Argh…here there be Treasure

With our study on Florida, we have covered the native peoples, the native habitats, and now we are learning about the Spanish explorers.  We’ve been talking about, reading about, and watching videos about men like Ponce de Leon and Hernando de Soto.

I’m always looking for ways to bring school alive, so I decided to take a tour at a local Museum called Gilberts’ House of Refuge. The House of Refuge is one of 10 that were spaced every 20 miles on the East coast of Florida from Miami to Daytona Beach.  The sole occupation of the Keeper of the House was to keep provisions stocked in the house, and to walk their 20 mile stretch of Beach after every storm, looking for shipwreck survivors. We are so blessed and lucky, because we live close enough to the sole remaining house to take a tour!!!!!

After our wanderings of the museum, we drove a little further (less than a mile) to my absolute favorite beach in our area…. Bathtub Reef Beach.  The beach is encircled by a reef of small worms, it’s shallow enough that the kids can walk all the way out to the reef – only they are not allowed to walk on the coral.  The kids were playing in the water, rolling in the sand dunes, and in general having a wonderful time. To our great pleasure and surprise, there were two men in the water with metal detectors!  This completely enthralled the kids as we had been watching videos all week about Treasure hunting in Florida, in preparation for our museum trip, and as part of our Florida History.  The kids approached one of them and asked what he was searching for.  They were slightly disappointed that he was looking for rings and jewelry that people had lost on the beach, but this is real life, not a movie. 😉

The next week, we thought we would make our own treasure maps.  So that’s what we did for art!!!



037This is the map that Eyes drew….take careful notice of the Kracken in the right hand corner taking the ship down.  I think we watch too many videos about mythological creatures.  LOL

036 This is Smarty Pants version.


Here is the one that Dimples made.  After they drew and colored them, they had to tear the edges to give it that “aged” look.


This is Eyes’ drawing again….while he’s coloring it.  On this one you can see he has a monster on the left hand side that lives on the land, as well as the monster in the Ocean.


After they tore the edges, they put a tea bag in water and then rubbed it gently onto the map to yellow it some.  This one is BAM!s’ artwork.

Treasure MapsAfter the tea was completely applied, we let it dry, and PRESTO! CHANGO! Instant…ahem…Treasure Map!  This is Kissy’s map.  I know, I know, her Florida looks like a finger pointing down, but at least she added Florida!!!  She was the ONLY one who did!!!

Take an afternoon and make a treasure map with your kids…it was fun, and silly, and they learned!

If you are ever in Stuart, Florida go take a tour of the House of Refuge.  You won’t regret it.  For more information, go here .

And if you are in Stuart, you absolutely MUST go to Bathtub Beach, or just check it out on the webcam .It’s a wonderful place for kids and for snorkeling!!!

Guest Blogger, Guess Who????


Mom’s name is Jesica.

My mom loves God.

God loves momy very much.

My mom ask God in her hart.

With my mom i’m pretected.

Mom reads the Bible about 2.00 hours.

We have a cute marker board that I bought at Walmart several years ago for about $30.  It’s hanging in our Breakfast room.  Every day I write on it.  I write what we’re having to eat that day, what the weather will be that day, and anything special we’re doing that day.  I also have a line that says, “Nothing to Do?”.  Underneath it I write suggestions for if the kids are bored.  The kids know that if they say, “There’s nothing to do.” or “I’m bored.”, then they will be directed to do what is on the marker board.

Smarty Pants is the worst at this.  This child believes that he can do nothing of himself, he must be entertained at all times, especially by something electronic.  If I have said no tv, no computer, and no mp3 players, then he goes insane.  A couple of days ago, the “Nothing to Do?” board said, “Write a blog post.”  Guess who said, “I’m bored.”?  That’s right, Smarty Pants.

I posted exactly what he wrote, errors in spelling and grammar and all!!! The line that touched me the most???  “With my mom i’m pretected.”  Why does that matter so much?  Because he has spent from the time of 8 months old til he was 7 bounced around from home to home, both foster and biological.  He’s never felt safe, because he never knew for sure he was staying.  He’s been kicked out of homes for throwing temper tantrums (at 2 mind you), or just because the foster parents were done.  He has always felt that it was always his fault he was being passed on, never the adults.  For him to say that I “pretect” him, well, that just makes all the trying times worth it.

I hope you enjoyed our first guest blogger!  There will be more guest bloggers soon, I hope!

Orange Cleaner

About 3 weeks ago I ran across a post on pinterest by Lexie: Naturals .  I thought it was really cool to make my own Natural Multi Purpose Orange Cleaner, so I just HAD to try it!!!

I made it, and I definitely like it, though it doesn’t smell as “orangey” as I thought it was going to smell.  Want to try it???  Here’s what you’ll need:

  • A Ball mason jar (I always have a ton of them around)
  • Orange peels (easy for us, Smarty Pants eats at least one per day)
  • some salt (i used just iodized table salt)
  • White Vinegar
  • 10 drops of Bergamot Essential oil (this is optional)

I used the orange peels from Smarty Pants and put them into the mason jar.  It was already in little pieces because he struggles to peel the oranges.  I saved about 3 oranges worth of peels, so this took a couple of days.

Then I added some salt to the orange peels.  I didn’t measure it, just sprinkled it liberally and let it sit for a couple of hours.  According to Lexie, this is supposed to pull the oils from the peels.


Fill the mason jar with vinegar. Then I put the lid on it and left it for 2 weeks.  Every once in a while I would give it a good shake.

I took another mason jar and placed some cheese cloth over it, then poured the orange solution into it.  This kept the orange peels and seeds out.  I took the orange vinegar, added some drops of Bergamot, and poured it into my handy dandy squirt bottle.

all purpose spray

The kids like it, and it works so far.  Yes, you do have to use a little more elbow grease…but it’s worth it to not have an asthma attack while cleaning the kitchen.

I took all of those leftover peels and started another bottle.  Smarty Pants added some new peels too.  I am going to try this strength on the floors.



Want to check out Lexie’s original post?  check it out here…