If your kids ask why we celebrate Valentine’s Day, you can tell them that there is more to it than chocolates and roses. In fact, the rose is not really the official flower of Valentine’s Day. Saint Valentine One of our favorite Valentine's Day books, Saint Valentine, presents the origin of Valentine’s Day by telling the story of the “humble … [Read more...] about Happy Valentine’s Day
We visited a wildlife education center and trout hatchery in the Pisgah forest last weekend. These bold birds were hanging around waiting to have a meal, and they weren't skittish at all around us. One of them was greedily eating a fish as the others waited for a turn. We enjoyed watching these birds as much as looking at the fish in the … [Read more...] about Nature Walk: Pisgah Forest
Snow is quite a rare treat for us, so we have been delighted with the amount we have this time. Besides playing in it for as long as they can stand it, the boys couldn't wait to take the yardstick out and measure our "for real" foot of snow! Today, we're just enjoying it and doing a lot of observation, but a snow nature study is easy and … [Read more...] about Sugar Snow Nature Study
Making Snow Cream We opened the front door to another winter wonderland today. We don't get much snow, and this was like a blizzard! After the boys played outside for a couple of hours, we decided to try to make snow cream. We thought we got it right, but it didn't taste like it, even with more vanilla. After some research, I realized we forgot … [Read more...] about Snow Cream
Gardening with WALL.E and Eve My youngest has been cultivating two little seedlings, which started out about 3 inches tall, for over a year now. He named them Wally and Eve, and he checks on them and waters them a few times each week. He was concerned about leaving them out in the snow, but after reassurances that they like the snow, he decided … [Read more...] about Garden Party: WALL.E and Eve
Our Homemade Christmas This year, inspired by our study of pioneer times and reading the Little House books by Laura Ingalls Wilder, the boys made a log cabin "gingerbread" house. They used cookie icing, which get hard when it dries and sticks like glue to hold it all together. The logs are pretzel rods and the roof is made from gingerbread … [Read more...] about Homemade Christmas
On our way to visit Santa, we saw a hawk on the ground beside the road and turned around to get a closer look. It was HUGE! and was holding some kind of critter down with its feet. We watched it for a minute and drove on to turn back around. When we came back, it flew up onto the telephone pole. Its wing-span was amazing. What a treat to get … [Read more...] about Nature Journal: A Bird’s Eye View
I made this advent calendar for my boys a few years ago, and it has become our countdown tradition. It has 25 little drawers ready to fill. One year, I filled them with candy, one year I filled them with tiny plastic birds, one year was tiny ornaments, and last year was little strips of paper with activities written on them. I'm down to the wire … [Read more...] about Frugal Traditions: Christmas Countdown
Our Christmas Wish List What is your holiday wish for your family? Our wish is for everyone to be healthy and happy. It sounds cliche, but it is true, and really, what more could anyone want? What is your Christmas morning tradition? Learning Table Dad is usually the first "kid" up and starts making noise so a real kid will get up and start the … [Read more...] about Christmas Traditions
We got to explore Brevard, North Carolina for the weekend, and we especially enjoyed being outdoors in the crisp air and seeing some wonders of nature! The folks over at Imagine Childhood featured our nature walk on their site, so please stop by to see more of our adventures. The mountain range is breathtakingly beautiful, and we all … [Read more...] about Nature Walk: Brevard, North Carolina
All the names I know from nurse: Gardener's garters, shepherd's purse: Bachelor's buttons, lady's smock, And the lady hollyhock. Fairy places, fairy things, Fairy woods where the wild bee wings, Tiny trees for tiny dames -- These must all be fairy names! Tiny woods below whose boughs Shady fairies … [Read more...] about Nature Study: The Flowers
Walking in the woods after a thunderstorm and before another one started.The wonderful scent of honeysuckle and wet trees. We went on a wildflower hunt. This time, we created a photographic nature journal. … [Read more...] about Nature Journal: In our neck of the woods
School's Out for a Snow Day! An unexpected snow day calls for spontaneous fun: Enough ice for closing the roads for ideal sledding conditions. Not enough ice to make the power go out! Inches of powdery, packable flakes for snowman building. Beckoning us outside with the promise of hot chocolate to warm us. If your kids are like ours, … [Read more...] about Snow Day!
Traveling on the Polar Express What a crazy surprise! We took the boys to ride the Polar Express over the weekend, and woke up the next morning to the beginning of a blizzard. We traveled to Bryson City, North Carolina for a magical train ride, and a visit to this quaint little mountain town. Not only was the train ride a memory of a lifetime, but … [Read more...] about All Aboard the Polar Express, and SNOW!
Homemade Ornaments for the Kid's Ornament Swap We are participating in a handmade ornament swap with The Crafty Crow. The challenge is to create 5-8 ornaments the fit into the "Winter Wonderland" theme, "including trees, snowmen, mittens, pine cones, birds, deer, ice skating, squirrels, rabbits, snowflakes, berries, leaves, the moon, stars, … [Read more...] about Kid’s Ornament Swap
One of the Best Parts of a Small-Town Christmas Our town has a Christmas parade every year. We walk down to the main street with our blankets and chairs, while the kids eagerly anticipate the next float or band to pass by. We nearly froze our fannies off at our town's Christmas parade Sunday, but now we all feel like Christmas is officially on … [Read more...] about Celebrating Community: Christmas Parade