Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Reformation Day!

It was 491 years ago today that Martin Luther nailed his 95 Theses to the church door in Wittenburg, Germany. Little did he know what would ensue after he did this. The reformation spread throughout Europe in a matter of years and had a profound impact on not only the Church, but the culture as well.

How we celebrate:

Today we celebrated by retelling the story of Martin Luther while eating homemade German pretzels and drinking Root beer. We talked about salvation by grace through faith. I had planned for the boys to do a coloring sheet of Martin Luther, but by the time we finished our eating and talking, I decided to keep those for another day.

Tomorrow we will travel to our former church to celebrate with friends, A Day of Reformation. This day will include all sorts of booths and children's activities pertaining to the time period and the reformers. This will be followed by worship and a lecture on William Tyndale. The event will conclude for the evening with another lecture on Martin Luther.

I will try and post some pictures after the event.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Autumn Tree Study: Outdoor Hour Challenge #36

For our tree study we are looking at two trees. First a white oak which is close to home, actually right outside our kitchen window. We have at least one squirrel that frequents its branches, but we have not noticed a nest. We are also looking at a Cottonwood that is on some land that belongs to family. It is not too far away and we are curious to find out whether it is a male or female. So we drove out to take a look at it today. The interesting thing about this Cottonwood is that there is a group of three growing right up together and they are the only ones on the entire property, which is about 80 acres. So we had a talk today about how did these trees get here? I don't have a picture of the Cottonwoods because my camera batteries decided to die.

The following pictures are of trees we have known before our move.
Although, we attempted our Autumn Tree Study today, I think what I realized is that Autumn has not quite arrived where we live. A few trees have started to change their colors, but for the most part everything is still the same. As I looked through some old pictures (like the one above), I realized that the colors don't really come until mid to late November for us. So, I think we are going to redo todays work in about a month. I forget that all those beautiful pictures I see are from much further north.

Just look at the roots on this Pecan tree! It is really amazing and the boys love climbing inside the hollow trunk. This is one of our favorite trees. It is around 200 years old and the inside is hollow, yet the tree is still living. It is located in the Botanic Gardens where we used to live. We really miss all the beautiful trees from the city.
Here is a close up of the inside of the tree where you can see just how big it is. There is room for the whole family.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Our Very First Pet

I am sure we will have more picture to post, but for now here is a quick snap of the new pet. He is really cute and has a long navy blue tail. Needless to say the boys are thorougly pleased. They named him "Feathers" after much thought and deliberation.

Water Color Friday

We try to do a watercolor every Friday and these are the ones from this past Friday. We used a tutorial found at Hearts and Trees. The technique included sprinkling table salt onto your wet paint which gave a nice texture, especially for our sandy beach.

Friday, October 17, 2008

The Evening Entertainment

Being the mother of four sons I may not have many tea parties, but we sure will have a lot of action!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Nature Collections

This is a small collection from our last two tree studies. You can see the pinecone with its seeds and the oak leaves with acorns. When we first gathered our pinecones we were having trouble getting the seeds out, but then our three year old showed us if you just throw the cones on the floor all the seeds will spill out! Problem solved, yet very messy!
This is our nature table. It is not as pretty as many that I have seen, but it holds whatever we have brought in from our walks. We have two collection boxes that we found at Hobby Lobby for only $5 each. Also there is a small basket and two trays. In the far back left corner is our bug house. It originally held butterflies, but at present it has 3 pupa that came from our garden. We are curious what is going to emerge.
This picture doesn't quite show up, but it is our three year olds favorite place in the school room. Daily he brings each jar to me and tells me what is inside. We have 4 butterflies, 1 grasshopper, a cicada with its empty shell, and a dragonfly. Some of these we found on the ground and others we found on the grill of the car!
This shelf holds our field guides, some spore prints, feathers found and the box has rocks inside it. This is also the shelf where we keep our nature journals.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Outdoor Hour Challenge # 33 Oaks

We only found white oaks in our area, but we had saved some leaves from where we previously lived and happened to find this scarlet oak which had very pointy lobes. We spent much of our time discussing the differences between the white oaks and black oaks. Actually, in our field guide instead of black oak and white oak it divided them between red and white oaks designating all the black oak description to the red oak. So in our nature book we made a chart that listed the differences between White Oaks and Black/Red Oaks.
Here are three leaves from the same tree that had the most variation.

These are the acorns from a Post Oak.
Here is an entry from one of our nature journals. We also did a leaf rubbing on the two leaves at the very top of this post and we included it on the page with our chart about the differences between the two groups.

Friday, October 03, 2008


I have been wanting to do this watercolor project for some time and today was the day we finally got around to it. We usually do a watercolor project every Friday, but it is usually done during naptime. This project requires using the blow dryer and that is the reason it has been put off. The blow dryer probably wouldn't wake up the three year old, but just in case we decided to do it before naptime. I found this project on The Crafty Crow.

The 6 Year Old's Flowers
The 8 Year Old's Flowers
You can find the directions by following the above link to The Crafty Crow.