February 21, 2011

Technical difficulties...thanks for standing by.

Sorry the bombardment of posts, but we were experiencing some technical difficulties (among adjusting to an extra family member).  I was having both camera and file upload issues, and think the kinks are mostly out.  Please let me know if a link doesn't work, so I can't get it fixed ASAP.

February 20, 2011

Week 26 - Review / Valentine's Day

Printables for this week:

We spent this week reviewing our bible stories, learning about Peewee Penguin (Peter's favorite!), and celebrating Valentine's Day!  Some of our favorite activities were:

Making handprint gifts for parents
(Print on pink cardstock for a more festive look)

Conversation Heart Math
(Counting and Sorting, then Graphing using an awesome printable from What The Teacher Wants blog.  Click here to go to her post with a free packet of Valentine's Day math fun! )

Heart Pigs

For our Fun Friday edition of Jungle School, we had Penguin Day!
We set up our Igloo tent to read some arctic stories in...

Then created some edible penguins out of olives, carrots, and cream cheese!

We made a (cream cheese) igloo to display them on,
surrounded by a (ranch dip) icy blue ocean.

I had never made these penguins before, but obviously they are old hat to others.  Check out this blog post by Emily Bloss for step by step instructions for making every type of olive penguin you can imagine!

February 13, 2011

Week 18 - God is Loving

Printables for this week:

Loving Chart from Hubbard’s Cupboard

This week we talked about love, which was appropriate by being surrounded by Valentine’s Day propaganda!  The definition of love is “unselfishly meeting another’s needs; acting with kindness, patience, and forgiveness.”  Sounds like the definition of a wife and mother too, right?  Or at least what we should be aiming for.  ;-)  Our bible story this week was about the ultimate example of love, God sending His son Jesus to the Earth.  Most people don’t associate this act with the type of romantic love advertised on Valentine’s Day, but the reality is...it is the epitome of sacrificial love.  

Our zoo friend this week was Olive Octopus.  I think the favorite octopus project was adding the “tentacles” to a construction paper version by using the hole reinforcement stickers.  The children got lots of fine motor practice in by peeling and sticking, and didn’t even know it.  Just the kind of learning I like!

For our cooking project, we ran out of gas for the stove and had to get creative.  Nothing like a last minute field trip to New York Bagel to sample some delicious “O” bread (bagels).  Bagels were a rare find even in the grocery stores of Panama when we first arrived here, and now there is actually a bagel store.  Wooohooo!  The children did great in the restaurant, each choosing a car to bring for entertainment while we waited for the “O”s.  They weren’t actually making the bagels while we were there, but we did get to see the mixer in action for some braided bread loaves.  We need to plan field trips more often.  hehe

For our Fun Friday version of Jungle School, we took over Miss Clare’s house.  The children loved getting in some outside play time, which has been especially sparse this rainy “dry season.”

We also got to see our plant bearing fruit...our pineapple plant that is.  Luigi chopped off the top and planted it in the backyard when we were newlyweds here.  I thought it had been long forgotten, but it was in a planter outside....with a little pineapple growing on it!  A great little gift of love to a mamita in need...a little reminder from the Lord that our actions are not in vain.  Our work as mothers, and even our lives here on Earth, often seems forgotten.  There will be a time though when all the little seeds we plant will come to bear fruit, and oh how sweet it will be!  

February 6, 2011

Week 17 - Daniel has Self Control

Printables for this week:

Self Control Chart from Hubbard’s Cupboard
Proverbs 25:28

This week we learned about Daniel practicing self control when offered all the royal food in the King’s court.  The children really seemed to connect using self control to stopping yourself.  We started the week by taking it outside to play Red Light, Green Light.  Throughout the week, we also did some role playing of situations that would require self control (getting toys taken away, hit by a younger sibling, being accused of something you didn’t do, tackling a frustrating task) and practiced some techniques for calming down.  Our favorite techniques were taking deep breaths, counting backwards from 10, taking a break, reading a book, and doing the frustrated dance.

We also touched on nutrition this week, after learning about how Daniel chose to eat the food that was the best “brain food.”  In our home, we use terms (borrowed from my big sister) “brain food” and “tongue food.”  Brain food makes your mind and body strong, while tongue food tastes great to your tongue, but doesn’t do much for the rest of your body.  We say that water, fruit, veggies, whole grains, fish, chicken, brown rice, things made with brown flour (whole wheat...hehe) are brain food.  Tongue foods are highly processed, full of artificial stuff, and made with refined sugar and white flour.  These terms makes it easier for us to categorize food, since with a vitamix I can make a healthy version of all sorts of fun stuff like ice cream, milkshakes, cookies, cakes, and even pizza!  This helps us to handle food battles too, as when the children want some tongue food I will simply require a certain amount of brain food first.  By now they are getting fairly good at choosing their brain food independently, which is helping to develop self control and promote good nutritional choices.

Our zoo friend was Nigel Nightowl, so I came up with No Bake Nests for our cooking project.  The children formed some warm No Bake Cookies into a nest shape by sculpting it with a spoon in the bottom of a bowl.  We put them in the fridge to cool faster, and I snuck some candy coated chocolates in there as “eggs.”

Peter had a beautiful new owl puppet that was the highlight of the week.  We had fun flying him in on cooking day to surprise the children by laying eggs in their nests.  hehe  He also sang Happy Birthday to Abi as we celebrated her birthday on Fun Friday.

February 3, 2011

No Bake Cookies


- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 1/4 cup cocoa
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/4 cup butter (or coconut oil)
- 1/2 cup peanut butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 3 cup quick oats
- 1/4 cup coconut


1.  Bring butter to room temperature, and measure out dry ingredients into a bowl.  Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper, wax paper, or a no-stick mat.

2.  In a medium size saucepan combine sugar, cocoa, milk and butter.  Stir continuously until it comes to a boil. 

3.  Once boiling, remove from heat and allow to stand for one minute. 

4.  Add vanilla and peanut butter and mix well.  Stir in oats and coconut. 

5.  Spoon out quickly onto the cookie sheet.  Cookies will harden as they set.

Note:  The cookies will harden exactly where you put them.  They do not spread or grow, so you can put the cookies as close together as you'd like as long as they're not touching.