Monday, January 31, 2011

100 Flowers - Craft Activity

I saw this idea posted on Skip to My Lou last week.
I LOVED it and thought it would be perfect to go with our 100 Flowers study.

I'm lazy though and changed up her process a little bit.

To make our seed paper we tore up lots of scrapbook, construction and computer paper. Lots.

We filled the blender about 1/3 full with the paper, and then added water to the half way mark and blended until there were no pieces of paper left. Two batches like this made 35 seed paper hearts.

Then I poured the papery pulp into a bowl and stirred in a whole packet of wildflower seeds.

I decided to shape my hearts instead of cut them out. I didn't have a frame or screen on hand to make the paper-maker (for lack of a better word) and I thought it would be faster to just make the shape that I needed.

I originally strained the water from the pulp but found it hard to manipulate in the cookie cutter. Instead I strained only a little water leaving the pulp soggy enough to mash into place.

Then we spread it around in the cookie cutter on a piece of flannel. For the first round I used a piece of fleece but found that it held too much water.

After we had all the seed paper hearts shaped we blotted them first with a sponge to absorb water and then with a microfiber cloth to soak up even more. I dried them a little further with a hair dryer for about 5 minutes (mostly to dry the fabric) and then let them sit over night.

By the next morning our seed paper hearts were dry and ready for Valentine construction.

I took another short cut and printed out the smaller hearts intended to be leaves ... on the front it has the saying "If friends were flowers I'd pick you." and on the back it says Happy Valentine's <3 Kennedy & Aubrey.

And though it took me a bit to pre-tie bows for the front, it was easier for the girls just to glue on the tiny bows than to tie them directly around the stems (popsicle sticks they had painted earlier).

Other than a few shortcuts, we followed the basic instructions for construction of the Valentines and we are super pleased with the result!

Not only pretty, but functional!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

New Me Week 2

The big news! I lost a whopping half pound this week. But really, that is big news because I was a total failure when it came to working out, my diet, and my consumption of diet coke. I'm telling you, diet coke makes me happy. I worked out a total of ZERO minutes, I had at least one "share" pack of  peanut M&Ms (unshared, thankyouverymuch), and I might have had more diet coke than I was allowed. And we won't talk about how hard it is for me to drink water. But, anyways, I lost a half pound and that was actually motivating because think of what it could have been if I had stuck to my plan. I'll do better this week. Promise.

Spiritually speaking, I missed my gratitude journal more than one night. But I don't feel guilty about it. It is a guilt free journal. I am not bound to write in it every night. It won't be angry at me if I forget. Knowing this allows me to pick up where I left off without getting frustrated at how many days I have missed which usually leads to me feeling like I can never catch up and so I just quit. But not now. Now, I write what I am grateful when I remember.

 In the mean time though, God has been working on me.

There is a situation that has come up (that mountain I spoke of here) that has not been resolved yet. Every time the phone rings my stomach drops to my toes. When I think about it I get a massive lump in my throat. But I know that is not how God wants me to live my life. I've heard people say before that you have to give things to God not once, but sometimes daily, or in my case - sometimes by the minute. And so many times a day I find myself crying out to God and asking Him to show us what is next. And to provide peace and the right words. And to help me not throw up. Because I want to. And I find myself praying for my enemies. That is hard. Because there is a (huge) part of me that doesn't believe that God can change them. Yet I pray that God will soften their hearts anyways. Because I want to believe that He will. Lord, I believe! Help my unbelief!

And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears,
 Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.
Mark 9:24

And if you want to read something that far exceeds my abilities on the subject of understanding the dark, visit InCourage to read what my friend Angie has to say. You won't regret it!

One Hundred Flowers - A Science Experiment

Stemming (punny!) from our One Hundred Flowers art lesson and brief introduction to plant parts was a science experiment.

I remember doing this experiment in 7th grade. I loved it! I couldn't wait to share it with the girls. Who knew it would be so hard to find white carnations? With January nearing an end (how did that happen so fast?) and Valentine's around the corner I thought I'd be able to find them anywhere, and in abundance. I found 2. I wanted 3. But I found 2 and one's stem was already broken. I thought it would be ok with this experiment so I bought what I could.

What are we learning about? Capillary Action - how water gets from the ground to the flower.


We trimmed our carnations to fit in the glasses. We put one in the yellow glass. 

Then I cut the stem of the second flower in half long ways and put one side of the stem in the blue water and the other side in green.

We left them alone after this to see what would happen. Kennedy drew a picture of the three flowers in her science journal. I split the journal page up into 4 days so she could track the progress of capillary action.


The Second Day

The carnation in the yellow glass had turned yellow!

But the carnation that had been split did not do near as well. This is the only area on the green side that changed colors. 

And those few little streaks of blue is all that we have to show for that side of the flower. I'm thinking it is because the flowers were not fresh. As you can see in the pictures their edges were already starting to brown. We'll try again the next time I can find fresh white carnations.


The Third Day
Today we moved the yellow flower into the green glass and threw out the split flower. Hoping to see some new change (and not Obama's!) in the morning!

Science Sunday

She Would've Been 3 Today

She would have been 3 today.
I miss her smile. I miss her face.

But I believe always, always

Our Savior never fails!
Even when all hope is gone
God knows our pain and His promise remains ...
He will be with you. Always.

When you lose a child you mourn not just the day that they left your life but the day they came into it ... or the day they would have come into it. I used to be afraid that I would forget about our little Joslyn Grace. We never held her alive and only I ever felt her squirm and kick. I thought that as our lives went on the pregnancy would just become a vague memory. That hasn't happened though. I think about Joslyn more now than I ever have. When I see pictures of our family I know a face is missing. When I see a picture of the three kids I always ache for the fourth little smile. It's not complete. So when January rolls around and we are done celebrating Adam and Kennedy's birthdays I mourn the one that isn't here.
But, it's okay. And I really believe that is okay. It is hard. But it is okay. There will be a day when I hold her again, when I get to see her face, her smile. A day when the picture will be complete!

We which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from Heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words.
 I Thessalonians 4:15-18

Friend I don't know where you are
And I don't know where you've been
Maybe you're fighting for your life
Or just about to throw the towel in
But if you're crying out for mercy
If there's no hope left at all
If you've given everything you've got
And you're still about to fall

Well hold on, hold on, hold on

'Cause I believe always always
Our Savior never fails
Even when all faith is gone
God knows our pain and His promise remains
Always, Always
He will be with you always
He will be with you always
He will be with you

Saturday, January 29, 2011

One Hundred Flowers & an Art Lesson

We continued reading and browsing books from our 100th Day of School book list this week. We focused mainly on One Hundred Flowers a collection of art by Georgia O'Keeffe.

We've looked through the book nearly every day. The pictures are amazing. We learned a little about Georgia O'Keeffe's background with Usborne's The Children's Book of Art.

After getting some background on the artist we turned our attention to her subjects - flowers. We talked about the main parts of the flower - roots, stem, leaves, and flower. The girls colored and labeled a simple diagram.

Since we were learning so much about the style of painting Georgia O'Keeffe used, mostly abstract, and the types of painting she did, mostly oil on canvas but also watercolors and pastels, we flipped through The Children's Book of Art and learned about another style of painting - pointillism.
I printed out a  watermarked copy of Georgia O'Keeffe's Sunflower. This allowed the girls to paint the same picture a little more accurately.

They used their knowledge of pointillism to create the center of the sunflower using q-tips and then used a paint brush to finish out the petals, stem and leaves.

Looking at the original for inspiration.

Concentrating on getting those dots right.

Outlining the petals.

The finished project, signed by the artists!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

New Me Update Week 1

This week has been pretty trying. I have lost a lot of sleep this week worrying over things that I cannot control and fretting over why people just can't do what is right.
Adam and I are reading Radical by David Platt. Amazing.

As I sat reading it the other night, I cried. Adam came in and asked me what chapter I was on.
"Chapter 4," I tell him.
"I just don't remember needing to cry over anything in chapter 4."

So why did I feel the need to cry?? Because it isn't about me!! Anything and everything that is done, that has been done and will ever be done is about GOD! Everything -- the good and the bad! I struggle so much with why bad things happen to good people. Why is it that when someone is trying their hardest to do what is right everything falls apart? Because God will get glory from it!
When Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego went into that fiery furnace it wasn't because of anything wrong they had done. In fact, they went in because they were doing what was right! God didn't allow them to go in that fire so that he could show them that he would protect them, they already believed that. God allowed them to go into the fire so that when they came out He would get the glory! And he did! That old wicked king changed his heart. He declared that everyone should worship God!
What really struck me, and I knew this but until you need to understand it you just really don't sometimes, those boys were doing what was right! They stood up for what they believed in and they wouldn't back down. Now if I were in control, well, I'd give them a cookie and usher them right on into comfiness. But then who would get the glory? Probably them. Because then everyone would say, Well, look .. they are getting what they deserve!
News flash -- God is SO much smarter than me!! His ways are higher than my ways!
So, I am learning! I am in a place where I have nothing else but God to lean on.

As for my goals -

I wrote in my gratitude journal nearly every night this week. I think 2 nights I fell asleep before I got to it.

I worked out all but 3 days. The lack of sleep is getting to me!
I am such a failure when it comes to water intake. At least one day I drank over 20 oz of water, that was a good day.
I did pretty good on the diet cokes, 2 days I had more than 2. Diet Coke makes me happy. That's all.
The good news:  I've lost 3 lbs this week!!! 3 pounds on the dot! Makes me want to try harder next week!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Psalm 100

Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all ye lands.

Serve the LORD with gladness: come before his presence with singing.

Know ye that the LORD he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.

Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.

For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.

Psalm 100

100 Balloons

Today we got out the ball pit and filled it with 100 balloons! The girls were pretty excited!

They were having fun with the balloons; throwing them through the goal post and at each other

but were quickly realizing that they couldn't move without the balloons sticking to them ...

and in their hair ...

and to the walls. They rubbed the ballons on their heads and I lined them along the moulding. This led to a discussion about static electricy and what causes it. We watched a clip from Bill Nye the Science Guy on youtube and put the entire episode on hold at the library for next week.

Then we did an static electricity experiment:

Bending Water

Comb your hair with a straight comb. Turn the water on and let it run slowly, but with no breaks.

Hold your comb near the water and watch what happens.

We had fun with this for a while, then Aubrey and Haden went back to playing with the balloons.

And Kennedy worked on her science notebook.

Opposites attract - that's why the balloons will stick to you.
Likes repel - that's why your hair stands up on end.

Science Sunday

100 Cheerios

Frosted Cheerios are SO much tastier than plain ol Cheerios.

For this project we counted out 100 Cheerios by skip counting. For Kennedy's 100 we counted by 5's and for Aubrey's we counted by 10's.

Once they had them all counted out they strung them on yarn and made necklaces.

100 Jelly Beans

I forgot to get my camera out until we were finished with this project, too!

We counted out 100 jelly beans into a bowl. Then we predicted which color of jelly bean we thought there were more of. Kennedy picked pink, Aubrey picked red and I picked black. Next we sorted and counted each color. Then we graphed our findings.

For some reason there isn't a white crayon in the hundreds of crayons that we have so silver represented white for graphing purposes. Kennedy was right in her prediction .. 15 pink jelly beans, tied with green!
Of course, they then ate their findings - not all 100 though! 

100 Days

We've taken this whole week to celebrate the 100th day of school.

Our first project was making lemonade using the recipe from Curious George Learns to Count From 0 to 100


First, find 1 grownup to help you make this.

1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup water

Heat in a pot until the sugar dissolves - but don't let it boil!

6 cups room-temperature water
1 cup juice from lemons

Pour over ice and drink!

First, we made predictions about how many lemons it would take to get 1 cup of juice. Adam guessed 8, Kennedy & I guessed 4 and Aubrey guessed 5. Aubrey was right! We juiced our lemons and then followed the directions above. We talked about what dissolve meant and made sure we didn't let the water boil! Then we tried it -- very tasty!

We also made paper airplanes using the directions in the book.

Next we read Hetty's 100 Hats. We loved seeing where Hetty would get the next hat to add to her collection. We made hats from a newspaper using directions in the book.

I guess my camera was hiding for these projects - sorry, no pictures!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Tomorrow is the 100th Day and a Pillow

I knew there would be an obstacle in our path this morning but did not expect for it to turn into the hurtle that it has. The baby did not sleep well last night, a continuing trend since he first got sick 4 weeks ago. That left me with about 2 hours of solid sleep last night and so my sweet husband, who also got very little sleep, allowed me to sleep in a couple hours this morning. Since I didn't get up until almost 11 and the little obstacle became a mountain I didn't start school right away. I thought we'd start after lunch. Lunch came and went and the girls were playing together very nicely. I asked if they wanted to celebrate today or tomorrow. They both voted for tomorrow.

I made some fun things for Christmas this year and now that they've been given out I can post about them here. My favorite gift was to my mom and mother-in-law, a family tree pillow.

I made the whole thing from material I already had on hand. The front of the pillow is from a flour sack towel. I ironed it out and cut it into fourths. I was wanting to make one for each of my sister-in-laws but ran out of time - maybe next year girls! The back is just black cotton and the inside is polyfil. I drew out the trunk and leaves, one for each family member, and traced them onto the fabric which was backed with wonderunder.After I cut the pieces out I used fray check on all the edges just to be sure and then I ironed them onto the front. Next I used my sewing machine and stitched around them. Once the tree was complete I backstitched each initial onto the leaves, the center leaves are the mom and dad - outside leaves the children, and the year they were married onto the trunk. Right sides together I stitched around the entire pillow leaving a 2 inch opening at the bottom. I turned it right side out, stuffed it and sewed it shut. I'm really pleased with the way they turned out. I only have a picture of my mother-in-laws for some reason, it is the one above. My mom's had 5 leaves. And the little bird in the top right corner represents the baby that my mother-in-law miscarried after my husband, her youngest, was born.