Learning about ‘scale’ mapping…

We’ve been learning about the world, maps and globes- today we included the definition of ‘scale’.  The kids got to pick the object of their choice to determine the scale for thier maps of the room of their choice.  They both helped me map out my bedroom using a pencil as the scale for the drawing then they went to work on their own maps.  Elias chose a green ruler for map out the office and Hannah chose a hair brush to map out the bathroom.  I think they did a fantastic job! (click on Elias’ map to see closer up, he drew the computers including the power cords)

An unexpected visitor….

this morning Elias woke me up with excitement in his voice, ‘Momma, Mom, Mommy! There is a new bird in our yard!’  I got up and grabbed my camera to go see.  When I looked at the bird I was shocked as it looked nothing like the little chickadees and robins that we’ve come accustomed to seeing in our yard- this birdie was ‘different’.  Standing about a third of the size of our chickens, with thick stocky legs and feet (unlike a chickadee but more like chicken legs), intriguing markings and little desire to fly away- this bird was worth getting a picture of and finding our bird guide book.  The bird book wasn’t entirely helpful other than telling us what it wasn’t, so I called in more help- I called my friend Val, the resident authority on all things nature.  She listened to my discription and said her guess was grouse or pheasant.  At that point it was just a short google search through images of each and related birds before I found our bird- the Chukar Partridge, national bird of Pakistan!  Native to areas in Europe and Asia but now found many places around the globe this ground nesting bird has a favorite food, the weeds in our yard!  Little Chukar seems quite interested in wanting to be in the coop with the chickens which makes me wonder if its possible that this bird came from a local neighbor (they are sometimes kept for their eggs aparently).  I’ll decide later if I need to post ‘Found Chukar’ posters about the neighborhood, in the mean time he/she seems quite happy to eat our weeds and bed down in the bean bed near the chicken coop.  The kids can now find Pakistan on the world map!  *click on any of the images to see them bigger*

Feeling crafty…..

I’ve been sick in bed for the past few days and so the kids have been enjoying some extra free time to craft on their own, read books and play outside.  They have been getting quite creative both indoors and out.  Outside they have begun gathering materials in the yard and clearing an area behind the storage house/shed for their ‘clubhouse’.  I’ve been overhearing lots of discussion on the clubhouse including future improvement plans, supply needs and secret handshakes.  Inside they asked to needlefelt with me and came up with some amazing creations of their own (especially considering their age and it being their first time working with needlefelting).  Elias made a tiger and Hannah made a brown squirrel to go with the gray squirrel I was making.  Bayus ran and found nuts from the kitchen (almonds) and search for acorns in the backyard to feed the little squirrels.  I learned how to needlefelt from a friend and amazing teacher and crafter named Hastings, the kit I used I ordered from a friend and owner of The Blue Ladybug.   Needlefelting is done entirely with natural sheep wool, some undyed and some dyed.  We’ve worked with wool before with wetfelting when the kids were about preschool age (they made wool balls) and they really enjoyed a picture book named ‘Farmer Brown Shears His Sheep’.  I went ahead and reserved it at the library as a refresher for them on the wool process, plus its an adorable story and Bayus hasn’t heard it yet.

What happens when the kids get ‘quiet’….


Every once in awhile my kids get really ‘quiet’ and my mama antenae goes up and I must check on them.  A few weeks ago Elias brought a robot book home from the library called ‘Cosmo and the Robot’ I declared a quiet time after our day of errands (including the library) and was awoken from my light nap from the sound of defining silence broken by the occassional sound of cardboard boxes being dragged down the hallway.  I stepped quietly out of my room to spy on the action and found a full ‘robot factory’ going on in the kids room!  I had to lay down the law about no paint in the bedrooms so their creations had to wait for their final pictures until this morning when I did allow painting to take place in the kitchen.  Enjoy the pictures and remember to let your kids raid the recycle bin now and again- its always fun to see what their imaginations come up with with a little inspiration from a book!

Yeeee-Haw!

Some friends invited us to this special event put on by their church, WayPoint located on the pennisula.  It was a fun filled day filled with hot dogs, baked beans, mechanical pony rides, leatherworking, cactus roping and lots of games.  My kids tried out the three legged race event for the first time as well as horse back rides with dad (which they have much more experience with- dad is glad they don’t have spurs!).

Junior Naturalist program…

this summer we have had a blast with the Seattle Mountaineers and their Junior Naturalist Program!  In August we had our last gathering- a trip to the Ballard Locks for the Salmon run!  We had a blast crossing over the locks and checking out the boats, watching through the underwater viewing windows as the salmon swam upstream, spotting a sea lion feasting on the grown salmon and a gray harbor seal feasting on the young salmon.  We made our way back to the park for a game the naturalist coordinators had prepared for us where the kids were the salmon!  This was an amazing program, very well done and creatively executed- don’t miss it next summer!

After just one week of ‘Exploring Countries and Cultures’…

I found Hannah at the table with a pencil and some paper during some ‘free’ time and this is what she was writing (all from memory).  I’m excited about how much more there is to learn and absorb this coming year as we continue with this great curriculum from My Father’s World!  Click on the picture to see it bigger.  Oh and I don’t know what happened to Africa, it went missing aparently but don’t worry, we will be covering that continent in our studies this year so it won’t happen again 😉

Milestones

The visit to a good friend’s house inspired young Bayus to want to make a card for said friend.  He was quite adamant about how his card needed ‘letters’ 🙂  Here is Bayus’ first ever attempt at writing, the letter E.