Friday, August 10, 2012

I'm back ... again!  I am currently revamping the blog, and taking a bit of a new direction.  We've been big into Montessori for E's preschool years.  Now that she is *gulp* ready for Kindy, we have joined a Classical Conversations group.  More on CC later!  I plan on cleaning things up around here and then popping in soon to share our new journey.

See you back here soon!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Afternoon Activities: Rainbow Rice

The weather is getting colder again and we are looking for more things to do inside.  I have started a new routine this last week or so.  I get E settled down for a bit of quiet time in her room (no more naps now, so sad!), then clean up the kitchen from lunch and set out an activity for her before I take an afternoon break for myself.  When E gets up from quiet time, she has something to occupy her for a bit and we can make the transition to playtime outdoors or in the playroom a little easier.

Last week one of our afternoon activities was our tub of rainbow rice.  I have posted about it before here.  It is so easy to make!  For this activity, I put a few metal scoops and some cardboard tubes of different lengths in with the rice, along with a bowl or two.  We had fun pouring the rice down the tubes and into the bowls, standing the tubes up in the rice and filling them up, and digging around with the scoops.  E wants to do this activity again, but next time she wants to build a slide for the rice with the tubes that will stand alone.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Drawing Lessons

As I mentioned in my last post, one of the  things E wants to do this summer is learn to draw.  She has been drawing up a storm recently, and at the same time frustrated by it, because she can't get things to look the way she wants them to.

We finally got to the head-people-with-legs-coming-out-of-their-necks stage, although she does not claim them as people.  They are aliens.  Not. People.  To be fair, they do look more like aliens than people.  This one is wearing its bathing suit and swimming in a puddle.

Directly after that, she began drawing birds.  Big birds, little birds, all kinds of birds.  These ones have nests to sit in and a sky above them to fly in.

Here's a toucan.

And fish.  We went hiking last week around a lake and saw a dead fish.  When we came home E was adamant that she would draw a dead fish for her nature journal.  Since then, we've had all kinds of fish, often in the water with the aliens or large water-wading birds.

I picked up the book Drawing With Children by Mona Brooks from the library this week.  I'm wondering if it will be a good resource for a 3 1/2 year old.  I can see immediately it's use for older children, although there are quite a few drawings in the book done by 4 year olds.

Are there any drawing books you would reccommend for younger kids?

Monday, June 20, 2011

Make a Summer List

I've been absent from this space for far too long.  We've had a lot going on in "real life" and I'm finally finding my balance again.  The last few months have been only about getting through one day at a time, and I'm so glad to finally be in a place where I can start to plan again.  And since I am totally and completely a list making person, I give you the Summer List that E and I created this week!

My main goal for the summer is to get outside as much as possible.  All kids NEED to play outside, and E needs a bit of encouragement to get out there.  I'm working on it. 

In no particular order, our list includes:

Learn to sew
Learn to draw
Go to the carnival  we checked that one off the list already!  
Go on a hike every week
Keep a nature journal
Make a collage
Raise caterpillars
Make s'mores
Go camping with Grandma and Grandpa
Cook in the kitchen
Build a fairy garden
Make smoothies
Learn to read  this one is straight from the three-year-old's mouth . . . we'll see!
Go to the pool every week
Go to the farmer's market
Pick strawberries
Grow a garden  in progress!
Learn to write E's name
Learn to swing alone
Go fishing
Fly a kite
Plant sunflowers
Go to the zoo

I'm sure we'll find more to add to our list.  I put it up on our fridge so we can remember the things we want to do and learn this summer.  I'm thinking we need to make a list like this for each season!

Thursday, January 20, 2011


Our picture book for the week has been Snowballs by Lois Ehlert.  E has LOVED this book and every time we pull it out to read, we have to go through it at least three times in a row!  Good thing it's a short book!


As part of our Winter Wonderland curriculum (through Wee Folk Art), we made snowball cookies to go with the story.  They are actually Russian Teacakes, but they really do look like snowballs!

The recipe:

1 c butter
1/2 c powdered sugar
1 t vanilla
3/4 c finely chopped nuts (we used pecans)
2 1/4 c flour (we used half white and half whole wheat)
1/4 t salt
extra powdered sugar for rolling

First, mix the butter, powdered sugar, and vanilla.  Then mix in the flours and salt, add the chopped nuts last.

Roll the dough into little balls.  Bake at 400* for 10-12 minutes.  They don't spread so just use one cookie sheet and squish them all on there.

Once baked, roll them in powdered sugar.

Let cool and roll again in powdered sugar.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Yarn Along

~ Two of my favorite things are knitting and reading, and the evidence of this often shows up in my photographs. I love seeing what other people are knitting and reading as well. So, what are you knitting or crocheting right now? What are you reading? Take a single photo and share it ~
Ginny from small things

I haven't actually started knitting on my sock yet this week, but I did pull it out of the bag of UFOs that I have lying around.  Hopefully, this will be a pair of socks for me!  I started them a year or so ago, got scared when the pattern talked about picking up stitches, and set them aside. 

I have since knitted several pairs of socks and overcome this fear!  Yay!  So I am ready to complete this poor pair that's been sitting neglected for so long.

The yarn is Crystal Palace "Maisy" - made from corn fiber and nylon.  I thought that was pretty fun, and I figured that would make a sock to wear in the spring when you don't really need heavy wool socks.  At the rate I am going with these, I'll finish them by next spring!

I'm working my way through Pillars of the Earth for a second time.  I love this book!  It's my book club's book for this month, so I thought I had better refresh my brain a little bit.  It is getting all muddled up between Pillars and World Without End (which, if you didn't know is set in the same town, but a century or so later!).  I'm also watching the miniseries on Netflix, it's not too bad!

Keeping Score

I have gotten a lot done recently in my goal to simplify my stuff.

I cleaned out my kitchen cabinets.

I cleaned out my pantry - I have a large walk-in pantry.  No walk in closets, but a walk in pantry.  I know where my priorities are!

This week I got rid of (well, it's boxed up and ready to go to Goodwill):

4 flower vases
11 baby "accessories" (bottles, bibs, etc.)
1 fish bowl
4 candle holders/boxes of candles
1 microwave splatter cover (we don't have a microwave anymore!)
1 pretty autumn centerpiece that my cats keep eating and puking all over the house
3 kitchen appliances
6 cans of food to donate to the food bank (things that we just don't eat and I'm not sure why I have them!)

Plus a big bag of trash from the pantry and the spice cabinet.  No more MSG boullion.  Not sure why I had 4 jars, I never use the stuff!

That brings my grand total so far to: 82 items.

Doesn't seem like a lot, but my cabinets are thanking me right now.  Really, they are!