Monday, September 30, 2013


The past week (and weekend) absolutely flew by.  There wasn't much crafting happening, and even less writing, but there was certainly a lot of fun going on.  The annual carnival in town was this past weekend and the girls could hardly contain their excitement.  Of course if you had to wait "fifty hundred days" for the carnival you'd be pretty excited too.  
Carnival 6
Carnival 4
Carnival 12
Carnival 16
Carnival 17
Carnival 18
Carnival 20
Carnival 19

Sunday, September 29, 2013


I give to you a cape of light
to give you courage, strength and might.
You have polished your sword so strong, so bright
use it only for the right.

Today we celebrate together, a celebration of bravery and courage.  As we prepare for the fading of outer light as the seasons change, we turn inward and find our own strength that burns within ourselves.  For us Michaelmas is a time for facing our own fears and finding the bravery that lies within. 

Happy Michaelmas.

Friday, September 27, 2013

This Moment

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{this moment}
A Friday ritual inspired by Soulemama. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see
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Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Mentos and Diet Coke Fountain

Mentos 1
Have you tried this experiment yet?  This is the second time for us and it was just as much fun as the first time.  After watching the Mythbusters episode that featured the Mentos fountain Kinsley immediately added it the list of "do not try this at home" experiments that we were going to do at home.  This one is easy and fun for all ages though so we don't feel too badly about not following that warning.  If you have Netflix I definitely recommend that episode (or look it up on youtube) because it gives a lot of detail about what exactly is causing the reaction that creates this great fountain. 

But the experiment itself couldn't be easier.  Simply open a bottle of Diet Coke and drop in a couple Mentos.  And be prepared to run if you don't want a soda shower.  The first time we did the experiment we used one of these handy contraptions.  It was nice to have a string to keep you a bit farther away from the fountain (so you can skip that running away part) and to drop several more Mentos at once.  It wasn't necessary though.  We were able to get quite a fountain with just dropping 2-3 Mentos in at once, by hand. 

Mentos 2
Mentos 3
Mentos 4
Mentos 5
Mentos 6
Mentos 7
Mentos 8
We had neighborhood friends over to help with the experiment and obviously the kids were pretty impressed and couldn't wait to do it themselves. 

Mentos 9
Mentos 10
Mentos 11
By far the best reactions came from the smallest scientists...  
Mentos 12
Mentos 13
Mentos 14
I can't get over the look of sheer panic on Kait's face in that last picture.  I promise she really did have fun though!

Friday, September 20, 2013

This Moment

A Friday ritual inspired by Soulemama. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment.
A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see.

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This Moment

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Ballerina Dolls

Ballerina Girl 1
Ballerina Doll 1
Ballerina Doll 2
Ballerina Doll 3
Ballerina Doll 4
Can you believe it's another post about dolls?  Okay, by now I'm sure you are probably expecting it.  They're really just so much fun to make and there are so many possible variations in fabric.  This time we've got some pretty ballerinas.  It seems like everything in our home is ballet focused lately so the dolls might as well be too.  That's what is great about the Bit of Whimsy patterns, just a little change of fabric and it's a whole new doll.  My girls proclaimed these to be the best dolls yet. 

Ballerina Bags

With a new season of dance underway and a new dancer in the house, a new dance bag was definitely in order.  Kait is so proud to finally have her very own dance bag to carry to class just like Kinsley's, only with new ballerina fabric this time.

. Dance Bag 2

Ballerinas 5

Her dance teacher told me this week that she's very proud of how quickly Kait is picking up everything in class and that you can definitely tell she has been around ballet for a few years watching. I am so looking forward to the first parent observation day to see what my new little ballerina has learned.

This week I also put together a dance bag for a friend's little girl who is starting her very first year in dance class as well.  I'm hoping she likes it as well as my girls like their bags.  I think it turned out quite well and I really like the lighter pink fabric on this one. 
Dance Bag 1

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Daily Rhythms

With all the talk of back to school going on, we've been asked quite a lot about our daily schedule and what we do to keep things running smoothly every day.  I of course laugh at the very idea of things always running smoothly.  We do try, but with two small girls, with very different personalities, it isn't a goal that we always reach. 

For us it is a matter of trying to balance nurturing the needs of each individual while still keeping harmony within the whole family.  To make that work we try to keep our days pretty unscheduled and by limiting the outings that we make.  My girls simply do not do well when we are extremely busy and out of the house a great deal.  Especially Kaitlyn, she very much prefers to spend her time right here at home. 

Of course there are times when we simply must be somewhere at a specific time, sometimes that can't be avoided.  For the rest of the time we don't allow the clock to rule our days, instead we follow our inner clocks.  We have a basic rhythm and flow that guides our daily activities.  The girls (and mama) really thrive with the predictability of a familiar rhythm.  This rhythm certainly didn't always come easily to us.  I spent a great deal of time observing, thinking, and retrying until we found something that worked well for us.  Even now there are times when we find the need to change things to suit the needs of the family, the season, or our outside schedules.  That is the beauty of a relaxed flow, it is easy to make adjustments as needed but still keep the core elements in place. 

We try to keep this flow as natural as possible, especially for the girls.  I often use transitional songs and countdowns to help us move from one thing to the next with as little disruption as possible.  Sometimes we all need a bit of a reminder (especially busy and tired mamas) so I have this little breakdown printed and posted in the kitchen where I can see it easily when I need to.  Kinsley also loves being able to see where she is in the day, especially in relation to Daddy coming home.

Morning Routine
School Time
Free Time
Clean Up
Free Time
Weekly Activity
Clean Up
Screen Time
Free Time
Clean Up
Bedtime Routine

Certainly there are days when it does all go quite like this but this is a good example of what a typical day would look like in our home.  You'll notice that there aren't any times listed along with the activities.  I have an idea of what general time most things usually happen but it is more a window of time than a schedule, and certainly not a rule.  Typically the girls wake around 7 or 7:30 and that will begin our day which means a need for quiet time will usually arise by 12:30.  If there is ever a day that they sleep later I consider it a blessing and things simply start later that day. 
I am not saying this rhythm would work for everyone, every family is different and that is what can make finding your own rhythm so difficult.  It is important to observe your children and find their natural rhythm and build around that.  This is simply what I have found to be true for my girls specifically. 

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Travel OK: Tulsa Children's Museum

We recently got to visit the new Tulsa Children's Museum Discovery Lab with a group and had a terrific time.  I am thrilled to see something geared specifically for Children happening in our area again.  There were plenty of open ended activities to keep the kids all happy for several hours.

I liked that many of the exhibits featured recycled materials and that they ask for donations of materials for various upcoming projects like cereal boxes, scrap fabric, etc.  It lets the kids get involved even more in the exhibits and recycling is always a good thing. 

Childrens museum 1
Childrens museum 6
The cardboard box building area was Kinsley's favorite.  She spent quite a while building a fort out of the various size boxes.  They also had the book Not A Box in this area to read to the kids.  If you haven't read this book you should, it is very cute.  And you know we love to pretend with a box around here. 

Childrens museum 8
Childrens museum 7
Kaitlyn had a different opinion of the best exhibit.  The tape tunnels won her vote and really I can't blame her.  How cool is a huge tunnel made out of packing tape?  We really want to try our hand at making one of these at home.

Childrens museum
Childrens museum 2
Childrens museum 3
Childrens museum 4
Both girls enjoyed the various arts and crafts areas that were set up around the building.  Most of the time was probably spent in these areas which is just a little funny to me since we have most of the same supplies available at home for these projects.  I guess a change of scenery makes something seem new and interesting though. 

Childrens museum 11
Childrens museum 9
Childrens museum 10
I will say that while the space isn't quite as large as I had imagined we were still able to spend several hours there (and probably would have been more if they had their way).  Another great thing is that they change the activities and exhibits periodically so that you can come again and again and always have something new to do.  We're looking forward to our next visit already.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Back to (un)school

It seems as though over the past few weeks my Facebook feed has been full of back to school photos.  As a homeschooling mama I can't help but wonder if I should take a photo as well.  A "not back to school" photo perhaps?

You see, I realize there are many out there that think we really don't 'do' much school at all.  We certainly don't fit into their picture of a homeschooling family.  Thought I'm not sure that is really a bad thing.  Truthfully we don't fit neatly inside any one type of schooling at all.  I suppose I would call us Waldorf-inspired unschoolers, if I had to pick a classification.  Maybe that is why I don't feel the need to take a back to school photo, I don't feel as though we've ever really left learning behind so for us it is just another day.

I will consider this our unofficial back to school post.  The upcoming change of seasons is a great place to mark a new beginning and what could be better to celebrate with than new supplies?  School supply shopping was my favorite part of back to school when I was growing up.  I still love shopping for new pens and office supplies even as an adult.  We are fairly well stocked with art and craft supplies but we can always use a new journal to start out the new season.  Truly, what is better than a new pen and a crisp empty notebook just waiting to be filled?  I can't wait to see what these journals will hold at the end of the year. 

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Seasonal Themes

Those of you that know me, know that I love to make lists - for everything.  Homeschool planning is certainly no exception.

Today I am working on our plan for the upcoming week and the beginning of our seasonal lesson themes.  I adore doing seasonal themed activities with the girls, especially when it comes to Autumn.  There are so many creative ways to keep us in touch with nature and the current season.

I've already created a general list of the themes we will be using this year.  Often the themes will be repeated year to year though the activities themselves will likely change as the girls get older.

Some of the themes we will be touching on this Autumn include:
  • Autumn Equinox
  • Michaelmas
  • Apples
  • Native Americans
  • Pumpkins
  • Autumn Animals
  • Halloween
  • Leaves
  • Harvest
  • Thanksgiving

Many of these same themes were present last year and a few are new.  This week we're starting with a general leap in to Autumn with the upcoming Equinox ahead of us.  Certainly not everything we do will fit neatly into one of the above themes but it does give us a good jumping off point and helps to provide a bit of seasonal rhythm to our weeks.  Not to mention a great base for some really fun crafts and activities.  This is always the season I look forward to most. 

Thursday, September 12, 2013

This Moment

A Friday ritual, inspired by Soulemama. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week.
A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see.
* * * * *

Sleeping Beauties

Cardboard Houses

Sometimes all you need to have a good time is a cardboard box.  When the girls got their new carseats a few months back I made sure we saved the boxes with this particular activity in mind.  We needed a good indoor activity and this filled the spot perfectly.

  Houses 1
Houses 2
We split the seam, flipped the boxes inside out, and then they were ready to be made into houses.  The girls decided where they wanted us to cut their doors and windows and then they were all set.
Houses 3
Houses 4
Houses 5
Houses 6
Houses 7
Houses 8
I thought they'd enjoy this activity but I didn't realize to what extent.  These houses received constant play in so many ways.  They spent several days just decorating them both inside and out.  They went on numerous adventures to far away places and moved their dolls in and created a home.

We also did some pretty fun things with them after a while too but that will be a post for another day.