Our Arctic Adventures Part 1

Winter is upon us or so we hear them say for all the states above us. Living in Florida leaves us with 12 months of warm weather. It’s November, and its currently above 80 degrees outside almost every single say. So we are bring winter into our home by learning about the Arctic.

With our plans to move to Michigan in the very near future, we felt it was time to learn about the different climates around the world. Since it is almost time for winter, or what us Floridan’s call winter. We decided to start with the Arctic and Chief is super excited.

Making Snow Slime

Recently I read a homeschooling blog Side by Side Learning, where they have climate themed workboxes. I thought this sounded super fun, but I wanted to put my own spin on it. We currently have our classroom set up Montessori style. We have trays and baskets each containing their own separate work. Chief has the option to choose whichever work he would like to do, and he completes it until he is finished.

This week we started our with our new work, Arctic snow slime.  It is pretty cool, and very simple to make. We used the recipe from Frugal Fun for Boys and Girls. To go along with our snow slime I purchased the Arctic toob collection from Hobby Lobby, plus side is you can use a 40% off coupon! If you order online don’t forget to use ebates(affiliated link), this will give you an additional 2% cash back on your order.

After making our snow slime, Chief experimented with putting his arctic animals in the snow and seeing their tracks. This activity kept him entertained for about 30 minutes as he looked at the tracks in the snow, he made a little story about the whales and the wolves, and just had fun.

After Chief was done exploring this new work, we added it to a tray on his work shelves so that he can work with it as he chooses.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Arctic Toob Animals

This weekend I will be photographing our Arctic toob animals on a white background and printing out cards for matching. I will also be creating flashcards with animal tracks once Chief because more familiar with each Arctic animal. He will then be able to match each animals based on the track marks they leave in our snow slime.

Safari Toob collections are one of my most favorite tools to bring into the classroom. They offer such an amazing variety, for just about any topic. I love that these collections are very life like, and not cartoonish at all. This helps with being able to distinguish these animals, people, places, plants, etc. in person. The Safari website also has a lot of information regarding the items in their collections.

Future Arctic Studies

Our work with the Arctic climate will last us several week, most likely through January. We will be adding additional adventures, projects and activities as the time goes on. So make sure to come back and read up on what we have learned.

Please feel free to comment with any arctic adventures you have taken with your family.



Childhood Best Friends.

The best kind of friends are your best friends. They know everything about you, they love you unconditionally, and their friendship means the world to you.

Childhood Best friends

Do you have a childhood best friend? Does your child have a best friend? I personally have one that I still talk to 25 years later. We lost touch in our teenage years, and then on a stroke of luck we were living in the same town and only 5 minutes from each other. We were able to reconnect and have been keeping in touch for years now thanks to Facebook, since we now live about 4 hours away from each other.

My husband has his childhood best friend , who is more like a brother to him. They talk at least once a week if not more. His best friend is also the godfather to Chief, and he is a great person to take over for us if it were ever needed.

As for Chief, he has a best friend, who is great. They truly have the most precious friendship. Seeing the two of them greet each other after not seeing one another for a week is the best. Our favorite meeting place is at the community park. Usually one of us will get there before the other, and watching these two run to each other screaming in happiness is AMAZING. Here is to hoping they stay friends for the next 50+ years. img_2549

Finding Friends

This seems to be a harder task in todays day and age. When we were younger friendships were so easy to come by. You basically walked out the front door and starting playing with whoever was in sight. It didn’t matter if they were the cool kids, the popular kids, the dorky kids, or the odd kids. We were all just kids looking for some fun.

I grew up in that iconic suburban neighborhood. We all played together, front doors were always unlocked, you played outside until the lights came on or you heard Ms. Norma’s whistle to come home. We played hockey in the streets, moving our full-sized goals out-of-the-way when everyone started screaming car. We played manhunt, we roller skated, the boys skateboarded, we cause mischief and most of all we had fun. You found out where your friends were by seeing who’s bikes were in what yard, you knocked once and walked inside announcing that you were joining in.

Today its much more difficult. There are no kids outside playing, and finding friends is difficult unless your old enough to be in public school. Being that Chief is only 3, he has had limited access to other children. Luckily as a stay at home mom we are able to attend playdates, local events, story time and much more. We love meeting new friends at the events and at our  favorite place of all, the park. Meeting friends at the park is great because you can see if their playing style and personality meets that of your child. You are also able to engage the parents, get to know each other and schedule playdates for the future.

Living Near or Far

This is a topic that affects most friends at some point and time. People move, either in the same city or to other states completely. We will be tackling this topic with Chief in the future, as both us and his best friends family are planning to move to different states as soon as out homes sell. To make it easier, we have already planned on multiple visits from each family. There is so much to explore in this world and what better way to do it, then with your best friend.

Distance can make or break a friendship. No matter how strong it once was, living far away can be difficult. It’s very important that you take the time to stay in touch, even if it is just once a month. This is why we will be making sure that we stay in touch with Hadley girl, as Chief calls her.

Staying in touch

This is the most important part about friendships. Staying in touch can be difficult. Especially once you get older and life starts getting in the way. Luckily with technology today, it makes staying in touch so much easier. There is Facebook, instagram, twitter, FaceTime and so much more.

Personally, my favorite way to communicate is good old fashion snail mail. Who doesn’t love getting letters in the mail? Even if it is something as easy as saying hello, how are you? Something about hand writing a letter makes it so much more special. Since Chief is still young and not really into writing at the moment, his letters may not be more than a scribbled drawing. But that is a child’s way of communicating with their friends. Just make sure you include a cheat sheet for the other parents.

Once we move, or Hadley girl moves, we will begin our first long distance friend ship. Filled with lots of drawings, and little objects that we can send her. Then once we are both settled in our new homes, we will beginning with the visits to each other. There will be so much to explore, and so much fun to be had. I can not wait for this journey for him, and for him to continue to foster his friendship with his Hadley girl.

Here’s to many great adventures with your best friend.




Michigan, Our Dream Adventure!!

What is your dream adventure? My dream adventure is to move to Northern Michigan with my family, find a nice piece of property and maybe start a little farm. I love the outdoors, which many may not know because we currently live in Florida and it is impossible to do anything with out getting heat stroke 4.5 seconds after walking out the front door. Summer days sky rocket to 113 degrees outside by 11:00am and only goes down to the low 90s by the evening time. I know I have shocked some by saying that I love the outdoors, because it has been years since I have been able to do anything outdoors with out the risk of passing out due to the heat and this little thing called a heart issue.

When I was younger I use to go camping a lot with friends and it was one of the best times of my life. I remember one weekend we went out and somehow ended up camping under a small bridge in this area with these amazing dead trees. Looking back it was a little creepy, but it is still one of my greatest memories. I remember waking up that night and it was so cold, one of those rare winter nights in Florida where is was probably only 60 degrees but felt like the new ice age. These are the memories I want Chief to have, fun times outdoors and not in front of a tv set or video games.

Why Northern Michigan you ask? Well my response to this has always been why not? What do we have to lose? Yes, we know its going to be a major change and adjustment in weather. Yes, we could choose a state closer then Michigan. Yes, we know that is snows A LOT in Northern Michigan and Yes, we know that we are going to be thousands of miles away from our families. But this is our life, our adventure and we have to make the best out of the time we have. Plus, have you seen Michigan? It is an absolutely beautiful state, and there is so much that we can do outdoors with our family. We are looking forward to camping, exploring, visiting the great lakes, taking a trip up to the Upper Peninsula and possibly Canada. But I would have to say that the thing I am looking forward to the most, is our FIRST true Fall.

So what is our plan? Well we plan to list our house for sale this coming spring. We are hoping that it sells rather quickly and that we will be able to move before winter begins in Michigan. If we sell later in the year, then our plan is to wait out the winter and move up in the Spring. Once we sell our home here, we will take a trip up to Michigan to begin our home search up there. We are hoping to find a property that has no less then 5 acres and no more the 10 acres, unless we come across a piece of property that is larger and we just love. My hopes are that we can find an old farm house, with the iconic old red barn. We have seen a few homes available that meet that criteria and are absolutely beautiful. That would be an absolute dream for me.

We have started to talk to Chief about our move, to get him prepared and ready to move from the only home he has ever really know. We bought a large map of the United States and we use it almost daily during our homeschool classes, and we have shown him the path we will take when we move, and what states we plan to travel through. We have also talked about the adventures we will take and the things we will do. Since he is so young, I don’t believe that he will have an issue moving away from his friends. He has one best friend named Hadley. Her mom Nikki and I are best friends as well. We will miss both of them greatly when we move, but they are also starting a new adventure of their own as they will be moving to Connecticut. Nikki and I have already started to plan our visits with each other and the kids. We will be a few states apart, but not as bad as if we are in Florida.  We look forward to making new friends, and starting new activities. Our first major thing we will work on is finding a great homeschooling group.

So, no matter what your dream adventure is. No matter how scary or outrageous it seems, just go for it. (Well, unless its dangerous then just stay home.) Life is very short, and you want to do everything you can with no regrets. We know that our adventure is scary, but we also know that if Michigan doesn’t work out for us then we can just move back to Florida. I am sure my mother would welcome us with open arms. But what I know 100% for sure, is that we don’t know if it will work or won’t work until we try. I don’t want to be 40-50 years old saying, man I wish we would have at least tried.\

Make sure you stay tuned to follow our journey from Florida to Michigan.