Friday, August 29, 2014

Pumpkin Spice Coffee Syrup

Shut the front door. This pumpkin spice coffee syrup is the best pumpkin coffee drink I have tried at home!  Plus your house will smell amazing while you're whipping this up!

Homemade Pumpkin Spice Syrup
1 cup water
3/4 cup sugar
2 tbsp pumpkin purée 
1 tbsp vanilla 
2 tsp pumpkin spice 

Simmer all ingredients in a saucepan for 20 min or so, stirring occasionally. You want it to thicken up nicely. Cool and store in a mason jar in the fridge. Add 1 tbsp or more to your coffee and stir. For a super delicious treat, top with homemade whipped cream. 

Thursday, August 28, 2014

I Heart Fall Chalkboard

The other day I picked 30 pumpkins from the garden. 30! There are some pie pumpkins but most of them were the small decor type pumpkins. So.....I got to decorating.  I soaked them in bleach water for a while, let them dry, then buffed them with a small amount of Vaseline to make them shiny. (of course, don't bleach any pumpkins you will cook with)

All the pumpkins made me want to keep on going so I broke out the chalkboard paint.  I had this small mirror that was a gift from my sweet mom and thought it would be great as a chalkboard!.
Read this post to find out how to turn a mirror (or window) into a chalkboard.

Here is my start for the mantle. Our TV is up in DC with my husband and I had to hide the hanging brackets. Enter stacks of books and a sign. I love it! I'm not done decorating yet but it's early. I'll get there!

The wall color is the same as the above picture. that wall just has poor lighting. 

Have you started your fall decorating? Are you dreaming of all things pumpkin?  

sharing at 

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Our First Week

Well, if you follow along on Instagram or Facebook, you might have an idea about how crazy the past few months have been. Here's one reason....

Our family of four will become a family of 5 in January!  We were surprised to find this out but very excited! With this baby I have been needing to rest more than with the others (I'll save you the details) and home is easiest place to do that. So......our time in DC ended with the exception of a trip to visit coming up. 

Then this happened.  The first day of homeschool. I can happily tell you that we all made it to Friday! Week one is in the books! Not every day was great, but most of them were. We are all excited about what this is turning into. And it is changing... I was a classroom teacher.  It really is different than teaching your kids in your home. Some things are the same (thank goodness) but some of it is different and I'm learning what that looks like for us.  The kids are doing great and I am having fun planning our lessons and field trips!

We also had our first Book Club! We aren't part of a co-op yet and wanted the kids to have the opportunity to work with other kids.  A friend of mine and I had decided to take turns of Friday afternoons having all the kids play together. Perfect situation for a book club! They are at my house every other Friday. When they come we will read a book together (something I pick to go with a theme or season) and do a few differentiated activities that go along with what we read. 

This time we read a book about Johnny Appleseed to kick off my kiddos' apple theme (I love teaching in themes). After we read the book the little guys did a coloring sheet and printed the name Johnny Appleseed. While they were working on that, the bigger girls (who are both named Michaela but spell it differently) worked with letter tiles to spell as many words as they could out of JOHNNY APPLESEED. They filled up the entire page! I know they could have found more if there would have been more time. 

Next it was time for an apple taste testing. I cut 5 different types of apples, labeled them, and set them out. The kids tasted them all and wrote down whether or not they liked them. Then they chose their favorite over all. 

The last activity for the afternoon was good ol' apple prints. I gave them a piece of scrapbook paper cut in half, half an apple that I had patted dry, and paints. They painted the inside part of the apple and used it as a stamp. The creations turned out pretty neat and all very different! 

We are only one week into our homeschool journey but I am seeing little signs that their bond is growing. There are still plenty of times when they aren't getting along, but I'm praying there are less and less.