Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Edible Art

Each year at our homeschool coop they have an art contest. Well, for those of you who know me, I am crafty but "art" is not really my area of expertise and although I would love for my children to gain a love and appreciation for it, I have never really encouraged them to enter the contest. However, after they presented the awards for last year's art contest, Catherine asked me why she didn't get to enter. So, I promised her that this year she could enter.

Of course, this year's theme had to be something more difficult- Edible Art. The artwork was supposed to be made of food, about food, used with food or a pic or something related to food. Harbin decided on his own to make his Monkey/Bear Pancake (there is discrepency over what it looks like. Catherine's project was my idea, but she completely executed it on her own. She madea a Butterfly Mosaic with dyed egg shells. We also got to try our hand at painting with celery. Lydia made a very pretty celery flower (you cut the bundle of celery and use it like a stamp to make what looks like a rose). I don't have a pic of it because she then decided to just paint and the whole page kind of ended up covered in mixed paint (mostly brown).

They entered the contest and competed against some really creative projects. In addition to Best in Show, Best in Edible Art, and Children's Choice (this was voted on by other coop kids), they had 4 categories: Photography (this was Harbin's category), Sculpture, Art Format (this was Catherine's category) and Best Artist to Be (this was for 1st graders and below which included both Harbin and Catherine).

I am so proud of both of them for trying so hard on this project. Harbin followed his heart and stood fast to his ideas. He created his design, made it and had a great time entering the contest. Catherine worked diligently for 3 hours carefully gluing each broken eggshell mosaic down. Even after I tried to convince her to just leave part of the butterfly white, she insisted on finishing it up. Catherine ended up getting 1st place in the Best Artist to Be and her category- Art Format. She beat out ALL age groups for her category which is pretty impressive for a 5 year old!!! She was so excited and I was so happy for her. She is definitely a detailed and talented artist who earned her awards that night.

The mom.

Sunday, March 25, 2012


Ok, well he is not toothless yet, but he is down one. Harbin lost his very first tooth. The same little tooth that we waited for 16.5 months to come in...so sad. It has been super wiggly, which I am grossed out by. Everyone kept telling him they'd pull it for him. We were at church and I dropped Harbin off upstairs with the Children's Pastor's wife. I told her about the tooth and joking said that Pastor Jeff should just sock him in the face and make it come out. Fortunately, Pastor Jeff did NOT sock him in the face, however, he did tell Harbin to close his eyes so he could punch the tooth out and my little obedient child just closed his eyes and waited- HaHa! Pastor Jeff told him to open his eyes and twist the tooth a little and when he did it popped right out. They brought him down to me moments later to present me with his very first LOST tooth.

Harbin was super excited to show his sisters when church was over and he was very proud of the hole where the tooth once was. He was also very excited about the tooth fairy getting to visit our house for the first time.


Saturday, March 24, 2012

Baseball Season is Here

This Spring Season Harbin opted out of soccer and decided he'd give baseball a try. I was leary of the schedule and all the practices and games, so we opted to play with I9 Sports. Their focus is teamwork, fun and keeping it simple and in doing so, they have a 45 minute practice followed by a 45 minute game each Saturday. This really helps me out while I am a "single parent" and keeps the schedule pretty regular and limited to just one day.

Harbin has been super successful and I think he is really enjoying himself. The team is co-ed and comprised of kids ages 7-10. He is one of the younger ones on the team, but as you can see from some of the pics, he can hold his own. His team this season is the Mets and he was excited to get his new jersey and hat. I also splurged and got him baseball pants and matching belt and socks.

His first game was adorable. They all got out there and kind of knew what they were doing but I also think they were surprised at how fast everything went once the ball was hit. They rotate positions on the field so Harbin got to play 2nd base, left field and then catcher. Poor boy was playing catcher when someone on the other team hit a grand slam. He just sat there on home plate waiting for someone to throw him the ball!!! He got to bat once and struck out, which is what led us to buying a bat shortly after the first game.

With a little batting practice at home with mom, he improved significantly for his second game. He hit a Double on his first time up to bat and ended up scoring a run. He made a hit on his second time at bat and made it to first, but the next batter struck out to end the inning. He also made an awesome left field play where he fielded the ball and instantly threw it to the 3rd baseman to get the runner out.

He is really loving baseball and will play through May. They haven't won a game yet, but as long as he is having fun and improving, I don't think he cares!

The mom.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Shine Choir

Catherine really enjoys singing. In fact, many days she sings during everything...while she cleans, while she eats, while she sits on the potty, and even she sings herself to sleep. She has LOVED getting to make up new songs these days and I tell her all the time that one day she's going to be on TV singing and maybe playing the guitar.

Anyways, she has been singing in the Preschool SHINE Choir at our church and she really enjoys it. Her teachers always tell me how wonderful she is at learning the words and the motions and how she stays attentive to the instructions even when the other kids are goofing off. She had a performance a few Sundays back and she was TOO cute. We left the house and I told her she would do great. She informed me that people were laughing at her the other day when she was practicing on stage- she thought she was doing something wrong. I told her that they were not laughing because she was messing up but because of how cute she was (and likely because the other kids were goofing off). We got to have a long talk about how her singing on stage was kind of like being a missionary and getting to tell and show people what Jesus can do in our lives. That made her super excited and ready to sing. Catherine has so much confidence up on stage and has no stage fright whatsoever. She sings out, does the motions and sometimes even smiles! She is definitely showing the "light" of Jesus up there and I know that people can't help but want to learn more about Him just by seeing her sing!

In the pics you can see some of her rehearsing her favorite part of one song where she sings "in the dark of Nigh-ha-ha-ha-ight (wish you could hear her) and she always closes her eyes and moves up the vocal scale like you're supposed to.

The mom.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Foxfire Fieldtrip

The kids and I ventured out on our first fieldtrip with the co-op this year. I had been hesitant in the past since my gang is so little and sometimes the fieldtrips aren't geared for the girls' ages (especially Ella). However, this fieldtrip appeared to be mostly outside and the weather was supposed to be gorgeous so I thought I would give it a try.

I wasn't sure what "Foxfire" was but later learned that it was a group of students who wanted to build awareness about an old lifestyle of the Southern Appalachia people. The "museum" had been historically designed and reconstructed to show the lives of these people. Foxfire was names such because of the fungi plant that grows up in the hills and actually GLOWS at night.

We carpooled up with Susan and her daughter, Avery, a little girl in Harbin's class. The drive was about an hour and a half up to Mountain City, but the litte towns and scenery were beautiful on the way up and the kids enjoyed one another's company and I like having an adult's company on the car ride up.

We met up with two other families from the co-op and started the hike up the huge hill (this was kind of unexpected to me and the stroller was quite a burden). Our tour guide stopped along the way and we were able to see a one bedroom home where they would have lived, eaten and slept (with 10 kids in it at one time). The kids were fascinated to see the "rope" crib which I know the American Association of Pediatrics would definitely scoff at!!! We also learned about "tightening" the ropes that took the place of a boxspring and why the term "sleep tight" was coined as such.

We also got to see a weaver and learned the process wool takes from the time it's sheared to the time it's put on the weaving loom. The girls were fascinated to see that the loom did exactly the same thing as their little weaving loom, just on a much larger scale.

The blacksmith station was my favorite and the kids enjoyed getting to help "fan the flames" of the fire and watch the tour guide make an S-hook out of a simple straight piece of iron.

At the top, we were able to visit the chapel/schoolhouse and since Ella, Lydia and I were lagging behind, we got to hear the wonderful sounds of our group singing Jesus Loves Me coming from this beautiful structure. Also, outside the church we were able to try our hand at walking on stilts. Surprisingly I was able to get up and take a few steps!!!

We left the museum and headed for lunch. Slightly nervous about our decision we chose a Japanese Hibatchi grill that was inside a gas station. It was REALLY delicious and the staff was super nice. So I guess we learned not to judge a book by it's cover or a restaurant by it's location!!!

Anyways, the trip was fun and I got some cool pics of the kids. The weather was gorgeous and we were so excited to get to spend the day outside!
The mom.