Spring is Sprung!!

Finally!!  I have waited far too long to see the beginnings of spring.  From the beginning of March I was astounded to see Spring rush in with full force.  All of a sudden we were experiencing 50 degree days and no snow in sight.  It was glorious!  I have already planted spinach and lettuce in a few small garden/flower bed I cleaned out around the new house.  I have taken several days and done mostly nothing but sit in the sun and watch T. play outside.  I got a nice sunburn the very first day!  I just can’t get enough SUN!!!

So quickly the terrain around my home changed and with it brought the most gorgeous birds. I have been having such fun watching and listening to them all.

Today, the First Day of Spring, was celebrated Ostara, the Spring Equinox.  The boys woke long before dawn and let us sleep for quite some time before I finally gave in to wakefulness.  5:30am I followed the trial of bunny poo(jelly beans) downstairs to the livingroom to find the boys enjoying some candy from the baskets the Magick Hare left them and playing a board game called Isuro that I had purchased the previous day.  We played a good game and then the boys chose one of the ten Dvd’s that the Hare had left along with the baskets.  We sat and watched movies while the sun began to rise in the east.

After several hours, we set the boys outside for an egg hunt.  Mind you, after all this fabulous weather, overnight we had a huge drop in temperature and 3 inches of snow dropped from the sky to line the earth once again with white.   Freezing temperatures and camouflaged eggs dropped randomly over a two acre wooded lot, three inches of snow!  Yes, it was very evil!  They hadn’t even found the majority of them, before giving up and agreeing to look again later in warmer weather.  By then, I am sure, the squirrels would have all taken them away.  They seemed pretty busy out there as soon as we were inside.   As the boys found the eggs, they placed an offering for the birds of seed mixture.  I took a rather large bag and spread it throughout the yard.  As the temperatures grew and the snow melted away the numerous birds came out to feast.  It was such a delight to see hundreds of birds all over the yard and in the trees.

Afternoon came and went, and S. began preparing.  What, I had no idea, but he was busy for most of the day in the kitchen.  Finally, at dinner time we were pleasantly surprised with spinach ricotta meatball stuffed shells and cheese.  It was lovely.

I am really looking forward to seeing what else Spring brings us.  Happy Ostara!!

Nature Study: Cattails

While we walked today, I had a specific destination in mind.  I had been searching for Cattails all winter in hopes of joining along with HandbookofNatureStudy.Blogspot.com ‘s Winter Nature Study that I had purchased when I first moved out here.  I have always loved this blog and its many accompaniments but have not been able to participate in much of it.  The first study for Winter was Cattails.  Since, we have had no less than 6 inches of snow on the ground and temps well below freezing since the beginning of winter, I have not been able to find Cattails locally.  Finally, I saw some road side during a drive I dont usually take that was close to our house.

When we arrived T. was very surprised to see them and was really thrilled.  I talked about where they grew, as he discovered how soft they were and how the stem was made of many layers similar to corn.  We pulled a little fluff from one and discovered that they were little seeds.  We plan on checking on them and watching the changes they go through over the seasons to come.

Here our some photos of our discoveries.

First Walk

Today, we took our first walk.  I don’t mean I have never taken a walk, that would be silly.  I mean to say today was the first time we walked around our home since moving here to Iowa.  I have walked about 20 yds back and forth in front of our house at night with the dogs, but have not had the opportunity to walk around our area since moving in.  We arrived in the beginning of winter, but of course, it has to be one of the harshest longest winters locals have seen.  Lovely, huh.  We just brought this crap with us, I think.  Anyway, today was freezing like any other day in MARCH, but the sun was shining and for the first time in a long time we could see all the gravel that is our road.

I had been sick in the last few days and am still not 100%, but I needed to get out.  So I bundled up and headed out with T. for a walk.  We only went about a mile or so, till we found our destination then begin to return home.  It is hard to say how far, really, since you don’t have very many obstacles to use as perspective markers to judge distance here.  It is mostly all flat cornfields.  Lovely, but vast!

T. discovered how to tell time using the sun and his shadow as we walked along the road today and realized that sound travels very far here, since there are no mountains and such to hinder it from reaching us.  We hear highways that I know are 10 plus miles away or more, we here cars pulling into their driveways from several miles away, but oddly enough when you are bundled up and walking next to each other it is hard to hear one another while talking unless you are facing head on. 😛

For miles around my home, various wild life run about in outcroppings of trees or running across empty corn fields.  We have all been alerted to a Mountain Lion close by.  It figures our next animal in T.’s lessons is the Mountain Lion.  How am I going to explain why a Mountina Lion isn’t in a region with mountains.  This should be interesting.  Do you see me squirming now?  Cause I feel it.

The wind cuts across the snow banks and creates wave formations that are so fragile to the touch they simply disintegrate.  Houses that look as though they are near, are in actuality miles away.  It was a cold walk and if T. walked softly at any point in his life, it would have been peaceful too.  Instead, T. really enjoyed jumping around and learning a new native american dance using one foot to hop twice one then exchanging feet to do the same double jump with.  He found this challenging and I found it very good for his balance and building muscle tone.

Now, after having a hearty lunch of leftover ham and potato salad, he lays here next to me and sleeps.  Probably not a wise decision to let him sleep but it is the only time I can relax my nerves.  Hopefully days will begin to get warmer and we venture out further in our area on our walks.

Here are some lovely pictures from our walk today.  Enjoy the scenery from my home.

Spangler Science Fun

Recently I purchased as many Test Tube Steve Spangler Combination Science Packages that I could find.

We pulled one of the “Just Add Water” Tubes and began to play.

We made Snow.  Like we needed more, but this is what T. choose.  It was fun and T. did enjoy learning about the polymers.  He was very excited to see the reaction happen in just mere seconds.

Some Lessons

From our Fourth Grade Studies:

We began our story with Joseph and Katie pulling up camp and meeting Roak, the bear.  Katie learns she can talk to the bear and anyone can if the bears want to be heard.  Roak travels with them as they head toward the sea.  On the way, they meet a Bison.  A Bison is similar to the Cow in its behavior and body, so we take a closer look into “The Cow”.  We learned how it eats with molar teeth and it’s four stomachs, to create milk.  We learn a little about it’s personality and how it walks on it’s tippy toe nails.  We drew a cow in the field and wrote a small paragraph about the cow. T.’s first paragraph!  We then read and tried to memorize some of a lovely Poem titled The Cow.

While this study has been commencing, we I have brought T. back to the very beginning of learning to count and use all the four processes. We have taken each number, so far only 4,5,6,7, and 8 and found all the fact families for addition and division, but using subtraction and division principles to discover them.  Using gems we see if they can be split evenly, whether they are an odd number or even.  Then we discover the many ways these gems can be split up to create the total.  T. has enjoyed this process and I think it has  helped him immensely to see, feel, know each number in this way.  He seems to be holding onto the math facts much longer than he has in the past.

Yummy Smoothie

I have been making myself smoothies for a couple weeks now and have just been having a blast grabbing bunches of frozen fruit and some yogurt and spinach and whipping up what always tastes scrumptious.  I figured I would give a little eye candy here for my smoothie.  Enjoy!

Thick and satisfying.  Don’t you just want to run out and grab some fruit to blend up right away!!