We had a lot of fun this week doing various things in preparation for our big cross country trip to Disney World.
First, the kids are relieved that we have taken a bit of a break from our normal studies (until we return) and have instead focused more on the countries that are represented in the World Showcase at Epcot. Epcot is one of those parts of the park most people find boring - the World Showcase doesn't have any rides (there use to be one in Norway but it is now being dismantled for the upcoming Frozen ride that will open sometime next year). Because Epcot is more of an Educational experience and not like the other 3 parks, many people, especially those with smaller kids, find it to be their least favorite park. My husband and I , however, find Epcot to be probably our favorite park out of the 4 and have already planned 3 days there during our 8 day trip. However, we also wanted the kids to enjoy it and understand it as well, so we had an International week this week featuring foods and studies from 7 of the 11 countries at Epcot. We figured if the kids were familiar with each country and it's culture they would be more excited to explore these places in the World Showcase, interact with the people from those countries at the various shops and restaurants and be somewhat familiar with regional cuisine as well.
The entire family was involved in this trip around the world as we all learned together. Each day we would eat a lunch from our country of the day, then I would hook up my computer to the television and together we would fly through the various Amanda Bennett unit studies that I had for that country. (These units are meant to be used over the course of a week, which we did in about 2 hours.. lol).. Then we would work together to make an authentic dinner from the same country. Some of these countries were reviews for Garrett and Ashleigh, who had already done the unit studies, but others were new for them. Charles, Alyssa and myself also learned much that we did not know about each country.
For our dinner we made Bangers and Mash hand pies. While Bangers and Mash are not typically served as a hand pie, I knew that Ashleigh, my picky eater, would not be too thrilled with the dish if served as is. However, for some reason, if you put it in hot pocket form, she will eat just about anything. Sure enough, these proved to be a hit with the kids and Ashleigh even asked for an extra pie. The recipe can be found here at the Betty Crocker website.
For Tuesday we visited Germany. This time we had Kraut Bierok (German Cabbage pockets) for lunch. (Again, hot pockets are always a good thing lol).. This is basically seasoned ground beef, onion and cabbage stuffed inside a biscuit and baked. We did find out that this wasn't really an authentic German dish but was more of a Polish food brought to Germany with the Polish Immigrants who relocated there. This proved to be another hit with the kids. While "visiting" Germany we discussed Berlin and the Brandenburg Gate, Reichstag, Hamburg, Frankfurt, and talked about Johannes Gutenberg. For dinner I made a traditional German dinner of beef rouladen with potato dumplings and red cabbage. The rouladen and dumplings were a success but the kids did not like the red cabbage and my husband found it to be too sweet for his liking.
Wednesday was France.. We started the day with a nice lunch of Croque Monsieur which is a really sooped up ham and cheese sandwich.. I had never made a bachamel sauce before and I was really shocked I didn't screw this up.. LOL This was a HUGE hit with everyone.. Our discussions today took us to Paris and the Eiffel Tower, The Statue of Liberty and it's history before coming to America, the Montgolfier brothers and the first hot air balloon, Lyon Cathedral and the Louve museum. Dinner consisted of Chicken Cordon Bleu with roasted green beans and a caesar salad. Another hit with the family.. Mom's on a roll :)
Thursday was Canada day. This was another review for the two little ones because we had studied
|Poutine: Proof God loves Canada|
We had to allow my daughter to take her written test to allow her to get her learners permit to start driving.. She did really well and passed her test on her first try and so now she has permit in hand.. So LOOK OUT CALIFORNIA!!!
|The Beautiful Wall Unit still at my friends house|
The awesome news with all this cleaning and moving is that I got to claim the dining area as my school area. So now, I have everything together and organized in one area rather than having to search through three different bookshelves or my bedroom.. I'm VERY excited about this.
The kids have been routinely tearing a link off of our countdown chain every morning when they wake up. They are great about taking turns doing it every morning, Garrett gets to tear off the orange links while Ashleigh gets to tear the yellow ones. They know the black link means it's time to pack up the car because the following day we are leaving!!! Our chain as shrunk considerably since we made it.
What is is.. and what it was when we started
We probably will not have a weekly wrapup next week as we will be on the road heading to Florida but we will be blogging once we get and hopefully we will have a really great Weekly Wrap up for everyone in 2 weeks :)