June 22, 2010

Sew some birds...

I have been going to swimming lessons, karate class, piano lessons, concerts in the park...lots of time sitting and watching my girls. Sometimes I chat with the other parents, but I like to have my hands busy. I've been sewing some things with felt, fabric and love to just sit and crochet up a few flowers to add to my scrapbooks. Recycle. A couple of weeks ago a sweet Russian woman gave me a bunch of hand-me down clothes, I took a few shirts I knew I'd never wear and cut up the fabric to sew some birds with...

This is the pattern I followed:

I gave this mobile to my sister Susanna, whose baby, Natalia, was just baptised on Saturday. Here, is a picture of my sister Andrea with Natalia.

We had a nice father's day. So proud of my husband who helped out a couple of people, by giving someone a bike, taking someone who needed clothes shopping, spending a few hours fixing someone's car...and loving me and our girls. May God bless him (he's on the far right)...I took a TON of photos...and I am in some of them.

This weekend, we are driving to the east a family reunion.

June 18, 2010


Yesterday, we pulled some beets from our garden...which is past the clothesline. My fingers were stained purple for a day from chopping them up.
Hannah and Olivia began swimming lessons (this is their 3rd year) this week. Rob took the girls in the morning. Then, in the afternoon, is swim team...which we have decided to be a part of for the first time. Laps. Laps. Laps. Freestyle, backstroke, breast stroke and butterfly, too. One day, after swim team practice, we stayed for "open swim" and I swam 4 laps, then tuckered out....
My niece, Natalia, is now a month old...tomorrow is her baptism!
7 pretty girls sitting on the steps after church!

June 11, 2010

Art camp...

Want some ideas of fun summer activities you can do with your children? I enjoy making art and children are uninhibited, letting their creativity flow...I like to recycle whenever possible. Go outside and let them make a mess. Just like the chalk on the sidewalk, most of it will wash away with the rain!

This week I taught art from 9 to 12:30 Monday through Friday at the pre-school where I work during the school year.
Monday, we made sculptures (using wood, recycled objects: tin cans, bottle caps, paper towel rolls, cardboard, glue and masking tape), worked with clay, wove with yarn on simple looms, talked about some paintings by Matisse, Kandinsky, Picasso, etc. and about the differences between a portrait, still-life and landscape. We read "Olivia" by Ian Falconer and talked about how she went to the museum, then came home and made a painting inspired by Jackson Pollock. If you go to that website, you can have some fun with Olivia...there's a painting game.Tuesday, we painted on the easel with the 3 primary colors, plus white, on newsprint, made face masks and garden stepping stones with Quikrete, outside the played on the playground in the sun! We read "Art is..." by Bob Raczka. The children really liked the painting by Guiseppe will too...he does a lot of portraits that are really fruit or vegetable "still lifes."

Wednesday, we went into the gym (it was wet and rainy) to play and ride bikes, hula-hoop...each child got a 11 x 14" canvas on stretcher bars to paint on...the children also painted the collaborative sculptures and some of their individual sculptures. One little girl said "Can we make stuffed animals? I really like stuffed animals, because they are SO soft." So, we got out felt, fabric, blunt-tipped needles and embroidery floss. I love to sew. She was quite pleased with her little bear that I helped her to make, then wanted to make clothes for him!

Thursday, we had a great time outside....where I took lots of photos. Inside, children painted or drew on the easel, finished sewing, played in the water table with funnels attached to hoses, built sand castles in the sand table (added a bit of water and used their hands and some bowls) and then read "Lily Brown's Paintings" by Angela Johnson and E. B. Lewis, a book about a little girl who makes art and is very creative...making some of her people walk upside down!
Friday, that's today...we helped the children glue photos into their art journals to take home and wrote down what they said as they reflected on the week. We read "Babar's Museum of Art" by Laurent and Phyllis de Brunhoff. The children had a lot to say about all the paintings that had elephant faces. They wanted to talk about what the elephant was doing in the painting like Edvard Munch's "The Scream"...maybe he lost his parents? maybe he got hurt? We colored some tessallations. At the end of the day, I encouraged all the children to hang up their art work with their parent's permission in their make it an art museum!

June 3, 2010

Summer garden...


The first photo I took on May 21 and the second one when we got home from our South Carolina vacation...May 31. That's what 10 days of good growing weather looks like here in Ohio.
Granola (a recipe from Jamie's Food Revolution cookbook)

Preheat the oven to 350. Put your dry granola ingredients including coconut and cinnamon, except for the dried fruit on a sheet pan. Stir well and smooth out. Mix maple syrup and oil in a small bowl. Drizzle over granola and stir. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, stir every 5 minutes with a wooden spoon. While it is roasting chop up any large dried fruit. When the granola is nice and golden, remove it from the oven and add the dried fruit. Once it is cooled, store in sealed container, up to 2 weeks.

Children should enjoy learning...if not, there's something wrong. Check out this episode on Nightline a few days ago on "unschooling,"although I do like more structure and discipline, I think each family should do what they think is best when it comes to education. I thoroughly enjoyed reading Schooled by Gordon Korman, a boy who is unschooled is taken away from his homestead and put into public school...very intriguing! What are your thoughts on this subject?

P.S. Remember that cute little book? Here's the link to her website...and another sweet page: