Monday, October 31, 2016

Happy Halloween 2016

It's still halloween night. The kids have filtered through their candy, and made some trades, and now they are in bed. Phew! This wasn't the best halloween day to go down in the Winz family history book. The kids spent a lot of the day fighting (kids meaning 3 boys). It was kind of a discombobulated day. But, we ended with a fun night of trick-or-treating, and when all was said and done everyone was happy. I have taken most of the halloween decorations down already, and finished my fall wreath to put up on the door (post on that soon). Yes, I'm excited for the month of November to reflect and give thanks. It's also the month of my birthday which happens to land on Thanksgiving day this year. So fun, it only happens every 7 years or so.

For costumes this year we had Aric as Harry Potter, Alex as a police man, and Aaron as "elvis with a 'fro", or "disco dan". Those were the 2 most popular guesses. He didn't really have any particular person he was trying to be, he just said yes to whatever anybody said. He just wanted to wear the hair, and the suit seemed to go well.


Alex actually felt kind of sick most of the halloween weekend. He was able to go to the trunk or treat at church, but immediately after felt bad. Thankfully he felt well enough to go trick or treating tonight.



I didn't realize how much law enforcement we'd have dressed up this year. It was pretty fun to see them kind of coordinate.


Here's Aaron sporting his afro at the trunk or treat.


The carnival at church was super fun as usual, lots of fun games and prizes.


A pumpkin fan!


Halloween night we went walking around the neighborhood. Just me and the 3 boys.. April was at a party with friends, and Dad stayed home to give out candy, and rescue us with the car when they were tired. It was a nice walk, but we've got to remember to get some friends to go with next year.


This house was the super decked out with spookiness. The boys enjoyed that stop.


We bought Salem our cat a shark costume. He didn't want anything to do with it, but I was able to get a picture real quick.


April made these fun "dia de los muertos" cookies. She wanted to give them a try when she found the cookie cutter at the craft store. They are cute and yummy!



Happy Halloween!

Saturday, October 29, 2016

My homeschool mother's journal: Angus Lost (BFIAR), dolls, and climbing rocks

Life this week...

My little Alex discovered his sister's American Girl dolls. Actually, since she's kind of grown out of them, and didn't want it anymore, one is mine. He had fun playing with them. I loved seeing the sweet, gentle side of this crazy boy. I love that he wanted to brush their hair, and put them to bed at night. Someday this boy will be a father (I hope), and it will be a blessing for his family to be a nurturer. I have to admit I got a little excited that he wanted to play with them too because I love playing with them! He wants to make some new clothes for them, so I might find some projects for him and I to work on. He was very excited when April gave him the boxes of outfits that she collected when she used to play with them.


School this week...

We read Angus Lost by Marjorie Flack for our Before Five in a Row study, and did a few activities. I am trying to get back into a Five in a Row groove. He is really at the FIAR level, not the BFIAR, but we never got to some of the titles in the BFIAR level, so we might throw some of those in along the way this school year. 


We watched a fun little 'movie' version of the book on YouTube. Of course there were many parts that weren't true to the book, but it was fun to talk about the differences with the boys, and they got to see how much movies can differ from books.

We looked at the silhouettes in the book, and focused on that for an art project.


I googled Scottish Terrier silhouettes, and printed 2 up (one for each boy). I let them choose the color of the background they wanted, like yellow or blue for sunset time. They created the picture however they wanted.


This was Aric's picture, and there is a reason the dog is not in one piece. He wanted to make it look like the dog was walking into the picture and then back out. He also added a house and tree, and the moon.


This is Alex's picture. He had fun cutting some shapes out of black paper for his.


I practiced spelling some of the words from the book with Alex. I printed up some Read, build, and write mats, and slid it into a sheet protector.


He decided he wanted to write his words big on the white board too. He is getting really good with writing his letters.


We had an art day on Wednesday after we had been out a lot of the day, so the boys got a few lessons done from their Home Art Studio DVD's.

Alex had a symmetry butterflies lesson. He worked on making the butterfly look the same on both sides.

"Symmetry Butterfly" by Alex

The symmetry butterflies was a Kindergarden lesson, but Aric wanted to try it too. He made his one as well.

"Symmetry butterfly" by Aric

Aaron's lessons all have a beach or ocean theme. He has made a lighthouse with shading, and an under the sea picture, but this day he worked on finishing his flip-flop on the beach picture. This lesson was in 2-parts. He previously worked on painting the yellow and blue background with watercolors, and used salt to give it texture. The next lesson was making the flip-flop. Honestly the flip-flop didn't excite him as much, but he did it anyway. It turned out fun. It is supposed to have a 3-D effect.

Flip-flop on the beach

Aric's lesson this week was a falling through space picture. He had to draw his hands and feet in full size, and the body smaller in the background to give the effect that the boy is falling through space. All the others thought it had a neat effect.

"Falling through space"
Alex wanted to do 2 lessons from his DVD, so he also chose to do the paper tearing owl. I couldn't help him with this lesson, so he did it mostly himself. I thought he did great improvising when he didn't have all the supplies he needed, and didn't want to tear anymore. It is his special creation even though it doesn't quite look like the finished product that was on the DVD.


Places we went...

This week got a little busy going places! We ended up at the Kroc center one evening while April was at orchestra because we have a gift card that we need to use up. Since there was a little time before the swim session started the boys decided they would finally brave the climbing wall. We used to have a membership, and they never wanted to do the wall before. It was fun to see them finally try it.


Alex started climbing pretty quickly.


If they let go they could swing back over and try to grab the wall again. Alex did this a lot, but it allowed him to get pretty high.


They switched to different ropes a few times to try different or easier areas of the climbing wall.


See how high Alex got! He made it about halfway up!


We headed to the pool for the swim session. It was refreshing.


We also went roller skating twice this week. Both were spontaneous, but for different reasons. I will probably do a separate post about it. But, at one of the places we went skating all the kiddos had fun playing some hockey while on skates.


Something I accomplished...

I didn't get a picture of this, but I cleaned up my sewing area, and brought back the folding table so I can leave the sewing machine out all the time. I have some projects I want to work on, and decided I was done pulling the sewing machine out (which never happened because it was too much of a hassle). Right now I'm working on some camo bags for the boys.

In the kitchen...

I made some Lemon ricotta pancakes this morning. Thanks Bethany for a great recipe! They were delicious to me. Some of my people really liked them, some not so much. It was a fun new recipe to try. That's about the only good thing I made this week. I was mostly a failure in the kitchen as this was a busy week. I am hoping to get better at planning my meals better!


That about wraps up our week. I have more I could share, but this post is long enough.

Monday, October 24, 2016

52 lists: When we are sick (week 42)

We don't really have anything out of the ordinary that we do when we are sick. It's mostly just survival mode until everyone is better. So, for this list I will list the basics of how we handle sickness in our family.

  • Emergen-C~ at the first sign of a cold we start pumping the vitamin C.
  • Set up a bed or a couch in the living room for daytime care.
  • Lots of books and movies
  • A bowl (if needed)
  • Search internet for advice, or diagnosis
  •  Thermometer
  • Pain medication
  • Nyquil
  • Tums
  • Tissues
  • Liquids
  • Crackers
  • Hot or cold packs depending on what is needed
  • Lots of laundry (if flu-like illness)
  • Disinfecting everyting
  • Dr. visit if absolutely necessary 
  • Chicken noodle soup
  • Puzzle books or puzzles
  • Lots and lots of prayers 
  • Sleep, sleep, sleep
I think that is about all that comes to mind as I think about what we've done during sickness in our house. It's definitely a time of being still, resting, and relaxing. A good time to reflect, and appreciate the healthiness of life.

52 lists with Chasing Slow

Saturday, October 22, 2016

My Homeschool Mother's Journal: crazy Monday's, wrestling, and donuts

Life this week:

This week turned out to be a whirlwind of a week. We started out the week with a crazy Monday. Like things totally unexpected crazy. First the power went out early in the morning. Thankfully it was only out for about 30 minutes, but with the big storm we were having we weren't sure how long it would be. Then, later in the day I got a call from the storage where we have a unit, they wanted me to come check if there was water damage because the roof had blown off right above our unit. Sure enough there was water inside our storage unit, but thankfully it had only fallen where there were plastic boxes, or just on the ground. They offered for us to move to a different unit since they couldn't get the roof fixed until Friday. We decided to go ahead and move everything that evening in a break in the storm. It was just down the row, so it took only about 40 minutes with our whole family moving stuff. A bunch of other little things happened on Monday that made it just a wild day. The rest of the week was almost just as crazy, but more of the expected crazy.

(Home) School this week:

Alex had some great projects this week. First he learned about the first people, and how they made necklaces out of tusks or teeth. One of the projects on the page was to make a "tusk" necklace out of cork. He loved this, and ended up with a fun necklace. It took some time to drill out the cork so we could put string through it.


He kept at it, and ended up with a neat little creation. He kept telling me while we were making these that he wanted to make lots of necklaces so he could sell them. Sounds like a little entrepreneur in the making!


Another lesson he had this week was about the seasons. One of the projects was to make a poster with pictures of all the seasons. He chose to make trees just like in the book we were reading from (Usborne Children's Encyclopedia, I believe).


He did a great job, and was very proud of his poster.


Places we went and things we did:

It was kind of a last minute thing, but we decided to go to a homeschool art class down in Salem at a place called Young at Art. The 3 older kids got an art history lesson, and a canvas to re-create a painting from the artist that was talked about. The featured artist was Salvador Dali, and they painted a small part from the painting called The Persistence of Memory. I didn't have a camera, so no pictures of the actual painting part, but I have the end result! I think they all came out pretty neat.

Left: April's Center: Aric's Right: Aaron's
 During their art time Alex did the open art gallery time. He made a bunch of circle pictures on the spin art machines. He pretty much did that half the time, and played with the sand the other half. No painting for him!

Alex's circles on the spin art machines. They are pretty fun to look at.
Also this week the 2 little boys did wrestling camp at the high school. It was everyday for an hour. They both loved it and tore up the mat. I never got a good picture of them wrestling, Alex is in the yellow shorts in this picture below. This was on the tournament on the last day, and Alex won from his weight group.


Something I accomplished this week:

I wrote review for KwikStix. The first one in a while, since I left the crew. I realized that I missed writing reviews. It helped me to realize that writing reviews is my way of giving back to our homeschool, and to the blogging community. Homeschooling takes a lot of money, and this helps our budget, but I also find great value in finding good products through reviews and I love to share what we've learned. I gave up a real good thing I had. I spent a lot of time reflecting on that this week. Hind sight seems to always be 20/20, right?


Something fun this week:

We splurged and got halloween donuts from Krispy Kreme. Honestly they weren't all that great. I think we would have been happier with just some regular flavors, but it made for a spooky, fun treat.


 Well, that wraps up our week! I am linking this up to Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers Weekly Wrap-Up.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Painting Christmas Ornaments (A Kwik Stix Review)


We had a little dose of Christmas early today as we crafted some ornaments with Kwik Stix paint sticks, and some ceramic stars. I was contacted by Kwik Stix to see if we wanted to do a holiday themed review with a new set for the upcoming gift giving holiday season. I happily said yes as we really enjoyed the first set that we received while I was on the homeschool review crew.


We received both the Neons and Metalix packs. These are both unique and fun colors to try, and different from the original set we received. The Metalix come out kind of shimmery as you can see in one of the stars below. The Neons are bright, and spread on a little thinner, but still look great.


They come in great little packages with plastic caddys. All organized and nice and neat. They look so inviting. All my children are drawn to these when I pull them out.

They come in tubes similar to glue sticks, and twist up just like glue sticks. There is quite a bit of paint in that little tube! We still have quite a bit left in our first set of Stix from a few months ago. They glide on the paper so smooth, and neat. No mess! Usually. Some kids can manage to push a little to hard and squish globs onto the paper, just like glue stick. But, it doesn't happen very often, and my kiddos have figured out how to get just the right amount. If any gets on the table I have found that it wipes right up.


I started out with some little ceramic stars that I picked up at Michael's earlier this week. One for each kid to decorate for an ornament this year.

They painted the stars however they wanted. Some used neons, some used Metalix, some used a combination. It was fun to see what they would create.
I loved how nicely these went on the ceramic stars. The colors stuck nicely, and they were bright. 


I encouraged them to cover the whole star, and they could easily do that and handle parts that they had already covered because this paint dries so quickly. It dries in about 90 seconds!

Even the teenager loves these. She got pretty creative with her star. These paint sticks are fun to use for the whole family, all ages. I even enjoy using them! They make a great addition to your artist's Christmas wish list. I am thinking these might be the gift of the season for some friends and family for us!


The end result was some beautiful, colorful stars. I plan to get some vinyl letters and put each of their names on them, and possibly the year. I think they will make a great keepsake for my children's ornament boxes, and they were so easy to make. This project took less than 15 minutes for the actual painting time. These are great for many surfaces, paper, wood, ceramic, poster paper, and canvas.

 *Disclaimer: This product was provided free to me for my honest review.
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