Saturday, August 31, 2013

Hydrogen Powered Car Kit


Mr A and Mr D discovered this cool Thames & Kosmos Fuel Cell X7 kit we've had pretty much ever since we started homeschooling.

It was one of those educational presents we parents imaged us all building together, and learning science so hands-on. (Cue classical music playing.)

Ok, ok, so maybe *I* imagined the Captain and the children working on this neat project while I was busy spinning our own yarn blogging. Or something.


Whatever the case was, this fuel cell car kit was pretty much forgotten and ignored.

Almost, anyway, as we found out the 16 page manual it came with was missing. I was quite the resourceful parent teacher finding the manual online for the boys.


Mr A and Mr D decided they really didn't need any other parental help with this project, and delved right into building a fuel cell vehicle. They learned how to build it, how fuel cells work, and how to use a unique reversible fuel cell. Pretty neat stuff!


I love independent learning!

Which reminds me our teens' homeschool curriculum company, Alpha Omega Publishing, is having a Labor Day sale. Save 10% on electives through 9/2 with coupon code SMELECT2SAVE3. We use their online curriculum Monarch, and love how our teens can learn independently!

You can read more about our curriculum picks here.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Once in a Blue Moon/Kajakkireissulla


After a hot day, the cool evening called us to the lake.


Time for Captain and mama to pull out the kayaks - first time this summer! Mr. A and Little Miss joined us.

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Such a perfect evening. The only thing that would have make it nicer was if the whole family could have gone. (Mental note to start looking for one or two more kayaks on craigslist.)

And if there were no bugs. We were all wearing the special Maine perfume, called Off!


There is nothing quite like silently gliding on a still lake, hearing the loons call. We are blessed.


As we turned around God had another blessing for us in store. A huge moon rising behind the mountain.


I could have stared at it all night.


But was forced to go gaze at the moon from inside the house when the bugs started flying into my nose and ears.

It's Maine.

Beautiful, buggy Maine.


Täydenkuun aikaan järvellä kajakkireissulla, kuikkien kutsuessa toisiaan. En tiedä onko mahtavampaa kokemusta!? Tosin ötökät pitivät huolta siitä, ettei kokemus ollut liian taivaallinen. Mainen kesä on monella lailla samanlainen kuin Suomen kesä!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Green Kid Craft Creativity Kit


Little Miss loves to do crafts. Which is great! What isn't so great is the fact her mama is not a very crafty homeschool mama. Fortunately there are companies like Green Kid Craft, who specializes in putting together mama-friendly craft kits, like this Backyard Science Discovery Box we are reviewing today.

These discovery boxes have won a variety of awards including Dr. Toy's Best Green Products of 2013, PTPA Seal of Approval, a recommendation from Parents' Choice, MACT Excellence and MACT Green Awards and Red Tricycle's Award for Most Awesome Subscription Service. 


The Backyard Science Discovery Box comes with three crafts to make. You can decorate a fabric bag, create a leaf pendant, make a nature sun print, and design a shadow box. We chose to decorate the fabric bag for this review.

The kits are designed for children ages 3-8 (Little Miss is seven). 


Little Miss was super excited, and couldn't wait to get started! In fact, we did our first discovery craft the day we picked up our package from the post office (our camp is rural).


The discovery box had everything needed for this craft, except tape to tape the plastic leaf mold inside the bag (so it wouldn't move around during the rubbing technique). I helped Little Miss with the taping, but she did everything else by herself.


Spreading out for a fun activity! If you look carefully, you can see an open snack bag near the candle (top of photo). Little Miss loved the healthy apple snack that came with the craft - and mama thought that was a nice addition to the kit.

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Such beautiful vibrant colors!!!

After Little Miss was done, I ironed the bag with a piece of paper on top of it.


Well done, Little Miss! Your bag is gorgeous!!!

Make sure to check out Kid Craft website. Subscriptions are available in month-to-month, 3, 6 and 12 month durations, and they also make great gifts! The monthly subscription cost is $19.95, and sibling subscriptions are also available. Order at

Little Miss and I would like to thank Green Kid Craft for sending us this discovery box for our review. All opinions expressed in this blog are purely our own. Our blog disclosure can be found here.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Family Hiking in Maine/Perhepatikointia


We love hiking. The Captain proposed to me on top on Mount Monadnock on a foggy day, and the fog was a good thing, as I had never gone on a hike that length (or height!) before, and would have likely chickened out, if I had seen the mountain looming up ahead. (The proposal was a very good thing, too:)

And, where would we be now, if I hadn't made it to the top of the mountain?


Yesterday we did about a four mile hike on the Appalachian Trail. It was a bit more challenging as we had originally thought (after finding this hike under the 'easy hikes' section). Next time we'll be prepared with hiking boots for all - the kids keep outgrowing theirs, and we can't keep up. (Sheesh!)

The Maine portion of the Appalachian trail is 281 miles. It is considered one of the most challenging states to hike through (we didn't know that yesterday). Most of the people we saw yesterday were day hikers, like us, but we did meet a couple of more ripe serious hikers with their beards and heavy gear packs.


Talking of not being able to keep up, the Captain and I bravely held up the rear, as our five children skipped and hopped along ahead of us.

Actually, officially, we stopped to take photos, that's why it took us longer to hike. (Wink)

We had a beautiful August day for hiking. Temperatures were in the low 70's, and it was so clear and cool in the woods.


See? Not all of the trail was easy. I had to stop to take photos, a lot.


Us girls!


There are so many trails in Maine for all types of hikers. The easy and moderate hikes are perfect for families. Google the area you want to find a hike in, and you'll find quite a few to choose from, most likely. We used to look for our hike.


Here's most of our hiking crew yesterday!

It has grown quite a bit since that one foggy September day in New Hampshire.


Lähdimme eilen metsään patikoimaan. Tarkoitus oli tehdä noin kuuden kilometrin helppo reitti Appalachian-reitillä. Helppo se ei ollut, mutta selvisimme sentään, ja kivaa meillä oli. Ensi kerralla pitää vaan löytää jokaiselle vaelluskengät (taas oli liian pienet pojille ja Pikkuneidille!).

Perheemme tykkää patikoimisesta. Kapteeni kosi minua Mount Monadnock-vuoren huipulla sumuisena syksypäivänä, ja oli hyvä, etten nähnyt kuinka korkea vuori oli, sillä en ollut ennen kiivennyt niin korkealle. Ja jos olisin antanut periksi, niin missä sitä nyt oltaisiin??

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Back from Finland/Suomesta






Little Miss and I (Sennie) were given an incredible gift: (almost) two weeks in Finland! Time away with my parents, in their cabin on the lake (in the woods). Quietness, rest, time with God, togetherness, nature, sauna, Finnish food, reading, recharging. {{{Thank you}}} More pictures to come later...


Pikkuneidin kanssa käväisimme pikareissulla Suomessa. Oli ihanaa tulla lataamaan akkuja mökin rauhaan. Aikaa levätä, yhdessäoloa äidin ja isän kanssa, raamatunlukua, suomalaisia herkkuja, luontoa, saunaa, lukemista.. {{{Kiitos}}} Lisää kuvia tulossa vielä.