Thursday, April 30, 2009

Today in a morbid boys world

Alex's recipe for Crocodile Pie

1 cup of flour
all of a crocodiles blood
all of the crocodiles skin
1 cup water
1 teaspoon sugar
1 gallon milk

Mix all the dry ingredients together and stir until smooth.
Add milk and water and stir for 1 hour (at most) or until it all blends nicely.
Add blood and bake at 400* for 3 hours.

Serves 10

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Cyan's Community Brochure

Cyan and I have spent the last two school days working on her final project for MBTP Community unit. She had so much fun with this! She has some interesting ideas about her own little world (doesn't everyone though?) and I found most of her thoughts really endearing as I typed them out for her. All the art is hers, although for some reason the online viewer presented one of the pictures on it's side. The ones we printed came out correctly though.

Lakewood Leaflet First Page
Lakewood Leaflet First Page Bluerosemama

Lakewood Leaflet 2

You can tell so much about what a child thinks of the world when you look at projects like this. Obviously, I work with food a lot. lol... Because in her world, that is the only job mothers do... oh wait, I forgot that I can collect wildflowers for the dinner table while waiting for food to cook. Kids are such a riot! And how horses are designated to different people by color. And hunting chickens... can't forget that. Oh gosh... so cute!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Painting in the sunshine

Today the weather finally turned. We have been thinking for days that it was going to rain any second. But it didn't... until last night. Even just yesterday afternoon it was still warm and shining enough to sit in the grass and paint.

We are probably in for another month of drizzle here in the rainy state. But it was a nice respite from the wet.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Ocean Side at MTM!

Top row: Seaweed juice (superfood), Iceberg with jelly penguin, candy sushi
Bottom row: Tiny shells with seaweed (parsley) and cheese, octodogs (both sides), mini goldfish crackers

Seriously, I have been planning this for days. The kids were very involved in making this weeks MTM meal... they helped with every step.

I learned something new about my children today... they both know how to use sharp knives... correctly. I knew I hadn't been worried about either of them around knives forever now, but today I put my finger on why I was so comfortable with them using my Cutco's and my other really sharp knives. They have knife technique. Stabilizing with their finger above the knife, holding the bottom of the blade, everything. I was not that surprised with Alex, but Cyan too.

I love being home with them to learn these things. It makes me happy.


1/4 cup butter
4 cups mini marshmallows
6 cups crisped crispy rice cereal
20-25 gummy worms
1-2 box fruit leather


Grease a 12x17" baking sheet.

Melt butter in a 2 quart saucepan over medium heat.

Add marshmallows and stir until smooth.

Remove mixture from heat and stir in rice cereal until it is evenly coated.

Turn the baking sheet so that the shorter ends are at the top and bottom (I covered with parchment paper so that it wouldn't stick at all).

Then press the marshmallow mixture onto the sheet, distributing it evenly.

Starting at one side an inch up from the lower edge, place gummy worms atop the mixture end to end in a horizontal line.

Gently roll the lower edge of the marshmallow mixture over the gummy worms (this is where the parchment paper came in really handy. I rolled it just in the paper just like I would us a bamboo roller with real sushi).

Then stop and cut the log away from the rest of the mixture.

Use the same method to form 3-4 more logs.

Wrap the sushi rolls in a fruit leather and then slice each log into 1 inch thick"sushi" rolls using a very sharp knife (do not press down much or you will squish them).

The only thing that I could say to improve this is if you are not going to eat them right away, don't cut them until you are just about to eat them. The cut gummies get hard really fast (like hours) and are hard to eat.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Spring in a Sunday fairy house

Three little girls spent the sunny afternoon in my back yard talking about fairy houses... when I came out they were building one. They laid out pictures of the ones they wanted from Cyan's fairy house books, and then built the house above... 100% on their own. It was so beautiful! There is even a "recycled table" (ie: a bottle cap from Cyan's superfood) with small cut up peices of apple on them (from their snack).

Afternoons like this make a childhood. So often kids afternoons are spent playing video games or sitting indoors watching tv. If they only knew what they were missing! I am so lucky to have a community (including my on line friends) that believe in life away from the screen. It makes me all warm and fuzzy inside thinking of a whole huge group of children getting these amazing experiences.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Photo Friday

Tomato experiment

One growing up and one growing down. I bought a Topsy Turvy from Gardening with Kids so that we could do this experiment. I tried very hard at the store yesterday to find two really healthy Celebrity tomato plants of similar size so the experiment would start out well. I have it set on my calendar for the kids to see how many tomatoes grow on both, how tall they are in 1 month, and then in 3 months, and the size of the largest tomato on each plant. It should be interesting.

Even if we did nothing for homeschool with these plants, they would give us good food to eat. Win/win. ;)

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

An Earth day Trip to the grocery store

Today we went to the grocery store. Since we are studying Botany on Your Plate, I decided that we would continue our food education even on Earth day. So after making a fun Earth Day stamp design, the kids and I headed out to meet friends at Fred Meyers to calculate exactly how far away our food comes from.

I made a chart that said "Food Name", "Where was it grown?" and "Miles". We haven't gotten to the miles part yet... that is tomorrow. But we were able to get all the info for the rest of the chart via the grocery.

This is Cyan and Alex with their friend Jacob and Autumn, filling out their charts. You notice the two 'almost readers' put the stickers from the fruit onto their charts. It worked GREAT! So if they couldn't read the label correctly, the label was right next to their words and I was able to help really easily. One of my better ideas for sure. :)

The great thing about having a large grocery near you is that you can have two kids find the exact same item (in our case, onions) and have them be from two totally different places! (In our case, Texas, and then grown right here in Washington) It really brought the importance of reading labels home to my kiddos.

The second part of the trip we went to Terry's Berries, our local farm here, to find out where their food was from. And, me being the planner that I was, was thinking that it would all be from the west coast at least. I was wrong! I was shocked to find Bananas from Ecuador, and Lemons from Mexico there right along with the carrots from CA and the Apples (all varieties) from WA. It does show what a hard winter we had up here... but wow. I thought that more would be from our area. Of course, there were many more things from this area than at the big chain store... but the difference wasn't what I had anticipated.

When we got home, and after we had had some lunch, we sat down and looked at Google Earth for a general distance between where we buy our food and where it is grown. Now that was amazing! The kids loved watching the camera zoom across the world to stop on Chile, or Ecuador, or Mexico for each product we had picked.

All in all, a good lesson, and a GREAT day!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Plant Science going great...

That is, when it is going at all. The last two weeks have been SO crazy busy! We have been searching and searching for our perfect house, and we have found a couple that could work. But it has sort of consumed our world. I told the kids that for the next two days stuff was going back to normal.

Above is the egg shell herb garden. It gets bigger every day and is so sweet looking! I made those little signs so the kids could identify the seedlings easily at the same time the third leaf was coming out (which is usually a great identifier) and they have been enjoying guessing what each one is before I put the label back in and then being all excited when they are right.

Stems. In botany we are studying stems. This experiment was about water pulling up stems and how the water goes to the tips of each of the petals. It took about 24 hours for this dye to really show.... but when it did, they really got the point.

A white rose in green dye.

White daisy in blue.

White daisy in pink.

Amazing contrast huh? This is just after 24 hours. They will get darker as they are left in the water, and pretty soon each of the flowers will be an unnatural hue. This experiment really hits home how important water is to plants. And it shows the water cycle very well too... because if you leave one of these plants in the sun and the water gets warm enough to evaporate, the flower dies.

I found that celery is the very best stem to study. If you cut it in half and put each end in a different color of water, you will see that the celery leaves will change differently depending on which side of the stem is feeding it. We tried that with a daisy stem, but it really didn't work we as well. So I think that we are going to add celery to the stem experiment in the next couple days and I will let you know how it turns out.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Muffin Tin Monday goes AWOL!

Today Muffin Tin Monday went AWOL. We took ours to the zoo. It was a nice, warm, beautiful day. We were there for hours... enjoying the beauty of the sun. Before that, we took a jog down at Chamber's Bay... that was nearly as interesting (and photo-worthy) as the zoo. Make sure to turn the captions on.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Science Month

I feel, that like us, if kids have each and every subject you could possibly push at them each and every day, they won't retain any of the informational chunks that get tossed their way. I always found the public school day is crazy in the way it is split up. It isn't until high school (and very often, not even then) that kids are expected to study one subject for more than 40 minutes... That usually means they don't get to start and complete a experiment or even a chapter in one day... they have to come back the next day and are expected to remember everything that happened the day before. Even though as many as 6 other subjects, and who-knows how many after school activities they have seen between today and tomorrow.

I try very hard not to do that to my kids in homeschool. I try to give my kids whole days, or even weeks, sometimes on subjects we find interesting.

This month it is Botany. We are LOVING playing with plants and food, and different flowers and such. For a few $$ in different varieties of white flowers and some food dye from the kitchen we are learning all about stems of different plants, and what it really means when the plants soak up water to the tips of their petals. We have planted at least 10 different varieties of seeds and are checking on them every day to see what new things they are doing. On these days, the kids have not been required to do any Math or any Reading except what is on their Botany lessons and even Creative Writing has taken a turn for the plantlife inclined.

The pic above is Cyan with her apple seed seedling. She sat for a few minutes just staring at it like she had never seen a seedling before. When asked what she was doing she responded with: "I am just so happy to see that from this tiny thing comes a tree that I can grow in the back yard of our new house and it will give us apples!" I don't know if it will or not... but what a beautiful idea.

Photo Friday

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

One day I am going to feed you fried dandelions for dinner!

Sounds like a threat doesn't it? lol! Well today, thanks to this post (I made up my own recipe), that threat came true!

Dandelion Batter

1 cup spelt flour
2 eggs
1 tea sea salt
1 1/2 tea Spike seasoning
2/3 cup of milk or enough to make the batter kind of runny.

Mix it all together in a large bowl.
Wash and spin dry the dandelion flowers.

Dip in the batter, and fry in hot oil (we used coconut oil)

Allow to cool on paper towels, and eat away.

The kids absolutely loved them! They didn't last until dinner. Weeds... who would've thunk?

Monday, April 13, 2009

Muffin Tin Monday!

No theme today on Her Cup Overfloweth, but for me, we were still pretty stuck on Easter themed stuff. So we have strawberries, 'bird food' (chow mien noodles), a bunny shaped egg salad sandwich, bunny crackers, 'bunny food' (carrots), and dip. Cyan picked most of it with me, and helped cut out the sandwich bread. She loves MTM!

In other muffin tin news. I have decided I need to get more muffin tins. I only have one six, and Cyan was rather put out that she had to eat hers on a plate because Logan claimed the tin before she got there. ;)

Hawk Cam

Fun stuff to see... these baby hawks are about to hatch.

Newest conversations with my toddler

In the joy of moving twice in a matter of 7 months, nothing is really in it's place. There are boxes and such around the house still from the last move, that I haven't bothered to unpack because we are moving again... So this morning, my son saw this poster sitting on our floor, leaning against the bookshelf. It is about as tall as he is and it startled him as he walked around our bed nearly right into it. He had quite a lot to say about the 'confrontation'.

"Aaahhh! Mama! Dat cat. Eat me!" He screams.
"What honey?"
"Dat cat eat me!"
"No Logan, the cat won't eat you." I reply.
"Dat cat, bite me?"
"No baby, the cat won't bite you."
"It bite. My head." He says with feeling as he puts a hand to his head.
"No honey, the cat won't bite your head." I start to giggle.
(He points at it's eye.) "He hab lellow eye. Cat hab lellow eye."
He pauses.
"It bad guy cat!"
"I don't think so." (Really snickering now.)
"It good guy cat?"
"It's just 'cat'."
"Oh. Dus cat. Oooohhh."

At this stage in life, kids suck up language like a sponge. Some of the things he has said in the last few days shock me so completely that I will convince myself he didn't say it. lol! He said yesterday that 'Daddy said we probably go see the chickens next time.' We are not going to the farm until Tuesday, and we haven't been there since last Tuesday. But Logan not only remembered what Don had said about the farm, but he remembered the exact wording he used and well enough to relay that to me completely out of context. He is 26 mos old. Blows my mind.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Backyard Bird Feild Guides

We have LOTS of birds around here. My kids have been looking out the windows with awe for the last 5 months. It has been one of the bigger benefits of this house. In fact, many of the pictures on the backside of these bird cards are pictures I have taken from our own backyard (the rest are Google search pics).

I got this fabulous idea from Valerie from Frugal Family Fun. She has some amazing ideas and I am loving her style.

I made a few changes as my kids are pretty versed in backyard birds already.

First I collected all the pictures of our local birds I could from Whatbird and put them into a folder on my desktop. Then I looked through my pics of these real birds and added them to the folder. I really like the illustrations, but honestly they usually are much brighter in color and much stronger in detail than the actual birds you see in the wild. So it has been hard for me and my kids to use them as our only form of identification. Where a Junco may look very orange in a picture, they look completely grey/brown in our backyard. So I added photographs to each bird card so they could see the real life coloring along with the illustration showing the details.

I printed them all in wallet size pictures, cut them out and glued them with just a dab of glue stick back to back. Then I covered them in clear contact paper with the names of the birds printed in a font that Cyan can read easily. I then cut the edges to the same size, and punched a hole in the top left corner of each set of pics and attached them all together by size with a keyring that I had left over from making these.

I also split the sets. I put the birds in order by size, making the Hummingbird that comes to our sugar feeder in the beginning of the Small Backyard Bird book, all the way through the Peregrine Falcon at the end of the Big Backyard Bird Book. This way, when they see a bird, they can guess how big it is, and have a good idea where to find what it is called.

They are going in the kids Easter basket tomorrow, along with Logan's fishy game, a homemade charm bracelet for Cyan, the movie Mary Poppins, a treasure box for Alex, and a few books and sweet treats.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Photo Friday

Link with recipe

Eggy Crafts #3 ~ Egg Dying

Believe it or not, my children have never died Easter eggs. One year, when Alex was a little tike (like under 5) we dyed eggs with onion skins and red cabbage and we got some really beautiful colors. (Beware: If you are not careful with this method, you get scum colored Easter eggs.) But I have never been one to go out and buy egg dye.

In my garage, I have boxes for each season. When looking in this box for their Easter baskets, I found an ANCIENT box of PAAS egg dye. It must have been 10 years old. The pink dye pill was smashed, the edges of the box were old and faded... but I was pretty sure that with some white vinegar we could make them work fine. And we did! Cyan was SO crazy excited she was beside herself. She got out all the eggs we got to boil and dye, and set the eggs to cooking all by herself. (I was around, but doing secret things which I will show later.)

Cyan pulling the eggs out of the water after they were done cooking.

I measured out the vinegar and let the dye dissolve, and then Cyan poured in the 1/2 cup of water in each one.

Then came the fun part, of course! Picking which eggs to put where.

We colored some with a white wax crayon first, so they would have those cool little designs on them.

About this time, Logan woke from nap. I figured it was best to give him a job.

He was our professional egg turner. He did pretty good too.

By the time we were done we had 2 dozen beautifully colored Easter eggs for our hunt on Sunday morning!

Aren't they beautiful!?! I put Logan's name on one and Cyan decided to put her name on another. Considering she couldn't see what she was doing (white on white) I thought she did a really great job.

And my personal favorite egg. I have no idea how this one ended up OD Green, but it is. And I love it! I have already claimed this one for Easter morning. Cyan said I had to find it first. ;)

Logan was happy to help us clean up.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Eggy Crafts #2 ~ Beeswax candles in egg shells

I was reminded of beeswax candles in egg shells by Over the Crescent Moon. I haven't made these without help before, so this was new. The process was much more simple than I remembered... but there were quite a few tricks to it that I learned today.

Blow out eggs. Wash them out with water, and allow them to dry for at least 24 hours in the sun to prevent any bacteria from staying in side the shell.

Use a double boiler to melt the beeswax.

(I have to find a trick to get the wax out of my measuring cup next.)

Carefully place a wick in each egg. It doesn't really matter if they stay up strait. The wax helps with that once it is in the egg shell.

Once the beeswax is melted, using something you can throw away (in our case, cardstock and tape) make a funnel.

Put the funnel in the egg shell next to the wick and pour a VERY small amount of wax in the bottom of the egg to close up the hole. Let that cool for at least an hour so it is good and hard before you pour the rest of the wax in (we did a botany lesson and then came back to it).

Fill the eggs carefully with the melted wax and move the wick to the spot you think would work best. Use the hole in the egg as a guide if you need to. The wick should have a bit of wax on it by this time to help it stick.

Allow to cool naturally. If you put them in the fridge, they will crack (ask me how I know). When you are done, you should be able to peel the egg shell away rather easily, and you have an egg shapped beezwax candle!

Eggy crafts #1 ~ Egg shell herb garden

The egg shell herb garden is growing well. :)


This morning:

It's so cute!

Next up, egg shell candles are cooling right now. They may not have turned out too well, but we will see later this afternoon.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Where creative writing and science meet...

Adjectives and Synonyms. We use them all the time but when asked to describe something clearly, it can seem so difficult. Today's WordSmithery class was to make very simple sentences more interesting. So my children turned

"She read a book"


"The dewdrop fairy glanced through a dragon infested encyclopedia".

We did this with a whole lot of sentences, and slowly but surely, it turned to food. The Wordsmithery lesson today asked the kids to write down foods, and then make sentences that made them sound as disgusting as possible. And boy did they! Melted, slimy ice cream, and moldy, black avocados were the talk of the table... just in time for botany class!

ROOTS! Radishes, jicama, and carrots.

Both of my children took the drawing portion seriously, although very differently. Cyan drew what the radish would look like under the soil, and Alex drew exactly what was in front of him. I thought it was pretty neat that they were both right, but had such different ideas. It was easy to see where the roots connect the radish to the ground on the actual radish and in Cyan's picture. And Alex's shows the leaves and how they are connected to the bulb of radish perfectly! So interesting to have two accurate and completely different pictures of the same plant.

Neither took more than a small taste of the radishes we were studying... but Cyan was excited to find out how pretty the insides of radishes are.