Monday, January 28, 2019

A's 15th Star Gazing Birthday Party

A's Galaxy Cake

We had a great time celebrating miss A turning 15 with a star gazing party at our house.  Only bummer was that it turned out to be a cloudy evening with a little rain so we weren't able to take our telescopes outside and look at the sky.  The kids didn't seem to mind too much and I think everyone had a great time.

David and A made a vanilla cake with a mirror glaze.  It's hard to capture it in a photo but you can see your reflection in the glaze.

We added 15 star candles!

Make a wish...

Since we had our party later in the evening we ordered pizza for everyone.  We also served veggies/hummus, fruit, chips with salsa/guacamole, and fun themed treats.

Milky Way minis


Star Crunch

Star candy...

We are loving the 3D printer that David got for Christmas.  We have printed so many neat things on thingiverse.  If you have a 3D printer you need to check them out!  For the party we printed out stars and hung them throughout the house for decorations.  Then we handed them out to guests as party favors.  They were a hit!

 3D printed star decorations

 a closer view...

Sky and Telescope has an amazing free download for a Star Wheel.  You can check them out here and print your own.  These will be fun to have for our next star gazing adventure.

Star Wheel

Handmade Charlotte has a super fun candy constellation game printable that I used.  You can download your own and check out her post here.  Instead of using canning jar rings, I used small glass bowls that worked great.  I also didn't hole punch all of the stars in all the constellations because my Gobstopper candies were a bit big.  

 To play - tilt and move the bowl around until you get all the candies settled into the stars with holes.



Lulu the Baker has a free printable constellation guide that we used to make marshmallow constellations (we also used Handmade Charlotte's candy constellation templates for this as well).   Check it out and download your free guide here.

To make these, you just need toothpicks, marshmallows and your constellation guides.

 Aries constellation

 Libra constellation

If you are looking for a fun birthday theme this works for a wide variety of ages - including teens!  Hope you had a great weekend.

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Happy 15th Birthday A

A with her first Teddy

Happy 15th birthday to my 1st baby.  A you are an amazing daughter and I couldn't be more proud of you.  You like all things vanilla, dolphins, horses, making jewelry, swimming, astronomy, reading, sewing, art, movies, ice cream, hanging with friends, baking, biking and music!  I did it - 15 things that you enjoy.  I'm looking forward to your party this weekend!

Same girl + same Teddy = Love

Berean Science in the Age of Reason by Dr. Jay L Wile Review

I have a Timberdoodle science curriculum to share with you, Science in the Age of Reason by Berean Science by Dr. Jay L. Wile (the same author that wrote many of the upper grade science books for Apologia).  This elementary science set is geared towards grades K-6th, ages 5-12.  This is the 4th book in the 5 book Berean Science series (also called Berean Builders):  Science in the Beginning, Science in the Ancient World, Science in the Scientific Revolution, Science in the Age of Reason, and Science in the Industrial Age.

The Berean series teaches about science chronologically so this particular book covers scientific discoveries and developments from the 1700s to the early 1800s (Halley - Brugnatelli).  Dr. Wile teaches about science through stories about famous scientists.  I think that this is a more interesting approach for children than just reading the information.  This is a very different way of teaching and learning science.  I have never seen a book that uses this method (historically and chronologically) to teach science - usually they are more topical.  So far, I am really enjoying this approach.  It does make me want to get the other books in the series so I can see the complete curriculum!  I'm also interested to see what my kids retain and remember when we have completed this book.

Each lesson is short and concise with full illustrations and experiments or activities focusing on hands-on learning opportunities.  This is also big in this series.  Dr. Wile set up the curriculum so that you are experiencing science every time you learn about it.  Even thought they are short, most lessons are information dense, meaning there is a lot of information in there.  Every lesson concludes with additional questions and/or activities for both "younger" and "older" students.  This feature allows you to adapt the curriculum for multiple grades if you are wanting to use the same science for multiple students (this is how is works for such a broad age range).

List of Uncommon materials
(this is just one of the many pages)

Most of the experiments in this curriculum are short-term and do not require a lot of time.  A few are long-term and the book is really great at giving you a heads up for them.  Most of the experiments use common household items that you either have on hand or can find easily.  Some items may be a bit less common and take more time to acquire.  At the beginning of the book there is a list of materials that you will need for the experiments that is a bit more uncommon - mothball, two flowers, jawbreakers, feather are a few examples.  We have been homeschooling for 10 years now so it is amazing what is more common around my house than most but I really appreciate this list for planning purposes.

 Taking D's blood pressure in Lesson 9.  This was not part of the experiment but I try to pull in extra teaching moments when I can and this is a great example.

We have some famous scientist cards in our home and it was fun to pull them out as we were learning about them.  I like that these cards are concise and give you the "meat" of what to learn about each scientist.  As you can see above, this book does the same.

 D using 2 straws and water to demonstrate the speed and pressure of a fluid in Lesson 12.

She finally got it to work!  This is a great example about what is meant by hands-on.

For this experiment, a magnifying glass and the book is all you need.

E and D using a microscope to learn about chromatic aberrations in Lesson 13.

Example from Helps and Hints

This set comes with the textbook and a helps and hints book as well.  This additional book contains answers for the text exercises, test and solutions for those who wish to use them as well as hints for correcting and explaining children's work.  The helps book also ties in concepts with the other books in the series - showing you where you can find certain topics and where they are discussed throughout the series.  See above for an example.

The Berean Science Series will not appeal to everyone but I think it's a great option.  Things to remember - it is taught through a Christian perspective, has a nontraditional chronological approach to teaching science (not topical), and it is hands-on with lots of activities.  Check it out and let me know what you think.  And I'm happy to answer any questions you might have as well!

Science in the Age of Reason is part of Timberdoodle's 4th grade curriculum kit.

Disclosure:  Huge shout out to Timberdoodle for selecting me as a Timberdoodle Blogger.  Timberdoodle sent my family Science in the Age of Reason by Berean Science in exchange for our honest review.  All opinions are my own.

Sunday, January 20, 2019

Timberdoodle's What's New? What's Missing? What's Different? Product Review

I have another fun Timberdoodle book to share with you, What's New? What's Missing? What's Different?.  This workbook for early learners combines the love of learning with the love of creating.  This book features hundreds of unique and fun things to hunt for, find, and color.  Children will match, spot differences and create new things of their very own.  E, who turned 7 last October and is in 1st grade, has been working on this book.  F, who turned 5 this month and is in PreK, really enjoys "helping" her with it.  Even G, age 2, likes looking at the illustrations and showing your what he finds.

E with her new workbook.

What is meant by What's New?  What's Missing?  What's Different?  For New - you can make your own drawings using colors that you like, adding extra decorations or whatever you would like making it something NEW.  For Missing - looking at two pictures you can tell that something is not the same, something is missing - you can circle what's missing, copy the missing parts or draw them in your own way.  For Different - looking at the drawings spot the one that is different.  

New and Missing


Catch all the bugs by circling the ones that are different on the corresponding trees.

Looking at the trees

Catching the different bugs by circling them

F "helping" E.  She doesn't need help but he likes to find them too!

On the left page, you circle all the things that are missing from the pet shop on the right.

 And then on the right, you draw all the things that were missing!

I love seek and find pages like the one above.

As you can see from the examples above, this workbook is filled with creative, vivid images and fun ways to engage children in early learning.  They will learn to distinguish between subtle and large differences and have the opportunity to respond uniquely and creatively to them.  I really like that it helps enhance focus and helps teach kids attention to detail in such a fun way.

What's New? What's Missing? What's Different? is part of Timberdoodle's 1st grade curriculum kit.

Disclosure:  Huge shout out to Timberdoodle for selecting me as a Timberdoodle Blogger.  Timberdoodle sent my family What's New? What's Missing? What's Different? in exchange for our honest review.  All opinions are my own.

Saturday, January 19, 2019

Science Fair for B

Ocean Currents Science Fair Project

I'm so proud of B!  She has been working diligently on her Science Fair project for Challenge A this year.  Her project is on Ocean Currents.  She participated in the ODA Stem Science Fair today and was awarded a blue ribbon!  She was a little nervous but it sounds like she presented her project well and the judges really liked it.

Setting up her project

Presenting to the judges and answering questions...

 Look at those scores and comments!

 Blue Ribbon

Friday, January 18, 2019

Happy National Thesaurus Day

B today with her trusty thesaurus.

Just wanted to wish you a Happy National Thesaurus Day!  Yes, it's really a thing.  So dust off your thesaurus and learn a few new synonyms.

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Teddy Bear Mobile Birthday Party Review

I mentioned in my last post that we had a super fun company come to our home for F's 5th birthday, Teddy Bear Mobile.  We had so much fun I wanted to share about it with you!

About The Company
I first want to start by saying that when Teddy Bear Mobile first began it was not a business but an opportunity to give back to the community.  They partner with some amazing organizations to give back and bring smiles to kids.  I love that!  After a successful local birthday party, they became a business and expanded into more towns.  Yay for me.

Joselyn helping out a party guest

Teddy Bear Mobile Cedar Park, Texas
Joselyn from Teddy Bear Mobile Cedar Park, Texas helped us with our party.  She is absolutely amazing - so great with the kids.  You can check out her facebook page here.

The Stuffer Machine

Our Party
The Teddy Bear Mobile stuffer machine is portable and arrives in 2 pieces.  After being put together and plugged in the machine is ready to go.  G was hoping that this would stay in our home!

 There were many animals to chose from.

 More animal options...

At our party the kids could chose to stuff a giraffe, lion, turtle, monkey, alligator, brown bear, swirly bear, frog, dragon, unicorn, and several different pups.  We had ten kiddos make furry friends and they chose 2 husky dogs (different colors), 2 monkeys, 2 alligators, 1 swirly frog, 2 bears (one swirly and one brown) and a tiger.

There were also lots of outfits to chose from!

The kids chose a space suit, knight outfit, ladybug costume, motorcycle outfit, a cowboy, a cowgirl, soccer player, police officer and 2 super hero outfits.  Again, the selection was great.

The astronaut outfit F chose.  I absolutely love the space helmet.

A close up of the knight costume.

The birthday boy picked first and chose a husky with bright blue eyes.

After the kids select their animal, they pick a heart to go inside their new friend and help bring it to life.  The hearts are various colors and have different words on them.

Picking a heart...

F chose a blue heart that says courage.

G chose a yellow one that says kindness.

Once the heart is placed inside the animal, the animal is stuffed with the stuffing machine.  The kids can help stuff their animal by gently stepping on a foot pedal.

The stuffing comes out of the pipe and into the animal.

F's husky pup getting stuffed.

The animals have a Velcro back that opens up.  Inside the back is a zipper pocket.  Inside this zipper pocket is where the animal is stuffed.  Once complete, the zipper is sealed off, and then the back is Velcroed up and the animal is ready to dress.  No sewing.

Here is the back of the brown bear.  The Velcro is open.

Here you can see the zipper pocket sealed after stuffing.

What the back looks like after stuffing.

F with his new Space Pup!

Each child also gets a fun birth certificate to fill out.

G picked a monkey.

G with Knight Monkey

Cowboy Alligator

Motorcycle Alligator

Cowgirl Bear and Super Bear

Soccer Pup

Police Tiger

D with Froggy

The kids with their new friends!

I love looking at F in this photo - he is so happy!

If you are looking for unique party ideas this is definitely a winner.  I love that they come to your home and bring everything.  I just had to provide a table (easy peasy).  And if you are local, please reach out to Joselyn, she's super great.  You can read more about Teddy Bear Mobile on their website at and visit Joselyn on facebook at

Disclosure:  Thanks so much to USFamilyGuide and Teddy Bear Mobile for allowing me to participate in this campaign.  I was provided with a Teddy Bear Mobile Birthday Party at a discount for review.  All opinions are my own.