Thursday, April 26, 2012

Spring Nature Table: Birds, Eggs, Nests part 3

It is hard to believe we are close to the end of April.  Spring is blooming around here and I've been meaning to post about our spring nature table. No surprise, my kids have really enjoyed our bird watching so after Lent I decided to take down the crosses and decorate our board with a beautiful set of California bird eggs & a few nests.

A few months back I found an Etsy shop (oneeyedog) that had ornamental bird eggs.  I contacted the owner and asked if she could send me the eggs with the corresponding bird names.  She was kind enough to suggest creating a set of popular California bird eggs just for us.  They turned out just wonderful, thanks Scarlett:

Our table also has a few wood pieces for my little ones.  I ordered from another neat Etsy shop filled with the creation of a homeschooling family, The Fig and Thimble, a life cycle cube and a set of bird/nest matching game (the squares come in an adorable recycled fabric pouch; you can see it hanging under our board).  Their art work is just beautiful and if you want to know more about them visit Kimberlee's blog Pondered in My Heart.  They're amazing and wonderful:

And as you know, the table couldn't be complete without our book basket filled with some great titles:

And our field guides:
Like I mentioned at the beginning of this post: the kids have been enjoying watching the birds in our backyard and are starting to branch out into learning about their eggs and even becoming fascinated with their nests.  Here are some gorgeous birds we've been able to catch in our backyard with our camera this spring:

We've also been paying close attention to all those White Crowned Sparrows that enjoyed our homemade bird feeders.  My eight year old observed lots of activity near one of our bushes and decided to quietly get closer to the scene.  She discovered a nest within the bush and was just thrilled.  We either couldn't see from our angle or were too late to capture any eggs in it:

Mind you, my spring nature table book list doesn't include our selection of John James Audubon; which we focused on last spring.  This study included a bird watching field trip with a naturalist and a trip to the Western Foundation of Vertebrate Zoology Museum.  This was really a great place to visit; we might have to go again.  I've been working on this post all week and when I read Dawn's birthday wish to Mr. Audubon this morning;  I knew in his honor I just had to post today!  Check out some of her suggested titles and links about Mr. Audubon .

Friday, April 13, 2012

April Rain

What a treat!  I've been listening to rain and thunder all morning. 

My little boys copy work for today was: April showers brings May flowers.

We also chose this poem for reflection:

 April Rain Song
by Langston Hughes

Let the rain kiss you.
Let the rain beat upon your head with silver liguid drops.
Let the rain sing you a lullaby.

The rain makes still pools on the sidewalk.
The rain makes running pools in the gutter.
The rain plays a little sleep-song on our roof at night. -

And I love the rain.

As I'm writing this, my boys are sitting on the floor looking out my sliding glass doors bantering about the puddles; oh, sorry ponds and islands and .... So later we'll cuddle with some hot chocolate and read their favorite rain book: 

The Puddle by David McPhail

Monday, April 9, 2012

Our Lent & Easter 2012 Book Additions

Erin asked if I could mention the books I pictured in yesterdays post ; )

Our new books, some recommended by my favorite bloggers other's happened by chance, include:
  • A Tale for Easter by Tasha Tudor (sweet for the little ones)
  • The Story of Easter by Aileen Fisher (we had a chance to celebrate Persian New Year with friends;  it was fun to read about this and other spring/Easter traditions towards the end of this book)
  • Mousekin's Easter Basket by Edna Miller (this was just sweet and perfect for the start of our bird, nests and eggs study; really a nice spring book)
  • The Boy Who Couldn't by Daryl Knauer (not Easter related but sweet for my little boys)
  • On That Easter Morning by Mary Joslin (I enjoyed this one, great read leading up to and after Easter morning; it falls short on the Stations of the Cross but if you have her book on that you can use it perfectly)
  • Simon and the Easter Miracle by Mary Joslin (the kids enjoyed this one, though, my oldest had several questions as to accuracy; it's a story)
  • It's Time for Easter by Elizabeth Hough Sechrist and Janette Woolsey (nice anthology; we especially enjoyed reading the poems)
  • The Stone That Rolled Away by Guideposts Books (this was a great find; an anthology to "experience afresh the events of Passion Week and Easter Sunday" )
  • Children's Lent and Easter by Vita et Pax  - This turned out to be my girls favorite, very concise but yet understandable for the elementary age kids.  Jennifer at Family in Feast and Feria recommended this one.  It's hard to find and I was thrilled when I did just before Lent began.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Easter 2012

I hope that you all had a wonderful and blessed Easter day.  We have spent the week preparing for this morning.  As a family we were able to attend all Holy Week masses (what a blessing) and this morning the kids were more than happy to be at Easter mass.  After mass we headed over to my in laws and had a good day with family and friends.  The kids ate, played and were just delighted.  I wanted to share just a little about what we've been doing the last couple of days.

We finished adding our crosses to our Lent board. 

Really enjoyed our new Easter books.

Yesterday, the kids enjoyed their annual tradition of egg dyeing.  Grandma came over and helped out with the fun.

My intent was to get some nice natural dyeing done, but, alas, I just didn't get to my shopping list on time.  I have to say though, the kids really did a great job at combining colors and making them look pretty natural:

And then my creative boys with space and camouflage colors:

This morning, the kids woke up to Easter baskets left by the bunny aka great aunt P..

And before heading to church the kids picked a few camellias to finish our Resurrection scene:

We also dug out our little wrapped package from our Lenten Box:

To finally sing and rejoice, He is Risen:

You Bless us oh Lord and we thank you;
Happy Easter to all of you!