Monday, April 26, 2010

Finished It!

I posted in another blog that we were working on a project, but I didn't show you the finished work.  Here is the finished product.

We turned 2 liter bottles into fish.  Snipped off the end.  Sliced out a rear triangle after taping the end together.  Used the left over to attach the fin with duct tape.  Did the paper mache' thing.  Let dry.  Added paint.  If you get Family Fun Magazine, check out their article there.  That's where we got the idea.

Melissa Culver

Big K Finished His Math Book!

With great joy I share with you that Big K finished his Math book for the year!  Wahooooo!

We will continue to explore math topics and I'll use the supplemental CD to facilitate more review, but his book is done.  From cover to cover it is finished.


Doing the happy dance,
Melissa Culver

You are Kidding Me!

I know this sounds very strange, but on rare occasions I inspect my home while wearing high heals.  I am able to see dirt and dust I normally cannot see.  I then go back and clean areas I would have never thought to clean.

I can't say that I'm recommending or suggesting this, but if you are wanting to clean out some dust bunnies you haven't seen before in areas that are normally too high for you, feel free to try this from time to time.

Melissa Culver

Friday, April 23, 2010

TOS Feedback

In January I published my first magazine article with The Old Schoolhouse Magazine.  What magnificent people!  I would love to work with them again on another article (if the LORD should author such a detail).

I got my latest issue of TOS today in the mail.  I read the sweet notes from the ladies who wrote in to say that they liked such and such article for this or that reason.  I cried.  I did.  The sweet, sweet authorship of the LORD to let me see just how His hand has allowed me to encourage someone.  Thank you, LORD. 

What a mighty God we serve!

For the King,
Melissa Culver

Simply Delightful

We had a great time at our field trip yesterday.  We went to Simply Delightful Frozen Yogurt.  The kids had a blast.

We saw the interior of the machines.  The kids even got to pour the mix into the machine.

As usual, they picked from a spread of great toppings.

And by the looks of it I think they had a simply delightful time.

Enjoying the goodness,
Melissa Culver

Thursday, April 22, 2010


We are not quite finished with our latest art project.  But, I wanted to share with you how I keep my kitchen table clean when doing crafts.

We use grandma's table cloth.  I'm sure it has a more spectacular name for it.  I just remember grandma using this type of table covering when I came and ate in her back garden.  It was fuzzy on one size and plastic on the other.  You can purchase this by the yard at your local fabric store.  You can even get a 40% off coupon if you are on their mailing list.  If you register as a teacher you can get even more discounts.  Fun facts for you.

So, we're not done yet, but we're excited to see how it turns out.  Hopefully I can share some finished photos with you soon.


We Bought Us Some Lady Bugs

Yes, my title fails to demonstrate proper grammar.  Did you smile?  That was my purpose.

So, did you know that your local gardening store carries lady bugs?  Not all gardening stores carry live lady bugs.  Call in advance to see.  Save yourself some gas.  Our mega hardware store does not.  Our smaller hardware store does: Orchard Supply Hardware.  You can get 1,500 lady bugs for $8.15 after tax.

Well, we went to Orchard the other day and purchased some lady bugs.

We looked.  We studied.  We watched. 

We read the container.  It said to let them out when it is dark of night.

So, a few days later when it was dark outside we let our lady bugs go.

What's up with the wood shavings?  The package comes with wood as the lady bugs will eat it.  It's a food source for them.
(My personal favorite picture of the bunch.)

And then we got up early the next day to see if any were still there.

And we saw nature at work.
Can you see that aphid hanging there?  Click on the image for a larger peek at this.

How glorious!  Scinece...or school....or whatever this journey is called.

Have fun!
Don't pass up the adventure,
Melissa Culver


We have almond milk on hand all the time.  Jason uses it in his coffee.  We eat it in our cereal.  And for other food preps I use it as well.

When making French Toast I like using the vanilla almond milk as it adds a sweet flavor to the mix.

Ever have egg shell fall into your bowl?  Use other egg shells to remove it.  For some reason they act like a magnet and they attract to each other when you are trying to scoop 'em out. 

When having a child crack eggs, try using a small bowl and allow said child to crack each egg individually prior to dumping each one into the mix.  Great training ground.  And a safe place to make mistakes over and over and over again.

I try to make extra and freeze what we don't eat.  They are good up to several weeks later.

How to you cook the frozen ones?  I think you might be catching on to my trick here.  HIGH BROIL.  Yes!  So many things can work excellently on HIGH BROIL.  Try it.  You might fall in love with it too.

Ok, now enjoy breakfast in a new way.

Melissa Culver

Bagel Pizza

As a homeschool mom I am making food several times each day.  We have breakfast, snack, lunch, snack, and dinner each day.  I am in the kitchen a lot.  I LOVE when I can find quick and easy food preps.  Here's one.

For this we used mini bagels and Colby Jack Cheese.  Cut cheese, place on bagel.  Place bagels (with cheese) on a cookie sheet.  Set sheet on top rack of oven.  HIGH BROIL for approximately 3 minutes.

Tasty.  Delicious.  Quick.  Easy.  Passes the test for me!

Melissa Culver

Lady Bug Craft

We've been studying lady bugs.  Here's the craft we did to accompany our exploration.

An applesauce cup cut in half.

The bottom of a 2-liter bottle.

Wrap the bottom of the bottle with any color of construction paper you wish.  Um, yes.  Some lady bugs start out yellow before they turn dark crimson.  Random fact for you.

Hot glue the head to the body.  Head?  The 1/2 applesauce cup covered with black construction paper.  Then glue to green tag board.

Embellish with eggs and aphids (beads and brads).  Color as you see fit.  Remember the eyes too.

Enjoy your finished project.

Joy in the Journey,
Melissa Culver

Soccer Balls Don't Fit

Just in case you were wondering.  (I doubt it)  But, just in case this item of curiosity crossed your radar...I just wanted to clear things up for you.  Soccer balls do NOT fit down the toilet drain.  That's a clear 'no.'

Little D, however, had not figured that one out yet.  He is now fully aware that it won't go down the drain.

We're all good,

Hello, Jacob

This is so childhood at its best!  Kohen and Rachel located some slugs in the backyard the other day.  Their nurturing, caring, soft, sweet sides emerged in full force.  They wanted to design indoor habitats for these creatures.  They wanted to name each of them.  And they wanted to maintain a constant food supply.  I had to put my food down (not on the slugs).  I delicately informed them that these sweet bugs could not do the very job God has authored for them if we kept them inside.  After much redirecting, the slugs are safely back outdoors.

Jacob, enjoy the fresh outdoors.  We'll come visit you.

Melissa Culver 

My Joy, My Song, My Delight

Let's face it, I wouldn't be a homeschool mom if it weren't for these guys.  Man!  They are beautiful.
And Dax too!

I love being their mom,

Monday, April 19, 2010

Sloppy Joes

We made Sloppy Joes the other night for dinner.  I didn't have a recipe on hand, but wanted to prepare them with a homemade sauce.  Here's what happened:

1 whole white onion
3 T. butter
pepper to season
2.75 lbs. ground beef
1 1/3 c. ketchup
1/3 c. mustard
about 1/4 c. Worcestershire Sauce (/wous - ter - sher/)
1/4 - 1/3 c. brown sugar
hamburger buns (and more butter)

Add to large skillet butter and cut onion.  Caramelize (cook until golden) the cut onion and season with pepper.  Remove from skillet and brown the ground beef fully.  Add the onion back in.  Add the rest of the ingredients and let everything marry up together over warm heat about 15 minutes (or longer if you want to transfer to the crock pot).

Buns.  We added butter to the buns, then we set them out on a full cookie sheet and put them on a top rack to HIGH BROIL for approximately 3 minutes.  Watch them.  They brown up quick!  Remove buns from oven.  Scoop on meat mix.  Eat like a burger.  Or, a king (giggle, giggle).  We had guests over when we served these and they had never had Sloppy Joes before!  Seriously.

Or, you can simply do just a few buns.  Great strategy for leftovers.

Wow, these were good!

Melissa Culver