Monday, February 28, 2011

project ideas

After working on straight stitches, Seth learned a basic cross-stitch using gingham as recommended by Montessori Services. So far, both stitches have been completed with a tapestry needle which is very blunt.

The next sewing skills will involve sewing buttons, which means learning to tie knots, which is a good time to learn to tie shoelaces. So I quickly(don't laugh) made up this lacing card and only a few short minutes later, he was tying yarnlaces like a pro. He went to the closet and dragged out one of his Daddy's winter boots(the only tie shoes currently in the house)and proceeded to tie the boot perfectly. Now he wants real sneakers with shoelaces for this summer; I'm still rooting for velcro. :)

In my search for sewing projects online, I came across some very cute and doable projects suitable for both boys and girls. Here are a few of the best:

Toddler Sewing Basket

Sewing Buttons

Warm Hearts

Sunday, February 27, 2011

book sale

Ninety-nine dollars of books on the floor, ninety-nine dollars of books,
Take one down, pass it around, fifty gazillion more books on the floor.

Every February, a local church runs a huge used book sale and I drag home good stuff. This year was the biggest haul yet.

See any favorites? Anything I should put on top to be read first? The stacking order seen here was strictly done to keep the stack from toppling over. The girls were very eager to get close and make that happen. How I even managed to do this with them around should be the eighth Wonder of the Industrial World.

There are a few titles not pictured as they have already been pressed into service by our voracious readers.

Actually this is where the girls want to be when Seth and I sit on the couch to read and study together. And they each need a book to read or sing from, which would be fine until Kate decides to read in her pulpit voice which is very hard to compete with, so we don't. :)

Saturday, February 26, 2011

time flies

My parents were finally able to make it up for a visit the first weekend in February and my mother was able to stay for the last two weeks. We had a lovely visit and it's not easy to pack her car and watch her drive away. But we were able to do some nice things together and just enjoy her unfettered time with us. One of the things we were finally able to do was visit the newly remodeled Museum of Science and Nature in the city.
We took along one of Seth's friends who was allowed to miss his kindergarten class that Friday and what a great time they had together.
Not surprising, the dinosaur hall was the first area to be explored. These huge creatures with large mouths and sharp teeth were a bit intimidating or maybe it was just the creepy sounds heard in the dark, dark forest? Anyways, we had lots of new areas to see so we left them to eat the people coming behind us. :)

This is the Water exhibit which featured this skeleton of a blue whale found off the coast of Newfoundland in 1975. The skeleton is enormous and stretched the length of the room which may be hard to tell in the photo. I loved this whole room and could have easily spent a whole afternoon here.

Much of that time would have been spent admiring the various sea shells and and other marine life. I took this photo because I have this type of shell in my own collection and I wanted to remember the name. My childhood shell collection doesn't get very much respect in our home and as been frequently been the target of my husband's jokes about getting rid of junk. But I happily protest and the collection continues to gather dust in its corner of the basement. If we make it to the beach this summer, I'll be glad to sort through the old stuff to make room for some new specimens. :)

In the second half of the exhibit was this large ship which housed areas of play for kids. It came complete with marine scientists dress-up clothes and a large galley kitchen. It would have been nicer to stay here for the whole afternoon as everyone liked the different areas of pretend play.

Since I don't have a smart phone with an app that would scan the book's barcode and send it to my Amazon wishlist, I have to be low-tech and take a photo of the two books that appealed to me the most, in the reading area next to the ship. Normally I scribble down the book's ISBN number on some random paper in the purse and then months later when I get around to cleaning out my purse, I find the title and check it more thoroughly on Amazon. But these titles caught my eye and I have already added them to the ever-present wishlist.

I love this tank. The water and the greenery and the light and the rocks. It all looked like such a lovely spot to be in, minus the glass walls. :) There was a small turtle hanging out on the other side of the tank but we had trouble telling if it was alive or not, as it was quite motionless.

In the basement of the museum was a really nice area with live animal tanks of all sorts of creatures. Tarantulas(blech), Giant toads, Praying Mantises, and these huge Walking sticks among many other creatures. In my other childhood collection of insects, I had a lovely small walking stick which I was quite proud of. And last summer when a huge praying mantis found our newly installed roof rack an ideal hangout, the conversation drifted over to these other strange insects of which my husband was unfamiliar with. Of course, these walking sticks are much bigger than even I had ever seen outside, hence the need to take a picture.

We own many Franklin dvds and one of his friends is a snail. I never remember if Snail is a boy or girl, but there is one episode where Snail hurts his/her shell and gets a crack in it. For whatever reason, that episode grosses me out and I can barely stomach the animated cracked snail and the story that plays out. And to be honest, these Giant snails pretty much have the same effect. Their body is like a giant foot,(more blech) which is how they propel themselves. But I was fascinated by the size of their shell, of course.

God's creatures display such intricacies and wonder, I feel bad that some of them bring out the yuck factor in me, but I really do admire His handiwork, even if it is with a bit of a cringe and a shiver. :)

In the "Save the Polar regions" temporary exhibit was an area on Penguins. Given that Seth just recently read Mr. Popper's Penguins and is still all-about penguins, this area was met with delight. The penguin costumes fit so that the kids could mimic the way that penguins waddle and slide around on the ice.

And of course, fleecy pink pants slide just as well. :)

At the last exhibit, the boys found another play area at the Wild Bird Clinic which was a favorite from our previous visit a few years back. Seth and his friend donned the lab coats and rushed around "saving" birds and warming "eggs" and having a grand old time. I was sorry to have to tell them it was time to go.

We had a wonderful time and the girls did well on their stroller tour.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

used up

Pondering the beautiful side of being used up for the sake of another. May the name of Jesus Christ be magnified in our home as we seek to be used up for His glory and our good.

We love because He first loved us. 1 John 4:19