Saturday, February 26, 2011

Life imitating art

    When I came up with the idea of a kids arts show, I had no idea that the many children in my life were SUCH a creative bunch. There was no way for me to guess what a mix of projects would line my living room wall and cover the tables! Our collective gallery featured photography, pencil portraits, abstract paintings, clay sculpture, a collection of paper doll dresses, a collage, a cave wall rendering, a large sculpture and even a stop-motion film. To say I was impressed would be an understatement. I think this may just evolve into an annual event!


Friday, February 18, 2011

Sick Day Schooling

     When your whole family is sick with the flu, lesson plans kinda go right out the window. When you feel better but your kids are now fighting off pneumonia and bronchitis, and the steroids give them mood-swings, you continue to just wing it ;) 
     Reading was slow this week, as you have to breathe to accomplish reading out loud to kids. Breathing with the flu is strained enough! I did manage to read a small handful as bedtime stories and Nic read a couple library short stories to himself, and that will have to suffice. 
     What we did a lot of, however, was watch tv. See, you can huddle under a blanket because your cold, even though your temp is 103, while you watch tv from the big comfy couch. Thanks to our Netflix subscription we were able to instant order a whole season of Mythbusters and Sid the Science Kid. Hello, science :) Having gone to the library a few days before we fell ill was a big help too. We watched dvds on artist Degas and math dvds. We even had a dvd all about germs and getting the flu. Hello, irony.
     It was sunny while we were sick, and our playgroup went to the playground for the first time in months. We sick uns stayed put. I did open the door and let the warm air come inside, and as soon as the kids felt up to it we hung out in the backyard. Sydney attempted watercolors outside, but tonkered out pretty quickly. It was followed by yet another nap on the couch. 
     Melting old crayons in the oven while in a muffin tin was a fun activity for her while sick though. Peeling the paper was the hardest part, I had to do pretty much all of that. She sorted and watched melt. Then she experimented with them after they cooled into disks and decide the were good for scribbles but not for drawing. 

Once Nic felt like remaining upright for a bit, I let him play with food coloring and an ice mold. He was pretty amazed at how the running colors would stick like veins to the ice, even holding their original "drop" shape at some points. I thought it was pretty beautiful. 


Friday, February 11, 2011

The flu has found my house!

Looks like the flu has come, totally uninvited of course. It started with Sydney and has made its way to Nic. I'm starting to feel something in my chest and throat, and so is Jeff. Our happy weekend plans have all been canceled, leaving me bummed. Today was supposed to be filled with storytime and a Valentine's Day party. Nic has birthday tickets to see the monster truck show tomorrow, but now he won't be going. 

It's hard seeing my kids all bundled up in their beds with fevers and glassy eyes. I'm already feeling the exhaustion of dispensing meds every 4 hours for fever, a productive cough, opening up the lungs, etc. I think I need a nap.  


Friday, February 4, 2011

January 2011 Reading List

Here are some noteworthy books that we read during the month of January.

Oh No!(or How my Science Project Destroyed the World) This is a cute story about a science fair project that goes wrong. More pictures than words, this story came home from the library with us in hopes that it would inspire my children for the upcoming Homeschool Science Fair. They both really enjoyed it, lots of laughter. I enjoyed the fact that the main character, a kid scientist, is a girl. 

The 2nd book in The Universe Tells Our Earth Story, this book was pulled off the shelf to be a bedtime story by Sydney. I started reading and soon Nic came in to listen as well. It was too long for just one night, so my disappointed children had to wait until the next day to finish the story. Very visually stimulating, we spent a good bit of time looking over the artwork on each page after reading. We have the series and will be reading book 3 soon.

This a favorite storybook of mine, purchased when Sydney was just 1 and we read a copy at the doctor's office. I read it to her so many times that it fell apart, so this is our 2nd copy :) She pulled it from the shelves for bedtime several nights this month, which of course just make me reminisce and remind me of how much she has grown. Anyhow, it's a simple book about a mother's love. Quite cute, rhyming, and beautifully illustrated. 

Nic does his own night-time reading these days and his new obsession is Disney's Club Penguin. He has been staying up to read the books he got as gifts and has also brought a couple home from the library. I was proud that he went and asked a librarian for help requesting some books that he wanted and didn't see on the shelves. I wouldn't be surprised if he chose a Club Penguin book as his topic during the next kids bookclub. 

And Tango Makes Three This is a delightful, and true, story about 2 male penguins who have chosen eachother as life partners in the Central Park Zoo. After seeing the other couples make a nest and take care of an egg, Roy and Silo do their best to simulate with a nest and rock. They were later given the chance to be parents and hatch a real egg. This book was the most challenged book from 2006-2009 according to the American Library Association, even being banned in some areas. Our copy was borrowed from the Parenting section of the library. My children asked for me to read it again, as it was quite funny and such a sweet story. 

History finds us on the Oregan Trail, so I thought the story of the Ingalls family moving West would tie in nicely. This is a story that both of my kids have been able to get into. They both showed fear and compassion when Jack (the dog) is lost after crossing the swift moving river, and both were shocked when Pa and Ma just start BUILDING A HOUSE. They both agree that a cup and candy cane make for a pretty shabby Christmas - I guess if anything they are learning just how good they have it!

Fancy Nancy is a relatively new character in our house. Sydney adores this little girls style and fashion and often tells me that she is dressing like Fancy Nancy when she piles on the accessories to her mis-matched outfits. I love the new vocabulary that these books introduce her too. Our Posh Puppy book was anything but, coming to us from my favorite store...Goodwill! I've added quite a few new bedtime stories onto our shelves for the bargain price of around $1 each, and this has quickly become a favorite. If I find the dog, or cat for that matter, dress-up then I'll surely know where she got the idea.

We just got a whole stack full of books from the library today, including several suggestions from one of my best friends at , so our February reading list should be nice and full!