Wednesday, April 13, 2011

A Post for All My Peeps

This week's Iron Craft Challenge was all about the Peeps. We had to use marshmallow peeps in some crafty way. I've been seeing a lot of peep wreaths on blog postings lately so I decided to try one. I figured this would be a good craft for Aidan, too. I liked the design of this wreath; but, I preferred the construction of this one. We went with all green and yellow to give it a more "natural" look. :) Also, that was all they had at the Dollar Store.

We opened all of our peeps a few days in advance to let them harden. It was pretty humid over the weekend, though, so they stayed a bit softer than I hoped.

Next, we started hot gluing them to our styrofoam wreaths. This was Aidan's first hot glue project. I was slightly nervous; but, he did a pretty good job. Matt let him use a soldering iron this summer, so I guess a glue gun is small potatoes. Aidan went for a peep pattern while I glued mine on a bit more haphazardly.

When the fronts were finished, we flipped them over and glued ribbon loops on the back to hang them. They are now proudly hanging on our front and side doors.

I wasn't sure how they would hold up. I had visions of colonies of ants carrying them off. So far, they are bug free. Their little peep noses are getting a bit smooshed by the screen doors; but, other than that, they are looking good!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Aidan and the Purple Crayon

Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson, our story of the week, was a big hit! Aidan has carried the book around all week and has really looked forward to our school time each day. We've drawn pictures of our favorite places and talked about story settings for social studies and language arts. We made giant purple crayon drawings for art. For math, we made fraction pies and started a very basic conversation about fractions. Today, for science we watched an online crayon-making film. PBS Kids has many of the old Mr. Rogers factory clips posted online and Aidan really enjoyed them. After the clip, we made our own crayons.

To make crayons, we broke all of our old and oddball crayons into pieces and arranged them in a silicone mold. We baked them in a 250* oven for about 12 minutes. We cooled ours in the freezer (because we have no patience) and popped them out. They turned out pretty cute and the kids seemed to like coloring with them.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Mess with Her, She'll Cut You

This week's Iron Craft theme (#14) is "Wish You Were Here". We were supposed to make postcards using any type of paper craft material we liked. I'm not much for making (or sending) cards and notes, as most of my family and friends know. Tasks like gluing neatly and cutting straight lines (as you can see) are not my forte.

I do have one good friend who is great at sending cards and notes. She likes paper crafting and personalized stationery. She also has a super-fun name, so I decided to make a postcard for her. I tried to embellish it will all of her greatest loves: pink ribbon, fancy brads and swarovski crystals. I knew what she would do to me if I tried to use those dollar store rhinestones again. Jessica hails from the gritty urban streets of one of Chicago's most affluent neighborhoods so you know she is tough. Why, she's practically the hair-clip making Leroy Brown of our Mom's Club.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Monday, Monday

Today was a warm; but, soggy day on "the farm". The kids actually slept until 8:00 AM which is VERY LATE for them. It could have had something to do with the fact that they were each up sixteen times last night; but, still a few minutes of quiet this morning was awesome! However, they were both ready for action when they did wake up. After a quick breakfast and ninety-seven constructs of "the body puzzle", they sat down at their art desk for lots of coloring and drawing with only minimal squabbling.

We didn't really have any plans for the day other than a morning trip to the post office. I know it shouldn't seem like a big deal; but, I dread post office trips above all other errands. It seems like such an ordeal to unbuckle car seats, herd everyone in there and wait in line behind seventeen people for twenty minutes just to stick something in the mail. I have seriously considered offering to pay for a random stranger's package to be mailed if they will just take mine in, too. Nevertheless, we headed to the post office and waited in a very long line while Aidan chatted up other customers about the giant bolt he brought along and Addie made "snow angels" on the floor.

After the post office, we headed home for lunch and Addie's nap. I knew we would need some activities to keep us busy this afternoon. Rainy days without planned activities seem to drag on endlessly, so I try to think ahead. I was not at all prepared for the amount of "fun" we would have today, though. I think in one afternoon we have managed to use every possible artistic medium in existence and every single towel I own. To put it mildly, we have been BUSY.

We started with our school work as usual: a story, drawing project, math page and letter page. This occupied six seconds of our afternoon.

Next, it was on to cake baking. I had been promising Aidan we would make some cakes with our new little bundt pan and it seemed like a great way to pass the time. The cakes turned out really cute and we couldn't wait to have them for dessert. I think this activity helped us fill another three minutes of afternoon. We decided to go ahead and cook dinner ahead of time since the kitchen was already a mess... and another six minutes passed.

After a quick kitchen cleanup, I spread out the messy mat and gave Aidan a bottle of Mod Podge, a paintbrush and some stickers. He had a new collection of bottle caps that his barber had given him last week. (Don't ask.) He'd been carrying them around in a jar all weekend so we decided to jazz them up a little with some "clock sticker" decoupage. I was quite certain this would eat up tons of time, so I dug out some of my own craft supplies. I wanted to make Addie some little hair clips to match a shirt I had made for her this weekend. I think my glue gun was almost lukewarm when Aidan finished his bottle cap craft. I told him to just keep adding glue until I was finished. He was happy to oblige.

About this time, Addie was considerate enough to wake up from her nap an hour early screaming at the top of her lungs. Apparently she was ready to join in the fun, too. I figured since we already had the messy mat out, we might as well do some painting. So, we got out all of our fun foam stamps and rollers as well as the world's most unwashable washable paint and got to work. The kids actually stuck with this activity for quite awhile. When they started to lose interest, I tossed in some tiny stickers and that bought me another ten minutes to finish up dinner. They even managed to clean themselves up without much help from me and gave the bathroom a nice "Law and Order" touch.

While our giant masterpieces were drying, someone found the bag of DIY crazy straw parts that I had apparently not hidden well enough. They made bendy straw pipes and marched around the house playing "Sump Pump" which consists of humming into the straws and slurping up water. "Sump Pump" kept everyone busy until Matt arrived home for dinner. Thank goodness! After dinner and cake, Matt and the kids headed outside to play and I started the cleanup. Only a few more hours to fill until bedtime. I'm so glad the night shift is here.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Mirette on the High Wire

We followed a pretty simple school plan last week. Matt had to spend the week in Kansas City for work and I'm starting to feel SUPER pregnant so I knew we would need to take it easy. Our book, Mirette on the High Wire, written by Emily Arnold McCully, tells the story of a young French girl who learns to walk the high wire from a famous daredevil and helps him conquer his fear.

For social studies, we discussed boasting. Aidan is going through an "I'm the greatest and I can do everything" phase so it seemed appropriate. I told him it was better to let someone else praise you than to do it yourself. I'm not sure the message got through. I think he may just need to outgrow it.

We learned the french color words and played a little matching game with english and french color cards for language arts. Continuing with the color theme, we learned about complimentary colors for art.

This weekend, the guys learned about balance and the center of gravity with a balancing toy and some string. We did a little work in our letter and number books and did some easel painting, too. We survived our week alone; but, we are definitely glad to have Matt back home!