Thursday, February 26, 2009

World Quilt

I went thrifting and look what I found, a National Geographic quilting kit for kids! Not to mention it was all of 99cents! Love the idea behind this, love this find! Megan seemed the most interested, so I gave it to her. Instead of individual squares, there is one whole top piece of fabric sectioned into squares by labels. The labels go from "This is My World", "This is My Family"... to "This is My Universe". The kit came with 2 pieces of fabric (top & back) and some fabric crayons. Megan sketched on paper and did a little research first.Little brother read a book while she designed her quilt, she was such a little mama taking time away from her project to help him with a word or two. We found great books about quilting at the library, some we had read before. The history and beauty of quilting is fascinating, the stories behind the squares are amazing & heartwarming! Our favorites that everyone enjoyed were..."Papa and the pioneer quilt" by Jean Van Leeuwen, "Patchwork Path: a quilt map to freedom" by Bettye Stroud, and "The Keeping Quilt" by (one of our favorite authors)Patricia Polacco.

When she finished her design, I set it with an iron. She's also working on embroidering a few details this week, then we'll sew the front & back pieces together. I think it's turning out so cute and wow it's taking us on such a nice unexpected journey! I absolutley love when learning happens that way! I'm planning to cut fabric for each of the children to make for their own. I can't wait to see what theme they choose. (It's even sparked my own interest in making a patchwork quilt from the fabric scraps I've been saving) I'll be sure to post a picture below when Megan finishes!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Count on Help

I'm feeling a lot better, and now for the laundry...Kyle set to the task of folding the cleaning rags.

He is really into counting everything, so he also took inventory for me :0) After he folded and counted the rags, I asked him to put 10 under each sink in the house. Next time, I'll have a sheet of paper nearby for him to practice tallying.

Let's see, what else could he clean, I mean count around here!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

On Occasion

It happen's on rare occasion...I too succumb to fever and blah And this time it was the kind of blah that put me square in bed for a few day's... or more..? I'm still feeling a bit queasy.
These are pictures of my job security.

The clothes are apparently jumping out of the hamper needing to be washed...and Daisy is looking a bit overwhelmed

The kid's know how to put the clean dishes from the dishwasher up by themselves...but these aren't clean are they

My bathroom laundry hamper can only handle so much
Still, I appreciate the coziness of my bedroom, the soft coolness of the sheets and my fluffly yet firm pillows that cradled my pounding head. I also appreciate my children that only forgot a couple of times not to run yelling through the house, who brought Mama ice cold water, answered the phone and read me books. And my hubby who made dinner and didn't focus on the chores but instead played with our children. (I remember you stroking my hair from my face) I love you guys, I'll get to the chores, I know it would have been worse without your help, thank-you for taking care of me and eachother :0)

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Flying Saucers.. Paper Plate Style

What's a space party without some Alien Guests! These Flying Saucers were super easy to make.

2 Paper Plates

We also used glitter, pipe cleaner's (for antenae) and small cups &/or egg carton cups for rocket boosters

I cut a crescent out of one, painted it and hung 3-d stars from the bottom for a mobile

I'm impressed with Maya's freehand Star :0)

Flying Saucer
Coming at Ya!!

I'd like to hang them from the ceiling, but as for now they're zip zooming around the house!

(each saucer makes a different sound:0)
I think we all agree that planning a party is half the fun!

Monday, February 9, 2009

I Heart Book Marker's <3

I got out the craft box today so we could make Valentine's using materials we already had. When I saw the craft sticks, it reminded me of my favorite book marker I had as a child that my grandmother gave me. It was so sweet with a little brown bunny holding a carrot, painted on a craft stick with a delicate mint green ribbon at the top. I told the kid's about my memory and they all got excited about making our own to give to their friends!

I gave them thin felt tip markers and encouraged them to draw their own designs using heart shapes. It was fun watching them turn hearts into little mice, butterflies and frogs! As they created their love-ly designs, I cut pieces of yarn that we strung a couple of beads on each and tied into a bow. Then I hot glued the yarn to the back of the craft sticks. So fun to make! Especially for Meg, who doodles everyday teeny tiny cartoon's in her sketchbook, she was in her element!

I Heart their BookMarkers! <3

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Paper Mache Planet

We like to make as many decorations as we can for birthday celebrations. This is also perfect for our unschooling lifestyle because they choose a theme they're interested in and we naturally learn more about those things to which interest us. So I see a fun learning opportunity as well as warm memories and a special way to honor & celebrate our Life together, they see PARTY!!! My boys both have January birth dates and since we go beyond cake and icecream and they have most of the same friends, I have been throwing their parties together. This year, they decided on a Solar System theme. (ok so their actual words were "Star Wars" :0) In fact Kyle is hoping for a blue light saber after his major disappointment with a red light saber he got for Christmas, he wants to be a jedi, and to him that means BLUE. We got to work making a model of our favorite planet...EARTH! 1st, we chose a balloon to blow up. Kyle has great lungs and so was the perfect man for this job.

We cut long strips of newspaper and coated them with a mixture of flour & water. The mixture needs to be to the consitency of soft serve ice cream. I've read you can add glue to the mixture for a longer shelf life. After the strips were coated, we wrapped them around the balloon.

Be prepared for a bit of a mess! I lined the floor with newspaper and kept a bowl of soapy water for us to dip our sticky fingers in. We found this to be a 2 person job, one to hold the balloon steady and the other to wrap the coated newspaper. At first my 4 loved to get their hands all gooey, but when the flour mixture started to dry on their hands, they weren't so pleased, so the nearby bowl of soapy water is a must!

Keep wrapping the newspaper strips around the balloon until it is completly covered. Then it's time to dry, this 1st coat took a day, then another day for the 2nd coat of newspaper.

So exciting! Now it was time to paint. I like to read relevant books aloud while the kids are doing their crafts. This book all about Planet Earth was Kobe's inspiration for painting his model in an "above the atmosphere" view.

I love how the texture turned out! I've been given permission to turn this into a draw string pinata for their birthday party (that I still need to set a date for) This was a long project but definitley worth it , and so here is our Planet Earth!!