Weekly Wrap-Up – Lots of soccer and good food

Soccer ballSoccer, soccer, soccer.  Between our two boys some one is playing soccer every day except Saturday.  I decided I’m not cooking dinner until November.  Seriously.  I fix a nice lunch each day that hopefully yields some leftovers and the kids eat  lunch type foods at dinner time.  So far it’s working out well for every one.  My husband has access to great food at lunch time and doesn’t mind having a light evening meal.

I’ve been taking advantage of soccer practice to get back in the habit of walking every day. I’m annoyed with myself because I fell off the fitness wagon last year and it’s been a struggle to get going again.  I started walking about 2.5 miles during practice and now I’m up to 3.5 – 4.0 miles.   I added in 15-20 minutes / day  of strength exercise this week.  I really hate being back to square one and working so hard on things that used to come easier, but you have to restart somewhere.

The boys were  back in routine this week.  In our Yellowstone study,  they read about Black Bears and Geysers.  It was really interesting to learn the history of bears in Yellowstone.  During the early 1900’s the bears were welcomed to eat the garbage thrown out by the hotels.   We also learned about geysers around the world and under the sea.  Unrelated to Yellowstone, but related to hydrothermal ocean vents, we had a great discussion of Yeti Crabs.

The highlight of the week was another Zoo Class.   These boys LOVE animals.  They are having a great time learning about all the individual animals at the zoo.  They really enjoy learning the back story on the animals and having a chance to pet many of the smaller ones.  This week they were had the chance to pet a sugar glider!   I really was sort of jealous when I picked them up.!

Raspberries in baskets @ Greenfield Berry Farm From our raspberry picking last week I made a completely from scratch raspberry pie.  Amazing!

Ground Cherries

Ground Cherries

This week the CSA included edamame (yum!) and ground cherries.  I’d never heard of ground cherries before and we didn’t really get very many.  The ripe ones were like a small cherry tomato only sweeter and the not so ripe ones were a bit sour.  E thought I was going to eat the whole pint trying to decide what they tasted like!  I ended up using them as a tomato replacement in a Greek inspired pita and they were quite good.   I also broke out the dehydrator for some banana chips and kale chips.  I made banana chips for the first time a few months ago and E and I are hooked, so much better than store bought.

Hope you are having a great week full of learning!  Next wrap-up I hope to have LOTS more pictures!

 

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The N in STEM Learning

Where’s the N in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math?  NATURE it’s a huge part of science!

Nature is a big part of our learning around here.  Not just nature walks and observation but learning to be patient and see things through out the seasons.  I try to make sure it is a thread that runs through all the things we do so that someday when my boys are making decisions they will understand the value of protecting natural resources.

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Friday afternoon we went raspberry picking.  I love picking berries because it’s hard work!  I want the boys to enjoy eating something they have worked for AND appreciate the foods we buy that are picked by someone else.   C was delighted when he found a tiny spider hiding inside a berry he just picked.

DSC_1053We participate in a CSA.  Each week we visit the farm to pick up our portion of veggies for the week and purchase eggs if we need them.   Both boys really enjoy seeing the chickens each week.  I  wish we could grow veggies at our house but the suburban deer treat our backyard like a smorgasbord.

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Our nature walk took us around a small pond and past an old tree farm. On one side of the trail were rows of old pine trees with no undergrowth and dead limbs at the bottoms from lack of light.  On the other side there was a diverse mixture of plants and trees.  It was a really cool contrast.  We found the usual dragonflies and frogs at the pond.  Somehow those never seem to get old.

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The wildflowers were really beautiful.  I’m often so puzzled by what is a weed vs. what is a flower.   We had a good time finding lots of food sources for animals while we were walking.  I always enjoy the time we spend outdoors and feel so refreshed.

Wishing you delightful walks and nature observations this week!

Carol