Saturday, August 21, 2010

A tub full of overflowing sisterly love!

Cammy is such an awesome big sister! She really loves little Karma and takes such good care of her and watches out for her. They are having so much fun together these days. Cammy is very into teaching Karma right now. I can occasionally sneak away from the room they are playing in long enough to really get something done. What a miracle!
Cammy can be a little overwhelming with her love sometimes and gets quite easily upset if she can't get Karma to hug her back and storms off saying Karma doesn't love her. I guess sisters will always have personal space issues and having to share.
Overall....we have two wonderful and loving sisters. I cherish every moment when I see them having fun together. I didn't have any siblings so it amazes me ....the whole process of seeing them learn to share and bounce love and anger around.

This is my favorite pic of sisterly bonding. How much closer can you get. A tub full of overflowing sister love!

The Cammy Jammy Family Band"

Rock On! Cammy is most definitely following in Mark's musical footsteps. She loves to put on concerts it at home or the Wilmington Childrens Museum . With my husband being a preschool music teacher and entertainer I guess it is to be embraced. She is not keen on lessons of any sort ...she very much wants to do her own thing musically. Mark has tried to teach her a few guitar lessons. She picked up the few cords he taught her so far pretty well but she wants to play the keyboard more.

My husband "Mr. Mark" performs at the Wilmington Childrens Museum about once a month. The whole family goes of course and Cammy will occasionally perform with him for a few songs. She does a great job with the puppets and with passing out shakers and instruments to the other children. She also has the patience and the attention span of a seven year old so she doesn't usually make it through a whole show before she wants to go and play like the other kids are doing.

She has been rocking it out at home with anything she can grab onto. I caught her here singing with the broom....hey whatever it takes to get her to do her chores. Again I say "Rock On!"

This time I found her singing with the hairbrush. Classic mike prop!

Mark and I painted this child size guitar up for her as a gift recently. It was in very rough shape and didn't play well at all but it serves as a good prop and Karma gets to play with a guitar now. Luckily one of my husband's guitar students brought Cammy a guitar they didn't need anymore that plays quite well. Thank You!

Here is the best shot of Cammy all dressed up for one of her shows. She will write little invitations with check mark boxes for yes or no and slip them under the roommates door.
These house concerts come complete with tickets and special lighting and almost always a few pairs of fairy wings on whoever is willing to perform with her. I would tell you the name of her band but it changes daily.

Monday, August 16, 2010

School Begins: Secret Agent Style

School is off to a great start here in The Muddy Schoolhouse. Here is a picture of our first day blackboard. I am going to teach Cammy how to write in cursive this year. We ended the school year this spring reading creation stories from around the world. We probably read ten different versions...everything from Norse frost and fire giants creating the world to Japanese versions, Native American stories , Aboriginal accounts, biblical and more. So I felt it natural to move into the study of man and community and how we communicate. We are starting the year off by studying the origin of language. We talked today about the oral tradition of history and language and how man began to communicate in more elaborate ways. We are reading passages about the history and evolution of language in several different books but by far my main source is the book Letterbox:The art and history of Letters by Jan Adkins. My daughter is very comfortable with it now but I use the quote "What catches the eye, inspires the hand" all the time. It is kinda like a slogan around the house. So the eye represents what we see around us. The iris is like a clock with ancient symbols at each of the hours marks on the clock. In the pupil a sun radiates the time that our day is to begin 8:15. The eyelashes are the cursive letters that she will be learning this fall: tops are capitals and bottoms are lowercase. The eyebrow is a rainbow. I love to draw a new amazing picture to captivate and grab Cammy's attention at the beginning of each week.

I have been setting up our learning centers all summer. We have a new roommate in what used to be the office so we have had to make a few adjustments in furniture arrangements. This is a tray of rocks and pinecones and any other interesting nature finds on a low shelf so that Karma can get to them.

Here is Cammy posing in front of the new blackboard drawing. You can see the shelf beside her where I have our math center and all of the dividers for each subject ....color coded. I'm really trying to prove to myself that I can be organized.
I put up a bulletin board of sorts a few weeks ago. The idea was for her to write down anything she was interested in learning about. The light bulb above her head was her bright idea! Inside it I wrote the questions Who? What? When? Where? Why? How? We have been talking about different ways of brainstorming ideas. Last year Cammy loved it when we built a time machine to study history. So I came up with the idea of extending that playful learning with a twist. Last year my husband issued Cammy her very own official Universal Time travelers license. This year I sent her an official letter stating that she has been recruited to be a special secret agent for the Universal Time Travelers organization. Today she had her first meeting with my husband complete with an ever changing accent and in disguise (a tablecloth over his head and a dust broom mustache) Cammy laughing her head off. The fake meeting to discuss her training (school work) lasted almost an hour. My husband played his role up so much I thought I was going to wake up the baby I was laughing so hard.

Here is our secret agent in training. In keeping with the secret agent theme we are going to be doing a lot of work on puzzles and riddles and decoding secret messages. Highlights magazine publishes some books that follow this theme. Today she had to decode a secret message that was tied in with ordinal numbers assigned to the alphabet and when she decoded the message it read "A little knowledge is a dangerous thing"
Here I am trying to get organized for the school year again. Cammy seems to work best and is more focused and less anxious if she can see the plans visually. I have posted under each subject the basic concepts I would like to cover for the year. Hopefully this will help keep us on track. I am all about teaching Cammy what she is interested in but I also want to keep to some kind of path at the same time and meet certain goals even if we do branch off from the main tree trunk at least we have our roots firmly planted.
This is a glimpse of part of our science center. We go on a lot of nature walks and I am always collecting bits of eggs, bones, fossils, butterfly wings ....all kinds of things to study. Mark jokes that the kids are going to start thinking I am a witch....what with bat wings and slug slime in the jars beside the kitchen...I don't really have those but I can see where he is coming from.

Friday, August 13, 2010

My Karma is growing up

Happy birthday Karma! Two years are growing up too fast. Such a curious and energetic little person. We love you! We did not have an official birthday party with presents for our youngest child Karma this year. My husband and his band The Cosmic Groove Lizards had a huge concert at Mayfair on the lawn so we just told everyone to come out and enjoy the music. I did make cupcakes to pass out to whoever wanted one but we didn't even get her a birthday present. Well we had almost 2,000 people come out to the concert to hear my husbands band play. I would say that Karma ended up having the biggest birthday party any two year old has ever had. My husband had everyone on the lawn for the concert sing her happy birthday. When the sun finally set there was even a fire breathing, fire twirling, juggling dancer. Unexpected....but it sure did top off the festivities in a grand way. I think her eyes were still glowing with wonder the next day.
Here is the only shot I managed to get of her birthday cupcake face. Our new roommate Gabriel Layman is holding her up. He is a musician and performed at the concert that night as well.
Karma with a very proud Granddaddy. My husbands dad Jerry Herbert is also a musician and performed on keyboard with the band as a guest that night.
Here is Karma being such a big girl riding her new tricicle, her birthday present from Grandma and Granddaddy.

I still play with my food

I haven't had a computer to post on all summer and this is a rather odd one to start back with but it was the first one that came up on my camera memory card so I'll go with it. Early this summer we had a guest whose child was not a vegetable eater of any kind. My oldest child is known to go on boughts of vegetarianism every few months. We as a family are not vegetarian but we try to eat meat only two or three times a week. Both of my children eat their vegetables and are known to favor an apple or carrot over candy. My husband Mr. Mark a children' s musician and teacher sings a song about eating your vegetables with a giant broccoli puppet.....So needless to say a child who refused to eat a vegetable of any color was a new one for me. Well....we were having a vegetarian meal that night of roasted vegetables. A challenge!! Can I get this kid to eat our meal?. So I ended up making this potato sunshine thinking that it might inspire him to at least taste a vegetable if it could be part of something this crazy. I had so much fun and had high hopes of instilling a bit of vegetable love but still didn't manage to get a vegetable into the little man.
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