Catching Up

Well, we’ve been on a bit of a hiatus!  Though we officially started back with schoolwork this week, I haven’t quite put everything together to do a weekly report.  Instead I wanted to check in and post a few pictures from our 2010 Yule celebration.  This year we made cranberry, popcorn, and peanut garlands to hang on the bird feeders in addition to preparing a solstice cave and enjoying our delicious Midwinter Bread.  Here are some highlights:

Bounty for the Birds

Midwinter Bread

New Additions for Our Winter Nature Table

Solstice Cave

I love the simplicity of litte brown paper parcels, wrapped with pretty yarn

Festive Back Porch

Courtyard Entrance in Back of House, Decked Out for Yule!

Bringing Home the Yule Tree

Hard to believe we had absolutely NO snow on the ground on the solstice!  This was our solstice cave last year:

But we’ve more than made up for it since; there is at least a foot on the ground at the moment.  Anyway, that’s it for now; I’ve also updated the Needles page with current projects and pictures of some of my Yule gifts.  Hope everyone’s Holidays were merry and bright!

Samhain 2010

Though we all love the hoopla surrounding Halloween, we also look forward to and enjoy our quiet Samhain (pronounced SOW-en for those who don’t know) rituals.  In the morning we took our yearly spin to the cemetery to visit the graves of loved ones who have passed on.  We always bring hand picked flowers, pine cones, acorns or special stones to lay on the headstones (we take a walk beforehand and gather what calls to us).  Our family also has a mausoleum and ever since the Peeps were little they’ve each claimed a lion to care for.  Some of the stones from past years are still laying there around them!

At home we lay flowers on the graves of our beloved family pets that are no longer with us.  For us that means a cat, a dog, a turtle, and two chickens reside in our “pet cemetery”.  🙂

After that, a little pumpkin carving with friends…

My favorite part of Samhain is setting up the Ancestor Table.  Pictures of family pets are also allowed, though strictly speaking they’re not our ancestors, we do miss them an awful lot. 😉  The candle is lit and stays burning until bedtime.  (We do extinguish it before trick or treating, then relight when we get back home.)

And speaking of trick or treat…at a friend’s house, ready to hit the trail:

A bunch of shady characters!

We usually go to a friends’ house for trick or treating (they have a “real” neighbor to go in) and then enjoy lots of good food afterward– including some cider and apple donuts from a local cider press.  Parents are hopeful some real food will be consumed before the process of candy trading begins!  We don’t usually do candy, so this is a special treat for my two.  (Sorry for the blurry photo; sugared up kids+low light=blur)

And finally, back at Casa de los Peeps…

I look forward to the trick or treat festivities as much as the Peeps, but I also enjoy that quiet time when we get back home, p.j.’s are donned, and I can sit and knit in peace while the really intense candy trading negotiations begin!

Weekly Report 9.20.10

We started the week with a lesson in how to make chili.  Both kids LOVE to cook, so I’m trying to spend more time on this this year.

Chili-making Lesson

Peep #1 worked on a wall relief project for his studies of Ancient Egypt.  Here is a picture of the work in progress:

Carving a Wall Relief

And the finished product…. the colors were a little bleed-y, but he was happy with the result.

The Finish!

In addition, we worked on a cool project from Great Scott that involved the Eye of Horus and fractions.  We’ll still playing around with that.

Peep #2 is reading Fossil Detective and wanted to make a “fossil” in addition to doing a page for her main lesson book on prehistoric times.  She wanted it bright blue, so there you have it:

Bright Blue Fossil

In Grammar and Writing, in addition to continuing our Unjournaling exercises, they did pages for Alliteration and Onomatopoeia…

Grammar and Writing Main Lesson Book Work

Thursday was Mabon (the autumn equinox), so we did lots of activities related to the holiday.  First we read a story about Mabon, son of Modron, from Circle Round.  Then we came up with ideas for a chalkboard drawing:

Mabon Chalkboard Drawing

I have a HUGE aloe plant that had a couple of suckers.  I rooted them a few weeks ago to give to the Peeps for a Mabon gift.  It’s nice to have something green in your room through the gray winter months; and aloe is so good for boo boo’s. 😉

Mabon Gift: Little Aloes

We then worked on some magnetic poetry with a Mabon-inspired theme… (afterward they copied them into their poetry books).

Magnetic Poetry

Peep #2's Poem

Inspired by Nature’s Nest’s Leaf Gnome Garland, we are working on a leaf garland of our own:

Leaf Rubbings with Block Crayons

We haven’t put them together yet, so I’ll post a picture of the finished product next week.

So, there are a few snippets from our week.  Happy Autumn, Everyone!