Fountain of Youth, Happiness Project, Raising Montessori Kids, Therapy Thursday, Throwback Thursday

Musical Craft…

“Music education opens doors that help children pass from school to the world around them – a world of work, culture, intellectual activity, and human involvement. The future of our nation depends on providing our children with a complete education that includes music.” Gerald R. Ford

During our days at home with preschool at home we did so many crafts. One of the ones the kids liked were the ones that were super simple.

What are you going to need?

Paper plates (the deeper ones are the best)

Elmers glue (might want to cover the table before you begin)

Crayons and/or markers

Beans or seeds, or it could be a sound experiment. Do several of them, and fill them with different items. You will want to make it age appropriate and child appropriate. If Johnny has a tendency to put items in his mouth, you’re not going to want to do lots of little bells…we don’t want anyone to choke!

We did this one a variety of times, the bean and seeds are pretty simple, but if you’re going to the grocery store make it an opportunity to ask the kids what they think would sound neat in a rattle.

After both sides are decorated, you’re going to glue the rims together. The glue will need to set all night, so have another project ready for them so the rattle has time to dry.

The next day, you have a homemade rattle.

Other items you can use to make a rattle is an oatmeal container, plastic milk jugs, water bottles. Just glue the lid down so the children won’t be tempted to eat the items inside the  containers! Also, be prepared to listen to the rattle for a couple of weeks. Sometimes their little works of art are such a joy they don’t want to part with them.

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Alphabet Fun

“New friends may be poems, but old friends are alphabets. Don’t forget the alphabets because you will need them to read the poems.” William Shakespeare

When my children were young every week we worked on a different letter of the week. The letter would be the focus for all our subjects. Cooking, Crafts, Botany, Zoology, Arts, Language and Fun were all center around one letter for each week. I started making plans for 3 years, so this would give us flexibility and would allow each week to be different.

Here is the alphabet cookie cutters we used…   These are stainless steel, and can be used for cooking and crafts. A great pleasure is they come in a canister, and then you can put them away! I love that!

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Raising Montessori Kids

“Free the child’s potential, and you will transform him into the world” Maria Montessori

My children are grown up now, but I stayed home with them when they were young. We had Homeschool Preschool, and I had lesson plans for everyday of the month. We had art classes, botany, science, zoology, art history, cooking, and we went on outings.

I joined a group on line with other moms and we would meet at a different park each week and take the kids on hikes or let them play. My son would often clean the slide before he would go down the slide, he was never keen on sliding.

Some of my favorite memories of the kids being young were the times we were doing projects. I know the kids feel the same way. Making their own version of play dough, doing science experiments, making crafts, making our own ice cream. They had their own stools and aprons for cooking, and cleaned up after they were done. Oh, how I love those memories. I used to even make little movies I would send from my “Logitech” camera to my family members that lived on the other side of the country.

I am grateful that my husband and I made the decision to keep our kids home during their preschool years. Giving them a treasure chest of memories of us doing and learning together. My belief is the children have strong family ties because of raising them with a family first ethics. We have always taught them family, friends, community, country, world. They were taught to give back to their community, and they are still givers.

Here is my recent graduate…IMG_9565

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If man owns land,

If man owns land, the land owns him. Ralph Waldo Emerson

This is resounding to me! Owning property is work, and owning rental property is even more work and responsibility. My husband and I have owned and sold many pieces of property. It is a big job.

When you have renters you are responsible for the safety and comfort of your tenant. When they call at 3AM, and the air conditioner isn’t working, you have to answer the phone. It’s not easy, plus you are going to have to pay bills, repairs, and property taxes. As much as people want the rent to be cheap, you are going to have to figure out a profit margin that makes you happy. You’ll have to have money for an emergency, like a leaky roof, heater, or goddess forbid anything more serious.

Flipping each apartment complex was something that I never really imagined doing. I really enjoyed refurbishing the units. Finding the right tiles, carpet, appliances, light fixtures, and paint for each room was fun for me. I also liked interviewing the possible tenants.

One time, when we owned our complex in Oakland, a guy came in right before I had to pick up the kids. I was happy that he showed up for his appointment, but he was bananas. He told me that he was an ambassador of another country, and he even showed me his identification. He told me he loved the place and wanted to offer me cash above the asking rent. Are you kidding me? No, I told him, I have to check your references. He proceeded to get down on the carpet, and started making carpet angels. I asked him, What are you doing? He said…I love this place, I am not leaving. I told him…Sir, I am going to have to ask you to leave. I have an appointment that I need to get to really soon. If you don’t get up off the carpet, I am going to have to call the police. He finally got his butt up off the carpet, and headed out the door.

I have so many stories of from my property rental days. My advice to anyone that is wanting to start buying rental property is “Do your research, and understand that you are not operating a charity, there is a small profit margin if you do it right.”

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Believing In Signs

One Big Sign

Before we found our farm, we looked for 7 years. It was a long seven years too. One gentleman promised we would have a house, and we stayed in escrow for 9 months. My husband was heartbroken. One day, on our way home from Santa Barbara we stopped to drive by the property in escrow. We saw the photo below, and I knew it was done. We were not going to get this property that was in escrow for 9 long months.

When I pray, I ask for big signs that I can’t ignore. I have even said out loud in my prayers…You know I don’t do subtle, so show me something unmistakable. I would say this sign was pretty clear. It looks like a giant foot to me. What do you think? On our drive home, I already started the mourning process for the property. IMG_3613

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Honey Healing

One of the first weekends we were living in the country, this happened…

I was taking both of the dogs (Cane Corso females) for a walk. Since we were new to the country I did not want to trust to just let them out in the yard. Now, our yard is 42 acres. There are coyotes and other animals around here. I was gazing at the stars when all the sudden Sadie pulled really hard, and I did not let go. I was pulled across the rocks like I was a rag doll. I screamed, and Sheba stopped. Sheba stayed right by my side, and Sadie was running after what ever it was that was near our house. I limped back into the house with Sheba.

I went upstairs and washed my legs with soap and water. I had to take a wash cloth to get all the debris that was embedded in my legs. My left leg looked a lot worse than my right leg. It burned like hell…it was really painful. I took some honey, and put it all over the wounds, and took another wash cloth that was damp and kept it over the wound.

I kept the wound clean every day, and also added honey to it every day. By the third day it was really looking so much better. By two weeks it was healed. I believe I was in less pain, and it healed faster with the honey.

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One Pretty Picture

Ok, really it is three photos, but I loved the two with the palm tree to the right. This was my view out of my window at the Claremont Hotel in Berkeley, CA. I was so inspired by the photos that I wanted to buy a book from the gift shop, Guess what? They had zippo books in the gift shop. The lady behind the counter was rather rude too. No suggestions about where I could get a book. I mean, really by the time I got to the elevator I shook off the attitude and thought about looking for one on Amazon. Which is still in my cart. I do love the carts at Amazon. 

This one is probably one of favorites. Sutro tower on the left. 

This one is pretty, but the light wasn’t as beautiful as the one before. Then again, someone else may like this one better.