Sunday, October 11, 2009

Why you get a Sock Monkey

guest author: Ellie

A sock monkey is the best toy. You do your chores, you clean your room, you get your commission. You go to Wal-mart; for $8, there's a sock monkey on the shelf. Oh, that's what I have in my wallet! I must get it! Yahoo! I got it. I named him Sam The Sock Monkey.
The End.

Misty's note: We were shopping for cousin birthday presents and Ellie saw The Original Sock Monkeys at Wal-mart. She was so excited! She couldn't wait to complete all her chores, so she could earn her commission and buy her very own green and blue striped sock monkey. Last Sunday, she had to wait all morning and afternoon browsing at the Plaza with me, while Brother and Daddy went to the Cheifs' game. We saw littler sock monkeys in stores at the Plaza, which cost more money. Finally, we got to come home, go to our local Wal-mart and buy the sock monkey!

Hard Tack

This is a Wyatt with a piece of hard tack that he, Ellie, and I made Thursday. Hard tack is "army food inside of the Civil War time period," says Wyatt. Hard tack is also known as ships bread, sheet iron crackers, and tooth dullers. There are a lot of recipes out there for hard tack. The one we used was "Army Hard Tack" found at Hard Tack Recipes. I felt it was the most authentic recipe because it called for whole wheat flour...which I imagine is mostly what they used back then...and our teacher at the Student Enrichment Day told us that it was just flour, salt, and water. You can learn more about hard tack at Gett Kidz-Civil War Food.

Hard tack was a staple to the military diet and many travelers. Basically, hard tack is a giant cracker or really hard piece of bread. The bread was usually twice baked and could last a very long time without going bad. If you were able to, you would soften hard tack using coffee, soup, or warm grease from cooking meat.

Ellie says hard tack is too hard. Wyatt says hard tack is as good as dirt. Thomas was shocked when he came home and picked up a piece off the stove. He said, "What is that?" Misty thinks it's not too bad; she could travel in 1800's and survive. But she's glad she had the foresight to only make a half-batch of Army Hard Tack.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Why I love my teacher

guest author: Ellie
age: almost 9

1. She is my Mom.
2. She teaches me fun science.
3. She is the most important Misty in the whole world.
4. In arithmetic, she allows me to chew gum as much as I want.
5. On field trips, we have fun!

Misty's notes: I didn't know I taught fun science...yea! I have fun on field trips, too. And I love my students, Ellie and Wyatt!

Why does your Momma not make hard tack?

guest author: Wyatt
age: almost 7

It will work your Mommy to hard. You don't give her enough attention. She doesn't know the recipe for it. And you don't give her enough morning cuddles. Because you don't have good Science projects; like you don't have a popsicle stick two story house. And you don't grow butterflies out of caterpillars. And you don't get your commission. You don't paint your popsicle stick house. And I don't think that you could bite it. One of your teeth might fall out. Whenever I bit hard tack, it took me three times, just to get a little piece out. And you don't yell, "Mommy, help!" whenever you see a spider. And you're not old enough to eat it. Any you're too lazy to help. And you don't treat your Mommy with respect. And you don't give her back rubs (I still owe you a back rub!). And you don't let your Mommy make you work. You don't clean the basement. You don't clean your bedroom. You don't clean the playroom. You don't clean the classroom. And most of all, you do not wash your hands whenever you go to the bathroom. Ewww!!! And you don't keep your pencils sharpened. And you act like a baby. And you do baby talk. Now that is the end of the Wyatt hard tack story.

Misty's notes: Wyatt is none of these, because he & Mommy are going to make some hard tack today. Commission is payment for chores...what we used to call allowance...thanks to Dave Ramsey, wages have a new name at our house.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Civil War Weekend

We had a great field trip on Friday for the Student Enrichment Day of our local Historical Festival. The festival centers on the Civil War time period. I planned the field trip for our homeschool co-op. The kids all had a great time. They got to learn dances from the period.

They played period games.

They learned about instruments that would be played by young boys in the army. This was taught by one of the co-creators of the Civil War Kids Club. He is the eleven year old boy kneeling in the center of the picture. He did a wonderful job teaching and sharing with the kids. I think all the moms were impressed with him.

They learned about clocks (which was not as interesting...Ellie and some of the other kids look really bored in that picture). They did get to do an experiment, which I think they all enjoyed. I didn't get a picture of that though, because I was trying to help.

They learned about spinning and weaving and Civil War Military "stuff" (no picutures of that). The man who taught them about the Civil War Military "stuff" also had hard tack for us to try. Wyatt is now in love with hard tack. I got a recipe off the internet and another from one of our librarians today. He cannot wait for us to make hard tack. He says, "Hard tack is better than ice cream".

They also got to go on a wagon ride. Everyone got a chance to drive the horses! Ellie declined, because of her allergies. I drove the horses though. I told Thomas that I'm ready to get a team. My great-grandpa Edgar had a team of horses. Their names were Closer and Sweetheart! True story!

The wind was blowing like crazy that day, so unfortunately Ellie's allergies were also going like crazy. She is allergic to dogs and horses, both of which were present, and has some seasonal allergies. I wasn't thinking, and left her allergy pills in the car. I had to run against the wind to get them for her. Meanwhile, all the kids (except for my two...Wyatt is really careful of his and Sister's allergies) were petting the horses...then she is pushing them away when they try to hug her. Ugh! Also, almost all the families with us have dogs in their they could have been "carriers". Ellie is so sensitive that one day my sister had been at her future mother-in-laws (who keeps a large indoor dog) and then sat down with Ellie at our Mom & Dad's with her same clothes on; Ellie had a really bad allergic reaction. Since then, my sister is always careful to change their clothes after they've been there and are going to see Ellie.

My kids and I continued with the Civil War weekend fun on Saturday (while the Hubby was playing in a Tennis Tournament...which he won his division). Since they joined the Civil War Kids Club, they got to dress up and reenact at the actual festival on Saturday. They participated in three reenactments. I wish I would have posed them while they were still in costume at the festival, but I will think better next time.

They also got to do a cool thing called Pioneers in the Woods; which someone took a lot of care and time to put together! They went to different stations learning about life in pioneer days (based on the Little House on the Prairie series by Laura Ingalls Wilder). At the end they got to eat squirrel stew (which my children declined, but I thought looked yummy) cooked over an open fire, apple cider, apple crisp, and cornbread muffins.

Here is a funny one. You've probably heard the expression: "You got a bee in your bonnett?". Well, Ellie literally had a bee in her bonnett on Saturday! Then we bought her a mob cap at one of the booths for $2.50 (the guy had everything 1/2 off, because he was going out of business), and she got a bee in her mob cab!!

There was a homeschool family (who also taught dance at the Student Enrichment Day) who had a camp site where they were making biscuits and apple butter on an open fire. I don't know if I've ever had biscuits made with lard (I always make them with butter or shortening), but they were delicious. The apple butter was really good, too. The kids liked them, too. Guess I need to learn to cook on an open fire.

Everyone there volunteered to do what they were doing. It was really awesome. After the big battle reenactment, I took my kids home to change clothes. Then we came back for the dance.

Oh, my goodness, the dance was so much fun!!! The homeschool mom, who taught at the Student Enrichment Day, taught this huge group of people all these folk dances like Red River Valley, the Virginia Reel, and many more that I don't remember the name of. The kids joined in, people got mixed up, we ate a lot of barn dust, but everyone was laughing, smiling, and having a great time.

I knew some of the moves like do-si-do, swing your partner, alemand left & right, chain, and star from learning square dancing, and couple of folk dances, in school. My parents and I took square dancing, and line dancing, lessons my Senior year of high school. I also remembered that I took square dancing for one of my PE credits in college. I don't remember the last time I had so much fun and got exercise at the same time! My legs were sore the next day, but it was worth it!

Oh, no! I just realized that the date on my camera is showing European style (day, month, year) instead of American style (month, day, year). I need to fix that, or I will be really confused on the date of my pictures!