Tuesday, January 28, 2014

January 20-26, 2014- Martin Luther King, Gnomes, Snow, Ribbons, and Bouncing.

Last year when Martin Luther King Jr. Day came, I did not tell Rainbow Girl much about who the wonderful man was. This year, I decided Rainbow Girl was ready to learn more about him and the basics of the Civil Rights Movement. 

We began the day by breifly talking about who MLK was and what he had done to help the world. Then I let her watch a great video I found and watched the night before that addressed how segregation was when MLK was growing up and what he did to change things.

She said, "It's so sad that light people thought that dark people were different than them. We are ALL people!"

After our MLK discussion, we had a morning of board games. The Sneaky, Snacky Squirrel is absolutely our favorite right now. It is such a simple game, does not take long from beginning to end, and no one gets upset when they loose because playing again isn't an ordeal. 

The box doubles as the acorn tree. All of the silicone (at least they feel silicone) acorns rest in the box (tree) until you spin the spinner. Each player has an empty "log" with five empty holes, each with a colored circle that corresponds to one of each of the acorns. The player spins the spinner and either lands on a specific color, "pick one", "pick two", "the sneaky squirrel"- the player can steal one acorn from any player, "the sad squirrel"- the player looses his turn, or the gust of wind that blows all of your acorns back to the tree. 

During nap time I began work on a few gnome orders that I have taken. I don't plan on making a business out of making the sets, but just planned on selling a few to cover the costs of the supplies that I purchased for the children and for making things for swaps. This week, I made three sets of gnomes including the days of the week, the seasons, weather, and a little Valentine's set.

Later in the week, we were told to expect snow again! The kids were very excited and spent the day by the window waiting and waiting. The estimated time of the snow starting came and passed. Just as we started making dinner and it began to get dark, the snow finally began. After dinner, we went out to play in it a little before bed. It was soooooooo cold and getting darker, so we did not spend much time at all outside.

That night, I also started working on orders I had for Waldorf Dancing Ribbons. These are so much fun to make and the 100% silk is so delightful to work with. 

The following morning, Sugar Bear delighted in helping me needle felt my little gnome's hats. (Yes, how very observant of you! He has in fact been wearing the same shirt for almost three days now. I pick my battles.) He did a wonderful job, as usual, needle felting. That is, until the needle (my last needle) broke with only three hats remaining. To be fair, I had used that needle for quite some time at that point, so it was in need of being replaced. Thankfully I had a crafty box of goodness set to arrive the next day. 

After nap time, when the temperature was the warmest it would be all day, we went outside for a wee bit of snow play. (In snow suits this time!) The hit of the afternoon was the ice that had formed on the slide. It made for a rapid fire sliding experience, shooting the children far into the snow. 

Rainbow Girl's "Snow Castle"

After warming up, Rainbow Girl wanted to draw picture in her lesson book about MLK. The drawing did not show up super well in the picture, so I shall describe it. It says "Dr. Martin Luther King Jr." at the top and has three hands of different colors intertwined. 

Rainbow Girl writing a letter to her pen pal.

On Saturday, we went into the city for a meeting and on the way back, I saw something that I have never seen in my twenty years of living near the James River. We had to stop the car to get out and look. The entire top layer of the James River, for as far as the eye could see, was frozen solid. Not one section was visibly moving. An elderly man, also standing and looking in awe, said very quietly, "I have never seen this. I have seen icebergs floating down the river, but never has it completely frozen over."

It was magical, and eerie. Also wicked blustery.

Sunday, we went to a birthday party at "The Playroom". Sugar Bear's favorite part was the massive rubber dinosaurs. Rainbow Girl's favorite part was the big kid inflatable area. She skinned her elbow pretty badly and was almost purple she had been running, climbing and jumping so much. They both went to bed so easily that night.

This is a cake. No, seriously. The birthday boy's mama is the most talented cake maker that I have ever seen. Go check out her stuff and order from her.

Until next week, friends.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

January 13-19, 2014- Snow, Science Museum, and Games

We woke up early as usual and looked out the window to see the weather. Snow? Where did the snow come from? The forecast, and the current weather on weather.com said nothing about snow. Surely this snow wouldn't last long, and wouldn't stick at all since it was warn the day before... Well, it snowed for a couple hours, and did stick! Using the snow on the picnic table and all three cars, we made ourselves a very respectable little snowman, complete with a carrot nose. The kids were thrilled that a snowman was possible. 

Rainbow Girl suggested we bring some black paper out and collect snowflakes to look at- a suggestion in one of her books; It's Snowing by Gail Gibbons. It really was neat and we could see the detail of the different flakes of snow.

Once we got inside and everyone had changed out of their damp clothes, hot coco was requested. (Well, Sugar Bear requested blueberry tea.) Armed with hot beverages and marshmallows, we watched the movie "The Snowman" together. 

A few weeks ago, I ran across a great wooden bead set at Goodwill. I have hesitated bringing it out because, frankly, I didn't even want to think about Sugar Bear throwing them all over the place and having to clean them up. 

After nap on the snow day, I decided to give it a chance. I pulled out the set, some hemp twine, and watched...and waited. In reality, waited for the mess to happen. I should have had more faith! They both did wonderfully. Sugar Bear threw a couple beads once, but then cleaned them up and went right back to stringing. I was very proud of how they did and their finished necklaces are beautiful!

On Tuesday, I had planned on working on our Valentine's Day projects. I signed up the children for a card swap in which they each make five cards, we mail them out to the swap hostess, and closer to Valentine's day, they will each get five cards back. On top of that, I had signed up for another Waldorf craft swap, this time with a Valentine's Day theme. (These are becoming addicting, I'm currently signed up on a few!) I decided to make cute little peg people couples with needle felted hats, wood burned details, and water color painted bodies. They turned out delightfully and I can not wait to see what treasures we will get in return for them!

Later that afternoon, we met up with one of our very favorite families at the Science Museum. Daddy even came along! We had a delightful afternoon exploring and learning. Both of the children love the interactive section. In this section, they have a big bubble blowing machine, huge foam building shapes, physics games, and many other things. This visit, however, Sugar Bear's favorite part of the whole place was the blood pressure machine- or as he called it, the "arm squishing machine". 

This in how big my little squish is right now!

Wednesday was a super fun homeschooling day. We woke up, had breakfast, did some laundry, had a team bath, and put house coats on. (Homeschooling #1 perk- It can be done in jammies....or even naked!!) We did our opening verses and candles and started our lesson. The lesson of the day began with talking about what we might do and/or bring back if we went and lived with fairies for a year. It was a very interesting discussion! Rainbow Girl would learn several fairy skills and would come home with rainbow silk wings and a big pot of fairy dust. She then drew a magical picture of just that. 

After the lesson, we took down the Play Doh. (As you can tell, Sugar Bear is taking full advantage of Homeschooling Perk #1) After Play Doh time, we had a board game extravaganza that lasted for several hours and was quite fun. :) The extravaganza ended with lunch time and naps for everyone.