Monday, November 29, 2010

Catch Up Day

Every Monday around here is deemed catch up day.  It is the day when we return from our weekend bliss and get back to the business of everyday life.  There are loads of laundry to be done, stacks of dishes to be cleaned, floors to be swept and lessons to be resumed.  It is a very busy day in our home, but also a good one. 

All weekend long we can run around or not.  Play games, watch movies, do some crafting, take a walk... or not.  We can visit relatives or friends, go shopping, cuddle on the couch... or not.  All weekend long we have the time and the freedom to be loose with our schedule.  Head to the city for a spontaneous trip to the zoo or call a pajama day, build a fort in the living room and watch It's a Wonderful Life.  We can call it Saturday night pizza night or Sunday night Donuts at Poppy and Me Maw's night or we're not going to cook, its peanut butter night.  The weekend is a beautiful wonderful time in our home.  Yet it is only made possible because of Monday- Catch up day.  A kind of holiday in reverse. 

Laundry, dishes, toilets, beds, homework....
Yes, I know that running some dishes or laundry through on Saturday or Sunday would lessen the burden on Monday.  Yes, I know that it is going to be a ton of work to get everyone caught back up.  The loads will be huge considering the six active people in this house; several of whom still change their clothes at least twice daily.  The dishes will be yucky and will take at least an hour to get all clean (oh, how I dream of a dishwasher or a teenager).  But, surprisingly Monday morning I wake up ready to go.  I grab a basket of laundry left from Friday and start folding, quickly creating neat stacks ready to take to the kids' drawers.  The kids get going on their chores.  My hubby works on putting some breakfast on the table.  We'll work all day on chores and lessons; but the whole time we have the thoughts of all those fun things we did (or didn't do) over the weekend.  It is extra work today but by eight o clock, we'll be able to look at a house that is ready for another week of living and know that all the extra work was worth it.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Makeovers = Fun?

So, we have a little girl.  Did I ever think that I would have a little girl? Nope.  I am a tom boy who prefers blue and green to pink and purple, pants to skirts, trees to dolls.  As I carried my second child I just knew that the doctor would confirm my 'hunch' and tell my husband and I that there was another baby boy headed our way.  Not so.  That moment was amazing, surreal and scary all at the same time.  "It is a girl." Four little words. I didn't know what to do with a girl.  I was excited but terrified.  Then all I could think was, well she'll probably be like me and it will be fine. 

Nope.  God blessed us with the most beautiful, adorable girly little girl I have ever known.  She loves pink.  She loves princesses.  She loves babies.  She loves dresses.  I love her.  I have stretched more in the past four years than ever in my life.  I have painted nails and rocked babies and bought pink and allowed dresses (even if they are totally impractical). We have worked out a wonderful girly relationship.  She is so much fun.  She hikes through the woods and picks up frogs and then directly deposits them into her pink princess purse, that she just had to bring along.  She is notorious for wearing cute little pink or white dresses and destroying them in short order by rolling in the grass or digging in the mud.

Today we spent the morning with our home school group doing girly stuff. We painted nails, applied makeup, did hair; honestly, we had a blast.  The organizational/crafty side of me came up with some beauty recipes that the girls enjoyed. It was so neat watching Layne, she was absolutely in her element.  So for those girly moms and those moms like me who profess to be tom boys; here are a few of the activities we did.  They would make great party activities for a princess party or sleep over or just a little extra something for a playdate.

Sugar Scrubs.

Put 1 tbsp sugar into a cup, add a few drops of water to the sugar and mix until the mixture is a thick grainy paste.  Place the mixture in your palm and massage it into the
front and back of your hands. 
Rinse with warm water and enjoy the softness. 

Glitter body lotion.

Put 1 tbsp Cetaphil (or other emolient cream) into a cup, add a 1/4 tsp fine glitter and three spritz of your favorite scent to the cup.  Mix throughly and apply to skin. 

Bath Salts

Put 1/4 cup epson salts into a ziploc baggie, add 4 drops of food coloring.  Seal the baggie and shake the salts until the color is distributed throughout.  Add them to the tub at bath time and they will change the color of your water while softening your skin.

We also had a nail station, a makeup station and a hair station.  The girls enjoyed making some custom jewelry with beads and string that we had set out. Another mom brought in some dress up clothes and all the little girls went to town.

My comfort zone does not include makeovers; yet, I am truly having a great time experiencing this girlhood with my little one.  Thank you Lord for blessing me with a daughter.  Thank you Lord for the changes it has brought about in me.  Thank you Lord for knowing, much more than I, what it is that I need. Now I can say that makeovers do equal fun.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Love these Giant Geoboards!

We were inpired by Filth Wizardry to make these geoboards. We made them a couple of months ago and then slid them under the couch for storage. There they laid most of the time. We all loved playing with them but out of sight out of mind. Then we pulled them out to display for expo (more on that next post). A couple of minutes and six nails later, we remedied our out of sight out of mind problem. The boys have now been very busy designing for the past hour, with no end in sight. I thought this would be a temporary display but now I'm thinking they may as well stay for awhile. The kids are enjoying their new location so much that I don't want to ruin it for them. Our home is a school anyway right, it may as well look like one. If you want to add a little geoboard action to your play space, head over to filth wizardry and check out her tutorial.  So cheap, so easy, so fun. 

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

No more picture books!?! NO WAY!

Does anyone else think that this is incredibly sad?
The New York Times is reporting a decline in the production and sales of picture books for children. They cite parents' desire for their young guys to read chapter books as the impetus for the change. As a home school parent I have been excited as my little ones have hit each new reading hurdle and I admit to a feeling of excitement when I see our little shelf filling up with Charlotte's Web and Encyclopedia Brown. Yet, I grow sad at the thought that my guys might think they are "too big" for picture books, worse yet at the thought that I might imply that message to them. So, here are a few of my favorite picture book titles. Those that I feel are worthy either by art, message, lesson, or just plain enjoyment that even I as an adult enjoy. Check these out if you like but please share some of your favorites also. I'd love to find some new treasures.

We the Kids/ David Catrow - Text of the preamble, illustrations that remind us why the preamble is important

The one the only Magnificent Me/ Dan Haseltine- Story of a little guy that wants to add all kinds of modifications to himself; beautiful illustrations, wonderful message.

Jabberwocky/ Lewis Carroll and Christopher Myers- Classic poetry paired with modern art and meaning

My Many Colored Days/Dr. Seuss - poem written by Seuss, illustrated and produced after the good Dr.'s death. Lovely book containing fantastic emotional imagery.

Mammoth on the Move/ Lisa Wheeler - nice pics, scientific content about migration and prehistoric mammals, but really I just love the prose. You can kind of sing it and it is bouncy and fun.

New York's Bravest/ Mary Pope Osbourne- beautiful illustrations but I love the tall tale style of this book honoring all New York firefighters (and really all of our countries heroes).

So, there are a couple of mine. What are some of yours?