Saturday, February 17, 2018

Cowen's Camping List

Sometimes I really, really love my kids.  Cowen planned a mountain excursion with his friend, Connor, a few days ago.  He was super excited about it and he made a list of the essential items he needed to take up the mountain with him.  Each item had a box drawn beside it for Cowen to check when he put the item in one of his forty bazillion bags. 

And what was written in big bold letters in the middle of this list of critical items?:



I know--it melted my heart.

Friday, February 16, 2018


I have been potty training Clover with great success.  She had a rough first day and then she seemed to get the whole concept and she hasn't had an accident since (except twice after her nap).  The first day we potty-trained she insisted on wearing underpants to bed.  I let her, because I know there are children who can stay dry at night at age 3, in some mythical land somewhere.  She wet herself and was super upset about it when she woke up cold and wet at 11:00.  Timothy was disinclined to try again and Clover didn't insist so I put her in diapers at night again.  Then, last night, Clover wanted to wear underpants to bed again and so I let her, in the vain hope that a miracle could happen.

And it did.  SHE WAS DRY!  How is this even possible????  Now what?  I took her to the potty right before I went to bed at 10:00.  Do I keep doing that?  Do I just put her to bed?  How do you train a child to stay dry at night at age 3.  This is totally beyond my experience. 

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Clover's Friend Cowen

A few days ago we started out the morning a little rough. Everyone was grumpy and Cowen was in full-on 13 year-old-boy mode. Then, at the table, Clover (who sits by him), turned to him, smiled, and said, "Cowen is my friend because he isn't rude." It came out of nowhere. We all smiled, and Cowen tried not to smile, but all the tension and aggression he had been exhibiting was gone. Clover calls Cowen, "Friend Cowen," all the time and he dotes on her like crazy. She truly is our lucky number seven--a ray of sunshine in our home.

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Decorating for Christmas November 26, 2017

 The Christmas books being unearthed is always a high point of the decorating process.

November 2017--Apple Science

 Thanks to NPR's Science Friday show, we do somewhat cool science every now and again.  On November 17, we did an experiment that tested the strength of different kinds of apples.  I bought two of every kind of apple that Smiths had, then I cut them up, ate some (the kids ate some too), poked a straw through the apple until a small piece of the apple was sticking out of the straw.  Then we hung washers around the piece of apple until it broke off and recorded how many washers it took to break each type of apple.  The hypothesis (if I remember correctly) was that the crisper apples would be harder to break.  Afterwards, we watercolored pictures of apples.  It was fun and tasty!

The above picture is very misleading because it looks like I'm engaged in some sort of artsy-craftsy activity, which is clearly impossible.  
 We all learn better in outfits made entirely out of toy silks.

 Cutie-patootie face was there, too.

Recently we did a unit on origami science.  We watched the Nova video about it and several youtube videos.  We're huge fans of that TED talk guy (Manu?) who developed the origami paper microscope (which I bought for just this lesson and have not been able to find!!!), and the NASA scientist who quit and became a full-time origami artist.  His origami is amazing.  The kids have been learning origami through you-tube videos pretty much non-stop for the past two weeks.  Good times.

More from November, 2017

 We ate in the library while Timothy worked on flooring.
 Timothy working hard.

 Ripping up the flooring.

 Torn-up kitchen and diligent daughter.

 New flooring!!!  So beautiful!!
 I teach the 4-7 year olds in our friendly little homeschool co-op.  I always take one of my favorite books and read it.  That particular day, I read, Score One for the Sloths.  Then I had everyone re-create the pictures in the book and act like sloths.  The older kids combined with us that day for a little while so they joined in.  It was a lot of fun!

 Dallin has serious sloth skills.

 So does Jacob.

 A little Harriet sloth.

 Sloth fail, but a good try.
 Too uncomfortable to look like a sloth, but nice try, Eli.
 Much more slothy.

 Caleb was never destined for slothhood.

 I love this one. 

 Oskar--you forgot to be sloth-like! 
 Cute little Janie.  I just love her!

 Oskar--sloths look relaxed!

 Good try!

 New colored pencils arrived from Amazon and all the children had to spend the next two days coloring.