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Tag: family

This project is from Artistic Pursuits – The Way They See It book, which is their Pre-K book. I’m going to try and finish it this month so we can move on to their other three books for K-3. :)  For this project, we took visual notes on trees we observed in nature. So we headed out of our house to find the right tree.

We only have Lodgepole pines and Aspens to choose from, and I happen to think the lodgepoles are ugly, so we headed out to an Aspen grove.

First we did some bark rubbings.

I did not plan on participating, simply photo-documenting the experience.

Then some leaf rubbings. We used Prismacolor Art Stix for the rubbings, which are perfect for large areas of color.

We used Derwent watercolor pencils for the actual drawing. I love these pencils!

We found a natural bench to sit on and sketch the trees around us.

Here’s Satori’s picture, she couldn’t resist drawing herself in the picture.

And I couldn’t resist quickly joining in on drawing a tree at the last moment.

Nor could I resist taking one more picture of our little tree-hugger!

My dear mother recently pointed out that no one ever took photos that had me in them! That is very true, it is always me behind the camera asking to get shots of everyone else. So this morning, I figured out my self timer and we got some family photos for the first time in over a year!

I’m partial to black and white for special photos for some reason…

Yes, these photos are bigger than I normally post!

Family night tonight! On the agenda – Tacos for dinner, reading a few science books aloud, then doing a fun science activity, and finally family games! This post covers the “fun science activity”.

To tie in with this week’s science lesson which introduced electricity, we pulled out Snap Circuits Jr. With this kit and a pair of AA batteries, you can build over 100 projects (101 to be exact). You may notice by the picture that this was designed for ages 8 to 108, but don’t let that stop you if your child is a few years younger. 🙂 In our case, we know our 5 year old girl would benefit from this cool learning kit with the assistance of Mom and Dad. She understands the basics of electricity, that it is produced in power plants, travels to our homes via wires, and through switches, we complete the circuit for the flow of electricity to give energy to power appliances and such.

Be sure to read the instructions first, so you don’t inadvertently create a “short circuit” and damage your kit! I handed this project over to Daddy. The instructions though, are above her reading level, so Daddy would read and call out the little items needed – L1, #2 snap wire, etc… Here Satori is impatiently waiting, I overhead her grumbling a flippant comment.

Our first project was “Electric Light & Switch”. This consisted of 4 main items – power source (battery holder), lamp socket, slide switch and a few blue snap wires to connect. Once it’s complete, and the switch is turned on, the light goes on! It also finally piqued her curiosity.

The instruction manual tells you in what order and where on the grid to snap each item, so Satori was soon snapping away. Satori got a kick out of the next one, which converts the electricity to mechanical power and powers a little fan! We did one more – Sound Activated Switch. Snap Away Satori!

This one is powered by sound, so Satori would clap to play the song!

We only did these 3 activities tonight, and the next few lessons we’ll have Satori try to figure them out herself by looking at the pictures (with adult guidance of course). We’ll be working on all 101 over the next few years, and eventually upgrade to more advanced kits!

Aw heck, I was feeling lazy tonight and thought I would make this post a Wordless Wednesday, but I just couldn’t. It’s been such a crazy day. A winter storm hit us last night and while the snow wasn’t so bad, it makes it almost impossible to drive on steep slippery mountain roads like where we live. (We live on top of a hill on top of a mountain.) I thought a Family Craft Night to make Christmas tree ornaments would be fun, so I needed to get to Boulder which is all the way down the mountain from us.

I got in the car and proceeded inch by inch down our steep driveway. Sure enough, the car starts to slide. Anti-lock brakes and letting off on the brakes now and then does not help on this slippery slope. The left side of our driveway is a little cliff. As I was sliding towards that cliff, I find myself eyeing the spindly lodgepole pine trees hoping desperately they would be enough to hold back a large SUV. I stopped just in time. Second try and then the car starts sliding sideways down the hill and at the final moment, again towards the cliff side.  Stopped again just inches from certain death. That’s it, maybe I should give up. I burst into the house and David came to the rescue! He goes down the hill faster than me and the wheels get more traction, and the car made it safe and sound down our driveway! I was able to get the craft items, because that was oh so important you know.

Once at home, I laid out all the craft items along with some print-outs of instructions to make about a dozen ornaments. We all picked a few and chugged away at our masterpieces!

David chose the two coolest ornaments, a gift-wrapped present and sleds.

I made sure Satori got the easy ones – mostly the chenille stem and pony bead type. 🙂 I was pretty busy managing it all, but I did finish a pair of skis and the reindeer head.

It was a great family activity and a very memorable night. We’ve put a few on our tree and may give a few as gifts. Click the link below if you want to check out how to make these ornaments and more.

Links to making these ornaments


Why Sunday? Simply because it is the day we are most likely to do activities together as a family. My husband is super busy during the week (and sometimes on the weekends), so we rarely get to see him. Saturday is too hectic to try to get stuff done, but Sunday is the day we can relax and enjoy ourselves.

David will help participate in some of our homeschooling activities. We will all go for a hike and go geocaching. We’ll make cool crafts! We’ll go on cool field trips.

Here’s some photos of us enjoying our Sundays. Yes, I’m usually the photographer, so not many photos of myself. And it dawned on me that if we weren’t homeschooling, most of these memories would have been made.

Studying Charlie’s Playhouse Giant Timeline:

 Examining dinosaur fossils in Utah:

Literature Pocket Sunday

 Christmas 2008

 Yogurt Cup craft

Looking for crawfish at Mud Lake:

Reading and then family play-acting Lentil:

Whittling soap as a FIAR Lentil activity:

Family drawing Papa Piccolo:


 Family making clay salamanders:

The weather was sunny, 60’s and beautiful on the farm in Wisconsin today! It was fun seeing some of the relatives, and after our Scrabble marathon, I thought I’d add just a few photos from the day.

Dying eggs:





Waking up on Easter


Satori’s new bike


Uncle Justin shows her how to ride



Justin takes a turn!



Well David got stuck at home on a business emergency, so we didn’t leave the house today. ‘Tis okay, it’s snowy anyway. On one of his breaks from the telephone, we all laid on our tummies to doodle.



I was trying to show Satori how to shade to make things more realistic, and my example was the crayon.