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.


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?

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?

Rango- Dinner And A Movie

So Saturday nights on the pond are family Dinner and  a Movie nights.  I have decided to share these with you, in case you want to start this tradition with your own Froglets.  The conditions are – the movie has to be family friendly (each family has to choose that one on their own), dinner is served in a theme with dessert, popcorn follows and fun is had by all.  I had planned to do a cactus craft with the froglets to decorate for this movie night, but somehow in the rush of Saturday it didn’t happen.  😦    I make a poster to go in the house and one on the front door to remind the froglets that this is a special night, and to remind Papa Frog if he happens to be working.   (A printable PDF of the image can be found at the bottom of this page)



One package chicken legs (we use the family size with approximately 42 chicken legs- no I reckon it is more like 10-14)

One bottle of marinade (or make your own)- this was a southwestern chipotle marinade

Marinade legs for 2 hours, then grill until cooked through.


This was just 1 1/2 lbs of pasta with some pesto and parmesean cheese on top.


Green beans and corn.


Root Beer Floats

What can I say?  I was not terribly prepared this past week for movie night, but I have found that if you are even slightly creative, you can make family movie dinner night work with any menu.  This month I am planned a little better.  So, stay tuned for Princess and the Frog, TMNT, Mary Poppins and Rio 2 (not necessarily in that order!)




You Can’t Kill Me, I Am In Creative- Not Another Minecraft Post, But Kind Of


“You can’t kill me, I am in creative.”  These are the words this Mama Frog heard on Saturday.  They are not particularly shocking words, as anyone who plays Minecraft knows.  What was interesting is that at the time, this Frog family was in the car, headed off to pick up our new deep freezer.  Now, one thing you should know about us Frogs is that we don’t have loads of electronic devices- no Nintendo DS, no iPads, only a couple of inexpensive tablets for schoolwork and Mama Frog’s laptop, along with a couple of desktops and an XBOX 360 (for Papa Frog).  Papa Frog and I play World of Warcraft -usually in the fall and winter , and Facebook games happen here more than I care to admit, but we are not the kind of family who is constantly plugged in.  It is okay if you are, we just aren’t.  So what was going on the backseat, you might be asking?

First of all, you need to understand that Minecraft is huge here on the Pond.  It was something the Froglets were introduced to after our friends came to visit last summer, and it has settled in with a vengeance.  They enjoy playing Minecraft in their computer time and watching Diamond Mine Cart videos during their free TV time.  They even enjoy listening to the Minecraft parodies of songs they have never heard.  In fact, I wager, if I let them, they would eat, sleep and breathe Minecraft.

Even if I was inclined to let them self-regulate their computer time, I couldn’t logistically make it work, since they use the computers to play.  Instead, I let them play in 30 minute blocks.  The blocks come after chores.  Generally they come after school work, although some days I give them Minecraft tasks to do as part of their school work.  (It’s amazing how versatile this game is).  However, what I have noticed is that if they play too much, they get very um, shall we say resistant to turning it off.

Hey, this Mama Frog gets it.  Papa Frog and I love our games too.  In fact, playing games together has been part of our relationship since the beginning.  Whether those games are electronic or not, there is a lot of intrinsic value in playing them together.  And the Froglets play together too.  Usually they play 2 by 2.  But I also understand what it means to make poor choices regarding how much time you are plugged in.  The computer can become not just an escape but your life.  I want the Froglets to learn some balance.

I know there is a lot of back and forth about Froglets not playing outside enough.  I can’t tell you how many times I have heard someone say, “When I was a young frog..”  Well, yes, Grandpa Frog, when you were a kid, but times have changed.  Froglets aren’t outside all the time, unless they are.  But its not the norm in most families, and while we spend our fair share of outdoor time, there are days we are stuck inside.  But my point is this- If they are encouraged, Froglets are still engaging in imaginative play.  It may not be the “Cowboys and Indians” version from OUR childhoods, but they are still playing.  You just have to watch.

That brings me back to that strange conversation overheard in the car.  See, what I found out (by just asking) was that my Froglets WERE in the backseat playing Minecraft.  Their version of Minecraft, in which they were Steve, or Creepers, or just trying to think how they could build new things on their “crafting table”.  Yesterday they played “Minecraft Kitchen” which is their take on Cuthroat Kitchen, in which they use found yard things to “craft” Minecraft food.    So I say, let them play.  At my house, that means shaking them loose from the computers every so often, but encouraging their interests so that they can explore the world around them by playing what they love.  That is what this ol’ Mama Frog thinks anyway.

***Note: The Minecraft fingerpuppets above can be ordered through my Greybriar Hollow shop, and the pattern can be purchased via Ravelry.

Unicorn Boogers, Troll Snot, Harpy Puke and Mermaid Mucus – DIY Slime

The weather here on the Pond has been ghastly.  First it was snow, snow, snow.  Now it is rain, rain, rain.  As a result, the Froglets are going stir crazy and so am I.  Today we decided to do something fun and mostly non-school related (although polymers are a lot of fun).  We had tossed around the idea of play-doh- but this Mama Frog is being stingy with her flour.  So instead, we got out school glue, the liquid starch and the food coloring.  I added essential oils because the smell of slime make me want to barf (real barf and no that of the harpy variety).


The recipe for slime is incredibly simple.  1 part starch to 2 parts glue and coloring and oils (if using) to taste (well you know what I mean- get the right color and cover up that smell).

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What happens when you add the starch to the glue is the fun part.  The science of it can be found here (fantastic educational resource based for kids).  But basically it goes all gooey and wonky and looks liker you have ruined the whole thing and should toss it all in the bin.


DSC05450However, if you perservere you will get this:

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Yep you read that right…You get Unicorn Boogers, Harpy Puke, Mermaid Mucus and Troll Snot.  Carry on.