Saturday, May 28, 2011

About A Girl's Gnome Home Giveaway!

I whole-heartedly urge you to visit my awesome friend's blog About a Girl to see the wonderful little Gnome Homes she made to participate in a Giveaway and the larger version she was inspired to created for her own Gnome Home Giveaway! The little needle felted homes are so darling and I'd absolutely love to win the one she's parting with! Thanks!!!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Oh Camera Where are You?

I'm really bummed about our camera just walking away! I haven't been the most prolific blogger of late and when I went to get the camera to record A. making her own soup from scratch it was nowhere to be found. It's been 5 days now since then and still no camera. AArrrrrghhh! I must remedy the situation soon! Please camera, come back to us! We love to use you to capture all of our wonderful life moments together. and... we're sorry for using some not so great language to tell you when we were not happy that you take blurry pictures 10x in a row and that you only work on the action setting. We love you and need you! OK, so if there really is a camera fairy then maybe my heartfelt plea will be heard. Silly? Probably, but if it works......

Saturday, May 7, 2011

ButterBlossoms, Flowerflies, and Cherry Friends!

A-Girl loves a good play on words and rhyming so I’ve titled this post just for her!

Two weeks ago was all about having a great spring birthday party with friends. If you read our last post you may have realized that yes, she has had TWO birthday parties this year! We live a 9 hour drive away from A.’s Mama and Papa and they wanted to celebrate her birthday with her so we met in the geographical middle at Grandma and Grandpa’s house for a family birthday. Turning Four and becoming ever more social A. expressed a heartfelt interest in having her first birthday party with good friends so once home we had one of those too. It was fun for me to plan and execute as I could exercise my creative passions and give her a party to remember. The only down-sides to the day were when A. with tears in her eyes came to me and said "Mommy I don't want to be four, I don't ever want to grow up!" Awww my sweetie pie. I think I replied that I didn't want to grow up either but if I hadn't then I would never have had a sweet Baby Aayla to love soooooo much. She liked that but I'm not sure that it made a difference to having to grow up.

The day before the party we made some window stars together to serve as decorations. I think they made the room magical and now I'm wishing for some other colors of paper such as bright fuschia and purples to brighten up the place!
We also dyed some eggs for the egg hunt. A said they needed a nest so we improvised with a basket and some dried grass from the lawn! We especially liked the marbleized eggs. How-to courtesy of Martha Stewart.
Some healthy snacks including: fruit bouquet, raw and vegan "cheeze-its" crackers and veggies with hummus.
Birthday girl ready for some egg hunting!
Watermelon Contemplation...
The tunnel to Pinata time! Kids had to line up and go through the tunnel to have their turn at the pinata. That way they wouldn't get too close to that swinging stick!
Aayla would NOT commit violence against the pinata. My sweet peaceful girl!
Lovely Flowers and Butterflies! The kids did these with bingo dabbers and as you probably have seen a million times before... then they sprayed them to spread the colors. They sat on the hearth to dry and then the pipe cleaner feelers and stems finished them off.
Each child made a beautiful little Cherry Blossom Tree in a vase to take home. (they each picked out a bird on the tray to mark the place of their own tree so they would make sure to take their own masterpiece home) Great problem solving! We finished off the day with a raw vegan raspberry cheezecake. (sorry all of the photos were blurry!) If you're always looking for super healthy guilt-free food (especially deserts) like me I highly recommend raw food chef (dessert chef extraordinaire) Heathy Pace's blog SweetlyRaw. Every year A-girl has a raw birthday cake that is sooooo good and Heathy's raw caesar salad dressing is a weekly occurrence around here. YUM!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

In-Home Hatching: Baby Robins!

A little 4 year old somebody in our house just LOOOOVES birds. Well, we all do around here but I mean she LOOOOVES them! She has two of those great Audubon singing plush birds (Male Robin and Eastern Bluebird) She also received a needle felted female bluebird from Santa (with a little help from mom) for leaving him such healthy treats to fortify him on his epic Christmas Eve journey. She left him blueberries and almond milk! She just loves to play "Birdies", finding new types of nests for them and now since those little fuzzy Easter chicks appeared in stores, the birds can be Mommies and Daddies. I was inspired to give her some robin babies as the Plush Robin has been father to baby chicks for quite some time. He seems perfectly paternal in his adoption of chickens but well....
First Hatchling
And Then There Were Two...
So Ugly They're Cute!
Feed Me, Feed Me!
Now to make a Female Robin. Over at our house it's not a question of which came first, the chick or the egg, its- which came first, the babies or the mommy. Babies came first due to lack of time in making a mommy bird. A. doesn't mind, the daddy Robin is a great Daddy just like her own!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

A Froggy Family Birthday

Our sweet little A-Girl is 4! We had a wonderful family birthday with all of the Grandma's and Grandpa's and Great Grandma's. We now have two new friends at home who live in the Montessori classroom area and have become the object of much study! Grandma and Grandpa T purchased two African Dwarf Frogs (Hymenochirus Curtipes) at a great Educational/Toy store in Vernon BC called Vernon Teach and Learn.
Their classroom habitat
They live in harmony with Living Gravel TM (a bacteria infused gravel) and a Lucky Bamboo Plant. Essentially, the unique “Living Gravel” is acting as the natural filter for the water, filtering the dangerous ammonia left from waste material and converting it into nutrients for the aquatic plant. The plant feeds off of those nutrients and converts them into nutrients for the water and the wildlife. The wildlife then converts those nutrients into nutrients (waste material) for the gravel. It is a balanced ecosystem environment that is constantly cleaning and conditioning the water. Not only can A. learn about aquatic frogs but when she starts learning about ecosystems this habitat will be a simple example for her to understand. She can also learn about aquatic plants and bacteria! It's a 4 in one learning tool and the frogs are so cute too!
I call them Tiny and Mini but according to A. they don't have names!
Physical Science and Zoology shelf.
The top two shelves are dedicated to learning about our new friends.
Frog Life Cycle. The images are from's frog lifecycle cards
Frog Matching from Montessori Print Shop's free downloads
Laying out the Life Cycle with cards and little froggy miniatures
Frog Coloring Page courtesy of
Beautiful Bull Frog!
I long to find some frog eggs that we can nurture to frog maturity and then let go back in the wilderness. I was very fortunate to be able to experience that when I was young and I'll never forget taking care of those little guys from egg to adult frog! We've heard of a park fairly nearby that has an explosion of frogs every year. So many that there are signs posted telling cars to slow down or they may skid off of the road due to the thousands of car tire frogicides. Maybe we can save some from that fate. Will keep you posted!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

First Day Back to Montessori Home-School

The anticipation, trepidation and anxiety (all on my part!) are mostly over with regards to restarting A-girl in her very own home Montessori environment. After a 2 year hiatus where she went to a wonderful Montessori Preschool called A Loving Family Montessori here in British Columbia, our move to a new location in the province has meant that I am her new/again directress. Just after the first work period here today I'm realizing how out of touch I've become with A.'s development and also how ignorant I am about an almost 4 year old's cognitive abilities. I have the master activity sheet from her old school which tracked which activities she was introduced to, and whether she achieved mastery or not with each one but still I was expecting her to be able to do things that she cannot yet accomplish just because of how she interacts with me and how smart I perceive her to be. Silly me!
Today has been a lesson for me in how my daughter perceives some aspects of the world and how the Montessori materials all mesh together to form the connections in the brain to allow them to recognize patterns and symbols in our world.
She was so ready to soak up all that she could. I pointed to and named each activity that she could choose to do and she ended up choosing each one for a total of 12 and still asked for more!
Circle Patterns:
using knobless cylinder patterns A. attempted to duplicate the pattern with the colored circles we have (don't know what they are called and can't find them anywhere on the net. We got them from A.'s former school which closed a sister school and had a lot of materials to sell. We got a SUPER deal and these unknown circles were a part of the package.) This was the first activity of the day which proved to me that I need to prepare the activities more thoroughly and start with presenting the easier versions first to see just where A. is in her abilities. I thought presenting two colors at a time to place in a large to smallest sequence would be easy but I was very wrong. Lesson learned for me!

Punching out a traced triangle from the Geometric Demonstration Tray (Persistence is the key! We have some work to do on that)
Close-up of punching (that's a lot of holes!)
Flower shaped Sewing Card
Rough and Smooth Boards
Spring Themed Memory Game
Visual Discrimination Cards (Can you find the frowning face with only one eye open?)
Knobbed Cylinder Blocks #1 and #3
Numeral Cards and Counters
Tracing some Sandpaper Letters
Tracing Sandpaper Numerals
Matching Sandpaper Numerals to the Moveable Numbers
AAAAhhhhhh, having a little quiet reading time after a hard day's work!