Saturday, March 29, 2014

Where is a cowboy when you need one? Our first 4-H Geology Field Trip (a fun way to teach kids natural laws)

  We are still a bit too young for 4-H, but we are taking advantage of the learning experience anyway. My dad, Brian, and my Godfather, Alan, used to lead our local 4-H Geology club when I was a kid. Alan's kids are my age and haven't been in 4-H in forever like me (they live out of state too). But he still is volunteering running the field trips and identifying rocks and minerals and fossils for kids in 4-H.

  Anyway, Knox is old enough to get the concept of rock collecting and putting an eye to the ground to search for fossils. So that's what we did all day. We explored the Kansas prairie looking for rocks, minerals and fossils. 

Brenden became quite the master of the rock hammer today. I was able to look for fossils without interruption as he kept himself occupied.

  There is a lot to be said for Geology and teaching kids truth. Rocks and the earth haven't changed much, yup, a rock doesn't get up and move. Sort of like the Grand Canyon, it's going to be there awhile. Anyway, it's good to get them out and show them what life used to live in the oceans that once covered Kansas, and what rocks and minerals have formed and deposited over time. These objective truths are great to show and teach to kids. And you can get my drift where I am going with this truth stuff..natural laws, God's laws...etc.  And then there is also the scientific method they learn as well, which can be applied to just about anything in life. Okay anyway, here's some pictures. 

back in a rock quarry, Marion, KS


found us a few calcite geodes


I found a huge 2 to 3 pound piece of quartz here (below) on the road near one of the cattle guards, Greenwood County, KS.


Brenden was a bit shorter than some of the prairie grass, but you really can't get lost out here as you explore and sweep the ground for specimens.


neat and pretty land features to see everywhere, Kansas really is beautiful

They were burning prairie a few miles away, the sky was overcast from smoke all day.

open range...ugh, where is a cowboy when you need one?!

MOOOOOve off the road please (sorry I can't help it)

We were in open range, and there were cows blocking the road....and you don't want them to startle because if they stampede and you're in the middle of it, well they may ram your vehicle or worse fall down that rocky embankment and break a leg or something. 

last stop, I found three Trilobites! 13 miles east of, Cassoday, KS.

Oh yea, my mini can took a beating today. Worth every little last piece of crinoid stem and bryozoa- I heard my five year old say, "Every day should be like this, Geology Field Trip, day off, Geology Field Trip, day off, Geology Field Trip, day off.. This was more fun than a light bulb experiment!"  And the best line, was he was going to miss our vacation for the next field trip, he was just going to stay home while we travel out of state ;)

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Crock pot cooking has been on the dinner menu

I really like the Crockin Girl's website. They have a ton of good recipes to use. If you want to see what we have been using off their website here's my last few weeks of dinner meals, and next weeks meals too (it's just a spread sheet). If you go on their website you can search for those meals. They are simple and don't require any effort obviously since it's a crock pot. Making the shopping list is easy too btw, not a lot of exotic ingredients to search for.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Fiat Feast day afternoon luncheon and Marian candle painting and 40 weeks till Christ's birth! whew!

Our friends met us for noon Mass today and then we came back to our house waay out on the other side of town to have lunch and do some painting and playing. It was a wonderful afternoon! And in retrospect looking at these pictures now, I am so blessed to have such a nice group of women to share these days with (I wish my sister and our cousins could have come she was the only one missing today from the pictures).

The menu.

Mary Queen of Angels Chicken- Angel Chicken is the real name
Maureen's fruit salad
Corinne's humus and pita chips
Fiat Cake and Annunciation cookies 
Sherbert rainbow punch (Sprite)

Yes, you can tell I have never written on a cake before! lol It's okay to laugh- it tasted really good!

 Poor Knox and Jack a little out numbered playing.

Corinne holding down that end of the table! Looks like Maureen is running away!

They were so good and worked hard!

I forgot to get a picture of all the candles before everyone left...kicking myself.

Genna's Marian Candle all blue and yellow

Knox's Marian Candle

Couple of M's and a Chalice. We will take them to be blessed soon and we will light them on Mary's Feast Days.

Right before bed, we lit our candles and said the first decade of the Rosary along with our Holy Heroes Joyful Mysteries CD (that one has the battle of Lepanto on it)

Fiat Mihi Secundum Verbum Tuum.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

I love listening to Fr. Barron..comments on Priests in Science

Fiat Mihi Secundum Verbum Tuum...

I made these pretty cookies with this mold today.

Available here on House on the Hill's website

Just Mary, because I ran out of dough. The recipe only made me 12 and a half cookies I think, (and we have a special cake I will work on tomorrow hopefully). I have no idea what the normal yield is since each mold is a different size. I do recommend the cake flour though, I was able to tell a difference.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Hurry post coming down on Holy Saturday! Link to free Children's Stations of the Cross book.

Ok, I got confirmation from Mrs. McKnight that this is the link! She said to let you know it will be coming down on Holy Saturday, so download that book now for free!!  Please forward my post to your friends ;) 

If you want to see Mrs. McKnight's other book on Amazon here it is. I own both, my kids and I love the ABC Life of has a twist to it being in chronological order ;) Here is my review on it.

Want to see our book lists? click here

Please leave a comment for Mrs. McKnight here if you like her wonderful book! Thanks!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

wow! Coming soon! Free book by Mrs. McKnight! Children's Station's of the Cross Illustrated by the Masters.

Check out this email! That sweet little book I showed you, that was accidentally printed in black and white? Mrs. McKnight is offering it as a free gift for Lent! (I deleted the link she sent to me- till I can figure out if she wants everyone to access through the link or through another blog) but I am so thrilled right now!  I will post it as soon as she has an answer for me. KEEP CHECKING BACK! Oh the book is back in color print now too- so if you feel compelled buy it! (The sweet lady just had a baby a few weeks ago and homeschools 7 kids- yes she is a busy woman).

Hi Shannon,

Ok, I finally put up a link and it is to Scribd where I have offered the book for free as a Lenten gift.

Also, please send me your address as I'd like to send you the print book!

Have a lovely evening,

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

St. Joseph's Feast Day Party

Happy Feast of St. Joseph!

We met up with some friends after attending Mass at our Cathedral at noon. We ate "Saint" Uncle Joseph's pizza (Cheryl's brother's pizza) and let the kids play. We did have a craft- lilies (directions below) from hand tracings.  Lilies are a symbol commonly used with depictions of Saints, they symbolize purity. Every year Cheryl makes new lilies with her kids and is growing herself a bouquet. She also set up a lovely buffet of deserts for the St. Joseph's altar. I didn't get as many pictures as had hoped (like of us scarfing St. Joseph's pizza)! But here's a few to enjoy.

trace the child's hand on white paper and cut it out

Put the green pipe cleaner through the clear bendy straw

after twisting a yellow stamen onto the stem tape the white hand around the straw and ad a leaf

To make the lilies

You will need:
yellow and green pipe cleaners, 
white and green paper,
 a hole punch, pencil, 
scissors, tape & clear bendy straws

1. outline your childs hand on white paper and cut it out
2. put a green pipe cleaner in a clear bendy straw 
3. cut a smaller yellow piece of pipe cleaner and twist the yellow around the end of the green stem to make a stamen for the flower
4. wrap and tape the hand (lily) onto the end of the bendy straw (but don't completely cover the bendy part)
5. cut out some lily leaves from green paper
6. use a hole punch and make a hole in the end of the leaf
7. slide the leaf up to the wrinkly bendy part of the straw- it should catch and stay put fairly well
8. write the name and date on the back of the leaf to recall your memories!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

save those old religious calendars from Church! Ya know the free ones? Easy art idea

The kids and I went shopping at the Catholic bookstores today, and were looking for a particular picture of the Annunciation. But alas, they all cost an arm and a leg- and they aren't even originals! So we came home and I remembered the old and new calenders I had stored away for art projects...have a gander at what you can do. The best part is this was all free! I have about 20 of those frames in a box in the basement- they are from awards from work- we weren't displaying. And since they weren't being used to display anything- perfect fit! 

2014, 2004, 2007, yea there is an array of old and new calendars. They were all free from various Church's around Christmas.

This will go up during Easter season rather than the Angelus picture below.

Oh a Solemnity celebration is tomorrow! Hopefully I will get some good pictures for you.

This is in our dining area, we always saw the Angelus at lunch time, and occasionally at other meals. Now everyone who is over can read and follow along.