Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Christmas Memories to Share

As we head for the holidays with our Christmas Unit Study Adventure, we would love to share some Christmas book suggestions for you to enjoy with your family while you are creating memories!

Family Read Alouds:

Jotham’s Journey: A Storybook for Advent, by Arnold Ytreeide. Published by Kregel Kidzone.

This is an exciting advent story for the whole family about a ten year-old boy, Jotham, and his journey across Israel in search of his family. His adventures are exciting -- this is the first advent book that we read completely through, cover to cover!

General Family Interest:

Stories of the Great Christmas Carols, by Kenon Renfrow and June Montgomery. Published by Alfred Publishing Company.

Ten beloved Christmas carols are included in this engaging book, along with historical information about the origins of each carol. This edition contains an easy-to-read story of the creation of each carol; a simplified arrangement of each carol with text; information on those who wrote the text and the music; plus a fun activity page that reviews the information presented. Songs include: Angels from the Realms of Glory, Away in a Manger, The First Noel, Hark! the Herald Angels Sing, O Come, All Ye Faithful, O Holy Night, Silent Night, What Child Is This, While Shepherds Watched Their Flocks.

Younger Students:

The Jesse Tree by Geraldine McCaughrean. Published by Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing.
  As Mr. Butterfield carves a Jesse Tree in an old dusty church, a curious young boy distracts him, asking about the various symbols on the tree. Against his better judgment, the old man finds himself retelling the familiar Biblical tales that trace the lineage of Christ, from the Garden of Eden to Jesus' birth. Under the carpenter's skilled hands, the Jesse tree grows--and an unlikely friendship begins to take root as well. The Jesse Tree will captivate readers who know and love the Bible stories as well as those who are reading them for the first time. Recommended for ages 5 and up.

Older Students:

One Wintry Night, by Ruth Bell Graham. Published by Baker Books.

This is one of our family favorites for all ages. In this beautifully illustrated book, a young injured boy seeks help from a grandmotherly woman during a snowstorm. While the two wait out the storm in her cabin, the woman lovingly shares the story of the Bible from Creation to the Resurrection, and each chapter ends with a bit of a cliffhanger -- perfect for family reading time during December.

Be sure to visit us on Facebook, and share your Christmas discoveries, activities and inspirations with us during the month of December! 

Time to Start the Christmas Baking!

It's time to head to the kitchen to start making Christmas memories!  We have a Bennett Family Favorite to share with you:

Chocolate Fudge

    3 cups sugar
    2/3 cup cocoa
    1/8 teaspoon salt
    1 1/2 cups milk
    1/4 cup butter
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Line an 8- or 9-inch square pan with foil.  Coat the foil with butter. 

In a large, heavy saucepan, stir together the sugar, cocoa, and salt.  Once those ingredients are blended, stir in the milk using a wooden spoon. 

Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture comes to a full, rolling boil.  Boil, without stirring, until the mixture reaches 234°F on a candy thermometer (or until syrup forms a soft ball, which flattens when removed from water, and dropped in very cold water).  Make sure you do not rest the bulb of the candy thermometer on the bottom of the pan. This stage can take 20 - 30 minutes. 

Remove from heat and add butter and vanilla. Allow to cool down to 110°F. Do not stir as the mixture cools. This stage can take 2 to 2-1/2 hours.

Beat with a wooden spoon until the fudge thickens and loses some of its gloss. My husband uses my mixer for this step and it works every time!

Quickly spread the fudge into the foil-lined and buttered pan and allow to cool completely. We spread this onto a buttered marble slab–fudge perfection!

Cut into squares if you’re willing to share.

Do you have a Christmas favorite to share?  We'd love to hear it!  Leave your favorite recipes in the comments section for us.  Be sure to visit us on Facebook, and join the Christmas Unit Study Fun!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Christmas Cooperative Starts Today!

Good morning, friends! Welcome to our first Christmas unit study Facebook cooperative! Beginning today, we invite you to share your experiences as you use the USAB Christmas unit study. We'll be here to answer your questions and help along the way as we are working through the unit study with you! This co-op will include a daily prophecy that the Lord fulfilled, a counting of joys in this season, plus a Christmas carol/hymn, a Christmas activity link just for you, and more! 

Please feel free to post your questions, finds, ideas, and unit study pictures. Throughout the weekdays, we will be posting some tips and treasures, along with our insights and ideas. It is our prayer that this co-op effort will provide help, friendship, and fellowship for us all! The Christmas study always brings along some insights—realizations, ah-ha moments, and precious memories. 

Amanda B.

Here are Week One's Learning Objectives:

  • Recognizing the celebration of Christmas and what it means to the student
  • Learning more about the story of Christ‘s birth - specifically Mary and the events that occurred prior to Jesus‘ birth
  • Becoming familiar with the geography of the Middle East at the time of Jesus‘ birth
  • Developing an understanding of the observation of the Advent celebration

Don't miss our Fantastic Cyber Monday Specials today!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Black Friday Giveaway - 2 Winners!

Speaking of shopping...  We have a special Black Friday giveaway for you (and you can even shop - for your favorite homeschooling products when you're there!)

Our friends at  Great Homeschool Conventions have graciously donated 2 Family Registrations to your choice of locations

Amanda will be speaking, you do not want to miss this event!

Locations include:

Southeast : March 22–24, 2012 TD Convention Center (Greenville SC)
Mid South: April 12–14, 2012 Memphis Cook Convention Center (Memphis TN)
Midwest: April 19–21, 2012 Duke Energy Convention Center (Cincinnati OH)
California: May 24–26, 2012 Long Beach Convention Center(Long Beach, CA)
Northeast: June 14–16, 2012Hartford Convention Center (Hartford, CT)

Find out all about Great Homeschool Conventions online

DON'T miss our exciting plans for Cyber Monday.  You may want to go to bed early...Big savings for the Early Birds!
To enter this giveaway,  leave a comment HERE (not on Facebook!) telling us which GHC Convention you are interested in attending. You will need to leave your email address so we can contact you (entries without it will be discarded). You will be able to leave your comments until Sunday, November 27th.  Winners will be chosen randomly, and notified on Monday, November 28th. Our General Contest Rules will apply.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

Happy Thanksgiving, and THANKS!

Blessed Thanksgiving to you and your family! This is a very special time for us all, and we want to thank you for your support and encouragement. When we count our blessings, you all are among the best of them. You question, share, encourage, and bring smiles into our lives as well as the lives of many others around the globe as you use our studies to explore creation. We are so very thankful for you!

For those of you who participated in our Thanksgiving co-op on Facebook this past month, please know that you made this Thanksgiving season special for so many others. I will never look at the simple pinecone turkey the same way again; your sharing of ideas and pictures put a whole new glow on making these with children. You shared ideas, recipes, plans, and much more. I hope that it has helped you as you have homeschooled this month!

We are busy putting the finishing touches on the upcoming Christmas Facebook co-op, which will begin on Monday, November 28! For those of you using the Christmas Unit Study, please join our Facebook co-op as you use the study in the weeks ahead. Focused on the birth of our Savior and the fulfillment of prophecies, this study touches my heart every Christmas season as I learn more and celebrate this season of joy!

I know the days ahead will be very busy, but I’ve got one quick reminder. Please keep an eye on your email—we’ve got several BIG announcements and savings extravaganzas in the coming weeks!


Amanda B.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Delicious Traditions

"Around this time of year, my precious mother-in-law, Patsy Clark, gathered with her friends to make batches and batches of homemade sugar cookies. Every time our family makes these cookies, including when we gather with some of our friends for a fun-filled cookie baking day, we are reminded of so many special memories of Nana Clark. Oh, how we miss her, but we are very thankful for her example and legacy of faith in the Savior!" Laura Clark

Homemade Sugar Cookies

1 lb butter
4 eggs
4 cups sugar
1 tsp cream of tartar
1 tbl pure almond extract
2 oz pure vanilla
flour to stiffen--about 10 cups
1 tsp baking soda dissolved in a little hot water

Cream together butter, eggs, sugar, almond and vanilla extracts. In a separate bowl, add cream of tartar to flour. Gradually add flour to butter/sugar mixture and mix well. After 4-5 cups of flour has been added, mix in baking soda/hot water mixture. Continue to add in flour (@9-10 cups--don't make dough too stiff).

It's easier to work with the dough after it has chilled in the fridge for a few hours or overnight. Roll out cookie dough (we prefer to roll dough thin) on parchment paper, cut with cookie cutters, peel away extra dough, and decorate with sprinkles. Bake cookies in 350-375 oven until lightly brown, about 7-9 minutes. Allow cookies to cool on cookie rack then store in air tight container or cookie jar.

Do you have a favorite to share with us?  Leave it in the comments section to inspire us all!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Thanksgiving Titles

It's not too late to enjoy some Thanksgiving reading with your family!  Here's a couple more favorites for you to explore together.

Squanto and the Miracle of Thanksgiving , by Eric Metaxas. Published by Thomas Nelson.

This entertaining and historical story shows that the actual hero of the first Thanksgiving was neither white nor Indian, but God. In 1608, English traders came to Massachusetts and captured a 12-year-old Indian, Squanto, and sold him into slavery. He was raised by Christians and taught faith in God. Ten years later he was sent home to America. Upon arrival, he learned an epidemic had wiped out his entire village. But God had plans for Squanto. God delivered a Thanksgiving miracle: An English-speaking Indian living in the exact place where the Pilgrims land in a strange new world. Recommended for ages 5 to 10.

Younger Students:

Cranberry Thanksgiving, by Wende and Harry Devlin. Published by Aladdin Paperbacks.

A mystery to solve, Thanksgiving dinner, and a recipe for Cranberry bread - all included in this classic holiday tale for the whole family. Like Goody O’Grumpity, this book will have your family in the kitchen again! Ages 4 and up.

Older Students:

Pilgrim’s Progress, by John Bunyan, edited by Edward Hazelbaker. Published by Bridge-Logos Publishing.

The study of the American Pilgrims provides a wonderful opportunity for older students to read Pilgrim’s Progress. This edition is one that is written in modern English and is reader-friendly, while also providing Bunyan‘s annotations in the text. Ages 10 and up.

Visit us on Facebook as we finish our Thanksgiving Study and prepare for Heading for the Holidays Christmas Cooperative with our Facebook Friends - starting Monday, November 28th.

Monday, November 21, 2011

It's Thanksgiving Week!

Welcome back to our Thanksgiving Unit Study FB cooperative.  It's our final week...Thanksgiving is almost here!

We invite you to share your experiences as you use the Thanksgiving Unit Study Adventure. We would love to hear what you and your children have learned along the way. 

Throughout this week, we will be posting some tips and treasures, along with our insights and ideas.  It is our prayer that this co-op effort has provided help, friendship, and fellowship for us all!

Amanda B.
PS - If you are enjoying this journey - you will not want to miss the Christmas Cooperative on  Facebook , beginning on Monday, November 28th. To help you prepare - you can pick up the Christmas Unit Study Adventure for just $6!

Here are this week's Learning Objectives:

  • Discover the crops the Pilgrims planted the first spring in America
  • Explore the early development of Plymouth
  • Find out more about the harvest celebration - what the festival was like, who attended, what they ate
  • Study the history of the Thanksgiving holiday in America

Friday, November 18, 2011

Enjoying the Harvest - Part 3

This season of harvest is bright and fruitful, both in our lives as parents and as we approach the season of Thanksgiving. Not only have I learned to see the harvest moments in our lives, but I've also learned to really count our blessings, naming them one by one in my journal. The list is growing, right along with my faith. And do you know what else? I'm watching the importance of this blessing counting grow in our children. What an amazing offshoot of my own lessons, that they, too, are really seeing the important things in life. As I sit and reflect on this now, perhaps that IS the most important lesson from all of this—that they see what is really important, instead of material things and day-to-day trials.

This “enjoying the harvest” does not just apply to our children's growth and education, by the way. Try to take time to take a walk—really walking, not just speeding through another task. Notice the color of the sky, and the birds that you see—can you identify them? And when you are making that apple butter in a slow cooker this year, don't forget to add some savory spices and then enjoy the taste on hot buttered biscuits! Put on some classical music and really listen to how uplifting Mozart can be with your morning coffee. It’s a much better way to start the day than the morning news. In other words, YOU have got to slow down and smell the roses too. As they say around my house, “When Mama ain't happy, ain't NOBODY happy!” :-) And I'm trying to remedy that, working on it on a daily basis.

It is my prayer that this has helped you see that the fruits of your labors are ongoing and lifelong. The harvest is never-ending, and we need to enjoy the harvest moments right in the midst of the chores and labors of love in teaching and learning and sharing in our family lives. Live—really live—each day that God gives you. I have a saying that I keep on my dresser that reads “Today is a precious gift from God. Say thank you—and tear into it!”, and I try to do just that.

May you have a bountiful and joyous harvest season, and may you find peace in the quiet moments that you can catch in the mayhem and noise of family life!


Amanda B.

Read Enjoying the Harvest - Part 1  and  Enjoying the Harvest - Part 2

Stop by and visit us on Facebook as we share our Thanksgiving Journey and prepare for our Christmas Cooperative!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Le Creuset Giveaway

Wow! We are so excited about this amazing giveaway from our friends at Le Creuset to celebrate the release of our newest Passport Geography title--Passport France! Le Creuset's enameled cast iron pots are produced in France--a perfect go-along with our study of this beautiful country!

$160.00 value

Imagine this beautiful piece adorning your holiday table during intimate dinners or family get-togethers! This decorative, 2-quart, cast iron casserole features Le Creuset's classic scalloped side handles and a distinctive heart shape. Isn't it adorable? :) 

With this pot in your collection, you and your crew can always remember the time that you spent learning with Passport France! Its 2-quart capacity allows for preparing a variety of recipes, while its heart-shaped lid still seals in heat and moisture like all Le Creuset enameled cast iron ovens.

  • Scalloped side handles
  • Even heat distribution and superior heat retention for cooking on the stovetop or finishing in the oven
  • Durable, nonreactive sand-colored interior enamel provides a smooth surface for cooking, as well as an optimal palette for food presentation
  • Colorful, long-lasting exterior enamel that resists chipping and cracking
  • A secure lid that locks in heat and moisture while cooking
  • Phenolic knob withstands temperatures up to 375°F

With the new Passport series, you will see places that most people never get to visit. From learning about some of the food they enjoy, such as truffles, crepes, and cheese, you will be heading on to chateaus and cliffs, as well as the Champs-Élysées and Fourviere Hill. Pack up and get ready to travel to France!

Passport France - Special Introductory Prices!

To enter this giveaway, leave a comment HERE (not on Facebook!) telling us your favorite French cuisine. You will need to leave your email address so we can contact you (entries without it will be discarded). You will be able to leave your comments until Sunday, Nov 20th. Winners will be chosen randomly, and notified on Monday, Nov. 21st. Our General Contest Rules will apply.

    Wednesday, November 16, 2011

    Cranberries Anyone?

    Thanksgiving and cranberries go so well together.  Here's a Cranberry & Marshmallow Salad recipe that kids are sure to love (mine do!) Best of all, it's easy to put together the night before...

    32-36 oz. fresh cranberries (chopped in food processor)
    40 oz. can of crushed pineapple (drained)
    10.5 ounce bag of mini marshmallows
    8 ounce whipped topping

    Combine all ingredients together and refrigerate overnite.

    Do you have a favorite Thanksgiving recipe to share?  Come visit us on our Facebook page, or leave one in the comments below.

    Tuesday, November 15, 2011

    Tuesday Thanksgiving Titles

    We hope you're enjoying the Thanksgiving reading suggestions.  Please share your favorites with us in the comments section.  Here's a couple more you don't want to pass up...

    Eating The Plates: A Pilgrim Book of Food and Manners, by Lucille Recht Penner. Published by Aladdin Paperbacks.

     Learn all about the table manners (not many!), food, and cooking of the Pilgrims. There are recipes that your family can cook together, providing a first-hand appreciation of the spices and foods that we take for granted these days. Ages 6 and up.

    Younger Students:

    Three Young Pilgrims, by Cheryl Harness. Published by Aladdin Paperbacks.

    When Bartholemew, Remember, and Mary Allerton and their parents first step down from the Mayflower after sixty days at sea, they never dream that life in the New World will be so hard. Many in their Plymouth colony won't make it through the winter, and the colony's first harvest is possible only with the help of two friends, Samoset and Squanto. Richly detailed paintings show how the pilgrims lived after landing at Plymouth, through the dark winter and into the busy days of spring, summer, and fall. Culminating with the excitement of the original Thanksgiving feast, Three Young Pilgrims makes history come alive. Recommended for ages 5 to 10.

    Goody O’Grumpity, by Carol Ryrie Brink. Published by North-South Books.

    A fun book to read, and then you can bake the spice cake that Goody O‘Grumpity bakes for hungry children. The story of Goody O‘Grumpity was written in a 1937 poem by Carol Ryrie Brink. The illustrator researched the poem, and her esearch led to Plimoth Plantation! Ages 4 and up.

    Older Students:

    Faith Unfurled: The Pilgrims’ Quest for Freedom, edited by Sheila Foley. Published by History Compass.

    A valuable collection of journal entries, poetry,  and other resource material that provides insight about the determination and faith of the Pilgrims. Ages 13 and up.

    Come visit us on our Facebook page - and share your favorite Thanksgiving ideas with us!

    Monday, November 14, 2011

    Welcome to Week 3 of the Thanksgiving Cooperative

    Good morning, friends! Welcome back to our Thanksgiving Unit Study FB cooperative! Can you believe we're already to Week 3?

    We invite you to share your experiences as you use the Thanksgiving Unit Study Adventure. We can't wait to see what you have to add.  Did you see the great ideas that were shared last week - blessing trees, pinecone turkeys and even cartoon comics!

    Throughout the weekdays, we will be posting some tips and treasures, along with our insights and ideas.  It is our prayer that this co-op effort will provide help, friendship, and fellowship for us all!

    Amanda B.
    PS - If you are enjoying this journey - you will not want to miss the Christmas Cooperative on  Facebook , beginning on Monday, November 28th. To help you prepare - you can pick up the Christmas Unit Study Adventure for just $6!

    Here are this week's Learning Objectives:

    • Discover what the Pilgrims found when they reached America
    • Explore the problems in finding a suitable location for their colony
    • Examine how the Pilgrims fared the first winter and some of the problems that they faced
    • Find out how the Pilgrims interacted with the Native Americans

    Thursday, November 10, 2011

    Fantastic Friday

    When Amanda suggested having a Thanksgiving Unit Study cooperative on our Facebook page with 3,500+ of our dearest friends, we had no idea just how much fun it would be! :o) We are having a great time, sharing ideas and getting to know so many of you. Thanks for joining us on this journey, and for sharing your ideas and questions!

    We are excited to announce that we will be kicking off our Christmas Unit Study cooperative on our Facebook page on Monday, November 28th! We are busy planning the December fun and looking forward to the special days ahead. Watch your email for more details on the Christmas co-op!

    Christmas is the focus of our Fantastic Friday giveaway today, and Amanda has hand-picked this one. There are two Christmas prize packages, each one includes the Christmas Unit Study AND an autographed holiday picture book.
    The Little Shepherd's Christmas, written and beautifully illustrated by Carol Heyer, tells the tale of a young shepherd as he discovers the newborn Savior. Amanda and her family have enjoyed Carol's work over the years, and this new title will make a terrific addition to your family library. 

    2 Christmas Prize Pack Winners

    Christmas: a special time of rejoicing as we celebrate the birth of the Son of God, the Messiah. Learn what the world was like at the time of Christ's birth. Use this study to help your children understand the significance that the coming Savior had for so many people. Read about the prophecies that were fulfilled by His birth, and begin to clearly see God's hand in history since the very beginning of time. When so many material desires threaten to obscure the true meaning of Christmas, this study will help bring back into focus how the birth of a tiny baby changed the whole world!
    "This is Reuel's big chance to prove that he can tend sheep just as well as his older brothers. All he has to do is keep a watchful eye on his little flock. But distracted by his brothers' teasing, he looks away just long enough for a little lamb to wander. Following a frantic search, Reuel finds his missing charge . . . and finds himself in the midst of the biggest announcement ever made. The Christ Child has been born, and Reuel is one of the first chosen to hear the news! After racing through the streets of Bethlehem, his misstep becomes a blessing when he encounters the Baby who will one day become the Shepherd of Men.

    This tale of the first Christmas, told from the viewpoint of a little boy to whom young readers will relate, is illustrated with gorgeous, detailed paintings by Carol Heyer. Her art showcase the sweetness of the child shepherd and the reverence of the story. Here is a book that both entertains and informs without ever straying from the meaning of the holiday."
    To help you get ready for the co-op . . . we have the Christmas Unit Study on sale for just $6 through 11/25/11.

    To enter this giveaway, leave a comment HERE (not on Facebook!) telling us what you are looking forward to this holiday season. You will need to leave your email address so we can contact you (entries without it will be discarded). You will be able to leave your comments until Sunday, Nov 13th. Winners will be chosen randomly, and notified on Monday, Nov. 14th. Our General Contest Rules will apply.

    Enjoying the Harvest - Part 2

    Let me take a moment to share the definition of harvest with you, taken from Merriam Webster's Collegiate Dictionary:

    harvest — to gather in (a crop)

    A farmer plans for his crop all through the winter, then prepares (cultivates) the soil in early spring, and finally plants the seeds of a new crop. Throughout the summer, he works on maintaining and protecting his crop from drought, insects, and weeds. And then at the end of the summer, he finally begins his harvest, gathering in this precious crop that he has worked so hard to grow.

    Can you see the similarities to our efforts as parents? We plan, plant, grow, nurture, and somewhere along the way, the harvest concept kind of gets lost in the search for both shoes, the car keys, the “right” curriculum, and on and on.

    Just like raising a stand of fruit trees (or maple trees, pecan trees, etc.), so goes raising a child, in a way:

    ·         A season to prune and maintain the plants themselves (the physical needs as well as the emotional needs)
    ·         A season to fertilize to invigorate the plant's production of fruit (talking, reading, sharing, putting information and caring into their lives)
    ·         A season to tend the fruits as they develop (keeping an eye on their interests, activities, etc.)
    ·         A season of harvest, when the fruit is enjoyed and preserved, keeping an eye towards the future for the next season of growth (protecting them from harm during tough times and planning the next season of growth)
    ·         And then, of course, the cycle begins anew, as the cycle of life thankfully continues.

    Given some time for reflection, you can see back through this past year and remember some prime harvest moments, both educational as well as emotional and spiritual. There were also some moments or events that strengthened and united your family, as well.

    I've made myself keep a small journal of these kinds of harvest insights, both for encouragement and so that I realize the progress being made for our efforts. I know it is hard to find time to write down these kinds of things, and I am one of the worst when it comes to finding time for extra efforts like this. BUT, I have MADE myself do this with a journal, for all of us. Here are some ideas in each harvest moment category that I mentioned above, to help you see what I record:

    Breakthroughs in their education:

    ·         First word read all by themselves
    ·         First book read independently
    ·         First time they read a book with interest without having it assigned
    ·         Mastery of multiplication tables . . . FINALLY!
    ·         Breakthrough on long division
    ·         Moments of realization when they really understand a concept . . . such as gravity
    ·         When they begin to connect the things that they are learning with the world around us

    Breakthroughs in their emotional and spiritual development:

    ·         They slow down to help younger siblings voluntarily
    ·         Refusal to “follow the crowd” based on principle or belief
    ·         They know to pray first and realize the power of prayer
    ·         Doing the right thing even when you are not around!
    ·         Helping others without being asked
    ·         Searching for the Lord’s will as they face decisions
    ·         Appreciating grandparents and other family members
    ·         Welcoming guests wholeheartedly and caring for their needs
    ·         Asking if you can all go do something together . . . amazing!

    And last, but not least, moments that strengthen and unite your family:
    ·         When one parent is ill or injured, and they all work together to share the burden
    ·         A death in the family or extended family, when they learn the real value of love and family, as well as the role of faith in assurance
    ·         When times are financially strained, and everyone comes together to conserve, plan, and help ease the struggle
    ·         Projects for the family tend to provide long-lasting memories as well—working together to add a room to the house, helping a neighbor, etc.

    These kinds of things are all what I call those harvest moments—golden, reflective, and rewarding of our efforts. They may be brief, like a shooting star, but they are just as joyous when we take time from our hectic schedules and plans to see them and realize that progress is being made and our efforts are bringing in a good harvest.


    Amanda B.

    If you missed Enjoying the Harvest - Part 1, you can read it here.

      Be sure to visit often, as we are celebrating Thanksgiving Unit Study Adventure together this November!

    Wednesday, November 9, 2011

    Feeling Hungry?

    Pumpkin Cake Roll



    3 eggs
    1 C sugar
    2/3 C canned pumpkin
    1 t lemon juice
    ¾ C flour
    1 t baking powder
    2 t cinnamon
    1 t ginger
    ½ t nutmeg
    ½ t salt
    1 C chopped pecans

    1 C powdered sugar
    6 oz. cream cheese
    4 T butter or margarine
    ½ t vanilla



    Beat all of the filling ingredients together until they are smooth.


    Beat eggs with an electric mixer on high for about 5 minutes.  Add sugar, pumpkin, and lemon juice, blending thoroughly.  Add flour, baking powder, spices, and salt, blending thoroughly.

    Spread batter in a 15” x 10” baking pan, sprayed with cooking spray and sprinkle chopped pecans on top. 

    Bake at 375 degrees for 15 minutes.  Turn out onto a thin towel, sprinkled with powdered sugar.  Starting at the narrow end, roll the cake up in the towel.  While the cake is rolled, allow it to cool completely and then gently unroll.  Spread the cream cheese filling on the cake and then roll it back up again (minus the towel this time).  If desired, dust the roll with powdered sugar.

    Thank you Charlotte McKinney - for making our mouths water with this fall recipe!

    Be sure to visit us on Facebook for more Thanksgiving Unit Study Adventure fun!  Subscribe now to our RSS or Email feed, so you won't miss any exciting news!

    Tuesday, November 8, 2011

    Thankgiving - Tuesday Titles

    Tuesday is back with more Thanksgiving Book suggestions.  Are you enjoying this special time with your children?  We hope you can use  these suggestions to make some memories together!

    Family Read Alouds:

    In 1620, an indentured servant named Jasper Jonathan Pierce sets sail with his master and 100 others on the Mayflower, seeking adventure, freedom from the rules of King James's church, and a new way of life in America.

    While many people are familiar with the history of the Pilgrims, popular historical novelist Ann Rinaldi delves far deeper into the day-to-day life of these brave pioneers. Beleaguered by internal strife and sickness, the passengers and crew of the Mayflower arrived in Plymouth ill-equipped to last the winter. With the help of several Indians who befriended the settlers, many survived, although a number of them died. Viewed through the eyes of 14-year-old Jasper, who records the events of his first 15 months in America in his journal, the Pilgrims' experiences take on a fresh, current feel. Although Jasper is a fictional character, the other characters in the story were real people, and the events are soundly based on factual accounts. (Ages 9 to 12) 

    A Journey to the New World: The Diary of Remember Patience Whipple, Mayflower 1620(Dear America), by Kathryn Lasky. Published by Scholastic .

    In this entry in the Dear America series, subtitled ``The Diary of Remember Patience Whipple,'' Lasky demonstrates how vigorous historical fiction can enliven the facts found in most textbooks. The Pilgrims, as they came to be known, traveled in a small cargo ship, the Mayflower, for two miserable months of bad food, unfit drinking water, vicious storms, and sheer boredom on a leaky old vessel that had never been intended for human cargo and lacked even the most basic amenities. Mem, one of the 34 children among the 102 people on board, tells the story in diary entries. Almost as bad as the journey was what the travelers found when it was over. Mem's story is one of incredible courage in the face of almost insurmountable obstacles, but it is also a story of real people with all their foibles, who refuse to give up no matter what happens. In the course of these inspiring events, Mem herself almost gives up, but a sense of humor and her hopes for the future carry her through the worst of them. Memorable. (Fiction. 9-12)

    Younger Students:

    …If You Sailed on the Mayflower in 1620, by Ann McGovern. Published by Scholastic Trade. Written in a question and answer format, this delightful book  keeps readers busy with all kinds of information about the Pilgrims and their journey – perfect for the inquisitive child filled with questions! Ages 5 and up.

    Older Students:

    Land Ho! 1620: A Seaman’s Story of the Mayflower, Her Construction, Her Navigation, and Her First Landfall, by W. Sears Nickerson. Published by Michigan State University Press. Ages 14 and up.
    For those interested in the Mayflower and sailing ships, this book has been written by an expert in sailing and navigation. Using tide and sunrise tables, along with other information, the author traces the voyage of the Mayflower to the New World.

    Be sure to join us on our Facebook page for more Thanksgiving Unit Study Adventure with inspiration, activities and fun!