“If a child is to keep alive his inborn sense of wonder without any such gift from the fairies, he needs the companionship of at least one adult who can share it, rediscovering with him the joy, excitement and mystery of the world we live in." - Rachel Carson

Monday, October 28, 2013

Project: Egg-Gathering Aprons

Last week while the girls were cycling through a round of fall colds, I found myself home a lot and with some free time while they took extra long naps and watched movies on the couch. So, I dusted off my long-dormant sewing machine and set to making the girls some aprons. I recently found some old fabric scraps at my grandparents house- gingham and this retro-looking purple and orange chicken print. I liked the idea of making something with my grandmother's fabric, but there wasn't much of it, and then I thought maybe I could make something small and chicken-related. The girls are always wanting to collect the eggs from our chicken coop, but they often get dropped or squeezed a little too hard, or there are just too many to carry in those little hands. And so, these egg-gathering aprons were born, with special padded pockets to hold eggs!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Rowan: On a Mission for Dolphins

Rowan holding up pictures of Winter the dolphin

Last week, on a rainy day with nothing to do, we watched one of our library movies, "Dolphin Tale." Rowan has been telling me how dolphins are her favorite animal now, so I thought she might like this one. It turned out to be a wonderful family movie (like one I could tolerate and even enjoy watching too). It is the story of a boy who finds a dolphin washed up on the beach in Florida with a rope and some sort of trap wrapped around it's tail. He uses his pocket-knife to cut the rope, and some people from a marine mammal hospital arrive and take the dolphin back to their center. The boy visits the dolphin often and they form a special bond. The dolphin, named Winter, has to have it's tail amputated, but eventually they find someone willing to design a prosthetic tail, and she can swim again.

At the end of the movie, we found out this is all based on a true story. I thought Rowan was going to come unglued with glee when she found out that Winter actually exists, and it is possible that she might visit this dolphin someday. We went to the website for the Clearwater Marine Aquarium and found out that they have a live webcam where you can watch Winter swimming. You can also "adopt" Winter and donate money to help with her care--and if you do, you receive monthly updates about the dolphin as well as a photo, etc.

Rowan immediately decided she wanted to set a goal of raising enough money to get mail from Winter, which costs $50. We brainstormed a bit to come up with a way for her to raise the money and decided on an art sale. She has spent the last week making a variety of drawings and paintings and telling all the grown-ups in her life the story of Winter and how she has decided to help this dolphin. All I can say is if she ever joins the Girl Scouts, she is going to kick butt in cookie sales. She is like this mini marketing maven. The kid has already raised most of the money in under a week. Of course, when she tells her grandparents and aunts and uncles and the neighbors that the paintings are 3 dollars they tend to give her a few extra to help with the cause, and we donated the contents of the family change jar. I just love seeing this ethic of helping out a good cause blossoming in her. The other day out of nowhere she told me she wants to volunteer at the animal shelter for her birthday party this year...we'll see if it actually materializes, but the fact that she would consider it at age four makes this mama proud!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Sidewalk Chalk Stencils

We tried out another easy-but-fun project from Pinterest the other day...we made our own sidewalk chalk stencils and decorated our driveway with hearts! I just used some cardboard from a box in the garage and cut out a couple of heart shapes. Both girls had lots of fun with these and we saved them to use again.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Craft Project: Halloween Bats

Time for some Halloween crafts! This is one of my favorites--take a toilet paper roll and paint it black, and while it's drying, use black construction paper to cut out some wings and ears. You can also use white paper to cut out two little fangs. Once dry, glue googly eyes and construction paper parts to the painted toilet paper roll. If you have any magnetic tape you can cut two little squares of magnetic tape and peel off the adhesive and stick it to the ends of the wings so you can make the bat's wings close around it's body if you'd like. Rowan drew a mouth and designs on hers with crayons and chalk too. This is fun for preschool-age kids, and when finished, you can either hang them from the ceiling or let the kids run around with them!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013


A girl's gotta have cool accessories, right?! Well mine have really been donning some interesting choices lately...here are a few I've managed to capture on camera. As a matter of fact, while we're on the subject of fashion, I think I need to blog post on self-dressing as well, because we're in that phase where some pretty crazy outfits are leaving this house each day!

Don't forget to wear your readers before eating oatmeal

Always wear ear protection when Mommy uses the noisy blender to make smoothies

Let's go for a bike ride! Bike? Check.  Helmet? Check. Creepy baby in the trunk? Check.

Every nature girl needs a flower crown...

And a little chef  must have the proper attire!