Saturday, April 6, 2013

We've Moved!

Hello!  This blog has moved to a new location...in order to protect our anonymity as we begin the journey of foster care.  If you would like the link to my new page, please comment below or contact me at helenhandley @ gmail.com and I would be oh-so-happy to redirect you to the right place!  Thanks!  Helen

Friday, March 22, 2013

Planting








It may only be Spring in the calendar sense at the moment, but oh, we can feel it coming....

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Angles

Matias and Violet have been learning about angles recently.  We encountered the concept while building our Rube Goldberg Machines.  At first I thought that this was going to be a difficult concept for them, but it turns out that angles are everywhere, and they are visible and tangible, and really not that hard at all!  A few things we did with angles:

So, how about those backwards < and > signs?  We knew what we meant :)

We discussed the difference between obtuse and acute angles (awww, isn't it so a-cute?!)  Matias does taekwondo, and he has already learned to jump 90 degrees, then 180 degrees, then 270 and 360 degreee circles, so he immediately grasped that idea.  I had no idea he already knew that much.  Cool!  We got a good workout practicing jumping those different angles- a few 360s in a row, and I was quite out of breath!  I don't think there is any learning quite as solid as building a physical memory of a concept (and I will not soon forget just how far around 360 degrees is!!)


Next we pulled out the protractor and measured some angles around our house: the fireplace screen, the art drawer, the door frame, etc.  The kids have been noticing angles all over the place ever since!


Then, while the little ones napped, Matias used the miter box to saw some angles into some old boards (leftover from taekwondo testing, actually). That was a BIT hit!  


It just goes to show that most complex concepts can be introduced at an early age, especially if the child is eager to learn about them.  Obviously, we don't care if they master the concepts, learn to measure angles perfectly, or teach formulas...we just introduce the ideas and tools and play around with them.  Hopefully, in the future, they will encounter angles in a more formal way and they will say, "hey, I learned about this when I was little...this is easy!"


Friday, March 15, 2013

{this moment}


{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Spring Thoughts


Spring is not so far off.  There may be snow on the ground outside, but what better time to force some bulbs and plant a bit of grass?  We thought that our little man might enjoy watching some plants grow...who knows if he's had that opportunity before...and on day two they are already popping up.  Hooray for quick growing plants!  We planted a few in water beads as well, just as an experiment, and they also appear to be quite happy.  I am ready for Spring flowers, how about you?!

Monday, March 11, 2013

Rooms!

Back in January, we decided that we should swap the kids' rooms around to give the two girls who share a room the biggest room, and to make room to host children from Safe Families.  Well, little did we know that we would begin hosting our first child in the middle of the process, or that things would be delayed (which we should always just assume, I suppose), but the rooms are finally done.  Or done enough.  So here are the before and after shots (note how Beatrice seems to sneak into pictures!):

BEFORE:


 AFTER:
Lego curtains, lots of room for Lego building!

Very studious looking desk (which is already covered in...you guessed it...Legos)




BEFORE:


 AFTER:
New-to-us bunk beds (thank you!!) with lots of storage.

Almost completed play fort in the closet, with baby doll house underneath

Dress-up corner hidden away behind the bed.

We have a few more things to finish up and hang on the wall (and the office floor to find), but we are thrilled with the new rooms and happy to get back to "normal" after all the chaos.  Phew!  Now are ready to host our first child (oh wait, we've had him for two weeks...glad we didn't let the madness stop us!)

Friday, March 8, 2013

Board Breaking




A little board breaking action from our last taekwondo testing.  Three of us are now doing taekwondo (with Violet hoping to join us very soon).  It is such an awesome family activity...we can do it together, we each work towards our own goals at our own pace, it is a great workout, a huge stress reliever, it develops focus and discipline, and it is such a positive environment.  Oh yeah, and we totally get to look like ninjas.  Boo yah.

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