Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Lots of Love

Before the month is over, I want to make sure to share about Valentine's Day!  Our homeschool co-op had a little exchange - well, actually lots of people showed up and we kind of freaked out the ice cream shop employees (note to self: hold it in a bigger venue next year!).  Reed filled little bags with homemade treats - he melted a Hershey Hug on a square pretzel and then squished an M&M on top.  Sweet and salty yumminess! (not my photo)

Blossom did marble paintings.  If she had her way, she would probably spend a good portion of each day painting.

In a baking pan, she rolled paint-covered marbles over paper until it created really cool designs.

We let the paintings dry and then cut them into heart shapes and glued on little Valentine messages.  They turned out really sweet!  Even though Reed's treats were probably more of a hit with the other kids, I like to fool myself into believing that the kids loved these as well :)

The kids get to share a little more love this month with our new chicks!  These are called Buckeyes (from, you guessed it, Ohio).  We bought them on craigslist.  They are a rare breed and I am excited to add them to the flock!  They will turn a very lovely dark reddish-brown as they get older, and the roosters are supposed to be very docile.  They are good meat birds as well as egg-layers.
We have 5 of them peeping away in the brooding box in our living room.  Never a dull moment!

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

One Warm Day

We had one blissfully warm day here in the mountains this weekend.  I think it was in the 60s!!  We soaked up every minute of sunshine that was possible. 
Bobby, Blossom and I took the short drive to Warren Wilson to hike along the creek.  I can't believe it's been years since I've been here - it's SUCH a great hike with kids.  It was warm enough that Blossom even dipped her feet in the water (very quickly!).
It's a neat hike because there are plenty of interesting spots along the way.  There are big rocks to climb on, a small bamboo "jungle", farm animals, and even a sandy beach if you hike far enough.
Yup, Blossom loves her some real river sand!  Shoes came off... she did not want to leave.  We had to pry her away as the sun started to set, since we knew that meant the end to the glorious warm day and back to the chilly Winter.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Iron Reed

At Reed's one-week check-up for his wrist, they removed his cast, took an x-ray, and determined it still needed a cast (well, duh! It had only been a week).  This time he chose plain white.  He had a project in mind.
He wanted to recreate Iron Man ... well, Iron Man's arm to be exact.  I think we did a pretty good job.  Plus, he now has a laser on his palm, so he's a happy camper.
This was done with acrylic paint, a steady hand and a patient 11 year old.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

A Mica Hike

Mica was our first choice for Blossom's name.  Boy or girl, didn't matter, we loved the name.  When she was born, it just didn't seem to fit, and we obviously didn't use it.  But I still love the name.  When we went on a rock & mineral hike in Burnsville with Clay's Earth Science class this week, there was mica EVERYWHERE!  Little slivers and big chunks, it sparkled along the whole trail.
I loved getting to show Blossom what it was, and she loved collecting the shiny pieces of rock nearly looked like little pieces of glass.  However, she doesn't have nearly the attention span for an entire rock observing hike, so she was quickly distracted by pretty plants and climbing rocks.
The teens had been studying various types of rocks and minerals, and were eager to find some treasures of their own. 

We hiked into Ray Mine, which is an old mica mine.  Well, we didn't go *into* the mines, that would of course be ridiculously dangerous.  We hiked around them, peered down some old mine shafts and
poked around the creek for rocks washed down from the mountain top.
The class came equipped with rock hammers and axes for getting inside large rocks to identify the minerals within.  They even let Blossom help (I love these guys :)
Hopefully we'll get sneak in some more Winter hikes on the rare sunny days!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Cloud Dough

We have been soaking up the warmth these last few days, as I know it will disappear tomorrow.  I learned about Cloud Dough on Pinterest and had to try it out.  It was so simple and I thought the kids might be into it for 15 minutes or so.  They loved it!  It occupied Blossom and her friend for a solid 30 minutes and they kept coming back to it for a couple hours.
It's soft and squishy, but not wet.  Also very messy - best for outside.  Bonus point for the 3 year olds to be able to make it themselves.
Cloud Dough is made with one 5lb bag of flour and one standard-size bottle of baby oil (I bought the Johnson & Johnson shea butter one and it smelled pretty non-offensive :)  Mix them together and you've got Cloud Dough!  We added powdered tempera paint for color (food coloring will not work here).  I'm glad to have this super quick recipe in my stash for a fun and easy activity!

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Some New Looks

I got my boys back!!! I'm so happy :)  Though, the teenager is naturally more excited to see his friends, so is spending copious amounts of time with them, which is fine, too - I'm just glad to have them back home!

On one of the last days of their California vacation, their dad took them to Lake Tahoe where Reed broke his wrist.  Not a super bad break, but he had only a splint on until we could get him to a real doctor here in Asheville.  Now, he is sporting this beauty for the next month or so!
ZB has also decided to sport a new look.  The day I spent in Charlotte picking up the boys, I got a call from B semi-freaking out that ZB had spent a long time in the bathroom, and came out saying, "I don't want long hair now!"  I evened it out when I got home, but oh my, it's taking some getting used to!  How I loved those curls!

Here she is at PreK Art Group this weekend doing a woodworking project:

Hopefully we are done with big changes for a while, but knowing this family, I highly doubt it :)

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Ballerina Blossom

We have been spreading out the opening of Christmas presents this year.  Since the boys are not here, there is no pressure to open at a certain time, and we wanted to wait until we came home from our trip.  One present she just opened yesterday was a blue leotard and tutu - they were quite inspiring for ZB!  She danced and danced and danced!  It's a bit long, so I can't blame anyone else for just watching a minute or two :)  But, it was too cute to stop recording!