October 28, 2009


I've been denying it for a while now, but Sophia has outgrown her crib. She's climbed out of it several times, but the last straw was last night when I went to check on her before I went to bed and couldn't open the door to her room because she had fallen asleep in front of it! She's a busy kid and I've known that since she was a 6 month old fetus, so the crib kind of offered a sort of cage-like function...and this, I liked...a lot. But it's all over now.
This old iron bed I found at an antique store this summer and Dad kindly scraped and painted it for me. The quilts are really old too...they were made by my uncle's great-grandmother, 100 years old or so!! Anyway, I'm really loving the Shabby Chic thing right now, as you can see.

Here's the princess in her new shabbed-out bed...

Night-night, Sissy! Oh, another milestone...where does the time go?

October 25, 2009


In September and October, we've been studying fruits and nuts for nature study. One of the things we did while studying them was making dye from walnuts. My kids loved doing this project. As a guide to our study, we've been using Shining Dawn's Fruit and Nut study and it is so good. Click here to view more details. The idea for this dye came from this book.

Here's how we did it: 

We started with a handful of black walnut shells... (thank you, Gina!)

The the boys took turns taking whacks at them till they were pretty smashed...

then we had to put the shells in an old nylon and let it soak in a pot of water for three days. After the three days were up, we had to boil it for about an hour, then leave it overnight again...(yes, this was a time-consuming project :)

After all that, we soaked some pieces of fabric in the dye for several hours....

Here's how it turned out. It was a great way to incorporate hands-on learning into nature study. My kids loved this.

October 22, 2009


With the new Where the Wild Things Are  movie out and all the hype about it, we thought we'd jump on board. We've loved this book forever....I think they like it because there's a naughty little boy in it :)

Anyway, here's out weekly art project, little Wild Things and King Max. They may look scary, but they're just toilet paper tubes!

Jack's...yes, I helped with Max's face...Jack was burning out on art!
Noah's project....

Good job, boys...'I'll eat you up, I love you so.'


Our October artist was Henri Rousseau. Every artist we study has his own specialties that draw us in and make us want  to learn more. Rousseau's drawing qualities are his captivating jungle scenes with animals that look like they're staring straight at you. The boys really liked reading about Henri Rousseau. 

Here's some of their versions of Rousseau's jungle scenes.

Jack's (tiger on the left and giraffe on the right)

Noah's (tiger and a lost hunter!)

Handy Resources for Henri Rousseau

October 16, 2009


If you're looking for a quick and easy and beautiful art project to do with your kids this month, this is it! We made Indian Corn art this week and it turned out So good! The kids even loved it--probably because it involved sticking their fingers in paint. Either way, they're perfect!

How to make Indian Corn art 

Start with fall colored paints and a light outline of a corn cob shape on some cardstock...

Have them use their sweet little fingers to make the kernels with the paint...

Use glue dots to stick on corn husks.
If you don't have corn husks, you can also find those online as well.

Jack's Corn...
Noah's Corn

October 14, 2009


Noah likes to use words like "gigantical" and phrases like "this is the best {insert noun} in the entire universe." So last Friday, (before it started snowing) he wanted to rake up the biggest, most gigantical piles of leaves ever!! So he set out to work in the yard for quite a while. He's the kid that would be out there raking forever and forget to ever jump in it, so I helped with that by bringing the other two kiddos to "help" him.

Jack helped Noah by somersaulting into the gigantic pile.....
...and Sophia thought she was helping by grabbing big handfuls of leaves and throwing them :)
Noah did end up making an awesomely gigantic pile of leaves that was enjoyed by all!

October 12, 2009


Despite the chilly weather yesterday, we took our yearly trip to Sica Hollow State Park for our usual time of romping around the forest. The leaves were gorgeous yesterday, even though we have had a hard frost. I thought we might have missed a lot of the leaves and color, but not so!
The kids love it here. They brought their binoculars this year and pretended they were explorers. With the trails and trees, I'm sure for a kid it's easy to make believe!
This was Sophia's first year she could run on the trails herself. Last year, I was toting her around in my Baby Bjorn. We've come every year for about the last 5 or 6, so we've brought our kids when they were very small. Jack's first time at Sica Hollow was when he was only 2 months old.
Oh yes, she was also an explorer!
We spotted him on our way back to the car. Jack and Noah weren't big fans, but Sophia would have taken him home if we'd have let her!
It was a great day! Sica Hollow is one of our favorite fall traditions.
Have a great day!

October 10, 2009


When it's time for fall decorating, I always leave my outside decorating to my dad...yes, my dad. The one that wears coveralls and boots everyday. :) Making corn shocks have kind of become his thing. He's so particular about whatever he's doing so when making these, he has to make sure they are perfectly symmetrical to each other and perfectly circular and the husks on the corn are pulled back just so. He does a great job and fast too...surprisingly, he gets these all set up in about 15 minutes! Oh, and they will never blow over, even in our 100mph wind. I was going to share how he builds these, but I did not ask his permission and he may not be willing to give up his secrets :) (I'll let you know on a later post if he lets me!)

Anyway, thanks Dad...you rock at fall decor!!

Corn shocks...it's a good thing.

PS: Sophia is also really enjoying the corn shocks...here she is pictured eating the corn off of one!

October 9, 2009


Read on to check out our art lesson of the week....

First we started with egg carton "eyes"..... Then the boys created their own "feather" paper with newspapers and paint. They especially enjoyed the flicking of paint!

This is how it turned out. The point was to show them they could create within their creation...
They cut this paper into feather shapes and glued them onto their owl body. After gluing on their eyes and feathers, they added a stick from the yard as a perch for Old Wise Owl....


The finished project....Tada!!

Jack's owl

Noah's owl
(I found this project at That Artist Woman's blog...she's got super fun craft projects for kids!)

October 2, 2009


This picture so inspired me yesterday. We had just come in from outside and Sophie saw how I put my shoes there and hers beside them and after she stared at them for a minute, she giggled as she stuffed her shoes inside mine. I took the picture because I thought it was so cute that she did it, but then I got to thinking....everything I do throughout the day, she's right there beside me. If I'm vacuuming, she'd like to be...if I'm doing laundry, she's dumping in the soap. Then I kind of freaked! I felt like she was saying to me, "Mom, I so want to be like you, I'm going literally follow your footsteps by sticking my shoes in yours."
I see my behaviorisms in Sophia all the time...that irritated "huffy" sound when I'm bugged by something/someone, her o.c.d.-ness that everything needs to be straight and orderly...overturned corners of rugs even bother her like they do me!
Do I really want her to follow my every step? Am I showing her the kind of woman I want her to be someday? Am I doing a good enough job at this?? It gave me a reminder that they're all watching my every move...so, model for them the kind of behavior I want them to have!

Thank You, God, for the reminder that I always have "spectators"! :)


(Grown by Noah, Jack and Sophia and a little help from me)
Six little pumpkins sitting on a gate,
The first one said, "Oh my it's getting late."
The second one said, "There are witches in the air."
The third one said, "But we don't care."
The fourth one said, "Let's run and run and run."
The fifth one said, "I'm ready for some fun."
The six one said, "The fun has just begun."
"Whoooo!" went the wind and out went the light,
And the six little pumpkins rolled out of sight. :)
Happy October, everybody!!

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