Archive for June, 2009

Adventures in Swimming!

Posted on June 14, 2009. Filed under: Daily life, kids | Tags: , , |

Here they are, pics of the first swim class this year:

Playing in the shallows.

in the shallows

Practicing with the teacher.


practicing 2

And there he goes!


I couldn’t believe it!  He swam by himself for the first time on his first day of class!  He even dove (yes, head first, arms above his head, the whole deal) off the diving board, then swam to the ladder!  Go Munchkin!

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Smoothie Adventures

Posted on June 14, 2009. Filed under: Daily life, kids, Recipes, Weight loss | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |

We love smoothies at our house!  My little guy is just crazy about them, and they make a great snack or meal replacement – especially in the summer when it is so hot.  We like nice creamy smoothies, so I use skim or 1% milk, and of course I put some yogurt in to add a little more pizzazz.  We use a wide variety of fruits in our smoothies, whatever we have on hand actually.  In the past we have used pears, kiwi, blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, banana, cherries, cantalope, peaches, and nectarines – not all at the same time though!

We also add honey as a natural sweetener, cinnamon and sometimes vanilla extract for flavor, and fiber powder and protein powder for extra nutrition.  At my house we like thin smoothies that are easy to drink from a glass, but on occasion we want something thicker, so we use frozen fruit and add ice to make it more of a milkshake consistency.

Here is one of my favorite smoothie recipes:

  • 1 banana, broken into pieces
  • 1/2 – 1 cup dark sweet pitted cherries, frozen
  • 2 large spoonfuls of non fat vanilla yogurt
  • 1/2 scoop vanilla whey protein powder
  • 1/2 scoop flavorless fiber powder
  • 1 squirt honey
  • ground cinnamon to taste
  • milk to taste

I mix all ingredients in a tall glass – filling the rest of the glass with the millk – and use an immersion blender to blend in the glass (I avoid dirtying extra dishes whenever possible – I hate washing dishes!).  You can of course increase, decrease, or alter any of the ingredients as desired.  Sometimes I only have plain yogurt on hand, so I add a little vanilla extract to make up for it.

We eat tons of fruit at my house already, but if you have picky eaters who don’t like fruit this can be a good way to sneak it in.  It can also be a good way to hide yogurt if your kids don’t like it (although I’ve only ever met one child who didn’t like yogurt).  This recipe is super healthy and very low fat, and adding the protein and fiber powders makes it more filling – we often use it as breakfast.  I hope this inspires you to make smoothies at your house!  Enjoy!

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We start swim lessons today!

Posted on June 8, 2009. Filed under: Daily life | Tags: , , , |

The little guy has had pool and water safety lessons since he was an infant – we did the water babies class through the YMCA every year.  But this is his first year to have real swim lessons.  We are going to a private teacher who does small classes at her home, and she is highly recommended by several parents of other kids we know.  I plan to take pictures, so hopefully I will have them up in the next couple of days.

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The FPEA Covention

Posted on June 7, 2009. Filed under: Homeschool | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Yes, I did go.  And yes, it was several weeks ago and I’m just now getting around to posting about it.  What can I say?  It’s summer. 

Anyway, I wound up going by myself since hubby had to work and my grandmother had guests come into town unexpectedly, but the experience was certainly still worthwhile.  The convention itself was huge, with what appeared to be well over a hundred different vendor booths.  I learned about a lot of different curriculum options that are available, and a lot of local booksellers that have great prices.  I also learned about educational programs at the Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI) and the Florida Aquarium– both of which are not too far from me.  They each have monthly classes during the school year geared toward different age groups.  The aquarium (of course) has classes on various sea life topics, and MOSI has all sorts of science classes.  MOSI also has a huge science library that members can use.  ***I wanted to put  a link in for MOSI as well, but apparently they are having issues with their site – Google popped up a warning that there was malware infecting computers from parts of the site.

As Marie from All About Spellingpointed out in her reply to my previous post, they did not have a booth at the convention.  I have looked more at their materials, which seem very thorough, but for right now we are taking a different approach to spelling.  My little guy seems to be a natural speller much as he is a natural reader, so we aren’t going as in depth in spelling as we would with most spelling curriculums.  Instead we are using a website called Spelling City.  It has Dolch list words for each grade level already entered, and you can input your own spelling lists or vocabulary lists as well.  Then the student can be taught the words by the program, and can play various games with each list to reinforce the words.  I will probably take him through all the Dolch words for each grade, then start adding vocab lists based on our reading in other subjects.  Actually, he likes the site and has already started on the lists of Dolch words.

One curriculum I found at the convention that I really liked was La Clase Divertida.  It’s a Spanish language program that is geared for elementary students.  It has videos to go with the lessons, as well as a workbook, and it is designed so that the whole family can do it together if desired.  I was on a pretty tight budget and had not planned to purchase any language curriculum, but when I am ready to do so I will probably get this one.

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