Saturday, August 18, 2007

family pictures

I haven't had a chance to blog about vacation to the outer banks yet but here are a few of my favorite family pictures from the trip!

Friday, August 17, 2007

more simple summer fun

Smart son asked me as I was throwing in a load of laundry if we were going anywhere today. I replied that I wasn't sure, but likely not. He shouted cheers of delight and said he loved staying home best of all. That made me feel good. I do try to have fun with my kids when they are home. I like our home to be a place they love to be. So in case you need more summer fun ideas...
sculptures- yes just get some wood pieces, glass marbles (dollar tree is great for this) and some wood glue- still washable but much better than elmers for bonding. Smart son did his on a scrap of masonite and painted his. Smart baby very systematically worked on his on a canvas board.

Colored cookies- so easy and fun. I should have taken the picture yesterday before we were left with only 3. Simply take sugar cookie dough roll the balls in colored sugar and bake. no sprinkle shaking mess- just cool colorful cookies-- We did them in pink, blue, yellow, green, orange.

Jumping raisins/or dancing spaghetti whichever you prefer. Cup 2/3 way filled with water, 2-3T vinegar, 1 t. baking soda and raisins or spaghetti pieces- my kids watched with rapt attention for 15 minutes while they bounced up and down.

Glowsticks- seriously I found a place that sells 15 skinny ones for 1$- They are the perfect light sabers, secret weapons, lights for under the bed forts, incentives for extra good clean up. They keep them occupied forever and all for less than 10 cents a piece!

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

The BEST books!

Book review-
Smart son has really started noticing people have different colors of skin, peoples, accents, different styles of dress, etc.. He noticed before but never really thought about it- lately he has started trying to identify where people or their ancestors came from. This is a complex task for a 6 year old. The other day at a rest stop on the New Jersey Turnpike he informed me we were some of the only ones in there with “pinkish-whitish” skin. Although New England has a fair amount of diversity, my son unfortunately doesn’t encounter very much on an intimate personal level. I wanted to at least find him pictures of people around the world so he could start to understand more about different peoples and their heritage.

If you know me you know I am passionate about being informed and making a difference in the world. My children WILL grow up knowing how people live other parts of the world and appreciating what they have. I don’t think they can ever understand their true accountability if they don’t. Most Americans live a very sheltered, ethnocentric, egocentric life. Way too many people have never had the chance to see how others live, to understand true poverty, disease issues, etc. Well I found 2 fabulous books that smart son has literally been eating up —begging to read them I limit him to 3 pages a day!

The first we read in a week- called A Life Like Mine- it is a fabulous books that highlights children around the world- what they live in what they eat, educational opportunities etc. It discusses serious issues everything from child labor, war, etc. In honest but appropriate ways for a child to understand. I loved that my son is gaining a better appreciation of what he has 3 meals a day, toys, water in his house, shoes, access to education, medicine etc. I think it is a must for every child to appreciate what they have.

The other is Children Just Like Me. It authentically profiles children from all the continents, what they eat, what they play with, what their school and homes look like, their families, etc. It has been such a wonderful education for smart son. I love that it is opening his eyes to new perspectives, the contributions of cultures, and the richness of diversity in our world.

These make my top 10 list of books every child should read hands down.