5. Puff war! I'm not sure what this plant is, but it makes long brown pods in the fall.
They look like vanilla beans, but they crack open to reveal a surprising amount of milkweed like puffs.
Which I suppose could be blown at other people if you were so inclined!
6.My biggest surprise lately has been that the job of organizing the Altar Flower Guild, which I thought was just a matter of getting people to do occasional flower arrangements, actually includes...a bit more.
I got a call that I needed to order all the Christmas flowers by the end of the month.
I looked at the blank sanctuary and wondered exactly how many poinsettias were needed...
Two thoughts occurred: I was never good at the "guess how many jelly beans in the jar" thing, and I wish I had paid more attention last Christmas!
As it turns out, previous organizers were ready and willing to show me the ropes. A very good thing!
7. Saving the best for last: the very best news this week is that my Dad is out of the hospital, in much less pain, and is doing really well with physical and occupational therapy - he's even walking a bit on his own already!Thanks to all those who prayed! Considering that two weeks ago we were looking at hospice, it really feels like a miraculous recovery. So, thank you, and keep praying! I also pray for the intentions of everyone praying for my Dad.
For our active activity, we got the kids up at 5am and made them do dangerous work for 18 hours.
We built marble run "machines."
I set up a board (a large picture frame in this case) propped up at an angle, and put out an assortment of wooden blocks and things to build with.
I also put out the geared marble run in case the younger kids weren't interested in constructing their own machines. Everyone liked that, but they spent more time (and had more fun) building their own!
For our art activity, Shelli set up cyanotypes.
She had some acetate printouts which the kids could use,
and some black markers to add their own embellishments.
For our snack, we made salt potatoes, a byproduct of the Industrial Age! They started with Irish salt workers in Syracuse, NY some time in the 1800s.
They extracted salt from the waters of a local lake by boiling away the
water in large evaporation vats. The workers would slip their potatoes
into the evaporation vats to cook and 20 minutes later it was lunch
These were chapters 79-81 and they went from a brief history of music,
to the Victorian Age, the (contemporaneous) Civil War, the rise of
Prussia, Florence Nightengale, and the unification of Italy. Lots to choose from!
For our active activity, we did hoop rolling and The Game of Graces (it's a game where you toss and catch a small hoop using sticks), activities for children on both sides of the Atlantic during this time period.
For our art activity, we made decorative candle holders. Florence Nightengale was called "The Lady of the Lamp," but we also put a Victorian decorative spin on these.
In advance, we mixed Mod Podge (glue) with liquid watercolors and coated the inside of mason jars. Wet, they are opaque, but they become clear and jewel like as they dry over the course of 2-3 days.
The kids decorated them with jewel stickers and paint. To keep things simple (and to keep the holders mostly translucent), I gave them gold and silver paint with cotton swaps to make patterns of dots.
These came out beautifully! I dried them in the oven so they could go home without smearing.
For our snack, we had tea and lemon cakelets with fancy carnation style icing!