Friday, April 29, 2011

Royal Wedding: Because it's not every day that a girl becomes a princess

This is our last day of school this year and the girls want me to wake them at 5AM to watch the wedding live. I'm putting up some decorations and thought I'd share. :^)


The Prince of Wales' website has a downloadable official program and route map. This is really an amazing resource. It includes full file portraits of the couple and an explanation of each of their coat of arms, as well as historical information about Wesminster Abbey.

Sparklebox has pictures of the famous spots along the wedding route to download.

Take a commercial break and check out National Geographic Kids' United Kingdom page.

Activity Village has a wonderful page for kids, including Kate and William royal wedding paper dolls, royal frame handwriting pages, and coloring pages.

Instant Display also has a very nice kids page with educational resources, including bookmarks, coloring pages, vocabulary cards, and Royal Wedding newspaper templates.

The Woodland Trust's Nature Detective's site has this free Royal wedding party kit, woodland picnic style.

Favorite items? A Union Jack pinwheel ( a drawing pin is a thumbtack) and Cupcake Crowns to fit around your cupcakes

Disney's Family Fun has gotten in on the party with a "Happily Ever After" royal wedding page. Don't miss the Princess Kate paper doll with Disney princess and wedding dresses.'s Royal Sleepover party is so cute. Don't miss the excuse note, bunting (printing as I type), cupcake toppers, and drink flags.

Isn't this HappyLand Royal Wedding Set adorable? I think if I'd have found it a little sooner I might not have been able to help myself.

Design Editor has a great set Royal Wedding party printables including a banner and cup wraps.

And Boden USA has wedding bingo and for the littles (and those of us less familiar with British celebrities, wedding spotters.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Maundy Thursday Links For Kids

Monday, April 18, 2011

Holy Week Links

Sorry. This wouldn't publish Sunday night, then I forgot that it didn't publish. :^)

Departing from the Holy Week theme just slightly -

That's all for now. Teach your children. Show them the story. We borrowed The Visual Bible:Matthew to enjoy in the spaces this week. And have a wonderful Easter!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Helen Keller

My kids have been very excited about all things Helen Keller lately. It started when I handed Anna Kate an easy reader about Helen Keller. She thoroughly enjoyed the story and had her typical ecstatic response upon discovering that it was a true story - that really is the icing on the cake to her. Another easy reader, and then I pulled out an old favorite that had been my mother's and then mine, Helen Keller's Teacher. Seriously one of my favorite biographies ever. I started to have Anna read it to me, then read it with her, but before long, I was reading it and everyone was listening. I found The Miracle Worker at the library and later we also watched the Nest version of Helen Keller on Anna Kate's birthday. It kind of paled in comparison to the the first one. Apparently many prefer older versions of this movie, but I thought that the little girl that played Helen in The Miracle Worker should have won an Oscar - doesn't seem like that would have been an easy role. So today we actually finished the last two chapters of the book and it occurred to me that there surely must be live footage of Helen, and a search gave is this little video. Enjoy.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Nature Journalling: Trees

We finally made it to the park today, despite Bella being up with a stomach ache half the night. She did well and we had a marvelous time. First we fed the ducks and geese a bit. Rice chex. Bella wanted to feed the cereal directly to them. She chased a mallard around in circles trying to get him to take the food from her hand, and finally, before I could stop her, offered it to a Canadian goose, who wasn't very careful about how he snatched it. She was unruffled.

Next we set to work finding examples of the three types of conifer leaves: needle-like, scale-like, and awl-like. The conifers were far outnumbered by deciduous trees, but we, amazingly found the three different varieties all in the same spot. Ethan and Anna Kate drew the different needles, also observing the pollen cones and seed cones and drawing those. Our tree identification book left much to be desired, so they were also drawing the trees' shapes, needles in actual size, and as many other details as possible in hopes that a ranger at the ranger station might be able to identify them for us. As they were finishing, a ranger came in with a school group to the picnic area behind us, and I ventured over to ask him. He identified the trees for us and also gave me a mini history lesson on the tragedy of the American chestnut tree. Fascinating stuff.

Rose was being Rose this whole time, living in her world of daisies and rainbows and drawing in her nature journal. I'm pretty sure she drew a goose - as for the rest, I'm sure it will be a surprise. She also found another tent caterpillar. There's always a good supply of those, which is probably a good thing, since she has a tendency to love them to death.

We then began to try to identify some angiosperm trees. Once again the guide was not a great deal of help. We managed to identify oaks,maples, and sweetgums, and learn about the flowers on dogwoods. We hiked around the lake, and found lovely pink flowers that looked like honeysuckle - and later at home discovered, they were indeed wild pink honeysuckle - pink?! who knew?

Bella enjoyed picking up random rocks, continuing to make friend with any ducks she met and feeding them with the "one for Bella, one for the duck" method. The children had great fun sliding out over the lake on a fallen log until their feet touched the water. They decided that they were lucky to be homeschooled because school kids would not have been allowed to do this. Some days you win...

Wednesday, April 06, 2011


We had the most wonderful thunderstorm here last night. It was big and bright and windy and noisy. I don't remember ever being afraid of thunderstorms. By the time I was a teenager, I found them utterly irresistable. They drew me out to the porch swing and sometimes I even danced in them - yeah, that would be my one of my few forages into adolescent foolishness - dancing in thunderstorms.

I don't do that anymore, even though I still want to. I did, however, grab a fleece blanket, and sit on my front porch wrapped in it, breathing deeply of the wonderful wet spring smells, and feeling the cool wind whipping spray on my face, and watching the jagged streaks, counting seconds and miles between them.

Today I lost my power due to some large trees weakened by the storm taking some power poles with them as they fell.

I couldn't do the laundry or run the dishwasher. And I had to reschedule our book club's garden tea party.

And that storm was so worth it.

Monday, April 04, 2011

First Braids

Daddy's happy.

Bella's bracelet

See that little bracelet on her wrist?

That is a Barbie necklace.

She put it on in November.

And has been wearing it ever since.

I thought she would like to try the white Barbie necklace.

I was wrong.

She likes the green one.

Name this Dog








Did you say Sadie?

Wrong. Look how much bigger she is:

Amd how much she looks like -

Our Sadie.