Sew Simple Owl Softies and Mommy Time

Lily's owl softie.

This week I made the kids a promise. A week of undevoted mommy time. Each kid picked a number and that was their special day with mom. After breakfast and chores they would have my undivided time until lunch to play with them how they chose. They spent the past couple of weeks pouring over ideas of what to choose and constantly reminding me of when their day was. No backing out of this promise! The Lord has been working this onto my heart for some time now. I had to cancel social dates, put my own work aside, and just be with the kids.

Day 1 ~ Luc (5) took me caterpillar hunting (in the rain) and we played with grandma’s special toys that are normally put up in the closet. We read lots of Mercer Mayer stories and drank hot cocoa with marshmellows.

Day 2 ~ Lilah (4) had a tea party with me. She dressed up in her fanciest princess outfit, picked out my outfit for me, picked out ribbons for our hair and makeup for our face. We looked fabulous in blue sparkly eye shadow! She picked out a pretty lace floral tablecloth and the good china tea cups and tea pot and some princess books, soothing music, and nail polish. We had chai tea with pumpkin bread. We painted nails and read princess stories while they were drying.

Day 3 ~ Lily (8) decided to have craft time with me. She poured over my pinterest boards and found just the craft she wanted to do…this adorable owl softie. She used her imagination and picked out materials she found in the house. She used her budding sewing skills to cut out the pattern, stuff the owl body, and sew the wings. Mommy sewed the body and the other parts to the body. I must say, it turned out quite adorable and she so loves it!

Day 4 ~ Gabe (almost 10) will be choosing to have me mend a hole in one of his favorite stuffed animals (something I’ve been promising but haven’t had the time to get to) and play Monopoly with me. He is very excited for his day tomorrow!

Day 5 ~ Ivy (2) will have the last day with me and said she wants to play Dora and read books. She will be pretty easy. For her, just sitting next to mommy is enough!

This has been a huge success for the week. I had to pray daily that the Lord would help me lay aside my other work and allow me to emotionally deal with my house being a wreck for a week for the sake of my children. The children have enjoyed it so much, as have I, that I think we will continue the tradition and use the first week of every school break as this special mommy time before I start any other projects, cleaning, or planning for the next school quarter.

Today we read Owl Babies to go along with Lily’s new owl friend. I forgot how much I love this book. I fell in love with it on a trip to Vail years ago and immediately bought it and set it aside for the this same daughter who was then in my stomach growing. I read this book the same way every time. It is not Owl Mother but rather Owl Momma. And we do not say baby owls we say owl babies. And when we are wishing we do not simply make a single wish but rather we wish and wish and wish and wish. There is comfort in the way mom reads a story. I hope they remember that as they are reading it to their little ones someday and realizing that it isn’t quite how mom read it.

 

Linking with ~

The Homeschool Mother's Journal

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Diary-style Fictional Writers

It’s Read-Aloud Thursday again and I had nothing planned to write. In fact, I wasn’t really going to do much blogging this week. It is fall break for us here and I have been doing a lot of cleaning and organizing and very little schooling and reading. But then our darling 7 year old girl came down with the flu. And I had just happened to have picked up our library holds the day before. And there just happened to be several of Marissa Moss’s Amelia books tucked into my bag that I could share with her.

She started with Amelia’s Notebook (I believe that is the first one?) and devoured the rest over the course of two days. She loved that she had a girl version of something akin to Diary of a Wimpy Kid which her older 9 year old brother loves so much.

I had first spotted this series in a chance walk through a little gift niche store here in town on my anniversary date. I often choose books based on their covers (Superficial, yes…but I am visual. What can I say?) and happened to spot this darling book called Amelia Writes Again. I picked it up, flipped through it and immediately told myself to remember the name (easy since my husband’s nickname for me is Amelia) to request from the library when I got home.  I was pleasantly surprised to see that it was a whole series and requested as many as I could for her.

What is it about this diary style writing that attracts young readers? I think it may just be that they know this is especially for them. There is an inherent trust that the topics discussed will be relevant to said life and will contain NO educational-well-meaning-parent-content! They are books to escape in and enjoy exactly the stage of life they are currently going through. Even my five year old boy looks through these in anticipation of learning to read. He can’t wait to join the ranks of his older siblings in this secret right of passage.

Love, love, love these books! I just love how the books look and feel like those composition notebooks that are on sale everywhere right now. What better time to encourage your child to start their own journal? Can’t wait to get the rest of them from our local library!

Less Screen Time

So I have in my head this great weekly wrap up on the rocks and minerals unit study we are doing right now. (Sorry, you’ll have to check back next week! 😉 But instead I spent much more time doing this…

and this…

and much less time on my computer.

Life is good!

The Homeschool Mother's Journal

Read Aloud Thursday: Kevin Henkes

I was invited last week to participate in Amy’s Read Aloud Thursday’s at Hope Is The Word. Time ran away from me but I decided this week I would give it a go. I love reading other’s reviews of books. They are always so helpful in my library selections. So I am excited to share in this endeavor with other mothers who have this same passion for children’s literature.

This week has been a social whirlwind for us. Two playdates, two picnics, swimming, church, lifegroup, grocery shopping, a library trip, and two unexpected social visits left very little time at home. (And my house shows it!) So today was a day to just sit at home and do school. Unfortunately it was hard to just do that. I kept looking around at all that should be done by way of housekeeping and had a hard time just letting it go. But I knew I needed to. These littles needed momma time. So I lit some candles, put on soft jazz, inhaled, relaxed and grabbed some books I knew would put me in the right frame of mind.

Kevin Henkes is one of my all time favorite children’s authors. Today we curled up with Chrysanthemum to start with. His use of repetition is calming and I love that he doesn’t talk down to children. His broad use of vocabulary astounds me every time I read his books. And he knows the children will get it. He doesn’t pander to age range or supposed ability. This is what stretches a child and will do more for a well-rounded language arts curriculum than any vocabulary workbook can!

How can you resist lines like ~

Oh, pish,”said her mother. “They’re just jealous.” 

“And envious and begrudging and discontented and jaundiced,” said her father. 

We read straight through all the Kevin Henkes books we own which also included Chester’s Way, Julius, the Baby of the World, and Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse. Although I am also especially fond of Owen which is about a little mouse who just can’t give up his blanket. I don’t own it but will if I ever come across it in a library sale!

And, if you haven’t been there yet, go check out his site. Click on Mouse Tales and you can play interactive games to go along with the books. I see an afternoon project coming up!