Friday, April 27, 2012

What Makes it All Worth It

The thousands of diaper changes, the sleepless night year after year, the illnesses and worry, the heartache and frustrations, the bodily changes, the same laundry and dishes everyday, the back breaking labor and the countless other things parents go through has to be for something.  What is our reward that keeps us going day after day?  Its not that we hope for a greatly successful adult who goes on change the world, though it does cross our mind.  

At first, its that we get to see this new human thats come to live with us.  Just marveling at them, how beautiful they are.  How lucky we are to get to know them.  Then its all the milestones: the laughs, the coos, the crawling and walking.  We can't wait to see what this little person can do.  

Then as they get older, after all the milestones are met, what gets us through is not so much something that can be measured.  Its a twinkle in an eye.  Its a wonder, an amazement.  As the world opens up to them, and their eyes get big as saucers and you just know there has been a spark in their soul.  Its that moment they realize there is something great for them to discover in this world.  Its to see the world like we first saw it, when we were first discovering.  

Its that moment when they first see the moon through a telescope.  When they know the world is bigger than their house and circle of friends.  Its that moment when they first see a work of art that is so unlike anything they have ever seen and they realize that beauty is broader than any term they could use to define it.  Its that moment, born in innocence, when a child says something so profoundly wise you realize just how much they really do pay attention.  Its everyday moments when they finally get that math concept, or they find the humor in an embarrassing situation.  Its these things that move us, they get us through.  These things that make it all worth it.  If just once a day to pay for all the hard and stressful and thankless jobs we do.  

If you wonder why I have 9 kids, its because I can not get enough of those moments.  All the other stuff, its worth it.  

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

April Book Review

Again, I only had time to finish 1 book by the time of this review: Onward by Howard Shultz. I am joining 5 minutes for Books for this months: Whats on your Nightstand. 

This was a decent book.  The authors gave a good history of Starbucks and the toils that it went through when the economy tanked.  Shultz gave the steps he took to turn his company around, including the ones the patrons would never see: cost cutting, streamlining, and charity work.  I thought it read like a review to a board of investors at times.  But you could tell the company was Shultz's heart and soul.  And it made me want coffee all the time.  Imagining all the smells and tastes described.  I read the book because I loved Starbucks, and in the end I gained a great deal of respect for it as well.

Next month I should be done with American on Purpose at the very least (I should finish it this week).  I can't decide what I want to read next, I have so many since I got behind this year.  Should be a varied lot next month.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Totem Pole Craft

Native American (or Canadian) culture, art and housing can be a huge unit study.  There are so many fun things for the kids to do, see, read and watch on the subject.  Today we learned about and made some Totem Poles.

Thanks to Paper Totem Poles we got all the information and templates we needed.  You can pick out the animals or figures that best represent your family.  Or just pick the ones you like the best.  Print them out, color them and connect them together on a wall to make a totem for your home.  My kids loved reading about what the different animals and which one best described them.  My oldest son said he identified with the Raven because it gets into trouble easily and out of trouble because he is likable.

Print out and have the kids color the different symbols. 

Even the two year old can do this craft. 

Colored pencils, crayons, markers, paints, doesn't matter.  

Everyone loved this craft. 

I am thinking I should have made it into two, this is huge. 

The eagle goes on top. I went in age order from oldest to youngest. 

I glued everything on to brown construction paper (to look like wood) but this way  you can write their names on there as well.  

Monday, April 9, 2012

Parts of a Flower Craft

Sometimes you need hands on learning.  Its hard to remember names and labels just from a picture.  You have to experience it to remember it.  I came up with this craft for my daughter so she could remember the parts of a flower.  All you will need is an egg carton, a bendy neck straw, scissors and some paint.  This craft will actually make 6 flowers for a dozen container and 9 for an 18 count container.  So this is a good craft if you are doing a coop or have a class.  Its cheap and easy.

Cut out the cups for the eggs.  Straight across so you are left with a free standing cup.  Cut the corners in triangles so you have the petals.  In the bottom pierce a hole with a pen or other instrument.

With the second cup you are gonna cut out 2 sides of the cup and on the leftover sides cut strips.  These are your Anthers. Again punch a hole in the bottom.

With the left over carton from the 2nd cup cut a straight piece in the shape of the Pistil.

Push the straw through both cups, one inside the other.  Cut the end of the straw about 1/4 inch above the bends.  Then cut notches in opposite sides of the straw to stand the Pistil in.

Paint the whole thing once you have it together.  You can paint the Sepals on the bottom, paint the straw green, paint the petals whatever color you have available. Paint the Ovary.

Label the parts with a fine tipped marker.  This craft can be used in conjunction with the lesson and activities found at Tomato Sphere where you can print out concentration games and diagrams.  You can also check out My Little Vegetable Garden for some beautiful pictures of flowers and definitions of all the parts and a labeled diagram at the bottom.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Grilled Zucchini

We received a gift card last year as a gift and finally got to use it.  Dh and I ordered grilled zucchini that we ended up falling in love with.  So I had to figure out how to make it myself.  I found some recipes that seemed very simple so I decided to try it on my own.  I used my stove top griddle, some vegetable oil and vegetable seasoning.

Wash your zucchini and slices thinly.  Mix the vegetable oil and vegetable seasoning  and  toss in the zucchini.  Kinda like shake and bake but with veggies.

Place on hot griddle.  They only take a few minutes to do.  Don't burn them.  They should have nice grill marks on them when you flip it over.

You will want to do 1 per adult and 1/2 per child.  Depending on size of course, mine are the size of a big pickle. Of course now the dh thinks we need  to eat out more often to come up with more yummy ideas.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Book Review March 2012

I am so far behind in reading, well in life in general.  I don't know that I will ever get caught up.  But I did read Every Thing on it by Shel Silverstein. I am half way through Onward by Howard Shultz. It is my goal to finish that... eventually.

Every Thing on it is simply awesome.  Its a Shel Silverstein how can it not be? We have all of his books and when I saw this I actually paid full price and bought it new.  Yes, hes that good.  This makes a lovely read for young kids at bedtime.  There are about a dozen poems that are memorization worthy.  You can definitely use this in school. I will work on getting some memorization worksheets on my yahoo group.

Please stop by 5 Minutes for Reading for Whats on your Nightstand to see reviews from others and what they are planning on reading.