Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Clay News

Nobody knows how to jazz up a Tuesday night quite like Clay, it turns out.  As I was in the middle of fixing dinner last night, Clay ran into the house yelling that he broke his wrist.  Now, I'll admit, my kids can sometimes have a flair for the dramatic, especially when they are hurt, so I was thinking, okay, maybe it's sprained or something.  He pulled up his coat sleeve to show me and YIKES!  There was definite bone damage!  B popped Ibuprofin in him, while I dashed to gather insurance cards and purse.

We have never actually been to the emergency room before.  I had heard stories that we'd have to wait for hours, but man those nurses were on the case right when we walked in the door!  Unfortunately, to add insult to injury, they had to cut apart his favorite sweatshirt to be able to stabalize the arm and get IV's and monitors on him.  Maybe I can take the logo and sew it onto something else.

Once they had him on morphine, he could calm down a bit and tell everyone what happened.  Turns out he was simply running through the yard and slipped on the wet grass.  He broke his fall with his hands, which in turn broke his wrist (pretty good, too, we saw the x-rays and they were gnarly!)

The doctors and nurses quickly set him right again.  They sedated him, straightened everything back out and put a splint on him. In a week, he'll have to have a cast put on (once the swelling goes down) and he'll get to wear that for about 6 weeks.

He's pretty bummed out right now about all the things he won't be able to do (PE class in co-op, the bounce house at ZB's birthday party, parkour classes, etc).  Send him good wishes please!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Harry Potter Class

I am teaching two classes at our Monday Homeschool Co-op this semester. One of them is "Harry Potter" (aka "Hogwarts Correspondence School") for 8-11 year olds.  This class filled up rather quickly and I am the teacher only because Reed BEGGED me to make this class happen.  Yikes!  I love Harry Potter and all, but 9 weeks might be hard to fill.  Here's what we've done so far:

Week 1: Make wands out of newspaper, hot glue and spray paint (loosely following the directions *here*).  While the spray paint dried, we played a creative thinking game.  I wrote down some Harry Potter spells on pieces of paper and turned them face-down on the floor in the middle of our circle of kids.  When it's your turn, you choose a spell from the pile and you have to use the wand to cast it on someone else.  The creative thinking part is that you have to tell what creative reason you have for doing it.  There were no spells that would hurt someone.  For example, they might choose "Ferula" (creates a bandage or splint).  The child who is 'it' has to say the spell at someone else and tell why that person would need a bandage or splint.  Were they accidentally trampled by an out-of-sorts hippogriff?  Did they fall off their broomstick during a game of Quidditch?

Week 2:  Care of Magical Creatures class, part I.  Hagrid (the Hogwarts grounds keeper and Care of Magical Creatures teacher) sent us a letter (by owl post of course) describing our lesson.  The kids had to use the materials provided (books and magazines from the thrift shop) to create their own magical creature.  They had to name the creature and tell what powers it possessed.  There were some really awesome creations... half-monkey, half-dolphin for example!  One girl even wrote a poem about her creation.  Great creative writing exercise!

Week 3:  That is next week!  I was at a yard sale recently and saw a book called How to Raise and Keep Your Dragon for 50 cents.  Sold!  This sounded like the perfect thing for class ideas.  Sure enough, once I saw all the detailed drawings and description of dragons, including their various eggs, and I realized the next class is the day after Easter, I knew we had to go on a Dragon Egg Hunt.

This will be a totally fun day, maybe some geography will be discussed.  This hunt will take place in our own Forbidden Forest (we really do have a wooded area at co-op that is usually off-limits to the kids).  I've had a blast making dragon eggs.  First we had to decide what to fill the eggs with.  Candy in a dragon egg?  I think not.  How about slime?  Clay had fun helping me make this simple slime from borax, glue and water.
Of course some pretty pebbles:
I made some fun magnets with Potter quotes:
I also used some temporary tattoos of snakes & spiders (Chamber of Secrets reference of course!), and well of course some money... every dragon has a good stash, I would assume.  Each kid is only getting 50 cents, so not really breaking the bank there :)  In fact, I think these ideas would be great for anyone who is trying to do a candy-free egg hunt this holiday.
Then I picked 6 of the easier-looking eggs from our book and got to work.  Spray paint, sharpies and a little hot glue made some awesome dragon eggs!

Let the hunt begin!

And in other news, I just have to share that even though my boys have their fair share of bickering, this is what I heard from my sewing table last night:
"Stop it!  It's my turn to put a diaper on her"
"No it's not, you did it last time!"
They aren't too keen on changing a wet diaper, but if she's already streaking naked around the house (happens more than I'd like to admit), they are proud that they can cover that bottom right back up.  And look at that patient look on her face:

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Craft Time & List Making

Reed has been going to "Thursday School" this semester, which he loves!  It is a group of homeschoolers that meet for classes once a week with hired teachers.  He's taking a hands-on geometry class and a drama class and it's really one of his favorite things.  I'm happy just to see him do something new and without me there or any siblings - neat to watch him make his own friends that aren't in our regular circle of friends.  He came home very excited from this week's class because Mr. Ian had them make projects on his nail board.   Reed wanted one of his own, and immediately set to work sawing and nailing, even after the sun went down.
Then he quickly showed us how to make really neat geometric art on it:
He's a very proud guy about this!

I'm glad the boys are keeping busy (and helping keep ZB busy), because I'm in countdown mode to the little lady's 2nd birthday!
1. Finish making curtains for ZB's room ... check!  I finally had an idea of curtains to make and had been procrastinating getting more than half-way done for too long.  They look awesome though!  I found white curtains at Target that just needed shortening.  Then I simply appliqued dragonflies and bubbles on... I can't believe I put it off so long!

2. Make dragon eggs for the Harry Potter class I'm teaching at co-op.  This is tomorrow's work.  We're planning a dragon egg hunt for the class the day after Easter.  Must finish before the weekend birthday party.  Photos to follow, I'm sure :)
3. Make party favors for the birthday party
4. Figure out the party menu
5. Test some grain-free cupcake recipes
6. Have a cooking day with another grain-free family - I'm so excited for this!  Lots of cooking, mama-time and toddler play date time.
7. Help the boys build a birthday-gift sandbox

Let's hope for a productive week!

Thursday, March 21, 2013


Hello Spring!  Wait - snow?  We woke up to a good covering of snow this morning - not a very inviting welcome into Spring.  Fortunately the sun came out and melted away most of it by afternoon.  Our plants don't seem to know the difference.
The almond and plum trees and just flowering away:

The sunshine did lure me outside to do some yard work.  There was this row of daffodils along the fence in the very back of the yard.  It seemed pretty random to me, about 10' of daffodils way out in the back, and they've been annoying me for 2 years now!  Today, ZB and I dug them all up.  I'm going to replant them in the front, along the road.  That seems logical and all until I had this bucket full of blooms and was ready to go and realized - what the heck am I thinking??  I can't do planting with a toddler on the side of the road!  This project will have to be postponed until B can help out.

This pink-nosed child didn't seem to mind the cold at all.  She even got thrills from dipping her hands in half-frozen buckets of water and squealing, "COLD HANDS! COLD HANDS!"
 Finally, check out this sweet idea for plant markers... I cut pieces of bamboo about 18" long, and split the top few inches with a machete.  Then I put thin pieces of wood in and secured with jute.  Old paint stirrers worked great for the wood, since it's so thin, I could cut it to size with my kitchen scissors.  With the new Spring seeds and last Fall's garlic, our garden area is already 1/4 full!
Stay warm, everyone!

Friday, March 15, 2013

Norbert the Bunny

Reed finally got his Christmas present!  That's just how we roll, I guess, the delayed presents and all :)  He got a rabbit hutch and a stuffed bunny (to trade in for a real bunny of his choosing) for Christmas.  The hutch was from craigslist and needed a little repair, but it was so large, there was nowhere to work on it before Christmas without Reed seeing it.  Then the weather stayed cold and windy for quite a while so our motivation was delayed.

Finally, the warm Spring weather is creeping into the mountains and projects are starting up again!  B and I (okay, mostly B) fixed it up, added latches, legs, etc.  Reed chose a very nice red to paint it (and did nearly all the painting by himself).

We have been keeping an eye on craigslist for bunnies.  Reed couldn't decide between the very furry Angora breed or a small, dwarf breed.  Then we saw an ad for Jersey Wooly rabbits and knew they were the one!  It is a mix between French Angora and a Netherland Dwarf - perfect!  Unfortunately, this litter hasn't had much human contact, so it will take some patience on Reed's part, but he's a persistent kid, so I'm sure it will work out fine!

Meet Norbert, our new bunny friend:

Of course, even little ZB wants to get in on the bunny lovin', but Norbert's not quite ready for that, yet!

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