Wednesday, September 30, 2009

unplugged project - J

The unplug your kids theme this week was J. I left it up to the kids to decided what they wanted to do and they came up with homemade jelly.
I didn't have any gelatin here so we used the old recipe 1 cup juice to 1 cup sugar. It makes a jelly with a honey consistency but it still works. This was apple cranberry juice that I had in the fridge. Next time I will make it more concentrated for a stronger taste.
Here is Georgia testing to see if it is ready to can.
After much boiling and water baths we canned our jelly. I guess I miscalculated the amount, a lot of it boiled off but it is just the right amount for a trial batch.
It wasn't quite jelly by lunch time but we still gave it a go.
I guess it was yummy enough to lick the drippings of the table!!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

European Starling

I forget to post this one before. We have enjoyed seeing a large flock of what I believe to be European Starlings (?) in the yard recently. What a noisy bird they are! I wonder where they are headed?

cedar waxwing

We have been lucky to have many cedar waxwing birds visiting this year. What a pretty bird. I was mowing the lawn one day with the sun behind me and I looked up to see three illuminated in a tree above me. SOO pretty.

Monday, September 28, 2009

playing in the rain

The kids woke up and it was pooring the other day. To their surprise I said "Yes" to the question "Can we go out and play?" It didn't take them long to get SOAKED!!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

just a note

I need to give a happy birthday wish to Russell. I FORGOT my camera today at his party. A complete blogger sin!!! So I will have no pictures to post but Stacy and Jessie will soon. Also if you haven't noticed Georgia and Josie updated their blog and have some information for you about recycling, reducing and reusing. Fun Fun!
xoox Jenny


Saturday, September 26, 2009

Vincent van Gogh mimic art

We recently read van Gogh and the Sunflowers which inspired some autumnal sunflower painting. We learned quite a bit about Van Gogh and his famous "marks" at the Metropolitan Museum of Art site. There is a gallery of van Gogh paintings that we enjoyed looking at also.
Georgia: van Gogh painted with lines and most people didn't like it. Josie: He liked to paint sunflowers. They made him happy.

Georgia and Josie : Before he became a "painter" he sold books and was also a preacher but didn't like it. At about 30 years old he became a painter full time. Nobody really liked his paintings and didn't realize his greatness until after he died. He only painted for like 10 years and then he went mad and committed suicide. In those 10 years he painted 900 pictures and drew 1100 drawings!!
Thanks to Mom I cut some of her sunflowers for our van Gogh mimic art class last week.
We spent some time just looking at the flowers and discovering how many colors actually make them up. We also took some time in our minds looking at our paper and mapping out our paintings in our heads before we began. A couple of days before we dug into the paint I had them draw the flowers on another paper which is something van Gogh did a lot too.
Georgia paying attention to highlights and shading! Nice job!
Josie doing the same.
Now come the leaves.
Georgia really gets into her painting. She put the dark lines under her eyes on purpose and said she was going to play football.
Emeline also painted a lovely picture.
Here they are!!! I love them. van Gogh would be proud girls.

Emmy ended up with a brown blob. She did have separate colors but with all her mixing!!!
I really stressed during this project that I didn't once want to hear "Oh I don't like this" or "I can't paint" or "I made a mistake" or "I quit". I wanted them to realize that van Gogh had his own style, as we all do, and that he was ridiculed at first but turned into magic after a while. It was important for me to have them walk away embracing the fact that we all have different abilities, and styles and that- THAT IS OK! They were all very proud of their work so it worked...
...FOR ONCE!!!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

A Simple Path To God

Holy Simplicity takes on the responsibility of defining simplicity in terms of it being a virtue. Author Raoul Plus, S.J. does this by peppering the book with references from people such as St. Vincent De Paul, St. Theresa of Lisieux, the Bible and St. Teresa of Avila who used to say, “The day you cease to be simple, I shall disown you as my daughters.”

In this day when our lives seem to be anything but simple, we need to take an uncommon example from those lower in stature, our children. Children are free from the complicated characteristics of adult life. If we can escape the snares that keep us from the straight and narrow path and keep our sights on God at all times we will no doubt reap the benefits by one day joining him in the heavenly kingdom That is the one simple formula to help make lives free of duality. Keep straight the path, do not allow those earthly speed-bumps to keep you from a clear and straight path.

When you boil down all of the evidence, and examples of how simplicity is characterized as a virtue you are channeled to one path. The path is one void of anything but the almighty God.

This review was written as part of the Catholic book Reviewer program from The Catholic Company. Visit The Catholic Company to find more information on Holy Simplicity.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Horsecote fencing

We finally broke ground on our fencing project. This was a couple of weeks ago. Looks like the dog wanted to help. "Dad you're digging a hole!!! That's my favorite thing to do. Actually now that I think of it it's my second favorite thing after rolling in anything stinky but it's right up there!"

This is how we started. Laugh all you want we are do it yourselfers and we were going to do all 1oo something fence posts manually! Ooops notice I said "going to".

Mom even had to give dad a break. I think this is the same hole!!!!

Moving right along.

The guys down at Agway told us we would probably do about one corner and braces and be beat for the day and they were right on the money.

We quickly realized that manually was just plain dumb and we rented this machine. It still took two grown men to run the darn thing. Brad's dad was a HUGE help in getting things done and done right.

After we realized that even the earth drill was just plain dumb we brought in the big guns and used some diesel powered horses (and many of them) to make some real progress.

At this point (a couple of days ago) we stapled up the horsecote. It is a 12.5 gauge wire bonded with plastic made for horses. It looks real nice and aside from getting the posts in the ground is a breeze to put up.

My little cowgirl! Emeline was a great helper.

ALL of the girls were. They carried things and helped put the whole thing up with us. We still have one side left to go but we are very pleased with the results. Thank you Brad and girls for doing this for me!! Jazz and Zatt (the horses) thank you too!!!!!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

International Day of Peace Sept 21 09

The International Day of Peace for 09 was yesterday September 21.
We decided to do an impromptu peace craft to celebrate. I made a new clay kind of clay called corn-startch clay.
We then placed our marbles in it to make a peace sign.
May Peace Be With Us All!

Monday, September 21, 2009

The "Great" Visit

Grandma and Grandpa H came up to visit over the weekend. They went to church with us and then we piled into their "pad" to party!
There was wonderful conversation. Brad said he learned a lot.
Grandma and Grandpa with my rambunctious Emmy.
The following day we met at Grandma G's to have a cookout. Cookouts are my favorite and it was even more fun to have one with "the Greats" even though the storytelling became quite revealing.
I learned about my Grandparents breaking THE LAW driving without licenses when they were kids and getting pulled over. We also figured out why Jessie is the way she is. Poor girl. Jessie you have a beautiful behind - leave the past in the past and let this Sunday be the first day of the rest of your life!!!!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Abiotic / Biotic

Josie recently learned about biotic and abiotic classification and she spontaneously decided to make a collage of living and nonliving things. Good Job Jo.

Thursday, September 17, 2009


Here are the girls satisfying their P.E. requirement! They put a big line of balls out there in the yard (I think they had every one we own out there) and took soccer balls and dribbled around them.
Dad would be so proud.

For those that don't know, Russell is going to "Brad's school" this year. He had a rough first few days but I think he is settling in now. We got to watch him during PE on Tuesday and we witnessed "our" Russell. A ball was popped up and he and another boy went to catch it in the air. When Russell looked up he immediately covered his face and exasperatingly said "AAghhh my eyes, I can't see anything." HE'S OK MOM!! He is a great tennis player. Brad had just come over to use him as an example and now he is running away but I grabbed my camera to get a shot of them both in the same frame.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Red Tailed Hawk

A breathtakingly handsome red tailed hawk found hunting ground down the road. It would be perched up on the line every time we drove by so I took the opportunity to take its portrait. Isn't it beautiful!?

I have a soft spot on my heart for birds of prey.
I have another couple of pictures of birds that I need help identifying. They will be posted soon.