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Father's DayTravel - CookingLatin WW2

Friday, June 24

Last Resort (Eagles)

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They came from Providence....the one in Rhode Island....  ~"The Last Resort" (Eagles)

On a Road Trip Adventure across the USA, the Smith family left Concord, New Hampshire and headed to Rhode Island.  

Mom Smith writes :
But before we got to our next campground, we made a stop in the capital of the Ocean State.  We stopped in Providence because our family wanted to see the Roger Williams National Memorial and tour the Rhode Island State House.

roger williams national memorial, RIThis memorial has a small Visitor Center, but don't let its size disappoint you!  We stepped inside and found a ranger to talk to, a film to watch, exhibits to read, artifacts to see, and lots to learn about the founder of Rhode Island, Roger Williams. 

Roger Williams National MemorialWe discovered that Roger Williams is not only responsible for the founding of the Colony of Providence Plantations, but he is also the author of Key into the Language of America. This book is the first book ever written about Native American languages. After exploring the grounds of this memorial and having a picnic, we took a short walk to the Rhode Island State House. 
  RI state house

DSCN7330Since we were just passing through Providence, we didn't have time for a guided tour, but with a pamphlet offered to us when we signed in, we had the chance to take a self-guided tour.  We learned that the Rhode Island State House:
  • was completed in 1904 (construction began in 1895)
  • architectural style is classified as Neo-classical and is constructed of white Georgian marble
  • dome is the 4th largest self-supporting dome in the world
 rhode island state houseDSCN7331
Here's our favorite things we saw on our self-guided tour....
Buddy's favorite thing was the Gettysburg Gun and Civil War Flags, whereas Belle liked seeing the original charter for this colony granted by King Charles II in 1663.  Mr. Gary liked seeing the famous portrait of George Washington (which we saw in the State Reception Room). This full portrait of Washington was painted by Gilbert Stuart (who we later discovered is a native of Rhode Island).
gettysburg gunRI charter
My favorite thing to see in the Rhode Island State House was the State Library.  I could have spent hours in here, but we were just passing through Providence and we'd already stayed longer than we had planned...on a Road Trip Adventure across the USA, it was time to hit the road again!
inside RI state houseinside RI state house

DSCN7315Come with us and see where we parked our home on wheels and read what we did in Narragansett, Rhode Island.

Rhode Island Unit Study
Robin is a wife, homeschool mom, and blogger. She has been homeschooling for 14 years and has
recently started a blog,, to help other homeschool families. In 2011-2012, Robin and her family took a year-long RV Road Trip across the USA. She blogs about their travel adventure

Wednesday, June 22

Freezer Cooking : Summer Treats

Love to freezer cook?  Check out our new book : Freezer Cooking Through the Year!!

Ice Cream Sandwiches

Makes 8 ice cream sandwiches
Ingredients :
  • 6 Tbsp (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 quart ice cream of your choice

Directions :
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. (For easier cookie removal, line baking sheets with parchment paper.)
  2. In a large bowl, combine the butter, sugar, cocoa, eggs, flour, vanilla, and bak­ing powder. Stir until well blended.
  3. Drop rounded spoons of the batter onto the lined cookie sheets, leaving at least 2 inches between them. You should have an even number of cookies…unless you want one to sample.
  4. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, or until set. Remove to racks to cool.
  5. Remove the ice cream from the freezer to soften slightly at room temperature.
  6. To prepare sandwiches :
    • Place one cookie, flat side up, on a small sheet of plastic wrap. Place a scoop of ice cream on the cookie. Place a second cookie, flat side down, on top of the ice cream. Press the cookies together until the ice cream flattens and spreads to the edges of the cookies. Individually wrap each sandwich tightly in plastic wrap and place them all in the freezer bag to store in the freezer.

Freezer Jam
Summer is the best time for savoring foods, but if you have more berries than you can eat quickly, consider making some freezer jam.  It's super easy, very yummy, and makes a fantastic gift!  We typically triple or quadruple this recipe, if we are able to get bulk produce during peak season.

Ingredients for Blackberry Jam:
  • Ball Canning Guide (optional)
  • 4 c. sugar
  • 3/4 c. water
  • 1 package dry pectin
  • 2 c. crushed blackberries
  1. Mix crushed blackberries with sugar, and let stand for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, stir the pectin into the water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, and boil for 1 minute. Stir the boiling water into the blackberries. Allow to stand for 3 minutes before pouring into jars or other storage containers.
  2. Place tops on the containers, and leave for 24 hours. Place into freezer, and store frozen until ready to use.

Friday, June 17

Rocky Mountain High (John Denver)

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Today, on Fan Field Trip Friday, we're following the footsteps of the Smith Family on their Road Trip Adventure Across the USA!  It's off to Colorado Springs, visit the Garden of the Gods!  And here is your accompanying unit study...  (photo credit : Garden of the Gods)
Rocks & Minerals Unit Study

Mom Smith writes :
One of the places that our family is glad we didn't miss on a Road Trip Adventure across the USA is Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Before we explored the park, we checked out the Visitor and Nature Center which was filled with educational exhibits. At this hands-on learning station, we reviewed what we knew about rocks and learned about the different rocks that we'd see at Garden of the Gods.  On the Upper Terrace of the Visitor Center, we enjoyed the views and took a closer look at the area.
rocks of the garden exhibitvisitor center at garden of the gods

At other displays and dioramas, we discovered that:
  • the Ute People, who are ancestors of the Red Rock People, used this area as their tribal meeting grounds
  • a variety of flora and fauna can be found on these native grasslands and woodlands of Colorado
  • Native Americans used every part of the yucca plant
    • the roots were used to make soap
    • the petals and pods were a food source
    • the leaves were used to make baskets
    • and the stalk fibers were used to make ropes
With the help of a guide and map, we identified the snow-covered peaks of Pikes Peak, Queens Canyon Quarry, and the Gateway Rocks to the Garden of the Gods.  After our visit to the Visitor Center and lessons on what we were going to see, we headed inside the park.  We explored Garden of the Gods from the car and on foot. We drove along Garden Drive and Juniper Way Loop.  We strolled the Perkins Garden Trail, and we hiked the Siamese Twins Trail.
garden of the godsgarden of the gods
Along the way, we tried to identify as many rock formations with the curious names as we could find.
Some of the most popular rock formations are easy to spot, like Balanced Rock and Tower of Babel
and Kissing Camels.
balanced Rocktower of babelkisssing camels
Geology lessons didn't end at the Visitor and Nature Center.  At wayside exhibits, we read and learned about water and wind erosion, and then looked up and saw the effects of each.
garden of the godsgarden of the gods
Botany lessons continued in the park, too.  We went on a scavenger hunt for the plants we had learned about in the center.  We saw lots of pinon tress and yucca plants.  In addition to rock formations and plants, our family had hoped to see a mule deer or a Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep that we had read about at the center, but we didn't see either. We did see several magpies and a canyon wren.
pinon juniper DSCN1274
Colorado was a great place to learn about geology, history, and botany at the Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs!
garden of the godsgarden of the gods

Thursday, June 16

All For You (Sister Hazel)

It's that time of the year again.....our annual Summer Christmas Giveaway Extravaganza!!  Everyone gets a prize, just for dropping in, and we wish you luck!

Goody Bag Freebies - Santa thought that everyone who dropped in needed a goody bag to take we whipped one up!
  • Digital Unit Studies
  • Field Trip Planner
  • Letters to Heroes Writing Templates
  • Lego Christmas Fun Pack
  • 5 Beauty & Body Recipes e-book
  • ...Coupons & More!!
Grab your Christmas in June Goody Bag!

On to the presents!!!!!   What's wrapped up this year?
  1. We Were There book set from Dover Publications
  2. Amish Fiction Bundle - Three wonderful new releases from the world of Amish fiction!
  3. 2016-17 Digital Plannerfrom Funky Jeans
  4. Mom's Relaxation Kit - Essential oils, tasty teas, and a beautiful hand-carved box to store them in...a book and a chair are all you'll need!
  5. Anti-Aging Gift Set from Simple Life Mom
  6. Christmas Around the World Online Unit Study from Learning Loving Freely
  7. Family Book Bundle - Two new releases : The Adventure Bible and Seven Laws of Love
  8. Mystery Curriculum Box - If you've seen our mystery boxes in the past, you know that they never fail to disappoint!  Last year's was worth $200+ and contained goodies just for Mom.  This year, we are stuffing a media box full of printed unit studies and books for your elementary and middle school students!

We Were There books
One of our favorite products from Dover is the We Were There book series.  This is a vintage series that Dover has begun to re-release.  Each book tells a story from the vantage point of teenage children experiencing historical events.  They span the eras from Caesar's Legions to the Battle of Lexington and Concord to the Battle of the Bulge...and everything in between.  The children beg to read them (we read aloud together as a family) because they are so easy to get into.  Our versions are the original hardcovers, but you can get the following newly released versions from Dover :
Digital Planner
Downloadable 50 page Homeschool Lesson Planner and Resource Kit for Homeschool Families.  Covering July 2016 to June 2017, it includes :
  • - Front and Back Cover
  • - 17 tabbed pages for each section including each month of the year
  • - year at a glance
  • - 12 monthly calendar pages for each month of the year
  • - attendance tracker
  • - curriculum list
  • - daily docket
  • - weekly docket
  • - field trip tracker
  • - grade tracker
  • - 2 page lesson plan spread
  • - resources and helpful websites tracker
  • - username and password tracker
  • - notes page
Anti-Aging Gift Set
This handmade bundles includes an anti-aging eye cream and anti-aging serum, made with 10 essential oils tailored specifically to help reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles on damaged or aging skin. These essential oils are known for increasing blood flow to an area, detoxing pores, and bringing a healthy glow to skin.

Online Unit Study
Celebrate Christmas around the world with this 10-day unit study. As you explore websites and watch engaging videos, your family will learn about other countries and their Christmas traditions. Each lesson includes a fun hands-on or internet-based activity. Your Christmas adventure ends with an ethnic Christmas Feast.

Wednesday, June 15

How It Feels to Fly (Alicia Keys)

In this house, we do airplanes in a BIG WAY!  So it seems fitting to share this extensive unit study for National Aviation Day with you, our friends.  Of course...every day is aviation day here...  *chuckle*  National Aviation Day is August 19th
My grandfather would have been 86 this week...on Father's Day.  We always held a big family cookout and then the 'boys' would go to the airport for the afternoon.  Being the oldest grandkid, I tagged along with them, because I really really loved flying!!

Not a day goes by that I don't remember my grandfather's voice.  He was the 'one,' the one special grandparent that you connect to more than any of the others.  I'm sure each of you has one, too.  If s/he is still alive, would you pick up the phone and have a conversation with them today?  For all of those who can no longer do so.

This post, and unit study, are dedicated to him.
Since the Flying Ace, our resident pilot-in-training, has been wanting to visit the airport again, we popped into the airport I grew up in, while we were in the area.  A few faces are missing, and it was raining, but ......everything changes, right?
The oldest was most interested in all of the vintage aviation gear out in the sitting room of the airport.  When I was growing up, none of this was was definitely a man cave back then!!
Here the boys are playing around in the plane a few years ago...and this trip.  They're just a tad bigger now!
This airport happens to house the local medical emergency helicopter for a larger hospital in the area.  We were able to see how helicopter controls are different from airplanes.
One of my uncles works on airplanes as a job, and builds them for fun.  I guess you could say this whole 'flight thing' is in the blood!  Here, he is showing the boys a plane he just helped finish.
The boys got to see how these light airplanes are built, from start to finish.  They also learned how to use navigational charts to create a flight plan.  They had the privilege of working with one of the best flight instructors in the area as part of our older son's Boy Scout Aviation Badge.
Ace had a chance to play around in the cockpit of a plane that was awaiting repairs.  Nothing like a real plane to fuel some imagination play!
We topped off our aviation tour this week with a stop at the Wright Brothers Museum in Kitty Hawk, NC.

Aviation Unit

Vocabulary Words

wind tunnel
air flow
air pressure
flight simulation
paper airplane
airplane surfaces
test pilot
military aircraft
aircraft design
Bernoulli's Principle
air resistance
Air Traffic Control
Peregrine Falcon
Venturi Effect
experimental aircraft
home built
cargo plane

More Aviation Units (full unit studies at each)