Tuesday, February 26, 2013

We're Still Here

The only special thing we did last Friday was stay home, making it the first time in ages we've stayed home three days in a row.  I forgot to do a Fun Friday post and we've been busy, so I haven't blogged any!  Here are a few random pictures of the past week, starting with the one above.  Thursday morning our power was out for a few hours so we snuggled under blankets to do school work.  Jack was reading his Roman history to Alice.  I like how he has his hand on her neck so she has to stay focused.
 We had a fire in the fireplace one evening and Bobey loved it!

Saturday morning we went to a big used book sale.  I found quite a few good things, but my favorites were the Cobblestone magazines for a quarter a piece--I bought all they had!

 Saturday night the kids stayed at my mom and dad's while Jay and I went to a dinner.  When we came to pick them up Jack was so excited to tell us about the new room they'd found.

 It has two stories!

 Yes.  It is a storage cabinet.  They are all super excited about this.

Alice made a duct tape shirt.  I did make her change when we left to go to a magic show at the library.  The magician made it look like green water was coming out of Jack's elbow and Alice did not like that.  She was very concerned and insisted that I have Jay look at it to make sure Jack wasn't going to turn into anything.

 We spent a while playing Rivers, Roads, and Rails.  It's fun!

 Alice was really wanting a pair of overalls so when we stopped by Target on the way home last night we checked to see if they had any.  There was an 18 month pair and a 4T!  She was so excited to wear them today!

That's about it around here.  I'm trying to get ahead on a few writing assignments so we can start some traveling for the May MetroFamily issue--posts to come soon!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013


 A couple of years ago we had a huge February snow storm--and the year before that we got quite a bit of snow, too.  Since then, though, we haven't gotten much, so we were excited to see this today!

 It was so exciting that the kids went out before getting dressed!

 After breakfast  we bundled up and spent about an hour playing.  It wasn't too cold, so it was perfect.

 Alice made this snow angel and if you look very closely you might be able to see the face she gave it.

 Clearing the slide!

 They kept going at the end of the slide!

I couldn't get a very good picture of them, but the birds were enjoying the feeder.

The snow started after kids were on their way to school this morning, so hopefully it's not too melted and they get to enjoy it.  We had a pretty normal school day, though we did take a break from the train books we have been reading and read Snowflake Bentley and The Snowy Day.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Artist Study: Raphael

Our latest artist study was on Raphael.  As I sat down to plan out what we would do I was wondering why I chose him--other than the fact that one of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is named for him.  There aren't a lot of kid-friendly resources on Raphael, but we ended up having a good time anyway.

 Our library didn't have a video about Raphael only, but we did watch this one.  We have watched several from this series and they are kind of annoying but they have pretty good information.

 We talked about the Renaissance and we used a Getting to Know... biography.  We also used The Usborne Book of Famous Paintings that I picked up at a book fair a few years ago.  We have used it for several of our artist studies, so it was a great buy!

 We visited our local museum to see some art from the same time period.  We read that many of the changes in art during the Renaissance started with sculpture and then moved to painting.  Before the Renaissance, figures would usually be shown more formally instead of embracing each other, for instance.

 Jack spotted this detail on a statue and asked why it said 1525 and was able to figure out that it was because that's when it was made--during the Renaissance!

 We were able to see some art that was made before the changes of the Renaissance began to take place--I *think* this one is from the late 1300s, but I can't remember for sure.

 Jack said this later painting was different from the one above because of the perspective.

 We had also talked about how the church funded so much of the art during this time, which is why so much of it has a religious theme.

 A security guard was nice enough to turn on the dance floor for the kids.  I have many memories of playing here as a kid, but then they covered it with a rug for a while.  Now it's uncovered, but not usually on.  One of the major perks of homeschooling is being able to visit places when they're not very crowded, which often leads to perks like this!

 I wasn't sure what art project we would try until I came across this fresco idea at Laugh, Paint, Create!  It was perfect since we still have quite a bit of plaster left over from when we made our faces during our Remington artist study.

 The plaster dried a little faster than I thought it would (You know you're a homeschooling mom when you find yourself yelling, "Quick!  We've got to make these frescoes NOW!"), so it wasn't too damp, but I think they turned out nicely anyway.  We used some disposable cake pans since I already had them and they worked well.

I'm so glad we went ahead with this artist study even though it seemed like our resources were limited.  We had a great time!

Monday, February 18, 2013

Lord Laundry Falls Behind

I've posted before about how hard it is to take care of so many jobs at once.  I frequently fall behind on things like swiffering and picking up the school room, but I am almost never behind on laundry.  In fact, except for the putting it away part, I like to do laundry.  Chores where you can tell a definite difference when you're done are so much more satisfying to me than things like dusting, which should not make a dramatic difference if you've been keeping up with it.

Rewind two weeks...my washing machine started leaking.  Because I was caught up on laundry, I forgot to call someone until the end of the week and they were able to come out last Monday.  Unfortunately, they had to order a part, and then our schedule didn't match up with the repairman's schedule until this afternoon, so now we have the biggest pile of laundry I've ever seen.  I should have had the kids sit on it to add some perspective, but trust me when I tell you it's huge.  And there are sheets and towels, too.

The upside of all of this is that last night I reached the bottom of the ironing basket, which hasn't happened in at least a year.  Hopefully the doorbell will be ringing within the hour and the repairman will have the correct part and my ironing basket will be full by bedtime.  You know it's been a long two weeks when that sounds wonderful!

Friday, February 15, 2013

Fun Friday: Old Friends

 Birthday party, 2008

 The same three boys, birthday party 2013

 We got to spend much of the day with old friends, first at lunch, then playing, and then at a birthday party.

 The kids hadn't been to a Little Gym party here, so it was fun!
 Alice is not always thrilled about group settings, but she followed the teacher's directions and did a somersault for her turn to perform.

 Funny boys!

After the party the kids got to spend the night at Grandma and Grandpa's and Jay and I got to go out to dinner and to Kohl's to spend our Kohl's Cash.  I got some new shoes and t-shirts and some pajamas for Jack and a shirt for Alice.  Jay got dress socks.  We're pretty crazy like that.

 When I got home, I found my new bracelet had arrived.  Go here to get one and help bring a little girl home to her family.

Happy Friday!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Valentine's Day

We've had a lot of fun leading up to Valentine's Day!  We continued our Valentine's Mail this year.
One day this week the kids got  notes telling them we were going to visit a cupcake shop!

One morning they got mustache lollipops.
Last year I shared my pathetic attempt at cutting hearts out of fruit and they were so sad that my friend Laura was compelled to give me her tiny heart cookie cutter.  I used it for pepperonis one night--the pizza is supposed to be heart shaped, too, though it's kind of hard to tell.
These were the Valentines the kids handed out this year (from Pinterest, of course).
Alice ran out of room every time for the E and just put it in wherever she thought it would fit.

My friend Lisa was nice enough to host a Valentine's Party again this year.
There were actually boys his age there, so Jack was quick to get back to playing.  This is one of the few pictures I got of him!

Alice was excited to go through her box!
Checking out the crazy straw
Much to Jack's dismay, we had meatloaf for dinner tonight.  I asked if heart shaped meatloaf would be better and he was skeptical.
I used the cookie cutter again to make heart shaped potatoes.  That so would not have happened if I had had to freehand them!

I hope you had a great Valentine's Day!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Learning Together: Albert & Feathers for Lunch

 We just finished up another couple of weeks of learning together.  This time Jack used Albert (from Volume 4 of FIAR) and Alice used Feathers for Lunch.  All of the lapbook stuff the kids used was from Homeschool Share (here and here).

 We started off with a bird themed lunch--a sandwich (I think that's a pigeon, but I'm not quite sure), birdseed (trail mix), sour worms, and blueberries.

 We made bird feeders to hang in the trees.

 And we also made birdseed cupcakes from the recipe in Riki's Birdhouse.

 We checked out a DVD from our library about birds that had a great demonstration about what a bird's gizzard does, so we tried it ourselves.  You put some sunflower seeds (out of the shell) in a bag with a bit of water and let them soak.  Then add some aquarium gravel.

 Grind the seeds and the gravel together in the bag.

 You can see how the gravel has started to break down the seeds!

 Alice had a basket full of bird books and games--many pulled from our Summer Adventure Box the year she was born!

 We love Birdhouse for Rent and Birds--we have read these many times over the several years!

 I got Counting Is for the Birds this year after reading about it on Relentlessly Fun, Deceptively Educational.

 Alice made this B bird (based on an idea I saw on Pinterest).

 One day we read different descriptive statements and decided if they were talking about cats or birds.

 Jack learned about how different birds have different beaks depending on what they need their beaks to do.  Beaks! is a great book and we used some pages from the Evan Moor Giant Science Resource Book, too.

 We read Birdsongs together, too.

 Jack also learned about our state bird with United Tweets of America.

 Albert checks the weather each day, so we used this book to try some weather forecasting for ourselves.
We made barometers from cans, balloons, rubber bands, and straws.  They actually moved a little which surprised me because our weather was pretty much the same every day while we were doing this!

Right now the kids are each doing their own things, but next week we'll be back together with Mailing May and Trains!