Granny Square Crochet Bag

My daughter is heading to dance camp next week and my current knitting project was becoming tedious, so I decided to make something quick and colorful for her…a granny square bag for her shoes. It is supposed to be lined, but my track record isn’t so great with that. And she doesn’t seem to care. And I have already started another bag. Bah. The instructions for the granny square bag can be found here.

New squares.

Tea Time

We are at week three with our Tea Time and Poetry or as my daughter calls it- Poetreets! The kids helped me pick up special cookies for this week and we had one of their friends and my mom join us 🙂 My mom even brought strawberries and a new mug to share.

We picked fresh flowers from the yard and added a candle to the table this week.

My son read the camel story from “Just So Stories” to get us started and then we moved on to the poetry and chatting. It is really neat to hear the conversations that the poems spark. I an really enjoying these tea times and I am glad I found Brave Writer!

Some of this week’s books:

Thrift Store Finds

I haven’t done much thrift shopping since moving back to Ohio. This week I decided to remedy that. I hit the local store with a friend looking for new tea cups for our Tuesday Tea Times and whatever else might be there. It was fun and I got good stuff!

2 new cups

2 puzzles, one of which we put together right away.

It was missing 3 pieces. The other puzzle was still shrink wrapped, so I assume they will all be there.

Fun fact- it never occurred to me to check how many pieces were in a “1,000 piece puzzle”. Apparently, not necessarily a thousand! This one would have had 1,008.

I also picked up a set of double nines dominoes, which I thought was missing a piece (due to the empty space in the case). Some checking at home revealed it was indeed a full set.

My daughter and I played to a hundred. She shredded me with a score of 220 to 29. The last round was a doozy. The pips going up to nine makes for potentially large scores and difficult point counting.

Back to the Rain Forest part 2

When we visited the Rain Forest at the Zoo, we bought a venus fly trap in the gift shop. The kids picked out a perfect spot for it when we got home and proceeded to try to “trick” it into eating dropped ants. While they were doing that, I pulled up some web pages about venus fly traps and discovered their ploy would probably not work.

The venus fly trap got moved to a sunnier location near other flowering plants after our reading. It also caught two new insects the first day. Unfortunately, it kept getting tipped over in rain storms and some of the stems broke off. Kind-of fortunately, the trap’s seal is broken after it detaches from the main plant, so we were able to peek inside to see what it had caught…a huge ant!

Back to the Rain Forest part 1

In an effort to finish up our final theme for the school year, we did some Rain Forest things this past month.

We watched many videos on Discovery Streaming and on Netflix, including the Magic School Bus, a documentary on deep inside the Amazon Rain Forest, and others about different indigenous people and animals and the layers of the Rain Forest.

We visited the Rain Forest at the Cleveland Zoo to see the plants and animals up close. The kids played “Where’s Waldo” searching for the camouflaged animals. We got to see the many adaptations the plants use for living in very shallow soil and we got to ooh and ahh at the acrobatics of some of the animals.

The kids each picked a rain forest animal to take home (stuffed).

We bought a coloring book of animals to enjoy.

The kids made notes of some of the things they learned using the iPad app Notability.

We read some magazines and a choose your own adventure about the Rain Forest.

We looked at a jungle sticker book about plants and animals and picked out the ones we had seen at the zoo.

We made a Pandora Station to listen to some of the sounds of the rain forest. The kids liked the mixture of tribal singing with techno in this “Deep Forest” album.

Our First Tuesday Tea and Poetry

I have been slowly gathering up supplies for our first “Tuesday Tea and Poetry” day in the tradition of the Brave Writer Lifestyle. Lots of books have been purchased and we are continuing to gather tea cups and fancy dishes as we come across them in thrift stores or on other outings.

Today, my son helped me get everything set up while his sister was playing with a friend. He was very excited and thought we should call it “Fancy Day!” We used an old quilt for a tablecloth and brought in flowers. We put out snacks and books and then let the girls in on the surprise. They had been on their way outside to play, but agreed to try it out.

Success! From the moment we started reading, they loved every minute! We took turns sharing and listening. We heard poems about a drumstick, a werewolf, William Tell, a man with clothes made out of food and dead animals, summertime and a baby cow, pranks played on a dad, and more. My son surprised me the most. I wasn’t sure how he would like it, but he seemed to enjoy it best of all and wanted to stay and read stories when we were done.

So he did read to me – “Just So Stories” by Rudyard Kipling. He has listened to the audio book many times (all 3 1/2 hours of it) and he liked reading the first story and poem to me in his fancy, expressive voice with a bit of a Brittish accent.

Everyone is looking forward to next week! I will need to dig up a stash of special snacks.

Notability and Schoolwork

I have been using a great app. on the ipad called Notability to grab pictures from the Internet, draw stuff, write things with the kids, etc. It is only $1.99 and has so many features and is incredibly easy to use!

A mom on one of the homeschooling lists I am on recently posted about a great $1.00 sale on thousands of educational pdf’s from Scholastic. I decided to scoop up a few and see if some of our practice problems could be moved (and stored) in a digital manner.

I just finished playing around with one of the math riddles books I purchased and I am incredibly impressed. I love this!

You can easily change pen colors, zoom in and out, erase, save, and more!

The zoom feature is very useful!

For kids who get overwhelmed by lots of information or problems on a page, this can reduce the visual noise and distraction.