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As we know, a lot of the schools are hot hard by budget cuts, by having to allocate time and attention to the subjects that need to be taught for the state test standards, and… well, some teachers are strong in some areas and weak in others.

But many times, it’s easy to have “teachable” moments, whether it’s a matter of reading a book, taking a walk, or gently directing play into a specific action or toy. Here’s a few ways to get the wee ones interested in science, and see the awesome that is in the everyday:

*Take a walk through the neighborhood. If you are lucky enough to live in an area that has noticable seasons, talk to your budding scientist about the differences around you (and if you are like me where there’s no real difference, talk about how the seasons change), and see if they can notice what’s different; the sun is setting earlier, the leaves are falling, et cetra. This gives you bonding time as well as help your kids build their observation skills. Another awesome activity on our to-do list is to go to our local nature center; there they have a great one mile hiking trail that’s pretty level, and it will give both Preschool Rockstar and Toddler Terrorist a chance to check out the plants, and animals if they are quiet enough.

*When out and about, have the kids collect neat leaves they might like. Talk about what trees they came from, why the leaves might have turned colors and fall off the branches. After you have collected a neat portion, press them between two pieces of paper and under some heavy books for three to four days. Then take a section of wax paper, lay it down on your ironing surface and have your little one arrange their leaves on it (leave at least an inch around the edge empty– and best to have each leaf have a little space). When the kids are happy with the leaves, take another section of wax paper, put that on top of the leaves, and quickly press the two sheets together with the iron (I would probably also put a towel under just in case, but I’m paranoid). Now you have an awesome collection to hang on the wall, or in the window, and the kids have a great way to display their knowledge of their local area.

*Tell the story of Johnny Appleseed (since apples will start to come into season). There are also some neat Native American legends. Many cultures also have their explanations and stories; see if you can work a few for your kids.

*Since it’s still pretty hot right now (and for us, we won’t begin any real cool-down till at LEAST mid-October, if that), I was going to teach Preschool Rockstar about evaporation and the different properties of water by making a saltwater still.

*Toddler Terrorist is almost old enough for play-dough, which makes me a little excited. There’s a TON of recipes on the web for home-made varieties (some a little more edible then others, some a little more shelf-stable then others). With play dough you can explore textures, shapes, even squish primary colors together and show how they can make the secondary colors. There’s lots of imaginary play that can also happen, so as you can tell I’m super-happy. When they are a little older (and a little less apt to put the stuff in their mouths), we can play with Gloop.

*Also look in the area for cultural events that are free or not so much money. This coming weekend the Greek Orthodox church in our area is having a festival. There’s also a Hawaiian Hula and Chant contest if we aren’t feeling up for the Greek thing. Later on there will be harvest festivals and the like.

Hopefully this will help you have a few ideas on what to do with kidlets in your life, and hopefully you can experience the world through their eyes– which is humbling, and wonderful, and incredible.

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We are in flux.

Eldest Daughter’s moving into the bedroom her brother had once occupied– yes, it’s been taking us awhile. There was talk of making it into an office/craft room so t hat all the real fun/dangerous stuff, like my serger, can be in a room that is easily cordoned off. But given the age difference between Eldest Daughter and the sisters it became clear to us that it might well be better for her to get her room and we’ll deal with craft/office supplies in a more creative way. I’m still trying to be creative on that account…

At the moment, Toddler Terrorist sleeps with us; we’ll be transitioning her to the bedroom with Preschool Rockstar once Eldest Daughter’s all set up. Right now Rockstar’s clothes were in a wee three-drawer mini-dresser that’s been in the family for generations. It worked because her clothes were small, but she’s growing, her clothes are getting bigger… and with the two of them in there, one teeny dresser won’t do.

When Hubs moved in with us lo these many years ago, part of the haul from his apartment included a five drawer unfinished pine dresser. It was very… piney. It was functional, but there wasn’t much style to it being an unfinished pine. So it was passed around, from room to room, more or less being a catchall until I decided to use it for the girls’ clothes. The depth of the drawers are nice and deep, so concievably two drawers could be for Terrorist, two for Rockstar, and the top being devoted to things like hair ties and other little girl crap.

I didn’t take a before picture; it truly was a basic unfinished pine dresser. And I also am incredibly bad about taking before pictures.

But here are the pictures for After:

after: front of girls' dresser

Base coat is a white semi-gloss latex paint: the animals are painted with various craft-store acrylics. I don’t really have a favorite brand, I went with colors though I did make custom colors, like for the elephant’s body, and the monkey’s face. I also couldn’t resist the Terry Pratchett reference.
These are the drawer pulls, inspired by a Google image search. Five shades of pink. Because I’m really, really insane. I can’t find the stupid original image, nor was I smart and found out the name of the flower before I started painting. BUT THEY ARE PRETTY!
Right side of the dresser. Or fun with stencil brushes

Right side of the dresser. seven colors to showcase autumn, ranging from the dark brown on the tree trunk, to the light yellow for the top of the tree. There’s some purple, a little green, a lot of russets and oranges. It really wasn’t that hard, I took a stencil brush and pounded color onto the tree. Started with the darkest color leaves, then went lighter as I went up. Fun times… Preschool Rockstar helped me out on a couple of the colors.






Summer, a little bit greener, a little bit rock n roll…

And summer on the left. I can’t lie, I had a ton of fun with these, even as some of the times I had to fix where Toddler Terrorist decided to add her own inspiration and slide her hands through the wet paint. I sealed the finished dresser with a couple of coats of varnish; this makes it much more washable as well as protect the pictures.

I’m sure I could have gotten away with less time and effort by either just finishing the pine with a stain… but these years really only are few. And a special piece of furniture made with love will last in memories.

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celebrating Hub’s birthday tonight. A long post shall happen tomorrow.

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Hey there!

In the few seconds I have…

WELCOME TO MY LIFE! I’m a mom, a teacher, a round peg that seems to find square holes. There’ll be crafts. There’ll be rants. There’ll probably be tears. Hopefully there’ll be laughter. Because if we can’t laugh, at least at ourselves, then what can we do?

But in the meantime… got the little ones to take care of (more on them later).

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