Thursday, May 11, 2017

April Pictures

This spring has been beautiful! We have spent a lot of time outdoors on projects, exploring and playing.  We (mostly Eva and I) painted a peace pole for our garden... It now has a lovely home next to our Oak Leaf Hydrangea.  
 This is our "snake pit" in the playscape in our woods.
 This is Eva with her favorite spring flower, the Hellebore.
 Ian's favorite stump in the woods.  He is just so happy when he sits on it!!!
 Riding his "fast bike" in his PJs.
 This is how boots end up at our house- faded and torn up!  Owen got some new ones :)
 Poppy gave Owen this antler he found while mowing!  It's a big one!  He has the paper towel in his mouth because his tooth was about to fall out.
  Missing his two front teeth!  And posing with the scene he has built.  He found a good spot for the antler but the dog keeps taking it away to chew on it, so he had to find a new spot!
 Close up on his logging truck and tree farm.
 The craziest bunny you'll ever see!
 Some new gravel for the driveway.
 That's why we got the new gravel... so they could test the off road capabilities of the Gator!
 Peaceful times watching the fish off the dock at Grandma and Poppy's.
 Eva and Owen thought it would be funny to dress up Monty like a king and have him write with his paw.
 Dreams do come true... Owen is giddy over his new, real cash register from Aunt Heather.  He plans to use it in his donut, pretzel, pizza and ice cream shop one day.
 A Rhoad's ball machine our Pediatrician's office.  We could stand there and watch for days.
 Sponge painting some buildings.
 Owen is in the zone.  Measuring, lining things up and assembly lines are things he really enjoys right now.
 A test batch of pretzel bites for his shop.  They turned out beautifully!

Thursday, May 4, 2017

One of our favorite places to be... our creek!

Right in our backyard, there is a magical place that we go to explore, breathe and think.  We love seeing how it changes throughout the year.  This spring, heavy, fast rains have caused the water level to be at an all time high.  We have discussed the effects of erosion as trees, honeysuckle and rocks have washed away from the bank. Each new rain uncovers a fresh batch of fossils that have been buried beneath the earth for millions of years.  Exciting, right?  We find new creatures each time we visit the creek and turn over rocks.  Owen likes to bring earthworms and pill bugs to Ian constantly because they are his favorite.  Ian talks about how cute they are and shows us all, but tells us to be careful with his pets.

 We found some great clay on the bank and have used it to make unfired pots, paint rocks and decorate our bodies and faces.
 Our first salamander ever!  So cute!!! 
 Our cousins and friends love to play at the creek too!  Here they are working together to build a dam.
 Investigating the tiny crayfish they found!
  Bringing the crayfish up to a habitat for some further investigations.
 Ian is a persistent one!  He has crossed this creek hundreds of times... just to practice.  He loves getting wet, just so he has an excuse to take all of his clothes off :)  
 Eva has really started getting into finding new creatures and exploring new areas of our property.  One day she followed Mayo, our dog, through the woods beyond the creek just to see where he would take her.  She fit through all the paths he had made through the honeysuckle, because she is so small, but I had a terrible time trying to keep up with them!  He ended up showing her a hole under the fence that he uses to access the neighbor's cattle farm behind us.  I'm glad I caught up with her, as she was about to follow him under the fence!
 A crazy girl showing off some of the crazy flooding on the banks of our creek!

 One of the bigger earthworms we have found!

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Spring Snippets

We made a paper mache volcano and made it explode until we ran out of baking soda and vinegar!
 We found another dead crayfish and explored, sketched (I sketched, Owen added lines and details) and read about the lives of these cool crustaceans.  The next week we found a live one in the creek to observe movement and see the pinchers work!
 A hot spring day of exploring and playing!
 It got cold again, so we had the smallest fire ever inside and roasted tiny marshmallows on it!!!
 We made an apple pie for Pi Day, March 14th!
 We made green, peppermint, glitter play dough for St. Patrick's day and met up with some fellow homeschoolers for some fun.
 The kids have been catching stink bugs and building Lego houses for them with food and water!
 Ian loves making tea with Mommy :)
 Owen is so proud of his well maintained worm, slug and grub habitat!  This has lead to a lot of reading and research about the lives of various creatures we find outdoors.
 Eva, just bringing her coloring outside at Grandma and Poppy's to hang with the chickens!
 Ian and his cousin, Kellen, pretending to cut the tree apart.
 We researched how to make a bow and made one!  Now to make the arrows!
 A sneak attack on a mini marshmallow that Owen created in our sand/loose parts table.
 Ian is pretty happy to be sitting in the driver's seat!  One of his favorite places to be!
 Looking at pollen on a Carpenter Bee with a microscope.  It was pretty cool!
 Bring out the bounce house!
 Beautiful Eva, working on some pen drawings!  She likes drawing houses, people, snow men, cherry trees and flowers right now.

Owen's First YouTube Video!

Owen decided he wanted to make his own Lego YouTube tutorial.  He showed his audience how to build a Lego cage.  He has watched enough video builds to know the format for a tutorial.  It was so neat to hear him talk about his build and do step by step directions for it.  He has been filming on his own on an old camera that I gave him for awhile now.  He wanted to upload the one on the Lego cage he made, but I helped him rerecord it on a better camera and with a camera mount to help with stability and clarity.  Overall, he was very pleased!  Owen was the most excited when I told him that Uncle Steven was his first subscriber!  We have a channel for him called The Owen Show, but it turns out there are about 20 Owen Shows so we are probably going to change it soon.

Early March Outings

We got through some of the last cold days of winter with some indoor outings.  The National Museum of the US Air Force in Dayton is always a good time.  This was Ian's first trip there and he loved it!  Eva decided she doesn't want to go with us next time.  Owen decided to buy the kids something from the gift shop with his own money and was shocked at how much he spent.  Now he wants to have a garage sale to get some money back! 

We brought Grandma Leuzinger along to visit the Cincinnati Museum Center at Union Terminal this time.  The kids loved seeing the construction work on the exterior of the building.  We checked out most of the exhibits again and still loved the ball area and pretend play areas the best.

We visited with Aunt Heather at her coffee shop and picked up some trash on her patio.  The kids got paid in cupcakes and gold dollars, so they were thrilled! After that, we did some exploring in Springboro and decided to check out Milo Beck Park.  It was such a great discovery!  The rocky creek bed and nearby sand/mud area were entertaining for all and I was able to sit peacefully and drink my Caramel Macchiato!  We loved the old silo on the property.  It was filled with water bottles and other trash so we decided to go back the next day to clean it up.  Owen loves picking up trash!