Monday, August 18, 2008

ShavingCream Prints

When the boys don't want to take a bath/shower, a little trick is to ask them, "would you like to paint with shaving cream?" (This is not a bribe. Because I never bribe. Just want to make that clear :) Recently, I saw in mommy BlogLand ideas for mixing paint with shaving cream, so we had a little clean fun recently:

1. First, I sprinkled dry watercolors of their choice on top of a mound of shaving cream (on cookie sheets). 
2. They mixed the colors. This is always a favorite part. 
3. They created pictures with their fingers. (I've also used shaving cream for writing practice, but the paint takes it up a notch in the fun category.)
4. We placed watercolor paper on top and pressed gently, creating a print. 
5. Let them dry and hang them up. 
6. Repeat, unless you're running low on supplies, in which case you might want to conserve, as I know skipping shaving is not an option on my part, unless I want to resemble a gorilla. 

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Birthday Camp

This is Part 2 of Caedmon's Birthday Extravaganza (OK that might be a slight exaggeration, but it sounds sooo cool). Camping. Which went really well. Until I woke up to thunder and lightning and realized I had left many things out in the elements. But it dries, right? And the sun came out eventually. We got to try out the kayak, go fishing, throw sticks to Olaf, play ball with the neighbors, cook over the fire, make ice cream in a ball, and pretty much just ask ourselves why we don't do things like this more often. Oh yeah, cause it takes tons of time to pack and unpack. . . but really, it is worth it :-) What a great birthday. And what a great boy!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Birthday Boy!

Caedmon is 5! Tell the world, because he wants EVERYONE to know! And, ahhh, I just realized I forgot to tell the world via ohdeedoh, so that must be done also. Stay tuned for that. 

So, here are some photos from the tree house picnic we hosted. The cupcakes were an idea from, of course, an old issue of Martha Stewart Kids. I decorated them with fondant and candies. The boys helped me create the forest with mint and thyme from our yard. While they ate the cupcakes, I read The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein, one of my favorites, and appropriate for the occasion. We also gave the birds a treat, by using pinecones from our yard as feeders. We just smothered them in peanut butter and rolled in birdseed. I used raffia as a hanger, which I figured was a more eco/bird friendly material than the fishing line that was suggested when I was scouting for ideas. Joel saw a squirrel trying to steal one the feeders yesterday; I like the squirrels, they are very entertaining and I think they get a bad rap. :-) 

I'll post more about birthday festivities later; camping!!! 

Saturday, August 2, 2008

2nd Rant

O.K. One more thing. Some people laugh at me, but I have real concerns about this school thing. The exposure to things I don't agree with - I mean, five year olds are impressionable and I want to be the one making the impressions. I am not a control freak, although I do write in capital letters, which my husband once heard was the sign of a control freak. But I have standards and it's really hard for me to send my kid off to someone who maybe doesn't share those standards. 

Then there is the food - I'll pack his lunch, but there are snacks and treats. And we all know how I feel about that stuff. And the germs. I've been in classrooms. I should say GERMS. And the coloring in the lines,  as I like to call it. The lack of creativity. And the reward systems. And the competition. This is my glass half empty scenario. So to balance that. . .

The friendship. The independence. The community. The exposure to things that are worthwhile, that I never think about. The benchmark standards (I'm only kidding; for Caedmon, this year, I don't give a hoot). The books and games and fun. Circle time. This is the glass half full. 

So, I'll send him off with a kiss and a prayer (and lots more prayers during the day). And a healthy lunch, and a bottle of alcohol free hand sanitizer and really cute shoes (they're important too!). . . and to this rant, I say: THE END. 

Home Schooling

In my head there has begun a countdown until I send my little guy off to school. And you know what I wish for? Home Schooling. Unschooling. Mama schooling. But we'll give it  a year. This is what will be good for him, I tell myself. A year in a room with other kids, another teacher, rules and structure. And then Poland, which will be the ultimate schooling.

P.S. This is  a quiet mama rant, please disregard, and accept my apologies, if you were hoping for something slightly more fun :-) There, a smiley face is fun. 

Painting Rocks

Painting rocks. An old time tradition. Somehow always a hit. Somewhere, in the recesses of a box, there lies a rock that I painted in fourth grade, dubbed my "brain" and sat on the corner of my desk, for quite a while. Perhaps the whole year, I really can't remember. 

The boys and I are preparing some simple arts and crafts for a camp we'll be helping out at soon, for people with disabilities. I'm so glad that they have this opportunity to feel involved and to contribute. We've gathered supplies from our house and they have made examples to share of several of the projects. Here, we painted the rocks with q-tips. It originally was supposed to look like aboriginal art, made with dots of paint. Caedmon painted a very small deer and a pond. Ansel dipped the q-tips in the wrong colors, mixing them, which I think became a game. Really good fun. 

Notes: The rocks are red because we painted them with the intention of creating ladybugs. . . we put them up to let the red dry and forgot all about them, so they never got their wings, so to speak (or spots). So we used those. Also, I took the caps off the paint and put a q-tip in each. It was a perfect amount, so the boys couldn't dunk them in a big tub of paint and make a mess (I know, art is messy, but it doesn't have to always be :-) The first rock is Caedmon's, drying on an open catalog from the recycling bin (that's where I always grab stuff to paint on) and the second is Ansel's, which he is proudly showing me. I think it looks like a fantastic fireworks display!