Thursday, August 27, 2009

Our New Friend and a Rainbow

How's that for a blog post title? So here's our little friend that lives on our patio. She comes down to hangout by the grass and flowers every evening around the same time. I don't know much about spiders but think this is an orb weaver. As long as she's catching those pesky flies and keeping to herself, she's welcome to share our space. The kids have forgotten about the web a couple of times and accidentally ran through it. They felt so bad. But, she repaired it, and they are trying to remember now. Spider web all over your body is not really a pleasant feeling either!

And here's an especially vibrant rainbow we saw tonight. The kids saw it when they went out to play in our backyard and yelled for me to come and take a picture. There's something so beautiful and hopeful about a rainbow!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

We're FINALLY ready for the Tooth Fairy...

Ok, so I'm only about 2 or 3 years late. My oldest has now lost 8 teeth and has been using plastic ziploc baggies to put his tooth under his pillow. Pathetic, I know. So, when I saw this cute Tooth Fairy bag on the Purl Bee, I thought that maybe I had a chance to redeem myself. Maybe.

The instructions call for wool felt and I would have loved to use wool felt. But, the closest fabric store only carries real wool felt in the ugliest of colors. I even asked the manager if she had any plans for carrying more wool felt, and she said that she doesn't sell very much so probably not. Of course, me with my big mouth replied that maybe if they didn't carry ugly colors, it might sell better. Oops, that probably wasn't very nice. I went ahead and got the plastic felt so that my kids could pick out their favorite colors.

I loved that this project was so simple. It took me so little time to finish them, although I did learn that I need to work a little on my hand stitching. Three Tooth Fairy bags completed! My younger two haven't lost any teeth yet, so at least I'm ready for them.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Homeschool Planning 2009/2010

I'm finally starting to figure out our plan for this coming school year. As I mentioned before, we've been going along fine with AmblesideOnline, but I felt like I needed to make some adjustments for our family. One of the things that I feel isn't really working very well for us is the history component of Ambleside. It really bothered Boog that we started kind of in the middle of history. It didn't help that I haven't been very good about making sure that we are doing timeline work to make that more understandable. So, I've decided that we are going to put more emphasis on history this year. Since we already own A Child's History of the World by Hillyer, we are going to start at the beginning and work our way through the book together as a family. I'm going to add in supplemental readings from the Usborne Internet-Linked Encyclopedia of World History book as well as from books that I check out from the library. I also found this site that had great suggestions for activities and supplemental reading. For now, I'm going to put the history that AmblesideOnline has scheduled on hold. I want to give my ideas a try and see if it works any better for us. I'm also excited to start with prehistory because my 1st grader loves dinosaurs. I think this will be a great way to draw him into school this year.

I've decided to keep almost everything else as-is and go forward with the AmblesideOnline curriculum. So far, we've really loved the classic literature that is scheduled. My oldest said his very favorite book from last year was The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood and he even wants to dress up as Robin Hood for Halloween. That makes my geeky heart proud. heehee We're still going to use MEP for math and since we never got to Real Science 4 Kids Pre-Level Chemistry last year, we're going to do that in the coming weeks. After I get it down on paper and have a few weeks to settle into our new routine, I'll post how it's going.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Handmade Birthday Gift : Dishtowel Apron + Cookie Decorating Kit

One of my daughter's good friends, had a very special birthday last week - 5 years old! I really wanted to do something special for her. I knew her mom said she didn't have an apron, so that seemed like a good gift. But, I wanted to include something else with the apron. I thought about some cooking utensils or maybe a mix. Then I started thinking, what's every kids favorite part of making cookies? The decorating! So I decided to include some homemade sugar cookies and frosting along with pink and purple sprinkles!

Although the apron is very similar to the apron I made before, I did change a few things. Instead of using bias tape along the sides and for the straps, I turned over the seam and used a very long ribbon for the straps. I had to make the neck wider to accommodate the bigger seam. Instead of 6 inches, I made the neck 9 inches wide centered. I turned down a 1/4 inch seam, pressed it and then turned it about 1 inch to sew the casing. I threaded the ribbon through the casing and it was done!

My daughter was even able to help me with the apron this time. I added beads to the end of the ribbon to try to keep it from pulling out of the casing when putting it on. She painted these wooden beads especially for her friend. It was so much fun to work together on a project!