Recycling: Earth Week Unit Study

EARTH WEEK!  Even at a young age, there are lots of things your kids can do to be more eco friendly.  Click Ways Your Kids Can Help to get some ideas!  And reduce that carbon footprint!

Recycle Box
Start a recycle box!  It's amazing all the stuff that can be recycled that normally gets thrown away.  Make sure you find out your city's recycling rules, they often vary from area to area.  We found putting a list of recyclables on the refrigerator helps.  Also posting signs up have a visual reminder about paper, plastic and glass.  Kiley has been such a big help taking the recyclables down to the box and keeping us on our toes. I like saving glass jars and bottles when we've used up the contents inside.  They are good for storing our dehydrated fruit, leftovers, utensils, art supplies and etc.  I've made homemade goodies and salsa, put it inside the glass jar and given them as gifts too!

Make A Compost Bin
If you're family eats as many fruits and veggies as we do then a compost bin would be great to start! Especially if you're into gardening.  I was surprised to find out how much you can compost that isn't food.  Like wine corks, latex balloons, receipts and the dust crud inside the vacuum cleaner!  Visit TLC 75 Things You Can Compost for a list.  Since we live in a townhouse and have a small backyard we opted for a compost bin instead of a pile.  Now when I'm making dinner, I'll save food for compost and Kiley will take it out for me when I'm done.  Visit to Green Sprouts learn how to build a composter.

Melt Crayons
There's almost always broken and leftover unused crayons in Kiley's art desk. We have found a fun way to make them reusable instead of trash!  First you'll want to remove any wrapper that's left on them.  Second, find an old muffin pan and set the oven to 300 degrees.  Put crayons in the muffin pan.  You can do like colors or throw in an assortment to make a rainbow crayon!  The crayons don't take long to melt so watch closely.  Last, when they have fully melted, take out and let them cool all the way.  Then pop them out and you have cookie colors!  They color pretty well in small spaces for being such big crayons.  But are great for quickly coloring large pages.  *I would like to find a mold so we can melt fun shaped crayons!

The Lorax by Dr. Seuss tells a cautionary story from many directions.  One from the direction of a forest and the creatures that inhibit it, one from an entrepreneur who has big dreams and won't let anyone get in his way, another from the Lorax who speaks for the inflicted creatures of the forest and last, the boy who desired to know what once was.

I was very young, maybe 4 or 5, when I first read the Lorax and it has stuck with me all through the years, being my favorite Dr. Seuss book.  I think it's an excellent children's book to show how harmful it is when we don't take care of our environment and how we have to be the ones to do it.

"Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better.  It's not." The Lorax Project at has a lot of information and fun activities about recycling!

Just A Dream by Chris Van Allsburg is like the litter bug version of the Christmas Carol.  Walter is a litter bug and finds recycling a waste of his time.  While his neighbor is proud of the tree she received for her birthday.  That night Walter dreams about the future.  It's full of trash, noise, stench and smog.  He is not happy with this future and keeps hoping it's all just a dream.  He wakes up with a whole new perspective and takes responsibility by starting to recycle and getting a tree of his own.

Fun Video
Watch this old Disney video featuring Donald Duck as a litter bug.

There's my little grass lover.   Daddy had to mow that day and she protested by laying down in her favorite spot.

We've Gone Cloth!

10 months ago we started using cloth napkins in our home instead of paper napkins.  And not long after that we started using old cloth towels to clean with instead of paper towels.  There is a big debate as to whether cloth or paper is better to use.  And each has it's own pro's and con's for household use and mass majority use.  But in this blog I'll be discussing household use since that's what I am personally are familiar with.

For us as a family, going cloth has made a big difference.  We are saving a good deal of money not having to buy napkins and paper towels.  We would go through napkins pretty quick, even for a small family of 3.  If we all used only one napkin for each meal, 3 meals a day, that would be 9 napkins a day.  That's not counting extra napkins used for snacks or messy dinners like BBQ and such.  9 napkins a day x 365 days = 3,285 napkins used a year.  That's a low end figure.  I know we used paper towels like crazy!  I would use them to wipe down the counters, table, sinks, bathrooms, mirrors, dust and clean up messes.  So there is no telling how many rolls we went through a year.

But doesn't washing cloth napkins cost money and energy?  Yes, it does, but it's minimal.  I'm already washing clothes at least once a week.  So, why not add some cloth napkins in with my regular laundry!  That solved that problem.  And unlike paper napkins that are thrown away after one use, our cloth napkins are used many times before getting washed.  Some people may think that sounds gross, but after looking online I found that many people wait to wash their napkins until they are visibly soiled.  Just think, sometimes you hardly get anything on your napkin, but will throw it away at the end of a meal. 

Why we like it!

+Saves us money.
+Very durable, absorbent and soft.
+Re-purpose old towels and cloths to clean/use around the house.
+Will last us very long time.
+Can be used for many many years instead of going right to a landfill.
+Make your own or buy used to have a minimal environmental impact.
+Wash with the rest of your laundry.  In cold water!
+Some cloth doesn't require softener when washing.

I bought our cloth napkins off Etsy.  They are made from a Birdseye cloth that gets softer and more absorbent with each wash.  It's not recommended to use softener when washing them or it will decrease absorbency.  Here is the Etsy site I purchased our napkins from, there are a lot of colors to chose from.

We made the decision and just went with it.  But when I started writing this blog I came across websites with debates on whether cloth or paper was better.  Each side has some valid points. You can decide for yourself.

According to NRDC "If every household in the United States replaced just one package of virgin fiber napkins (250 count) with 100% recycled ones, we could save 1 million trees."

Click below for more information:

Teaching Your Kids To Recycle

Teaching your kids how to recycle is one of the best things you can do when deciding to become an eco friendly family.  Kids will hold you responsible.  They will call you out on what you teach them if you aren't following it yourself.  They will remind you of what you should be doing.  I know.  Cause when I was young I did it to my parents, I've seen friends children do it and now my own child has done it to me.  So, teach your kids about recycling, why we do it and ways to do it.  And the next time you go to throw away paper, they will dig it up out of the trash and say, "Hey!  That's not where that goes!"

Ways Your Kids Can Help!
.Get a recycle box!  Put plastic, paper, glass, cardboard, newspaper and cans inside.  Keep a lookout for the recycle symbol on everything you go to throw away.  A lot can be recycled! 
.Turn off the lights when you leave a room. 
.Use both sides of a sheet of paper.  Makes for more drawings! 
.Plant a garden or a tree. 
.Keep your Play-Doh jars and use them to keep small toys, money, hair barrettes, etc in or use it as a crayon/pencil holder! 
.Turn off the tap when brushing your teeth to save water. 
.Pick up trash, even if it's not yours. 
.Donate your old used books, clothes and toys.  Many churches take donations and some towns have drop boxes for you to drop off items you don't use anymore. 
.Save old broken crayons.  Tear off the paper and melt in oven with alike colors in a muffin pan or mold to keep reusing! 
.Use old magazines as wrapping paper. 
.Make a compost bin. 
.Carpool.  Try to drive less and walk more. 
.Use cloth bags instead of plastic. 
.Use cloth napkins and towels instead of using paper towels or napkins. 
.Take a shower instead of a bath. 
.Share! Instead of buying new toys, books or movies, trade out with friends! 
.Save glass and plastic jars/bottles to store snacks and stuff in.
Come up with your own ideas.  Get creative!

PARENTS: Look up your city's garbage and recycling services.  They can give you a list of what's recyclable and non recyclable.  Post it up on your refrigerator so the whole family can see.

Every year, one American produces over 3,285 pounds of hazardous waste.  Over 80% of items in landfills can be recycled, but they're not.  Aluminum can takes 200-500 years to decompose.  A Plastic jug takes 1 million years to decompose.  Styrofoam lasts for eternity. 

Recycling isn't always easy.  It takes time and work.  But the earth will be a cleaner, healthier place to live in the long run if we all do our part.

Recycling websites for kids.  Click below:
Lorax Project
Build A Composter
Do Something

Horton Hears A Who Unit Study

The story is about an elephant named Horton who becomes caretaker/protector for a different type of creature from himself, the Who.  This is no easy task, for all the animals in the jungle think he is crazy and steal the Who away from him.  But Horton stands by his friends no matter what happens.

Horton Hears A Who is an excellent story that teaches it's important to stand up for something you believe in, even if everyone else is against you.  I think Horton shows himself to be courageous and a really good friend.  It shouldn't matter how different we are,

"A person's a person.  No matter how small."


Learning About Other Cultures
The Who are so small that the whole town lives on a speck of dust!  They are much different than the animals that live in the Jungle of Nool.

Kiley and I google imaged different cultures.  We were able to see how other countries cultures are different from ours.  We learned about how they look, dress, eat, favorite sports and activities.  Some countries we googled were:

Helping Others
Horton helped the Who because they were much smaller than him and needed help.  If no one helped them then they could come to great harm.

There are things we do as a family to help those in need.  Some on a regular basis and some a few times a year.  I wanted to find something that Kiley could do on her own and it be something she was passionate about.  She has a heart for other little kids and enjoys making pictures for the little girl we sponsor through VistionTrust

I found a site called Latte Losers. You can read about Latte Losers and what Kiley decided to do to help others by visiting the link:

Showing A Loved One You Care
This worked out perfect because it's daddy's birthday this week and Kiley wanted to make him a coconut cake.  She's been planning the coconut cake & balloons for over a month now.  And since my husband loves raw goodies we made him a Raw Coconut Cake.  Recipe can be found at this link:

Hearing & Frequency
Horton is the only animal in the jungle that could hear the Who.

   "Elephants can hear frequencies much lower than the range of humans. Some researchers who were studying elephants in Africa discovered this. The story goes that a herd of elephants they were observing suddenly perked up their ear and ran off in a direction, as if they heard someone calling them. The researchers said they didn't hear anything, but some said they felt something strange in their bodies, just before the elephants ran off.
   After studying this situation, they found that elephants could make a very low frequency sound that humans can’t hear. Elephants are able to hear this sound coming from up to 5 miles away. It is amazing the distances from while they can communicate with each other."

It wasn't until every Who was yelling and making loud noises that the sound was at a pitch that the other animals could hear.  To study different noises we made a Loudness Level Graphs using appliances and such around the house.  Computer, dehydrator, tea kettle, door bell, blender, dogs, etc.  Kiley listened to each one and chose whether it was quiet, loud or really loud.

Fun Activities
There is a Seussville website that has lots of fun activities involving Dr. Seuss books.  Here's a link for some Horton activities. 

Favorite quotes from the book:
Horton: "A person is a person.  No matter how small."
Mayor to little Jo-Jo: "So, open your mouth, lad! For every voice counts!"

Rent The Movie
With voice talents: Jim Carey, Steve Carell, Carol Burnett, Will Arnett, Seth Rogen, Jonah Hill and Amy Poehler.

The movie sticks to the book very well, adding some extra details here and there. 

Other websites used for ideas and information:

Raw Coconut Cake

Don't be turned off by the word "raw."  It's just nature's goodness, with no additives or preservatives.  It's also easy, quick to make and no baking involved! 

When I looked online for a raw coconut cake recipe, I found a couple ones that looked really good.  But I ended up making my own recipe for two reasons.  1. I wanted to use what I already had in the house-as few ingredients as possible.  2.  We were going to be taking it camping, so I wanted it to be easy to pack and survive the elements.  It's inspired by a raw pecan pie recipe and lots O' coconut!

What You Will Need:
Shredded Coconut
Coconut Oil
Coconut Milk
Goji Berries
Sea Salt
Raw Honey or Light Agave

Let's Do This!
One thing I love about making raw goodies is I don't have to worry about measuring out every single thing.  I just eyeball it and put in however much/less we like of a certain food.  So, if you're a "measure it all out type", I'm sorry, I can't give exact measurements on this recipe.  But I'll try to come close!

First take the almonds and put them in a blender.  Chop them up until they are fine, almost like a cornmeal. (I used about 1 1/2 cup of almonds). Then also add to blender: a little bit of goji berries (about tbsp), 15 to 20 dates (the dates help it all stick together), pinch of sea salt, a big glob of raw honey or agave, and as much shredded coconut you want.  I put about 1 cup, maybe more.  Make it as coconutty as you want.  Blend well until there are no big chunks left.  Tip: Cutting up the dates in half has helped them chop better and faster in the blender.

Second find something to put your cake in and rub it with coconut oil.  Just a thin layer will do.  I used a glass pie dish.  Take out your "cake" mix from the blender and press down into the dish/pan.  Then take a bunch more shredded coconut and spread on top.  

Last is the topping/cream, whatever you want to call it.  I didn't make much of it.  Just enough to drizzle over the cake.  I wasn't sure how this part would turn out.  But it came out pretty good.  The topping ended up soaking into the cake and making it a tad moist with some extra flavor.  In the blender put about 1/2 cup of coconut milk.  I used coconut milk I bought from the store.  Next time I would like to make it with a Thai coconut.  I think it would have more flavor.  Take half of the lemon and squeeze the juice in the coconut milk.  Blend well.  Lightly drizzle enough to cover the whole cake.  Don't overdue it.  Let sit in the fridge for at least 30 mins.

We all thought it came out pretty tasty, hope you do too!

Latte Losers

This week in homeschool our unit study is over the book, Horton Hears A Who by Dr. Seuss.  And today we talked about how to help those who are in need of a friend to help them out in a big way. 

There are so many ways to help others.  We chose to find out about  
Latte Losers

from the website:
"Latte Losers is a movement of university students who are passionate about changing the lives of children all over the world...........providing food to children in serious risk of malnutrition, death or trafficking.  By giving $5 a month (the average cost to feed a child for a month) one latte lost, one life radically changed."

Neither Kiley nor I drink coffee.  We don't drink soda's either.  Water and juice is about it.  We don't buy junk food either.  With being a one income family, our grocery budget is pretty tight.  So, what to give up?  Kiley's favorite juice is Juicy Juice Strawberry Banana.  She gets a jug once a week at $3.20.  Which I think is pricey compared to the $1.99 Apple Juice.  But we get both cause that's the deal.  One apple juice and she picks the second one.  
We talked about our friends in Guatemala and how they need help sometimes.  How there are kids her age everywhere that don't get to eat everyday.  And they aren't able to go into their kitchen and pick out something for a snack. 
I asked her if she would be willing, once a month, to give up her favorite strawberry banana juice so that another little kid could eat dinner that month.  She sat there and thought about it for a bit.

I could tell that she was really thinking it over.  It was written all over her face.  $5 really isn't that much, but it is to a kid.  Especially giving up something that you enjoy!  But I wanted it to be something she wanted to do.  To learn what it's like to give up something important in order help out someone else.  You can't teach that.  It has to be experienced.  

After about a minute, she said yes, that she would give up her juice.  I am so proud of her!  I gave her a big hug. The juice isn't $5 but we will make up the rest out of the grocery budget.  

This is a very doable & simple way to impact a child's life! 

To learn how to get involved, facts on Latte Losers and world hunger, visit:
Or like their Facebook page at:
(Photos are from Latte Losers) 

Alternative To Shampoo

A while back a friend of mine told me that she hadn't washed her hair in weeks.  Huh?  But not to be grossed out because it was clean.  So, if you don't wash it, how is it clean?

Going 'Poo Free
After some thought and reading on the internet, I decided that we as a family would try it out.  It couldn't hurt anything, might not end up liking it, but we could always go back to shampoo.  And if it worked, it would be WAY cheaper than continuously buying shampoo and conditioners. 

And we are "hair care" people.  We use that lovely stuff called Biolage.  It can soften and untangle any hot mess.  I have two shampoo's I use, a regular one and one used once a week since I color my hair.  Then Kiley has her kids shampoo. And then there's all that haircare products-gel, mousse, hairspray and detangler.  So, the $$ adds up.

5 months ago we went 'Poo free.

I read online that a transition period would take place and could cause your scalp to become very oily.  "Shampoo cleans your hair, but it also strips it of all the healthy oil your body naturally produces. These oils protect your hair and keep it soft and strong."
Not having the shampoo strip your hair of it's natural oil could cause your scalp to go into oil overload, making up for lost time, I guess.

This wasn't the case for us.  I think because the same month we moved to Utah was the same month we went 'Poo free.  Moving from Texas climate to Mountain climate has caused our skin to dry out more than we are normally used to.  Especially during the winter.  My whole head dried out. Ok so, you don't use shampoo or conditioner now, then what are you using??

Baking Soda. What can't you used baking soda for these days!  That stuff is awesome.  I found using 1 tsp of baking soda to 1 cup of water works the best.  At first I used more baking soda to ensure my hair was getting clean, but it was too much.  Tip: Use hot water when mixing it with the baking soda.  It helps the two mix, if not then the baking soda will clump up.  Which isn't cool.

Apple Cider Vinegar.  This is conditioners substitute.  It helps detangle the hair and keep it soft. I take a bottle and fill half of it up with the vinegar and the other half with water.  That's it.

Both of these "recipes" can be tweeked. If your hair is becoming too dry, try using less baking soda.  If it's too oily, try using less vinegar or none at all.

I took a couple of hand pump bottles that we were done using to put our baking soda/vinegar concoction in.  I also use a funnel to make less of a mess.  I'll shake the bottles often to make sure it stays mixed.

Application. The idea is to put the baking soda & vinegar mix right onto your scalp and rub it in.  This is supposed to clean your scalp and allow it to release your natural body oil.  I found the hand pump bottles work best for getting the solutions right onto the scalp.

Pros 'Poo free:

Hair is WAY more manageable.  I no longer use mousse.  Still use hairspray, but that's about it.  And this was with long hair down my back and now with super short hair.  Either way, my hair is much easier to fix.

Soft and Clean.  I was worried my hair wouldn't feel soft anymore, but it still does! And smells good!

Can handle color treated hair.  I was concerned that the harshness of dye would be too much for 'Poo free and I would need to use shampoo and conditioner.  Nope.  It cleans out the dye and softens my hair right back up!  I also noticed that it keeps my hair color vibrant a couple weeks longer than usual.  Which means I color my hair less often.  And I colored using home kit color sets and going to a salon.


Don't have to wash my hair as often.  Supposedly you can wean off baking soda and vinegar all together, relying only on water in the shower to remove dirt and oil.  I haven't come close to this. 

Working well for my husband and the kiddo.

The only con was a dryer scalp, but as I said before, I think the change in climate has something to do with it.  For instance, since moving here Kiley's skin is drying out so bad that we had to buy Eczema cream for her arms and shoulders.  We are keeping her lotioned up so it won't come back.

I realize this isn't for everyone and may not work out for most people. But it's worked well for us and I think we'll continue to use this method.   

That's me pictured on the left with the red hair.
Super long hair and 'Poo free.  Still clean, soft and manageable. 

Now that I have short hair, it's still the same, just faster to wash. 

Websites I learned about 'Poo Free:
Simple Mom-How To Clean Your Hair Without Shampoo
Wiki-No Poo

Choco Banana Smoothie Recipe


Choco Banana Smoothie:
2 frozen banana's
1/2c coconut milk
Tbsp goji berries
Tsp-Tbsp cacao

Chop up the banana's and add all ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth. You can chose how much cacao to use, depending how chocolaty you want it.  You can also substitute Ovaltine in place of cacao.

MMMMM, this makes such a yummy smoothie.  It's like eating a chocolate banana. 

Tip: When our bananas start to get ripe, I peel them and put them on a plate in the freezer.  They will keep for a long time and will be ready for smoothie making!

Goji Berries are filled with powerful antioxidants and other compounds that may help prevent cancer and other illnesses like heart disease.  Antioxidants may also boost the immune system and lower cholesterol.  Goji berries also have compounds rich in vitamin A that may have anti-aging benefits.
information found atWebMD-Goji Berries Health Benefits

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom Unit Study

This week we read Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin Jr & John Archambault

A cute rhyming story where all the lower case letters race up the coconut tree.  And then uppercase "mommy and daddy's" come to the rescue.

It's a fun and witty rhyme with very colorful artwork.  Lots of letter recognition practice opportunities for little ones!

We went to the local produce stand and bought a coconut.  When we got home I had Kiley hold it and tell me what she knows about coconuts:

Comes out of a coconut tree
We drink it's juice
We eat it
Has 3 little dots

When daddy got home we had him show us how he opens a coconut.  To learn how to open a coconut and interesting health benefits from eating them, click below:
Crack Open A Coconut

Fruit Smoothie:
2 frozen bananas
Handful of strawberries
Coconut water

Cut up the banana and strawberries.  Then put all the ingredients into a blender and blend that baby up!

I like using frozen bananas because it makes the smoothie just the right thickness. It also makes it cold without having to use ice.  We also like to use raw honey, pineapple and goji berries in our fruit smoothies, but the strawberries we had were pretty sweet so we went with a basic smoothie.

Write A Rhyme!
We also made a rhyming story, just like Chicka Chicka Boom Boom.  Kiley decided to write about her favorite stuffed toy, Teddy.  She came up with words that rhymed and the story line.  I filled in the gaps.

To read about it and view the cute pictures she drew for the story, click below:

Play the Letter Game!
A few months ago, I made alphabet cards out of colored construction paper.  A to Z in upper case and in lower case.

Throw out 3 letter cards and ask a question pertaining to one of the 3 cards.  Once answered correctly throw out 3 more cards, ask a question and so on.  Question examples:

Which is the A card?
Which card has a letter from your name in it?
Which letter makes the ssssss sound?
Which letter starts with Elephant?
Which card has an upper/lower case N?
and so on...
also.. lay out all the uppercase letter cards, out of order, on the floor.  Give the lowercase letter cards to your child one at a time and have them find the uppercase that matches.


Recreate the Story! 
I made a poor looking coconut tree out of a brown paper bag and construction paper, put it on the fridge and gave Kiley our magnetic letters.  She took the letters and acted out the story.  Story line: All the LC baby letters make it up the tree and then fall down.  UC mommy & daddy letters come to the rescue, finding their babies and then giving their bobo's kisses.

Kiley had a lot of fun playing with the letters for a couple hours.

Ideas for this week came from a unit study at:

ABCmouse is a website that provides curriculum for preschool through kindergarten, covering subjects such as reading, math, science, art, colors and music.  It's visually stimulating, easy to use and kid oriented.

Kiley loves it and I love how well she's learning from it!

As a parent, when you sign up, you will set up a profile for yourself and your child.  The Parent profile allows you to track your child's progress and what lessons they have completed.  You can add up to 3 children per account.  You pick what grade level your child is in.  Each child creates their own avatar and chooses a teacher.

Your child starts out in the classroom (which is full of fun learning activities) and is instructed to click on the big white board.  This takes them on a lesson path.  I like this because another site I used did not have the curriculum laid out in order.  It was subjects all over the place and your child randomly choose one.

Each path showcases a biome.  For instance, the first path was in a pine forest.  You must complete 6 to 8 activities before taking the next step.  Once you complete 5 steps then you advance to the next lesson path.

Some activities we have encountered: story time (words are highlighted as they are read aloud), coloring pages, color by number, primary colors, puzzles, learning letters, letter sounds, counting, sing songs with the bouncing ball, learn about different biomes, days of the week, seasons, problem solving, animals, food, the world around us.  That's what I can think of off the top of my head. 

Besides working on the lesson path, your child has other fun learning activities to do.  There is a zoo, farm and library to visit.  They have a virtual aquarium and hamster cage where you can take care of your pets and buy more.  Each activity that is completed your child is given tickets.  They can save up the tickets and use them to buy pets, clothes, and items for their virtual room.  Kiley really likes this.

I don't know if the site is still offering a free month trial, but it was when I signed up, a few weeks ago.  You can pay $7.95/month or $79/year.  

I really suggest trying out this website!  For homeschooling little ones or after school fun for those in public school. 

Here's the link!

Kiley's Rhyming Story: Teddy

This week we read Chicka Chicka Boom Boom for our weekly book.  One of our activities was to come up with a story that rhymes, like Chicka Chicka Boom Boom, cause it's a rhyming story. ;) 

Kiley wanted to write a story about her favorite stuffed animal, Teddy.  She would tell me what was to happen in the story.  I would pick out a word, tell her the word and then have her tell me words that rhymed with that word.  With her rhyming words and story direction, I filled in the blanks.  And so, with the two of us collaborating, this is the story. 

Teddy is a cute little bear,
Who has soft, fuzzy green hair.
He's a nice ole bear cause he likes to share.
He's hungry and wiggles a coconut tree.
But instead of a coconut, out comes a bee!
The bee is friendly, his name is Lee.
The two play together with a ball.
Watch out Teddy!  Don't you fall!
They dressed up in costumes like Hello Kitty.
And headed off to the great big city.
There they got hungry and ate a bitty.
And then they went to sleep!
Kiley was very adamant about adding the going to sleep part at the end.  And no story is complete without a picture or two.

Kiley has had Teddy since the day she was born.  He's always been a bedtime favorite.
These days he looks pretty "loved" meaning worn out, lost some stuffing, smelly and you can't see his eyes.  

Crack Open A Coconut

We LOVE coconuts!  We eat them many different ways.


Shredded up in our homemade granola 

We put fresh coconut water in our smoothies 

In chocolate milk instead of using milk

I put coconut milk in our Leek & Chicken patties
& other dinners to cream and sweeten it up

We use coconut oil in our raw desserts and rub it on our skin!

Even our dog Ella loves raw coconut!
Our house always has coconut milk, organic shredded coconut and coconut oil in it.
But when we buy a coconut we have daddy crack it for us.

Items Needed:
Ice Pick

Take the ice pick and poke the 3 holes in the coconut.

After you poke the ice pick all the way through, turn the coconut upside down on top of a cup to let the water drain out. 

Young coconuts have more water in them than older ones, like the one we are using here.  And the young ones you open differently. 

Once the coconut is drained you wrap it up in the towel, take it outside and whack the heck out of it with the hammer.

It will break into pieces.  You can use a peeler to get the shell off.  And then rinse the pieces in water.

We like snacking on it raw.

There are many health benefits to eating coconuts.  Like for instance:

Coconut water is one of the highest sources of electrolytes known to man.  It also is identical to human blood plasma which makes it a universal donor.

It improves digestion, fights off viruses & kills off bacteria.

Cooking with coconut oil helps increase thyroid function and boosts your metabolism!

This isn't even half of all the awesomeness a coconut has to offer!

 Now just eat and ENJOY!

Easter Week & Spring

This week was a little different.  Since it was Easter week and spring break for many, we decided to have a Easter/Spring themed week.  And instead of having lots of activities surrounding one book, we found a couple of books that coincided with our weeks theme.  Here are the books:

The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams Art by William Nicholson

A little toy bunny dreams of becoming real.  He learns what it is like to really be loved, but it's not an easy journey to becoming real. 

Monday we learned about the season Spring. What the weather is like, what the trees look like, how buds and flowers are blooming and cute baby animals are born.  So we made a poster.

Kiley had a lot of fun making hand prints with the paint on the poster board.  I printed out coloring pages, we colored them and then glued them onto the poster board.

Tuesday we practiced our Spanish again.  Learning to count 1 to 10.  We also hiked Birdsong Trail which isn't far from our house.  It's a short 1.80 mile hike that goes up a small mountain, through a forest and over several streams.  Kiley and Ella seemed to enjoy themselves. 
That afternoon we read the Velveteen Rabbit.  Kiley lined up some of her animals to listen to the story. 

I always loved this book when I was little.  I remember having toys that I loved and played with all the time and wondered if they came to life when I wasn't around.  Not only does the book talk about bunnies and a little about spring but it talks about love.

Kiley painted a watercolor Velveteen Rabbit.  I'm not going to lie.  It looks like a zombie rabbit that just ate something. 

"Real isn't how you are made, It's a thing that happens to you.  When a child love you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become real."

"Generally, by the time you are real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby.  But these things don't matter at all, because once you are real you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand."

Wednesday was fun.  Made Easter eggs, but instead of using dye we used crayons! They came out really neat and were fun to make.  I don't know if it's safer than using dye, but it has to be!  When we've used dye before it's always colored the boiled egg, like the dye has seeped into the egg and that can't be good.  The crayon left the eggs white like normal.

It's really easy to do.  You just need eggs and crayons.  I shaved some of the crayons to sprinkle on the eggs.  We boiled them, took them one by one out of the hot pot with tongs and placed them on a towel because they stay hot for a while.  And then just drew on them!  The hot egg melts the crayon right onto it. 

We put them in an empty egg crate and let them dry for an hour.  You have to be careful not to smudge it before it dries.

Thursday we practiced our Spanish again.  I think it was our 3rd or 4th lesson but Kiley can already count to 5 all by herself and can remember some of the other numbers.  We made a seasons tree which can be read about on this blog: homeschooljabber-seasons tree

Friday we read The Easter Story.  I think it did a good job of telling the story of Christ's death and resurrection to a child.  The artwork was good and aided in explaining to Kiley what happened.  To have a reminder of Jesus' death and resurrection we made a little tomb and used a Prince Charming toy to play the part of Jesus.  The tomb was made out of a plastic cup and a paper bag.  We also crumbled up a paper bag to use as the rock rolled in front of the grave.  We laid dead "Jesus" in the tomb and Kiley covered him with a cloth she had from one of her dolls.  On Easter morning we checked the tomb and he was gone!  We found him later in the bathroom making sure Kiley brushed her teeth and spreading the good news.  :)

We also filled plastic eggs with jellybeans.  I found a website that has a meaning for each colored jellybean. 
We didn't have every color, but still did it anyway.  Kiley had fun separating them and of course eating them!  We also played addition and subtraction games with the jellybeans. 

Here are some interesting facts we learned about bunnies.
Rabbits teeth never stop growing.
A baby rabbit is called a kit.
Rabbits can not vomit.
Rabbits eat their own poop.
Rabbits can be litter trained.
Rabbits love to chew.
A 4lb Rabbit will drink as much as a 20lb dog.

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