October 10, 2014

Halloween Sewing: Trick-or-Treat Bags

As soon as I saw this picture that The Cottage Mama posted on Instagram, I knew I had to make some trick-or-treat bags for the kids this year!! Have I mentioned the fact that I love Halloween in Michigan?! Even though I sewed costumes for the girls in Alaska, we never took the kids trick-or-treating. The idea of walking around the neighborhood in the dark and snow, probably wearing coats over the costumes I'd worked so hard on, didn't sound so appealing, so we stuck with the library storytime Halloween party. Halloween in Michigan, however, is perfection!!
I followed The Cottage Mama's tutorial, found here, and used a fat quarter bundle of Spooktacular by Maude Asbury with plenty to spare for other fun Halloween sewing projects.

Mollie chose the fabrics for her bag to match her Halloween costume. Can you guess what she's going to be?!

I convinced Delia to let me use the cat fabric for her bag, and she chose the spider web fabric.

Here's Mollie modeling Lincoln's bag since he was asleep when I took these photos. Hopefully he will be walking around by the end of the month so he can join the fun!

September 30, 2014

Apple Tasting

Yesterday we did an apple tasting as part of our apple unit study that we're doing this month. I picked out one of almost every kind of apple that our grocery store had, and added in one of the McIntosh apples that we picked at the orchard a few weeks ago. In all, we tasted McIntosh, Red Delicious, Jazz, Granny Smith, and Fuji apples. 

I found a great free printable to use to help the girls record their results. It's from the blog Gift of Curiosity, and you can find the printable here.

Delia predicted that she'd like the Jazz apple best, and Mollie thought she'd like the Red Delicious.

It was funny to see the girls' reactions to the Granny Smith apple. That thing was sour!

In the end, Delia and I both preferred the Fuji, while Mollie couldn't decide between the Red Delicious and Granny Smith.

 When we were all done, we peeled and cut up the rest of the apples to make apple sauce in the slow cooker! We used this recipe. It only took a few hours and turned out delicious. I like my apple sauce super cinnamon-y so I doubled the cinnamon in the recipe, and then ended up adding more after I dished it out, along with some brown sugar :) It was like eating apple pie filling, yum!

September 25, 2014

What Homeschool Looks Like: Apple Unit Study

In addition to our math and reading curriculum, we've been studying apples in our home school this month!

We did an "apple investigation" using our five senses, and recorded our findings in a mini-book:

The book Dede's looking at is called "The Life & Times of the Apple", which I found at Goodwill. It's a great resource and the illustrations are very nice.

We made apple spice play-dough. Just use your favorite home-made playdough recipe and add apple pie spice and food coloring.

 It smells so good!! Dede has had a hard time not tasting it..

Mollie's creation lol..
We read about the history, life-cycle, and uses of apples in "Apples"...

 ..then went apple picking at local orchard and farm, something I've always wanted to do! Just one of the many perks of moving to Michigan :)

We rolled our playdough into "apples" to use with a math game..

 They each took turns rolling the dice, and putting the corresponding number of "apples" onto the game board. We didn't have any real dice, but "there's an app for that " :) The first person to fill up the board wins. They both loved this, and played it over and over again.

We made Apple Crisp with this recipe, using the apples we picked at the orchard. This stuff was amazing and will most definitely become a fall tradition. We will probably end up making it again this year. I had to get a picture before it disappearing last night..

 Teacher's Pay Teachers has been a great resource in finding hands-on activities that go with a particular theme. I printed this out real quick when the girls wanted an "apple lesson" right before bed and I had nothing planned.

I hope to do a few more things before the end of the month, like make crock-pot applesauce, and compare and contrast the different types of apples we can find at the grocery store...and maybe bake another batch of apple crisp :)

September 23, 2014


I got so many pictures of the girls together during our back-to-school photo shoot that I thought they deserved their own post. I remember when it was hard to get a decent picture of the two of them together. Now..not so much! They're always together. Even when they don't have to be together, they choose to. Like when they could sit anywhere in the living room and they sit like little sardines in one corner of the couch. Or when they have an entire playground to themselves, and they stick together, running from one thing to the next. They don't always get along, but it's obvious how much they love each other.

September 21, 2014

Back to School

If you're friends with me on facebook, you've probably seen these, but I want them documented here too :) We did a back-to-school photo shoot at the local elementary school. The kids aren't going there, but it made for a good backdrop for these photos, plus the playground has lots of old vintage looking playground equipment that fit the look I was going for.

I can't leave Lincoln out.. 

..he got to have some fun too :)