Back In Space

Life at the Pond definitely seems to go in cycles.  We are back to studying space- this time in connection with our Ancient Greek History/Mythology unit.  Astronomy ties in so well with those two themes, between the mythos in the stars and ancient astronomers who shaped modern astronomy so long ago.  This Mama Frog has been meaning to pick the blog back up, but there is always something going on, or something we are in the middle of.  I figured this would be the perfect time to start again, at the beginning of this unit.  The Froglets were busy today!  They did planet fact sheets, constellations, name rockets, made astronaut puppets and even played with kinetic sand.  My kitchen is full of suns and space pages we painted that are drying (finished projects are coming!).  This unit will also give the Froglets the chance to learn how space exploration helped create an entire literary genre, in addition to the ancient myths.  Tomorrow we will begin our Greek history/mythology portion of the unit.  It has certainly been a hit so far, as the Froglets were begging to keep doing school at 5:00 this evening.

Deliberate Thankfulness and Thankful Trees

5 Speckled Frogs

Deliberate thankfulness.  Now there is a term.  It invovles the act of consciously acknowledging the things in your life that you are thankful for.  Sometimes its not just the good that we can be thankful for, but the bad as well.   Today the Froglets got to practice their deliberate thankfulness with thankful trees.  These go on the walls for Thanksgiving.  They even pitched in and helped figure out what Tiny Tadpole was thankful for.  To make your own Thankful trees you will need a trunk template, construction paper, tiny hands and a pencil, along with some glue.  Cut your trunk template from brown paper or cardstock.    DSC04711DSC04714DSC04712

Next, trace your tiny hands 6 times on different colored paper and cut out.



On each hand-leaf write something you are thankful for (or dictate to a writer for little ones).DSC04716

Glue the leaves on your trunk.

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Where Has The TIme Gone?

Time is a fickle thing.  It passes super slowly sometimes.  And other times, it passes in the speed of light, whizzing by.  Somehow, that has been the last few months here on the Pond.  We had family visit from Texas for a week this summer.  We have had a 10 day relocation for lead abatement, Papa Frog was in the hospital with a blood infection for almost a week, and then just general craziness of life.  Birthdays have passed us by, and Halloween is a memory.  I keep meaning to pick up the blog and then find myself lost as to how to account for the missing time.  There is no way to recount it all.  So, we will call this time lost.  Even though, it is not lost, not truly, just lost to the annals of remembrance.

There is so much coming up that looking backwards seems pointless.  Lizard Breath is getting her new braces on Friday.  Papa Frog poises on the precipice of finding new employment, after his recent hospitalization has reinforced the need for a job with stability and benefits.  The Boy is cruising up on his 5th birthday and Baby E would have been 11 this Christmas season.  The business over at Greybriar Hollow continues to grow and bless our family in ways we would never have dreamed.

So enjoy this look back as we begin the task of looking forward.

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Big Hero 6 Dinner and a Movie

Dinner and  Movie this week fell on Sunday instead of Saturday, thanks to a camping trip this past weekend (no technology allowed on camping trips!)  We watched Big Hero 6, one of the Frog family’s favorites!  Because, let’s face it, camping is a lot of work, I kept it simple.  Classic hero subs with a homemade oil and vinegar dressing and “healthcare chips”  – some chips that the froglets picked out during our shopping trip.  Instead of popcorn, I made Baymax Chex mix (recipe at the end of the post) and the kids used marshmallows to create their own Baymaxes.  DSCN0686  DSCN0701

To make your own Marshamllow Baymax you will need:

Extra Large Marshmallows

Small Marshmallows



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The skill set ranged mightily at my house, but this edible craft was a hit with all of them!  DSCN0693


The Boy could hardly wait to chomp into his.




Lizard Breath used scissors and some serious skills to make her Baymax.  Before it was all said and done, she melted chocolate to add the face.  Unfortunately, she didnt take a picture of that part, but rather, a video….


Big Hero 6 Chex Mix


1 box rice or corn Chex

1 bag of white chocolate chips

2 c. powdered sugar

2 c. red cake mix (Pillsbury created a line of cake mix with bright colors and we were able to find red)

red sixlets or other other red chocolate candy


Divide Chex cereal equally between two bowls.  In one large ziploc bag, add the powdered suage.  In another add the cake mix.  Melt chocolate chips over low heat until completely melted.  Pour one half of the melted chocolate into each bowl and mix to coat evenly.  Pour one bowl into the bag containing the powdered sugar and shakle to coat.  Repeat with remaining bowl and cake mix.  Shake excess powder off both the red and white cereal.  Combine into a large bowl and add the red sixlets. Enjoy!


This is What Love Looks Like

This Mama Frog has been a little blue lately, which is not such a good color.  I have been feeling down and underappreciated and like all that I am doing is an exercise in futitlity.  But I got my new camera in on Tuesday and so yesterday, I decided to actively document what LOVE looks like during my ordinary old days.

So for those interested- this is what we do all day.  We love….



The Boy snuck into the dog biscuits to make a stockpile for his little dog, because “Mom, he loves them so much.”


The Boy and Scoot playing Minecraft together before the big sisters wake up.


The first egg of the morning, still warm.


One sweet hen peeking out.


Yesterday was “I love The Boy” Day.  What “I Love You” day is complete without fresh doughnuts?


Especailly when you split them in half and fill them with homemade whipped cream and strawberries.


Sometimes love looks like freshly liberated chickens, released for a morning snack by one Tiny Tadpole who waits impatiently every morning to see his “Chick chicks.”


Love can also look like gently shooing chickens from your garden while they scold you for interrupting their snack.


Love looks like a sidearmed hug to a little brother.


It can also like a kiss for your canine buddy.


Sometimes love is rascally and involves trying desperately to get to the garden hose so you can spray your Mama. DSCN0069

Love is two sisters on a hammock, talking and laughing together.


Love is making faces while your big sis tries to pose pretty.


Love is explaining why Raph-O is your favorite Ninja Turtle Ever.


Because he is super cool…


And because he is…


Red and red is The Boy’s favorite color.


Love is always grand…


But its even better when it multiplies.


And even a little more.


Love is a boy and his dog.


Best buddies.


Because every boy needs a best friend.


Love is rescued chickens getting a pedicure.


Especailly when they are crazy wild.


And are being held by a big girl who is almost in tears at the sight of their feet.


I am glad we rescued them too.


Love is discovering new things, like these baby spiders on the web.


And new blooms on a Mother’s Day rose bush.


Love is three sisters who are feeling better after their pedicure.


Love is Butterbeer Ice Cream ready for the freezer.  Especially on a hot day.  Especailly when its “I Love The Boy” Day.DSCN0098

Love is a duck egg.  Used in the ice cream, picked out by kids who just wanted to try them.  Love is saving the shells to share with friends.

Love is not one big thing.  Love is made up of 5 million tiny things during the day.  What does love look like for you today?

June Menu

Seems like all this Mama Frog has been posting about has been food.  With 7 people here eating 3 meals a day plus a snack, and then add in Papa Frog when he’s home, I spend a good part of my day cooking or planning cooking.

I love my kitchen helpers.  Even Tiny Tadpole (who is no longer tiny) loved to be involved in the kitchen.  Just for some throwback Thursday cuteness, here is Tiny Tadpole’s First Birthday and a picture from our Coastal Anniversary Roadtrip in February.


Anyway, menu for June, (sorry sometimes this Mama gets sidetracked, especially with Tadpoles fighting and trying to show me things, and a Tiny Tadpole who is wanting to nurse.  So here is my menu for June.  Happy Eating!

P.S.  You will notice menus on there as well for Bedknobs and Broomsticks, Jurassic Park, Toy Story and My Neighbor Totoro, which are this month’s dinner and a movie fun!

June Meal Planning Menu 2015

Princess and the Frog- Dinner and a Movie

Princess and the Frog Movie Night was a HUGE success.  We had Mufaletta, Cripsy Frog Legs (Chicken fried potato wedges), Voodoo Punch and Spicy Caramel Corn.


The gorgeous olive mixture that fills the mufaletta.


Ray Bear Made some voodoo top hat centerpieces.  We also played Pin the Kiss on the Frog.


A big mound of sweet and spicy caramel corn- Yes Please!




To make your own Voodoo Punch:



coconut extract


half and half

cream soda colored blue

Fill a glass with ice.  Add 1/4 t. coconut extract, a splash of the grenadine and a shot of cream soda.  Fill the glass the rest of the way with the cream soda.  For best visual effect, do not mix.


Download your own Princess and the Frog flyer here:

The Princess and the Frog

Strawberry Sweet Rolls- A Recipe From My Pond to Yours

Here on the Pond, this Mama Frog recently got a deep freeze.  When I did my monthly grocery shopping, Strawberries were $1.00 a lb.  Now, that seemed like opportunity to me.  So I bought 20 lbs and put them in the deep freeze.  As a result, we have been enjoying strawberry ice cream, strawberries on our waffles and strawberry scones.  This morning, I decided to make some sweet rolls, and The Boy asked that I add strawberries to them.  The result was delicious, and I want to share it with you.


Strawberry Sweet Rolls With Vanilla Glaze

Yield: 24 sweet rolls (2- 9×13 pans)

Sweet Roll Dough:

1 box cake mix (I prefer white cake)

2 pkg yeast

2 1/2 c. warm water

2 T. vanilla

5 c. flour

1 T. salt

Combine all ingredients in a stand mixer and mix for 5 minutes on medium speed.  If your yeast is fairly new, you do not have to proof it, although you can.  Once mixed, allow to sit until doubled in size.  I have a Bosch mixer and find that with the top on it, this takes about 30 minutes.

 While your dough is raising, make the filling:


1 qt fresh or frozen strawberries

1/2 c. water

3 T. corn starch

1/2-1 c. sugar, depending on sweetness of berries

2 T. vanilla

1 T. salt

Add strawberries to a saucepan.  Combine water and corn starch.  Pour over berries and add sugar and salt.  Bring berries to a boil and then remove from heat.  Using a fork, or a stick blender, mash the berries into large chunks.  Add vanilla and let cool to room temperature.

Once dough has risen, divide in half and roll into a 10×14 rectangle.  Spread half the cooled berry mixture over the dough.  Roll tightly and slice into 12 evenly sized pieces.  Put into one of your 9 x13 pans.  I did not grease my glass pans, and had no problems with this sticking.

Repeat with second half of dough and remaining filling.

I put my rolls straight into a 350 degree oven, without raising a second time.  They puff up nicely and are light and fluffy.  They need to bake 30-35 minutes.

While they are baking, make your glaze.

Vanilla Glaze:

3 c, powdered sugar

1/3 c. whipping cream

1 T. vanilla

1 T. salt

Whip in your stand mixer, or by hand until a nice spreadable consistency.  Spread immediately on rolls after they come out of the oven.

Homeschool Mascots on the Pond

Here on the Pond we have the cutest pair of Homeschool Mascots.  2 years ago, we adopted these two guinea pigs.DSC05479

When we got them, they were still quite young.  I am still not sure if they are littermates, but they love each other.


Turtle is the black and tan, named for her ressemblance to the candy.  She also has this affinity for these plastic domes that she hides inside and walks around under, like a Turtle.DSC05476

 This little lady is named Maggie, She was supposed to be named Grace after the pirate Grace O’Malley (see her eye patch) but I was outvoted and Maggie it is.


Ignore the Mountain o’Laundry.  Sometimes it piles up.

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The pigs are great with the Froglets, even down to Tiny Tadpole.  Their care is relatively simple and they love to munch up any leftover fruits and veggies.  They stay in our kitchen, on top of the dryer and have learned to “wheek” when the fridge opens in hopes of a treat.  Do you have a homeschool mascot?