My son, Josiah, likes to make things, and because of this I try to include lots of hands-on activities in our homeschool lessons. For the past few weeks we have been learning about birds so when we came across this website with directions on building a bird nest and testimonials that birds will actually inhabit the nests, he insisted on trying it out.
Now, I don't like my kids to be disappointed, so I promptly began to tell him not to expect actual birds to take over his nest. After all, things like that don't usually happen. But then I recalled a few years ago when he and his brother built a bird trap out of sticks and a heavy-duty Army net, and while they failed to catch a bird, they did catch a rabbit. We found it all wound up in the net and we had to (very carefully) cut the net off of the little guy with a pair of scissors. He was unharmed but very scared, and I don't know if I have ever seen an animal run faster in my entire life!
Josiah gathered all the supplies listed on the website and began carefully creating his nest. He took into consideration the size of the birds, their eggs and the number of peeps in their family . Also important was the fact that the birds must be warm and comfortable at night while there are babies in the nest so lots of straw was added.
After the nest was completed we spent quite a while scouring the yard for the perfect tree. This took a little longer than usual
because we needed a branch with more than two offshoots so that the nest wouldn't fall over in the wind.
Nest making is a messy way to spend time in the kitchen, but Josiah felt that the project was a success and he checks daily to see if any birds have claimed it as their own. So far, no go, but the nest has managed to remain perched on the tree branch in spite of some heavy wind and rain.
Will the nest ever be filled? My mommy brain says probably not, but a bird-trap building boy reminds me that you never can tell!
My mailbox has been brimming with goodies lately! First Jessica H. sent me this package of loveliness: An apron, a hand-stitched needle case and a cross stitch kit were all part of the fun! Thank you, Jessica!
Next I received these adorable pincushions from Linda: My daughter, Emily, had noticed these on Linda's blog a couple of weeks ago and she was thrilled to get one (well, two) in the mail! And so was I! Thank you, Linda, for your sweetness!
Here are a few links for you:
---Barb has put together a tutorial for baby burp cloths that is not only easy, but adorable too! These would be great as a baby shower gift!
This week's Woman to Woman topic is "Is it really a family night out?" What are your views regarding children under 5 attending formal events such as funerals, concerts and weddings? What about church services? What tips of tricks have you developed that make these events go well for you and your little ones?
Church is one the best places to attend as a family. Serving and fellowshipping together are perfect opportunities for togetherness and for training your children. My hubby and I attend a child-friendly church that doesn't mind a small amount of kid-noise during the service and I believe this is a perfect time to train your kids to be quiet and respectful for a period of time.
For parents of babies and toddlers, keeping them quiet can be tricky. On those days when church falls in the middle of naptime it is a blessing. Small quiet toys and books and lots of snuggling can be helpful, and if need be you can always quietly stand in the back of the church to help calm a wiggly baby. Practice makes perfect in this area.
Preschoolers can color, look through books or play with small toys, but the best place to start practicing being still and quiet is at home. While you are making dinner is a great time to teach your child to have some "quiet time" using some of the same toys and books you will be using during the church service. It is much easier to quiet a restless child at home, simply because you are not feeling nervous about bothering other people who are trying to listen to the pastor. Even one-year olds can understand a finger softly placed and the mouth with a quiet ssshhh-ing sound, and if you teach them this little trick at home, you can easily remind them to keep it down in church.
The time and effort to take to be with your children while they are young pays off as they grow older. The more parents are separate from them in the younger years, the harder it is to stay connected when they are in the all-important teenage years. A child's life is a training ground for the future, and doing things as a family as much as possible is a perfect way to build a solid foundation.
Thanks to everyone who played along with Let's Get Real Monday---The Spring Cleaning Edition! Much fun was had and I acquired a favorite new phrase--domestic mayhem--from Jill. Perfect words for what I am experiencing in my house these days. Lucky for me, spring is the time of year that makes me FEEL like cleaning, which can't be said for the rest of the year!
I will hosting Let's Get Real Monday (with variations on the topic, of course!) every other week. Next time I may even have a little graphic to go along with it! Hope to see you then!
Here we are on Let's Get Real Monday! The theme is "Spring Cleaning" and I think it is going to get dirty! Honestly, when it came time to take my pictures, I seriously wondered what I was thinking when I picked this topic, but alas, I have only myself to blame, don't I?
I suppose that I should start with the worst and work towards the not-so bad.
The biggest and easiest job to procrasinate on is that of the windows. We have a humidifier attached to our heater, which is great on those cozy winter nights, but it also tends to make it a little grimy around the casings of the windows. With the bright sun streaming in every morning I have had to adopt a "look up, look up" attitude or I find myself dwelling on the dirt. Of course, this doesn't prompt me to clean, just to obssess. Lucky for me my hubby is a deep-cleaning machine and once he gets started, he won't stop until the windows are sparkling, inside and out.
My next big project is my craft area, and this one is mine-all-mine when it comes to cleaning. I have things stacked on the ledge of the wall, and while these items used to have some sort of purpose, the ledge has turned into an all purpose place to throw my craft junk. Literally, I don't use anything on the ledge except for the basket of ribbon. The rest was just thrown there to be dealt with later. Well, apparently now is later!
Next up is my closet. What can I say, I guess I have an abundance of "toss it somewhere until I can deal with it later" types of places! Maybe I need to rethink this habit!?! I took the red comforter and the curtains down last weekend and put up something spring-y, and since my hubby wasn't home, I just did my best to stuff it on the shelf and I have been hoping it doesn't fall ever since. I figure if it does fall, it is soft and no one will get hurt! Also, my shoes, bags, scarfs, hats are a messy pile too and I think that some need to be given away. I always tell me kids that if they can't manage cleaning up their rooms and maintaining things, maybe they just have too much. This sounds like old "pot calling the kettles black", eh?
There you have it, all I can bear to show for today. Most likely I will be tackling these messes soon simply so I can post the "after" pictures.
If you played along please leave the link to your post in the autolink below. And I have to say "thank you" for being so brave and being a part of this edition of "Let's Get Real Monday"!
We have received an amazing 49 skirts! Thank you doesn't begin to express what Emily and I are feeling and thinking about the sewing seeds project. The best way for me to sum it would would be to say that we have been blessed by all of the women that have participated and prayed for this.
At this point I expect that we will meet our goal of 75 skirts, and we may even surpass it a little bit. Thank you for making this successful! I can't wait to post a picture of the lovely girls in their new skirts!
A group of ladies who mailed skirts this week enclosed a sweet note in their package and I just loved this part of it:
"You can't imagine how much joy it brought us to select beautiful fabrics and create these cute skirts, imagining them on twenty-five lovely girls. Would they laugh and smile when they recieve them? Will they twirl around? Will they feel special and pretty? These are all things that came to mind as they were created. Many prayers have been said over these skirts..."
On my old blog I liked to play a little game called "Let's Get Real Monday". Really it was just a fun way to get to know other bloggers and to find out a little bit of truth about people. I think that here in the blogosphere it is easy to hide under the lovely pictures of our homes and kids, and occasionally it is time to "get real"! So, this is where I revive my little game!
The theme for this time is "spring cleaning". All of that lovely sunshine streaming into my windows everyday has been illuminating some things that need to be done around this house. Why is it that in the dead of winter I never noticed that I had enough dust above my kitchen cabinets to card into wool and knit into a sweater? Or how was it that I glossed over all the flour/sugar/spices coating the corner cabinet in my kitchen?
Well, this is where I get to show it all off! Will you play along with me? The more the merrier, I always say!
On Monday simply post your own "Let's Get Real Monday--Spring Cleaning Edition". Pick your own must-be-cleaned spot (or spots) in your house and post them on your blog (posts with or without pictures are perfect!). Then leave your link in my Monday post so that myself and the other gals can come visit you!
If you are asking yourself why you should post your messies on your blog, know that we will all feel better with the knowledge that we are all in the same boat, dust bunnies and all! And besides, I will look a little silly doing this all by myself, won't I?
I know that posting about spring today
is fairly unimaginative, but I just can't help it! I am so excited that spring is officially here to stay.
This past weekend we dug up our garden and added some topsoil and peat moss and I am hoping to plant some spinach, peas and lettuces this next weekend. I am not sure if we are too early in doing this, but I figure that we can replant if necessary.
My favorite thing about spring is the color. Color, color everywhere. The lilacs are leafing out and the tulips are 4 inches above the soil already. If I can ward off the flower-eating deer, I can expect some lovely things in my very own yard. Also expected are roses, snowballs, and nasturtiums, which are one of my favorites. I became a fan of nasturtiums a few years ago when I read the back of a seed package and it said that they "thrive on neglect". That's right, the more you water them, the fewer flowers you get, the more they dry out, the more flowers you can expect! Since I am don't exactly have a reputation as a green-thumb, these have become a staple in my yard. Lucky for my kids, I am a better mother than I am a gardener!
Today I am going to dig out our warm-weather clothes and get them washed and sorted. If I have the time to pack up the winter gear, I will do it happily. Funny how you get tired of looking at seasonal items as the season draws to a close. Have you ever noticed that laundry loads are smaller in the spring and summer? I figure it is because shorts and tank tops take up less room than pants and sweatshirts. Just another reason to be excited about the rising temperatures!