Sunday, February 26, 2012

Sunroom Journeys is Moving to Hi Mamma...Please Join Me!

Over the past year or so, I have been having a Hi Mamma and a Sunroom Journeys blog...two separate blogs, both with a different purpose but in some cases recently they have been overlapping and have placed it on Hi Mamma.

So officially, I have decided to move my Sunroom Journeys Adventures over to Hi Mamma. I hope that you will follow me over at Hi Mamma, and together we can share and learn from each other.

This month, my daughters and I have started a new family project that we will be working on for the next year or so. It is a project that a lot of love and planning is taking place for the girls.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

RSVP for Exchanging Handmade Christmas Ornaments with Other Families

Last year, I coordinated a handmade Christmas Ornament Exchange through my other blog at Hi Mamma. Hi Mamma is where I try to capture and share the love of the handmade world. For this upcoming holiday season, I am making it a goal to make as much as possible via sewing, painting, etc. for my family. I am good at making I just need to start in making it happen.

To continue the tradition that my daughters and I started, we are hosting a Christmas Ornament Exchange. Last year we had over 200 ornaments exchanged. It was so much fun to see what other families had created when they sent me an email of their ornaments, dropped me a quick email and or shared their blog with me. So we thought we would do it again for the second year, maybe we will just start a tradition! But we wanted to share with everyone the details about the Christmas Ornament Exchange.

The idea is that families make Christmas ornaments for other families and exchange them during the holiday season. Your family would be signing up as a family where you make the same number of ornaments that you send. So for example, if you have four people in your family, then you would make four ornaments total. These four ornaments though would be going to four different people, and in return, you will be receiving four ornaments back from four different people (receiving four packages total) with the idea that every ornament would be different. If you had one or even two people in your family unit, then you would receive one or two ornaments back.

Be sure to click on the link above to learn more details of how you can participate. I know you and your family would have a lot of fun. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to email me.

And...most importantly...enjoy this Thanksgiving! Have a Happy Thanksgiving.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Under the Microscope

One of our favorite activities this past summer and now that we are almost into the fall has been looking underneath the microscope. We have looked at hair, fibers in clothes, leaves, grass, flower pedals, cat fur, soils, mold, bark,… it really has been a lot of fun for the girls to see first-hand what something looks like very close up and the difference of what it looks like not underneath the microscope. It has continued to opened their eyes to a whole new world in science, which I am all for.
Our microscope actually was something that my oldest daughter asked for when she was in preschool several years ago. I remember her going to preschool during her show-and-tell time, and she was so excited to share with the other kids the various things that they could see when looking through it. Unfortunately, not all the children in her class were there with her and she just could not understand why. So as the years have gone by…her love of experimenting and looking have not changed. And now her younger sister has joined in for discoveries of the unknown.  

The microscope that we have is a Discovery brand, unfortunately it recently lost its energy and the lenses are not focusing and becoming blurry. We are in the midst of researching for a new microscope but there are many challenges as we are finding when it comes to the quality of what you see, the price, and type of lenses, etc. If anyone has any recommendations of a good microscope but not at a huge price, please let me know. I would be very interested in learning more.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Piñata Time

We hope everyone is having a wonderful summer. It is hard to believe that August is literally just around the corner. A few weeks ago, we made a handmade piñata that we are going to "break open" on the first day of school (it was decided a few days ago).

The piñata took us about a week create...just due to the various papier-mâché layers but besides that my daughters had a lot of fun helping to design, create and assemble. We made it a family project!

The article link below will take you directly to the post that I wrote for on Oh My! Handmade Goodness. I am a monthly contributor with a group of 35+ handmade businesses around the world.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Boxcars and Art Sessions

It is race season here in Indianapolis! One of the classes that my oldest daughter participates in decided that every child make their own race car out of a cardboard box, and bring it to class on a certain day. It could be no larger than 34 inches long and 24 inches tall with handles so that she could go around a mini race track. Each race car was to be designed by the child. At first, I was thinking to myself “oh my I just do not know where we start”. But all in all it turned out fine and together my daughter and I worked together in painting her race car pink and purple, added various accessories to her car such as head and tail lights, wheels made out of paper plates, side mirrors out of foil, a slanted windshield, etc. Next week we have our big race! It should be a fun day for all the kids.
After a lot of thinking, I have decided to continue doing schooling during the summer. We will be doing our summer school hours in the morning and be focusing more on projects/themes, along with taking a field trip once a week to various places around our town/city and state.
One request that has been given to me by my daughters is that they would love to craft every day. Now to be honest, that may be a little bit of a challenge, but I am up to the task because I am so very much a supporter of the arts. In fact, my youngest is going to be taking a ballet camp for one week, where she attends every morning and then at the end of the week they have a special performance. Then during the time that she is at camp, my oldest and I are going to be studying art. So we will be working with clay, learning watercolor techniques, drawing (learning about shadowing, textures, etc.) She is already talking about the different projects she wants to do during the summer. I am so excited that she is excited about the art sessions.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Celebrating Urban Birds Nature Study

Tromping through the woods and exploring nature has been very important in our journeys this past week. Each day we were outside exploring and learning something new.

We discovered several bird nests in our front yard!

We kicked off our week by receiving in the mail our Cornell Lab of Ornithology – The Celebration of Urban Birds Project. I must stay this has been something that my daughters have enjoyed a great deal. So much, that they have decided they want to start a nature/bird journal where they can sit outside on a blanket and draw what they see in their journals.  We live in an older neighborhood, so it is not as loud as other neighborhoods might be, and watching the different birds in our backyard has been fun. The girls discovered that we have cardinals, house sparrows, finches, bluejays, doves, and blackbirds. 
We had one bird that we were not familiar with in terms of appearance when he/she was sitting in our crabapple tree. The girls and I got our bird book that was once my great aunts resource on her tomato farm, and by process of elimination we figured out what kind of bird it was. The girls enjoyed “solving” the mystery of the bird in the crabapple tree.
In the middle of the week we packed a lunch and headed to a local county park that has nice woods to explore and began the journey uncovering differences in the woods. We learned about tree stumps/logs rotting and how this is “home” to many other small creatures. Seeing mushrooms growing and forming on the stumps and rotten logs; holes in the trees up high were animals (probably owls) live and other birds. My youngest daughter was fascinated by the delicate white and purple flowers growing along the trail.
Mushrooms growing beside a log/stump.

Moss growing on a tree stump. Learning about it being a "home" for other bugs.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Family Reading Challenge Begins in Two Days!

We have made a Family Reading Challenge icon.
Big sister thought it would be fun to have this
in our kitchen so that we can remember to read!
Over the past two months my daughters and I typically read two books a night before going to bed. We just love to get our pj's, grab a good childrens book and read together. We have been keeping a chart of the number of books that we read each month.

My oldest daughter has been setting challenges for herself. Each month the number is slightly getting higher. The funny thing is that for the month of March she set her goal of reading 60 books and she read 82 books. And now she wants to set a challege of reading 60 books again for April but she really wants to set a goal of 85 books. Now that is only three books more than what she read for March, but some reason, adding a higher number to her goal is just too much. I thought that was kind of funny, but the great thing is that she is reading and really the number of books she reads is not the point.
One request that big sister has asked, is that little sister and mamma keep a reading log too. So little sister will be starting her reading log as of April 1. Each night, we will color in the number of books that we read for the day. Now for mamma, I will be keeping my reading log on goodreads (you can see what I am currently reading if you like) and can keep it updated on an ongoing basis. Big sister set my goal of reading 12 books by the end of 2011. Hopefully I will reach my goal but I must admit when I read it is mostly at night, so it is very easy for me to fall asleep (minus browsing through cookbooks and art/craft books).

Currently the one book that I am really excited to read is "Drawing with Children" by Mona Brookes. Mona developed the Monart Drawing Method after she observed what she felt was a state of visual illiteracy among children.

This summer, the girls of sunroom journeys! will be starting the 10-week artwork course that is provided in the lessons of Mona's book. So far, it has been very interesting (and it is keeping my interest). It will be a wonderful 10-week course that I look foward to sharing it with my daughters and watching them grow in their love of doodling, drawing and painting.

We would love to hear from you of what books you are reading in your family, do you have a family reading challenge?

Happy reading!