Saturday, August 29, 2009

What exites my children

I just did the weekly shopping, and I came home laden with craft projects for the week. We will be starting Egypt, so I have tons of makeup, beads and pipe cleaners (collars/necklaces), and black yarn and coffee filters (wigs). I am really excited!!! The girls barely raised their prissy eyebrows as I unloaded the plastic bags full of fun. But when I got out a new dry erase board and marker set for the fridge, they were jumping up and down!!! They would choose markers over pipecleaners, beads and yarn? Are these my children?

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Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Here and There. This and That

The girls had their first music class last week. Buttercup was extremely excited to be back. One of the many things I love about this program is the ensemble activities. They play rhythm and coordination games, getting opportunities to try all the crazy-looking instruments around the room.
Friday, we had Museum Day. We went to my favorite museum. It is cool and quiet and has wonderful collections of antiquities. The girls brought their sketching supplies and sketched happily, only interrupted by museum workers who stuck their heads around corners saying, "Did you just take a picture with flash?" No, I did not. I am not an idiot. Jerry adjusted the camera to take this picture.
Last week, we studied prehistoric art. We also explored the meaining of the term "prehistoric." We made cave paintings to hang in the school room. Nutmeg was less than excited about the mucky colors we mixed up. It is safe to say that Nutmeg is not an "earth tone" kind of girl! She made two paintings, one just had to include a "princess."

I have completed a few small autumn cross stitches in the past few days. I need to get a few tiny buttons to attach before I can finish them as pinkeeps.

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Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Fine Arts Academy

This week is the first week back to both piano and dance. Sometimes I like to think of our little homeschool as a fine arts academy: piano and voice lessons, ballet and tap, museum visits and plenty of arts and crafts! If the girls were in public school, there would be no way I could get them to the music and dance lessons they currently enjoy. And I carefully picked THOSE PARTICULAR studios. Yes, I am sure they would be just fine without those lessons, but "just fine" has never been my goal for my children. (Now for house work, "just fine" is a high mark!)
This week we have been studying color values and tints. The girls initially were uninspired by the grays, but got excited after a few tries.

Today we mixed colors with water and with white to get various tints. This was a big hit! Both girls painted several pictures using their new colors. I bought the white plastic paint pans at Hobby Lobby for 99 cents. They come with a clear plastic cover to save the leftover paint! The worksheets came from How to Teach Art to Children. I really like this book. The next lesson block is about texture.

Now if I could just find some clean ballet tights! I plan on stitching a bit during their lessons. I'm sure I can find some small project...

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Monday, August 17, 2009

Weekend Stitching

I got a bit of stitching done between doctor and emergency room visits this weekend. Both girls are just fine, but what would childhood be without scaring your parents half to death?
As the melons and pumpkins in my garden grow, I can't help thinking about autumn. I want to make sure I have a healthy harvest of autumn pinkeeps! So this weekend I started and finished a Prairie Schooler design from "A Prairie Year II." I also started a Prairie Schooler design from last year's Gift of Stitching Magazine, "Autumn Pinkeep." I was missing a few DMC threads, so I will have to wait a bit to finish it. I also started a Shepherd's Bush design from "A Year in Stitches" collection. I hope to be able to find some fun fall fabrics this week, and finish up the pinkeeps. I cannot wait!


Saturday, August 15, 2009

Frederick, A Lady, and a Fuzzy Baby

I don't know why I cannot get going on Frederick this go round. I have done the heart and the pears. Last time, I did everything else and could hardly put it down. Oh, well. Better luck next rotation! I have half a dozen stitches left on A Lady's Dream. You would think I would just finish it already! But I have a disorder that impairs my ability to finish. I wonder what the treatment options are?
And here is the cutest little baby watermelon. It makes me think of a baby monkey!

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Friday, August 14, 2009

Weekly Report

I promise to have a cross stitch post up later today! ;)

Everyone around us is beginning the new school year: back-to school haircuts, outfits, backpacks, etc. I do not want my girls to see learning as something that “begins and ends.” Learning is an ongoing process, and I hope they never stop pursuing it. That said, both girls have new haircuts and school supplies! ;)

Nutmeg has a few more lessons in her 3rd grade English and Math books and then we can begin the shiny new 4th grade books! Buttercup is doing a mix of Rod and Staff preschool, Explode the Code 1 ½, Horizon’s K Math, Saxon 1 Math, and library books out the wazzoo! She likes all the books about the slimy and the stinky that Nutmeg would never look at! Pill bugs and earthworms have been big hits this week. Buttercup also takes great interest in our compost pile and its inhabitants. I can barely get Nutmeg out the front door!

I am attempting the Ancients with both girls this year. Buttercup constantly interrupts with, “But it’s important!” And when that does not work, she tries, “But it’s funny!” I plan to take a couple of weeks to cover pre-history, as if pre-history could be covered in a couple of weeks! I have found several interesting books about this time, and I am learning a lot in preparation. I am particulary interested in Egyptian pre-history and about the Orkney island settlement of Skara Brae. Here is a great website for children introducing them to Skara Brae and the work of archeologists. I also want to familiarize the girls with pre-historic art and perhaps try our hands at some imitation. I am looking forward to some pre-historic food (stewed fruit) as well. I will try to post a list of prehistory resources that I find helpful in a week or so. We will then start SWB’s SOTW 1, incorporating History Pockets and plenty of library books along the way.

Our new science unit is the now out of print Tropical Rainforest by My World Science. I snatched this series up just as it was going out of business last year. Our required book is One Small Square Tropical Rainforest. I am a huge fan of the One Small Square Series. The girls will be making a notebook including the worksheets from My World Science, Enchanted Learning print outs, and of course their own drawings. We are still enjoying the Draw Write Now series. They drew some super-cute sloths this week!

Music and ballet started up again this week, and both girls have added tap. Swimming starts back in September. Once again, we will be listening to Great Music and Great Books while driving in the car.

I bought several books about needlework at the library sale last weekend. Two books are about embroidery from around the world. I definitely plan to incorporate those into our art studies as we learn about different cultures.

We did not do all the “book-learning” botany that I wanted to do this summer. We cut up root vegetables, found different types of roots, and examined perfect flowers vs. male and female flowers. At least I know that my children certainly know where good food comes from! I am planning a winter garden and plan on using “green manure,” so there are still plenty of botany opportunities.

The girls are sleeping in this morning: Buttercup had a fever last night, and Nutmeg got home from dance at 9 PM!!!!! I plan on enjoying a quiet morning, and then it is down to the school room!


Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Fungus Nature Walk

Now that cooler weather is returning, we are going to resume our "Handbook of Nature Study"- inspired nature walks. I think we will focus on the Fungi Kingdom for now. We found some really colorful specimens to sketch today. We should be able to find many more as we go on (short) hiking trails this fall.

I posted some pictures of the more interesting mushrooms on the previous post. I am STILL having trouble posting more than 4 photos! (Thanks for your tips though, Jennifer.)

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Fabulous Fungi

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Saturday, August 8, 2009

Ghost Town

On Saturday, we went to Ghost Town in the Sky, in Maggie Valley. The girls argued over who would ride the chair lift with Jerry. They said that Daddy was safer. What!?! Although, when the ride got steeper near the top, I was wishing I was riding with Jerry! There are a couple of pictures of me with the girls, but I did not post them since I am not making very pleasant faces while my children and myself are flying around in the sky over the side of the mountain!


Saturday, August 1, 2009

Shopping Nirvana

My sister's second home is the mall. The perfume-y, fast food-y air seems to revive her. She shops with my mom; she shops with my aunt. And once a year, she drags me, kicking and screaming, to the mall, to buy Christmas presents. This is not to say I am not a super shopper - I am. But my favorite shops are the M%%rshall's, T%rgets, H%bby L%bbys, cross stitch stores and homeschool stores of the world. Yesterday I shopped the trifecta - Homeschool Conference, H%bby L%bby, and then J&Ann Fabrics!!!!!!! And C%lifornia Pi**za Kitchen for lunch. And a Tr&der Joe's!!!!!! Almost more goodness than a mortal can handle in one day!!!

I found a sewing machine book for Nutmeg and then stocked up on some sewing supplies.
I found some books for the coming year. Not pictured is Genevieve Foster's "Augustus Caesar's World."
All the baskets were 50% off at one of the craft stores, and I found the perfect basket to display pinkeeps. I cannot wait to fill it with Autumn pinkeeps!!!!!
Last but not least, I asked my husband to cut some foamboard squares for me because he does such a good job with straight edges. The next day I found this on the dining room table.
I could not even find the words....

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