Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Sugar cookies. Yum!

Today Grandma and Grandpa Petersen arrived for Thanksgiving and they brought with them sugar cookies, frosting, and candy from Grandma Jane. The kids had a blast decorating and we are super excited to have family here for some of the holiday season!

Gryffindor Wins House Cup!

We finished our second year (or component) at Quercus Alba and the Gryffindors were overjoyed to win the house cup this time around! And to the other houses' immense relief they were very generous with their prizes and shared with everyone.

Of course we had to have a feast....
Knickerbocker glory from Harry Potter

Sword and the Stone cheese

a compass cream pie for Prince Henry the navigator

Pea Pottage from the medieval period

We also had authentic medieval potato cake, pretiola (pretzels), and cheches (a medieval recipe for chickpeas).

The kids did a great job on their projects, but I did not to a great job getting pictures, but here is a brief summary anyway.

Anna created an empire. She made a map, a flag, and a system of government for her new kingdom.

Alahna decided to try her hand at medieval food. She compared the food of a peasant to the food of a noble and even attempted to live a day in the life of each. She was very hungry the day she was a peasant.

Robert, with Alahna's help, made a storybook about a dragonslayer.

William drew a picture of King Arthur with Merlin and Morgana.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Temple trip

We just got back from the temple with the youth! It was Anna's first time and David and I were excited that we were able to get a babysitter and both be there with her. Afterward, we took the youth out to eat and the Bishop turned to me and said, "Isn't being a youth leader awesome?" I didn't even have to think twice to give him an honest answer. Yes, it is awesome. I love being with the youth, they are amazing and I know I am going to learn a lot from them.

Cute moment from the night: While we were eating I stole of a bite of Anna's food. One of the leaders asked her why parent always steal yummy food. Anna was quick to answer, "It's called the parent tax. They brought me here and paid for it, that's just the way it is." I love that girl!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Hail the Dragonslayers!

This is why I love homeschooling! It gives me a good excuse to paint things like fire breathing dragons on my fence with my kids. We spent a large portion of this week working on this awesome dragon as a group project for our Hail the Dragonslayers component of the year.

Written around the dragon are words like; greed, lazy, lies, filth, etc.. On the swords the girls wrote the "be's" that we have been focusing on this year plus a few other things. They use the swords to slay the dragon. Today after a little tiff between Alahna and Robert I sent them outside to figure out what was causing there problem and how they could use the swords to slay the dragon. They each beat up the fence for a couple of minutes then came inside, happy to tell me what swords they used and why.


Look who thought he was so sneaky.  Did anyone else try to hide in the dryer as a kid? I did, but I was always so scared that someone would turn it on that I never lasted very long. I guess I've always been a big chicken.

(This is our old dryer that we are selling. It is now turned around so it can not be used for hiding anymore.)

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Medieval painting

This week we learned a little bit about art in the middle ages. The kids were taught about Giotto and the Limburg Brothers. Then they mixed their own paint using sidewalk chalk and egg yolks and used it to paint their pictures.

Monday, November 7, 2011

another field trip

Last week, along with Halloween and Robert's doctor apt, yes it was a busy week, we went to a church that was decorated as a medieval castle and did brass rubbings. It was a lot of fun and I think we will be going back again.

A knight came and told us about his armor and weapons. If you look in the picture you can see one of the larger brass rubbings on the right.

Alahna with her rubbing of a unicorn.
Afterward we went to one of the Forest Lawns for lunch and to look around at the art that was there.

Happy Halloween

We spent Halloween with our school group. We did some fun school work in the morning, ate lunch together, carved pumpkins, played games, ate some more, and went trick or treating. It was a great day and everyone was wiped out by the time we got home.

Our fun school work included dissecting owl pellets. The kids thought it was pretty cool. We were able to find at least 4 different animals, and possibly as many as 6, in the 3 pellets we dissected. Most of the bones we found were rat bones, but we are pretty sure some belonged to a shrew.  (The kit we used came with a diagram to help you determine what animals the owl ate.)

He is just too cute!

Anna was dressed as a nerd and she played the part very well!

Robert was Harry Potter and absolutely LOVED digging into owl puke!

We think this skull belinged to a shrew

Alahna was a beach bunny. Her owl pellet had the shrew.

This is the skull of a rat. Anna had 2 complete rats in her pellet. She even found a spine still intact.

One of the many games the kids played was bobbing for doughnuts. This was one of my favorite Halloween activites when I was young so I was super excited when my kids were able to experience the fun!

And last, but not least.....William the lion. I don't even know where this costume came from, but William found it in our Halloween box and was determined to wear it. It was missing the tail and the knees were almost worn all the way through. At the end of the night it went straight in the trash can!

And can you believe it, I didn't get a single picture of our pumkin carvings or of all four of the kids in their costumes! What kind of a mother am I? Geez.

Sherwood Forest

We took a field trip to Sherwood Forest a couple of weeks ago. Actually it was very little like Sherwood Forest, but it did have 3 oak trees and that was good enough! The kids enjoyed the brief hike and learning a little bit about how the plant life helped the early settlers.

The group under one of the oak trees.

Of course, Robert had to climb in the tree.

I love Robert's face. He was not thrilled about having his picture taken....again.

A Robert update

Last week Robert had a doctor's apt. After spending almost an hour going over past symptoms, surgery, and current symptoms with 3 different doctors we decided that it was still best to continue postponing surgery.  Unfortunately they said he has to continue wearing the braces and the older he gets the harder that is. He has realized that wearing them and the eye patch makes him different and let's face it, kids don't want to be different. He is still a pretty good sport about it, but we have moments when he has just had enough. These moments tend to break my heart and I wish I could take it all away for him. Luckily for me, he still finds solace in a hug and a kiss!

Thursday, November 3, 2011


My kids are complaining that we are not home enough.


We homeschool. Is it possible to not be home enough when you are home schooling. Apparently the answer is yes. This year our schedule has been a lot more hectic than last with activities away from home nearly every day. My kids are almost begging for a day to just stay home so they can "just get their math done". I have to admit this is a challenge I did not foresee when we leaped into this crazy world of home education.