Wednesday, May 28, 2014

A lot of Water Play

Temperatures are pretty high lately. It certainly feels like Summer. Maybe that is why getting my kids to do much school work has been difficult.  We have certainly found ways to stay cool.

 Our Homeschool group had a lesson on rockets and the kids got a chance to pump up a water rocket and send it spraying across the road.  This was one of the best homeschool lessons ever. I don't know if they really learned a whole lot but they sure had a blast doing it.

 One Saturday, a few weeks ago, I took three of the kids to the library and we noticed the water feature was going in the park nearby. Even though the kids didn't have swim stuff they still decided they needed to play.

 We have been coming to this "splash pad" to play in the water several times a week

 They usually meet up with a bunch of other people we know here at the park. They could stay all day and just run through the spray and throw water at eachother.
 Last night was cub scout pack meeting and sure enough there was more water rockets.
 This is the season for water play. We have had no shortage of opportunities to play and enjoy.
Summer won't seem quite so long if we have opportunities to keep cool in the water!

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Most Popular Pin - Watercolor Techniques from Deep Space Sparkle

Everyday my email is bombarded with Pinterest telling me so and so repinned one of my pins. The most popular pin I have on Pinterest is one I pinned 10 weeks ago from a blog I read called Deep Space Sparkle. It is an art teacher's blog. She shares different assignments she had done with her classes. I have used many of these assignments with my kids.  But I haven't done the lesson on Watercolor techniques which is obviously so popular. I think I receive at least 15+ emails a day saying my pin was repinned. So I figured it was time to actually use this pin and do the assignment with my kids.

I didn't get my camera out until the lesson was almost over. I guess I wasn't thinking of blogging this lesson until it was well under way.   I had the kids draw the 6 blocks on their papers. Ian was very exact and got out a ruler. Sophie free handed hers, I believe, and Henry got all upset when his free hand ones didn't look as good as mine. Molly just painted what ever she wanted on her sheet.
 I told the kids to wait for instruction for each block. Sophie and Ian did very well with this but Henry just barged ahead and painted without being fully informed of what was expected in each block and then would get mad when it wasn't right.  I guess there is a reason she listed this assignment as 6th grade.
 In each of the 6 blocks the were to use a different technique to use when painting with watercolors.
 Here is my finished assignment.
 Here is Ian's page
 Here is Sophie's sheet.

I think it would really help if we had actual watercolor paper. I just used my slightly heavier weight art paper and it just didn't do as well as I had hoped. When It got wet it wrinkled up.
 But here is Sophie's square for salting.
 We couldn't quite figure out what rubbing alcohol was supposed to do other than leave spots. Perhaps with more pigment and the right paper it would have done better.
Henry didn't end up even finishing the assignment with us. He got frustrated with every little thing. I guess it was just a cranky morning for him. I thought this would be a fun activity for them but it was a lesson in frustration for him.

This was labeled Watercolor Techniques - a 6th grade experiment. It certainly was an experiment. I know now to have good supplies on hand. Real watercolor paper would be a big improvement. And I didn't have a lot of color choices of liquid watercolors so we ended up getting out the trays of crayola dry watercolors. They just don't work as well either. So yes this was an experiment. I learned a few things and my older kids certainly enjoyed trying out some different things.  More than anything they just enjoy painting. Breaking out othe art supplies is almost always a hit around here!

Friday, May 9, 2014

A bike for Molly

On Saturday we happened to drive by a Yard Sale and I saw a little pink bike. I had my husband stop and park so I could ask how much they wanted for the bike.  I quickly dug out a bill (I rairely have cash but happened to have a few bills at that moment) and paid for the bike.

 I had recently bought training wheels to put on the old blue and green boys bike but was missing a bolt on the bike so the training wheels wouldn't stay on. I was going to have to head to a bike shop to find the bolt I needed but instead I bought a bike. A cute pink perfect for a princess bike.
 Once the training wheels were installed Molly gave her new bike a spin around the cul-de-sac.
 This little lady loves it and the little red tricyle as well as the blue/ green bike are now abandoned. I guess I need to find a new home for those other bikes.
This pink loven' girl is thrilled to have her own set of big girl wheels.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Personal Progress - Individual Worth #2

 I have been a little slack about keeping up with Personal Progress the last month or two. This week I looked through the book in order to find an "easy value experience" I could do quickly this week just so I can feel like I am moving ahead with this program.  I know! great motivator for doing something. Well I decided this week I would study about Patriarchal blessings. The experience is ment to prepare girls to receive their blessings by learning what this blessing is, why we get them, and what do we do with them after we have recieved it.

Patriarchal blessings are given by the Stake Patriarch. This is a man who is called to this position and then holds it pretty much his entire life. The same Patriarch that I saw 20 years ago for my blessing is the same man who recently pronounced the patriarchal blessing for one of my nieces who lives within that same Stake or geographic region.

So what does a Patriarchal blessing contain.

  • declares linage (Which tribe of Israel do you belong. Each tribe has different responsibilities in the kingdom of God)
  • Personal cousel from the Lord
  • Guidance, comfort, protection
  • Lord can point out your strengths, weaknesses and eternal potential
  • Learn what he expects personally from you
  • contains promises, admonitions and warnings.

It was the end of April, I was 16 and a Junior in High School when I recieved my Patriarchal Blessing. 

Here is a picture of me, my mom and sisters at about that time. That is usually about the age when a young woman goes to the Patriarch for this special blessing. It is a good time to recieve some direction from the Lord and hopefully understand more about your eternal potential as well as your strengths and weaknesses. I headed off to college a little over a year later and remember reading this blessing many times during those years when I had recently left home. While I remember being somewhat disapointed that my blessing didn't contain more details. At times I thought it would be nice if it would just spell out exactly what you should do and what would happen. There were things in my blessing that did help me make decisions and helped stear me toward things I might not have contemplated. Over the years different things have stood out and even the same phrase has had different impact.

This week I have reread through my blessing a number of times seeing if anything in particular stood out to me at this stange in my life. For some reason I started to notice the word maintain used several times. While knowing what this word means I still looked it up in the dictionary. Maintain means to keep in appropriate condition, operation or force. It also means to preserve, or retain. Another definition was to affirm, assert or declare.  I guess at this point in my life I need to be reminded to keep up the good work, to stay the course or perhaps "endure to the end".  I think I like the word maintain better than endure

So now I need to maintain but how do I do that? I can't just coast or put on cruise control.  In order to function long term every car needs maintanance. Periodic checks, tune-ups and cleanings help keep a cars engine running without any major maintance. So like a car I need to maintain by doing my own daily, weekly, monthly maintance so I can operate at my full potential. I will have to specifically look at the things my blessing is telling me to maintain. I know one of the things it tells me to maintain is my testimony. If I want to "affirm, assert or declare" what I know and believe, then I need to study, pray and live the principles I know to be true. 

I don't study my blessing as much as should. I read it every once in awhile but haven't really studied it in quite some time. It was good for me to take some time this week to really appreciate this guidence from the Lord directed specifically to me.