Nunez News

Friday, September 30, 2011

Backyard nature

We had to pass on our weekly nature outing with our friends this week because of a cold we have going on right now. Fortunately it's just a cold, stuffy nose, residual cough and no fevers.
So I had the kids look for things in our backyard (leaves, rocks, bugs) and collect them in their new burlap sacks they just made the other day.
So they collected a few things and I had to figure out what it was/where it came from.

Basil leaf, watermelon leaf, tomato leaf, strawberry leaf, and a nice rock.

Pear tomato, tomato leaf, grass, strawberry leaf, grape leaf, another tomato leaf, rock and basil leaf.

Kiera stumped me on which leaf came from which tomato plant. :)

I like her title  :)

Such precision and concentration, love it!

While we were waiting for their paintings to dry we got our sandals on and went down stairs to the park. But not without getting dressed up first. ;)

So that's how you wear and eye patch! ;)

Collected a few pinecones, saw some butterflies, heard something in the bushes and discovered it was a bird. It wasn't a very long outing since the kids are on the mend so they got tired pretty quickly. But it was nice.

For those who might be interested, the burlap sacks were pretty simple. I had a roll of burlap so we cut a piece, folded it so the seam was at the opening and the kids sewed them together with yarn and a plastic knitting needle. I braided Nathan's strap but Kiera braided her's. I hot glued where they sewed just because I know the ends of the burlap will fray and I don't want the sack to fall apart when that happens. Kiera added beads to hers and Nathan plans to.

Aquarium of the Pacific

Last week we went to the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach for one of their homeschool days. The last time I had been to that aquarium was when Kiera was 8 months old and it had been even longer since Robert had been.
One of the first things we checked out were the sharks and the touch tanks. Though right after we got there it was feeding time so we couldn't touch the sharks for about 15 minutes. So we headed down the walk to view the bigger sharks.


Up to the touch tanks one more time since feeding time was over and our fingers were no longer in danger.

 Fun stuff!

It was starting to get a bit warm so we headed back inside to see the seals and sea lions.
Don't know who the kid is on the right but I think he was enjoying the seal lions just as much as my kids. :)

Kiera's favorite were the Puffin's. We hung out and watched them for quite a while.

We also got to touch moon jellies which are like jelly fish but I guess their sting isn't as strong as a jelly fish so they're safe(r) to touch. Nathan liked them, Kiera liked looking at them and did not want to touch them.
Nathan said touching the moon jellies was his favorite. 

They both agreed touching the sharks was a favorite thing, Nathan added in touching the "live" sting ray as "another favorite thing". :)

Our last stop before heading home was the Lorikeet Forest.

So pretty! So loud!

Nathan wanted one to sit on his hand so bad. One even nibbled on him, I think it was grumpy.

Robert pretended to have food for them so this one jumped on his arm though it didn't stay long since he really didn't have food. It did jump onto Nathan's arm for a quick second.
He was so happy! I was happy for him!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Chocolate Cake!

Yesterday was Robert's dad's birthday. So today (for school) we baked Papa Robert a cake!

The Bakers with their baking attire and the apron pockets filled with measuring and mixing spoons. "Does anyone have the teaspoon?" I asked. Kiera reaches in her pocket, "yes, here it is mom." :)

Our recipe. We used a little less sugar, about 1/2 a cup of butter (actually a butter substitute because it was soft), 1/3 cup of buttermilk and only 1 cup of milk and a big chunk of zucchini peeled and finely grated (to add moisture for using less butter).

Mixing the dry ingredients

Creaming the sugar

After whipping the eggs in one at a time we added the buttermilk/milk and the dry ingredients rotating back and forth until we put all the ingredients and mixed until it looked smooth.

After the cake cooled, time to decorate!

For the frosting we used butter (less than 1/2 cup), 1 cup powdered sugar, 1 1/2 tsp vanilla, maybe 1/4 cup of milk (I didn't measure) and 2 Tablespoons cocoa powder. We actually melted everything together, mixed it well and poured it just on top of the cake. Then Kiera sprinkled sweetened coconut on top because Papa likes coconut. :)

The tell tale sign of a baker, the flour on the arm. haha

She put more than this on top.

After the cake was finished it went in the fridge, we ate dinner (made a big pot of beans today), then with the cake and vanilla ice cream stopped by Papa and Grandma's house for a surprise happy birthday. We did forget the candles but fortunately most people have at least one birthday candle in their cupboard.

2 thumbs up for this one. It was yummy!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Pour out my heart

Here I am, once again. I pour out my heart for I know that You hear. Every cry, You are listening. No matter what state, my heart is in. You are faithful, to answer. With words that are true and a hope that is real. As I feel, Your touch. You bring a freedom to all that's within. In the safety of this place, I'm longing to...
Pour out my heart, to say that I love You
Pour out my heart, to say that I need You
Pour out my heart, to say that I'm thankful
Pour out my heart, to say that your wonderful.
                                Lord, You're wonderful!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Nature study story 9-17-11

I asked Kiera to tell me about our last nature outing at Peter's Canyon this past Thursday. Robert had the day off so he was able to join us, which was awesome because he helped with trail map reading and holding Domenic when he got tired. We walked 2 miles with the kids and they did awesome! There were a couple hilly parts along the way, but fortunately it was right after lunch so they were ready to go.

Story told by Kiera

On the way to Nature Studies I saw a crane. I saw scat on our nature studies. We also saw sunflowers kind of by the beginning.
And we also saw a frog, a flat frog. It looked like it was ran over by a bike or someone stepped on it.
Mom did you know that spiders have 8 eyes? Silas said spiders have 8 eyes and I looked in our book and I said, 'you're right Silas, spiders do have 8 eyes!'
And we also saw a red huckleberry and we also saw peppercorns when we sat down to eat our lunch.
We saw a road runner after lunch. We even got super close to it.
And we were walking towards a hill and we saw the biggest hill, we ran up it and we almost slid down it but we walked sideways so we didn't slip.
On the way back from nature studies, not on the road but on the trail, we heard a scratching sound, we thought it was a lizard in the bushes. And a little bit later we heard a sound like a beaver sound, but we didn't quite know what it was. We thought it was a beaver but we didn't know, like in k-n-o-w.

The end Mom

Monday, September 12, 2011

Garlic Herb Bread

The other day I was having a grumpy day. Feeling funky and just overall not a happy camper.
It started with waking up to a whiny little guy at 6am. I don't mind waking up early, he usually gets up around 6:30 these days, it's the whiny/grumpy thing that bugs me. I think I was more irritated because I was planning on getting up early to have my personal devotion/quiet time with the Lord and my plans were foiled by little mister. That kinda frustrated me. It shouldn't have, but it did.
Robert was home but planning on getting yard work done. So he was outside while I was inside doing school with the kids and trying to keep little man happy. He didn't know what he wanted. He needed to just go back to sleep.
So when Robert was done in the yard he planned to make a trip to the hardware store to buy some wood to build a gate and I told him to just take Nathan (we were all going to go) and I would keep Kiera so we could bake some bread. He offered to take Domenic (very considerate) but he wouldn't be able to get what he needed trying to watch one and hold the other. So I kept him and I was feeling better and he was looking tired.

Baking can be very relaxing! That and the smell of your creation in the oven is soothing.

Here is our bread baking experience.

garlic wrapped in foil ready to roast, drizzled olive oil on the garlic

40-45 minutes later, smelling good

Kiera peeling the cloves

The kids like peeling garlic cloves, even raw ones. It's funny but very helpful.

Our recipe

all mixed up, right before we folded in the garlic cloves
I asked, "are you watching sister?" haha

There's the tired face, oh and Kiera sprinkling herbs on top

Ready to bake! Parchment paper is awesome by the way.

Timer set for 40 minutes

Do you see that? We had to wait 45 minutes before we could taste it!

40 minutes was perfect!

Kiera's a much cuter baker than I, but I really like my apron that my sister got me. :)

It was quite tasty, Kiera didn't like it, but she's super picky. The boys liked it!

Kiera did most of the measuring and mixing.
That was our bread baking experience, there will be more.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Our 1st week of 1st grade

We just finished up our first week of school!
The kids enjoyed it and so did I. :)
One of the best things about this year so far is, I didn't spend much. Woo hoo! I'll share with you how that happened.

This is not in any particular order.

I forgot to put on the table, Charlotte's Web, Little House (On the Banks of Plum Creek), our Bible, a few Italian books, a science project book ($1) and some other shapes and Blue's Clues workbook (preK) stuff for Nathan (that I had already bought for Kiera) to have fun with and the Handbook of Nature Studies. And also the books we'll be reading for the Five In a Row. I'm sure there's more that I'm not able to think of right now.

Music for Little Mozart's is an introduction of music geared toward children ages 4-6 ($0). I've had these books for a while, I bought them when I took my piano pedagogy courses at Fullerton College. I was planning on using this curriculum for group classes but that didn't work out last year. This year Kiera and Nathan get to enjoy the journey of music and maybe I'll do classes in the near future. :)

This is a book that my mom gave me that she said she used ($0). It's more to see where your kids are at, kind of where they should be and just to see what we need to work on.

Since we're following mostly AO year 1 schedule this is the daily poetry reading for term 1. I found this at a used curriculum sale for $3. :) We take turns choosing the poems.

My mom also had the McGuffey speller and readers so we're using the speller and reading primer this year ($0).

I have Kiera do her copy work of our weekly memory verse. For copy work we work on quality instead of quantity. If it takes all week for her to finish her copy work that is fine with me. I tell her to stop when her hand gets tired, though I don't require much for her to write at one time ($0 already had and Grandma gave me a couple more notepads).

The write on wipe off boards are for me to use during phonics and math. Nathan usually does this with us ($2, $1each, already had the markers).

These ($2 workbooks) are what I'm mostly using for Nathan though Kiera will also be participating with the FIAR ($30, volume 2) fun and co-op that we're in. 

The top is a math workbook with puzzles, codes, games that I picked up for $7. It's supplemental to what we do on the wipe off boards.

The middle envelope that says "My Annual Progress" is a letter from one of the children we sponsor through World Vision. Her name is Pranita and she is from India and shares the same birthdate as Kiera. Kiera practices her letter writing and likes to draw pictures for her little friend.

The Spanish workbook (less than $7) is more for reference since I know enough spanish to teach my kids. I mostly use it for visual purposes since the words are by the pictures.

This is part of our Artists notebook. We study a different artist each term and term 1 is Jean Fragonard. I printed out his biography and read only a small portion of it to the kids every few days (it's 2 pages). I've also printed out (4 for now) images of his paintings. We looked at 2 during our first week. I have the kids look at the painting and then I cover it up and ask them what they think the picture is called and what they remember in the painting and where they think the people are at. I don't want to ask too many questions because I want them to give me their opinion and thoughts without much of my leading. They remember a lot of details.

This is Kiera's nature journal on the right. We were sitting out front while Robert was painting a gate, so I got the kids journals out and this is what Kiera wanted to paint. She hadn't seen the painting in a couple of days. Pretty good memory!

These are the only two books that I've had to buy for this year. Fortunately there's a good amount of books that I can read online or hear on librivox such as Parables of Nature, An Island Story, Tales from Shakespear and Thorton Burgess Bird Book. I'll also be using the library for a few books that we'll only need for a time. This is the part that has saved me $$, that and already having books that I've purchased three plus years ago or my mom had it already in her library. Make sure to buy used. I got the original unabridged hardcopy of The Jungle Book at the Goodwill for $1!

This is my weekly schedule that I designed. I had looked at many and finally came up with one that works for us. I printed out 12 copies for term 1 and will update a few things like our artist, composer and poetry book for term 2 and then again for term 3.

As you can see not everything on the schedule is suppose to get done every week. Like I said I'm following Ambleside's year 1 week by week. Though we're not reading the Blue Fairy Book we're reading AO Nine Tales which I can access online. There are a few other books that I haven't included on our schedule because I felt these were sufficient for us. I did a lot of praying while preparing our schedule!

Behind the 2 page weekly schedule I put a couple pieces of lined paper to add anything extra we've done during the week. Every day we did a little something extra. And... I did forget to add handicrafts to the schedule so I'll be writing them on the lined paper.

Our topical Bible study guide we do during our devotionals with the kids. We are also reading a chapter or portion of a chapter out of Matthew right now with them.

A couple things I didn't mention that are on our schedule are the hymns which we find online and our composer. We listen to compositions online through grooveshark that another wonderful mom put together to make it easy for us mom's studying the same composer.