Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Unit Five: Nest

To see a list of posts for all of our units for Kindergarten, see here.  This post contains information about only Unit Five: Nest.

Unit Five focused on the letter N for Nest and the coordinating Bible truth was "God takes good care of me." We talked about how parent birds care for their babies and keep them warm, and how God loves us and wants to teach us and help us grow.

Benjamin really enjoyed the Animal Homes game, where you must match the animal with their nest.  He also enjoyed making an edible nest as well.

Some supplements we used for this unit:

ABC Memory Verse Cards
In addition to the Bible truth, we are also memorizing a Bible verse that begins with the letter of the week. I received some ACB cards as a gift and they are by Dayspring, but I have also seen these online that would work just as well.

This week our N verse was: "…no eye has seen, no ear has heard, no heart has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him" (1 Corinthians 2:9).

Christian Liberty Press Nature Reader K
This book is perfect for kindergarten, as it has a well-illusrtated animal lesson for each letter of the alphabet.  This week we learned about Newts.

Danielle's Place
This is a great site, with TONS of Bible crafts and activities.  They had an entire unit on birds. I found a cute activity where Benjamin glued yarn to make a bird's nest and then colored the birds and their nest. See here.

Nest Craft

The Best Nest Video

Edible Bird Nest Recipe

Big Bird's Nest Sale
Search for this episode online

Some great books for this unit include:
The Scarecrow's Hat by Ken Brown
The Best Nest by P.D. Eastman
The Perfect Nest by Katherine Friend
Our Nest by Reeve  Lindbergh
Magic Schoolbus Flies from the Nest by Joanna Cole
Eggs and Chicks by Fionna Patchett



Noodle-less Vegetable Lasagna

I've seen recipes that use zucchini for noodles, and decided to give it a try the other night.  By slicing the zucchini and squash longways, it is thin like lasagna noodles, but much healthier!  Our young children enjoyed it too, and since we have one child who needs to eat gluten-free, it worked out nicely for our family.  Enjoy!

2 zucchini
2 squash

1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes
1 cup fresh broccoli
1 cup fresh cauliflower
Spices (garlic, basil, oregano)

1 lb. turkey meat (optional)
1 jar tomato sauce

Mozzarella Cheese

Quarter the tomatoes and cook tomatoes, cauliflower, and broccoli in a pot with olive oil and minced garlic.  If possible, let it simmer for about 30 minutes.

Slice the zucchini and squash longwise, about 1/4 inches thick.  Arrange on a greased baking sheet and bake for 15 min in a 375 degree oven.

As the squash/zucchini are baking, brown the ground turkey meat.  Add the tomato sauce.
Combine the ground turkey mixture with the cooked vegetables.

Spread a small amount of the sauce in the bottom of a 9x13 baking dish.  Layer the zucchini and squash and top with 1/2 the sauce.  Top that layer with mozzarella cheese.  Repeat.

Bake  covered for 45 minutes in 375 degree oven.  Uncover and bake an additional 15 minutes.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Sweet Potato Chili

I made Sweet Potato Chili last night, and it was really good!  It's a good way to sneak some healthy veggies in, but it still tastes like chili.

3 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
1 cup vegetable broth
2 cups water
2 zucchini, diced
1 cup frozen corn
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can black beans
1 Tbsp. chili powder
1 Tbsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. cumin

Optional: 1 pound of cooked ground turkey or beef

Toppings: Cheese, sour cream

Combine all ingredients in crock pot and cook on high for 6-8 hours.  When ready to serve, take a potato masher and lightly mash the sweet potatoes so they are not quite so chunky.

You could also cook this on the stove top if you were in a hurry.

Recipe adapted from here.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Crockpot Vegetable Soup

It is so nice to come home to a fully cooked meal.  Last night, I put some food in the crock pot before bed, and we came home to a fresh pot of vegetable soup after church today.

Put some cornbread in the oven, and everyone is happy!


Crockpot Vegetable Soup

  • 4 Cups Vegetable Broth (chicken broth would work as well)
  • 2 Cups Water
  • 1 Cup Tomato Sauce
  • 1 Cup Frozen Peas
  • 1 Cup Frozen Corn
  • 1 Cup Chopped Carrots (frozen would work too)
  • 1 Can Kidney Beans
  • 3 Red Potatoes (peeled and chopped)
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic
  • 1/2 tsp. paprika
  • 1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning
  • Add 1 lb of cooked ground turkey or beef
  • Sour Cream
  • Shredded Cheese
Place vegetable broth, water, tomato sauce, veggies, beans, and potatoes in crock pot. Cook on low 8-12 hours or high 4-6 hours. The ground beef or turkey can be added at this time too, but I like to add it in during the last hour of cook time if possible.  Scoop into bowls and top with sour cream and cheese.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Homeschool in a Small Space

My family and I sold our house a few months ago and are currently living in an apartment while we look for a house.  Although it's only temporary, it can be challenging to live in an apartment with three small children.  Combine that with homeschooling, and it can definitely get a little tight.  So, I am trying to make the best use of my small space.  For me, that means easy accessibility: I want easy access to my homeschooling supplies and easy access for it to be put away since we are using our homeschool space for other things as well.

Our homeschool room is also our eating area.  Here is what I have done to try and make it as practical as possible.

Here is a view of the homeschool wall.  When we work together, we usually sit at the dinner table.  But the small table is great for independent work or if younger siblings want to color while we are doing our lesson. 

We have a white, 6 cube book shelf.  I use this for storing supplies such as construction paper, learning station activities, paint, bins with art supplies, etc. On top of the bookshelf is my storage desktop carousel.  It holds pencils, scissors, markers, dry-erase markers, paper clips, tape, etc. It's amazing how much stuff it holds! Look for a coupon to buy one at Michael's.  On top of the book shelf I also display important things relevant to the week's lesson.  This week we are studying the letter S, so that is displayed.  

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Healthy Oatmeal Cookies

It's a rainy day around here…a nice day to have a warm, soft cookie.  Determined to make them healthy, I experimented today and ended up with exactly what I was hoping for: a soft, chewy cookie, without all the bad stuff.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees


  • 1 Cup Oats
  • 1/3 Cup Flour (any flour will work: whole wheat, white whole wheat, all purpose flour, or grind up oats so it is the consistency of flour; I used Pamela's gluten-free flour)
  • 1/3 Cup Honey
  • 1 Tbsp Chia Seeds (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1/2 tsp Vanilla
  • 1/3 Cup Apple Sauce
  • 1 Tbsp Coconut Oil (any oil or melted butter should work)
  • 1/3-1/2 Cup Toppings (I used raisins, chocolate and white chocolate chips)

Drop by spoonfuls on lightly greased baking sheet or use parchment paper.  Bake for 12-15 minutes.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

My Mud Run Experience

Anyone who knows me well knows that I am not the athletic type.  I so wish I was, but truth be told, I’m just not very good at athletic things.  I’m content to sit on the side lines and cheer for people, but I don’t like to be the one playing, mostly because I don’t particularly enjoy being laughed at.  I do enjoy being outside and going hiking and I’ll even camp out for a few nights, but that’s about as athletic and outdoorsy as I get.  Now, my husband knew this about me when he married me. So, last year when he decided to participate in a mud run, he knew not to even ask if I’d like to run in it with him. I mean, it’s exactly like it sounds: a run in the nasty, dirty mud.  Yes, I went to watch him and laugh at how nasty he looked and make jokes about how crazy it is that people pay to get muddy. He had a great time participating, and I enjoyed making fun of him on the sidelines.  It was fun for everyone.  So, when he decided to sign up again this year, I wasn’t surprised.  I wasn’t entirely thrilled about the fact that a chunk of our money was wasted, but at least it was going towards a good cause and he was having fun.  But, here was the catch: he decided to sign both of us up this year.  Haha….yeah, right; there was no way I was participating.  Why would I want to participate in an event where you have to run and get muddy and dirty?  And, I’m not getting paid to do it? I pictured falling on my face and mud getting all in my mouth (both of which happened). 

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Oven-baked Granola

Here's a healthy, yummy, and easy recipe...just in time for the holidays!  I love making granola because you can always change up the recipe to make it just the way you like it. Enjoy!

3 Cups Old Fashioned Oats
2 Cups Rice Cereal (I used Rice Krispy Cereal)
1/4 Cup Coconut Oil (melted)
1/4 Cup Pure Maple Syrup
1/4 Cup Almonds or Other Nut (I crushed ours)
1/4 Cup Pumpkin Seeds or Other Nut or Seed
2 TBSP Chia Seeds (optional)
1 TBSP Vanilla
2 tsp Cinnamon
3/4 Cup Dried Fruit to be added after baking (I used cranberries and raisins)
1/4-1/2 Cup Chocolate Chips to be added after baking

Preheat oven to 250 degrees
Cover a large baking sheet with parchment paper
In a large mixing bowl, combine all above ingredients EXCEPT the dried fruit and chocolate
Spread on parchment paper and bake for 1 hour, stirring every 20 minutes
When finished baking, add dried fruit and chocolate