Celebrating our country's birthday.

Merry Christmas everyone! My family is enjoying the holidays by playing games and drinking eggnog. Which, the kids have started calling Yaknog, off of the How To Train You Dragon based Christmas special, Dragons: Gift Of The Night Fury.

Sweet treats, yummy drinks, a warm fire, and lights on a tree make up a lovely holiday. It's a wonderful life! I hope you enjoy your holiday, whatever it may be. Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanzaa, Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year!
We created a birthday party for my son with a Star Wars theme.

A dozen white balloons were turned into storm troopers.  Bottles of soda were turned into "Yoda Soda" .

3 black plastic tablecloths were hung on a large wall.  Then it was covered with stars to create our galaxy.

The R2D2 cake was a simple homemade cake with white icing.  I used a toothpick to trace the shape onto the cake.  I used bowls and other kitchen utensils to get the shapes as straight as possible.  Then I used blue icing to create the outline.

Check out more great Star Wars birthday ideas on Pinterest.
This past week we have been enjoying a fun project, harvesting sunflower seeds! They came out pretty good if I do say so myself.

This is one of our gigantic sunflower heads. It is around four inches bigger then a basketball, but that's just an estimate. On the stem they reached over eight feet tall, and the stem was about two to three inches around. These were the best sunflowers we had ever grown. 

Picking them was no easy task, eventually we got so fed up that we flipped them upside down and beat them on the deck and scooped up the seeds that came out. Which was easy, considering the heads were dry and the seeds were big and loose.

Next we washed them under cold running water, then put down a layer or two of paper towels for them to dry on for three to four hours.

After being washed and dried we set them in a pot of water and half a cup salt, to soak for a day or two.

After soaking we put them on trays, this was a process that required time, each batch baked for one to two hours at three hundred degrees Fahrenheit. A "batch" was a single evenly spread layer of seeds. 

And this is the almost finished project, (We still have a smaller half batch baking.) They taste really good, nutty and natural, and not to salty. We saved some seeds for next year, hopefully we will have this amazing luck with sunflowers again. 

If you enjoy living in the country or have dreams of the "simple life, then this is a good book series for you.

The wisdom and know-how series if filled with great information.  You can find this for sale on Amazon. 

However, right now they can also be found at almost half the price on Book Closeout. 

Catch these books while they are on sale.  If you miss them, be sure to check them out at Amazon!  

A lot of girls love American Girl and their dolls.  Each historical doll has their own unique time period and six books about their lives.  The back of each book contains information about the time period.  Each girl also a book about what it was like to grow up in their world.

You can find these books for sale on Amazon.   

Many of the girls also have movies made about their stories.  

Many homeschoolers create lapbooks using the themes in many of these books.  You can find printable lapbook parts for many of the American Girl stories at HomeschoolShare

We created our own lapbook a few years ago using these resources:

Luckily AG has also provided free education resources for parents and teachers.

Additionally, with the success of the Kit Kittredge movie, Scholastic has put together a free unit on Journalism with Kit

This birthday party for my daughter included fun and vibrant colors.  Aqua blue and purple were some of the main colors.

Paper pinwheels were the main decoration.  Coordinated scrapbook paper was used to create these.

Paper straws added a fun detail with each girl's name on the tag.

The fruit was served in waffle cones with yogurt dip.  An assortment of mini cupcakes was served for dessert.