Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Sewing in baby steps

I'm starting a "workshop" tomorrow that I found on the Frugal Family Fun Blog! I will get an email a day for 13 days, with a little assignment giving detailed sewing instructions. I hope it's easy enough for me...who doesn't even know how to thread my machine! This is just in time for me to figure this out before I need to make Halloween/All Saints' Day costumes, yay!

Tiny Treasures

Lerin hosts the Tiny Treasures Tuesdays
which I have yet to participate in, so here's my first attempt, a day late!

Miss Mary Clare, age 6.75--

My Mairsie Claresie is having a pretty good time with homeschooling this fall! Last year was quite the transition...she never wanted to do her work. But this year she is enjoying all our crafts and library books and artwork. She looks so old with those big front teeth and short hair! She lost her 8th tooth last week. Her reading and writing are really coming along, and I'm very happy with the Sound Beginnings program (I'll be writing a post about that soon). She is very creative and really gets involved with all our arts and crafts projects. Then she comes up with her own fun games and crafts with her sister. She has been so helpful with the baby I'm watching. She recently started her little homeschooling girls' groups, Little Flowers and the Pickwick Society. At Little Flowers they study saints and virtues, and at Pickwick they learn to be a lady, doing sewing and embroidery projects. I'm so proud of my big girl!

Elizabeth Ann Marie--age 4.4

Our Ellie is also enjoying the year of homeschooling. She is very interested in the books and is always wanting to do things like her big sister. But we've found she's quite the perfectionist. If an art project or handwriting assignment doesn't look the way she likes, she will sometimes crumble it into a ball and start crying. We're working on that! Ellie is always making us laugh with her funny little sayings. Yesterday we were learning about elephants. Tusks, she said, were made of "ivy" and she prayed last night "for the elephants who died." She cannot help but dance when I put music on. It's like it's in her blood. The other day, Mary Clare stated that she didn't want the Flower Fairy CD played because it's for babies, but Ellie claimed that she couldn't help from dancing when it was turned on! We've been having our own little ballet lessons, which I might be brave enough to post on here...we'll see!

Steven Joseph Jr--21 months

Oh my Joey-boy! (I tend to call him Joey or JoJo a lot) He is still keeping me on my toes! He is learning new words each day which is usually so fun for us to hear. The other night he took bread off of my dinner plate and when I asked if I could please have it back he yelled, "NO! MINE!" He's started with 2-syllable words now like mommy, daddy, baby and choo-choo. I know I say this every time, but he really, really loves balls. I've realized that we usually have 2-3 balls in each room. He just loves throwing them and playing catch with Daddy! When we were doing ballet in the living room the other day, he kept trying to hand me a soccer ball to get me to throw with him! He also loves wearing baseball caps like Daddy. He can sometimes be very shy and sensitive; he dislikes getting sand in his shoes or water on his shirt! It will be so much fun to watch him in the coming months as he continues to learn new words and grow into his own little person!

So those are my tiny treasures! What's the latest in the lives of your little ones?

Monday, September 28, 2009

Getting distracted at Walmart

can be a dangerous thing for me. For the most part, I've stopped shopping there because I get too distracted with the clothes and school supplies and crafts and fabric and electronics and shoes and baby section and clearance section...and by the time I make it to the groceries I have a baby who has more than had enough with my shenanigans.

Today was no different. I went to Walmart because I needed printer ink as well as a few groceries. The girls brought their money to buy some kind of treat, and just as I was ready to start the "grocery shopping" part of the trip, they insisted that their $2 could only be spent in the toy section. But believe you me, even at Walmart there are very few toys which cost $2 or less! There is the mini-doll that costs $1 (which we have a nice collection of already), some matchbox cars, and that's about it.

So we wandered for a few minutes until I got the most brilliant idea....

meet "Diamond."

I thought he'd be perfect when we learn about fish for "F" week next week.

I hope he makes it.

Cultivate Creativity in Your Kids

"It seems to me that most parents fall into two camps regarding their attitudes towards art. There are those who have a great interest in art, enjoy creating artwork with their children, and are regular visitors to places like the art museum.

The second camp claims that they are not artistic, are worried about messes, and feel that they have little understanding of the study of art."

Read more of my newest article at Faith & Family today!

Along the Alphabet Path--Letter D

Using the lesson plans from Serendipity, ideas from Jessica, and adding my own flair to them, here are the highlights of our 4th week of homeschooling!

D is for...

~~~Double Daisy flower fairy and St. Dominic~~~

~~~Dd letter practice~~~
Crayola Model Magic and flour on a baking sheet


We used watercolor pencils for the first time! You draw with the pencils and then use water and a paintbrush to brighten it up!


Duck craft--we used colored tissue paper ripped up and glued onto the back of a paper where I had traced these shapes:

then they cut them out and glued onto a new paper. They turned out cute!


We cut out holes in biscuit dough using the lids of spice jars. Fried them in oil, and then mixed powdered sugar with water for a glaze...


Degas paintings of dancers--
We studied them and I had them "narrate" the paintings
(tell me about them without looking).
Then they tried to draw their own dancers!

They got a bit distracted and disappointed with how these turned out,
and I must have gotten distracted too (we also had Baby "D" over),
since I don't have any photos of the dancer drawings!

But remember I did get a photo of our little dancer :)

'Twas a really fun "D" week!

Friday, September 25, 2009

7 Quick Takes Friday

One of the kids got the camera the other night, so I'll use their shots as our quick takes for today! Here's what I found on iPhoto on my next upload...


They found 2 of these cool flowers in the backyard the other night (before I learned to use the weed eater and mow the lawn the next night!). Anyone know what it is? It stayed alive in a vase on the kitchen table for several days.


This is a glow bracelet. We went to a free symphony concert last Friday night and our friends brought some of these, which were a huge hit for all the kids and kept them busy when Chopin and Tchaikovsky weren't providing enough excitement to the under-7 crowd.


These are the scissors and comb that were left on the patio table after our big haircut for SJ the other day. Daddy tried to cut his bangs, and then Mommy had to fix things a bit. I had to sadly say goodbye to the long bowl cut for now. Maybe by Christmas it will grow back?

Here he is sporting his new 'do first thing in the morning! I try to keep it gelled to the side since his bangs still look a little funny...(And this photo was taken by me, not to be confused with the random photos I found on my camera! I love how he's actually learning to pose and smile cheesily for the camera!)


Little man is still obsessed with balls. Someone must have let him play with the golf club outside. If you ask him about balls, or he sees a ball, he immediately starts babbling about DADDY this, DADDY that. They are two peas in a pod, those two!


Last weekend we went to an open house for a huge family gym with indoor/outdoor pools and all sorts of fancy stuff. What did the kids like most from their visit? These mini plastic cups for mouthwash from the restroom. Can't believe they made it home and into the photo shoot!


What kind of mother lets her daughter buy these kinds of hideous things at a thrift store? Hopefully they'll get lost soon ;)

Check out Jen's Conversion Diary for more Quick Takes!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Our Saint Lineup--Edited

Sts. Agnes, Augustine, Ann, Bernadette, Cecilia, Clare, Dominic, Elizabeth Ann Seton, and Our Lady of the Rosary. I'm having so much fun painting these!

Edited to explain this project: With our Alphabet Path program this year, we study a saint each week, one for each letter. The lesson plans include ideas to create felt saints. But after seeing Jessica's Alphabet of Saints, I thought this would be a really fun project and something that the kids could play with for a long time. I bought the wooden peg people from Woodworks Ltd. who seemed to have the best prices, and are also located in Texas so I received them in one day!

I also loved this post where Jessica's children played with their saints in their Melissa & Doug wooden castle. I've considered getting rid of our various plastic dollhouses and getting something like this. But for now they like playing with the saints in the Little People house, and I'm having so much fun doing the painting!

Edit #2 with a better photo. Would you buy these if I took orders for special saints? They're 2.5 inches tall and still need a clear sealing (so they'll be a little shinier).

The kitchen ballet show

I don't think they offer pointe classes for 4 year-olds, but she's almost ready!

(checking out flickr uploading...having issues with small grainy photos on blogger)

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Why I'm a little scarce this week...

An old friend is in town for work, and I've been caring for her sweet 4 month-old. As you can tell, the girls love it! Steven Joseph, you can see him glaring from the high chair, is usually very sweet with the baby. But then there are the times when both are fussing, both need to be fed, both need a changing, or both just ned some attention! The girls have been a great help! On Tuesdays, I also babysit a preschool-aged friend, so making it through yesterday was a big accomplishment! On the agenda today for "D" week (aside from baby "D") is lots of ballerina books for "Dancing" and the girls are anxiously awaiting the making of biscuit-dough "Doughnuts!" Hope your Wednesday is filled with fun!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Along the Alphabet Path--Letter C

Using Lesson Plans from Serendipity and ideas from Jessica, here was our 3rd week of homeschooling!

C is for...

Colored paper collage


best sugar cookie recipe!
used our alphabet cookie cutters
(with icing and sprinkles!)

St Cecilia and the Columbine Flower Fairy

Stories, St. Cecilia color page, and letter tracing for the preschoolers

St. Cecilia and St. Clare wooden peg dolls!

(I finally started painting our wooden peg saints!)

books we read:
My favorite was the one on the top left,
Cookies: Bite-Size Life Lessons

this page says:
"Greedy means taking all the cookies for myself.
Generous means offering some to others."
Each page has a virtue and explanation that relates to cookies. So cute!


loved this book too! made a paper plate cat

and other weekly doings, which happened to go with C...
Candy-Covered pretzels


and Charlotte Mason book Club :)

Also of note to other moms out there is Charlotte, who started the "boy-style" Alphabet Path with her son last week!
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