Friday, September 25, 2015

Fox in The Forest

When we were visiting relatives in New Jersey recently, we got to see two beautiful red foxes up close, a father and son.  My husband's uncle saw the fox in his back yard and it didn't look so good, mangy and not healthy.  He researched on the Internet what to give the fox to help it stop itching and get better and saw he could get a pig medication from a feed store and adjust the dose to the estimated weight if the fox.  He started putting the medicine on food scraps he left out for the fox and he slowly got better and now has the most beautiful shiny fluffy coat of fur.  He didn't mention how he had helped the fox until after I kept commenting on how beautiful and healthy it looked for a wild animal that rummaged through trash.  I stood outside in the dark with him and rolled an egg to the fox and he came and got it.  I was fascinated by the creature.  It was so cool!  When we got back inside I commented "who knew uncle b was the real Kevin Costener in Dances with Wolves...except in this case foxes!  This fox is now a wild pet that knows them and trusts them...I just thought it was so cool that it inspired our art projects for the day!  I drew up an unfinished sample picture of a fox in the forest for the kids and then did a step by step drawing lesson focusing on using the five elements of shape.  We used the crayola twistable colored pencils to add color.  In the bottom left hand corner you can see I made a sampe page of things they could add to their forest floor.

Here's is my daughter's version.  She's not quite finished with it, but she liked how her fox turned out.

Our drawing was followed by a handicraft.  I made a template and then cut out the pieces in felt and sewed the eyes on with the sewing machine.  I made the eyes closed like a sleepy fox because it just seemed easiest that way.  Then the kids used needle and thread to sew the insides of the ears and around the eyes.  Then I showed them a different kind of stitch to sew the two sides of their bag together...I don't actually know the names of the stitches other than "up down up down" and "up and around up and around"  When they got done they stitched a ribbon to the corners of the ears for a strap to wear their fox bag.  I had in mind this might be a cute little pouch to wear on nature outings to collect fun nature finds.  

The extras will be great little handmade gifts J can make for her cousins to send for Christmas! 

And then "What Does The Fox Say" came on the radio and the kids were ecstatic with all the foxiness going on! Lol

Creative inspiration credit for the fox image from the beautifully talented joojoo etsy shop.  I came across her little fox during a google image search when I was looking for ideas for showing my kids how to draw a fox.  You can go right on over to her shop and buy a beautiful print!

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Classical Conversations cycle 1 week 4

We started the day with everyone getting under my covers and having snuggles and then playing and making a mockery of my bedding but it was a happy slow start to a rainy day.  I put in a short video for them while I got breakfast started, Silvania's Gluten Free & Dairy Free Cinnamon Toasted Belgian Waffles.  When I got near the end of the batter I had the kids set the table nicely and set out water and all the fixings in the center and we lot a candle.  I've been craving something chocolate for days so I made mine fancy with some peanut butter and chocolate chips and then put it back in the warmer to get the chocolate chips melted...added maple syrup and mmm finally hit the spot!  The kids then cleared the table, helped unload the dishwasher and load the dirty dishes.

We then read from our 5 minute book of devotions and learned about rams and how they fight because they get angry if anyone is in their territory and how we should use our words and not act like an angry ram when it comes to sharing or having angry feelings. I could post a picture of them tackling eachother over a triangle magnet but I won't embarrass them that much....after the little lesson
the boys ran off and started building with the magaformers.  J sat on the stairs and did her 3 minute devotions for girls before getting ready for the day.   

The boys are still building with the megaformers...J is copying the wings illustration and verse from the chalkboard. And we reviewed the story of Deadalus and Icarus from our Greek Myths and talked about how one of our recent memory verses came to kind when thinking of the moral of the story.   

We were enjoying the beeswax candle that is shaped like a beehive we picked up on our field trip to a local apiary last week.

We had an unplanned detour in our day that took about an hour or so...J was suddenly inspired to do a science experiment she thought of which involved quite a but of soap.  

Her brother wanted in on the science fun.    He put a piece of plastic in his mixture and for a minute thought he had invented an invidibility concoction because it made the plastic invisible....but unfortunately he realized it was just blending in since it was clear... So we said it was camouflaged.  It made a great sensory activity as they wanted to add a couple drops if essential oil and essential ops always make us happy :). (I mainly use Plant Therapy and get straight from Amazon with free shipping).

Here we put together a model of a plant cell for science made with colored paper craft foam and felt...just mixed what I had on hand to get different colors.  

The only time the cat wants attention today is when we are working with a model of a plant cell and keeps walking over it and we're laughing trying to remember what was what but he keeps messing it up lol even I couldn't get it right and kept confusing the kids calling chloroplasts "cytoplast"...kitty you are distracting but so cute!

After completing the new memory work for week 4 we did a review.  I had Jordan copy another line to the poem she's copying onto a watercolor painting and then we did some chalkboard math practice.

Later the kids played with building toys while listening to Parables From Nature on Audible.  I tidied up a bit, and had a little break then came and sat next to them on the flour with paper and crayons and casually began illustrating the story we were listening too.  I didn't say anything about what I was doing and put out extra paper for the kids in case they wanted to join me but they were enjoying watching me draw and listening while playing with the blocks and megaformers.  No biggie, just a friendly invitation to draw but they were still listening to the story and enjoying what they were ready doing so I was fine with that.  

It had been a wet and rainy day but later the sun came out and we had soccer practice.  The boys and I enjoyed the park trails with their scooters.  I didn't ever think a 24 month old would be figuring out riding a scooter but he's determined to be exactly like his big you can see here following him around the playground like a shadow copying his every move.

We made our way back to the soccer fields and watched the end of practice and my toddler was getting restless and became obsessed with taking pictures with my phone.  He really liked photographing the wheel on his scooter, his shoes and his brother! I had to delete a LOT!

And my 5 year old asked to take a picture if the tree below so he could study it at home later and know how to draw in his nature journal.

And that was pretty much a wrap for the day! Got home, got dinner and got everyone to bed :).  

Monday, September 21, 2015

Walk to Defeat ALS and Choose Joy

If you are short on time and can't read this entire post please skip down to the very last paragraph!

This weekend we were with my family in spirit as our family team participated in the Walk to a Defeat ALS Evergreen Chapter for my dad. I am so grateful for the amazing parents I have been blessed with.  They are pioneers, they keep on going and don't give up.  They are able to find joy and thanksgiving even in the midst of this battle against ALS....for which there is currently no cure. My parents both inspire me in many ways.  So often we can find ourselves around a Debbie Downer, maybe even being one ourselves!!! Yet with my parents going through one of the worst and hardest things you could imagine going through, they are still amazing to be around. Not that there aren't rough days but I don't hear my dad or mom seeking sympathy or complaining...I do hear them speaking words of gratitude for the tender mercies The Lord and their community has shown them through this journey.  I hear my dad speak of his love for His Savior.  I hear of my dad doing what he can to serve others, with the help of technology, to edit family videos for his dad and brothers and our family, as well as logging genealogy for his church. My dad has always cared about others in his profession as a MD and still helps people when he can in that regard.  My mom still serves in her church as well.  At first I was concerned if it was too much for her with all she has going on but she's happy to serve and says that it's important to do things outside of yourself and your own situation so you aren't just so wrapped up in your own problems.  It's a positive outlet when she is able to serve and prepare a lesson for others.  

My parents speak words of gratitude about the advances in technology and access to medical equipment that makes life with ALS easier, like my dad's chair that he spends most of his time in.  Thankful for access to medical marijuana which is probably the last thing they ever thought they would try but has been the only thing that really helps with his symptoms.  My dad has described the cramps in his legs like being attacked by 40 biting monkeys but CBD oil and medical marijuana keep those "biting monkeys" away.  With a disease like ALS, whe there isn't much that can be is more than a blessing to have something that can help make life more bearable.  

When I was with my dad recently, We were talking about ALS advocate Steve Gleason and how his former NFL teammates helped him get up Machu Picchu and I asked my dad if there was anything he wanted to do. He said he was so grateful for the active life he has lived and had so many adventures and great outdoor experiences in his 59 years of life that he doesn't have a bucket list of anything he wishes he could still do.  Again, his response was one of gratitude and contentment.  Oh if all of us could be a bit more grateful and content!  

As the season changes to fall and we start thinking of thanksgiving, let us remember to be thankful everyday because there is always ALWAYS ALWAYS something to be thankful for.
My parents are such beautiful examples of practicing that!  So wherever you are today or whatever you may be going through, just think of one thing to give praise and thanksgiving for.  Find a quiet moment in the day to rest in contentment with the small joys of living like being able to cup your hands around a warm mug of coffee, to stroke a child's hair and give a kiss on the forehead, to lay on the floor with your kids or a pet and enjoy the moment together!  Oh how nice it feels to easily pick up a hand and relieve an itch on the neck, to simply roll over in bed and fall comfortably back hold hands with a loved one...things we do without a second thought.  Maybe you are waiting on an unanswered prayer, maybe you aren't the praying kind but there's something that could be better in your life...either way....if we can find gratitude and contentment in the simple things, we will have a much richer life.  And no matter what age we live to be, whether we are gone tomorrow or live to 100, it seems a much better life to live with the peace that comes from being grateful and content than live a long life feeling jaded, bitter and sorry for ourselves for whatever didn't go our way.  I'd rather try to be a Pollyanna, choose joy and be an uplifting person to be around. It's not always easy but this experience with my dad has helped me to cherish and live in the moment more than ever! As my dad said in his speech in the opening ceremonies for the ALS walk last year "Make every moment count" and sometimes making the most of every moment might mean going on an unexpected adventure, sometimes it may mean resting and soaking up the beauty of the mundane, lots of times I think it's letting go of what we think we want and just being mentally, physically, and spiritually present internally and outwardly and letting God do whatever it is He's trying to do in us to help us be who He intended us to be.  

Today I pray a prayer of praise and gratitude and ask that The Lord help me stay focused on what really matters, that rather than grow up and become hardened and set in my ways, he would continue to always make my paths straight and help me cherish my days.

Here's the awesome dad I'm telling you about...
Visiting Dr. Papa at work about 2 years ago.  He was using a cane to help with balance but was still going to work and pretty much independent and we were all hoping and praying for a miracle that it wasn't ALS or that it would halt and reverse with all the various protocols that others have found success with.  Praying and exercising the faith for a miracle to happen and still watching things progress is not easy to say the least.  The day I found out my dad might have ALS I heard the kutless song on the radio for the first time "Even If the healing doesn't come..." The timing of hearing that song was interesting and that song still helps me now.  Sometimes when we are weary of praying, just being able to think on the words of that or other songs is really helpful.  

My dad has always enjoyed reading to his grand kids and doing other fun activities with them.  Last summer he helped them put together a volcano science kit, and whatever he couldn't do due to ALS he gave directions for the kids to follow.  And up til now one of the kids favorite things to do is play board games with Papa, especially Settlers of Catan.  His arms and hands have very limited mobility now so one of the younger kids will be on his team and move the game pieces for him.

He hasn't let ALS rob him from having fun with his grand kids.  They love going for rides and steering his chair, and he's let them drive around in his older chair with him and race.  He was able to get down onto the beach on our recent family reunion in Lincoln City, OR and zip around on the beach with the kids. We sit and visit and laugh and he's also great at finding great shows for them to watch together on Netflix or planning other fun activities like taking the kids to the trampoline park and enjoying the fun. And he has taught my kids that happiness is a choice.

When we were visiting my parents this past year, my daughter asked my dad "Papa, are you happy even though you have to be in that chair all the time?" And I will never forget what he said to her and I hope she doesn't either. He gently and warmly but with sincere intensity responded to her with this answer..."Well, happiness is a choice you have to make every day.  Sometimes things don't go the way we want or maybe for you your brother might be irritating you, but regardless of whatever is happening to you and around you, you have to make the choice that you are going to be happy.  So yes, Jordan, even though ALS has taken a lot away from me and I have to be in this chair, I'm happy...because I choose to be."

Friday, September 18, 2015

Visiting an Apiary and IT'S FRIDAY!

We finished the week off with a field trip with some of our friends to a local Apiary and learned about honey bees and beekeeping.  After the lecture we got to observe to observation hive and examine all the beekeeper tools and then visit their kitchen where they bottle the honey, make beeswax molds, candles and soap and sample 4 kinds of honey.  We finished with a pollination demonstration using Cheetos and then did a honey bee drawing in our nature notebooks.  It was such a nice way to end our week!  

We got home and early afternoon and had a restful quiet time with the baby napping and my 5 year old worker on laying out some alphabet cards in order and spent time on the Starfall app on the iPad practicing math and reading and my daughter copied a couple of lines for a poem onto a watercolor and did some math practice and then we snuggled in my bed talking about bees, resting, and then trying to help them earn the last 4 stars in the Frontier Heros app to unlock the next era in American History until it was time to go to soccer practice. I had some iced coffee (I make a big pot of coffee and keep it in the fridge!) then met my hubby at the park since he's the coach and once him and my son got started with practice  my daughter (8) rode her bike and I tried to keep up with the baby jogger on the park trails.  When we got home we opted for a campfire instead of a family movie night. 

I had a surprise for the kids I found earlier this week at the Dollar Tree. Glow sticks that were tridents.  We had learned about the word trident in our Classic Myths to Read Aloud book this week in the very first story that featured Poseidon and we used our other Greek Mythology book to reference for pictures.  The Classic Myths book has little tidbits at the end for the parent to read about that can later be worked into conversation with the kids.  This tidbit was about the word trident and how "tri" means three and "dent" means teeth and how those words from back then are in our everyday language today like tricycle (three wheels) tripod (three legs) dentist (there's the word for teeth again) etc.  So I had them recall what we had learned about Posidon until the remembered about his trident and what the word meant and then gave then each a glow stick trident.  Before the glow sticks they could NOT remember the word without my help but after the got their glow sticks and were running around with then in the dark they had non problem remembering what it was called and the meaning of the word.  I just love when we come across easy things that make learning more tangible and concrete for them!  

We also brought out the ukuleles for everyone to practice for fun around the fire.  Even my Hunny is trying to learn it's been fun!

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Classical Conversations Cycle 1 Week 3

We just got finished with our new CC material for week 3 today.  We have upped the silly fun factor a little with our frog puppet aka Latin Leo during Latin (I decided not to skip the Latin it's not that big a deal to throw in there after all and the kids are already used to it) and Leaping Leo for math skip counting. My 5 year old actually tried harder than ever to get the skip counting down because he wanted a turn making the frog say it.  I haven't been worried if he got the skip counting yet because he's only 5 but the frog definitely made it more exciting to get it right.

We caught up on the art lessons of CC that we "missed" so far due to other art projects we happened to be having fun with.  We did the OiLs intro and talked about elements of shape which took me back to my days as a Monart Teacher (an art school franchise started by Mona Brooks and her distinct teaching method that starts with the elements if shape).

 Next we did a lesson on mirror image. First we took a mirror and we held it against parts of pictures to see the mirror image effect.  Then we folded white paper in half and started cutting into them and opening to reveal the mirror image.  After they were happy with their images we glued them onto black paper.

Then we got a little more practice on the chalkboard.  I drew a line down the middle and started it with a big curved line for half the head and then had the kids take turns adding onto the image one side at a time then replicating on the opposite side.  Then I let them start their own but they started fighting about how the picture was supposed to turn out so we moved on to something else!  Ahh yes one of the joys of homeschooling...lots of opportunity for character development. 

Next was the actual week 3 upside down image project remembering to focus more on the elements of shape than trying to draw an upsidedown crab. (That's just what we happened to pick).

My 5 year old picked an octopus

For our Science we learned some parts of an Animal Cell and drew a simple picture and labeled the parts.  Labeling our art projects and animal cell parts made for some good copy work/notebooking that they didn't mind doing ;)

Here the 2 books I got to go with our Greek Mythology which is part of the year 3 history from Ambleside and was a nice time to introduce this week since some of the Greek and Roman Gods were the week 3 history song for CC. 

 These aren't the books I saw recommended for Greek Mythology by Ambleside but after looking at a few different books in person at a bookstore and reading reviews online, I decided on these two.  I'm using Ambleside Online for my big picture planning for ideas on what to cover this year and looking at their book/reading lists but coordinating it with CC when possible and not necessarily using the exact books Ambleside Recommends but others that may cover the same topics.  Other times we select books straight from Ambleside's reading recommendations... Just depends. 
It's a little different each day and I like it that way! It might sound like chaos or confusing to have a different rhythm to each day but overall we have a weekly rhythm with our daily rhythms that work for us.  Every family is so different, I think the goal for us is to pace ourselves, gently lead not push, cultivate relationship and connection through living simply and hopefully be a good example on how to enjoy life, be content, choose joy, count blessings and I don't want my kids to think that mommyies and daddies only laugh and smile on special occasions. One day might be very classical, another very Charlotte Masony, the next full on Montessori and Waldof inspired etc....I'm reading a lot myself and getting ideas and things prepared ahead of time so I can gently lead them rather than push them. So we can have a relaxed feel yet actually be really engaged and productive. It's not always easy but we accomplish more when I can do that successfully and everyone is happy.  Sometimes I have to just let go of my grand ideas for the day and save them for later and be flexible so we can follow the curiosity of the moment and seize the day in some unexpected way.  The one thing that happens daily is math practice. It doesn't always have to be Singapore but can also include our supplemental practice and review current skills whether with workbooks, xtramath or other games, books or hands on activities we can use, pulling ideas from Montessori and Waldorf to make it more hands on since Singapore isn't very tactile. Once we finish our current workbook I will decide if we will stick with this program or try something else but my daughter recently started saying math is her favorite so I kinda don't want to mess with that.

We will continue with our Greek Mythology after this week but it was a good time to introduce it.  We will also introduce the MAPS book this week for studying world countries and cultures and start with Greece.  I didn't really know where I wanted to start but since we are kinda starting off with Greek history I figured it would be a good starting point.  

I plan on having the kids dress up like Greeks, make togas, learn about foods and act out Ancient Greek times.  Maybe we'll talk about gladiators a little son would love acting that out.  I'll let ya'll know what we end up doing.  

I'm enjoying the start of this school year.  We are figuring out a good weekly and daily rhythm where we are enjoying life and learning together in as natural a way possible and trying to apply all the great educational ideas and philosophies in a way that feels natural and enjoyable to us.  I consider us...if I could label it...Classical Masonorri Waldunschoolers?  Lol sounds like an identity crisis but I think you can be a bit of all wrapped up into one.  I think back to the book The Thomas Jefferson Education that I read when considering homeschooling in th very beginning of this journey.  Education is an atmosphere.  We mentor our children and also find them other mentors.  We read to them from the classics.  We don't play "school" and mom doesn't have a double identity as "teacher" during "school" time and then try and switch off and into mom the rest of the day to switch back and forth from. We lead by example and invite them to join us.  We strew and create play and learning invitations that may turn into a deeply covered topic or may not be taken much interest in other than some initial exposure and that's fine too.  We play games.  We play spelling games in the car, taking mental pictures of a word and then recalling the word and spelling it for the next couple days.  Language arts we learn through practical writing with letters to pen pals and grandparents.  We focus on proper form, spelling and punctuation.  We continue that practice doing partner writing, helping my daughter compose stories on the computer or iPad we take turns typing as she dictates and then we edit and she looks for errors, capitalizations, punctuation, rereads parts I point out to see if it makes sense etc.  She also does copy work of poems and verses on her waldorf-y watercolor paintings. 
Narration of stories we've read often happens naturally as the kids will set out in an elaborate make believe playtime together reinacting a story, plot, characters, historical events/ time periods and it's self initiated, I just stay out of the way.  They have reinacted the Vikings, pilgrims from the mayflower, Jamestown and Squanto, they've been pioneer children and cowboys, they've been boxcar children as well as the Children of The New Forest, they've been on Captain Ahabs ship looking for Moby Dick, they've been Fern and Avery from Charlottes Web, and so much more.  These special play times where their learning comes to life and their friendship and roles as playmates continues to blossom wouldn't happen if we were on a rigid schedule and I was stressed about getting everything done on certain days or at certain times. I consider their play to be very important work too.  I love incorporating songs into our day about what we're doing or going to do or making up a song to remember something or just something silly to help a child transition, singing your day is a great thing gleaned from Waldorf and I think part of why Classical Conversations is fun for us because the memory work for Foundations is all put into little songs and I let my kids make up their own actions.  Singing our day helps everyone in our home from mommy to my third grader, kindergartener to 24 Month old. I'm not a great singer but my kids don't seem to mind!  Singing about what is going to happen next is such a nice way to get the kids to transition without having to repeat myself and feel frustrated that their ignoring or dawdling. I like to joke in my songs to my daughter to get her attention like "it's math time it's math time it's time to do some math it's math time it's math time or else you'll take a nap!" Since we typically transition into math once my toddler is napping and we can focus uninterrupted. 

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Classical Conversations Cycle 1 wk 2, Unschool Beach Time, Nature Study FUNGI

I didn't have time to post this before we went on a two week trip, but before we left, these are some of the things we did for CC Cycle 1 week 2, followed by 2 weeks of relaxed unschool adventures on a road trip to Conneticut.

For history we made the second tablet engraved with commandments 6-10, to go with the first tablet we made in week 1 using crayola air dry clay.  The kids made up their own actions to go with the song.

 We also did more picture study from the Art History text that featured clay pots, mud bricks/buildings, jewelry, votive statues, and the beginning of visual narrative in artwork from the Fertile Crescent/Assyria. 

For science we used our nature notebooks and made a page for each of the 5 Kingdoms of Living Things. For Animalia they made a collage, cutting out pictures from magazines, animal stickers, stamps and drawings.

 For Plantae we each made a page full of illustrated plants, trees, flowers etc.

Fungi was a fun one.  We made mushroom prints.  The kids went on the hunt for some fungi outside and we stamped our various fungi samples in ink and stamped them on the page experimenting with different patterns.

For Protista I pulled up a google image and we replicated the protists.  We used green glitter glue to fill in the blob shapes...algae or slime mold I guess...

kind of looks like a page of snot lol! And finally for Monera we made a page where we just used our fingertips covered in ink to stamp little circle stands and clusters.  This one is by my 5 year old.  Not that exciting to look at but they thought it was fun.

The kids LOVED the project and are proud of every page, even though it's simple! But I think they are proud because they know what those words they learned in their science memory work actually mean and put them in context in a fun easy way that I think/hope they will always remember.  

When we were at the beach last week they were excited to point out things and identify which kingdom it belonged to.  We had to google muscles and clams and my daughter was right, they are in Animalia.  The only thing my son couldn't find was Monera but I assured him it was there!  Probably a lot of it in the rotting crab leftovers from the seagulls and the murky water in the marsh that smelled like sulfur when we explored back in there when the tide was out observing crabs scurrying around and eating little bait fish.  And especially certain there was a good amount of Monera (bacteria) in that area when a ranger came over just to make sure people know the muscles aren't safe to eat from that area!  

So we were 2 weeks in and then took a 2 week break for this  trip.  We unschooled at the beach. They were learning so much on this trip and enjoying being outside every possible second.  We were in Madison, CT and the weather was perfect the whole time and the water warm enough I even got in!!! I don't get in the water a lot of the years we've been going because it's cold but it was just slightly cool and refreshing.  Hubby and I definitely took advantage of the kids having lots of quality time with their grandparents and got to recharge our batteries going out to breakfast, taking long walks around the entire town, kayaking, hanging on the beach and just enjoying our littlest one a little extra as he turned TWO while we were there and it's gone by so fast!  Having family around to enjoy the kids is a luxury we don't get to enjoy very often as we live on the opposite side of the country!  

Here the kids are crabbing, when the tide goes out they crack open muscles with a rock, tie it on the end of a little fishing line and drop it down into the openings between the rocks where there are little tide pools.  After collecting crabs in the bucket they dump them out in the sand and have a crab race to see which crabs get back to the ocean the fastest.  They learned to all about this fun activity from another little girl my daughter met there last year and they have been own pals and thankfully, they were able to see eachother again for 2 days while we were there.  Her once a year beach friend pen pal!  Being pen pals with her beach friend and her cousin is definitely part of our language arts as it's such an easy and fun way to work in spelling, grammer, punctuation and neatness!

The kids learned how to cast and reel, I was amazing at how quickly they could easily cast it way out!  But no fish.  Dad and Grampa kept catching fish every time we happened to not be around them ... Or maybe they were just fish stories!!! Lol

The kids started their first business.  First J made flower, herbs and grass soup from yard clippings.

And made a lovely presentation...

Grampa was a good sport and tasted it and then convinced her to taste it.  It looked pretty but after a taste she was onto the next thing...setting up a shop selling cool rocks, sea shells and fresh flowers from the yard
Business was decent due to a nice mail lady, elderly gentleman and supportive parents and grandparents...but when things slowed down they learned that it's hard to sell something that people can go get for free 30 steps away.  A lesson in supply and demand.  So they upgraded to an ice tea and lemonade stand and it was, in my daughters own words, "A SUCCESS!"  She sure was willing to go the extra mile for her customers as she told them she's open til 9 and she can also deliver on her scooter, no extra charge...which everyone had to chuckle at the thought of a cup of lemonade being delivered on a scooter.

They learned about being resourceful when they wanted a sign for the shop. No poster board available but paper plates and fishing line come easy at a beach cottage!  The also got some practice in making change and an economics lesson.  She did pretty good with her sales and tips and we reminded her that stores don't get the things they sell for free.  Even a little calculator from the dollar store, the manufacturer needed those buttons, and what about the plastic casing? And the computer and battery inside that makes it function? And they had to pay a person to make it. So hardly anyone can sell something for pure profit because there are costs in doing business.  So she asked her grandparents how much she owed them for the lemonade she used since they bought it and they said 25 cents would be fine so she paid back one of her quarters and asked how much for the plastic cups? So she was understanding the various costs involved but we said they were on the house, literally... the house had a big supply of plastic cups when we arrived!  It was a spontaneous, organic lesson that got her thinking about how businesses operate but was gentle enough.  She didn't mind paying 1 quarter out of the bowl full of dollar bills and change she had earned.  Since then, she has had more questions about the ins and outs of running a business and at the grocery store will remember "oh yeah so the store isn't really getting $7 from that because they had to spend money to buy it and they have to pay the people that work here and probably have to pay for the building and stuff I wonder how much they really make?" 

Another afternoon during the baby's nap we just had been at the beach all morning so we had a quiet time in the living room doodling on the floor while listening to Children of The New Forest on the Audible app on my phone.  

And I will say, my kids are pretty good with extended creative play together but after this trip, at that old 95 year old beach cottage that is so simple and easy and technology free other than the adults cell phones, the kids ability for creative play now is like seriously impressive me at least I can only compare to what I know but we decided to do the drive home in one day which ended up being 15 hours and we only stopped once for an hour at chik fil a and then just quick restroom and gas stops.  We went about 6-7 hours before I decided to put a video on in the car because my newly turned 2 year old was needing some distraction and when I put it on the kids were enjoying the game they had been playing for the past several hours they agreed not to watch the video and keep playing.  After that it was getting late and I put on a Disney movie and then the babe fell asleep.  After we finally got him asleep we let the kids each play minecraft for about 15 minutes to keep the car quiet so baby wouldn't wake up from their toys doing whatever in their game.  Then we took the phone back and put on some peaceful music and they talked/played quietly until they fell asleep which is where the only fight occurred.  When my son got to be almost asleep he got upset that his sisters leg was touching him, barely.  I told him he always snuggles her in his sleep and he didn't believe me so after his little stink about her leg barely grazing his, he quickly passed out and before you know it he's snuggling into his sister, we had to laugh...after all that fuss about not touching her, he was completely snuggled into her.  My husband and I were seriously impressed and thankful with their hours and hours of creative play with no fights for that long in the car.  We got in late last night and today, they picked their game up right where they left off, but first started by building castles with moats (play silks) filled with alligators (green blocks) and surrounded by knights (the black blocks)  the main characters are my daughters Rapunzle and Flynn Ryder dolls and my son has a GI Joe Ninja and transforming Dino Robots....I'm not sure what the storyline is but it must be really fun! Lol

And then it came full circle back to their CC science week 2 memory work when they discovered all kinds of Fungi that had popped up in the woods while we were away.  We ended up going on a scavenger hunt to see how many different kinds we could find.  There were so many interesting, strange and pretty varieties.  The kids couldn't believe the vastly different shapes, sizes, textures and colors they kept coming across.  We ended up going back inside to grab the camera and go back and photograph some of our favorite finds.  Even my 24 month old was joining in pointing and saying "fungi!"  

See the huge fungi in front of him?  I looked like a turtle shell, it even had an opening where it looks like it tucked it's head in to hide.

My daughter also found these treasures while out studying Fungi today. The middle feather is from a blue jay, the bottom one we think a woodpecker and we still need to find who the long yellow and light brown feather belongs to... But we know they all belong to the Kingdom Animalia ;) thank you fun CC memory work.  I wouldn't do it if we didn't enjoy it and as you can see it really is a great fun way to strew little bits of knowledge that can spark new interests and learning beyond the time we learn the new material.  

And since this short blog turned super long I will end with a story about one our moments on the trip that didn't go so well.  We went to Five Guys and the babe was crying that he hurt his fingers right when we left relatives house and we couldn't figure out what he did...until we arrived and were waiting inline to order I noticed some little blisters on the tips if his fingers and figured out that whip he and the kids were playing in the living room, we were in the kitchen right next to them but didn't see what happened, I realized he must have touched the light bulb on the lamp.  So we went to the table and put his fingers in the cup of cold water and he immediately was happier but in the meantime, the kids are focused on me helping the Babe with his fingers and my son accidentally spills his full cup of ice water all over the table.  Ok accidents happen my hubby goes and gets a bunch if napkins and cleans it all up.  He comes back and almost sits down when the baby suddenly reaches for the condiment cup of ketchup and it flies towards him and lands on the chair splattering everywhere.  My hubby gets more napkins and cleans that mess up and then is getting to his hair to sit down when our daughter whose a gymnast randomly does some fancy gymnastics salute at the table and sends her full cup if ice water flying everywhere.  My husband gets a S-ton more napkins and again cleans up as I'm still helping the baby with his sore fingers.  He comes back with our food and sets it down and I catch the bag before it falls and knocks over my water... We look at eachother like holy crap is this really happening!?!? Then my hubby gets everything situated and FINALLY sits down and SQUISH!!!  The first cup of water spilled had run off the table onto that seat and we didn't notice because it went everywhere!  So he was sitting in a puddle of ice water!  I mean at that point, what do you do?  Just laugh it off and eat your food and don't worry if looks like you wet your pants when you get up to walk out if the place.  For all the times things go well, there will always be times when randomly we get to be the spectacle that leaves people thinking who knows what!  Or maybe it's just a thing with us and Five time my son thought the fire alarm was a dispenser for those little white notecards they draw on and the alarm was so flippin loud the place cleared out completely and they told us we couldn't leave til the fire department came and shut it off.  That was also quite fun!!!! Really!!! NOT!!!  The good news was I put some Lavendar on baby's fingers and he was fine the next morning!  I always bring Lavendar and peppermint with me.  Use the Lavendar in the car to help keep things calm and relaxed and then use the peppermint on the hubby and I when were start getting a headache  or just need a pick me up.  Sometimes I rub a little on his neck and shoulders while he's driving.  Sometimes it comes in handy to rub on our tummies if we are feeling rotten after eating out.