Thursday, May 25, 2017

A Science Circus {Using What I Had in My "Hand"}

The whole circus cast sang the National Anthem to start off the show.
 Our homeschool co-op put on a science circus for our end of year program this year. It was quite a lot of fun and I really enjoyed watching the children do their various parts.
  Since this is a Thursday post I thought it would be fun to share with you ways we used things that we already had to put this production on. I headed up a group of 4 of us parents from our co-op to be in charge of the circus (other parents were in charge of other months). None of us spent much money on this event. I think I probably spent the most and I think it was less than $40. I did buy balloons, popcorn (we popped enough for over 100 people to eat), bags for the popcorn, clown make-up (our homemade recipes didn't work out), skewers and I think that is pretty much it.
I made the ringmasters' jackets using some black fabric that we had gotten free at an outlet fabric store. The gold was leftover from a wedding. I also made the hat above using the same fabric and cardboard. We had two ringmasters and our other ringmaster made his own hat. 

This ringmaster brought a long a snare drum to give some special affects now and then. We collected a bunch of boxes which we turned inside out and the decorated with colorful shapes. We had thought we would use them to make a "ring" but decided that would get in the way so we decorated the back wall with them and stored props in them.
 
The clowns. My mom and I had made 2 of the clown outfits some years back for a church event (using them we had on hand then as well). The other clown outfit was already owned by the clown. The rainbow wigs were owned by co-op members already. Megan preferred to make her own baldy wig with orange hair around the edges. She also make her pointed hat and put paper mache and paint on an old pair of Aaron's shoes to make fancy shoes for herself. Her very creative idea was for all of their noses. She made red clown noses out of egg carton sections, red balloons, stuffing and elastic string. They worked pretty well.
Mara did her act (kind of in a clownish way) dressed up like an old cook. She also had fun "butting" in to a lot of the circus to keep things moving and lively. Her costume came from clothes that we had one hand.

We had juggling and Hula Hooping. (This picture was taken at a rehearsal).
Another picture of clowns.
We had popcorn to give to everyone who came. I made their little boxes with straps from things we had around our house.

We made a ticket booth out of boxes. I had a whole group of little kids helping me with it one day which was quite fun! Ken had given me these tickets some time back that had been leftover from some event that he had helped with. I have been saving them for some special occasion.
Girls inside took their tickets. I made them little aprons from old t-shirts.

Our program girl. I made programs using some paper that a friend had given us in great quantities. I has a rainbowy edge on it.
Another pop-corn salesman.

I made belts for the acrobats by braiding strips of primary colored t-shirts together.
The kids had fun coming up with acrobatic acts to do. They did a good job.
I missed getting good pictures of a lot of the acts (like "tight-rope" or balance beam walking, walking on eggs, screaming balloons, the bed of nails and much more) but that gives you an idea of our circus. It was a lot of fun and I was grateful to be able to use so many things that I already had to help make it extra special.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Happenings on Our Homestead

Spring has really and truly arrived and you may have noticed that blogging rather took a back seat. There are just so many other things to do too. But I do love blogging so here I am again. :-)

Here are some various things that have been happening around our homestead....
 We tried grafting a bunch of apple trees. We also moved them out of the temporary home in the garden into their permanent locations.
 The rootstock we had bought economically from the county when we first bought this property. The scions we got off of my Dad's trees. I am feeling a little pessimistic about the grafting. I don't know that I really got the hang of how I should be doing it yet.
 Our new layer hens (18 of them) are getting big. They are a lot bigger now than when I took this picture.
 Late April we got another snow. It was pretty but for some reason people were struggling to properly enjoy it. :-)
 I think Kitchi thought it was just fine.
 I moved my cherry trees too and then they bloomed beautifully.
 They are now down by the house and I could look out and enjoy them every day.
 Aaron gave the garden another tilling (Ken had earlier).
 Then we started planting the cold loving plants. We don't do anything that is sensitive to frost until June but other things are great to get going earlier.
 Mara was in charge of onions.
 Megan helped a lot with this mess of potatos.
 Aaron planted peas.
 I found a morrell mushroom in our woods. I was super excited to find one on our property! That is the only one so far. I split it into 3 pieces (for Ken, Mara and I - the ones that enjoy mushrooms) and fried it. Yummy! We have been having rain lately so I am hoping more might pop out soon.
 My brother Luke brought Dad's bobcat over and did a lot of dirt work (we had a bunch of black dirt hauled in) for us and moved some rocks as well. We now are pretty much ready to plant the yard.
 Mara got this lovely clematis plant for me for Mother's Day. Unfortunately Kitchi decided to tear up the trellis which brought the plant with it. I replanted it and am hoping it survives. I love the look or a Clematis. I am enjoying all the other plants coming up which I planted last year.
 We got the lower part of our driveway paved this week.
 It was fun to watch.
It looks so nice now! We are very excited about no longer having mud puddles, being able to get our yard planted and the reductions of dust near our house. Playing basketball and roller blading is also very exciting for the family.

I am gearing up to getting the rest of the garden planted. I have a bunch of seedlings growing on my window shelf. Spring is an exciting time of year!

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Champion - a Movie Review


Recently we had fun watching the movie "Champion". It will be out in Theaters on May 19th.  This was a neat movie that the kids really enjoyed. It centers quite a bit on racing. Something that we aren't that familiar with but it was fun to see this little part of it.




This movie focuses on faith and forgiveness. It always shines a sweet light on the ministry of Foster care. I think you will be blessed if you have the opportunity to watch it. Feel free to find out more about it at Champion the Movie.

Disclaimer: I did receive a free viewing link in exchange for my honest review.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Making a Toy Basket from Re-Purposed Items



I have been wanting the share this project for a while but hadn't gotten around to doing so. A couple of months back Megan and I had a basket making day.

We used plastic strapping that comes around my boxes every time I get a flower order and jean seams - the leftover from my cutting up of jeans when I am making rugs (like the one Megan is sitting on0>
 I used a tote for my "mold" of sorts.
 The bottom was made up of only strapping.
 Megan made a basket of all strapping (no denim).
 Once I hit the sides I started adding in denim seams. I glued them together with hot glue whenever I needed to add a new piece.
 Making progress.
 And more.
 I folded the strapping and glued it in various ways at the top to make it good and sturdy.
 The finished basket.
It works very well to hold the toys that we have for little ones who visit.

That was a pretty fun project of using things that we had on hand. We have currently been working on another big project that I hope to share the results of soon. Our homeschool co-op is putting on a science circus and we have been busy making costumes and props.

How have you been using what you have in your hand?

Monday, April 24, 2017

Talking about Heaven

Heaven is pretty exciting to think about. From the Bible we don't have a full picture of it (there are a lot of details that aren't explained) but we know enough to realize that it will be glorious. Here are some verses that tell us about heaven....

"Then he showed me a river of the water of life, clear as crystal, coming from the throne of God and of the Lamb, in the middle of its street. On either side of the river was the tree of life, bearing twleve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit every month; and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. There will no longer be any curse; and the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it and His bond-servants will serve Him; they will see His face, and His name will be on their foreheads. And there will no longer be any night; and they will not have need of the light of a lamp nor the light of the sun, because the Lord God will illumine them; and they will reign forever and ever." Revelations 22:1-5

"His mast said to him, "Well done, good and faithful slave. You were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master." Matthew 25:21

"I say to you that many will come form east and west and recline at hte table with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven;" Matthew 8:11

"And nothing unclean, and no one who practices abomination and lying, shall ever come into it, but only those whose names are written int he Lamb's book of life." Revelations 21:27

"Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter by the gates into the city." Revelation 22:14

 We want to be washed cleaned by Jesus' blood so that we are ready to enter!!!

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Pictures of Our Life Lately

 We have a had a lot go on in the last couple of weeks but I haven't always gotten pictures. But here are quite a few pictures that we did take....

Aaron having fun with a balloon.
 Dad showing us how to graft apple trees again. It is kind of tricky.
 Granddad and Nana came to visit!! This visit was an exciting one because they bought a house here!
 Aaron bought a new (to him) mandolin off of Ebay. He had been wanting an F style so he saved up his money and bought one. He has been enjoying it.
 Mara has helped me some as I have worked to graft our apple trees. That has been a challenging job.
 We saw a kayak for sale in town so Aaron bought it with the rest of his money (not counting what he has in the bank). He is now nearly penniless but has two things that he has been wanting for a long time - a F style mandolin and a Kayak. Nana was trying it out in this picture.
 Megan's 11th birthday was on Sunday. She wore the dress that she made and we curled her hair. We had family over to help celebrate.
 Angel food cake is her favorite.
 Megan loves to swing. The one that the boys had hung on a limb here got knocked down when a dead tree was cut down last summer. Megan has been wanting a swing ever since but we didn't have any more good limbs for swings. Dad fixed up this frame for her and Aaron made her the swing. She is enjoying it.
 We have some "teenage" chicks at our place. I meant to get pictures when they were little and cute but I failed to do so.
 Thursday evening we went to our electric co-operative meeting where Mara was recognized for having been chosen to attend the Rural Electric Companies youth tour to Washington DC. Here she is meeting the CEO.

 Here is Aaron in his Kayak. We have been loving getting out on the water!
 Practicing my cello. I have been really working to spend more time practicing my instruments. I love doing it but it is easy to put off. In February my goal was to practice (not just play - actually work to improve) the piano every day. I think I may have missed 2 days but I did pretty good. March I chose to focus on the violin/fiddle and this month the cello. I have missed more days with both of those instruments but I am practicing many more days that I don't. It has been good for helping me improve.

 We have been transplanting a lot of crab apple trees that we got the first Spring we owned this land and I planted them temporarily in the garden area. I have been finding them permanent homes and moving them. I have also been moving my highbush cranberries. It has been fun but rather exhausting work (especially working on it today following a 17 mile bike ride). I have also been working to graft most of the crab apple trees.
 Maiden hair fern coming up in the woods.
Megan working on her fort. She is making it with sticks and adobe. She plans to make it into a hobbit hole.
She made this wood stove for her fort but when she tried it out the tape (which I thought might be heat resistant) she had used on her chimney melted and she ended up with a chimney fire. Trying was good experience however.

What has been going on at your place lately??

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