My Sunday-Monday Post

My Sunday Post is hosted by Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer
Sunday Salon is hosted by Deb at Readerbuzz
It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is hosted by Kathryn at Book Date

And….we are already at the end of the weekend! It flew by for us, how about you? On Saturday we took a fun quick trip to Greenfield Village, which I will post about this week, and then today we moved all the stuff out of my mom’s house, because it sold! Woohoo! She is still living in my uncle’s condo for a bit until we find the right place for her, but the house is ready to be handed over. I just need to go back and pack up a few family heirlooms that I wanted to make sure were safe in their travels.

Moving on!

Read Last Week:

The writing in this book is phenomenal – however, it did prove to be too scary for me. If you are a huge fan of horror, gore doesn’t freak you out, and you can handle real life traumatic type events, then this book will probably be good for you. It just had one too many nopes for me, so I had to set it aside.

Reading This Week:

If you hang around here often, you may have seen my post about Wyatt studying different versions of Little Red Riding Hood last week. And wolves. In my research I came across these two stories, one a middle grade, the other not. I figured if Wyatt was reading them, I would too. Billy is actually going to buddy read Empire of Wild with me (once he finishes Small Favors and he is oh so close). I love when we buddy read, and I thought he might like this one for three reasons- wolves, it is set in Georgian Bay one of his favorite places on Earth, and because it is Halloween week and we need something at least sort of scary! I already started The Wolf Hour and I am really enjoying it so far.

Posted Last Week:

Homeschool: Wolves, Fairy Tales, and China

What Wyatt’s Reading: Halloween Edition

Watching:

We took a break from Nancy Drew and Only Murders in the Building to give them a chance to build up, and have been watching Vera on Britbox. We also watched Kung Fu Panda on Friday with Wyatt. I love that movie! Wyatt’s been watching Let’s Go Luna quite a bit lately, as well as Winnie the Pooh. Halloween weekend I think we are going to watch the Disney Legend of Sleepy Hollow and the Tim Burton one. It’s our favorite spooky season story!

What’s going on in your world? What have you been reading, watching, listening to?

Homeschool: Fairy Tales, Wolves, and China

I debated posting about our homeschool week this week, since we it was primarily a week of reading and information collecting, and not a ton of creating and doing. So basically, we did a lot but not really much to show. I will just have to tell instead!

Wyatt’s curriculum this year is based on folk and fairy tales, which I think provides more than one might initially think. We can explore the same tale from other countries, different versions, go down those rabbit trails that the books spark interest in, whether it is place setting, a particular animal, a theme. So many opportunities for learning! This week we read Lon Po Po, which is a Little Red Riding Hood story from China. It is fantastic honestly, without any violence toward humans if that is something that will bother your child. The wolf dies but it is sort of understated and not violent. Then we were supposed to create a wolf peg doll. I helped Wyatt with his and I have to be honest, it scares me. Lol. It turned out super creepy, which was not really the intention, as part of our week this week was about Wolf Awareness! Lon Po Po has a dedication thanking wolves for taking one for the team all the time, and being the “bad guy” in the story more times than not. Wolves are predators, they hunt, that is how they live, feed their offspring. And humans and wolves do butt heads at times as humans spread farther across our planet and use the land. It’s hard to share. And it’s hard to remember that they are not evil or malicious – and certainly will not gobble you up whole as they do in the original Little Red Riding Hood story!

We followed Lon Po Po up with the James Marshall version – I just love his illustrations and storytelling. This one does stick to the traditional story, and both granny and little red get gobbled right up, and the hunter slits the throat of the wolf. I have to admit, I did not read that line to Wyatt! I substituted the hunter rescued granny and red without going into detail. As we had been reading these tales and also learning about wolves all week long, we made a comparison chart between real wolves and the wolf in Little Red Riding Hood, which was a great way to talk about differences in fact and fiction.

China was also part of our lessons this week. As Lon Po Po is a Chinese folk tale, I thought I should probably introduce the country and culture to Wyatt. We skipped ahead in our Magic Tree House reading to Day of the Dragon King, to keep the theme similar. This week we sort of just talked about China, found it on the world map, watched Let’s Go Luna Beijing, and read our Magic Tree House book. Tonight Wyatt will be trying an assortment of Chinese foods, and then next week we will delve further into the topic.

This week worked out perfectly in sync with Wolf Awareness Week, which was totally unplanned. A happy accident. (I love Bob Ross..) We talked about how important wolves are to our ecosystem and planet, to the state of Michigan, and about wolves in general. The New York Wolf Conservation Center has educational resources online for older students but they are still neat to check out. I used them as a base for what we talked about. (A bucket list item for me is to visit the NY Wolf Conservation Center and camp there!) You can find their resources here.

So this week was more of an information gathering week! Next week we read about foxes, and continue to learn about China!

We use Blossom and Root First Grade for our curriculum, and math lessons for living education for math. I also don’t share the different phonics, math, etc we do generally.

What Wyatt’s Reading – Halloween Edition

It’s been too long since I have written a post about the books Wyatt and I have been reading, that are not school related! I always have piles of books checked out from the library, and when I go in to pick up just one or two instead of twenty the librarians are always in disbelief. That only happens though when I have just been in and picked up a big ol’ stack.

We have been reading so many Halloween picture books this month that are amazing. All of them. The illustrations, the story, are all just wonderful. I am adding a few to my have to purchase list, which I try to keep tight but when it comes to Wyatt I sort of go crazy. This kid really loves books, just like his mom.

Wyatt has decided he really likes ghosts these days – the cute ones that is of course. These were all super fantastic awesome. How to Make Friends with a Ghost was written like a guide book, and Wyatt and I enjoyed the “Ghost Anatomy” page as Wyatt is very familiar with that from our nature studies and animals. Just never for a ghost!

The Little Ghost Who was a Quilt – well, this one tugged at my mama heartstrings a little. This little ghost is a quilt, not made from sheets like everyone else he knows. Which makes him slower and not really able to keep up with his friends and family who zoom around everywhere. The end is happy though and shows how being different is ok, which I absolutely loved as a message.

Gustavo the Shy Ghost is another one we both loved. We read this actually the same day that we watched Coco, and they went really well together. Gustavo loves to play the violin, and is so shy it is hard for him to make friends. The illustrations are gorgeous and the ending made us both smile.

Mr. Pumpkin’s Tea Party is adorable and suitable for younger kids as well – it is a counting book with not so scary illustrations. Plus, a tea party!

Alfred’s Book of Monsters was a fun one, and also involves a tea party! I loved the Victorian feel to this book, and the illustrations were amazing. However, I did like this one more than Wyatt. I think maybe because when I was a kid, my cousin and I used to write and illustrate our own monster books. I did the writing, and he did the drawings. So the idea of a Book of Monsters was sort of nostalgic to me. We watched a lot of Scooby Doo…

Hardly Haunted is another book about embracing who you are, even if you are a house that is haunted. Don’t try to change for anyone, people will like you for who you are, is such a great message, and I love that it is wrapped up in this cute little haunted house story.

The Little Kitten had Wyatt saying oh no mom! He was feeling a little anxiety about the cats in the book, but no worries, all is well that ends well. This was a sweet little story – be sure to look at the last illustration, through the window.

Of all the books that we read though, this was hands down Wyatt’s favorite. Because underwear are hilarious. Especially glowing ones. I should have known that he would love this one the best, as Creepy Carrots is another favorite of his. Creepy Pair of Underwear is one we are definitely adding to our home collection!

What Halloween picture books have you enjoyed?

My Sunday-Monday Post

My Sunday Post is hosted by Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer
Sunday Salon is hosted by Deb at Readerbuzz
It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is hosted by Kathryn at Book Date

This past week was pretty good! Then this weekend was a very slow weekend – Billy went camping with his friends and it was just Wyatt and I and rainy days Friday and Saturday. Billy should be home sometime today and I am ready to not be solo parenting! Lol. Luckily my mom watched Wyatt a few hours yesterday so I could get a break so that was nice. Then Wyatt and I spent the night eating junk food together and watching Coco on Disney+. I have never watched it and I have to say I loved it. A lot. Even though I definitely, totally cried at the end!

I also had to deal with this craziness yesterday:

Somehow this lady found her way into my house. After screaming, which completely cracked Wyatt up, I managed to successfully relocate her outside. I think we bonded. I swear she tried to follow me like a stray cat. I left her outside though even though I wanted to bring her in and keep her, but she is a wild thing who belongs outside no matter how cold it is getting. Right? Plus, how would I feed this monster? Well. Maybe if I see her again…it will mean I am supposed to bring her in. I told Lisa from Boondock Ramblings that sometimes I feel like Bilbo Baggins, all “Why shouldn’t I keep it?” in these situations. Lol.

Read Last Week:

I loved The Final Girl Support Group way more than I anticipated I would. I knew I would like it for the campy slasher film aspect of it; I was not prepared for the deeper cut about violence towards women in entertainment. It was really good, although it took me a bit to get into. I hope to do a few reviews soon! I also finished Witch by Barbara Michaels. I love her, I own all of her books although right now they are in a box in the basement. I grabbed this one on hoopla online and revisited this story this week. It is classic.

Reading this Week:

My Heart is a Chainsaw by Stephen Graham Jones: I have heard really good things about this one, although it might end up being too intense. We will see.

Posted Last Week:

Homeschool Update: Coyotes, Turtles, and a Failed Field Trip

Tis the Season – for Pumpkins!

Watching:

We are still watching Only Murders in the Building, and Nancy Drew. Both are so good! I also have started watching YouTuber Rachel Maksy and her channel is so fun! She is quirky and into vintage and sewing and she is just fun to watch.

And that is about it from our little refuge! I hope all is well in your world!

Homeschool Update: Coyotes, Turtles, and a Failed Field Trip

This week was a doozy! I was super excited about it – we had so much material to cover that I absolutely loved and couldn’t wait to introduce to Wyatt. For the most part, it all worked out very nicely. Except for that field trip…

This week we took a mini-break from math to work on a special focus topic based on the book We are Water Protectors by Carole Lindstrom. It was so comprehensive, including bits of social studies and geography and science and nature. We read the book first, then “dove” right in. Wyatt learned about the importance of water (back to that whole idea of how all things are nature and all things are connected) – how it is important to all living things, to our planet, to every part of our bodies. About how the amount of fresh water compared to salt water is vastly different, and how we need to protect these resources, to be good stewards of our world. We talked about different bodies of water, and of course created a few art projects as well. We did not manage to get to it all, but I hope to include the rest next week. I am actually in love with both paintings Wyatt worked on this week – he did a mixed media watercolor of a pond, and then later in the week we did a similar project with coyotes. It also gave us the opportunity to talk about warm colors and cool colors!

For our coyote study, we covered their anatomy, diet, habitat, and listened to a few videos online of their yips and howls. We finished up with his research notebook page, and the other mixed media-esque painting. (Note – I drew and cut out the coyote silhouette for him, but that painted background is all him. As is the placement of the coyote. Also note- I am not an artist. Lol)

I was also excited because we read three Indigenous/Native American based books this week. It actually just worked out this way which was a cool coincidence. In language arts we read When Turtle Grew Feathers, which is the Choctaw tale of Rabbit and the Hare. I let Wyatt inspect and handle my turtle shell that I found a few years ago, as part of the lesson. We also imagined different animals wearing the shell, as turkey did in our story.

Books We Read:

(Contains Amazon affiliate links)

Coyote Sings to the Moon by Thomas King || Blast Off Readers Turtle or Tortoise || Blast Off Readers Coyotes || When Turtle Grew Feathers by Tim Tingle || We are Water Protectors by Carole Lindstrom

So… lets talk about that failed field trip! On Wednesday the plan was to head to the nature center at a local metropark early in the day to work on science and nature. The nature center has turtles and tortoises, a stuffed coyote to view, a river out back, a display about the local indigenous peoples who once lived there – we were going to cover all the bases! My mom was going to come too, as she hasn’t really been out out in a while and I thought it would be fun. And it still was, just not what we had planned! We got there to find out that school year hours are different than summer and weekend hours, and it was closed! We decided we would just take a little walk on the overlook, check out the river, then head back to the car. Which we did, and it was a grogeous view, and all the leaves – it was such a perfect fall morning. Until the mosquitoes found us! My poor boyo was covered in welty mosquito bites, he has such a bad allergic reaction to them. I felt horrible! I hadn’t put on insect repellent as we were literally out there five minutes, and that was really all we were going to be out there, so I didn’t even think about it. Plus, it is October! So we left as fast we could. Somehow in all our hurry, my license slipped out of my back pocket onto the trail, unbeknownst to me. We were about fifteen minutes away when one of the interpreters whom we have known for years texted me that my license had been turned in. So, I turned back around to get it. I got it from her, and on the way home drove thru McDonald’s for some much needed coffee and french fries! So all is well that ends well!

Next week is all about wolves and skunks, Little Red Riding Hood, Ninjas, and subtraction! It should be an interesting week!

‘Tis the Season – For Pumpkins!

My family has always gone to the pumpkin patch in the autumn for apples and doughnuts and ciders – and of course the aforementioned orange gourds. When I was a kid, we would go with my cousin Brian, and the cider mill was pretty basic, more farm than fall attraction. That orchard is still operation but I guess to jazz it up and draw in more business, they have added vendor booths and bounce houses and all sorts of things that we are not interested in. So when Wyatt was born, Billy and I found Bennett’s Orchard and it’s become our new tradition to go there. Sometimes with my brother and his family, sometimes just the three of us. This year, it was just the three of us.

We are early birds, and got on the road after breakfast for Wyatt and coffee for Billy and I. It was a quiet Sunday morning, hardly any cars on the road, with a blanket of fog enveloping the city and eventually farms around us. We listened to an episode of Campfire Monsters, and it was a great start to our adventure.

We arrived just as they were opening, and basically had the place to ourselves. The morning was very moody. Atmospheric even. We took a small walk around the grounds but not as far as usual as it was also very damp. I couldn’t get over how picturesque everything was – the photographer in me could not stop snapping pictures.

Not our dog, but he pretended to be while we were there. Such a sweet boy. As we strolled about, the fog began to dissipate, the sun was shining, and it was all of a sudden sweaty hot. Yay Michigan for your crazy weather changes.

There seems to be some sort of small imp peeking through my hair.

We started back for the store as it warmed up – definitely time to shop, try the hard cider that they make on site (not Wyatt of course), and pick out the main attraction, pumpkins. I filled my little hand basket with honey and cider and tiny pumpkins and a special one pot coffee pack of Maple Pecan coffee.

Then we headed outside for our pumpkins. My big cheeser was not in the mood to sit still for a photo though.

That’s ok, he is cute no matter what.

After the obligatory pumpkin photos, it was doughnut time. The best part, in my opinion. Wyatt had a doughnut and an apple. I don’t blame him, the apples are fantastic.

And with bellies full of apple cinnamon doughnuts and the Outback full of pumpkins, we turned toward home, happy and content.

My Sunday-Monday Post!

My Sunday Post is hosted by Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer
Sunday Salon is hosted by Deb at Readerbuzz
It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is hosted by Kathryn at Book Date

Last week was a pretty good week all around! Wyatt and I had a great week of homeschool, my mom’s house went on the market finally and in 12 hours had 17 viewings scheduled, I had dinner and drinks outside at my friend’s house for our girls night out, and on Saturday we went to the apple orchard and pumpkin patch. Today we are just sticking around the house and working on projects and just chilling out, which is nice too.

Read Last Week:

So A Catered Halloween was a DNF for me. I tried all week to finish it and I just couldn’t. It is probably just me, not the book. I can be so wishy-washy sometimes. I did remember that I never finished Witch when I picked it up a few months ago, and started it again, from where I left off. I’m sort of glad I waited to read it until now, it fits the mood better. I love Barbara Michaels. I just loaned my mom one of the books from my collections, Vanish with the Rose, and I feel bad, it scared her a little! But to be fair, that one scared me too!

Reading This Week:

After I finish Witch, I am going to start The Final Girl Support Group. I am excited to read it, after spending much of my high school years and twenties watching horror movies and rooting for those final girls! (The Halloween series with Jamie Lee Curtis was always a favorite. She is the ultimate final girl!)

Posted Last Week:

Homeschooling: Pirates, Raccoons, and Magic Fish!

Currently…October

Spooky, Creepy, Dark and Twisty: My October Podcast Playlist

Watching:

Billy and I started Nancy Drew again, and are totally sucked in. It is not without its faults but for the most part we are entertained and that is what counts! We also watched Muppets Haunted Mansion last night with Wyatt. It was pretty cute.

And that is pretty much about it from around here! What is going on in your neighborhood?

Homeschooling: Pirates, Raccoons, Magical Fish!

First, can we talk about how big this kid looks these days? What is happening? Where is my baby? Lol.

We have been so busy the past two weeks! We have established a pretty good routine – we start with Language Arts and phonics, then move on to math in the mornings. Then in the afternoons we rotate between history and science, along with whatever extra unit study I have thrown in the mix. It seems to be working well!

This week in Language Arts we were supposed to read Magic Fish but being me, I remembered we had a similar book, The 1000 Star Hotel. Wyatt absolutely loves this story, written by the Okee Dokee Brothers, whom he also loves. And even better, there is an accompanying audio for it! We were able to read it together, and then listen to it (for the 1000th time maybe but he loves it so it was perfect), before getting to work on our copywork/journal/narration pages and projects. The “fun” project was decorating a magic fish, which was supposed to be made from a sock, but I didn’t have an extra so I sewed these little felt fish instead for him to decorate. They turned out pretty cute! We skipped the rabbit trail suggestion of studying a specific fish, Wyatt just wasn’t that thrilled with any fish suggestions and I figured we had enough to learn about so we moved on.

For our extra study unit, that I will probably refer to as our nature study, we started a month long unit about nocturnal animals. Our animal for this week was the raccoon. It was a cute little study – we read a few books about nocturnal animals and raccoons, played a matching game, and then matched shadow pictures to the animal. Wyatt also completed his journal page about raccoons which I am going to put together in a book at the end of the month. I also felt quite clever in finding this craft. We are talking about simple fractions in math, and I talked about halves and equal sides and all that while I was showing him how to cut hearts out of construction paper. We have to do this sort of thing hand over hand, so I did a few as demo and then cut a few together before he assembled it all. I think it turned out super cute!

We are using The Waldock Way’s Passport to Adventure for our history unit this year, although I am doing a rather poor job of connecting the historical parts to it in our lessons. It is turning into more of additional language arts right now – although, one of the GLCE goals for first grade is about maps, and we made a treasure map, so I guess I hit one goal. This curriculum is based on the Magic Tree House series and this week we were reading Pirates Past Noon. These books are super fast reads and pretty cute! We completed notebooking pages and journal pages based on the reading, talked about pirate treasure, what Wyatt would choose to put in a buried treasure (fruit snacks, a Mickey Mouse toy, and a book), made a map, crafted a cute pirate puppet, and painted a treasure chest, which I filled with “treasure”. This was Wyatt’s favorite thing we did. I find him going through this treasure chest all the time, and putting on all of the jewelry. I think today we are going to watch Peter Pan, eat Pirate Booty, and hide the treasure somewhere and make a map for Billy to find when he gets home. We also have to make time for our art project today as well.

We did other things as well, like sight words (which we call cake words) and word family activities, learning about the layers of the earth, make a felt model of the layers, fractions, telling time, and all the other things you learn in first grade.

I will post about our nocturnal animals study in a future post, with links and activities for anyone who is interested! I am going to combine that post into multiple weeks as well, so I will probably post that information next Friday.

Next week is all about coyotes, mountains, turtles, and the Choctaw Nation! And with that, I better get moving! I have a lot to get together before Monday!

Currently.. October

It’s that time again! I’m joining up with Anne in Residence for her monthly Currently..post. This month we are talking about what we are borrowing, buying, planning, prepping, and reading!

Borrowing: Lots of books from the library! We are homeschoolers and the library is a place I visit at least twice a week. My mom is also unable to drive right now so I am also borrowing books for her as well. Our library has also started offering activity kits, which we are loving. Crafts for kids, and hobby introduction kits for adults, with kits for birding and crocheting and all sorts of things. These kits come with books and all the supplies you need.

Buying: Christmas gifts. I have Wyatt almost completely done already! I was never an early shopper until last year and I loved having December free to just enjoy the season without having to worry about getting my gifts all bought. Wrapped? Well, that is a different story.

Planning: Different fall activities, field trips, summer vacation trips, lesson plans, different winter projects, autumn inspired meals… really, when am I not planning something?

Prepping: Our bedroom for the update, finally! We were planning to do our room months ago but different factors came into play, and then we redid our son’s room, so now..it is our room’s turn! I am going through everything and deciding if we need it or not, buying new things – like our new duvet cover, which I love. It is always exciting to refresh a room!

(not my bedroom..photo from Etsy)

Reading: All the scary and spooky books! Mysteries, thrillers, horror for me; fun Halloween picture books for Wyatt.

That’s about it from me today! What are you all borrowing, buying, planning, prepping, and reading?

Spooky, Creepy, Dark and Twisty: My October Podcast Playlist (2021 version!)

It’s a gloomy gloomy day today, and I’m looking forward to tonight and listening to a podcast. As it is October, I like to indulge in all things spooky and ghostly and downright creepy. I have scary books on my nightstand, a long list of movies to watch, and on my Stitcher and Spotify playlists, a plethora of podcasts just waiting to scare me! I have some new favorites this season that I am loving setting down in those quiet moments for a listen, with a cup of tea or a glass of red wine. Perfection, especially on a gloomy or rainy night.

First up, my current favorite:

Since attending Franken Fest a few weeks ago, I have been seeking out these stories of cryptids and monsters. I had no idea there were so many! And this podcast – Weston Davis is the writer and host and his voice is so soothing. Like you could listen to him read a phone book, he just has a way of storytelling that is lost almost in this day and age. And this format, like stories being told around the campfire, emphasize those storytelling skills. There is atmosphere to this podcast, y’all. The crackling of a fire, little noises and sounds that fit the story and the mood. I can’t speak highly enough of this pod. Fave Episode: The Jersey Devil (so far, I have so many left to listen to!)

I love this one for it’s versatility – these hosts are my kind of people! True crime and ghosts? Yes, please! And coffee too? It can’t get any better. I love that I can pick and choose which path to go down for whatever mood I am in all in one podcast. There are so many to pick from too, true crime and hauntings and just weird tales, they are all there. Plus yummy sounding coffee drinks! If you are a coffee lover like me, if you pop over to their website they also include recipes for those drinks… I just need a personal barista to make them for me. Fave episode: The Mothman of Point Pleasant

Women and Crime

I just recently started listening to this one as well. I like how these hosts and criminologists have a goal and a mission, and it is not just about being sensationalists about these tragedies. From their website:

“As criminologists, we study females who have been victims of crime, those who have committed crimes, and those involved in the criminal justice system through their work.

In this podcast, we tell the stories of these women, but we also look at the causes of female crime, and victimization.  We will cover cases in which women have been wrongfully convicted and exonerated, and we will use a criminologist lens to look at how women are treated in the criminal justice system. 

Some of these women you may have heard of but we promise to also bring you cases of women whose names will be new to you. Regardless of the type of case, we will cover a new story involving women and crime each episode. “

I am reluctant to say fave episode because of the nature of the story, but I thought they did a very good job at covering the Ellen Rae Greenberg case.

I discovered Ashley Flowers from a different podcast that she hosts, Crime Junkie, and I just like her style. This is another podcast that covers a range of topics, some that can’t be explained logically or just have a twist of the supernatural. Fave Episode: The New England Vampire Girl

This podcast is relatively new, and the host Christopher Feinstein has a full time job outside of the podcast, so there are not very many episodes yet. Feinstein also likes to keep the quality high so instead of rushing his process he takes his time, and it shows. I have enjoyed all of the episodes I have listened to! Also, the intro music is perfect. I only wish that the show summary actually gave a synopsis of what the episode was actually going to be about. Fave Episode: Robert and Friends

This podcast is already well-known, especially among people who listen to true crime. However, I just recently started listening to it. I think the guys do a fantastic job of covering the cases and delivering the facts. Again, not a favorite episode but the one that I think they did a tremendous job of covering is the Danielle Stislicki case. Danielle Stislicki is a case local to my area, and a fairly recent one. I vividly recall when she went missing and how hard her parents worked to bring attention to her case. Her family is sadly still waiting for answers.

So, this is the list of pods I keep gravitating between this month! Have you listened to any? Have any to recommend?

If you are interested, you can see my list from last year here!