11/22/11

Some Girl Candy

 With my week of Home Learning posts, which mainly happens while the baby sleeps, the content has been void of the baby.  So, here are some recent pictures.

My mom made her this adorable, yet ridiculous, coat.  It is even lined with red sateen.  She looks like a giant pillow.  Very luxurious for this little girl.


Cheese
She is now attempting little snippets of walking.  However, she only does this when there is an audience.  She know when to get attention.  Otherwise she sticks to the tried and true.

She is truly part of the crowd.  This afternoon, we were attempting a craft while she was awake.  We were all situated around the dinning table.  She sidled up to her chair and demanded she sit in it, so she could participate.  

A Day of Home Learning

We were supposed to go to co-op and build balloon powered cars; however, I opted for a day off.  I new the next couple days would be busy.  Saturday the kids spent the better part of the day with my mom and dad while I listened to David Albert speak - a home school guru.  On Sunday the twins and I had tickets to see a play - the Velveteen Rabbit.  So, we decided to stay home.

I pulled out a craft that I have been wanting to try out for some time.  We felted snakes.  We had a great time and the results were great.  They truly look like snakes.  The draw back is that the snakes have turned into a switch for hitting each other with.  Alas, the snakes have disappeared!!  But we had a great time making them.

The remainder of the day was pretty low key.  Some book reading, Lego building, closet deconstruction.  A low key day.


11/18/11

A Day of Home Learning

We headed out of the house early this morning to check out the new "Craft Plus!" hobby store that opened up in town.  We had a blast perusing the isles.  The hit was the model train that they kept in constant action until the moment we headed out the door.  We came away with a few things: glitter for future craft days, wool roving for a future project, and a Perler Beed Funfusion kit.

Upon return to the house, the baby headed off to bed and we all headed to the couch for our book reading. We read several "Poppleton" books today.  Then we headed to the kitchen for an experiment.  Some time ago, I found an imitation silly putty recipe on a blog and bookmarked it for a rainy day.  Over the past few months I had collected the ingredients when I spotted them and was prepared for a day of inside experimentation.  First we made one batch together for the toddler, then the twins made their own.  The had to make them their favorite colours.  This experiment turned out to be a complete hit.  I would return to the kitchen many times throughout the day and find one, two, or three boys experimenting with their goo.  They carried on right up until bedtime when they showed daddy what they made.

Mixing the goo together to make imitation silly putty

playing with the concoction

It had to be orange and of course we had to figure out how to make the colour first.

Green
 After tiring of the goo for a bit, we pulled out the craft I bought from the store in the morning.  I didn't have time to fully read the instructions for fear of something in the store being broken, so was a bit disappointed to find that it was more of an individual activity.  In true team work style, though, we made a go of it and with twin2 at the helm, we created our first fusion figure - a backhoe!!  This was a successful craft that I am sure will re-emerge time and again.  I will have to pick up 2-3 more peg boards, though.
As I didn't have much time to read the instructions before leaving the store.  I did not realize there was only one peg board.  Alas, a lesson in working together.

Fusion.

The result - a backhoe, as per the guidance of twin2.

I kept finding the kids playing with their imitation silly putty throughout the day, right up until bed time.  We have already played with it today, too.  Twin1 was seeing how far it would stretch before breaking.
The afternoon was spent at choir.  We are making progress with the songs.  We practice in the car and at meal times.  I downloaded the melodies from You Tube and we have practiced using those.  We ended the day with the card games "Go Fish" and "Tastes Like Chicken."  Like I say, a busy day as usual.

11/17/11

A Day of Home Learning

This past weekend, we attended a wonderful family turkey dinner hosted by my courageous cousins and their little man.  I was asked several times how home school was going and whether I had started a curriculum.  I gave my standard answer, "It's going just fine.  We always stay busy.  No, we have started no curriculum.  Really, what happens in kindergarten anyway?"  To that most people, including my family smile and nod and respond with a hesitant, "Okay."   I thought about my casual response and decided to share a week of what goes on around here.  So, here goes a week of home learning posts.  I have already written 2, but  did miss a day in between, so I will add that in now.

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Tuesday was a day of Bridges.  We are preparing for an upcoming bridge building day with our co-op.  The goal of that day is pretty much free form.  The kids have an opportunity to build a bridge using a medium of their choice and then each child will get an opportunity to share their bridge with the rest of the kids.

So, I took out a bridge book from the library and left it on the shelf for the kids to peruse at will, or during our book reading session.  We looked it over a few times and as our library borrow time was coming to an end, I suggested we try to build some model bridges.  The kids immediately had grand plans of building a bridge from our house, across the lake, all the way to the ski hill.  I recommended we start small first.

So, we looked at the book more closely.  Learned the bridge lingo: pier, footing, truss, deck...  And discovered the different types of bridges: arch, rope, pillar..  We watched a couple of You-Tube videos on bridges and bridge building contests.  Then we dug out the cardboard, tape and scissors and began building.  We built three different bridges and then tested them out with their toy cars.  We discovered that some reinforcement would be needed if cardboard was used.  We discovered that wide, low bridges were sturdier.  We discovered that painters tape does not stick very well to cardboard.  We will need duct tape for the co-op event.

We let the bridge building morning stew during the afternoon and carried on with other things, including playing with the bridges.  Upon return from our after-dinner-walk, twin2 disappeared when he should have been getting his pj's on.  I went to look for him and there he was building bridges out of lego.  So, I plopped down and built bridges with him.  We were soon joined by the rest of the kids and we continued to experiment with how to make sturdy bridges until bed time.  In fact, my husband ended up locked on the back deck fumbling with his keys trying to open the door in the dark only to discover us all crammed in the smallest room of the house building lego bridges.  We were having a blast. 

As the co-op bridge build isn't until next Friday, we will probably attempt another bridge building session again next week.  Fun, fun.

11/16/11

A Day of Home Learning

After reading some animal stories curled up in the bed of twin1, we headed upstairs for dictation.  This is the third time I have done this.  My goal is to do this every 6 months to see how they progress in imagination, story telling, creativity, interests, story telling....  Each time, I plan to use the same materials and see how the utilization progresses.  I have 3 plain felt boards and a selection of felt figures.  They make their own picture and when done, tell me a story about, or to go along with their picture.  Today was the first time the toddler joined us. 

 This is the toddler's picture.  I believe he wanted to use all the figures.  The twins also did this the first few times I brought these out.
The toddler's story.  Written at almost 3 years of age.

 This is the picture of twin2.
The story of twin2. Written at almost 5 and a half years.

 This is the picture of twin1.
The story of twin1.  Written at 5 and a half years.
 The kids seem to really enjoy telling their own stories and my writing it down for them. 
 
During the afternoon, we headed over to my Uncles for a lesson on wood splitting.  The littles and I headed to the grocery story and left them to their work.  If you look closely, you may be able to see the snow flakes falling.  The twins had a blast and I think my Aunt and Uncle did too.  There was quite a pile of split wood when I returned an hour later.  Twin2 was fully decked out in 'Bob' dress: hard hat, work vest and tools.  He even brought his tool box and shed tools with him.

This evening we are off to the library for a pajama story time before bed.  Good night.

11/15/11

A Day of Home Learning


After reading a large selection of books until my voice went hoarse.  I suggested we head outside and pick the last of the mint/parsley/thyme and dry it in our new, wonderful, dehydrator.  We had to buy a new one because I burned out the motor on my mom's 20 year old version.  This herb picking suggestion quickly morphed into twin1 suggesting we need a ginger garden.  I said that all my gardens were full and that there was no room for ginger.  Together, the 3 boys decided they needed to build their own garden.  Twin1 was the foremen and he quickly began planning the layout of the flora to fill the box.  Twin2 immediately grabbed his hammer, nails, and wood and started building.  All three worked as a team and built their own garden box.  When I asked if twin1would get a turn with the hammer, I was quickly informed that he was the foremen and they don't work!!  Eeek.  I guess we better stop teasing grandpa.  They would never have gotten the opportunity to do this had they been in school.
Currently, the have moved the garden box to my preferred yard location and have begun to fill the box with dirt.  Well done boys.

11/10/11

Blank

I have been drawing a bit of a blank for writing inspiration lately.  I hurt my back this weekend and have a sore throat.  So, I have been trying to take things easy and recuperate.  That is not quite so easy to do around here.  We are also hosting home school co-op tomorrow, so I am trying to get things picked up and put away.  We are having a paramedic father present tomorrow.  Should be exciting for the kids.  Also, as it is Nov 11 we will have a few more kids and fathers here, too.  In fact my husband gets to participate in his first co -op.  I am looking forward to tomorrow.

Instead of spring cleaning, I am winter de-cluttering.  Yup.  Out with all the stuff we accumulated, broke, grew out of in the last 8 months.  It is amazing how quickly it all piles up again.  I threw out 3 bags of toys this morning.  Weeded out a few books that hadn't seen the light since the last time I went through them.  And am attempting to go through my bathroom.  Ug.  All that makeup.  I know that most of it has gone bad, but it just costs so much. 

My husband and I are starting to look towards our next home project.  The downstairs laundry and bathroom.  It need some major organization and reworking as we also hope to fit the fridge from the storage room and much of the extra food in the cupboards..Then its on to the storage room, which will become Andre's future room.  The goal is to have the baby and I move back downstairs.  Ya.  There seems to be a light and a shared bed in my future once again.

In the meantime, the kids and I continue to read books, craft, visit the library, co-op, walk in nature, tour the many farms around here and enjoy all the time we get to spend together. 

11/9/11

November

This is a busy month.  We had a 3 day weekend with my husband and had a great time as a family.  My husband and I left all 4 kids Saturday night with my wonderful parents and headed into the big city for a show.  We had a good time.  It was a bit disappointing because we have seen similar shows that were over-the-top great.  But it was still nice to get out just the 2 of us.  We were totally under dressed for the weather, though.  The cold has completely set in and it is time for heavy coats  and gloves.  The baby faired okay without me.  She refused to take a bottles and thus was very happy to see me, or should I say my chest, at 2:30 in the morning.  We arrived home at 1:30 am and relieved my sick mom, who went home and slept for the next 2 days and is still recovering, and dad, who went home and started work - crazy.  That night was the time change, but with 4 littles in the house the extra hour of sleep was non-existent.  We are still adjusting.  I got my hair done on Monday and Tuesday my husband got to take part in the twin's choir practice.  I am glad he got to participate.  That night I hosted the home learners parent gathering and felt the pressure of running the show, but it was nice to get out and have a start-to-finish conversation and use my brain.  The remainder of the month has dentist appointments, work party, family turkey dinner, and home-school speaking engagement. Busy, busy.  I hope I survive.

Family




11/3/11

We made Lip Balm





As commented on by my mother, "I had no idea it would be that good."  Yes, it is good stuff.  Super easy and cheap (after original start up, of course).Oh and I can pronounce all the ingredients.

11/1/11

12

12 is the number of cans of pop the 3 boys emptied all over the twins bedroom.  Yes, all over: walls, beds, floors, ceilings.

I was having such a great day.  I had just made bread.  The kids were all playing nicely (HA) downstairs.  Although, they had all just come up, changed, and ran back downstairs.  This should have tipped me off.  Instead, I carried on.  Cleaned up the kitchen and was heading downstairs to change the laundry over and get some items from the storage room to replenish those that I had just emptied while baking.  On the way to the storage room, I noticed the 4 cans of pop laying on the floor of the twins bedroom.  On inspection, the pop was everywhere.  I attempted to remain calm and not scream at the kids whilst expressing my current level of disapproval.  Ug.

I began to clean things up.  I figured I should get it done before it dried in and had things begin to stick to it. The floor would have to be cleaned, so I called my mom to see if she had a carpet cleaner.  She was kind enough to rent one for me as the baby was sleeping.  I started in on the walls and moved my way around the room, working my way from top to bottom.  Once I reached the kids beds and started cleaning them, I noticed the 8 cans of pop hidden in one of the shelves in their captains beds.  Ug.  12.  12 cans of pop emptied all over their room.

When my mom came to deliver the floor cleaner and suggested she take the boys until dinner time, she could barely contain her smirk.  In fact it frequently escaped her lips.  There was probably a giggle as she walked out of the house towing my delinquent children with her.

On the brighter side, I had just been thinking it was time for a thorough cleaning of the twins room.  I can't get anymore thorough than removing every piece of furniture, washing the walls, and cleaning the carpet.  Oh yes, I could paint.  I had planned to paint their room this winter, I guess the time line just moved up to - now.

Do I dare repeat it - 12.  Feel my pain.

Post Script:
I am not sure that I described how the boys opened the 12 cans of pop.  Usually this would be a difficult task; however, when you are as creative as my kids are then a solution is quickly found.  Alas, they opened all 12 cans with a hammer.  Yes, a hammer.
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At a family dinner a week later, I was retelling this story to a room full of 15+ people.  My mom was invovled in the retelling and it turns out the events did not end with the kids being shoed out the door with my mother giggling under her breath. 

Upon arrival at my parents house, my dad sat the boys in a row on the couch and tried to discover the instigator.  He asked each one who started the the "pop smash": twin1 and twin2 unanimously replied 'the toddler', the toddler quickly replied 'the baby'.  On questioning him about the ability of the baby to even open the storage room door, the toddler started to rethink his accusation.  My mother said, "You could see the wheels turning."  After a few moments the toddler responded, "Nan!" That was the end of that.  No instigator was discovered.  They were all in cahoots.

A few days later, while my mother was telling my sister the story with the addition of the accusations, my sister pointed out that it was Nan who started it all.  ???  The night before the "pop smash" we had our weekly family dinner at my parent's house.  After dinner, my mom pulled out a bag of hazelnuts that she had unearthed from her freezer during a recent defrost session.  She proceeded to get out a sturdy cutting board and a hammer and showed the three boys how to open the hazelnuts with the hammer.  It turns out, my mother caused the entire incident.  Hmmm.

The Girl Loves Music

video
This little girl is cutting 6 teeth at the moment.  She is wonderfully pleasant, but desires to nurse every 2 hours.  Understandable considering the state of her mouth.