Random Links and Random Thoughts

Life has been so busy lately and there have been so many things I’ve wanted to post but haven’t gotten to yet.

A few random links that I found cool or useful…

This painting of famous people who influenced history has wikipedia tags for each person.  I really want to go back and check some out.  I seem to have woefully little knowledge about Asian history.

I love this picture a reporter from the Marshall Independent took of Daryl holding a sleeping Alex.  🙂

I’m intrigued by this recipe for lower sugar, easy strawberry freezer jam.

This site has links to all kinds of resources for grades 1-3 (scroll past the classroom links) and I want to explore it when I have the time to see if I can find some fun games or other nifties.

Here’s a free PDF sample of Scholastic’s DynaMath to download and print.  It looks like a neat way to do some math and seems to be geared at middle elementary ages.  From my first glance at it, it looks very fun, creative and colorful!

I also want to make some yoyo balloons with the kids and I like Rhubarb Sky’s list of stuff to try out.

Stuff we’ve been doing lately…

  • The girls have been reading classic poetry from this little velvet book someone gave us.  They fight over who gets to read next!  🙂  We’ve been reading Shakespeare, Lovelace, Noyes, Browning, Poe and lots more.  They read first (with great drama) and then I read line by line and explain new words and put it in modern context (often with some humor and sarcasm).  Anna dearly loves Poe’s “Annabelle Lee” and practically knows it by heart.  I gave her a picture book based on it for Christmas one year and wrote a sweet note in it, and she has loved it ever since.  She also loves “The Raven.”  All of us love “The Highwayman” and the girls think it’s neat that my mom used to read it to me at bedtime and cry at the end and now I read it and despite myself I cry at the end too.  I’m a sap!  Favorite part for all of us– “I’ll come to thee by moonlight, tho hell should bar the way!”.  We’re all about drama in this family!
  • The boys are over their flus and Victoria is slowly getting better but still off her game.  This has been a tough year for us in terms of sickness and sinus infections and such.  Daryl and I are still rather sick too with some sort of upper respiratory and sinus illnesses.  We’re all sort of weak and miserable, and hoping it ends soon!
  • Jack has been doing paper quilt squares for a swap the kids are doing.  The girls just started theirs.  It’s nice to get into some visual art again.
  • I bought an underwater creature Knex set yesterday and we all love it.  Best $7 spent in a long time!  It even comes in a sturdy plastic carry case with a handle, and has enough parts to make a lot of really nifty looking beasties and machines and odditities.
  • Alex is in love with his new Sandra Boynton book, What’s Wrong, Little Pookie? We all love SB books here!
  • There has been all sorts of mayhem at the pageant lately.  On Friday night, the director decided that some characters should carry torches during one scene, despite the fact that they’d never done so before or rehearsed it.  He said “I have to keep you on your toes.”  They were really on their toes when some brush accidentally caught fire!  It was a small fire and not a biggie, but I’m hoping the director (a very nice guy and also our local school principal) learned something!  😉  There have also been glitches with lighting, missed lines that led to great ad libbing and other pitfalls of doing live theater.  They’re all rocking it, though, and Daryl has had people approach him in Walnut Grove and Mankato who recognized him from the pageant.  That’s pretty neat!
  • We’ve been doing some fun home ec (making popovers, lollipops, homemade butter…), and travel (Mankato, Elysian, day trips to local festivities).
  • We’ve been playing tons of games– Swap (a fun card game), Catch Phrase and Zeus on the Loose to name a few.  I want to keep this up, because we all really enjoy it.
  • I’ve got to change for the Farmers’ Market, braid a little girl’s hair, redress a little boy who keeps losing his pants, and go get more tasty goodies.  More later!
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