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Sunday, January 13, 2013

Living the Lutz Life: Swimming in January and Octopus Hot Dogs

This is a new weekend feature for 2013, giving you a peek into our day-to-day life and serving as a digital journal for me and my family. Take time to savor these precious days and don't forget to take LOTS of pictures! 
This was our first full week with a regular school routine since before Christmas. It was nice to have a sense of order back to the day and I feel like we made a lot of great progress with Jackson's reading this week. I take so much joy in listening to him read and decode new words. I wouldn't trade this job for anything. :)
On Wednesday, the kids and I headed to the Vandalia Recreation Center for this month's homeschool gym day. (Next month is roller skating! Fun!!) Charlotte had been wearing her new swimsuit around the house since Monday, and asking 100 times a day if we "go 'wimming now". Needless to say, by the time Wednesday rolled around she was one excited little girl!
Jackson had so much fun visiting with his buddies at the pool and it was great to talk to some mom friends I hadn't seen since before the holidays. There was a big turnout for our outing even though it looks as if we are at the pool alone. Haha! I try very hard when taking pics of my kids to omit other children who are in the background--especially when I know I will be sharing pictures on the web. I think that's only fair. I wouldn't want pictures of my kids (in their swimsuits) on the Internet without my knowledge, would you?

For school this week, we worked on the letter O and did some research on oceans and octopuses. Yes, "octopuses" is an acceptable plural of "octopus"...it sounded strange to me but I looked it up! Our words to remember this week were, "Even the octopus praises the Lord." All week long, Charlotte referred to any octopus she saw in books, ocean DVDs, etc. as "applesauce". Jackson and I got a big kick out of hearing her say it, so we kept pointing to pictures and asking her to say what it was. It was always an "applesauce"!
We learned many interesting facts about octopuses this week, including what they eat (fish, crabs, shrimp, etc.), where they live (caves mainly), how they protect themselves from enemies (squirting ink to hide) and even how they can regrow tentacles. We did an experiment, seen on the bottom row of the photo above, showing how an octopus uses its ink (black food coloring) to hide from a "wolf eel"--or snake finger puppet, because that's all we could find! :)
The kids enjoyed making and eating octopus hot dogs in a ketchup ocean. Leaving the top 1/3 of the hot dog uncut, slice the bottom portion lengthwise into 8 sections and place into boiling water. The legs will curl up and create an edible "octopus". (In case you are wondering what kind of hot dogs we buy, I prefer the Applegate Farms variety because they are grass-fed, all beef and made without added hormones or nitrates.)
The weather this week was completely wacky! Here's a picture of the kids with a snowman at my grandparents' house on Thursday. The other pictures below are from Friday and Saturday, when it got up to 60+ degrees--in January!! Weather that warm makes me begin thinking about planting our garden. Jackson is still talking about the sledding we did a couple weeks ago, so I think he's itching for more winter weather. I'm pretty sure he will be getting his wish for more snow.

What kinds of exciting things did your family do to enjoy this unseasonably warm week? I look forward to reading about your adventures in the comments below!

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