Saturday, October 29, 2011

Loft Party

Niece Alison and her fiancee Paul had a loft party on Friday.

Husband and his sister looking at trip pictures.

Group picture of the cousins who were there. Not bad looking "kids", huh? (Chad, Kris, Megan, Ali, A, Nick, Bekah, J.)We all had a great time.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Last Day Harvest

Top: Two brothers and two cousins-Glenn, Husband, Nick, J.

There was a run on rides today and yesterday. There were at least 9 or more riders here. The girls had some friends out after co-op classes. Bottom: L., Annie, Cassie, M., Ann

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Live Your Life On Purpose

(picture by sarah jane)

"Take each day at a time. Answers come while you are busy keeping priorities." -sarah jane

This is a quote from a meaningful post by a lovely designer that I "follow" on my blog. (You can hook up with her blog on the sidebar.) Besides loving her art, I do so love her thoughts about mothering and work in this post. I just think we could be buddies. Check it out here: and here is her blog (I recommend clicking on the "make" button at the top menu. There are fun free things there!)

Monday, October 24, 2011


We explored science and art in our co-op art classes this week. Thaumatropes, or "wonder turners" were a paper toy from the early 1900's, and a scientific precursor to movies or "moving pictures." Thaumatropes are based on the principle of "persistent vision"-the eye's ability to retain an image for 1/20th of a second after the image is gone. Two pictures are "combined" by the method of spinning them together at a fast rate to fool the eye into seeing them both as one. The classic images used are a bird and an empty birdcage. When these images are placed back to back and spun, the bird "magically' appears to be inside the cage.

To make our thaumatropes you will need:

heavier paper-(cardstock)
sticks (skewers from the grocery store-snip points if too sharp)
markers or colors-if desired
good ideas and desire to experiment a little

Copy two circles on cardstock and cut out. Decide which two images you will try to combine. Draw your images. Be sure they line up/combine by stacking the two circles and holding them up before a bright light or window. Glue the images together with a stick in the middle. Check that they are straight before they dry. Hold a minute to bind them. When dry, twirl and see how you did! Try another one.

Here are some images we used or talked about:

whole apple/apple with bite out
words with partial phrases on each circle
man walking
open eyes/winking eyes
bare tree/leaves of tree
cloud and rain/sun

There are many examples on youtube and we looked at two or three of them in class.

Here is our own (sideways) video with W's thaumatrope.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Costume Birthday

M's friends Sus and Cec had a costume birthday party. The costumes were all cute and clever, and there were three costume winners.

After the taco bar, a new generation discovered how entertaining bobbing for apples can be.

Even the moms gave it a go.

Felt Leaf Pins

I have been making these felt leaf pins for fall. I printed out leaf outlines from the internet, cut out felt leaves with them as patterns then cut out outlines freehand around them for the back layer. I embriodered the leaf veins, etc. and sewed a little pin on the back of each one. Quick and fun to wear on a fall outfit or coat.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011


We've moved to corn harvesting this week. We had a couple of days delay due to a combine fire last week. High winds, trash and very dry conditions combined to cause a static fire over the fuel tank area of the combine. It could have smouldered and burned for days, but we are grateful they discovered it and put it out before it caused more damage. We had to rent a combine to work this week while ours was in the shop. We are hoping to get it back by Friday. The corn is nicely dry.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Past Pictures

I found this family portrait while sorting this week. Get a load of those glasses! Aren't the boys cute? This must have been 1987.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Cousins and Pumpkins

Marsh and cousin Piper were here this weekend. We had a lot of fun. We went to a college parade with the O's and Lis. We carved awesome pumpkins. Grandma and Grandpa G. were here too, and we had the whole family over for Sunday lunch.

And Daughter A. made a pumpkin too.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Fall Leaves

This is a fall project we do most years in our home school. I have done it a couple of years in our homeschool co-op classes too. Here is the original project: My 4/5/6th classes did it again this year, with a couple of small changes to make the project a bit simpler.

You need:
watercolor paper
flattened leaves or leaf patterns to trace
watercolor paints and brushes
pencils, scissors
wire, wire cutters and needlenose pliers (optional)

1. Trace leaves onto watercolor paper. Show them how to trace leaves at the edges first to get as many out of the paper as possible. Cut out leaves.

2. Have students wet leaves by painting them with clear water before starting with color. We did a bit of paint mixing and demonstration first. I showed them how to make a darker color by mixing their leaf color and a little brown for details. (Veins.) I find kids tend to go for the black when wanting to darken a color. Sometimes I just ban them from using black all together. It is helpful to give each student scratch paper for trying out colors before using them on final product. Some kids wanted to paint before cutting out their leaves, but it is much neater and easier to cut first.

3. I encouraged the kids to make at least two leaves. They copied, cut and painted one, and then left it to dry a bit while doing a second one. Then they could paint the back of the first one and move back to finish the second one.

4. We set up a splatter and glitter station. Those who wanted to could go over and splatter white paint onto their leaves after painting. Sprinkle clear glitter if desired before the paint dries. This gives the leaves a nice finished look.

This year's examples of student art.

5. Finish the leaves with a wire that has been twisted on the end. The change I made in this project is to pierce the base of the leaf in two places with a tack, then thread the wire through the holes and bend the end to hold. (See pictures.) Let dry. Hang.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Soap Carving

We did some soap carving in co-op art two weeks ago. The ingredients for this project are simple and cheap. It is a good chance for the kids to work in 3-D. We did this a few years ago and the project is here: This time I asked the kids to carve a leaf, thinking it would be a simple shape for them to carve. The "from the top" shape was pretty simple, but the "from the side" view took a little thinking and help for them to achieve a bit of a curve in the leaf. Ivory soap comes in a 10 pack for under $5 at Wal Mart here. Plastic knives work great and are safe. Toothpicks can be used for details and smoothing. We also used the toothpicks to puncture through the design paper to transfer the basic shape to the soap blocks. Paper plates are handy for catching shavings, and labeling with names if necessary. A small piece of note paper is used to copy the shape of the soap and design the initial shape in.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Manifold Witness

Summer and winter and springtime and harvest,
Sun, moon and stars in their courses above
Join with all nature in manifold witness
To thy great faithfulness, mercy and love.

Great is thy faithfulness! Great is thy faithfulness!
Morning by morning new mercies I see;
All I have needed thy hand hath provided;
Great is thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me!

Postcards from God-all the same day
(Two by J. two by L.)