Category Archives: Uncategorized


I forgot to post pictures of the grand canyon art we did during our week in Flagstaff.  It was pretty complex for a second grader, as it was originally intended for fourth graders, but the directed drawing part of the lesson actually taught me a bit as well.  I’m still locating Tallinn’s piece, but in the meantime, if you are looking for inspiration on painting the Grand Canyon, this is a wonderful art lesson by Patty.

Jambalaya and Alligator Bread

We finished our week in the Everglades with a “kid friendly” meal, which isn’t my typical style (not that I don’t enjoy making “kid” foods, but I’d rather make a legitimate delicious dinner and “kid friendly” and delicious don’t necessarily go hand in hand, in my opinion), but it was super fun and enjoyed by all.

So, after a week learning about the difference between a swamp (wooded trees) and a marsh (grassy plants), watching graceful manatees dive down deep, and reading about the many plants and animals that make up what is known as the Everglades, we sat down to a meal representative of the area we studied.   Even though we already spent a week in Florida, we chose to dine that week like the astronauts.  This week, we ate like the Floridians do.

Everglades Dinner

Alligator Bread

Okay, maybe they don’t eat alligator bread, but that was our “kid friendly” part and a perfect conclusion to our week.  Don’t let this bread fool you into thinking it’s a crocodile, for, as we learned, crocodiles sport a long skinny snout, verses the wider front that graces the gator.  The kids LOVED this, of course and each chose a body part to enjoy.

Florida Jambalaya

Okay so this may not have been the most kid friendly as it was a teeny bit too spicey and I may have lost a little control with the cayenne pepper, but at least we could all breathe well for a few days.

Key Lime Pie

Just a tip, don’t send your spouse or significant other to a gourmet grocery store to buy key limes, turns out they are much more likely to be found at the typical run-of-the-mill store.  This key lime pie was simply delicious and will be stored away in my files of family favorites for sure!

Thank you Florida and thank you Jesus for the beautiful Everglades you made for us to enjoy.  Enjoy it we did!

Still here

Yes we are still alive and learning and doing, just having a little extra fun with our fifth little one who arrived January 12th.

Here’s our newest sweetness. 

 We just finished our week learning about the Everglades and I’ll post on that soon.

Thanks for hanging in there :).


Farm Fresh Breakfast

Well at least farm fresh eggs anyway….straight from our chickens and our Papa’s chickens.

I LOVE all the fun colors!

The taste of fresh eggs is simply unbeatable!

Of course we had to include bacon into our breakfast as well.

 And some somewhat untraditional, but simply delicious Pumpkin Clove Pancakes.

I make these quite often in the fall and add a bit of allspice and cinnamon as well.  They are always a big hit in our family, especially when topped with some pure maple syrup!

And what farmer can start the day without a cup of Café?

Now we’re ready to go work some fields…..or at least do some laundry :).

High Hopes

I had such high hopes for the conclusion of our Around the World Tour.  Friends would come to an elaborate “Open House” featuring something we learned from each country-an item to taste, a craft to make, etc.  It was destined to be a big success, I am sure of it.  And I’m also certain that this is how life goes, at least for me anyway.

Fortunately, the reason this elaborate plan was unsuccessful (at this point) was because of another baby coming into our home, actually two more babies…one via my growing belly and one via adoption and a real-life-non-virtual-trip-to-Korea.  So, with the combination of some serious “morning” (more like all-day) sickness and a new sweet bundle finding his way in a family of 6, we had some other things happening this summer, good things, amazing things, God you are SO good to us things.

That would also explain why I  haven’t blogged in awhile (in case you noticed).  But now, here I am, attempting another journey with my little learners, this time we are adventuring around the US.  If I can just be honest, being an international traveler, it has been a bit harder for me to get motivated to study the US.  Don’t get me wrong, I love this amazing country I get to call home and am thankful to live here, it just doesn’t quite excite me like the rest of the world does.

That being said, we are going to have LOTS of fun this year and I haven’t decided if I’ll start a new blog just for our US journey or continue posting on this one.  For the moment, as it’s taken me about 5 days to finish this post, I think I’ll keep things the way they are.  We just started last week and are inching our way along with some basics about US geography.  Next time I post, there will be some pictures of what we’ve been working on and a bit more info on where this journey will lead us.

Thanks for sticking with us! 


Discovered Poems

As we have finished up our country study and are carrying on with school and living and lots of reading, I brought out an old poetry book that I cherish.

 Product Details

Of course, well after the fact, inside are stored several treasured poems from around the world.  For those of you who might be beginning or deciding on doing this journey yourself, I thought I would add a poetry section with featured poems for each country available.

Hope you enjoy them as much as I do!  This book is a FABULOUS resource with wonderful poems from well-known poets and authors, covering a variety of subjects, often causing our family to chuckle.

Here’s one to get it started:


Robert Louis Stevenson

I should like to rise and go

Where the golden apples grow;

Where below another sky

Parrot Islands anchored lie,

And, watched by cockatoos and goats,

Lonely Crusoes building boats;

Where in sunshine reaching out

Eastern cities, miles about,

Are with mosque and minaret

Among sandy gardens set,

And the rich goods from near and far

Hang for sale in the bazaar;

Where the Great Wall round China goes,

And on one side the desert blows,

And with bell and voice and drum,

Cities on the other hum;

Where are forests, hot as fire,

Wide as England, tall as a spire,

Full of apes and coconuts

And the Negro hunters’ huts;

Where the knotty crocodile

Lies and blinks in the Nile,

And the red flamingo flies

Hunting fish before his eyes;

Where in jungles, near and far,

Man-devouring tigers are,

Lying close and giving ear

Lest the hunt be drawing near,

Or a comer-by be seen

Swinging in a palanquin;

Where among the desert sands

Some deserted city stands,

All its children, sweep and prince,

Grown to manhood ages since,

Not a foot in street or house,

Not a stir of child or mouse,

And when kindly falls the night,

In all the town no spark of light.

There I’ll come when I’m a man

With a camel caravan;

Light a fire in the gloom

Of some dusty dining room;

See the pictures on the walls,

Heroes, fights and festivals;

And in a corner find the toys

Of the old Egyptian boys.

Great new site!

Of course, our last week around the world, I come across an AMAZING website for meals and learning about culture.  It has information and recipes for several nations around the world.  Tonight, we’ll be using it for our final zimbabwe dinner. Super excited about this site, especially as, next year we intend on taking this journey around the US and there are region/people-group specific US recipes as well!


Weekend Detour

Today we ended up at one of our all-time favorite spots for breakfast and, as it is our dear friend, China’s, last weekend staying with us we couldn’t resist the chance for a delicious meal and some beach fun.

Boys will be boys


We even got a little science lesson at the tide pools with the local expert!

Tal couldn't resist a swim

Then off came the shirts.

I just absolutely LOVE this picture of my eldest, all tatted up from an early morning explosion of fake tattoos.

Another glorious day at the beach!  Thank you, Jesus.

Valentine’s Day and Vietnam

What do Valentine’s Day and Vietnam have in common? Absolutely nothing! Except maybe the color red.  So, yesterday we went with that.  It was Valentine’s Day.  I didn’t have a lot planned except a fun Valentine’s Day breakfast,

our library returns that needed to be made and our travels to the next “V” country along our journey….Vietnam.  Hmm, and as we attempted to get a free Sprinkles Cupcake but were discouraged by the insane line, we decided to create our own cupcakes for Valentine’s and well, Vietnam.  This is the deal. The Vietnamese flag is solid red with a star in the middle, therefore, we could use our red frosting (which came out more purple-ish) and place a star on top, creating our first ever flag cupcakes.

First, the kids decorated the white cupcake wrappers for Valentine’s Day.

Then, they helped make a basic cupcake recipe I found on Martha Stewart’s website.

Addie brought her Sass

This was a fun “school” activity, as we are quite unconventional in our methods.  Tallinn read the directions and we went step-by-step together in the process.  He’s actually getting quite good with his technique as well

cracking an egg into the mix

adding the cocoa mixture to the eggs and sugar, scraping with a spatula

and, when the others had faded, he continued on with the process all the way to the reward at the end.

And Voila!  Some hearts, some stars, some red sprinkles to cover up the accidental purple icing for a proper Vietnamese flag.

So, we have some more geography to cover and there are lots of fun things we can do to learn about Vietnam.  At least we’re off to a start.

We also haven’t quite gotten to our verse this week and last night, God woke me up at 2 am to spend some time with him.  This was one of the verses he gave me and I think it’s perfect for our week learning about this “island”.

Listen to me, you islands;

hear this, you distant nations:

Before I was born the LORD called


from my birth he has made mention

of my name.

Isaiah 49:1

Turkey Break

Okay, so we took a little break for Thanksgiving and still plan on doing our final Turkey dinner, but for the month of December we won’t be learning about any new countries.  Instead we will be learning about different Christmas traditions from around the world. When I get a chance, I will share about our learning, but it might not be quite as frequently until the new year.

Thanks for being patient.