So today here it is one of those grey rainy days. The rain keeps coming and going and sometimes it is just a sprinkle if that and others, more hard. It is our "quiet time" for Hazel. Sometimes she naps and sometimes she looks at her books by herself if she wants to fight the sleep. Right now I'm listening to her sing/scream our welcome song from school..."Welcome, welcome lovely day. Sunshine bright and flowers gay. Painted birds that sing their song. To make me kind and good and strong." Somehow it seems to me that it is the wrong song for the day especially after the two gorgeous fall days we just had, but at least she is happy.

This morning we spent the morning painting. We painted some wooden objects, noodles, toilet paper rolls, and did handprints. None of our projects are finished yet, but we have lots in the works right now. Plus we have all of them spread all over the kitchen. It was hard to make space to eat lunch, but we managed.

We had to run to church to meet with the Christian Ed Director. We are planning a Breakfast with Santa and are trying to work out the details since it is our first one. Hazel wanted to go home for most of the meeting, but when I was ready, she didn't want to leave. Isn't that always the way? The Christian Ed Director gave Hazel her extra copy of The Big Pumpkin, Hazel's favorite Halloween book which we found out about from the Christian Ed Director. We had to come home and read it before quiet time.

One craft that I just finished was inspired by Rhythm of the Home. It is a wooden playset of pilgrims and Native Americans. Theirs is to go with the book, Stone Soup. We haven't read this book, so I didn't stick completely to what they did. I also did not make a teepee since New England Native Americans have never lived in teepees. However, I thought it would be fun for Hazel to have some figures to reenact the first Thanksgiving and get a better sense of it. I was lazy and used markers instead of paint (except for the white since I don't have a white marker). I figured I could use the markers neater than I could paint. Rhythm of the Home also shares a simplified version of the Thanksgiving story and a recipe for stone soup here:   Thanksgiving Story . Enjoy!!

Some projects I'm working on: Knitted Owl for School's Holiday Fair
Martinmas Lantern Bunting for our Martinmas celebration tomorrow! Hazel and I cut them yesterday, but now I have to sew them.
We are also making some turkeys, pilgrims, and Native Americans out of toilet paper rolls and are working on our angels for the angel swap. Hazel and I are both participating in the angel swap so we have to make ones from her as well as three from me.

What are you working on?

Needle Felting

It is another beautiful day here in Massachusetts. We spent the morning watching our friend's Creative Playtime Swingset be moved from their yard to ours. They have sold their house but have not found the right house for them and are moving to a condo for the time being. We offered to store their swingset in the meantime--otherwise they would have had to get rid of it. Then we stayed outside and played with the Mom (her son is in kindergarten so he was at school). Then we ran errands and went out to lunch. Now it Hazel's quiet time and then we will go back outside. Tomorrow the weather predicted is rain which will bring cooler temperatures so this is the end of our Indian Summer.

My angels = first attempt at people
Besides doing some spray painting for a future craft and looking for nature treasures in our friends' yard, we haven't done much crafting. Too busy enjoying the sunshine and making sand apple pies etc. However last night I finished a few needle felted projects and I had a few angels I did earlier. I decided that for our advent calendar (my parents gave us a beautiful wooden one that has doors with compartments for gifts) this year I will give Hazel a needle felted nativity set so we can talk about the Christmas story with her figures. Last night I made the Virgin Mary. I figured she would go in the first compartment (I hoping it is one of the bigger compartments. I can't remember how small the smaller ones are.).

So I figured I would share these pictures and will keep adding to them as I get the various characters done. Hope you are having a beautiful day!

Nice weather here = time outside!!

Who is at my door?
Today is beautiful out. We got up early and played inside, though we hung a load of wash on the line this morning. Then we ran our errands--vote, library, craft store and dollar store, pet store and grocery store. Then we came home an played outside.I pulled out the box of clothes and clips I got and sewed for Hazel's swingset. Her first response was her normal one..."No, no! I don't want them. They will blow away!" But after I started hanging them she realized they wouldn't blow away and wanted to start help hanging them. She loves her outside house.

Our birthday party
We also played with her sandbox. I bought her a cake pan, a muffin pan and some measuring cups at the Dollar Tree today, so she decided to bake a sand cake and cupcakes and we had a birthday party. We left it set up to have another one for when Daddy gets home. We have moved her sand table into the garage so she will be able to play with it all winter. Our garage is well insulated so it doesn't get too cold in the winter. I think I'm going to make her an oven out of a cardboard box for the garage and outside (in the summer) for her mudpies and sand cakes. We have the box from her car seat saved so I could use it for something, and I think this is my something.

A quick craft to share. On Sunday we worked on some new napkin rings. Here are the ones we made for ourselves. Steve and I spelled out the names/words and helped Hazel get them on in the correct order, but then let her do the other beads. We made other personalized ones for our family and friends for Christmas gifts from Hazel and I also did other Christmas kind of words--joy, hope, faith, Christ, Thank God, etc. I may bring these to our church for the Breakfast with Santa Children's market. Maybe I'll make some nice cloth napkins to go with them.

Finally a few things to check out:

From Joyful Toddlers: Fall Celebrations: Martinmas. Great information about the Martinmas celebration including a story to share. Martinmas is on November 11th, so this Friday. We made a lantern at school and will be making more this week.

From Bending Birches a link to a film on vaccinations. It seems to lean towards not vaccinating but does try to show both sides pretty fairly. It is only being presented free through today, so go check it out. I know I believe in vaccinating, but am always curious about the studies, etc. Of course yesterday one of my friends posted something about parents buying lollipops on-line that were licked by a kid with chicken pox to give their kids. Which I thought was disgusting (and so did the friend). Who knows what other diseases, etc. are on the lollipop.

Thanksgiving Crafts, Books and Games

Well this morning we finished our centerpiece turkeys. We got the instructions from Messner Holiday Library Thanksgiving Fun by Judith Hoffman Corwin. It is a book I found at the public library. It had a few crafts I liked but not too many. These turkeys were very easy. You need a toilet paper roll, paper (I used card stock), newspaper and googly eyes and glue (and we used a piece of tape). You could also use paint on the toilet paper roll, but I took the lazy way out and covered it in paper. The toilet paper roll becomes the neck and head. You use a piece of paper rolled with the newspaper stuck inside for stability for the body and cut the tail feathers out of two different colors and add the wings. As you can see Hazel and I had different ideas where the wings should go. Neither of us chose the place the book suggested though Hazel's were closer. Mine are on the body instead of the tail.

Next we read The Busy Little Squirrel by Nancy Tafuri. I used Rachel's squirrel from I HEART CRAFTY THINGS (she shared it at our Sharing Saturday link party, which is still open if you want to share with us). She got the squirrel template from All Kids Network. We decided to gather the same food as the busy little squirrel. So we made a tree trunk for his home and added the food we saw him gather in the book, bird seed, acorns, apples, corn, and berries. The book starts with the leaves are falling so we also glued on some falling leaves. We used real bird seed, acorns and leaves, a Christmas tree ornament apple, and some fall decorations of miniature corn and fake berries.

The next thing we did is we talked about Thanksgiving. I made up some memory games for Thanksgiving. This time I did not put the clear contact paper on them since I don't think they will get played with enough to get that messed up and they are easy enough to make. Hazel is at the age where she doesn't really remember much about Thanksgiving from the past so I thought I could introduce her to the whole story using these cards. Then we could play with them and keep talking about it. I did this in Word and you can download it  Thanksgiving Story Match Game.  If you need another format, please let me know. It is easy to save it as a pdf as well.

I also made a Thanksgiving dinner game, so we could talk about the food she might see at the Thanksgiving table. I figured this might get her excited to try some of it even if she hasn't had it before or didn't like it before. Again I did this in Word and you can download it at Thanksgiving Dinner Match Game Again let me know if you need it in a different format.

To make the game I cut the cards out and cut cardstock into 3 inch by 4 inch rectangles and Hazel and I glue sticked the pictures onto the cardstock.

Family Sunday

Well today Hazel and I went to  church.While blog hopping the other day I found a neat blog which for some reason I didn't bookmark, follow, or whatever so I can't find it again. Ugh!! The author is a minister's wife and she was talking about a study that showed children taken regularly to religious services were more confident and other things (which I can't remember and thus why I want to find the post again). Anyone know what I'm talking about?

Hazel's school, Cape Ann Waldorf School, is hosting a holiday fair on November 19th. One aspect of the holiday fair is a wee folk shop and I have been trying to participate in some of the handwork times to get ready for it. The first one fell when my parents were visiting, so we took the opportunity to show my parents the school. My father stayed with Hazel in her classroom (with her teacher as well) and my mother and I knitted. We made gnomes. They were fairly easy to knit once we understood the handwork instructor's pattern. She wrote it down from somewhere, I'm not sure, but it was more a picture than anything. To make him you cast on 28 stitches then knit 6 rows. In the next row you bind off the two middle stitches and then in the next row yarn over 2 stitches in the middle to get them back (this creates the hole for the head). Then you knit 6 rows and then in the next row you bind off 9 stitches on each end. Then you increase on each end until you end up with 22 stitches. Then you knit 10 rows. Then you put half the stitches on a stitch holder and knit half the stitches for 18 rows and bind off (one leg) then knit the other side the same length (for the other leg). Then you sew it together. The top becomes the arms and shoulders folding it down and the rest gets folded sideways. Then you make an appropriate sized head from stockinette and for the hat you cast on 22 stitches, stitch 4 rows in stockinette and then make a ridge (5th and 6th rows are purl) and then stockinette 3 more rows. Then you gather one of the long ends to make the hat. Sew the hat (and the head) on after the body and head are stuffed. Pretty easy.

I'm off today for another craft time. I believe today we are doing needle felting, so I'm rather excited. I hope to learn some new things since I'm more or less self taught at needle felting. I'll let you know what I make.