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Tuesday, October 29, 2013

International Festival

We participated in the Cypress Homeschool Association International Festival.  The participants were to pick a country, research it, make a display board, be able to give interesting facts, wear a traditional costume, provide a traditional food for that country, and more.

This was a great project!  It incorporated research, history, economics, geography, art, culture, speech, and cooking!

We chose Japan.  The main reason we chose Japan is because we wanted to make our favorite- sushi!  We learned how to roll our own sushi back on my birthday, so we had most of the supplies.

This was really fun to do!  Halle and I researched Japan together, and she ended up with a nice project.  We took a trip to Harwin to shop for Japanese clothing (very hard to find, by the way.)  If you've ever been to that part of town you know that's an experience in of itself.  So many Asian supermarkets and stores.  And all of the signs are in Vietnamese, Chinese, or some foreign language.

The girls decked out.  Halle is wearing a robe as a kimono and Arden is wearing a dress (Chinese?) that was as Japanese as we could find for her.  When someone approched the table they greeted the visitors with the customary bow (specifically the way Japanese women do it) and said "konnichiwa," which means "good afternoon."  Japanese also wear a sort of flip flop/clog type shoe.  They also wear toe socks with their shoes.  We didn't have those shoes so we wore regular flip flops instead.

a list that Halle created of interesting facts about Japan.  The one that most interested to her was #7.  Slurping is a sign that the food is good.

A part of the display board.  We hand drew most of the stuff so it would count as art class for the week.  Halle drew the sumo wrestler and the Japanese cherry blossom.  I drew the company logos and Hello Kitty.  Arden made the Japanese flag and helped me glue the dry rice on the bowl.  Brian printed out a pic of the coolest Japanese car.  So it was a group effort!  
Each participant got a "passport" that they took to the different countries.  Each country provided a stamp or sticker for the passport.  We had a roll of tape that looked like Japanese money so we used that for our visitors' passports.

We served hot green tea and sushi at our table.  Brian acted as sushi chef and rolled out the sushi right there which attracted a lot of people.  The kids loved seeing him roll it and the parents had all kinds of questions about how to do it.  It was a hit!  Technically it wasn't sushi since there was no fish.  We only used veggies and cream cheese to make it kid friendly.  ;)  We served individual pieces in cupcake liners.

Another hit was Sumo Jack!  I used a scarf for his costume and colored his hair and eyebrows.  I tried to get his hair into a bun.  Didn't happen, lol.  There is a small ponytail on the top of his head, though!  He probably had his picture taken a hundred times during the festival because he was so funny looking.  The way he walks topped it off.  He toddles around so he looked like a sumo wrestler walking!  Sooo funny!

just a pic of all of us
Halle giving her presentation to a visitor
a simple traditional japanese game.  It took practice and strategy, and was fun for the kids to try.
The girls had fun visiting the other countries there, learning, and trying new foods.  All the kids did a really great job!  Here's a few



Germany (We learned that there's a place named Halle in Germany)



Dish Duty

This kid seriously impresses me on how observant he is.  I kid you not- he unloaded pots, pans, tupperware, and silverware and put them all in the right spots.  Then he got the dishwashing liquid out of the cabinet, opened it, poured the soap into the soap dispenser, closed the soap dispenser, closed the cap on the bottle, put the bottle back into the cabinet, closed the dishwasher door, and pressed the correct button to start the dishwasher.
Now if only he'd learn to change his own diaper....

Our bone sculpture Super failure

Every year the health museum hosts a contest.  The contest is to make a five foot tall bone sculpture that goes along with the year's theme.  Crystal and I thought this would be a great opportunity for the older Green and Hargrave kids to get together on a team project and make something... and learn about bone anatomy in the process.  So we all put our heads together and came up with an idea.  The theme was "Super Skeleton" so we chose to make a Texans football player having won the Superbowl.  Except we never got that far.

Jakob and Halle buried Gracie
The site recommended paper mache as a method of making our skeleton.  So that is what we did.  The kids had a blast tearing up lots and lots of newspaper into strips.  We made a nice paper mache paste out of flour, salt, glue, and water.  Everything was hunky-dory at first.

We used a balloon as the mold for the skull and different sized rods/pipes for the bones.  We were going to adorn our skeleton with a Texans Jersey and stick a Superbowl ring on the finger.  We spent a whole day paper mache-ing our bony player.  It was sort of looking like it was coming together, but it still wasn't very good.  Nonetheless, the Greens left our house and planned to return a few days later once the glue had dried to continue the project.

Then I happened.
And Arden happened.
And Rudi happened.
And finally the rain happened.

1.  I tried to cut out the eye sockets for the skull and did a terrible job.
2.  Arden thought I did a GREAT job, got a hold of the skull and decided to try it on like a mask.  It ripped in two.
3. We'd left some of the bones outside to dry in the sun.  Turns out that dogs like not only real but paper mache bones as well.  Rudi shredded a few.
4.  By this time we'd given up (it was a few days later)  The remaining bones were left on the patio and the moisture from a rainstorm ruined the last few.

We tried.  There's always next year.... And if anything we all learned a thing or two about paper mache, and the kids learned the names of several bones.

Here's a few pictures of some of the people that DID turn in projects.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Our New Favortite Gadget

The best $30 we've spent.  Our Hawaiian Ice shaved ice maker!  We've had it a week and a half and make snow cones every day (sometimes two or three times a day.)  I love chewing ice.  I know, I know it's bad for your teeth.  The ice that it makes is super soft- like snow!    

I love this thing.  I like the ice by itself but I make syrup for the kids to put on it sometimes.  And I've learned that snow cones always help bad moods!   

Fashion Sense. Or Not.

I was going through my phone to see what pictures were blog worthy (this is how I usually get my inspiration for a post.)  I noticed that I have a lot of recent pictures of crazy outfitted kids.
When Halle re-fitted her pink camo shirt she made Jack a cape.
That would be a sock with the toe cut off on her arm

My third daughter

Jack fixed his hair.  With lotion.

A towel, belt, and scarve make a great mermaid tail.  Fashion by Halle.
 We burned crayons for a science experiment.  They decided to paint their faces with the ashes.  I did too, but I'm withholding that picture.

Lately Arden has been wearing rubber boots with everything.  Raining?  Sunny?  Doesn't matter.

And Jack trying on Dad's steel-toe boots for size

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Bad Boy

This kid.  Seriously.  Is a handful.

Ever since he started walking it has been bad-news-bears for us.  He is extremely busy and curious.  He rarely plays with the toys that he has (unless they're cars.)  He is extremely grabby and will do whatever he can to get to what he wants.  He also imitates anything that you're doing.  So if you are unloading the dishes you can guarantee he'll be opening the dishwasher to take out a cup.  If you're writing then he'll find a marker and draw on himself.  The list goes on.  He loves to throw things away which is how many things come up missing.  If not the trashcan then he'll throw it in the sink.  Or toilet.  Speaking of which, I've caught him splashing in the toilet.

The thing is that he's SO FAST!  He responds to no, but before you can turn around he's into something completely different.  It's not that I'm neglecting to watch him either.  He'll be right next to me while I'm blowdrying my hair; I'll look down and see that he's dumping out the trash next to my vanity.  I'll  be helping Halle with schoolwork and he's pulled every book off of her book shelf.  I go to put something in the oven and he's throwing all of the dog food into the dog's water.  And "childproofing" doesn't work in our house.  He figures out how to get into it.

In fact during the short duration of this post (about five minutes) he has opened the silverware drawer three times (his new thing is to put dirty silverware back into the drawer), open and shut the door twice, found a marker, walked around the house about ten times, flicked the switch on the lamp six times, and has now found a Wii toy to play with.  Oh nevermind, it's back to the light switch again.  He doesn't stop!

These are his favorite toys:
*Water bottles (he screws and unscrews the top for hours)
*Broom or mop and bucket.  You'd think my floors would be cleaner with as much as he "sweeps"
*Any kind of buckle
*Anything that rolls.  On our back patio he pushes our rolling cooler around.  and around.  Inside he pushes around his shopping cart.
*Tupperware.  He always has my bowls out banging them together or stacking them.
*Spoons.  He pulls them out of the drawer and walks around with them.
*Toothbrush.  He walks around with the toothbrush in one hand and toothpaste in another.  I've caught him rinsing out his toothbrush in the dog's water

So the best way I can keep him contained is OUTSIDE!  There's not much he can get into except dirt. Which he does really well.  He eats it, too.  Literally.  I saw him spooning it into his mouth the other day.  I rarely put clothes on him since he gets so dirty.  My next door neighbor called him Pig Pen.  That fits him perfectly.

It's just a phase, right???  :)
found a Sharpie.  He also wrote on my cabinet

getting into the silverware drawer

pulled all of the wipies out

got into the baby lotion and it's all in his hair.  He also has some artwork.

had fun with the baby powder

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Sibling friends

On our way to Thursday morning bible study.  The weather was great and we had the windows rolled down with the radio turned up.  Arden and Jack were jamming and clapping to the song, "Cruise."  It was so cute!

And here are Arden and Jack at the Y, holding hands and walking to my car.  He's getting so big!
as long as he doesn't have a fistful of Arden's hair or fighting over a toy, they love each other.  Okay, well 1/2 the time

Halle starts volleyball

Halle's team, the Spikers

Jack pointing at his sister
Halle started volleyball this year.  She is doing great!  She serves really well and is a good player.

Arden starts gymnastics

her Hello Kitty rubber boots that she thinks go with every outfit.
Arden started gymnastics this fall.  She was deathly afraid of the bars on the first day, but now she loves to flip on them.  Her favorite thing to do so far is handstands.

she's in the background walking on the balance beam with her coach.

Service project with CFCH

Last week we didn't pick from the service jar because the girls participated in a small service project with Champion Forest Christian Homeschool group.

The kids 10 and older made beaded crosses and the little ones made cards.  These were to be left in hospital waiting rooms for patient family members.

the small crosses made out of wire and beads

Arden and the other little kids painting cards

the inside of the cards
the kids with their beads and cards

Jack wanted to paint too so I gave him a paintbrush, water and a napkin.  He "painted" with the water for a long time.
his masterpiece