Good Friday

March 29, 2013 § Leave a comment

Good Friday Easter Garden
Our Easter Garden cress is looking healthy – and today, we put a big stone in front of the mouth of the grave.

Easter Playdough Chicks

March 29, 2013 § Leave a comment

We combined two loves today: paint AND playdough! Last night I made a batch of yellow playdough ready for easter playdough fun. Today we have had an abysmal day with cranky children and the playdough cheered both of them up.

I laid out the playdough in balls, and scattered some red craft feathers on the table along with some googly eyes.

Bean had a lot of fun!

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Bear decided he was just going to eat everything today so I was kept on my toes a fair bit more than normal. But he still had fun!
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Then Bean asked me to make the chicks so that he could play with them. I made some chick shaped critters for him and he put feathers in their heads and for wings and tails. Of course then they needed a nest.
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Then I brought out the paintings he’d done, because they looked like water! Bean was thrilled, and had a long playtime with the chicks in the water.

Bear joined in of course and did his best to flatten the chicks and eat their googly eyes.
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Happy Easter everyone!

Painting Storytelling

March 29, 2013 § Leave a comment

Bean wanted to do some drawing. First he wanted crayons, he wanted to draw Batman, but got very frustrated that for some reason he couldn’t draw him properly. He saw that Bear was being given paints (I don’t know why, I appear to have less issue with him tasting the paints than eating crayons….) and wanted paints too, naturally!

This is how we start… Bean tells me which colour to squirt, and roughly where….
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Then he gets to work….
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And very soon it’s at a state that I’d be happy to draw on! However he’s rarely finished at this point…
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Here’s the story beginning to take shape. The painting is his racetrack, it’s a skating racetrack! And his fingers are the skaters. They’re having a race! They go round and round, they crash into each other and fall over, they fall off the sides of the racetrack even.
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And sometimes they crash into the wall……! Ooops.
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This one definitely falls into the “process” category, rather than “product” 🙂

However, the first one he did, he allowed me to stop him!
paintingstorytelling6We might do some more work together on the top of this layer once it’s dry. Glitter and white and silver paint, I’m thinking!! This one, I’m hoping will be both “process” AND “product”.

Playdough storytelling

March 28, 2013 § Leave a comment

I declared a “no-tv” morning this morning after watching LOTS of DVDs yesterday. I suggested lots of different things we could do instead. Bean asked if he could watch something while I did some housework, so I let him watch an episode of Octonauts. And he didn’t want any more after that, he came and said he wanted to do some “work” now! I’m not sure I like that he considered playing with playdough or painting “work”, I might have to ask his preschool about that one.

We got the playdough out. He asked for black playdough, he likes the black stuff at the moment! Bear was given a tub of red playdough (I keep pots of various coloured dough in the fridge, if it doesn’t get destroyed it keeps really well for quite a while) and they set to work.

Bean wanted to make a beach! I have a tub of red glass pebbles and pieces of smooth shell so I went and found that. He wanted wood as well but I don’t have any driftwood at the moment. I did have, however, his velociraptor and a plastic tree and was that ok? It was, and so the story began….

The dinosaur was a mummy dinosaur and she had three eggs, and they hatched and she carried them on her head to a tree and helped them climb and play in the tree!
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The Bear was having a ball with his red playdough. He was pressing glass beads and shells and playdough tooltips into his dough, and using the rolling pin to make indents in it.
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Then I found Noah, and a pig, and a plastic hoop – and we had a funfair, with the pig jumping through the hoop!
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Good fun this morning!!

Easter Ressurection Garden

March 23, 2013 § Leave a comment

We made an Easter Ressurection Garden today, inspired by Sun Hats and Wellie Boots’ Easter Garden.

Bear was asleep in the wrap on his daddy – it was the perfect moment for some Mama and Bean time.

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We used:
A growing tray (didn’t have any food trays to hand)
Compost
A plastic cup, cut in half
Skewers and wire ties
Cress seeds
Found treasures from last year’s digging
A tiny fushia plant (it was reduced at the store and begged to be bought!)

Following Sun Hats and Wellie Boots’ instructions, we filled the tray with compost. Bean used his hands for this until he decided it might be useful to try a scoop. He tried using one half of the plastic cup but it was too flimsy. He thought a spoon might be better, which it was.

Then we put the plastic cup in place and covered it with more compost to make a tomb in a hill.

Once the hill was done we made the crosses. I’d already cut them to the right lengths, but Bean found it quite fiddly tying the pieces together – so did I, but we managed together! Bean poked the skewer crosses into place behind the tomb.

We planted the fushia off to one side, used bits of our found treasures (pebbles, a couple of old dead (and dried) geranium trunks, a shell, broken tiles and crockery and a couple of pieces of dulled broken glass) to make a path and scenery.

Then Bean sprinkled cress seeds over the hill, round the bases of the crosses, and around our scenery. We were careful not to get any in the tomb or on the path! Finally very very carefully we took turns at dribbling water onto the soil and seeds and the plant so that the soil over the plastic cup didn’t wash away.

The Easter Garden will get one of Bean’s big stones to seal the tomb on Good Friday, and on Easter Day we will roll it away again.

You don’t have to plant cress or a shrubbery 😉 I did because I couldn’t help myself (!), and have got some leafy salad seeds to plant too for once Easter is over so we can carry on growing things!

SH&WB has some great suggested Easter reading too. We might attempt to actually make it to the Library this week and see if we can borrow some books!

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Poverty is a state of mind

March 20, 2013 § 1 Comment

We had some fun playdough time this morning, at Bean’s request – and at Bear’s insistence he joined in too and LOVED it.

I wish I’d taken more photographs. Wish I’d been able to document it properly, y’know? Properly, as in, in a pin-worthy fashion. My perfectly groomed children, doing their perfect activity on a perfect table, in my perfect house.

But I didn’t, because I felt shame. I’ve not felt shame in a very very long time. Not like this. I was ashamed of our bare unplastered walls, peeling wallpaper that we’ve yet to deal with, dresser laden with compost bin and nappy pail instead of pretty cake stands, boxes and stuff piled up everywhere, a table that looks like it’s been in several fights, kids with chocolate on their pyjama tops and one with yoghurt-matted hair (it was almost bathtime… see I’m justifying myself already)… and this was AFTER I’d tidied up.

Pinterest can be fantastic for the things you stumble across, but also – as I just found out – damaging too. In my desire to be pinworthy I set myself up for an instant fall. In comparing myself to others, I let a lie in that said I wasn’t good enough.

I chatted to Steve about it afterwards. And, looking around once my head wasn’t being invaded by a lie, I saw nothing to be ashamed of: instead I saw life, happening.

We are poor, right now: there’s no denying that.

But poverty – poverty is a state of mind. It’s a label. It’s actually a really unhealthy and unhelpful label. Poverty implies utter brokenness.

We are not broken.

We are rich beyond measure. We have a roof over our heads, walls that shield us from the wind and rain. We have a beautiful family. I am blessed simply to be a woman – to simply be able to grow and bear new life, what a blessing that is in itself! We are also blessed with some truly special friends, and a spirit-filled church family. With riches such as these, we could never consider ourselves in poverty – despite what our circumstances might suggest.

And when we give, like the widow who gave her only two coins, out of our lack rather than out of our wealth, when we host others in our most definitely not well-appointed or well-to-do home, when we reach the end of our Selves, we know that that is where we will find God.

Sea-Dinosaurs

March 10, 2013 § Leave a comment

It’s not often the boys need an emergency bath after dinner but there is only so much a wet cloth can remove. Sticky rice and gloopy sauce beat me last night.

I don’t think I’ve ever seen the boys so delighted to have a bath! Bean declared they were Sea-Dinosaurs and they raared and roared their way through bathtime. Loudly! Brilliant 😀

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