Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Seashell Necklaces

My oldest daughter could not go on vacation with us this summer because she was with a friend on a mission trip in Philadelphia. We wanted to give her something special so she knew how much she was missed. We looked in various shops and at certain items... but we wanted to give her something with more meaning.

So I told the girls to find special seashells just for Dee and when we got home we would make her something special out of them before she came home. Each shell was lovingly picked by her sisters and my husband then carefully drilled a hole in each one for us so we could make her a special seashell necklace.
We added a few jump rings and charms and laid out the design the way we liked it.
I used hemp cord and added a clasp to the end of the necklace. I learned how to do the clasp while we were away on vacation and went to a bead shop. It is very simple to do.
Then we created the necklace... and this was the end result:

I hope Dee remembers how much we love her each time she looks at it. It's a beautiful chunky necklace and I can't wait to make one for myself.

Keira wanted to keep on going so she laid out various designs with the shells she found. She worked hard on her first one and it came out beautiful!

It is an awesome way for her to remember our trip together this summer and such a fun activity for children to do.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Summer Vacation

We entered into beach paradise this past week and I'm missing it so much already. Diondra was on a mission trip with a friend so couldn't attend - we went to Long Beach Island with the other girls and it was such a wonderful trip.

The beach was beautiful... we spent so much time there hunting for seashells, watching the waves and just relaxing.

We even spotted a pod of dolphins - it was awesome. I wish I had my camera to catch a photo of them. The girls thought it was so very cool.

In the evening, we enjoyed fresh local food on the grill some nights or went out to eat night, after my mom and aunt joined us for a few days, Brian and I were even able to go out to see one of our favorite bands The Nerds play at a local bar.

In the early evening, we often took the girls to the beach to fly our kite or play Frisbee.

It was wonderful.

Unfortunately, as usual, there were hardly any photos of me as I am the photographer in the family but I promise I was there :)

We had a GREAT time at Fantasy Island - enjoying rides and games..

There were plenty of things to do for all ages.
Even Brian got to go on a few rides LOL

Keira went on her first roller coaster ride there....
Do you think she enjoyed it???
Check out the after-RUSH in her face! She loved it!!!
I wish all days were as relaxed and fun as vacation days :)
That's definitely something to work on..
Remembering to enjoy life with a free spirit.... present in the moment... excited, fresh... with an open heart and contentment. Soft and calm like I feel at the beach.
I hope you were able to enjoy some time of relaxation and family this summer too!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

A Tree Frog!

Our sweet tadpole so very quickly grew his back legs - it was amazing! We googled and worked to identify the type of frog he is and we are pretty sure that he is an American Green Tree Frog - the girls wanted to keep him SO badly but I explained to them how he deserves freedom and a good life so we let him go at a wetlands preserve right before we left for vacation.
It was so fun raising him from a tadpole - especially not knowing what type of frog he would turn out to be! This was an experience that, even as an adult, I learned so much from.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Dinosaur State Park

This past week we went to the Dinosaur State Park in Rocky Hill, CT

"Dinosaur State Park officially opened in 1968, two years after 2,000 dinosaur tracts were accidentally uncovered during excavation for a new state building. Five hundred of the tracks are now enclosed within the Exhibit Center's geodesic dome.The remaining 1,500 are buried for preservation. A model of Dilophosaurus, the dinosaur considered to be the likely source of the tracks named Eubrontes, is the highlight of the Jurassic mural and exhibit."

The girls were very excited to go - Brianna was a little worried that there would be "real dinosaurs there" but we assured her that there wouldn't be.

This was as real as they got ;)

The trip was a great learning experience. The girls learned all about dinosaurs and fossils.

They were also able to mine for gems and minerals. It was good timing as we are just leading into Gems & Minerals week in our Little Acorn Learning July guide.

They were given an identification sheet so they could tell which minerals and rocks they scored.
They were able to see some cool bones..

And real, live, gigantic hissing cockroaches... ewwwww These cockroaches have not changed in 200 million years - they are considered 'living fossils' and have everything they need to get by just the way they are. It makes sense why many people believe if the world was to end - cockroaches would survive ;)

Dinosaur Fingerplay
*start with five fingers putting one away for each verse...

Five enormous dinosaurs
Letting out a roar--
One went away, and
Then there were four.

Four enormous dinosaurs
Crashing down a tree--
One went away, and
Then there were three.

Three enormous dinosaurs
Eating tiger stew--
One went away, and
Then there were two.

Two enormous dinosaurs
Trying to run--
One ran away, and then there was one.

One enormous dinosaur,
Afraid to be a hero--
He went away, and
Then there was zero.

((this moment)) : teaching in pajamas

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Bubble Making Wands

Welcome Carter and Cooper to our little school!! On their first day with us, we made our very own bubble wands and homemade bubble solution.

First we used beautiful beads, shells and wire to decorate a dowel made especially for bubble blowing ;)....

Then very skillfully we created the loop for the end of our bubble wand and wrapped everything very tight and covered it up with tape at the bottom.

PERFECT and so very simple! Our bubble solution is just 1/2 water and 1/2 dish soap. Each child was given a container of their own soap to use.

Outside we went to try them out... WOW so fun!

A bubble so airy
May carry a fairy.
Float, float, pretty bubble!
Float gently away.

Blow, blow, blow, you shining bubbles,

Float, float, float, you fairy things,

Filling all the air with rain-bows,

Floating on your sunbeam wings.

Look, look, see the lovely colors,

Up, up, in the air they go.

In the shining cage we blow.