Friday, June 29, 2018

Father's Day 2018 ~ A Video

I'm sure if you follow me on Instagram you saw that we went to the Ranch to celebrate Father's Day this year.  Instead of a gift, I recorded the weekend and put it together for the Mr.  It's not perfect, but I'm not a professional lol  I think he appreciated this video and I wanted to share it with y'all also.

xoxo Darby

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

America & Our World: Summer Books & Activities

There are so many occasions throughout the summer to talk about not only our own country, but also the world with our kids.  I figured the end of June & beginning of July would be a great month to learn the letter 'w' as we focus on our world, geography, cities & capitals, different cultures, and, of course, American history.  I shared some manipulatives that we are using to study America here already, but today I want to share our favorite books and activities we are using to learn about our world.America & Our World- Summer Books and Activities- Life with the HawleysHawley Homeschool
I love a box of books arriving at my doorstep; not much better than that folks!  So I will start with the books we are using for this unit.  I found several of these "Who Was" chapter books at Costco (but I'm seeing them several dollars cheaper on Amazon right now).  There are many versions of these (and I may or may not have bought every. single. one.).  These books are great for history read alouds: the chapters are not really long & there are pictures.  I selected these to focus on this month.DSC_0389
For books to focus on your own country, I had all of these books already (except the two 50 states books, which are new releases), and I just needed to pull these off the book shelf and put into a basket for the kids.  I don't know what it is about Americanly, but it makes me cry every time I read it.  I have no control over my tears when I read it!  DSC_0390
I absolutely love the new State Capitals book; probably my favorite right now.  There is a page for each state.  On the page there are all of the major landmarks in the state, the bird, flag, flower, animal, & geographic location for each state with beautiful illustrations.  I love this one!DSC_0391
Since we are talking about the letter 'w' I thought it would be great to learn about our world.  We've already spent significant time talking about oceans, land, moons, space, etc., so with this unit I really wanted to focus on the different continents.  We're focusing on how many and where the different continents are, as well as what life looks like on that continent.  Who is worshiped? What do they do for transportation? What does school look like? What is the traditional attire?  I selected these three books to address those topics.DSC_0395
Additionally I wanted to practice some sight words for each continent, and learn where animals live.  Penguins don't live everywhere, so where in the world can they be found in their natural habitat?DSC_0392
Since I was introducing a lot of new continents and cultures, I thought the My Friend Puzzle would be great, and it did not disappoint.  For me it is important to introduce my kids to diversity early so that they are able to celebrate everyone's specialties.  What I love about this wooden puzzle, aside from the great matching concept, is that it illustrates that we are different.  Different shirts. Different shoes. Different faces.  Some of us have wheel chairs or glasses, and some of us have earrings.  This puzzle opened so many doors into conversations about differences.  God created us all uniquely & perfectly and we get to talk about and celebrate these differences with this puzzle.  Great tool for heart training, character development, & of course, differences around the world.DSC_0368
For the geographical aspect of the world and our country I purchased a few new hands-on items.  I purchased this globe puzzle where we could practice locating and labeling each continent. DSC_0382
I purchased these Geoblocks at the homeschool convention at the end of May with this letter 'w' unit in mind.  There are 20 wooden blocks that each focus on a country.  The blocks have something unique to that country on all sides, and then when placed all together, on the same side, the blocks make the world map.  The sap in me loves this; it takes all of us to make up the world.DSC_0379
At the convention I also picked up an inflatable globe. We will use this ball to pass to answer a question about the world.  I also pulled out our Question & Answers book about the World.  This is a book that specifically answers the who, what, when, where, and how, of our that is a lot of 'w's'.  Brilliant, right?!  I purchased this World Map Learning Map and Wax Crayons, several months ago for this unit.  We're going to use these crayons to locate and check-off countries and continents.  We have several of these learning mats and they're awesome.  I highly recommend them.DSC_0376
For our own country, I purchased this 50 states magnetic map.  It comes with a paper map, and on the mat the capital is listed on each state instead of the state name.  The magnets have the state name and an image for that state.  If you have a beginner, they could simply just try to match up the shapes of the magnets to the shapes on the map, and later you can introduce the states and capitals.  Right now we're also learning the 50 States Song (the same one I learned in elementary school).DSC_0399
I don't know why this never occurred to me to teach, but the first time we practiced with the magnetic map I started talking about the compass rose and cardinal if a 2 and 4 year old know what that is?!?!?!  Later during nap time I prepped some material to go over that the next time we pulled out the map.  DSC_0402
That is all of the new additions to our 'w' unit, and here are some of the ways we are using the manipulatives I posted about before (here) to practice fine motor skills, sequencing, size comparisons, & patterns.  For more ideas click here.DSC_0403DSC_0326DSC_0358DSC_0362DSC_0364
Phew, that's a lot keeping us busy right now.  A lot of seasonally relevant and fun learning this summer.  What are you learning about this summer with your littles? Have you come across or tried any products that might fit well into this unit?
xoxo Darby

Monday, June 25, 2018

Mushroom Dutch Baby with Chorizo Potatoes

Have you ever heard of a Dutch baby? It's basically a fluffy German pancake, sweet or savory.  I feel like I, above all, having a son named Dutch should have made one before.  But nope. Never tried it.  I decided that that needed to change stat!  I thought that Dutch would get so excited having a dish named after him, but he was not impressed with the name at all. Ha!  We had this for dinner (or brinner?), but let me tell you, this as leftovers for breakfast the next day is spot on.  This was every bit as tasty as this image, I promise!  You have to try this soon (So fast too......start to sitting at the table was 40 minutes!Mushroom Dutch Baby with Chorizo Potatoes- Life with the HawleysFrom the Kitchen of Darby Hawley


4 potatoes (about 1 lb)

1/4 cup EVOO

8 oz mushrooms, sliced

sea salt

ground pepper

4 cloves garlic, minced

7 eggs

3/4 cup all-purpose flour

3/4 cup whole milk

chopped fresh parsley

1 lb ground chorizo


1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Poke several holes in the potatoes with a fork & microwave until just tender, 6 to 8 minutes. Don't touch them when they're done; they will be hot.  This might seem obvious, but I forget every. single. time.

2. Heat 2 tbs EVOO in a large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms, season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring, until browned (about 5 minutes). Add the garlic and cook until just softened, about 1 minute. Whisk 3 eggs, 1 tbs EVOO, the flour, milk, 3/4 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of pepper in a medium bowl. Pour over the mushrooms and sprinkle with the parsley. Transfer to the oven and bake until puffed and browned around the edges, about 20 minutes.

3. While the mushrooms are in the oven, combine the remaining 1 tbs EVOO & the chorizo in another large nonstick skillet.  Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until beginning to crisp, about 5 minutes. Chop the potatoes into bite-size pieces and add to the skillet; season with salt and pepper. Cook until the potatoes are slightly crisp, 8 to 10 minutes.

4. Make 4 openings in the potato/chorizo mixture and crack an egg into each spot; season with salt and pepper. Cook until the whites are set but the yolks are still soft, 5-ish minutes.

5. When the Dutch baby in the oven is ready it will pull from the sides a bit and be a little puffy.  Cut it into wedges and serve with the potatoes, chorizo, eggs, & a sprinkle of parsley.

6. Enjoy!DSC_0351

xoxo Darby

Friday, June 22, 2018

Dutch's 4th birthday

Last year for Dutch's 3rd birthday we did something a little different: we scrapped all parties, and just had a day focused on the things he likes.  It was an awesome & super fun day.  There was minimal planning, no goodie bags to pack, no moon bounce to rent, no invitations to mail, no balloons to purchase, or anything over the top.  We had a relaxed day focused on him, and it was such a fun birthday for everyone that we decided to do the exact same thing this year.  I highly recommend this type of birthday to everyone lol

This year, the entire day revolved around our 2 o'clock appointment at the fire station (which was a surprise for Dutch).  We started the day with breakfast tacos & red donuts (Dutch loves anything and everything red, trucks are red, of course).  We went to the park to feed the ducks, fly his kite, play at the splash pad, & ride the train.  For lunch we went to Chuy's for tacos, and headed home for a dress change.20180602_10103320180602_101845
Dutch had no idea that we were going to the fire station, so we came home and got him dressed in his fireman gear.  If you know Dutch, then you know the boy just loves everything fireman.  We told him that we were going to a fire station to look at the would have thought we told him he won the lottery; he was ecstatic.  He toured the station, told all of the firemen what everything was on the trucks (he genuinely impressed them with his knowledge of the trucks, specific buttons, and gear).  He also played Twenty-One Questions (read: FOUR Billion Questions) with them.  Sidebar: if this fireman gig doesn't work out for him, he might want to consider being a detective or a scientist.  His mind is very focused and inquisitive.  We met the Chef and sat in the trucks, and looked the hoses and ladders.  He was thrilled and delighted beyond belief. (We've even done a firefighter unit before)20180604_145746DSC_0005DSC_0009DSC_0015DSC_0019DSC_0024
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We came home and the kids napped.  That evening we ordered pizza & he opened gifts that our families sent him.  I tried my hand at making a strawberry firetruck cake, per the birthday boy's request.  The Mr. had a great idea of using Dutch's hockey pucks for tires on the cake.  Pure genius if you ask me.DSC_0062
It was a fantastic day doing all the things Dutch loves, and I so much enjoyed watching him smile all day long.  This has been a year of true growth, physically, cognitively, and spiritually for him, and the joy it brings me to watch him develop overwhelms me.  I do not comprehend why I get to be his mother, but I am honored and grateful.  Dutchie, my sweet fireman, I love you with every cell in my body and I am so grateful I got to spend your 4th birthday with you.  I continue to pray that you will have decades of spectacular birthdays, and that as you age, each day you grow closer and closer to the Lord. Love, Mama
xoxo Darby

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Honestly Hawley {May 2018}

I feel like May was slow & quiet.  We just finished our home renovation (anyone want to see those pictures?) and we just needed to be still.  It was like a storm had swirled around us and we were still stunned, so we just need to be still and wait for the dust to settle. We had a few things to finish up, but for the most part we just needed to be still.  Now that I'm looking through & culling our pictures from May, I realize that while we didn't do anything extra we did a lot of fun learning, and I do so enjoy this phase of my littles; it delights me more than words.
Here are the honest, unedited, unscripted
scenes of our May life :-)
2016: June ~ July ~ August ~ September ~ October ~ November ~ December
2017: January ~ February ~ March ~ April ~ June ~ July ~ August ~ September~ October ~ November ~ December
xoxo Darby
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