Monday, April 28, 2008

Veggie Science2

Oops. Forgot the pictures. 

Veggie Science

Today was one of those stay at home and do lots of fun stuff days - and I have a few minutes to put it all on the blog before going to parent orientation for kindergarten (a surreal feeling - my little boy will be in school. . . my inclination is to keep him home forever but he wants to spread his little wings so off to orientation I go). 

So, the science that we are doing comes from the veggies I saved from the soup pot tonight (lentil soup - a favorite). I recalled seeing a post on plumpudding recently and thought we'd give it a whirl. 

Celery stalks in colored water. (Let's see how that color is drawn up the stalks.)

A potato balanced in a bowl of water. (Let's see if it grows anything.)

Paint Play

This morning we got out water colors and I showed Caedmon how to draw a picture with white crayon and paint over it - the wax creates a barrier and the drawing "magically" appears. I had also set some items on the table for inspiration - including some pine branches. We decided to try those out as paint brushes and that was super fun! We also tried some Cedar but that just fell apart. 

I use a plastic tray that once held cookies for the paint and we try to match the colors of the brush handles to the colors of the paint. . . the tray has a lid so it's great for storage!

Ansel led me to the finger paint and he used one of the paint trays I found on ebay that has a raised pattern. We just dump colors in there and he spreads them around. A great sensory experience for him. We've also transferred the pattern to paper before, but he seems more interested in just mixing and spreading paint. 

Dress Up

The boys got some use out of those silks today. They played dress up - Caedmon wanted to look "Polish." Very cute since I have been trying to find Polish attire for Joel and myself for a missionary parade next week. Without success. Perhaps we should just wear the play silks?

Doll House

This is a dollhouse that I purchased when a local shop was going out of business. It had been a display that children could play with so it was inexpensive. This was a couple of years ago when Caedmon was barely a toddler and I still had delusions that he might enjoy  a dollhouse (what I should have admitted, is that I wanted one). Now I have conceded that my boys are thoroughly masculine and will obsess over tractors (John Deere), dogs (ours), and hunting (yikes!). Although they both like shoes (one point for me). 

Anyway, for my own added pleasure, I "remodeled" and decorated this little house late last summer with some wallpaper and paint and ribbon and lace. . . and now it sits, waiting for me to sell it on ebay. The sad part is that it was so much fun, that I bought a couple others (very inexpensively - my very good excuse) so that I could give them makeovers and sell on ebay. Now all three sit in the basement, waiting. Perhaps I would do better to learn a truly useful skill - like how to paint tractors. I do like green and yellow (for those of you who don't have tractor obsessed children, those would be John Deere colors).  

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Play Silks

This afternoon, Hannah and I dyed these glorious play silks. Hundreds (O.K. maybe 25) packets of Kool-Aid later we have these sweet treats - good for more than sugar highs. So, here's the process:

 1.soak silks in water with a dash of vinegar about 1/2 hour
2. in a glass bowl mix: 
2 cups of water
1/2 cup of vinegar
3 packets of Kool-Aid
stir before adding a silk, then cover with plastic wrap and microwave on high for 3 minutes
3.remove wrap and stir (watch for escaping steam = burned fingers), and then repeat microwave process 2x
4.hang to dry
5. rinse in cold water and dry in dryer on low
6. iron 

The silks were purchased from Dharma Trading Co. and are 30" square habotai silks. 

We were already running around the driveway with these (to aid initial drying process) and I can imagine they'll be put to good use, as the boys will certainly dream up all sorts of ways to play with them. (And Hannah is giving some to her little friend Hannah, who will undoubtedly adore them!) 

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Earth Day

Happy Day After Earth Day! No, we didn't plant anything yesterday, but we did hang out at the ranch, where the boys found some more antlers. Check out the wheelbarrow filled with this spring's finds! We also found some treasures in the woods to make sculpy prints with  and I finally know what popple seeds look like, after I mistakenly referred to them as caterpillars (Joel set me straight). When my dad called to see what we had done for Earth Day, I felt a little bad that I hadn't planned an activity, but it's all about exposing the boys to God's creation and teaching them to admire and respect it. And that we're always learning (that a popple seed is NOT a caterpillar). . . 

On Saturday, we joined up with the Rangers from church and cleaned along the side of the road. I'm pretty sure Caedmon thinks that you will go to jail forever if you are caught littering! 

1.  book: Last Child in the Woods by Richard Louv 
2. dvd's: Planet Earth series
3. toys: Schleich animals 
4. art: nature journals
5. things we'll do this summer: hatch butterflies, plant a sunflower house, and I'd love to build a     worm house for composting, but we'll see! 

Friday, April 18, 2008

Inspiration Board

O.K. so this really has nothing to do with my kids (although it's in my bedroom which is also their bedroom because Caedmon has a bed in there and Ansel sleeps with Joel and I. . . ). But I want to say something about it anyway. What is "it" you ask? My closet inspiration board. Simply cork glued and tacked to the inside of my closet door, covered in pictures ripped from magazines, catalogs, etc. that I find inspiring for my personal "style." A mom can still have style. And I also happen to be infatuated with bicycles as accessories (and have you seen the Carrie bike basket?). Well, it's there. 

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Book Review

Everywhere I turn, there is mention of Amanda Blake Soule's new book The Creative Family. I was excited to pre-order a copy from Amazon and even more excited when it arrived. I always love to find new ideas to get the creative juices flowing in our family. 

And now that I've read through my copy? Well, my initial reaction, quite honestly, was disappointment. I sat there thinking, "This is basic stuff. Stuff I could have written a book about." But once I got over myself, realizing that indeed this lady is more "creative" than myself (she has  3 year olds doing embroidery for goodness sake), I came to appreciate most of what was in there. So, all in all, it's pretty good stuff. And I might even put some of her ideas to good use (my favorite is the banging wall for outside - recycled items hung on a "wall" that children and adults can, yes, bang on. Otherwise known as making music). I also like the birthday crowns. And the instructions for making knitting needles (which will come in handy if I ever actually finish the piece of knitting I started LAST YEAR - sorry, Hannah). So, yes, it's a good book. Worth the $10.50 I paid for it. Maybe it will even make us a more creative family. Of course, we won't be mixing up henna for body painting anytime soon. But that's a whole other discussion. 

Friday, April 11, 2008

The Gift

"For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith - and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God" Ephesians 2:8 

Thinking about gifts. The greatest gift is salvation. Just a pure gift. Nothing we can do to earn it. 
It's how we love our kids. Only better. 

Melting Colors

One more post this morning and I promise I am done. Sometimes Joel hides my computer mouse in the morning, because that is when I spend the most time trying to catch up on things on the computer (not necessarily "important" things, which makes me start running behind on my day, hence the mouse hiding). Anyway, after we cleaned the seed mess up, I discovered some little ice cubes that I had frozen a couple of weeks ago, while we were color mixing, and forgotten in the freezer. 

Basically, we made concentrated colored ice cubes with food coloring and water. I used  a cute little star shaped ice cube tray for fun: :) After removing them from the freezer, we placed two into warm bowl of water and watched the colors melt together. I let Caedmon make some color choices and guess what color they would make when mixed. After each set of cubes, we emptied the bowl and filled with fresh water for the next set. The boys especially enjoyed it when I got out spoons and let them STIR! We tried to keep the splashing to a minimum :)

Bird Gifts

As I mentioned, yesterday was clean-out-the-fridge day. I'm getting that spring cleaning bug and the fridge was an easy thing to tackle while Ansel napped. I went through the seeds, nuts, and dried fruit that I keep in there and decided much of it was past its best consumption by humans date. So, I got out some paper and glue and let the boys use it for art time (you should have seen the floor!) and we mixed all of the leftovers in a big bowl, to be a gift for the birds. We'll add it to our bird feeder. Now I have these sweet papers covered in mice-attracting seeds. Caedmon suggested that we tape them to the ceiling, where the mice can't get them. 

Alphabet Soup

Yesterday I made some alphabet soup. It was a clean-out-the-fridge day and I wanted to use up some veggies. Adding this cute alphabet pasta makes it a treasure hunt for the boys. Such a great product! I just wish they were larger, so we could use them for spelling out words more easily. But I guess you can't have your soup and eat it too. 

Friday, April 4, 2008

Creative Mess

My little boy is so creative. . . and what a mess he can make. He is cutting photos out of his hunting magazine and gluing them to create a "new" magazine, which he is going to give to his dad. I took this photo of him on the dining room floor, just moments ago, surrounded by scraps and 3 glue bottles, 2 pairs of scissors, markers. . . and he couldn't be happier. Now if I could just convince him that cleaning up is as much fun!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

April Fool's

Here is the biggest thing we did for April Fool's Day: Dyed the oatmeal green, then pretended that it was completely normal before announcing "April Fool's Day" to Caedmon. Tadah! So it's lame - we'll do better next year.

And April Fool's on me. I decided to try the cloth diapers I recently purchased. Being a novice, I originally didn't realize that this style still required plastic pants, which I refused to use (too bulky!). I actually didn't mind using the diapers at home, but I can't imagine going out into the world without Pampers.