Wednesday, November 23, 2011

How to Make An Apple Pie and See The World

Our second Five in a Row unit of the school year was based on a wonderful book called How to Make An Apple Pie and See The World by Marjorie Priceman.  In this cute story, the main character decides to make an apple pie but the market is closed... so "naturally," she has to travel all around the world to obtain the ingredients needed for her pie and bring them back home.  My kids really enjoyed learning about the countries and places she visited, and also appreciated the humor of the story :)

Here is a glimpse of some of the fun activities we did to go along with this story... we spent about a month rowing this book because I tied this into a larger theme unit on "apples" in general - perfect for FALL!

  • Scavenger Hunt - I found this great idea HERE and we spent the morning "traveling" to different countries (ie - different rooms in our house) to collect all of the ingredients we needed.  We acted out the story as went - including catching the chicken and trying to milk the cow (our dog Petey played the animal roles in our drama, so you can imagine his dismay with this activity).  Unfortunately we were too involved in our "travels" to take any pictures, so you will just have to imagine the looks on our neighbors faces as we attempted to peel bark off of our "kurundu tree" outside in order to obtain cinnamon.  I can just picture them saying it now... "that weird homeschool family is outside doing something strange again." :)  At least, we weren't all wearing homemade, matching denim jumpers (which my friend Stephanie will appreciate).
  • Mapping and Sequencing - You really can't avoid mapping activities with this book, so we made great use out of our giant wall maps and plotted the character's adventure around the world.  My kids also enjoyed making a flag book and coloring the flags of the countries she visited.  In addition, they loved playing this matching/sequencing game where you had to match up the character's mode of transportation, ingredient, and country for each leg of her journey, and then put them in order.  We have been finished with this book now for a few weeks, and my kids still pull this game out on a regular basis :)

  • Videos!  My kids love videos, and as previously mentioned, I love YouTube!  In this unit we enjoyed watching a classic Disney movie (from 1948!!) on Johnny Appleseed - Part 1 and Part 2.  And I also had fun making my kids experience an important part of my past... Reading Rainbow!  Who remembers Reading Rainbow??  Yes, there was actually an episode produced on this particular book, so of course we watched it :)  (And yes, they loved it!)
  • Apple Seeds and Apple Stamps - The kids predicted how many seeds they would find when we cut open an apple, and we also read this cute story to learn about the hidden star pattern you can find when you cut an apple open.  We also observed and labeled all of the parts of an apple.  Then we busted out the paint (yes, this was a messy day!) and made apple stamp patterns.  FUN!

  •  Play Doh - Found a great recipe for apple play-doh, so we mixed up a batch and created our own apples.  This play-doh smelled AWESOME thanks to the yummy cinnamon and nutmeg spices :)  I appreciated every time my kids played with it because it made my house smell great!  If you have kids who enjoy play-doh, I highly recommend making a batch of this :)
  •  Salt Experiment - One of the ingredients that the main character has to pick up in her world travels, is salt.  To do this, she filled a jar with salt water and then let the water evaporate.  So, we had a great time conducting our own little salt evaporation experiment.  I loved the fact that this coincidentally went along with our last science unit on steam and the water cycle when we read Mike Mulligan... the kids actually remembered enough to make intelligent predictions about what would happen to the water and the salt :)

boiling the water

 adding some salt
 pouring it on to a plate and setting it in the sun
 later that day... what was left??

Bible Lessons - Since our character in the story traveled around the world, we talked about how God is the Lord over all nations and all people, and the kiddos memorized Psalm 113:4.  We studied the story of Creation, and made wheels to illustrate what happened each day.  We also spent a couple of weeks studying the fruits of the Spirit (to go along with apple of course!) and the kids did a great job memorizing Galations 5:22 and remember all those FRUITS!  We had fun identifying when someone would demonstrate a fruit of the Spirit in their daily life, so we would usually point out if someone was being joyful, patient, kind, etc.  
Mikayla recites Psalm 113:4... 

Eli recites Galations 5:22... I love the end where I ask him what book of the Bible this verse is in... how can you argue with his response? :)

Taste Test - Studying apples tends to make a person hungry, so it was only fitting to have a taste test!  The winner?  Gala apples by far!  The only problem is that now when my kids are offered an apple they ask, "is it a gala?"  Lol!  Greeeeeaaatttt, we are now picky about the "types" of apples we eat.  One day they will ask this in some type of public setting and I will be very embarrassed (or maybe beam with pride at how smart they are............??).

  • KWL Chart - We sure learned a lot from our apple unit!!!!

  • Making an Apple Pie - And yes, for the grand finale I successfully made an apple pie with my two little bakers.  It may not have the prettiest lattice crust, but it sure tasted good (as my hubby can verify) :)

  • Our Lapbook - And finally, we put it all together in a lapbook!  As you can tell, we had a lot of fun learning about apples :)


Saturday, November 12, 2011


Another soccer season has come and gone... Eli had his last fall season game this morning.  He enjoyed the season overall, and for the first time was one of the "better" players of the group.  He was in the upper age range for the league, so I think that helped a lot :)  He really has improved in his skills, and it's hard to believe that this was his 4th season!  I still remember the 3-year-old team he played on back in 2009... you would have thought we were torturing the kids with how much time they spent crying on the field.  If you have a 3-year-old, I would highly recommend starting them out in t-ball... it's a nice, friendly sport where everyone takes turns getting to bat, run the bases, and catch the ball... unlike the soccer mob mentality, ha!  Nonetheless, Eli survived that first rough season and has grown to really enjoy the sport.  He told me after his last game today that he, "can't wait to play soccer again, and get more trophies."  After all, that's what it's all about right??
group shot

 soccer star!!

Eli was fortunate to play in this league with two of his good buddies from Harvest Community Church... Aaron (a fellow "PK") and Evan.  The three amigos had a good time together :)

a few action shots...

Eli was all about getting a sportsmanship medal AND a trophy this season :)

group trophy shot

good job buddy, you make us so proud!

Monday, November 7, 2011


Last June I mentioned in a post that Mikayla danced in a ballet recital... well this is a bit belated, but I finally got my hands on some of the images that the professional photographer took of her and her class, and they were just too cute not to post :)

This fall Mikayla has been taking ballet classes once again, but at a different location closer to our new house.  She has a great teacher, and really looks forward to going each week.  She loves to practice her "leaps" all over the house... I am just waiting for the day she crashes into something or accidentally leaps down the stairs!  A couple of weeks ago her class allowed visitors to come in and watch them perform a dance they had been learning, so I was able to get some video footage of the ballerina in action.  Sorry my camera wasn't really in focus... not sure what was going on :(  Oh well, you get the idea!

Halloween Fun

We spent Halloween morning gutting and carving our pumpkin... as well as cooking up the seeds with salt and Parmesan cheese - yum!

We even accomplished a bit of school work :)  The kids had a great time predicting the number of seeds in the pumpkin... you can see their predictions were a little low... and yes we actually did count every single one of those 500 seeds!

That evening  we enjoyed the company of Micah's parents, sister, and our niece.  We chowed down on pizza and then headed out trick or treating with the kiddos while Nana and Papa handed out candy from our house.  This was our first time trick or treating in our new neighborhood, and it was GREAT!  There were tons of people out enjoying the evening, lots of trick or treaters, and our kids hit the jackpot with candy. :)

Belle (Emmie), Woody (Eli), Tiana (Mikayla)
I was happy my kids "recycled" costumes this year, so I didn't have to spend a dime!

 Three cute cousins + Nana = A perfect ending to the evening :)