A large family, homeschooling, adoption, special needs, whatever strikes my fancy, sort of blog.

A large family, homeschooling, adoption, special needs, whatever strikes my fancy, sort of blog.

Thursday, August 20, 2020

Our Week - With World Cakes

Salutations!  I hope your part of the world is not on fire, or raining ash.  The air quality here is awful, so we're staying inside as much as possible.  California had a massive, crazy lightning storm, and now everything is on fire.  Again.  And will continue to be, sporadically, from now until Thanksgiving.  #because2020 

Random VBS craft, and a reminder that despite the world falling apart in so many ways right now, God is still on the throne, and none of this series of disasters comes as a surprise to him.  

One of the intangible things we're working on this year is having Hannah and Katie figure things out independently.  

The book Maps & Mapping has a couple projects in the back.  I asked Katie to pick one, and she chose the treasure map.  You can't really tell, but after crumpling the paper, she painted it with a wash of brown watercolor to "age" it.  She did a great job with her grid lines, once the paper dried.  This project was a good way for her to read and follow directions and figure things out with a minimum of help from me.  

Jack started school this week, so we staged a First Day of School picture, even though the girls & I started "half days" about 10 days earlier.  

I'm a sucker for books, and a sucker for adoption fundraisers, so when a mutual friend online invited me to an online book auction, benefiting an adoptive family, I was all over that.  So we got a cheap infusion of new books for our home library.  

Which is not to say we're using the public library any less.  

In fact, last time we went to pick books up, we took the girls' clipboards and did a quick nature walk and drawing session.  I think they drew palm trees, but I don't seem to have pictures of that.  We also looked up a flower that we saw, the Canna Lily.  We observed buds and blooms, we took note of the big, striped leaves, we felt the smooth petals, and we noticed the colors we would need to draw or paint it.  

The more things change, the more they stay the same.  8 years ago, we made world cakes.  Here we are, making them again.  Different kids, same shirt.  Totally unplanned.  I gotta say, Hanna Andersson clothes wear like iron.  

Katie had just gotten out of the tub, hence the bath hair and jammies.  Our blue frosting was a lot darker this year, because I tried to use expired food coloring, and it tinted our frosting GRAY!  Fortunately, I had some of the concentrated icing coloring gel, so I squirted that in and got blue.   

Hannah's cake.  (South America)

And Katie's cake.  (Australia, Tasmania, Papua New Guinea)

I took this picture a while back, while Grumman was meowing at me to let him out the back door.  

And I had it made into a mask for Eli (Grumman is his cat) for his birthday.  I know he can't wear it in uniform, but he can wear it on weekends, in his normal people clothes.  

Speaking of Eli...  this guy?  Is all done with tech school.  He's waiting to head overseas to his first duty assignment later this year.  

Grumman continues to be a lovable distraction in the school room.  I've noticed it's easier for Katie to watch Hannah, and copy what she does, than it is for her to listen to ME and follow directions.  So we're trying a different setup, which will hopefully help her rely more on her listening skills.  

Hannah's figure it out project this week came from Great Civil War Projects.  

She chose to make a fan, with large craft sticks.  Paul helped her drill the holes in the sticks, and I provided the supplies she asked for and repeated, "Did you read the directions?" over and over again.  I look forward to seeing both girls gain thinking skills and confidence as they tackle more things on their own.  

This was my "Wait!  Wait!  You can't go eat lunch yet.  I need to find my phone and get a picture first," shot.  Neither girl is exhibiting delight with the culmination of the base of our bird feeders.  

I think they were a 3 day project, because we made them in phases.  Our supplementary science program is birds, so we're making our yard more bird friendly.  We actually saw 3 California Scrub Jays in the yard last night as we were eating dinner.  

Hopefully, we'll attract some other feathered friends to observe.  

I put the hook up, and hopped down to let Katie hang her feeder.  I guess spatial awareness isn't one of my strong suits.  

You totally can't see Katie's feeder, but it's on the other side of the post behind the hummingbird feeders.  We'll be adding a birdbath soon.  I'm looking forward to the weather cooling and the smoke dissipating (eventually) so we can enjoy the yard and hopefully observe some birds out there.  

Inspired by last night's visitors, we read about the California Scrub Jay online, and then the girls drew Jays from a how to draw birds library book.  

I know I shared Hannah's Cardinal earlier.  This is Katie's Hummingbird from that same day.  

It seems a little weird to be doing a Weekly Wrap Up style post on a Thursday, but we're done with our second week of curriculum, and will start week 3 tomorrow.  I'm sure there will come a day when something derails our planned schoolwork, so it will be nice to be a bit ahead when we have to skip a day for an appointment or illness or crankiness.  One of the things I love about homeschooling is the flexibility.  


  1. So, there are about a ton of great things you've reported on in this post, but I'm totally stuck on and delighted by the fact that the same shirt was worn by sisters while working on the same project years apart. I love it! This very week, my Lola (youngest girl) wore a sweater that I either inherited in a hand-me-down bag or bought at a thrift store for Rose Red (my eldest girl). Eight girls have worn that sweater--hand made by a stranger. I find such joy in that sharing.

    And I'm totally impressed with your "figure it out" plan! What empowerment for your girls!!

    Congrats to Eli!

    1. Wow! One sweater for 8 girls is amazing! I saved very few things from Annaliese to Brianna, because they were 5 years (and 2 brothers) apart, and I saved very little from Brianna to Hannah, because they were 7 years apart, but there's a couple things that have popped up that the younger girls wear from the older ones that make me smile.

      Boys are so hard on their clothes! Most of Zach's clothes were hand me downs/thrift store finds the first few years, but I bought new for pictures each year. Jack (boy 5) wore the shirt that Zachary wore for his 5 year old pictures a few times, and it always made me smile.