Friday, October 23, 2009

Break Through

My daughter, usually shy, shared show and tell today. Woo Hoo!
Usually she hides or stands there saying nothing. Not today. Today she shared. :)

Ecology Day

This semester we have been focusing on Stewardship; using and not abusing all that God has given us. Our bodies, money, possessions, time, talents, the Earth and natural resources. This week the focus was on Ecology and how we can be better stewards of the Earth.
Yesterday was what we called Ecology Day. A field trip into Ecology. Here is what we did-
In the morning we used the A-Z guide to Helping the Planet. It discussed all sort of practical ways to make small changes. Some highlights included fix leaky pipes and faucets. We took a jar and placed it under an intentional leak in the kitchen sink. In a half hours time we had 5 cups of water. Times that by 24 hours and you are potentially losing/paying for gallons of water a day. Reduce- use less, Reuse- find ways to get multiple uses out of an item and Recycle. Keep lights off when not in a room. Keep the refrigerator door shut. Use cloth bags when shopping and shop wiser, looking for for eco-friendly items and paying attention to packaging. See who else is here on the planet. We made a diagram of a pond and drew pictures of all the critters that live there. Then we added the animals that use the pond for their water source and the birds that feed there. Then we drew in some people polluting and talked about the effects on everyone. Needless to say our discussions were fun and interesting.
Then it was time for the field trip. Since I wanted to get the kids thinking about how small changes can be effective we chose to do ALL travel for the day by either bus or foot.
The bus- The boy researched which bus stop to use and what time it departed. Thankfully we have 3 different choices and the one we chose took about 7 minutes to walk to. Along the way we picked up trash. When we first got on the bus there were only a few people but as we worked our way downtown it slowly filled. We talked about bus etiquette, how the bus works, emergency exits, requesting stops and all sorts of other interesting things. After 25 minutes we arrived into the Transporatation Center, the hub of all buses in our area. We checked out the huge map and were impressed by the fact that you can get practically anywhere by bus. Then we had a short walk to Impression 5/Creation Station. Along the way we continued on with our trash pick-up. By the time we arrived to our destination, the bag was full. We took off our gloves, washed our hands and ate our lunch. Then since we were early we decided to head up to Impression 5 and explore for a few minutes. We checked out the water pollution display in the water works room. Talking about water sources and keeping them safe from pollution. Confession here: I think alot of times when we go to Impressions 5 we go from one fun activity to another and rarely take time to actually do a display or read the info. Yesterday we were able to squeeze in a few of the infomational displays as well as do lots of the "fun stuff."
With 12:30 drawing near we headed back downstairs to Creation Station, our recycle store. The awesome coordinator of craft day, my mom, had set -up tons of miscellaneous recycled items. Our other Konos friends arrived and we had Imagination Craft Day. Were we let the kids create using the recycled items. Fun! If you have never been to Creation Station, I highly recommend a visit. If you have arts and crafts project you will be amazed at how many items they have. We have a bag at our house just for collecting items to go to Creation Station. What was that about reuse and recycle? Check.
With rain coming down outside, the afternoon trash pick-up with friends was canceled. Instead the kids went back up to Impression 5 and explored together. Good times.
Then it was onto the Farmer's Market, buy local, buy seasonal. We picked out some produce and treats. Yum!
Then it was off to Preuss' Animal House. To check out who else we are sharing this planet with. It was a bit of a walk from the market to the pet shop and it was sprinkling but the kids were having fun.
Our return trip, we learned how to transfer buses and the boy got to pull the yellow "stop requested" cord.
We weren't even off the bus when the kids both asked, "When do we GET to ride the bus again?" I think the word get through me at first. Often times riding the bus has a stigma attached. My kids saw it as a priviledge, as fun and exciting. I have to admit, I enjoyed it as well. Perhaps would not even mind doing it more often.
Thanks for joining us on our adventure!
Any ideas, books or videos you would like to share about Ecology would be warmly recieved.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


No not tempers, temperaments. You know, Sanguine, Phlegmatic, Choleric and Melancholic.
In my parenting class this week we were asked to figure out the temperament of each member of our family. We were given a list of strengths and weaknesses.
Sanguine- Enthusiastic, expressive, talkative, sense of humor, cheerful and bubbling over. Dominates conversations, interrupts, disorganized, self-centered and doesn't follow through.

Phlegmatic- Low-key, easy going, calm, cool, collected, patient, kind, steady, agreeable, mediates well. Appears lazy, lacks initiative, resists change, indecisive, procrastinates and stubborn.

Choleric- Born leader, decisive, dynamic, powerful, strong-willed, thrives on opposition, confident, quick to action and can run anything. Thinks they are never wrong, knows the right answer, holds others to a higher standard than themselves, won't admit when wrong, manipulative, impatient, bossy and must always be in control.

Melancholy- Deep, thoughtful, analytical, serious, purposeful, talented, creative, idealistic, self-sacrificing, schedule oriented, perfectionist, well organized. Judgmental, self-focused, easily depressed, takes things personally, negative in responses and puts unrealistic demands on others.

Right off it was easy to determine my children. My boy is Sanguine. My girl is Choleric.
Determining mine and my husband proved to be a little more tricky. We read and reread through the list and could not quite settle on one. Since Google is my friend ( I should hit Google up with a friend request on facebook) I Googled temperament test. Low and behold, there were free test online. I took this one here. The result was pretty much a blend of all four with 9 points for a Phlegmatic, 8 points for Choleric and 7 each for the other two. Which explains why I saw strengths and weaknesses of each in myself. Then hubby took it and was a solid Phlegmatic with a secondary in Melancholy.
Another test said I was Sanguine with a secondary in Phlegmatic. So I guess the verdict is still out on me.
Anyway, in class tonight we discussed how this plays out in the home. For example: My Choloric daughter has to "feel" like she has some control of situations. She must feel heard and understood. She is strong-willed and will assert herself. Just this week she was being disciplined and was told to sit on her bed. Dad gave no room for discussion and was swift in placing her there. For the next 20 minutes she repeated over and over, "Mom" "MOM" "Mooooom." "I want to talk to mommy." "Mommy do you hear me, come talk to me now." I did hear her yet under my husbands instruction was staying quiet. She was relentless. Once she realized she could not control daddy's decision she faught for control of any kind and started calling the dog.
The very next day we had a mini replay of the same scene. Where she repeated over and over, wanting to be heard. "I need to tell you something." Seems convient that everytime she is disciplined, she is bursting with things that she MUST say RIGHT THEN. It boils down to control. And she wants it.
Through this we realized something very important about our daughter. She needs to be heard. Unless she feels heard she can not, will not, listen to anything anyone else has to say. So my husband hit upon a brilliant idea. He said, "Go give her some paper and a pencil and have her write whatever she needs to say. Then go back in a couple minutes and get whatever she has written." It worked beautifully.
Her notes read, "Moms are the best"
"Mom I do love you."
"I love you mom rile mom i love you."
"My and you biy big mom"
Not the message I expect but from a voice that needed to be heard. Needless to say I think we will continue to implement this approach. Perhaps even a journal specifically for that purpose. In light of tempraments it helps knowing what their tendancies are and maybe some of the motivation behind it.
This site here was awesome in explaining the strenghs and weaknesses of each. It is set-up for adults but my friend and I quickly realized that parents can be interpreted for a kid to be in the family, at work would translate to at school and with friends is applicable at any age.

So how about you? What is your temprament? Your children's tempraments? How does this play out in your home?

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Birthday Party

Little girl's 6th birthday she wanted a castle cake. She wanted to be a princess. And she wanted her party at Chuck E. Cheese. Let's just say my mother-in-law is amazing. She made the cake. The dress-up bin provided our princess and Chuck E Cheese it was.
Cinderella and her castle.

A closer look at the cake. Again my MIL is AMAZING!! The cake was awesome and delicious.

Sweet! Money...

Our traditional photo sketch

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Happy 6th Birthday

Hey There Sweetie,

You made it to six. It seems like we have been here for awhile already but the reality is, you are just now six. I guess to me you seem older than your actual age. Gone are the little kid shows as you have moved onto Hannah Montana and The Suite Life of Zach and Cody. Gone are the jammies with footies. Gone are the Little People. It's happened, you have grown. Nowadays you pass your time dancing, singing, playing house with your babies and reading.

In school you are now excelling in first grade. You read with ease. Workbooks? You love them. Math and Phonics are your favorite subjects. In the last year we have studied Indians, Pioneer Life, Horses, Our Bodies and Ecology. Many adventures, many good times. We saw a few more cow births this year. Some were triumphant(Victory and Jaclyn), others were sad(Teacup and Rocky). I will always treasure those moments of life and death at the Dairy Farm. It seems to be our special place.

In life you are daily fighting the fear of being alone. Somedays it seems like you can conquer the world and the next you won't go anywhere out of my sight. I pray that you let go of the fear and step victoriously into God's plan for your life. You often pray, "Dear Jesus, Guard us, protect us and keep us safe. Help us to have good dreams." He is always near you. Never forget that. I trust in time you will develop your wings and fear not. You have such leadership built into you. Once you find your voice, you are going to change this world.

In the past year you learned to swim. Once you realized you were tall enough for the waterslide, you put your attention to learning how to swim. With determination you practiced until one day you were doing it. What joy when you accomplished your goal. Never stop setting goals. For you are one to do what you set out to do. So set your dreams high and work hard. Little girl you will go far.

Giggle girl, may you always find joy in simple things. Snuggle bug, may you always have time to spend with the ones you love. Pumpkin pie, may you develop all the skills you will need in the coming year. Sweet girl, while I love who you are in this moment I know you will continue to grow. Everyday learning. Everyday changing ever so slightly. In the things you say. The things you do.

I love you!
Happy birthday!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Day Off

This weekend was jammed pack with field trips, fun and learning. We did go to the Color Tour, Archaeology Day and Crane Fest(twice). So today I declared that we would take the day off of school.
The only exception was that we would watch no TV nor play on the computer. If we got bored, then we would do school. Ha! Like that was going to happen.
We played Monolpoly. I won!
We made Puppy Chow. It was yummy.
The boy made beeswax candles.
We played Whoonu. Three times.
We played Sorry. The boy won.
Overall, we enjoyed each others company and did some stuff that normally gets overlooked.
Oh yeah and I cleaned. Yeah the house is still clean.

I think we need to do this kind of thing more often.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

What's an Atlatl???

That's what I was thinking when we pulled into the parking lot of the historical museum. My nephew had wondered if an atlatl would be at Archaeology Day. As much as I love words I don't think I had ever heard of an atlatl, ever. Remarkably, there were atlatls at the event and the guys had a blast trying them out.
Oh and for the record an atlatl is a tool used to propel a dart(spear)

I admit I tried it out too. But my throws were terribly lacking.

When we went inside we visited the old times games room where we made Sawbuzzers. Take a button and a piece of string and soon you will have over an hour of simple fun.

While at Archaeolgy Day we saw many interesting things. Talked to interesting people.
My personal favorite was this guy.

He hand crafts ALL of his own hunting tools. Arrowheads, spears, baskets...all sorts of amazing things.
Like these arrowheads. Yep. He made them.

With said tools he has successfully hunted deer, squirrel, rabbit, coyote and carribou. Amazing!

Currently in our local theater the free kids movie of the week is Night at the Museum 2. Last night hubby took the boy to see it. Just in time to come across this...

Hey there Jedidiah.

After touring the museum, we headed back out to the atlatls. And my nephew scored this kill.

Needless to say, the atlatl was the biggest hit of Archaeology Day for the boys. They are trying to see if they can make their own. Thanks to wikihow..perhaps they will.

There you have it our morning at Archaeology Day. Soon to come- Our evening at Crane Fest.

Friday, October 09, 2009

Let It Rain

Today we had plans to attend an outdoor festival. Visions of sunshine and fall colors danced through my head. Instead we were met with rain. Drizzling, wet rain.
Rather than let it get in the way of our plans we went anyway.
We watched ladies make sauerkraut, fresh apples being hand-pressed, civil war reenactors, a black smith and visited the animals in the 4-H tent. Not too shabby of a day.
Sure we had on hats, mittens and coats but that did not deter us. If anything it made me appreciate it more. There were no long lines or pushing and shoving to see what was happening. It also made me realize that soldiers in the civil war didn't get to choose whether or not they stayed inside due to the weather.
Are we raising a generation of fair weather friends? Are we raising our kids to stay inside and only go out if the conditions are ideal? I have come to realize that if I continue to wait for ideal, I will waste a lot of time waiting. I would much rather live life. So let it rain.
The best thing one can do when it's raining is to let it rain. ~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Thursday, October 08, 2009

A Weekend of Choices

Never before have we had so many options to choose from for a single weekend.
Let's just say our weekend is going to be packed and it is all going to be FUN FUN FUN! Which is a good thing because our Konos theme of the week is...Fun!

So for those of you who may be interested in what opportunities are available to you this weekend, here you go:

The 29th annual Color Cruise and Island Festival will take place on Island Park in downtown Grand Ledge on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, October 9, 10, and 11 from 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Visitors will be able to see demonstrations of black kettle caramel corn, apple cider pressing, blacksmithing, weaving, spinning, wood carving and other old time activities. Visit a fur trader encampment, enjoy good food and live entertainment and take a covered wagon or boat ride. Children can visit the petting zoo, paint a pumpkin or dip a candle for a small fee.Click Here for the Color Cruise Brochure

The admission price is $3.00 for adults (seniors $2.00 Friday only) and $1.00 for children and is good for all three days.

Crane Fest- Saturday and Sunday from 12-7pm
Bellevue Michigan
$3 parking no admission fee.

Watch hundreds of sand hill cranes come into the Baker sanctuary while enjoying an afternoon of good old fashion fun. Check out last years blog posts for more details. Highly recommended!

Michigan Archaeology Day
Saturday October 10, 200911 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Michigan Historical Museum, Lansing

Here is your chance to meet professional archaeologists, to learn of their research and adventures and to see one-day-only exhibits from their archaeological digs and underwater archaeological explorations. Add to this a cartload of fun family activities, and by the end of the day, everyone will "dig" history! And again it is FREE!

Wharton Center Open House- Sunday October 11th 12-4pm

Wharton Center will host an open house from noon to 4 p.m. Sunday to commemorate the completion of $18.5 million in renovations and expansions.

Self-guided tours of the Cobb Great Hall and Pasant Theatre are among the open house’s events, as well as viewings of the rehearsal studio and stars’ dressing rooms.

Refreshments will be served at the open house and participants will have the opportunity to enter for a chance to win tickets to Wharton Center events. The event is free to the public.

There you have it, interesting things to do. Let me know if you are planning on attending any or all of these events.

Perhaps we shall see you there. :)

Welcome Back Blogger!

You know when you go to an amusement park and you ride a roller coaster. The friendly college student running the ride always, without fail, says,"Welcome Back Riders! We hope you enjoyed your ride."
Well, I have to say I did not intend to ride away from blogging for the Summer. It just kinda happened. While living life, I lost time to blog. But trust me life has been happening. We have had moments of triumph, death, diagnosis, growth and learning. It makes me kinda sad to not have each of these precious moments documented for me to look back years from now and remember. Already the days have melded together and if I try to pick out specific moments I have to think really hard and bust out the calendar to remember.
Rather than let that get me down I am choosing to blog again. I pray I find the time. Be it early in the morning or after the kids go to bed, I just need to do it and make it a priority.
Welcome Back Blog Readers! I hope you enjoy your ride.