Thursday, May 29, 2008

Self-Portraits using Complimentary Colours

I was looking for definitions of the techniques that were on my grade one art list and came across an amazing website. It is full of good explanations and examples of hundreds of different art projects, styles, techniques etc. I am an art dummy when it comes to definitions. I am learning so much and am enjoying this wonderful subject with my kids. It is becoming a great pastime from all of us. Who would have known? Anyway here is the link I mentioned.

Now to today's art lesson. It was all about complimentary colours. What are those? The colours opposite each other on the colour wheel.

The idea for today's lesson come's from here. Noah, Mia and I each chose two complimentary colours from our pastel box and made self-portraits. This is supposed to be put on the back of the portraits:

I drew a portrait using complementary colors.
Complementary colors are opposite one another on the color wheel.
When they are used next to each other, they look brighter.
When they are mixed together, they make gray.

This is how they turned out...


Wool Dying with Kool-Aid

As I mentioned a few posts ago, we still have some art to finish up for this year. Noah dyed some white wool using Kool-Aid on Monday. We aren't Kool-Aid drinkers so the only colour I had in the house was purple. I bought it a long time ago to use as a dye and forgot about it. Fabric art is on our list and dying is one of the things mentioned as well. We aren't sure what we are going to do with the wool yet, but at least we dyed it, right? We have to look at the things what we accomplish and not at what is still waiting to be done! Or so I am often told by my loving husband. Here are the pictures of what we did. We used a crock pot to dye the wool in. It is handy for heating it up slowly.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Having Fun on Victoria Day Weekend

We had such beautiful weather here on the Victoria Day (commonly known as May 2-4) weekend. It was sunny and hot! Since then we have had our share of rain. I looked at these pictures this morning and began to long for sunshine once again. These were on the camera with the Communion photos. We finally took the kids to the South Glenmore Park. Everyone has told us about it, but we somehow always took the kids to other playgrounds instead. This one is really nice and in the summer the waterpark will be open for cooling-off pleasure. We will definitely be going back there. Enjoy the photos.

Long Awaited 1st Communion Photos

We finally have the pictures back from Noah's 1st Holy Communion. We took them on our "normal" camera in the hopes of getting back better quality pictures than from our digicam. I really like the way they turned out. Now I can finally show them to the world. It was a really special day in our lives, especially in Noah's life. He feels very blessed to be able to receive Jesus in this most blessed sacrament. He was so nervous that day, but everything went very smoothly. I hope you enjoy the pictures taken after the ceremony.

Thursday, May 15, 2008


This is a posting marathon today. We have done so many cool things this week, that I just have to post them all. While I was finishing my morning chores, Noah asked me what he should do. (never pass up on such an opportunity ;-) ) I told him to go and do some sketching. We have a book from the library that shows you how to sketch farm animals and a few other things. I told him to pick out a picture and start sketching and that I would be down as soon as I had his little brother dressed.

This is a picture of the original...
This is Noah's version...
I don't remember if I mentioned this in an older post or not, but we are studying farmyard animals. I have a booklist from the internet and one book that was on a few lists is "Wake Up, Big Barn" by Suzanne Tanner Chitwood. We read it this morning and then I decided that we have to do more art. Typical me. Sorry that I am not the school teacher like home school mom. My plans, as good as they are, are often put by the wasteside as soon as something more interesting comes along. That is exactly what happened this morning. (Art is alligned too, btw) The artwork in this book is phenomenal to say the least! It is made up of ripped up magazines and catalogues. Noah was inspired by the peacock. (Actually, I made him try this one. Some of the others looked quite difficult for a seven year old).

Again, for reference purposes, here is the original...

This is Noah's version...


I mentioned in the last post that alligned subjects have certain requirements attached to them. Well, like phys. ed. we have Math alligned. Geometry is only lightly touched upon in Noah's math book, so we had to go off on a limb to fulfill expectations. Noah has to be able to distinguish between 2D and 3D shapes and recognize and name geometric shapes. I read a suggestion somewhere to make shapes using toothpicks and mini marshmallows. Well, let's just say, that ours are the XXL version. We used wooden skewers and large marshmallows. We had so much fun that we ate too many marshmallows and took too many pictures. You won't profit from the first, but from the latter. Here are our wonderful adventures in the world of geometry all for you...

Phys. Ed Class

So, I have been having some issues with Phys. Ed lately. We have phys. ed alligned and receive funding from the government. We have 75% of our curriculum alligned with the Alberta government and actually receive money to home school. At first glance, I thought this was great. We spent all our money just coming to Canada and didn't have any extra cash for books and extra stuff. When we received a phone call some time last August, we were under the opinion that it would be easy to do all these subjects and meet Alberta standards. That is the catch. You receive money --- you do as you are told. We have a lot of requirements to be met. Most of them are easy, but phys ed. has posed quite a challenge. It is not that my kids aren't active because they are. The challenge was doing different kinds of activities totalling 15 hours per 3 favourite types. For example 15 hours of individual sports, 15 hours of alternative sports, 15 hours of team sports. Gymnastics and dance were the other two types of sports. We walk a lot and bike a lot and the kids just started jump roping (more about that later). Noah played team sports in the leisure centre's "Smorgasports" class. He also plays tag or soccer after adoration on Fridays behind the church with the other children. The hard part is the alternative, dance etc. Well, Noah is not the dancing, gymnasticky type guy. So we had to look at alternative sports. We only have one vehicle, so that has posed quite a problem. We tried doing some yoga. We are allowed to work with videos by the way. That didn't go over well. Noah claimed his back always hurt and he hated feeling like a pretzel. I agree with him on the pretzel part. We also tried hip-hop dancing with a video too. That was hilarious, but not really getting anywhere. We didn't give up because it was too hard, but rather because Noah dances like a tornado. So now we signed Noah up for Kid's Climbing at the leisure centre. He starts on Tuesday. Noah is somewhat afraid, but I hope he enjoys it anyway. We would do swimming, but the closest liesure centre had the pool closed for the longest time, so we have to wait until summer to take a course. I was really frustrated that I would not meet the Alberta requirements. On a few occassions, I relayed my concern to our facilitator (teacher who checks up on us). I was so worried about not having recorded everything. I have no idea when we did the things, but I know that we did. So, nearing the end of the year, the frustration was mounting. I spoke to our facilitator yesterday morning and she let me know that not everything has to be recorded to the minute. Thank you!!! So the pressure is off. I know that we have covered a lot of different types of physical activity. I will just write them all down for her. In the meantime, we will have fun in the outdoors and keep skipping, hiking, biking and tossing a ball around. Here are some pictures of yesterday morning's phys. ed class.

Radiator Springs

Most of you who know us, know that my kids love the Disney-Pixar movie "Cars". They have collected quite a few of the dinky cars. I don't usually support buying stuff just because it is in a movie. My kids have always loved dinky cars, but these ones come alive when they play. Noah used some of his First Communion money to buy Lightning with whitewall tires in a set with Sally. At home he built his own town of Radiator Springs. It turned out so well that I promted Noah to take a picture or two of it. 

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

We Planted A Cherry Tree

We are turning out to be quite the backyardigens. We love our backyard and are always looking for ways to spruce it up and make it useful. This past weekend we did more planting. This time we planted my mother's day present... a cherry tree, three raspberry bushes and a bunch of seeds. I am practical. I like gifts that keep on giving and my hubby knows that. I would much rather have some flowers for the garden than for the vase. I am wierd that way. Here are some pictures of the planting session. These pictures are courtesy of Noah. He needed to take some pictures as a part of his art curriculum. 
Here are a few more pictures from Saturday. The kids had the camera, so I am not sure who took pictures of what. I think Mia took the picture of the strawberry plant.

We also bought sand on the weekend for the sandbox Sascha built. The kids had so much fun in it. After watching a CGKids DVD (Canadian Geographic Kids) about Montreal, Noah rebuilt Mont Royal. It is neat when kids take something they learn and try to apply it to their play time. After the sandbox fun time a bath was in order. The sand was still fairly wet so it was great for packing and cleaning up after.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Totus Tuus Rosary Making Group - Calgary

I am very honoured and priveledged to make Rosaries for the missions every Tuesday with our Rosary making group. We meet after morning mass and pray the Rosary (I don't because the little one just runs around) and then make Rosaries for the missions. The Rosaries that we make have been sent or taken by parishioners to places like Japan, Mexico, Switzerland, Belize, India and many more places. Apparently, some of the Rosaries made a round-a-bout trip and are with soldiers in Iraq. We have just recently joined the Rosary making group. The two oldest help make Rosaries, too. We have met some pretty wonderful people in our short time with the group. We have seen pictures and heard stories and read letters about where the Rosaries have gone and how they have made a difference. We have witnessed Our Lady's works and feel very blessed to help her on her mission.

If you are going on a pigrimage or work as a missionary or know someone who does, please let us know if our Rosaries can help. Please contact our group at

Here are two of the most recent photos of the blessing of our Rosaries. Photos taken by Marta T.

April 29, 2008.
May 5, 2008.

Pope Praises Rosary as Turning of Heart to Jesus

ROME, MAY 5, 2008 ( The rosary is not a "pious practice" to be relegated to the past, says Benedict XVI.

The Pope led the praying of the rosary Saturday at the Basilica of St. Mary Major. Afterward, he addressed a few words to the faithful gathered.
"In the experience of my generation, May evenings evoke pleasant memories of evening appointments to pay homage to the Virgin Mary," the Holy Father said. "Today we together confirm that the holy rosary is not some pious practice relegated to the past, a prayer of distant times to be thought of nostalgically. Indeed, the rosary is experiencing what is almost a new springtime."

The Pontiff affirmed that the rosary can help put Christ at the center of life.
"In the modern world that is so dispersive, this prayer helps us to place Christ at the center, as did the Virgin who meditated upon everything that was said about her Son and upon what he himself did and said," the Pope continued. "When we recite the rosary we relive important monuments of the history of salvation, we again go over the various stages of Christ's mission. With Mary we turn our hearts to the mystery of Jesus.

"May Mary help us to welcome within ourselves the grace that emanates from these mysteries, so that through us, this grace can 'irrigate' society, starting with our everyday relationships, purifying it from many negative forces and opening it to the novelty of God."

Benedict XVI said that the rosary, if prayed well, has many benefits.
"The rosary, when it is prayed in an authentic manner -- not mechanically and superficially, but profoundly -- brings peace and reconciliation," he said. "It contains the healing power of the Most Holy Name of Jesus, invoked with faith and love at the heart of each Hail Mary."

The Pope called on those present to ensure they remain united to Mary during these days leading up to Pentecost, "invoking a renewed effusion of the Holy Spirit for the Church."

Pentecost will be celebrated this Sunday

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Mia's 1st Lapbook

Mia too, wanted to make a lapbook. She really loves butterflies so we chose to do a lapbook on butterflies. There are plenty of ideas online for butterfly lapbooks. It seems that that is one of the favourite themes for kindergarten and early elementary children. We looked especially at the parts of the butterfly and the life cycle. We read some books from the library and last week while shopping there was a magazine with butterfly field guide cards a the cash. We bought it of course and cut out the cars and had them laminated. I can't remember the name of the magazine. Perhaps I will edit this post another day :-) Mia learned about the flowers that butterflies like and did some printing books with B words and C words. She is really happy with the way it turned out. The only problem she had during the lapbooking process was that she repeatedly had to wash her hands. She glued herself almost as much as she did the little paper pieces she was sticking on the book. Here she is with her lapbook...

Noah's First Communion Lapbook

We entered the wonderful world of Lapbooking last week. Noah has been preparing for his First Confession and First Communion for some time now and he wanted to make some keepsake of these wonderful days. I don't even know how I stumbled onto lapbooking or where I even heard of it, but there is what online with a million ideas on how to do it. That is when we decided to do a lapbook as a remembrance of these sacraments. Noah is very happy the way his lapbook turned out. He has the Parts of the Mass fan book, a turning wheel teaching the sign of the cross, a confessional with the 5 key elements of making a good confession and many more neat features. Take a look for yourself.

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