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Friday, December 25, 2015

Homemade Gift for Daddy

Nothing is more wonderful than a gift made by your family, and most especially kids! 
The big problem, for me anyway, is storage of these projects and pictures. You can hang some and place a few on the shelf but soon you need to store them or **cough** throw them out. 
This year for daddy's birthday I saw this picture pillow. 
I used fabric markers and a couple plan pillows...viola! Art to rest your head on! 

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Adventures in Upcycling: Coloring Glass Jars

I have been saving up all manner of jars with the idea of using them as a center piece for our dining table. I had no real idea what it would be but I knew jars would be involved. I saved Starbucks frapacinno jars, spaghetti jars, small Canada Dry bottles, and pickle jars. 
Once I had a good number I searched around to find the best and easiest ways to color them. These two points converged in a modpodge and food coloring craft. 
I will lay it out for you!!
Add enough modpodge to the jar to be able to cover the interior of the jar.  Mix food coloring in the modpodge and rotate the jar until the whole inside is covered.
On a counter lay out some newspaper or napkins and let the jars dry upside down for about an hour. 
Then set them right side up in a baking sheet and bake for an additional hour in a warm oven, 250-300, until the are nice and clear with no streaks. 

What really made the project sing was the rope. I wrapped the rope and secured it with hot glued three bottles at a time together. It will make it much easier to move them off the table when I need more room. 

Hot glue, the handy crafter's secret weapon!!

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Adventures in Upcycling : Can planters

Fun garden DIY to start off the week!

I absolutely love this low cost way to jazz up a boring old fence. 
We use a lot of the jumbo sized tomato sauce and green beans cans, so it was not too much trouble to wash them out and save them up. It took a few weeks of yelling "Stop! don't pitch that can!" and only a few dives into the kitchen trash can to get enough for the fence.
Once you have amassed enough cans simply add a little spray paint and screw them randomly onto the fence and pick out some flowers. I chose a variety of annual flowers and a couple annual vines to add more depth once they get growing.
A Low cost and low effort DIY with a big payoff. 
Froggy in the milk flowers! 
I know, I know! Really over done and soooo last year, but I love it all the same. 

Monday, August 3, 2015

Starting the School Year Right!

I am causing my normally type B personality to question itself with all the Type A preplanning I am accomplishing! I have up to week 7 of Classical Conversations notebooking pages created and have my new "busy work binders" ready and raring to go.
I have been doing extensive Mommy Blog research this summer and we are going to try out notebooking this year and incorporating them into, what I am calling, a Busy Work Binder.

You have questions? Well let me will elaborate!

Notebooking is pretty well know in homeschool circle, by here is the Readers Digest version for any newbies. Using a notebook, or binder in my case, students write out what they are learning and use color pages, matching, magazine clippings or their own illustrations to cement the concepts they notebooked.

Ta-Da notebooking in under 35 words!

I am endeavoring to combine notebooking with the Rise and Shine binder. What is a Rise and Shine binder? A fun learning tool I discovered at The Internet Mothership, aka Pinterest.

Here is a link to an example of these type binders that I am rebranding Busy Work Binder!
A few more pages that I am incorporating:

Here are a few of my pages

Hopefully these little puppies with help out when I need to focus on one kid at a time. My master plan is to have one kiddo work on the laminated pages and learning aids (math flash cards, letter cards and the like) while I work on math and/or reading with the opposite kiddo. Then we will work on the notebooking pages together during our CC memory work time.

I will track my data when the school year begins and keep you abreast (awesome word)
Saturday, July 5, 2014

Chain Reactions

We watched the Ok Go music video "This To Shall Pass" which is all a giant series of chain reactions. Sir J, who thought it was the bee's knees, watched it 5 or 6 times and then went straight to creating his own. Future engineer? 
Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Adventures in Gardening!

We check in with our heroine in the backyard of the family's new home, toasting under the July sun while working in her two 8X4 garden beds.
"Why are my strawberries rotting on the vine?" she ponders to no one it particular, seeing as everyone else is ensconced in the AC cooled house.
But, never fear lady hero! Google is on the case and revels that...wait for it...strawberries can't be left on the ground to ripen. They will rot. 
"Thank you Google!" Cries our relived, and somewhat embarrassed, heroine.
Tune in next time to see what other perils await our gardening maven!

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Sight Words Activities

We are working hard on our three "R"s, reading, writing, and arithmetic! 
I am on the hunt for fun ways to teach the reading part. 
Boys are notorious for being less than enthusiastic about learning to read, and I don't want to poison the well with well intentioned nagging. 
So, I am doing my best to make it fun and pressure free, but we still have to get it done! We are all readers and I can't wait to share that love with each of my kids. 
Here are a couple fun activities I have mined out of a google search and created for us in little to no time! 
The first is an egg flipping game. You flip the egg with a spatula once you have read to word. 
I used clip art and self sealing laminate sheets to quickly create a super fun sight word game. 
You can write in the back with a magic marker and then erase it when you want to change words by stibbleing over it with an erasable marker. 
I am also planning letter pancakes for Lillybug's preschool work. 

The other activity, sand words, is pretty straight forward. 
It will be wonderful for sight word reinforcement in a very tactile way. I like to try and create activities that stimulate all the ways of learning; visual, auditory and kinesthetic. 
Friday, October 18, 2013

Trash to Treasure

Lillian is into jewelry lately and is making all kinds of necklaces. So, during school work time today I got a excellent brainwave to make a necklace out of a TP roll and yarn!
I cut each roll into four pieces and let her watercolor paint and draw on them with markers. You could also add stickers and glitter.
Then once she had made her "beads" she strung them on the yarn.
Super easy, fun and a great way to entertain her during our lesson time.
Yippy for toilet paper rolls, they never let me down!

Monday, October 7, 2013

Classical conversations

We are embarking on our Classical Conversations journey this school year!
So far we are really enjoying it and James seems to be responding to the curriculum very well.

If you are unfamiliar with Classical Conversations, it is based heavily on memorization and the classical model of learning. (the classical in Classical Conversations) ;)

I am really loving it because it is very paperwork light! We go over our memory work with the aid of maps and songs, we read literature about a time period or idea, watch videos and do projects to reinforce the memorized work.

We still have to do our own math and reading work, but even that is just books and an online program Explode the Code.

All in all we are having fun so far this year!

Here is a smattering of what we have been up to...

Visiting the AWESOME replicas of the Nina and Pinta at the Florence Harbor  

Making a Medieval castle 
Our representation of the water cycle
Saturday, September 14, 2013

Huntsville Botanical Gardens

Trip to the botanical gardens in Huntsville.
James and Lillian when to a class about Dinos, then we walked the gardens.
They aren't the biggest botanical gardens I have been to, but the children's garden is the bomb! (Pardon my 90's expression)
It is fairy tale themed and super cute. It has lots of fun things like mazes, paths, a rainbow section, water play areas, and a butterfly garden.
I got in some trouble with the kids because I didn't know about the afore mentioned water play areas and didn't have our suits.
Next time!!

Monday, June 10, 2013

South Africa

We are having so much fun learning about different cultures!
Last week James and I spent probably 20 minutes on YouTube looking at Chinese dances, and he really enjoyed comparing a picture of a rooster and a picture of China and pointing out the similarities.

This week is South Africa!

South africa is located on the southern most tip of the continent of Africa. 
The largest city is Johannesburg which started as a gold rush tent city. Another famous city is Cape Town. It is known as the mother city and was the first western city in South Africa.

  • South Africa has 11 official languages Afrikaans, English, Ndebele, Xhosa, Zulu, Sesotho (Southern Sotho), Sesotho sa Leboa (Northern Sotho), Setswana, Swati, Tshivenda, and Xitsonga  
  • English, afrikaans and Xhosa are the most widely used. 
  • Here is some Afrikaans to try out!
  • Good day - Goeie dag

  • My name is ... - My naam is ( sounds like: may narm is...)

  • Mom - ma

  • Dad - pa

  • Teacher - juffrou (yifrow)

  • Food - kos

  • I am hungry - ek is honger

  • Thank you - dankie

  • Yes - ja

  • No - nee

    Chalk South African Map

    Fun African Folk Tales

    South African Foods
    Biltong - Jerky
    Rusks - crisp type of convectionery often eaten with coffee and given to teething children
    Bovril - beef extract spread for bread
    Ptjiekos - a casserole prepared on a three-legged pot over an open fire
    Braai - chops and sausage on an open fire
    Melktert - milk tart
    Easy Buttermilk Rusks (kids can help with this)
    1,5kg self-raising flour
    375ml sugar
    a pinch of salt
    500g margarine/butter
    500ml sour milk*
    1. Pre-heat oven to 180oC.
    2. Mix all dry ingredients together.
    3. Rub in the margarine.
    4. Add sour milk and mix thoroughly.
    5. Roll into balls and place in greased bread pans.
    6. Bake for about an hour. Remove from pan and break or cut into pieces.
    7. Place on a rack to dry in a ‘cool’ oven.
    *Add a table spoon of lemon juice or vinegar to fresh milk if it is not sour.

    Tuesday, June 4, 2013

    EXTERMINATE!! Dalek Bag

    New at the My Crafty Momma Etsy store, Dalek extermination canvas bag!
    Love, love, love this bag!

    See this and more at My Crafty Momma