This Month's Featured Resources...

Father's DayTravel - CookingLatin WW2

Thursday, September 29

River (Emeli Sande)

We decided to take a day of downtime on this trip, to recharge the batteries.  If you have a chance to listen to today's song, I suggest doing's really beautiful.  We stopped off at the first hotel we could find, which was in a place called Georgetown.  Everyone was pretty happy to be out of the car, especially since we'd been driving on windy Rocky Mountain roads all day.  

Note :  When you see a windy road sign on an already-twisty road, with a 9% downhill're in for a wild ride!!!!!

We checked into the cutest little bed and breakfast, called the Hotel Chateau Chamoix.  This place was impeccably run, with the nicest innkeeper!  The breakfast was delicious, the rooms were spacious, and the atmosphere was magnifique!  Hubby and I will definitely be trying to get back there for a quiet weekend....
We went for a walk, just to look around and stretch our legs.  This bridge ran over a rushing river, and we enjoyed its peace for a few minutes.
While wandering around, we found this neat cafe called the Euro Grill.  It's only open in the summer, but it's run by visiting students from the Czech Republic, and the food and atmosphere are fantastic!!  Authentic European cuisine....we sampled a little bit of everything.  Highly recommend!
How can you not love a place that looks as peaceful as this?  The house has a river running right there!  The only thing better would be a glass-bottomed bay window overhanging it....
We stumbled upon this train station in nearby Silver Plume, and will probably be going on a train excursion soon!

Tuesday, September 27

Language or the Kiss (Indigo Girls)

Foreign language is best learned as a child...we all know that already. After much back and forth, my husband and I finally settled on Latin as the language that we would teach them because it has so many real-world applications in the science and history.

Click on the image to see how we came to choose Latin!!

  • If you and your kids have been working on Latin, then you know there is a lot to learn!  This economically-priced Latin Bundle includes a daily calendar and vocabulary flash cards for nine different sets of words (months / days, weather / seasons, body parts / senses, colors, numbers, animals, food, family, and holidays).
    • Each set can be used as flash cards, or as a memory game (match word to picture).  Use the daily calendar to practice everyday words, and you'll be surprised at how much is retained!

  • Classical Academic Press has wonderful Latin programs for all ages and they also provide some great extras. 
  • Latin Loaded‘ is a YouTube channel with short videos perfect for a quick Latin lesson.
  • Besides their YouTube channel and Headventure Land, Classical Academic Press also has a large selection of resources on their FAQs page (coloring pages, Latin charts, and flash cards). If you use any of their programs, their resources are perfect for review.
  • Learning all those Declensions and Conjugations takes time – and I don’t want my daughter to forget all she’s learned so these Latin master charts from Family Style Schooling are perfect for reviewing vocabulary (and something we’ll be using to keep all the information fresh in her mind).

Here is my son's twist-tie "Super Vir."  I love how he takes his Latin and just applies it to....everything.

Friday, September 23

Baker Street (Gerry Rafferty)

Recently, our home school group was selected to take part in the King Arthur Flour Bake for Good program - and we had a fabulous time!!!!!  For over twenty years, the Bake for Good Kids Program has been helping kids learn to bake and then share their homework with those in need.  In some cases, the company travels to a location to host an event, but we were provided all of the supplies and hosted the event through the home school group.
Imagine my husband's surprise when sixty pounds of flour and several other boxes of supplies arrived on the doorstep one afternoon!  The company provided ingredients, packaging, course booklets for the kids, and an instructional DVD.  The program is designed to teach kids in grades 4-7 how science, math, and reading all come together in a real-world activity.  The culmination of the project is a lesson in philanthropy, when they donate their efforts to a local charity.

The day before the BIG DAY, another home school neighbor and I got together and baked up a batch of practice bread.  We wanted to know exactly what we'd gotten ourselves long would it take?  Were there any extra supplies we needed?  What snags were we going to run into?  All the little things that you want to be apprised of before entering a room with lots of kids and open sacks of flour!  We practiced with our boys, to see how well the kids would do with the project.
We walked through the four hour process (which took more like six, that first day), from mixing the yeast, to letting it rise, to the baking process.  My friend and I found some science handouts that explained how yeast works, as well as some science experiments that you can do with yeast.  Then, seeing as how it was supposed to rain cats & dogs on baking day, we found a video about the process to help occupy the kids during the downtime.
Baking day came, and everyone arrived on time (yay!), excited to start the process.  Given the size of the oven, some of the moms had started a batch early.  This would allow us to bake two batches of bread and minimize the downtime for rising.  We were missing a few kids, thanks to illness and the weather, but that meant that everyone got to have several hands-on jobs!
As a group, we branched out with the recipes, making yeast rolls and the most delicious cinnamon rolls!!!  They enjoyed sampling some of the bread that was fresh from the oven.  Yum!
The following morning, we bagged up the bread and drove it up to Community Market, a food "store" that helps needy families in the area.  They were very happy to see us, and many loaves of bread were delivered to locals in need within a matter of hours.  Overall, it was a win-win event!
Want to learn the basics of bread making?  It's easy!

Ingredients :

Directions :
  1. A lot of the families at the event had only ever used a bread-maker.  While they are a great kitchen tool and very handy, they are not suitable for this particular recipe.
  2. In a large bowl, combine sugar, yeast, whole wheat flour, and warm water.  Cover with towel and let rest until bubbly.
  3. Stir in cooking oil and salt.
  4. Stir in 3 cups white flour, one cup at a time.  Measure out one more cup of flour and sprinkle half of that onto the sticky dough.  Work into dough.
  5. Flour hands and turn dough onto floured surface.  Knead well.  While it is resting, wipe oil onto inside of bowl.
  6. Knead a little bit more, then put the dough back into the bowl and cover.  Let rise in a warm place for an hour and a half.
  7. Punch down down.  Divide into half and form into loaves or rolls.
  8. Place loaves on a greased cookie sheet, and cover with a towel.  Let rise again for 30 minutes.
  9. Preheat oven to 375.
  10. Remove covering, slash tops of loaves, and bake 30 minutes.  Let cool, and enjoy!

Thursday, September 15

Freezer Cooking : Soups On!

See more freezer cooking recipes here!

Vegetarian Taco Soup 
  • 1 can pinto beans 
  • 1 can kidney beans 
  • 1 can black beans 
  • 1 can corn 
  • 1 can Rotel
  • 1 can diced tomatoes 
  • 1 packet ranch seasoning 
  • 1 packet taco Seasoning

  1. Insert all the ingredients into a slow cooker and cook on low for 8 hours or high for 4 hours. 
  2. Top up with cheese, sour cream, tortilla chips, fresh cilantro and any topping of your desire.
    1. To Freeze : Allow to cool and insert the contents into a freezer bag or container.
    2. To Reheat : Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and reheat just prior to serving.
Zuppa Toscana Soup 
  • 3/4 c onions, diced 
  • 1 slice bacon 
  • 1 1/4 tsp garlic cloves, minced 
  • 2 oz chicken bouillon 
  • 1 qt water 
  • 2 potatoes, diced
  • 2 c kale, shredded
  • 1 1/2 c crumbled sausage (pre-cooked)
  • 3/4 c heavy whipping cream 

  1. Heat a skillet and brown the sausage. 
  2. Crumble the sausages and place in a bowl. 
  3. Insert the bacon and onions into a saucepan and sauté the onions until tender. 
  4. Toss in the garlic and leave for one more minute. 
  5. Stir in the chicken bouillon, potatoes and water and allow the mixture to simmer for 20 minutes. 
  6. Add the balance ingredients and let the mixture simmer for 5 minutes more. 
    1. To Freeze : Allow to cool and insert the contents into a freezer bag or container. 
    2. To Reheat : Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and reheat just prior to serving.

Friday, September 9

You'll Be Back (Hamilton)

(scroll to bottom for unit study)  

This summer we finally made the journey back east to see our family.  We had been delaying for quite some time because traveling with very young children is just so much work!  While the main point of our visit was to reconnect with family members, the teacher in me couldn’t visit the east coast without seeing something historical.  The problem is, my kids are really too young for most of the amazing museums in the area so we needed something really kid-friendly.  My wonderful mother-in-law suggested Old Sturbridge Village in Massachusetts and it was perfect!

Old Sturbridge Village is an amazing place that really showcases our country’s history in a unique and interactive way.  From the moment you enter, you are transported back in time with the help of historical interpreters and buildings original to the area.  The historical interpreters dress like villagers of the time (right after the Revolutionary War) and are ready to interact with visitors!  We found them to be so kind and willing to share their knowledge with us.

On the day we visited my daughter was able to help card wool into yarn, work an old fashioned washing machine and use tangrams to create a quilt block.  To say she was thrilled is really an understatement.  Everything is extremely kid-friendly- kids are invited to touch and interact with almost anything they encounter when visiting. 

If you walk through the main section of town, you will eventually get to the farm of Old Sturbridge Village.  We were able to watch a milking demonstration and learn how cheese was made back a few hundred years ago.  The farm area was easily my favorite part of the entire experience.  It was so green and quiet, I could imagine how peaceful it may have been to live back then.  My children were, of course, entranced with the sheep and calves.

Throughout the day they had many other great demonstrations that everyone in our party loved!  We watched a rifle firing, learned how they fire their pottery in the kiln and watched a women use a spindle to make yarn.  There were even areas that had games of the time, my daughter and I had fun trying our hand and hoop rolling and wooden stilts.  We also went on a great horse drawn carriage ride and a fun boat ride around the lake.

I was struck by how much work went into basic daily life.  Watching how much effort went into just doing one load of laundry made me so thankful to be living in present times with my electric washing machine!  There was really so much to see and we did not get to it all in just one day.  Luckily, they were offering an extra free day of admission with any paid admission that day- be sure to ask about this when you visit!  Old Sturbridge Village was so much fun!  I loved that my kids were able to run around and experience the past in a fun way.  As a teacher, I love how we were effortlessly transported back into history- the entire experience was truly amazing and very well done.  My daughter keeps asking to go back to the village, I’m sure we will be back the next time we are on the east coast.

Shannon is the proud mother to two young children and three geriatric dogs.  As a San Diego native, she loves exploring the city and finding new and interesting things for her family to do.  In her free time, she loves to cook, garden and ignore piles of laundry.  You can find her at