Monday, September 26, 2011

Flavors of Autumn

I am so excited that it is Autumn! Our circle time poem this week is "Merry Autumn" by May Morgan, from Let Us Form a Ring: An Acorn Hill Anthology. We are very lucky that Acorn Hill is right near us, in Silver Spring MD, and I have been to a parenting discussion that was led by Nancy Foster! Anyway, it was the "acorn growing into a tree" wet on wet watercolor painting today (from Kelly Morrow's DVD, one of the days of Creation series, but I like to use In a Nutshellfor it) and squirrels and hazelnuts in Math, and tomorrow it will be oak leaves in Beeswax Modeling, and on Wednesday, which is Cooking, we will make the "Butternut Squash Soup" from the The Waldorf School Book of Soups.

That soup looks so delicious! We have a short week this week because of the County Fair and so I am taking my girls camping. We can't wait.

Tonight I roasted a chicken with some potatoes and glazed butternut squash. Yummy. And Natalie and I made Molasses Sandwich Cookies this evening. This is a very easy and kid-friendly recipe.

This is my favorite time of year. Except Winter, Spring, and Summer. I do love them all. But I am ready to a change from the sticky heat so... enjoy Autumn everyone!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Irvine Nature Center

Today we had a great family day. I made pancakes for breakfast, plus extra pancakes for breakfast tomorrow. We left them on the cooling racks while we were gone. Nearly drove the dog crazy.

I took the children to the Irvine Nature Center. We had a marvelous time. First we visited the indoor exhibits. Then we played on the playground for about 20 minutes but they were about to close it for a birthday party. So we had lunch, hiked all the trails (the girls had a GREAT time playing in the stream -- note to self, pack insect repellant next time), and then came back to the main building. We shopped in the gift shop. I got a dozen Black-eyed Susans for the school's butterfly garden, four wax myrtles for my house (they're a native plant and you can make candles with the berries) and a bar of locally made honey soap. I am always nuts about soap and I've been looking for an all-natural soap made by a local organization. I was excited to find this honey soap and it smells amazing.

Now it's dinner, bedtime story, and bed. We just finished our last read-aloud (The Book of Fairy Princesby Isabel Wyatt) and now it is time to start something new. I picked The Trumpet of the Swanby E.B. White.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Bulb Planting Time

Today was a lovely day for gardening. The Autumnal Equinox was yesterday; it is the perfect time to plant garlic. We did all the bulbs we had on hand: daffodils in the daylily bed and garlic in the herb garden. Garlic also grows really well with roses, by the way.

Garlic is super-easy for the home gardener and organic garlic bulbs can be found at the grocery store. Here are some great directions for planting and harvesting garlic: "Any Home Gardener Can Grow Garlic" by Paul Pospisil.

Or, find a two page easy to print summary of the directions at

Looking for exotic garlic varieties? Try Boundary Garlic Farm.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Maryland Black-Eyed Susan Award

I recently found out that the state of Maryland has a book award which is student-chosen. Children all over the state read the books and vote on their favorite, one vote per child. Unlike the Newbery or Caldecott awards, this is a book chosen by the children who have read it. I love that idea!

We will be doing the Picture Books. Here are all the 2011-2012 nominees.

Now I have to find them all at the library and we will read them as part of Storybook Art. That will be really fun for me since all of these books are too new to be included in any Storybook Art ideas that are already published, so I get to make up my own.

Picture Book Nominees

Black, Michael Ian – A Pig Parade Is a Terrible Idea

Clayton, Sally Pomme – Persephone

Fleming, Candace – Clever Jack Takes the Cake

Graves, Keith – Chicken Big!

Henson, Heather – That Book Woman

Hill, Laban Carrick – Dave the Potter: Artist, Poet, Slave

MacLachlan, Patricia – I Didn't Do It

McCarthy, Meghan – Pop! The Invention of Bubble Gum

McElligott, Matthew – The Lion's Share

Mora, Pat – Gracias / Thanks

Pinkney, Andrea Davis – Sit-In: How Four Friends Stood Up by Sitting Down

Raczka, Bob – GUYKU: A Year of Haiku for Boys

Scillian, Devin – Memoirs of a Goldfish

Singer, Marilyn – Mirror Mirror: A Book of Reversible Verse

Thong, Roseanne – Fly Free!