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.

Friday, February 24, 2023

February Happenings

The days are getting away from me again.  It feels like not much is happening, but I do have a bunch of photos to share.  

One of the pastors sent me this picture of Jack, lounging in the library during youth.  I love that he's snuggling a Bible.  (The fact that his shoes are on the ottoman cover I made, not so much.)  

The quest to find a good book to read for St. Patrick's Day has been frustrating.  I'm half tempted to write my own and call it St. Patrick Without All The Blarney.  I've found a "close enough" book, though.  

Oh Grumman.  A cat rescue I follow recently posted, "Describe your cat in one word."  I replied, "Entitled."  He's such a character.

As is little Fiona, of course.  

I pulled out my leftover ducks from last school year, and my 6th graders are tripping over themselves to do book talks to earn ducks.  

Bri sent the girls t-shirts.  (Hannah's other shirt has a red panda enjoying boba.)

Katie's other shirt has a dragon.

She's a little harder to photograph.

Barely controlled chaos abounds.

Parents of adult children:  If you send your child a package via Amazon, you can get a picture of their far away doorstep.  :sigh:  I've done this a few times now, and it's a small comfort to me to get a glimpse of where they live.  

Purple makes me happy, so I bought some purple carnations at the grocery store.  Only Grumman went nuts over the greenery packed with them, so I had to keep them where he couldn't get to them.  Which ended up being in my shower.  :sigh:  

More books

A couple of valentines from my kindergarteners.

Josiah had a birthday.  

There's a saying among Air Force mamas:  Find a dime, your airman's fine.  Silly, but some consolation when they're so far away.  I changed from my "day after Thanksgiving to day after Valentine's" purse to my purple "rest of the year" purse, and I found a dime.  

We recently read the Aboriginal myth, Why Koala Has a Stumpy Tail so I had a little Australia display set up.  I also changed out the biographies on display for Black History Month.  

Speaking of displays, I love the $5 stuffed animal book characters at Kohl's.  They make the picture book section more inviting, I think.  

Last time I shared the "in progress" picture.  This is the completed February bulletin board.  The 3rd graders made the koalas.  Kindergarten did my December gingerbread men, 1st-2nd did my January snowmen, 3rd did the koalas, I'm thinking maybe 4th-5th can do butterflies for my spring bulletin board next time.  

The girls were off for President's Day and I took them with me to Target.  Katie:  "I feel so weird, touching a mannikin!"  

"You are so weird, touching a mannikin."  

Hannah's a little on the odd side, too, as she discovered that the sign swung back & forth, and couldn't leave it alone long enough to check sizes with me.  

We stopped at a garden store to check for snapdragons, and I think I must have been getting hungry, because I felt a kinship with this $200 purple dragon.  Maybe I'm a little strange, myself.  

Josiah hard boiled some eggs recently.

And Hannah made a very tasty tortilla soup.

My bunting is a bit wonky, but I wanted to throw up some FACTS about St. Patrick to counteract the leprechaun/pot o'gold fluff around the holiday.  (Did you know he was never formally canonized by the Catholic church?)

One of the teachers asked for photos of students with pets for the yearbook, so Hannah nabbed Grumman for a picture.  

We had a tiny bit of SNOW one day.  It doesn't snow here.  I totally would have missed it if I hadn't been at school pickup.  

One of my friends from homeschool co op days long ago bought this book for our library.  Great book!  I'm excited to share it with my students.  

Friday, February 3, 2023

Our Week With a New Addition

If I ever design a house, it will totally have stained glass book windows in the library.  Or literary theme stained glass windows.  Winnie the Pooh, Alice in Wonderland, Sandra Boynton's characters...  

We brought home so many books we had to use 2 cards.  

And make 2 piles.  

Hannah hasn't been able to wear regular pants in years.  I decided to try something.  I picked up a pair of clearance uniform pants, husky size, a couple sizes up from what she wears in other things, from the boys section at Target.  She tried them on and they fit around her prosthetic.  So we cinched up the elastic in the waist (a lot) and I marked where they'd need to be hemmed.  One side is noticeably shorter than the other, but they appear even when she wears them.  

See?  And there's her Year of the Rabbit shirt, too.  This opens up a whole new world for her, clothing wise, so I'm anticipating some more hemming in my future.  The downside is that Katie won't be able to wear her hand me downs.  Even if I removed the re-hemming, Katie's not at all "husky."

Me:  I'll just take a quick picture of the jammies I made for grandbaby Kasen...  
Grumman:  No.

There we go.  Finished and mailed!  I have 3 more pairs cut out, but it may be a while before I finish those.  

Fortunately, Zach & Heather made a smaller version.  This is Nolan, who's brand new.  I don't like this business of being 2 time zones away from the grandkids.  

Some scrap-kins.  Napkins made from scraps.  Kitty calico reverses to gray flannel, floral reverses to purple flannel.  I have some more napkins cut out, too.  Bunnies, which will hopefully be done in time for Easter, and a Mulan print.  

Speaking of holidays, we've been enjoying Lunar New Year.  I'm never going to be the mom who whips up a traditional ethnic meal from scratch, but I can Trader Joe's like nobody's business.  

And I signed the school up for goodies from Panda Express.  Activity books, coupons, stickers.  This went over well with the kids.  

If you remember the paint project I showed the first half of last week, the finished project is the bunny lantern in the upper right corner.  I did this (over 2 weeks) with everybody from K-5th, and I think they turned out great.  All different, but pretty.  

The first week, the students painted with cosmetic sponges on the back side of the lantern printouts.  We let those dry, and then the next week, they cut the lanterns out, added a bunny for Year of the Rabbit, and used gold marker to write 2023, then added red yarn to hang them up.  

When I told Paul, "I Crikey-ed 50 bunnies this morning," he said I should have just Crikey-ed 2 and waited.  

Speaking of making things, I searched and searched for book theme conversation hearts online, but didn't really find what I wanted, so I made these on PicMonkey.  I laminated them so I can re-use them in the future.  

Sometimes when I have an extra bit of laminating pouch, I stick in a piece of scrapbook paper, or a chunk of map to make bookmarks.  This time, it was a piece of a destroyed copy of Are You My Mother? that I laminated for a bookmark.  I find it so amusing I have it taped to the book return crate for the time being.  The white pieces are blank laminated bits that were left over after cutting out my conversation hearts.  I think I'm going to let the 6th graders decorate them with Sharpies.  

Milestone visit for Hannah.  She gets to change to annual visits with the doctor at Shriners, instead of every 6 months.  

We're going through a lot of books these days.  I'm 22 books into the new year already.  I've noticed I read a lot more in winter than I do in warmer months.  

I'm currently 33% through this one.  Young Winston Churchill has just escaped from captivity and found himself alone in a hostile country.  I'm thinking this is a book I should have read before seeing the Churchill War Rooms in London.  His toy soldiers and other bits of memorabilia would have had more meaning for me with the back story.  

Pictures from Churchill War Rooms last summer

Oh Grumman.  

So... a while back, Grumman would occasionally bring me a sock.  Then he started bringing me the occasional kitchen towel.  One recent morning, I woke up to find he'd hauled ELEVEN bits & bobs up the stairs to my bedroom door.  Methinks he really wanted in.  

I can carry scissors for a whole class with one hand.  The talents I am gaining amaze me.  

February is Dental Health Month.  We got toothbrushes & paste from Colgate, and I added a printable book from Twinkl and made up little gift bags.  I wanted to put stickers in them, but I restrained myself for budgetary reasons.  

My not quite finished February bulletin board.  I'll be making the koalas with my 3rd graders next week.  I feel like this one will only be done for a couple weeks before I switch it out to St. Patrick's Day.  

Fortunately, it seems like time is moving faster now that we're back in schools and hitting all the crafty holidays.  I feel like CNY, Valentine's, St. Pat's, and Easter will see us through to Spring Break.  And, I heard that both Annaliese and Brianna plan to visit home (at different times) this year, so that gives me another something to look forward to.