Friday, January 31, 2014

Week 22 ~ A full and blustery week!

In My Life ~ We finally got some snow to go with the freezing wind that has been around for weeks.  The storm came in several hours early and made a mess for the schools and people trying to get home from work. We missed dance classes twice this week and a host of other appointments were canceled. The kids loved the snow. I enjoyed it, too, but could have gone without the minus 7 windchill while sledding and also getting more frozen pipes. This time they thawed without breaking! That is a blessing. I learned how to shoot pictures with the continuous button this week. I got some great shots of the kids sledding.

Dance ~ Little Red Riding Hood is preparing for the Tween Company Showcase. They are performing Stop in the Name of Love by The Supremes. It's going to be a cute dance. As soon as their little show is over, it will be time to start getting ready in earnest for Alice and Wonderland. Tom Sawyer and Little Red Riding Hood are so excited about this upcoming show.

Astronomy ~ We made star jars in astronomy this week. We also read all about our sun. The kids loved making the jars.

  • water in a jar (to simulate the weightless effect of space)
  • corn syrup (to help with the sticking together of glitter during "hydrogen fusion")
  • silver glitter (helium)
  • red glitter (hydrogen)
  • gold buttons (to show nuclear fusion)
  • curled up pipe cleaners (to show matter)
First, we added the water and corn syrup to the jar. Then we added the matter. We then added helium and hydrogen to the jar. We shook the jar to create "nuclear fusion" and added our gold buttons. A star is born! We then added lots more red glitter to make our star become a red sun. Lastly, we watched the star start to separate as it began to die. We learned that this is called a planetary nebula. Finally, the star turns into a white dwarf at the end of its life.

Art Studies with Grandma ~ We managed two art studies in the last week. First, we learned about the painting, American Gothic, by Grant Wood. We did a picture study of this painting and then learned about parodies. We then looked at the many parodies (Google Image) created for the American Gothic painting. The kids loved them and were quickly brimming with ideas. Grandma gave each of them a printed copy of a photo of the actual American Gothic house and they then created their own parody.

Little Red Riding Hood made a pig and teddy bear standing in front of the house.

Goldilocks made Larry and Bob from Veggie Tales.

Tom Sawyer made two characters from Minecraft.

We also studied Salvador Dali this week. We read two children picture books and looked at several pieces of his artwork. We did a picture study of The Persistence of Memory. We learned about surrealism and then tried making our own surrealism artwork. We took pictures out of magazines and then added our own drawings.

Little Red Riding Hood ~ Food Land
Goldilocks ~ Rescue Dog (notice Dali's handlebar mustache on the dog)
Tom Sawyer ~ Past and Future (didn't use magazine cutouts)

Not Buying It Challenge ~ We entered the challenge to not buy in the month of January, because we had some emergencies which sucked up all of our extra money at the beginning of the month. I knew we already lived a frugal life and didn't have many of the extras that are a given in American society, so I wasn't sure we could make that big of an impact on our budget. However, we actually did make an impact between going without and selling on Amazon. I am glad to say we made it all the way through the month without borrowing any money from savings or putting anything on a credit card! We even managed to pay off one medical bill completely!! The downfall to this is that we have a long list of needs and wants now. Our cupboards are bare. We haven't had sugar, salt or coffee in 3 to 5 days, and Goldilocks' sneakers split in half a few days ago! Thank goodness it has been plenty cold enough for her to wear boots this week. (There is always a silver lining.) Our printer has been without ink the entire month and our typewriter ran out of ink two days ago. Lastly, for the last 2 weeks, the girls have done a wonderful job taping back together their broken rubber band bracelet loom without complaint. This craft project has been all the rage with my girls this month. Little Red Riding Hood has found the rubber bands on sale and the best price in town. She even has a coupon to make it cheaper.
So, we are going to continue being very careful and keep working on getting completely out of debt (less the house). We plan to finish paying off our minivan in the next few months and be free of our credit card in a year. We decided to make a list of the things we want/need and wait a few weeks to buy them. This weekend, we will be buying a pair of sneakers for Goldilocks, food, and laundry detergent and ink for the printer. We are also going to purchase a new loom for the girls. In the future, we will be buying much more on Amazon. Even groceries, such as salt, is cheaper on Amazon.
Wow, that was a long post. Thanks for hanging in there.

Blessings, Dawn


  1. We have had a lot of snow, too, and our co-op has been cancelled for two weeks! I love the art projects.

  2. I think it is very cool you still have a typewriter. I remember having a lot of fun learning how to use them.

  3. How wonderful that you were able to stretch out so much!! I'm thrilled for you. We're out of milk, bread, and bottled water. I make my own laundry detergent, saving us a ton of money. I've spend $12 to make 4 batches of laundry soap for 160 loads each. I also use vinegar as softener in my loads and I've spent a little extra buying some essential oils to mix in the vinegar. Its been a huge blessing!

  4. Those pictures were great. Love the snow ones you snapped!

  5. Great job on the savings. We have an amazon prime membership and I buy tons of things there instead of the local store. Much of Amber special ingredients for food are cheaper on Amazon. The dance pictures are lovely. I miss those days so much already. I'm glad you all finally got some snow to go with your cold :-) at least it's a change of pace. Have a good weekend.

  6. Love the snow Dawn!! Looks like such fun. Keilee would love those stars in a jar. I think I pinned it but never did it. And the art study is wonderful!! So glad that Goldilocks is loving performing. Isn't it great? Happy weekend Dawn!

  7. I think my favorite thing from your week is the parodies of American Gothic. Those are so sweet and priceless! I hear you about barely having money for extras. I didn't even take the challenge because we just don't buy many extras at all. I was thanking God just last night because I got some unexpected money, and it was an answer to my prayer for new printer cartridges!

  8. Is that your back garden the children are sledding down? How wonderful to have such a lovely space.
    I also love your star jars!

  9. LOve the sledding photos! Great action shots. Stars in a jar! I am tucking that one away to do with the grandbaby.
    I wanted to share with you about CP and exercise. I had PT my whole life. 8 years ago we lost our insurance. We still do not have any. It is really up to me to keep my ligaments and muscles stretched and toned. Most folks with CP have tight ligaments, poor muscle tone, and spasticity. I refuse to take drugs for any of it. ( did that for years). So I stretch, do strengthing exercises ect. If you child with cp is dancing that is fabulous! As a child my exercise was horseback riding, bike riding, ect.

  10. Fun snow pictures. Your art posts are always encouraging to me, though I haven't done much with it. *blush* Would love to hear more about how you are buying on amazon.