Friday, 30 November 2012

Winter Wonderland??

Well . . . not quite yet but here's hoping!  Bring on the white stuff!  

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

One of the perks . . .

. . . of learning at home is that we can do it in comfort.  At the end of last week, the tables we usually use for school had been taken down temporarily and so we did school work on the floor in our comfy clothes.  Pillows, blankets, stuffed animals, a real animal . . . !  Fun.  The kids loved it - it was a nice change.  

Frodo was right in there with the two stuffed animals.  Cute!  

And when he was done helping the kids with their school work, he curled up for a little nap.  

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Building Blocks

Speaking of busy work . . . these blocks were given to us this summer by a neighbour.  And normally I'm not a big fan of more toys entering our house – we have too much as it is!  But anyway, these blocks have been a hit . . . especially with Samara and Denver.  If I'm working with Victoria and Austin on something, Samara and Denver have been known to play quietly in the room with these blocks.  I'm don't know what they’re called but I guess they’re the same idea as Lego and they sure bring out the imagination (as you can see in the pics below).  Denver often will carry the bucket out of the school room and go play on his own with them even.  I love simple toys like these – easy to get out and play for a while with and easy to clean up too!  

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Three Dimensional Pop Out Shapes

I like the kids to do "busy work) while we do our read alouds.  Sometimes they can come up with their own thing - finger knitting, drawing, colouring, bracelet making, a puzzle, etc.  But sometimes I give them an activity to do too.  The other day I had Victoria and Austin do these three dimensional pop out shapes.  I got the idea from here.  They drew them with pencil first and then traced the lines with a black sharpie marker.  The colouring in was done with oil pastels.  I love how they turned out.  

Victoria's is the blue one and Austin's is the red one.  

Monday, 12 November 2012

A Poppy is to Remember

Our Remembrance Day art started with reading the book A Poppy is to Remember.  We talked about the importance of November 11th and about the freedom we enjoy as Canadians.  

I got this project idea from here.  We started our art by cutting out word columns from the newspaper and gluing them on our white paper to add some texture.  Then we painted over the whole thing with blue paint.  We painted coffee filters red and left it all to dry.  Once dry, we finished it up cutting the middles out of the coffee filters and gathering them into poppy shapes.  We stapled the centres to hold them together and glued them onto our page.  A button was glued on for the centre of the poppies and then stems were added with black marker.  The final touch was the title which we tore out of paper, inked the edges and attached with pop-ups. 

Victoria's finished work.  
Samara's finished work.
Austin's finished work.
Denver's finished work.

Saturday, 10 November 2012

Fall Fun

The season of Fall isn't complete until you've had some good ol' fashion fun jumping in a big pile of leaves!  My camera was on the wrong setting so the action pics of the actual jumping didn't turn out . . . but here are a few of the kids in the leaf pile.  

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Book Review - The Devil in Pew Number Seven

It was a bit of a coincidence (or maybe not) that I had this book on my “to read” list and happened to pick it up to read this week.  Our pastor spoke on forgiveness this Sunday at church and so our discussion in our small group was also about forgiveness.  I actually had no idea what this book was about but my mom read it this summer and told me it was good.  I had it done in no time because I couldn't put it down.  It is actually quite a disturbing story and I had to keep reminding myself that it is a true story because it just seems so unreal that someone could act with so much evil.   The author tells the story of growing up as the daughter of a preacher and their family was terribly persecuted by someone attempting to run them out of the church and the town.  If you've never heard the story, I don’t want to spoil it for you but I will say that there is a whole lot of loss and hurt that happens – things that are, humanly speaking, unforgivable.  After telling the story, the author (Rebecca Nichols Alonzo) talks about forgiveness and how her parents taught her and modelled forgiveness in a big way.  She says we need to practice speaking the language of forgiveness – just as we would learn any new language.  I thought this was powerful: 

“This side of heaven, it’s easy to be preoccupied with settling the score . . . of fighting back . . . of hurting those who have hurt us . . . or, at the very least, withholding forgiveness out of spitefulness to those who have wronged us.  I've never claimed to be an expert on the subject, but I do know this:  If I allow myself to go down the pathway of rage and retaliation, several things happen, and none of them are good.  Here are my top four:

My sins will not be forgiven by God if I refuse to forgive those who have sinned against me. 

I miss an opportunity to show God’s love to an unforgiving world. 

I'm the one who remains in jail when I withhold God’s grace by failing to forgive. 

If I have trouble forgiving, it might be because I'm actually angry at God, not at the person who wronged me.”

If you can get through the horrific events in the book, it’s worth the read just to see the outcome – an incredible act of forgiveness.  

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

How to Wear a Vest

So when the rest of us are bundling up to go out on a crisp fall day, this is how Denver is getting ready.  A hat and a vest - but no shirt!  It's a cute look Denver but seriously, you should wear a shirt under that vest.  

Today he got away with it for a little while.  He was outside playing with his sister before I realized he had the vest on again . . . with no shirt!   He often walks around the house with no shirt on - he says he's hot - but I have to draw the line when we're heading outside!  

A Fall Hike (Part 2)

As we were walking along the pathway, we came across a man and his dog.  Right away Victoria went up to him to ask if she could pet his dog – which he said was fine.  The dog was so full of energy – being just 18 months old.  She had found a stick along the way and that was her stick that she was very possessive of.  At first the kids spent a few minutes with the dog throwing the stick for her a few times.  And then I told the kids that we should let the man go on his way.  But the man didn't mind and said the kids could continue to play with the dog.  The dog loved it and the man appreciated having a break from throwing the stick over and over and over again for the dog who never seemed to tire.  And what a funny dog she was!  She wanted to play but also gave the kids a hard time when they tried to get the stick from her.  She particularly loved it when they threw it into the water for her.  She loved to swim out to fetch her stick.  So we ended up spending at least a half an hour hanging out with this kind man and his dog.  Another unexpected treat on this particular afternoon. 

At one point the man said to me, "That's one determined little girl you got there!"  Ha - you got that one right sir!  After such a short time hanging out, he got it exactly right!  That's our girl - determined as anything and never giving up!  

This picture makes me laugh so hard!  The dog is partway down the hill going into the swamp pulling as hard as she can on the stick. Samara is holding on as hard as she can to the stick trying to get it away from the dog and Austin is holding on as hard as he can to Samara's leg so she doesn't fall down the hill into the swamp!  LOL!  Hilarious.  

A Fall Hike (Part 1)

We had the van in to have new tires put on it last Saturday.  Unfortunately there was a problem and when I called to tell them about it, it turned out I had to bring the van in.  Because we're homeschooling four children, we usually try to schedule these things in the evening or on weekends so I don’t have to drag four kids along with me.  But the mechanic said it would only take half an hour and I figured we could go for a nice walk while we waited.  (The van actually took more than an hour and a half but that’s beside the point!)  The point is that, despite the annoyance of having to have the van back in again on a weekday afternoon, we had a great time on our hike – climbing, balancing, running, skipping, laughing, exploring, breathing in fresh air, etc. . . . We ended up having an unexpected afternoon of fun, just hanging outside together.  

Love these pictures of all the kids looking out at something.  I never set them up that way but it just works out that I have a bunch of these kind of pictures in different locations.  Fun!  

This picture made me laugh because when I looked closer, I noticed Austin is wearing crocs! LOL.  

Brotherly love.  

He found the stick he wanted and took half the forest with it!  

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