Sunday, October 24, 2010

Life Learning

"Every child should have mud pies, grasshoppers, water bugs, tadpoles, frogs, mud turtles, elderberries, wild strawberries, acorns, chestnuts, trees to climb.  Brooks to wade, water lilies, bats, bees, butterflies, various animals to pet, hayfields, pine-cones, rocks to roll, sand, snakes, huckleberries & hornets; and any child who has been   deprived of these has been deprived of the best part of education."~unknown author to me

Friday, October 15, 2010

Owl Unit Study

So the format to this post is jacked up and I can't seem to fix it :(

This week we did an OWL UNIT STUDY.  I must say that this was *so*much*fun* because I absolutely LOVE owls.
We talked about the different types of owls, different parts of an owl, where owls live, what type of HOOT certain owls make and  what owls eat.

My boys especially loved learning new words:  Raptor, Carnivore and Talon(s) and their meanings.  I've tried to give them many opportunities

   to use these words in sentences lately.  We talked   about what we eat, plants included, and what a Carnivore eats.

We read the book Owl Babies by Martin Waddelland did a "lapbook" (we used for a resource for this lapbook)  We made mini-books and listened to poetry about owls.  Their favorite seemed to be 5 Little Owls by Lucia Kemp Henry.

We read many books about OWLS and some of the titles are:  ~Owls by Markle ~Owls by Gail Gibbons ~ Owls-Welcome to the World of Animals by Diane Swanson ~The Book of North American Owls by Helen Roney Sattler and ~Owly Flying Lessons by Andy Runton


We made a simple NO BAKE OATMEAL Cookie recipe and added bananas and raisins or chocolate chips for the eyes, nuts (almonds) for the nose.  Not all that healthy but definitely a great treat for my boys.  They devoured them!
In the hollow tree, in the old gray tower, The spectral Owl doth dwell; Dull, hated, despised, in the sunshine hour, But at the dusk--he's abroad and well! Not a bird of the forest e'er mates with him-- All mock him outright, by day: But at night, when the woods grow still and dim, The boldest will shrink away! O, when the night falls, and roosts the fowl, Then, then, is the reign of the Horned Owl!
Author: Barry Cornwall (pseudonym of Bryan Waller Procter)

And the boys and my husband picked these from our garden...awesome surprise!! 

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Joy...for the "spreadin"

joy may come loudly with bells on, more often, it comes quietly, in small pockets, scattered throughout the days, reminding us, no matter what, joy is always available.........
and worth spreading.

So, my boys and I got to love on *this* little guy and oh how we loved on him.  He is a special cousin (aka:  brother of the pack of great-grand-children) and what a sweet little dumplin he is!  My boys (and I) wish that we lived closer and could love on him daily!  He is full of personality and is surrounded by good literature, daily Bluegrass music and culture/heritage from his Papa and awesome Mama...and we love him sooooooooo.  We also hope is Mama is reading this (giggle) to know that we would LOVE another visit and a pregnant Mama (me) is hard to transport to far-away places due to frequent stops at dirty bathrooms   and would LOVE for her to bring him to see/play with us again :)
Love you Cuz!!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Flower dyeing and a great weekend

Well, I am finally able to post some pictures! yay!  This month we learned a variety of cool things and I thought I would post about the ones that I actually caught on film :)

"Get over the idea that only children should spend their time in study. Be a student so long as you still have something to learn, and this will mean all your life". ~Henry L. Doherty

Dyeing flowers:

My bestie Ronda Roo had just arrived home from a mission trip with Mission of Mercy to Dominican Republic, giving aid to the Haitian refugees and it was her birthday.  It was also our summer "party" here on the hill.  FLOWERS were in order for this celebration!

What you will need: 
~Queen's Ann Lace Flowers (or some celery or another light colored flower, I imagine*fun to experiment)
~glass bottles (we used recycled bottles from drinks and mason jars)
~food coloring or dye (we used vegetable-based coloring)

~Add drops of food coloring to water in the glass bottles (about 15-20 drops)

~We added the white flowers to the colored water...

sorry this picture is sideways-not sure about that

Then we went outside to do what we do best...

Campfires, blowing bubbles, hula hooping, playing in huge cardboard boxes, harvesting from our garden, dancing to live music in the yard...

It is important that students bring a certain ragamuffin, barefoot irreverence to their studies; they are not here to worship what is known, but to question it. ~Jacob Bronowski

The purpose of learning is growth, and our minds, unlike our bodies, can continue growing as we continue to live. ~Mortimer Adler

The flowers and their colors got darker as the days passed, mainly more vibrant and beautiful.  We talked about stems and different parts of flowers, how they drink up water to live, how we need to live this way also, drinking from the LIVING water and how apart from God, we cannot live-His living water. 

Of course, a handmade card and a new vase for the flowers were also in order

Strips of tissue paper (torn and uneven) glued with a paintbrush onto a Mason jar

Dragonfly card painted by Cai Ocean. He was so excited!

“Each morning sees some task begin, Each evening sees it close; Something attempted, something done, Has earned a night's repose” Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Peace to you

(Next up, a post about our Owl Unit Study)

Saturday, October 2, 2010


thought from Franciscan priest Richard Rohr:

"We cannot think our way into a new kind of living. We must live our way into a new kind of thinking."

With all of the new things happening in this season of my life, this quote stuck out to me today.  I must remember to not be overwhelmed by the lack of organization, the home school books and read alouds and colored pencils spread around my kitchen table/floors/couches, the insane amount of political and religious backlash about our country that leads me to become more and more disenchanted, the things that steal my time if I let them, and the fuzzy "mama-brain" moments.

I need to live in way to always be grateful. Prayerful. Mindful. Be aware. 
Aware of the leaves turning brilliant colors instead of colorful billboards that enrage me.  Aware of the moonwalk of babylove in my womb instead and of the ligaments stretching.  Aware of the current ages of my kids instead of how fast they are growing.  Aware of the love that I feel in the wind that blows through my windows and of the breath that is taken away with me from disbelief.  Aware of the smells of autumn, the smells of my baby boys' hair when they come inside from frollicking outdoors, aware of the mulitude of blessings that my friends shower on me, aware of hard work, aware of that still small voice, aware of my need to slow down and embrace this new season of life.