Friday, May 30, 2014

This Moment

{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.

* * * * * * * *

    Outdoor Art

Fairy Tea Garden

Fairy Garden Post

We love to have tea parties around here and so it stands to reason that the fairies that might live around us would like to have a place for their own special tea parties as well.  The girls and I decided a small fairy tea garden would be perfect for them.  We picked up a nice terra cotta pot and sweet flowering plant at a local nursery to start our garden with.  We also found an entire section of fairy garden decorations at the craft store and picked out the perfect toadstool table and chairs to go in the garden.  We put this together easily one afternoon and the girls were able to do everything themselves.  They beamed with pride over their magical creation and are constantly scouting for evidence that the fairies might have been having a tea party while we weren't looking.  

Fairy Garden 2

Fairy Garden 4

Fairy Garden 3

Fairy Garden 5

Fairy Garden 7

Fairy Garden 6

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Rain Cloud Experiment

Rain Clouds Post

Have your kids ever asked you what clouds are made of, or how and why it rains?  This is a great experiment to help them visualize exactly what happens, and it's a lot of fun too!

  • Shaving cream
  • Clear container:  bucket, jar, cup, etc.
  • Blue food coloring
  • Droppers

Rain Clouds 1

We used this clear plastic storage tub because we happen to have loads of them holding craft supplies.  A drinking glass or mason jar would work just as well though.  


Fill the container about 3/4 full of water (this will be your sky), then top with shaving cream clouds.  I started making the clouds to ensure a more even coverage on top of the water but then Kinsley took over and made "big puffy clouds" for us.  You might want to give your shaving cream a minute to settle down onto the water just in case.  

Rain Clouds 2

Rain Clouds 3

Rain Clouds 4

~ While your clouds are settling, mix several drops of your blue food coloring into a small amount of water.  The more food coloring you use, the darker your rain will be and the easier it will be for the kids to see it.  

Rain Clouds 5

Rain Clouds 6

Using your dropper filled with your blue "rain drops" have the kids start dropping it out onto their clouds.  Start watching the sides and bottoms of your clouds now to see what happens as you add more and more rain drops.  

Rain Clouds 7

Rain Clouds 8

As the clouds start to get full and heavy you'll see rain starting to fall from the bottom of your clouds!

Rain Clouds 10

Rain Clouds 11

Rain Clouds 13

Keep adding more rain and watch how your rain storm changes from just a sprinkle to a serious downpour!

Rain Clouds 15

Rain Clouds

It's a great simple science experiment that you can do as a whole family and a great learning tool if your littles are curious about the weather.  Plus, if you're up for a bit of a mess, the shaving cream is a great sensory play item after the experiment is over...

Rain Clouds 16

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Cloudy Weather

May is always an interesting time for weather in Oklahoma so it seemed like the perfect time to dive into a weather themed unit.  Especially with the ever looming threat of severe weather, I feel like understanding what causes some of it can help to ease the fear that some littles might face.  To start us off we have been learning a bit more about clouds, the various types and what exactly they are and can do.

Of course that means that we needed our very own felt clouds right?  The girls and I certainly seemed to agree that it sounded like a perfect idea.  

Clouds 1

Clouds 2

Clouds 3

Clouds 4

The little rain cloud seems to have brought us some good luck as it has finally started raining a decent amount around here.  We are loving having a new rain gauge to monitor how much of this heavenly bounty is falling on our still growing garden.  There might be some obsessive rain gauge checking going on, and the girls like to check too.  ahem.

And of course felt clouds weren't enough so we had to branch out into a new medium - soap.  Yes, soap.  We found this fun little experiment at Our Best Bites and had to try making our own soap cloud.  The girls had a blast watching it form and I'd dare say, even more fun tearing it apart after.  I definitely recommend this being an outside activity.  It's so much more fun to make messy fun when you aren't so worried about the clean up after.  

Clouds 5

Clouds 6

Sunday, May 25, 2014


Dinosaurs 17

Dinosaurs 10

Dinosaurs 1

Dinosaurs 13

Dinosaurs 4

Dinosaurs 5

Dinosaurs 7

Dinosaurs 8

Dinosaurs 12

Dinosaurs 11

Dinosaurs 14

Dinosaurs 16

Dinosaurs galore!  If you're local to the Tulsa area you really need to head to the zoo and check out Zoorasic Park.  It's an exhibit full of very large animatronic dinosaurs and it runs through the end of October, so there is still lots of time to plan a trip.  I wouldn't be surprised if we ended up going again before they are gone.  The girls had an incredible time, especially the dino obsessed youngest babe of ours.  

She was enthralled with seeing some of her favorite dinosaurs up close and personal.  And the fact they moved and had sound?  Well what more could a little girl ask for?  Of course she spent most of her time parked right in front of her very favorite dinosaur, the T-Rex.  She even managed to convince mama that she needed another T-Rex to bring home with her.  Needed.  How could I possibly have said no?  

Friday, May 23, 2014

Dishcloths and Soap

Dishcloths 3

Dishcloths 2

Dishcloths 1

It had been a while since my crochet hooks had seen the light of day, but thankfully I still remembered how to use them when it was time to make these gifts for Mother's Day earlier this month.  I whipped up about a dozen crocheted dishcloths using my favorite stitch pattern and paired them with these really cute travel sized soaps from Plain Jane Soap Company.  Though I suppose in this instance they're intended to be used as face cloths since I paired them with this lovely soap.  Seriously, the soaps are so lovely I hated to even give them away.  Though I did manage to sneak away a bar of Hemp & Shea for myself to keep.

Every year we host lunch for all the mothers in the family and I wanted to have a little something to give to everyone.  These sweet little gifts were very well received and were fun to put together.  (and quick, which seems to be necessary around here lately) And I can always use a good excuse to have to crochet something.  Of course once I made them I had the need to make dozens more because who can stop with such a fun and quick project.  I know I've professed my love of dishcloths before and I just can't seem to stop myself once I get started with them.  If I make one I need to make 20 more just to get it out of my system.  I have a huge stack of dishcloths sitting here now (waiting on ends to be sewn in) and a pile of scrubbies too!  I think I might have went just a bit overboard though, and may need to list some in the shop next week.  After all, I can always make more if I need them right?   

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Birds and a new wall

Bird Basket 2

Up until this point in our homeschooling adventure we pulled topics as out as needed and generally just worked around them, moving them out of the way for dinner, crafts, and general living.  Baskets of things here, a pile of books there, and lots of art taped to the refrigerator.  Such is the life when living in a small house.  But, we recently did a fair amount of rearranging, repainting, and redecorating and somehow I managed to end up with an entire space free to finally do a project I've been wanting to do for ages.  I was able to create this "unit wall" to display all the necessary items for whatever particular topic the girls happen to be focused on at the current moment.  

Folks, I am in love with this wall...and not just because it happens to be my very favorite paint color too.  It is amazing to have a space to leave out all of the things we're accessing on a daily basis and have it look nice in the process.  We tested it out with our bird themed love a couple weeks ago and it was a huge success.  

Bird Unit 12

Bird Unit 13

I adore this frame and the fact that we can easily change what hangs there from minute to minute.  It was the perfect place to display the girls' hummingbird drawings.  This is actually a wall in our kitchen so it gets a lot of traffic and the accessibility has really made a difference on the girls' interest and ability to learn independently.  We have journals full of bird drawing and facts, pictures hanging in various places around the house, and a new found respect for the feathered friends that live in our area.  While there wasn't a lot going on in the arts and crafts department with these birds, we were extremely busy bird watching everywhere we went.  

Bird Love note

Bird Unit 14

Claremore Lake 8

Water Fowl 12

Water Fowl 9

Hummingbird 2

A trip to the zoo, a visit to the local lake to feed the ducks, and even just sitting in various places around the yard with our sketch books and cameras at the ready became a great bird learning time for all of us.  I'm proud of how hard the girls worked to create a bird friendly habitat, learning about the different birds native to our area and their particular needs too.  There is just something amazing about fostering a child's love of learning and giving them the freedom to explore what they love, and at their own pace.  While the bird display has come down off that particular wall now (following the request of a new topic of interest), the bird watching basket is still out and in daily use, and we certainly have no shortage of new bird art coming out daily.