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.

Sunday, October 25, 2020

Vampires and Pumpkins, Oh My!

When I realized the English program I'd chosen wasn't working for Katie, I scrambled to find some other language arts thing else for her to work on.  What I came up with was having her finish one of Jack's old spelling books, and a grammar workbook.  

Well, she polished off that spelling book this week and looked at the blank page at the end wistfully and said, "There should be a certificate or something."  Um, gimme a sec, I can totally make that happen.  I had found some blank certificates during the Great School Room Purge, so I whipped one out and wrote it up for her.  

It was such a simple thing, and it made her so happy.  Hmm, I wonder if I can find a bird themed printable certificate to use when we finish Flying Creatures...?  Maybe present the girls with noisy stuffed birds to go along with them?  

Feeling like autumn around here.  Super easy pumpkin spice cupcakes.  Literally spice cake mix, canned pumpkin, a bag of chopped nuts (pecans, I think), cream cheese frosting, pumpkins and leaf sprinkles.  I don't even like pumpkin, and these were good.  

We might have to make them again with mini chocolate chips in them.  Mmm!  

We learned about Vikings this week!  The girls built model Viking ships from cardstock, and watched 2 Viking documentaries from the library.  

In studying Norway, we learned about the artist Edvard Munch, famous for his painting The Scream.  Art Projects For Kids has a Scream-inspired project that we tweaked a little.  

The original was a crayon resist, but we did the person on a separate paper and cut it out and glued it over the watercolor blow painting.  

I couldn't quite get the girls to give me a scream face, more of an "Ahhh" like you'd say at the doctor's office.  

Paul's replacing a sink in one of the downstairs bathrooms.  Grumman, of course, has to be in the middle of everything.  



And more books.  

I was doing my weekend lesson planning before we started Norway, and I saw that the passage we'd be reading in Window on the World was going to be about Romania.  Hmm, day trip?  And down the rabbit hole I went.  Because I tend to get a little carried away when there's a "theme" involved.  

Romania is the home of Transylvania, the home of Vlad the Impaler, the inspiration for Bram Stoker's Dracula.  (There's even a castle that has totally cashed in on the tourist trade there.)  

So we read about Romania, we got library books about Romania, we watched videos about Romania, and we made a vampire craft.  

Even though I never did any "spooky" stuff with the older kids.  

And look at that.  The sky didn't fall.

When the girls were doing their Scream faces, one asked, "Should I color the face yellow? Or orange?"  Ack.  Time to get people colors markers.  

We all tried to figure out what color we were.  I assumed I'd be closest to the color "paper" but if I could dilute "bronze" a bit, I think that would be the best match.  

Honestly?  They're all a little off.  

I am tempted to try some real art markers to see if we can find closer matches.  I've seen there's a Crayola 24 pack coming out.  Maybe I should have held out for that.  

One of the assignments in the girls' Europe packet was to make their own flag, or copy an existing European flag.  We killed several trees with this project, as Katie started cutting without a real plan.  It probably would have been easier without Grumman laying on her project.  

Hannah looked at the Flags of Europe page in her flag book and decided to go with Poland.  Personally, I would have chosen to design my own flag.  Hmm, maybe purple, with 9 turquoise hearts in the upper left corner.  

These are Lapland Felt Squares.  (The other suggested craft for Norway was Rosemaling a chest, which we did not do.)  Last time around, we made these as small ornaments for our around the world Christmas tree.  

Poor Grumman had two revolting developments this week.  The shelter sent me a text saying Bertie was not thriving there, and could we pick her up and continue to foster her?  Poor little thing.  She was 2# when she went back, but by the time her name came up on the surgery schedule, she was no longer 2#.  She was only 1.6# when I picked her up.  Her frame is growing; her face is bigger.  But she's fluff and bones.  So she's "home" and she's eating and purring, and enjoying all the attention.  Grumman is Not Amused by this.  

The second revolting development was a costume contest email from SPCA.  I, of course, thought Grumman would make a dignified vampire.  I could just imagine him sitting tall and majestic.  The reality was somewhat less than impressive.  He's not a big fan of costumes.  I didn't end up getting a submission worthy photo.  I'll have to try again another day.  Something to look forward to.  

Our library pickups come in brown bags.  I decided we could repurpose a couple of them for loot bags for the drive through Halloween event we're planning to attend.  

I also had the girls journal what they'd like to dress up as, suddenly realizing I hadn't even thought about that, since we won't be doing a traditional harvest carnival this year.  

In fact, we haven't even made it to a pumpkin patch yet this year.  This weird, weird year.

Pumpkin drawing instructions from Art Projects For Kids.  We've done a few of their guided drawings now, and I like them.  

Happy pumpkin season!  


  1. Oh! Such a rich art environment! I must admit to a bit of homeschool mom envy. However, we each get our own thing and not someone else's, so I must be content. :)

    I am glad that Bertie could come home to you.

    And I'm totally going to start copying your library book photographing. Suddenly I'm realizing it is a genius plan for keeping track of what you read!

    1. I don't blog the moments where I lean on my bedroom door and growl. ;) Actually, today when things got rough, I had the presence of mind to realize that we'd accomplished enough for the day and stop (they do math & language arts during quiet time in the afternoon).

      I have a huge country by country list of recommended books, so the pictures were a way for me to keep track of what we actually got. The list is upstairs, and the library basket is downstairs. Plus, they run off with stuff almost as soon as we get home, so I got into the habit of taking a picture as soon as we get in the door.