School Projects

Fun Projects

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Basement Update

I wish that said "BABY Update," but it doesn't so we'll just have to make the best of it.  I've even put off posting for a few days, in hopes of having a baby report, but with the exception of Blair, all the Kolstes seemed destined for lateness.
So, since I can't post any newborn pictures, I thought I could show you what Aaron has been up to down in the basement.  We used to have the yellow room.  This as a barbecue.  Yep, and the former owners actually cooked with it.  In the basement.  In fact, the last time they used it they even cooked up some mice who didn't get out in time.  At least that's the only way we can explain the mummified corpses Aaron found during the demolition.
Since we had absolutely ZERO intention of ever lighting so much as a match in that monstrosity, Aaron got to take a sledge hammer to it as part of this project.  If I wasn't quite so pregnant I might have enjoyed a little hammer swinging myself.
I would not have enjoyed carrying buckets of masonry up the steps to haul away to the dump, but Ian and Brynn did, so Aaron let them help.  I wonder at what age they will realize that manual labor isn't supposed to be fun?
It's amazing how removing that brick "thing" changed the whole room.
With the barbecue out of the way, Aaron turned his attention to the walls, with some crack patching.
Once again, Little Buddy got in on the action.
I'll keep you posted on the progress, since I hear good things about the window getting framed, but I really hope my next post includes baby pictures.

Saturday, March 24, 2012


Have you ever tried to explain what homework is to a home schooled child?  They look at you a little funny when you tell them it is schoolwork that they do when they get home from school.  On Thursday, Ian had his first experience with "homework." 
Did you know that March is "National Nutrition Month" (better question: Did you care)?  Well, it is, so this month for Social Studies we have been learning about food - where it came from, the differant types, how God made each type to fit the different needs of our bodies - stuff like that.  This week, I thought Ian could help me MAKE a well-rounded and healthy meal.  My secret wish was that by helping to make it, I might be able to get him to try some new items.  Hah!  Sometimes I live in a dream world.
Here is the budding chef making meatballs - he enjoyed squishing all the raw ingredients with his hands.
Here is the full meal:
Green Beans (veggie) - you can tell it isn't a favorite by the portion size
Garlic Bread (carbohydrate) - he loves it like his Daddy, but only one piece unless he eats everything else
Spaghetti and tomato sauce (carbs and veggie) - by the amount you know he likes it.
Meatball (protein) - that was the "new thing" and that sad meatball got barely a nibble before being rejected on unknown grounds.
Oh well, he had fun making it, he learned a few new words, and he got to slurp a lot of noodles.  Not bad for a homework project!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Fathers and Sons

I once read a list containing "100 Things a Boy Should Try."  It covered all sorts of things from camping in the backyard to attending a play, reading a book to playing an instrument.  It was a pretty basic list, but it was the kind of thing that mothers like to read to make sure there aren't any terrible holes left in their child's development because she "forgot something".
One of the things on the list was "Build a model with Dad."  Most mothers would probably have said "Okay, that's a Dad activity.  I don't have to worry about it."  But not me.  At Christmas time I had to be the one to go out and buy the model, so that Aaron and Ian wouldn't miss out on this unique male bonding experience.  I blame my OCD - if it's on a list, it must be checked off.  Thankfully, my gracious husband puts up very kindly with these obsessions of mine.
Yesterday, they got down to business:
This may have been a father-son activity, but the girls were not about to miss the action!
One last piece.....
Ian is in love with his model (a Spitfire WW2 plane) and was thrilled to get to build it with Daddy.  So, despite my interference, this "no girls allowed" activity can be safely crossed off my Mommy list.  Whew!  What a relief.

Friday, March 16, 2012

What Do You Do When it is 70 Degrees in March?

You don't waste time indoors doing projects. Duh!!
The big kids have been busy renewing their acquaintence with their bikes and scooters, as well as the backyard in general.
Blair has been loving the outside, although the rough terrain has her flat on her tummy more then is normal.  She loves to climb, so that has caused some excitement too.  I think I am already glad that #4 will be spending most of the summer strapped into a car carrier or stroller!
I did manage to find one project that I could do outside, though.  For a long time I have wanted to get some sort of sign or plaque to hang above my refrigerator - in that odd place where MOST people have a cabinet of some sort.  But, I haven't found any saying or phrase that I liked enough to make a permanent fixture.  Then, at the grocery store, I had an epiphany:  I LOVE FOOD.  Just kidding, I already knew that.  The epiphany was to get a chalkboard and use chalk to make a changeable sign.  What a concept!  (I had this epiphany at the grocery store because recently our local Piggly Wiggly remodled, and added a chalkboard calendar to the wall near the check-outs.  We happened to be shopping on the day that the chalk artist came in and redid the calendar for the next month.  I can't help where lightening strikes.)
So, at the most recent Hobby Lobby sale, I bought some gorgeous artist chalk and a chalkboard, and while the kids ran around and played (and tried to get their muddy fingers on MY chalk) I made my first sign.  I was going to do some sort of "Ode to Spring", but decided to celebrate my husband's birthday instead.
And there's the finished piece, hung above the refrigerator.  I'll be scouring the internet soon to find the next literary quotation to grace my wall.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Paper People

Yesterday I was feeling a bit guilty for spending so much time the past few weeks on my own projects and letting the kids fend mostly for themselves with crayons and stickers.  Not that they seemed to mind, but we had some time in the afternoon so I decided to do one of my favorite art projects from childhood.  It turned out to be a little bit beyond their skill range, but since it involved scissors, glue and colored paper, they didn't really care.
Did you know that cutting really is easier if you have your mouth open?  Try it sometime if you don't believe me!
Putting caps on markers is tough when you are cross-eyed and forget to put on your glasses.
Poor Blair, she has to get strapped into her highchair, or else she gets very involved in the process.  By involved I mean she exerts every possible physical effort to climb onto the table and sit on the markers in the middle of it.
So, what did we make?  Paper sculpture people.  Brynnie's is a very obvious Pink Princess, mine is a pirate (although the picture doesn't do justice to his three-cornered, feather bedecked hat), and Ian's is a soldier.
We had a lot of fun, and now I can do a few more of my own projects guilt free!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Well, It Took Me Long Enough

Way back in July, I blogged about a "rough draft" purse I had sewn.  I was testing out whether I would like the size and shape, and especially the size of the opening (I hate it when you buy a nice big tote, but then discover that the opening is barely big enough to get your hand inside).  I ended up being very happy with the results, so I decided to go ahead with the next phase of the project.  Somehow, though, I lost motivation, and I didn't end up buying the "looks like leather" fabric until September.  Then, it wasn't until right before Christmas that I really got motivated and cut it all out.  Ever since then, it has lain on my project table, just waiting and waiting.  I don't know why I wasn't more excited to finish it.  Finally, last week, in the midst of my cleaning and organizing spree, I decided to force myself to finish the stupid thing off.  It still took all weekend, but last night I finally sewed off the last edge.
Now I am kicking myself, because I love how it turned out.  I especially like the green lining!
I also finished it just in time, because the "rough draft" was made of really cheap fabric, and had begun to shred.  It went straight into the garbage, leaving an empty coat hook to hang the new bag on.  Considering my state of mind, finishing a new project and decluttering my table, as well as throwing away a defunct object are real highlights in my life!

Friday, March 2, 2012

Sewing for Brynnie

I've realized over the past few days that the (slowly) approaching arrival of Baby #4 has gotten me into the nesting mood.  It might also be the Spring Cleaning Bug, since the weather has been so warm, but in either case, a greater amount of nook-and-cranny-cleaning has been going on then is exactly normal.  My poor kids! 
Along with this pressing need to clean has come a desire to get my project table emptied just a bit.  Brynnie has been the first beneficiary of this goal, mostly because projects for her were at the top of the stack.

#1: A new hat to replace the one she lost while Christmas Tree shopping.  (That in itself should be an indicator of how warm this winter has been.)  This hat is a modification of some hats I made last year based on a pattern from the Martha Stewart website.  Brynn calls it her "Fireworks Hat."
#2: A new hooded towel.  Pink, of course, as no other color will do.
Do you know what the sad part is?  My project table was starting to look wonderfully bare, and then I had to go down in the basement and start organizing, packing, and moving all the stuff from the School Room so that Aaron can begin working on it (see previous post).  Wouldn't you know, I found all sorts of stuff that needs doing, and now my project table is worse then ever! 

Oh well, this baby will probably be late anyway......