Glittery galaxies–a quick and easy project

Here we have our visual project to show the types of galaxies.  More glitter, of course!  After all, stars have to sparkle!

These will go into the Little A’s notebooks, leaving a glitter trail behind.

I find that when the boys draw or do their own interpretation of how things look, it really helps them to cement the idea in their minds.  I also find that they enjoy the messy glue-type projects the most, so I have to turn my gaze away from all of the puddles of glue and piles of glitter to really appreciate the art that the boys have created.  I do feel like they did a great job on representing the four galaxy types.

This was so simple–a quick and easy project with great results!  My kind of project!


Out of this world project

Just wanted to post a few pictures showing our solar system project that we recently made.

We began studying space and the universe after Christmas, and have been awed by the immensity of our universe. We feel so small when we see how vast space is. And there is much to learn, but we’re all enjoying it.

We decided to make a model of the solar system, to help cement the names and order of the planets, and to see how they orbit the sun. We could have used various sizes of balloons, like the curriculum suggested, but I was too lazy to hunt down the exact sizes of balloons from who knows where, so we decided on the styrofoam ball model, sold at Wal-Mart. 🙂 Easier. Ha! It was supposed to be, but I guess we just have a knack for taking a simple project and turning it into something time-consuming! Oh, well! That’s what happened here. It turns out that painting styrofoam balls is more tedious than we knew–all those little pores to try to get paint into! And we had watercolor paint brushes, so it wasn’t exactly quick. But we had fun. We all painted a couple of planets, and A#1 painted the sun. We decided to make the sun SHINE more, so gold glitter was in order! Well, as you can see from the pictures, the glitter didn’t get only on the sun. I do think more got on the hands, and next all over the floor, table, people, cats, lunch, and, well, just everywhere. That’s how it is with glitter here–it always explodes!

But, we do like our little model. We hung it on the ceiling fan so it can spin/orbit. It was worth all the time it took to make, and now when I sit down to read a book (ha–rarely) and I bump my head on Jupiter, I can be proud of the Little A’s who helped to set these planets in motion!

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A lemons to lemonade kind of day

When life hands you lemons, make lemonade!

You can do it or be miserable wishing for what might have been.   So, at 18 degrees outside, with snow everywhere, we made lemonade of our day!

We planned to head out to Pigeon Forge for our second day of Wilderness Wildlife Week–a wonderful opportunity for people of all ages to learn about all things outdoor/nature/Southern culture, as well as a bit of history thrown in for free!    Thankfully, we were able to attend yesterday with Grandpa, and enjoyed ourselves immensely as we learned about birds, bears, bluegrass music (Dad), wood carving, old-fashioned toys, and keeping our waterways clean.  And the Red Coats vs. the Cherokees at Fort Louden.   We love WWW!

Well, today, as we had the last bit of our lunch packed in the van, our friends called us to give us a heads up on the weather situation out their way.  They happen to live kind of in between us and our destination.  They had snow coming down like crazy.  Bad news.  😦  Well, we didn’t have a flake, and so thus began the deliberation.  Go?  Don’t go?  Go?  Don’t go?   I kept checking multiple weather reports, getting widely different forecasts.   I hemmed and hawed around for quite awhile, and finally loaded the van with chains for the tires, extra blankets, warm potatoes, and boots for everyone.  We were going to try the adventure!  We said good-bye to Banana Man, and set out.

As soon as I got to the end of our driveway and onto our road, I saw that the snow, which by then had started to look a bit more serious, was not simply blowing off the roads like we optimistically had hoped.   I told the boys that I would test it for one block (what is a country block?).  The first stop sign had me panicking when the van did not want to obey the law.  I would go around the loop and circle back for home.  Sorry boys!   I never made it–I will spare the details of the rescue willingly offered by Banana Man when I slid into the point of no return.  😦  We didn’t crash!  Just saw how puny our van is for this kind of weather–not to mention the driver.  Kind of reminded me of when I was a little girl and we slid off the road going to church with our mom–when the kids all cheered and my mom wanted to smack us!   🙂  For a proper finale, I managed to maneuver (slip-slide) the van into the back parking area inches away from several bikes, a fruit tree, and the commercial mower–thank goodness for the parking brake, or I’d have had a lot of mad boys in the home!  I have never been more glad to be back at home!  Our adventure around the block was enough!  And, I will add that now that appetite for adventure of the slippery sort has been quenched in the boys.  They have seen enough of the dangerous side of driving in the snow!

So…with the let-down of not going, we had to make the day special in some way.  We settled on some good stories while God painted the world in white!  Soon, we had sparkling beauty to explore!  Not being exactly the typical family, our idea of getting crazy in the snow consists of bike rides through the winter wonderland!  The more slips and spills the better!  And what would a snow day be without a ride on the Cheetah?  Dogs and boys enjoyed the snow while I snapped pictures.  They did try a bit of sledding, but since our hills are mild, the bikes still won in popularity.

The finale, and I think a good one, for today, was when the boys and Banana Man got to work on making bird houses (thanks to Grandma and Grandpa for the supplies).  We had to laugh at A#3 when he tried to fit his pieces of wood together, because he declared,  “I don’t know what kind of birds are going to live in this house–there’s no hole!”  Sure enough–he was right.   That gave us all a good laugh, but it wasn’t hard to remedy, and actually added to the fun–translated into more use of tools!   They worked like troopers, and so far A#3 has completed his–ready for sanding and painting!  He was extremely proud of his creation!  He got the most help from Daddy, which is why his is done first.  But the other boys helped each other, and tomorrow will get more of Daddy’s help to complete theirs.  We just ran out of time!

I’m so glad that we all got to enjoy a different kind of day after the rocky start.  It wasn’t WWW, but I think there was a reason that we needed to stay home today!  I’m also glad that our trek out didn’t leave us stuck at the side of the road an hour and a half from home, instead of two minutes!   We’re all glad for the rescuing Super-Hero-Daddy, and for all of the fun we had with our whole family today!



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(a few of the old-fashioned toys from WWW.  Some are a real challenge!)