Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Corn cob dolls and Native American Spear

We just started Tapestry of Grace Year 2 Unit 3. My friend has been telling me for the past three years that I should try it and she thought it was what I was looking for. Every time I looked at her curriculum (the classic) I was immediately overwhelmed. I just thought "they have to do all of this work?" Then she sat down with me and went through the redesign and I loved it. I was using Sonlight Core 3 and I loved the literature selections, but it was not working. I couldn't teach both children about the same topic and have the work be on their level. I love that about TOG, you can teach the children on their level(Blake-Upper Grammar Mikaela-Dialectic) and have a discussion as a family. Also , Sonlight was lacking the hands on experience and projects that my children love and thrive on. So here we are, and I can finally say after five years homeschooling, I have prayerfully found what I have been looking for. My son 8 said to me the other day, as he was working on his colonial project..."Mom this is more fun than playing outside!" I almost fell off my chair. How long I have waited to hear those words!!! Anyway, I wanted to share some of the projects they finished last week. They also made sweet potato muffins, which were delicious, and they shared with their friends.

Corn cob dolls:
To make your own corncob doll, you will need a knife, scissors and ruler, yarn, glue, scraps of fabric and thin ribbon, needle and thread and some acrylic paint and paintbrush.With your knife, cut the corn and the stalk off of the cob and let it dry for two or three days. Use your paintbrush and acrylic paints to paint a face on your corncob doll. Decide what color hair you want your doll to have and make about 30 loops of loosely wound yarn around your hand. At each end, cut the loops and tie them at one end to give your doll bangs. Now you are ready to glue the hair onto your corncob doll's head. Neaten up the hair and trim it evenly across. You can add a ribbon or bow to the hair to make it more attractive. Every corncob doll needs a fashionable 'do!Make a skirt for your corncob doll by using a strip of fabric about seven inches wide. Make sure the piece of fabric is long enough to reach the corncob doll's ankles. Sew a running stitch across the top of the skirt. Wrap the doll's skirt around her body and give it a gathered look by pulling the thread tightly and then tie it around the corncob doll's waist. You can make a blouse in much the same way as you made the skirt. The fabric for the blouse needs to be long enough to hang over the top of the skirt. To complete the look, tie a ribbon or piece of complementary-colored yarn around the top of the blouse.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Pumpkin Pickin

We went to the apple farm to pick apples, but they were all picked. Instead we enjoyed picking pumpkins. There were so many to choose from and we came out with four beautiful pumpkins. Ethan was wearing pumpkin all over his pants by the end of the day. Blake had about three, and was trying to decide which one he wanted. He was figuring out which would be the lightest since he would have to carry it back. It was nice to have the cool weather to go along with the day.

Tire Swing Days

The kids were enjoying the tire swing at my father's house, back on the east coast. It has been nice having the change of scenery and the seeing the beautiful fall leaves. Ethan has had to wear his first coat.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Surf lessons

I signed my children up for surf lessons with the Navy Home school Group. I thought it would be a lot of fun for them to learn how to surf. When we first arrived I began to feel nervous. I saw the surf and immediately panicked. They are both good swimmers, but swimming in the surf is different than swimming in a pool. Then the instructors started to really frighten me. I said to both Mikaela and Blake "You don't have to do this, if you just want to watch this time that is fine." They both looked at me like and said "No, we'll do it mom." By this time I was physically trembling. Before I walked away I told them both to listen to the instructors and swim hard. I had to walk away, back to the beach with the other moms. About 15 minutes later they came down to the beach and two at a time headed into the surf. Once I saw them in the water, and how much fun they were having I calmed down.

They had the time of their life. They each had two turns to surf ,and every child in the class of 12, got up on the board. The whole way home they kept talking about how they wanted to get a surf board and they couldn't wait until their next lesson.

Ethan slept through the whole 2 hour lesson. Every time we go to the beach he falls asleep. Can't say that I blame him.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Life through Ethan's eyes

My third child, Ethan is always keeping me on my toes. He is so curious about everything. I have to admit sometimes I just think to myself "Can you just sit still for 5 minutes and not get into anything!" Then I really began to watch him because I was wondering-"What is he thinking?" Now I can see and appreciate life through his eyes. I am dedicating this to all of the mom's out there who have or once had active little one's.....sit back, watch and enjoy them.
  1. As we were walking through the woods one day, not one of us realized the musical path we were on. He started to dance on the fallen leaves.
  2. I am cleaning off the lanai one day with the hose and as usual just trying to quickly get it done. Then Ethan grabbed the hose and turns it into a game with our dog, Roxy. She was chasing the water and he was laughing so hard. A chore I was trying to quickly get done turned into an hour of watching him have a blast.
  3. Everyday we walk past the beautiful hibiscus bushes in our front yard. Everyday Ethan takes a moment to stop and smell these beautiful flowers.
  4. The pantry is one of his favorite places to explore. One day he pulls out a whole container of oats, somehow opens it up, and dumps the whole thing on the floor. My first thought is "What a mess, get the broom!". Then he looks up at me with those big eyes and smile and starts to dance on them. Next thing you know, my husband and I are grabbing the camera. I have to say I never knew so many things could make music.
  5. The dog's water bowl is absoulutley facinating through Ethan's eyes. Everyday he dumps it out at least two times. He will take whatever he has in his hands and play in the water. Then before you know it, he picks up the bowl and dumps it. Next, he will splish and splash in the puddle. Don't cry over spilled water.....PLAY IN IT!!
  6. Our bathtub kept getting clogged. My husband and I couldn't figure out what was going on. Then one night...Mystery solved! To give you an idea of our routine, usually I begin to run the bath water so it warms up before I put in the plug. While the water is running I usually grab a diaper, pj's, and a towel. On this night I had grabbed everything ahead of time. As I wait for the water to warm up I was watching him. So, he ran into his room and grabbed a toy. I said," Oh you want to take the fireman in the tub with you." He looked at me and smiled and then threw the fireman down the drain. "Bye, Bye." I am guessing he wants to figure out how many things fit into that hole.
  7. Rainbows and the Moon- Every evening we take our dogs for a walk. You see here in Hawaii you see rainbows just about everyday. Many times we just keep walking, but he always points them out to me and says "OOOHHH". The moon is the same thing...he always points it out to me. He just finds them facinating. He always seems to get me to slow down and enjoy the simple pleasures in life.

Like I said he keeps me on my toes but after watching him and just enjoying these moments, it makes all of those hair pulling moments turn into precious memories.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

The Green Hour Challenge

Last Friday we started the Green Hour Challenge. You may be thinking what is that? A homeschool mother started this challenge for fellow homeschoolers to get outside and enjoy this wonderful world God has created for us. The idea is to get children to enjoy just being in nature and observing it. "Leave no child inside" is her motto. Anyway, so I downloaded the activities and handbook and I packed up the kids for a hike. We went to the Aiea Loop Trail in Aiea, Hawaii. We hiked for about thirty minutes and stopped at a little stream where the kids enjoyed watching little fish. Meanwhile, Ethan(16 months) is talking up a storm and pointing to everything he is seeing"tree" "bird, tweet, tweet" "flower-he sniffs". At the end of the hike, I let Ethan get out of his backpack and walk the rest of the way. He was picking up sticks and dancing on the fallen leaves(he loved the sound it was making). When we came out of the woods, Mikaela and Blake were sitting at a picnic table writing in their nature journal. Ethan walked over to them and said,"Draw, draw, draw." So I sat him on my lap to draw in his nature journal. It was so cute. He wanted to be included in the activity too. My children love being outdoors. I really am grateful to this mother for this great idea.
Visit her blog and get outdoors today!!!

Blake's Birthday


Soccer boy wanted to have a football "Baltimore Ravens" birthday party. We played football games, ate stadium food, and of course a football cake. All of his friends were there and he had a great day.

My little entrepreneur-Critter Sitters

Mikaela, my little entrepreneur, has started a pet sitting/dog walking business. She has been researching the business for a while now. She has come up with pricing, designed a brochure, and delivered 100 brochures to neighbors. She has also hired two of her friends to help her out. She is getting a little frustrated because she has not had many calls. I told her to give it time . So she has decided to add a bonus for her customers, a frequent walker program-after 10 walks you get one free(very creative). I am hoping this works out for her because she is so excited about starting her own business.

While on a break, surprises...

My children always surprise me. When you least expect it, they show you they are life long learners and teachers.
My son,Blake, who at the time was seven, decided he was going to make puppets. I thought no big deal, but then he decided he was going to make backdrops for different scenes in his puppet show. After about 3 hours working diligently on his project, he told me his puppets were going to take a trip around the world. Next thing you know he is in front of the map..."I am in Dallas..I am in Russia....I am in Madagascar." I have to say inside I was just gleaming that my son, who can't wait until the school day is over, was having fun learning.
Then a few days later he tells me he is going to have an art class. He had invited all of the neighborhood children, telling them art class will be on Friday and Sunday. He went online and found projects to teach, made up a set of rules for his class(very funny) and typed them on the computer,and then best of all he cleaned up the garage to set up his classroom. Sure enough, he had all of his friends in the garage on Friday and Sunday. He had so much fun and I was really proud of him.


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