Forty Something Parents

The Ins & Outs of Parenting

We Spiced Things Up a Bit by Making One Map a 'Trick Map'!


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Homeschool Science Project: Treasure Maps and Invisible Ink

Home School Science Project — Creating a Treasure Map With Lemon Juice?!  Here’s how we did it, our source, and items needed.  I hope you and your home school kids (or traditionally schooled kids) enjoy doing this project as much as we did.  :  )

How We Did It–

*My daughter Nixi and I made our maps according to instructions in the book **(see instructions at bottom of this post), then we gathered up some odds and ends…sparkly treasure, bundled it up in a paper towel, and buried it out in our yard where ‘X’ marks the spot on our maps.  I spray painted an X where we buried our treasure, and when my husband (Daddy) got home from work, he and Nixi hunted the treasure.

It was quite a kick, and I would definitely recommend this learning adventure to everyone who has kids or grand-kids; even nieces or nephews.  Heck..! Gather up the neighborhood kids and make a party out of it. The more the merrier!  :  )

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We Checked Out This Great Book From Our Local Library

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Invisible Ink Science Experiment

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Recipe and Items Needed

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Items Needed & Treasure to Bury

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Nixi’s Map

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Mom’s Map

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We Spiced Things Up a Bit by Making One Map a ‘Trick Map’!

**INSTRUCTIONS–

You’ll need:

-Paper (We used Resume Stock Paper)

-Lemon Juice, Cotton ‘Swab’ (Get it…?!  Swab!  hahaha)

-Treasure to Bury

-Spray Paint or Crafty ‘X’ to Mark the Spot

-Oven…heated to 400 degrees

Juice your lemon, then dip your cotton swab in the lemon juice, then ‘paint’ your map.  Steady as she goes, since the ink disappears rather quickly.  Place your map onto a cookie sheet and place in a 400 degree preheated oven for 30 minutes.  Careful when you take it out, it’ll be hot!  Gather your treasure, bury it, mark the spot with an X, and let your littlest Pirates (or the bigger scally-wags) hunt for the treasure.  Fun all around!

It Didn't Feel at ALL as It Looks


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Home School Science Experiments

Making BLUE GOO —

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Home School Learning — Spelling with Building Blocks

We recently acquired a set of wooden building blocks for our Nixi; which we figured she might’ve outgrown by now.  Not our little’n!  She has no qualms about playing with toys for babies, and Nico and I see no problem with it either.  In fact, it seems to help her grow even more, when it comes to educating her here at home.

I’ve come to see, in my early years of homeschooling, that Nixi can make a learning game out of just-about anything.  She amazes me at every turn; the way she is reading and spelling new words every day.  One particular day last week, we sat down at the kitchen table (our desk, if you will), and dumped a heaping pile of wooden building/letter blocks out…covering the mass of our small dining perch.

In no time at all, we’d built a cozy looking seaside village of beach houses; complete with bridges and all.  We were both very proud of our creation.  Then we moved on to the letter blocks.  I nudged Nixi into the direction of spelling by asking her how to spell certain words, in a tone like I had no idea how to spell these words.

I was delighted to snap a few pics of the first words she spelled out for me.  I am always proud of her efforts, and I see every day how much she is growing and truly enjoying the freedom of learning at home.  I only wish I could’ve been home schooled!  I think it would’ve made me a more confident, independent person as an adult.

I feel Blessed to be able to encourage my young daughter into the wonderful world of being free to truly learn all of the things that interest her in life.  If I accomplish nothing else in my lifetime…if I find success in no other avenue, I will be grateful for educating my daughter in a relaxed and fun environment.

*Freedom to Learn.  Freedom to Grow!*

Meticulous Paint Work Underway


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Home School Arts & Crafts — Making Musical Instruments

~~ Shaker Drum from plastic Folger’s Coffee Canister ~~

I’m always looking for fun creative projects for my Nixi; always hoping to re-use, re-purpose, recycle in the process.  Well, our last homeschool art project has touched on all levels of creativity, as far as I’m concerned anyway.  Putting together Nixi’s newest musical instrument was both fun and rewarding!  –Not to mention very useful to our band Gypsy Vin Rose.

Here’s what we used to make our shaker drum, and a brief run-down on the process (though it’s rather self-explanatory).  It’s SO easy to make, you can probably do it with your eyes closed.  :  )

*Make a joyful noise by re-purposing, re-using, and recycling!*

Items We Used —

-Folger’s Plastic Coffee Canister (pop-top kind)

-Variety of beans (small handful)

-Large handful of birdseed

-Masking Tape (to tape lid securely shut)

-Crayola Kids Paint (washable)

-Paint brushes, etc

*Child’s Art/Paint Smock (helpful to keep clothes clean)*

Pop Goes the Pop Corn (scarves)


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Celebrating Henry Rosenberg’s Birthday

When we arrived at the Rosenberg Library yesterday, we had no idea that the day was anything other than plain-old ordinary.  However, to much delight, we soon discovered that we’d be celebrating the birthday of the man who made our lovely library possible — Henry Rosenberg.

Even though he’s been gone since 1893, it is because of his generosity that my Nixi is able to enjoy such a wonderful place as Rosenberg Library.  I’m so happy that my daughter loves books and reading so-very much.  When it’s library day, Nixi is always jumping (literally) for joy.  I look back on my own childhood, and I wish I had been able to know the joy of visiting our local library.  But, alas, it was not to be in my early years.  Let’s just say I’m a late bloomer to frequenting the library and learning the vast resources available there.

The celebration of Henry Rosenberg yesterday piqued my curiosities about the man behind such a wondrous place; free to all…loved by so many.  After further research, I learned that he had moved here to Galveston Island from his hometown of Bilten, Switzerland, when he was just a lad of nineteen years. Quickly finding success as a dry goods merchant, Mr. Rosenberg worked his way up to purchasing the dry goods business within three years, and set-about growing it into the largest dry goods business in Texas.  Between 1851 and May 12th 1893 — passing at the age of 69 — Henry Rosenberg contributed thousands upon thousands of dollars to the growth of Galveston Island.  In his Will, he left $400,000.00 towards the organization and endowment of what is today the Rosenberg Library.

When I stop to consider how much four-hundred-thousand dollars was back then, and how much it is todayI can’t help but be inspired by Henry Rosenberg’s generosity.  It makes me realize what I could do to help out my community more and be a better help to to those around me — both near and far.

Celebrating the life of such a generous spirit, and singing him Happy Birthday to the theme of Curious George, along with the wonderful staff at Rosenberg Library yesterday, was a time we won’t soon forget.  My Nixi received a gold medal for reading, and we couldn’t be more proud of her.  She has come so far this past year with her reading.  And her love of reading, and the fun times we’ve had at Rosenberg Library, I know must be contributed to one of the most enjoyable free things to do on Galveston Island.

I wanted to share the snaps we took of yesterday’s fun.  I hope it inspires you to visit your local library, and see what you might learn about the founder and staff-members who are always there to help.  Such simple pleasures in life are utterly priceless!

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Paddle Boarding — Never Too Young

I never could’ve imagined doing water-sports back when I was six years old; let alone paddle boarding or surfing.  I grew up inland, though I was never a land-lubber.  But as I stood watching my daughter stand with ease on a paddle board this past Saturday, balancing upon Mother Ocean, I couldn’t have been more proud of her natural abilities.

Looking back to my own childhood, I realize now that I wasn’t quite the athletic type.  I didn’t even learn to ride a bicycle until I was 10 years old!  But once I did — feeling the wind blow through my hair…free as the breeze — I was hooked.  And to this day, I still love riding my bike more than most things I’ve ever done.

As for my young daughter, I can hardly wait to see her gliding on top of the water.  And soon after she’s paddle boarding, I hope we can introduce her to the art of surfing.  Being island transplants — known as IBC’s (Islanders By Choice) — to our Gulf Coastal home, I feel our little-one will grow up knowing what it really means to blend with nature.  And I too, will come to know Mother Ocean’s embrace like I was never able to when I was a child.  Just as we are never too young to try new and daring things, neither are we ever too old.

*Live the Life You Love*  #NeverTooYoungToPaddleBoard #NeverTooOldToPaddleBoard #LearningNewThings #EveryDayAdventures #PaddleBoarding

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Field Trip: The Grand Children’s Festival

–Fun…FREE Activities For Home School (or Traditionally Schooled) Kids–

In my last post, I wrote briefly about this past weekend…when we attended the Children’s Festival down in the Strand District.  It’s a really fun time for kids of all ages, and very family friendly.  Best of all, the festival is FREE!  And even though this was our first year to attend, we certainly don’t plan on it being our last.

In the meantime — I wanted to share some of the fun moments from this past festival.  The numerous booths and activities were enough to keep us busy for the entire weekend; though the event is only for one day.

The learning experiences that Nixi was able to be a party to, I feel, will stay with her for years to come.  As for me…?  I realized I’m absolutely no good at hoola-hooping, but I  can still do the Lemon Twist; or an updated version of the old classic jumping toy I used to love as a kid.  It was great to show my husband and child, that this middle-aged Mamma can still ‘cut-a-rug’.  I look back on it, and I have to laugh.  –As I feel I’ll do…for years to come.

*Forever Young*

*Being Young-at-Heart*

*Remaining Active Over 40*