Sunday, March 29, 2015

Awesome Dinosaur Pinata

Prepping for ZB's 4th birthday party was lots of fun!  She insisted that a pinata was essential for the party, and wanted it to be chicken shaped.  On the first day of construction, she changed her mind and wanted it to be a dinosaur.  She chose an apatosaur, and we started construction!
First the balloon and newspaper inner structure were built, then the first layer of goopy paper mache.  I know there are fancier ways to do this, but I stayed old school with newspaper and a basic flour/water glue.

After it dried overnight, ZB decided it needed "thorns" (spikes).  So these were added.  They are the dividers from egg carton.
One more layer was added that day, and left to dry.  When it was all dry the next day, we stuffed it full of treasures (kazoos, dark chocolate squares, gummy snacks, magnifying glasses, etc.)  Then time for the first layer of paint.  ZB decided it was to be purple.
Details were added:
On her birthday eve, when she was tucked in bed, B blew up all the balloons, and we set the finished dino in the balloon jungle as a fun wake-up surprise (she was quite delighted by the scene)!

Talent Show

The Asheville Homeschool Talent Show was this week.  My kids have never participated before, and this year they surprised me!  Blossom got to go first because she was the youngest participant, and she was thrilled!  Not even a little nervous :)
She then did a quick-change off stage, and 2 acts later, she and Reed went back on stage to breakdance.  I didn't get any video of the two of them, but did get Blossom's ballet performance.  Clay took care of music for both acts, so everyone helped out!

Monday, March 23, 2015

Spring is Finally Here!

We are all so excited that Spring is finally here!  Bobby is busy with outdoor projects.  Clay is getting lots of yard work jobs and skateboarding everywhere!  Reed is breaking away from playing Minecraft to soak up some sun.  I'm loving that I'm already sunburned and Blossom is naked in the yard half the time!

Baby chicks in the brooder box are just about to be put outside, and the big chickens are LOVING the arrival of delicious bugs ;)

Blossom's cousins from Charlotte made a visit this weekend to check out a kids event at the Arboretum.  They did all the "event activities" and then we all wandered into the woods for some creek play time.  Here's Blossom and her cousin Hudson enjoying the chilly water!
Reed was, of course, climbing on everything he could find (we was fairly upset that most of the trees were thin rhododendrons).
I spent Sunday digging Blossom's sand box bigger.  I made it about triple sized.  As it was, if you got 2 kids in there and they had toys, there was really no room left to play.  Bobby was glad for me to use up some old stumps, too.
When I did the first version of this, I hauled the river sand home in 5 gallon buckets in the back of my little Honda.  But now... Bobby got a truck - woo-hoo!!  He is putting it to good use immediately.  Though it still took a couple trips to get all the sand.
He is now busy at work on a special surprise for our nearly 4yo.  I'll surely post pictures soon!

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!