Can you help another Mom?

One of the lovely ladies in my MOPS group is going through a major test of faith right now.

Here’s what she had to say:

My 8 month old daughter, Ainsley, was diagnosed 3 months ago with Sagittal Craniosynostosis – fusion of the sagittal suture at the top of her skull. Essentially, her soft spot fused shortly after birth, so her head is only able to grow front to back (not side to side). She’ll be having surgery on April 12th to remove a strip of skull and insert a dissolvable plate. She will likely be in Pediatric ICU at Dell Children’s for 5 days and then will be on very limited activity for 8 weeks, light activity for 12-16 weeks. I’ll be taking a leave of absence from my job for the remainder of the spring to care for her.
We keep a family blog, and I just did a post asking for fabric donations for a quilt I’m sewing for Ainsley. I’d like people to pray over a 12×12 square of fabric and then give it to me to sew into a patchwork quilt for Ainsley to have during her recovery at the hospital and at home. I’d love for anyone in MOPS to donate a square if they feel so compelled. Here’s my blog with the info. You can feel free to share that. I’m hoping to have the squares by March 11th so I can work on it over Spring Break.
Mostly, I covet prayers. It would mean the most to me if people would pray for her leading up to surgery and beyond. It’s so hard to have your sweet baby undergo something so serious. Also, prayers for my 3 year old daughter, Emerson. I know things will change a lot during this period of time and that may be difficult for her to understand.
Thank you for thinking of me.I am truly touched!
I emailed her to see if I could put this up on my blog, and she had no problem with it.  If any of you are so inclined just followed the link and all the information you need is there (and if any of you are going to try and embroider anything she did say she was going to cut the squares down smaller if she gets enough to make it smaller).
She’s asked for 100% cotton 12×12 squares, so my plan is to go up to my sewing/school room this afternoon and look through it all.
And I’ll return to my regularly scheduled posts later on today, I just need time to write them, but this was the most important one to my mind.

Science Sunday: Cow bones

Science Sunday

I dug this up out of my drafts because I didn’t have time to write the post I intended for today. It’s been one of those weeks. Unbelievably busy.

I’d wanted this to be further away from our chicken bone experiment, but that’s the way the cookie crumbles, so to speak.

So, every time we eat steak my boys ask if they can have the bones and give them to Mimi’s dog.  They’re always very disappointed in the answer that we didn’t buy a steak with bones in it.

And then they’re even more disappointed to find out that most bones from cows are not okay to feed dogs because they splinter.  Oh the horrors and cruelty that we won’t give the dogs a bone, they cry in pain in anguish.

Okay, that last sentence might be an exaggeration, but they are disappointed.

008 So, finally one day we ate a T-bone and I saved off the bone.  I boiled all the meat off to get to just the bone, and then washed it off.  Yes I suppose I could have let them handle the bone just as it was after we ate the steak, but after their problems with following directions on sanitation before and having to wash throw out toys……..

005 004
Then we observed the bone.  Here’s their comments:
Batman: “It’s rubbery.” describing the sides, and for the top, “It’s rough and it’s shaped like a Y.”
Superman: “It’s smooth.” for the sides, and for the top, “It’s like sandpaper.”
Princess: “It’s slippery and rubbery,” for the sides, and the top “is scratchy.”  A lot of things are scratchy right now.

It’s a fun simple science activity.  I tried to draw out their descriptions, but they weren’t interested in describing it more, mainly they were trying to figure out what kind of bone they could give to a dog because “dogs like bones Mommy.”

Don’t you just love simple activities like this?

How to Make a Cherry Pie and see the USA

Much like “How to Make an Apple Pie and See the World,” is a LOT of traveling.

While last time I followed all the traveling on our map and took pictures, this time we used the map in the back of the book, so no pictures of that part of our activity, but like last time we did make the pie.  Only this time I used their pie crust recipe, but I was lazy and used the canned filling this time.

I had some eager and willing helpers to mix everything up.

Do you know how hard it is to make sure everyone gets a chance to pour at least two things in when you’re dealing with a 4 ingredient recipe?  It takes some creative scrambling, and a lot of careful warnings about how to stir calmly.021

Not like a crazy mad woman who is going to get flour all over herself and the dog.

Yes, I’m looking at you Princess.

They were all set to help me roll out the dough, but after one too many arguments of who stood on what chair I relegated them to watching some “Martha Speaks,” and rolled it out myself in relative calm.

In actuality, I rolled it out, and if I were someone prone to cussing or large amounts of yelling, I would have.  This was the most crumbly pie crust recipe ever.  It rolled out just fine, but when I was trying to put it in the pan it would crumble while I was trying to fold it and put it in.

Ugh, and then the kids weren’t even all that great of fans of it in the end.  Oh well, they enjoyed the book immensely and we all had fun mixing it.  That’s what’s important right?

Oh, and as soon as I saw the post over at Almost Unschoolers I figured out we should have talked about George Washington and the cherry tree as well.  There’s always next time.

Shibley Smiles Favorite Resource This Week

Geography: Kansas


As I mentioned (I think, I know I did over at ABC & 123), we’re restarting our state studies with 2 other families, but I wanted to finish up posting about what we’ve done so far, before restarting it all.


This time we’re going in order of the states entering the Union.  So, on Wednesday (which will be yesterday for you guys, if I schedule this for Thursday), we’ll have studied Delaware.  And the week after that we’ll be learning about Pennsylvania.


So, any suggestions for Pennsylvania and New Jersey would be much appreciated (I have some ideas for Pennsylvania, but none yet for NJ).


However, back to Kansas:



Here’s what you see:


On the left: meadowlark, buffalo


Aunt Minnie and the Twister paintings (that’s what’s in the envelope)



On the right hand side: sunflower paintings

State symbols book (link to printable)


Twisted Tale (in the pocket are the illustrations)


And on the bottom is the life cycle of a sunflower, which dovetailed nicely with this math activity.


Other things we did, but aren’t in the book:

watched Wizard of Oz, I was going to make puppets for it, but opted not to.

made tornado proof houses.

And that’s our Kansas study……..

My blog button table

I’ve had couple of questions about how I did this.  So, here’s my super simple explanation.
1.  I opened up a word document and said Insert table.

2.  Then I changed column number to 3, and rows to 15 or so, knowing I’d need to add in extra rows.

3.  In the first column I put days of the week with a couple of rows between each day.  The second column held the name of the linky on the day it happens, and the final column was the button for that linky, so I didn’t have to keep looking them up.
blog buttons
So, that’s vaguely what it looks like.  I originally just had them in a word document, but it wasn’t in any sort of order, and I added them as I started participating in them.  This way all of the ones that I participate in/have the button for get added in as I participate.  This is actually an old screen shot, because I know I’ve added in a few more since then.

History: Darius 1


Last week over at Mama Smiles there was a post about using painter’s tape to make roads, and I thought that sounds like fun, and I need to remember to do that.


Then, we read our history for the day and Darius 1 was known for fixing the roads in the Babylonian Kingdom and putting in a lot of infrastructure.


AH HA!  Perfect, so now we got to build our painter’s tape roads.



And our roads traveled all over.  It went up a hill.  A very steep hill.





And then the elephants started walking down it.  No wonder he had to do so much maintenance for his roads.  Elephants go down them.


Of course that was the only thing remotely in the correct time period that went down that road.






In the boys’ history of the world the Star Wars empire came in and contributed their tech.  I don’t know which side they came in on, because these were relatively peaceful soldiers.  They built roads, and drove up and down them.


Then they disappeared upstairs and fought EPIC battles to free the galaxy of unwanted scourge.

Sometimes you have to let them lead the way

learning laboratory at mama smiles

009For Valentine’s Day they got some stuffed animals.  Now we were learning about birds and migrating, so we decided to migrate (this is actually a totally different post, but you need the background).  But, these migrating birds had babies, oh and picnics in the park.




I brought my old camera and let them take a lot of pictures.  Mainly Batman, the other two were way too busy with other important adventures.


So, Batman happily ran around the park taking lots of pictures of his Buzz Lightyear baby.



And that’s most of them.  Then we went through all of the pictures and he told me the story of his Buzz Lightyear’s brave adventures.


Now, I just need to print them off and write it all down.  Buzz is incredibly brave.  I mean amazingly so.

Science Sunday: Comparing Bones

Science Sunday


Our science book went into flying and migration this past week or so, and of course we had to look at the bones of a bird and compare it.


So, when I went grocery shopping I bought a t-bone steak and a whole chicken (though I suppose I could have just bought a chicken drumstick, achieves the same purpose).


Then we had a couple of very delicious meals, and I was a happy Ticia getting to eat steak, and confusing the heck out of Jeff when I told him not to throw away the bones.  But, he’s getting used to requests like this, and he just requested I get the experiment done soon.



The kids happily examined the bones and looked at them.  They declared the chicken bone to be smoother, and the cow bone to be more rough.


I directed them to think about which felt heavier, and they noticed the cow bone did.


Ah ha!  They played right into my hands, so I got to remind them how our book said birds bones are hollow.  Okay, it says there is a web of interconnecting to keep them lighter, but which is easier to explain.017

Then I got out my carefully concealed chicken leg bone I’d cut in half.  And I apologize for it being blurry, but do you have any idea how hard it is to get a close-up picture of a bone when the kids are wanting to look at it as well?


So, the inside of the chicken bone is mostly hollow, there’s a rather dried up bit in the middle, which I’m guess to be the marrow.



The kids thought this was fascinating and had a lot of fun exploring and playing with the bones.


I did have to caution them they couldn’t feed them to Mac.  Which was rather disappointing to them.


They were also very disappointed when I said I would not cut the cow bone in half for them to see inside it.  I didn’t feel like explaining this was an already cut cow bone.  I did explain that it was too thick for my knife to cut and there was no way I could cut it.


That was suitably impressive.


But, to get back to actual science, then we theorized what did this mean, and finally after much talking and leading they realized the hollow bones helped the birds fly.


I’m a bit behind in making it around to everyone’s posts.  So, if I haven’t commented on your post yet, I’m catching up, but it’s been a busy few weeks.

What we read this week, more or less

Do you ever notice that when you sit down to write these posts you know you’ve read lots and lots of books but you can’t for the life of you remember what they were called?
And it’s always after I’ve returned a bunch of them to the library. Widgets

Guess What I found in Dragon Wood- so cute and a fun twist on the “Guess what followed me home” style of book.  It was fun to watch Jeff’s face on the other side of the room as he listened and didn’t know what the pictures were showing and he was oh so confused.  Highly recommend this.

How to Make a Cherry Pie and see the USA- much like the international version she’s missing what she needs to make her pie, only this time it’s the cooking utensils.  So, she flies all around the country to get what she needs to make a bowl, spoon, etc….  Still very cute and amusing.

Berenstain Bears and the Messy Room- I’m not sure if this copy is the one I had when I was a kid or not, but I certainly remember reading it as a kid and my Mom embarking on a cleaning tirade (that may be a slight overstatement), but either way it was cleaner after we read this.  That’s my goal for my house as well.

Side note, I just sent off 4 garbage bags full of toys to go to Salvation Army, and I’ve got two HUGE tubs of books to head off to Half Price Books (and that’s just going through Jeff and I’s books, and not all of them either).  We might have a book collection problem.

Not hits, but cute:

One Lighthouse, One Moon- gorgeous pictures, and simple text.  Maybe a little too simple for my kids, but there’s so much you could draw from it, but they were not in the mood (too distracted by the tent we’d just put up).