Monday, May 31, 2010

Mud Puddle Monday

Ah.... the joys of mud.  It was a scorching 90 degrees here in the mid-atlantic today.  When it's this hot there is only one remedy for cranky kids...the backyard sprinkler.  So I fired up the water and left the children gleefully prancing through the cooling downpour.  This is what I found when I returned ......
Mud glorious mud.....oh how I love thee.  The above posted mud puddle provided hours of free, open -ended, and cooperative play between ALL of the children.   Who knew mud puddles also had the ability to perform miracles:) I think I'm going to have to flood the backyard more often!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

It's beginning to look a lot like....

Today was a glorious day filled with the sights, sounds, and flavors of summer.  We are all antsy for summer vacation and this weekend was a sweet (and sour) taste of things to come.

Blueberry Lemonade
1 cute assistant
1 cup sugar (can reduce to 3/4 cup)
1 cup water (for the simple syrup)
1 cup lemon juice
3 to 4 cups cold water (to dilute)
1 Tbsp. frozen wild blueberries per serving


1. Make simple syrup by heating the sugar and water in a small saucepan until the sugar is dissolved completely.

2. While the sugar is dissolving, use a juicer to extract the juice from 4 to 6 lemons, enough for one cup of juice.

3. Add the juice and the sugar water to a pitcher. Add 3 to 4 cups of cold water, more or less to the desired strength. Refrigerate 30 to 40 minutes. If the lemonade is a little sweet for your taste, add a little more straight lemon juice to it.

4. Pour over ice and garnish with 1 tablespoon frozen wild blueberries. 

Friday, May 28, 2010

Birding on a stormy day

When we arrived on the Island yesterday an unexpected storm rolled in. This put a damper on our beach excursion but opened the door for us to do some birding. We live near one of the most premier birding sites on the east coast. Today we were able to find and identify quite a few shore birds. Here are the highlights:
  Great Egret

Cattle Egret

Glossy Ibis

Laughing Gull

We had a great time on our bird expedition.  The storm tranformed the Island into a mystical realm, it's beauty was breathtaking. 

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Look Who's 1....

On Sunday E turned 1.  It's hard to believe it's been a year since his birth. 

We've gone from this:

To this:

To celebrate we had an Uno fiesta!  The day was filled with good food, friends and family. Oh, and one heck of a cute birthday boy!

E is such a joy and delight!  I can't wait for a lifetime of more birthdays to celebrate with him:)

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

National Museum Day

That's right folks today is National Museum Day. To celebrate we packed up and visited our local heritage museum; which was free today:) As a life long learner I have taken my children to museums from the very beginning. I am pleased that this has fostered a deep love for them. Today's museum housed social and cultural pieces that spanned the last 700 years. The children we especially fascinated with the leeches and blood letting exhibit. I was inspired and awed by the quilts and fiber arts the museum exhibited.  Here are a few pics from our journey back in time.

What is you favorite museum to visit?  

Monday, May 17, 2010

My Beautiful Life

Listen to the Exhortation of the Dawn!
Look to this Day

For it is Life, the very Life of Life.
In its brief course lie all the
Verities and Realities of your Existence.
The Bliss of Growth,
The Glory of Action,
The Splendor of Beauty;
For Yesterday is but a Dream,
And To-morrow is only a Vision;
But To-day well lived makes
Every Yesterday a Dream of Happiness,
And every Tomorrow a Vision of Hope.
Look well therefore to this Day!
Such is the Salutation of the Dawn!

Today's Beauties
first steps

homemade waffles

stopping to smelling the flowers

new life

gifts of friendship

fresh dough

What is bringing joy to your world today?

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday



OHC Spring Series #5: Year-Long Cattail Study

This week we completed the OHC spring series #5: Year Long Cattail Study.  We began our cattail study in the winter. Here are some pictures of our cattails from our winter study.

We were excited to see the seasonal changes at out study location.  The cattails leaves were a lush green. 
The children were also able to quickly identify the vast difference in the water and surrounding vegitation of our study site.  This colony of cattails grows in a marshy wetland near the banks of a river. 
We also saw remnants of last years flowering spikes peppered amongst the new growth. 

The austere brown stalks offered a sharp contrast to the verdant new life which surrounded them. I loved how this study enabled the children to witness the life cycle of nature first hand. We look forward to continuing this study throughout the year. I can wait until the flower spikes emerge!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Ancient American Civilizations

This week in history we are studying ancient American civilizations.  We began our study with the nazca culture which flourished from the first to eighth centuries AD beside the dry southern coast of Peru.  The Nazca culture is renouned for their large geoglyphs.  The geoglyphs of Nazca or "Nazca lines" are a series of geometric shapes, miles of lines, and large drawings of animal figures (some as large as a football field) constructed on the desert floor in the Nazca region.  The hundreds of individual figures range in complexity from simple lines to stylized hummingbirds, spiders, monkeys, fish, sharks or orcas, llamas, and lizards.

According to Wiki: The lines are shallow designs made in the ground by removing the  reddish pebbles and uncovering the whitish ground beneath. Hundreds are simple lines or geometric shapes; more than seventy are designs of animal, bird, fish or human figures. The largest figures are over 200 metres (660 ft) across. Scholars differ in interpreting the purpose of the designs, but they generally ascribe religious significance to them, as they were major works that required vision, planning and coordination of people to achieve. Here is an example of a monkey geoglyph.

As part of our study T designed and drew his own geoglyphs.

We also briefly studied the Olmec culture which were an ancient Pre-Columbian civilization living in the tropical lowlands of south-central Mexico.  The most familiar aspect of the Olmecs is their artwork, particularly the aptly-named colossal heads.  As no known pre-Columbian text explains them, these impressive monuments have been the subject of much speculation. Once theorized to be ballplayers, it is now generally accepted that these heads are portraits of rulers, perhaps dressed as ballplayers. Infused with individuality, no two heads are alike and the helmet-like headdresses are adorned with distinctive elements, suggesting to some personal or group symbols. There have been 17 colossal heads unearthed to date.  According to Wiki the heads range in size from the Rancho La Cobata head, at 3.4 m high, to the pair at Tres Zapotes, at 1.47 m. It has been calculated that the largest heads weigh between 25 and 55 tons.

The heads were carved from single blocks or boulders of volcanic basalt, found in the Tuxtlas Mountains.  Here is an example of an Olmec Head.

T constructed his own Olmec head out of playdoh.

We plan on studying ancient American civization more in depth in the coming weeks.  T seems especially interested in them due to their close geographic proximity.