Monthly Archives: May 2013

Beachy Fun


Sorry you haven’t heard much from us this week…we’re on our annual beach extravaganza. 😀

I thought I would share some pictures while we’re still here…

A house full of friends.


Sometimes really tired friends.


An incredible view.


A crazy dog. (Oh, Frank.)


And wildlife.





And picnics.


Lots and lots of exploration. 🙂



Okay, I’ll stop for now, but our beach adventures will continue! 😀 Have a fantastic week!

Study of Ancient Rome Continues…


We still have a few activities to complete before finishing our study of Ancient Rome, but I thought I would share some of our recent progress. 🙂


Creating a “clay” tablet to practice writing. 🙂


A soldier’s shield.


An eagle standard.


Scipio and the Punic Wars.


Playing a little game about the Appian Way. (Grace beat both Daddy and Frank…yes, the dog has been known to play some fascinating history games. 😉 )


My Day as an M&M

My Day as an M&M

Okay, just one more thing from our chocolate study, I promise. 🙂  Grace’s assignment for this one was to write a short story about waking up to discover she had been transformed into an M&M.  Here’s what she came up with:


“I’m falling!” I shouted, thrusting my arms out and pulling myself out of sleep.

“I’m not falling,” I mumbled.  I reached up to wipe my eyes, but found I could no longer move my arms.  I frowned, trying to pull my arms out from under the covers.  I soon realized that I didn’t have any arms!  I started panicking, flailing any limbs I had.  Suddenly, the smell of melting chocolate filled my head.

I tried turning my head, but instead moved my entire body.  A warm, gooey substance trickled down my back.  Slowly, I realized the chocolate-like aroma was me.  I was made entirely of chocolate!  Better yet, I was really fat with a big “M” printed on me.  I rolled my eyes.

“Don’t pass it on they said,” I hissed.  “No one can turn you into chocolate through the Internet.”  I flipped myself over so my back wouldn’t melt.  I then noticed it was very dark.  Looking around, I saw dozens of other M&Ms around me.  Strangely, I was the only green one.

The walls around me looked like they were cracked and falling until I saw they were made of paper.  Suddenly the ceiling ripped away, and a huge hand reached in.  It grabbed me, pulling me toward my gruesome death.  I squeezed my eyes shut.  I felt myself get closer and closer when, finally, I opened my eyes.

I was back in my bed, limbs attached and candy shell gone.  I passed my palms against my forehead.

“Okay,” I groaned.  “No more chocolate before bed.”

Chocolate Study Wrap Up


Grace and I had lots of fun with her chocolate study.  We finished up the study by making no-bake cookies this morning. 😀  Though it’s been a very interesting unit study, I’ll be glad to return to a house without so much junk food!  (Grace probably doesn’t agree. 😉 )

In other chocolate study news, we’ve tallied the results of our chocolate survey both here and on Facebook.  You probably won’t be stunned to know that milk chocolate was the overwhelming winner with 50% of the votes.  Sweet dark chocolate came in a distant second with 30.5% of the votes.  Semisweet chocolate had 11.5% of the votes.  Bittersweet and white chocolate tied with 4% each.

I think we’ll post Grace’s story about waking up as an m&m tomorrow. 🙂  Other exciting things for tomorrow?  We’ll be starting our study of owls!  Woohoo! 🙂


The outer shell of the completed folder.


The gooey center of the completed folder. 😉


No-bake cookies in progress.


Not much to look at, but they’re delicious!

Chocolate Survey


For part of our science enrichment, Grace is working on a unit study about chocolate.  Today we had the horrifying task of tasting several types of chocolate to determine our favorites. 😉  Okay, maybe it wasn’t so horrifying.  Grace and I both landed on semi-sweet chocolate as a favorite, but now we need your help!  We’re supposed to survey people about their favorite types of chocolate, so we’d love for you to take a moment and vote for your favorite type below.  (Never fear!  There will be graphing and math to come of this. 🙂 )


Ready to taste test!


Pondering the deliciousness. 🙂


A closer view of our samples.

Braaaaains! (And Stuff)


Grace has started doing a small independent research project each week. She picks her own topics and goes into research mode to learn new and exciting things. We’ve been doing this for three weeks, and I love the topics she’s chosen so far: Tokio Hotel (a German band she loves), how music boxes work, and the human brain. It’s so fun to see what she picks!

Here are some pictures of the results of her brain research (diagram and note cards):



Mother’s Day Painting


Grace painted a beautiful picture for her mom for Mother’s Day! We bought a really cool kit that included the canvas (with a very light outline of the hummingbird and flowers), all the needed paints and brushes, and information about painting techniques. Grace worked really hard and did a fantastic job with one of her first painting efforts. 😀






A Week of Beans


This was another activity from Grace’s Living Organisms unit…she placed some dried beans (we had some black beans in the cabinet) in a jar with cotton and water. Then the wait began. Here’s what happened over a week’s time:







It’s pretty amazing how fast those suckers grow with nothing but cotton, water, and sunshine! We’ll be transplanting them to little pots of dirt tomorrow. We’ll have a bean crop in no time. 😉

A Delicious Plant Cell


To go along with Grace’s recent “Living Organisms” unit, we’ve made a most fabulous plant cell cake. 🙂 Grace then “presented” the cake to Daddy, answering all of his questions about the various cell parts and their functions.




Of course, eating a little leftover frosting was required. 🙂

Area Puzzler Game Testing


I recently designed a new game for Nerd in the Brain called Area Puzzler… a fun little review of finding area of squares and rectangles while solving a puzzle.  Good times!  Grace, as usual, helped me test out the game to check for flaws and typos and things, and she stomped me at my own game!  That girl is a puzzle-solving ninja. 😀


Doing a bit of scratch work to solve a problem.


Puzzle in progress.


Puzzle complete!


Basking in the glory of victory! (Or maybe just looking at me wishing I’d stop taking pictures … who can really say?) 🙂

Anybody else play any awesome educational games this week?