Monday, January 31, 2011

Valentine's Day Craft

This week's craft was focused on Valentine's Day.  We did a couple projects but I will feature my last minute, hair brained frame idea.

We started with some premade wooden frames from Lakeshore and painted them with red acrylic paint.  The next day, we used some glitter paint from Lakeshore...Love them.  These glitter tubes come in 6 colors, 12 per box.  They are great for using as paint or the pointy tips can be used to decorate.  We used them for both in this project.

Next, the kids cut out some white paper to insert into their frames...we used the back insert of the frame as a template.

Today's bible focus was 1 Corinthians 13...very Valentine's Day appropriate.  My oldest wrote the whole verse.

Number 2 son wrote, "Love is kind..." and big Sis wrote, "Love is patient..."

Little Sis/Soon to be big sis...chewed on a spatula and ate...Those molars are killer.

The final product...We LOVE glitter.  Big sister loves to decorate!

Number 2 son, loved mixing his glitter to make different colors.

My oldest opted for the simple choice of smearing one glitter color on top of his frame.

On display by the front door for all to see.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Is 5 Enough?

That's one of the latest questions we got...Don't get me wrong, I never anticipated having 5 kids myself.  I figured I'd get married, have 3 kids, put them in school and spend my days cleaning, working out at the gym and lunching with my girlfriends but God had other plans for our family.  We never felt quite done after our 3rd was born.  Sure we were tired with 3 kids 2 1/2 and under, but didn't feel ready to close that door 100%.  Flash forward six years...we are ready to have our 5th baby, 16 months after our 4th.  Is 5 Enough?  In our minds yes, but if God shows us otherwise, we'll let you know.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Large Family Logistics

Raising Olives has become a frequent stop in my blog reading.  Here I find encouragement and ideas as a mother homeschooling a growing family.  Raising Olives' recent post includes an excerpt from a book titled, Large Family Logistics.

"Motherhood is a life of sacrifice; it is a life poured out for our children. So what are we to do to get some space from it all? When we are honest with ourselves, we know that it is not “Me Time” we need or a “Girls’ Night Out.” Children are not a burden to escape or endure; they are a blessing that drives us to Christ because we are incapable of parenting well without Him. God is who we need. While there are helpful strategies we can employ in order to have a more peaceful day with our children, the number one thing we must do is to deny Self and cling to the cross."
 ~Kim Brenneman, Large Family Logistics

All I can say is, "Well said Kim."

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

No Baby Yet

Baby no-name is due in 5 days...Everyone, including my OB of over 10 years thought I would have delivered by now.  Why?  Baby girl was the 4th kid and 10 days late.  I am putting next week out of my head as a possible delivery week.  I have too much to do.  School and work are busy times this month.  If I refuse to "nest" does that mean the baby will hang out longer?

Monday, January 17, 2011

Comix With Content

I can't speak highly enough about Chester's Comix With Content.  I ordered them to use as a suppliment to history but they can almost stand alone.  These books are "comic books" based on historical events or people with great illustrations to capture your kids' interest in history...26 in all.  They also added a new book featuring famous homeschooled people titled, "Homeschool All-Stars."  My 4th grader reads them for bedtime reading and now quizzes us on history!  Their website also has teacher guides, coloring pages and other activities you can download for free.  Check it out!

Here is their site:
You can also order from Rainbow Resource or Amazon

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Chore Charts-Part 2

Here are our revised chore charts.  The kids love having laminated sheets so they can cross off what they've completed.  Included are Getting Ready Duties, A Weekly Duty that rotates weekly and a list of free activities to do before school.  I added a couple things to their list such as wiping off door handles and light switches to help kill off those winter cold germs.

PS Love, love my $20 laminator from Target.

This is the kids' Bathroom Duty Chart

Living Room Duty...

Kitchen Duty

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Joy-Joy's New Doo...Getting Her Own Crackers

Joy-Joy is sporting her new doo.  Too young for pigtails at 15 months, it makes her look like she's 3.

She is finding ways to get food for herself as needed.   She's a cracker girl so we need to hide them.

Hmmmm.  Here are the Joe's O's.  Where are the crackers? 

Almost maimed by a falling jar of Nutella.

Finally, someone fed me my cracker!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Winter Garden

This is my second year of gardening, first winter growing.  This winter we turned two of our raised beds into mini compost piles to save space and better condition the soil that wasn't so great last summer.  Hopefully, I can get a compost container going when the weather warms up a bit.  It's amazing how fast you can fill a pot on your counter with fruit and veggie scraps, coffee filters, egg shells, etc.  What we won't do for awesome garden tomatoes?  So the only growth going on in the garden is our 4 x 4 bed of chard, a bed of onions, garlic and chives, snap peas that are somehow making it this time of year and the citrus trees.  I do have 2 containers of broccoli, but they are just leafy with no heads...I still haven't mastered that veggie.  My hope: to grow more and more produce each year.  The kids love it, I know where it came from and maybe someday it will become cost effective after we recoup the costs of beds and dirt.

Chard and onion beds.

Blood Orange Tree

Eureka Lemon

Honey Mandarin

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Seasonal Watercolors

This year we have been focusing on using watercolors for our main art medium.  They are inexpensive and in my opinion produce a better product that tempera.  The kids have enjoyed using the watercolors and brushes to create different lines and hues.  Since the fall, the kids began hounding me that we needed to create "Winter Watercolor Art" in addition to our regular Christmas Decorations.  So over break (a little later than planned), we took down our fall watercolors paintings and replaced them with the winter ones...Notice that the kids are focusing on creating a horizon line and are quite proud of how their pieces turn out.  Next season...blossoms.

Note:  We used Prang Watercolors which come in palates in many shades: primary, earthy, metalic and glitter.  Also used was Strathmore Watercolor Paper to prevent buckling when the paint dried.

Here are their fall paintings:

Yes the baby girl HAD to paint too.  In the big chair, with paper and real paint.

The snow is a little difficult to see but the kids added that element to their paintings for the winter effect.

Now for the "Winter Watercolor Art."