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Archive for April, 2009

We’re on our vacation and have seen 5 national parks so far! Arches, Canyonlands, Capital Reef, Bryce and Zion. With a 4 year old, we have stuck to easy, 1 mile or less hikes and have seen some gorgeous wonders. I love geology and learning how the world formed, so I could easily spend weeks here, but we have to cram it all in one week.

Arches National Park



Canyonlands National Park



Capitol Reef National Park

Fremont Indians petroglyph (800 AD)

Fremont Indians petroglyph (400-1350 AD)

Bryce Canyon National Park


Satori and I celebrated Earth Day 2009 today. Once I told her that Earth Day was a holiday, she got very excited and said we can help keep the earth healthy! Exactly the point my dear. 🙂

We discussed ways we can keep the earth healthy and clean and then after dinner we made the earth. Of course I got a chance to throw in a geography lesson. 🙂 We’re going over the 7 continents this week as part of our new phase of homeschooling (more about that later), so I whipped up a quick project, only figuring out what to make as I scrimmaged around in our craft room.

Foam Earth

  • Foam sheets in blue, green, white, brown (we lucked out and had some blue foam circles lying around)
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • String

Foam Earth supplies

Foam Earth supplies

To start, I very roughly cut out some basic continent shapes. Most of the continents were green shapes, with Antarctica being white. Satori ran to get her tiny earth globe, and then glued the first side of continents, matching up the shapes to her globe. She pasted Antarctica on the bottom before even getting her globe though!

Pasting continents on earth

Pasting continents on earth

After all continents were glued on, we looked at our globe, decided to add Greenland as another white land mass. Then to demonstrate a few mountain ranges, we also glued on brown strips to add more dimension (and color) to our earth!

Side 1 was North America, South America and Antarctica.

side 1

side 1

Side 2 was Europe, Asia, Australia, Africa, and Antarctica again.

side 2

side 2

Remember that this was a last-minute project, I very roughly cut out the continents, and gave Satori the liberty to paste them on as she saw fit. So things may not be totally geographically accurate and to scale. 😉

As you can see, we punched a hole and strung it up for it to twirl around and remind us of our beautiful and wondrous earth!

Driving back from our Wisconsin vacation, we just so happened to listen to the news and find out that our mountain area got almost 5 feet of snow as we were driving home! Depending on the source, 51-56 inches of wet, heavy snow. The National Guard was even called in to help with stranded travelers. So we extended our stay at my parent’s and also on our drive home stayed at our ‘dog hotels’ (La Quinta accepts dogs) for two nights. David had to fly back to Minnesota to work yesterday, and Satori and I drove home.

Luckily our neighbors are excavators so our driveway was plowed, but we still couldn’t make it up the hill to our house. Just a short steep walk though. Today I had quite a bit of packages to send out, and walking through the rapidly melting, but still 3 feet of snow and then up our steep driveway with heavy bins wasn’t very much fun. I had to use a sled part of the way.


I have been really missing our homeschool learning and can’t wait to start again. I miss updating this blog daily and taking photos. So I just snapped a few random shots. 🙂

My Bengal cat glaring at me:



And my lovely daughter smiling at me:

Satori Smiles

Satori Smiles

We may row a quick FIAR book this week, and I might do “Very Last First Time”, as my husband has been dying for us to row a book about Canada, as he’s Canadian. 🙂

Next week we head to an unexpected vacation – hiking in Utah!

Waiting for the last few minutes before the sun sets, Satori and I had fun with our “on the farm” photo shoot.

Satori on the farm

Satori on the farm






I decided to start exploring history with Satori and make it come alive for her. We’ll be doing archaeological digs, building pyramids, replicating the Nile river to name a few things in just the first few months! I’m designing my own curriculum based on many different history resources – history picture books, story books, go-along books, and much more. I have a rough draft of the first 12 lessons and if anyone is interested, I can share the lessons once they’re finalized. Our program which we’ll start this spring  is geared for 4-8 year olds, just like FIAR. I know that the Five in a Row program encompasses history, but I thought it would be easier to learn all this in a chronological order, starting with Ancient times.

Here’s some of the resources we’ll be using:

The Usborne Internet Linked Encyclopedia of World History

The Usborne Internet Linked Encyclopedia of World History

A Little History of the World

A Little History of the World


Story of the World


The weather was sunny, 60’s and beautiful on the farm in Wisconsin today! It was fun seeing some of the relatives, and after our Scrabble marathon, I thought I’d add just a few photos from the day.

Dying eggs:





Waking up on Easter


Satori’s new bike


Uncle Justin shows her how to ride



Justin takes a turn!



We are on “spring break” in at Grandma’s and Grandpa’s in Wisconsin for the next week and a half. 🙂 I won’t be posting to the blog everyday, but will probably get to it every other day or so.

Satori's suitcase

Satori's suitcase

Satori presented Grandma with her flower vase gift:

Grandma's gift from Tori

Grandma's gift from Tori

Satori has been talking non-stop about doing her “homework”, and I swear this has nothing to do with me. 🙂 She wanted to write a letter for Grandma, and told me what she wanted to write, and I told her what letters to write, sometimes having her sound out the words.

Homework letter

Homework letter

We do not plan to do any Five in a Row over the next week while we’re here, but it looks like we can certainly practice our handwriting! 🙂