Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Smart Summer Challenge - "I Like Myself" Collage

smart summer button '11

We are participating in the Smart Summer Challenge, a six week adventure where we try and sneak in learning into our summer.  You can get more information (and TONS of ideas) about this challenge over at Teach Mama, Pink and Green Mama, or Naturally Educational. 

I took an idea from the Smart Summer Challenge calendar, which was to make a "me" collage or diorama.  Recently, Hadley has requested the story I Like Myself  by Karen Beaumont, a delightful story about a little girl shouting about the glorious creation that is HER.  She says confidently that no matter WHAT she looks like she will ALWAYS like herself.  I love this story and am sensitive to make sure this idea is drilled into my girls' heads as they grow older. 

I thought that this book would be a good introduction to a "me" collage, so Hadley and I read it first and then got out the scissors, magazines, and glue.

What I hoped to do with this project, was to get Hadley to start thinking about the kinds of things she is interested in.  I asked her what she thought I would put on my collage if I were making one for myself. 

"Uhhhh, I don't know."

"Well, what are some things that I like?"

"Uhhhh, I'm not sure."

"What's the first thing I have to have in the morning?"

"Oooo! Oooo!  WATER!"

I was going for coffee, and we got there eventually.  I told her that if I were to find a picture of a coffee mug, I'd cut it out and glue it on my collage.  So Hadley looked for a lot of pink things because that's her favorite color.  She also cut out animals and flowers.  It was fun for me to see what kinds of things she would pick, and I'm glad I have a little "print" of what she was interested in during June of 2011.

While she was cutting out pictures, I asked her what were some things she liked about herself.  Here are some things that she said:

"I like about myself that I like pink."

"I like that I like chocolate milk."

"I am good at running." (her Uncle Geoff would be proud.)

"I like that I can write my name.  And do color by numbers."

And my favorite, "I liked it when we started this project."

We also took some time to "map" ourselves using chalk outside.  I traced the girls' bodies with chalk, and they filled in what they were wearing using chalk.
Harper (I did the skirt):
Harper wanted to do Bear, too:

What would we do without Bear?  He's been a dear friend to both the girls.  I think it's appropriate to add him to our collages and "me maps" since he does represent a HUGE part of these girls' lives.  I'm happy to have him.

Carrot Soup and Carrot Seeds

We went to the White House Egg Roll in April and came home with some lettuce and carrot seeds that the girls have wanted to plant.  Here's the thing: I know NOTHING about gardening.  My last experience with growing something, well, besides two babies of course, was a sunflower in my backyard.  It grew so high I needed to get on a ladder to reach the top of it.  But I'm pretty sure I had nothing to do with it growing.  I think my parents were behind that project.
I'm just not what you'd call an outside kind of gal.  It's a major flaw, I know, and I try to work on it.  Take this post for example.  I garden suited up and we planted us some carrot seeds. (We were going to plant lettuce seeds too, but Harper insisted on carrying the pot we were going to plant them in and promptly dropped it on the sidewalk before we got any soil in it.)

First, we had to go to Home Depot to find pots and soil. 

Who knew there were so many kinds of soil?  And who knew they were in an "outside/inside" area of the store?   With birds and bees?  Not Callie.  Don't worry, I chose the 25lb bag of soil for a pot this size:
I absolutely know what I'm doing.  Nobody had to go back to get a smaller bag of soil, and nobody had to go back for gardening gloves and a small shovel to put the soil in the pot.

"What are we supposed to do with all this dirt, Mom?"

Anyway, we figured it out with the help of my husband.  His grandpa was a farmer so I think it's in his blood.
After we saved the day, I do what I do (better) and found some books to go along with our carrot seed- watching.
We took a look at Carrot Seed by Ruth Krauss, and I'm afraid Hadley has huge expectations now for how big our carrots are actually going to be.

We also read Carrot Soup by John Segal, a cute story about a rabbit who plants carrot seeds in the spring for his favoite dish, carrot soup.  Throughout the book, all his friends take the carrots behind Rabbit's back and surprise him at the end with a carrot soup par-tay.  Hadley and Harper love this book because at the end all the animals yell, "SURPRISE!" 

I had Hadley make a chart so she could track the carrots' progress, also helping her to answer her own question, "Are the carrots here yet?"
The other thing we did while we waited was try to make carrot soup.  In the back of John Segal's story, there is a recipe for it and Hadley and I thought it'd be fun to try it out.

Hadley and I also made cheddar/parsley bread to go with it.  That's not in the book, but nobody in this family can just have soup for dinner.  And by nobody I mean Callie.

Hadley didn't want to crumble the butter into the flour, so she took a picture of me doing it instead.
It all turned out pretty yummy.  Plus, it's fun watching the carrots grow.  I admit that I'm the first one out in the morning checking on their progress.  That seems significant since I'm usually standing behind the porch screen looking for wasps.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Recently we took a l'il vacay to the OBX and had ourselves a grand time.  On the last night there, Hadley, Jesse, my dad, and I walked along the beach looking for seashells.  It was a scene straight out of Wave....except instead of just the girl and all those birds it was Hadley, her parents, and her grandfather.  Still, it was very Norman Rockwell.
Hadley collected several seashells she liked and put them in a bag.  I thought that she might like to decorate them during her "down time" in the afternoon one day this week.  Hadley likes to do anything that I'm doing during quiet time which makes these hours in the day a little challening for me.  I adore the child, but sometimes it's nice to have a little quiet in the day. 

However, I have found that if we are doing arts and crafts together, she can work on her stuff, and I can work on my stuff and the both of us are happy.  So that's what we did this week.
A bag o' goodies I made for Hadley's teacher.  To be clear - I stamped it.  I did not sew it.
A note to go with the bag.
Meanwhile, Hadley painted and glitterfied seashells.

Hadley says the most interesting and funny things when we are both working and it's just the two of us. I like to keep a notebook close by so I can remember what she says.  I assumed that since we just got back from the beach, and she was with several of her relatives, she'd talk to  me about her time there.  So I was eager to hear what she said.

Here's what happened:
"Momma, remember when you, Grandma, me, and Daddy were at the pool on vacation?"


"Well, remember when Daddy said, 'Mom' and you and Grandma both said, 'What?'"


"He shoulda just said, 'Callie.' Then you woulda known who he was talking to."

"That's a good point, Hadley."

That's all I got.

C'mon, Hadley.  Don't you know I completely depend on your for my writing material?