Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Snow, sleds, skates, slime, sushi, yay!

It's snowing today. Actually, it was snowing, now it's icing...sigh

Despite the cold, wretched winter, we have been having lots of fun. We studied magnets recently. Isaac got a neat kit of magnets for his birthday (from me planning ahead for a magnet unit) and we had lots of fun experimenting with it. This is the magnet man that the kids made. I think he's cute.We've also been having lots of fun with Isabella's new puppet theater! Angela gave it to her for Christmas. Its a great set up. It's really heavy duty, folds nicely in the corner when not in use and it fits perfectly on the coffee table in the living room when it is in use! We only have a few puppets right now. We just got some more that need to be fixed up a little bit. A woman gave them to me from freecycle. They are like the old puppets on Mr. Rogers (sort of creepy but really cool too). The kids have been very creative and very silly with their puppet shows. I am planning to put a puppet show on for them soon too.

During the really cold snap we couldn't get outside much. It was tough to stay inside so much so one day we decided to make snow inside! It was really more like snowslime. I have also heard it referred to as clean mud. It's made from shredded toilet paper, water, borax and shredded ivory soap. It gets really fluffy the more you play with it. After playing with it for a little while we used it to make snow pictures on black card stock. It took a few days for them to dry but they hardened into great 3-D snow pictures when they did. I think I liked playing with it even more than the kids. It took me all day to throw it away, I kept going back and playing with it some more lol. Clean up was easy too. I had made it all in a box lined with a trash bag. When we were done I took the bag out and threw it away!

The kids have been asking to go ice skating for a long time now and they finally got their chance at my friend Amy's last week. She has a skating rink right out her back door and skates in all sizes. Isaac wore some hockey skates and did really well. Bella borrowed some figure skates and did pretty good also. Ian did a great job scooting around in his boots too. They are very excited that as long as it's cold they can skate at Amy's every time we visit!

Another fun indoor activity has been playing market. We've been studying Japan and the book we read last week, A Pair of Red Clogs, had a market in it. Using the new play money that they got for Christmas they set up a great market in the living room. They sold shoes, flowers and food. Ian thought it was a little lame since no one was dealing arms but he decided his old gun was sufficient and he bought some shoes and food lol.
This week for art we did food sculpture. The Japanese present their food in beautiful ways, sushi itself is almost like an art. We started our food sculpting by making sushi. We had some friends who came over and joined us and Seven got us an easy to make sushi kit and some yummy things to put inside. The kids did really well and almost everyone gave it a try. Isaac loves sushi and so do I so he and I ate whatever the others didn't want.After our sushi creations we made sculptures out of fruit and tooth picks. We had some very creative artists and they enjoyed eating their artwork too!

On Friday it was finally above freezing and I decided to take the kids sledding! We had a blast. Even I had a good time. It was actually a beautiful day. Properly bundled and being so active, we weren't cold at all. I couldn't believe it when we got home and I realized we had been sledding and playing for 3 1/2 hours! It was so good to get so much fresh air and exercise. I am looking forward to some more above freezing days....

This weekend we got to have Christmas again!!! I think I like having Christmas in January. We didn't get a chance to see Jason's dad and step mom over the holidays so they came up this weekend instead. It was so great! We had a wonderful relaxing afternoon and we were all astonished by the amount of presents they brought and very grateful too!!! The boys were super excited about their huge boat and submarine and Isabella got a new bracelet that she hasn't taken off since Sunday. They also brought their dog Daisy (the only dog I really like) and their new puppy Brady, he's only 8 weeks cute. It was a great visit. We hope they'll come back up soon.

We had one other very exciting excursion this week. We visited the Elf Parlor. That is Seven and Mike's coffee shop (Nova and Mika's mom and dad). It is almost ready to open and we got to have a sneak peak at some of the delightful drinks they will be making especially for kids (and odd adults like me who don't drink coffee). Seven made me a creamy maple drink w/ yummy. The kids had a round of vanilla flavored warm frothy milks and then they had pinacolattes. That had pineapple juice, coconut extract and milk. The drinks were all fabulous and the atmosphere is awesome too! They have a special table just for kids. Isabella wants to have her birthday party there. Everyone will have to go check it out when it opens. There are lots of unique things in the shop but my favorite is definitely the moss covered cash register. He has personality. I think he needs a name. I promise to let you all know as soon as they are open for business so you can flock there in masses and buy lots and lots of coffee and other yummy drinks!

When you go, see if you can find this happy little guy in the floor somewhere. Seven showed it to me, I snapped the picture, now it will be a scavenger hunt for you!