickly! We had a somewhat quiet birthday this year compared to the last few.  No big party, but we did have fun.  In the morning we met up with our homeschool friends from Klamath Falls and had a playdate and shared cupcakes.  Kaiya wanted to go bowling for her birthday, so we met grandma in town for that. (By the way, taking a one year old to a bowling alley is complete torture.  Don't do it.)  So after bowling, we took Kaiya out for dinner.  She chose Japanese food and had sushi.  Then we came back home for cake and presents.  I attempted a rainbow cake for her, and it turned out pretty well.  She was happy with it anyway.  Then she opened her presents and we called it a day!

 It's amazing to think that we started this blog before she was born and now she's seven! Birthdays are always bittersweet, because if I could I would keep them little(!), but it's also fun to reflect on how much they've grown and learned in the past year.  Here's to another great year for my big girl!

Micronesia Flag Cookies

For the past few weeks we have been studying Australia and the Pacific Islands.  The girls really loved learning about the different cultures, and, surprisingly, cannibalism, which occurred in some of the islands long ago (or more recently in the case of Papua New Guinea...Yikes!).  Anyway, we wanted to make these sugar cookie bars into flag cookies (which we made last fourth of July with the American flag... super cute!) and searched for a flag that wouldn't be too difficult to turn into a flag cookie.  Micronesia won.  Blue background, four stars.  Thank you, Micronesia, for having a simple flag that we could turn into a cookie.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

General Conference

So, last weekend was General Conference.  Conference weekend is a time to be uplifted, strengthened, inspired... and driven crazy by your kids.  Granted, it's a lot of time for them to be quiet and relatively still.  So this time I wanted to be prepared with some fun activities for them to do during the conference sessions.

Now, when we were in Death Valley we didn't get conference on TV. So we would download it and listen to the talks on our way to and from church for the next several weeks (church was over an hour away, so it didn't take that long).  Last fall was our first effort at a true conference weekend, and since we were at Patrick's mom's house (aka spoiling grandma), we were not successful in fulfilling our vision of how we want conference weekend to be.  Hey, I don't think we will ever really "get there", but this time I wanted to get a little closer.

So here's what we did:
I googled "General Conference activities" and came up with THIS lovely website full of them.  I chose conference bingo, conference marker dot pages, and I made binders for each girl using activity pages from the Friend magazine.  I simply tore out the activity page, glued one on each side of a plain white piece of copy paper, and inserted into a clear page protector.  We had A LOT of old friend magazines lying around, so we made a good size activity binder for each of them.  I bought some dry erase crayons and voila! They were able to color and do the activities, then erase them and do them again.  I plan to use these binders for sacrament meeting too, swapping out activities as we get new magazines.  The last thing we did, which I saved for the last session, for something new, was to make a General Conference collage.  Remember all those Friend magazines I tore pages out of? I let the kids have at what was left of them for their collage.  Anything they heard about in conference (anything church related, really) they could cut out and glue onto a poster board.  They actually didn't finish it during the session, so we will continue to work on it after church until it's done (hopefully it takes a while!). 

Our Conference weekend still was not perfect.  I did not have perfectly quiet, perfectly still children.  But I think that through doing Conference related activities, the girls were able to understand that Conference weekend is special.  Hopefully they will continue to appreciate just how special it is as they grow!

How was your conference?

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Asia Projects

Henna Hands
Afghan kites. And yes, Leah is wearing a ballet recital costume.

Paper Mache Earth

These are some of our Asia projects.  We are working our way around the world for geography and spent a lot of time on Asia.  I thought I took more pictures, but I guess not. We also made a Ger when we studied Mongolia, made Chinese lanterns, made camels for Kazakhstan, and we also colored maps and flags and made food from some of the countries.