Friday, August 30, 2013

Do You Have a Hat?

Mags and I don't officially start her first grade year until Tuesday, but we are still doing our extracurricular activities, including meeting weekly with our homeschooling co-op.  A few of the moms expressed an interest in starting a Book Club for the group (similar to the personal Book Club events of mine that I have posted about prior), and since I was elected to host the first one, I chose Do You Have a Hat? by Eileen Spinelli, in honor of "Fall Hat Month" next month (September). 
Maggie and I love this book.  It's full of cute rhymes about famous people in history, remembered for their hats!
 (Here is one of the inside spreads, about Francisco de Goya.)
 For the event, I asked everyone to come wearing their hats, then when I read the repeated phrase, Do YOU have a hat? (listed fifteen times in the book from the cover page to the end), I would point to a different child each time and ask him/her to tell the rest of the group about his/her hat.  Here is Maggie's hat that she got from her uncle last year.
I was tickled that even the moms wore hats!
Here was our group, donning their headwear!
 To start the lesson, we talked about hats.  Why do we wear them?  What do we use them for?  Then, I held up these little pictures that I printed from some clipart and the children hollered out their guesses as to what kind of hat it was and when it would be worn.
 After that, we read the book, stopping at every "Do you have a hat?" to ask one child about his/her hat.  When we got to the pages about famous hats, I held up printed pictures I found online of the real people the book was talking about.  (Here is a painting of Francisco de Goya, the same historical figure that was in the photo of the book spread that I posted above.)  The kids seemed to be really interested in their actual likenesses. 
After we read our book and discussed all the historical figures and their hats, it was time for a craft!
I found the idea for our hat craft at, using a plastic bowl and plate (I bought packs of matching colors at Dollar Tree), tacky glue, tissue paper, and a fabric flower.  Simply glue your bowl upside down onto the bottom of the plate, then decorate.  Here was the example I made for the kids.
For the boys, I provided ribbon, feathers, and these badges to make a more masculine hat.  Here was my example.
The kids were excited to get to work!
Here is Maggie, working on hers.  (That girl LOVES red!)
All done!  Here is Mags' hat!
For the snack, I wanted to make a hat of sorts.  I found these Jessie Hat Cookies at
 One of the things you need (which I had not used before) is Wilton's Cookie Icing, in red, which I purchased at the craft store.  (Always use 40% off coupons if you have to buy your supplies at craft stores!  We have JoAnn's, Michael's, and Hobby Lobby here, and I always print out coupons from online before I head to one to get my supplies!)
After baking some sugar cookies (I simply made two batches from Betty Crocker pouches of mix), I let them cool on wire racks.  Once cool, I laid waxed paper under my cooling racks, read the directions off the Cookie Icing bottle, then poured it over the top of my cooled cookies.  (I had 51 cookies, and it took 2 bottles to cover them all.  I'm sure this could have been poured more neatly, but like I said, it was my first time using this stuff and I was happy with the results.)
Once the Cookie Icing had dried (it takes about an hour), I took some white icing (I used a tub of Betty Crocker frosting, transferred to a squeeze bottle for easier decorating) and put a large dollop at the bottom of red gum drops, which I then stuck to the middle of my cookies.  (The white icing makes it look like a hat band.)  They're starting to look more like hats now!
Finally, using that same squeeze bottle, I piped a line around the circumference of the hat, then added "stitches" to appear like Jessie's hats.
I think they turned out pretty cute!  :)
 The kids loved them!
To end our Book Club meeting, we played a hat relay race, but before they left, everyone went home with these packets I made of all things hats ... handwriting sheets, games, puzzles, etc.
 It was a great time and another fun Book Club hosting!  See you next week!  WE START FIRST GRADE!!!  :)

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Maggie's 6!

I can't believe it.  My baby's six.  When did this happen?  It feels like I just looked at her for the first time.  Thank you, God, for this wonderful girl.  Here are just a few pictures from her birthday party on Saturday.
So, she wanted a bowling party.  This was the first time we had a birthday party for her not at the house.  It was weird.  I'm so used to having more to do and I felt a bit unsure of the chaos, but overall, it was easier.  Beforehand, I did make this for the kid who bowled the highest score.  I repurposed an old Italian soda bottle and filled it with white Sixlets (chocolate candies), then wrapped the neck with red electrical tape.  Instant pin! 
 Maggie's Daddy, digging into the pizza!
 Mags and her buddy, Olivia!
 Let's bowl!
 Her cake!  (My husband makes her birthday cake every year.)  This year, she insisted on red velvet!
 She may be six, but she's still Daddy's girl!  :)
 Bowling with Grandpop!
 Later, we opened gifts!
 This was her favorite gift, from her grandparents!  She liked it even better than the rainbow-colored beanbag chair she requested and I slaved to find!  :)
Happy Birthday, my love!  I pray that six is a beautiful year for you!

Next Tuesday we start our new homeschool year, first grade!  Check back with us regularly! 


So, we're back from our family trip to Seattle and you may remember from the past few posts that we had done quite a bit of learning about the things we would see there beforehand.  We were tickled to see everything up close that we had learned about, and more!  This is just a sampling of our pictures.  (I had 991 photos on my camera by the time we got home!)  I won't bore you with the lot.  Anyway, enjoy!
Here is Maggie and her Daddy, in the Chihuly Glass Museum, under the Space Needle!  (I thought this would make a great photo and I am so pleased with how it turned out!)
 And this was the first totem pole we spotted, in Seattle Center.
 Mags, giving it a hug!  :)
 Maggie's favorite thing from the trip was eating in the Sky City restaurant in the Space Needle!  This is her at lunch, with an amazing, rotating view!
 Then, we spotted our first salmon (which we also learned about beforehand)!  These were at the aquarium on the Waterfront, but we did see the real upstream swimming the next day!  (Keep scrolling.)
 We also spotted our first barnacles, which we first learned about when we studied Gramma's Walk.  (More barnacle pictures are coming!)
 Northwest Native American art!
 This was a shock!  We spotted one of the "peeper birds" from Gramma's Walk as well!  We were tickled to stumble across this!
 Here is Mags on the 45-minute ferry ride to Tillicum Village, the Native American village on Blake Island that we posted about prior.
 What a great kid!
 There it is!  We're pulling in!
 We have made it!
 The first thing they do when you arrive on the island is hand you a mug of hot, steamed clams and broth to eat while you wait for dinner.  Once the clams are eaten, you take out the shells and crack them onto the walkways to help them keep their walkways "graveled."  This was very cool!
 Inside the longhouse, the salmon were spread out on these racks for baking.  (I have to tell you ... there is nothing like having the opportunity to SHOW your kids something like this!  It was so very neat!)
 Then, Maggie spotted this man carving a totem pole!
 Here's my girl, eating some of that baked salmon in the longhouse!
 Waiting for the show!
 The next day, we visited the Chittenden Locks to see the salmon swimming upstream in their natural environment!  I was super excited to see this!
 These are the viewing windows!  Right before we got to them, we saw a seal diving in the water for some salmon for lunch!
 This was so neat!
 Salmon eggs!
 And yet another day (a day we went to explore the tidal pools), we spotted more barnacles everywhere!
 What a great trip we had!  Here is my girl on the last day of our vacation (Day 9), looking like a real Seattleite!  LOL!  (It's only chocolate milk!) 
Posting a few birthday pictures soon from this past Saturday!  Check back!