Monday, February 28, 2011

Chickadee Tree

The boys and I made a quick stop at a nearby conservation area today on our way home from town today. It was gray and a bit rainy, but we have been aching to visit their chickadee tree there. There were dozens of birds flying around, and nibbling seeds from the ground. We couldn't convince any of them to eat from our hands as they have in the past, but it was nice to visit, anyway. I love how quiet and still the boys will sit watching them and hoping, always hoping...

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Science Co-op - Mixed Fun!

I can't honestly remember what the theme was for today's science co-op, but it was a lot of fun, anyway. The kids experimented with making square bubbles, caught round ones on gloved hands (so that the oils from their skin didn't pop them), made some neat foam out of soap, food coloring, hydrogen peroxide and a few more things that I forget, and did a great experiment by adding drops of food coloring to a saucer of milk, and then using a Q-tip dipped in soap to scatter the coloring and make great patterns.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Play With Clay

Charlie has been asking me for quite a while to go back to Play With Clay, so this morning we picked up my niece and nephew Max and Tory and headed over. I am always struck by how different the boys are. William has a good enough time when he is there, but would never ask to do something like this on his own. Charlie on the other hand, loves most things crafty. He is always up for painting, molding, beading, or anything else creative. Such is the challenge of parenthood (and homeschooling) I guess. You just get one child figured out, along comes another one, and BAHM! You are right back to figuring things out for the first time....

Monday, February 14, 2011

Valentines Day

Our lives have been a little crazy around here lately, hence my Valentines Day post in March instead of February (I just love that you can back date these things!!). We didn't manage to get as much love-inspired fun happening as we would have liked, but the day wasn't a total wash.

We started off with heart pancakes...

Enjoyed our favorite heart cookies in the afternoon...

Heart-shaped LEGO (William's creation, as if you couldn't guess)...

And stained glass crayon hearts that absolutely didn't work!!

Ah well - It would be a shame if we only said 'I love you' on Valentines day, anyway.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Science Co-op - sorting marbles

Today's science co-op had the kids building machines that would sort out marbles into three different cups based on size. There were some great ideas among the different groups...platforms with different sized holes cut in the bottom, a sort of maze where the kids manipulated the marbles with Popsicle sticks,and our teams tower - three Styrofoam cups with Popsicle sticks punched through the sides to trap the different sizes.

All in all it was a fun experiment, but a little frustrating for some of the kids. Best advice for doing this at home - enjoy making the machines, but don't turn it into a race. The kids had the most fun in the building and only became frustrated when it was turned into a competition.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Animal Groups

We have been a little lacking in our 'field trips' lately since I have been working so much, but the boys and I all loved visiting the local butterfly conservatory for one of their homeschooling days today. There was a short lesson about animal classifications, and then a chance to explore the conservatory and see how many kinds of animals we could find....

The boys found fish...




and of course mammals (no amphibians, but a good lesson regardless!!)

Thursday, February 3, 2011


Today I am thankful for...

*A fire in the wood stove,and snow falling outside
*A new book waiting for me at bedtime (The Heretic's Daughter by Kathleen Kent - I will let you know!)
*An 8 year old boy who sometimes feels too old for kisses, but still says "I love you Mama" when I am least expectign it
*The papa-build snow fort in the back yard that is now two stories high
*A fresh tray of brownies on the kitchen counter, and a tall glass of milk waiting
*Bed time stories that I enjoy, too - C.S.Lewis' The Horse And His Boy
*A little break in my hectic work schedule to catch up with the people that I love
*Finding a $25 gift card in my wallett that I forgot I had
*My Charlie who still snuggles up to me at night, and touches my cheek before going to sleep
*A work training retreat that included a 2h hour silence exercise
*A new week coming filled with new opportunities for the whole family

We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures.
~Thornton Wilder

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Penny Science

When my little ones and I are feeling bored, nothing cures the winter blahhs faster than some kitchen table science. Often this means the boys raiding the fridge and cupboards scrounging for the 'secret ingredients' needed for their potions and magic tonics. Today things became (ever so slightly) more formal with an easy kitchen experiment. The boys found 2 very dirty pennies, and put one each into test tubes of water and lemon juice. A half hour later, voila! One still very dirty penny, and one that was shiny clean. This was certainly not complex, but they now know a bit about what acids can do. And after all ...anything that involves test tubes and pinchers just has to be educational - don't you think?