Monday, February 28, 2011

One Thousand Gifts

One Thousand Gifts? This is much harder than I thought it would be. One day this past week the only tangible "gift" I came up with was the fact that we learned that the capital of Delaware is Dover.

I have realized that to find the daily gifts bestowed on me, I need quiet, not necessarily a quiet house, but a quiet heart. I am trying. I really am, but it is so hard right now admist the chaos of my days. I just say to myself, I can do this, day by day. It will get easier--hopefully.

It must be a learned skill, this finding peace and quiet of the heart---I'll keep trying.

Now for some of this weeks gifts:

#6 Becky calling from work, just to check in while on her break. I in turn, call my mom, just to check in. All things are better after talking to Mom.

#7 Icicles dripping from the eaves. You can hear springtime trying to show itself--to let us know it will arrive. We just need to be patient.

#8 Eight children home for dinner, laughing like the best friends they are....arguing like the best friends they are.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

L.E.N.S. Photo Challenge: Red

I knew immediately what photo I wanted to use.
Kimmy being Kimmy!!
Check out more photos over at Home Is Where You Start From.

Science Sunday---Gak

Today we made a polymer---it's an oldie but a real goodie!!

Pour 8 ounces of white glue into a bowl

Add hot water to the bottles and shake to remove more of the glue. Put about a half-cup of water into the glue.
At this point add food coloring if you want too. You don't have to do this step, but know that no food coloring gets onto hands once the GAK is played with.
Stir, stir
and stir some more, until the colors are blended and the water and glue are well mixed.

Stir 1 teaspoon of borax into a 1/2 cup of hot water. Dissolve the borax and then pour into the glue and water mixture. Watch the above video to see the GAK forming in the bowl.After mixing it is time to have fun.

If you are gentle with the gak it will flow, as can be seen above.

Mark, stretching his gak out, and trying to blow bubbles with it.

If you pull the gak quickly it will break. It you cut it quickly, it is like cutting playdough.

Make sure to enjoy your gak.....

It kept my kids busy for a few hours. After playing with it, store the gak in a ziploc bag. It will keep for a few days until it dries out.
Check out more Science Sunday posts over at Adventures in Mommydom.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Weekly Wrap-up

We started our week out with some fun science
with fire. After science experiment day, we sort of fell into the February doldrums.
Boring workbook pages were filled in, and spelling words were learned, but other than that, we stayed inside and watched it snow....and snow....and snow.......we are really tired of the snow! ( so you know I am not just being a whiner---I am entitled to whine....we have received over 151 inches of snow so far this season.)
We have discovered a new favorite tv show---A Minute to Win It. It is a fun, family show that challenges the contestants to perform certain tasks in under a minute. All the challenges use household products.
We have been practicing the cup stacking game.
Luke just loves this.
I also bought 20 ping pong balls (which are now bouncing all over the house) to perform some of the many "ping pong ball" challenges.
It is great family fun and leads to many hours of good, old-fashioned fun.
A new educational stage has been reached this week.
Kimmy can read. She cruised through the first set of Bob Books
and the first Faith and Freedom reader.
Luke is also progressing nicely with the Bob Books.
My two babies are growing up!!
For art appreciation we are learning about Grandma Moses . I love folk art and the kids are enjoying learning about this amazing woman and her art.
A new learning tool has entered the house this week, and we are all having a ball with it.
My wonderful husband brought me home an IPad with week.
Above, Kimmy is playing FirstWords:Deluxe.
She slides the letters into place below the picture on the screen and then she wanted to write them in her notebook. (She filled up two pages with words)
Other favorite educational apps have been Bob Books and Little Explorers ABC Music.
I am finding more apps I like for school everyday.....I believe I may be in trouble! LOL

Thursday, February 24, 2011

{this moment}

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. If you're inspired to do the same, visit Soulemama to leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The Gifts of This Life #5

I had to make the yearly trip to the eye doctor today.
I was annoyed to have to take time out of a busy day for this.
Yes, my eyes have gotten worse over the year, and even though I already need to wear tri-focals, I really didn't want to be bothered.

I began thinking tonight about today's "gift".
The gift of the eye doctor??
Yes, I came to realize.
These learned people, using their knowledge, and spending just a few minutes with me will make it possible for me to see this beautiful world more clearly.
This beautiful world that the Lord has created for us.
I know, for one, that I take my sight for granted, but stop and think. What would we miss if we couldn't see the falling snow,
the springtime flowers,
children playing along the waters edge,
fall leaves, on falling children,
our loved one's faces?
And as we gaze at these gifts from God, we can see God in them.
His gifts to us....and seeing these gifts, we see the face of God.

Wordless Wednesday--She reads!!

Yarn Along.......

From the founder of Yarn Along~ Two of my favorite things are knitting and reading, and the evidence of this often shows up in my photographs. I love seeing what other people are knitting and reading as well. So, what are you knitting or crocheting right now? What are you reading?~ All our reading this week revolves around the life and art of Grandma Moses.
I love her art and look forward to sharing it with the kids.
My hubby surprised me with an ipad with past week, so much of my reading time has been spent trying to figure out all the gadgets of this new tool.
I did listen to Mary Higgins Clark's book, A Cry in the Night. It scared me so much, I had to finish it while the whole family watched a basketball game on tv--in the same room with me, of course. I may stay away from her books from now on.
I just downloaded Nicholas Sparks', book, The Lucky One, onto the ipad from the library. I love FREE books!! At least I know this book won't scare me, but it is sure to make me cry.
I am working on a springtime kitchen set for a friend. I have finished one potholder, one dishcloth and have started the hanging dish towel. I will add one more potholder and dish cloth to the gift before it is complete. I just love the springtime colors!!
My pattern for my favorite hanging towel is here.
"Grandma's Favorite" dishcloth pattern and the scalloped potholder patterns can be found by clicking on their names.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

You've got a "minute to win it!"

The Gifts of this Life---number 4

What I just found written on my Facebook homepage by my son, Daniel-18
"You have begot me, bred me, loved me:
I Return those duties back as are right fit,
Obey you, love you, and most honour you."
I am finding that the gifts that have been bestowed on my are absolutely breathtaking sometimes.

Monday, February 21, 2011

The Gifts of this life

It's time to write in this journal, a gratitude journal. A journal of gifts. Three things a day. I can do that. Find three things to put down in this journal--everyday. But does it ever get quiet enough in the "little house" to even think? I have too--think---think deeply. Deeply, into the grateful areas of my heart.

I know that first I am grateful for my family. Pat says I should just put photos of the kids in here, and I will. But first, the first photo, will be of Pat. My husband, my best friend, my love, my life. Without him, I am no one.

Without him, I wouldn't even be alive. How many times have I heard from people that he was the only thing that kept me alive? He was told I wouldn't live through the night. He wouldn't leave my side---for two weeks. I knew that if I reached out my hand, at any moment, he would be there to take it. He squeezed my hand and kept me here, with him, with our children.

The doctors say it was a miracle, pure and simple, and I don't deny that. It was totally miraculous that I lived. But I also knew that the hand holding my hand wasn't going anywhere, and neither was I.

So I begin my journal, some handwritten and some shared.

Today I am thankful for these gifts:

1. God and my faith

2. My husband--steady and strong

3. Life---sweet, precious life

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Science Sunday--The Science of Fire

Today we set out to learn all about fire---in a small way---with adult supervision of course.
I simply went to the cupboard to find the supplies for today's science.
2 small candles
2 different size jars
a bowl
food coloring
First we discussed the fact that fire needs fuel and oxygen to burn.
We lit both candles, over one, place a jar.
The fire consumes the oxygen in the jar and the flame goes out.
Next we checked to see if a larger jar contained more oxygen than a small jar.
If the larger jar does contain more oxygen, the candle should burn longer.
We proved that that, yes, the larger jar contained more oxygen and stayed lit longer than the candle in the small jar.
The next experiment was the WOW factor of science day.
Place about a half inch of water in the bottom of a bowl.
Add some food coloring.
Place the candle into the center of the bowl, in the water.
We are going to see if oxygen takes up space.
Light the candle
and then place the jar over the candle.
If oxygen takes of space, and the fire burns the oxygen, something will take the place of the oxygen in the jar.
In this case, the water will take the place of the now gone oxygen.
The water actually rises in the jar as the flame goes out.
We all did say "wow"!
Notice the level of water on the candle.
Hooray!! Another experiment worked just like it was supposed too!!
Of course, everyone had to take a turn performing this amazing science experiment.
Science Sunday
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