Saturday, February 16, 2008

Paper Crafts Class- Project #2 Mini Books

Our second papercraft project was mini board books. We titled them "Simply About ME." The project was inspired from a book my brother made when he was young. I thought it was so great to read about what he liked and thought at a young age.
For this book the kids included their birth statistics, a photo of them as a baby, a current photo with statistics, a family photo, what they love about their family, what they think their "gifts" are (we called them 'Super Powers'), what their dreams or aspirations are, what they love, and what makes them laugh.
This is the book I made as an example. I'll post photos of our oldest son's book soon.

Paper Crafts Class- Project #1, Thank You Cards

As I mentioned earlier, I'm teaching a Paper Crafts class at our homeschool co-op. For the first project of the quarter, the kids made thank you cards. They were given an example and they then created their own cards. The top card was made by our oldest son. He's one of my 9 students in the class.

Darkling Beetles

I wish I could report that we got a puppy or a fun pet to raise, but no...the boys are raising Darkling Beetles. On our kitchen counter sits two cups filled with cornflakes, a couple pieces of apple, and darkling beetles/mealworms.
The boys are taking a zoology class at our homeschool co-op. The are learning many new animal facts and are diligently recording the details in their journals. Our oldest son is focusing his animal study on iguanas and our middle son is researching bats. I'll post some of the information we've learned about the aforementioned animals at a later time.
Darkling Beetles are from the Phylum-Arthropoda, Class-Insecta, Order-Coleoptera. Our beetles are still in the larva (mealworm) stage. They are about an inch in length and have a tough yellowish brown exoskeleton. They are cylindrical in shape. They burrow in the cornflakes. We add bits of apple for moisture.
We've learned that the beetles and larvae eat decaying leaves, sticks, grasses and some new plant growth. They are decomposers. They have molted a couple of times since we've had them. The boys were able to examine the molted skin under the microscope. Our oldest son noted that it had a paper-ish appearance.
These little decomposers will continue in their cups on the kitchen counter until they turn into beetles. At that point I think momma will want the little buggers out of the house. At least they're raising something that will stay in a cup.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Mercredi Gras

This week people around the world celebrated Mardi Gras (Fat Tuesday) or Shrove Tuesday (the term used in the United Kingdom). It is the day before Ash Wednesday marking the beginning of lent.

We read in the United Kingdom Shrove Tuesday is also known as Pancake Day. Why would one celebrate with eating pancakes? Wikipedia ( states "The reason pancakes are associated with the day preceding Lent is that the 40 days of Lent form a period of liturgical fasting, during which only the plainest foodstuffs may be eaten. Therefore, rich ingredients such as eggs, milk, and sugar are disposed of immediately prior to the commencement of the fast. Pancakes and doughnuts were therefore an efficient way of using up these perishable goods, besides providing a minor celebratory feast prior to the fast itself."

We love to celebrate so we started off our day with Pancakes like the English. We then were going to have a decadent dinner New Orleans style, but the day was so filled with other kid activities we had to postpone our Mardi Gras celebration to Wednesday, hence Mercredi Gras.

For our New Orleans style dinner we made Chicken and Sausage Gumbo over rice, Red Beans and Rice, and New Orleans Bread Pudding with Bourbon Sauce. I am blessed with some great kitchen help to assist in chopping, stirring, and more. All the help makes for a great meal! We are going to experiment with more cajun, creole and carribean recipes.