Posts Tagged ‘projects’

Family Feast

Went for a nightime skate today, and it was fun, fun, fun! Played shinny hockey, to the best of our limited and varied abilities, and then came home for hot chocolate.

Next on the agenda is our Gourmet Feast.

Big bro R has the menu planned out. I’ve already done most of the shopping. Tomorrow we begin by making some of the items ahead of time, and then Sunday we finish up, and EAT!

We’re having spanakopita, olive bread with balsamic vinegar/garlic oil dipping bowls, spinach/mandarin orange salad with poppy seed dressing, ravioli stuffed with roasted garlic and three cheeses and smothered in tomato sauce, with a berry trifle for dessert.

We’re making all of the items from scratch, including the pasta, so it’s definitely going to be a case of too many cooks in the kitchen, as well as complete chaos, but it’ll be fun. R is walking up to our local Italian specialty deli, to pick out the cheeses and olives, and L says that she’s the head of the Decorations Commitee. Jay wants to be a sous-chef, and Tee wants to be R’s right hand man.

 I don’t know quite what transformed my eldest son from the world’s pickiest eater to a lover of fine food, but when I asked him what he wanted to do over Christmas, this was what he came up with. Works for me!

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Practice, Practice, Practice


This knitting project started out as a scarf, and morphed into an irregularly shaped rectangle, but no worries. Jay was as pleased as could be with the outcome, and plans to use it as a dolly blanket. She wasn’t even concerned with the holes, because, as she said, “It just shows how much better I got at the end”. Good attitude. She says she’s going to use it until she doesn’t play with dolls anymore, and then store it somewhere safely so that she can show (not give) it to her kids when they’re having trouble learning something, so that they can see how she wasn’t perfect either.

Next up, a scarf. She’s already picked out the yarn.

Oh, and I was hoping to have her write a post about the knitting, but she refuses. Neither she nor Tee want anything to do with blogging right now. Team Effort is going to be pretty one-sided for a while……

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Color Mixing


The kids have been playing the Rays of Light game with an intensity bordering on obsession, so I decided to jump on the bandwagon, and seize the opportunity to cement their knowledge of primary and secondary colors.

I mixed up three jars of water and food coloring (red, blue, and yellow) and set three empty jars down between them. Then I gave the kids syringes and told them to make orange, green and purple. I gave them exact instructions, and then had them color in a photocopied color-mixing chart to demonstrate their knowledge. All well and good, but not exactly the thrill a minute I was hoping for.

Once the (“learning”) mission was accomplished, I set them loose with the colors and syringes. THEN the fun started. And, most likely, the learning. Guess what color I made? Look what happens when you mix all three colors! etc,etc. Will I never learn?


Capitilizing yet further on the excitement, I whipped up a batch of homemade playdoh, which I haven’t done since they were tots, and colored one blob blue, one blob yellow, and one blob red. Sorta, kinda, because they came out more pastelly than I would have liked, but the kids still had fun making all of the colors they could. Including “skin color”. It was creepily realistic. Remember when crayons had a skin color? Before someone realized that skin came in many colors?


I think today was a good example of my role as an unschooling guide. Observing the natural interest, and thinking up good ideas to stretch out the learning. Giving the kids materials, and letting them experiment. Letting go of my expectations for outcome. Yadda, yadda, yadda.

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Sewing Mania

Now it’s spread to Jay. Unfortunately, I’m the only one who’s able to thread a needle.


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Garden Shed Update III


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DSCN0624 This is me holding my first shuriken (or ninja star). Mom and I made it out of an old disk! It is for my Hallowen costume. I am being a ninja for Hallowen.

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Tee and Jay were inspired today by a fantastic, intricate, detailed city made out of plasticine. It’s a magic land we were told. Anything grows, and anything can happen. There were rivers, mountains, gardens, trees, houses and forts, a coliseum, an obelisk, and a chocolate factory.

Now Tee wants to build an Aztec city. Jay wants a regular sort of city. Both of them were spouting creative ideas non-stop the whole car ride home.

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Garden Shed Update


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Garden Shed I

I never see Tee happier than when he’s hard at work. Doing manual labour, that is. Today we’d just started school when a friend dropped in to say he had time to help us build a garden shed. It was an offer I couldn’t refuse, so the books were set aside.

Here is a before picture of the corner of the yard.

Here’s Tee helping to clear the land, while Jay and K went to get lumber. We dug up the ornamental cedars, pruned back branches, and leveled the area.


Both of the kids helped build the floor,

and then the best part of all……getting to paint!


Tee worked with enthusiasm until 2 pm, jabbering excitedly the whole time. “This is way better than boring old school! I feel sorry for everyone in my old class! I’m going to be a builder when I grow up!”

I just wish we lived on a farm. I think I’d have a much happier kid if I could put him to work.

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mexico map

This is my cookie Mexico.I made it with J and Mom. Mom was our guide. The smarties are the major cites.The blue smarte is Mexico City. The chocolates are mountains. And the icing is to stick everything on. Sorry about the Rio Grande. We forgot to put it on the cookie. When we ate it it tasted as good as gold $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ Wait wait does gold taste good? Sooooooooooooo it tasted as good as… a cookie!!!!!!!!! Ya  

 Editor’s note: It took several days to plan, two days to create, and only a few minutes to consume.        

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Work In Progress

Theo's map of Mexico

Here’s the map of Mexico that Tee made.


Here’s the cookie dough.

Next step is trying to get that dough to look like that map.

To be continued……


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Projects On The Go

Here’s what we’re working on right now:

Making peanut butter: so far, have purchased the peanuts, and compared the cost of bulk peanuts to the cost of the same weight of natural peanut butter.

Making a cookie dough map of Mexico: Tee consulted several atlases, and made several pen and paper drafts. We perused the candy option at the bulk bins, and bought smarties and chocolate rosebuds for the cities and the mountains, respectively. Tee plans to make the Rio Grande and both oceans out of blue jello.

This idea actually came to me when L was learning about Canada. We made cookie provinces, and then fit them together into the shape of the country. This was the promised treat for being able to spell each of the provinces correctly. She still remembers the names of all the provincial capitals!

Building a model of an Aztec Temple: just an idea so far.

Making a leopard warrior costume in time for Halloween: also just an idea.

Tree Identification: Jay is still quite consumed by this.

Making loon nesting platforms at the lake

Graphing: Tee records the temperature every morning, to put on his line graph, Jay records the sunrise/sunset time each day, and just for fun, we’re going to make bar graphs and circle graphs to record the colors of smarties we bought for the cookie map.

Identifying countries of the world: We’ve been finding one country on the big map each day, learning where it is, and learning how to spell it. My friend K just gave me the idea of printing out little flag thumbnails (thanks for downloading those R!) , taping them onto pins, and sticking them into the capital city of each country as we do this.


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