Things have, as usual, been quite busy here in the Homespun household. I’m babysitting Little Miss again, and with this comes new routines for us to become used to. Starting next week, I’ll have her all week long, and lesson planning has been more fun this time than last.

Noah’s Ark was a bit of a bust. I’m not sure what happened. During our 3-week long study we did discover that we have other threads of interest to follow, and we may bring Noah’s ark back into our plans somewhere down the road.

We are working on Valentine’s Day things right now. Wednesday, we made two little heart garlands out of red and pink felt, and they’re now hanging in the front windows with some birdies that were made. To make the heart garland, take one sheet of felt (usually about $0.20 at Hobby Lobby) and cut it into 16ths (it’s easier if you cut each piece in half, then half again, then half again, then again). Fold the smallest pieces in half, cut half a heart on the fold, and voila! You have a little heart. I made 16 of each color, then took a hole punch and punched holes into the little humps in the top. I had Munchkin and Little Miss string them onto red ribbon in alternating colors, and then I hung them on suction cups in the window. They look darling inside and out! If I can, I will later take a picture (yeah, yeah, I know…I’ve said that before! :P).

With the warmer weather slowly beginning to return, some of the local birds are becoming more active around here. February is also bird-watching month, so we’ll begin working on our Nature Journals by letting the girls take the binoculars and watching the birds. They’ll ideally draw pictures of what they see, and we’ll hopefully discuss the antics of the birds outside. There is also a little sparrow family nesting right behind the downspout in the gutter on the patio just outside our sliding door. On clear days, you can hear them chirp, chirp away. With the spring coming, they’ll probably have a couple broods of little ones to raise, so that will be something else we’ll all be watching. Seeing as how insects and seeds are a bit scarce right now, I may see if I can talk dh into letting us get some wild bird seed and refill the feeders out back. We can even let the girls use the excess to make little heart-shaped suet-type cakes to hang on the back fence so that we can watch our little feathered friends enjoy their treat–that is, if the exceedingly fat squirrels don’t make off with them. During this little bird study, we’ll also be making some bird mobiles. I found some really cute free sewing patterns at spool.com and lollychops.com, and I’ve already made some really cute little birdies who now make their homes in the front windows. Lollychops has a new little applique pattern download available for free on her site. I’m going to use the applique patterns and enlarge them to use on felt. Once the felt pieces are cut out, I’ll punch holes in them with my hole punch and string them up together to make a cute little 2-dimensional mobile, reminiscent of what is seen on spool.com’s site (which is a 3-D version). I may take the single birdie applique and have the girls decorate their birds and let them sit in the window, or perhaps on our front glass door–it’s been looking kind of boring as of late.

With it being Valentine’s Day next weekend, we’ll also be making bouquets of felt flowers. We’ll be using more little felt hearts, pipe cleaners, and glue to make them. I’m not sure how well it will work, but I’m going to try it first today during nap time and see, and then if it turns out well, I’ll have the girls begin making them next week. Also, we’ll be making Valentines, but I’m not going to say how just yet…Some of my readers may be receiving them and we don’t want to give a way the surprise!

For our read-aloud book, we’re still plugging through Laura Ingalls Wilder’s “Little House in the Big Woods.” Munchkin keeps begging to hear more, which makes me so glad to hear. I can’t wait until she’s ready to begin reading the series on her own, as it happens to be one of my life-long favorites.

The girls are also continuing in their study of Dick and Jane readers. Munchkin reads so well, and I just started Little Miss this week and will be sending home with her the book I started with her for the weekend. When I work with Munchkin, I see the look on Little Miss’s face that says she wants to read just like Munchkin. I hope it lasts for her mother’s sake.

We’re also going to start discussing Weather next week. First we’ll start with observing to see what is going on outside at the moment, then move on to see what might happen, then discuss what we should wear for the day if we were to go outside. It will be quite interesting to see what they come up with, no?

We may even top the week on Friday by going to one of the local metro parks to visit the Nature Center and observe the birds and other wildlife that visits the feeders outside the observation area. There are also many books the girls can look through, as well as naturalists who can answer any questions they may have.

Over the following weeks, we’ll take a look at Spring, and plant some seed and flowers. We’ll start the seeds indoors for our vegetable garden out back, and we’ll also be planting flowers for the front flower bed. Each girl (Munchkin and Little Miss) might be given their own flowering plant to look after and take care of once it’s planted, and I’ll have them take their nature journals outside to draw pictures of their plants and discuss them. Once the violets and other bright flowers begin to bloom, we’ll take on the task of “flower pounding” and making neat and interesting designs on scrap fabric that I have. We may take the fabric and set the design with heat, and frame the pictures. Other topics that may come up are: fairies, fairy tales, Hans Christian Andersen stories, bugs, poetry, and more. We’ll also continue our bird study, and and perhaps visit a pet store to see the larger and the smaller birds available, and perhaps even make our own birds’ nests with yarn and felt. I also found a neat recipe for edible birds’ nests, which I’ll have to modify due to a chocolate allergy (won’t be hard, though, since there are cinnamon, butterscotch, or even peanut butter chips available!). We may do this in conjunction with Easter…I’m not sure yet.

Anyway, I must go. We have a few errands to run as we continue our day. I WILL take pictures during nap time of the garland, our birdies, and the hopeful crafts for next week. Until then, God bless!!

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