I have not posted anything on my blog since July! The reason for this was a conscious decision during the summer to "unplug". and I did! Then I kind of got used to the idea of not sitting down at the computer to "surf", "blog" or "search" (unless absolutely necessary!) It has been a wonderful experience, tho it was hard at first. I missed updating friends, family and followers on what we were doing with our summer. It has been even harder not to share our home school activities with you all!
I have been taking pictures all along as if I was planning posts! During the next few weeks I am going to try to put together a couple of post that highlight some of our fun or educations activities I feel would be nice to share. I hope you all have been happy and having fun in all your adventures!
For almost 7 years now I have been the mother to a little boy that ever since he was small has been unique in his own special ways. He is smart beyond his years, funny, creative and sensitive. Today I had a reminder of how sensitive he is...
Around other children he does his best to keep up with their "kind" of play, the ruff houseing, battles, good guy bad guy play. Still he often chooses to not take part in this play, simply because he does not like it. Sometimes to avoid it, he will go off on his own.
There is a reason why we do not watch anything but PBS..and yes at almost 7 he still really enjoys Sesame Street, Curious George, and Peep and the big wide world. He does not enjoy anything where someone might be captured, hurt or killed. even Toy Story is scary for him (that kid Sid is crazy!) He wants those shows turned off or he goes upstairs.
The ONLY Disney movie he will watch is Cars. He LOVES this movie! It is a nice movie with no bad guys, no violence, just cars racing and Mater being silly! So we thought what fun to go see Cars 2 at the movies! They have never been, since there was never a movie we though Mason would enjoy....
Well guess what..they took the peacefulness out of the Cars movie. My husband and I as adults enjoyed it., Our little one loved all the excitement, but Mason did NOT! Had I known I would not have taken him to it. Don't get me wrong..I thought the movie was very well put together and the plot was action packed for a cartoon! But for our sensitive child..he was so thrown off and I cant imagine the disappointment of being excited to be at the movies only to be traumatized by bombs, guns, explosives, etc...it was too much for him and he found himself scared and in tears, wanting to leave the movies. We got him threw it, reassuring him that its a kids movie and it will all be alright.
When we got home he was actually feeling sick to his stomach..a mix of popcorn and nerves no doubt.
Shortly after he went to bed and the little one was asleep, I popped back into his room to check on him..he was having a hard time falling asleep...so I told him this...
"What I love about you is that you do not like the kind of movies that are violent and want to hurt people. Its OK to not want to see those things...it means that you are a kind and loving person inside. It means that you can take that peacefulness in your heart that you have and do great things in this world! And if you don't want to watch scary things you do not have to!"
Sometimes I think its normal for most kids to watch Disney, Star Wars, Transformers etc...when will he be OK with what other kids fine normal...then I remember...its scared me that violence IS normal for most kids, and I am grateful to have an abnormal child to remind me of the peace in the world!
James had fun chasing the wooden toy merchant with the dragon on a stick. They both loved learning how to spin an old fashioned top.
James was thrilled to get the wooden bear up the string..a "gypsy" tried to buy him from me for some "gold" (corn)!
They got to help the weaver make fabric on the loom.
Then there is the goats!
Don't ask I have no idea what that goat is doing? Ha Ha very funny!
"Berks Beach" Green Harbor
This is "my" beach! It is where I grew up..it is where my dad grew up. My grandparents owned a cottage here for 42 years! Now..(even without the cottage) I still get to make new memories with my kids at this beach.
Always a touch of Montessori in our life..notice dad (Papa), James and Mason "walking the line" on the beach for them to follow to the water so they can find their way back to our spot.
I had the joy and privilege of taking 4 of the finest young children to the zoo the other day! We had tons of FUN. I printed an animal bingo game from the website, and stapled a strip of stickers to it. each child got one. They had a blast searching for the animals and placing a sticker on the picture!
These zoo helpers were carrying around the fur of a real cheetah that died of old age. We got to touch it and take a close look.
There are allot more pics, I just picked out the best ones, and choose not to post all the pics of the animals.
This past weekend was my son's 3rd birthday. (crazy to think my baby is 3!). He really wanted to have a farm party..yeah...that I can do! I LOVE to celebrate the birth of my 2 boys...I also look at the few weeks leading up to the party as "craft therapy" for me. It gives me a reason to have to make and craft things at night, instead of so easily crashing out on the couch to watch mindless T.V.
I start my planning by brain storming...I research ideas online, I walk around the house and yard to find things I can use (to minimize cost)..I owe allot of inspiration to...aestheticnest.com. Check out her modern farm birthday for her little girl...so sweet! She offers some free downloads too. She also has an Esty store HERE, where I purchased the patterns for the farm animal napkins.
We started with large pieces of cardboard, Warren brought home from work and we made a barn
The boys helped me make the chocolate cake. I feel extra special birthdays deserve extra special home made cakes! James wanted a chocolate tractor cake.
After down loading the patterns for the farm animals from Aesthetic Nest Esty Shop, I purchased towling fabric from Joann Fabrics ( 3 yards). I cut most of them into 12x12 squares with a pinking rotary blade. I cut the animals out of stiffened felt from Michael's. I also purchased 3 yards of cow fabric for making banners and bandannas, I used strips of this fabric to make the ties for the napkins.
I persuaded my husband to drink 2 dozen Starbucks Mocha coffee drinks we bought at BJ's. I used them to make milk bottles for the kids. I painted the caps with green paint and filled them with chocolate milk.
I also got this idea from Aesthetic Nest. I used her free download to make the cute tags!
I found these veggie erasers at Joann's in the clearance rack! I put them under the hay
(keep reading for more info on this)
The banners I made are cut with the pinking rotary blade. I ran a lg needle and cotton string thru them to string them together in groups of 10.
I LOVE the thank you tags! Another free download from you know who!
I got these baskets at the Christmas Tree Shoppe (New England store) and put a cow bandanna and straw inside. The kids will use them later to gather their goodies from each animal station....
I had a vision of a farm stand for the food! I was most excited about this...cause I know my boys love to pick at fresh fruits and veggies, a strawberry here a cucumber there... To have them set out for the picking was perfect for small hands! There was humus and ranch dressing for making a salad too. And of course our farm fresh eggs, tons of watermelon and wheat/gluten free farm animal pasta. Along with fruit and veggies was my MIL's sausage & onions, and my aunt's "cowboy beans (fancy baked beans)
(My mom got this glass beverage dispenser for me for Mother's Day!)
6 1/2 C Water
1 C Realemon (lemon juice)
1 C Sugar
Real Southern Sweet Tea
6 tea bags
1/8 tsp. baking soda
2 C boiling water
1 1/2- 2 C sugar (I only used 1C)
6 C cold water
In glass bowl put tea bags & soda, add 2 C boiling water, cover and sit for 15 mins
Take out bags (do not squeeze)
in 2 quart picture add sugar & tea and mix until dissolved
add cold water
J- ringing the food cow bell.
The kids table was made using 3 bales of straw (we happen to have) & 2 long barn boards ( we happen to have), placed on a tarp and green gingham table cloths I found cheap at the Christmas Tree Shoppe!
I had intended to sew on larger felt animals that match the napkins to the cloths, but i ran out of time. If you check out Aesthetic Nest's party she made a beautiful table cloth for her party!
I made this farm outfit for James..He was so excited!
He watch me making some of it and was so proud to have a special outfit for his party!
(again got the idea from you know who..she made the sweetest little dress for her little girl)
The presents were put into this old wheel barrel that was buried on the woods in our back yard from the people who lived here before us (9 yrs ago)..now that's recycling!
Our baby chicks, in their special coop made from lg pallets Warren brought home from work and nailed together.
The kids loved to catch and pick up the little chickens, they are very friendly too!
The Pig Stye
Pink balloons, some with piggy faces and a curly pink ribbon tail.
The wind blew them out and the kids went crazy tring to catch them and put them back!
All the kids had a blast coloring their own hobby horse head.
I found a pattern for a hobby horse online. My mom redrew it bigger and a bit different. I scanned and copied them out regular and reversed to they would fit together. I cut black yarn and stapled it so some came out the top and front of the horse head, then stapled around the head except for the bottom. The kids colored and stuffed the heads with old packing peanuts I had, we then stapled them to stick I had found in the yard.
You cant see it but leaning against a tree, there is a large old wooden cut out of a cow that came with the barn, when we bought the house, that my mom repainted.
Under the hay is candy (gathered from 2 parades the weekend before),
Cows Tails candy, & the veggie erasers. They used their baskets to collect the goodies.
Outside the chicken coop I made a giant nest. In the plastic eggs are Peeps (marshmallow candy).
Each child collected 1 and put it in their baskets.
In the pool is farm animal rubber duckies, I ordered from oriental trading, they each picked 2.
The Hay Ride!
OK so no hay, but I don't think the kids even noticed.
Warren (Super Dad), brought home this 4 wheel cart from work and BUILT the wooden part out of a pallet the morning of the party! Absolutely AWESOME! the kids were all smiles. He took them for rides thru the woods on a path we have behind out house and thru the neighborhood!
We had so much fun with this...we even road around a bunch the next day!
Cake & Presents
The tractor cake
I got the tractor pan at Micheal's with a 50% off coupon.
The frosting was left over from a friends birthday cake..I froze the frosting months earlier..my friend was gong to throw it all away! It was so yummy, I just could not let her!
(there was a lot left over)
We had Friendly's Watermelon Roll for ice cream..mmmmm
Look at all those cute cow bandannas! Some wore them on their heads, some around their neck. They kids were so great! They sat and watched James open his presents so politely!
James grandparents Skip & Sherry gave him this horse swing!
Yeah now we can take down the baby swing!
The party was great (exhausting), but its only twice a year I get to do it.
Hope you enjoyed my take on a farm party..again thank you to aesthetic nest for being my muse!
I have already had a bad experience in this already! My experience with something of mine been stolen and used as someone elses was not in the blogging world, but in my home buisness, but I am one to learn from life lessons so as a gentle reminder...
Please do not copy words or pictures from my blog without my permission.