Friday, February 26, 2010

Winter Projects

Continuing to look back, we go to early January. We all had several weeks off for the holidays and now we look to gather together again and work on some rainy day, winter projects.

The seniors enjoy several weeks of chess. Learning new skills, and competing a bit.

The juniors pick up on their Native American Peoples study from last fall with the people of the ice and snow. Ah, now we get to build snow houses out of sugar cubes! They loved this.

Here is Claire just beginning to create her perfect ice house.

Maia goes right to it. (Love those Elton John glasses, Maia!)

Ben wants to make a very small ice house.

Here is Kasey with her ice house almost complete. We never did get the roof on, come to think of it.

It can be a challenge to find projects for a group of kids to do on rainy days, when it is so blustery that no one (including us moms!) want to go outside. How to keep us all from running into each other? from chaos taking over? It is also different now that we have a gang of teens. It is not so easy to say, "come along, on with your rain boots. Lets go splash in some puddles." 
As they say, just as you figure out one phase of parenting/group dynamics, on comes another.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Valentines Fun

Well, I have sure been remiss in posting here lately! So to make up for lost time, I am going to do a collage of our weeks together to get caught up. Then I wont have this hanging over my head anymore, yeesh.

Working backwards, let's start with our VALENTINES Party. Our annual party is always a smash. I love planning it and I love hosting it. One thing though, that is clear to me this almost 14 year old son is done with Valentines Parties. You know, he is good with a family Valentines dinner and will even make his sister a homemade card, but he has had his fill. And really, I feel good that I have given him so much of it that he is complete. So for next  year, I will focus on the junior group of kids and of course, who ever else wants to join in. My daughter is still BIG on Valentines day and wants nothing to change for our parties. Phew.

Here we have..THE QUEEN of HEARTS! What a trooper, eh? Bonnie, you make me laugh, thank you~

Above, you have the gang working on Valentines cards. Who you dont see in this photo, is the group of boys who are playing chess on the floor. They are having their very own party ;)

Woodworking for the Juniors
The juniors have been working on woodworking skills all this year. They started out pounding nails into a block of wood (a lot of nails, and you know, they had fun with that), then they did some sawing of wood, and some sanding and some polishing of wood with beeswax. After some good solid skills were laid down, we set them up with a project. Each child got to make a bird house. Here is their progression.
Papa Liguori helps Anna with her birdhouse...and Maia with hers...
and kasey concentrates on hers. They are all very proud of their work, as they should be.

The sad bit about this otherwise joyful day, is the departure of one of our beloved families. Esther and her clan moved to Boston just a few days after this party. They were such a huge part of our group and made such a positive impact on all of us. We will miss seeing you every week our dear friends, but know that we will always be friends.

I hope to show you the finished projects next post (which hopefully will be soon!). Come March, they are to begin a new BIG project. The big daddy around here is going to help them to build a small hut or structure of which they can play inside of. Now, wouldn't it be great to add our gardening block to that by planting bean seeds around it to grow up and around the little house? Good plan...stay tuned.