What I Learned On My Kids’ Field Trip

I learned so much on this field trip.   So much that I decided to make a list, so you could learn too.

1) Check museum hours before planning a field trip.  They may be closed on the day you planned to drive 3 hours to get there.  Have a back up, just in case.

2) If driving 3 hours to get to said destination, feed the children in the car.  Otherwise they will want to eat as soon as you get there, wasting an hour of your visit time.

3) Have migraine medication with you at all times.  (My poor friend got one right before our OmniMax movie… torture…)

4) Check museum hours of back up.  They may close a mere 4 hours after your arrival.  If you spend 1 hour eating lunch, 1 hour watching an OmniMax movie and 20 more minutes eating snack… It doesn’t leave much time for, you know, field tripping.  😉

Ha.  We did learn really cool actual information too.  We learned all about monarch butterflies and their annual 3-generation cycle and migration.  We got to see a real life palentologist working on a real life dinosaur fossil.  He gave Molly a good piece of advice:  get a trust fund.  😉   We learned that they use a solution comparable to super glue mixed with water to stabalize weakened fossils.  They had fun exploring and learning, but I really, really wish we had more time!  I was also bummed that our first choice museum was closed.  I’m hoping that we’ll be able to make the trip again, very soon, so we can see that one, too.

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This trip also inspired me to order some new “fun” for our classroom, especially more logic/puzzle based activities for my Lucy girl.  That girl could play Tangrams all day!  I’m also on the look out for Tetrominos.  Its like real-life tetris.  Hit me up if you’ve seen them anywhere… The ones the museum had were little foam magnetic pieces.

All in all a fun day, and lots of lessons learned!


Zucchini, Carrot and Cranberry Cupcake Muffins

Mmmmmmm.  Mmmmmmm.   Mmmmmmmm.

These are super.  duper.  super.  yummy.  Pretty much if you do nothing else this week in the kitchen, make these.

I came across this recipe on by beloved, Pinterest, and thought they sounded divine.  Our girls love zucchini bread, so I knew it would be a home run with them.  I couldn’t just leave well enough alone, of course, and had to play with it a little bit.  I did use some raw sugar in these… why?  Because I felt like it.  Because I really wanted these to be shove-them-in-your-mouth-delish, and, well, sometimes I need sugar for that to happen.  So sue me.  The berry muffins from last week, were yummy, but Molly requested some time off from “oatmeal” muffins, despite dutifully eating hers last week.  So, this is what she’s getting and I’m almost giddy for morning because I know these will be a five star breakfast to her.  I don’t think these have enough sugar and fat in them to be truly Cupcake Muffins (like a bakery “muffin” studded with chocolate, loaded with sugar and then glazed), but I am going to let the girls use whipped cream cheese to “frost” them, so they will look like little breakfast cupcakes.  Who can say no to that?!

2 cups white whole wheat flour

1 tsp baking powder

3/4 tsp salt

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 cup raw or granulated sugar

1/2 cup organic honey

1 cup unsweetened applesauce

2 eggs

3/4 cup finely grated carrot

3/4 cup finely grated zucchini

2 tsp pure vanilla

handful of Craisins (we used regular, but pomegranate would be good too!)

You know the drill:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a 12-cup muffin tray with paper cups or silicone liners.

In a small bowl mix dry ingredients: flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and baking soda.

In a larger bowl, or bowl of electric mixer, mix together sugar, oil, eggs, grated carrot & zucchini, and vanilla.

Fold dry ingredients into wet, and mix gently until flour is absorbed, careful not to over mix.  Then gently fold in the Craisins (don’t overmix).

Use an ice cream scoop to divide the batter into 12 muffin cups. (I got two muffin tops, too!)

Bake for approximately 20-25 minutes – until an inserted cake tester comes out clean.

Cool in the muffin tins on a wire rack.

“Frost” with whipped cream cheese if desired.

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Zucchini, Carrot and Cranberry Cupcake Muffins

We are off to St. Louis tomorrow morning to visit the Magic House!  Am I the only one suffering greatly from daylight savings?  It has been a constant battle to stay in motion all day!  I need to finish rounding things up so I can get a good night’s sleep for our adventure tomorrow.  Molly has been watching the Louis and Clark episode on Brain Pop Jr. in preperation for her trip.  I’m off to finish my own preperation!  I am really hoping we get around to making a model of the Nile River this week, as well as do some kind of art project (that is yet to be planned).  Ta-tah for now!

Berrylicious Breakfast Muffins

These are my favorite “not-cupcake-muffins” muffins, yet.  My favorite recipe for berry muffins is from Ina Garten and is definitely a cupcake-muffin.  These don’t resemeble them at all, but they also don’t induce a sugar coma or a guilt ridden start to the day.  🙂

Berrylicious Breakfast Muffins


1 1/4 c old fashioned oats

1/2 c vanilla greek yogurt

1/2 c milk

1/2 lb frozen mixed berries, thawed and chopped

1 t balsamic vinegar

2 t granulated sugar


1 egg

1/2 c applesauce

1/2 c organic honey

1 t vanilla


1 c white whole wheat flour (or regular whole wheat)

1T baking powder

1/2 t baking soda

1/4 t salt

Mix the berries, sugar and balsamic vinegar and set aside to macerate.

Mix the oats, yogurt and milk and set aside for 10 minutes.

Preheat oven to 400*F.  Prepare your muffin tin with muffin cups.

Whisk dry ingredients in a medium bowl.

Add wet ingredients to oat/yogurt/milk mixture.

Mix together wet and dry, being careful not to over mix.

Stir macerated berries in.

Use ice cream scoop to fill muffin cups.  Bake 15-20 minutes, until a tester comes out clean.

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Berrilicious Breakfast Muffins

It’s Bloody Good Fun

Our science lab this week was all about blood (this lab can be found in our science curriculum, R.E.A.L. Science Odyssey).  Molly has been eagerly anticipating this one for 2 weeks, while I kept forgetting to pick up lentils so we could complete it.  Finally, this week, we had all the supplies… it. was. on.

First, we discussed the 4 main blood parts:  Red Blood Cells, White Blood Cells, Plasma and Platelets, and their jobs:  carry oxygen to the body, eat bacteria/fight infection, carries food and keeps things moving, and clots blood to stop bleeding.  There are lab pages with the curriculum that include a drop of blood drawing, with clues for the student to use to identify each part in the drawing.  She then colored it and labeled it.

Now it is time to mix up the blood!  Supplies needed:

1/2 karo syrup

1/2 c red hot candies

5 lima beans

1 tablespoon lentils

wide mouth jar, spoon

First measure and pour the karo syrup into a wide mouth jar and idetify it as the plasma part of the blood.  This is what keeps blood viscous.  Next add the red hots, which are representing the red blood cells (RBC).  Then the lima beans, which represent white blood cells (WBC), and the lentils, which are acting as our platelets.  Stir!

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Molly really enjoyed this and learned the 4 parts, no questions asked (I know because I told her I was writing this and forgot them… thank goodness for her help.  😉 )  While the model doesn’t do anything exciting, I think the hands on experience and reviewing what each thing was as we dumped it in really provided a fun way to learn.  Afterwards there was a lab sheet to fill in and also a space for her to draw the lab.  She has since made me promise we could keep the model until my birthday.  I’m calling this one a success!