Make and Listen

Hello! It seems like I haven’t been doing much posting lately. Guess I’ve needed a break from technology wherever I can these days. Down side is that I have been getting behind on reading some of my favourite blogs and commenting.

We had a lovely visit with Dawn and the kids yesterday – we have so much catching up to do but the hours go by so quickly and the kids are playing so loudly (happily!) that sometimes it’s hard to hear! Dawn also hand delivered the Star books from the giveaway at Mud Puddles – so excited to dig into these with the boys! Thank you, Dawn and Annie, your site rocks! The boys love looking at all of the wonderful nature photos.

Gotta say I’m glad that Dawn is a day late with the Make and Listen Along post for the week because I just haven’t gotten to much posting and had something to share this time around. So a quick post then it’s off to swim lessons and the eye doctor for my checkup after my LASIK surgery I had done last Saturday. Still healing but wow it’s so nice to see without glasses after 30 years! Look at all of the contact cases I’ve collected over the years! Off they go to the second hand store (yay!).

contact-casesLast week while looking for a bachelorette gift for a friend my boys and I came across some neat cookie cutters – a great excuse to make easter cookies! There are three different cookie cutter shapes: circle, rectangle, and heart. You slide letters into the bottom and press these into the cookie. Very fun!

easter-cookiesI haven’t done much sewing lately but I’ve been wanting to make these cases for the boys for at least a year. We don’t give a lot of gifts for easter and try to make it about the season, celebrating spring and new life, so these little owls seemed to fit into the giving. I had a great time hand sewing these up to fit their iPhones (our old ones). They also got a Pok√©mon book (of course!) and some animal spirit cards. It’s all about the animals over here!

owl-cases

As for listening, it’s been the usual CBCR2 with a little Happy thrown in amidst the sound of the raindrops as of late.

Mother Earth, she is yawning and stretching after a long sleep, and slowly waking up. That is nice. ūüôā

 

Germs germs everywhere!

We’ve been fortunate this winter to be sick-free…until a couple of days ago when Xman got a cold. Ironically enough, in Minecraft Homeschool the assignment this week has to do with germs and this is one if the videos they watch before they build their germs and the hospitals to hold the sick. Glad to know that we’ve taught the kids to cover their sneeze the most effective way…whew!

Here’s a cute one.

Also, if interested in books we have found the Your Body Battles series to be fun and informative. Xman said between sniffles that he wants us to get them from the library again. ūüôā

body battles

Make and Listen

Joining Dawn for the second week in a row (pat on the back).

There has been a lot going on this week even with L having a cold. We had some lay low time and watched The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe for the second time as well as Despicable Me for who knows what time (it’s a favourite!).
During our couch time I knit. Remember these socks? They are coming along and I am about to turn the heel – eek! Haha!

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Also, as always there is much reading in our home as it can always be done when there are sickies around. A couch snuggle is all that is needed and a good book or movie. Still reading The Mysterious Benedict Society. We are enjoying it which is good because it is a big book!

Also, the boys have gotten into mythical creatures again which was inspired this time by the How to Train Your Dragon books and evolved from there…

Feb0614_Make Listen_04Which led to learning to speak Dragonese…

Feb0614_Make Listen_01…and, of course, creating their own creatures…

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Feb0614_Make Listen_02That’s a sneak peak as they aren’t quite done yet. I am loving this polymer clay – wish we’d purchased some years ago! I’ve helped smooth edges a bit and Xman is more of a stickler for making it just right, where Lucas brings his own ideas into it. To each his own and I love it!

This was our art table which is really the dining room table. I had a vision of an art piece while I did my evening reiki and like a bee to honey I went straight to work! Will post more on my work on my art blog a little later as it’s not quite finished and you simply cannot rush art, right? Right. ūüėČ

ArtmakingAs for listening, it’s been The Red Violin soundtrack and yes, Kids Bop in numerous volumes!

It snowed again yesterday and if L wasn’t getting over his cold we be out there tobogganing. Nonetheless, we are truly enjoying this winter and it was so nice to be greeted by sparkly whiteness this morning!
Feb0614_Make Listen_05Have a wonderful day!

 

 

Make and Listen along

I am excited to be joining Dawn this week for Make and Listen!

Earlier this week…

I made almond milk, almond butter, chia banana muffins and lentil mushroom burgers from this amazing book by a local food artist…

Finally finished those Minecraft-inpired fingerless gloves for the boys (!)… they love them!

minecraft insp gloves

Yesterday morning…

I awoke before anyone, pracised yoga, made tea, and then worked on and¬†posted my character study¬†to my art blog for an online year-long art workshop…

Made some yummy paleo brownies using the almond meal left over from the almond milk (love that!)…

Xman came downstairs and immediately began weaving a blanket for him Pokémon Pidove, whose nest I felted last year with the same yarn. He did a great job and in no time!

Jan292014_Make Listen_01 Jan292014_Make Listen_02 Jan292014_Make Listen_05L decided to draw out a plan for a constructed Mincraft Enderman and began painting the head. I love that he takes the time to plan out how the character will look and what supplies he will need. Even I am excited to see it when it is all finished! Those boys love Minecraft, especially now that they are playing the survival mode and not the creative mode. I listen in to their conversations and planning and am quite impressed. Can’t wait until they begin Minecraft Homeschool¬†in a couple of weeks! (Did I just say that?)Jan292014_Make Listen_03 Jan292014_Make Listen_04

Watching L so carefully trying to keep the pink paint inside the boxes he drew of the eyes made me grab the painters tape and show him how to tape around the eyes so that he didn’t have to worry so much about precision. They were both so excited when the tape was removed but I will show more at a later date as things progress.

The boys went outside to play during the snowfall/storm. Yay! I love it when they go out in the snow because I remember when I was little and snow stayed all winter long. These days if you don’t go out right away it will be washed away sometimes by the next day.

The snow was so, so beautiful and quiet. Just lovely watching the snow falling and hearing their happy voices. Speaking of snow, I added water to some muffin tins and put them in the freezer for a little experiment from the latest issue of Alphabet Glue!

I decided to use the time to sew (gasp, I know, it’s been soooo loooong!). I was going to read or knit but decided to try the zipper pouch pattern that Dawn had shared a while back. It was so super-easy! You have to try out this pattern! Seriously! I am addicted and now the boys each want one. I knew it! ūüėČ

Jan292014_Make Listen_06 Jan292014_Make Listen_07All this time we were weaving and painting and sewing, guess what was playing in the background?

No…not CBCR2! The Red Violin Soundtrack (love that movie) and Kidz Bop 21! The boys love Kidz Bop and L put another 6 of the CD’s on hold from the library. Some of the songs are rather addictive!

As for reading…

I just finished Wild and let me tell you, I wanted to quit what I was doing and go on a soul searching hike. My goodness, what a gut wrenching, painfully honest journey she shares. Amazing. Read it, I say!

The boys are devouring the How to Train Your Dragon Series which is pretty cool. As a group we are reading The Mysterious Benedict Society and truly enjoying it. The other Doodle Stitching¬†book just arrived for me at the library so I know where I will be heading tomorrow on the way to the boys’ drama class…oh yeah!

Today, we go tobogganing after drama and then a nice Skype with a good friend. Happy days!

 

 

 

Felt garland and didgeridoos

This week we have been making holiday decorations. I was aiming on the beginning of the month to begin crafting but better late than never! And from time to time the boys run outside all suited up and play until they are too cold or too hot. It’s wonderful to see them playing in the snow!

I am still chugging along slowly with the¬†fingerless¬†Minecraft-inspired¬†gloves¬†that I began over a month ago I believe but through the day it’s holiday making with the boys!

We have a favourite book¬†for our holiday crafts. It’s our go-to book when we get stumped on ideas. The great thing about this book is that many of the projects are relatively fast and something we can all do together.

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At this moment we are making felt garland where you cut the felt into strips, roll and then string together with beads. It’s a bit of a process but things moved along much faster when I realized that I could use my rotary cutter to cut the felt strips – love that cutter even more now!

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IMG_0840IMG_0836IMG_0839During our crafting L had been looking at an old Chikadee magazine. They used to get the Chirp, Chikadee, and Owl mag subscriptions from some friends and are good enough they keep going back to them which is great because L left the room and came back with two paper towel rolls taped together. He said it was a didgeridoo like in the magazine. Very cool idea! So, we took a break to find some videos on what the didgeridoo sounded like and even how to make the sounds. I think we have a new project on our hands!

I chose this video because the musician is amazing. It’s 9 minutes long but so worth it. Listen while you work! ūüėČ You can also find a didgeridoo made with wood shaped like the Fibonacci spiral on Youtube. Very impressive!

They also practiced the sounds with some left over plastic shelving tubes stick together!

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We’ve also been listening to a bit of holiday music but X usually gets sick of it unless it’s Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree over ¬†and over again! Then it’s Yo-Yo Ma. Then he asks for the music to be off. There is something nice about the quiet while we crag from time to time. He may be onto something there. ūüôā

Back to crafting! We made 50 candy rolls and Xman was great at rolling and pinning! Remember, if you do this you must place the rolls into pyramid shapes as you go along…

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or a Christmas tree shape..

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or a tree with eyes. Very important.IMG_0847

More later when the garland is finished!

Following along with Dawn today!

 

 

Homeschool Adventure Week 9

This past week we sent out our nature box to Latvia! We loved being a part of the nature exchange! These are some of the finding we have left over. Hmmm…now where to put them all?
Nature-Exch-findings

The boys helped as we identified some of our findings. It was hard work and a lot of research and picture comparing but it was a great learning experience. Here are some of the sites we used for our identification:

Rock Identification Guide

Acorn Identification Guide which brought us to this

Oak Leaf Identification Guide

and along the way we found an animal scat guide for all those times you run into something other than dog poo (yay) on the trail.

We found this one for moss and lichen in our area

and this for seaweed.

All packaged up and off it went with one of the leaf prints we made earlier this year and a feather for an added touch.

Nov082013_Nature-Mail

This week the boys and I made some yummy vegan rice crispy squares! We had found some vegan marshmallows at a local shop (oh so gooood!) and added a few of these even though they weren’t part of the recipe. I did add more dates and almond butter to make it all stick together more – I guess peanut butter must be stickier… Then we put dairy-free chocolate chips melted with a little almond milk on top. So good!

Rice-Crispies

The boys are on their way to painting their five element stones. None of the paint stuck well except for the white so now they are painting them all white and then adding the colours on top. We shall see how it goes!

element-rocks

We watched this super cool video using a VW Beetle for instrumental sounds – watch all three versions, it’s very cool!

I made this super yummy soup¬†originally posted by Dawn on FB but didn’t have enough garlic so we added powdered garlic later and oh, wow, maybe not the freshest thing but still did the job. The boys now love it on noodles too!

By the end of the week, we started to learn about space, again. It often comes back to space and I gotta say, it’s always very cool.

This is a great book and we have borrowed it from the library a multitude of times and really should purchase it at this point. We started from the beginning instead of jumping to where our question would be answered and found out exactly what light years really are and how to pronounce this number: 9,500,000,000,000. Not a good thing to do just before bed though, as there were a ton of questions swimming around in their heads!

I think we need to have a weekly question box blog post. We have a question box for those things that we can’t get to answering right away but somehow never get to it. Yes, a question box weekly blog post should do. ūüôā

Today, we will be learning more about the weather, thanks to Mud Puddles ladies Dawn and Annie! Can’t wait!

What did you do last week? Anything cool and interesting that you’ve learned lately?

 

 

 

Viewing Ursa Major in miniature

My boys love the sky, anytime of year, anytime of day. A while ago we crafted these great star gazer scopes by Alphabet Glue and they now sit on our window sill for easy access.

star scopesThe boys are always in a picture taking mood and yesterday Xman took this photo from the inside of the Ursa Major scope. I felt like I was outside staring up at the sky.

big-dipper-sized

Are you in the mood for some crafts that are not only fun but educational? Pop on over to Alphabet Glue! If you visit the blog you will find the new super-cool-and-amazing Weather Watcher’s ebook!

Homeschool Adventure Week 6&7

During week 6 my cousin from Ontario paid us a pleasant visit. For her is was a time to relax, see family and see the sights. The boys super-enjoyed having her here as did we!
boys-patricia Patricia-boys

Along with visit and reminiscing the boys and I did our circle time and yoga. I must say, I am thrilled with how much the boys love the yoga and even add poses and take turns leading! This is rest time.

2013Oct22_HAW-5+6_01 I like rest time.
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Then we did a craft which I found on Pinterest to go with our number four study. We seem to be going through the numbers quite slowly what with everything else going on in our home lately but it has allowed us to see numbers in a different way, not just for math but in shapes and nature. The piece we worked on is called God’s Eye and I thought it worked well with the number four, being four sided and all… it was quite fun to do and easy too!2013Oct22_HAW-5+6_03 It simply consists of a lot of wrapping embroidery thread around popsicle sticks but the fun is in the colours and combinations.¬†2013Oct22_HAW-5+6_04I told the boys they could be their dream catchers explaining to them that God’s Eye will trap the bad dreams and let the good ones through.¬†The boys hung their dreamcatchers by wands they made onto their bed posts.
2013Oct22_HAW-5+6_05¬†Xman told me the next morning the dreamcatcher had worked and had captured all his bad dreams. One morning the dreamcatcher didn’t work and seeing as it was a full moon I told him it may be tired of catching dreams and needed to be placed in the light of the moon to recharge just like our crystals. The light of the moon is a wonderful thing!
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More stories! This one was from the Grimm Brothers entitled The Duration of Life. The boys used the chalk board door to illustrate as I told the story. I had to take three picture of the door from top to bottom to get all the drawings in.

L drew God as a face with big hands creating the world.

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God then asked four animals, a donkey, monkey, dog and a human, how long they wanted to live.

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¬†In the end the human chose to live the length of time God suggested plus those of the other three animals combined. According to the Grimms we should live for 70 years but not without many trials and tribulations that all animals share but I kept that part out of the story. I like to end things on a good note especially with sensitive minds and very big imaginations!2013Oct24_HAW-5+6_11After the number four is the number…? Five! We read this great story called The Five Elements and the Five Coloured Stones about a Chinese Empress who was twenty-five feel tall and her adversary who was even taller who wanted to take over the land. There was a battle with an and army, the Water Devil and even a Fire God. The heavens fell to earth and the sun and moon went on vacation which brought darkness to the land. A magical brew was made which included five coloured stones to make a paste and put the heavens and sky back together. The sun and moon returned all everyone lived in peace.

The boys made the scene with the magic brew from Lego. The Empress is in the back at the top of the castle while one of her helpers mixes in the ingredients for the paste. I think most of these blocks came from our Lego Champion game!
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We also stayed busy collecting things for the nature exchange.

2013Oct24_HAW-5+6_08Grammar and writing consisted of one of our circle time poems Parting Blessing from this wonderful book! I find Lucas, being older, can write longer before his hand tires. As well, he copied the work out in the format of the poem which made it easy to read.
2013Oct26_HAW-5+6_12 The first poem Xman wrote out was hard to read for this reason. I had to explain to him why it was good to write the poem as he saw it in verses while skipping lines. He was a bit reluctant at first as this was my idea and not his (I can relate!) but once he finished he agreed it was much easier to read and you could see the rhythm the poem carried by the way it was written.

Since then, L came up with a tune for the poem and they sing it all of the time!¬†2013Oct26_HAW-5+6_13It has been a busy couple of weeks which makes for a delay in posting. But I did it – eventually! ūüėČ

This week is busy as well with a Discovery Centre program where the boys learn about Rube Goldberg machines (they are super fans!) and two Halloween parties oh my plus the usual programs. Hopefully I will have HAW #8 ready to go on time!

Happy Spooky week to all!

Xman turns seven!

These boys had waited¬†patiently (not!) for their birthdays and on Thursday it was Xman’s turn to be super excited. He already knew what his present was as he is the one who found it but now he got to use it! Super fun!

We had cheeza (cheese pizza) for lunch after Xman helped me with the cake then off we went to the play café again with some family and friends. After much running and chasing we had a light dinner and a library visit before heading home for birthday songs and cake and a very late bedtime!

Happy birthday, my love, you are indescribable!

X brought his Snap Circuits¬†to the table that he had received last year in order to get ready for what was to come…

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2013Oct17_X-Bday_05 2013Oct17_X-Bday_11 2013Oct17_X-Bday_21Snap Circuits Add-Ons! Now he can make an AM/FM radio, an LED number count-down and more!

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On to decorating the cake and chocolate acorn Pokémon.

2013Oct17_X-Bday_27 2013Oct17_X-Bday_32 2013Oct17_X-Bday_33 He looks quite good for 61.

2013Oct17_X-Bday_34 As X had done for L so too would he do for himself. He played Happy Birthday on the keyboard while we sang!2013Oct17_X-Bday_35

2013Oct17_X-Bday_41 2013Oct17_X-Bday_43And, of course, we have the traditional family photos!2013Oct17_X-Bday_48 2013Oct17_X-Bday_51Mr Xman you are super awesome and a little silly too. Thank you.

Moon Phases at birth

I have been falling in love with the moon. I have always found it so beautiful but lately I find it mesmerizing. I started to read more about the moon and it’s relation to our planet and the sun and doing so has made me feel more a part of the circle of life, and the energy to which we are all connected.

Naturally I became curious as to what phase of the moon I was born under and found this:

You were born during a Full moon

– what it says about you –

You’ve spent your life in the middle of things, whether it’s between people who oppose each other, ideas that oppose each other, or places that are very different. You’re very aware of perspectives outside the norm and good at anticipating how different people will see a situation. You value second opinions, because they give you a feeling of balance. You don’t have a single group of friends and the people you spend time with may not have a lot in common with each other.

What phase was the moon at on your birthday? Find out at Spacefem.com

I do love a full moon. No wonder.

Tonight is a Penumbral Lunar Eclipse, meaning it will be a full moon but the earth’s orbit will block some of the rays of the sun from the moon. I will miss seeing this glowing friend of ours tomorrow but it is nice to know that it was there to say ‘hello!’ when I came into this lovely world.

What discoveries have you made lately?