Thursday, January 28, 2010

Zucchini Chocolate Chip Bread ~ my healthified version

It still amazes me that my kiddos actually request this quick bread, I mean it actually has the name of a vegetable in the title :)... I found the original recipe in one of my Taste of Home Magazines ~ I made a few adjustments to "healthify" it a bit, so I could feel good about serving it once (or three times) a week for breakfast ~
Zucchini Chocolate Chip Bread

3 cups whole wheat flour (replaced the white flour)
2 cups sucanat (replaced the white sugar)
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp baking powder
3 eggs
1 cup unsweetened applesauce (orig called for 1/2 c applesauce + 1/2 c veg oil)
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups shredded zucchini
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

In a large bowl, combine the first seven ingredients. In another bowl, beat eggs, applesauce and vanilla. Stir into the dry ingredients just until moistened. Fold in zucchini and choco chips. Divide batter between 2 greased 9-in x 5-in loaf pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 55-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 mins, then remove to wire rack to cool. Makes 2 yummy loaves, perfect for kiddos who wouldn't normally eat zucchini ~ but just can't seem to resist this :)

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Book Basket ~ Snowy Days

While I was in the process of putting away Christmas decorations a few weeks ago, I made sure to change up the book selections on our bookshelf ~ the Christmas Bookshelf transformed into the Snowy Day Bookshelf.

Our new bookshelf features some of our old favorites:

The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats
The Big Snow by Berta and Elmer Hader
White Snow, Bright Snow by Alvin Tresselt
The Mitten by Jan Brett
The Hat by Jan Brett
The Three Snow Bears by Jan Brett
Owl Moon by Jane Yolen
The Snow Lambs by Debi Gliori
In the Snow: Who's Been Here? by Lindsay Barrett George
First Snow in the Woods by Carl Sams

and some new snow books (courtesy of our local library):

Mama Will it Snow Tonight by Nancy White Carlstrom
Snow by Uri Shulevitz
The Snowman by Raymond Briggs
Who's Been Here: A Tale in Tracks by Fran Hodgkins
Snowflake Bentley by Jacqueline Briggs Martin

Monday, January 25, 2010

Birthday Outing ~ Duck Pin Bowling

In honor of his 8th birthday, we let ds8 select a fun family outing ~ the options were ice skating, roller skating and bowling...
He chose bowling ~ we chose duck pin bowling in order to ensure that all three kiddos could hopefully be able to hold the ball.

Ball choice is always a tough decision.

I promise, this boy has never bowled before, check out his form :)
Hoping that he knocked a bunch of pins down.

Dd5 always took her time choosing which ball to use.
Gotta love this ball rolling technique.

Ready for another turn.

Next one up is ds3.
If you ask him, he'll tell you he's a big boy ~ and he's right, look at him lift this bowling ball.

I think he learned this from his big sister.

Not sure where he learned this one, he did it every time.

Bowling just wouldn't be the same without the cool shoes :)

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Milestones ~ Losing her first tooth

There's much excitement in our home tonight, dd5 lost her first tooth :)

Friday, January 22, 2010

Upcoming Read-Alouds

We are preparing to enter into week 22 of Sonlight Core 1. I've been making adjustments to the recommended curriculum in order to fit our family's needs. But one thing that we have been following pretty faithfully is the read-aloud schedule. We have yet to be disappointed by any of the read-alouds for Core 1.

The kids loved Charlotte's Web, laughed all through Homer Price, were sorry to see The Year of Miss Agnes end, and were greatly touched by Mountain Born. (We skipped Mr. Popper's Penguins because we read it last year).

We are currently reading Henry Huggins during our nightly read-aloud time. This book will be followed by Detectives in Togas, Follow My Leader, Little Pear, and Understood Betsy (not in that order).

Friday, January 8, 2010

Updating our School Plans

I recently updated some of the links in my sidebar for resources that we use in our homeschool. Since the beginning of the schoolyear we have switched math programs, added a reading program, added a writing program, and added a grammar program into our school day. I know, that sounds like a lot of change, and it is, but it was definitely for the better. I really, really feel good about the resources that we are using right now ~ finally!
So here is a glimpse into our homeschool resource line-up for ds7 (2nd grade) for the upcoming term (Winter 2010):

Reading & Language Arts ~
  • Pathway Readers ~ Ds7 and I read one chapter aloud per day (4 days/week), we take turns reading (I do this just to keep track of his reading skills, plus I love the stories in these readers).

  • Christian Light Reading 2 ~ I love the Christian Light readers, and since I have a number of them sitting on my shelf (collected through PBSwap), I wanted to make use of them. These are books that ds7 reads silently ~ he then uses them to complete the Light Units.
  • Spelling by Sound & Structure 2 (Rod & Staff) ~ I LOVE this simple spelling program.

  • First Language Lessons Level 2 ~ We completed level 1 in the fall. This term we will work through level 2. I have been tweaking this program to fit our needs, for instance, ds7 does not complete any of the writing assignments.

  • Writing With Ease Level 1 ~ This simple writing program has been working wonderfully for us. In level 1 we have been working on narrating (guided by questions) and copywork that is pulled from classic literature.

  • Italic Handwriting: Book C ~ ds7 completes about 2 pages per week from this resource, he's really looking forward to transitioning to cursive this term :)

I know that this portion looks a bit overwhelming, but each component takes only about 10 minutes to complete.

  • Christian Light Math ~ I have been struggling to find a math program that I like and that works for ds7 since the beginning of our homeschool journey. I really wanted to like one particular program, so much so that I have attempted to use it two different times in our three years of homeschooling ~ but it just does not work for us. This past fall, I purchased CLE Math and I absolutely love it! It fits my teaching style, it fits ds7's learning style, and it is simple ~ yet challenging.


  • Sonlight Science 1 ~ We had been using Sonlight's Science 1 until we began our co-op class in the fall. At co-op the kids (dd5 & ds7) took "buggy science" (they completed an adorable lapbook in this class) ~ so I dropped science for the remainder of the fall term. We will probably pick SL Science back up ~ of course, tweaking it to fit our needs.

  • Nature Study ~ I love the Handbook of Nature Study blog, I hope to incorporate some of the challenges into our schoolwork this term.
Circle Time ~ I have always wanted to add a circle-time into our homeschool day, and this time I typed up a detailed plan for 8 weeks of circle-time which includes Bible, Character-Training, Poetry, Hymns, Traditional Songs and Art Study (I was greatly inspired by Brandy's recent Circle Time Plan). Hopefully since I planned the work, I will work the plan!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Graduating from training wheels

Dd5 actually got her training wheels taken off over the summer, but she hasn't had much time to practice her bike-riding skills ~ I wasn't sure that she would be able to keep the bike upright without training wheels...

I was wrong, last week she rode around our cul-de-sac like a pro!


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