Wednesday, June 29, 2011

(not so) Wordless Wednesday


Soccer Girl during a morning of soccer camp. The poor thing doesn't sweat; she just turns bright pink when she gets hot.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Wordless Wednesday - My Pool Monster

Keep on Going

I skipped J in the ABC's of Homeschooling last week. I had a J, but didn't really have any blogging desire so I'm skipping from I to K.

K is for Keep On Going

"How do you do it?" I've been asked this question many times over the years. When the twins were tiny and on heart monitors, how did I do it? When Little Red was born 20 months after the twins and I had 3 really small people to care for, in addition to The Boy, how did I do it? Homeschooling 5 children, how do I do it? 

The answer is, I don't. Not by myself at least. I couldn't do any of these things on my own, but I can through the strength the Lord provides me each day. Philippians 4:13 says I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. 

So my K is to Keep on going. Every day is a new day, and I try really hard to just take each day as it comes. I know that each day, the Lord will provide me strength sufficient to get through that day's trials - no more and no less. I would be lying to say I never worry about what the future will hold, but I try really hard not to do that.

For those who wonder how I, or anyone else, does what they do every day, when it seems like it would be more than what you could handle, it isn't. God's Word says He will give us strength sufficient for our needs. So my advice when your circumstances feel overwhelming is to Keep On Going, leaning on the strength of our Lord, strength sufficient for you each day.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Clay Painting

I've been slack - slack about blogging and slack about being creative. We've only done 1 day of creativity since last Wednesday; the small people painted their clay creations.

Some of the creations didn't fare so well, and we had missing arms, legs, and even heads from some of the people. I had them go ahead and paint the individual pieces for me to glue them back together later. I thought that would be easier than risking them breaking again during the painting process.




 I love Little Red's face in this picture. Her eyes are so striking!
Soccer Girl was so intent on painting and didn't even notice the paint all over her hand or on her nose.


I have no idea how much creativity we will have this week. The Boy and Soccer Girl are at soccer camp in a nearby town, which means I get to hang out with the other 3 small people in that big metropolis (sarcasm) for 4 hours every morning. Today we hit the mall and the library there. Then by the time we got home, I was wiped out; I can't imagine how much more tired Soccer Girl was after having spent those 4 hours in the sun playing soccer. The Boy gets done in the afternoon and is catching a ride back home with a teammate. (Bless them! This way I don't have to hang out ALL day there.) I'm sure he'll be even more exhausted than the rest of us were.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Paper Bead Necklaces

I found the idea for paper bead necklaces over at The Idea Room. They were originally supposed to be bracelets, but I cut the paper triangles too wide so they worked better as necklaces. We're going to try again to make bracelets with thinner triangles.

First, the girls chose 2 different pieces of patterned paper. I knew there was a reason that I still own millions of sheets of scrapbook paper. These were cut into triangles. The wider the base, the longer the bead. I had 2 inch bases, which were much too long for bracelets, and were even a little too long for necklaces. I will definitely make thinner triangles the next time around.
After slathering glue all over the back of the triangles, the small people then rolled them up. The Boy helped Sassy with her necklace.
Once they were rolled, the beads were ready to be strung onto the string. Because the beads were wide, we found it was easier to string them using a needle on the string.
While the beads were wider than I would have liked, I think the end result still turned out cute.



Sassy is always the clown. This was the face she made the first time I tried to take a pic of her with her necklace.



Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Clay creations

Little Red happened to find a container of clay in the laundry room yesterday morning, so we made clay creations. During Sassy's nap time, all the other small people put their imaginations to work as they turned lumps of clay into people and animals.

The Boy made a Star Wars person; I think it's Obi-Wan, but I'm not sure.

Soccer Girl made herself with a soccer ball.

Ballerina made a set of snakes, including a cobra.


Little Red made herself, Soccer Girl, and Sassy.

Tomorrow we will painting our creations. They take 48 hours to dry.

Now, I'm off to do today's craft with the small people.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Imagination

Today is Tuesday, which means it's time for the ABC's of Homeschooling over at 5 Kids and a Dog. This week, it's time for letter I.

I is for Imagination

One of the things I enjoy most about being home with the small people all the time is watching them use their imaginations when they're playing. When a container of pattern blocks becomes a pizza or the front yard becomes a spy's domain, my heart leaps with joy. It makes me sad when children need to be entertained by an electronic device or an adult in order to overcome boredom. I want my children to be able to create their own entertainment, to lose themselves in their imaginative play.
  • Imagination helps children with problem solving skills. Through imaginative play, children have to think through solutions to problems that occur in their play.
  • Imagination helps children improve vocabulary skills. Through telling made-up stories or reading works of fiction, children expand their vocabulary base.
  • Imagination helps children grow up to be adults who are creative thinkers. Without imagination, would Alexander Graham Bell have invented the telephone? Would Thomas Edison have invented the lightbulb?
  • Imagination helps children understand reality. In a 2009 article in the Wall Street Journal, Paul Harris, who is a development psychologist and professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Education studying imagination, said, "Whenever you think about the Civil War or the Roman Empire or possibly God, you're using your imagination." 
I want all of those things for my children, and if encouraging them to use their imaginations will help them to achieve bigger and better things, that is wonderful.

I have to laugh because, as I was writing this, Sassy just came downstairs dressed in one of the twins' old dance costumes and play high heels to tell me that she just jumped into the water in her room because "the blanket is the water and these (holding up her high heels) are my pool shoes." Imagination at work!

    Saturday, June 4, 2011

    Cupcake Decorating

     Today we are having a birthday party for The Boy, Soccer Girl, and Ballerina. We were so busy in May that we weren't able to find a day to have a party for them, so we're finally able to have one today. This morning, the three of them helped decorate the cupcakes for the party.


     I know that they are excited about getting to spend time with their friends and can't wait until the party starts this afternoon.

    Hair Bow

    One would think that, as a mom of 4 girls, I would know a lot about hair bows. Sadly, no, I don't; I'm not a real frilly type mom. My girls, however, are frilly girls (some of them) and love hair bows. I decided I would learn how to make my own hair bows for the girls. I made this one yesterday to match a dress that Soccer Girl loves to wear.

    I'm pretty happy with the result and can't wait to make some more!

    Thursday, June 2, 2011

    Polished Nails

    Today is Day 2 for our 30 Days of Creativity. We didn't have a lot of time to do something creative because we went to visit PopPop today. The kids were very excited to spend some time with their grandpa today.
    I took some other pictures of the kids while we were there. The picture of Little Red is so very much her personality - I love that girl! Originally, the picture of the girls had all 5 small people in it. The Boy was standing behind them, and as soon as I went to snap the picture, he jumped out of the shot. Silly boy! He hates getting his picture taken. I ended up cropping out all of that empty space in the picture.




    So, like I said, our creativity was painting our nails. Well, not The Boy's of course, and Ballerina decided she didn't want hers painted. Not the most creative activity ever, but the girls enjoyed it. They loved that I even painted mine as well. (No, my nails are not a part of the picture; I have ugly feet.)
    We had one other creative activity today. Robb coached the varsity homeschool girls' soccer team this spring, and he had made a deal with the girls that he would dye his hair whatever color they chose if they did well in the homeschool tournament. They came in 2nd place with a very dramatic win in their final game, so he said he would keep his end of the deal. The girls chose orange since that was the team's color. So today, he went and had his hair dyed.
    In other news, my order from My Father's World came this evening. I can't wait to start getting all of my lessons put into Homeschool Tracker for next year.

    Wednesday, June 1, 2011

    Sidewalk Paint

    When I came across a recipe for Homemade Sidewalk Paint at Come Together Kids, I knew this would be perfect.

    Supplies:
    • cornstarch
    • water
    • food coloring
    • paint brushes
    • small containers





    To make the paint, mix equal parts of cornstarch and water in the small containers; I used 1/3 cup of each. Thankfully, I had kept the small containers from dying Easter eggs, and they were perfect for making our paints. Mix the cornstarch and water well; it will be a little gloppy at the bottom. Then I added food coloring to make the colors I wanted.





    After mixing the paint, it was time for the fun! Using paintbrushes, the small people created their own masterpieces in the driveway. Although the paint is a little watery, the colors simply POP when the paint dries. This will definitely become a repeat activity.



    Ballerina working on her flower stem.


    The Boy had to make a Clemson Tiger paw.
    Sassy created a very abstract piece of art.
    Soccer Girl made a cat.
    Little Red wanted to use every color to create her masterpiece.
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