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Monday, September 26, 2011

M-m-moon!

We finished our M-m-moon unit today. We had a lot of fun with this one! I did get one "Not ANOTHER moon book!?" from Miss K (and we didn't even get to read all the books in our book basket!). We got a little ahead of ourselves and went apple picking. Lots of pictures this week!
Playing Memory with the ABC Game Cards
(I really wish I had laminated these!)
Miss K working on the letter "M"
in the Cuisinaire Rods Alphabet Book
Exploring moon phases with Newman-O's
(They had to name the moon phase before eating it)

We decided to map out the distance between the Earth, moon and sun. Fortunately we got a long enough break from the rain to do this! We made a 4'4" sun out of construction paper, a 1/2" earth, and a 1/8" moon. We placed the earth and moon 14" apart and then took the project to the street. I think I may have gotten more out of this project than Miss K did; it was really interesting to contemplate the sizes and distances involved. We took our earth and moon up the road and measured out 461 feet. This was not really an exact science, but by the time we got to the sun's location, we had gotten pretty good at working together to measure out the 20 foot increments.
Our sun, earth and moon

Starting point!

...and 461 feet later...
The girls' favorite discovery was that the sun made a good kite....

"The earth and moon go around the sun, around the sun, around the sun!"

I later asked Miss K what she thought about the project and how it made her feel. She told me that when we are on the earth she feels big, but when we are in outer space, she feels very tiny.
We read a couple books about space travel (Floating in Space (Let's-Read-and-Find-Out Science 2) and Man on the Moon). Miss K, of course, wanted to know when we could go to outer space. David made some "space suits" for the girls out of an extra sleeping pad. They had a great time playing "Outer Space Penguins to the Moon"...
We learned about the moons of the other planets in our solar system and put some glow-in-the-dark planets up on our bedroom wall:
Doing this reminded me of the hospital scene in Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium where the nurse asks Eric what he is doing standing on the chair, and Eric replies, "I am making sure he has enough space!" (Great movie, by the way, for anyone who hasn't seen it!)

For book day we read Happy Birthday, Moon and then painted a scene from the book. Here is Miss K working on hers:
Work in progress!
And her finished masterpiece! I really like how it turned out!
Miss K's finished painting
I couldn't resist.. I made one, too:
Mommy's masterpiece
And finally, we explored how the craters on the moon are formed:



It would have been nice to use plaster for this, but we just used flour. 


M-m-moon reading list:

Man on the Moon by Anastasio Suen
Happy Birthday, Moon by Frank Asch
Mooncake by Frank Asch
Sun, Moon, and Stars by Mary Hoffman & Jane Ray
I See Myself by Vicki Cobb (discussion about how light reflects & simple experiments)

Moons by Anne Weisbacher

and of course... 
Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown

By the way, Goodnight Moon Story Adventures is a cute addition to this unit. I downloaded it from Currclick for $0.50. It includes study on the letter M and number 2 (and the concept of pairs), dictation, copywork, narration and nature study.  

Thursday, September 22, 2011

A-a-apple Song

...my two year old doing Kindergarten. I should be doing my own schoolwork now, but I'm having much more fun with Kindergarten!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Rawr!

Breakfast: Blended Cantaloupe Juice

After a few days of eating cooked foods (and feeling somewhat miserable for it), I've decided to continue with the raw foods. I'm having such a hard time getting back into it, though, for some reason after having a few cooked meals. I'm surprised how hard I've struggled with it for the past 4 days, but today I think I am getting back on track.

At this point I'm picking and choosing from my favorite recipes from the 21 day cleanse and just trying to stay as raw as I can. A couple of people have told me that I am crazy for doing this sort of thing (cleansing/fasting/eating raw food) and "denying myself all pleasures"to perhaps live a few extra months or years. Why do it if it is such a struggle?

The simple answer to that is: "Because it makes me feel good!" I definitely don't think that I am denying myself all pleasures. If anything, I am giving myself a gift! After eating raw foods for three weeks, I felt amazing- light, energized, happy.

Lunch: Raw Apple Pie
The hardest part of eating raw has been having to prepare two meals. The kids aren't quite as eager to eat many of the raw meals (yet, muahahaha). Miss H leans more towards the raw foods and does share my green smoothies and seems to enjoy crunching on raw veggies more than sandwiches, but Miss K wants cheese and bread (and could probably live off of Vegenaise on bread).

Today I started the day off with a blended cantaloupe juice, snacked on a salad in the early afternoon (and a few bites of the kids' fried potatoes). For lunch I had some raw apple pie. I sort of skipped dinner since I had to go do a magic show. I wasn't too hungry when I got home, but ended up having some leftover salad after all. My stomach is definitely feeling better than it has the past few days.  I'm looking forward to watermelon juice in the morning!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

S-s-sun!

I really like how we are getting eased in to MFWK. This morning Miss K told me that the "A-a-apple" song is her favorite song, and she has been singing different versions of it all day. Halfway through the S-s-sun unit, we decided to take advantage of the gorgeous weather and make these sun prints: 


We also made a sun dial this week (and discovered a couple days later that it does not work when the sky is overcast).
Our sun dial, made w/clay from the lake!
Checking the time..
We made some crafts...
Toilet paper tube suns
Miss K's sun painting


For book day, we read Moonbear's Shadow. We wanted to act out the story outside in the sun, but it was overcast and chilly, so we used a bear and a desk lamp and put on a puppet show instead. We then listed the ways Moonbear tried to get rid of his shadow, and Miss K drew out two of the ways.

Books we used for the Sun unit
How Moonbear tried to get rid of his shadow


Wordless Wednesday: More Butterflies!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Day 21

Raw Macadamia-Mango Ambrosia

I hope this post comes out at least somewhat coherently; I'm exhausted from this weekend, but wanted to get something posted, since today was the last day of the 21 Day Raw Food Cleanse! I'm a little sad and a little excited. I hate to admit that I fell off the wagon right at the end, but I did. I packed a bunch of raw foods for our camping trip this weekend (including this raw butternut squash salad that I haven't made in ages), but I still ended up snacking on the vegan quesadillas I had made for the kids. I had a bowl of oatmeal this morning after my fruit salad, and I also had a cup of coffee; there's nothing quite like a hot cup of coffee early in the morning after a slightly chilly night in a tent. I feel like I didn't get much "real" exercise in yesterday, either, although I did hike up and down a bunch of stairs at Natural Bridge (once lugging a sleeping Miss H). (Pictures of the trip are to follow.)

I wasn't very scientific about my progress during the past three weeks, so I'm not sure how much change there has actually been. I feel good, and I enjoyed the cleanse. I think I have lost about 3 pounds, but I'm not sure how much has been converted to muscle. I probably could have taken more advantage of the journaling and reading assignments, but I think it could have been stressful to 'force' myself to complete everything. Overall,  I am satisfied with what I did do in and with the 21 day cleanse, and will probably do it again in the future. I am stoked to have the resources from the program and to be able to refer back to them when I want. I'd have to say that I would absolutely recommend this program to pretty much anyone interested in improving his or her health, or anyone wanting to explore a vegan/vegetarian/raw food diet.

So, here I am "before" (this was about 2 days into the cleanse):


And "after":

Not bad, eh? ;)






Thursday, September 8, 2011

Raw Celery Soup #rawfood


I just had a big bowlful of this raw celery-avocado soup for an early lunch. For some reason I don't gravitate towards celery that much (I buy it and it ends up sitting in the fridge and getting old), but I found this combination of celery, avocado, and lemon so fresh and tasty that I have to file this recipe under "keepers".
Only a few more days of the cleanse to go! I am still debating whether to continue with the 28 Day Raw Food program right after this. What do you think? 

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Last Creation Day and a Schoolroom Snapshot

God-made/Man-made chart
Since my own classes started up on Thursday, I've been wondering if I have bitten off more than I can chew, and how to best organize our days. I was getting a little too comfortable during the long summer break. I'm really glad that we are ahead of the game in regards to Miss K's schooling; we fortunately have the flexibility to take it as fast or slow as we want. A couple of days ago I was feeling pretty overwhelmed and actually considered stopping and continuing MFWK next year. The next day I thought about doing just 3 or 4 days a week, instead. Then again, it seems that doing school each morning gives a nice start and structure to the day, so I think as long as I can enforce a nice long quiet time each afternoon, we could work it all in. The long weekend was refreshing for me. I even refrained from logging into class the whole day yesterday, which is something I really should try to do at least once a week for my own sanity.

Today we finished the Creation unit, and we're ready to start on S-s-sun.  But where is the sun? After this long, hot, dry spell, it's hiding and we're finally getting some rain! It would be nice to have some sun for the experiments, but at the same time, I'm not wishing away the rain.

I finally got the bulletin board up! The room has come together nicely, and I am so glad that we are finally using the downstairs space (even if it does give me another room to clean)!
Here's a view of where we've been spending most of our time:


I'll post more of the rest of the space when I get the styrofoam pieces swept up from Miss H's fun time today...

Into the final week #rawfood

Fresh squeezed OJ, mango, banana smoothie breakfast (I added spinach)
I made it through the first two weeks of the cleanse with no real cravings. As I move into the last week, though, they are suddenly rearing their ugly heads! I was a little surprised by the intensity of the cravings I have had during the past couple days. I think it is partly mental; the deep cleaning week is over and end is in sight! It might also be because I have been cooking such good food for the rest of the crew. (I don't know why I always feel like cooking especially tasty meals for my kids when I am fasting/cleansing!)

Yesterday was the first day I cheated at all during this cleanse. It was sort of a slippery slope that started with some raw "potato" salad and a handful of raw cheezy kale chips at the co-op. I told myself it was ok because, while not exactly cleansing, they were raw foods. However, in the evening I could not hold back and had several bites of the vegan lasagna I made for the kids' dinner. And then I finished Miss H's glass of hazelnut mylk. The more I think about it, I think that it is my natural tendency to want to EAT after doing a fast. Compared to what happened after my Master Cleanse, this was nothing. I think Jinjee and Storm (creators of the 21 day cleanse) have done a really good job with the transition in and out of the fast and deep cleansing segment of the program.

Moving into the last week, I am about 6 or 7 lbs. lighter than I was when I started, and am at my preferred weight. There is still some work to be done on the jiggly areas, but I'm back into a rhythm where I want to work out every day and don't feel quite right if I skip a day. The workout videos that come with the 21 Day Cleanse are good, but I also discovered this free yoga podcast that I had subscribed to on iTunes months ago and never listened to; the three classes that I have done so far have been really, really great.

My skin has also cleared up a lot. I'm still getting hivey, but it seems to be calming down again since cutting out the coffee and doing all the juice. I feel happy and in love with life, connected.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Winding Down the Deep Cleanse

Yesterday was the last day of the deep cleanse week! As I mentioned, my decision to do this program was pretty spontaneous, and I didn't realize quite how deep it would get (when I signed up, I didn't realize there would be a water fast). I made it through the week and, aside from a mild sore throat, am feeling good and very ready to start eating solid foods again! In fact, I am about to dig into my breakfast:

(Sorry for the poor photo, but my camera's batteries don't seem to be staying charged very long anymore.) I think at this point, my only complaint about this cleanse is that it is quite sweet... so much fruit! 
I'm looking forward to the last week!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Halfway~ Water Day

Today is the midpoint of the 21 day raw food cleanse; a water fast. I really like how my body is responding to this cleanse. I keep thinking back to the when I did the Master Cleanse, and I can safely say that I will never do that one again. It was an interesting experience in discipline, but 10 days of nothing but lemonade... blehh! All that lemon juice could not have been good for my teeth. The worst part was coming off of the cleanse, because I could NOT stop eating, and wasn't necessarily drawn to anything especially healthy.

In contrast, over the past week and a half on the raw food cleanse, I have felt so good! I've eaten my fill of really good food. I've exercised. I haven't felt hungry, nor have I had any cravings to speak of. I've been feeling really light and energized. Healthy. Strong. To be honest, there have been a couple recipes that I will not make again, but over all I have really enjoyed the meals. I feel much more balanced and grounded than I ever did on the Master Cleanse, and yet the cleansing action is totally comparable, if not greater than what I experienced with the lemonade cleanse.

I'm in heaven.... blended watermelon juice
Water only has been a little tough, but it's doable for just the one day. I am looking forward to tomorrow and starting other liquids again, like the blended watermelon juice that's been on the menu for several days. I'm such a watermelon junkie, and lately they have had really, really good watermelons at our Kroger. I can't believe I had never stuck a watermelon in a blender before; it is so delicious! Cantaloupe is also divine, and I'm eager to try the honeydew melon I bought today. Raw food makes me happy!!  Not having to clean my juicer also makes me happy! :D

Finishing Up With Creation

We're finishing up with the Creation unit! Here are Miss K's finished creation book and numbers. I had to bite my tongue several times during the week, when Miss K was working on her creation book pages and wanted to do it HER way. I suggested that she draw some rays on the sun, for instance, but she said that she didn't want to because "when she looks up at the real sun it just looks more like a circle [without rays]". The placement of the stars I thought was a little funny, too, but she said that she wanted to make hair for the moon. We had a really good time with this until, but the past couple of days have been a little slow, and we're looking forward to moving on! Miss H just jumps right in and wants to do school, too.

Creation Book

Creation Numbers
In other news, I discovered that the bulletin board did NOT arrive intact, after all. The frame is cracked in a couple places, but not too noticeably, so we hung it up after all.. I just don't feel like messing with it anymore.

S-s-sun, here we come!