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.

Saturday, January 23, 2021

Our Inauguration Week

We did end up taking things easy this week, and it was good.  Josiah started a new job, and Sam needed help with some of the transition to civilian life issues, so it was nice to be available for my big boys.  

It was also nice to extend our "stay" in India a little bit longer and fit in some of the things we hadn't gotten to yet.  

Months ago, I was Pin-surfing, looking for TP tube crafts, and I saw one for a peacock.  I put a post it on India's planner page to remind me to make it when we got there.  

Grumman liked this one because it involved feathers.  

I told Hannah she might as well let him have that one until he got bored with it, because taking it away was going to be painful.  

I thought they turned out cute.  Mine sits behind the monitor and I smile when I see it.  Grumman tried to teach my peacock to fly by knocking it off the half wall over the staircase.  

Library book project that rapidly became cat toy.  

We talked about how India is known for it's spices, and so I got a bunch of spices out for the girls to smell.  

Katie rightly identified one as smelling like essential oils.  I tried to connect the dots by asking, "Okay, so where do spices come from?"  The grocery store?  India?  "No, like, what are they made out of?"  Eventually we got to "plants."  

Then I asked, where do essential oils come from?  "Out of the ground!"  Because oil (petroleum) comes out of the ground.  No, essential oils also come from plants.  So if there's a spice (that comes from a plant) and an oil (that comes from a plant), and they smell the same, maybe they're...  [blank looks]  From. The. Same. Plant.  Okay, let's move on to our experiment.  

With each country we study, I pull "extras" from a variety of sources.  One of those is the website Twinkl.  When I typed in "India," one of the things that came up was this Turmeric Experiment.  

We talked about the difference between a solution and a mixture, as we blended turmeric and water in a glass.  

Katie poured the lemon juice for us.  

The idea was that we would add two different things to the turmeric mixture, and observe the changes.  

 Turns out, lemon juice has no effect on the color, but baking soda changes the color.  As experiments go, it really wasn't all that impressive.  

I did finally make it to the Indian market!  After sniffing various spices, we were able to taste some of them in our spicy Indian dinner!  The base layer is naan (which was already a favorite around here, thanks to Trader Joe's), the kabob is mutton, the round things are potato based, with other veggies and spices, and the meat that burned our faces off is lamb curry.  

Grumman, who still swears he's not a lap cat, has been hopping up in my lap rather often recently.  I think it's more due to my relation to the space heater, than any desire to snuggle.  

I did a little more paint pouring.  

Then I fired up Crikey to add stickers, making them more like conversation hearts.  

These will get mailed off to the adult children.  

I found the wooden blank on clearance for less than a buck, so I decided to make another little something for Zach and Heather's baby.  

What's that?  I hadn't mentioned The News here yet?  

They called to tell us in November, and this was the first thing I made and sent to them.  (By the time I entered Brayden's life, he already had a few grandmas, so all the usual names were taken.  He calls me Nai Nai, which is "paternal grandmother" in Mandarin.)  

Grumman, you're not helping me correct Katie's math.  

Gah, sorry about the flash.  We've got a huge pile of China books now.  I'm very excited about getting to teach the girls more about China.  

One of Hannah's projects.

The new rubber duckie in the van inspired our rubber duckie library bags.  I hope they make the staff smile.  

Speaking of library, our usual branch is going to be closed for a week, boo hoo.  I've started reserving things to be sent to the branch across town, so we don't go through withdrawals.  

Educators, check out the Cub Club at Panda Express!  

In addition to some free kids meals, we got a bunch of bookmarks, which is great, because we go through a lot of them around here.  

Growing crystals from the Star Wars project book.  

Hannah's curious cow.  Just put some China craft/project/activity/art books on hold at the library.  I'm sure she'll be thrilled.  

I opened the dryer and found a bullet.  It made me smile, because it's one more reminder than my Marine is HOME.  

Katie made a crown for Grumman.  

Who was delighted, of course.  

Yeah, I don't think that's going to work.  

I wish I'd noticed how washed out Hannah's picture was.  She used colored pencils.  The girls drew the White House and read books about it on Inauguration Day.  I was the only one at our house who watched the event.  

A little Crikey on a plain dish towel will be going in the mail to brighten someone's day soon.  

Our "henna" project, inspired by our Global Kids deck.  We used multicultural construction paper for the hands, and I just love the way it turned out.  

We had a great time learning about India, and were able to take things further and learn about how the region became India and West Pakistan and East Pakistan, which eventually became Bangladesh.  We learned about the forced Muslim/Hindu migration, and compared it to our Trail Of Tears.  I'm glad we were able to spend a few extra days finishing up all I wanted to get in before moving on to the next country.  

And now, I'm excited to get started on China!  


  1. So much fun learning. You guys have the best time.
    BLessings, Dawn

    1. Having roughly 3 years off from homeschooling really made me appreciate this second chance to do fun stuff with my kids. It's been one of the silver linings of the pandemic for me.

  2. So much goodness!!! I frequently get similar responses to leading questions like the ones you posed about spices/essential oils. :) The good thing is that we're teaching! Our kids who don't make connections on their own need us badly to show them the connections. Congratulations on the grandbaby news!!!!!!

    And I love that henna project--we're starting India around here, and the kids were so curious, but I'm not about to henna my children. Doing it on paper is a great substitute.

    1. You asked about our moon craft. I forgot to bookmark the page, so of course I can't find it, but it was made by "sponge" painting a circle with a ball of aluminum foil dipped in white and black paint. While that dried, we splattered white paint onto black construction paper to look like outer space. When it was all dry, we cut out the moons and glued them to the back ground. That simple!

    2. Thank you! That's a neat technique. I'll have to keep it in mind for our ocean projects.

      The henna idea wasn't mine, but using skin toned paper and cutting them out was my twist on it. I'm glad we mounted them together. The finished project makes me smile.