Wicked Pickles


Every year we try to make a gingerbread house.  I didn't think we would be able to this year since we seem to NEVER be home.  But Cool surprised us with a kit a couple weeks ago.  We sat down at MIL's table with the kit and a cup of hot cocoa and the picklets put together this wonderful creation. 

Chip cut up tootsie roll and laid it in the clean fallen icing because, and I quote here, "it just wouldn't be a real home without dog poop in the yard."  Amen to that.

2007 Wicked Pickles Homeschool


Liliput Station is having an online Christmas Party and I thought I would join the festivities. 

Usually we have the Christmas tree up the day after Thanksgiving.  We usually have presents wrapped and under the tree.  We usually have outside decorations.  We usually have Christmas baking done.  We usually study Christmas traditions.  We are usually in the Christmas Spirit.  This year we're not.  We have been gone from home so much that we aren't sure what residence Santa is going to consider our primary.  That being said, we have wonderful Christmas traditions and I will share what we normally do.

First and foremost, no Christmas would be complete without watching A Christmas Story.  There is something about Ralphie and the "glow of electric sex" that  makes our Christmas complete.  We usually make what we call our "Christmas Story supper" at least twice in the month of Decmeber.  (so far we haven't had it once) 

Our meal consists of my famous meatloaf, my great grandma's red cabbage and apples and real mashed potatos (none of those flaky ones).  We normally watch the movie while we eat.


On Christmas Eve we  make a special batch of cookies just for Santa.  These cookies are frosted and decorated especially for the big guy.  These are left with a glass of eggnog or a cup of hot cocoa.  We have it on good authority that Santa likes marshmallows in the his hot cocoa but they need to be left on the counter for a few days to dry out before adding to the cup.   Carrots and buckets of water are left for the reigndeer.  Some years we make special reigndeer food and sprinkle it on the lawn. 

 One present is opened on Christmas Eve.  This present always consists of a brand new pair of jammies.  Santa letters are left asking for special things.  One year Chip asked for a signed picture.  Santa obligded by leaving a signed pencil drawing by his bed.  Another year sleigh bells were requested.  Santa left three bells with ribbons tied on them on the tree.  We make sure to keep the dream alive.  Even though we know (he really has never said but we know) that Chip knows and think that Spear knows, we keep it alive.  Santa Claus lives in many people, you just need to look.  ;)

Christmas morning brings the early rising.  You know the time.  About 5 minutes to the butt crack of dawn.  I don't normally like getting up that early,  but seeing their excitement brings me out of my stupor to make coffee and grab my camera.  The kids get to open the presents Santa has left for them.  Santa doesn't really wrap so they get to see the presents Santa has left.  They read their little letters Santa usually leaves, the check the cookies, carrots, hot cocoa and water to see how much was really eaten.  They check for reindeer tracks and always beg for daddy to get the ladder out so they can go on the roof and inspect for sleigh tracks.  Daddy usually responds that "ladders and ice don't mix".  Daddy is smart!

Christmas day consists of playing with new items, watching Christmas movies and spending time together.  We usually head to Cool's mom's house on Christmas night for Christmas with his family.  The cousins get to play while the adults chat with each other.  My MIL makes french dips every year for Christmas which are to die for.  We all bring a little something to add to the meal.  A veggie tray, a cookie tray, cheese dip...that kind of thing. 

After leaving there we usually get home late and tell the picklets have to hit the hay.  They are normally tired and ready.

Last year we didn't not go to MIL's house.  It was a very nice day with fried turkey for supper.  After supper we opened up our family gifts as we did not give them earlier in the day.  Cool and I really liked that and would like to keep it a tradition.

This year we are shaking things up a bit.  We are going to MIL's house on Christmas Eve and spending the night.  Chip thinks Grandma will be lonely and nobody should be lonely on Christmas.  Cool and I discussed it, had a family meeting and concluded that Christmas is about family.  Family is what we believe in.  Our life together is based on family first.  So this year we will wake up Christmas morning at Grandma's and open our presents there.  Santa will fill the stocking at Grandma's but will leave the gifts at home.  It will be a Very Merry Christmas I just know it.



I decided last minute that we would make a president lapbook to honor President's Day. When I say last minute, I mean I was printing off the pictures at 9:00 yesterday morning. It went rather well, the picklets love American history and that helps alot.


I found the pictures and facts I wanted to us at The Presidents. Each picture has their signature, term dates, party and what number president they were.


Underneath each picture is an overview (also found at above site) about each presidency. The overview is folded into 3rds. On the left side is the age at which the president died. On the right side is the age the president would be today. When unfolded, we can read about the president.


On the front of the lapbook we put a color picture of all the presidents. On the back we put some crazy facts about each presient and the oath of office.


While making the lapbook, we tallied up what state each president was from.  After completing our tally marks, the picklets filled out the worksheets found at "Where Did They Come From?".  The picklets each sent their daddy a post card from Blackdog's partiotic postcards. I don't know if Cool really enjoys getting these greetings from the picklets but I do know the picklets really enjoy sending them to him.

During lunch we all gathered around the computer and listened to Plain Mr. President. I suggest signing up for these emails if you haven't already. Homeschool Radio programs are just wonderful!


The picklets baked a Washington Cake for dessert. The instructions say to have it taste more like it did when Washington lived to use some wholewheat flour, rye flour and even corn meal. I didn't have rye flour but whole wheat and corn meal was used. The cake was very dense and could have been baked longer, but it had good taste.

The picklets each became "President for a Day". After filling out the application, I "swore" them into office and they went through a series of decision making questions, reading about various presidents during the process. At the end, we printed the newspapaer that detailed their day as president. It was definately the highlight of our mini presidential study!

Once again I snuck real learning in a fun packed day. Subjects included are: history, math, life skills, computers/keyboarding and logic.


It's Amore! 12/16/2007

It's Amore! (2-07)

Just how do you get that little accent thingy anyway??? Oh well.

What an active and full day. The pickle barrel has been full of activity since early this morning and has just ended. It is 11:29. It has been a l-o-n-g day.

Starting at 6:30, the picklets have been on the go. Being as they had Valentine bags sitting on the table, staring them in the face since Saturday, they were more than eager to get up and open their gifts. I don't think they were disappointed. We had a huge pile of loot! To top it off, they got to eat their "loot" and watch their new movie FOR breakfast. One might say I am striving for that Pickle-of-the-Year award!

During their breakfast of sugar and artificial ingredients, their friend from up the street called to see if they could go and play on the snow hills at the public school. So they bundeled up and walked in the freezing cold to play on a mountain of snow. A few minutes later their friends mother called me and asked me down for tea.
It is so nice conversing with someone who also homeschools and knows all about the day to day happenings in a homeschool. Granted homeschooling is the ONLY thing we have in common. And we don't even homeschool the same. She sticks strictly to the public school schedule (if public school doesn't have school, she doesn't), uses public school curriculum (egahds!) AND teaches most subjects religously, BUT she does know the woes and joys of the day to day stuff and sometimes listening to another mother who struggles with getting her son to learn spelling too is all it takes to stop poking needles in my eyes. We walked the pickle trail back to the pickle barrel late morning. It is cooooold! I am not sure it will ever warm up, it is THAT cold. We warmed ourselves by sitting on the sofa, covering up and watching the rest of the valentine movie. OK, I am gonna say it. It was stupid. Did the picklets think it was?? Hell no! They watched it three times during the course of the day. And when they weren't watching it, they were singing songs from it. I was cross eyed by the time Cool got home.
Early afternoon Miss. Crisp stopped by to drop off her 2 dogs and cat for us to watch. Her (I am not sure what to call him since they are together but not totally reaping the benefits of a man and woman relationship , if ya get my drift) "guy friend" is having some testing done for possibly colon cancer and they are going to be gone for 3 days. Counting our own pets, we have 4 dogs and 5 cats wandering around. The pickle barrel is now a picklezoo!


After aquainting the animals with each other, the picklets and I sat down at the kitchen table to do some Valentine's day stuff. We started with playing Conversation Hearts Pick Up.  


We estimated how many hearts would fit on the heart and got creative trying to fit even MORE hearts on it.


Made and played Valentine Battleship.


Talked about symmetry, lines of symetry drew lines of symmetry on hearts and looked around the house for other things that were symmetrical. Sent virtual chocolates to daddy at work. We had fun filling out the Valentine's Day word hunt. It is amazing the words they came up with that I didn't. DUH! Ya know you are hard up when your beginning reader has more words than you! We worked on a Valentine Grammer sheet that was a good reveiw of synonyms and antonyms.


I read aloud How Valentine's Day works while the picklets made heart shaped brownies.  The picklets dined on melted chocolate and cut up fruit while I read The Sweet Lure of Chocolate.


We took a video tour of a chocolate factory. They each took turns making valentine certificates for each other.  They also made heart mobiles, which I think turned out very nice. They learned how to tape dimes and pennies on the lids to make the mobiles level. Last, but not least, we played rummy during supper. The picklets have never played before so when Miss Crisp gave them some rummy cards I took the opportunity to teach them.
Yes, it was a VERY busy day! The picklets had a good time. I snuck some school in when they thought they were only playing and eating! We touched upon many subjects including: math, social studies, history, science, computers, handwriting, spelling and grammer. Not to mention the 2 ten minute tidys, 1 ten minute break and the 3 times we let the dogs out to go potty. A very full and prosperous day indeed!