Monday, January 23, 2012

Science Friday - chemistry part 2

Friday means science, which means messy... Fortunately, the weather around here is usually good enough that we can be outside while experimenting, mixing, stirring, and extracting. This Friday, it was cold and it rained, so we had to move inside. The foursome had fun exploring properties of liquids, chemical reactions when combining various liquids and the power of vinegar on eggshells.

And then there was a roof

The tree house work is progressing! Over the Christmas holiday Bob and Lukas had a few opportunities to work on the structure and finish some of the work in order to roof the new abode. This past weekend, they worked diligently from early morning into the late afternoon and the roof is now done. Yes, like any other project, there are a few minor things left to complete the roof, check it off the list; however, by the 80/20 rule it is done!

Lukas is very happy and is secretly plotting his next steps - cameras, surveillance, locks... stay tuned!

The world

Noah loves to do puzzles and have yet to find a puzzle that stumps him. For Christmas he received a world puzzle where each country is its own piece and in the shape of the country. It is a bit tricky to put together all the little countries in Europe when none of the pieces interlock, since the shape is based on actual country shape; even larger continents were a bit challenging until we learned the inside trick - begin with the oceans.
It did not take long for Noah and his helpers - Dad, Mamma and Lukas - to put this big one together and we learned a bunch of geography in the process! Thank you Grammy and Pappy for a great gift!

Keeping warm

We had frost this week! Cars had a thin layer of ice on the windshield if parked in the right location, the roofs were slightly white and the air was crisp, cold and my morning Lucky walks were brisk.

Lukas decided that rather than putting on a long sleeve shirt, he would find a place in the sun to do his work. When the sun became a bit of a bother, he pulled out his newly acquired sun glasses and quickly got back to work. He clearly has learned the lesson of adaptations. And yes, we do school in our pjs quite often, one of the many perks of home education!

Beach fire

We have had a few weeks of really nice weather, sunny, blue sky and some low clouds at night promising gorgeous sunsets. Since Monday was a holiday, it seemed the perfect idea to host a beach fire on Sunday night. Well, the weather that had been so perfect was no longer ... but it did not stop us. Lukas bundled up in his warmest clothes and we lugged tens of pounds of wood to the beach. Surprisingly many of our friends braved the weather for some fire, toasted marshmallows and great fun play - and yes the sun set, but did not give us a show. A great reason to schedule another fire soon!
The head lamp is vital! It gets very dark once the sun sets, and there are no street lights in Carmel. Try finding a shovel on the sand, a pair of brown flip flops or a marshmallow stick without a light and you too will realize the importance of a head lamp.

Perfect breakfast

Lately, we have been able to get blueberries on sale and we are indulging. Noah took this picture of a picture perfect breakfast - waffle by Dad, blueberry design by Noah.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Hungry squirrel

We like to head to Lover's Point for some exploring, fun climbing and beach time even if it is only for 30-45 minutes. There is always something to see, something to learn and something new that we have not yet done.
This past week, we met a new friend for some get to know you time at Lover's Point. He brought a bag of snacks along - probably to fortify himself before his bike ride. As always, the squirrels were right on our heals, and this time there was something to be had! It did not take long for the squirrels to finish off the bag - and our new friend? Well, he did not seem too upset that he had to share his snack...

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Are there not any more?

January in Pacific Grove!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

What a difference a day make...

Lukas has a new hairdo!

Christmas is definitely over...

Saturday's goal was to pack up Christmas, no more early mornings by the Christmas tree, no more smiley 'tomtes' watching us eat, and the Christmas cards are safely tucked away in the 'to be prayed for' basket. Usually there is at least one or two things left behind when the last box is sealed up and stored away and this year was no different, although this item cannot be stored. Our Charlie Brown Christmas tree - which amazingly still looks nice - had to go. The large Christmas tree quickly became fire wood for the fire pit in the backyard and is no more, Charlie Brown's tree is still hanging out on the front patio.. none of us quite ready to let go, there is still some Christmas spirit left in the air. Maybe it is a gentle reminder to enjoy, cherish and hold on to some of the sweetness that comes with Christmas - time with family, leisurely lounging, laughter, sweet treats and fun.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Science Friday

It is Friday so it must be science! We set out to create a chemistry matrix, mixing various liquids with various solids to understand the chemical reaction, and observe the differences between acids and bases, realize that some combinations creates great reactions, others not so much, some get hot, some get freezing cold, some gel, and some just stay the same.

I had great visions of informative instruction, inquisitive children, careful note taking and complete memory recall of the activity.. The children, all seven of them, had a very different and much more fun idea in mind. Seven against one, I was quickly overruled and we set out to have just fun while hopefully learning some. Lukas created a new compound that a few hours later could qualify as a lethal weapon in a sling shot, and our street has some interesting spots and markings.. otherwise we all survived unscathed. At dinner, Lukas and Noah were able to at least recite some of the major points I had hope to instill in their impressionable brains, so all was not lost.

Welcome back friends!

Silas and Lydia are back in town! To keep the tradition going, we spent our first play day with Silas and Lydia on the beach! Silas brought a football so the Lukas and Noah got a quick lesson in the very American game of football. A fun afternoon reconnecting with dear friends.


We are gearing up for full school days again... next week, we start Classical Conversations again and in preparation for tutoring, I enlisted my children's help in doing some artwork. The inspiration was Grandma Moses - but both boys had very specific ideas in their heads of what they wanted to do, so not sure we have an representative art works to show on Monday. I am going to have to resort to and lean on the library books - which of course shows the true work of Grandma Moses.....
Regardless, Lukas and Noah had a lot of fun doing art, using toothpicks, cotton balls and paint brushes, their imagination and creativity certainly is inspiring!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Home economics

Noah spent this morning making a new pair of pajamas pants - he helped cut out the parts, pinned them and finally sewed all the parts together. He really enjoyed using the sewing machine, one more machine that he has mastered.
Noah found a hand me down t-shirt from his cousin that matched the pants perfectly, so he is now sleeping in style.
Home economics class complete for the day!

Lukas would have been the second student for the day if only the teacher, ie Mamma, did not cut his fabric incorrectly....  maybe Mamma needs to repeat home ec?

Happy New Year!

Monday, January 2, 2012

Christmas Morning

In years' past, the boys have helped make Christmas pajamas... and this year the boys picked out new fleece for the pajamas, but black and white checkered or bright yellow with frogs just does not convey Christmas very well, so when things had to fall off the 'to do list' making Christmas pjs fell off quickly. It will become a January project.
Well, Christmas is here with or without new pajamas. Noah woke up very excited and tried his hardest to stay in his room, finding endless ways to amuse himself, yet when the hands on the clock just did not seem to move anymore, he could no longer resist and burst into our bedroom wishing us a "Merry Christmas!"
Lukas and Noah lit our Swedish candle holder, the cinnamon rolls went into the oven, the coffee maker in full swing, we sat down to explore the wonders of stockings. Only the oven timer indicating that the rolls were done could pull us away from the many fun gadgets and toys hidden in the depths of our pretty red stockings. Lukas blew bubbles, Noah worked on setting a new record on his pin ball game and Bob and I got lost in our magazines.
After we were fortified with some warm cinnamon rolls and hot cocoa it was time to open gifts. The squeals of delight, the glimmer in the eyes, the joys - if one could only bottle all this happiness and draw upon it when needed.. It was such a wonderful time watching Lukas and Noah opening gift after gift, each one something they really wanted or wished for and in some cases things they had not even thought of asking for - surprise, delight, joy - just what Christmas is all about.

Christmas Eve

Bob took charge of our Christmas Eve dinner and prepared a delicious and 'pretty to look at' ham. The boys were excited about their special desserts: White Chocolate Raspberry Trifle and Dark Chocolate Raspberry torte.
After a nice Christmas Eve service at church, a wonderful dinner and fun family time, we ended Christmas Eve with the traditional reading of "It Was The Night Before Christmas." Last year, we received a new copy of this classic, and the book was outfitted with a small chip allowing recording of someone reading the book. So even though Tom/Pappy was back in Missouri, he read the book while Bob turned the pages. Two very excited boys headed to bed but not until they had a quick wrestle with Dad...