Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Whole Wheat Pumpkin Muffins

I love pumpkin bread and have been wanting to make some pumpkin muffins for a while.  When I bake I try and use whole wheat organic flour and limit the sugar and oil.  I got the basis of this recipe here but changed it a little.  This uses applesauce and no oil. I think these muffins turned out perfect!  These made a dozen regular muffins and 24 mini muffins.

Whole Wheat Pumpkin Muffins

2 cups whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 can pumpkin
1/3 cup buttermilk 
2 eggs, slightly beaten
2 Tbs ground flax seed (optional)

1. Preheat an oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Grease 12 muffin cups, or line the cups with paper muffin liners.

2. Stir together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon spice; set aside. Add the brown sugar, applesauce, pumpkin, buttermilk, beaten eggs, and ground flax seed and mix until well blended. Fold in the pecans, if desired.

3. Divide the batter evenly in the prepared muffin pan. Bake in the preheated oven until the tops spring back when lightly pressed, 15 to 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool the muffin pan on a wire rack for 5 minutes before removing the muffins from the pan.  Cook mini muffins for 10-12 minutes.

*If you don't have buttermilk, add 1 tsp vinegar to the milk and let set for at least 5 minutes. 

My little helper

1 dozen regular muffins

2 dozen mini muffins

Friday, October 25, 2013

Week 10: My Father's World K - Unit 6: Turtles

We just finished our 10th week of Pre-K!  Blue Rock and I are having a lot of fun.  I never would have dreamed I would homeschool.  I love watching him grow and learn.  In fact, last Sunday I was so impressed with his coloring in the lines at church.  His Sunday school class made puppets as we studied Ester.  My husband and I are teaching his class again so I got to see first hand how well he did.  This is a big accomplishment considering he wanted nothing to do with coloring a year ago.  He doesn't always stay in the lines but seeing that he can gave me a lot of joy!

This week we started Unit 6: Turtles of My Father's World Kindergarten.  Our main theme is "I don't quit, I persevere!"  The letter was "T" and the number was "6."

Memory Verse: Galatians 6:9- Let us know become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.

Poem: I'm including our poem from this week because it was one of Blue Rock's favorite poems this year. He memorized it really quickly. I'll post it at the end of this post. It's called The Little Turtle by Vachel Lindsey.

Monday: We talked about turtles, read our Turtle Poem for the week and did our table work.  Then we went to one of our homeschool friend's house for a playdate.  My friend made lunch, I brought a fruit salad, another mom brought chips, and the kids had a blast.  I wish I would have gotten a few pictures of Blue Rock and one of his friends riding in her car. They were so cute! Now Blue Rock wants his own car for Christmas. We'll see...  We did part of his school work in the morning and finished the rest when we got home in the afternoon. 

Tuesday: Blue Rock did part of his school work this morning, then we went to church for my ladies' Bible class, then ate lunch with his friend, Jake, and his mom, one of my friends. Then we came home and finished up our school work.  Since we're talking about turtles and not giving up, I thought of an extra activity to do.  Blue Rock wanted to do the tablets that turn into sponges.  Well, those can take a while to work.  So as he watched and we waited, we talked about not giving up and having perseverance.  I also made him a turtle snack.  Today was handwriting day.  It actually didn't take as long as it sometimes does.  Partly because I told him he'd have to finish his page before we could meet his friend for lunch.  I also told him he had to do his best job and not just rush through it. He did really good.  T is not very hard to write so it worked out well.  He does really good with the sound identification page of identifying what each picture starts with.  I think I'm going to start making that more challenging by having him write the letter that each picture starts with as well as telling me.  I also opened the busy bags we got from our busy bag exchange.  He did a few activities.
Practicing Ts

Great job!

Sound identification page

Cade and Jake

We stopped by the $1 store and he put on this mask and wanted his picture taken

Watching the tablets, waiting for them to turn into sponges
The tablets are turning into dinosaurs

Notice we had time to change clothes before this change happened.
The weather in TX changes from cold to hot almost daily!

Memory game

Listening and instruction game
Wednesday: Today Blue Rock made a turtle magnet, worked on his memory verse (we do this everyday), did some math work, started the blend ladder, painted, did some dot paint, and played with play-doh. He also helped me make three sensory bins for an upcoming Halloween party.  He started getting a cough, so in the evening I made some natural cough, flu, and sleep gummies.  We ended up skipping church just in case he was coming down with something.

Thursday: My friend, Paylee, came over and joined us for lunch today. We are starting two letter blends and three letter words.  Blue Rock's been able to sound out words for a while but I'm following the instructions for My Father's World Kindergarten so I don't miss a step.  I've never done the blend ladders before and think it's working pretty well. He painted two plates green and made a turtle which he played with throughout the day.  I gave him a laundry basket to be his turtle shell and he pretended to be a turtle for over an hour! It gave me a chance to fold laundry and get some things done while we talked about turtles and tortoises. He also did work in his Developing the Early Learner book.  We've been reading The Tortoise and the Hare by Janet Stevens and Frog and Toad are Friends along with several other books.  Since our letter this week is T, I thought books on turtles, tortoises, and toads would be a good fit to tie in with our other learning activities.

Friday: We met my dad for lunch today. Then we came home and finished Developing the Early Learner level 1 book!  I just got level 2 in the mail, so we can start that next week. I've enjoyed seeing how he thinks and learning about his perceptions on things.  He did the drawing page and I let him draw four pictures with any letter that we've gone over so far.  He drew a lock for L, turtle for T, moon for M, and sun for S.  He also practiced writing those letters.  We made some acorn pom pom decorations for fun.  Then I took him outside to run a race.  At first he ran it normal, then I added a heavy backpack.  He's trooper, it was supposed to slow him down but he pushed harder and beat his earlier time.  Little stink!  So my lesson was that the large, heavy backpack was supposed to make it harder, which it really did and compare that with sin in our life.  I talked about sin some and how God forgives us and wants us to be free from the yucky stuff like sin.  Then I read Hebrews 12:1b: So let us throw off everything that stands in our way. Let us throw off any sin that holds on to us so tightly. Let us keep on running the race marked out for us. I was able to also tie this in with not quitting even when it may be harder to do something, such as run a race with a heavy backpack on.Then he played outside for a while. It's such a nice day!

The Little Turtle
by Vachel Lindsey
- I made up hand motions to go along with this

There was a little turtle.
He lived in a box.
He swam in a puddle.
He climbed on the rocks.

He snapped at a mosquito.
He snapped at a flea.
He snapped at a minnow.
And he snapped at me.

He caught the mosquito.
He caught the flea.
He caught the minnow.
But he didn't catch me.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Fall Sensory Bins

It's been a few years since I've made a sensory bin. I used to make these when Blue Rock was younger when we lived in Germany. One of our homeschool groups is having a Halloween Party and I got volunteered into making a few sensory bins. There's quite a range of ages in our group. I wanted a Fall theme but also a few things that could tie in with Halloween. I'm not a huge Halloween person but don't mind adding spiders and such to a sensory bin. You can call these Halloween Sensory Bins or Fall Sensory Bins. I made three bins: black, white, and Autumn themed. Blue Rock helped me put them together and seemed to have some fun with them. He liked the beans the most. I mean, who doesn't like sticking their hand in a bin of beans? Here are the bins I made and what's inside.

1. Black Sensory Bin. I used black beans as the base. Then I added some spiders, snakes, bats, black buttons, black bugs, and some black pipe cleaner bracelets I made.  Basically anything I could find that was black I added.  I started off including a few cat tails.  However, they were a feathery mess so I took it out.  I'll probably add a scoop or spoon to this one for the party.

What's in the black sensory bin

Helping add the beans
Finding and adding black objects to the bin
2. White Sensory Bin.  The base for this one was white spider web I got in the Halloween section at Walmart.  I added white buttons, white skulls, white pipe cleaners, and cotton balls.  This one has a lot of soft things in it.

White Sensory Bin

Playing with the spider web
3. Fall Sensory Bin. The base for this sensory bin was Autumn colored leaves.  I went to three stores looking for leaves.  I finally saw some at Michael's.  We added some red, orange, and yellow snakes, Fall colored pipe cleaners, an orange pumpkin, white pumpkin, different colored leaf buttons, sponge dinosaurs, fake berries, and bugs.

Fall Sensory Bin

Helping cut the leaves off of the vine
Here are some pictures of different supplies I got to put in the bins.  Some of the items I forgot to take pictures of. I bought these things at the Dollar Tree, Walmart, Sprouts (bulk section for extra black beans), and Michael's.  I ended up not using the spiral pasta, pinto beans, or cat tail.

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