1John 4:7 Beloved, let us love one another; for love is of God.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Baby Food Jar Candles & Scones

My mother-in-law gave me a bag of baby food jars.  We have used baby food jars for two projects: shaking our own butter & candle holders.  If we had the lids for the jars, we would've made butter.  That's a fun project!  Just pour some heavy cream into a jar, tighten the lid and shake!  It will turn to a blob of butter.  Kids love that-- we have done that to represent the letter b.  Yesterday, we created Fall colored candle holders.
We have made this before, and I still use mine.  Baby food jars are the right size for either a tealight candle or a votive, and that makes me love them even more.  Warning:  once it's been burning for a while, it is very hot!  Make sure you keep it out of reach.  We turned off the lights to see how nicely it glows.
The kids each have a small cup with a mixture of Elmer's glue and water.  I don't measure,  but you just need to make sure that you have more glue than water.  The water thins it out.  The mixture should be very watery!  The kids then hold a tissue paper square into place on the outside of the jar, and paint it with the glue and water mixture to secure it.  This can take forever.  The goal is to keep the pieces as flat as possible.  That can be very difficult for a child to accomplish.  I usually make my rounds and help each child near the end to ensure ample jar coverage, and to try to smooth out the bulging paper blobs.
Set it on a paper plate or paper towels upside down to dry. 
I like to add twine.  To everything.  So I did.
I popped a tealight into everyone's jar so they can light it at home with mom and dad.  There is never a candle shortage in my house.  Need candles?   Pop on over to my Partylite Consultant's website and order some.  They can be delivered to your door.  I love Partylite because they burn smokeless, the melted wax does not burn skin, and they burn completely down to the end of the wick and leave no wax behind.  Even the White House uses Partylite.  If you do go online shopping-- check the clearance.  It's called "Online Outlet".   
 Meanwhile, it is pajama day at Henle House!  I finally have an excuse to wear sweats to work!  It's the best day ever!  I baked some scones.  You can find the recipe HERE.  They are amazing with coffee and sweat pants.
♥♥♥Happy Friday!♥♥♥

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Birds, Leaves and Cat Puppets

We were in the middle of group time, and something was happening outside the window that I couldn't ignore.  We took a closer look.
Click on the photo to get a better look, but there were a couple of birds feeding on the leftover seeds from the sunflowers.  I had recently pulled up all of the others, and left this one just for the birds.  We were glad to see that some of them stopped by!  We have also seen quite a few crows every day on our way to the bus stop.  Adam and I were watching a great documentary about crows and how smart they are.  Crows are one of three animals in the world who use tools.  (Chimps and elephants are the other two.)  Did you know that if you do something mean to a crow, the crow will recognize your face and tell ALL of the other crows that your face means bad behavior?  They will ALL respond to you accordingly and warn others of your presence.  Amazing!  They also have dialects with each other, and have a crazy amount of calls that mean different things. (Cat- person- food etc.)  
On our way home from the soggy bus stop yesterday, we gathered some leaves to bring back and take a closer look at.
I like to grab one that still has some green on it so the kids can compare the color change.
They took some time and just examined the colors.
These ones reminded me of fire.
Off to the table we went to create a black cat paper bag puppet.
The kids colored a large black oval onto the bag.  This would be the body.
I didn't take photos of the "building" of the cats.  The kids had some help.
We hadn't created a paper bag puppet in a while, so the kids had to learn what to do with their hand to make the puppet talk.
This is how they created the inside of the cat mouth.
We continue name writing with the kids who can do it.
We hung up some of the leaves because God makes art, too.
♥♥♥Happy Thursday!♥♥♥

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Number Four

Chippy practically had her little face plastered to the glass on the door yesterday, trying to get our attention.  She used to push on the cat door to get us to feed her.  
Smudge was exceptionally sociable yesterday, too!  In group time we are counting to four.
We are moving along through the alphabet to the letter Dd.
My little nephew came for a visit!  He was on the phone. :)
We had a pretty good dance party! 
The kids created the number four out of square foam pieces.  This was perfect because we are learning to recognize the square shape. 
I couldn't believe how much attention Smudge demanded.  He really was loving all of the extra petting, and even snuggled with me all night on the bed last night.  ( I survived a couple of random midnight head knittings.)
♥♥♥Happy Rainy Wednesday!♥♥♥

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Library Trip & Excellent Music

Look at my handsome Smudge.   Every day at group time, the kids have been placing this mat out for him.  If he is around, the mat is like a magnet that he cannot resist.  He stays until we are finished with group time, and then he moves on.  He's still my best beast.  I love everything about this cat-- even his bad moods.  
Raggedy Ann is still joining us at group time.  The kids know who she is now.  We are currently working on the letter Dd and the number 4, the color black and the square shape.
At the little table this morning is the Colorforms Silly Faces Game.  I like this for preschoolers because there is no reading necessary.  Just spin and build your face, one piece at a time!  The kids think this is so funny!
Yesterday was a strange day.  I had one small preschooler, and since the Children's Museum was closed (insert eye roll HERE) , we took a quick trip to the Snohomish Library.  We had the place to ourselves!  
I don't know about you, but I love children's books.  I try to get the kids to love them, too.  Every book is an adventure, a potential learning tool.  Today I have most of my brood back! 
♪Now playing at Henle House: "Cassandra" by Thomas Beregersen's album titles "Sun".  A child said, "Woooow!!!" about it.  He likes music.♪  This is a great classical album with such large atmospheric energy-- a piece of art.  You can download it HERE AT AMAZON.  
♥♥♥Happy Tuesday!♥♥♥

Monday, October 20, 2014

Pumpkin Bisque

There is something very satisfying to me about setting the table.  It's not something that we have ever done with our own family on a regular basis.  For us, we usually grab a plate and serve up right off of the stove and then sit down together to eat.  When we have planned guests, I like to get out a tablecloth to hide the battered table, and set the dishes out. We had my parents over for dinner last night.  I searched Pinterest for tablescapes, and decided that I felt like less was gong to be much more this time and went with a simple squash pumpkin in the middle of the table.
I didn't pull out the cloth napkins, though.  I suppose I wanted to keep it feeling casual.
The soup was a Smoky Gouda Pumpkin Bisque.  You can find the recipe HERE at Taste Of Home.
The changes that I made were simple.  We felt it was mildly bland and added some garlic salt to taste.  I always add more cheese.  It was a smooth and comforting soup!  It paired well with a Caprese Salad,  and you can find that recipe HERE.  I added some crispy pear chunks to it.  I think it worked out well.  We also served some crostini and some Italian Loaf bread.  This morning I feel like I need to go on a diet.  But since Adam and I won't be hosting any large holiday gatherings this year, it was really fun to put something small together and make it special! 
Friday was so crazy that the preschool schedule went straight out the window, and I have nothing to share about our day.  Check back tomorrow!
♥♥♥Happy Monday!♥♥♥

Friday, October 17, 2014

She's Sweet Sixteen Today!

First and foremost, Happy Sweet 16th Birthday to our Stephanie Michelle!  There she was, all 5 lbs 9 ounces of her, scaring me to death on my first day of motherhood.  I was 20 years old when I became a mom.  I can still hear her newborn cry and her sweet toddler voice.  She had earth shattering volume if she wanted to.  I remember looking at this baby and feeling overwhelmed with the amount of information I wanted to teach her right away, but it would have to wait.  A mother's job is never completed!
Here she is, a smart and beautiful young woman!  We are so very proud of the person Stephanie is becoming.  Happy Birthday!
Yesterday we created a simple paper plate pumpkin pocket to hold three leaves for counting practice.  The kids are working on writing their names if they can, and numbers as well.
This project required a little bit of one on one time at the small table.  This way, I can ensure that each child had a chance to practice counting WITH me, instead of being drowned out by everyone else.
I love children's hand writing.
At the bus stop yesterday afternoon, one of the kids' dad stopped by with his police dog to say hello.
They thought he was just dressing up for the day!  Maybe sometime he will come visit and show the kids the car up close.  It was a fun distraction from waiting for the bus!
►Now playing at Henle House: "Hedwig's Theme" from the Harry Potter soundtrack.  It's a Harry potter kind of morning. ♪
♥♥♥Happy Friday!♥♥♥

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Orange

We are STILL keeping our eyes peeled for orange items around the house.   Yesterday for art, we glued orange items onto the paper.
Have you ever written a word down too many times to the point that it looks like a foreign language, and then you have to look it up to make sure you are spelling it right?  That happened with the word "orange" yesterday.  Anyway, the kids had some items already placed on a plate for them to use.
When they had glued all of their items on,  it was time for them to search for orange items of their own.  Digging through bags of small foam pieces and buttons is a good way for them to sort colors.  They put on their thinking caps and located some orange items without my help.
Kids love to do things for themselves.  This is one of my weaknesses, that I am a do-er.  It can be hard for me to remember to let go of some control about the projects they are creating.  After 12 years of working with preschoolers, I still struggle with that. 
The boys enjoyed the geo-boards yesterday.  We have been working on getting the kids to remember which toys are what we call "table toys" and need to be brought to the table.  Teaching them this usually requires a small meeting.  This keeps me from having to repeat myself over and over, as well as helps the kids to remind each other. 
♥♥♥Happy Thursday!♥♥♥