Cutest Blog and Widdlytink

My Stick Family from

May 18, 2011

And the Winner is...

Ghirrardelli Luxe Milk!

We shared our chocolates with two other homeschooling families today. I think everyone had a great time sampling and rating eight different kinds of chocolate. There were definitely a few surprises. One was that I forgot to take my camera out and photograph the process!

We set up a graph for each family using worksheet works, a website I use frequently. To keep the pandemonium to a minimum, we worked with just a few children at a time. Using a scale of 1-5, with one being disgusting and 5 being the best ever, we rated each bar and chose favorites.

Here are the final scores.

Ghirrardelli 60% 4
Castillo Coffee and Cashew (yellow label) 1.5
Castillo Coffee Bean (blue label) 2.66
Castillo 50% (pink label) 2
Ghirrardelli Luxe Milk 4.5
Lindt 34% Hazelnut 4.25
Cadbury Caramello 4.25
Hershey Bar 3.75

We also had some m&ms and Nestle' semi-sweet chips on hand for those who weren't really interested in trying exciting new taste sensations (i.e., Mal).

The Castillo bars were from Nicaragua, a gift from globetrotting Christine. They were so incredibly different from anything we were used to eating. The coffee and cashew bar was very grainy and yet airy at the same time. One child spit it right out. The coffee bean was a whole 'nother candy bar with whole roasted beans and completely different texture. A couple of the older boys gave it a four. That was a surprise. It was much smoother chocolate. Another interesting note was that after tasting Ghirrardelli, Cadbury, and Lindt chocolates, Hershey was a lot more mediocre than previously thought.

Tonight at dinner, Xav told daddy that number one was disgusting. It came out of nowhere and he had no idea what Xav was talking about. It was pretty funny.

My personal favorite chocolatier is Ferrero. We didn't sample any of those today, but on a scale of 1-5, I would give nutella, rocher, and rondnoir each a 10!

Now go eat some chocolate!

May 17, 2011

Here's Your Sign

There was an actual fistfight in the backseat today, over a sign on a pickup truck. Though it was bent over, I'm pretty sure it said FOR SALE. Mal insisted it must say OUT OF ORDER and Xav was certain the sign read THIS IS A RED TRUCK. Sparks flew and I actually had to break up a fistfight... while driving.

Back to our regularly scheduled programming of weeks old posts.

Chocolate Challenge DNG Review

We had every intention of immersing ourselves in chocolate this week. Thanks to our satellite internet provider, we weren't able to access any of the internet-linked sections of the Chocolate Challenge unit. We did, however, read some books about chocolate and Brazil, and sample some different chocolates. I excel at chocolate indulgences. The average American consumes ten pounds of chocolate each year. I think I am above average! Oops!

In Download N Go's Chocolate Challenge, each day we learned about Brazil and a famous chocolatier.

The daily objectives for Chocolate Challenge are:
Day 1: Chocolate - What is it?
Day 2: Chocolate - The Story
Day 3: Chocolate - The Types of Chocolate
Day 4: Chocolate - The Science of Chocolate
Day 5: Chocolate - Have a Chocolate Party

Check back tomorrow for the results of our chocolate tasting party educational experience. As the Bad Apple tells Larry Boy (and I told Trish to get her to agree to the chocolate tasting), "don't eschew chocolate, CHEW chocolate." It's all about education here, people.

Download N Go is a lapbooking/notebooking unit study series created by Amanda Bennett. Intended for grades K-4, my four year old loves them as well! DNGs are formatted for a five day study, but with suggested reading and your family's favorite rabbit trails, it could easily expand well beyond that. They are bright and colorful and chock full of information. One thing I really like is the special DNG video page that youtube videos open up in so you don't see any of the other stuff on youtube pages. DNG units each have five daily objectives with components for a smart little lapbook, clickable links to videos and websites, vocabulary, history, geography and more.

I just spend an hour or so reading the introduction and searching our library's online catalog for some books. I print some lapbook sheets, depending on our needs for the week and do some cutting. The rest is done for me!

You can purchase your copy of Chocolate Challenge for $7.95

To see what others think of Download N Go's Chocolate Challenge, check out the blog hop.

Check out the convention season closeout sale on CD sets.

I was provided with a free copy in exchange for my honest review.

Sunny Spring Day

The first really nice day of 2011 was April 25. The littles had a great time exploring.

Exploring the creek. I'm trying really hard to stop saying "crick" as it elicits teasing from all sides. :)

We lost a few more trees this spring too.

Yellow-spotted salamander.

Exploring the pond.

Salamanders sampling the frog eggs.

Walking the "bug bridge." The littles named it after Micah dragged the trees across the crick creek, and they saw bugs using it.

Let Sleeping Ducks Lie.

Each spring, for about a week, we have a duck pair visit and gobble up some tadpoles from our pond. After the long flight and full bellies, they needed to rest.

May 2, 2011

Sheldon Forest

Friday School Trip to Sheldon Forest.
Bear fur? Porcupine quills? Fern seeds?

Money Tree.Nature Tree.
Xav's forest loot.
And future oak tree.

Play after.

At the playground.

Easter Eggs

We enjoyed watching the color pellets dissolve in vinegar and make us some fun colors.

I was surprised they each chose to color eggs in their brother's favorite color first.