Week Five of Our Summer Travels: USA

Photo By gen cartalla

Last week was jam-packed. We spent the whole week at the lake with my parents and still managed to do our weekly summer travels activities between boat rides, swimming, and bike riding.

I’m sure it wasn’t hard to figure out what country we would be studying since it was the Fourth of July week. It was a great opportunity to learn about our own country.

We Read:


Watch the Stars Come Out

We Made:

Star Spangler Head Bands


Instead of using craft foam as the instructions state, we used construction paper for the head bands.

  • For each child, I cut two pieces of construction paper twice the width we wanted the final band to be.
  • Then we taped the pieces together to make it long enough to go around each head.
  • We folded the band over and stapled the pipe cleaners inside the band.
  • Finally, we stapled the stars to the tops of the pipe cleaners.

Patriotic Wands


We Ate:

Easy Patriotic Trifle Dessert


When I saw this patriotic trifle over at My Blessed Life, I knew it would be perfect for this week. However, as you can see, I didn’t make mine in a beautiful trifle bowl, but rather a canister.

I really thought I was going to make mine in my trifle bowl….but….that is a funny story for another day. You’ll be hearing that story real soon. Needless to say, I had to come up with another container to make my trifle in.

We also had hamburgers and hot dogs….It doesn’t get much more American than that!!

How did you celebrate the Fourth of July week?

Our next country is taking us back across the ocean….Egypt here we come!

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Posted on July 11th, 2011 in Kids and Family | No Comments

Week Four of Our Summer Travels: Brazil

Photo By ...37452fa

It’s time for another weekly travel report. We spent last week in Brazil learning about the the country and the beautiful animals of the Amazon Rainforest.

However, before I talk about what we did last week, I wanted to make sure I didn’t forget to share this link to the tallest Lego tower in the world. It was built by 6000 Brazilian kids.

My son is a Lego freak (he got it from his dad), so he absolutely thought the Lego tower was one of the coolest things he has ever seen.

Well, we didn’t do anything nearly as impressive, but we did have a fun week. This is what we did do….

We Read:

The Great Kapok Tree: A Tale from the Amazon Rainforest

How the Brazilian Beetles Got Their Gorgeous Coats

We Made:

Blue Morpho Butterflies


The Blue Morpho Butterfly lives in the Amazon Rainforest, so we decided to make our own. This was a pretty simple craft to do with the kids.

  • We used black construction paper to cut out the background of the butterfly.
  • Then using wavy cut scissors and shiny blue paper I found at our local craft store, we cut out a smaller version of the black and glued it in the center of the black background.
  • For the white dots on the sides, we used little raised glitter stickers.
  • Pipe cleaners were taped to the backs of the butterflies to form the antennae.
  • We wrapped pipe cleaners tightly around a pencil to form the body.
  • Finally, we glued the butterflies to craft sticks.

Oh, and then I stuffed the butterflies into my kitchen plant just because I thought it would look cool for the picture 😉

Colorful Pasta Necklaces


Since Brazilians love colorful jewelry, we made bright colored necklaces using pasta, paint and string.

You really can use any pasta that you can put on a string, but we used penne and I thought it worked very well. Here is how we made our necklaces:

  • Using a separate paper plate for each color (we had six colors: red, yellow, green, blue, orange and purple), we poured some paint into each plate.
  • Then we rolled 10 pieces of pasta in each color with a paintbrush until covered.
  • I gave the kids each a piece of wax paper and a toothpick. They carefully picked up each piece of pasta off the plate and placed it on the wax paper to dry.
  • Once the pasta was completely dry, we strung it onto a string. We used an embroidering string I had on hand. (No I don’t embroider. It was from another project.)
  • Lastly, tie the ends together and let the kids cut-up while you take pictures of them wearing their new necklaces.

We Ate:

fishstew1Brazilian Fish Stew – This was good, but definitely needed a little more salt, and I am not generally one to add extra salt. Also, I only used half the amount of bell pepper the recipe called for because I didn’t think we could handle four whole bell peppers. I served this over rice.

brigadeiro1Brigadeiro – Now, this Brazilian recipe….OH MY GOODNESS!!! Gooey chocolate rolled in pecans, coconut flakes, powdered sugar…..need I say more?!?!?

We Watched:


Okay, I know Rio has not been released on DVD yet, but we saw it when it was at the movie theater. We all thought it was a really cute movie, and it takes place in Brazil.

Honestly, by the time I realized I didn’t have a movie for this week, it was too late to get one. Oops!

Anybody want to try and guess which country we are learning about this week?

(Hint: This is the week of the Fourth of July.)

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Posted on July 5th, 2011 in Kids and Family | No Comments

Happy Fourth of July


Today is a day we celebrate our independence…our freedom, but freedom is never free. It always comes with a price that has to be paid by someone.

  • Our Freedom in Christ (Salvation): Paid for by Jesus
  • Our Freedom in the USA: Paid for by Soldiers (and their families)

We in America have so much to be thankful for. As I sat in church yesterday, I was reminded how blessed we are to be able to worship and praise God freely.

What a great country we live in!! Let’s not take our freedom for granted.

Thank you Lord for FREEDOM!!

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Posted on July 4th, 2011 in Miscellaneous | No Comments