Hello from The 4 Brothers Ranch! Our family has a lot going on and a couple blogs in order to keep things organized. You can find all our homeschooling stuff here! Annissa's regular everyday blog is called A PAGE IN MY BOOK and also there is a blog to update the kids medical issues at MY UNIQUE FLOWERS. Please check those out too!

Friday, May 17, 2013

Great Product!! Check out Kidecals!

Have you ever wanted an amazing label?   Perhaps to announce an Allergy?  To put on Autistic kids when you are in a crowded area where you might be likely to lose them?   I know that was my first thought when I saw this product!!

I can put that on Nathan and have it say something like....   "My name is Nathan, I'm Autistic, If you find me lost, call (our cell # here)."   It could - literally - be a life saver!!

As you can see - there are a ton of FUN products that they have!!   Here are a few examples I liked a lot!

They have fun stuff like.........

And Keyboard Stickers........ I donno about you, but I wear the letters off my keyboard all the time.  As a writer & blogger, I am at my computer a lot .. the first letter to always go for me .... N....  Ha ha!

  • Durable
  • Waterproof
  • Dishwasher Safe
  • Washer/Dryer Safe
  • Don't Peel Off
  • Personalize-able
  • Don't Damage Items
  • FUN!

Seriously - what more can you want!?!?
Personalized Kids Name Labels:
Do you have kids who HATE losing their stuff?   You can label anything from water bottles, to books, to toys,sports gear, whatever you can think of that might need to be labeled!   Perhaps you lend out books or DVD's ...  this is a great way to make sure that they get back to you!!  There are a ton of fun and trendy designs, and all the stickers are durable, dishwasher, washing machine AND dryer safe!!!  They don't damage the surfaces of what you put them on either!
Waterproof Labels:
Have you ever resorted to using a sharpie to label things?  Eventually you have to write over it again because it wears off, or even sharpie ink doesn't stick to what you are needing to mark!!  Well, these decals are waterproof!  The labels are extremely durable and stick to just about anything from clothes, to backpacks, to your computer!  They stay put during washing of any sort, and you can even label pool and beach toys!  
Fun Mustache Stickers:
Have you jumped on the Mustache bandwagon???  I have seen a lot of my friends doing this mustache thing!  They even have MUSTACHE stickers and labels!!  HOW FUN!!!  Use them for parties or just for fun!!
Organizational Stickers:
I am an organizer!  I want things labeled where I can see it - that way I can grab what I need and do what I need to do - without having to go through a bunch of folders or binders and notebooks!  Eazy-peazie!
Chalkboard Labels that you can write on:
Another HUGE thing - especially for homeschoolers!!!  How awesome to be able to use this for a quick and fun way to learn!  Also perfect for things that you have to change out!  Toy bins, art supplies... name it!  Stick it!
Daycare & School Labels:
Do you have kids in daycare?  Or in school?  Need to label EVERYTHING?   Done!!  They are super cute and safe!  You can put it on bottles, sippy cups, and even snack containers!  Diaper bag? Yep!  Blankets?  You bet!
Camp Labels:
Summer is coming up!  Sending the kids to camp???  This is perfect!!  You may not have a hope of getting everything back, BUT - slap the labels on and you have a lot better chance of it!  Especially when kids have items that are exactly the same or very similar!  There won't be any "That's MINE!" arguments with another kid ending up with your kids stuff!

Kidecals was created by a mom of two rough and tumble kind of boys!   This is an amazing product!!  I truly cannot wait to get mine in the mail :)

My readers will SAVE 15% off Kidecals!  Durable, waterproof labels!  Use the Promo Code: 

Some Freebie Links!

I swiped these from Christine over at Our Home School Review ....  go check out her blog :)  I'm going through her Thrift Thursday posts and I want to share some of the links I've really liked!

FREE Science Experiment Guide {$25 Value} @ Supercharged Science

FREE Online Homeschooling Workshop {TODAY ONLY} @ How to Homeschool My Child

FREE Printables @ Hearts and Trees 

FREE Complete Curriculum @ Easy Peasy - All In One Homeschool

FREE Butterfly Preschool Printables @ Homeschooling Hearts & Minds

FREE Summer Learning Packet @ A Journey Through Learning Lapbooks

FREE Homeschool Planners, Forms, and More @ Free Homeschool Deals

FREE Children's Classic Literature on Kindle @ Amazon

FREE Subscriber Only History Unit Study {Heroines of the Past} @ Homeschool Giveaways and Freebies

I checked out the Science Experiment Guide, you sign up for an email, the email has a link to a PDF file (I added the link to the side bar under Science) ... and she also sends a link for her FREE Science Class.  The next one (on the 21st) is to make a solar oven.  I have fallen in love with the All in One Homeschool site!

So I started to look through the older links....

Math Printables 

Free Multiplication Worksheets and Cards

This is really put together well and we're going to be using these for sure!!

Free Homeschool Lessons at Kahn Academy

Kahn Academy has over 2,000 educational videos on subject from math to history.  ALL FREE!  And if you use Singapore Math, you will be excited to learn that they are starting with Grade 3a, Unit 1 and will (eventually) do all of the lectures in the Singapore Math curriculum!!  Just scroll down to "S". 

I love this one too!!  Pretty awesome!

Disguise Kit for Kids

Get you free disguise kit for kids printout.  Very cute!

This is a pretty cute set - Here is a screen caption of it :)

She has a lot of great freebie links - definitely worth checking out :)

Thursday, May 16, 2013

The Hermit Crab Story: RIP Max ... The Story begins for Max II

The Hermit Crab Story so far ....  

We ended up losing Max (the first) on May 15th.

On the 14th he ended up losing limbs and on the 15th lost more, and eventually by the time we got home, he wasn't with us anymore.

I want to state for the record, the following picture was taken AFTER he lost the first two limbs, but before he died :(

So luckily we managed to have the warranty and it was still in the time frame, so we took Kaedyn to pick out another crab.  He ended up naming him Max II (the second) ...

The lady at the register at the pet store was funny.  We put Max in a cup, took him in there, and I started explaining how I had called earlier and talked to someone and the whole thing...  and I showed her the cup, and I said "This is Max" ... and Kaedyn pipes up ... "He's DEAD!"

Yep, that's my kid!

So she calls some guy (I think the manager?) and she lifts up the cup and says "This is Max, this little handsome guy needs a new Max."


So he took us back to the hermit crab cage and we were looking at all the shells and stuff...  and I saw this green one with spikes on it hiding, so I pointed, explained, and said I think he would like that one a lot.  He pulls it out (after having to box with another ...) and Kaedyn sees that it's a green turtle shell and he got all excited.  So ...  Max II was named immediately.  "That's my new Max!"

I also want to say that I was a bit disturbed by seeing a naked hermie....  I'm scarred for life.   I hope he was just changing shells :(

It was bad enough watching Max loose limbs :(

So anyway - here is the introduction for Max II ...

Dennis says that he's a ham already .....

Horton Hatches an Egg by Dr. Seuss

Today Noah listened to HORTON HATCHES AN EGG by Dr. Seuss ....

This is a video of her grandma reading the book for her grandchildren .... Noah liked this one better because he could see the book.

 There is one of the First Lady reading it HERE and an audio version HERE.

He answered the following questions:

What did you think of Horton?

He sat on the eggs - he is a boy of many words!

What did you think of Maisy?

She was lazy!

What did you think of what came out of the egg?

An Elephant Bird... it was funny

Why do you think it came out an Elephant Bird?

Because Horton sat on it for 51 weeks and it was an elephant because of that and a bird cuz Maisy was the Momma.

He drew a picture of Horton and the eggs, and Maisy.

Then we did some math games and some spelling games.

And then we did an art/science activity ...

We cut out shapes on construction paper, and put them against the window.   Noah's prediction.

The paper exposed to the sunlight will burn, and the paper not exposed won't.  He also predicted this would take ONE DAY. 

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Old American Slang & Traditions Explained!

One of my girlfriends shared this on Facebook tonight and I had to share it :)


They used to use urine to tan animal skins, so families used to all pee in a pot and then once a day it was taken and sold to the tannery.......if you had to do this to survive you were "Piss Poor"

But worse than that were the really poor folk who couldn't even afford to buy a pot......they "didn't have a pot to pee in" and were the lowest of the low.

The next time you are washing your hands and complain because the water temperature isn't just how you like it, think about how things used to be. Here are some facts about the 1500s:

Most people got married in June because they took their yearly bath in May, and they still smelled pretty good by June.. However, since they were starting to smell . ...... Brides carried a bouquet of flowers to hide the body odor. Hence the custom today of carrying a bouquet when getting married.

Baths consisted of a big tub filled with hot water. The man of the house had the privilege of the nice clean water, then all the other sons and men, then the women and finally the children. Last of all the babies. By then the water was so dirty you could actually lose someone in it.. Hence the saying, "Don't throw the baby out with the bath water!"

Houses had thatched roofs-thick straw-piled high, with no wood underneath. It was the only place for animals to get warm, so all the cats and other small animals (mice, bugs) lived in the roof. When it rained it became slippery and sometimes the animals would slip and fall off the roof...Hence the saying "It's raining cats and dogs."

There was nothing to stop things from falling into the house. This posed a real problem in the bedroom where bugs and other droppings could mess up your nice clean bed. Hence, a bed with big posts and a sheet hung over the top afforded some protection. That's how canopy beds came into existence.

The floor was dirt. Only the wealthy had something other than dirt. Hence the saying, "dirt poor." The wealthy had slate floors that would get slippery in the winter when wet, so they spread thresh (straw) on floor to help keep their footing. As the winter wore on, they added more thresh until, when you opened the door, it would all start slipping outside. A piece of wood was placed in the entrance-way. Hence: a Threshold.

In those old days, they cooked in the kitchen with a big kettle that always hung over the fire.. Every day they lit the fire and added things to the pot. They ate mostly vegetables and did not get much meat. They would eat the stew for dinner, leaving leftovers in the pot to get cold overnight and then start over the next day. Sometimes stew had food in it that had been there for quite a while. Hence the rhyme: "Peas porridge hot, peas porridge cold, peas porridge in the pot nine days old." Sometimes they could obtain pork, which made them feel quite special. When visitors came over, they would hang up their bacon to show off. It was a sign of wealth that a man could, "bring home the bacon." They would cut off a little to share with guests and would all sit around and "chew the fat".

Those with money had plates made of pewter. Food with high acid content caused some of the lead to leach onto the food, causing lead poisoning death. This happened most often with tomatoes, so for the next 400 years or so, tomatoes were considered poisonous.

Bread was divided according to status. Workers got the burnt bottom of the loaf, the family got the middle, and guests got the top, or the "upper crust".

Lead cups were used to drink ale or whisky. The combination would Sometimes knock the imbibers out for a couple of days. Someone walking along the road would take them for dead and prepare them for burial.. They were laid out on the kitchen table for a couple of days and the family would gather around and eat and drink and wait and see if they would wake up. Hence the custom of holding a "wake".

England is old and small and the local folks started running out of places to bury people. So they would dig up coffins and would take the bones to a bone-house, and reuse the grave. When reopening these coffins, 1 out of 25 coffins were found to have scratch marks on the inside and they realized they had been burying people alive... So they would tie a string on the wrist of the corpse, lead it through the coffin and up through the ground and tie it to a bell. Someone would have to sit out in the graveyard all night (the graveyard shift.) to listen for the bell; thus, someone could be, saved by the bell or was considered a "dead ringer".

And that's the truth....Now, whoever said History was boring

Monday, May 13, 2013

The Hermit Crab Story..... (part 1)

So if you haven't seen our INTRODUCTION to the Hermies ... please go check out that blog.

I had already written this blog once, however; I deleted it.  Yep... it's been one of those days....  PURE accident, I was TRYING to delete the blog I had started above it, but ... whoops!

So anyway - We had found this great page with a lot of Hermit Crab information.  Hermit Crab Association.  They have a forum too for Hermit Crab people :)

Well, we left the Hermies along for awhile after we got them, and then we took their first pictures.  Although they weren't named - completely - until just recently.

So I wanted to show off their painted shells ....  Sansa has already changed her shell and I included both.

However, I think we might be losing Max.  They dumped out their big shell of salt water, and the sand was super wet, so I didn't get a chance to take care of it right away, and today when we got home, Max had lost two legs, including his big claw :(   I'm worried.  Max has always been a very quiet crab.  He's always been the hardest to cox out of his shell.  Gandalf and Paco are the most friendly.  Sansa is getting to be more friendly.  Max has always been a loner.  Wants to be left alone. Of course he was in the middle of this wet sand, I'm hoping that he survives.  I'll share more on this later.

We'll be sure to update.

So here are their shells ... thus forth ...

We also spent some time trying to figure out what species they are.  We thought they were all one species, but learned they are not.

This is what we learned that they are...

We have found a few great links for some Hermit Crab work.

Anatomy of a Hermit Crab
Create Your Own Informational Booklets
Create Your Own List of Care Instructions
Hermit Crab Vocabulary

Hermit Crabs - Introductions :)

So back in the end of April - I was looking around on Freecycle.  Two things got my attention.  Someone was giving away their 10 gallon aquarium with four hermit crabs that their son had recently gotten for his birthday, but they were moving.  So they wanted the crabs going to a good home and and the supplies.  I thought this was fantastic, it's been something I have been wanting to do with my kids - definitely an interesting project AND great for learning.

The other thing was that same family was getting rid of their pet lizard and all the supplies for him (or her)....  but no terrarium for it.  They wanted to take their tank with them - who can blame them, right?   Well, we happened to have a big tank in our storage, so we got that and took both off their hands.   The kids have been hounding me to get a lizard - mainly Cal and Noah.  Actually, they were trying to talk me into getting a snake but I said if they wanted a snake - they'd have to earn money to get one.

So ....  we've had these guys for a little while.  I got a couple of things to put in the tank but everything else they provided.  The kids love them.  Nathan will park himself infront of the tank and just watch them do nothing.  Ha ha ...  because Hermies are nocturnal animals.

Shortly after getting them, well about three weeks after getting them, and just the other day - one of the crabs changed it's shell.   It was pretty cool to wake up and find that Sansa (yes we named them all) had changed her shell.

We did our homework of course, and now we're starting to teach the kids.  We figured four crabs was perfect, one for each of our boys.  That's the max "they" suggest for a 10 gallon anyway.  Each crab was in a painted shell.  For awhile, we called them by what was on their shells.... Cobra, Firetruck, Ladybug and Watermelon.  But after Dennis and I figured out how to tell their gender, we gave them a little more appropriate names.

Cobra - Calahan's ... Gandalf the Gray (cuz he's more brownish gray)
Ladybug - Nathan's - Paco, cuz Nathan's NOT Paco... but it's something he can say.
Firetruck - Noah picked as his - and seems to be the only girl in the bunch, so Dennis and I started to throw out names, and names from Game of Thrones ... and he liked Sansa.
Then last but not least, Kaedyn got saddles with the Watermelon one... he didn't care.  So he named him Max, cuz then there can be TWO Max's in the house.  (Noah's stuffed dog that he's had since he was a baby is named Max too) ...  

So ....  let me introduce you.