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, December 27, 2020

Our Christmas Break Week

This has been a nice, mellow week.  The girls have done a little cleaning, played a few games, and made a few projects.  

3 of Katie's projects in one picture.  The pipe cleaner candy canes looked better before Grumman got to them.  Grumman has A Thing for pipe cleaners.  

When Katie showed me her reindeer, my first question was, "Whose hands are those?"  Neither of my girls has 10 fingers.  Katie used Hannah's hand, and Hannah suggested she fold the paper to make 2 hands in one cutting.  I was pretty impressed with Hannah's reasoning skills here.  

I've been feeling very grateful for our library peeps this year.  I dropped off a card and some Christmas print masks in one of our bags of returns, to let them know they're appreciated.  I thought it might also brighten their day to have some artwork adorning the incoming book bags.

Hannah and I collaborated on this one.  Now I need more ideas for what to have them put on the next bags.  

Hannah said this started out as a monkey (hence the banana) but looks more like a cat.  

Grumman looked like he was posing in front of the tree, so I snapped this.  

Speaking of trees...  

A couple of the adult children have sent me pictures of their Christmas trees, which warmed my heart.  

After Christmas, I cancelled holds on several Christmas books that didn't make it to us in time.  I also got to cancel a book I was #124 (out of 149) on the list for, because Paul gave me the book for Christmas.    

The girls each got several books as one of their Christmas gifts, too, so we've got plenty to read.  

I'm really pleased with this.  The girls have drawn several African animals recently, but one at a time.  I asked them to use multiple pages of a "how to draw" book to create a scene with several animals in it.  This is Hannah's finished project.  Katie didn't quite understand what I was going for, and made a cartoon, with talking animals instead of a nature scene.  They're really good at following a guided drawing prompt to make something exactly like an example, so what I wanted with this assignment was to challenge them to take those technical skills and pair them with some of their own creativity.  

One of Katie's projects that required some assistance from Daddy.  

Another guided drawing from Art Projects For Kids.  I've already got a couple of these printed off for when we get to India in a couple weeks.  

Processing the second bag of Book First book packets.  

I ran the completed book packs up to Sac this week.  These will go into the hands of low income first graders in January.  

Hannah's African mask.

I made 3 book pickups this week, and the library was closed an extra 2 days for Christmas.  I may have a problem.  All things considered, I feel like it's an okay problem to have.  

Snow globe drawings, using a plate to get a nice, round circle.  Christmas trees are really hard to get symmetrical, so this was challenging.  

Hannah found a bookmark project in a craft book, and I remembered that we have bookmark blanks in a variety of colors, so I pulled those out, and lots of Christmas stickers, and the girls made bookmarks.  I think this was Christmas Eve, or the day before, and I said, "You can make them for yourself, or to give as gifts; you can do one, or as many as you want."  They each made one.  Katie chose to give hers to someone else.  Without them being in school, there's no one to say, "Hey, make your mother something for Christmas."  This year was kind of rough, with none of the adult children home (and my love language being gifts).  

The annual faux gingerbread houses.  Josiah has a strategy.  His houses never fall down.  

We're trying to grow Katie's hair out.  Not sure where her barrette went.  

Hannah's annoyed because one of the walls kept falling over.

Speaking of pandemic hair.  I think I need to buzz this boy.  I should have had him turn the plate a little.  The front row there is actually Teddy Grahams with Pocky rifles.  Jack built an armory.  

This is my "van full of children driving past Christmas light displays."  The marshmallow snowmen were Josiah's idea.  Instead of the full on nativity this year, I just did a stable with a lion and a lamb.  

White board art work from Josiah.  💙 

My "everybody" shrunk considerably this year, in the Christmas Eve "Everybody sit on the couch for Christmas pajamas!"  Pretty sure Jack went from Star Wars jammies to Christmas jammies.  

Christmas morning.  

Background is my new ironing board cover.  I've ironed over 700 masks this year, and Grumman loves to perch on the ironing board, so between the scorch marks and his scratching, there was a worn through patch in the cover I got for Christmas last year.  

The pens were also a gift.  You may remember when we got Crayola "people colors" markers and tried to find our skin colors.  We didn't really match any of them.  So I had these on my wish list.  The 2 outer columns of colors are Crayola.  The center column, with the numbers, is the new markers.  We were comparing our arms to the new colors and decided I'm somewhere between the 800 and the paper.  Might be time for an iron supplement.  

Looking forward to getting back to our school routine tomorrow.  I hope you had a Merry Christmas.  

Friday, December 18, 2020

Our Last School Week of the Year

Aren't the cardinal drawings cute?  I'm really pleased with how well the girls' drawing skills have improved in the last couple of months.  

Speaking of birds, the birdfeeders we made back in August are still going strong.  I found a little pile of sunflower shells under one of them, and it made me smile.  Jack refilled them for us this week.  

Last week, the girls made African Fly Whisks.  Within a day, Grumman un-made the African Fly Whisks.  Oh Grumman.  

My intention was to have the girls help me with the Book First sorting when we wouldn't need the school room for, well, school.  But my Saturday morning ended up being a burst of creativity when I tried a new to me craft, paint pouring.  

I love the way these ornaments came out.  I wanted to use Crikey to put "For God so loved the world..." on them, but my first try was unsuccessful.  Still mulling whether I want to try again, or do something different.  

Totally asked Santa for a bottle of gold pouring paint, as I could see this being a new favorite craft.  

Although we decided to take next week off from regular school work, we will continue to refresh our library books.  Afternoon reading time is a favorite.  

I assembled book packs while watching another cheesy Hallmark Christmas movie.  I've got one bag finished, one more to go.  

This is almost a Pinned It and Did It, except I didn't actually pin this one.  I woke up to an email with a bunch of blog posts, and the picture of the TP tube ornaments looked intriguing.  

I decided we were going to make poinsettias.  Only, I didn't actually bring the directions into the school room.  I just figured I'd wing it.  So I made it three times harder than it needed to be, of course.  

Long haired cat and hot glue gun.  What could go wrong here?  He wasn't on the table when we started the project.  

"Mom, can you get him out of the paint?"  Oh Grumman.  

We cut, and glued, and painted, and even glittered the top edges (although you can't really see the glitter).  

Then we added some tiny pom poms to the centers, and a loop of rat tail cord for hanging.

The girls did Poinsettias drawings one day, too.  

Okay, this is hilarious.  So, I often write the girls' assigned school work on the board the night before.  Josiah has taken to drawing whatever the "Draw a __________" is for the next day.  I didn't want to wake up to something wildly inappropriate on Nutcracker day, so I wrote "Draw a German soldier ornament," and left the guided drawing instruction page.  The above is Josiah's drawing, which cracked me up.  

And these are Hannah and Katie's drawings.  I need to figure out if the Paint a Nutcracker kits I got them will fit in their stockings or not.  If they don't, I'll give them out one morning this week when they need something to do.  

Christmas came a wee bit early for Brianna, as she headed back to Los Angeles this week.  

That tree has a tail.  No wonder there are needles all over the floor!  Oh Grumman.  

I'm getting better at the library thing.  You can refine your search in a number of ways, and I've recently started using the Available Now at __________ to choose books that my local branch has on the shelf.  Not as important when you're looking for a book about ladybugs, but wildly helpful when you want "Christmas" with a Target Audience of Juvenile, and the first 40 results are checked out already.  As you can see, I figured out how to score some holiday books prior to the actual holiday this time.  (We got a couple of Thanksgiving books the week after.  Although this one was worth waiting for.)  

Paul had a birthday.  I picked up take & bake pizza for dinner, and an ice cream pizza for dessert.  

Paul did the covid compliant candle snuffing with his fingers.  Ah, for the good old days, when we used to eat cake that someone had breathed all over, right?

Surprisingly, Grumman has left the poinsettia ornament alone so far.  He's more interested in the neighborhood Roller Skating Dog Guy.  

The extra room has been cleaned out to await it's next visitor.  This picture reminds me I still need to take pillowcases in there.  

Hannah is really starting to hate the word "project."  She asked me to get her a Star Wars library book, and while I was searching, I happened upon a book of Star Wars projects!  (I also got her another SW book; I'm not a total meanie.)  She was Not Amused with me.  

I busted out the Christmas Crafts From Around The World book, and Katie made what looks a lot like a wand.  

I was half pleased and half embarrassed when she came to the sewing room and asked if we have any dowels.  Of course we do.  Once upon a time, I used to wrap ribbon around dowels and heat them in the oven to make korker bows for Brianna.  

My girls have never seen real snow.  I feel kinda bad about that, but at the same time, I know boots would be a nightmare with prosthetics, and one of the girls doesn't do uneven surfaces well.  So, for now, drawings of snowmen will have to do.  

Desert scene.  Yes, the sand is blue.  We work with what we've got.  Katie enjoyed the scritching noise the animals made when she set them up in the sand.  Hannah did the cacti and grasses in the background.

Finishing up the Africa pages from Exploring World Geography, Katie's mask project.

Brianna and I watched the live action version of Aladdin recently, so when I started requesting library books about Saudi Arabia and the Middle East, the song from the movie played in my mind.  I did not know the story of Ali Baba, so I got a book.  It's actually an interesting story!  And where we get the phrase "Open sesame!"  

Although we won't be doing any "day trips" (where we learn about a new country) this coming week, I've requested books about various countries of the Middle East so the girls can hopefully get a more expansive overview of the area.  

 Our household received Christmas M&Ms from out of state family.  Josiah has been sprinkling them on brownies before baking.  I like to use them for trail mix.  

Hannah's clapper from the Great Medieval Projects book.  She scored the soda caps from me (I started saving them for paint pouring) and then asked Paul for help with the rest of it.  It made me smile to hear him explaining his use of the Dremmel tool to her.  She may not like me requiring them to do projects, but I think it's good in more ways than one.  

Hopefully, next week will be full of games, puzzles, reading, projects, sleeping in, and hanging out.