Thursday, October 4, 2012

Princess Party

Our little Dot has turned 3 years old!  We weren't surprised at all that she chose a princess party.

The girls got busy on a castle cake, served on a silver platter.

Of course, a princess should have a throne.  (do princess's have thrones?) 

The throne also doubled as a photobooth.

Princess food; bagels with strawberry cream cheese, veggie rolls, fruit rainbow and marshmallow pops.

That smile=success!

We made a bunting from wax paper and melted crayons, red carpet from a plastic tablecloth, and pennants from scrap felt.  The playhouse became a castle for the day.  

Friday, September 28, 2012

Not So Scary Spiders

 As Halloween approaches there is a good chance one of my children will be frightened by a store display.  It happens every year.  With four children (ages 3-15) I usually have one wanting to go and see all the Halloween stuff and another trying to run the opposite direction.  Each year I look for ways to incorporate a few "scary" images into our learning.  My hope is to offset the spookiness with science, facts and fun.
  Next week will be studying spiders.  We will start by reading watching Charlotte's Web.  The 1973 animated film is my absolute favorite children's movie ever!  To go along with this I have set up a farm scene for my 3year old.

Another project will be learning the parts of a spider and understanding their purpose.  I great resource for this can be found at The Montessori Print Shop.  

Here is a list of a few other activities I hope we can do:
  • a nature walk with sketch pads to draw spiders
  • egg carton spider craft
  • The Very Busy Spider book by Eric Carle
  • making a glitter web using glue and glitter
  • library trip for research
  • learning a spider poem (not sure which one yet)

Friday, September 21, 2012

Grocery Store School

Over the years I have found many ways to integrate getting groceries into our homeschool rhythm.  This week I asked the girls to choose a fruit or vegetable they hadn't had before.
Then research where it grows, it's nutritional value and a recipe.

Grace chose rainbow carrots.  She baked them in butter and brown sugar.

She made tea from the carrot tops.

How about you?  Is the grocery store ever your classroom?

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Cutie Patootie!

That's our daughter, Ruthie, in her new dress made for her by Solanah.
As a small child I kept her in dresses, but as any mama knows, there comes a time when they begin choosing their own wardrobe.  I support this fully and want our girls to dress for themselves rather than others, including me.  So the fact she has come back to dresses (not to mention taking a second glance at vintage) is a sweet one!
I have often read The Vintage Housewife's blogs about vintage shopping with her daughters and been a smidge envious.  Now I can look forward to similar posts of my own!  (her wardrobe will be amazing as I shop vicariously)

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Summer Fun

 This summer we visited our old hometown in the Bay Area.  We were mainly visiting family, but we took a couple of days, just the 6 of us, in Santa Cruz.  We stayed at the Dream Inn-which I highly recommend.  We had a wonderful time!
  Now that summer is ending I came up with a way to keep vacation fresh, at least on Dotty's shelves.  What I did was print a picture of her doing something at the Boardwalk and make it the theme of a shelf.  Take a look....

This is the bi-plane ride she loved.  I found this wooded bi-plane online and added a sticker book.

Of course the carousel is a favorite!  We have a book, two figurines and a cd of carousel music.  (The music is fabulous and as soon as you hear it you are there.)

This is of course a beach theme.  Big plastic storage bin, play sand, seashells, and a bucket.  We keep this one for use on our porch.

I am so excited to create more activities based on her experiences, helping her engage in the present by reflecting on the past.  

Monday, September 3, 2012

School Is A Battlefield

 I can tell you-and you can see, the correct undergarments did nothing to "perk the girls up".

Yesterday our homeschool classroom was a Civil War reenactment.   In the past few months we have  enjoyed researching and creating ensembles to wear to a Titanic tea, King Tut exhibit and a Sherlock Holmes society event.  The girls were very disappointed we decided to go last minute, which left no time to get their outfits together.
Do I feel a little guilty because I had one ready to wear?  Kinda.  
This dress also doubles for a pioneer-simply add a bonnet!
  When I think about the U.S. Civil War the first images to my mind are those of Southern Belles- and I must admit, that just isn't me.  Looking through images it is hard to get a good grasp on what the average everyday mama, like myself, would have worn- because having a photograph made was a luxury only the affluent could afford.  I finally found a character type that suited me in the refugee women.  These were women who lost their home and cities to the war.  Many took their children, along with whatever they could carry, and tried to follow alongside their husband's regiment. 

Of course I did meet up with a couple of my favorite Southern Belles, my two nieces Amy and Solanah.   They looked amazing!  Maybe I would have been their laundress?

Anyway, enough about the clothing.  If you homeschool, or just want to expose your children to more history, take them to a reenactment!  Ours was in Oregon, which proves you do not have to be in a battle state to find one locally.

P.S. My apologies for the Instagram pics, my camera lost it's battery!
For beautiful picture go here.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Not So Dramatic Return

It sure has been some time since I was last in Blogville. 
 I had purposefully stepped away from the self inflicted demands of blogging in order to refocus on my family.  I loved blogging, but in a lot of ways it prevented me from being present with my children.  We could be having a wonderful time and I would step out of the moment in order to get a good picture.  I began letting my blog lead our activities rather than reflect them.  Not to mention the time spent uploading, editing and posting.  Add to this the emotional turmoil I put myself through over people's responses and well... I needed a break.

The question is then: "Why return?"
My family truly has benefited from my undistracted attention.  I also realigned my priorities with my values; God, family, and loving others.  I have done pretty well here, except the command goes to love others as you love yourself... As I do myself.  Get that last bit?  Myself.  oops I kinda let her go.  I am a very selfish person but loving myself is totally different.
 This blog is something I want to return to for myself -and do you know what?  That's okay.

See you soon!