Monday, March 19, 2018

Orlando Wetlands Park

Orlando Wetlands Park, February 2018
February and March is a great time of year to get outside in Central Florida before the long, hot, heavy months arrive. We recently took advantage of a sunny yet cool Friday morning to visit the Orlando Wetlands Park with a couple of homeschool friends. We couldn't have asked for a more pleasant day. The parking area was full this particular day given the superb weather and the free shuttle service that is provided on Friday and Saturdays. Given the long lines and smallish shuttles (which turned out to be oversized golf-carts) we decided to stick to our feet. We hiked about a mile to the Oyler Overlook and then back. We saw an abundance of native wetland birds, plants and, of course, several alligators along the way. The highlight was watching a larger specimen cross the trail ahead of us but at a sufficiently safe distance. 
Alligator warning signage, Orlando Wetlands Park
Alligator crossing the trail at Orlando Wetlands Park, Photo by Cynthia Ramirez
Limpkin posing on tree stump, Orlando Wetlands Park

Blue Flag Iris, Orlando Wetlands Park
Alligator sunning on the bank, Orlando Wetlands Park

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Learning Latin AND Mathematics

Weights & Measures (Hyland album)
Weights & Measures (Hyland album) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
In studying how to convert units of measurement during his math lesson, my son gained more than math knowledge. While he much prefers the simplicity of the metric system, it turns out that the non-metric units of measurement are surprisingly providing additional learning opportunities in... language.

As we were going over the process of converting pounds to ounces and vice versa, he asked what should have been an obvious question, "Why do we use the abbreviation lb to represent pounds?" I had to confess that I did not know. So I did what any 21st century mom does, I looked it up on the internet.

It turns our that we get the abbreviation lb as well as the English word "pound" from the Latin phrase libra pondo which translates to pound weight. Once again, I find myself learning something new as a result of my child's curiosity and learning process.

Friday, December 22, 2017

Christmas Cookies: Recipes and Cookie Cutter Hacks

Elisabeth and I decorated Christmas cookies this week to share with family over the holiday weekend. We are a long way from professional cookie makers, but we had fun and were very pleased with the results. 
We were inspired by an idea we first encountered on a episode of the Christmas Cookie Challenge to "hack" a cookie cutter shape into something other than the primary intention. It is a lot harder than it sounds, but I managed to hack an angel into a nativity lamb, while Elisabeth made a mistletoe out of a snowflake. 
I've used these Christmas Cookie and Icing recipes a few times and I'm fairly pleased with them. I have never used any other however. If you have a recipe that you prefer, please share in the comments so we can try it out.