Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Irish Dancing at the Library

It is no secret how much I appreciate our library. We love to take advantage of all it offers! Last Thursday, we attended a performance of the Celtic Rhythum Dancers, a local Irish dance troupe. I didn't know how interested Jonathan would be, but he really enjoyed it, and so did I. The group was made up of a wide variety of ages, from preteen to senior citizens, and their timing was spot-on.
After the performance, audience members were given the opportunity to try their hand at a dance. Jonathan jumped right in there to see what he could do!

I love that he will step outside his comfort zone and try new things. I wish I did more of that! It was another fun evening and a new experience for us, thanks to our library.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Spring Has Sprung....Or Is It Summer??

It's hard to tell! The calendar says its the beginning of spring, the thermometer says summer. We have had record heat with highs in the upper 80's. We have been outside quite a bit these past few days.

I have been trying to work a little in the yard. I've been weeding and removing winter debris from from flower beds. One area is done with many more to do. I want to eventually get the landscaping as maintenance free as possible, I just don't have the time or energy for hours and hours of yard work.

This is next:

Jonathan was very helpful with spreading the mulch, but he made time to play, too. He was drawing and doing math with his sidewalk chalk.

Rain is in the forecast for today and the weekend, but we have certainly enjoyed the sunshine this week!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Our Weekend

It was a busy weekend around here, following a hectic week. Last week was filled with doctor appointments, oil change appointments, cleaning and more! There was no school on Friday, so we went to lunch with friends and then went to see the movie "The Lorax". Take your child to see it, it's a really cute movie.
Saturday began with Jonathan's last class at NKU. He brought home a meal worm pupa, which I am hoping matures into a beetle which will will release back to nature. This is one of the projects they did in class while studying metamorphoses. I love how the different pasta shapes were used! For some reason, he wrote his "p" backwards when writing "pupa".

We stopped for a haircut on the way home, and my boy is sporting a new 'do! I am still not sure how I feel about it. It does look cute, but he looks so much older! He is very pleased with his new look.

In the afternoon, my grandchildren arrived to spend the night. It was fun! We played outside, did some crafts, took a walk to the park and searched for four leaf clovers. Each child found one, I was really surprised! We ordered pizza for dinner, and later we watched the movie "Rio" and had popcorn. The kids went home around noon on Sunday and Jonathan & I went to another fun party at the library. This one was "Aliens & Monsters". Once again, the library did not disappoint!
Dusting mitts with googly eyes decorate the table. Brilliant!
Pie tin spaceships

Feed the monster game, toss balls into its mouth

The walls were decorated with aliens and monsters for the kids to color

Pin the eye on the alien

They were given a cupcake then they chose various candies to make their cupcake look like a monster

The party closed with a monster pinata

An action-packed weekend meant one tired little boy and one tired Mommy Sunday evening, but it sure was fun!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Mom, Why Are You Taking Picture of the Dirty Floor?

That's what Jonathan is asking here. Why, to show you all my progress in getting some things done around here!! I have pulled out the refrigerator and cleaned behind it, vacuumed the coils and banished the dust bunnies. This is when I first pulled it out from the wall.
Quite a bit of dirt under there, but not as as much as I expected. I can't move my stove out by myself, so when Handyman Ken came to take care of a few things, I asked him to move the stove and cleaned underneath it while he worked on other things. It was much worse than under the refrigerator!
 When the washing machine repairmen were here, I asked them to give me a little time to clean the floor under the washer. No pictures, because I had to hurry with two repairmen standing there waiting for me to clean! It feels really good to know these areas have been thoroughly cleaned.
This is a little project Ken did for me. He installed these boards with rows of hooks on the inside of the pantry door. I am trying make use of wasted space, and I love having my measuring cups ready to use without having to dig through a cabinet for them. He also added a high second shelf to the coat closet to store things I don't need very often.

I am making progress, slowly but surely! I hope to do some things outside and in the garage this month. I'll keep you updated! It helps keep me accountable.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Sugar Camp!

On Feb. 27, we were fortunate enough to get to go to Sugar Camp, a free hands-on morning with costumed guides sponsored by our county parks system. It was so much fun! The camp was from 10-11:30 AM, so we went before his afternoon kindergarten class. We had lunch with friends after camp, then off to school!
We learned how maple syrup is made and how this was done in the 1790's by both Native Americans and settlers. The group was limited to about 20 and the weather was beautiful. The sap was running freely!
We were able to drink sap from cups, straight from the tree. I thought it would be sticky and thick, but it was just like water, with a hint of sweetness to it.
We sampled the end result, delicious maple syrup!

We watched wooden spiles being made, and Jonathan got to help make one and to bring it home with him.

We followed our guide through the woods to the trees to collect the sap. Also, we got to help hammer the spile into the trees, carry sap back to camp and collect firewood.
Following our guide

Holding the hammer to put the spile in the tree

Showing the kids how to identify a maple tree when there are no leaves

Collecting sap

Collecting firewood

Building a fire

With his friends in a wiki

The sap is boiled into syrup in these kettles
We sampled venison sausage and eggs cooked over a wood fire. It was surprisingly good!

I don't know which one of us had more fun! I would highly recommend this to anyone! It would be a great class for children who are homeschooled and I will absolutely take him out of class for the morning if they do this next year. A photographer from the Cincinnati/Kentucky Enquirer was there taking pictures, and guess who was in the newspaper the following day?

The camp was open to the public on Saturday so we went back for a little while after his bug class. It was much colder Saturday! There were lots of demos: blacksmiths, weavers, and more. He got to make a cornhusk doll (with a little help) and knitted a bookmark all by himself using straws and his fingers.
The blacksmith and his tinker's cart


His cornhusk doll and bookmark

I am so happy to be in area that offers such great free programs. I am sure most areas do, I just never searched for them until I had Jonathan. What fun we have!!

Monday, March 5, 2012

"Keep Me Safe 'Til The Storm Passes By"

Drive to the end of my subdivision. Turn left. Drive approx. 5-6 miles. You don't have to make another turn. You will see a small sign marking the city limits of a small town: Piner. Drive a little farther down the road and you'll see the devastation shown on the front page of yesterday's paper.
According to news reports, 90 homes leveled. 250 are uninhabitable. 3 are confirmed dead. That is just the damage to this one small community.
On Friday there were severe storms and tornadoes all over the Midwest. Our tri-state area of Kentucky, Ohio and Indiana was hit especially hard.
Driving along yesterday, Jonathan and I saw a porch swing in a tree. I have always wanted a swing in a tree! But not like that. Not turned upside down on the top of the tree.
I feel blessed, and so very thankful. We are safe and we have an undamaged home. The tornado was so close, yet so far away, as is the nature of a tornado. I feel so sad and heartbroken for the storm victims. Helpless. However, the community is rallying around its own, and help is pouring in. Recovery has begun.
I remember my mother singing the hymn in the title of this post. Now it has a new meaning.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Thank You, Theodor Giesel

108 years ago, a baby boy was born in Massachusetts. He grew up to write books that have delighted generations of children with their silly rhymes and characters with funny names. Suddenly, reading is fun! Jonathan loves Dr. Seuss books just as much as his big brother did 35 years ago.
So, today we honored Dr. Seuss with some fun activities and treats. A Google search turned up a few fun printables and I was off and running!
I printed this fun One Fish Two Fish placemat from The ObSEUSSed Home Librarian. I laminated them (I made three, we took a little treat package to our neighbor's two girls) and had it on the table when Jonathan woke up this morning.
I decorated a small fish bowl (found in the vase section of Dollar Tree, it's not really a fish bowl) and filled it with goldfish crackers. I made a copy of the cover of Jonathan's book, cut out the title and the fish, and used his glue stick to glue them to the vase.

Next I gathered supplies to make these Cat in the Hat treats.

I baked cupcakes last night and frosted them this morning. The Thing 1 and Thing 2 printables also came from the ObSEUSSed Home Librarian. Don't add the cotton candy hair until almost time to serve. It will last about an hour and then it begins to melt.

Who says green eggs and ham are only for breakfast? Jonathan had green deviled eggs, ham and crackers for lunch before heading off to school.

We read a few Dr. Seuss books and started "The Lorax", which we didn't have time to finish. We will probably see the movie on spring break. Jonathan watched a bit of "The Cat In The Hat Knows A Lot About That" marathon on PBS.
We took cupcakes, hat treats, placemats and a bowl of goldfish to our neighbors, and Jonathan took one of these to all the kids in his class:

It was a fun morning! I didn't get very much done around the house, but Jonathan & I made some memories, and that is more important.
Thank you, Theodor Giesel, a.k.a. Dr. Seuss, for making our kids laugh, for allowing them to be silly while they learn, and for giving us 44 timeless children's books.