Monday, May 03, 2010

Little Sweatshop of Horrors

OK, so there was, in fact, no horror, but I did force my kids into some sweatshop work for Craft Hope.

The idea met with enthusiasm from some, and slight reluctance from others, but in the end, everyone had fun, and 3 of them wanted to do MORE sewing (Fishy included!) We had a pretty nice assembly line of sewing, clipping corners/turning/pressing, and stenciling, and after 2 days (and a little bit of stenciling learning-curve on my part) we have all 26 letters of the alphabet. :-) All that remains is to fill the bags and close the tops.

In other news, Mollusc was excited to see the return of the Red-breasted Grosbeaks shortly after we put up our new feeding tray.

This weekend, we'll be sojurning to Toledo for the biggest birding week in the country. Mollusc hopes to see tons of warblers. Of course we'll have to take the camera(s), so hopefully we'll come away with some good pics.

The weather was gorgeous today, and I took some of the herd to the park after all the school-type stuff was done. Prawnie and I played catch with a tennis ball and her barely used baseball mitt -- a new and exciting interest for her since Daddy is starting softball on Wednesday. The tennis ball was a good choice as I beaned her a few times. :-P We made dandelion-chain crowns and peered into the creek, and of course there was the obligatory game or 2 of Poohsticks for all of us.

On the homeschool front, I'm looking into the "Key to _______" math series for Sluggie since she's hit the point in Algebra where it appears that Math U See is just not perfect for her learning style. We'll likely keep on with MUS, but I want to supplement with other things, and so far, the Key to___ series looks promising. There's nothing worse than rushing past shaky subject matter and continuing on to the next stuff in math, IMO. I have a growing "things to order on Payday" list. :-/ Oh, and while I was hanging laundry on the covert line I have stretched across the back deck (Shhhh! Don't tell the Nazis Homeowner's Association), Fishy made this comment about his copybook: "I can remember so much more at once now. I used to only be able to remember 2 or 3 letters, but now I can remember about 2/3 of what I have to write. I just remember the words now, because I'm a much better speller." He's right -- the copybook has been great for his spelling (as, I'm sure, has all his reading), but it was great to hear that he notices it, too. I know I'm not as unschooly as I used to be now that everyone's getting older, but we're still pretty relaxed and tend to do what works for us.

Tonight is my last soccer game until Fall, which is a bummer. I was really nervous when I first started, because I'd never played the game on any kind of team before, but now it's just plain fun! At least there will be pickup games during the summer. :-)

And finally, here's the kind of thing you tend to find lying around when you've created a houseful of geeks and happen to have alphabet letters handy:

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Mother May I?

No, it's not May yet, but it's close enough. According to something I read in The Boleyn Inheritance last night, May is a time for putting off old things and taking on new ones (a la Henry VIII and his wives.) For me, it's more a matter of taking on something old again, but making it new. Again, close enough.

"Chateau Sur Mer"

We took our first actual vacation ever this year. Yes, we've taken time off to go visit family and friends before, but this was the first time we've ever gone somewhere just for the sake of going there. It was SO relaxing. Our destination was a beach house on the Outer Banks in North Carolina. (Yes, there were a LOT of stairs!) I'm not going to wax eloquent about it. I'll just post some pics now, and probably some more in future posts.

Hatteras Island Lighthouse

I'm getting back into the swing of normal life again, which (in my usual style) involves trying to do way too many things at once. One of my goals is to make a set of alphabet beanbags for Craft Hope's donation to the Liberia Orphan Education Project. It's a great project to get the kids involved in, as the sewing is very simple. I plan to use stencils from Dick Blick and fabric paint to do the letters. Looking online, I was despairing of finding anything affordable until I found those, and joy of joys, MuNKi can pick them up at the store in Detroit on a work day.

Prawn woke up barfy today. :-( I had her make a nest on my bed after a bath, and Enya immediately decided to keep her company.

Kitties make even pukiness better!

She just woke up, and is feeling a lot more chipper. Never underestimate the value of kitty therapy.

Kitty therapy x 4 = WIN!