Monday, October 26, 2009


Three, Jack o'Hearts, and Four went about one month ago (or so) to one of our local forest preserves, for a little letterboxing. (Hey, Drama Mama - about 500 yards from where the JM's Monster party was!) Found the letterbox, and also couldn't help but notice the acorns! They were everywhere!

Now, I've read here: Acorn Harvesting and here that you could eat acorns. So, trying to follow directions, we sorted, dried, sorted, sorted, and sorted the acorns. Today was processing day for the acorns.

Naturally the best part is the kids' reactions when they find the little grubs that have come out of some of the acorns down at the bottom of the bucket or bowl. EEEK! I keep telling them that they are just extra protein, but so far, they haven't warmed up to them. Can't say I blame them. They're creepy.

We soaked them in boiling water once, twice, thrice, four, five and now six times. They're still bitter, but getting better with every wash. I'm hopeful that before I go to bed, we'll have some edible acorns. Then I plan to make: ACORN Cookies.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Something Homeschool Related

Not letterboxing for a change, although I've got 3 boxes ready to plant, and plan to get out sometime this weekend with my reluctant boxer, Deuce.

I tried something different today. Following the lead of Gina at Spotty Banana, we're making Tuesdays "IPT" day. (Independent Project Tuesday)

So, you might wonder, what did the kids do today with so much leeway? Ace finished her paper for American Government. (yay!) Deuce learned how to upload her photographs on to SnapFish, so she could have an empty card to film a movie onto. She then made a concept board, scenery, and came up with props and such for a "Polly Pocket" music video. Sadly, there is no good way to hold a Polly and make them dance, so she tied yarn around their necks, and it looks like the gallows dance (to me, anyway.)

Three decided she'd like to work on a Brownie Try-It badge on doll and puppet making. She began with the yarn doll. We worked on one together, and it turned out quite nicely. Then she made one for herself. Ace, Deuce and the others also got in the act, so for about 2 hours they made yarn dolls and talked about them. During the discussion, they decided that they would film a short movie about the yarn dolls, now called the "Its." They created a whole mythology about the Its and their enemy, the evil "Things." I'd relate it here, but as it is lengthy and complicated, and about yarn dolls, I won't. It was very creative, however.

So what did they learn? What skills did they use? How many skeins of yarn did they go through? I'm not sure, but as I was tucking Deuce in tonight, she told me that now she loved Tuesdays. Stay tuned.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Boxing with my kids

Yep, another letterboxing post. This time with pictures - no spoilers, though. The day was lovely, sunny but cool. Perfect fall, crunchy leaves. We had a good time looking for a series of 6 boxes that was hidden in a nearby forest preserve.

These two had a nice time exploring off the trail.

Ace stamping in.

Three and Ace sharing a log.

Deuce was more interested in building fairy houses and finding Osage oranges and interesting fungi, but she had fun despite herself.

It's amazing what a mood lifter going out into the woods for a couple of hours is. When we began, it was pick, pick, pick, but by the end of it, even Deuce and Jack O'Hearts were getting along (and that's saying something!)

During the hike, in addition to the Osage oranges, we found black walnuts, acorns of several varieties and hickory nuts. They are all rolling around the back of my car right now.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

He Blinded Me with Science!!

Jack O'Hearts is learning about osmosis. Here he is getting an experiment together. The science book is a nothing-special book I got in the dollar section of Target, but he is having lots of fun learning, plus, it comes with stickers. Everyone likes stickers!

Pouring the water into the cups

Measuring the baking soda.

Putting the cotton string between the cups

Drawing the results.

After the experiment had set about a week, the water had gone up into the string, and left deposits of baking soda on the string. The string was also hard as a rock, even though there was still water in both cups. I didn't get pictures of that part.

A good experiment!

The boy thought so too!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Brace Yourself!

Do you notice anything different about Ace in the side bar?

Maybe you need to see it closer:

How about now?

Okay, See them now??


Sunday, October 4, 2009

Boxy boxy

It was a boxy boxy weekend!

First, my lovely little sister came down from Minneapolis to take some CEC over at O'Hare. She crashed on the futon. Sadly, we didn't get to do as much damage together as we would have liked, but we still managed to have fun and eat an entire cheesecake.

Second, my friend Mo and I went up to Waukesha, WI for Boxacon 2009. We had a fantabulistic time exchanging stamps with our letterboxing friends, asking (and answering) tricky questions for more stamping fun, and then to top it all off, tromping around in the woods for four hours to find a whole bunch more stamps. It was truly paradise!!

Then today my sister and I decided we would find yet more boxes, and travelled north to get about 5 more. Plus it was a nice day for a good walk. I'm hoping the tromping around in the woods is an adequate substitute for a work-out. It is a lot more fun, that's for sure.

Tomorrow it is back to school stuff as usual. Ace is still working on that novel, and will hopefully finish off her chapter in the math book. Deuce has had violin practice challenges. So much so that I have threatened her with missing our friends' halloween mini-golf party if she doesn't get her music down. Ug. I hate having to do that. Three is reading like a champ. She just needs to keep moving along with her stuff. I have more material about Spain that we haven't done yet, but it is time to move on to learn about France. I guess they will just have to play a little catsup.

The King of Hearts is out in Vermont this week. It is going to get pretty lonely around here with out him. I hope he gets some good pictures of leaves.