Saturday, April 24, 2010

Muesli Bars

I have been searching for ages for a muesli bar recipe that actually holds together like a commercial one. I have not had any success so I decided to make up my own. The first 'trial' batch were a hit so I have been busy making more today.

Muesli Bar Recipe
125g butter
2 tablespoons golden syrup
2/3 C raw sugar
1 C rolled oats
1/3 C sesame seeds
1/2 C desiccated coconut
1/3 C sunflower kernels
2/3 C self raising flour

Preheat oven to 130C. Put butter, golden syrup and sugar into a bowl and melt, but do not let boil. Add all other ingredients and mix well. Use baking paper to line a large baking tray approx 20cm x 30cm. Spread mixture evenly over the base making sure to press down with hands. Bake in the oven approx 1 hour or until golden in colour. Leave to cool in tin, it will firm up as it cools. Turn out once cool and cut into even bars.

Variations we are going to try this week include choc chip & peanut also almond & currant. If they go to plan I will post those recipe's too :)

Friday, April 23, 2010

Rich Hot Chocolate

This is a tried and true recipe for Rich Hot Chocolate. I enjoy one in the evening because coffee at that time has me up all night!

1 cup cocoa powder
1 cup sugar
1 cup malted milk powder

Combine well and store in an air tight container. Depending on the sugar you choose to use there may be some settling so a shake before using wont hurt.

To use place a slightly heaped dessert spoonful into a large mug. Fill the mug about 1/3 with milk and top up with boiling water.

Gifted Kids

Earlier this year I had the pleasure of attending a lecture conducted by Dr Deborah Ruf entitled "Bright child, gifted or not?" She was lovely! Basically she went through the levels she outlines in her book titled 5 Levels of Gifted. Some interesting points that I jotted down to share are ...
  • where kids show a keen interest when they are young shows potential for future careers
  • no busywork
  • IQ's can be measured by suburb ie - professional people tend to have higher IQ's and tend to congregate by suburb, think Dr's, lawyers, accountants
  • siblings generally have a 15pt range of one another and are also close in range to their parents
  • married couples tend to be close in range to each other
  • many gifted kids don't do well with phonics, many prefer a whole to parts approach than part to whole
  • don't teach gifted kids expose and discuss, they are inquiry driven
  • a level 4 child will be ready for algebra by age 10
  • a HG child can go from not reading anything to reading at a adult level within 2 years
  • L5 kids tend to have a musical aptitude that isn't as present in other levels
  • we naturally like to do what we are good at, so look at kids when they are chilling out, what are they doing?
  • teachers teach to the top of the bottom 1/3 of the class
  • for math, single sex classes are best
  • girls do better in single sex high schools
  • HG kids can be left handers and highly excitable, also have sensory issues
  • in countries where kids are tracked from 9 or 10 the gifted kids tend to have better outcomes, think Asian countries
  • L5 kids are a suicide/depression risk in years 11 & 12 (late highschool)
  • Book rec about boys "What could he be thinking? How a man's mind really works" - the author doesn't go into giftedness but knows his stuff about boys/men
  • gifted kids, boys inparticular should not go to school until age 7
I am currently half way through her book so there will be more to come.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Weekly Report 19/4 - 23/4

Together -
We jumped our way to 100
We played a round of Addition War

Flossy -
Completed A-16 MO
Reviewed Prof B charts for 1-10
Completed MEP Y1 L3 & 6

Bugsy -
Completed A-18 MO
Completed 1L Reading Eggs
Completed L39 100EZ

Chicky -
Drew a picture

Together -
We sang the ABC song and some nursery rhymes

Flossy -
Completed 2.5 pgs ETC2
Dictated a penpal letter to me then began copying it
Reviewed L1 & L2 phonograms & key cards for AAS
Flossy read aloud from Wonderings of Odysseus

Bugsy -
Completed 1/2 L40 100EZ
Completed 2L Reading Eggs
Reviewed 1/2 L1 phonograms for AAS
Completed 2 pgs Kumon Numbers 1-30
Completed A-19 MO

Chicky -
Drew a picture

Together -
We skip counted by 2, 5 & 10
Sang some nursery rhymes
We played a round of Go to the Dump

Flossy -
Completed A-17 MO
Completed 1/2 L13 Kumon G1 WP
Worked at number bonds and multiplication word problems on the white board
Completed MEP Y1 L9 & 12
Worked at Prof B sums & difference with more than 2 numbers along with vocab & symbolism of numeration on the white board
Flossy worked on her penpal letter

Bugsy -
Completed A-20 MO
Worked on entering numbers 1-10 on the RS abacus
Completed Quiz & 3L Reading Eggs
Completed 1/2 L40 100EZ

Chicky -
Drew a picture
Worked on counting to 5 with the big abacus

Together -
Sang the ABC song
Sang nursery rhymes

Flossy -
Completed 1 pg ETC2
Completed S18 AAS2
Read aloud from Gods and Goddesses of Olympus
Completed W6 D2 WWE1
Reviewed Shurley jingles
Completed Shurley2 C4 L3
Completed MEP Y1 L15 & 18

Bugsy -
Was very uncooperative today so he did his own thing

Chicky -
Drew a picture
Worked on sounds for m & s

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Back to school

Today we went back to school, metaphorically ofcourse :-)

Since we have had such a big break with our holiday to Kambalda and then all our prep for the move I thought it only fitting to ease back into it on Rusty's first day back to work since the move.

Here is what we completed in under 2 hours -

Together we jumped our way to 100.
Flossy & Bugsy completed 1 page of Miquon each.
Flossy completed 1 page of Kumon word problems.
Busgy completed 1 lesson from Reading Eggs.
Flossy reviewed all of the charts for 1 - 10 from Professor B.
Flossy completed 2 lessons from MEP.
Together we played a round of 3 player Addition War.
Flossy read some from Wanderings of Odysseus.
Bugsy completed 1 lesson from 100 Easy Lessons.

Yes, it was my intention to be maths heavy today :)

Monday, April 19, 2010

Backyard Pics

Back patio.

Water feature which we plan to put fish in once we give it an overhaul.

Side garden complete with citronella and aloe vera plants.

View of yard from corner near shed.

View of yard from other corner.

View of yard from 'dead wall' side of house.

Our fruiting banana palm.

'Dead wall' side of the house with water tank.

Fruit trees we have include -
Grapes - several
Passionfruit - several
Paw Paw

Vegetable plants are too numerous to name :)

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Garden Produce

Rusty and the kids picked these from our new garden this morning. 4 zucchini's, 1 jap pumpkin, 20 red & green capsicum.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Finally at the new place

Yesterday was the big day! The truck arrived just before lunch and the weather managed to hold off just long enough for them to unload.

We are all enjoying the space of the new house. It is wonderful! The backyard is flat, grassy and packed full of fruit and vegetable plants. Inside is light and bright with neutral decor.

Today saw the unpacking of the kitchen so we managed a simple homecooked meal for dinner. Having the groceries delivered was a godsend and I would recommend it to anyone moving house.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Garden Produce

Our vegetable garden has been sadly neglected since we found out we were moving. It has received little water and certainly no weeding attention but it still managed to produce a few things, 5 butternut pumpkin and 5 small corn cobs picked today.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Loving Kindness

I have recently joined the Be a Beacon program ran by Melissa Neilson from A Little Garden Flower and I am loving her downloadable radio shows!

It has really made me think about myself, my attitude and the impact I have on my family (and this is just the beginning). The old saying "If Mumma isn't happy, no one is happy" is so true. I am going to Be a Beacon for my family :)

Something in Melissa's show about Homemaking v Housekeeping really resonated with me. She was discussing that she felt houses have spirits who impact on the chaos in our lives and homes. I was talking with Flossy about it later and we agreed that the fairy spirit that lives in our house mustn't be very happy and that the spirit at the new house would be happy. Especially if we exercise our 'loving kindness' in everything we do for the house. So when we clean and packaway we should do these tasks with 'loving kindness'.

Moving further than that when we are interacting with others we should exercise our 'loving kindness'. Bugsy caught on to this new concept, 'loving kindness' and he has been a real sweetheart! "Mum, I opened your door with loving kindness", "Mum, I tried to eat all my dinner even though I didn't like it because I know someone made it with loving kindness."

So maybe next time you are feeling annoyed about having to do something for someone else you can take a moment to reflect and do that task with 'loving kindness', I know I will be :)

Thursday, April 8, 2010

1000 Good Books List

This site was recommended on TWTM Forum as a resource for kids who are reading above grade level. Posting here so I don't loose it in my bookmarks .

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Reading Level

I stumbled across this reading level test on The Well Trained Mind Forum and decided to put Flossy through her paces. It is similar to one we used some time ago, but I can't find a link for it, or the results. From memory she was about US 4th Grade and I think it was around her 5th birthday, July 2009.

I registered her as being in the 3rd month of US Kindergarten which is the Aussie Pre-Primary equivalent.

Her True Reading Level is 6.7. That means that she reads as well as a child in the 7th month of US 6th Grade. She is reading 6.4 grade levels ahead!!

I can see where she has room for improvement. Most of the words she got wrong she had never read or heard before, so building her vocabulary will assist. She is also impatient so rather than analyse the word and use syllables to help pronounce the answer she was guessing. We can work on that too :-)

I am one happy Mum!!

Saturday, April 3, 2010


On Thursday we went for a picnic lunch to a local National Park to celebrate Flossy's friends 6th Birthday. We were the first to arrive and as we drove into the carpark I noticed two kangaroo's by the side of the road. We pulled into the carpark hoped out and were almost immediately confronted by the two kangaroo's.

Mother and joey by the side of the road.

They hoped from their position on the other side of the road right over to us and the mother stood up challenging me immediately!

Just before she stood up to challenge me waiving her sharp claws.

I put the kids back in the car and we watched from their until some other people arrived (kangaroo's can be quite dangerous). Whilst sitting in the car I was pondering why she would have had a problem with us. Then it occurred to me. These kangaroo's are not truly wild. They were wanting food and when I didn't immediately have something for them she stood up challenging me to find out why. Tourists to the park are not supposed to feed the wildlife, there are signs up, but it doesn't matter they still do. As a direct result these kangaroo's now come to expect it!

Whilst we were having our wonderful lunch we had to continually keep guard on the food. At one point a brazen roo approached the table and tried to pinch an entire bag of breadrolls. I managed to grab the other side of the bag just in time although he did tear the plastic.

The kids had a wonderful time playing in the park and getting wet at the waterfall. It was a fantastic birthday party!

Waiting for everyone to arrive.
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