Archive for July, 2011

Smacksy Sunday Links

Sunday, July 31st, 2011 by by
Vi on the move

Loving these cats in bars.

Do nothing for two minutes.

Another brilliant Listen To Your Mother LA reading: The Baby Maker by Anna Lefler.

Happy Sunday.


Sunday Scrapbooking

Sunday, July 31st, 2011 by by

Just two this week.

made with mle Card’s Lovebots and Simple Print Stamped Alpha
Layout of the Week over at Scrap Orchard: (more…)

Saturday Snapshots

Saturday, July 30th, 2011 by by


Butterfly Songs

Saturday, July 30th, 2011 by by

I found this song on Youtube and created different colored butterfly di-cuts to use on our magnet board. The song is really simple to learn, and you can create a variety of different colors to use in the song by attaching a self-sticking magnet strip to the back of paper di-cuts.

We have also been doing this fingerplay:

There was a little caterpillar crawling all about.
He worked and he worked and worked all day without a single doubt.
(Index finger wiggling)

Wrapping himself in a snug cocoon.
Waiting and waiting, will it be soon?
(Cover index finger with other hand.)

Look, he’s coming out, my oh my!
For now he’s become a beautiful butterfly.
(Cross thumbs and let fingers be fingers be butterfly wings.)


For Serious

Saturday, July 30th, 2011 by by

“I need to talk to you about something, Mom.”

“What’s up?”

“Where do bees go when it rains?”

“Maybe inside their hives?”

“Mom? One more thing, for serious.”

“You need to know that my made-up karate name is Punch-and-Grab.”

Museums and Nature Centers: The importance of exposing the arts, science, nature and creative exploration

Thursday, July 28th, 2011 by by

The last few Fridays, we delighted in some day trips to the museums in Grand Rapids and with the area Nature Center. The value in these explorations and exposure to art, nature, and creative expression is priceless. I’m convinced it will instill a life-long appreciation from a young age when these opportunities are used to our advantage.

Recently, we fit in a morning trip to the Grand Rapids Art Museum with some of our homeschool friends. GRAM is featuring an excellent John Audubon exhibit on the second floor – there is a kids’ scavenger hunt they provide that automatically helps engage the kids in studying each painting up close. Love it! My daughter took in a lot as we evaluated what it was like when they didn’t have cameras to take a picture of the birds they observed outside. After a quick lunch, we strolled down the Grand Rapids Children’s Museum for the afternoon – always an awesome adventure. If you’ve never been to the GRCM, you don’t know what you are missing. Two floors of creative, imaginative, hands-on fun for kids of all ages, and they always have something new in store as well as the stand-by classic favorites.

The following Friday, we attended an amazing Geology Rocks! class at the Howard Christensen Nature Center. It was our second trip out there this month (see our trip for the JND here), and it was phenomenally amazing. The dedication and passion the volunteers have are beautiful, and the resources they have are great. We had one-on-one attention to the interests of my kids as they explored and discovered; it was a spectacular day of blissful education.

I always am amazed when I ask my children afterward what their favorite part of the day was. Not only is this giving them the opportunity to practice reflection and review, but it shows me how much they are taking in – it’s always more than I suspect they are at the time.

“Education is all a matter of building bridges.” -Ralph Ellison

Recycled Crafts: Egg Carton Caterpillars

Thursday, July 28th, 2011 by by


  • children’s paint
  • paintbrushes
  • container for paint
  • empty egg cartons (one carton will make 2 caterpillars)
  • small, sharp knife
  • scissors
  • googly eyes
  • coffee stir sticks
  • glue
  • permanent marker
How To:



Another Year Older

Wednesday, July 27th, 2011 by by

OHhh boy! Our first born will be turning SEVEN YEARS OLD next week! I just can’t believe it. And guess what?! We aren’t having a birthday party for her. Well, we are, but not a traditional one. We have my cousins coming down to visit, and they are a little older than her, so we can’t really have “kid” birthday parties anymore (except with our youngest). Plus I wanted to do something different.

Well, a few years ago a roller-skating rink opened up. On Wednesdays, they have $1 days! So we will be taking the family for a skating day! Super cheap, regular price is over $7 to enter and more for the skate rentals.

Then… Also on Wednesdays, it’s a dollar to go to the movies! SCORE! Not only will it save us money, but she will still have a blast!

So don’t be afraid to go out of the box for the family birthday parties! Even when you have a party in your home, you end up spending money, and the trash just builds up. Check out some ideas at one of my favorite blogs HERE.

But fear not, take a look at these gift ideas from Although these are gift ideas you can totally turn them into a fun birthday party. Here are just some of the ideas I got from that site….

Make an art box. Grab a shoebox and prime the outside with white paint to cover the logos and give you a blank slate. Paint the birthday boy or girl’s name on the lid, then fill the box with various art supplies! Small coloring books and mini canvases, packs of paint and brushes, colored pencils and markers, stickers a plain woodcut initial for the child to decorate are just a few things you could use to fill the box. You definitely don’t need to fill the box to the brim. Any fun assortment would work!


The Negotiator

Wednesday, July 27th, 2011 by by

“Tell me about this battle in the living room, Bob.”

“It took me and Coop 75 minutes to build it, and it is very awesome.”

“That part I know. I’m wondering when you are planning to clean it up.”

“When’s the next dinner party?”

“Next month.”

“Definitely by then.”

“I was thinking more like today by dinner time.”

“But I have more battling scheduled for tomorrow morning. How about if I do it by lunchtime tomorrow, and you can help me, and also I could have a peanut butter cup and a light saber fight in the backyard? How does that sound, Mom? Good, right?”

Butterflies!An Introduction

Wednesday, July 27th, 2011 by by

This week, we are talking about butterflies! To get started, we took a couple of field trips. During breakfast, I asked Jonah if he’s ever seen butterflies in our yard. I asked him what colors of butterflies he’s seen? Were they big or little? How many has he seen? What were they doing when he saw them? Where were they?

Then we headed outside to see if we could observe butterflies in our yard.

We looked all around our yard. While we were able to observe quite a bit of nature, we only saw one white butterfly, for a fleeting moment.

Because we didn’t see very many butterflies in our yard, we headed to the Cleveland Zoo, (more…)