Sunday, January 31, 2010

Need A Smile Today??

Just thought I'd share LittleJ's sweet face with you. He loves his blueberries!!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Nature Study and Winter

I love the outdoors. As long as I can remember, I've always loved being outside and enjoying nature. When I was in college, and going through the Therapeutic Recreation program, I took an elective in environmental education. I loved it. Now as a family we spend time hiking, swimming, camping, and exploring wherever we can.

I've always wanted to do more nature study in our homeschool, so this year I've decided to be more deliberate with it. I love this blog written by another nature lover and home school mom and I came across a book titled, Discovering Nature in Winter. It's filled with explanations as well as activities. And then I realized the author of the blog had a side link to this book. Perfect.

Last week did a Winter Color Walk in our backyard. There isn't much color here in winter, but this is what we found. It was nice to see the little bit of pink on the ground cover, but otherwise various shades of greens and browns was mostly what we found. The day we went out was during the recent thaw which gave reminders of spring, but we've got a long way to go before then. The next snow day I hope to do some snow experiments and see if we can make some prints of real snowflakes.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Library Book Sale

As a homeschooling mom, I find myself at the library all the time. Or so it seems. I love going through the sale shelf periodically when I'm there and last week I came home with some favorites. Some books I like for their illustrations and lovable characters, like Jan Brett's books. I love the Little House books for their warmth, and How To Make An Apple Pie and See The World is a great geography story used in the Five In A Row unit study curriculum that we've used periodically.
These are some other books I bought at the fall book sale in October--ALL for only $1.00!! I arrived at the sale late and didn't expect to find anything good, but I was pleasantly surprised. I found some great history books, some science books, and some poetry books, of which I don't have a lot. BigJ loves anything associated with the moon, so I was glad to find the Apollo 11 book.

My happiest find was this Crinkleroot book by Jim Arnosky. I love his illustrations and he has great nature study books for kids.
Now I need to put together a better system of organizing our personal library so I don't forget I have these books within arms reach. Then I can make fewer trips to the public library!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Glimpes of Winter at our House

We've gotten a little bit of snow this past week, probably a good 6 - 8 inches. It's been gray and cloudy all week though, so hopefully when the snow is done flying we'll see some sunshine.
The birds came looking to be fed this morning, but the feeder was empty. I had enough to fill the feeder half way and stuck around to take some pictures. A few came but didn't seem to like my presence.

Check out my squirrel catcher under the feeder? It's a simple and effective way to keep the squirrels from the bird seed. It's an empty popcorn tin- the kind they always have out at Christmas time. I painted it a glossy green to match my pole and mounted it underneath. The squirrel climbs the post and finds himself inside the can with no where to go but back down. It's worked every time and my bird seed is now strictly for the birds.
Happy Winter!!

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year 2010!

We finally got our first good, snowman makin' snowfall yesterday.

My word for 2010 is JOY-- in life's daily challenges.

Happy New Year!!