Sunday, August 31, 2008

Mark's Dr Dolittle Book Review

My mom finished reading The Story of Dr. Dolittle out loud to us and we all loved it, especially me.
It is the story about Dr. Dolittle going across seas, fighting off pirates, and going through dangerous lands.
He went across seas to Africa to help the monkies not be sick anymore. He knew they were sick because he could talk to animals.
He was thrown in jail twice when he was in Africa by the king of Jollikinki.
He had many adventures getting home.
I know that you would love this story, so go to the library near you. Go straight to the front desk and ask for Dr Dolittle.
Thank-you, Mark (8) , for dictating this wonderful review of this great story that we all enjoyed together.

Alex the Great-life cycle-day 31

After a few days under the kitchen table, Daddy got Alex the Great situated into a new home-for safety reasons.--Under the kitchen table just wasn't safe. He is now on a smaller piece of foam board inside a 2 liter soda bottle with the top cut off. (This soda bottle technique is how we always raise our caterpillars.)
He is nice and bright green, and I love the little golden spots on his charysalis. We know he is healthy because of the nice green color. We have had charysalis' die before, and they, at first turn dull, and then brownish in color.
I do need to show you Gracie's charysalis, Anjolina. She has also been a charysalis for 3 days and is doing just fine.
I won't bore you anymore with these again until the BIG metamorphysis has taken place and we present to you our beautiful butterflies--barring any unforeseen accidents that happen sometimes in a family with so many little children.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Toddler "School"-- homemade colored rice

It seems to be all about keeping little people busy around here, and today was no exception.
I have seen in Montessori catalogs and websites the value of pouring, scooping, dumping, and getting your toddlers hands into things. Things like rice, for instance.
I wrote a recipe down a while ago for homemade colored rice and today to got to making it.

2 cups rice ( I got a 5 cup bag from the dollar store)
2 tsp. food coloring
3 tsp. rubbing alcohol
a container to shake it all up in.

Mix the food coloring and rubbing alcohol together in a container with a secure lid. Add the rice to this. (I was surprised to find that the food coloring DID NOT stain the plastic Gladware container that I used.)

Make sure the lid is on very tight, and shake, shake, shake. Shake until all the rice is colored.

Place the rice on a cookie sheet to dry. This took a couple hours.

We then mixed up some blue. The colors came out more vibrant than I thought they would.

Daddy even took a few minutes before soccer practice to help Kimberly shake, shake, shake.

We had a lesson in patience, and then we all had fun. I was at the thrift store today and bought this little creamer and two little shot glasses for $1.50. Kim, Luke, and suprisingly, Grace enjoyed pouring the little "teapot" (especially after yesterday's teaparty) into the little shot glasses.
It took quite a bit of practice to pour carefully enough to just fill the shotglass without overflowing it. They had to move slowly not to spill the rice. Kim and Luke achieved this more often than Grace, who is 6 years old, compared to the 2 and 3 year old.
Grace has always been, well lets just say, active. Very active. Impulsive and quite excitable. If I was to label her, she would get an ADHD label. But I will not label her. I will work with her, trying to find the best way to help her control her impulsiveness.
Any and all suggestions to do this would be greatly appreciated.

After about 45 minutes, yes, 45 minutes! I got out some little animals and we had fun having adventures with the animals in the rice. Kimberly, being very motherly, lined her animals up and fed them.

Luke on the other hand, played lets kill the animals by burying them in quicksand. He did later save them, which comforted this mother quite a bit.

There you have it.... Toddler School style!

Are a Child of the 80's? I Am...

You Are 84% A Child of the 80s

There's hardly a moment of the 80s that you missed out on.

Was there ever a better decade? As if!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Remembering Tasha Tudor

Happy Birthday, Tasha Tudor.

Visit Clarice to see how folks all over are remembering this remarkable woman.

I asked the kids what they thought would be fun to do for her birthday! They recognized how important flowers and animals were to Tasha, in her books, and in her everyday life.

It was also very evident that she was someone who loved the outdoors.
So, following is our day we spent to remember Tasha Tudor.

We certainly wanted to spend a lot of time outside today, so we began the day gathering wildflowers out in the back fields.
These pictures remind be of the beautiful pictures Tasha painted of children doing seemingly regular things. (I just wish we had the Victorian clothing to wear as we were enjoying this special day.)

After gathering our flowers, Amy, Laura, and Danny prepared a wonderful picnic lunch that was enjoyed out under a maple tree.

This does NOT happen very often around here, so it was a great treat for all the kids.
It was so easy though, that maybe it should become a regular occurrence.

After our picnic, I made Tasha Tudor's Daddy's Brownies. These are delicious! I didn't know how they would come out because they didn't have a rising agent, but they were yummy, albeit, flat.

We arranged our wildflowers and began a very festive tea party. (Tasha Tudor loved her tea, we had apple juice.)

Thank you, Grandma, for loaning us a teapot and cups. Kim was puzzled by the fine art of tea drinking. She asked for a straw! Tasha also loved dolls and toys. Notice who Gracie shared tea with.
I am a little embarrassed to admit, this was our first tea party, ever.
Gracie said as we were picking flowers this morning, "Wouldn't it be great is it was Tasha Tudor's birthday everyday!!"

Yes, Grace, it sure would!

Alex the Great-caterpillar-day-28

This morning, we discovered that Gracie's caterpillar, Anjolina, had turned into a very pretty, respecticle, ladylike chrysalis. She is two days younger than Alex the Great, but seems to be doing what she is supposed to do.

But as I told you yesterday, we thought Alex the Great may had met his demise when we found him under the kitchen table. His container had fallen off the table, and we soon found him clinging to a piece of foam poster board that was leaning up against the wall, behind the table bench.
Not a very safe spot, especially since 12 people cram around this table every day to eat. He also looked a little strange after his escape ordeal.
Here he is. Danger! Danger! Danger!
Laura posted a plea to the family to remember that he is down here.
This morning I decided he was dead, so I told the kids we would remove him from the house this afternoon. Literally minutes later, one of the kids called to everyone, "He is changing!!"

If you have never seen the actual moment a caterpillar turns into a charysalis, it is, well, gross. His skin splits and he wriths around for at least ten minutes, as his green skin kind of sheds again, revealing the final home, where a metamorphisis is about to begin.

Alex the Great is all his beautiful green glory.

Happy Birthday, Tasha!!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Day-27 - A Big Change Coming Soon

We took wonderful care of Alex the Great for the past 27 days, but lo, this morning, his container was tipped over and we found him under the kitchen table. I don't know if he will make it, he is, kind of, in a j shape (the precursor for a chrysalis) so now we will try to protect him under the table.

Gracie's caterpillar, Anjolina, is two days younger than Alex the Great, but she has also "made a j" today! Hopefully we will get a butterfly!

Same pattern-different skirt...

Monday, August 25, 2008

That's one bbbbbiiiiigggg bug!!!

Mark caught this cicada at soccer practice today. Dad said it was at least three inches long!

I am glad I wasn't there,

And I am really glad that is didn't come home with them!

It was time....

for my first haircut!
Thank-you, big sister, Becky!!