Monday, December 14, 2009

Needle Felted Nativity

This is our needle felted nativity. Yaya was the master mind behind this and has played with it extensively since it was created. She made the baby Jesus herself and of course we needed a little lamb too! To make this I just used 2 pipe cleaners per person and formed them into people shapes by making a loop for the head and arms from one pipe cleaner and then making the legs from the other. Then we just started wrapping the roving around to head and arms and added "clothes". I also used pipe cleaners to make the frame of the manger and then we felted it and filled it with "hay" (raffia). It was a lot of fun and I liked the idea of having a nativity that the kids could play with. They've learned a lot about the story surrounding baby Jesus' birth by playing (and my story telling) with the characters.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Advent Wreath

I can't take credit for this idea. I got it from someone on the waldorfcurriculum-supplies yahoo group. They were selling one similar to this. I again just made up my own way of making this because I loved the idea so much. We've never done an advent wreath before but I thought it was a great way to bring the Christmas season back to the basics and Christ centered. If you aren't familiar with the significance and tradition of the advent wreath, there are some great resources online. Wikipedia has a lot of info. I like to use what I have on hand so my felting is not "conventional" I'm sure. I started with some cotton batting that I had on hand. I cut it in a rectangle shape and rolled it up. I then wrapped it with green roving, needled it a bit and then sewed the ends together. Then I added red roving, needled it, made a felt bow and needle it on. Then I added a candle. The advent wreath will have either 4 or 5 candles, depending on if you put the candle in the center on Christmas. The colors vary. Catholics use 3 Purple to symbolize "royalty" and 1 rose candle "joy" and protestents typically use 4 blue to sybolize "hope". I had some purple and blue roving on hand so the kids and I thought it was the perfect blend symbolizing both royalty and hope... beautiful symbols of this season. I used some orangy colored roving for the flame. The candle was easy. You just roll it in a cylinder shape and needle it. (Here's a tip... the tighter you wrap the roving, the less needling you will have to do because more air will be pushed out.)

The first candle is the Prophet candle and represents Isaiah's (and other prophets) prophecy of the coming of the messiah. Daddy read some scripture from the bible and we talked about the prophecy of Christ and put on the first candle. It was a very nice way to bring Christ back to the center of our Christmas when there is so much commercialism this time of year. I hope you enjoy this and are inspired to bring the season back "home" and unite your families in the joy and meaning of the season. Some of you viewing this may celebrate this season a little differently and I hope this still inspires you to start a tradition of hope and light in your homes for this blessed time of year!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009


We had such a nice Thanksgiving. It was very relaxing and the kids enjoyed their "feast". Escpecially P-Nut who practically broke his leg trying to run out of the neighbors house when I told him dinner was ready! He could barely wait for that Turkey! It was the first year that I brined the Turkey and it was awesome. What a difference! I'll never be able to make it any other way now. If you haven't made it that way, I would highly recommend it.

Lil JJ enjoyed the meal too!

They really liked displaying their corn for some reason :).

Lion Country

We went to Lion Country with our homeschool group and the kids all had such a great time! There are so many fun things to do there. It's very interactive. The kids had a short "lesson" time with one of the animal trainers and then explored the park. They were able to feed giraffes and birds and pet the goats. They also spent some time playing at the splash park and riding the ferris wheel (or fairest wheel as yaya would call it). On our way out we drove through the animal safari which was full of all types of exotic animals. It took us about an hour to drive through. Their favorite site was monkey island. The monkeys can't swim so putting them on a small island allows them to roam around without being caged in. It's fun to watch them climb and swing! The lions are the grand finale of the safari. It was almost 5 o'clock in the evening when we were driving past them and they were starting to get active. There was one lioness who was playing with a large ball. It was very "cute". They are such amazing animals and look so harmless when they are playing and lying down taking a nap. For more info on this great park see: .

Monday, November 23, 2009

Well. My blog's been pretty quiet I know, but we have been very busy. We've been working on some Christmas gifts that I would love to put on the blog but unfortunately those gifts are for some of the people who read my blog, so... we can't do that. I can tell you however that I found a great little etsy shop that has the most adorable patterns for felt toys. It's . I'm in the process of making a few of their toys and they are so cute! I highly recommend them. I can't wait to see my daughters face when she sees a whole pancake breakfast play set. She's gonna love it. We've also been busy with "school". Our nature classes are back on schedule so we will have some photos up soon. We are also studying Native American stories and continuing our math lessons from A Little Garden Flower and we will be doing some cooking and baking this week for Thanksgiving, of course! Among the baking will be my favorite fresh pumpkin pie recipe. Here it is for anyone who would like it: . I make a few changes though. I use brown sugar instead of honey (I don't really measure it, I just add it until I think it tastes sweet enough) , I also add nutmeg and I use more spices than it says to. This really makes a great pie. Also I cut the top off my pumpkin and cut slits in it then bake it in the oven at 350 until it gets soft (you can pierce outside with fork) then I clean it out and puree it. It's much easier this way. Well, that's all for now. Hope everyone has a fantastic Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 6, 2009


Ahh. Yaya and I have found our new favorite thing... needle felting. This playscape was inspired by the little fairy you see pictured. Yaya got this as a birthday treat at her friends party and we just had to make her a place to live. We used a 9x9 square of wool felt and felted the roving on top to make "grass" and a little stream. Yaya wanted a rainbow cave for her to sleep in and a fuschia colored tree. I think it turned out pretty cute. Our next playscape project may be just for mommy to try her hand at felting and will be a bit bigger. If I ever find the time that is:)

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Needle Felted Pumpkins

These little pumpkins were so easy to make. I couldn't find a tutorial online that I liked so I just made up my own way and it worked out pretty good. I started with a small ball of yarn then just wrapped some orange wool roving around it and poked lightly with a felting needle. Then I felted the top and bottom more securely. I wanted my pumpkin to puff out so I didn't needle it too much. I also wanted it to be more round at the bottom so I then felted the lines of the pumpkin from top to bottom and this created a round bottom look. The kids didn't want to make the lines so they just poked theirs all over with the needles. Then we made some vines and leaves for the top. This was very fun and easy enough for my 4 year old.

Homeschoolers Halloween Bash

We had a great time at our Homeschool Halloween Party! Grandma was visiting so she got to go with us too. It was so nice to have her here. The kids had some great treats, played games and ran around like crazy with their friends. I think their favorite game was the toilet paper mummy wrapping. Yaya was an expert mummy wrapper :). Little JJ was too cute toddling all over in his little "Freddie" outfit.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Bean Bag Frog

Yaya is so funny! She and her brother were sewing little bean bag frogs and she looked like a little old lady in her dolls stroller. I just had to take a picture. They really like to sew and she does such a great job for a 4 year old! This was a pattern from our Earthchooling curriculum. It's such a simple little craft and now we will have bean bags to toss as we say our times tables!

Flamingo Road Nursery

Well, this was the closest we could get to fall here in South Florida. We were lucky enough to get a cool 75 degree day so we headed to the nursery for some fall fun. Yaya and P-Nut had a hay fight and picked out some carving pumpkins. We were going to go on a hay ride, but unfortunately the horses were taking a break (which we didn't find out about until we had already waited a half hour in line) so we missed out on that. It was a fun day though and we really enjoyed that fall weather. I wish it would come back!

Bergeron Park-Davie, FL

Well, I'm a little behind on our blogging so I'll try to catch up this week. We will start with our trip to Bergeron Park in Davie Florida. This park was inhabited by indians as far back as 5000 years ago. There are several archeological sites on it. It was surrounded by water at one time and the southern tip served as a canoe landing for the indians. It has one of the highest elevations in South Florida, a whole whopping 28 feet above sea level. We saw a cute Gopher Tortoise and the kids had a fun time digging for indian artifacts. Yaya found pine cones and she thought they were the coolest things ever. P-Nut found "quick sand" and lost his shoes!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Pizza Math

When our little wooden pizza was purchased, I had no idea how instrumental it would be for teaching. Today we used it in our practice of fractions. We saw how 2/6 was equal to 1/3, 3/6 was equal to 1/2 and how 4/6 equals 2/3. We also reinforced our times tables by putting different amounts of toppings on each piece and then multiplying them. This was a great way to really experience math in a pratical way. Tomorrow we'll try it with real pizza!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Oleta River

Our nature adventures led us to Oleta River State Park in Miami last week. What a nice little park. It is great for young children as the waters are very calm and the beach area is shallow. We went for a walk to the river and got in the water. The kids got to taste some "sea lollipops and celery"- very salty. I got a good picture of an orb weaver. We see these guys everywhere! They are usually up in the trees and the webs are very large and easy to spot. After playing in the river we headed to the beach and played in the water there. We swam with all different types of fish, needle nose, sergeant majors and lots of minnow. There was a little pier by the beach area where the kids fished and while there, we saw a very large barracuda. I wasn't too excited about going back into the water after that:). Our wonderful guide Christy said that the manatee frequent this park and her son has had the pleasure of swimming with them. What fun that would be!

Needle Felted Dolls

Yaya and I made these cute little needle felted dolls with wool roving. She wanted hers to have pink hair. What a princess! It was really nice to spend some time with her doing a "girly" project.
These are from the Earthschooling site. Her curriculum is so much fun. There are so many great resources and ideas that you can't possibly use them all! We love it.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Well, I finished our happy little math gnomes! They are so cute and the kids have had fun playing with them. Yesterday we introduced them with a little story and then we practiced finding all the ways to make 48. We used some small smooth stones as "jewels" for counting. This, of course leads me to the story of the day! Yaya was playing so nicely with gnomes and the jewels on the table. Then little J comes up to me and has his finger in his mouth and a face like he was trying to tell me something. Hmm. I just had that mother's intuition that he may have Our Math Gnomes- King Equals, Gnomes Divide, Minus, Plus and Times.gotten a jewel and swallowed it so I counted the marbles and we now only had 47. Oh no. I looked all over for that jewel but just couldn't find it. Then the day went on and when daddy got home from work, I told him the story. I counted the jewels again just in case I miss-counted. Well... now there were only 45! Okay I know I should have put them in a container and locked them up, but they were on the table out of reach. The one he may have swallowed probably fell on the floor, right? Well, no one really knows for sure, but the main issue here is that all three jewels have been recovered as of this morning. Yes... if you're thinking the most disguisting of options, you are correct. Now we will have to find some larger manipulatives to use for math and apparently less tasty!


Well this week has been a bit slower as I have been tending to some sick little ones. Last Thursday we did go on our nature walk at Hugh Taylor Birch Park in Ft. Lauderdale then we headed to Ft. Lauderdale Beach across the street. The waves were rough but the kids had a blast. Hours later P-Nut said he still felt like he was in waves. He had a good time playing with his friends and building sand castles. So did Yaya. The rest of the week was spent on Form Drawing and Language Arts studies of Saints and Heroes. We've also been using Character Qualities as our copywork (our Charlotte Mason influence). This week our focus was dependability vs. inconsistency. P-Nut copies a definition in his book along with a bible verse in this case it was Psalm 15:4. We like to use the Message Version. It is very easy for the kids to understand. Yaya doesn't do the copywork, but she loves to be involved in the discussion! Next week we will be starting our math block so I will be making some fun little math gnomes (this is where our Waldorf influence comes in) over the weekend :).


Relaxing in the shade. Yaya collecting shells
Relaxing in the shade! Yaya collecting shells

P-Nut and Yaya painting the day away. We experimented with red, yellow and blue to make all the colors of the rainbow (much more fun than memorizing the color wheel:)).

P-Nut and Yaya painting the day away. We experimented with red, yellow and blue to make all the colors of the rainbow (much more fun than memorizing the color wheel:)).

The prominence of exotic pet trade in Florida has led to an established population of iguanas in South Florida.

The prominence of exotic pet trade in Florida has led to an established population of iguanas in South Florida.

P-Nut trying to catch some critters

P-Nut trying to catch some critters

Wow! We had such a busy week. This is just a sampling of our activities. P-Nut and Yaya are learning so much! We spent the beginning of our week learning about Saints, painting and form drawing (P-Nut's favorite activity). On Thursday we headed down to Virginia Key Beach to explore the Ocean Life. We caught a Blue Crab, baby iguana and learned about some interesting plants.

Female Blue Crab- females have "painted" red claws. The orange "blob" on top of this crab are eggs. Pregnant" female blue crabs carry fertilized eggs under their abdomen. From a distance these eggs resemble a sponge, hence they are termed "sponge" crabs. It takes about two weeks for the eggs to "ripen" and be released into the water to hatch. "]