Category Archives: Hands on Learning

We have ‘Egg’straordinary News!!

After 7 months of hatching, choosing, feeding, watering, coop building, holding, singing, walking, admiring and loving our small flock of chickens, the first eggs have been laid! They are tiny and absolutely perfect!! We are so proud of our little hens and lucky to have them as part of our family. We love our feathered friends!

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A comparison of a standard hen egg and our little banty egg!

 

Butter Bots!

Please read in a British accent (it’s a critical part of comprehension)…

“It is very well known that one of the most thrilling ways to enjoy summer is to go out  into the stunningly crowded world to eat breakfast. The risks we take are immeasurable and quite satisfactory, especially when you get your favorite booth! And to ensure power over the (probably) inferior tables, our family constructs butter bots out of Plus-Plus toys and little butter pats! The little plastic pieces fit together to create the perfect vessel for the butter and perhaps a become a transport vehicle for the butter to find its appropriate spot upon a steaming stack of flapjacks or the ever enticing slice of sourdough bread.

Our contest was based upon who’s creation could hold the most pats. I leave you to decide who may (or may not) have won the challenge! Cheerio and a pleasant summer to you!”

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Whatever way they grow, we go!

It’s summer and some of the most beautiful flowers are in bloom. Luck was with us when we participated in a special workshop led by a seasoned floral expert in Japanese flower arranging known as Ikebana. She is otherwise known as… our Grandma!

Ikebana is all about simplicity, the arrangement of the flowers and the intention behind it, so we spent lots of time picking flowers and choosing things that complement each other. We learned about the roles the flowers have in the arrangement: the dominate – is tallest, sub-dominate – the second tallest, and of course the subordinate – smaller and the compliment – the accent. After spending a lot of time organizing, trading and trimming we had finished! Afterward, each of us were asked to create a Haiku to accompany our final arrangement. A Haiku (if you aren’t familiar) is a poem, 3 lines with 17 syllables – 5 on the first line, 7 for the second and 5 again on the last.  It’s quite fun and a great way to round out a SUPER fun and informative workshop!

Mom’s Haiku:

Grandma overseeing life

Five grandchildren, flourishing.

Bright, positive, love.

Thank you to our fabulous, fun-loving Grandma who sponsored  and designed this fun workshop! She even came with handouts!!!

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These are what some people call frogs, see the little spears? By placing the stem on one of these, the flower will stay upright!

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What’s That I Smell?

Happy Summer from Water Street Academy. This year, we’ll try to do a better job posting on our summer learning adventures! Now, on with the show…

Cinnamon, clove, lime, lemon, grapefruit, lavender, thieves blend, vanilla…..coffffeeeee!

Essential Oils. It seems they can be found everywhere. We recently had a workshop with an ultra awesome “Scent Jeanne” (magic in a bottle – get it?) who has her own skin care line and has spent 20 years researching and experimenting with essential oils, teas and natural remedies. After a talk about plants and their properties, possible uses for them and ways essential oils are obtained from the plants, we headed outside blindfolds and essential oils on hand. Jeanne loves the brand Mountain Rose Herbs because of their craft and attention to the growth, care and harvesting of their plants.  Eden’s Garden is also a brand she appreciates the quality of.

One by one, accompanied by a breeze and the sunshine, we teamed up to explore our experiences with different scents. I partnered with the famous Emmy, with one person blindfolded, the other dabbed oils on a q-tip and allowed our brains to figure out what they thought of it. And boy, did mine think! In retrospect, I wonder how great my sense of smell is. I couldn’t tell if it was that I was trying too hard or I simply couldn’t smell as well as I thought I could. Later, we had a scavenger hunt in which we would smell the plants in Jeanne’s garden and pair it by smell with the right oil! That was tricky stuff, but it was super duper fun!

Thank you to Jeanne for just being so cool and teaching us about all of this radical stuff and to Emmy for being my excellent buddy and class partner! We hope this post made a lot of “scents” (get it?).

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This is our dearest friend whom we almost stepped on. His name is Theodore!

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Flower Tracking

Spring is such a fun time to be outside and see things growing before our eyes. It happens so fast! One day there is snow on the ground, the next tulips are in full bloom. We used this opportunity to track the growth of bulbs we planted last fall. Every other day, for 10 days, we observed the changes, measured the plant and documented the process. We were amazed that on average, the flowers grew in overall height 1/2″ per DAY! That’s a lot of work from a little bulb!

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*Featured image found on inhabit.com

 

Home at Last!

You may have known from our latest posts that were raising chickens, and as you may know, we got a used coop from our dear friend Eddie but what you all DIDN’T know is that we did some updates on it! Partly due to the ordinance requirements of not having a metal roof and also because who doesn’t like a little bit of new paint?! We ended up making a new roof out of cedar shingles, painted the exterior walls blue for a splash of happiness and cleaned the inside for a fresh start.

We’re keeping the coop inside the shop for now or until they can handle the joys of being outside, or the cold for that matter. Young chickens get their underbelly adult feathers last so there isn’t as much insulation from the cold nights, even with a heat lamp. Currently they’re all living happily inside the coop with the occasional visit from us and our pup Milton (who as you might imagine is MOST interested in those little feathered friends!). More updates to come. In the meantime, thanks for stopping by!

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Here’s Penelope peek-a-boo entering the gate to heaven.
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This is our smallest chick. We named her America’s Sweetheart after Ryan Seacrest, who goes by the same name.
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This sweet chick is the calmest of them all. Not a worry in the world. Ever.
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Our silver sea bright. Such PRETTY feathers!

The Ways of Money

We use it all the time. Money. But the more things go electronic, the less obvious it is. Credit cards, Apple Pay, gift cards debit cards. When we work our craft booths, rarely do people hand us cold hard cash. Mostly they pop out their credit card and we run it through Square. Their balance goes down, ours goes up (minus the percentage we pay to Square for making the transaction).

But what happens from there? Where did the money come from and how do we get it to buy something we want? That’s what this lesson was all about. Currency. Interest rates. Layaway. Cash – how it is designed to keep people from printing their own. Coins. In a world that seems to (unfortunately) revolve around money, we should know how it works!

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