Sunday, April 19, 2015

MFW ECC - Weeks 31-32 in Review - Australia

G'day! Welcome to our tour of Australia :) We had a lot of fun touring this part of the world. Mostly it made us want to visit our Aussie friends. What a beautiful place! I'm feeling a little sad for our year to end. Partly because what we have done has been so well received by Silas, but mostly because my little guy is getting older. Each year finished is one year closer to him growing into a young man. These days are long, but the years are short. I try to tell that to my friends who are moms of babies. I never thought those days would pass. These are precious days.

We did several Australian art projects these past few weeks. First we made an aboriginal dreamtime art. This took a lot of patience for little hands.

Next we made a cave drawing. Silas had fun looking at all the images and finding ones he would like to draw.

This looked a lot like the one he modeled it after.

We had tons of fun with this origami boomerang. It is complicated to fold, but actually works!

We are so sad we are wrapping up our travels around the world. Even though we got to visit so many places, there are still so many to learn about!

Silas has a great handle on world geography after this year. I'm curious to see how well he does on his year end geography test.

 Here are Silas's Australian notebook pages of the week.

We read many wonderful books in the book basket for Australia. This cookbook series has been the most dangerous. I wish I had found it for all the countries though. I love that each book is written by folks who actually lived and grew up in the places from which they share the recipes. I would highly recommend if you are going through ECC to find as many of these as you can find, or you can buy them used cheaply. The recipes are not super complicated, but have been so fun to sample. I love to cook and have for many years. There have been tons of recipes that I have never had the pleasure of trying. Plus, you will earn a lot of brownie points with your kids :)

Fish and shellfish are plentiful in Australia. Anytime we eat a food from a different place we pray for the people of that country. This is been such a sweet thing for us to together as a family.

Fish and chips is a common dish (or so the book says.) Silas was shocked that we had French fries. He thought that was amazing :)

This recipe in Cooking the Australian Way was called Crunchy Fish Fillets. I have never coated fish with oats before, but it was pretty good. I prefer a lighter coating, but it was fun to try something new. I'm wondering how common it is to use oats. They seem to be a recurring theme in some of the recipes I ran across for other things.

We read The Pumpkin Runner. This is a really fun book that is based on a true story. It is about a 61 year old man that breaks the countries record by 2 days for an Australian race. The man in the story fuels up by eating pumpkin slices and pumpkin soup.

Apparently Pumpkin soup is a very common dish in Australia. Every family has their own recipe. This recipe has a bit of curry and is topped with cinnamon sour cream and parsley. My family wasn't excited about it, but all ended up loving it. I served it with crusty bread and a salad. YUM!

Australians commonly combine fruits and vegetables in salads. This is Sunshine Salad with Vinaigrette.

Quiche or egg pie is something Aussies prepare ahead of time for picnics.

This is Egg and (Canadian) Bacon Pie. Silas thought this was fabulous!

We served it with fruit salad. Passion fruit would be a common ingredient, but our store didn't have any when I went.

Bread and Butter Custard is a comfort food in Australia. My boys are going to be so sad when I start cooking boring crock pot meals again!

These are Anzac Biscuits which were named after the Australian and New Zealand Army Corp. The recipe picture in the book has these looking flat like this. These turned out like lace cookies. I looked up pictures to see if I was close, and I think they are typically thicker than this. Either way they were really good. They have coconut and oats. They were light, buttery, crispy and chewy.

I'm obviously having a little too much fun in the kitchen. Don't worry, we do school around here too, but I wanted to make some memories as well. Silas has such a love of learning. I'm trying to keep that alive.

 Pavlova is the one of the most loved desserts in Australia. It is named after the Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova. There is a debate on the origin of the Pavlova - whether it is originally from Australia or New Zealand. Apparently New Zealand may be the original place the first Pavlova was made, but it is loved and made by both countries. Pavlova is basically a meringue that is slowly cooked. I had never made one so I wasn't sure what to expect. This is what it looked like before.

This is the after. Can I say yum? It's basically a great big crispy marshmallow with a soft inside. You then top it with whipped cream and the fruit of your choice. Please and thank you! I'm so making this again!

One more for the road? Yes, I really did make 400 deserts in the last few months! This one is called a Lamington. It is cake that is then dipped in chocolate icing (cocoa powder, sugar and butter) and then dredged in coconut. I'm not a huge fan of uncooked coconut, so I toasted it. The kids absolutely loved these. I was surprised. I wasn't sure how well the coconut would go over, but I suppose anything drowned in chocolate will float anyone's boat. They are a favorite of Australian children. These cakes were named after Baroness Lamington from Queensland.

Oh look! School! Silas is really enjoying the change of pace in Singpaore math. We have been learning about metric measurements. This week we learned about liters and milliliters. I got this plastic beaker set from Amazon.

We made a lot of guesses about how many milliliters varying containers held.

 Silas made his own liter measurement by pouring in increments of 100ml. I jumped back into Singapore about mid-year, but we will be able to finish 3b during summer. I'm so glad we made the switch back. It has been just the challenge he needed. We are still enjoying Apologia Botany as well. I need to catch up on those posts. 

Next week we will hop over to Antarctica. I decided to condense that into 1 week rather than 2. How much can one talk about Antarctica anyway? We will instead row a final Five in a Row book. Boo hoo! So sad to be outgrowing those! It will be a really way to wrap up our travels around the world. Thanks so much for walking alongside us :)

This post is linked up with Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers <3

Friday, April 10, 2015

Heart of Dakota - HOD RtR - Week 32 in Review

Here is another little peek into our week. Aedan learned about the notable science achievements of Robert Boyle and Blaise Pascal. He also read studied the lives of George Fox, the Quaker, and the extravagant Louis XIV.

Aedan has really enjoyed the Draw and Write Through History books we have used these past few years. This week he had something to draw out of this book, but then he noticed he never got to draw the dragon.

I'm guessing this isn't scheduled because some folks might have trouble with mythical creatures. We most certainly do not. My boys have always had very big imaginations and have always fought off imaginary creatures with swords in hand. This picture is along side one of the Knights he drew earlier in the year.

I thought it might be fun to turn it into a painting. Aedan loves to draw, but rarely takes the time to paint. As he was drawing it he said, "I get to draw a dragon for school!" Mom points abound :)

Aedan always likes to name whatever creatures he draws with latin names.

The drawing he was assigned out of DWTH was to draw a musketeer. I love how much drawing is already built into HOD. It is perfect for my boys.

Aedan researched the Geneva, Switzerland which was the home of Robert Boyle.

One thing I have allowed Aedan to do is to use his imagination for his timeline entries. He has been reading about Robert Boyle in one of his extension books and had fun drawing a caricature of him for his timeline.

Our storytime book is about Blaise Pascal. Aedan added him to his timeline as well. I'm going to let him draw his own history figures when we get to the high school guides rather than having him use the ones he can cut out. It will be fun to see his abilities develop from now until then.

Aedan's written narration was about Louis XIV who Aedan mostly noted was a very fancy man.

Aedan asked to see a picture of him again so he could draw Louis XIV.

These pictures really crack me up!

History notebooking for the week.

We had a great Easter weekend. I had my hubbie take a pic of me with the boys. I joke that if I meet an early end that no one will have known I existed in the lives of these boys because I'm always the one behind the camera. Aedan has actually gotten taller than me. I'm wearing heels or you'd be able to see my little boy is no longer little anymore. I looked back on this blog to see just how much he has grown. Aren't they handsome? :)

 This is another rarity to have my husband Nate and I in a pic together. It's nice having boys big enough to prove we lived and breathed on this earth together. I really need to get family pictures taken soon! 3 weeks to go! See you soon :)


Saturday, April 4, 2015

MFW ECC - Weeks 29-30 in Review - Russia

Hello from Russia! I may have gone a little over the top these past few weeks. I think I feel the end is near, so we are trying to squeeze in as much fun as possible this year. We did a LOT of cooking this week, but also had so much fun reading through so many wonderful books about Russia's people, land and culture.

This is Silas's art project of the week. Normally art never gets skipped around here. My boys love to create things, but I could never connect with the art book assigned in ECC. I've gone rogue on art because I want to us to make some final memories of our year. We read several stories about Matryoshka dolls, so I thought it would be fun to make do an art project inspired by these wonderful little creations.

Silas choose some colors for his background. We waited for these to dry.

While we waited for his background to dry Silas drew all the faces and clothing on the dolls. We used a combination of this and this template. I had to combine the two so we could get the littlest doll.

I absolutely loved the faces and designs he made. So cute :)

Silas really enjoyed both of these books. He asked if we could buy The Littlest Matryoshka.The story is about a set of Matryoshka dolls that are made in Russia and shipped to a toy store in America. The littlest doll gets lost and finds her way back to her sisters.

I decided a treasure hunt was in order. I've always loved these dolls. I packed up the boys in the car and told them we were on the hunt for Matryoshka dolls. We headed to the closest antique store. I thought we might have to visit a few, but we found this one on the first try. Silas was SO excited to spot it!

In the story there are 6 dolls and the smallest gets lost.

All the sisters are so sad. A little girl buys the doll set on sale even though it is missing the smallest doll. She puts a piece of cotton in the sister who was empty, but eventually the littlest doll makes her way home.

This was an especially fun find because it was actually made in Russia. I wish I could read this! I would love to know if that date says 1889 or 1989. Either way, this set will be loved :)

We learned how to actually say Matryoshka correctly.

This was one of the books I checked out from the library. This is where I find how much gluten, meat and dairy one can cook in a week! I tried a LOT of the recipes. I'm going to need to go on a juice fast, but we had so much fun trying all these new things.

One of the first dishes we tried was Beef Stroganoff. I have my own recipe (which definitely includes wine) but I thought I'd try the recipe from the book this time.

Stroganoff is one of my hubbies favorites, so he was excited. This was definitely a hit. I bought the best egg noodles ever to serve with the stroganoff. Yum!

The next thing we had was Voskresenye Zavtrak which is Sunday Breakfast. We had it at night, but whateves. Sunday breakfast in Russia is a hearty meal that family members spend together.

There are many mentions of Russian Black Bread in the books we read. I had planned to make some from scratch, but my store didn't carry rye flour. I picked up a loaf of pre-made rye bread instead (which we liked by the way.)

Boiled Potatoes or Kartoshka v Mundire is a common dish. I boiled these potatoes and dressed them with a simple vinegar and oil dressing. They are often sprinkled with dill which I forgot to get at the store.

In Russia, Beef or pork sausage may served breakfast, lunch or dinner and is served with mustard.

Sausage is not normal fare around here, but the boys enjoyed it.

This is Kovrizhka Medovaya or Honey Spice Cake. It is a simple cake but had a very interesting batter. The recipe called for a whole cup of honey. It said to cook for 40-50 minutes. At 40 it was soupy and at 48 it was overdone. Sigh. I would like to try this again. It was a tasty cake. I'll just take it out of the oven sooner next time.

The next thing we made was Kotleta Po-kievsky otherwise known as Chicken Kiev.

First you pound the chicken flat. Next you stuff it with a garlic, parsley and butter mixture (yes, please!) Then you roll it in bread crumbs and fry until crispy. Um, hello. Do you see why I'll be needing a fast after all this? The boys thought this was a-mazing.

Someone please rescue me from myself. Um, yes, I still have more recipes! Ha! The next thing we made was Sirniki or Cheese Pancakes. The dough is made of ricotta, flour, sugar and an egg. First you make them into these cute little shapes.

And then again we fried something. I'm out of control! Ha! Fried dough anyone? Always and forever.

We sprinkled them with powdered sugar. These are served with either jam, honey or sour cream, or all three if you're feeling crazy. Delish!

So, apparently I was trying to eat my way to the grave this week. These fancy little meat pies are called Pirozhki. They may be stuffed with meat, cabbage, potatoes or eggs. I sauteed onions and beef and then made little dough pockets. I also made Brussels sprouts to make myself feel better for eating like it was Russian Christmas everyday over the past few weeks. 

We, believe it or not, baked these. You probably wouldn't know it from this post, but we eat pretty healthy food the rest of the time!

This was one of Silas's favorite dishes of Russia. He had 2 and wanted another. That's saying a lot for this picky eater!

I've tried to sneak in as many Five in a Row books as I could this year being that Silas is unfortunately very soon going to outgrow them. I wish I had taken a few years to really give my all to this program. It is SO fun when we have been able to row a book. Another Celebrated Dancing Bear  is a story of two bear friends. One is a circus dancer and the other really admires his friend. The dancer teaches his friend to dance. It's a sweet story of friendship and sharing what we know with the world. I have the FIAR cookbook, so of course we had to make even more Russian food!

So, we made Russian Tea Cakes! The boys helped me roll these delicious little cookies into balls.

Next we sprinkled them with powdered sugar (because we apparently can't get enough sugar or gluten this week.)

Instead of poetry teatime, we had Storytime Teatime. We read Another Celebrated Dancing Bear and a handful of Patricia Polacco books, many of which take place in Russia.

We read the story of Peter and the Wolf and listened to the story on You Tube. The real version is not as friendly as this one, but at least you can hear the character instruments here.

These are Silas's Russia notebook pages for the week.

I have really loved the chance to read through Matthew with Silas. We have prayed for the people of these countries all year. There is nothing better than hearing your 9 year old son pray for God to protect, bless and take care of people halfway across the world. I pray God continues to open his heart as he continues to grow and mature.

Oh, and in case you're wondering, we do actually do school too! Silas is doing really well in Singapore. I'm so glad I went ahead and moved him back to it. It is challenging on some days, but I see him working his math muscles and rising to the challenge. I have lots of math manipulatives that we haven't had the chance to use in some of our other programs. Silas has been learning how to add and grams and kilograms. He had a lot of fun seeing how much different things weighed compared to one another.

This is the set of weights we used. Next week we will use our pounds and ounces.

Math nerdery at its finest! We are so sad to leave Russia, but we'll see you next time in Australia!

This post is linked up with Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers <3