Thursday, September 30, 2010

Double Dave's and an Outdoor Movie

What do you do for fun with 3 small kids on a Friday night?

It isn't hard to please my family. They dearly love to go to Double Dave's and never tire of watching them make the pizza. After dinner, we headed to the YMCA for an outdoor movie. This month they were showing Air Bud and it was a beautiful night. Dog movies seem to work well with families. There was free popcorn and lemonade too. I think David served himself 12 times and probably spilled about half that amount. Luckily, it doesn't bother me as much when we're not at home. ;-)

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Nature Club and Fine Arts in the Park

All of our fall activities have begun so we are very busy these days! Once a month, our homeschooling group has Nature club and Fine Arts in the Park. Nature Club meets first and we learned all about soil and composting. My little scholar arrived early and read all the information on all the posters before class. She was ready for her class and volunteered lots of answers and seemed to really enjoy the content. Like last year, they are learning the information necessary to become Junior Master Gardeners. After their talk, they made their own compost mix for snack... there was brown sugar for sand, chocolate chips for bugs (I guess), peanut butter for clay, and gummy worms to airate the soil... you get the idea. It was cute and the kids really liked the fact they could eat it. Then they went on their nature walk and collected composting materials... or something like that. Emily is finally old enough to go off with the group while I stay with the little ones. It certainly makes things easier for me.
After Nature Club, we eat lunch and the kiddos play at the park while we wait for Fine Arts to begin. Little Lia is getting to see quite a bit of her friend Clare. I love that they are starting to recognize each other. Aren't they sweet?

For Fine Arts, we gathered together to learn about the artist Giotto and listen to the music of Bach. This year, since our group has grown so much, the kids were divided into 3 groups and rotated through 3 stations. They crushed colored chalk with rocks and mixed it with an egg wash to make their own paint. Then they got to make their own masterpieces with the paint they made. At another station, they listened to the music of Bach while learning about his life, made white wigs out of cotton like they wore during his time and tried singing in a round. At the last station, they looked at some of Giotto's famous paintings and listened to some children's literature about his life.

I love how the little ones keep busy like the big kids. Lia and Clare are very busy coloring their own masterpieces here.

Art Car Museum and Discovery Green

Since we are now a homeschooling family, I promised my kids that we would have more outings and field trips to keep things fun. I hate to admit this, but I have a hard time giving them a day off from our regular school routine. The task master in me wants to keep plugging through our curriculum so we'll finsh. But that is silly... we will never really finish! I need to keep reminding myself that the goal is to learn every day and that there are many different ways to learn. Keeping our noses in our books all the time is not necessary. So here's what we did last Thursday:

We met my friend Joy and her kids at the Art Car Museum in the Heights! I was pleasantly surprised to find that admission was free! Here is my Emily with the crazy mosaic car parked in the front.

And here are Lily, Noah, and Emily on the crazy car bumper seat.

Of course my Lia very happy to pose with this BEAUTIFUL pink cadillac.

And the phantom car was "a little bit scary!"

The art car museum is pretty small. There were only 6 art cars to see, some artwork on the walls, a streaming video of the various art car parades, and finally, this crazy digital kaleidoscope displayed on 9 TVs stacked on top of one another. Yes, I think my kids liked this digital kaleidoscope the best because it made them "dizzy".

And the seashell car. It was hard to follow the "please don't touch the car" rule. But thank goodness I was allowed to take pictures this time!

So we were done with the museum in under 30 minutes and the kids wanted to play. We headed to Discovery Green next. I have only been on the highway side of the convention center so I didn't know anything about this area. Discovery Green is a large green space for outdoor concerts and for play. There were grassy hills for the kids to run on and sculptures they could explore. The kids loved this one here... they called it the crazy house and had a ball running in and out of it.

In addition to a great play ground, there is a huge fountain play area. We pretty much had the place to ourselves... The kids got to run around for over 2 hours which gave me some much needed time for girl talk with Joy. Thursday night is definetly the time to come out play! Discovery Green also has concerts in the park every Thursday night as well. A Zydeco band was setting up and we got to hear them play as we were leaving. The kids danced their way back to the car. Everyone had a great time.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Back to School Mass

Our homeschooling group hosted a beautiful Back to School Mass to celebrate the start of another school year. Father Tom called all the kids up to the alter for a special blessing and graciously posed for pictures. We had a great turn out!

After mass, there was a reception with a cupcake rosary. All the kids came together to say a decade of the rosary and sing Happy Birthday to Mary - the church recognizes her birthday as Sept 8. And then (of course) the kids ate the cupcakes and ran around like... kids do.

Museum of Fine Arts

While Daddy and David went to the Texas game, the girls got to hang out with Nana. We were able to have lunch with Grandpa and then we were all off to the Museum of Fine Arts for our girl outing.

After taking this picture of a beautiful stained glass window, I was informed I shouldn't take pictures... so this is all I got at the museum! However, we got to see an ancient Egyptian sarcophagus and mummy which was really cool because we had just covered that chapter in our history book. Excellent timing!

Little Longhorns

The first Texas football game was last Saturday. My husband could not have been any happier. He took David to see Texas play Rice... Lia didn't get to go but she sure was excited to support the team! If you ask David, his favorite part about going to the game was the "best snow cone ever" he got to have during the third quarter. I heard it was rainbow flavored. Lucky kid.

More Science Experiments - Mixtures

I guess we can call this one, Will it Mix? These combos (like oil and water) certainly did not.
The layers that formed looked really cool.
W=Water, O=Oil, J=Juice, M=Milk, B=Butter

But if you add a litte soap (which has an oily part and a water part) it ends up mixing a lot better.

Story of the World - Cuneiform Carving

We are studying Ancient history using The Story of the World (Susan Wise Bauer). The activity book has all sorts of fun things to do... we chose to carve our own cuneiform messages into clay. Here is my little ancient Sumerian hard at work!
Can you de-code what she wrote?

More Lia Baptism Day Pics...

I love these pictures. August 17, 2008 was avery special day. I'm so glad Uncle Te Tee got to be there for it. We still LOVE her rose petal rosary and use it often!