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Archive for March, 2009

No homeschooling today, just having fun around the house! Just a few quick snapshots of my little girl. (If I call pictures snapshots, I don’t think they’re particularly photographed well, but they’re cute nonetheless!)

Started it off with a green smoothie for breakfast, Satori wanted some of mom’s, now she’s sporting a ‘Moothie Mustache!


Yumm… She sure guzzled that up fast.


I had wrapped up a little gift but Satori found it and was so sad that I let her have it. Here she is sporting a Beco doll carrier with Poppy her baby.

Beco doll carrier

Beco doll carrier

Satori babywearing

Satori babywearing

And to top it all off, Satori said Mama looked even more beautiful than her today! (She always is concerned about being the most beautiful, so this was a surprise!)

Now, off we go to another party!

Five in a Row manual

Five in a Row manual

Do you have children between the ages of 2-12? Do you have grandchildren, children you nanny/babysit, or have friends with children in this age group? Then you will love this list of quality children literature! Many of these have been awarded the Caldecott Medal, and/or are Classics that stand the test of time, and all are just plain awesome. I highly suggest purchasing a Five in a Row manual ($25-35) to get the most out of the books, but either way, they are great reads. And of course FIAR rowers will find this list ultra handy!


The past few days I compiled a complete FIAR book list, including Before and Beyond. Now I will always know on just one page if something is in stock, its price, author, and a photo of the book.

Five in a Row Complete Book List

Here’s a sampling of the first volume. You can tell at a glance if it is out of print and hard to find, and see its going rate prices for a used copy. You can also see if there is an Amazon 4-for-3 discount special on it. Hover over its link to get a popout of more detail!

Here are the manuals I own, I do not have Volume 4 or any of the Beyond yet, as it’ll be 4 more years until we get those. I do hope to adopt more children and thus I purchased the Before FIAR early. 🙂

fiar13 fiar22 fiar31

I’m posting the URL to this on the right side of every page, as well as the menu above for easy access.

FIAR Complete Book List

To take advantage of all our newly fallen snow that’s just a handful away, we did a few science experiments on our snow.


Yesterday the meteorologist predicted 18 inches of snow to fall in the mountains. Does that mean 18 inches of water? Let’s find out. We gathered a jarful of snow, right outside our kitchen.


Gathering fresh mountain snow

After Satori filled it to the brim (no packing down), we measured with a tape measure. Fresh snow in a jar measured to be 5 inches.

5 inches of snow

5 inches of fresh snow

Two hours later, it was completely melted. (By this time Daddy got home from his snowstorm delay and got to help us.)

Did we still have 5 inches of melted snow? No, it was only one inch of water!

1 inch of melted snow

1 inch of melted snow

Maddie lapped up the fresh snow and we also went over the results of our second experiment.


Does snow melt faster by itself, or with salt on top?

Does salt help snow melt faster?

Does salt help snow melt faster?

And I’m sorry to say that the snow melted before we could make a photo comparison, but we did see right away that the snow with SALT melted faster!


I finally got Satori to peruse the snowflake website so we got to see all the different possible types of snowflakes, and what might form in what temperatures. Then I pulled out our black cutting board I had stuck in the freezer overnight and collected some snow. We whipped out our magnifying glasses and looked at the individual flakes. But both Satori and I were a bit disappointed in these flakes, as yesterday, we had TONS of fresh fluffy snow falling down fast! Too bad I didn’t get the idea at that time.


Examining Snow

If you click on this photo for more detail, you can kinda see some 6-pointed snowflakes.


Using a microscope on snow

We were so happy to see our neighbors use their big truck to plow our overwhelmingly steep and long driveway, we’ve been stuck at home all week! Just like Katy and the Big Snow, we needed help to get out of our house. 🙂


Plowed driveway, we can get out of our house!

Satori narrates our new book we just made today – Vicky and the Big Mess. She is so proud of her books! This is our book we made to illustrate the concept of personification which we learned from Katy and the Big Snow.

This week we studied Katy and the Big Snow, about a hardworking, strong, red snowplow named Katy who helps the town. Today was FIAR Math day, and it was simple to count things in the book, so we’re combining a few Language Arts and Art concepts learned, particularly PERSONIFICATION – where we give human traits to non-living objects, and we’ll take this to illustrate a book.

First we looked at Katy and the artwork in the book. We picked out 3 colors (red, yellow and green), same as used in the book and Satori went to work drawing Katy the snowplow with her “human eyes”. Here it looks like she personified the house (which for some reason is on stilts) too!


I had a new Bare Books order I was trying to hide from Satori for the right time, but she kept finding it. She was not going to rest until we made a new book! So this was the perfect opportunity to apply the concept of Personification. I had her choose an inanimate object – gave her a choice of vacuum or car and she also threw in a lightbulb and mop. She ended up choosing a vacuum. Then we chose a name for her – Vicky. I asked her to give her human characteristics – friendly and clean. Together we mapped out a plot, complete with climax!

Vicky is a blue and orange vacuum cleaner who is clean and friendly. She is proud of her clean living room floor.


In the book, something dreadful happens and Vicky and her friend Molly the Mop swoop/sweep in to save the day!


And here’s our finished crystal snowflakes. They turned out very pretty! Click the pictures to see the little crystals in better detail.





We will have to remember to put these on our Christmas tree!


Our first one (shown below) wasn’t as impressive as the second ones we made. My mistakes were not measuring the borax, I simply stirred until the borax didn’t dissolve at the bottom, I think I put too much in. Then I added more boiling water a few hours later. Satori also kept disturbing them, hehe. So not a “perfect” experiment.


You can see in the background that we are getting quite a bit of snow.


It’s 10:30am and it’s still falling slowly but steadily.


Still waiting for our crystals (see previous blog post), had we started this morning, they might be forming by now. I hear once they start, it is amazing to watch and they form fast.


Meanwhile, we had a great day not even leaving the house today! I’m so glad we got some snow.


Usually when it snows here it just spits out a bit of snow, melts fast and then is 60 degrees a few hours later. Today we got to see the glory of all kinds of snowflakes, from small dry ones, to big fluffy flakes, to huge wet gobs! I always think of the Eskimo who have many names for snow. Here’s an even bigger list for names of snow.

What a coincidence as today was our FIAR art day for Katy. While we were in the kitchen making snowflake crafts, the snow was coming down outside.


Here’s an example of our fluffier type of snow. I wish I would have used my close-up 105mm lens to get the snowflake detail.


The snow has not been “sticking” yet, maybe tomorrow. If it does, we’ll find a place to go sledding!

Satori begged for more crafts to do, so we started some more snowflakes. Here Satori selected some nice color palettes of markers and drew on some coffee filters.


She then sprayed them down with water.


Waiting for them to dry, it just took a few hours.


And they’re up!