Saturday, November 29, 2008

First Knit Hat :-)

Back in late August our friends Zoe, Oliver and Maximo M came over and taught Zoe B (that's my little Zoe) and I how to knit. First, I just have to say how impressed I am by these guys. They have been homeschooling longer than we have, using mostly a Waldorf-inspired approach. Not only are these boys smart, but they are so kind and good. My friend, Zoe, taught her boys to knit, and they have made balls for catch and hats to wear. They taught us the rhyme:

In through the front door
run around the back
peek through the window
off jumps jack

We got to see the knitting Oliver and Maximo brought, and it made such an impression on my little girl! She just really looks up to them, and I couldn't ask for better role models.

Here we are a couple months ago before I cut my hair. What a proud mama I am!

Today we got to see another homeschool family which we adore, down where we used to live. They are equally inspiring and delightful to be around, and they use mostly AmblesideOnline. After lunch we went to a smoothie and coffee shop that was a favorite of mine when we lived there, and my friend and I got a moment to chitchat while the men watched the kids. She also took some time to help me finish Zoe's hat, and here it is! I don't know who is more excited or proud - me or Zoe?

Knitting Help Videos

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Early in the Morning

This morning Zoe and Ashley woke up at 6:30, which is very early for them. We piled on our robes and slippers, and headed downstairs. Within minutes the sun began to rise. We pressed our noses up against the cold glass and looked though the window in awe. This is what we saw.

Even though Cherry, our Boston Terrier, wears a down coat, her behind gets cold after her first morning walk. For this reason we have been turning on our heating pad, where she sits after she gets inside to warm her rear-end. How funny is that?

paper dolls

This past weekend Ashley and I went to Target. I thought we would browse the toy isles for inspiration, something I couldn't have done had Zoe been with us. I was amused to see Lincoln Logs, but disappointed at how they've changed in the last 20 plus years. They now have solid plastic roofs rather than wooden plank roofs you build yourself - a huge negative I think. They seemed simplified so that they could be built quickly. In my opinion, toys that don't require much effort are toys in which interest is quickly lost.

Then I found something I had been intending on doing with the girls - paper dolls. I had even gone so far as to surf the internet for ideas and patterns, but had not yet settled on a strategy. I was turned off by the plastic coating and animation style of the ones at Target, still I couldn't resist paging through the book. It had some really nice costumes though, so I decided to get it.

Once we returned home I quickly found some 1970's Lincoln Logs on Ebay, which I wanted immediately. With great self control, I resisted diving into the enormous bidding war that ultimately pushed the price upwards of 40 dollars, not including the 12 for shipping. Turns out lots of other people had been to Target and had the same idea I was having.

That night, after the kids were in bed, Andy put some David Sedaris audio on my laptop, and we worked on homeschool projects at the kitchen island, while laughing at the jokes. Using the book paper dolls as templates, I traced clothing patterns onto some great paper, which I recently got on sale at Michael's. I cut out the harder pieces, leaving the easier ones for Zoe to cut. Andy worked on making little houses out of old cereal boxes, for a Christmas project we're doing in a week or two.

I hid the book in the pantry, where the girls wouldn't find it. In the morning I surprised them with the first homemade paper doll project. We had so much fun cutting and pasting it together. I know paper doll clothes are supposed to be removable, so I guess we're breaking the norm here :-) Zoe was so excited to "show Daddy!" when she was finished with "Orangea," who I thought looked like Robin Hood.

We repeated this process of me doing the prep work after they're in bed (they share a full-sized bed), and then surprising them with the craft again this morning, creating "Sherri," the princess. We used a painting of Zoe's as a backdrop for the photographs.

I'm still watching the Lincoln Logs on Ebay, waiting for the right price...

The book I'm using for templates:
Klutz Paper Dolls

The papers we used on these two dolls:
Mellow Collection Pack

Friday, November 21, 2008

The Strawberry

The best homeschool moments come when I'm not even trying. Like today, I was doing the dishes, when Zoe took it upon herself to make a book. She got some supplies, and sat at the kitchen island, equipment laid out. Before I knew it, she had created a story about a strawberry girl, who went hiking in the mountains, and then returned home to her strawberry house. The cover, as you can see, contains her name and the year, as well as the title, followed by three story pages, and completed with "the end." After watching proudly as I photographed her book, Zoe asked for ribbon. She cut the ribbon into three pieces and bound the book with three yellow bows.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Near Allenspark, CO

Andrew's parents were here this week, and we had the best time! Here is Zoe and Jeff near Allenspark. Isn't it gorgeous?!