"Lo, Children Are An Heritage of the LORD: and the Fruit of the Womb is His Reward" - Psalm 127:3

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Friday and Saturday

 When I got up Friday morning, I found a little something in my chair.  I had heard the three year old get up in the middle of the night.  I guess he decided he would rather sleep in the chair.  Looks comfy, don't you think?  Yeah.  Me neither.

 The baby is getting so big.  He's very stable, and walks all over the place holding on to things.  But he won't let go.  Not even just to stand.  Oh well.  In his own time...

 I've made a habit of listening to Ambassador Baptist College's chapel services through their online streaming.  It's available here.  Their services are at 9 am, Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, which is 7 am here.  So I make sure I'm dressed and ready for the day at 6:30, do a few last minute things (start laundry, straighten the house, eat breakfast, etc.) and then settle in to watch.  If I miss the live service I can still listen to archived messages, but there's no picture, and I miss all the music.  Anyway, all that to say Friday morning, they had a group singing, and I thought there might be a chance my daughter was in it, because she is taking the ensemble class.  So I snapped a few pictures (it was very grainy on the live feed) and asked her about it later.  Sure enough, she's in there, but you can't really see her.  She's third from the left in the back row.  (She was actually on the end of the back row, but in the picture, the back two rows kind of blend together.)  They sang Blessed Be the Name of the Lord. :)  It was the first I've actually seen her (live anyway) since she left for college.

 Friday night we had a homeschool group picnic at the park.

 They had fun games for the kids, and the adults discussed ideas for field trips and special events we want to do together this year.

 And of course there was lots of good food.  I've about decided it is easier for our family to eat at home, though.  By the time I had packed food compliant with my diet, and special food for the baby with all his allergies, and regular food and a dish to share for everyone else, I was whipped.

 But it was a really nice night, and nice to visit with a lot of homeschooling families I hadn't met before.  With the daycare, I don't get a lot of opportunity to participate in many of their events.  I usually send the eight year old, so he knew most of the people, but I only knew about half of them.
The next day the baby broke out really bad, and we were thinking he might have gotten ahold of his brother's cookie or something.  After 3 days of the poor little man feeling horrible and scratching like crazy, I finally wondered if his soymilk was bothering him.  He seemed to get very crabby and itchy right after having a bottle or cup.  My husband checked the ingredients, and would you believe Walmart's soymilk "may contain traces of eggs, milk, almonds and coconuts"!  I was so mad.  He is allergic to ALL of those things.  I couldn't figure out why it had just started bothering him though.  This was our fourth carton of the same stuff.  Then I realized that this carton had gotten frozen in the back of the fridge, which caused it to separate, which must have allowed whatever is bothering him to be more easily digested.  And I realized that his skin hasn't really been clear in a long time, so it probably was bothering him to some extent.  I was so mad.  I mean, really, do they think the majority of people buy soymilk just because they want to?  I would think it's because of allergies most of the time.  I didn't even think to check the ingredients on that because the whole reason I was buying it was because it wasn't real milk!  ARGH.  Anyway, I'm happy to report that since we switched to the Smith's brand, we haven't had any problems.  His skin is beautifully clear.  Live and learn, I guess ... and read every single label!
 Saturday I had to go to a training for credits for my daycare.  I'm required to get 30 credit hours every two years, and this session was for 8 training hours and sounded like a ton of fun.  It was put on by Project WILD and Project Learning Tree. It was held at the Children's Discovery Center.  They have recently had their play area redone with all natural materials by the same group that did the workshop.  You can get a grant for them to make over your space.  No swings and jungle gyms here.  Check out this yard.  I would love to do this to our yard but we don't own it, so I probably better not.  Our grass is all pretty much dead from all the traffic anyway, so it would be an improvement.  Maybe I'll broach that subject with the owner someday... when he's in a very good mood.  The more I write about this, the more I want to do it....

 Here's one thing I could do regardless of whether I make over the entire yard.  They have slices of logs and limbs to use for building material.  Sounds fun... and easy to do yourself.

 I love these climbing logs.

 They also had a very large teepee, which I would love.  But this would take half of my back yard :)  Inside are a bunch of baskets and some sturdy Indian-looking pottery.

 Love the fake fire pit.  And see the basket?  There are natural baskets all over the yard.  This one was filled with rocks.  The kids can use them for whatever they want.

 This bench is an easy do-it-yourself project (if you have a chainsaw or a log splitter lol.)

 And the tree stumps would be easy to do.

 We were shown several musical instruments made from natural material at the session.  This shaker is made from two birdhouse gourds with seashells tied on.

 This was just a little box with tiny pebbles inside.  Sounded like rain.

 Seedpods from a honey locust tree make good shakers too.  Too bad they don't grow out here.  Maybe dad can send me some of these ;)

 I thought this was a clever tambourine-like instrument.  It's just a twig, some wire, and flattened bottle caps.

 This thing is called a thunder tube, and could be made with a pringles can, with the cap over one end (open on the other end) and a small spring going through the cap.  It sounded amazingly like thunder.  Of course all this assumes I want the kids to be able to make MORE noise than they already do....

 Our workshop was filled with fun activities, games, crafts and other projects that we could use for our own daycare kids.  This one was called Lunch for a Bear, and we had to make bear footprints, leading up to plates of bear food.  (We talked about what bears eat, their habitat, etc.)

 See?  Bears eat meat, plants, fruits, nuts and insects.  We also played a game where we had to go hunt for those foods.  The first round, there was enough so all of us bears survived.  But the next round, there wasn't enough food.  So some of us bears (myself included) died.  Sad.  But then we had a great discussion on what could cause a bear to die - like too much competition, not enough of any one resource, etc.  There was a lot of learning involved.  The best thing was that they gave us two books and a DVD with all sorts of units like this, and we did several of the projects and games so that we would remember them all.  It was a huge amount of fun.

They had us make bird chirpers, paint trees on sheets and pillowcases, and hide plastic animals in a game about camouflage. We made puppet fawns, and dissected owl pellets... yeah. I don't think I'll do that in the daycare, but it will be great for homeschool.  I even got to bring an extra pellet home for the eight year old.  Bonus! ;)  We made shape bracelets (to go out in nature and search for those shapes), made leaf rubbings, read Leaf Man by Lois Ehlert (a great book!) and then made our own leaf critters (I made a fish).  And so on and so on, all day long.  Tons of fun.  I have a lot of trainings coming up soon, but I doubt any of them will be this fun.  Oh, and then when I got home just after four pm, my in-laws kept the kids for us and we ran to Jackson Hole (husband needed something from the pharmacy at Smiths).  It was the first time we had been out alone since my daughter left, and it was long overdue.  We had a nice dinner, where we could watch the third quarter of the Nebraska game, and just had a really nice visit.  Too bad Nebraska ended up losing... as did Wyoming.  boo.  We wanted to watch the NASCAR race, but they didn't have it on.  Oh well.  They have a good recap on their website, so we just watched that like we usually do (we don't have television service at home.)

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