Monday, December 15, 2014


I was back to work today...
Mark and Esme spent the day in town at stores and then wrapping presents at home.

8.45a    - map making & discussion
9.15a    - break
Before I headed to work Esme and I had an argument about maps, 'north' on the compass rose, drawing the compass, comparing old maps and more...

10a    - stores /town; money and grocery list management
10.30a    - break

11.30a    - Liberty's Kids (ep 10)
12p    - cleaning table / wrapping christmas presents
1p    -
1.30p    - wrapping presents
2p    -
2.30p    - done

When she came to pick me up at work I had her sort a few fittings with me, and she talked about invisible ink from the Liberty's Kids show she had watched.  She drew different kinds of flying bugs - I helped her cut them out and hang them on strings.. after which Daddy helped her hang the strings up on hooks using a stick and a chair.  She also had me look up why 'pies' are called 'pies'...which was interesting.  I quizzed her on what we had found out just before I put her in bed, and she did remember!

Sunday, December 14, 2014

That Last Day of Vacation, again...for a while...

We played Skyrim for about ..six? hours *ha*.. and I was freezing.. so then it was time for soup and to sit down with a few little craft projects.  I'm making another 'Bracers of Wool Warmth Power' set.. as the last pair was not of wool but have served well.  I took a break after a bit and Esme and I collaborated together to make a rag doll.  I had been thinking to make one for her, and she had bought a dollar one at the store that probably won't last more than a week.. so we made her a 'big sister'.

This is Daisy, named for the buttons Esme found in my collection and asked for her shirt.  Esme chose the colors and I insisted on a little white collar for the buttons and putting yellow yarn on for braids as her hair didn't really work out otherwise.  It was based on the Black Apple doll pattern I saw out there - but I had to redraw everything.

Esme with the rag doll

with her Pumpkin cat, in a box, pretending to be cats
picture from Daddy :)

School requests this week:  She wants to get a quill pen, and a feather pen, and find out what that 'separate ink' thing is all about.  I told her she will have to actually try hard with it...  She also had an idea about hanging 'pretend fireflies' and then trying to catch them.  I'm not sure how educational the second one can be.. will have to think about it.  Glow in the dark paint?

Notes: I've finished up a few little things, a cotton yarn crocheted doily and a fisher bear woman drawing - sending them on to my stepmom as the doily colors reminded me of her request for a sunrise drawing.  How things link together in my head.....  // Cruising Pinterest the past few days and reading my stack of twenty-five cent library magazines has kindled some house-nesting instincts that probably won't do much over the next few months - but at least I've gotten a little crafty again.  Hence, the doll :)  I've felt in a slump lately..with holidays, and retail, and our busy homeschool goals... // 

Dream bit: Had some 'oh no its college all over again' scheduling dream last night that I had to find the philosophy class building after my math class - that math class I can never finish the work or remember if I've even been attending enough to pass... - search all over for the 'philosophy' and 'logic' class I somehow found at the bottom of the schedule - finally found it, and knew the walk between the two at the end of the day, every day, would be so hard to make it.  I'd end up late, choosing which to go to or not either.... but the class wasn't really a class at all, it was a workshop  - with toys, and writings, and reading works by authors I didn't know they had written....  I began to wonder how important this class was as a class - was it the people in the class, the journey to the place.. didn't I do these things already?  Could I do it better than the examples I was seeing here - was that the point?  Why didn't I do it more often?  Lots of other bits, - ended up as part of a large group trying to escape some 'roundup', in a boat begging to leave and watching a large fish trying to pull an overly stuffed large bird into the water, because both could not fly, and we couldn't leave either of them even if we were to go by sea or by air - it was one or the other, as they were chained or entangled or....  The (white porcelain goldfish scaled thing) pulled the bird behind it into the water and the bird was forced to swim underwater with it...worried about what would happen. and then began to emerge, 'unstuffed' as a white heron or stork gaining altitude.. came up right underneath me and I actually felt the feathers and wing bone like a real bird as I held on and the water fell away from us and it began to fly with me hanging on into the night down the river with the stars and moon above us.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Nearing an End to Vacation bits

We went out and visited some friends today, and played video games at home :)

I made a few goals to write down ... been meaning to do some of these for a while but have not actually written them out anywhere.

Make egg noodles with Esme, as a school project for her.
Make sugar cookies again with our pretty cutters and BUTTER.  This would be more fun, but it could count as cooking class.
I've ordered a copy of the book Half Magic for Esme.  We've talked about 'be careful what you wish for until you know exactly what will happen' etc .. and that book came to mind.  She said she would wish for two snows then, so it would snow once.. or maybe four, because one might not be just enough.

Sewing workshop:
rag doll toy kind of like Rag doll but without the knitted stuff..
Put ties on Esme's blue dress... think about washing that purple fabric to make another one now that I know it is a little large on her.
Brown fabric made into a long skirt (like the linen one I love but is too transparent)

Upcoming Plans:
Make more KnitOwl toy patterns.  We have the scanner working on the new printer.
I really like the look of duvet covers but not the idea of down  as a filling material- have discussed making one as an extra warmth layer on the bed.  Something simple, not as involved as a quilt.  Mark and I have discussed making both this and some beanbag chair type things... projects for this summer.
Learning more about using natural clay.. Mark says we have some in the hills here and he knows where it is.  Doing more hands-on projects with Esme with air dry and papier mache clay.

Other News:
The puppies nearly have their eyes open.
Our geraniums are doing well.

I said something in French to Esme today to get her moving when she was at a store - and she said 'You speak in Minnesotan a lot to me, Mama.'  Err. .yes, I do, I'm from Minnestoa - but that was French.  'French!  I love French! Do you know how to say Cheese Oemelette?'  Err .. yes.. Omelette du fromage. (Dexter's Laboratory episode),  Yes, that's it!  *laugh*
Watching Electric Company and I see something repeat and ask her if we just watched this episode or... 'No Mom, that's just an app.  An app?  Yea, an app - something the people who make Electric Company want kids to see again (and again).  OK. .but this is a DVD, not a computer or phone program - so we would say it is a repeat, not an 'app'.. an app is something you click on things in a computer program.  Oh, ok Mom, (whatever you say), but it's like an app.'

Friday, December 12, 2014

Friday ornaments and science

9.30a    - painting christmas ornaments
10a    - math test, word problems using subtraction and multiplication
         - frustration and arguing on last problem of printed test....borrowing issue led to mini meltdown
          - lots of math word problems written in word processor 'on the fly'
        -- when asked if there were only three seats left on the bus and four people wanted to get on, what would happen?  She asked how big the seats were and if the people could squeeze in together or not... if the seats were big and the people were small...  // there is our divergent thinker.

11a    - Science experiment "Walking Water"
       - siphoning with tube and buckets
      - capillary action with bread and foodcoloring
     - walking water setup with jars, food coloring and towels
      - talking about straws and gravity, air vs. water

12p    - reading aloud (skeletons book - chapter2)
12.30p    - break

2:30   - modeling and molding with Crazy Sand 'clay'
2:45p - spelling primer through pg 34
      - writing lots of common words, correcting mistakes, writing a few sentences
3:15p - using needles and ribbon to finish ornaments
     She said she knew how to use the needle - I said show it, she said prove it,
      just like a scientist proves his experiments and chemicals mix together.  Hmm..yes!
       writing date on and hanging ornaments
3:30p - done

There were pillow fights and  varnishing ornaments when they dried, a trip to a bakery in town when we went shopping for project materials, and we kept checking on the Walking Water experiment all day, because it took that long.  I drew out the principles behind the siphoning experiment and the bread experiment as Mark said my words were kind of vague (and they were).. and Esme understood the concept quite well when we asked her to explain it to us on the way to town later.

 Crazy sand
This was one of the project materials she bought at the store
Finished ornaments hung up.. also some ribbons, other ornaments from 
other years and a little felt puppy toy she stuck in there the other day.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Slow Thursday

I was on the edge of a headache all day, since I woke up... kind of have half of it gone now.
Because of that, we took it 'slow' today.. and Mark did some PE with Esme to fill in some of the time.

Christmas ornaments
made from air dry clay (cornstarch and white glue clay recipes)
1.5 cup cornstarch
1 cup white glue
1 tbsp baby oil
1 tbsp white vinegar (smells awful)
The recipe said the vinegar would make it last longer..
After mixing this awful glop together I put it in a 
microwave safe bowl and heated it up for about 45 seconds.. then 
put it in wax paper and rolled it out with a rolling pin.

We found texture things in her toybox and made impressions on the clay
after rolling it out inside wax paper.

 Morning pretend: 
Her 'child' she was taking care of that had a broken ankle
and needed a toy and a food while they healed.
She was not being a doctor, - because she had given it a bath and brushed its hair before that.

 Her picture of her Pumpkin cat

Star 'cradle' the thing on top spins around and holds the light in it, and I helped
 her balance the bottom
Minerva and her babies, catahoula puppies.  She is really enjoying her little ones.

Eating applesauce in the sunshine

9a    - Cooking French Toast, frying eggs
9.30a    - Electric Company ep 166 and 197, ep 12
11a    - break

12p    - Cold Porcelain xmas tree ornaments
-choice, reading or... chose PE then reading
1p    - PE (headstands, 30x 15lb bench, 30x sit ups,
      20x 10lb deadlifts)
1.30p    - reading aloud (Magic School Bus: Skeletons, chapter 1)
2p    - break - lunch

2.15p    - Liberty Kids (ep 8, 9) her request
3p    - Fixing dryer,  Maytag 1970s model - she watched us and asked questions.
It had been deciding when to heat and when not to, when to make the timer work, and when not to...
We had taken a peek and it had lint build up in it that was probably interfering with the wiring and needed
tending to either way...
Esme examined the dryer with 'panels taken off' .. looked at the wiring and how Mom and Dad were vacuuming out the lint etc..  She helped me get some paper and pen and write down the part number off the timer in case we need it later.

3.30p    - done

We went to town for some extra parts for the dryer.  We (Mom and Dad) replaced the vent hose and clamp before putting it all in place and testing it out again.  It works.  Mark says this was why the Maytag repairman was so bored all the time.  We only needed a single multihead screwdriver (hex and phillips) to open the dryer, do all the work and put it back together.

About a year ago I remember calling the parts line about the water inlet valve on the twin washing machine - and the lady asked me where that number was coming from.. was I looking it up somewhere?  No, I am reading it off the part.  Silence.  Do you mean your washing machine has that actual original PART in it?  Do you know how old that is?  Yes, it's from about 1979.  OK.. and you need that part?  We'd like to get one.  I have to go find a book, that is so old it's not in the computer...  The part would have been six dollars.  But by that time Mark said he had rinsed the old one out and it 'worked ok again'.. and we put it back on.

I ended out the night recovering some throw pillows on our bed.. while Esme drug up a dollhouse out of her room into the second story of the house where my sewing area is and started having a party with her little figurines until it was time for bed.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014


9a -  tennis in the downstairs hallway
9.30a    - Making pancakes
10a    - break

10.30a    - Reading aloud (open highways 1966)
    rebus - she loved these!  She said they were funny.
    Encyclopedia Brown mystery
    'Searchwell' mystery story
    she left off at page 22.

11a - draw a picture that tells a story, write some about it
    - tennis
11:3p - math, multiplication tables to 10x10

I did the reading and math with our feet tucked in the bed, but was still freezing...and she was begging for more tennis playing.

12p -break for HOT bath (with math questions)

1:15p - talking about continents,
       Antarctica and Australia vs. Greenland (her question)
       Europe vs. Asia - tectonic plates analogies
       7 continent map lesson
1:45p -break
2p - talk about summer vs. winter with planet Earth's axis
    she wants to build a tent now...
    asking her to draw this cube and blanket idea she has.
    drew a plan and helped construct using PVC pipe parts
    brought tent out to tv area and put mat, pillow and     blanket in to have a rest inside.
2:30 - break

It has been so cold today - and Esme really wanted to do all of these things downstairs... I had to break for a hot bath just to keep my feet from frostbite.. and that was with two layers of socks on!

I finally convinced her to bring the tent upstairs (since her room was not going to happen, and it is one of the warmest places in the house so that would have been great) so she sat in it looking through the pictures in the Cat Love book but purposefully not reading much of it.. .she kept telling me she wasn't reading it.  *oh sigh*

She did a great job on her multiplication tables - and I hope to work it into our math more.  I had her 'completing the ten and twelve' while in the bathtub.. 6+4=10 and 4+6=10 etc etc.. because once she gets that committed to memory, she will be able to do other math faster... but she is starting to understand that she can 'cross the ten line' in her head without having to use her fingers every single time.. adding 6 is easier, adding 7 or 8 is still hard.

7:30-8 pm - spelling primer up to page 16, writing down words, correcting spelling
-school officially 'done' after this.. played with K'nex and toys some for fun :)