Monday, December 6, 2010

A Bit of the Fun We Had Today...

We are spending this week finishing some things in all of our curriculum and getting to a good stopping point to take a nice long 3 week break for Christmas. During that time, besides daily reading, we're just going to enjoy getting ready for Christmas, baking, crafting and visiting friends. I'm sure we'll sneak in some learning here and there, and practice some important skills, but it'll be through games and different things, none of our regular school books.

Joy is studying the ancient times this year for history and we have done a lot of really neat enrichment projects to compliment what we are reading about. Last week we learned all about the Phoenicians, their trading by ship and the founding of Carthage. One of the more exciting projects for these chapters we just didn't have time to get around to last week, so I promised Joy we'd do it this week as we were wrapping things up for the semester. We read about how the Phoenicians use to make beautiful purple dye from snails, so today we made our own purple dye, only we used blueberries instead. :) I have no desire to boil snails in my kitchen and I don't think we'd find the kind we need to make purple dye around here anyway. :)

Joshua joined us, as he usually does for the more exciting projects. :) They were both very interested in what we were doing. It was almost impossible to get them to focus on anything else while we waited for the hour to pass as the blueberries boiled.
I was a little nervous about it since I've never done this before, but it worked! The directions just seemed too simple, but before long we could see the blueberries beginning to fade as the color was being boiled out of them.
Finally, the hour was up, but we had to wait for it to cool a little. So we spent the time examining it and talking about what color we thought our cloths would turn out once we dipped them. We smelled it and even tasted it, stirred it and ooohed over the naturally rich royal color of the juice. 
We dipped some sticks to start. The kids stirred them around in it for a few minutes and they instantly soaked up the color. It was a lot like dying Easter eggs! In fact, Joy suggested that we make our own dye again when Easter rolls around, which prompted another discussion brainstorming some other natural things we could use to make different colors of dye. 
Next, we started dipping the cloth!
They turned out so pretty! Joy decided she wants to use them for doll blankets.  :)
Joshua wanted to let his sit awhile longer to see if it would turn a darker purple.
I couldn't stand letting all those boiled blueberries go to waste, so we added a little sugar and stirred it all up. It was about the consistency of chunky applesauce and the blueberries were still very dark in color even after all that boiling. It tasted yummy! So we spread a little on some biscuits and had a lovely blueberry snack! :)
Here is our other treat we had today, we made marshmallow snowflakes with toothpicks. :) It went along with our advent activity for tonight.
That was all I was going to share, but this was too cute, so I'll go ahead and put it up.
We have a big bulletin board that we use for many things and it is the start of our school day. It has our calendar on it and several parts that have things for the kids to do or change each day or week. One of those things is our prayer pocket. We place a photo of one of our family members or friends in the pocket at the beginning of the week and we pray for them everyday that week until the next week when we change the picture out.
Well, we recently got Baby Vera's picture in the mail and the kids were very excited to add her to the rotation of family and friends pictures that get placed in the prayer pocket. So this week is Baby Vera's week! And we prayed for her sweet Mommy and Daddy, Danielle and Jesse, too - we just used her picture to represent the family.  :) So during this time, each of us thinks of one thing we'd like to pray for our person in the prayer pocket and today Joshua's prayer was this...
"God, please help baby Vera to grow up big and strong like a superhero and let me get to meet her soon, so I can give her a hug and please give her lots of teeth so she can smile real big." And all of this he said with the most sincere, sweetest voice the boy has! :) It was so sweet and funny, but I managed to stifle my giggles. This is one of my most favorite times of our day, I love to hear what the Lord lays on the kids' hearts to pray. Sometimes it's short and simple and other times quite long, but always thoughtful, even if they don't know the person well. I think it's helped them to think of others and be a little less self focused, that's my hope anyway. :)


  1. I want to see the whole board! Post a pic, what else do you have on there? That is such a good idea, I need to get all my little things together on a board like that! :) Thanks for sharing all your fun things!

  2. Oh my gosh! That's SOOO cute! Tell Joshua thanks for praying for her. He is such a great little boy. :-)