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.

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Our Kitteny, Artsy, Smoky Week

This "week" ended up being a bit longer than a week, because I got distracted and didn't get a chance to blog over the weekend.  

The girls have been a big help with socializing the kittens, usually right after their baths.  We've seen a lot of development in the week or so we've had them.  

Another after bath favorite is to go in the playpen with the heating pad under it.  We had a large animal playpen like this one, but the foster bunnies chewed a hole in it.  I ordered another one recently, and laughed at myself for accidentally getting a much tinier one.  Turns out, it's a great size for baby kittens.  

Have you heard of Eat 2 Explore?  I saw an ad for them on Facebook, and thought it would be a neat addition to our around the world homeschooling theme, and it would be a fun way to work with the girls on new skills.  

We've been working on the Mexico box.  Hannah helped me make the fajitas.  (The rice-a-roni was our own addition.)  

They were quite yummy, and we have 2 more recipes to try from this box.  

The box includes not only recipes and a few ingredients, but also a pin, sticker, tool (cool avocado tool in this box) and related educational activities.  It's a great extra for our country studies, and I'm looking forward to seeing what's in the Brazil box when we get there.  

Little Bertie is just a tiny scrap of messiness now, but he's going to be absolutely gorgeous when he gets bigger.  

I feel bad for not showing as many pictures of Cleo, but they don't come out as well, with her dark eyes and dark fur.  

My girls are just not excited about coloring.  I feel there are benefits, so we'll finish up the coloring books for Mexico and Canada (and later in the year, India) but I won't be buying more coloring books for other countries.  

Homeschool can happen at all hours of the day.  We decided to make Ojos de Dios (God's Eyes) after baths one night.  

They turned out well.  The girls hung theirs in their room, and I hung mine on the bulletin board.  If we do a homeschool tree at Christmas, we'll be sure to hang these as ornaments.  

Watching Sunday school.  We're living in weird times.  

Matilda recently hit 3,000 miles.  Longest "new car" phase ever, since we hardly leave the house this year.  

Note the 106* temp?  Yeah, when I got in, it was 111*, but it cooled a bit by the time I got to Bri's work to pick her up.  It's been hot and smoky, two factors keeping us in the house, when I really would rather be out exploring nature with the girls.  We were hoping to attend a Homeschool Hikers event, but it was cancelled due to air quality.  

This was the pile of ash that built up in just a few hours after taking her through the car wash.  It's weird to be checking the air quality more often than the weather.  

It's also weird to be grateful when the weather is "only unhealthy" and not "hazardous."  But I guess we're all getting used to weird this year.  I had to scrub the ash out of the bird bath.  Actually, I should probably go rinse it again.  Arizona is reporting lots of dead migratory birds, possibly from the smoke.  I want to offer fresh water for our feathered friends.  

There are good things and bad things about using the same curriculum again several years later.  One of the good things is familiarity, and a general sense of how it works and what to do.  One of the bad thing is preconceived ideas, based on past experience.  Eight years ago, we did the tissue paper flowers, and my boys hated it.  I remember that being a craft flop.  

Hannah and Katie did fine with them.  We even added a couple drops of essential oil to make them smell like flowers.  The plan is to use them for table decor when we make our next Mexican meal.  

This is kitten central when it's clean.  Which happens 3x/day.  

 This is kitten central 10 minutes later, and most of the rest of the time.  The water bowl got used for a splash pad, and there's food everywhere.  And yes, I know they'll be able to hop out of the tub soon.  I'm both anticipating and dreading it.  Hoping they're less messy when they're more mobile.  

As we wrapped up Mexico, we did a cactus art project.  

Watercolor, sharpie, glue, and rice for the cactus prickles.  

Oh Grumman.  

We watched a video about the migration of monarch butterflies.  Through the cat.  Who really enjoyed it as much as we did.  

Oh Grumman.

I had the girls do our North America GeoPuzzle (these are seriously the best puzzles!) because it has all the Canadian provinces & territories as individual, correctly shaped pieces.  

We're flapping along in our flying science.  Katie was proud of her notebooking page and asked me to take a picture, so here you go.  

Oh Grumman.

I thought perhaps the additional exposure to provinces would help them learn to spell them, but when they filled in a blank Canadian map with the province & territory names, it became evident that Nunavut stuck.  

And now you know where Sam got his punny sense of humor.  

Lil mookedy moos mastered my purse this week.  Bertie would climb up and then look down like, "I'm not sure I can make that jump."  It was adorable.  

Guys?  You're supposed to climb *out* of the playpen, not try to climb *into* it.  

After we finished up Mexico, we started learning about Canada, which, in my mind is polar bears, Mounties, and polite people, eh?  So day one of our polar bear art project involved drawing a horizon line and some snowflakes, and then glazing over them with a clear glitter coat.  

I don't know that all good things must come to an end, but it sure seems like a lot of them do.  These guys have had a blast being stationed together in Texas.  But Eli has finished tech school, and is headed to his first duty station, which happens to be overseas.  

Fortunately, his travels include a stop at home to visit.  Oh Grumman.  

Day 2 of the polar bear craft involved using foam tape to mount the Cricut cut polar bears and gluing on a googley eye.  When I thought this up, my intention was for the glitter glaze to be snow-like.  However, as you can see from Katie's picture, it more closely resembles aurora borealis at the right angle, which is a totally cool unexpected twist, and a nice segue into learning about the northern lights.  

Stay safe out there, friends!  


  1. What a fun week!!! I have not had the energy to face any art projects. We have suggested art as part of our curriculum, but the supplies have been waaaaay beyond our budget, so I've been searching out simpler, less expensive options . . . but that's as far as I get.

    Oh! Those little kittens are sooooo sweet!!!!

    1. We had a lot of homeschool years where art just didn't happen. It wasn't until I switched from a workbook curriculum to MFW that we really got into art projects. I was fortunate to review some fun art curriculum, and even art supplies, so we're pretty well stocked. I did an art paper and brushes review a few years back that really helped. I kick myself for not using our fabulous Home Art Studio DVDs, but we're at least doing projects that relate to what we're learning about. I have a peacock craft planned for when we get to Kenya. I found the idea on Pinterest when I went looking for bird crafts.

      The kittens are adorable. They're getting more personality, and becoming less messy. They go in for shots tomorrow.