Sunday, December 4, 2011

Russia in the Winter

So, off to Russia we go!  Today started off with church and a wonderful yummy lunch out and then Don went off to work so we didn’t get started until late. 


While I got ready for our Russian adventure, my niece offered to let the kids watch Peter and the Wolf on her laptop!  What a perfect addition to our Russian day!


I got everything ready and had a few friends come over to help us make Russian Tea Cakes. 


I tried to make a traditional Russian Christmas eve dish…  Kutya (wheat porridge)… but it was a huge flop!  The stuff was completely chewy and not very tasty at all.  Perhaps the next time we travel through the area we will get it right.  Winking smile


While the cookies baked, we colored paper Matryoshkas and my Russian speaking friend, Ali came over.  She and I discovered that matryoshka dolls, while forever known as Russian Nesting Dolls, originated (by a Russian) for a fair in France!  It wasn’t until after they won at this away-from-home blue ribbon that their fame in their own country was really recognized and they have been a Russian favorite ever since. 

The kids loved hearing the stories and making their own matryoshka dolls:


We ate the Russian tea cakes with tart cherries and then we read Babushka, the tale of a woman who was so obsessed with keeping her space clean that she declined to go with the wise men to find the baby Jesus until it was too late.  She is said to wander the Russian country delivering toys to the good children she finds to this day in search of what she missed.


Ali also treated us to a little bit of Eloise's tour of Moscow, complete with good pronunciation (which I could not have ever done without her!) and the page in that book where Eloise goes to the Kremlin was particularly wonderful!  With all the towers and rooms and such… it looks like such an amazing place to visit!

We are learning so much.  Sometimes I really get tired of homeschool (Did I just say that out loud?) but other times I just revel in how much we all learn (me included!) each day and how rich our experiences can be!

Thank you Ali for letting me use all your Russian props (and explaining what they are).  Thank you to my niece, Felicia, for the wonderful additions you made with the music and videos.  And thanks Sarah Jean, for letting me borrow your kiddos to play with.

It’s great to be a homeschooler!

{Best book for Christmas in Russia - The Miracle of Saint Nicholas by Gloria Whelan}

Edit to add:  We tried the Kutya again today and it was very tasty.  It needs HOURS (ie; overnight) to cook to make the wheat berries soft enough.  I think that was what I did wrong.  I added some honey and dried fruit to it and we had it for lunch today while reading The Miracle of Saint Nicholas to the kids.  It was much yummier than yesterday.  Smile )



Erin Maria said...

Your Advent Calendar is very cool, such an awesome idea! I'll have to keep this idea in mind for when my little one is older. Thanks for sharing!!

Frannie said...

The "May Contain Awesome" t-shirt in the photo made me laugh out loud!!! What a fun day!

The Johnsons said...

Hello! I would love an email about your advent "stuff" that you worked so hard on! I'm friends with Krystal B. so I found your blog through hers. You're amazing! I love your creativity! My email is Thanks, Abby

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